Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dirty salad and other food musings plus surprising happiness

Welcome Wednesday!

The middle of the week again..wahoo! Hope your week is going well. I just wanted to send a huge hello to my family and friends who are reading my blog. Thanks everyone and miss you all:) week has been going okay ..the usual work/gym/ sleep routine..nothing too exciting. But what has had me excited is the delicious food I was able to make.

First off, I'm glad you guys are incorporating turmeric into your diet. It really is a power player and I'm happy to have it on my team. Sorry for sports analogy, I guess its the hangover from the! As I mentioned in my last post, I wanted to try Meghan's turmeric tea. I followed her instructions and used about a teaspoon of turmeric and man was this yummy! Here it is simmering on the stove...great color hey? I think I might have simmered it too long because when I was straining it it was rather thick. I heated up a bit of rice milk and added that and about a half a teaspoon of raw honey. All the glorious cinnamon and nutmeg and cloves tasted so good and you couldn't even taste the turmeric. I will definitely have this again..yumm! I thought I took a grand finale picture but I searched and couldn't find one. So, you will just have to take my word on it!

I read a post this week on Joanna's blog about bringing your salad to the next level. I'm totally game for that! She had some really great ideas and I'm glad my salads contained some of her listed ingredients. Does that make my salad popular (geek alert)? wahoo! Anyways... I did want to try her mustard dressing as Joanna uses apple cider vinegar and I usually go with fresh lemon juice in my dressings. I liked the dressing but I've come to realize I can't handle too much ACV, its just too sour for my liking. So, I had some "pulp" left over from making the turmeric tea and so I thought I would just add a bit to tone down the sourness. It turned out amazing. So, thanks Joanna for the inspiration! So, I needed some awesome salad to go along with this crazy dressing. I came up with my "dirty" salad. No, I do wash my produce! The dirty part has to do with the kelp powder and intense amounts of dried oregano and basil on top. All in all this salad rocked. It was pretty basic as it only contained romaine lettuce, carrots, cabbage, broccoli but with the dressing..I was in heaven. So good!

I also made Nikki's totally awesome sun-dried tomato zucchini hummus. We are truly addicted to this stuff! The flavor is so unique that I don't think I could enjoy regular hummus ever again (yep, that good!).

If you have a hard time digesting tahini or chick peas from regular hummus, Gena of Choosing Raw just did an awesome post on a more digestion-friendly hummus. So check it out!

For dinner, I blended up a soup from Carmella's blog named Indian Carrot Curry Soup. This was so good and nourishing for our post-workout meal. I had been craving Indian food and this so this was the perfect fit! Raw soups don't have to be scary! If you want something super easy and Delicious give this recipe a try. It literally took me 10 minutes...that's about an hour or so of time saved if you were to make a cooked soup. Bonus! I followed her instructions to blend the ingredients in two batches..and she was right, my blender was full to the brim each time. This makes a lot of soup but its a good thing because you will want more than one bowl. We each had a bowl for dinner and we each had it today for lunch. There is only one bowl left and its going to be a fight as to who gets to eat By the way, I usually win those fights (Ryan might say otherwise but that's not important)! I'm loving recipes from Carmella blog. I tried the chocolate-dipped date truffles in this post, and Ryan and I still talk about them. I will be making them again real soon...yumm! So, head on over to The Sunny Raw Kitchen and try will not be disappointed:)

The best of both worlds is what I called my lunch today! Hummus with Ryvita crackers and curry carrot soup. The hubby added some left over quinoa for a little boost in the protein department. mmm!

Back to dinner...We finished off with some cute over-sized chocolate chips from the co-op that are vegan and organic with 70% cocoa. They were so Delicious and the perfect way to end the day:)

My next foodie adventure was to make my own trail mix. The store I usually get it from was out so I decided that it was a good time to experiment. I bought natural almonds, raw cashews, organic dried cranberries, and organic raisins. I had some raw pumpkin seeds and raw sunflower seeds at home so I thought I would use some of these as well. I soaked all the nuts and seeds overnight.

I then had to leave them spread out on plates and baking sheets to air dry as I don't have a dehydrator. I quickly realized this was going to take too long so I put them in the over, turned the heat on low for a bit then turned off the oven. This was way more efficient (duh!). Aren't those almonds huge? They pretty much doubled in size after soaking them!

Ta-da..the final product! It made so much that I'm going to have to go buy a larger glass storage container as it wouldn't fit into anything I had on hand. One down side was that I really wish I could have dehydrated the nuts and seeds so I could get that "crunch" that I associate with trail mixes. Next time I think I will leave out the cashews and maybe go for a brazil nut or pecans. I would add more raisins and cranberries or maybe add some goji berries. The possibilities are endless! I felt like I went back to an older time where you had to make everything you eat. So, I definitely felt more connected to my food. Have you made something that made you feel more in touch with your food?

So, I really didn't measure what I used so I'm not sure how to determine if it was cheaper to make my trail mix or buy it..but I'm going try.

sunflower seeds - $1.00
Pumpkin Seeds - $.50 (didn't have much left)
Almonds - $3.71
Cashews - $ 2.19
Cranberries - $0.88
Raisins - $1.00
TOTAL = $9.28

I'm thinking that it's about the same price as the trail mix I currently buy but everything in this mix is organic. So if I compare it to organic trail mix prices, I think it's a better deal. Gotta love that!

Have you tried making your own trail mix? How did it go?

Last but not least, I tried a new kind of chewing gum that I picked up at the co-op. It is sweetened with xylitol which is, according to their website, ".....a naturally occurring sugar-alcohol found in corn cobs and stalks, and is shown to reduce tooth decay by up to 80%." The good thing is it is non-GMO but I'm still a bit iffy about corn sugars. Although, I think using xylitol is better than aspartame or sucralose. So, have you tried Spry gum? Or is there a gum you recommend?

So, what's my surprise happiness? Well, I wrote about my woes with our current tenants last week. Now, this week we decided to side with them and go ahead with a large repair that was not necessary (even though they claimed it was vital. We called them to make sure the time was okay. Then about 2 hours later they call back and say they are moving out..this month. Seriously, these people are all over the map. Good thing we could cancel the repair but not we have to find new tenants. Yet, amongst this mess I am smiling because they are leaving. Huge relief! At least I'm more prepared for looking at new tenants!

Well that about sums up my week so far! It's been fun! Hope the rest of your week goes well. I'm going to leave off with a picture of the King...well at least the king in our


bitt of raw said...

dirty salad eh? yuck! just kidding. i like to put tons of herbs, dulse, stuff like that in my salad too. and hemp seeds. i get it.

i will have to try that indian soup. i miss indian food when raw.

it is hard to dry almonds without a dehydrator. i once tried the sun while i was away from my house. my brother-in-law went outside and started eating them! glad the oven worked for you.

bitt of raw said...

ps love the kitty pic. i keep thinking if i were to get another cat i'd get an orange tabby. oops don't tell my other critters! we're full!

Nikki said...

I'm glad your tenant troubles are resolving. What a relief.

Now that the weather is warming up I'm thinking about salads again, and trying to come up with new dressing recipes. The dirty looks good! I love dulse & herbs on mine, too.

I'm glad you like the hummus. It's one of my faves, I put it on everything.

Carmella's recipes are so good. She's coming to Seattle soon!

Pam said...

Hey, we have a tiger cat too that I call! They could pass for!!


Melissa said...

Bitt- He He ..I love me a dirty salad! I really want to try the hemp seed thing one of these days. That is my fear when leaving yummy food in the sun! You do have a critter full and loving house! I really wasn't a cat person until we got Nemo..he has such character!

Nikki- Thanks for your good wishes about the tenants, its a huge relief for us too:) I'm a lover of the dulse too. I bought a huge bage of kelp powder which turns out to not be my favorite but I need to finish that off before going back to my first seaweed love:)Yes, your hummus rocks..period! Carmella is coming to Seattle? ooooh I'll have to check her schedule and if we are back in Van by then I might be able to come down.

pam - Nemo thinks he is the pride leader lol! Love the name tiger. Does your tiger cat act like a human too?!

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

dirty salad, LOL
the food pics look awesome and i love the last pic of your cat: that's great!
thanks for reading and finding my blog, have an awesome week(end)!!!

Musashi said...

I chew Spry gum, great stuff! The spearmint is my favorite! And that trail mix looks AMAZING!

Melissa said...

Hey Musashi! Ya, I'm really liking the Spry gum! Thanks for the comment on the trail was yummy!