Thursday, November 29, 2007

Green Smoothie news and other notes

As all of my regular readers know and most of the others will recall, I am very new at this. So, I finally worked up the courage (and finally getting a blender capable of making a true smoothie instead of a 'lumpy' helps too) to make my first neon green smoothie. I kept the ingredient list simple - juiced two apples, added two big handfuls of kale, and then a banana - and I can honestly say that it RAWked! (sorry - I couldn't help it) Now, I'm a big fan and look forward to my neon green fix in the AM.

I don't know much about food combining yet but am learning. So, I'm sure there are better combos out there. The way I figure it though is if I can't choke it down, it doesn't do me any good either. So, at least I am starting to get good stuff in my system, right?

To that end, when I saw this post about Green Smoothie Queen from the Raw Divas I was excited! I think I managed to finagle a few of my friends to give it a try with me. :o)
Even if you are not interested in the Green Smoothie aspect, they have a really cool green jug that they are selling that would work just as well for water or any other beverage. So, go check it out.

Here's a little reading on the benefits of green smoothies (as opposed to just eating greens or juicing):
They also list a few recipes at the end as well.

Here are a couple more ~

Raw in the New Year Update:
Quite a few of you are jumping on board with the raw "experiment" in the New Year. Just to clarify, you don't have to be 100% raw to do this with us. Some are aiming for 80/20 and others are varying their days of participating. So, feel free to join up no matter your motivation or food plan. The point is to do this as a group, to support one another, and share detox and recipes too. :o)

For anyone interested, we will be taking "Before" pictures at the tasting night. While not required, we thought these "Before" shots would be fun to pair next to an after shot when we have completed the 30 days. We will be planning the rest of the tasting night soon and will keep you posted.

Also, instead of starting January 1 -- what do you think about waiting a few days? This way last minute guests (and the treats they brought) can be cleared from the house and aren't staring you in the face mocking you as you embark on this healthy phase of 2008!

(Leave a comment or send me a message and let me know if you have any preference)


Monday, November 26, 2007

Alissa Cohen on YouTube

Ok ... how about a fun post with videos after a busy holiday?!?!

Here are a few videos I found on YouTube that feature Alissa Cohen. The first one is from NBC's Today Show and the second from Tyra Banks.

And here is the one from Tyra's Diet Wars:



Sunday, November 25, 2007

Vegenaise Salad Dressing

I pray everyone had a fantastic time with family celebrating the holiday and reflecting on the many things for which we each have to be thankful. I spent time with my family and friends this weekend and enjoyed some great food as well.

For a transitioning person, I think the holidays (which hold many fond traditions regarding food) will be the toughest to get used to. So ... this holiday was a mixed bag of raw, vegan, and traditional items in our household.

One really scrumptious item was something Tricia made: Vegenaise Salad Dressing
It tastes much like ranch dressing but yummier!

She mixed up the following items to taste:

  • Vegenaise (grapeseed oil)
  • Rice Milk
  • Tarragon
  • Mrs. Dash original seasoning

She said that she just added the last three items to the Vegenaise in a blender and continued adding until she had the amount, consistency, and taste that she wanted. I don't know that I can replicate it exactly but plan to give it my best shot.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wowser ... I am SO trying this!

OK boys and girls. Just a quick entry before I commence to scrubbing my house in preparation for company this weekend.

I just checked my Google Reader and found a recipe that is SCREAMING to be attempted for Thanksgiving. Seems I will brave the store later today to grab ingredients that I lack for this one.

So ... run, don't walk, over to the FatFree Vegan Kitchen blog (have I told you how much I adore this blog?????) for her --- drum roll please ---


Monday, November 19, 2007

I've located a few more local resources that might be of interest to some of you out there.

Local Resources:
Shannon Rose Live! -- local lady with raw classes, recipes, and information.
Beautiful on Raw -- featuring reviews, resources, books, and more from Cordova, TN

Nashville Raw Foods Support Group -- found on
As stated on their website:
"Gain support and encouragement from other raw fooders in the area and share meals, recipes, books, ideas and friendship together on a monthly basis. This group is for everyone interested or just learning about raw foods as well as for those that are stuggling or have already "gone raw." You don't need to be 100% raw, all eating paths and lifestyles are respected."

You can also find a list of other local farms and such on these posts:
Local & Noteworthy, part 1
Local & Noteworthy, part 2

Recipe link from Trisha G.:
Trish recently sent over a recipe that her crew liked a lot and I tried it with mine. I'm including the content of her email in this post so you can see the substitutions she made. I think I will try these substitutions next time with my family too.

Hi ladies! Just passing along a recipe that I served tonight. The kids and I loved it, Brian ate it all and said it was good, but said it's not his favorite. I'm ok with that. ;-)

Here's the link. I grew up with my Polish step-dad's family serving cabbage rolls at family meals. LOVE those! This is very similar, but in a much easier casserole form.
I made a couple of substitutions. I used a bit more cabbage than the recipe called for, substituted Kashi pilaf for the rice and used two cans of diced tomatoes and one can of tomato sauce and added a bit more water. It says to cook until the liquid is absorbed, but with all the liquid from the tomatoes and extra water, that would have been hours. I just watched it for the cabbage to be good and tender. It was yummy!! My boys asked for more and more until we finally just had to make them stop eating. That's when I knew they liked it.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Revvin' Up the Raw

As I have mentioned before, after the first of the year some of us plan to take the plunge and try a 30-day, 100% raw adventure. Anyone is welcome to join us and if you are in the Nashville area we will get together a few times before, during, and after for encouragement and recipe sharing.

I'd be lying if I didn't admit that part of my interest in the raw food lifestyle is for weight loss, and ultimately better health. I know weight loss should not be my only motivation but I can't help but be intrigued by the volume of positive weight loss stories. I'm looking forward to giving that another go. It took me nearly two years to lose 50 pounds (most of which I have regained) with tradional dietary approaches. Prayerfully, it won't take that long when I am eating properly and have certain food items out of my diet altogether.

So, on that note, I thought some Before/After inspiration might be in order for those of us gearing up for the adventure!

Take a look at this site: Raw Reform
This is an amazing site with lots of good information on it. There's a store, a forum, lots of resources (links, recipes, etc.), and basic information on making the switch to raw. But what I'd like for you to notice is that, in addition to the before/after shot of herself on the homepage, she has a large list of other Before/After Shots to inspire you. Not only have they lost weight, their complexion and overall appearance looks better too.

Additionally, she links to several other Before/After Galleries. In addition to being inspiring, they prove to me that you can lose weight, no matter your age, with proper diet and exercise and without modern pills and procedures.
Other Before/After Inspiration:

So ... after taking a look at that inspiration, if you want to join us please email me or post a comment to this entry and I'll make sure you get all the details in plenty of time.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Kitchen Goodies and Farmer's Market Fun

Just a few websites today that feature items you may wish to purchase for your kitchen or journey into this healthier way of living.

First ... an ultra-cool bottle that Melodie B. purchased. It is leach free and keeps water extremely cold for a long period of time.

SIGG water bottles (and more)
or check out

They have really cute designs - including some for the kiddos - and offer customizable solutions. Not too pricey if you consider it doesn't leach harmful chemicals and toxins into your precious water and you can reuse it indefinitely.

Kitchen Stuff
Here are a few sites for spices, hard to find items, and kitchen essentials.

Farmer's Market Fun
Sandye and I journeyed to the Farmer's Market downtown today and several of the local farms still had nice greens (sadly, no kale) and sweet potatoes. We also checked out the tiny international market and found some interesting items.

Picking out sweet taters for her crew

Can't speak for the quality but the prices were incredible. That Tahini that is bigger than her face was only $13 and the small jar was $3.50 or something like that. I paid $6 for the same size jar at another store.

The prices on the spices were out of this world too. And they have young coconuts for 99 cents. Two pounds of medjool dates were $5.99. Again, can't speak to the quality of the stuff since I'm no expert but it might be worth a look for yourself at any rate.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Chock Full of Raw Recipe Goodness

The site that follows is just like the title of this post implies. It contains a plethora of raw recipes (I think it has over 1200) and has a forum, blog, and more. So, because it is so huge it probably warrants a post all its own. Therefore today we'll keep it short and sweet with a link and some highlighted recipes.

Gone Raw:
"Gone Raw is a website created to help people share and discuss raw, vegan food recipes from around the world."

Here's the link to their recipe page:
The cool thing is that beside the recipe it has an icon for any special equipment needed (food processor, juicer, etc). So, you can tell at a glance what you will need to have for each recipe. You can also search by category (holiday, party, smoothie, snack) or ingredient which is doubly helpful.

Here are links to a few I noticed while perusing the site that interested me.
"Tuna" Salad Sandwiches
Spicy Avo-Mango Salsa
White Hot Chocolate
Rawtella (raw version of Nutella)
Grilled Steak! for stir frys, BBQ Beef, Kebabs, etc.
Purple Pina Colada Smoothie
Mango Colada Smoothie
Italian IceBox Salad

That's probably enough for now. While you look through the recipes, be sure to add a comment or email with some of the ones that stand out to you.


Friday, November 9, 2007

Whoops ... maybe not for everyone

We have our first review by Sandye tonight. She and her family gave the Yellow Split Pea soup with Sweet Potatoes and Kale a go. Here's what she has to say:

First let me start by saying that I truely am enjoying all new cuisine that we
will be diving head first into in January.

Second, the soup went over
like a lead balloon!!! LOL I did not like it, the kids did not, and Randy put
mustard in his and then said he liked it. Whatever! If you have to doctor food
up, it does not taste good! HA

It was thick and tasteless. You could
smell the ginger, but you tasted nothing. We ate it reluctantly because it was
not going to be wasted and it did have veggies in it, and veggies are good for
us! My kids each had half of a half of a bowl including lots of crackers in it
and Sam broke out the hot sauce praying it would help! I even put a few drops of
hot sauce in mine too, thinking I would love it then! I did not love it, I hated

So, try for yourself if you like, everyone has different taste buds,
but as for me and my house.... no more split pea/sweet pot. soup! AMEN!

So, there you have it! Decide for yourself but I think that you probably have to enjoy split pea soup to start with to really enjoy this recipe. I might still give it a whirl since my hubby digs sweet potatoes, but I'll keep ya posted.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Another Recipe Review

Just thought I would compose a quick post about the raw cookies that some of you got to taste last night. I forgot to take pictures of the dough and the process, so we'll have to save that for next time.

I used a slight variation on the recipe that I featured from Raw Nirvana on this post. It basically consisted of the following: (BTW, this is what I did -- it isn't necessarily the recipe as they have it. Watch the video if you want an exact replica)

  1. Take about 1/2 cup almonds and 1/2 cup walnuts and a dash of salt
  2. Process in food processor until the consistency of meal
  3. I added four pitted dates and 1/2 cup (give or take) of raisins and a dash of almond extract
  4. Process that well with the nut meal
  5. Add to that 1/2 cup of shaved (grated) coconut
  6. Blend well in food processor

Voila! You are done!

From there you will most likely want to keep it refrigerated. At least, that is, whatever is not consumed outright! I rolled some of mine in a ball and then rolled it in coconut again, but the majority of it I placed in the fridge and plundered from time to time when I was feeling peckish.

I found it to be surprisingly sweet and rich and it really satisfied my sugar cravings.

Big thumbs up and simple to boot!


Sunday, November 4, 2007

Odds and Ends as we wrap up the week

Whole Food Markets in Green Hills is officially open now. Be sure to check it out online and register for their e-news. Also, I just got an email from Brinda noting the cooking class schedule will be posted soon. Check it out here.

Many of the folks I've talked to are intrigued by the Raw Food end of this new healthy way of living. So we are considering doing a 30-day Raw 'adventure' after the first of the year. We'll also have a tasting night to go along with it.

If you are interested in participating in either the tasting night or the 30 day Raw, just email me or reply to this post (either way is cool). The tasting night is simple: prepare enough of a raw food recipe to share and bring it, along with copies of the recipe to give out. This way we get to try new recipes and have recipes to take home from the tasting night.

I figure we might as well have some fun as we go, eh?

Green Smoothies:
I know a lot of us are trying them. Share some recipes of your favorite green smoothie concoctions and we'll put it on the blog for all to try. I have found a few sites that feature them but would rather hear what you all enjoy. Email or reply to this post with your fav!



Saturday, November 3, 2007

Whole Foods, Kale, and Soup Reviews

Melodie located a page over at the Whole Foods Market website featuring Thanksgiving and other holiday recipes.
Check it out here:

* Not all of them are vegan (or even vegetarian) so read carefully if you are staunchly vegan for the holidays. For everyone else that is transitioning these might make for good inclusions for this holiday season.

Whole Foods Market also has a list of quite a few blogs they publish. Here is one for the "Whole Body." The latest entry is for mineral makeup that is good for you.

Kale is a little powerhouse of a plant. If you need proof, just follow this link to learn more
(link was on a post from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen blog)

I gotta tell ya ... I love that blog and the recipes she's postin'. If you haven't looked through her stuff, you SO need to. Last night both Sandye and I made the Rustic Red Kale and White Bean Soup (see post below that links to her recipe) for our families. It was SOOOO yummy!!!

We both had two thumbs up from the entire family on it (except Steph because I totally overdid it on the pepper with mine -- yowser was it hot!) It was so good that my hubby said I could make it everyday if I wanted to.

But I gotta tell ya ... it is one of those soups that makes you want to snuggle under a blanket while enjoying a roaring fire in the fireplace and watching a good movie with family gathered around. It's also one of those that makes you crave a hunk of crusty bread to go along with it.


Now, go on, rush out to the store and get the ingredients because you know you want to make it!


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Pumpkin Hummus

Speaking of using things up that are in the pantry ...

I found this recipe for Pumpkin Hummus over at and I think I'll make it to use up some of those canned veggies. Yes, I know canned are not the best option, but ....

So, the link above is for the video of the preparation. Here is the link to the actual recipe you can print: Pumpkin Hummus Recipe. The recipe is courtesy of Everyday Dish

Fall Recipe Share:
If you have a great recipe that screams "Fall Flavors" please consider sending it over so that we can share it with everyone. (Tonda ... if you are reading this, I want the recipe for the roasted Sweet Potatoes that we had at Pastor's Appreciation Day - hee hee!)

Here are a couple I found but haven't tested yet:

Please pass along any that you may have found or created.