Monday, November 27, 2006

Join the RAWvolution!

Huge excitement in my house last week - I got my hands on a copy of RAWvolution by Matt Amsden! I have seen a few bloggers using this book recently - first it was over at What the hell does a vegan eat anyway?, which I didn't mind so much cos they seem to have the best of everything, lol! But then I got very annoyed when I saw it at Candi's Blog. I wasn't annoyed at Candi, not at all (especially since I think it's great to see more people getting into raw) - I was annoyed at my whole stupid country! In her post Cadni said "while I was in the vegan section [of the bookstore] I saw this book and had to have it." American bookstores have VEGAN SECTIONS! Over here in Aus you're lucky to find a single vegan cookbook lurking among copies of 'Women's Weekly Vegetarian' and other veggie books full of dairy. Buying a raw uncookbook is simply not a possibility - the only way I could get one would be ordering in.
But anyway, several months ago I saw that my university library had plans to maybe get it in so I put it on Advance Order just in case and last week, lo and behold, I got an e-mail saying it had come in! AHHH!

It truly is a stunning book - very reminiscint of Juliano's RAW, which we all know I love ;-) It is very gourmet, which I'm into less and less, but it tends to be much better food combining-wise than RAW is. Some of the things look incredible and I certainly think they are great for converting non-raw foodists who think we all live on fruit and veggies (okay so I kinda do, but only because i WANT to - I can eat as gourmet as anyone else if I feel like it!)

So on Saturday night I made my first dish from RAWvolution - Thick n Thin Sprouted Lentil Chilli. Before I start on the actual dish, let me have a little gripe regarding the name. I like dishes with interesting names - if you call something lettuce tomato corn and dulse salad with an avocado lemon juice dressing sprinkled with cumin, not only is it incredibly hard to say but it is darn boring!! So I like the thick n thin part of the name. Also, it is an accurate description because if you let it stand two distinct layers separated out, one thick and one thin (and both tasty!) And the chilli part is accurate (even if I did leave out the chilli powder because I felt that the heat would overpower the delicious other flavours). But it's the Sprouted Lentil part I have a problem with. There are no sprouted lentils in the dish - they appear as an 'optional garnish.' They aren't even used as the garnish in the photo in the book! I love sprouts so I used them as my garnish, although I used mung beans not lentils, and they were really nice when stirred through - little crispy morsels amongst the soup. My other problem is that in the picture there is a big glob of something that looks like (raw) sour cream, but there is no sour cream recipe anywhere in the book! There is a recipe in Juliano's book that I would have liked to use but that requires a number of hours of fermentation and I wasn't planned that far in advance. Luckily, I made Juliano's Almond Flower Cheese last week (pictured below), which requires fermentation and produces whey. So I made up my own sour cream recipe using cashews, lemon juice and whey from making cheese and it was really yummy and a great addition to the chilli. Which, by the way, was very good! Certainly a very delicious introduction to the book.So if you can get your hands on RAWvolution, I highly recommend you do! Have a great day!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Is it Christmas already?

Here in Australia we don't celebrate Thanksgiving - I really have no idea what the point of it is, although I gather that it is another religious celebration that has been transformed into an opportunity for companies to make a lot of money (I'm a firm atheist - I feel sorry for all the Christians for whom December 25th actually means somthing). So anyway, it's been kinda weird seeing all the other blogs I visit giving Thanksgiving menus etc, but cool to see what you're all doing to convince your doubtful relations of how delicious vegan food can be! Plus I love the fact that some of you, such as Urban Vegan are 'adopting' turkeys! Too cute! But now to get to the point of this post's title - since we don't have Thanksgiving, I think the shops feel they need to get in super early with all the Christmas stuff. I mean, for goodness sake! It is still more than a month till the big day and the shops are already covered in decorations, playing chirstmas music and having christmas sales. So much consumerism.
I'm really looking forward to Christmas this year. Normally we spend it with my mum's family then see Dad's on boxing day but since we are now living in a different state to all of thoes people, that won't be happening. Instead, Mum and I are going to a Salvation Army christmas lunch and helping out with distributing food to the homeless or anyone else who wants to drop in. (Don't think my Dad isn't a nice guy - that just isn't his idea of a fun way to spend Christmas or any other day). Should be a cool new experience and hopefully I'll meet some nice people. The lady in charge already knows that I won't handle meat, by the way, so I'm guessing I'll be plating veggies or doing dishes.

Now, onto food. Here are the FLOGs for the last two days:

Breakfast - Watermelon.Green smoothie with mango, banana, coconut water, water, spinach and silverbeet. Two apples.
Lunch - Apple. Yummy salad with baby spinach, tomato, sundried tomato, mushroom, red capsicum, avocado. Note the big black blob in the picture of this above? My cute doggy Casper had a sniff just as I took the photo so I had to share it!)
Snack - 1 kiwi fruit, 1 banana, 1 tiny plum, two apples.
Dinner - Walnut Burger from Shazzie's Detox Your World, with Real Toast and Mayo #2 from Juliano's RAW and lettuce and tomato.
After Dinner - Juice of two oranges mixed with young coconut water.

Breakfast - Green smoothie with chard, silverbeet, peach, banana, water, young coco water. 1 tiny plum and two apples.
Lunch - 1 apple. Living Fudge from The Raw Gourmet by Gabrielle Chavez. (I have this on loan from the library and this was the first thing I made. It was yummy but VERY unphotogenic!) With celery sticks and chinese cabbage.
Snack - 1 kiwi fruit, 1 tangello, 3 apples.
Dinner - ABC Soup from my recipe with a bowl of sprouted chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and corn scraped from the cob (oh god I love fresh corn!)
After Dinner - Juice of two oranges.

This is what I had for lunch back on Saturday that never quite made it to this blog... but the recipe is here on my recipe blog. Yes, I finally put another recipe there! Try not to fall off your chair!

Now last of all is my bit of daily activism. At the beginning of this year I went to a 'Wildlife Extravaganza' with presentations from a number of charities that work with endangered wildlife including sunbears, painted dogs, rhinoceroses and orangutans. All of the presentations were heart wrenching and touching but the orangutans really got me motivated, probably because (from what I could gather anyway) they are not as at risk as the rhinos but they stand a better chance of being saved if we start doing something NOW! For christmas my parents are adopting an orangutan for me (I chose Bulan, if you want to check her out at the site) and I am also getting into letter writing. Obviously those links take you to an Australian organisation, but whichever part of the world you live in you can still help out.
The greatest threat to orangutan survival is the palm oil industry - habitat is cleared for palm plantations and loggers receive bonuses for killing any orangutans they come across, using whatever means possible. (Including shooting, stabbing and covering with fuel then setting alight). The orphaned orangutans are sold as pets or for entertainment and must endure lifetimes of mistreatment. The Australian Orangutan Project cares for and rehabilitates orphaned and injured orangutans, funds habitat restoration projects and more and it is through them that I'm 'adopting' my orangutan. I'm so happy that my christmas present is going to make life better for orangutans!

Thanks for visiting, have a wonderful day (and Thanksgiving if you celebrate it)

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Juliano Failure!

Shock horror! I made a Juliano recipe (from the book RAW: The UNCookbook) that wasn't amazingly delicious. If you've been reading my blog for any period of time you'll know that I LOVE this book and consider Juliano an absolute genius but I have now found a recipe that is not good. Had to happen eventually I suppose. The failed recipe was Gordon's Fish Patties... I know some of you are probably thinking "well, with a name like that, what can you expect?" As a cooked vegan I wasn't a big fake-meat fan (just like Leslie) because it tastes weird and felt weird and I don't like to associate my food with dead animals. But if you like it that's cool and it's not really a dead animal so it doesn't matter... please don't be offended! But back to the point, Juliano has other recipes that try and replicate cooked ones, such as Cheeseburgers, Meatloaf, Whipped Cream, Oatmeal Cookies and many more, all of which are delicious, so I didn't let the name put me off.
For ages I've looked at this recipe and thought "*sigh* I'd love to make this but I can't because here in stupid Australia we can't get rutabagas." I discovered several weeks ago, however, that we can get rutabagas, but for some stupid reason we call them swedes. Now if you could choose between calling something a swede or a rutabaga, which would you go for? Personally, I think rutabaga is an awesome word. But anyway, despite what they're called, I was suddenly able to make the recipe. So I whipped the ingredients up in my food processor at 9 o'clock in the morning so my patties could have their recommended dehydrating time but as I did the smell nearly made me vomit. I mean seriously, this was gross. I added some herbs and way more garlic than called for but it still smelt awful. I decided at this point that I almost certainly wouldn't eat it but it was made now, so I might as well put it in the dehydrator. For the whole day the smell coming from the dehydrator nearly made me retch but I persevered and finally had a nibble when they had been in there for about 9 hours (1 less than recommended). TO be honest, the taste wasn't quite as bad as the smell but it was not nice at all! I don't know what Juliano was thinking when he came up with this but all I can say is rutabagas have a better name than taste. (If you'd like to know more about rutabagas aka swedes, click here).

I won't let this experience deter me though, so don't worry - I still love you Juliano!

Anyway, in the time that the fish patties were dehydrating, I found myself a replacement recipe to try and I am happy to report that it was absolutely amazingly delicious! You can see the recipe here and the picture here:

I call it 'Rawtellini,' cos I'm silly and I think that's cute. This photo shows it with the Sweet Tomato Chutney, which was delicious. I changed the ingredients a little, using no salt or black pepper, basil in place of oregano and lots of garlic and lemon juice. Oh and my 'pasta' of choice was zucchini.

Now, here is Sunday's FLOG for you:
Breakfast - Green smoothie with silverbeet, paw paw, banana, water, young coconut water. One apple and some pineapple and an orange.
Lunch - One apple. Salad (see photo above and instructions below).
Snack - One kiwi fruit, one mandarin, one peach and an apple.
Dinner - 2 nori rolls. One had baby spinach, broccoli, asparagus, basil, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and avocado. The other was lettuce, yellow capsicum, carrot and tahini.
After dinner - Juice of two oranges mixed with young coconut water.

The salad I came up with on the spur of the moment, and it was really good. Make a bed of baby spinach (or another green leaf) then mix together some chopped tomato, chunks of coconut meat (mature not young) and some mixed sprouts (I used sprouted mung beans, fenugreek seeds and lentils), then top with grated carrot and some generous squeezes of orange juice. This is nice presentation but mix it all up lots when you eat it! I love putting coconut in salads, it is really yummy with savoury things.

COngratulations on making it this far through this big fat post... I've got one for thing for you now. Today's animal rights action can be seen here. I don't know how it's done in other places but pig farming here in Australia is horrendous. If you look around the savebabe website you will see lots of the terrible facts such as the fact that pregnant sows are confined in stalls that don't allow them to turn around or move more than a step forward and back. They are supplied with no bedding of any kind for when they give birth (in nature, they create a nest of leaves etc), forced to lie on metal grates, and can't see or interact with their young, which are kept separate so that they can suckle but without the risk of being crushed by their mother. It is really just horrible, like all forms of factory farming.

Hope everyone's having a super duper day!

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Yes, well, the title kinda says it all doesn't it? Lol :-) I am on holidays for the next 3 months!!! Personally, I think that's over-doing it a bit. I mean, uni is easy compared to what my last year of high school was and I haven't had to be on campus that much, although I have gotten in about 6 or more hours of study every day (well, less on weekends). Does that sound like a lot? I never feel like I'm doing enough but then people are shocked when they hear I do that much. Anyway, I can't see that 3 months holiday is necessary but that's what I get, so I'm going to make the most of it! Here is what I ate yesterday, the day of my very last exam:

Breakfast - Green smoothie with peach, banana, spinach, young coco water, water. 2 pears and an apple.
Lunch - An apple. 2 bananas, some seeded raisins and a medjool date wrapped in savoy cabbage leaves. The picture above shows when I had this a few weeks ago, with pineapple added too. It might sound weird but you should really try combining fruit with green leafy veggies, it's great!
Snack - 1 kiwi fruit, 1 peach, 1 mandarin, 2 apples.
Dinner - RAW PIZZA! YUM!! (What better way to celebrate the end of my first year of uni? :-)
After dinner - Juice of two smallish oranges mixed with young coco water.

Onto a different topic - from reading this blog it may seem like my life revolves around food. I'll admit, food is a HUGE part of my life because I believe that veganism (raw or otherwise) is a lifestyle and not just a diet. I love changing the world and I know that my eating habits are good for me, good for the animals that don't get slaughtered, good for the environment (and therefore good for animals that don't die due to habitat loss, etc) and also good for the people who I inspire to eat less meat and more delicious healthy food by setting a good example. Oh and my parents - eg my dad has lost 18kg since the beginning of the year when I started cooking for him and his meat/refined product consumption went way down (he did start doing more regular exercise too, but the diet was a big part of it).
Sorry, back to the point. My life is not 100% about food - I am a passionate animal lover (maybe why I'm studying a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, lol!) and a dedicated animal rights activist. And I always include humans as animals (no speciesism here!) so I'm a human rights activist too. Anyway, every post I do this summer I'm going to give you a link to something animal or human rights related, hopefully with some kind of action you can take. To start things off, click here to read about the horrors of dog culls currently taking place across China and find out who you can write to. Animals Asia is an amazing charity that I support a lot - one way is through the 'Befriend a Bear' program. They do lots of great work - check out the whole site while you're there!

Hope everyone has a rawsome day!

Oh and motivated by Kris at Squirrels Vegan Kitchen, I thought I'd share a photo of my most beautiful girl, Asante Sana (called Sana for short. Her name means 'thankyou' in Swahili and she was rescued from the RSPCA when I did work experience there a couple of years ago. We on't know how old she is, other than OLD! I'll share more about her in future posts).

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Here I am Again

Sorry for disappearing on you, and after I promised more regular posting too! But I am now two exams down, 3 to go - the ones I have done were both anatomy, which is quite a challenge, but they weren't too bad. I'm really looking forward to my holidays - even though I love studying throughout the semester, when exam time comes and you know that if you stuff up a two hour block of time all your efforts for the past 4 months are pretty much wasted, it loses the fun factor!
But anyway, onto food. Yesterday's FLOG:

Breakfast - Green smoothie with mango, banana, spinach, water, young coconut water (oh so incredibly delish!) Some fruit... 2 apples and a pear, i think?
Lunch - 1 apple. An adaptation of Super Broccoli Quiche from Shazzie's Detox Your World, wrapped in chinese cabbage leaves. I love this and eat it heaps. Mash some avocado, add chopped broccoli, celerey, asparagus and dulse flakes, roll up in chinese cabbage leaves (or other leaf) and devour. Oh and top with tomato slices, that's good too! Also very convenient for taking to uni - put the avo mixture in a container, the leaves in snaplock bags and then just spoon filling into leaves when at uni!
Snack - 1 mandarin, 1 peach, 3 apples
Dinner - Adaptation of Walnut Burger from Shazzie's Detox Your World served with adaptations of Mayo #2 and Real Toast from Juliano's RAW.
After dinner - Orange juice mixed with young coco water.

On Saturday night I made Crispy Spring Rolls (or was it Crunchy Spring Rolls?) from Shazzie's Detox Your World. Oh and the Sweet Apricot Sauce that she suggests to go with them. They were really yummy but not overly filling - i think they should be in the 'Side Dishes' rather than the 'Very Special Main Meals' section of the book. Oh wait maybe they are. Now I can't remember. Well anyway, I should have made more! The sauce was really yummy but very sweet - not the kind of thing I would associate with a savoury meal - more like raw apricot jam. I ended up just eating most of it with my fingers ;-) I think I will try incorporating it into a sweet recipe at some point in the future though!

Well, I must return to study!
Have an incredible day! P.S Summer has hit full on, nice and early! It's sooooooo warm here, I love it. I miss South Australia and my old life there sometimes, and I still plan to return when I finish my uni course, but wow is the weather here great. I pity all of you for whom winter is just starting!

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Joys of being RAW...

You get to eat ice-cream for lunch! I could list 73 thousand million other reasons why raw is great but that one is enough for today!
So, here is Thursday's FLOG:

Breakfast - Green smoothie with silverbeet, mango, banana, water, young coconut water plus a little of the 'meat.' 2 apples, 1 orange.
Lunch - 2 apples. Three (small!) bowls of ice-cream (see below for details!)
Snack - 1 kiwi fruit, 1 mandarin, 2 apples.
Dinner - big fat salad!

If you've never tried banana 'ice-cream' you really ought to do so in the very near future. It doesn't matter if you're raw, vegan, vegetarian or a raging omnivore, everyone likes it. Example - I gave my grandad who is visiting a spoonful and his actual words were (imagine in very strong british accent - 30 something years in Aus hasn't changed that) "corr, I could eat raw food if I had to eat things like that!" (with an enormous grin on his face). Grandma had a spoonful too and couldn't believe what the ingredients are. That's cos the ingredients are... banana! Break bananas into pieces and freeze for a minimum of 12 hours. When you're almost ready for ice-cream, get them out and allow to partially defrost while you get the food processor/blender, bowl and spoons ready (though it might not make it from the food processor to the bowl! lol!).
Put bananas in food processor/blender and turn it on. At first they'll go all lumpy and weird but just keep going and eventually you get something that looks like a soft serve ice cream and tastes amazing.
I made three flavours yesterday - plain, pecan and (seeded) raisin (that's the one in the picture) and 'Teenage Caronut.' That one had young coconut and truly raw carob powder (most is roasted, but not this!) but the young coco wasn't so young anymore, which meant it didn't really get chopped up and the ice cream was pretty lumpy. Still tasty though!
Okay, that's all for today - go make ice cream!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Tuesday's FLOG

Well, this is going to be short and sweet. This is what I ate (and drank!) yesterday:

Breakfast - About 350ml of green smoothie with silverbeet, dill, banana, peach, water and young coconut water. Two apples and a chunk of pineapple.
Lunch - 2 apples. Two 'burritos' (see picture above and details below)
Snack - 1 kiwifruit, 1 mandarin, 2 apples
Dinner - Walnut Burger (from Shazzie's Detox Your World) with Real Toast and Mayo #2 (both from Juliano's RAW), and some lettuce and tomato.
After dinner - juice of two oranges mixed with some young coconut water

Now, about lunch. First of all IT WAS YUMMY! I don't really know what a burrito is but I think it is beans mixed with other things and rolled up in something and eaten very messily. I achieved all those things, so I'll call it a burrito! :-)
This is how I made it - the wrapper bit was two leaves of savoy cabbage (I got sooo excited when I found organic savoy last week, I've never had it before and it is yummy as!) Inside was a mixture of:
chopped tomatoes
grated carrot
sprouted green lentils and mung beans
I was going to include spring onion and corn but didn't have enough corn and forgot about the onion. I will definately be making it again though, :-), so I can add them next time.
Well, that's it! Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Catching Up and Thankyou
I just want to begin this post by saying thankyou so much to everyone who has left me really cool comments lately. I have had people saying I've inspired them to make the leap from vegetarian to vegan, vegan to raw vegan or simply to start incorporating more healthy raw and/or vegan meals in their life. I never intended to 'convert' anyone with this blog but I can't tell you how happy it makes me feel to know that there are less animals and people suffering, and less damage being done to the environment as a result of nothing more than my words typed on a screen. It really proves that everyone truly can make a difference.
All these great comments also make me feel even MORE guilty that my posts have become so few and far between lately. However, that is all going to change! The simple reason for this is that... I have finished my first year of university!!! I can't believe it! Only four more years and I'll be a qualified vet, lol! (Please note, I am not someone who lives in the future - I am not planning any of the next four years of my life - I just can't believe that only 4 of my 5 years ofundergraduate study remain!)
I have a study week this week, exams next week (AHHH!) and then nearly three months of no uni committments whatsoever. Anyway, I am going to post every day starting now. I've also decided that the only way to avoid this blog getting boring when I do this is to post my daily food log (AKA flog), which will (hopefully) also be helpful for anyone who is just getting into raw and wants an idea of what a 'normal' raw vegan eats each day.

I'm not going to do that today though - today, I'm going to tell you about how my birthday finally ended, three weeks (!!) after it began. I'll give you some quick background first - if you haven't been reading this blog for long, you won't know that at the beginning of this year, my parents (and lovely animal friends) and I all moved from South Australia, where I grew up and my entire family and all my friends live, to Perth in Western Australia (about 3 1/2 - 4 hours by plane) because none of the South Australian universities offer veterinary science. On the weekend before my 18th birthday (friday october 13th) I got my first HUGE surprise when my parents took me to the airport and we picked up one of my very best friends who they had payed to fly in from Adelaide! She stayed for a full three days and three nights and we had a great time. Then the weekend after my birthday, (sunday october 22nd) I went to the biggest raw picnic I've attended yet (scroll back a few posts for more details) and although we didn't actually celebrate my birthday or anything I got lots of 'happy birthdays' and Meg made 'chocolate crackles' especially to be reminiscent of a kids bday party. All year my grandparents have been planning a trip over to visit us and for... well, months I guess, I have been planning a party to have with them. So they arrived on october 30th and then last saturday I created a delicious raw spread for them to enjoy. I was planning to make it a lunch but in honour of the 'international day of action on climate change' we attended a 'Walk against Warming' so it ended up being dinner. It was so funny - grandma said "Well! In one day I've been to a protest march and eaten a raw meal!" Two new things she's never done before!
Anyway, on to the menu. I made:
-RAW spachetti bolognaise
-zucchini pasta (to go with the bolognaise)
-mini quiches
-Corn Ring (from Shazzie's Detox Delights)
-guacamole (with veggies for dipping)
-pumpkin soup (modified from Juliano's RAW. This was special and I just made a bowl for my mum, who has EXTREMELY BAD food intolerances. She liked it and I couldn't have been happier!)

-carrot cake (modified from Juliano's RAW)
-chocolate biscuits

As you can see (in this terrible photo - Dad took it, not me!!) Grandma liked the mini quiches! So did Dad and I thought they were INCREDIBLE! They were inspired by Super Broccoli Quiche in Shazzie's Detox Your World but I completely invented the crust recipe, which I will post on my other blog really soon.

This is me with my mum, her mum (my grandma) and her stepdad (my grandad) before we hoed (Is that a word?) into the food.

This is mum's pumpkin soup - sorry the picture is blurry, my camera ran out of batteries so I didn't have time to snap any others and this one was taken on Dad's cam, which I suck at using even more than I suck at using mine! Still pretty though.

How beautiful and vibrant is the carrot in this photo? The colour of the guac isn't that appealing but it was delicious and Grandma couldn't get enough!

Another bad picture... but that can't disguise how pretty the cake is! Unfortunately no one else liked it as much as me but hey - more for me!

Mum is a very neat and tidy perons (I am too) so the streamers that had been in our lounge room for three weeks were really starting to get to her - as soon as I had blown out my candles, she started taking them down! (All over me!!)

And here's me with my lovely mum, lighting the candles (as we were doing so she said - "Watch out! it won't be raw if you get that flame much closer to the cake!")

To finish up, this is my parents and I at the Walk against Warming. It isn't a great picture but its rare that my Dad is in a picture cos he's normally behind the camera.

Whew, congratulations if you made it through that post! Come back tomorrow, I promise to post again!