Sunday, December 31, 2006

I'm not dead yet...

... I think I can go for a walk now...

Sorry, I'm doing another movie bit. Raise your hand if you love Monty Python! *Waves hand wildly in air* That's from Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail. Anyway I'm really sorry I haven't posted for a week. Is it just me, or does everyone else read other people's blogs every day, leave comments, and feel so involved that they don't realise they haven't actually posted on their own blog? That's my problem. I'm glad everyone had a nice christmas/holiday period and you all appear to have had scrumptious food. We had a very unconventional christmas this year - it was our first year living on the other side of the country to the rest of our extended family so it was just mum, dad, me and a whole lot of animals, of course :-) I woke up to an amazing stocking stuffer - a durian!! See back a couple of posts for a photo and description of this stunningly delicious fruit. I also got:
- a hemp hat (no, I won't get high from wearing it, lol!) a totally aweseome blender just like this one, the book 'Your Natural Diet: Alive Raw Food' by TC Fry and David Klein (great book), a pedometer to track how many steps I take, another book on natural healing remedies, two gorgeous plates and two lovely bowls to add to my crockery collection, a new pair of pyjamas, a new nutmilk/sprout bag, an anklet, a headband, some vegetable soap... these things came from my parents, two sets of grandparents, and two sets of aunties and uncles - a lot of it was posted from interstate. The very best present though, was one that I chose before hand - sponsorship of this gorgeous little orang-utan thought the Australian Orangutan Foundation. It is only a small contribution but I'm glad I'm doing something to help out.
I also got a little bit of money from my other grandparents and some relatives in England. Yes, in case you're wondering, that is 3 sets of grandparents I have - what happened was, both my parents parents got divorced and remarried, so I ended up with four sets but then my dads dad died and we don't talk to his step mum. SO there you go. Anyway, with some of this money I went nuts at my favourtie shop Alive Organics, which sells a lot of stuff from The Raw Pleasure Shop. I bought black tahini, mesquite meal, and ... cacao butter. Raw chocolate here I come. It's, funny, I was never much of a chocolate person but I'm looking forward to having little bits of raw choccie to nibble on. Actually, I'm looking forward to making it more!
Okay, to continue with our slighlty unconventional christmas - so, I had a durian for breakfast. Then, with my super duper new blender, I whizzed up a delicious green smoothie - ooohhh, it was sooo much smoother than the ones from my food processor! I packed up this and some fruit, then hopped in the car with mum and we headed out to the Salvation Army's Christmas lunch, where we healped out by doing dishes and just talking to the people who had come so they wouldn't have to spend christmas day alone. My dad didn't come because it's just not his kind of thing and he doesn't get a very long break from work over christmas so he wanted a chance to relax. Don't think he's not a nice guy!! As a thankyou for helping, we got some leftover food sent home with us including cold chicken, turkey and pork - dad eats vegetarian most of the time but he still likes a bit of meat (yuck) so we weren'g going to be rude and turn it down when we knew he would eat it. So that was what dad had for dinner, along with salad and the thing he and mum both requested I make - chips based on the Herbed Potato Fries recipe from 'The Everyday Vegan'. Mum's request for the rest of her dinner was a simple pumpkin soup (I just made it up once - no recipe).

For my christmas dinner, I made something that I have wanted to make for AGES but have not been able to because it required a blender - sunflower seed pate. There are about a trillion different recipes for this that have been driving me nuts and the one I used was Sunny Hemp Pate from Detox Delights by Shazzie, but mine is more like Peppy and Sunny Hemp Pate because I used half pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and half sunflower. To serve I started off rolling it up in thin strips of zucchini but that was taking too long so in the end I just spread it on slices :-) Sorry about the picture quality, my dad took this shot not me! Oh and you can see one of my lovely new plates. For 'dessert' I made myself a little bit of Carrot Cake from Juliano's RAW The UNCookBook, although heavily modified. I made this for my birthday a while ago too, it is delicious!

This is our Christmas Table, with my mum and my cute dog Casper in the background. Ignore the mound of meat on Dad's plate.

Here is me, totally obscured by my hemp hat and a gorgeous christmas crown that i have had since I was about 4, hacking into my durian. You shouldn't need a knife to get in but a) my parents aren't quite as good at selecting durian's as me and b)it was still a tad frozen.
Pictured at the top of this post is a simple salad of chinese cabbage, carrot and corn (and a chopped date, don't ask why I put that in? :-) mixed with Tomacado Dressing from my new book 'Your Natural Diet.'

Oh and finally, this is a gorgeous little organic watermelon I bought last week. I put the teaspoon in to give you an idea how big (I mean small!) it is.

Have a wonderfully happy new year and I promise promise promise to post more often!!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Who was it??

Okay come on, own up. Who stole the last year? I can hardly believe that it is Christmas Eve already!!! What the?
This is going to be very short because I have to work today (yes I know, working christmas eve kinda sucks - don't get me started!) Pictured above are Wild Mushroom Fajitas from Shazzie's Detox Your World. They were really yummy, a very nice bledn of scrumptious flavours. Instead of adding It's Not Really Mayonnaise (from the same book) as Shazzie suggested, I blobbed some guacamole on there and that was great.
Although this meal was great, I'll admit I was a tad disappointed. I love button and field mushrooms and I have been wanting to try shiitake for ages but have been unable to find any organic. This week I gave in and bought conventional. Now, maybe organic ones would be better but these mushrooms were nothing special. I like button better! Oh well, doesn't really matter I guess.

For anyone who has never seen one, this is a durian. Aka a small, spiky piece of heaven. And this was a particularly good durian too! As you can see, there are two splits in the skin in this picture. The typical durian has five such splits, each containing two 'pods' or 'pillows' of the most delicious fruit ever. Oh I want another one...

Okay, that's it. Have the merriest Christmas ever!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Can you turn him into pudding?

Has anyone seen a (very short) movie called 'Darkwing Duck and the Justice Ducks'? It's a kids movie which I watched over and over again with my two cousins at my grandma's house - we also watched 'Ivanhoe,' 'All DOgs GO to Heaven,' 'The Emerald City of Oz' and a few more. Those are beautiful memories. Anyway, in Darkwing Duck, Darkwing is dating a magical duck name Morticia and his daughter GOslen is constantly pestering her to turn Darkwing into things, one of them being pudding. Morticia tries and fails repeatedly... long story short, at the end of the movie she finally manages to turn one of the 'baddies' into chocolate pudding, whic Goslen then sticks her finger into and eats. It's very funny. Well... maybe just to me!

Anyway, having shared that with you let me get to the point! Here in Australia, we don't really 'do' puddings - I don't even know the definition of a pudding, I kinda just think its a gooey sweet thing you eat with a spoon? But since reading Shazzie's books Detox Delights and Detox Your World I have discovered that in England, 'pudding' is actually just another word for dessert. Geez I'm confused!! In 'Detox Delights' Shazzie says "They [puddings] are fantastic whole meals in themselves. How exciting is detoxing? You can eat puddings galore and get healthier than ever!" And that is just what I have been doing. Pictured above is Marinated Mangoes with Lychee Ice-cream from Detox Your World, however I didn't actually marinate the mangoes. Also, it is SO HOT here that my 'ice-cream' very quickly became slush. Still tasted great though! Oh and as you can see, I served it in a savoy cabbage 'bowl' - yum and extra healthy.

This is Semolina Pudding with Figgy Jam also from Detox Your World. I know the picture is blurry, I don't know why and I'm very sorry about that but I thought it was so pretty I'd share anyway. I changed it a little by adding fresh mulberries from the ENORMOUS tree in our backyard to the jam. This (both pudding and jam) was REALLY YUMMY!!! So simple, so healthy, so delicious. Oh and After taking the picture I served this on cabbage too!

Thanks for stopping by and have a super awesome day!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A Blissful Week

My lovely new rattie friend Bliss is going wonderfully, she is LOVING all the scrummy raw vegan food she is getting - her previous owner was a lovely young girl who clearly loved Blass (previously 'Mitsy') very much but was feeding her the standard recommended pet shop food - which looks like small lumps of cardboard. Mmm, yum - cardboard! Not. She digs into green smoothies, fresh fruit, veggies, sprouts, nuts, seeds - everything I give her, she devours. It's like her tastebuds have suddenly been awoken! So cute.

I am absolutely digging into fruit at the moment too - it is all so delicious! Would you like to know my FLOG for today? First I'll tell you what I actually ate, then what it was turned into:

3 bananas
1 pear
1 mango
1 mandarin
5 apples
chinese cabbage
savoy cabbage
1 young coconut
young coconut water
1 heaping tsp cacao powder
1 carrot
1/4 red capsicum (bell pepper)
borage (grown in our garden - yum!)
mung bean and lentil sprouts
some zucchini

And all of these delicious things became:

-a big green smoothie
-chocolate mousse
-a salad with a dressing found in the e-book that can be downloaded here This is the e-book that I proof-read and received a $40 voucher for as a present (see my last post) - if you have any interest in raw food (or even if you don't! :-) it is sooo worth the very cheap $10 to download it. Full of great recipes. I made the Sweet Citrus Dressing which was really good but a little heavier than what I was after. It is HOT here! But I love the hot weather.

The salad is in the picture above, by the way.
Sorry this is short - have an awesome day!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

No Food but a FLOG and Some Other Things

I have had possibly the most amazing week of my life! I'll start on Sunday - my university results for this semester just finished were released and I received two HDs (high distinctions) for my Cell Biology' and 'Biostatistics and Information Retrieval' units and two Ds (distinctions) for my anatomy and 'Animal and Human Bioethics' units! Yay! Although I was hoping for better in anatomy, I guess I should be satisfied! (In case you don't know, I'm studying a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery).
Then Monday a new addition joined my family - the gorgeous ratty you see above! If you remember, my beautiful, precious, beloved rat Spirit passed away after a sudden short illness a few months ago and I've been desperate to find another but I refuse to buy from a pet shop or breeder. I rang the RSPCA, my vet (who specialises in rodents), someone who used to run a rat rescue centre, and joined the Australian ROdent Resuce yahoo group, but had no success. Then on Monday I got a message on my phone from a man who is moving to Melbourne with his family and driving there (at least 5 days from here in Perth). His daughter had a rat but they couldn't take her with them so they had rung the RSPCA, who gave them my number. He cam over right away with his daughter and 'Mitzy' the rat, who has since been renamed Bliss. I felt very sorry for his daughter, but very happy for me!! :-) As you can see from the picture, she is a beautiful girl and her fur is SOOOOO soft. Her diet consisted of dry pellets which look like cardboard and are about the least appetising things I could imagine - I gave her a piece of pineapple on her first day here and she didn't know what hit her! Since then she has been devouring every raw delicacy (eg, fruits and veggies) she can get her paws on! Plus she loooves green smoothies!

Now I thought something exciting happened on Tuesday but I can't remember, so on to wednesday (aka yesterday). I lashed out hugely and bought myself... an Ezidri Snackmaker dehydrator (if you click on the link you have to scroll down a bit). I have had a dehydrator since I went raw but it didn't have temperature control and was technically 'cooking' my treats, so I've been longing to upgrade but the $200 price tag was a bit off putting. But I'm glad I spent it now. The dehydrator I got is about the very bottom of the range when it comes to temperature controlled dehydrators but I prefer fresh food most of the time and I just wanted to be able to use my dehydrator when I wanted without knowing that all the enzymes in my food were dead, so it serves my purpose nicely.
In addition, I bought raw cacao powder (not a half kilo though! Only 150grams) for the first time. I need a little more magnesium and aside from being delicious, raw chocolate is REALLY high in magnesium. I haven't used it yet, but there will be a recipe soon!
I also got a $40 voucher to spend at the Raw Pleasure Shop because I proof-read a new holiday e-book that the site owners Sheryl and Piers have created with Raw Author Nomi Shannon. $40!!! I can't decide what to get.

And for the final awesomeness, today is my five month anniversary of 100% raw. YaY! Now I was going to give you Tuesday's FLOG but I really don't have time.
Hope you have a day as wonderful as my week has been! Here's one more picture of beautiful Bliss.

Monday, December 11, 2006

More Soup

Hello! As you may remember (I have said it before) I never used to like soup. Like, I really didn't like it. I don't really know why but that was the way it was - since going raw, however, that has all changed. After my recent success with my first recipe from Matt Amsden's RAWvolution, Thick n Thin Sprouted Lentil Chili (see a few posts back) I decided to try another of his soups. He does say soups are his speciality too, so that provided further motivation for me. So On Saturday night I made the Little Green Cream of Celery Soup. The actual recipe contains just five ingredients and since I left out the sea salt, mine had just four! But it was really delicious. I'm very happy with my picture cos it looks just like the one in the book, except for one thing - in the recipe, Matt says 'scoop off and discard any foam which rises to the top' (after blending). I got lots of foam but I thought it was REALLY yummy, so the thought of discarding it was quite abhorrent to me! Therefore, I left it right where it was. I'm glad I did, but I wish I'd taken another photo after I'd eaten it, because the soup is actually green underneath the foam, and looked even more like the picture in the book. Oh well.
Despite having said I really liked it (which I did) I felt kinda funny afterwards. I've had a similar feeling before and I have now decided that A lot of celery all at once just doesn't sit well with me. I think it might be the naturally high sodium content.

Okay I have to work today so this post will have to remain short. Have a great day!

Monday, December 04, 2006

More Exciting Things!

I'm here! Twice in two days... impressive, huh?

Edit: Okay, so I started this quite some time ago and am only just getting around to finishing it. Sorry!

Now I'm going to continue with the exciting things that happened last week. As Jen pointed out in the comments of the last post, I won a contest to receive a signed copy of Shazzie's book 'Detox Your World' and my entry to the competition can be seen in her journal here. Shazzie is a HUGE inspiration to many many people and thousands of people read her journal so I am very honoured and excited to have my words appear there. Hopefully I can inspire someone too!

Onto the next exciting thing. Being on holidays, I am trying to find work at the moment and last week I started a paper route. It turned out to be about the least profitable job imaginable, paying only approximately $4.20 (Australian) per hour so I'm not doing it anymore, but I made a discovery whilst delivering papers that makes it all worthwhile - a fig tree. On public land. FRUITING NOW!!! So I now have access to free, sweet and delicious figs. I'd post a picture but I've eaten all the ones I picked and need to go back for more!

On Saturday I went to hand out leaflets at shopping centres regarding the factory farming of pigs, which was organised by an organisation called PAWS, the People and Animal Welfare Society. I love them, because they are interested in helping animals without harming people and vice versa, for example they are starting a vegan soup kitchen soo to show that in order to help the homeless, you don't need to slaughter innocent animals. Anyway, they sell a range of organic vegan products like instant vegan meals made by a local company called 'Mental Lentil' (isn't that the coolest name?!!), vegan chocolate, animal testing/animal ingredient free shanpoos and more. Amongst this range of great vegan stuff I found... RAW HEMP SEEDS!!! This may not seem so exciting to you, depending where you're from, but this is the FIRST TIME I have seen hemp seeds in Australia. This is because our government still has the stupid idea that they can somehow be used to grow marijuana (THEY CAN"T!) and so they're illegal. I don't know how PAWS managed to get them... I actually don't think they have gone through the correct channels, and I have a feeling they're illegal, but I don't care! Lol! :-)
Anyway, on Tuesday I used my hemp seeds for the first time to make stuffed mushrooms. The stuffing contains:
hemp seeds
yellow capsicum
pinch of paprika
All chopped up in the food processor and stuffed in mushrooms. I had more than you see in the picture, so I also had 3 leaves of pak choy with the stuffing spread on them. YUM!
The hemp seeds are very nice, they kinda remind me of pine nuts but I like them and I don't like pine nuts. I don't LOVE them but I think I'll eat them once a week or so. Whatever I feel like. They're very good for you though (well, everything I eat is but... ya know! :-)

Hmm, I think there was another exciting thing but I can't think of it now so I'll just post this picture of Shazzie's Sunset Pudding that I made the other day. Lucky you, even people who don't have her book Detox Delights can see the recipe here. I didn't use the dates and it was divine. Yum yum yum. If you remember, a while ago I said I was trying to make every recipe in this book, and I still am, but I have kinda changed the aim now because there is only one section of the book posing problems, and that is the Salad Dressings. So I want to make every recipe in every other section of the book!

Oh and I haven't done a FLOG in a while so here is what I ate yesterday:

Breakfast - Green smoothie with silverbeet, banana (frozen) and... mango, I think. Or maybe it was peach. And 2 apples after. And a mandaring, I think.
Lunch - Two apples. A DURIAN!!!! YUMMM! Oh this is sooo good, I want more now. If you don't know anything about Durian's read about them here.
Snack - A banana, half a mango and two frozen strawberries blended with a dash of raw carob powder. Yum. And a mandarin.
Dinner - ABC Soup (see my recipe blog) and corn off the cob with sprouted chickpeas.

My whole day was just fruit and veggies and I loved it! Yum.
Have a totally great day!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Utter raw vegan Excitement

I'm sorry... (*hanging head in shame*) I haven't posted in days. What a naughty girl I am. I have no decent excuse either - well, I couldn't post yesterday because I went out earlyish in the morning to go hand out information on factory farming at supermarkets. It was lots of fun! We got chased away by security gaurds after a while, but we were effective before hand.
Anyway, I'd better share my unbelievable excitement with you now... I HAVE RAW ALMOND BUTTER AND TAHINI!!! I'm generally pretty opposed to anything that comes pre-packaged, and I also don't eat any 'fractured' foods, eg olive, flax, sesame or coconut oil (even though they're raw, I figure, if I want coconut oil then I'll just eat coconut). But I have been desperately waiting for more than 2 MONTHS to be able to get raw almond butter and tahini here in Australia. I still had to order it from Queensland (which is about the furthest place from me that is still in the country, lol!) but I have it. And it is DELICIOUS!!! So worth the 2 months waiting and $30 price tag. (yes I know, it is really expensive!) The tahini is rather more bitter than 'normal' tahini, and took a little adjusting, but I love it. The almond butter, well, I just about collapsed on the floor in a fit of deliciousness. Now I'm kinda trapped, because I want to eat it and eat it and eat it, but I never want to run out! :-) But last night I decided I had to make something with it, and went for this, which can be found here.


Enough for 2 as a side dish or one for a meal
1 zucchini, peeled
1 yellow squash, peeled
1 carrot, peeled
1 cup broccoli florets
2 heaped tablespoons raw almond butter
2 teaspoons raw agave nectar
Curry paste to taste
2-4 tablespoons water (depending on desired consistency)
Salt (optional to taste)

1. Slice all vegetables (except broccoli) lengthwise using a mandolin
with a julienne blade (stopping at seeds)
2. Put all in a bowl and toss slightly
3. Top noodles with broccoli florets and set bowl aside
4. In a small bowl or cup, mix together almond butter, agave nectar,
curry paste, water and salt until creamy
5. Pour sauce over broccoli and noodles

Additional Tips
Note: 4 tablespoons of water creates a thinner sauce. Nama Shoyu may be
used as a substitute for salt. If you have a high speed blender you can
also use whole almonds instead of almond butter.

Variation: Top with sliced almonds for a fancier looking dish

But I changed it a bit:

-sweet potato instead of squash
-mashed up date instead of agave
-sprinklings of turmeric, cumin and ground mustard seed instead of curry paste
-combination of water and young coconut water
-no salt
-plus I used less of the zucchini, sweet potato and carrot

It was GOOD!! Not that anything with almond butter wouldn't be...

I made the No-Bean Hummus from RAWVolution the first day I had my tahini but I was so desperate to try it that I didn't take a picture. I regret that, because it looked really good. I really want to make some 'real' hummus too though, so I'd better sprout some chickpeas!

There were two more massively exciting things that happened this week... no wait, three! And those are just the MASSIVELY exciting things! Goodness I love being a raw vegan! But unfortunately I will have to post them tomorrow, as I am busking on my clarinet at a market this morning, so I have to go and get ready. But I will leave you with a picture of a super-delicious green smoothie I made on Thursday. It is based on the Gorgeously Green recipe from Detox Delights by Shazzie and contains wheatgrass, lettuce, kiwi fruit, frozen banana, water and young coconut water. I grew the wheatgrass myself and it is SOOOO good. YUM!

Edit: Hmmm, green smoothie photo seems to have disappeared. Oh well, just imagine a glass full of green stuff!