Monday, November 26, 2007

It's here it's here it's here!!!

Summer that is! Yay! Well, technically there are about 4 more days of Spring but you know what, it's close enough for me! We've had a few days at over 35 degrees C and there are little mini-tomatoes appearing on the plants all over or backyard (literally, those things are popping up out of the compost all over the place) but you know what really convinced me that the best season of the year was upon me? STONE FRUIT!! Well, more correctly, organic stone fruit (conventional stuff has been in the shops a few weeks but I've pushed away my desires and been patient and now it's paying off! Right now I am drinking a green smoothie with scrummy little nectarines in it and earlier today I ate... AN APRICOT!! And not just any apricot but one that grew in OUR BACKYARD! Now, I love apricots. I really do. Sadly, they have vary short availability - so it's important to get lots when you can, lol! I was amazed and delighted to get one from our tree, as we only planted the tree a few months ago shortly after we moved in and so it's very small. It did have four apricots at one stage but three of them got knocked off in a storm - I've been watching the survivor for well over a month, as it grew and grew, crossing my fingers that birds wouldn't get it before I did. It was one of the biggest apricots I've ever seen (I guess that happens when it's the only one on the tree!) and it was... DELICIOUS!
Have a fabulous day everyone, even those in the northern hemisphere where the sun isn't shining!

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Well I was all set to post a picture of ice-cream this morning and then I realised that I posted about ice-cream just a few short posts ago, so I decided to go with something different (because I don't live on ice-cream, lol, though it IS summer here, almost!) Now, I said in my questionnaire the other day that I was planning on making my raw spaghetti and I actually did it ... for the first time in about 6 months! For some reason I just haven't felt I wanted this dish for AGES but this week I was totally lusting after it - and I got two free zucchini from my beautiful organic growers last week so I was set to go! Oh and organic red capsicum is just starting to appear now so I really did have everything I needed.
This really was as delicious as it looked - I put a layer of snow pea sprouts underneath and getting a mouthful of sprouts, zucchini spaghetti, sauce and some of my 'parmesan cheese' all at once was like heaven!

I was awfully late eating this because I had to go hunting for a belated birthday present. One of my dear virtual friends, who I met on the Raw Pleasure Forums and who lives on the opposite side of the country, promised to send me two books for my birthday. She was in America for the Raw Spirit Festival, which is why my books were posted late, but aalmost two weeks after she posted them they still weren't here. Long story short, we've moved house, she accidentally sent to the old address, she doesn't know my surname so the post office didn't do the re-direction. SOoooo, I went way out of my way to stop at our old house on my way home and get my poor package that had been sitting there, with the new inhabitants of the house having no idea what to do with it. And inside was ...

Woohoo, another recipe book! I haven't had a chance to read it too thoroughly but I have a feeling I'm going to looove it! Okay I have to go... but have a fabulous day everyone!

Friday, November 23, 2007

My Island Foods
Well, this post was inspired by Bazu of Where's the Revolution and her question regarding my response to one of the question's in yesterday's questionnaire (well, actually, two of my responses). Her question: what's silverbeet? I was shocked - I thought silverbeet was silverbeet the whole world over. But really, I should have known better, shouldn't I?

Now, here is a bunch on silverbeet that I bought at the markets last week... already know what it is? Well, if you don't it's okay because I referred to the wonderful Wikipedia and found 'Chard (Beta vulgaris var. cicla), also known as Swiss Chard, Silverbeet, Perpetual Spinach, or Mangold.' So there you go Bazu - I guess you know it as Chard. Oh and the explanation for why it is known as 'Swiss' chard is great: 'Swiss Chard received its name after an epidemic of flea beetles (A. nigriscutis) had an immensely destructive, resulting in a resemblance to swiss cheese.'

Silverbeet is one of the three foods that I chose to take with me if I were stranded on an island, along with bananas to make delicious green smoothies. YUM! I'm drinking one as I write... this one has a medjool date in there too, to make it super yummy, but I only got to take three things so I left dates behind, lol!

Sorry for the short post but I'm having a minor disaster in the fur family today so I'll write more later. Have a stunning day everyone!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

We Interrupt Your Regular Programming... Un-vegan-ness
Do you ever find yourself doing things that are really very un-vegan? Not, like chowing down on a steak or anything, just lifestyle things? I'm studying to get a veterinary degree. In 3 more years I will be a qualified vet, though I no longer intend to practice as a veterinarian, at least not as my major career. I'm going to get a job in animal rights or, if I can't find one, I'll start a non for profit organisation and create a job. Because that is my passion and what I want to do with my life. But I'm still going to get the degree, because I just know that (sad as it may be) people will pay more attention to me if I have some fancy letters after my name. If random hippie animal rights activist comes out and says something's cruel, who's going to listen? A whole bunch of other AR activists, sure, but what about the people who make the laws? But if a vet says something's cruel, well, it's got a bit more backing. So that's why I'm going to finish the course. Doesn't mean I'm going to enjoy it though. It just reminds me, day after day, about how hypocritical people are... they say they care about animals and want to help them, yet they eat them every single day! Huh???
At the moment I'm (trying to be) studying for my 'VET246 - Animals and Society' exams. In the theory exam we have to identify animal breeds and what they're used for. Look at these cuties:

these are Damara sheep, a meat breed. How could anyone eat anything so adorable!?!
And what about this big fluffy sweetheart, a Drysdale sheep that is 'dual purpose' (ie for meat and wool).

I just don't get it!

Oh and don't get me started on what we have to do in our practical exam - taking blood for an un-sedated 500kg cow, anyone?
SOrry about that little rant there, I really needed to get it out!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Questionnaire!

Ooooo, I do love doing these questionnaires! I very rarely actually do them but I always want to; since it is Vegan MoFo, I'm going to do the one that is doing the rounds! But I changed it up a bit to compensate for my raw-ness - the original is in brackets after my adaptation.

1. Favorite home-made nut (non-dairy) milk? I haven't had any nut milk in AGES! I looove coconut milk but coconuts aren't, technically speaking, nuts so that doesn't count. I used to make a brazil/hazelnut blend that was divine.

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to make(cook)? Well, Ani Phyo's new recipe book is on its way across the country towards me as we speak (very belated birthday gift), so I'm sure there will be a few things from there. I'm going to make Apple Flax Cookies (a final test run before the recipe goes in the e-book) in the next few days, plus I want to make myself some 'spag-bol' because I haven't had any in AGES.

3. Topping of choice for popcorn? Yeah there's not much I can do with this one... :-)

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
Oh, last year only a little while after going raw I made some samosas, using a recipe I found online. I don't know what it was but the were DREADful! Ick.

5. Favorite pickled item? I have had kim-chee at a few raw picnics - it's nice, but waaaaay too salty for me.

6. How do you organize your recipes? Well my recipe books are alphabetised in the book shelf, like all the other books. I used to have a folder that I put recipes in that I printed off the net (in meal groupings, alphabetised) but I don't really print recipes off any more. Mostly I keep them neatly filed in my brain! :-)

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
Oooh, I'll have to post you a photo of our compost pits! We've only been living in this house a few months, so we don't have great compost yet, but they're coming along well. And I"m super proud of the walls I built around them. I couldn't be without compost, really, because I don't generate any rubbish that isn't plant based!

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods...what would they be (don't worry about how you'll cook them)? No, I won't worry about how to cook them! Bananas and silverbeet, to make green smoothies, and persimmons.

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood? Wow I don't know. Food wasn't a big deal for me growing up (My Mum is a terrible cook!) Oh wait, it is very very un-raw vegan but... making meat pies with my grandad. We used to make 'pimples' out of the dough and decorated the tops of the pie with them!

10. Favorite vegan ice cream? Mmmm, banana ice cream with little chunks of cacao butter in. Or plain, plain is good!

11. Most loved kitchen appliance? Food processor, blender, coffee grinder attachment for blender (I LOVE this!).

12. Spice/herb you would die without? I'll go with the only one I really use - parsley. But I don't think I'd DIE without it ;-)

13.Recipe (Cook) book you have owned for the longest time? The first raw recipe book I got was 'Detox Delights' by Shazzie.

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly? I can't do much with this one either, lol. :-)

15. Favorite raw (vegan) recipe to serve to an omni friend? I don't do this often. But flax crackers with guac are always a big hit. Oh and the aforementioned banana ice-cream is always well received.

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh? Well, I'll go back to when I was a cooked vegan - it was tofu. Never had seitan, (you can't buy it packaged here in Aus) and found tempeh frankly revolting. Tofu, I loved. I ate firm tofu plain, straight from the packet. Now that makes me cringe but then - yum!

17. Favorite meal to make (cook) (or time of day to cook)? Well I have to go with dinner because breakfast and lunch are eaither smoothies or plain fruit.

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator? This thing that has something to do with our broadband connection (if the internet won't connect, there's a switch you turn on and off), a bunch of wires that relate to the phone somehow and probably a lot of dust.

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking. Ice-cubes, 2 leftover raw chocolate crackles, little ice packs to keep food cool when travelling.

20. What's on your grocery list? Well I shop almost exclusively at an organic market so I sorta get what's available - no list. And I went this morning, so I don't need anything just at the moment. Most important things I get each week are bananas (a good 5 kilos or so), leafy greens (kale, silverbeet, chard etc), lettuces, avocados. Heaps of other stuff too.

21. Favorite grocery store? Alive Organics!!!

22. Name a recipe you'd love to rawify (veganize), but haven't yet.
Hmmm, tough one. I truly can't think of anything - there is nothing I miss! :-)

23. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa's because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?
Where's The Revolution; Yeah, That 'Vegan' Shit; Don't Get Mad, Get Vegan.

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate? FRUIT! Nature's candy! ;-)

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
Oh geez. Probably organic in-shell walnuts the other week. They were pretty costly!

26. Veganaise or Nayonaise?
Home-made cashew mayonnaise thanks!

27. What is one recipe or ingredient or cooking technique that you've become familiar with in the last year that you can't imagine you ever lived without?
Okay I'm going to cheat a bit here... I've now been 100% raw for about 1 year 3 months and I think it is the best food prep technique in the universe. YAY for raw!

28. Do you have a food inspiration in your life? Someone who taught you a lot about making a certain dish, or about food prep in general, or someone who taught you how to truly enjoy food? It can be someone you know or a book author, speaker...anything. I don't really have an answer to this question but I want to hear other people's answers! If you do, leave a comment!

29. Make up your own question to put here (and answer it!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What to Talk About?

I think it's a bit sad that it has taken Vegan MoFo to motivate me to write more often, but on the other hand I'm glad it has because I have really wanted to become a more regular poster for ages. It is also convenient that it coincided with me finishing my official university year (I do still have some exams to do, but I don't have to go in every day anymore).
So anyway, now that I'm posting, what should I talk about? Well, today I'm going to talk about the coleslaw I made a couple of nights ago. If you remember about a week back, I made my Dad some raw coleslaw to go with his cooked vegan dinner and I sampled a little as I was preparing it - I was blown away! It was soooooooo yummy! So on Monday night I re-created it for myself and filled a nice big bowl. It was really first. But to be completely honest with you, it was just too... dry. There was cucumber in the 'mayonnaise' but apart from that there was no (non-sweet) fruit in this meal - normally my salads have loads of tomato, cuke, capsicum, some avocado etc, which makes them really hydrating, but I just felt dried out after I finished this. So, I'm sure it would still be nice, but next time I'll have it alongside a nice leafy green salad. Oh and the recipe will be going in my e-book, so I'm afraid I won't be posting it here but for the small price of $12AU you can buy my e-book when it is ready in a few days!

Have an awesome night guys!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Delicious Purple Goo

I didn't get off to a very good start with VeganMoFo, did I? But I have a good reason! I couldn't use the computer for long yesterday morning because for some reason it decided that it no longer had a CD drive (which it clearly did!) so my Dad was busy trying to fix that. Then we went to the Walk Against Warming, which you can read about here. Estimates say that between 5 and 8 thousand people turned out here in Perth and I'm proud to say that my parents and I were 3 of those people! AAND we did it in 36 degree (that's C, not F) heat. Personally I love the heat but not everyone else was so enamoured, so it was an even more impressive turnout! After the walk I helped out at the WIlderness Society stand for a while, then rode my bike home. All the way home. It was a LONG way but it felt so awesome to know I'd done it! Unfortunately I can't tell you exactly how far I rode... although my parents bought me an awesome bike computer for my birthday it seems they bought a rather cheap bike computer (fair enough, after they spent so much on my ethical clothes, lol!) and it fell off and got lost the second day I used it. But I'm thinking it was around 30km.

Now, some good news for you guys... my raw recipe e-book, called 'Raw Recipes Fit For a Princess,' is almost finished! It is a 'salads and dessert' book but you get two bonus meals, some info on sprouting and a general 'why raw' section too. It's not 100% finished but I think there's going to be 25 recipes when it's done - I know it's small, but this is my first offering! What I want to know is how much I should charge... how much people are willing to pay? I don't want anyone to go "hey I'd really like that but I can't afford it" - raw food is for everyone not just those with lots of cash to spare! I am thinking $12 (AU) which is about $10.90 (US). You will get the e-book e-mailed to you as a Word document, complete with scrummy colour photos. I want to hear other people's opinions on this, please - how much will you pay for my e-book?!

Anyway, I'll just say a quick word about the photo above... I ate this on Saturday night. The recipe is in the e-book, I was going to call it 'Delicious Purple Goo' in there but decided against it, lol. You'll have to buy it to see what it is called! ;-) It was veeeeeery yummy!
Have an amazing day everyone!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Yum and Raisin (And VeganMoFo)

Well, I know it is already the 10th of November but I'm going to join VeganMoFo and try my best to write something every single day from now till the end of November. Sorry if all you wonderful people who started at the beginning of the month consider this sacrelige... but what are you going to do?

Anyway, what I am writing about today is this delicious creation, which I call 'Yum and Raisin Ice-cream.' Doesn't it look delicious? It was :-) Ice cream is probably something that people who don't know much about veganism would assume that vegans don't get to eat. They CERTAINLY wouldn't think raw vegans would eat it. But as all good vegans know, we can enjoy it! I'm pretty sure that I never actually tried any pre-made vegan ice-creams before going raw, but I know there are plenty available and even more in the US than here (though we'll catch up). But I have enjoyed plenty of this delicious raw ice cream in the past year. It is the simplest recipe EVER too - freeze bananas. Defrost slightly. Process in food processor until smooth and ice-creamy. Eat. :-) That's it. To this one I added some raisins and some grated cacao butter and it was soooooo good.
Last year when my grandparents were staying with me, I gave some banana ice-cream to my Grandad. Now, I love my grandad very very dearly, he is absolutely awesome but his diet is not exactly great. He would eat meat three times a day if he could. He still (until just about a few months ago) used things like lard and suet in his cooking. Anyway, I gave him a spoonful and he, in all honesty, said "well if raw vegans eat this all the time, then I could be one." Seriously! That's how good it is!
Hope you enjoyed, and I'll see you tomorrow!

Friday, November 09, 2007

My Dad the raw foodist?

No, not really - he is officially now an 'at home vegetarian,' who eats meat occasionally when out and also eats plenty of vegan meals at home, but I can't forsee him actually going raw in the near future. Nevertheless, this is the meal I gave him last Sunday night. With Summer weather now here, even if the season hasn't officially started yet, I figured I had more chance of getting away with giving him raw food - I feel I should take this opportunity to tell you something about my dad and salads. My Dad doesn't eat salads. For my Dad to eat a green salad he would have to:
a)have a gun to his head, being told that he was dead if he didn't eat it OR
b)be trapped in some kind of post-apocalyptic world where he had withered away to almost nothing and he was second from death if he didn't eat the salad.

In my Dad's world, there are three edible salads - pasta salad, potato salad and coleslaw. So I looked at that list and said, well, coleslaw is kind of the raw-est of the three. And how easy is it to make raw mayonnaise? (The answer is VERY). So I did - I made him coleslaw with raw mayonnaise, the mushroom mix from the Wild Fajita recipe that I made him on my birthday (go back two posts) and chopped up a tomato. It was served with two homemade, vegan, seitan patties that were obviously not raw. He ate the patties, the tomato, nearly all of the mushroom mix and quite a bit of coleslaw. His response? Well, he said "it was okay, but I didn't love it. It's all about changing perceptions." Hehe, I couldn't have put that last bit any better myself. He then said I could give him raw things, but it would be better if they were spread out over different meals, not all together (except raw tomato which he is "happy to see at any time." The man likes his tomatoes!)
He apologised a couple of times for not enjoying it more but I told him to stop being silly - this is the man who, only a couple of years ago, proclaimed himself a 'meatatarian.' He just ate an entirely vegan, largely raw meal - that's pretty damn impressive! Oh and yes, my Dad does eat on his lap, off a 'stable table' and he even uses a bib (a tea towel tucked into his shirt). Don't worry, I make fun of him plenty! :-)

Oh and incidentally, the was the best freakin' raw mayonnaise ever to grace the face of this planet, seriously, I had just a wee taste and wanted to drink the entire blender full. I chose not to do so, for the simple reason that none of the ingredients were organic and the cashews used weren't *truly* raw. But I shall be re-creating it for myself next week after my trip to the markets on Saturday.

P.S Remember a couple of posts ago, I said my parents bought me something for my birthday over the net and it hadn't arrived yet? I guessed it was a bike computer... and it was! It arrived a few days ago and I haven't got it completely working but it is so cool!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

An Exciting Picnic

Since I am such a lucky princess, my birthday did not truly end at midnight on the 19th - two days later I gathered with a group of wonderful raw friends on the banks of the river that I am lucky to live just minutes away from. May, Rachan, Karen, Jen, Kate, Chris, John, Jill, Dani and Jess were all there to make the day wonderful and so was.... SERGEI BOUTENKO! If you know anything about raw food you have probably heard of the Boutenko family. Victoria (Sergei's mother) wrote 'Green For Life,' the amazing book that brought green smoothies to the world. Sergei and his sister Valyeria co-authored a recipe book, 'Eating without Heating.' Anyway, Sergei is currently touring Australia giving presentations - and he just so happened to be here in Perth over my birthday so he joined the party. I was very excited to have a celebrity in attendance, lol! But really, he was just a really nice, friendly, down-to-Earth guy. We had a good time discussing language differences (like cantaloupe=rockmelon, courgette=zucchini, coriander=cilantro, and why you should call it a 'bum-bag' not a 'fanny-pack' :-)

Oh and apart from the amazing company there was food... and lots of it. I didn't get many pictures but I'll list what I can remember... cake x 2 (the leftovers of mine, plus one karen made), pizza, flax crackers, kale salad, fruit salad, durian, dip with veggie sticks, banana pudding, banana celery salad, homegrown loquats (YUM)... I think that was it. I do know I stuffed myself silly! :-)



Have an awesome day everyone!!