Monday, August 8, 2011

The birth of Little Bites!

Hello to anyone who may still glance at this blog! Since failing to be a good blogger with life getting in the way, I have maintained my love of raw food, but am no longer 100% raw. I miss it sometimes and still eat as raw as I can. I do welcome back into my life Ezekiel breads :)

In bigger news, I have started my own vegan bakery! I'd love for you to check out the new bakery blog and follow me and my adventures there. It's so early in the life of this business that I need all the fans that I can get. I'm very excited to be taking the first step and creating something of my own, and I'd love for you to watch me fumble through the process!

Hope to see you on the other side --


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Worst blogger ever.

There are a few things you should know about this post:

1. Pictures of ingredients are empty. I wish I could've taken photos of the awesome ingredients I've used in my recipes prior to using them all. Sadly, instead, I have pictures of empty bags and jars. Very attractive, I know.

2. There are no pictures of pretty plated meals. You'll see shortly that I've just taken photos of the food in Tupperware for storage.

3. Some recipes I whipped up aren't pictured at all because I ate them already.

4. The ingredient amounts are all approximate, as I did not measure anything.

In short, I'm the worst blogger ever. Enjoy!

First: Raw sundried tomato zucchini hummus.

Basically I tweaked the raw zucchini hummus that's all over the internet to create a spicy sundried tomato one. I'm thrilled with the result despite it being pretty seriously spicy.

4 small zucchini, chopped
Many spoonfuls of raw tahini:

Juice of 1 lemon
Some salt
Some black pepper
Some dried basil
Many sundried tomatoes (more than pictured)
Lots of red pepper flakes (more than pictured as well)

Mix all of the above in food processor, and voila:

The color kind of sucks to tell you the truth, but for good reason! Many people say to peel your zucchini before putting it in the food processor. I say, why would you eliminate greens from your life? I'm no zucchini expert, but I'm pretty sure that dark green skin must be good for me. I kept it, and thus green mixed with the reddish color of my sundried tomatoes created a brownish final product. So be it!

The sundried tomatoes weren't even truly RED because I got the kind without any preservatives:

Anyhow, delicious. That hummus is going to be a big part of my lunches for this coming week.

Second: Raw frozen chocolate banana mousse

(Yes, that's it in tupperware, with a spoonful already eaten.)

2 bananas
A few spoonfuls of raw almond butter with agave:

A few spoonfuls of raw cacao powder
Splash of raw agave nectar
Raw cacao nibs

Blend up all ingredients except for cacao nibs in food processor. Add the cacao in at the end and blend up just a little. You end up with a sort of pudding, which is pretty great. However, I like frozen ice-cream type creations. The term frozen mousse is just a fancy name I made up to try to describe the texture. Whatever you want to call it, it was delicious.

Third: I also made another variation of this stuff, but I ate it already. I called it
Frozen banana walnut mousse.

2 bananas
A few spoonfuls of raw almond butter with agave
Splash of raw agave nectar
Handful of walnuts

Blend first three ingredients 'til they're a smooth consistency. Then, add walnuts and mix just a little.

Freeze and you have something that tastes kind of like frozen banana bread batter. I should've added some cinnamon & nutmeg! Yum.

That's all! This was fun.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More vegetables, please.

I'm having a veggie crazy day. When I don't do the heavier foods like nuts and seeds/dates and figs and just stick to the veggies, I realize how many vegetables I can eat. (It's a lot!) This was my very late dinner after a very early salad dinner, and it was delicious (and very pretty).

I got my inspiration for this wrap from Wollaston's, a convenience store on Northeastern's campus where I used to pay $5 for a box of cereal because hey, why trek out to the actual grocery store when there's a small overpriced one right outside the dorms? Anyway, despite their insane prices, they have an awesome deli counter where they make great sandwiches. One that I got every single time (pre-raw) was called the Marino Fitness, which consisted of the following: guacamole, alfalfa sprouts, sundried tomatoes, Monterey Jack cheese, and olive oil on fresh bread. (Am I leaving anything out?) Oh, sometimes they'd shove some romaine in there, too. I would always get it on a wrap, and the genius in me realized I could make a really awesome raw version.

In my collard-green wraps:
Guacamole (avocado, lemon juice, jalapeno pepper, sea salt, black pepper, tomato)
Sundried tomato
Alfalfa sprouts

Simple...yum. Like I said, I usually save these posts for the weekend, but I just created these, and they were so beautiful that I decided to take a picture.

<3 you, vegetables.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Juice can be so darn pretty.

Please feel free to skip down to the bold heading if you're not interested in hearing my ramblings...which I tend to have a lot of :)

To start, I've had some ups and downs with raw food thus far. As far as ups, there are many, and I expect a heck of a lot more to come -- I have much less anxiety overall, I have way less guilt about what I'm eating, I've lost weight, have more energy, have severely lessened (and possibly eliminated?) my allergies and asthma, et cetera, et cetera. My downs are as follows - my skin is still not clear and glowing, which is bugging me. One reason I think that maybe it's not as clear as it should be by now is that I may need to eat fewer nuts and seeds. I think I'm eating more of them than I should because for a very long time (well, my whole life) I've been allergic to peanuts and have had a slight allergic reaction every time I ate nuts that may have come in contact with peanuts in the processing or packaging facilities. My mouth and throat would get itchy and it'd be a very uncomfortable experience. Now I get none of those symptoms whatsoever. I haven't tried to actually test a peanut (and I'm not sure that I even should), but I'd expect I'd have less of or no allergic reaction to it anymore. Anyway, back to my original point. I now ADORE nuts and probably have been eating too many, and a lot of people say that this is a reason why some raw foodies' skin isn't clear. We shall see!

Also, allergy-wise, I'm completely cured of my allergy to cats, and likely other furry animals too. This is such great news being that I have two cats and can ditch the 2 allergy and 1 asthma medication I've been taking so I can live peacefully with them!

Another downside is the cost of the pricey raw foods. Many of these are completely unnecessary (raw crackers, chocolates, pricey "superfoods" and superfood powders, etc.) I am completely in love with all things raw and really need to limit how much I spend on them...especially since this physical therapy rotation I'm on is not paying me a cent! Thank god for bananas at 59 cents a pound.

I'm not sure that my last point is a downside to eating raw foods, but it definitely is something worth mentioning. Not all of life's problems can be solved by raw foods. I'm aware that this sounds idiotic. Of course you're not going to solve everything by eating a certain way; however, there's a glory that people associate with eating raw, that all will be cured and you'll be on cloud 9 as soon as you switch over. That's not the case, despite all the fairly miraculous changes that can occur. In my case, worrying about what I eat is never going to change. If I'm not eating fried food or cookies, I'm still worrying about how many higher-calorie raw foods I'm eating. I'm even stressing over the cup of coffee a day I've been allowing myself to have despite having given it up for the past couple of months. I can say, though, that I feel so much better about what I'm putting into my body on a daily basis, and that's what I need to focus on.

Ok, onto some food and drink :)

Recently, I was browsing around the internet and found something a little bit surprising. People can (and do) juice sweet potatoes. I have to say, I'm not sure I've even eaten a sweet potato, but hey, what the hell -- why not juice one? I decided on this juice, which is 1 beet, 1 sweet potato, a whole bunch of carrots, and a quarter of a lemon. Look how pretty!

I really don't taste the sweet potato, and I think this is because it's fairly similar to carrots. The juice is sweet and definitely drinkable, but to be honest, I feel like I might have had a better result if I swapped that lemon wedge for an apple. Regardless, think about all the nutrients in this juice!! I think of every juice I make as a little elixir of nutrition...they're all chock full of it. I haven't been able to juice much lately so I was pretty excited to drink this one.

Next, I did some more prep for next week and made Ani Phyo's Ginger Almond Pate. This stuff is unbelievable. I plan to eat this throughout the week (nori rolls again?) rather than today, so I didn't take a picture, but I'll leave you with the recipe. Even non-raw foodies should try this. You'd be amazed at the awesome combination of flavors.

Ginger Almond Pate
2 tablespoons grated ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups almonds
Juice of 2 lemons, about 4 tablespoons
1/2 cup water, as needed.
Process ginger, garlic, and salt until mixed well. Add almonds and process while adding lemon juice. Add water only as needed for a hummus-like texture.

Finally, dinner. I had one more bag of kelp noodles and despite their odd texture, I decided it'd be a better idea to use them than throw them away. Plus, it'd give me a really great opportunity to make a sundried tomato sauce that I've been wanting to try for a while. The recipe is from this really cute website -- see for yourself!

 Good Heart Recipe Book

No, I didn't take a picture of my sauce on the kelp noodles. After my last kelp noodle photo, I thought I'd spare you.

The last thing I want to share: I'm so freaking proud of myself for getting serious about exercise again. I feel so good about it, especially when I forgo the group fitness classes and actually work out on my own with no one saying "you can't leave yet." That said, I never in my life will push myself as far as those cycle instructors push me, so I've been doing both solo and group workouts. I cycled this morning, sweat my face off, and burned somewhere between 700 and 800 calories (a girl next to me had one of those fancy calories-burned watches, and she just happened to be approximately my height and weight). I'm really looking forward to being strong again. And looking good never hurt anybody.

It's looking like I can only update this on the weekends since I'm so busy the rest of the week. Until next time ;)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Weekend Prep

So it's Saturday, which means I have to do all the stuff that I have been planning to do or at least thinking about doing all week. First, it was get my butt to the gym where I did 45 minutes on the cross-trainer. I finally have an iPod, which made this so much more of a Zen-like experience than it has been. I feel like time goes by a lot faster and more peacefully if my eyes are closed and I'm zoned into the music. If you walked by an eyes-closed person on the cross-trainer would you stop and think, what a weirdo? I decided that I'm going to not let what people think bother me as much as I've let it bother me in the past, so I decided to just go with it.

I got home and made really great juice. It's a shame that the color doesn't always match the goodness. Behold my brown juice:

A big bunch of beet greens
Granny Smith apple
3 or 4 carrots
1/2 of a cucumber

Eventually I got on to preparing a couple things for this coming week. First, a re-make of something I created last week but didn't think to capture with pictures. I still had all the ingredients, and it was so good that there really wasn't any reason not to make it again. I got the idea from a macaroni salad I used to make, which was awesome. I have to give it credit because of how fantastic and simple it was. Here's my version:

Fiesta Salad
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/4 of a red onion
2 ears of raw sweet corn cut off the cob

Combine all these into a bowl, and add sea salt, black pepper, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. I didn't measure these, just add to taste. You could really just leave it at that, but I added in 1/4 cup salsa --

No, it's not raw, but the ingredients are great - ripe tomatoes, fresh jalapeno peppers, fresh onions, fresh tomatillos, fresh serano peppers, apple cider vinegar, fresh cilantro, fresh parsley, fresh garlic, sea salt, spices. All actual foods. I didn't see much harm in it. You could always use raw, homemade salsa if you want.

The finished product!

Finally, something I've been meaning to make for a while now but am just now getting around to it -- Gena's sweet cashew cheese. I haven't actually sat down to eat some (meaning I just licked the spoon and got the remains from the food processor) but it's so so so good. Check out that link for her recipe and a picture, which is prettier than anything I could take.

That's all I think...minus the fact that I'm going to Grezzo tonight :) No more eating my delicious food so I can be hungry for their more-delicious food.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sushi, Detox, and Good Things

Today was supposed to be a 4-hour work day -- EASY. So easy that I figured I could eat breakfast, work from 8-12, go to the gym, then come home for lunch. I brought with me 2 bananas and two honeybell oranges. It ended up that 4 hours at work turned into 7, and I still went to the gym (it's a miracle!). Needless to say, I ate most of my fruit before I got home, saving only one honeybell because I learned my lesson yesterday that you should not peel and eat the juiciest fruit on earth in your car while driving.

I came home and threw together a sushi-type dinner in about 10 minutes. In a raw nori sheet, I rolled up some of my sunflower & carrot pate from the other day, sliced avocado, and some of these pickled ginger carrots since they seemed to go with the Asian theme --

I have to admit that I did overdo the ginger carrots, but I was hungry enough not to care. Here's the sushi alongside my dish of Nama Shoyu.

Totally simple to make. It might have been slightly more difficult if I'd tried to make all the pieces beautiful, but as you can see, I did not. I was starving! Afterward I ate frozen (well, slightly thawed) strawberries with raw chocolate sauce. Mm full and happy.

I wanted to say a little bit about detox. Everyone's detoxing symptoms are different. I heard of some people not getting any at all, which is pretty awesome for them. Either their bodies were really efficient at getting any kind of toxins out of their systems or they just ate really healthily and didn't allow anything to build up. I find that the latter would be more likely. If someone wasn't eating healthy and then decided to go raw, there would be some feeling awful in store.

For me, the first thing (obviously) was a caffeine withdrawal headache. This lasted for about three days. I expected this one. The next thing I noticed, that I did not expect, was intense allergy-like symptoms. Itchiness of my nose and eyes, eye tearing, sneezing, congestion. The interesting thing was, nothing in my environment had changed. I was still living with my cats and dogs, but they only really affect me when I pet them and rub my eyes, or sleep on a pillow that my cat was sleeping on earlier. This was different, and I had a symptom that I'd not experienced before with a cold or allergies. When all the itchiness left and I wasn't really sneezing anymore, my nose ran. And ran and ran and ran. This went on about 3 or 4 days too. It was really annoying; however, when I did some googling and found out this was TYPICAL, I think I sighed in relief. Detox sucked, but the body is very cool in how it handles things. It also made me feel bad that this all could've happened years sooner if I stopped eating all the processed food and junk.

I also had very bad acne to start out. They say toxins find their way out however they can, and mine decided to exit through my face. Awesome. Thanks. That seems to be the one ongoing thing. My skin's a billion times better now (almost 2 months raw) but I'm now making sure to take care of my skin even more and supplement with Vitamin D. They say Vitamin D (along with helping the absorption of calcium) can reduce inflammation and make skin healthier. Think of what your skin looks like when you've been in the sun for a couple hours. Starting this supplement made me feel a lot better and helped my skin out a ton. I was tested before and I was deficient (severely, actually) and I knew that without any sun exposure in the winter, I was again. I'm also taking a Vitamin B supplement because I know there are few if any natural/raw sources of B12. Vitamin B3, or niacin, is also helpful to combat Raynaud's, which I have pretty bad this winter. More on that another time.

At this point, since I still am so new to eating raw, I expect more changes to come along in the future. Some say that it can take anywhere from 6 months to a few years to be fully "cleansed," but I'm not going to worry about the time frame. I have a habit of trying to fix everything all at once, but I need to just let go a little and let things happen.

Good Things
1) I did lose weight. I may have gained a pound or two back, but as long as I feel good and look nice I don't really care about numbers. Ok, yes I do. But they're allowed to change a little here and there.

2) My anxiety, which I've suffered with for a long time, has drastically lessened. This could be a raw food thing, but it's very likely that [mostly] getting rid of caffeine had a lot to do with it. I did have a soy latte today, which is *not* raw. C'est la vie.

3) My allergies really are going away. I'm serious. I had a peanut allergy for nearly all my life. No, I haven't eaten peanuts to see if that's still around, but I used to get a very itchy throat from the nuts that were "manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts and" blah blah blah. This is the reason I really tried to avoid all nuts in the past. Lately I've been incorporating them into a lot of the things that I eat, and I haven't gotten an itchy throat in weeks and weeks. Plus, I'm living with a cat. Not a Siberian like my two semi-hypoallergenic cuties below --

No, I'm living with a big, fluffy, allergy cat (a roommate's). And I'm fine. It'll be a real test when allergy season rolls around because I was affected by nearly all the pollens.

If you've read this far, thanks for sticking around. If you've read this far and have been in the raw blogging community for some time, I'd really appreciate you linking people over to me. It would be really awesome having support, especially since I have no real-life raw people in my life. (Not yet anyway. Just wait til I move to San Francisco. More on that another time, too.)

I'm also on twitter if anyone would like to follow. @loricushner (my name, very original).

Oh look, it's almost 8pm. Nearly bedtime. Little did I know that turning 24 means I'm going to start going to bed at the same time as a 3 year-old.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Et cetera

This post is a random compilation of random raw things I have been doing and making. No real point. But there will be a couple pictures.

Let me start out by saying that, unfortunately, organic dark chocolate is one item that my body readily accepts. This isn't a raw food, but you can find some without any animal products, and sometimes chocolate is just necessary. Yesterday I ate a whole bar. I don't plan on doing that month.

Since today is my cram-everything-possible-in day, I start at the beginning by having a breakfast that I can feel really good about. This morning it was a mango-spinach smoothie (that's one mango, two big handfuls of spinach, lots of coconut water, and a squirt of agave nectar).

I have to be honest and say I have no idea what or where Deerfield Academy is, and I've never participated in their chorus, but I'm living in a very temporary apartment arrangement, and this roommate's stein was the perfect size for my smoothie. And so it goes. Pretty though, right?

Below is what I spotted on my way out of the kitchen, smoothie in hand. My mom was really sweet and sent me potentially the best fruit on earth, the honeybell. They're also called tangelos, hybrids of tangerines and pomelos. Personally I don't love and avoid at all costs all GMO's, but these were sent as a gift, and they're delicious. Plus, they do have all the nutrients of fruit, so I can't feel that bad. Thanks mom, I'll make an exception, especially because they're the juiciest, sweetest fruits I think I've ever tasted.

Here they are in the foreground, next to that giant onion, and probably crushing that poor banana. You'll notice my roommates are all about accessible food on the kitchen table. Just noting that so you don't think I've found some genius way to make raw food jellybeans.

I also, in attempt to create meals later in the week, made a Carrot & Sunflower Seed Pate (recipe here). I have to say, I'm not enthralled. I have a feeling I'll add more spices later and see what happens. And definitely some salt, despite the nama shoyu I added for the soy component. Meh.

Finally, (and not raw-food related,) I got my hair cut and dyed. Winter + my highlights + fair skin were not working together. Ta da --