Spiced Crispy Onions

Ever get a craving for onion rings? Or those French’s Fried Onions you put on top of your Thanksgiving Green Bean Caserole? Or Funions?

I do.

You probably do too.

There’s just something about fried onions.

That’s why this lil’ recipe comes in handy, they are kind of a love child between the 3 aforementioned snacks.

Dare I say these savory things could be a new favorite treat.

They are crispy, but not dry.

They are spicy, but don’t make your eyes water.

They are fried, and that’s just plain great.

Gettin’ down to business

What you’ll need:

1 yellow onion

1 cup milk

1 1/2 Tbs White Vinegar

1 cup Flour

1 Tbs. Cayenne

1 Tbs. Paprika

1 Tbs. Salt

1 Tbs. Pepper

Canola Oil, for frying

What to do with it all:

1. Slice your onion real thin, does,’t really matter how – full circles, half moons, quartered – let your creativity flow free!

2. Put your onion slices in a bowl and cover them with the milk and white vinegar, make sure they are covered. Let them soak for 15+ minutes

3. In the meantime, heat your oil to 350-375 degrees. Keep the oil at medium heat

4. Mix together the flour, salt, pepper, cayenne, and paprika

5. Put a handful of onions into the flour and let them roll around a bit. Don’t be shy, indulge your inner chef, use your hands and smother those onions, cover them in flour and spices ’til a wet spot is nowhere to be found.

6. Then drop them gently into the hot oil, for the sake of not burning them, I keep the heat on medium and let the onions jump around in the oil for about 5 minutes

7. When the slices are golden and gorgeous take them out and set them on a paper towel to let some oil drain – for the sake of your figure

8. Resist the urge to eat them immediately. Really fight it. Hard

9. After cooling for a few minutes, indulge. Eat them one by one…or by the handful…or put ’em on a delectable sandwich

10. When you run out make them again, and again to your heart’s content

You can thank me later.

What’s your favorite homemade snack?

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RAW Food Challenge Day 6

Today is the eve of my last day! Yay!

I woke up this morning to TONS of sunlight flooding through my blinds, so I said “what the heck, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” and I opened my blinds to warm up my room and hopped back in bed to snuggle my little kitten for just a few more minutes before getting up.

Lucy, my roomie, and I caught up over coffee in the kitchen while I made my breakfast and lunch to take to work. I am SO pleased to announce that she is going to be starting a blog of her very own! Title and specific theme yet to be determined, but she’s toying with the idea of starting one on her travels through San Francisco until a specific idea strikes her the most. To be honest, I would like to just read a blog about her day to day life, ’cause it’s pretty darn interesting. For instance, this past weekend she went to a dinosaurs v. cave men themed dress up party, I saw her costume, it was pretty epic. I will be sure to post the link when it’s finally up and running!

Anyway, back to my morning. I didn’t do any prep work for my food today last night, so I was in a bit of a dither over what to make. I was thinking of doing another pie in a jar, but didn’t want to copy something I’d already done. I did want overnight oats and the rest of my almond milk and some fruit and of course protein. But I didn’t want an apple, or just regular nuts.

What to do?

I was looking at what I had and thinking back to what I’ve already made for breakfast…overnight oats with chia and apple, the 3 smoothies, chard and banana roll up.

Chard and Banana Roll Up…my play on a PB&J Roll Up…that’s it!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Overnight Oats!

Or more so,

Breakfast: Peanut Butter and Berry Overnight Oats

(No jelly for me)

The recipe:

1 cup raw oats

1 cup raw almond milk

2 Tbs Raw Peanut Butter

Handful of berries, I went with raspberries

Toss it all in a bowl and eat!

I should have soaked the oats, but it actually turned out all right in the end because I wasn’t too hungry when I woke up so I popped my oats in a jar and let them sit until I got to work, by that time they had softened up a bit and were VERY yummy.

I really really really like this recipe. Its so simple and quick and oh so very tasty!

Lunch: Chopped Veggies and Avocado Orange Dip

Because work in the restaurant is usually so fast paced I knew I needed a lunch that wouldn’t tie me down with utensils or huge bites of food. I needed something that I could take quick bites of in between taking orders and tending to my tables.

The perfect lunch seemed to be veggies and dip, since I have such an abundance of veggies at the moment!

I rummaged through my fridge and pulled out some broccoli, cherry tomatoes, snow peas, and red bell pepper. Literally took 5 minutes to chop, since I only had to cut off the broccoli florets and slice the bell pepper!

I swear it, I think I love broccoli raw better than I like it cooked!

I was feeling ambitious this morning, so I saved the base of the broccoli to turn into a broccoli slaw!

Now about that dip…

You take one of these

And one of these

And put them together

No, not like that! Gosh, I can be a little ridiculous sometimes.

Put them together like this

Then put it in a pretty glass to take a picture! After sprinkling some sesame seeds on top, put it in the center of your veggie platter.

I put the avocado dip in a jar to go and put the pit back in to keep it nice and green

Yum Yum, it was so good today!

I also would like to tell you all that although there are days I HATE working as a waitress, there are days, like today, when my customers just make me so happy. Most of the time these customers only come up to my waist and have tiny hands that love to hold crayons.

Yes, often times my favorite customers are children. I really do love kids, not that I’m looking to have any in the near future, I’m only 21! But getting to interact with them at work is just enough interaction for now.

There is one girl in particular named Andee, a 5 year old, who is just the cutest thing ever. She is a stunning little thing with light brown hair and usually dressed from head to toe in varying shades of pink. Today, she came in with fake tattoos all down both arms, the result of a play date with her friend. Her whole family in general is so sweet, we always chit chat when it’s not too busy and they are so kind in remembering the little things that go on in my life. The first thing they said to me today was “we made sure to come in today so we could hear all about how your raw food challenge is going!”

Today was made extra special because Andee gave me a very special note and left an adorable coloring of her and I on the table that I would like to share with you.

Andee is the short one with pigtails (which she had her hair in today) and I’m the tall one with the ponytail (which is how I wore my hair today) and the green and orange dress (which she knows are my favorite colors). Oh and we are both princesses, which is obviously accurate.

This almost brought me to tears, it was so unexpected and unbelievably sweet. I love this child. So very much.

There is another little boy who comes in every weekend and he periodically gives me sweet photos, but I especially liked this one

This was the first time I’d see him since before Valentines, so he said this was his Valentines card for me!

As rewarding as work was thanks to my kiddie love, the physical labor was a tad draining. So I came home and have been relaxing by re-watching episodes of Downton Abbey. I can’t get enough of this show!

Dinner: Homemade Trail Mix and Fresh Raspberries

Strangely, I wasn’t too hungry for dinner so I kept it pretty light

Just a little homemade trail mix filled with:

Raw Pecans

Raw Walnuts

Sun dried Raisins

Sun dried Cherries

Easy peezy, lemon squeezy

Maybe this is a sad excuse for a dinner, but it was all I was in the mood for, and it was wonderful.

I’m having a nice lazy Saturday night, which may make me sound like a loser, but I don’t care. I like sitting in bed wearing my biggest sweatshirt and a pair of my man’s tube socks slowly munching on trail mix while I watch the latest scandal at the Downton house unfold!

What is your favorite way to spend a lazy Saturday? Do any of you watch Downtown Abbey? Have any other shows you love watching over and over again?

RAW Food Challenge Day 5

Today, it’s Friday.

Friday is glorious for me because it’s the start of my weekend.

Friday is also tragic for me because it’s the end of my weekend.

I’m in school Mon-Thurs and then I work Sat, Sun, Wed

I usually try to make Friday count by doing fun stuff around the city, but every once in a while, I have to spend my Fridays doing domestic stuff. Like laundry, cleaning the house, scrubbing the stove, ect.

Today is that Friday.

Since pretty much every other day I’m up between 7:00-8:00am, I slept in today.

Until 11:00!

I probably could’ve gone longer, but that’s when Matt, my main (and only) squeeze, text me asking how I slept. I told him I was still sleeping and rolled over for another 30 minutes, just ’cause I could.

When I finally deemed it an appropriate time to get up I made myself a cup of coffee, played with Fletcher, and lounged in my silky robe (scandalous).

Fletcher has lazy mornings every morning. Lucky boy.

After a long hot shower where I sang Lana del Rey at the top of my lungs, or I rather, in my best chilling soulful voice, I got dressed and discovered that I can put my belt one notch tighter! This raw challenge is doing some unexpected good!

I think its time to invest in a new belt, since this one is hanging a little too much now. Such a shame since this has been my go to leather belt since the day I found it for $7 at a thrift store!

Breakfast: Berry Banana Smoothie

When I started thinking about breakfast, I looked through my fridge and saw that all my raw food has really been dominating every square inch of it (sorry roomies)! Part of the problem is the half full containers of fruit and tomatoes. I wanted to clear up some space so I pulled out the blueberry and strawberry containers and dumped them in my blender to make a nice berry smoothie.

I pulled out my almost empty jar of almond milk and a frozen banana, for good measure.

In my opinion, there is nothing better than fresh semi-tart blueberries. I may or may not be know for going through entire containers of them in one sitting. (Better blueberries than chocolate though).

I blended everything together for a minute, by everything I mean:

2/3 cup of Blueberries

10 medium sized Strawberries

1 Frozen Banana

1 1/2 cups Raw Almond Milk

4 ice cubes, optional

Gosh, I really do love smoothies in the morning.

Perhaps another reason I love this smoothie so much is because it matches the color of my walls.

A short story: When my mom was pregnant with me, her and my dad decided they wanted my gender to be a surprise so as a result, they chose to paint my room yellow (because a boy would love to grow up in a bright yellow room, obviously). Then, when I moved into my first apartment, I shared a room with another girl and the color that coordinated with both of our bed spreads was yellow, who woulda known? Now that I am in an apartment that allows me to paint, in a room to myself, I decided to fulfill what my childhood deprived me of, a pink room!

Speaking of which, let me give you a short tour of my humble abode, or at least just a tour of my room.

Anyway, back to my smoothie!

Oops, I guess there’s nothing to get back to!

Lunch: Ants on a Log

This meal was inspired by my sweet baby-angel younger sister, Julia. When she was in kindergarten she participated in an after school program, Cubbyville, where once a week they would have little cooking lessons (mostly done by the teacher), nevertheless, I thought it was such a cool idea to expose kids to how easy it is to make healthy food. It was adorable because every day after that class, Julia would come home with her “recipe book” of what they made that day so she could excitedly show me her latest food project.

Ants on a Log was the cutest, so thank you Jules for the great idea!

You start with some freshly rinsed celery that has been patted dry

Fill in the celery with your favorite nut butter, I couldn’t choose between almond and peanut, so I did a few of each!

 

Top with some delicious and raw sun dried raisins

 

Oh gosh, munching on these made me feel like I was a little kid again!

Dinner: Thai Inspired Salad with a Peanut Butter Vinaigrette

My mother is the Salad Queen. Hands down, nobody can put together a salad like her. Whether the main vessel is lettuce (or greens), or pasta, or potato, or egg, or fruit, or meat Momma Kerley can make one composed dish. God bless her.

This is the raw interpretation of one such salad, minus the shredded chicken.

I’m sorry for the wacky lighting in some of the pictures, it was getting dark so I had to use flash in some of them!

The ingredients are simple, and not exact:

Romaine Lettuce

Grated Carrot

Bean Sprouts

Snow Peas

Green Onion

For the dressing:

2 Tbs. Raw Peanut Butter

2 Tbs. Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Tbs. Agave Nectar

2 Tbs. Sesame Seeds

2 Tbs. Water

Normally, I make this with Balsamic Vinegar and sugar in which case the sugar content would be lower, but I upped it in this recipe since Apple Cider Vinegar is so pungent! This is all to your taste, of course!

Before mixing ^

Top with a big handful of cilantro and its ready to eat!

I had a very nice and relaxing day by myself, I’ll tell ya, sometimes I really enjoy having time alone. Even if that means I just putter around the house bleaching my sink, vacuuming the rugs and cleaning out my desk drawers. I felt very productive and accomplished.

Lucy and her friend came home a bit ago and are making molten lava chocolate cookies, so I have barricaded myself in my room to avoid the temptation!

Wish me luck for the next 2 days where I will be surrounded by non-raw food at work! Lordy!

RAW Food Challenge Day 4

I’ve made it to the halfway point!

Wahooo! Yippee! Yaahaaa!

I woke up a little late so I drew inspiration for my breakfast and lunch from the blogger who gave me the idea to do this Raw Food Challenge in the first place. Her blog is awesome, it’s one of my favorites right now!

Breakfast: Banana Almond Butter Roll Up (AB&B Roll Up)

This took about 3 minutes to make and just about as long to gobble down, its a sweet little play on a PB&J roll up, ‘cept I used Almond Butter (AB) and (&) Banana (B) rolled up in a red chard leaf.

So easy, you see?

My breakfast went a little something like this

Because I was running a little late, I was eating super fast. Raw nut butters tend to be a little drier, and therefore stickier on your tongue, than processed nut butters. Red chard leaves stick reallll well to nut butter. That being said, there I was trying to eat as quickly as possibly, not chewing as much as I should cause I was doing some last minute reading for class. All of a sudden, I swallowed a big bite and started to choke because some almond butter was left on my tongue and a piece of chard leaf stuck to it. I freaked out trying to cough it up and ended up having to fish it out with my finger.

This was not the best way to begin my morning.

So please, to anyone who tries this, chew your chard thoroughly and be careful.

On a much lighter note, it was raining again today so I threw on my favorite leather ankle boots, a nice long sleeve shirt, and my heaviest coat.

Off to school with my lunch in my bag!

Lunch: Apple, Raisin, and Pecan Pie in a Jar

It is well established in my family that my grandma is the best baker around. Every holiday season she whips out phenomenal, in a crust. You name it, she can make it taste unbelievably good inside a pie.

My favorites:

Strawberry Rhubarb

Pumpkin

and her Pecan Pie

The pecan pie took a few years to grow on me, but now that it has, I can’t get enough. So really, its a blessing to my waistline that my grandma only makes them once or twice a year.

The blogger who inspired my breakfast inspired me once again for lunch. Pie in a Jar.

But it was my grandma who inspired the pie filling

 

Here’s the rundown on layering:

1/4 cup of raw oats

3 small handfuls of pecans

1/4 cup raisins

1/2 tsp. Agave Nectar, optional

1/2 of a Granny Smith apple

1/4 cup of raw oats

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. All-Spice

1 cup of Raw Almond Milk

Let it sit in the jar for 4 hours to soften the oats, pecans, and raisins

I made it in the morning and kept it in my purse and flipped it over after about 2 hours so that the oats on top could soak

I ate it while sitting on the floor waiting for my afternoon class and it was all I could do to not scream out in joy at how good this was!

This is a recipe I will carry with me long after this challenge. It is a GREAT meal to travel around with because it’s all contained.

Just remember to pack a spoon!

Dinner: Corn and ‘Cado Salad with a Creamy Cilantro Dressing

I know there is controversy over corn because of GMOs ect ect

But today, I don’t care.

I was craving it. BAD.

I started constructing a salad around it because a cob of corn was a $1 at the corner produce market. A dollar!

Along with the corn, I chopped up some:

Red Onion

Red Bell Pepper

Grape Tomato

Avocado

I was about to add some cilantro in there, but then I thought, wait! what am I gonna do about dressing?! Why don’t I make a gorgeous green dressing with it?

Despite my almond milk, I’ve been craving something creamy, especially in the dressing area so I put the salad on hold to make a nice creamy cilantro dressing.

It went a little something like this:

1 cup of Sunflower Seeds, soaked (I soaked them for an hour, but you should do it for longer)

1/3 cup Olive Oil

1/2 cup Cilantro

1 Tbs Himalayan Pink Salt

3 cloves of Garlic

1 Tbs. Cumin

1 cup of water

Yes, I poured olive oil straight on my counter.

Oh the things I do for you all.

I blended that all together in my food processor, tasted it, and determined it was missing something.

But what?

A hint of citrus, that’s what

So I used 1 tiny lime that I had, plus the juice of half a lemon. It’s your choice of which citrus/exactly how much. I like my stuff real bright and fresh, so I was heavy handed.

I am really a fan of beautifully shaded green dressings

Finally, my dish was complete.

A little fresh cracked black pepper and it was ready!

(I added the dressing on after cause I thought the salad was just so beautiful!)

Today. my energy level was pretty high. I felt really good and productive. The on and off rain couldn’t hold this girl down! I think I also feel great because this challenge is all downhill from here. While it’s been a lot of fun so far, it’s also been mentally draining trying to think of filling, healthy, and nutritiously satisfying meals that are all raw.

Do any of you have some good raw recipes I could try on days 5, 6, and 7? I’d love to hear them!

RAW Food Challenge Day 3

Hello hello!

I woke up feeling very energized this morning, I was a good girl and went to bed at 10pm (instead of my usual 2am). It’s amazing what a little extra sleep will do for ya, isn’t it? Oh and I wasn’t even that cold this morning, ’cause I’m a smarty pants and slept with 2 pairs of socks on, a sweatshirt, and 4 blankets! Gosh, it was great!

I got up and noticed it was a little dark in my room. A little background, I have a large 5 sided bay window in my room, and I shut the blinds every night so that the sun doesn’t wake me up, so my room usually is a little dark. I guess what I meant to say was, I noticed my room was a little darker than usual.

I took this photo on a sunnier day

(My comment about my 5 windows and all that sunshine was NOT me complaining! I am blessed, beyond blessed to live where I do. I love my bright windowed room!)

I pull up the blinds and surprise surprise, it had rained last night. Not a big deal, but it gave everything that rainy greyish tint to it, which is not motivating in the morning. I needed to counteract that lazy grey feeling, immediately.

What better way to fight the grey rain than with a tropical breakfast?!

(There is no better way)

Breakfast: Mango Smoothie and Banana Nut Bites

I really liked my smoothie from yesterday, like a lot, a lot a lot. But I’m trying to not repeat recipes until this challenge is over, so I can really highlight just how much can be done if you choose to try or adopt the raw food diet.

I kept the almond milk and the frozen banana and upgraded that peanut butter from yesterday to the very tropical mango!

Sometimes I can really make a mess

If you’re like me, clean up your counter and then start blending your smoothie!

Recipe goes:

2 fresh Mangos

1 frozen Banana

1 1/2 cups of Raw Almond Milk

4 ice cubes, optional (I did this ’cause I only used 1 frozen banana and I like my smoothies cold)

Blend it together for a minute

So bright and sunny! Exactly what I needed!

But, it was lacking protein…so I whipped up some little Banana Nut Bites

Its as easy as 1, 2, 3

1. Slice 1 Banana into bite sized pieces, on the diagonal

2. Spoon a tiny amount of raw Almond Butter onto each slice

3. Pick up each slice and lay it almond butter side down onto raw hulled Hemp Seeds for a second

Flip them back over, put ’em on a plate and you’re ready to go!

All together now!

I know its only Day 3 and I have quite a few more breakfasts ahead of me, but oh my gosh, this might be my favorite! Like most of the stuff I’ve been eating, this really filled me up without giving me a food coma, but the creaminess and richness of the mango, banana and almond butter really left me feeling SO satisfied!

Snack: Kombucha

Breakfast was so filling I never even needed my snack today, so I just drank my Kombucha, today’s flavor was Botanic No 7. I’ve never had it before, it was a little “spicy,” nevertheless tasty.

Lunch: Fruit Salad with a Coconut Lime Puree

The grey weather today was touch and go, so I wanted to continue to ward it off with my tropical theme, I have all this fresh fruit laying around so I started chopping it up to make a fruit salad.

Then I sliced the cantaloupe in half and cleaned out the guts and it hit me

THIS CANTALOUPE WOULD MAKE THE PERFECT FRUIT BOWL!

To fill with all of this good stuff

By the way, look at how closely these grapes grew together!

I don’t know about you guys, but every time I see a coconut I start singing “you put the lime in the coconut and drink a bowl up, you put the lime in the coconut…” (you get it) in my head and sometimes out loud.

There I was hacking at my coconut with the biggest knife I had singing when all of a sudden, another brilliant idea hit me! I should put the lime in the coconut!

Wait, what?

What is this crazy girl talking about?

Well my friends, I was just gonna use the coconut water and meat to make a nice puree to use as dressing, but my subconscious was attempting to and succeeded in steering me in a different direction.

I grabbed a lime out of my fruit bowl, zested that thing SO good and then juiced it!

I also gotta ask, does anyone know an easy and good way to remove coconut meat? My arm was exhausted after scraping just part of one half

I am pretty pumped because when I do finally scrap all the coconut meat out, I will be halfway done constructing a coconut bra. So, someone, please throw a luau.

Back to my lunch

Isn’t it gorgeous?

I used my trusty food processor to blend the coconut water, meat, and lime

This may be the most beautiful shade of green

I scooped some of the puree on top of my fruit, and wouldn’t you know it, I had enough of the water left over to drink!

This was a GREAT lunch! I didn’t take a photo of it, but I sprinkled some sunflower seeds on top for some extra crunch!

Dinner: Vegetable Sushi Two Ways

I had work tonight, so right after I finished lunch I set to work on making my dinner so I could take it with me. I really like the idea of something easy and utensil free to eat at work, since tonight I was working up front, I wanted something I could sneak bites of from under the counter without the hassle of a fork and knife.

What’s easy, utensil free, and raw?

Sushi!

Almost

If you make it without rice

And cooked fish

So, that’s what I did.

I started by making another batch of Pico de Gallo (tomato, red onion, cilantro, lime, salt)

Then I took a piece of Nori and put it on my sushi roller, like I really knew what I was doing

Then I laid a gorgeous piece of red chard on top of that

Scooped a few big spoonfuls of pico de gallo on top of that and smeared it into all the cracks

The rest is history

Then I rolled it and sliced it in half, like so

This roll was bright and complex with all the flavors going on, for real, this thing is packed with flavor, but it lacked a certain richness. Sushi, in general, is only momentarily gratifying since its such a light dish. I decided to make another type of roll to really fill me up.

Avocado seemed like the best way to add some substance to the sushi, since I didn’t have any sashimi lying around!

I didn’t want to just do the typical slices of avocado, I wanted to leave out the pico de gallo on this roll and make the avocado a spread. I must admit, my food processor has never had this much action before, it’s great! I scooped 1 avocado into it and then squeezed the juice of 1 orange in too, because I wanted this roll to still have a citrus brightness that would be absent otherwise since the pico de gallo was the vessel that brought citrus in the last time.

Boy, this was AMAZING! You all will be seeing this pop up in other recipes the rest of this week, as dip, as dressing, you name it.

I repeated the Nori on the sushi roller, laid down a chard leaf and then smeared this ‘cado spread all over it

Red bell pepper, carrot and sesame seeds completed this medley. At the last minute I popped a couple slices of avocado in there, cause I love it so much.

Mmmmmmmm

(Well, I knew this would come out sooner or later…I am not the most expert sushi roller/sushi slicer. Please don’t hate me)

I think I much preferred this wrap since it was smothered and covered in avocado.

Overall, today was good. I got lots of work done and I never felt lethargic or real icky. I will admit, work was a struggle. For those who don’t know, I work in a Brazilian-Italian restaurant as a waitress mostly, but sometimes I work up in the front on the phones and doing take out orders. Hearing all the customers tell me all the things they were gonna eat was hard. Smelling all the wonderful scents wafting out of the kitchen was worse. Much worse. I still have 2 more days of work while I am on this challenge, its gonna be a rough. Wish me luck!

I finally just got home and am drinking my daily allotted cup of tea to warm my soul, and fingers, and toes, and body in general. Goodnight my food lovers, I shall write more to you tomorrow.