Emmy’s Organics

I believe there are two types of people in the world

Those who reach for a salty snack when a rough day has gotten the best of them

And those who crave a sweet treat after a similar experience

I would place myself pretty firmly in the latter category, only occasionally dipping my toes on the salty side.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a sugar addict, the general extent of my sweet intake consists of a few spoonfuls of ice cream before bed every once in a while.

Ok, you got me, sometimes its more than just a few spoonfuls.

So when I began my raw food challenge, I was a wee bit concerned about the lack of sweet stuff that would be available to me after what I was expecting to be a pretty stressful week with school and work.

Which is why I was thrilled when I discovered Emmy’s Organics a few days into my challenge.

What is Emmy’s?

“At emmy’s we are committed to YOU having it all. We pride ourselves on the quality, creativity & sustainability of the products we offer. In respect for our bodies & the earth, we use the finest non-GMO ingredients in everything we make & biodegradable, earth-friendly resources for our packaging. Our food is derived from nature, which in return nourishes us in the best way possible. Vegan & Gluten-free foods are our passion, so you can always feel good about choosing emmy’s. All of our goods are made in a certified vegan & gluten-free kitchen.”

The plot thickens, pretty much everything on their site is also RAW.

Yea, I know, AMAZING. I was so excited about the possibility of being able to indulge a little on this challenge, but also because I knew that if Emmy’s was as delicious as I had heard, I would acquire a new favorite snack!

The company also sells other products such as almond milk, granola, and super-fudge, but I was on their websites for two reasons: Chocolate Sauce and Macaroons.

Oh baby.

Original Dark Chocolate Sauce, uh huh, I ordered some of that.

I went a little crazy when I got to the macaroons.

I started off slow, but before I knew it I had 6 bags of macaroons in my cart! (They were just sampler bags, thank God).

Then I was patient and played the waiting game until my package arrived at my doorstep.

Sadly, it didn’t make it in time for my raw challenge. No matter, I still got down with them a few nights ago.

I started with the chocolate sauce

I took my first taste, letting it sit on my tongue for a moment enjoying the creamy rich texture and the sweet, but not cloyingly sugary flavor.

I took a second taste and was really blown away. THIS STUFF IS BETTER THAN THE UNHEALTHY VERSION.

Seriously. This chocolate sauce is incredible. Its smooth and chocolatey in the best kind of way. It tasted natural and not overly processed the way a lot of commercial chocolate sauces taste.

This stuff is heaven on earth. Its Chocolate Gold. In a jar.

After pairing it with a simple spoon the first time, I figured I should get a little more refined so I indulged during my midnight midterm study sesh and got down with some Granny Smith apple slices and the sauce – beautiful.

Buy it, love it, order more.

Now on to the macaroons!

My package arrived when Matt and I were about to leave to go to lunch with our friends Sohini and Kati, so I ripped the box open quickly and pulled a sampler out for all of us to try.

While waiting for our food to arrive I passed around a piece of the Dark Cacao flavor. And then begged Matt to take a pic of us girls holding our treat.

We all took our first bite, it was magic. Like the chocolate sauce, they didn’t taste raw at all. I forgot how good macaroons were and these, I would claim, are better. These macaroons tasted like Nutella and the coconut wasn’t too dry, so you didn’t choke on it when you tried to swallow.

Kati even commented, “are you sure these are actually raw?”

The others were all equally as scrumptious.

I know some people aren’t a fan of citrus and chocolate combinations, but I am. I’m pretty much a fan of chocolate and anything combinations, but that’s neither here nor there. This orange-choco combo was perfection, the citrus came through clear and bright, because its raw it was a very pure citrus flavor, none of that candied orange business going on in this lil’ macaroon! The smell and accompanying taste gave an overall fresh spring taste to the treat.

The Mint Chip – WOW! My mouth literally felt cold and fresh after biting into this. Who needs an after dinner mint when you can snack on this?! SO fragrant and delightful with the cacao nibs. I did notice though that after eating too much of this macaroon, I was left with a bit of a toothpaste aftertaste. I’m all for toothpaste aftertaste, after I brush my teeth, it was just a little odd knowing it was coming from a dessert this time. Overall though, very tasty.

Biting into this was like sticking my nose into the sweet shelf of an Indian spice cupboard, and I mean that in the best way. This was fantastic. Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamom, Nutmeg, and Clove – OH MY! This had such a rich and warm flavor, the cardamom came through as the flavor frontrunner, but each spice played a beautiful note. This was Matt’s favorite, and I think visually this was mine with the abundance of spices visible atop the coconut.

The Choco Chili Macaroons, oh baby, they will get ya. When I opened the package, the macaroons smelled spicy, warm, and cinnamony all at once. I took my first bite of these and was like “ummm what the heck? They aren’t spicy at all.” Then the heat hit me, oh lordy, did it hit me. The Himalayan salt really came through in this one, balancing the heat. Don’t be afraid of this macaroon, it is absolutely wonderful if you like the spicy and sweet flavor contrast, Emmy’s does it oh so well. I would just recommend having a glass of milk nearby!

Lemon Ginger, Lemon Ginger, Lemon Ginger, you were hands down my favorite. This flavor was light and refreshing, a little light on the ginger, and heavy on the lemon, but I think I prefer it that way. These little things reminded me of the lemon bars of my childhood, sweet but unadulterated lemon tartness. Its love.

The Final Review: Basically folks, I love Emmy’s. They make great products at reasonable prices and best of all, they are a sweet snacks that leave you feeling guilt free! After I ordered online, I discovered that a market in the city sells them, so from now on you can bet I will be making a trip down there and stocking up on all this raw goodness! I’ll have to pick up some of their super-fudge and granola and let you all know what I think, but based on what I’ve tried so far, I’m expecting nothing less than excellence!

Have you ever tried Emmys? If so, what’s your favorite macaroon flavor?

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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 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.

A Tropical Cuban Feast

While at work on Monday, I decided that I wanted to make something a little different for dinner. A creation all my own, that didn’t require exact measurement or concise portions. Because really, a girl has gotta live every once in a while. I wanted something hearty but fresh and fairly healthy. I started thinking about the protein for my dish and decided that shrimp would be the perfect low fat meat for the meal. But how to flavor them?

Then it hit me. A garlic lime marinade for a savory tropical punch. But how to cook them?

On a skewer of course. Chop up and add some pineapple, red bell pepper and red onion and baby, you got one colorful stick of food.

Then I really hit my stride with the side dishes, after confirming with a chef friend of mine that the ingredients I wanted to incorporate would in fact be complimentary. Fried plantains, black beans, and coconut rice sounded extremely mouth watering.

But first, the appetizer.

Navel oranges, with the peel cut off sprinkled with salt, pepper, and crushed red chili flakes. The combination is undeniable.

Start by cutting your oranges in half. Then to make them sit flat on a plate, slice the peel off the other end. Next cut the rest of the peel off in 5 strips, to make the orange a pentagon.

Put a DASH of salt, a sprinkle of pepper, and a few good pinches of red chili flakes.

Voila!

I would say 2 pieces (1 orange) is good for one person. Since it was just Matt and I, 2 full oranges were sufficient. Had to save room for the main course, of course.

The type of shrimp you want to use is up to you. I used fresh, uncooked, unpeeled shrimp. They were however de-veined, because I’m not down to deal with shrimp poop. Because I was going to be staking them my first task was removing the hard shell and tail. (Actually that was Matt’s first task, what a gentleman).

He turned this…

Into this!

This is about 1/2 pound of shrimp so to get a good marinade I used 4 limes and 4 cloves of minced garlic. Put it in a small bowl with a lid, shake it for just a minute and then let it sit.

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