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?

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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 2

Hello all!

Today is Day 2 on my raw food journey, I’m jazzed!

I woke up at 7 this morning feeling great, just a little tired since it was 7 and I went to bed late (pretty much the story of my life).

I made a tasty batch of Almond Milk with the almonds I’ve been soaking and was so captivated by the taste I decided to build my breakfast around that!

This is what my almond milk looked like before I strained it

Since I’m not a breakfast person, I wanted something that wouldn’t feel too breakfast like, something that I like eating any time of the day. Then it hit me, a smoothie!

Breakfast: Banana and Two Nut Smoothie

This recipe is great cause it takes literally 5 minutes and is so simple!

This smoothie consists of

2 Frozen Bananas (or fresh bananas, and then include ice. I used frozen to kill 2 birds with 1 stone)

1/2 cup Raw Peanut Butter

2 cups Raw Almond Milk

1/4 cup of Raw Almond Meal, optional (I did this to get a little more texture and protein)

I love the color banana skins turn when they’ve been frozen, its the perfect mustard yellow!

The one thing I hate about frozen bananas with the skin still on is what a pain in the butt it is to take frozen skin off!

Toss those 3 (or 4, if you include the Almond Meal) ingredients into the blender and let it run for a minute or so

Then pour it into a glass and enjoy!

Lunch: Kale and Good Stuff Salad with Sweet and Seedy Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing

Tuesdays are my long day at school, so I decided to buy lunch on campus. We have a salad bar that I frequent about 2 times a week, so I know they have a nice selection of produce to eat. The one thing I was worried about was the dressing situation.

Def haven’t seen anything raw in that department. So I made my own and packed it in a tiny 1 oz glass jar this morning.

My recipe is not exact but roughly it goes like this:

2 parts raw, unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar

2 parts Cold Pressed Olive Oil

1 part Agave Nectar

1 part Chia Seeds

Mix together in a bowl, adjust quantities if needed, and put in glass jar for transportation

As I was packing up my dressing, I started thinking about all the things I could have on my salad today; corn, green beans, carrots, peas, edamame, chickpeas, raisins, sunflower seeds…and then I realized NONE OF THAT IS RAW! The place on campus blanches all the veggies, the raisins are probably not sun dried, and the sunflower seeds are toasted.

SHOOT.

So I hurried my butt up and threw together a salad. Here’s how it went:

Started with some Kale then added:

Diced Cucumber I had leftover from yesterday’s lunch

Clover Sprouts

Blueberries

Halved Grape Tomatoes

Broccoli Florets

Mushrooms

Avocado, lots and lots of avocado

And a big handful of Raw Hulled Hemp Seeds

I inhaled this, that’s how good it was. I eat every single one of these things raw all the time so it just made sense to make them into an awesome salad!

Snack: Sliced Watermelon and Kombucha

Breakfast this morning seriously filled me up, so I didn’t even need to eat my snack until the interim between lunch and dinner, and even then I wouldn’t have classified myself as starving. Protein early in the morning is the way to go.

Sidenote: I will be drinking a Kombucha everyday with my snack, because I like them, they are raw, they are good for you, but mostly ’cause they were on sale at the market, $5 for 2, when normally they are $4 each.

Today I went with GT’s Trilogy, which has a nice pungent gingery taste

I had half of that baby watermelon left over from yesterday as well, so I sliced it up to go along with my drink.

Dinner: Fiesta Stuffed Bell Peppers

Growing up, my mom used to make these amazing stuffed peppers that I crave to this day. She would take a bell pepper; red, orange, yellow, or green and fill them with a mixture of beans, rice, onions, corn, and ground beef or turkey, all of which was cooked in a slightly spicy sauce. She would top with a generous amount of shredded cheese and then put them in a deep skillet with a couple inches of water and let the steam slightly cook the bell pepper which simultaneously melted the cheese.

That was my inspiration for dinner tonight.

I found these adorable tiny orange bell peppers at my corner market for only 59 cents!

I cut the tops off of them and cleaned out their guts

Then I stuffed it in layers, starting with some raw garlic hummus I made

After the hummus went:

Green Onions

Sprouts

then some homemade Pico de Gallo

I made my Pico de Gallo with:

Grape Tomatoes

Cilantro

Red Onion

Lime Juice

The best part about the stuffed peppers my mom makes is the melted cheese on top. One of the hardest parts about going raw is not eating cheese, since I love it so much.

I was sorely craving some cheese on top when I remembered…Nutritional Yeast! It’s known for its cheesy flavor! A few of my friends reminded me that it’s raw so I bought some a few days ago. A healthy sprinkling of that on top, and my fiesta peppers were finished!

Today’s meals were great and minus the prep work of the almond milk and hummus, the construction of my each one took less than 20 minutes. Having the extra protein this morning certainly made me feel more alert, however, my lack of sleep caused my body to ache all over. I’m gonna head to bed soon and get a proper nights rest to circumvent feeling like this tomorrow!

My goodnight questions to you are, what are some of your favorite hummus flavors? And how do you use nutritional yeast?

Raw Food Day 1 Midnight Snack

Shhh…

Don’t tell, but sometimes, I get hungry late at night…like, real late. When I probably shouldn’t be snacking. Sometimes I am able to ward off these cravings, but then there are nights like tonight, after a day of eating raw, that I had a hankering. And I had it BAD.

Tonight, my midnight munchies were callin’ out for something crunchy.

I looked around my kitchen for something quick, raw, and healthy. Plus, almost all the corners of my tongue were calling out for something special. A sweet treat. Something savory. With a touch of sour to make my lips pucker, but just a little bit. And honestly I needed something with some protein and a little fat.

Then the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

That hint of sour = 1 large Granny Smith Apple

A little sweetness = 1 Tbs. Raw Honey

The savory vessel = 3 Tbs. Raw Peanut Butter

And that is how my little midnight snack was born

I know mother’s everywhere, except for maybe my mom, cause she’s a cool mom,  are thinking, “don’t play with your food!” But come on!

Look how cute that little apple sandwich is.

That’s that, I’ve said my peace, my belly is full, and finally I’m ready for slumber.

What do you like to eat in the wee hours of the morning?

Chocolate Cupcakes, Filled with Peanut Butter Cookie Dough, Topped with Toasted Marshmallow Meringue Frosting

I love avoiding homework. Really, I do. Sure, once I hunker down and get into the groove of it, I’m cool. Until then, I’m like a child being put to bed early. I kick and scream and hold on to the door molding with my tiny fingers until one of my parents pries me off and stuffs me under my bed sheets.

Thank god I don’t live with my parents anymore, no supervision rocks. Until its 2 a.m. and I still have 6 hours of homework and only 3 1/2 hours of energy. Then I wish I had my mother breathing down my neck.

Last night was one of those nights. I spent the day procrastinating. Matt and I made the brunch of champions: thick cut bacon, fried eggs, and southwestern hash browns and a big cup o’ joe – all in my new cast iron skillets. Which are AMAZING. Then I looked up how to clean my cast iron, since as some of you may know, you can’t use soap. So I exfoliated my skillet with salt, put it back on the stove to dry, then conditioned it with a wee bit of vegetable oil to keep it lookin’ smooth. OH BABY!

After that, I bleached my sink, and used 409 to wipe down the counters. And the stove. And the kitchen walls.

Then I used some furniture stain to give my new wooden trunk a glossy finish. This took a while, cause the trunk is huge and I was using quite a bit of elbow grease.

I had just sat down to start my homework when I realized that I needed to start baking some ridiculously extravagant cupcakes for Julio and Sohini’s birthday party! Because after all, my reputation as my friend’s “go-to girl for ridiculously extravagant food” comes above all else. My Editing homework could wait.

See, Julio’s birthday is on Friday and Sohini’s is on Sunday, so we are having a “Hobo Party” on Saturday. You know, where we all dress up in our homeless best i.e. ripped tights, plaid shirts, Doc Martens, and fur caps and sit out on Sohini’s back porch around a fire pit eating hot wings and gumbo, amongst other tasty treats Matt and I will be whipping up.

I knew we had to end the night off well – with a food coma, justifying the fact that we are going to turn this shin dig into a massive sleepover (I already called dibs on the couch). Cause really who wants to move after 5 courses and copious amount of booze?

Thus my adventure to make Chocolate Cupcakes filled with Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough topped with Toasted Marshmallow Meringue Frosting began. Or, as I like to call them, Heart Transplant Cupcakes. A double entendre of sorts, because you take out the center “heart” of the chocolate cupcake and replace it with a new cookie dough “heart.” Also, because you will probably need a new heart yourself after too many of these.

Especially when you accidentally buy Jumbo cupcake liners, instead of the regular ones.

Either way, like I said, ridiculous.

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