Sun Dried Tomato Hummus

I don’t know about you guys, but when its real hot out, I’m not in the mood for a huge meal that is gonna make me feel even more sluggish than the scalding temperatures already does. I want something light, maybe crispy, certainly cold and often times utensil free.

Eating with my hands means less dish washing and its more acceptable for me to lick my fingers in the process.

I know ya’ll understand how great that is.

Summed up, summertime is a time for snacks. But chips leave little more than cheese powder on your fingertips and cellulite on the back of your thighs. No thanks.

I want a snack I can come back to throughout the day.

Wait, isn’t that quintessentially a snack is? Oh nevermind, you get the point.

So what is the best gosh darn snack? HUMMUS

Not just plain hummus (delicious as that may be), but sun dried tomato hummus.

Remember when I made RAW Hummus? Well, the basic recipe is pretty much the same.

Seriously, one of the quickest recipes out there

What you’ll need:

2 cans ckickpeas (garbanzo beans)

Liquid from 1 can of beans

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup of sun dried tomato oil OR just 1/2 cup of olive oil

1/3 cup sun dried tomato, minced (or put through a food processor)

3 cloves garlic

Salt

Pepper

What to do with it:

Here’s where it get’s real tricky

1. Put everything in a food processor or blender

2. Turn on

I know, this is a super complicated recipe, I apologize.

Paired with some toasted whole wheat pita triangles, you got yourself a most wonderful summer snack!

RAW Food Challenge Day 7

Hi all!

I am so sorry this is a day late, yesterday just got away from me!

But my last day went so very well!

I am happy to report that I survived this long week of raw food!

So, what did I eat on my final day?

Breakfast: Overnight Oats with Blueberries, Almond Flour, Spices, and Honey

I decided to start (in a sense) where I began, with some overnight oats. Remember Day 1 where I made overnight oats with chia seeds, apple, spices, and agave nectar? I thought it would be rather poetic of me to come full circle and do a variation of that.

Blueberries and Almond Flour sounded like a nice combo, and so it was

I pulled some Almond Milk Overnight Oats out and loaded them up with the goods

1 cup Overnight Oats

1 cup Almond Milk

1/3 cup Almond Flour

1/2 cup Blueberries

1 tsp Raw Honey

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp All-Spice

Tiny wedge of Lemon, optional

This breakfast was another one of my favorites, and it was kind of inspired by a blueberry crumble almost. It really was perfect.

My man has been eating raw with me for some of my meals and this one was by far his favorite as well, I practically had to pry the bowl out of his hands ’cause he was lovin’ it so much!

Seriously though, I could eat this any day of the week. No question.

Lunch: Cucumber Sandwich with Tahini, Spinach, Sprouts, Tomato, and Dill

I love sandwiches. Truly. If there was one thing I could eat for the rest of my life it would be a sandwich (it was a toss up between a sandwich and a salad). I just think they are the perfect meal since you can put pretty much whatever the heck you want in them and they will still be so wonderful and contained between 2 pieces of bread, or something along those lines.

Think about it. It’s true.

So my lunch was an interpretation of the glorious ‘wich.

I made myself a sandwich alright, but instead of bread, my outside layer was a cucumber.

Inventive, huh?

I took a cucumber, sliced it in half lengthwise and gutted it

Then I took some of my raw homemade Tahini sauce and used that as my spread

I was gonna just lay some whole spinach leaves on top of that, but then I pulled them out of the bundle and they were HUGE! Oh my word, I’m just used to baby spinach ’cause these leaves look massive!

I gave a few leaves a rough chop and that was that.

I added some clover sprouts and sliced cherry tomato on top of that, and of course a nice sprinkling of dill!

I would recommend eating it as an open faced sandwich, since you can’t really squish cucumber to fit in your mouth the way you can with bread!

It was definitely an interesting looking sandwich, that is not only fun and great tasting!

Matt and I enjoyed it on a picnic bench in the back of the Ferry Building while basking in the fair spring weather and watching the Bay after perusing all of the shops inside.

After walking around some more and staring at all the things I couldn’t yet eat, we decided to head out for dinner.

Dinner: Sashimi

Since it was my last night on the raw challenge, Matt and I went to our favorite sushi restaurant. The guys who work here love us. For real. It’s great, every time we go there they hook it up with more free food than we can handle!

It was a little sad having to say no to it all, but sweet boy Matthew got to indulge without me.

I opted for a sashimi plate with Tuna, Mackerel, Salmon, and Red Snapper, I drizzled some fresh lemon juice on top and they were good to go.

I remembered a few bites in that the restaurant would obviously have some nori so I asked for a few sheets of it to make my own rice-less sushi.

Like I said, I’m not the best sushi roller

Usually after sushi I am stuffed (though that stuffed feeling doesn’t last too long since it goes through ya so quickly) but after just the sashimi, I felt great. Full but not on the verge of a food coma.

I was a good girl and cleaned my whole plate!

Matthew was a good boy too and cleaned his plate, but they took it away before I could take a sweet shot of him with it.

It was a long day that ended very well, and overall it was a great week too.

I’m so glad I went raw for a week, it was such an amazing experience that taught me more than I would’ve expected.

More to come on my raw feelings in the next post!

What are your favorite fish to eat as sashimi?

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.

RAW Food Day 1

Today is my first day of my RAW food challenge!

I woke up this morning freezing cold, which made getting out of bed a rather harsh experience. Especially since I was getting up 30 minutes earlier than I usually do to make my breakfast.

That has been the first adjustment on this challenge. Normally, I just drink coffee in the morning and then go about my merry way until lunch at about noon. So the act of eating at 7:30 in the morning was a little tough. But I’m really excited about what I made!

Breakfast: Overnights Oats, Fruit and Seeds

1 cup raw overnight oats

1 apple of your choosing, I went with Fuji

3 Tbs. Chia Seeds

1/4 tsp. Cinnamon

1/4 tsp. All-Spice

1 Tbs. Agave Nectar

Best part? This is super easy to make

1. Soak your raw oats in water the night before, just enough to cover the amount you will be eating

2. Chop up an apple

3. Measure out your Chia seeds, agave nectar, cinnamon, and all-spice

4. Mix together

5. Devour

Snack: Raw nut mix and Kombucha

I have school on Monday’s from 9-11 but today I am going to be out and about working on a few articles for the magazine, so I thought it would be good to pack something to munch on. I erred on the lighter side and went with a mixture of raw:

Sunflower Seeds

Walnuts

Pecans

How to make it?

1. Put nuts in a Tupperware

2. Close with lid

TA-DA!

Then, I pulled a Kombucha out of my fridge, I went with GT’s Passionberry Bliss for today.

I packed these in my bag and left for school. Easy. Healthy. Tasty.

Lunch: Fruit and Veggie Salad with a Homemade Tahini Dressing

On the bus ride home from school I started thinking about what I was in the mood to eat for lunch. I knew I wanted some sort of a refreshing salad, and something with the Tahini sauce I made this morning. Then I thought, well, cucumber, tahini and dill taste good together. Cucumber and watermelon taste nice when paired together. Watermelon and Asian pear are a wonderful combination. And then I decided that some jicama would round the dish out quite nicely! Thus, my lunch was born!

This is extremely simple to make, start with:

1 Cucumber

1/2 Jicama Root

1/2 of a small Watermelon

2 Asian Pears

A hearty handful of fresh Dill

Homemade Tahini dressing to taste

Dice all the produce into bite sized pieces and put in a plate

Use a heavy hand to sprinkle Dill on top of it all

Top with a few Tbs of Tahini

I ate quite a bit of this because it was so yummy!

Dinner:

I wanted my first dinner to be something unique and a a bit of twist on an old classic. What’s more of an old classic than pasta?!

Raw pasta? Yup. Raw fettucini in fact. Vegetable fettucini.

How did I do it?

I used my handy dandy vegetable peeler…and after I got past the peel, I just kept going!

I wanted lots of color so I used:

1 Zucchini

1 Yellow Squash

1 large Carrot

and about 4 stalks of Asparagus

The asparagus proved to be a little hard to peel because of those most wonderful tips, so I just chopped them off and saved them to top my pasta with!

Now let’s get a little saucy with it.

What kind? Marinara, obviously.

I really enjoy roasted red bell peppers added to my marinara, so I decided to spice up my marinara with some raw bell peppers.

I kept the sauce simple by using:

10oz of grape tomatoes

6 cloves of garlic

1 whole red bell pepper

and a pinch of salt

I threw them in my little purple food processor and chopped it for a few seconds, tasted it and whew! That garlic sure did make the sauce spicy!

I finished the meal by putting my fettucini in a bowl, topping with my sauce and then garnishing with some roughly chopped basil.

Super good and incredibly fresh tasting and only took about 20 minutes to make.

My one qualm, it was cold. (Duh, its raw). But it’s cold out right now, and cold vegetable pasta just doesn’t warm you up the way normal pasta does. But hey, I guess that’s what blankets are for!

As the end of Day 1 fast approaches, I gotta tell ya, I’m feeling pretty nice. I’m a little tired (but then again, I only slept 6 hours last night), otherwise, I feel decently energized. Tomorrow, I’m gonna try to eat a little more of each meal, because I definitely didn’t eat 6 pounds today and I got super hungry a few times throughout the day.