Good things to eat

Archive for the ‘Raw’ Category

What do you think of Wheat Grass?

Firstly, I need to apologise for being so absent.

The truth of the matter is I’ve been quite caught up in getting used to my new life.

Earlier this Summer The Chef was offered one of those “too good to pass up” kind of jobs and so with only a few weeks notice, we packed up our whole lives and left our beautiful Victoria, British Columbia and moved to Edmonton, Alberta.

Not that there is anything particularly wrong with that, in fact, Edmonton is a lovely city and I hope to share some of it with you when I get back on a writing track, it’s just that we went from the warmest in Winter Canadian city, to arguably one of the coldest in Winter Canadian cities, which admittedly, I’m not doing too well with.

Anyone who knew me back when I lived in “Winter cities” knew just how miserable I was and how escape from Winter was the number one reason I moved to Victoria some ten years ago.

You see, I went from THIS

edmomnton-july-2016120

And This

iphone-download-nov-2016304
To THIS

img_1046

And This

img_1056

********************************************************************************************

So what to do in Winter in Edmonton?

Well……grow some Wheat Grass of course!

Probably like you, I’ve read SO much stuff about just how wonderful wheat grass juice is for you!  92 different minerals alone and filled with chlorophyll.  A wonder food touted with discouraging and perhaps even curing all kinds of diseases and aliments.  But what does it really taste like?

I can’t tell you how many times I have bought a flat of it at the health food or grocery store and brought it home with the intension of juicing it!  But instead I just let it over grow and then watch it turn brown and dies and make me feel sad.  And it isn’t cheap either which is an added annoyance.

So I decided to kill two birds with one stone.  I thought I’d try to grow my own!  Chances are if I grow it myself, I’ll be more inclined to use it?  And at worst, if I don’t, I can just compost it and recycle the dirt and try again.

And, it’s something fun to do in Winter!

********************************************************************************************

Growing it is surprisingly easy.

You will need:

  • something to grow it in ( I’ve been using left over lettuce boxes)
  • some quality dirt ( preferably organic cause you are growing food)
  • some “wheat berries” – I got them in the bulk section of the grocery store or Bulk Barn

Prepare your dirt in your box or whatever you are using.  Then soak about a 1/4 to 1/2 cup ( depending on how big your box is) of wheat berries in water for about six hours or overnight.  Drain off the water and sprinkle speeds evenly over the dirt and lightly cover them with more dirt.

Keep the dirt moist but not wet.

In a couple of days you will see the grass sprouting up!  Easy as that.

********************************************************************************************

Let the grass blades get to about 3 -4 inches tall before you use them.

Obviously by the picture here, you’ll see I let them go just a little too long but they were still good.

I then went online and watched a bunch of videos of various Hippies juicing their wheat grass to try to get an idea of just how much I need to actually get a yield of any kind.

There are a lot of variables there, like what kind of juicer or blender or whatever.

Also, some people seemed to drink it straight in shots, while others added water or added the juice to other juices or smoothies………

I think the real point is to try it first….see what you think.

img_1041

********************************************************************************************

So when you are ready, hack off some of the grass.  Even though it is in my kitchen, I still washed it, cause it can still be dusty or whatever.

Then I shoved it in the juicer.  As the pulp squished out, I put it back through the juicer a couple of times because I saw one of the hippies doing that.  It still seemed to squeeze out more juice, so I guess that’s good.

I yielded a couple of ounces.  But honestly…..that is about all you need for a shot.

img_1044

So?  How did it taste?

Well……..the smell is a bit much.  Literally smells like squished grass.  Don’t know if you ever ate any grass as a kid, cause you saw your dog doing it?  Well….it’s all a similar experience.

I gulped it down in one shot. As it went across my tongue it was very intense and so I was expecting a horrible aftertaste, but surprisingly, it wasn’t offensive at ALL.  In fact, it was almost a bit sweet!  I know!  Who would have thought??

img_1045

Many have reported extreme reactions to it.  Like having to run to the bathroom because something was going to happen from one end or the other.  I experienced neither of these.  In fact, it made me feel quite invigorated, like I had just done something terribly good for myself!  Power of suggestion?  Perhaps, but you might want to give it a try for yourself…..to at least to be able to say you’ve done it.

If you don’t want to go to all of the trouble of growing it and juicing it……..go to your local juice bar and give it a try……especially in Winter…..can’t hurt!!

Corn Chower

I know that I have posted versions of this recipe before, but it is just such a favorite of mine.

Especially this time of year when fresh produce is bountiful and in some parts of the land the days are still sunny and hot.

This “raw” corn chower works for me every time!

Click HERE for the original recipe.

My only additon these days is about 1 tsp of smokie paprika in the soup and then another sprinkle for garnish.

Great for a summer lunch or part of a cooling evening meal.

Enjoy

corn chowder

The Vegan Challenge

I know, I know, we’ve been through this together before, where I decide I am going to eat a certain way to “try it out” and insist on dragging you along with me!

We did the “Raw Food Challenge”  and then I went on a gluten-free kick for a while.   All in the name of trying to find the right eating style for my needs.  I need to be able to walk the walk if I’m gonna talk the talk.

So I have decided to challenge myself to “one month of being a Vegan”.

In general, I don’t think it will be that hard.  We already eat several Vegan or Vegetarian meals a week…..but that’s in a week…..not even necessarily for a whole day.

My biggest challenge will be the lack of cow milk in my morning tea.  I have tried all of the vegan alternatives and I’m sorry but none of them quite cut it.  So I fear I will have to go without the tea, until I get desperate anyway.

There really is more and more research that sustains the idea that eating a plant-based diet WILL improve your health.

Do I think YOU should be a Vegan?   Don’t know.

Do I think you should TRY being a Vegan?  Couldn’t hurt.

Do I think that if there were more Vegans it would benefit our planet.  Definately!

I have long been an advocate of the notion that you need to eat what is best for YOU.  What makes YOU feel your best.  Because everyone is different and has different constitutions.  But I DO think that you need to keep trying until you find it.

You also need to educate yourself on WHY you are choosing to do something, not just do it willy nilly because it seems trendy.

If you are interested in taking a walk on the “Veg Side” there are some great documentaries out there that can get you started in the right direction.

Vegucated

Hungry for Change

Food Matters

Just to name a few and currently available on Netflix.

 

 

vegan-pyramid-800x600

 

********************************************************************************

I had a friend in town and would normally go out for breakfast on a Saturday morning, but I thought it best not to tempt myself on my first day of Vegan, because going out for bacon and eggs is simply one of my favorite things!

So instead he came over and I made Raw porridge and had some green tea.

Later, the Chef and I went to Starbucks and I had my very first EVER “soy latte”.   It wasn’t awful, but I REALLY don’t want to turn into one of THOSE people…..you know….the “soy latte” people.  But I was desperate, nobody needs to start their first day of Vegan with a caffeine withdrawal headache!!

One thing at a time.

So please follow along if you like and even try a challenge of some kind  of your own and we can do it together!

 

I love Vegans

Energy balls or holiday treats?

My friend and I had been out on a full day of serious shopping but knew we had a very special dinner to look forward to, so didn’t want to fill up on pesky lunch!

We were at the health food store when she spied some “energy balls” in the display counter and insisted that we get some.

I’ll admit, they were some tasty energy balls and certainly did tide us over till dinner, but it always gets my goat when these places charge so much for something so simple to make.

So here I will reveal the secret to energy balls!

The key ingredient here is dates!  You must have dates and then everything else can just be whatever you have available.

Start with about 10 dried dates, cover them with boiling water and then let sit for about 10 minutes till they soften up, drain and then put into the food processor.

Grind those up first and alone, because those are what everything else will stick to.

Then, in no particular order, into the processor add:

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cut hazel nuts

etc etc etc

You could add pretty much any nut or seed, even hemp seeds, or dried cranberries whatever small dried thing of that nature that you might have.

Whiz those all up until it resembles a fine meal texture.

Then if you like, add chocolate chips or carob or something like that and then give the processor  a few more pulses till they are mixed in but not pulverized like everything else.

Then on to a parchment covered tray………

I always use gloves for this kind of thing because I really hate sticky on my fingers!

Carefully roll the mixture into a ball, the size is your discretion.   It you are going to use them as a serious energy ball for after work outs or that kind of thing, you could make them golf ball size.

If you want them as an afternoon treat with a cup of tea as I tend to use them you will want them smaller “meat ball” size.

And then if you want to use them as a holiday treat to trick your friends and family into eating something healthy……then just make them small homemade truffle type size.

Then once you choose your size……roll each ball and then either leave as is or you can then roll them in some additional delicious thing like dried coconut or like what I have done with these, sesame seeds or just plain coco powder.

****************************************************************************************

Place them on the tray and then put in the freezer for about half an hour before serving/eating.

Once they have set, you can put them in an airtight container and put them back in the freezer where they will last a good few weeks.  Just give them about 10 minutes out before eating.

Or put them in an airtight container in the fridge to enjoy often.

Or pack them up in decorative tins and give them away!

They are a very versatile little thing…..oh and they DO actually give you a boost of energy!!

Enjoy.

Oh and PS depending on what you put in them, they are vegan and RAW.

Salad Week – Deconstructed Greek Salad

I thought what with Summer now upon us……well some places are getting Summer anyway….that it would be a good time to roll out “Salad Week”.

I love salads and the combinations are endless, so let’s see what we can come up with.

Today we have “Deconstructed Greek Salad”.

Now don’t be intimidated.   This might sound all “Chefy” but it couldn’t be simpler!

Impress your friends with this simple tasty salad.

Gather all the ingredients typically found in a Greek salad and cut them into even sized bits.

Here we have:

  • Green pepper
  • Yellow pepper
  • Red onion
  • tomato
  • cucumber
  • Kalamata olives

So chop them up evenly and put them in little piles in a flat casserole dish like small 9 x 9 glass lasagna dish.

Then make up the dressing:  Thee parts oil, one part vinegar

  • red wine vinegar
  • olive oil
  • honey
  • chopped fresh herbs – parsley, oregano etc

Stir up and then pour all over the vegetables and let them marinade for at least 1/2 hour before serving.

When you are ready to serve, arrange even piles of the individual vegetables around the plate.

Here we have a dollop of goat cheese, but crumbled feta would do nicely too.

Season with salt & pepper and sprinkle with additional chopped herbs if you have them!

Voila!  So simple and so good!!

Deconstructed Greek Salad

Please feel free to share YOUR  favorite salads with me.  Post a link to your blog if you’d like my friends to check it out too.

Happy Salad Week!

Raw Soup – Re-Run Wednesday

What with summer and the warm weather  ( well hopefully where you live anyway!) just around the corner here is one of my favorite soups for re-run Wednesday.

After yesterday’s heavy meat rich offering, this one is SO cool and light it will lift your spirit just eating it!

Raw corn and avocado soup

************************************************************************************************************

Growing stuff – June 8th

The weather hasn’t really been co-operating too much this year.

It hasn’t been very sunny or warm, but things are still doing their best to grow!

I have had to bring the poor chard back inside because those pesky birds had a go at it!  I’ve never had so much trouble trying to get something as usually hardy as chard to grow!!

Swiss Chard

*******************************************************************************************************

I also had to bring the tomatoes back inside as well.  They have been outside for a couple of weeks but it got so windy the other day, I thought they might fall over.   I have tied them up on sticks but I wasn’t sure it was helping.  They are only now starting to show a couple of flowers here and there.  Will be lucky if I get tomatoes by October!

Tomatoes

*****************************************************************************************************

There is a new addition to the balcony garden.  Last week at the farmer’s market I picked up a patty pan squash plant.  I’m hoping that will turn out to be fun!

Patty Pan Squash

*****************************************************************************************************

The potato plant on the other hand, is freakishly big and thick, I hope the potatoes grow a big!

Potato plant

*******************************************************************************************************

The purple cabbages are coming along nicely but today I was being terrorized by two squirrels playing tag all over the balcony and stomping all over the cabbage.   I chased them and squirted them with the water bottle but they just laughed in my face!

Purple cabbage

*******************************************************************************************************

The beets are coming a long nicely, but much like the potatoes, we can only see what’s going on with the foliage and not what’s growing underneath!

Beet plants

*******************************************************************************************************

And last but not least, I am FINALLY seeing a few bean sprouts squeezing through the dirt!  I had just about given up on them.

Sprouting beans

%d bloggers like this: