Saturday, June 28, 2008

Raw Blue Moon Cafe

Brought my camera into work today to capture some of the Raw Goodness! Here are the Raw Pizzas... They are delicious and I'm actively working on having these in our Deli Case every day! They sell out every time I make them, so keeping up with the demand is challenging!

Sunny Sausage Stuffed Rainbow Chard with Raw Marinara and Cashew Cheese...
Before the dehydrator, plums, peaches, nectarines and apricots... topped with a raw almond/lemon zest and coconut topping... YUM!
Burgers with Special Sauce...
Italian Stuffed Peppers...

I love my job!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Rawk and Roll!

I am no longer in a cooking rut now that I've been bitten by the Raw bug! I had limited supplies around the house, but still managed to come up with something really delicious and satisfying. I guess you could call this a cannelloni of sorts. Zucchini marinated in a touch of vinaigrette did a great job as a stand in for pasta or crepes. The filling was made from caulilower, sesame seeds and basil then topped with some leftover cashew cheese sauce and a raw marinara. I dehydrated it for around an hour or so.. I will definitely make something like this for the Blue Moon Cafe!
I love my dehydrator, but actually wish I had purchased the 9 tray. 4 trays is great, but nine is better... especially since you can freeze the tortillas and breads so well. I have an experiment going right now.. spinach tortillas. I got the idea from I Am Grateful, which is an awesome raw book. The spinach was just processed with some Braggs, lemon juice, flax meal, onion powder, garlic powder, nutritional yeast and crushed red pepper flakes. I'll be VERY suprised if they actually hold together.
Oh how I love spiralized zukes and other veggies! Since pasta is my all time favorite comfort food, it's nice to have such a healthy alternative. The thin spiralized veggies really do remind of me angel hair pasta!
Here is another experiment. Sesame Carob Milk. I used my vita mix and pureed the hell out of the seeds and added vanilla, carob, cinnamon and stevia. I strained it through a nut milk bag. I liked it and sesame seeds are MUCH cheaper than almonds. (plus I have a 5lb bag of them in my freezer, so I'm using them!)

Here are some zucchini and daikon noodles I made using my OXO peeler. I much prefer the spiralized noodles, but these are better for stronger sauces I think. I made a quick sesame-braggs sauce with tons of fresh ginger and garlic and used some of the cauliflower basil sesame spread from earlier. I added a bunch of Siracha to my bowl before eating.

I've been thinking of the Raw Challenge and I should probably call it a High Raw challenge. I am not going to get totally obsessed... I will be eating things such as miso, olives and certain condiments and maybe even a bit of toasted sesame oil here and there. I will also have to taste some food.. but I'm hoping my coworkers will help me out with the majority of tasting.
Also, I am not giving up siracha! At least not yet! lol.. so that's my plan and in having a bit more leeway, I'm sure it will be easier.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Raw Musings....

Ok, I have no pics to post since I have been really busy... and I rarely cook at home anymore... so I figured I'd revisit some from the past... I do have a point here as this quinoa sushi salad is something I plan to make when I do my Raw Challenge! Of course, I will sprout the quinoa and we'll see what happens.

Speaking of RAW, I've been doing sooo much experimenting at work and have a great time with it.
My experiments so far consist of:

-Beet and Carrot Flatbread that I've used for pizzas and the base of tostadas.
-Pizza with Pesto and Veggies with a Cashew Cheese Sauce
-Stuffed Peppers with a Sun Dried Tomato Enchilada Sauce, Sunflower/Broccoli Mexican Pate (based on my RAWCO filling), Cashew Lime Sour Cream and Fresh Pico
-Carrot Cake Cookies (these needed some work I felt they were too greasy to sell) with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting
-Tostadas with the above mexican fillings
-Falafel Burgers with a Cashew-Tahini Sauce
-Enchilada Bake
-Lasagna with Cashew Basil Ricotto and Sun Dried Tomatoes and Mushrooms

... and the most exciting news... Blue Moon Cafe participated in the Taste of the Nation event this past Wednesday and my marinated mushrooms with cashew basil ricotta were one of the samples we offered and they went over so well! We also sampled a Raw Borscht and a Sweet and Spicy Cacao Balls and people loved them as well. The best part of the event was that we helped raise money that will go to feed hungry children and families.

Raw Sushi Rolls... (again from the past).. but I have a feeling a lot of these will be a big staple of my upcoming diet! I am really feeling inspired about going raw! I didn't realize how much the dehydrator actually "cooks" things.... Unfortunately, with all the studying I'm doing to learn about raw recipes I can totally see how I could gain weight if I'm not careful. The nuts and seeds certainly do pack a huge caloric punch.

I got my adorable dehydrator. The 4 trays are perfect for me. I promise I will start to take pics again when I do my challenge.. and post recipes!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Susty's Radical Vegan Cafe Review, Wedding

Today was a busy day. First of all, my second niece was born early this morning!
Second, my best friend in New Hampshire got married and I photographed her wedding!
More on that later...

On the way back from Concord, NH, I decided to stop in at Susty's Vegan Cafe in Northwood, NH.
This has been a long time coming... as I have passed by it many times, but never when I was hungry. Today was no exception, but I decided to get dinner to go.

This was my first time in an all vegan cafe (not counting the vegan cafe I used to work at)... and how cool it was to know that every single thing on the menu was cruelty free! Not to mention that she uses local and organic ingredients whenever possible.

My current boss is very good friends with the owner of this cafe...

I ordered the burrito with avocado. It was 10.00... which seemed a bit pricey, but when you think that you are supporting a vegan restaurant in the boonies of NH, it is a very good deal! I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor of this.... I am VERY picky... and this was good. Woohoo for tasty vegan food!
I stopped the poor waitress on her way out with her hands full to photograph these dishes... she was MORE than willing as were the recipients of the food! I take it this was the hummus plate..
.. and these look like summer rolls with peanut sauce. YUM!
I did not get a piece of cake due to weight loss efforts, but the double chocolate cake with vanilla frosting sure looks good!
Now, onto the wedding. My best friend in New Hampshire was married today to a fabulous man. I am sooo happy for them. I photographed their wedding.... and now have around 800 images to go through and edit..

Blessing to Regina and Guy!

.. and my second niece was born today... wow! What a day!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Weight Loss Update and a check in

Sorry for my absence... I've been settling into my new apartment and I love it! It is wonderful. I feel so lucky. I decided to have a Raw dinner tonight.. I've been in a raw mood today with the heat.. I created several raw dishes at work today and whipped up this dinner in 15 minutes. first, I marinated cremini mushrooms in braggs, balsamic, evoo, spices and garlic. While that was marinating, I spiralized a large beet, torn up the been grees and made a super fast cashew cream sauce. I flavored the sauce with garlic, caraway seeds and dill. I wish I had fresh herbs, but the dried worked just fine. Nutritional yeast and black pepper finished the sauce off. Both my son and I loved the meal. I didn't think he would be as into it, but he was!
Dessert was a green smoothie, pina colada flavored. Just coconut extract, baby spinach, frozen pineapple, frozen banana, stevia and flax meal.

Now, onto weight loss.. I weighed in June 1st and I had lost 4 lbs last month.. not too bad, especially considering I lost 12 the month before. I am hoping to really step it up this month because I'm adding more exercise to my life.

I've been sporadically checking in with all of you, but I am pretty behind.

I ordered my dehydrator! I got the apartment sized 4 tray. I am so lucky I work in a restaurant that is also in a healthfood store. I'll be able to buy large bulk organic produce for cost. I'm really excited about my raw challenge!