Wednesday, 30 May 2012

motorcycles, tiny houses and... humanure!?

hey, my darlings. i'm sorry the posts have been less frequent than normal lately. i've been sleeping like a bear in winter, and eating salad.

lots of salad. 

in the pictures shown, i've been using a balsamic vinaigrette and olive oil dressing, sometime i blend it with herbs, miso and garlic. the greens are spinach, and 3 different kinds of lettuce from the garden, along with herbs. the ones above are dill, oregano and ... ? i can't remember the name of the last one.

then i load on tomatoes, cucumber, olives, figs, avocado, and we had baked potatoes one day so i used that. yum!

here's a recipe, if that description wasn't enough. 

i've also been researching for the motorcycle trip my dad and i will be taking at the end of summer. i'm so excited! you can see the route we're following here.

so far i've just been finding veg-friendly restaurants we can eat at along the way. happy cow is a terrific website for finding vegetarian and vegan eateries all around the world. i can't wait to get to jasper, because i discovered they have a raw vegan cafe there called gratitude cafe! how cool is that. here's some of their food:

i've found vegan places nearly everywhere else too. next - finding camping sites. originally we were going to hotel it, but it's going to be the perfect time of year to camp, and it makes the whole trip more interesting. any chance to be closer to nature and i'm there!

i have also been getting increasingly stoked about building my tiny home. you know what i'm talking about. i think the weebee is my favourite model from tumbleweed tiny houses.

it's 102 square feet - just right, not too big and not too small. i sound like goldie locks here. anyways, i am planning on buying the building plans but tweaking them for my personal desires =)

that means i'm going to use recycled materials and antique windows, have no need for an oven/stove, have a closed water system, install solar panels, and have a composting toilet!

composting toilet? huh?

i know. sounds a little weird... and smelly. but not to fret. apparently they're the greatest. check it out! it's called "humanure". you can see humaure's book online for free here. aren't their chapter titles great? all you do is build a box around a bin/bucket and make it look like a normal toilet. you do your business and cover it with wood shavings.

 it doesn't smell at all! this means i won't have to figure out plumbing. i just dump this stuff in the forest or bury it in the dirt wherever i will be living. and hey - after a year i can use my compost as, well, compost! circle of life, my friends.

don't you judge me. everyone should do this!

Friday, 25 May 2012

friends & salad

i've been eating a lot of salad lately. our greens are growing like crazy so i can run out to the garden and pick some lettuce and spinach whenever my heart desires. my friend christine came over yesterday and we made a lovely mix of greens, cucumber, tomato, olives and mushrooms. it was nice to catch up with her, since we hadn't seen each other in awhile.

she's all cool and awesome so she made this photo:

i also added some oregano, basil and cilantro. i think sweet basil may be my favourite conventional herb. my mom's is cilantro. i tear the herb leaves up really small, so it's lovely when you get a bite of salad and every now and then there's a hit of basil or what ever.


oh goodness. i just ate a salad (a lot like the one above) but these photos are making me want to make another. i think i actually might. because after i finished eating the first one (just now) i went into the kitchen and realized my friend amber had left two avocados as a gift.

because she's the best.

she's also all hip, so she took these trendy hipster pictures last night: 

as far as salad goes, it's pretty much the greatest thing ever. except maybe for avocados. so when you combine them both - it's almost too much to handle. almost.

i'm definitely going to go make another giant salad now. 
i hope you have an amazing weekend! here's an easy and delicious recipe for you:

green love salad: serves 1-2

1/4 cup cherry tomatoes
1/4 cucumber
1/2 cup mushrooms
4 tb olives
1/4 red onion
5 figs
1 handful of fresh herbs like basil, oregano, cilantro, lemon balm, rosemary, etc. 
5 cups or more of fresh, organic greens like lettuce and spinach

chop up the tomatoes, cucumber, mushrooms, olives, onion, figs and herbs to your liking. set aside. 
in a big bowl, pour a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil on the greens and mix them up with your hands, coating them all with the dressing. throw on the chopped goodies and enjoy! 
this is best enjoyed outside on a sunny day, right beside your garden.

i usually add hemp seeds and sometimes salt and pepper. 

oh! and avocado. duh.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

lavender vanilla dream balls

i dreamt about these, woke up and wrote down the recipe, then went back to sleep. hence the "dream" part of the title. all my dream recipes are so much better than reality ones.

these were a big hit. my family loved them and so did my friends. i really tried to do something sans chocolate, but hey - can you blame me? i'm sorry i dipped these delicious, healthy treats in dark chocolate.

sue me.

you can leave out the chocolate, but - no surprise - i recommend adding it. chocolate and lavender seem to like each other, and who am i to deny them a great relationship?

for some reason the coconut oil in these did not want to be part of the party. i only put in about 2 tablespoons but it wouldn't combine with the other ingredients! you can see it soaking into the cutting board... hopefully this won't happen for you. start with 1 tablespoon and see what it does.

after rolling out all the balls with my friend, we had coconut oil dripping from our hands - literally! so i just rubbed it all over my body. yum! i love when the food i eat is also the stuff i put on my skin to keep it glowing and healthy. like avocados, bananas, oats, papaya, lemon, mango, etc.

vanilla lavender balls: makes around 25?

1/2 cup coconut chunks
1 cup walnuts
1 cup cashews
3/4 cup dates
1-2 tb melted coconut oil
1-2 tb agave/maple syrup (optional)
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/8 t ginger powder
seeds from 1 vanilla pod
2 t vanilla extract
1 t dried lavender
2-3 tb hemp seeds

in food processor, process coconut chunks and nuts until they're crumb sized. add dates and pulse until it clumps together. add all other ingredients and process until it forms into a ball.

roll this into balls and then dip in raw chocolate, or melted dark chocolate. stick 'em in the fridge for maybe 10-15 minutes and then gobble them up.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

triple cinnamon rolls

these are a baked food worth eating. 

my friend amanda was at my house the other day and suggested we bake something. we decided on cinnamon rolls. i put cinnamon in every layer - the dough, filling and icing - and they turned out divine. literally, these guys are holy saints. angels sing when you eat them.

i love tons of stuff in everything (really trying to work on appreciating simple recipes... failing) so i put walnuts and raisins in the filling. the dough is totally whole grain and the icing has coconut yogurt and ginger in it!

they don't need too long to bake, and the dough is gonna be a little tough to roll out just because of the whole wheat flour. but be patient and you will be rewarded! cinnamon rolls bring back all kinds of memories for me - special birthday breakfasts, christmas morning after opening presents, holidays, etc. so with all the delicious flavour and texture comes nostalgia. it makes for an amazing experience.

having said that - i've eaten way more cooked food than normal this weekend (it was all totally worth it though) and now my system is in a mess. back to raw! =)

okay... maybe after one more cinnamon roll....

triple cinnamon rolls: makes 14 or so
(adapted from smitten kitchen)

1 cup coconut milk
3 tablespoons earth balance
3 1/2 cups whole grain flour
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 tb flax seed mixed with 2 tb water (egg!)
2 tb yeast
1 teaspoon salt
Nonstick vegetable oil spray

3/4 cup raw sugar
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup raisins
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup melted earth balance

2 ounces coconut yogurt, at room temperature
1/4 raw sugar
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tb cinnamon
1/2 t ginger power
1/4 cup honey/maple syrup/agave syrup 
1/4 cashew butter

For dough: Combine coconut milk and earth balance and melt together. Pour into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, "egg", yeast, and salt. Beat on low speed 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add additional 2 1/2 cups flour. Beat on low until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky, scraping down sides of bowl. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form ball and pulls away from sides of bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 8 minutes. (You may also use a KitchenAid’s dough hook for this process.) Form into ball.
Lightly oil large bowl with nonstick spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

For filling: mix dry ingredients together, set aside.
Press down dough. Transfer to floured work surface. Roll out to 15×11-inch rectangle. Spread melted earth balance over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle dry mixture evenly over earth balance. Starting at the longer side, roll dough into log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up. With seam side down, slice with floss into into equal slices (each about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide).
Divide rolls between baking dishes lined with paper, arranging cut side up. Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 45 minutes or so. Don’t skimp on the double-rising time!
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake rolls until tops are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and flip onto rack. Cool 10 minutes.

For glaze: blend all ingredients until smooth, it should be a little more liquid than desired because the coconut oil will harden up again in a few moments. yumm!!!

Monday, 14 May 2012

raw brownies & strawberries

Oh my goodness me. These are so tasty. I ate them with some organic strawberries my mom bought for me. The combo blew my mind and I ate like... at least 3 plus almost the whole container of strawberries. I can't help myself.

Raw brownies have the same ingredients as good quality (and let's face it - expensive) energy bars like Clif Bars or Larabars. Yummy, nutritious stuff like raw dried fruit, coconut, nuts and seeds. MMM! So good for you. They give you long lasting energy and keep you strong and healthy. These are the treats mother nature intended, and they are as processed as your food should get (which is not much at all).

So instead of paying $3.50 for a Clif Bar at trendy coffee shops - make them yourself, and better!

Everybody knows how delicious chocolate and strawberries are together, so brownies and strawberries are unsurprisingly amazing. I definitely recommend eating these with organic strawberries! They are one of the most contaminated plant foods otherwise.

Don't wanna buy expensive organic strawberries? Grow your own! We have seven plants flowering this year =) Last summer we just had one but MY GOD - the few berries that grew from it were the most luscious, flavorful things I've ever put in my mouth.

RAW BROWNIES YO: makes around 16

2 cups walnuts or your fave nut
1/4 cup hemp seeds
2 Tb flax seeds
1/2 cup coconut chunks
1 1/2 cups dates/prunes
1/3 cup cacao/carob powder
1/4 tsp each salt, cinnamon and cayenne
1/4 cup goji berries (optional)
2 Tb melted virgin coconut oil 

I think that's everything I put in these... but it's different every time. Always delicious though. Process all the ingredients in your food processor until it balls together. Press into a lined brownie pan and refrigerate for maybe 20 minutes. Slice 'em and devour with ripe strawberries. Perfection on a summer day.

Oh. Mother Nature - how kind are thee to give us ART in the form of FOOD.

Friday, 11 May 2012

health on a budget summit

You guys, I have been asked to be an affiliate for the Health On A Budget Summit, which is a 5 day event hosted by Raw Foods On A Budget. Check it out here.

 Pretty cool, huh? The following gives you a good idea about what this Summit is about.
And DON'T WORRY - IT'S FREE! And online.

Let’s be honest, the topic of being healthy on a budget has been brushed aside for WAY TOO LONG! And in the current economy, we need these answers more than ever! The people over at the Health on a Budget Summit have made it their mission to find experts in affordable healthy living and they have brought them to you! For FREE!

The Health on a Budget Summit is a FREE 5-Day online conference that will be aired LIVE from May 19th to 23rd! During the Summit, you will be able to listen to over 30 talks and interviews with experts discussing topics like:

Eating Raw Foods on a Budget
Eating Vegan on a Budget
Eating Vegetarian on a Budget
Eating Organic on a Budget
Eating Gluten-Free on a Budget
Feeding Your Family on a Budget
Foraging Basics and Foraging in Urban Areas
Eating Healthy on Food Stamps
Eating Healthy in College
Raw Food for Busy People
Getting Fit on a Budget
Budgeting 101
Raising Financially Responsible Children
Creating a Budget that You Love
Live More on Less
Gardening on a Budget
Getting Healthcare on a Budget
Natural Beauty on a Budget

The Summit will feature a Cooking section that will showcase affordable raw, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free recipes; a Fitness section featuring exercise videos exclusively created for the Summit; a Summit cookbook with 100+ vegan, raw, vegetarian, and gluten-free recipes; Gardening and Budgeting 101 guides; and a HUGE Community Forum!

Take advantage of these AMAZING registration options that are GUARANTEED to fit your budget!

+ If you are low on money, attend the conference for FREE!
+ If you are low on time, invest in the premium registration (less than 8 cents a day) and get access to the Summit for a whole year! And you get the Summit recipe book too!
+ Want more raw foods in your budget-conscious life, become an All Star!
So many options…which one is right for you?

Register HERE.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

chocolate covered mint patties

YUM! These remind me of After Eights... or those Girl Guide cookies.

Except these are incomparably better for you. They're mostly coconut and cashews - can you say hello, glowing skin and strong nails? Everyone should get healthy by eating dessert. It's just the best.

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile, I've been pretty busy. There's a lot of new people in my life right now, plus I'm looking for a job (it's about time, I know), and trying to figure out my future! I'm really excited about building my tiny house, and I'll need to work all summer to save up enough for it.

I've also been having a lot of crazy messages from the universe lately. All these symbolic signs keep showing themselves and I can't ignore them. Many of them have to do with my dreams and my art. Anyways you don't care about this - you care about chocolate covered mint patties. So here you are.

I have been seeing these all over the internet and figured I should probably make them. When I saw them on Rawified (awesome blog!) yesterday - it got me in the kitchen. You should make these soon. They're easy, quick, fun and DELICIOUS! Nothing else to say, really.

Mint Chocolate Patties: makes twelve or so

1/3 cup dried coconut chunks/shreds
1/3 cup cashews
1-2 tablespoons cup melted coconut oil
2-3 Tb honey/maple syrup/agave
1 tsp peppermint oil
Pinch of salt

1-2 tablespoons cup melted coconut oil
1/3 cup cacao powder
4-5 Tb honey/maple syrup/agave
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon and cayenne (makes it sooo much better) 

Blend all ingredients from the first list together until smooth. Pat into flattened balls (patties) with your hands and set them in the freezer for maybe 30 minutes.
Next, process all the ingredients from the second list together until smooth - raw chocolate! Frick, so good.
Finally, dip each pattie in the chocolate sauce and watch them harden almost immediately. Eat 'em up!

this also best choice to make beef bourguignon if you are have party