I am excited to announce that I’m an ongoing contributor at the swanky new eco-fabulous website, One Green Planet. Have you been there yet? Wait! Before you do, you better go grab a green smoothie or a tall glass of cold raw almond milk, because there is so much good info you might be there a while.
In my first post for them, I wrote about 3 great ways that busy people can incorporate raw food into their lives without having to think twice about it. Check it out here…
I have a real love for cucumbers… They’re such a great summer time snack. I put them in salads, smoothies, juices, and they’re especially fun as boats for carrying yummy fixin’s like mashed up avocado. Previously, I shared my Avocado Cucumber Smish Smash recipe here… still one of my favorites. Here’s another great one I’ve been making the past couple of weeks. It’s simple, takes about 5 minutes, and uses minimal ingredients.
Cucumber Avocado Boats
Yield 1 to 2 servings
- 1 cucumber, cut into quarters
- 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
- Juice from 1/2 lime
- 1 to 2 pinches Himalayan crystal salt
- Dash onion powder
- Fresh basil to garnish, optional
After you have your cucumber in quarters, like boats, scrape the seeds into a medium size bowl. Add the avocado, lime, salt, and onion powder. Mash up the contents. Fill the boats with the avocado mixture. Top with fresh basil, if desired. That’s it! Enjoy!
Want your kids to eat more veggies? Use a spiralizer to prep them and watch your kiddos gobble them up! Here is a cute video of my friend’s daughter, Ava, doing just that!
Ava Eats Veggies
Thursday, March 17th, 2011
There are three kitchen utensils that I absolutely love using. Each time I use one of them, it’s like, “oh yeah, so glad I have you.”
Please allow me to introduce to you, three of my best friends in the kitchen…
1) Long, narrow spatula
This is a beauty when it comes to cleaning out my high speed blender. It makes scraping out the blender that much easier and faster. I know, it seems like it wouldn’t make that much of a difference, but it does! Now, if I go to use it and it’s not there (it’s dirty) and I have to use an ordinary spatula, I make a sour puss face. A former student of mine bought this for me a few years ago. I can’t find one on Amazon. It looks like it is from Crate & Barrel.
2) Bamboo hands
If you truly want an amazing tossed salad, you’ll actually make a tossed salad… by tossing it! For that, I love my second hands. The best salads are truly tossed and as a result, your yummy dressing (ehem… 4-Ingredient Magic Dressing anyone?!) gets over every thing. And, in my opinion, you end up using less dressing this way, because you’ve helped the dressing go a long way by tossing it. I bought my awesome bamboo hands in California, but they are available on Amazon.
3) Offset Spatulas
When you want to smooth the top of your raw cheesecake perfectly or you want gorgeous flax crackers that look like a professional made them or you want to easily spread your almond pulp biscuits… Then you want to use an offset spatula. They’re awesome! I have many different sizes and highly recommend getting a few. On Amazon you can get various sizes here.
And… of course, my REAL best buddy in the kitchen is baby girl, Kamea. :) I can’t wait until she’s helping me
wash dishes make smoothies.
What are your best friends in the kitchen?
I was using my VegOut app a few weeks ago (that’s how I found out about the vegan french toast I posted about here from Scramble), and I also saw there was a restaurant (and academy) serving (mostly) locally sourced, all raw, vegan, and organic food not far from where I live. WTF?! Seriously? And, I didn’t know? Well, turns out, it had just opened up (the cafe) and I believe the academy is opening soon.
It’s by Chef Sara and it’s called Chef Sara’s Raw Vegan Academy & Cafe. Location: Cave Creek, AZ. Today, we decided to pack Kamea (and the car full of any potential “we’re-out-and-about-with-a-baby” must haves) and take a little drive up to Care Free / Cave Creek areas, where we met my mom and her friends for lunch. Cave Creek is a darling little town packed with all kinds of fun treasures. Including… The Town Dump.
Read More »
Thursday, February 17th, 2011
A reader emailed this to me and I wanted to share it. Thanks, Stephanie! I’m so happy you’re enjoying my recipes.
I wanted to tell you I tried your Tomato Extravaganza dressing and it was awesome. I took 4 carrots, 1 cucumber, 2 celery stalks and 1 red pepper and chopped them up into chunks. I poured about half the dressing on all the veggies and marinated them for 4 hours. For dinner, I placed half the veggies on 2 lettuce leaves for me and the other half for my husband….it was so amazing!
Thanks for all the great recipes in your books. Love them!
You can get this recipe in my book (ebook also available), Kristen Suzanne’s EASY Raw Vegan Salads and Dressings.
Thursday, February 17th, 2011
I love farmers markets and recognize the importance of supporting them. I wrote about my great love of them here - There is no denying the awesome freshness of just-picked produce. But, it goes beyond just great taste and nutrition that the farmers markets offer us… it also has importance when it comes to sustainability.
The following article was submitted by Thomas W. Morrison…
Doug Band and the CGI (Clinton Global Initiative) as well as US Ecologist Gary Nabhan believe we must try new ways in order to promote crop diversity. Nabhan takes a different approach to biodiversity and believes that we must remember to try new things and immerse ourselves in the very concept of diversity. He has caught the attention of many over the years through his theories of sustainability through grocery shopping. In an interview recently Nabhan stated that, “in other environmental issues we tell people to stop something, reduce their impact, reduce their damage.” His article Coming Home to Eat was published in 2001, and afterwards the local food movement exploded with a movement towards farmers markets and everything green.
Along with Gary Nabhan there have been a rising number of organizations that are starting to see the importance of contributing to sustainability through conservation. Bill Clinton, Doug Band and the CGI (Clinton Global Initiative) have been working diligently on removing emission reduction projects throughout the country. They have partnered with companies such as Donlen, Environmental Defense Fund, and GreenDriver to reduce commercial fleet emissions 20% in five years. The Earth Day Network has also been playing a large part in bringing conservationist and green enthusiast together opening a forum to discussion new ways to support our planet. As climate control continues to worsen, collaboration amongst individuals and organizations is essential for a successful green campaign. As human beings, we’re always being told to reduce our carbon footprint, consume less unhealthy foods, and spend less time in the shower. Gary Nabhan strongly suggests that we take a step back and look at this from a completely different perspective.
A study done by the The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, shows that only about a quarter of crop diversity is left and about a dozen species now gives 90% of the animal protein eaten globally. In addition, just about 4 crop species supply half of plant-based calories in the human diet. Nabhan proposes that eating foods that are homegrown will have a greater impact on sustainability for our planet as a whole. Otherwise known as “eat what you conserve,” is a well-established theory in that by eating the fruits and vegetables that we are attempting to conserve/save, we’re promoting the granular dissemination of various plant species.
Agriculturist Marco Contiero also mentions “biodiversity is an essential characteristic of any sustainable agricultural system, especially in the context of climate change.” According to Conterio’s theory, this would suggest that as individuals we tend our own crops/plants, and should make sure to purchase localized farm products at supermarkets and groceries. In the end, this condenses export/import reliance, thus reducing our carbon footprint.
Both theories rely profoundly on an action-oriented approach at conservation and sustainability. With an abundance of green movements following Earth Day 2010, organizations and individuals have taken a stronger following to expert opinions like the ones demonstrated by both of these highly influential agriculturalists. As the spring season approaches, remember to visit your local farmers markets to purchase your fresh fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, as eco-conscious individuals, don’t hesitate to stop the next time you drive by a yard stand with fresh crops. It is clear that promoting biodiversity and localized farming is a crucial piece of the conservation puzzle.
Tuesday, February 15th, 2011
I just finished reading the ebook, Well Rounded – The Ultimate Guide to a Healthy Raw Food Pregnancy (by Joanna Beujekian-Steven, who co-owns Sirova.com – a great online store for raw goods). It’s a great read and I recommend it to the ladies out there wanting to have a healthy pregnancy full of nutrient dense raw foods.
Joanna does a great job of taking you by the hand and gently showing you the best foods to eat to ensure you’re filling your body with nutrients that a growing mom-n-babe team need. She addresses the deficiencies in which to be on the look-out… which supplements to take and which to avoid. She covers pregnancy vitamins… minerals… proteins, fats and other nutrients… fertility and pregnancy herbs… preparing for birth… and common pregnancy pitfalls including energy and morning sickness (from my own personal experience, when I had terrible morning-all day sickness, I embraced it. It was tough physically, but mentally I loved it as many physicians say it’s a sign of a strong pregnancy – music to my ears! Some believe, from an evolutionary standpoint, there is a correlation with it protecting the baby because it prevents mom from eating toxic foods. Another side suggests that doesn’t ring true and it’s just a part of pregnancy for many women as the baby competes for resources. For me, whether it was one or the other didn’t matter. Every day I work up with it during the vulnerable first trimester, it was a sign I was still pregnant. After losing my first pregnancy – sans morning sickness – I was more than happy to feel nauseous all day long. Plus, there is a possible tie with morning sickness and a higher child IQ. I remember saying to Greg, “Bring on the morning sickness!”).
There aren’t many books on this topic so I’m excited that Joanna, a woman I greatly respect, wrote this. Even though I’ve only just had Kamea 7 1/2 months ago, and I’m still adjusting to how hectic and crazy life as a mom can be (to even just one baby), reading this book made me want to get pregnant! LOL! Okay, not yet, but being pregnant is such a magical time that I look forward to doing it again. Thank you, Joanna, for sending this to me to read!
Wednesday, February 9th, 2011
I’ve been having a Question & Answer session going on over on my Facebook fan page… Check it out and become a fan.
Thursday, January 27th, 2011
For the past few years, I’ve basically lived a “high raw” life and I’ve enjoyed it. Some days were all raw and some were mostly raw with a sprinkling of days that were only moderately raw (they’re always vegan though). I’m a big believer in listening to your body, taking it easy, and not stressing about food choices so long as you’re feeling good and more often than not doing the right thing.
At the end of December, though, my tune changed a bit. My diet had been quite clean, but my body told me to eat more raw and kick it up a notch. I felt drawn to it and excited about it.
So, it’s been a month now and I’ve been pretty much 100% Raw with exception to 4 meals (which were still partly raw) in addition to the oats I’m going to eat a few days a week that I mentioned in my last post to help with my breastmilk supply if I feel it’s necessary.
What do I think? Well. I feel amazing, as you might expect. I feel euphoric, on top of the world, extra lean, and I’m running on all cylinders with ease. It’s a great feeling. My cells are dancing. I’ve got my groove on and it feeeeeeeels awesome.
I wrote in my last email newsletter (sign up here) about a couple of different ways that you can successfully stick to the raw diet with ease. I’m doing the method now where I constantly load up on fresh produce and raw foods so that my kitchen is always stocked with just about anything I could want to make a recipe. I am loving this method. Every night I think about what I might make the next day and I write down all of the possibilities, whether I stick to the plan or not. It’s a guide. Not set in stone and it gives me ideas to help me stick to the goal of raw while still allowing flexibility for changing tastes or if Kamea decides that making a raw lasagna is not in the cards that day.
I’m staying stocked with food. I have bags of granola, jars of all different nuts and seeds, kale chips galore, nut butters up the wazoo, stashes of different snack bars (some bought, some homemade), protein powders by the case, my dehydrator has been humming non-stop for the past month, I’m loaded with different kinds of crackers and trail mix, my counters and refrigerators are bursting with fresh produce, and my freezers have frozen fruit, chocolate truffles, and other stocked foods (sprouting seeds, flax seeds, and chia seeds - oh my!). And. I just ordered a bunch of jars of Rawtella because I don’t ever want to be caught without it. It’s the PERFECT fix when I need my chocolate. How do I stay stocked like this? Well, I go to the store 1-2 times a week plus get a weekly food delivery for my produce. For most of the other stuff (nuts, seeds, packaged foods) I usually go online for good deals.
It’s really cool. I wake up and think…. “Wow, I can’t wait to start my day!” As my friend, Lauren, might say, “Nerd alert.” lol
Maybe I feel like raw pizza? No problem… I have cracker crusts in my pantry. I have nuts I can quickly soak to make cheese. I have fresh tomatoes and basil to chop and spread on top. Voila! Pizza. Oh.. I want soup? Easy…. Load my blender up with fresh produce along with some homemade nut milk and I’m good to go. Perhaps I want to take it easy and sip on some green juice – awesome… grab some kale, celery, and cukes. Done. Can’t decide what to have? Ok… get started with a salad and go from there…. sprouts, bell pepper, carrots, olives, avocado… yum! Or maybe I want a hearty collard green bad-ass wrap – cool – I have all the fixin’s for that, too… sprouts, chopped lettuce, shredded beet, lime juice, olives, whip up some cashew cheese or spread some miso on it, add more veggies and a sprinkling of Himalayan crystal salt. Mmmmm mmmmm. Or how about some of that fancy, certified organic coconut water that is $10 bucks a bottle? Give me a case so I’m stocked (and you get a discount when buying by the case) and I’ll take that treat all day long! I get slap happy just thinking about it stocked up in my freezer.
|This is my big freezer.
I know some people ask me how I keep a kitchen stocked with the cost of some raw foods. Well, here is the thing. I’ve said this before. I gladly put my money into my health with raw foods. All organic. I really don’t think twice about it. Ok, maybe sometimes I think twice, but then I slap myself (not really) and say, “Snap out of it, Kristen, you are worth it. This is your health!” I don’t really do a lot of shopping for things that maybe others shop for… instead I use my money for my kitchen and raw lifestyle. I buy appliances that keep my excitement running high for food prep. I get happy shivers down my spine when I snag lots of orange bell peppers at Whole Foods. I don’t drink fancy coffee drinks that many people spend hundreds of dollars on a month… instead I spend that money on goji berries, pine nuts, fancy raw sprouted almond and cashew butters, raw cacao, and other dazzling raw goodies.
|This is the door to the freezer.
Also… I buy in bulk. This cuts down on the cost. You can also split the foods with friends if getting in bulk is too much. I look for things on sale. We rarely eat out, too. In Kris Carr’s new book, Crazy Sexy Diet, she calculates the cost of eating fast food for the day and it amounts to about $20 a person. That’s not cheap – and that’s fast food! By making my meals at home, even when I use more expensive products because they’re organic, it’s not unreasonable. Oh, and by the way, I rarely get sick. I don’t take prescriptions. That saves money in the long run!
Plus. When it comes to the holidays and my birthday, I am not shy about telling people exactly what I want whether it’s a shiny new juicer, a gift card to Amazon to help me save for an appliance or get this… I ask for gift cards to Whole Foods. I know… some people want to scream LAME! Heck no – I love it! I’ve also redeemed credit card rewards for Amazon.com gift cards and then used those on raw food appliances and supplies.
Bottom line – I want to live until I’m at least 100 years of age. I want to be healthy for Kamea all my years. I want my husband to be there with me every step of the way. How do we reach that goal? EATING HEALTHY! It’s our priority and we live it.