WIAW: Foods of the Moment

I like trying new things. It’s the best way to figure out what you like, right? But sometimes, you just gotta come back to old–or new–favorites.

Doing the whole raw foodism thing for the past 2+ weeks has given me plenty of time for experimenting, and it’s helped me figure out what foods are my favorite. So lemme share them with you this WIAW!

Cauliflower ‘Rice’

Random dinner of romaine hearts, homemade guac, cilantro lime cauliflower 'rice' and dehydrated sweet potato fries.

Random dinner of romaine hearts, homemade guac, cilantro lime cauliflower ‘rice’ and dehydrated sweet potato fries.

Dehydrated Sweet Potatoes

Almost like baked fries but even better.

Almost like baked fries but even better.

Carrot Cake Anything

Banana softserve+carrot cake (added in a carrot+raisins+coconut manna) = best dessert ever.

Banana softserve+carrot cake (added in a carrot+raisins+coconut manna) = best dessert breakfast ever.

Fruits and Veggies (of ALL kinds)

Whole Foods produce haul. This makes up at least HALF of my grocery bill.

Whole Foods produce haul. This makes up at least HALF of my grocery bill.

More veggies in the produce drawer. Cauliflower, rainbow carrots, jicama, kale, bell peppers.

More veggies in the produce drawer. Cauliflower, asparagus, rainbow carrots, jicama, kale, bell peppers.

Strawberries, blackberries, spinach and romaine.

Strawberries, blackberries, spinach and romaine.

Fruit bowl. Bananas waiting to ripen, mango, blood oranges, lemon, lime.

Fruit bowl. Bananas waiting to ripen, mango, blood oranges, lemon, lime.

Beautiful blood oranges.

Beautiful blood oranges.

Zucchini ‘Pasta’

Zucchini fettuccine with easy marinaraw sauce (tomato paste+spices+date), olives, homemade pumpkin seed pesto and hemp seeds.

Zucchini fettuccine with easy marinaraw sauce (tomato paste+spices+date), olives, homemade pumpkin seed pesto and hemp seeds.

And zucchini rawsagsna. Layered with homemade marinaraw sauce, raw cashew cheez, kalamata olives and hemp seeds.

And zucchini rawsagsna. Layered with homemade marinaraw sauce, raw cashew cheez, kalamata olives and hemp seeds.

Chia Puddings

Valentine's Day breakfast of cherry vanilla Sunwarrior chia pudding topped with coconut manna and homemade raw brownie bites.

Valentine’s Day breakfast of cherry vanilla Sunwarrior chia pudding topped with coconut manna and homemade raw brownie bites.

Garden of Life mocha brownie batter chia pudding topped with fresh strawberries, coconut manna and raw brownie bites.

Garden of Life mocha brownie batter chia pudding topped with fresh strawberries, coconut manna and raw brownie bites.

Sprouted Mung Beans

Just soak and marinate for a great raw protein source.

Just soak and marinate for a great raw protein source.

Kelp Noodles

Kelp noodle 'stirfry' (adapted from Going Raw book) with rainbow carrots, spinach/arugula and orange bell pepper.

Kelp noodle ‘stirfry’ (adapted from Going Raw book) with rainbow carrots, spinach/arugula and orange bell pepper.

Avocado (in sweet things)

Avocado+Garden of Life+cacao mousse topped with coconut flakes and raisins.

Avocado+Garden of Life+cacao mousse topped with coconut flakes and raisins.

Flax Pancakes

Flax 'pancakes' topped with Garden of Life protein sauce, coconut flakes and frozen blueberries.

Flax ‘pancakes’ topped with Garden of Life protein sauce, coconut flakes and frozen blueberries.

Even though I have a lot of favorites, one thing I love about being raw is getting such a variety of foods in every day. Instead of getting stuck in a food rut, I’m always excited about trying something new and mixing things up so I get in a variety of nutrients!

What are some of your ‘foods of the moment’?

WIAW: Eat Yo Veggies

“Sooooo…what exactly do raw vegans eat?” While I personally haven’t been posed that question just yet, I know it’s a commonly asked question just from my experience as a vegan and from browsing raw vegan forums. But really, anybody who eats different from the ‘norm’ is probably asked this question and you know it can get annoying.

It probably comes as no surprise, but I’m eating a LOT of veggies as a raw vegan. And I mean a lot. Most days I eat veggies at lunch, snack and dinner and on Tuesday, I happened to cram veggie servings into each meal. Currently, I’m feeling great eating this way and I’m excited to continue my adventures into the raw foods world, but more on that in Friday’s post. For now, let me share some of what I’ve been eating lately!

Carrot cake-inspired protein chia pudding. No better way to start the day than with a serving of veggies!

Carrot cake-inspired protein chia pudding. No better way to start the day than with a serving of veggies!

This is one of my favorite breakfasts at the moment. Sadly, my vanilla Sunwarrior is almost out and I have to wait til I can afford it again to reorder more from Amazon. It pairs so well with carrots (I used one full-size carrot here)+raisins and coconut manna. Speaking of which, Nutiva’s  raw coconut manna is amazing and cheaper than Artisana’s coconut butter!

Cilantro lime cauliflower rice in the making. Better than Chipotle's.

Cilantro lime cauliflower rice in the making. Better than Chipotle’s.

I’ve never been a huge fan of rice, brown or white. It’s just a filling carb and I haven’t eaten it in a couple years (other than in sushi occasionally) because it does nothing for me. Cauliflower rice, on the other hand, is incredible. I prefer the texture to rice and when seasoned with fresh-squeezed lime juice and cilantro, plus a little nooch and onion powder, you won’t miss regular rice at all.

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice (vegan, raw, gluten free, grain free, no added sugar or salt)

1/2 head raw cauliflower, rinsed

handful fresh cilantro leaves

lime juice, to taste

1 tsp nutritional yeast

pinch onion powder

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until cauliflower is about the consistency of rice. Serves 1-2.

Superfood salad for lunch featuring cilantro lime cauliflower rice. Base of spinach+arugula, with cauliflower rice, hemp hearts, spicy sprouted sunflower seeds, Farmhouse Culture raw jalapeno kraut and a little raw taco filling.

Superfood salad for lunch featuring cilantro lime cauliflower rice. Base of spinach+arugula, with cauliflower rice, hemp hearts, spicy sprouted sunflower seeds, Farmhouse Culture raw jalapeno kraut and a little raw taco filling.

This salad was completely random, and as per usual, was amazing. Funny how the most random combos turn out the best. I’m sad that I’m out of my favorite sauerkraut (Farmhouse Culture brand, smoked jalapeno flavor) but that just means a trip to Whole Foods is in order, amiright? Sauerkraut is my weird obsession–I can’t get enough of the sour, spicy tang and the fact that it’s a natural probiotic is even better. This stuff is expensive, but it lasts me about a month, so it’s worth it.

No veggies in this, but still good!

No veggies in this, but still good!

I made the superfood cups from the Sweetly Raw blog, only these were basically just triple coconut cups. EV coconut oil, coconut manna, a little lucuma powder and flaked coconut on top. Perfect for people who are as obsessed with coconut as I am. Can’t believe it used to be one of my major fear foods…plant-based saturated fats no longer scare me!

Crazy for Coconut Cups (vegan, raw, gluten free, grain free, no added sugar)

2 1/2 tbsp melted coconut oil (use extra virgin for best taste)

1 tbsp melted coconut manna

1/2 tsp lucuma powder (optional)

1 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes

In a small bowl, mix melted coconut oil, manna and lucuma powder until smooth. Pour into cupcake liners and top with coconut flakes. Makes 3 small cups.

Taco Tuesday! Lettuce wrap tacos for lunch with homemade guac, more kraut, hemp seeds and raw taco filling.

Taco Tuesday Monday! Lettuce wrap tacos for lunch with homemade guac, more kraut, hemp seeds and raw taco filling.

I finally got some good avocados at Whole Foods this weekend! I’d given up on making guac at home because the avocados I was getting were mealy and too brown, even when they weren’t quite ripe. Maybe they’re coming back into season now or I picked well, because at least one of the avocados I got turned out perfectly creamy and ripe. Mexican food to me is alllllll about the guac, and going raw hasn’t changed that for me. I definitely prefer the fresh crunch of romaine hearts to traditional taco shells and I love loading them up with my favorite raw healthy fats, like hemp and sunflower seeds and guacamole, of course.

Lots of good stuff on my snackplates.

Lots of good stuff on my snackplates.

More snackplate action.

More snackplate action.

I never skimp on the veggies when it comes to snack time! This is when I like to get creative with my veggies, like romaine+dates or dried figs or dehydrated sweet potato ‘chips’. Plain raw veggies get the job done too. And I’ve been loving blackberries lately since I got some on sale for $2 this weekend at WF. Is that a steal, or what? I never used to like blackberries, but blame it on my changing palate since going raw–I love them now!

The raw sweet potato fries, courtesy of Rawmazing.

The raw sweet potato fries, courtesy of Rawmazing.

I made some incredible sweet potato ‘fries’ in the dehydrator yesterday, so I will be making this raw poutine once I get some mushrooms for the gravy. I know poutine is big in Canada, and I’ve actually never tried it (nor want to) but this raw version looks incredible! I’m becoming more and more creative while eating raw and I love it. It’s the perfect way to get me out of my food ruts, and I’m learning to love all kinds of different veggies. Of course, I still have my favorites (ahem romaine, spinach, carrots, cauliflower and sweet potatoes) but I’m up for trying new things all the time and adding new favorites to my rotation.

Other than that, my dinners have mostly been raw macro bowls on top of greens or kelp/carrot/zucchini noodles with some kind of sauce. I like how easy it is to make dinner now, but that I can go more creative if I want to.

From way back in December, but just pretend this was recently.

From way back in December, but just pretend this was recently.

Dessert has often been protein banana softserve, usually with spinach blended in for an extra serving of greens. I’m not a crazy 30 bananas a day raw vegan, but I usually eat 1 or 2 bananas a day at the moment, always in softserve form. Something about an unfrozen banana freaks me out now, I just prefer the taste and texture of frozen!

So that’s what this raw vegan’s been eating lately! I’ll be back with a post on Friday with some of my current raw food staples and how anyone can incorporate more raw foods into their diet…even omnivores!

What are some of your favorite veggies?

WIAW: Raw Til 6

One of my resolutions for this year, and also one of my goals last summer was to eat more raw. I love so many raw foods, and I prefer most of my produce raw too, but there are some cooked things I still love and don’t really want to give them up just yet. Maybe someday I’ll be fully raw but for now, I’m trying the popular Raw Til 4 plan, where you basically eat all raw until dinner time. Since I eat my afternoon snack around 4, I’m changing the name to Raw Til 6 to fit my schedule better 😉

Basically how I’m going about it is eating all raw until dinner, and then for dinner/dessert I’ll eat something cooked or something that’s not necessarily raw if I’m feeling like it. See, I love my roasted sweet potatoes/peanut flour/grain free pizza and since I usually eat these for dinner, it makes sense to keep them in my food rotation. My other meals will stay pretty similar to how they are now —> breakfast will be Sunwarrior/Garden of Life raw protein or chia seed pudding or a green smoothie or raw flax cakes, lunch will be a salad or lettuce wraps or a protein smoothie made with raw protein powder, and my snacks will be banana softserve or snackplates with plenty of fresh produce or homemade raw desserts. What I won’t be doing is restricting my fats or carbs. I personally don’t believe that 80/10/10 is the most balanced way to eat (I love my fruit but I can’t survive on just carbs) and I don’t want to go raw gourmet either because I don’t want to rely so heavily on nuts and avocados for every meal. Instead, I’ll be sticking pretty close to my normal macros (45% carbs, 25% protein, 30% fat) and just incorporating more raw foods. I’m also planning on making plenty of raw dinners as well because I’ve been bookmarking a TON of amazing-looking raw entrees and I’m really excited to try them out. I’m also going to start sprouting legumes and making my own almond milk and I can’t wait to try all these new things!

Enough of the wordiness, let’s get to the food. I’ve also got 2 recipes for you today, and another one linked up from my other blog, so I’m going pretty recipe-crazy over here!

Homemade [cheaters] almond milk.

Homemade [cheaters] almond milk.

I’ve been meaning to start doing this for a loooooong time, since there have been a lot of posts and articles out there lately discussing the potential harmful effects of carrageenan and other things added to packaged almond milk. It’s easier than you’d think to whip up your own almond milk at home, especially when you take the cheater’s route like I did. I had some fresh ground raw almond butter on hand and within a few seconds of blending with water, I had homemade almond milk, raw and completely free of unnecessary ingredients!

3 Ingredient 3 Second Almond Milk (vegan, raw, gluten free, grain free, no added sugar)

  • 1 tbsp raw almond butter
  • 4 cups water (can use filtered, or just plain tap water)
  • pinch stevia extract (optional)

In a large food processor or blender (I used my Ninja processor), add all the ingredients and blend or pulse for a few seconds or until it turns white-ish and creamy. Makes 4 1-cup servings. 

Superbowl snacks, gone raw.

Superbowl snacks, gone raw.

By now, we all know the outcome of the Superbowl. Even though I’m a fan of the Denver Broncos, being raised in Colorado, I’m not a diehard fan by any means and I honestly didn’t even watch the game so I’m not really upset by their loss. Besides, the Superbowl is just an excuse for snacks, am I right? This year, I made my raw jalapeno poppers (if you haven’t made them and love spicy things, I suggest you do!) and I had one alongside some raw cauliflower, local salsa, spicy guac made fresh at my Whole Foods, spicy sprouted sunflower seeds and a dried fig. This was the perfect snack plate for a spicy food lover like me and I didn’t even care who won the game!

A typical raw breakfast.

A typical raw breakfast.

My breakfasts have been pretty simple lately, though I’m planning on trying some new things soon. I’ve mostly been making raw protein puddings–Sunwarrior or Garden of Life raw protein powder mixed with water/homemade almond milk and sometimes raw coconut flour to thicken, and topped with pomegranate and raw nuts or seeds. It covers all the macros, tastes great and is beyond easy to whip up in just a minute.

Protein chia pudding topped with pom seeds and raw mixed nuts.

Protein chia pudding topped with pom seeds and raw mixed nuts.

Protein-packed chia puddings have been happening for breakfasts and snacks, too. I forgot how much I adore the thick and creamy texture that chia seeds make when they gel up. Honestly, I could eat these all day but it really is all about the toppings and mix ins. The one above was Garden of Life RAW Marley coffee protein powder+homemade almond milk+1/2 tbsp chia seeds and topped in the morning with pom seeds and raw mixed nuts.

Sunwarrior vanilla+frozen cherries+homemade almond milk+baby kale+coconut flour smoothie, with a side of raisins and raw mixed nuts.

Sunwarrior vanilla+frozen cherries+homemade almond milk+baby kale+coconut flour smoothie, with a side of raisins and raw mixed nuts.

Lunches have been a little bit less predictable. On Monday I had a green protein smoothie with some raw trail mix (just raisins & raw nuts) on the side. Really quick and easy to make and pretty filling, too. I love how eating raw makes food prep so much easier. Sure, I’ve been using my dehydrator and food processor a lot but it’s so hands-off and meals come together so quickly.

BLA lettuce wraps and pineapple. Romaine hearts+homemade coconut 'bacon' and Whole Foods fresh guacamole.

BLA lettuce wraps and pineapple. Romaine hearts+homemade coconut ‘bacon’ and Whole Foods fresh guacamole.

Tuesday’s lunch was a little more creative. I made a batch of raw coconut ‘bacon’ in the morning and since I’m basically addicted to it, I decided to incorporate it into my lunch in a creative way. Enter the BLA wraps. The BLA is a spin on the classic BLT, only without the tomato…and avocado in its place. This raw version was incredibly good and I miiiiight have it for lunch again today.

Homemade raw banana protein bars.

Homemade raw banana protein bars.

Going mostly raw has made me more creative in the kitchen! I love that I have so much time to experiment with recipes right now (truth time–I’m still itching to get my first post-grad job!) and I’ve been making a lot of things that I probably wouldn’t normally if I was still eating mostly cooked foods. Like these raw protein bars. I’ve stopped buying Larabars for the time being to save some money and also so I can try making my own raw bars. These are NOT the same consistency as Larabars but I still love ’em…and who says being raw means no protein? I’ve actually been keeping my protein levels up (about 25-30% of my daily macros) during this raw challenge with raw protein powders/nuts/seeds and I’m planning on sprouting lentils soon so stay tuned for that!

Raw Banana Bread Protein Bars (vegan, raw, gluten free, grain free, no added sugar)

  • 2 ripe bananas (best when spotty)
  • 2 scoops Garden of Life RAW protein powder (or any raw plant-based protein powder)
  • 3 tbsp raw coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

In a food processor or high-powered blender, pulse bananas until smooth and liquefied. Add in remaining ingredients and pulse until combined. Divide into 6 large balls and flatten into bar shapes. Makes 6 bars, ~100 calories and 8 grams protein per bar.

Zucchini pasta and raw pumpkin seed pesto for dinner.

Zucchini pasta and raw pumpkin seed pesto for dinner.

So far, my dinners have been raw because that’s what I’ve been craving, even though it’s been snowing here and below freezing! I’ve been making raw pastas with zucchini, carrots and kelp noodles and tossing them in a nut or seed based sauce, pairing it with fruit and calling it dinner. Raw dinners are the simplest things ever, but I’m learning to appreciate simplicity!

Do you prefer homemade or store-bought when it comes to bars? Do you like your produce cooked or raw? 

WIAW: On Repeat

I’ve been eating a lot of the same things lately. That’s not to say I haven’t been trying new things/recipes, but I’ve been really feeling a few favorites this week, and I’ve been repeating them…a lot.

Banana softserves with various toppings.

Banana softserves with various toppings.

Breakfasts have been of the banana softserve variety for…ummmm…2 to 3 weeks now? Yep, this is one of the longer breakfast ruts, and I’m hoping it’ll last awhile. I love having something cold and fruity in the morning, and this fits the bill. Toppings are necessary, at least in my world, and generally homemade protein balls+homemade coconut butter lately.

Snackplates for snacks...and lunch. Full-size organic carrots, raw flax crackers, fresh pineapple+mango+golden raspberries, homemade PB&J bites, homemade guac from half an avocado.

Snack plates for snacks…and lunch. Full-size organic carrots, raw flax crackers, fresh pineapple+mango+golden raspberries, homemade PB&J bites, homemade guac from half an avocado.

Snack plates have just been super easy to throw together, and I’m loving them for lunch now too. Luckily, my snack plates have evolved from a lot of crackers and chips (I thought they were healthy because they were organic/vegan, but not so!) to mostly fresh fruits and veggies with a few ‘fun’ things that still have plenty of nutritional value. Take the flax crackers–packed with omega 3s, raw and made with lots of veggies. And the PB&J bites were a random thing I threw together in the food processor and basically made from dates, raisins and peanut flour. So good…too bad I ran out of peanut flour!

My mom's hibiscus plant is finally flowering!

My mom’s hibiscus plant is finally flowering!

As much as I loved our old house, I like our new yard because we’ve planted so many flowers, veggies and herbs. I love this hibiscus especially because it’s so tropical and smells amazing. And I’m excited because my Japanese eggplant is flowering, and my hot pepper plants are growing baby peppers!

Awkward OOTD. Only wearing glasses because my contacts bothered my eyes...stupid allergies.

Awkward OOTD. Only wearing glasses because my contacts bothered my eyes…stupid allergies.

I’m starting to feel okay with my body, at least some days. Yesterday was a bit hard, because I chose to wear a bodycon-style dress. I love it, and think it looks cute, but I always feel so self-conscious about how my stomach looks in it, especially after meals. I’ve gotta remind myself that everyone’s stomach expands after eating (duh!) and no one else notices or cares but me. Same with my arms. For some reason, they tend to be my most hated body part, and some days I think they look toned and lean, while others they look huge to me. Working through these feelings and telling myself they’re just temporary helps me avoid getting stuck in a bad body image rut.

Snack plate for snack too! Watermelon, Sunwarrior protein dip, raw zucchini with garlic gomasio (told ya I'm obsessed), raw maple walnuts, blueberries.

Snack plate for snack too! Watermelon, Sunwarrior protein dip, raw zucchini with garlic gomasio (told ya I’m obsessed), raw maple walnuts, blueberries.

Snack time snack plates are about the same as lunchtime ones, only with different veggies and fruit. I’ve been trying to get in veggies at lunch, snack and dinner and have been going strong with that for a couple of weeks. Gotta love fueling up with produce!

Raw vegan goat 'cheese'.

Raw vegan goat ‘cheese’.

I love making raw vegan cheeses. I was never a huge fan of cheese pre-veganism, but now I love homemade vegan cheeses.

Raw Goat Cheez (vegan, gluten free, raw, grain free)

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked at least 1 hour (I recommend longer)

1-4 tbsp water (less for thicker cheez)

1/2 tsp olive oil (optional, adds Mediterranean flavor)

sea salt and black pepper, to taste

In a food processor, blend soaked and drained cashews until they begin to resemble cashew butter. Add in remaining ingredients until combined. Spoon into cheesecloth or coffee filter (this helps thicken and strain the cheez) and place in a small bowl in the fridge. Serve with flax crackers, veggies or on salads. Makes 1/4 cup.

Salads on salads on salads. Organic spinach base, organic chickpeas topped with nooch, homemade guac.

Salads on salads on salads. Organic spinach base, organic chickpeas topped with nooch, homemade guac.

I’ve been getting my daily dose of greens with dinner, in the form of salads. My greens of choice have been baby spinach and chopped romaine lettuce. I’ve been loving chickpeas on salads, guac and nooch (for taco salads), strawberries and balsamic, my raw goat cheez. Anything goes on my salads…well, almost.

Desserts have also been snackplate-y, but with more fruit. And chocolate.

Desserts have also been snackplate-y, but with more fruit. And chocolate.

I’ve either been doing Sunwarrior protein mixed with coconut water as a base for fruit+coconut butter, or mini snack plates with berries, raw cacao powder+coconut oil+a little raw local honey mixed to make a raw chocolate dip, dates and homemade protein bites. Half a Larabar with some fruit has been happening too. I haven’t been 100% raw every day, but I’m trying to stay high raw at every meal, while incorporating some non-raw sources of protein like beans. So far, it’s working for me and I like not having to be so strict with my macros. I feel like I’m eating healthier than ever, and as a result, my mindset around food and my body has been healthier as well.

 

What foods/meals have you been repeating lately?

Homemade > Store-bought

I have a dilemma. See, I love making things from scratch, but sometimes there’s just not enough time to make all the recipes I bookmark, or sometimes they require way too many ingredients that I’ll end up using once. I’m all about convenience, but at the same time, there are things that are wayyyy better homemade than from the store…and vice versa!

Homemade > Store-bought

  • Coconut butter: Ask me this a week ago, and it would have been the exact opposite. I’m a relatively new convert to coconut butter’s magic, and I was partial to the Artisana brand, which unfortunately comes with a hefty price tag. My previous attempts to make coconut butter at home were complete disasters because I used reduced fat shredded coconut (all I had on hand) and that basically just makes coconut flour. I heard that using unsweetened coconut flakes worked well, so I bought the Let’s Do Organic brand for about $3 or $4 and ended up using a little more than half the bag to make coconut butter. I wish I had saved the entire bag before making it, because it turned out great–just a lot less than I wanted! The key is to use a large food processor, flaked full-fat coconut and at least 3 cups (I used 2, and it was fine, but I ended up with maybe 1/2 cup of coconut butter). I heard horror stories about food processors overheating, or the coconut never butterizing (is this a word?) and since I had to use my mom’s processor since mine’s a tiny one, I worried that I’d owe her a new one. Luckily, it whipped up the coconut butter in probably 10 minutes tops and it was perfectly drippy and creamy, just like Artisana’s.
Just like Artisana's but cheaper!

Just like Artisana’s but cheaper!

  • Guacamole: I don’t think I’ve eaten store-bought guac in a few months and I’m not sure I can ever go back. I used to love the Wholly Guacamole brand but now it tasted less than fresh to me. Guac is one of the easiest things to make at home (you technically don’t even need a food processor) and is so easy to customize. My go-to blend is one avocado (or sometimes half for a single serve batch), chopped fresh jalapeno pepper, cilantro, squeeze of lime juice and sea salt to taste. Sometimes if I’m feeling lazy, I just mash the avocado in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients and call it a day. Nothing beats fresh-made guac!
  • Sprouted tortilla chips: To be fair, I’ve never come across truly sprouted and raw tortilla chips in a store, but I used to be a huge fan of the Way Better Snacks brand of sprouted tortilla chips and they’re still great in a pinch. But when I have more time on my hands, I like to cut a few Food for Life sprouted corn tortillas into triangles, place them on dehydrator sheets and let them dehydrate for a few hours. It takes a little more time than making chips in the oven, but it’s mostly hands-off and you get the added benefit of preserved nutrients. I love the Food for Life tortillas because they’re organic which is important for corn, and sprouted, which is a lot healthier than most corn tortillas on the market. I’ve always made my chips plain, but you can definitely dress them up with spices or lime juice.

Store-bought > Homemade

  • Raw nut mixes and flax crackers: I love the Living Intentions Gone Nuts! line of sprouted and flavored nuts despite their high price ($5 for a tiny 3 oz bag) and the Food on Purpose brand of flax crackers, both available at Whole Foods and Sprouts. Though I could probably make similar things at home, they wouldn’t turn out as tasty or as portable.
  • Veggie burgers: I’ve attempted cooked veggie burgers a few times (with only one success) and I want to try a raw dehydrated version, but they are so hard to perfect! I had similar issues in finding the perfect packaged veggie burger–some were tasteless, most had sketchy ingredients. When I found Sunshine burgers, I knew I’d found a winner. They’re made of whole foods like beans, brown rice and sunflower seeds and they’re hearty and delicious. They’re not the cheapest brand, but quality foods aren’t always cheap and it’s worth it to have a clean veggie burger I can eat when I don’t feel like cooking.
Store-bought and food truck made veggie burgers are just better.

Store-bought and food truck made veggie burgers are just better.

  • Raw chocolate: Last week, I experimented with making my own version of this chocolate. I used raw honey instead of agave for the lucuma filling and it was stickier than I’d like and I couldn’t form the cacao+coconut oil into a bar form. It still tasted fine, but I’d rather buy a bar of raw chocolate once a week and save my cacao powder and coconut oil for other things.

Are there things you prefer to make rather than buy, or the other way around? 

WIAW and New Series

It feels like forever since I’ve done a WIAW (okay, so it’s only been 2 weeks) so I’m back again with some random things I’ve been eating throughout the past few days. And…I’ve been wanting to start another post series like my grocery budgeting one and with my new found interest in raw foodism, I figured, why not do posts on my adventures in going raw?

I’ll start off with a few non-raw pics for WIAW, and then move into the first Adventures in Raw topic, which will be obsessiveness. I know a lot of non-raw-foodies think that a raw food diet, whether LFRV (aka the 80-10-10 fruitarian diet) or HFRV (including some higher fat raw foods) or somewhere in between, can become obsessive and restrictive, but so far, I’ve found that to be the opposite. More on that below!

WIAW

A non-raw breakfast for once: GF buckwheat+coconut flour based pancakes, topped with vanilla Sunwarrior 'frosting', Justin's vanilla almond butter, blueberries and coconut flakes.

A non-raw breakfast for once: GF buckwheat+coconut flour based pancakes, topped with vanilla Sunwarrior ‘frosting’, Justin’s vanilla almond butter, blueberries and coconut flakes.

Besides when I was on vacation, and even then I was still trying to eat somewhat raw when I could, I’ve been eating at least one raw meal a day, and it’s usually been breakfast. But one day I was craving a cooked breakfast so I opted for some quick GF pancakes made from a mix of coconut and buckwheat flours. They turned out fine, but I realized while eating them that I missed my raw breakfasts. Nothing like prepping raw flax pancakes or chia puddings the night before and just having to plate and top them in the morning!

Dinner from the grill: portobello mushroom (marinated in coconut aminos, liquid smoke and a little maple syrup) topped with fresh-made guac, side of grilled sweet potato fries.

Dinner from the grill: portobello mushroom (marinated in coconut aminos, liquid smoke and a little maple syrup) topped with fresh-made guac, side of grilled sweet potato fries.

If I haven’t been eating mostly raw at dinner, I’ve been wanting things grilled. Grilled veggies, grilled fruit, grilled tempeh. I finally decided to grill a portobello for the first time. It was good, but it could have been grilled a little longer–I like my foods dry! The sweet potato fries were pretty good though. I thought you had to always precook sweet potatoes before you grill, but I just sliced up this one, spiced it with Old Bay and almond oil, and tossed it in a grill basket. Some pieces were too firm, and some too burned, but they were tasty!

Work snacks: half a Vega One double chocolate bar (the cleanest and tastiest protein bar out there!), organic blueberries, leftover grilled sp fries, date.

Work snacks: half a Vega One double chocolate bar (the cleanest and tastiest protein bar out there!), organic blueberries, leftover grilled sp fries, date.

On Mondays and Thursdays I work a 5 hour shift from 2 to 7 pm at my weather internship. That’s basically my ideal snack time, and I want to make sure I’m not too starving to make the half hour drive home from work unbearable (or make my wallet unhappy by stopping at Whole Foods every time) so I pack a lot of little snacks that I eat whenever I get the time. My favorite combo is half of a Vega or Larabar, with fresh veggies and fruit.

If only alcohol was raw, amiright?

If only alcohol was raw, amiright?

Now that I’m legal almost 21 (in just a month and 8 days!), and it’s summer, I’ve been in the mood to sometimes (read: once or twice a month) enjoy a little adult drink. And by little, I really mean little, because my body does NOT have a high tolerance for alcohol. I can’t even handle one drink without feeling a little weird. Guess that means I’ll be a cheap date in the future 😉 However, I was able to handle this watermelon frosty because it was just 1 shot of vodka and basically, it was like a watermelon in frozen form! My mom added some lime juice and a bit of honey with the watermelon, along with the vodka and a little water to the blender and it was the perfect summertime drink. It would be awesome too in nonalcoholic form, and made more raw-friendly with raw honey instead of regular.

Adventures in Raw

Now, onto what I was saying about raw foodism and obsessiveness. I know it can seem, and can actually become, overwhelming to eat all raw, all the time. Right now, I’m not at that point. I still eat cooked foods once or twice a day, and some things I eat aren’t strictly raw, but I keep it clean and healthy within the limits I’ve given. Going out to eat while raw can be hard, unless the restaurant you go to has some raw options, so that’s why I’m keeping my diet mostly raw at home, and just healthy and vegan if I’m out (unless there is a raw option, then I’ll probably go for it!)

Anyways, my point is that raw foodism doesn’t seem obsessive to me. In my experiments with it so far, it’s made me less obsessed over macros especially. When I was still tracking my calories, and even after I stopped, I was so focused on my macro balance. Earlier this year, I think I was striving for a 50-20-30 balance (carbs/protein/fat) and it wasn’t just a loose goal–I tried to get that everyday, and if I didn’t, I was disappointed and beat myself up. With eating raw, I just focus on nutrients and getting in enough calories because you have to eat a LOT more when you’re raw. It’s helped me challenge my old bad habit of wanting to restrict and seeing raw foodies’ Instagrams inspires me to eat a lot more than I’m used to. I just don’t worry about getting the perfect balance of macros anymore. I’m not sure I believe that the 80-10-10 balance is the way to go, because I feel great with more fats, but I think I’m probably hitting more of a 60-15-25 balance right now, and it’s great. I don’t stress about getting enough protein or too many carbs like I used to, but I also don’t worry about getting too much fat from healthy sources like raw nuts, seeds and coconut.

Raw banana 'ice cream' mixed with a little chocolate Sunwarrior and a Medjool date, topped with raw pumpkin seeds and a raw chocolate bar. This meal had protein, carbs and fat but I wasn't stressing if I got enough or too much of any macro.

Raw banana ‘ice cream’ mixed with a little chocolate Sunwarrior and a Medjool date, topped with raw pumpkin seeds and a raw chocolate bar. This meal had protein, carbs and fat but I wasn’t stressing if I got enough or too much of any macro.

Raw foodism has also made meal prep a breeze. Like I mentioned above with the pancakes, I’m getting used to making meals that take almost no prep time, or can be made ahead of time. Even complicated raw desserts or sauces just need a few minutes in the food processor and they’re ready to be served. And making things in the dehydrator is actually less time-consuming, because I’m not constantly checking on the food and I can just let it run overnight. And if I’m starving and want to eat NOW, I can just throw veggies, spices and a fat together in a bowl and call it a meal.

Green goddess bowl--an easy raw dinner. Base of kelp noodles mixed with coconut aminos and lime juice, topped with spinach, mashed avocado mixed with sea salt and lime juice and raw pumpkin seeds.

Green goddess bowl–an easy raw dinner. Base of kelp noodles mixed with coconut aminos and lime juice, topped with spinach, mashed avocado mixed with sea salt and lime juice and raw pumpkin seeds.

And with raw foods, I don’t have to worry so much about the ingredient list. Looking at ingredients became such a compulsive and unhealthy thing for me. Whenever I wanted to buy a new food, I always had to check out the ingredients list in the store or research it online before to see if the ingredients were acceptable. With raw foods, pretty much all the ingredients have to be clean and vegan anyway, so I’m not so stressed out about buying new products.

I'm even trying out new-to-me fruits, like this canary melon. Kinda tastes like a sweeter honeydew.

I’m even trying out new-to-me fruits, like this canary melon. Kinda tastes like a sweeter honeydew.

Do you prefer quick and easy meals, or ones that require a lot of prep work? What’s your favorite thing to grill?

WIAW: New and Old

I’ve said it before, but I love trying new things. Sometimes too much, to the point that I shell out plenty of money for an interesting looking product, and while it usually turns out at least somewhat decent, sometimes it’s just too bad to eat. Like Incan berries, way too sour and bitter and hard…never again. But usually, trying new combinations turns out to be a successful experiment, and sometimes I even find new favorites. But you can’t deny the appeal of old favorites–they almost never disappoint!

Smoothie in a bowl for lunch. Spinach+peanut flour+chocolate Sunwarrior+1/4 avocado+shredded coconut+cacao nibs.

Smoothie in a bowl for lunch. Spinach+peanut flour+chocolate Sunwarrior+banana+1/4 avocado+shredded coconut+cacao nibs.

I’ve had green smoothies before, but never with avocado. I’ve heard how creamy smoothies get with added avocado so I figured I’d give it a try. I only used a little bit to make sure it didn’t taste too avocado-y and it was a great addition.

Grande unsweetened passion iced tea.

Grande unsweetened passion iced tea.

One of my favorite summer Starbucks ordered. My only complaint is that Starbucks doesn’t have stevia, but I usually just remember to bring my own.

Dinner: socca topped with homemade spicy guacamole and raw kimchi and southwestern kale chips, side of watermelon

Dinner: socca topped with homemade spicy guacamole and raw kimchi and southwestern kale chips, side of watermelon

Socca is a staple of mine, but I’ve usually eaten it in pizza or ‘omelette’ form. One night I was wanting guac but I didn’t have any corn tortillas so I decided to use socca as a protein-packed tortilla sub, and topped it with kimchi and kale chips too. Really random, but it was good enough to repeat a few days later.

Summery outfit. Dark grey crop top: American Eagle. Coral shorts: Hollister.

Summery outfit. Dark grey crop top: American Eagle. Coral shorts: Hollister.

It’s definitely been shorts weather around here. We don’t have A/C so my room is unbearable most days (it doesn’t help that it’s south-facing and upstairs) so even this outfit felt way too hot. But it’s perfect sunbathing weather.

New find in the frozen section at Whole Foods! GF and vegan chocolate chip walnut cookie.

New find in the frozen section at Whole Foods! GF and vegan chocolate chip walnut cookie.

I used to get the bakery-made vegan cookies from Whole Foods sometimes, but they were wheat-based and often gave me stomach issues. I was thrilled to find an option that was both gluten free AND vegan (harder to find than you’d think) and that is fairly clean and tastes delicious. The addition of almond extract really takes it over the top, and the texture is fantastic for being almond flour based.

Raw powerbowl. Chocolate sunwarrior 'pudding' topped with homemade cinnamon buckwheat rawnola, strawberries, cacao nibs, 1/2 banana bread Uber Larabar, coconut butter.

Raw powerbowl. Chocolate sunwarrior ‘pudding’ topped with homemade cinnamon buckwheat rawnola, strawberries, cacao nibs, 1/2 banana bread Uber Larabar, coconut butter.

I’ve been loving meals in a bowl lately. This was a mostly raw dessert-like snack that I threw together from the few things I have for snacks. I really need to make a Whole Foods trip ASAP to stock up on raw stuff!

Whole Foods salad bar box. Again. Never gets old.

Whole Foods salad bar box. Again. Never gets old.

‘nough said, but really, this never gets old. Oh, and I really don’t get these that much (maybe once every other week or once a week) but I feel the need to post them every time because I love the Whole Foods salad bar a LOT.

A vegan and GF take on the BLT. Buckwheat & almond flour pancake 'bread', spinach, tofu 'bacon' and raw Caesar dressing.

A vegan and GF take on the BLT. Buckwheat & almond flour pancake ‘bread’, spinach, tofu ‘bacon’ and raw Caesar dressing.

This was a totally random, this-sounds-good-I’ll-just-throw-it-together kind of dinner, but it was a real winner. I marinated the tofu in coconut aminos+liquid smoke+a little maple syrup and quickly pan fried it in coconut oil. I mixed together buckwheat and almond flours with flax and salt and water to make quick pancake ‘bread’ slices and whipped together a raw Caesar-like dressing from soaked cashews, half a nori sheet, nooch and spices. It came together pretty quickly and was repeat worthy.

Dessert: peanut flour microwave muffin topped with Justin's vanilla AB, raspberries and 1/3 GF vegan chocolate chip walnut cookie.

Dessert: peanut flour microwave muffin topped with Justin’s vanilla AB, raspberries and 1/3 GF vegan chocolate chip walnut cookie.

Another meal in a bowl. Having fresh raspberries again makes everything so much better. And splurging on Justin’s vanilla almond butter (sooooo good!) is making me want to put it on everything. Kind of a problem when it costs $8, but I’m going to try to make it last longer than 2 weeks.

What are some of your new and old favorites?