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Posts Tagged ‘Raw food’

I just had to tell you about how much I love green veg. I always have! I adore spinach, broccoli, kale and more. I really feel them giving nutrition to my body and they give me a boost!

Now I don’t eat dairy, I’m sure a lot of people wonder where I get my calcium from.

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And this is where. I love that plants give us great quantities of our vitamins and minerals and that we don’t have to rely on using animals.

Today on our trip to the market, Bear picked out some wonderful Lemon Basil, so I thought I’d whip up a quick flavoursome salad for us to munch on.

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A Handful of Herbs Salad
Dressing
Galangal chopped into matchsticks (3cm)
Garlic sliced thinly (2)
Flaxseed oil (3tbs)
Lemon juice (1)
Young peppercorns (10)
Green chilli chopped thinly
Pink Himalayan salt (hefty pinch)
…Combine and leave to mix whilst preparing salad

Salad
Coriander (handful)
Lemon Basil (handful)
Assorted Asian greens (I used Pak Choy, Gai Lan and Choy sum)
Spring onion (handful)
Broccoli (one head)
Baby sweet corn (4)
Cherry tomatos chopped (handful)
…Combine and pour dressing over. Eat immediately or leave to absorb dressing in fridge!

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It’s a zingy salad, that you can adapt according to your own tastes. You could replace the herbs with your favourites, swap galangal for ginger, add more vegetables of your choice, maybe celery or cucumber and a sprinkling of seeds or sprouts would give you that added crunch!

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A good 10 years or so ago, I lived in a small town in West Wales. I attempted a degree, but it didn’t work out and I ended up working and eventually managing a busy little cafe there. I loved the social side of it, my friends would come and hang out there, I met so many different people, i loved shopping for the kitchen ingredients, catering and developing new dishes. The people I worked with were like my second family and most of all, I learned so much about food, especially vegan, vegetarian and how to adapt dishes for various intolerances and tastes. It was most probably one of the most influential times in my culinary journey.

Since then, in all my jobs, i have worked with food. People and food. It is my passion. I love to discover new ways of making food, particularly now I prefer not to use animal ingredients. It has been interesting and a real challenge sometimes to try and produce the equivalent vegan dish. I like doing this, because it can demonstrate that some ingredients are just not necessary, if the equivalent can be made with plant based food.

Today I thought I’d share with you my kitchen here and about some of the food I always like to have stocked up and about the new ingredients I have discovered on my stay in Koh Lanta so far.

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I love my fridge to be packed out with fresh green vegetables and herbs. The smell as I open the door is divine and it helps me keep a good mindset when I open it to find foods that I feel are healthy and contributing towards my body being its best.
Amongst other things, today I stocked up on lemongrass, spring onions, holy basil, coriander, galangal, thai aubergines, sweet potatos – about four different kinds, squash and various Asian greens, like Pak Choy, Gai Lan and Choy sum. I’m going to make little Bear a salad later for his tea. He adores any greens, especially lettuce, so I’m going to put those together with some tomato. Another of his favourites.

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We love bananas, well I love bananas. They are my favourite fruit and I eat at least 3-6 a day. Today I think I’ve had about 12, including some of the little thai kind, which are much sweeter and intense in flavour. I have banana in my smoothie for breakfast and then as a snack whenever I fancy something sweet. I really enjoy them in a curry too. They add a rich sweetness that counterbalances the spice. I also love them as a dessert and use them to make dishes like my Raw chocolate pie and Strawberry macadamia ‘cheesecake’. Stephen has a pineapple and ginger smoothie in the morning, or we just cut it up and eat chunks of it as a snack. Best served chilled from the fridge I find.
Onions are an absolute must in my kitchen. I adore them cooked and raw. I also respect their medicinal properties. They’ve helped see colds off!
The other fruit you see in the picture here is Tamarind. When we visited the herb garden last week, we were given some to try. It’s a particularly poignant discovery as Stephen is investigating natural healing and Tamarinds have medicinal properties that are extremely relevant in his research. What makes it more exciting is that we found a Tamarind tree in our garden!

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On my little spice shelves, you can see jasmine green tea, mung beans and chick peas to sprout (I will show you how to do this and why in a future post) garlic, soy sauce, salt, ground cumin and coriander, ginger, dried chillies and the bits you can’t see are young peppercorns, which I am going to stock always now, Kefir lime leaves and these teeny tiny pea aubergines. All in all a wonderful mix of flavours and textures.
Also today, I found a Pomelo! The biggest citrus fruit there is!

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One of my favourite dishes is Pad Thai and although I love the taste of the traditional, I don’t eat it as much, because egg and fish sauce are in it, although it’s really good without those two ingredients. A while ago I made a raw Pad Thai and I wanted to recreate it now that we are in Thailand.

This morning Old Town, where we rent a little apartment, was visited by the market. As far as we can tell, aside from the stall vendors at the roadside and in the main town, Saladan, the place to buy the best vegetables, with a huge variety, is the market. Sounds great – there’s a catch. There isn’t a set day or destination for the market. I basically pops up somewhere different on various days, from 6-10am.

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Here are the ingredients I got for my raw take on Pad Thai. I would have liked peppers, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes too, but alas I couldn’t find any. The herb, is aniseed which is used a lot here in curries.

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I chopped the garlic, ginger, chilli and the aniseed, then I put them in a tablespoon of oil (I used flaxseed) and soy sauce (couldn’t find raw) and some lemon juice. I left this to one side.

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Like I said the other day, I don’t have my spiraliser here, so I used a peeler to create ‘noodles’ and julienned some of the vegetables. The squash was quite tricky, so I did half and half with that.

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I popped all of the ‘noodles’ together and then stirred the dressing in. I left the flavours to be absorbed for about half an hour (you could leave it over night stirring every now an then if you’d like them a little softer)

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Pad Thai is served with lime, cucumber, crushed peanuts, chilli soy and sugar…I didn’t have all these so I improvised and ours was served with lemon, cucumber, crushed pistachio, chilli soy and pineapple.

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It was yummy! Except by the end of the dish it got a bit too oniony, so I would use spring onion next time, also we both added more soy sauce to taste! Let me know if you try it!

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One of my biggest bug bears in life was always what to eat for breakfast.  1, it always seemed so early – my body could hardly function to get dressed, let alone prepare something fantastic to delight my taste buds(why am I out of bed at this ungodly hour) 2, why would I want to eat cardboard type cereal sugar coated and bland simultaneously and 3) everyone kept telling me it was the most important meal of the day and the rebel in me didn’t want to apply that unexplained reasoning. 
Of course now I realise it is the most important meal of the day.  I I did, before my raw fix, quite happily eat full English fry ups, croissants, waffles etc, thinking they would fuel me, but I was wrong.  Aside from my wonderful smoothies, which satisfy my fast and give me a burst of good fruit sugar energy, I have now discovered a raw delight which I sort of based on several similar ideas I’ve seen over my raw journey.

This take on a porridge/muesli type brekkie is really a base that you can add or takeaway your favourite ingredients.  The rich syrup of the dates really made it for me.

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Raw Granola

1 cup of raw buckwheat
Tablespoon of dried mulberries
4 dates chopped
Tablespoon of shelled hemp seed

1: Put all of the ingredients into a bowl and cover with water.
2: Leave to soak for an hour,
3: if necessary add more water
4: Cover and leave to soak over night
5: in the morning, add fresh fruit and enjoy 🙂

Easy. Something you can prepare in advance and add anything too.  Try it with almonds, raisins, raw chocolate chips, strawberries, blueberries…your choice!

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The first ‘proper’ raw meal that was prepared for me, a delicious ‘gourmet’ dish to emulate the much-loved traditional dish Spaghetti Bolognaise.  It’s classy look, with those beautiful noodle like tendrils of courgette, was helped along by a spiraliser! Now I thought the good old-fashioned mandoline would be enough and really if you don’t have a spiraliser then any courgette sliced thinly or grated would suffice, but I would say that it holds its form much less and the juice really stays in the vegetable rather than being released and leaving the firm ‘pasta’ like texture.

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So you wash your courgette and chop its ends of, securing it into the machine, which through being turned on a handle makes its way through a series of blades to end in long ingenious lengths.  You can get smaller hand-held tools that will result in the same shape, however I haven’t tried them so can’t advise =)

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So eventually you are left with a gorgeous, colourful pile of delicious, crunchy fresh courgette.  And you are left with a rather odd-looking middle, which I like to eat =)

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Then you add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to this and a couple of pinches of salt (good quality sea salt please people)  Massage these into the courgette until completely covered for about 5 minutes, then leave to the side until you want to serve.  It will release a lot of watery juice which you don’t need.

Now for the sauce =) The original sauce, from a recipe book I got hold of, is the following ingredients mixed in a blender.  But I have also added my own version below too…which is the one pictured at the head of the post.  It really is one of those Eat me dishes!!

Original Pomodoro sauce

5 Medium Tomatoes

1 cup dried tomatoes, soaked

1/2 medium onion or 2 cloves of garlic

2 dates

2 tbs olive oil

1 tsp lemon juice/apple cider vinegar

2 tsps dried italian herbs

handful fresh oregano or basil

My own version (which isn’t hugely different tbh I just find raw garlic a bit spicy and I didn’t have any dates)

5 Medium Tomatoes

large handful of spinach

1 cup dried tomatoes, soaked

1/2 or 1 clove of garlic

2 tbs olive oil

1 tsp lemon juice/apple cider vinegar

2 tsps dried italian herbs

handful fresh oregano or basil

Other options you could add instead or in addition:

Mushrooms (I would soak wild mushrooms in apple cider vinegar if you plan to eat them raw), Hummus, Pine nuts, Avocado, Peppers, Peas and you can spiralise other veg too – summer squash, coconut meat, carrot, daikon radish, beets, sweet potato, which I will experiment with and let you know…

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For the last few weeks, I have said good bye to the stodgy old foods that play havoc with my body. So long to the lethargy, insomnia and depression, hello to waking up early, energy and buzz.

Caffeine – out the door! You picked me up but then sent me crashing down. I have been drinking juice and water and recently I just discovered coconut water. Yummy just isn’t the word. I may have to start buying it in bulk from somewhere or find a coconut supplier soon, because I crave how re-hydrating and delicious it is!!

Pasta and refined bread, pastry etc – bye bye. You filled me up, but bloated me out. I’m starting to experiment with different carbohydrates, and the good old spud, sweet potato, squash, a little bit of cous cous and quinoa don’t go amiss either.

Meat – kicked you to the curb. I have eaten some fish and cheese and plenty of beans and pulses to give me all that protein I need, but there are now mounting reasons that I don’t feel like eating you anymore. (which we will leave until some political debate I probably won’t get into)

And most of all, sweet veg and fruit, welcome into my life. I realise that I sort of ignored you alot of the time and I am sorry for that, but lets make a new start! I want you and I need you and you make me feel whole again =)

Last night I made a dish that at first might seem bizarre to those of us that are so used to tortilla wraps and fried spice laden chicken, but I wanted to find ways of making a filling meal that did not bloat me out and make me tired. This didn’t. It does need tweaking like all of my experiments I share with you, but my was it pretty darn close to right!!! Even if I do say so myself!

It involved the much talked about Collard leaf, which is a popular alternative to regular wraps in California and other sunny places. Here of course in jolly england, we call it Spring greens!

Here is the spread we prepared. I will describe from top left clockwise round.

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So top left is a big pile of Collard/spring green leaves, which we soaked in luke warm water and apple cider vinegar for about 15 minutes. Then I sliced to top half of the stalk away, as it is still pretty tough, even after soaking.

Then there’s Falafels, which are a tin of drained chick peas, 2 cloves of garlic, a generous handful of spinach, 1 medium cooked potato and a spring green leaf all blended together, made into patties and shallow fried.

A little bowl of Hummus, of which I cooked and shelled all of the chick peas (one tin) added three cloves of garlic, the juice of 1 large lemon, 2 tablespoons of tahini and finally added some coconut water until it was the consistency I wanted.

Raw grated beetroot. Then Grated carrot, with chopped dates and sprouted beans in lime juice.
Raw mushrooms marinated in soy sauce, tomato ketchup and olive oil, Then finally, my favourite, Guacamole.
1 ripe avacado, blended with a clove of garlic, the juice of a lemon and two small chopped tomatos.

All this went into some really gorgeous, filling wraps, which I do urge you to try =) There were so many flavour combinations and you can tell from the way I write this I’m sure how much energy we got from it and how satisfying it was.

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Piling all the ingredients in before wrapping…

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And thats a wrap!!!

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