Posts Tagged ‘low fat’

Pasta

If you don’t like cheese this is not for you.  If you don’t like noodles, this is not for you.  However, if you’re one of the billions of smart people out there who love the creaminess of Alfredo this is dedicated to you!  If you want a pasta that’s not as heavy and doesn’t leave you feeling so full, it’s for you.  A pasta with more nutrient dense calories than regular pasta.  If you want a pasta that just tastes freakin delicious, you clicked the right spot.

How do we get raw pasta?  Firstly, we could search the shores far and wide for the exotic “Kelp noodle”.  We could search online and pay a gazillion dollars for shipping and handling. We could go into every health food store within a 100 mile radius and get funny looks or shrugs(remember I’m in the south).  So that won’t do.  We could try to think of some way to create our own noodle from scratch using flaxseed instead of egg, sprouted flour instead of white, and dehydrate??  Sounds like a complicated mess.  We could buy a fancy spirolini tool and surely our pasta woes would go away.   Well you are more adventurous than I, because I am simply going to vegetable peel some zucchini, and maybe, if I’m feeling brave, some squash or carrots.

When making your noodles, think fettuccine for the thickness and size of the noodle.  Simply peel away all the green from the zucchini or outer part of whatever vegetable you decide to use.  Then peel each side of the vegetable lengthwise, rotating it as you go.  For us, three zucchini equals about two servings, or one for me two for Todd.  Lol.   Letting the noodles sit out for a while helps them to become softer.  Additionally, you can soak them in water.  Sometimes I rub them with olive oil and a little sea salt.  You’ll just have to try different techniques to see what you prefer.

What shall you put on those naked noodles?  Why! A delicious cheese sauce of course. (Today anyways.)

Rawfredo Sauce:

1 cup soaked cashews

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4-1/2 cup water

Directions:

Throw everything in the food processor and blend.  You can add a little lemon juice if you like.  Make sure not to add to much water or it won’t be as thick and creamy.  Give it plenty of time to blend so you won’t bite into a chunk of cashew.

To this mix I like to add:

Marinated Mushrooms:

Namu Shoyu Sauce

Minced Garlic

Olive Oil

1 cup mushrooms

Directions:

Add a small amount of each ingredient to the mushrooms.  Give the mushrooms a massage, they’ve had a hard life and you have know idea what they went to get here, what with being removed from their dark stump and all.  Set them in the dehydrator to get warm and soft, but not too long.  Usually I just have them going while I’m preparing everything else.

I also like to add in diced red bell pepper, or whatever other vegetable I fancy at the time.

Now who wants cold pasta?  Not I.  So I “cheat” a little bit (Don’t tell the crazy raw foodist clan or they come burn my stove down!)  I put the whole mix into a pan and cook over VERY low heat standing right over it and stirring it constantly.  This allows everything to meld together and get nice and warm.  Hint: if it were to get over 115 it would burn your tongue.  So it should be warm, not hot.  When I first gave this to Todd, he didn’t know what it was, he just knew it was delicious.  He thought I had actually used alfredo sauce and was wondering where I got the noodles from.  Basically, you HAVE to try it.  It’s law.

What’s so great about this pasta for our bodies?  Because you’re not cooking it, it’s going to have enzymes and be easier to digest, while providing energy, which is the purpose of food in the first place.  The zucchini is low in calories, while it doesn’t shine with any single vitamin zuccihni is just all around good for you with a few B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C, amino acids (to build protein), iron, and other minerals.  It also high in fiber.

The cashews provide good fat and fiber to help you feel satisfied.  If the cashews are truly raw and soaked they will contain enzymes, specifically lipase, which helps your body break down the fat.  While cashews and nuts ARE high in calories and fat, studies have been conducted that show people who snack on nuts tend to have a healthier weight than those who don’t. Yay!  The key, as always, is moderation.  If you have a nut based meal for lunch, you probably wouldn’t follow with a nut based snack and nut based dinner.  It just depends on your calorie and fat needs.

Just in case you’re more of a dip your toe into the water kind of person or you don’t have a food processor I’ll be nice and share.  If you want to try the noodles, but not the cashew alfredo cheese, here’s a recipe I made before I ate mostly raw:

Skinny Alfredo Sauce:

1/4 cup low-fat or fat-free plain organic yogurt

4 oz organic low-fat cream cheese

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup of PLAIN almond, soy, or fat free organic milk

1 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

Combine yogurt and cream cheese in a sauce pan until mostly melted.  Add garlic and salt and slowly pour in the milk while continuing to whisk the mixture.

Now you can enjoy your vegetables and your pasta too!

Renee

Advertisements

Basic Raw Food Questions

So my sister has decided to “go raw” for at least 30 days.  As she’s started out she’s had plenty of questions for me.  Some things we talked about today:

Milk: Well by the time the milk comes from the lovely fat cow that has been given antibiotics, hormones to increase milk productions, and fed food with pesticides, the milk  itself has been processed to remove any bad bacteria.  Unfortunately this process also removes the enzymes and good bacteria present in the milk.  Even if you buy organic milk from the grocery store you would not be getting the same milk the calf lives from.  If you’re going to drink milk, I would definitely drink the raw version, just make sure to know the source you’re getting it from.  The reason laws were passed to pasteurize milk in the first place was because of “beat-you-down” bad bacteria like e. coli and salmonella.  BUT HOW WILL I GET CALCIUM???  Some high raw vegan sources of calcium include: Sesame seeds or tahini (sesame seed butter), flax seeds, almonds or almond butter, raw soybeans, dandelion greens, brazil nuts, and chia seeds.  With these foods you’ll be getting lots of other nutrients as well.  Plus, most of them are alkalizing so your body want have to rob from your bones in order to balance your pH levels.  : P

“I need the creamy texture of milk…I will die without it!  Literally.”  Ok, seesh.  Here’s your milk replacement:

1 cup nuts of choice (cashews are super creamy….sunflower seeds are cheap)

2 cups water

Blend it all together for…a while.

Run through a small mesh strainer OR a nut milk bag.  The liquid is the milk- you can sweeten it if you like, add it to smoothies, and raw cacao powder to it.  The “pulp” that’s left over can be used for “pates” or cookies, or dehydrated and ground into a meal or flour.

Sprouts? What are they?  Why sprout?  What can you sprout?

Basically sprouts are a seed, nut or grain in a certain stage of its growth period.  And you decide to interrupt that stage….by chomping into it.  Meanie.  We sprout because it releases enzymes, nutrients, and vitamins.  The little guys are high in protein too.  Some of my favorite things to sprout are mung beans and lentils.  These also happen to be two of the easiest.  Go here for directions on how to sprout lentils. http://www.sproutpeople.com/seed/print/lentils.html super easy and the site has plenty of info on sprouting.  It’s not really necessary to buy a bunch of gadgets for sprouting, a mason jar should do the trick.  What to do with your sprouts?  Well, depending on what you sprouted you might want to throw them on top of a salad, in a lettuce “wrap”, in a raw sandwich,  in some raw soup, or whatever else you feel like!

Another point to make while talking about sprouting is soaking.  If you’re not sprouting your nuts and seeds, it’s best to at least soak them for 2 or more hours.  This allows enzyme inhibitors  (things keeping you from digesting that nut or seed easily) to be released from the nut.  Just remember: “Soaking the nut is better for the gut.”  <—- Ok that’s a ridiculous line.

My sister also brought up the question: How do you eat sushi?  It has rice on it so it’s not raw.  Weeeell, as ridiculous as it may seem, if my only option is a sushi roll (maki)….I pick off the rice.  Of course I could always just order sashimi.  Bottom line is, I really don’t eat sushi that often, and when I do I order it with raw cucumber and avocado and remove all the rice.  I actually removed the rice BEFORE eating a high raw food diet simply because it’s so starchy.

What’s xylitol?  Is it raw?  Xylitol is the alien captain come from Zeebus to bring peace to all earthly beings.  K not really.  It  is a sweetener sourced from fruit.  It’s not raw, it has to go through a long and treacherous process to get to us at the health food store, in the sugar-free gum, and the “healthy” ice cream at the grocery store.  It’s sweeter than sugar and contains sugar alcohols, so it doesn’t raise blood sugar levels as quickly.  Other than that, it has no real nutritive value.  It does have calories, but less than table sugar.

What’s stevia?  Stevia is a green plant that looks like this guy:

It’s waaaaaaaaaaay sweeter than sugar.  You can literally take a pieces of the leaf and start chewing it.  It’s very sweet….I know because I recently acquired a stevia plant and this is the first thing I did.  Just to make sure it was true.  : P   So in it’s purest form you would take the stevia leaves and grind them up.  I think once mine starts growing I will dehyrdate the leaves at a low temp and then grind them up into a powder.  Yes this will mean there is a green tint to anything I make that’s sweet and uses stevia.  Shrug.  At the moment I’ve been using white stevia in small quantities.  It’s not raw, but it only takes a very small amount to sweeten something.  The best part is it’ s zero calories and zero impact on blood sugar.  High five mister stevia, high five.

And last but not least my sister asked about olive oil.  Is it raw?  Yes you CAN buy it raw, but it’s not easily available.  Fats and oils are touchy subjects for some raw foodies.  The point of a raw food diet, to me, is to incorporate as many healthy living foods into my diet as possible.  Do I shutter from using a tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil in a recipe?  No.  Should someone else avoid it?  If they feel that’s best for them then of course!  We each have to learn what works for us to be the healthiest and happiest.

Check out my sister’s blog as she “goes raw” for 30 days.  : )

http://myrawfood30.blogspot.com/

Peace,

Renee

Strawberriiiiies

It seems like we skipped spring and went straight to summer.  Today was in the high 80s, but that’s how Georgia does it eh?  I’m not complaining, I absolutely loooooove the warm weather.  Nothing stopping me from being outside.  Easter was lovely spent at Callaway Gardens.  I need to go back when their organic veggie garden is open for business!

Strawberries are in season and cheeeeap!  Right now I’m sipping on a strawberry smoothie and it would be morally wrong not to share.  It’s pretty simple :

1 cup water

1 overflowing cup frozen strawberries

1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

1 tablespoon agave or honey OR 1/2 teaspoon stevia

A splash of natural vanilla extract

Blend everything together and BAM: springtime in your mouth.  You could of course use raw nut milk for a creamier, richer, more decadent shake.

I vow to try this smoothie by http://www.rawfamily.com/recipes.htm someday simply because of the awesome name.  I want a party in my mouth….who doesn’t?  Really?

Party in Your Mouth Green Smoothie

Sergei Boutenko
1 small pineapple, cored
1 large mango, peeled
½ head romaine lettuce
½ inch fresh ginger root
Yields 2 quarts

Lunch was simple cabbage and carrots.  Kind of like a cole-slaw.  As simple as it sounds I’ve been loooovin it lately.  I love tart so throwing some Apple Cider Vinegar on it makes it just right for me.

Dinner?  This wonderful raw lasagna recipe I found on http://goneraw.com/node/4974 by elizabethh.  I’ll write out the recipe since I messed with it a bit.  I have a beautiful picture I took of it, but can’t get it on here right now.

Raw “Lasagna”:  

1 1/2 cups cashews, soaked at least 1 hour

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 teaspoons nutritional yeast

1/2 teaspoon celtic sea salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper

1 teaspoon fresh finely chopped basil

1/2 teaspoon of fresh minced garlic

1 long and thick zucchini , peeled, and sliced into thin, wide strips with a peeler or mandoline

2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 dash celtic salt

portabella mushroom caps, sliced into thin, wide and long slices

1 big tomato, sliced into thin, wide slices (make sure it’s a juicy one)

1 cup spinach spinach, chopped

What to do:

Whirl the cashews, lemon juice, yeast, salt, pepper, basil, and garlic all together in a blender or food processor.  You won’t it to be pretty smooth, but it’s ok if it has some cashew chunks to give it more of a ricotta texture.

Rub the olive oil into the zucchini slices. Set aside.

Rub the leftover olive oil into the mushrooms and spinach.  You can add additional sea salt if you like.

Create layers: Zucchini, cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach.  Repeat until you’ve used everything.

Dehydrate at 130 for an hour.  Don’t leave it at 130 longer for an hour as this would cause the food to actually reach that temperature and defeat the entire purpose of eating it raw in order to keep the enzymes.  After an hour at 130 reduce to 110 for 30-1 hour.

If I didn’t have a dehydrator I would definitely consider making this by wrapping Aluminum foil on top and setting it outside.  Sounds crazy but I think it’s hot enough.  : D

I’m going to make this for my raw potluck, as well as some other goodies like raw samoas.  I also have to share my raw chocolate recipe!  If you’re lucky!

Off to conquer the night,

Renee



Omega 3’s

I’m so excited today, I got flyers printed out for the first raw food potluck I’m holding! It’s going to be great to get to share my passion with other people in the area. I was reminded of the passion people have for raw food while working at the health food store the other day. A woman came in from out of state. She had already been in town for several days. She explained to me she didn’t know our store existed and so she had been living on lifeless food for the last week. When I pointed out her favorite raw snack her eyes lit up and she thanked me. Then, when she spotted the Raw Kombucha in our fridge she began to jump up and down and dance about with more enthusiasm than a kid at their birthday party. It was great to experience someone else’s joy over healthful foods.
So about one of my favorite subjects: Chia Seeds! Yes, the same seeds from chia pets (Chi-Chi-Chiaaaa!). These little seeds contain an important essential fatty acid- omega-3. EFA’s are important for heart health, skin health, immune health…basically they’re a big deal for your body. It seems the most popular form of getting omega-3 is from fish oils. However, chia seeds provide a raw source of the important omega-3 ALA. They are also high in fiber, protein, and low in fat. They provide iron and magnesium. They are virtually tasteless and are great to add to smoothies, raw cookies, or over salad. Unlike flax seeds chia seed’s good fat is on the outside, so they become gelly if soaked in liquid. Doing this forms a sort of chia pudding. Try this Chocolate Chia Shake:
Ingredients:
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 tablespoon raw cacao powder (or 1 tablespoon depending on the chocolate power you want to unleash)
1 cup ice
Raw sweetener to taste (agave, date syrup, honey, etc. I used a 1/2 tsp stevia.)

Preparation:
Let the chia seeds and water get to know each other by letting them sit in your blender for a few minutes while you get everything else together. This will make a gelly consistency. Throw everything in the blender and blend for a minute or so. You might want to add more water to get everything going. If you want it really chocolaty add more cacao powder. Enjoy!
*You could always use raw nut milk in place of the water, that would be double yum!!!

You can make a tapioca like pudding by covering two tablespoons of chia seeds in raw nut milk. Allow them to sit for a while. Add in a raw sweetener such as agave syrup. You can top with fruits such as berries, nuts, or whatever you like!
Enjoy today!
Renee