‘Creamy’ Garlicky Dressing

So, I don’t share too many recipes since most of what I create in the kitchen are experiments with recipes found online.  On occasion though, I have moments of culinary genius ;)…

Thought I’d share this little recipe since I have been having it for about a week straight and it is sooo good… if you like garlic that is!  Even The Man has had THREE kale salads this week with this dressing!  Three salads!!… We have to avoid each others kisses in the morning though so don’t know how long we’ll keep this up …

If you’re familiar with Whole Foods organic salad bar – a staple is what they call ‘Garlicky Kale’ (Vegan and RAW) and it is the answer to anyone’s aversion to a kale salad.  Their garlicky dressing is delicious, though they use things I don’t have, so I sort of started with what I had – ummm … cold pressed olive oil… and garlic… not exactly filling out the collection of ingredients Whole Foods shared in their ingredient list.  I subbed some ingredients ( Soy sauce I had on hand instead of Nama Shoyu) and was generally just grabbing stuff I thought would work out nicely … On the first go of this dressing I didn’t have any lemon, so that’s been left out entirely, but perhaps if I have some in the kitchen next time I make a batch I’ll use it… certainly didn’t have any nutritional yeast but I am familiar with the texture and thought I should throw in something to create a bit of thickness in the dressing – in steps homemade almond flour.  

Disclaimer:  I enjoy a healthy amount of garlic – The Man is known to eat many cloves RAW when he gets the opportunity – so, please adjust for your own preferences – I think one clove instead of three would still make a fabulous, yet less pungent, morning after.

 

Garlicky Dressing

Thrown all into the Vitamix – blended on high.

– Three cloves garlic

– Three Tablespoons each of Cold pressed Olive Oil / Soy Sauce (or Nama Shoyu) / Almond Flour (feel free to sub that 🙂

– 3-5 Tablespoons of water

– One fingernail sized sliver of a Chili Pepper

 

Voila!  There you have it!  A simple recipe for the average person who doesn’t want to shell out money for  Braggs Liguid Aminos or nutritional yeast or whateverhaveyou…  I usually can dress two or three large salads with that amount and I just toss it on, give it a quick stir and devour it.

Slightly more potent than Whole Foods version and blender-licking GOOD!

 

Enjoy!

 

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Monkeys in the House!

In conjunction with my -bendy body- challenge, I am going to join my sister in a “Banana Island”-esque challenge.

She is coming off of a TEN day juice fast after a recent vacation loading up -her body- in Puerto Rico with pleasures 😉 … She knew she would do it though and she ordered her juicer online to be delivered while she was away. She is eager to transition slowly back into better foods and wants to return to a high-RAW diet.

It was a slippery slope, it seems, for me. After our first thirty days RAW, I attempted THREE more times To maintain a 100% RAW diet…Failing each time after only a few days… Was it just ambition to complete the initial challenge that kept me going? …I began maintaining a ‘high-raw’ diet – about 90% – allowing one meal every other day to be non-raw. That one non-raw vegan meal morphed into a meal every other day and a snack in between. Then it really just fell apart and I’ve been struggling ever since.

I feel FAT. I look TIRED. My energy ZAPPED; I have resorted to coffee in the evenings. JOY is fleeting and giving way to IRRITATION.
^ 75% of that COULD also be attributed to my eight month olds fifth tooth coming in… But I digress

So! We will be making a change again!
I don’t know that either of us has a duration in mind just yet but we will try out best to MONO eat and be RAW once more in the next few days. We’ve bought one 40 pound case of bananas (100 count) already and I think I’ll order another today so we can ripen them in preparation.

Two weeks ? One month? Or longer

Day 18 said and done…

Day 18 Journal Entry :

I think I felt less fat when I grabbed my elbows whilst stretching… and see less fat when I look in the mirror… but it could all be imagined. Maybe, this is what ‘they’ call feeling “lighter” (?)

Here’s a classy bathroom pic for ya!

I have to have my (technologically-more-advanced) little sister figure how to put our Day Fifteen photo aside our Day1 pics. Hopefully there’ll be a difference…? We repeated our measurements and both have lost about an inch in our waists though no other measurements really budged. Perhaps we’re a little overzealous in our expectations? Is it too soon?

For this first 30 days RAW I had thought I was committed to not increasing my exercise as I wanted to see untainted results from going RAW alone. As of late, exercise included a hike or two (< one hour) a week , and maybe some walking with one or both kiddos – which means I'd literally have to walk circles around my eldest in order to get a workout at his pace — although I am hulking around a twenty-six-pound-five-month-old on my chest— any-who…. The point is, exercise has been little to none – haven’t been to the gym or exercised alone (aka vigorously) in 6+ weeks (not by choice). In the last few days however, I have craved it… my body asked and then begged for a long walk… something…I gave in last night and asked my husband, who would be home from work, if I could go today. Yes.

Its been quite the productive day since! Me typing up a post should be all the proof you need… Now, that could be attributed to my actually getting sleep last night. Either way, I feel great! I worried about energy and getting ‘the shakes’ especially since going RAW (although looking back – ‘the shakes’ I get were probably caused by low blood sugar which would be near impossible on a RAW fruit-based diet). I tend to push my limits at the gym. Especially when I feel the visit is well deserved. Sometimes my heart-rate climbs to 190. Sometimes I have to quit because I get shaky or I’ll see stars (which’ll happen when I’m plugged into a continuous playlist, get in a groove and just go, go, go…) But, none of that today!

I’m excited to try again! Really looking forward to gym-ing it up and only having to stop for a hungry baby…

Cant say I’m feeling more energized daily yet – again, could be attributed to chronic lack of sleep (co-sleeping/breastfeeding/random cleaning at 4am) – but I definitely felt the difference today while working out!

Kudos to you Carbs!

Peel things before freezing…

I will soon get into the habit of sharing what exactly we are eating everyday….

But tonight I had to share my creation!

SOO.. I threw some bananas into the freezer last night as I had read something about using them as a base for ice cream… figured I should leave them until tonight when I’d have the energy to focus on making something…I reached in the freezer and picked them up and in an instant I realized my mistake… I hadn’t thought about the fact that I would have to peel them frozen solid. Fudge… So I peeled them, alternating hands in my mouth so I didn’t lose sensation in my tips : /

It was so worth it though…

Toss in blender and BAM !

I decided to go all out and add about three ripe strawberries to the mix and saved some for a topping…

It was surprisingly ice cream like…I thought it’d either be mushy or like banana shaved ice… So wrong! Now I see what the fuss was about!

Topped it with a few more strawberries and some raw Chocolate I had leftover…

I thought about drizzling some Honey but decided I’d like to try it in the buff first…

My mind is reeling with possibilities now and I’ll have to try it again this weekend…

freezing the berries first and adding a whole lot more for a berry ice cream …

I blended three bananas – not sure why- but 1.5 is probably all one person needs for a nice sized dessert portion…

I definitely ate all of my ice cream tonight though! Its bananas so who cares! Awesome that you can indulge shamelessly…

This is the one aspect that, no matter how my diet changes, I hope to keep up with. I have a fiendish SWEET TOOTH (extreme emphasis not exaggerated) and I have been feeling so satisfied in that regard. I hope to keep my desserts mostly RAW even if I start slacking otherwise( cut me a break – I’ve got two kids and a husband who is out of the house for 70+ hours a week and you know, other things, like, LIFE ). The savory cravings belong to my sister and I’ll have to check and see if we’re meeting needs in that area… but I’ve got this covered! AND its yet another delectable recipe for which you don’t need nuts to make it something other than fruity slop!

I’m having an AWESOME moment right now basking in this new found enjoyment of completely-good-for-you desserts!

I sure hope I wasn’t the first person to make the banana mistake … I feel awful silly about that

I certainly learned something though and I’ll be sure to think about what I’m trying to accomplish in the end (peeled banana ice cream) and not just the immediate goal (freezing the banana!)…

Sticker Shock…

My lovely family took a trip to Whole Foods two days ago… my husband was in a for a surprise

: /

I had completely run out of produce… no greens (and none left in the garden…), no fruit except two bananas, and no veggies… I was stuck eating dried fruit and raw nuts in the morning… with a banana smoothie -_-

So after debating whether to let me go sans children or not, we all decided to hop in daddy’s car and head over. Since I was on empty I was going to be grabbing a lot… like, more than I think he knows I eat…  Since my tummy was also on empty I was cranky and made some irrational (gourmet raw finds) purchases as well…

The bountiful fruit pedestal..

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and the packed fridge…

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I heard him clear his throat as the clerk spouted the total $…

Any guesses on how long all this will last? 🙂

I’m hoping to stretch it for three more days….

To be… oorrrr not to be in secret….

I’ve touched on the fact that I have a hard time dealing with the wave of emotions that overcome me when I envision becoming 100% RAW… for life…  I do almost certainly believe that it could be the most beneficial diet for health.  Restate that… Physical Health.

But what is physical health without mental well-being?  Can there even be physical health without mental well being?  Depression or anxiety can cause physical symptoms, right?  If I indulge in a cooked ingredient (or meal?), am I sabotaging my diet or could I possibly be promoting it?  I certainly applaud people who commit themselves seemingly on a whim to a RAW lifestyle 100%.  I wonder who those people were before RAW?  Is it possible for someone who loves so many different cuisines to be without them forever?  Or are these extremists from the start; people who’ve doused eggs/meat/birthday cake in ketchup all their lives? 

I’m new at this.  Perhaps still honey-mooning. But it isn’t all that bad.  That said, my sister and I are allowing wine (technically RAW?), coffee (we know… not RAW… but with raw honey and raw homemade almond milk 🙂 ) and we’ve decided not to stress about minuscule amounts of ingredients like Maple syrup / dried spices / etc…sooo… 99% RAW?  Its just awkward to say that though.  I’ve been in a handful of dining situations now with people who haven’t the slightest that I’m going RAW and I’ve often wondered how I’d describe exactly what it is we’re doing….

“I’ve gone RAW! …. dietary explanation as I sip my coffee….”

“But you know…”

-_- “I have children. Active children” 

“so you allow A, B, and C?” 

“well, yes….”

“You’re planning on doing this forever?”

“well, no….”

“So, really you’re on a diet.”

“No!”

Personally I am going to aim for a high raw diet for well into the future.  I am not going to attempt to become vegan either – sorry to all my vegans (!)- … Although, from what I’ve read it could be a slippery slope… Once you remove things from your regular diet, your body is bound to react when its reintroduced.  That scares me… 

Back to my fruit, raw brownies, and just-made sangria… Cheers!

Useless Data…?

Before starting my 30 day Rawchallenge… can’t call it a diet- people assume I’m trying to lose weight… I had made family aware so I wouldnt be unnecessarily tempted. I had read so many horror stories of Detoxing with aches and pains and an unwillingness to go on.. I prepped like crazy reading every blog I could, joining Facebook Groups, Google-ing survival guides for Raw detox. I felt equipped and ready for the challenge. I could tell my husband, who has been in the restaurant business for fifteen or so years, started tuning out all the useless (for him!) factoids I spewed upon his arrival from work every night…. he’s a live to eat kind of guy 😉

My sister, who had just arrived back in town after graduating college (!) Phi Beta Kappa (!!!), was most interested in my Rawchallenge starting in a few days. She has had ongoing issues with digestion, etc and seemed to be interested in joining me. I attempted to bestow upon her all of the knowledge I had acquired. I was nervous for her. I had no idea what her diet had been like recently and I cautioned her that the first week or so may be awful… But we could do it!

Tminus2days I became anxious. What am I going to do if I have a craving for Dim Sum/Pho/Crepes/any cuisine I haven’t even tried?! What will I do at night without cupcakes/cookies/candy/SUGAR?! I must keep reminding myself its only 30 days…there is an end in sight… just make it through! I honestly had more anxiety about going Raw/losing my options than I did about giving birth to my 9+ pound son unmedicated. I was as calm as a cold tea kettle whilst having the urge to push him out on the beltway… but losing my opportunity to just walk around and pop into the closest Ethiopian joint for dinner was honestly reason to question this whole thing. Knowing that my husband would be coming home talking about A-B-C ingredient atop X-Y-Z dish at work was worrisome. I had to take deep breaths knowing that my eldest son would be home for summer break and I’d be making three+ meals a day for him. June is also our anniversary month, Fathers day and of course the beginning of summer trips to the beach(butter-y SEAFOOD!)/water park (Ice Cream!)/ Carnival (FUNNEL CAKE…wah!) Anxiety all around.

Now, nine days in, my sister and I are trying our best not to jinx ourselves, but we’ve been looking at each other with this-is-it-? kind of faces. I’ll speak for myself – I don’t like describing my diet as SAD (standard American Diet); that evokes lots of processed junk, McDonalds, and Soda… I’ve been eating (and forced upon my loving family) a generally whole foods-plant based diet which includes occasional meats and lots of fish and eggs. I favor water or juice over soda, though I sip on my husbands coke now and then, because of the way pop makes me feel. Generally, I don’t like chicken at all and meat very little. I have always aspired to eat fewer animal products, only because I’m convinced its best physically. Many a blog post warned with stories of then cooked vegans becoming raw foodists and the awful detoxes they went through and it conjured thoughts of me lying all sickly in bed the first weeks…Perhaps, kicking a ball outside while half waving to the neighbors in a zombie-like trance induced by migraines. Or worse yet, hauling around my 25-pound-five-month-old with sore aching muscles.

But … we both had headaches on the first day. And yes, gas since day one. Bloating as well <— most annoying since I walk around looking pregnant when I’ve just recently dropped all 50 pounds of baby weight gained…. I’ve read that should end…some time…

Really, overall we haven’t been feeling awful. We don’t feel intense cravings for anything. We haven’t felt like we’re missing out. I for one have tackled a 50+ person cookout, multiple occasions dining out, and a trip to my Mother-in-laws’.

We are both confident this could last! We do however envision taking a day (its been suggested once every thirty days) off for indulgence in the ethnic variety of our locale. No amazing side effects to report yet but we are most anticipating an increase in energy and muscle tone.

Three Cheers for Fruit!