Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tom Kha Soup

One of the things that I love most about blogging is that I get to woo you with pretty things.  I love taking pictures of food when the light is just right in my apartment and then writing you a post and telling you wacky things about my life.  I love all of your comments, enthusiasm, and stories when I share bits of my soul with you through food.  

The thing that I appreciate most about blogging though is that none of you are ever standing in my kitchen when I have an epic. kitchen. fail.  And that was my kitchen this week.  I had decided it was time to learn to make my own tempeh and boy that plan did not work out in any capacity.  I couldn't get the temperature right for the starter to flourish, the beans weren't covered well so they dried out, and then I let it all sit out too long.  Even properly-made tempeh looks pretty creepy so you can image how bad improperly-made tempeh looks.

But I was lucky enough to have one epic kitchen success this week.  Enter tom kha soup.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bok Choy Green Juice

Last week I took a three-day trip to San Diego.  It wasn't supposed to be a vacation per se, but it ended up being an amazing wake-up call.  This trip was the first time in over six months where I had three consecutive days where I wasn't working, working on my business, or blogging.   It's amazing to me how badly I needed a break and didn't even know it. 

I pride myself on taking care of myself and being "healthy," but as I have been focusing more and more attention on building my business, on top of working my full-time job, my focus on myself has slipped away.  I knew it was a problem that I wasn't sleeping through the night anymore and was waking up with headaches in the morning.  I knew it was a big problem that I was working a full day at work and then coming home to work five more hours on my side business. I knew it was a problem that I felt overwhelmingly scattered, exhausted, anxious, and irritable, but I just thought this is how life was right now.  

Not anymore.  Something had to change and it's changing now.  As a result of this trip and having some time to get perspective on my life, I have already made huge shifts to my priorities and have noticed a dramatic change in my mood, energy, and overall well-being.  If anyone asked me a week ago, of course I could tell you about the benefits of taking a break, whether it's a ten-minute break or a ten-day break.  But sometimes we forget to apply our own wisdom to ourselves... guilty.  

So here is where I pose this question to you:  Are there things that aren't working in your life at the moment that need your attention?  When was the last time you took a real break - big or small?

And, when was the last time you enjoyed a green juice?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Raw Sprouted Buckwheat Granola

My cats are peculiar creatures.  One minute they will be trying to kill each other and the next minute they will be grooming one another and snuggling.  One of them is never more than two feet away from a human presence while the other one is never more than two feet away from his food bowl. One of them loves laying in the middle of the living room and being an inconvenience to anyone trying to walk.  The other one?  Oh, he's probably hiding in the towel drawer in the kitchen while on his mission to cover ever single one of my clean towels with cat hair.  Mission accomplished, kitty.

One of my cats is also a plastic bag licker. Do you know what I am talking about?  He is absolutely obsessed with licking plastic bags.  It has given me even more motivation to make sure that we cut down on our plastic bag usage.

Last week his licking became a new phenomenon.  I brought home some DVDs from the library and he pushed through the stack and licked every single one.  After observing this, my other cat decided to do the same thing.  And now, anytime a DVD enters the house, both of my cats will have a licking war over it.  If you have recently checked out DaVinci Code, Charlie's Angels, or Modern Family from the Seattle Public Library, you have probably touched my cats' saliva.  I am so, so sorry.

Earlier this week I pulled out my dehydrator from the cupboard that it's been sitting in since we moved into our apartment almost two years ago. Luckily my cats didn't lick it.  But they sure did hate the sound of it.  Well, until they realized that the top was warm and would be the perfect place to take a nap.  Take note: you don't need two crazy cats, plastic bags, or DVDs to make this granola, but you will need a dehydrator.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Raw Sprouted Hummus

Sometimes my mental image of myself just doesn't match up to reality.  In my head I picture myself as a complete badass.  You'd probably find my imaginary-self decked out in a pleather jacket on a motorcycle riding off into the night.  The truth of the matter is that I that I drive a hand-me-down mini van and I spent most of last night talking to my cats in a high-pitched voice before going to bed at 8:30 pm.  This is not badass behavior.

In my defense, however, I did learn how to sprout chickpeas this week and turn them into an incredible raw hummus.  If you ask me, it's pretty badass.

Now, before we begin, I have to be honest with you.  If you don't like sprouts, then this is not the recipe for you.  I actually think this raw version tastes better than traditional hummus that uses cooked chickpeas, but it definitely has the flavor of sprouts so I don't want that to be a surprise.  But, if you love sprouts like I do, badass or not, you'll love this recipe.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sweet & Tangy Mango Salad Dressing

I know that I am a creature of habit.  I like eating the same thing for breakfast every morning.  I like visiting the farmer's market every weekend.  I like going to the gym every day.  I like eating healthy.  I like listening to the same music (hello Cyndi Lauper playlist).  I like wearing the same comfy jeans, the same jewelry, and the same shoes.  And now that my hair just recently got long enough to put it in a ponytail, it's probably going to stay that way until the end of summer.

But sometimes it's important to break those habits.  To try something new for breakfast.  To wear skinny jeans.  To skip the gym and eat cupcakes instead.  And to buy fruit from the grocery store that is completely wrong for your geographic location and climate.  Hello mangos...

This dressing was inspired by the recent mango sale at Whole Foods.  I've been resisting for the past few weeks and finally had to give in and indulge myself.  I have to say that I'm glad I did.  If we never broke our habits life wouldn't be as fun.  And there certainly wouldn't be mango dressing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Whole Grain Quinoa & Lentil Wrap

Sometimes when I have a lot going on in my life I have a hard time sleeping.  I find myself staying up late and cleaning my kitchen pantry, scrubbing out cupboards, and organizing bulk goods into jars.  Even though I accomplish absolutely nothing related to what I am stressing about, nights like this somehow bring me back into balance.   I suppose spending some quality time to myself listening to Neil Diamond doesn't hurt.  Do you ever have nights like this?  Most likely... minus the Neil Diamond?

In one of my recent late-night cleaning episodes I stumbled upon a full jar of tricolor quinoa hiding in the back of my pantry.  It was definitely time to pull this out and put it to use!  The result?  A hearty whole-grain wrap with quinoa, lentils, and tahini sauce.  Perfect for lunch or a quick weekday dinner.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Marinated Onions

I think it's the little things that make all the difference in life.  It's the call from a friend, the smile from a stranger in the street, and the unexpected sunny afternoons that make life worth living.  These moments make it easier to deal with bad news, angry drivers, and the unexpected bill that arrives in the mail.  

The bottom line is this:  Life is short... so live it up.  Hug those you love.  Love often.  Make every moment count in this game of life.

And make marinated onions.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

DIY Deodorant

For most of my life I was committed to using only natural deodorants.  I have tried every stick, spray, roll-on, and crystal I could find. The result?  Disappointment.  I hate to say it, but I never found a product that worked for longer than an hour.  In my frustration I found my way back to using conventional deodorant, stressing with each application about what I was putting into my body.  

Then I  heard from a friend that if you didn't use deodorant for a period of time your body will naturally adjust to it and you wouldn't need to use it.  Let's just say I tried that for a week and it was a failed experiment.  And gross. 

After searching around the internet, I discovered there are a ton of DIY deodorant recipes that use natural ingredients like baking soda, corn starch, and coconut oil.  I have tried several different batches of homemade deodorant using different proportions of these ingredients and different essential oils.  My first batch used peppermint oil which irritated my skin, my second batch had too much baking soda which also irritated my skin, but this final batch?  Just right.  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Raw Chocolate Superfood Pudding

Do you ever have those days when, no matter what you do, you just can't stop thinking about something sweet?  I do.  Usually I can get away with munching on some raw carrot sticks or eating a piece of fruit to fill the urge.  But today?  Today is all about the chocolate.

And let me be clear: this is no ordinary chocolate dessert.  There is no flour, oil, or refined sugar in this one. Instead, this dessert is loaded up with four incredible raw superfoods to create a delectable, rich, and creamy chocolate pudding that will leave your taste buds and your body feeling satisfied.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Recipes for Spring

Happy May!  Here we are at the beginning of another month. Can you believe how quickly time flies?  Today I wanted to do something different and share a poem with you.  This is my favorite poem because it reminds me of how important it is to live in the here and now.  I've shared it here in the past, but I think it's worth sharing again.