Aug 28, 2010

more raw chocolate and a true gourmet meal



before i'm heading off to paris for a couple of days i wanted to share some more pics. i made this raw chocolate a while ago and it turned out better than my previous attempts. this one was hard enough to stay in shape.




when i came home today L had prepared this amazing meal for me!




it's losely based on ani phyo's recipes; this is a 'wilted' spinach salad with marinated onions in mustard seed dressing (!!!)



zucchini noodes with garlic cashew aioli! (i swear it tasted like a cheese sauce, really really good!)



i tried to recreate the "protein shake" i enjoyed so much at mastercare. i blended some brazilnuts, 1/2 banana, hemp seeds, maca, mesquite, lucuma, vanilla, salt, agave and palmsugar and: tata. i came pretty close to the original shake.

Aug 27, 2010

smoothies, superfoods and "kofta balls"



joined at the hip? or is it a heart?


fresh young coconut meat is so versatile, it works with sweet stuff just as well as with savory stuff. i blended it with some italian spices, water, nutritional yeast and miso.


... that worked well with romaine as well


i purchased these "trial size" superfoods in amsterdam. i started adding a little bit of each to my smoothies. (earth = mix of dried roots, greens = well, obviously a blend of greens and vanilla maca)

agave might be controversial, but it's also extremely tasty! this dark agave tastes so complex, a bit like maple syrup.



a berry smoothie so thick it holds the straw


green juice




a woman at the amsterdam potluck brought "kofta balls", i wrote down the recipe (in dutch) and could actually make sense of it at home.
it's a nutty mash (brazilnuts and walnuts) combined with dried tomatoes, 8 herbs, nutritional yeast, miso and celery (curiously celery is one of the few things i don't really like, along with anise and fennel).
in general i have a pretty good idea of how something is gonna taste when i put stuff together, but this is one of the things that really surprised me. it's so savory and hearty... almost meaty. this is a dish i would serve a non-raw foodie as a first taste of raw heaven.

i found this vegan ayurvedic toothpaste in a goa shop in amsterdam! i really like the taste.

Aug 24, 2010

raw menstrual musings

sorry guys, why don't you just skip this post?

this post is also not for the faint of heart!



thank god, i got my period again! finally! (last time was in ...june!)

well, a pregnancy was out of the question, but a woman does wonder if something is not profoundly wrong when the period is delayed. or, as in my case, just skips a month.

this rarely ever happened to me and was always related to either significant weight loss (well, not this time) or usage of certain substances that mess with "brain & body chemistry" (i had none of that either).

your period is affected to what you put in your body. since i went raw (or even since i went off processed starches and dairy) my period got ligher and lighter. i had major cramps before. in retrospect i also had terrible eating habits back then.

this time around there were no mood swings. i had a fantastic weekend in amsterdam and got my period in the wee hours of monday morning when i returned back home.

no pain, no cramps, no pain-pill-popping required. just smooth sailing and a little of bloating. let me tell you: i have never had blood that red, clear and clean. and today it was all over!

and i finally got to test all my fabulous new toys!
(check this post: "a word about female hygiene products")
i am amazed how well the cotton pads work! i remembered pads (the plastic toss-away variant) as a sticky and rather smelly and uncomfortable business, but now i stand corrected.

during workouts i used the sponges and i can only highly recommend them! the sponge has an amazing absorption capacity, it feels really comfortable (= i completely forgot about it) and it doesn't dry out the vagina like a tampon.

ladies, visit KULMINE today and place your order, you will NOT REGRET IT!

here's something i could do with my remaining tampons...

Aug 23, 2010

raw weekend in amsterdam!

S from amsterdam (whom i only met the previous weekend at the potluck in cologne) was hosting a "raw open house" event at her place and had generously invited a bunch of people to stay at her place!
so some friends from cologne and i drove out to amsterdam!

let me tell you: it was a blast!



i really enjoyed staying with S and her 5 (!) raw kids! these kids (ages 7 - 16) are amazing! they were so welcoming it was really heartwarming!

plus i was so amazed by S's selection of top notch raw superfoods and supplements! they have two very well organized fridges: one for "everything salad" and one for "everything else" (nuts, seeds etc.), really cool!


we went to visit the mastercare shop, a shop for everything raw, including supplements, chocolate, ev for chocolate making, savory snacks, cakes, drinks, you name it!


EVERYTHING RAW as far as the eye can see


curiously the shop is located inside a health club, so the customers are mostly so called "health conscious" non-raw foodies.


the shop is very clean, clear and stylish, completely non-hippie. i liked that and i think economically that's the way to go.


i had a "protein vanilla power" drink and it was just what i needed. i LOVED the taste. i think i want to purchase the raw protein powder that's the base for that drink. i'm not paranoid about getting all my proteins, but just simply for the taste of it ;)
it's made with sunwarrior's raw vegan vanilla protein. yummy!


jay's juices is a must-visit when in amsterdam. they have everything juice from strawberry to fresh young coconuts. unfortunately they were closed :(


i found another fresh juice shop just across the street and got this "dark pineapple" smoothie: pineapple, blackberries and blueberries!

i got some greengages (prunus domestica italica or the "reine claude"), they were so sweet and tasty. (yes, those were ripe. it's a green plum)

this was the funniest thing i saw in amsterdam. next time you want to buy a cooked bread or cookie think about who might have been sleeping in it... LOL


this is cafe latei, located on zeedijk. it's a lovely 2nd hand shop/cafe, i come here every time i'm in the city. they have amazing fresh juices (and i recall their cafe lattes with a little sentimentalty).
the best part of latei is that they have an amazing collection of kitsch and EVERYHING is for sale (lamps, kitchen equipment, accessories, books, lps, fotos, paintings, keyrings...)


tiny kitchen @ cafe latei


fresh apple juice w ginger


me @ cafe latei


S had an amazing assortment of superfoods and supplements for sale.




some impressions from S's raw open house. we had a great time chatting and feasting on superfoods and snacks.
very different people came to her house, from the raw food newbie to longtime raw foodies. it's always always inspiring to swap experiences and listen to other people's journeys.
later on we went on a barefoot walk through a foresty park area and collected a TON of blackberries. we walked to a beautiful lake where the kids swan and we watched the sunset together. eventually we had to head back to germany


i stocked up on raw chocolate BIIIIG TIME.
i'm especially curious about the wild chocolate tribe "raw chunks" (bottom left). J from mastercare told me friends of his made them themselves, only smaller quantities and only when they are in a good mood! that sounds perfect!
have a grrreat day!
xo,
mel

Aug 21, 2010

need a fresh date?!

i was in for a surprise this morning at the turkish market: FRESH DATES are in season again! yeeeeaaaahhhh! one of my top 10 favorite foods ever. EVER!

fresh dates have very little in common with ripe dates; they are fruity & a little bit sour, yet the sweetness comes through (but it's a lot less "sticky" than a ripe date's). plus they are firm and crunchy. the starch kind of pools all your saliva when you take your first bite.

it's one of the few foods where i prefer unripe to ripe. i almost never eat ripe dates just like that (only when the nice guy at the persian market offers me one). of course i use them as a sweetener, but they really make me thirsty. reeeeally thirsty. i get thirsty even thinking about it ;)

fresh dates are only available like that for a very short period (maybe for the next week or two). then the starch turns into sugar and the dates get brown, soft and soggy. refridgerating or freezing them will not stop the ripening process (believe me, i've tried).
so i urge you to go to a turkish market and have a try! (if you don't like them you can always send them to me ;) or just store them in a dry(!) place to ripen, it won't take long)

now that i've mentioned my top 10 foods i will have to write them down:

1. PINEAPPLE
(has been and always will be. i'm very picky about the quality though, that's why i rarely buy them here. they have to be sweet and they have to be perfect. hawai'i was my paradise: every single one i ate was the best of my life!)
2. FRESH YOUNG COCONUT WATER
(is there any better drink?! no!)
3. AVOCADO
(i eat at least one every day and cannot imagine my life without them. sweet or savory, avocado has it all)
4. SAFU (a recent discovery of mine which i simply cannot get enough of. unfortunately they are very hard to get here)
5. CHERRY
(sweet and complex)
6. STARAPPLE (i discovered these in hawai'i and wish there would be a way to get them here, think of a combination of a lychee or rambutan and a banana)
7. FRESH DATE
8. MULBERRY
(black or white ones, i don't care. reminds me of childhood summers spent in france)
9. MANGOSTEEN
(fresh, sweet and a little bit sour. perfect)
10. APPLE or BANANA
(i just can't decide which one i like better. i eat one of each most days)
mhm, now that i've written this list i realize it's really hard to do!
to all the raw foodies out there: make your own top 10 list and send it to me!
i also have fruit phases (just like everybody else), e.g. i'm going through an intense cabbage and olives phase right now, plus i'm a sucker for blueberries and blackberries.
i wonder if my list is still gonna be the same in a year or so... although i doubt that the top 3 will change.
i'm heading off to amsterdam tonight with M and S from cologne. we will attend S's "raw open house" party and barefoot-walk! excellent! i can't wait! sooo looking forward to "raw input" again.
have the best day ever!
mel

Aug 18, 2010

ginseng and the quick gourmet

i got some fresh ginseng at the korean market. nasty nasty nasty taste, but oh so many benefits.

sweet treats from the asian markets!


i'm trying to eat as many berries as possible while they're still in season.


i'm very much into "quick gourmet", a meal has to be prepared in 10 minutes or less... i made these zucchini noodles w tomato sauce and marinated mushrooms in no time.


i got my hands on some fresh young coconut! i mixed the meat with miso and nutritional yeast (for that cheezy flavour) and served it on a cucumber.


fresh sour passion fruit. yummy!


cauliflower is my staple food right now. since i got back from camp i just can't get enough of it. i eat it with pumpkinseed oil, i eat it with salt, i eat it without anything else. last night i ate it with a re-creation of the dip i discovered at the potluck in cologne (a handful of cashews, a red bell pepper, one date, and a pinch of salt).


i think i'm eating too much chocolate pudding :)

Aug 16, 2010

4th raw potluck in cologne!

let me tell you: there is nothing like an inspiring raw potluck to lift you up when you're feeling down. well, ok, maybe there are a couple of other things as well... but talking strictly foodwise, there isn't ;)

usually i'm a total party pooper: i rarely go out, i HATE the whole drinking "culture" thing (mostly going hand in hand with cigarette smoking *cough*) and often i'm the first to leave a regular party (unless i decide to go technodancing which is a different matter entirely).

last weekend was filled with potlucks and lots of lovely raw company! it's so refreshing to not be the outcast who DOESN'T drink, smoke cigarettes, eat animal products or cooked food, but to be among likeminded people. i had a blast!

i enjoyed it so much, it's lovely to get to know the people better and better. i had some heartwarming conversations, going so much deeper than just the common denominator of "no cooked food".

so, let me show you sunday's potluck in pictures:


M (a long time raw foodie and mono dieter) was there and brought those amazing tomatoes again. they are called "berner rose" and are, in short, the best tomatoes i've ever eaten in my whole life. he also brought amazing peanuts with a purple inner skin.

the secret savory star of the evening was the little dressing in the middle: cashews / red bell pepper and 1 date made this ultimate dip. i will recreate this veeeery soon.

look at all those beautiful creations!

i appreciated that there was also lots of "simple" fresh stuff; sprouts, freshly picked berries (blueberries and redcurrant) and plums.

N brought dehydrated olive bread and my friend L brought yet another dip creation (i don't even know what it was made of. cashews and herbs is my best guess) and fresh sweet corn. the marinated broccoli was also amazing (sorry, i lost track of who brought it).


friend B had turned on his new dehydrater and created two kinds of fruit / veggie soft cracker, one sweet (w banana) and one savory (w avocado)


i brought the chocolate pudding (YET again. yes, seriously, i'll bring sth else to the next potluck!) and L had helped me to roll the little chocolate energy balls. plus i had some leftover durian that was unripe, but edible.


sb brought green beans which triggered a long discussion about fresh raw beans and weather they are toxic or harmful. i'm not a fan so i didn't eat any.




romaine with a savory avocado / tomatoes / sprouts dressing.




M brought a crunchy cauliflower salad with a spicy cheesy dressing (with miso and nutritional yeast)


zucchini noodles always rock!



ah, the sweet stuff!


look at this creation! amazing!!! these petit fours were made with a very sweet date/nut crust and some truly fruity (raspberry & strawberry is my best guess) topping.




G (who is a raw caterer and does a lot of raw seminars) brought an apple strudel which consisted mostly of ...well, you guessed it: apples! even the outer "crust" was a paperthin dehydrated "fruit leather". amazing!
i did really like the taste, but i couldn't finish my piece. unfortunately, i am mildly allergic to cinnamon (ironically cinnamon of high quality!)
that does not mean that i don't consume cinnamon, i just like it waaay too much. i have to be careful with the dosage though. chewing a "big red" cinnamon gum was impossible for me as a kid, esp the very intense american kind. it gives me a very strange sensation on my tongue.

anyway, of course the strudel was a total hit and gone in no time!


cakes cakes cakes! the white one was a creamy fruity cashew goodness.


F, who is a newbie to the world of raw food created this sumptious chocolate cake. i am speechless again. this cake topped off any "sacher cake" in the whole of austria ANYDAY. thumbs up for my special of the day. (i was fast and cheeky enough to take the last remaining piece home! i ate it in one frenzy and couldn't stop)

i can't get enough of raw potlucks. luckily i found a partner in crime, raw food newbie M from cologne is equally enthusiastic about raw travelling as i am. we both have the time and he has access to a fast car! so we're thinking about heading out to benelux this weekend for some raw gatherings.

S came to the potluck from amsterdam! she is a long time raw foodie who runs this website: www.sunfood-coaching.nl/ and is very active in amsterdam's raw community. she is also a mother of 5!

M (yet another 'M', let's call him "the doc" for clearance) who lives in the phillipines provided us with generous gifts of his coconut products in raw quality. i will test these as soon as i have the chance to, i am super curious.