Posts Tagged: gluten free

Podcast # 1: Cinema Cuisine: England – Withnail and I

Gif Courtesy of:  http://emptyandsmoking.tumblr.com/

Gif Courtesy of: http://emptyandsmoking.tumblr.com/

Hello Everyone,

About two years ago (although I think in the pc we said one, but it has been almost two) my husband and I began a fun ritual on Fridays called ‘Foreign Film Fridays’, wherein we would choose a country, a film to represent that country–whichever one of us was in charge of picking the country and film, would prepare a meal representative of that country.  It was such a blast, but as our schedules grew busier, Foreign Film Friday sadly fell by the wayside.  You all will be happy to know, it has been reincarnated, but on Sundays!  So, we lost some lovely alliteration, but we gained a more relaxing day, with more time to prepare.  Also, I do the cooking/preparing and we are going to alternate picking the country/film.  One of Matthew and I’s biggest passions in life is film, and we both have a deep connection and fondness for food.  This podcast has allowed me another way to connect food to all of you out there.

I’m very happy to introduce my very first podcast and even more pleased that I’m launching it in conjunction with connectabite.  Please, be forgiving when you listen to it as this is our first ever time to attempt this, and though we’re both avid podcast listeners ourselves, there is certainly a separation in action of something you love.  Needless to say, here it is!  I hope you enjoy and I’d really like to start a dialogue about what you hear.  Tell me what you don’t like, what you do like, was it funny, was it awkward, could you understand what we’re saying, did you appreciate our commentary, etc…

CLICK HERE: –> (right click here) Cinema Cuisine Ep.1 – England

Below you’ll find the recipes to the meals I created, plus sources to some of them.  I hope you will join us in foreign film connecting and food and share with me  your experiences, recipes, ideas and so forth.  I’d love to chat about it all!  Maybe some of you have recommendations?  Enjoy both listening to the podcast and preparing these recipes, and remember…bite responsibly!

Gluten-Free Orange Pecan Scones

               Recipe inspired by Alex Jamieson

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups of almond flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp of sea salt
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 egg replacer (could also substitute ground flax or chia seeds)
  • 2 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Zest from one organic orange
  • 1/2 cup & 2 tbsp unsweetened almond, coconut, rice or other plant-based milk ( I used almond)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (I broke them into pieces with my hands rather than processing them in any way)
  • ½ cup raisins (you could also substitute another dried fruit)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients: almond flour, coconut flour, sea salt, and baking soda.  Take special care with the coconut flour as it will want to clump together.  Use a fork and sift through large bulges.)
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg replacer, maple syrup, orange juice, zest, and milk.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until blended thoroughly. If the dough seems too dry and isn’t sticking together, use another tablespoon or two of milk.  Dough should feel almost spongy.
  5. Dump in the pecans and raisins.  Then wet your hands to evenly distribute the nuts and dried fruit through the dough.
  6. Use an ice cream scooper to scoop out evenly sized scones and place scones on a parchment lined baking sheet and gently press down to flatten to 1/2 in thick with palm.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes or until the tops are golden brown, and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

NOTES

  • These are slightly crumbly scones but have a nice density.  They aren’t as heavy and thick as I was used to, but they are gluten-free, thus for what they are, fantastic!  I was so fretful the entire time I was making them/they were baking, that they would turn out flat and fall apart because there is no fat, and for must scones that a key ingredient, but these were only slightly crumbly as I mentioned and had the most divine flavor.
  • We enjoyed these with a hot cup of English Breakfast tea and the combination was superb!
  • I have a few ideas on how to improve/perk up the recipe and someday I’ll post my newest re-creation.
Orange Pecan Scones (gluten-free, vegan) © ConnectaBite 2013

Orange Pecan Scones (gluten-free, vegan) © ConnectaBite 2013

British Beetroot Salad

INGREDIENTS

For Salad

  • romaine lettuce (cleaned and chopped)
  • two medium beets (washed, peeled, and cut into small triangular wedges then cooked until tender, yet firm to form)
  • green peas (portion size is up to you, I’m a sprinkler/dumper)
  • two green onion (diced at an angle into 1/4 inch pieces)

For Dressing

  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds (previously soaked-about 6-8 hours, and rinsed)
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 tbsp dulse
  • 3 to 4 tbsp (or more depending on your taste buds) Organic horseradish mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or more depending on your taste buds)
  • freshly crushed black pepper to taste
  • onion granules to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. For Salad:  layer as follows – lettuce on the bottom, followed by green onion, peas, and top with whatever amount of beets sound yummy to you
  2. For Dressing:  in a high powered blender, add to blender all ingredients starting with water, seeds, lemon juice, then horseradish mustard, and so forth.  Blend on low and increase to high until a thick, white creamy sauce is before your eyes.  Do a few taste tests to make sure it’s just right for you.  The dressing should resemble the ubiquitous ‘Ranch’ dressing that so many love.  Drizzle dressing over salad. Enjoy before main entrée.

NOTES

  • You’ll have plenty of leftovers if you’re making this for just two, enjoy this delicious salad for a few days.  Store the dressing in a clean glass jar.
British Beetroot Salad w/ Raw Sunflower Seed Horseradish Dressing © ConnecaBite 2013

British Beetroot Salad w/ Raw Sunflower Seed Horseradish Dressing © ConnecaBite 2013

Lentil & Mushroom Shepherds Pie

               Recipe inspired by Susan Voisin (via Nava Atlas)

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 medium golden yukon potatoes
  • olive oil to taste (for potatoes)
  • 1/2 cup rice milk (rice/quinoa blend-unsweetened)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons grape seed oil or coconut oil*
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped (I used white)
  • 2  large cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 ounces baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 cup cooked brown lentils (creates about 3  to 31/2 cups cooked lentils with a little of their cooking liquid)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon reduced-sodium, gluten-free tamari (fermented soy sauce)*
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 to a 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons arrowroot
  • 8 to 10 ounces baby kale leaves
  • cooked millet, maybe a day or two old

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Dice the potatoes. Place in a large saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to a small mixing bowl.
  2. Mix together olive oil, potatoes and some salt (to taste) then add the milk and mash until fluffy. Cover and set aside until needed.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and mushrooms and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.
  5. Add the lentils and their liquid and bring to a gentle simmer. Stir in the tamari (optional) herbs and spices. Cook for 5 minutes while stirring gently, then letting the mixture rest to disperse flavors. Combine the arrowroot with just enough water to dissolve in a small container. Stir into the lentil mixture.
  6. Add the kale in small handfuls, cooking just until it’s all wilted down. Remove from the heat; taste to adjust seasonings to your liking.
  7. Lightly oil a 2-quart casserole dish.  Distribute the millet on the bottom of the dish. Pour in the lentil mixture evenly, then spread the potatoes evenly over the top.  The potatoes should spread almost as if they were thick frosting.  Spread with a spatula/bowl scraper.
  8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the potatoes begin to turn golden and slightly crusty. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes–to set–then serve.

NOTES

  • This would be especially tasty with a British inspired onion gravy–vegan and gluten-free of course, but I didn’t make one this time.
  • Also, I was so anxious to try this dish, I didn’t let it set for the 5 minutes initially, but the next day when we had leftovers, oh, so yummy!

shepherd'spie

English Mushroom Lentil Shepherd’s Pie © ConnecaBite 2013

 

Also, I thought you’d want to know we did indeed record this on a Sunday, but editing and the like took a bit longer.  :p

“Isn’t it stimulating, getting back to a basic sort of life for awhile?  Surrounded by trees and nature, one feels a glorious stirring of the senses, a rejection of poisonous inhibition, and a fecund motion of the soul” – Monty, Withnail and I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Texas Veg Fest

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photo by: RAM – ConnectaBite March 2012 | Lady Bird Lake

Good Afternoon Everyone,

I hope you’re all faring well.  Today, I’d like to highlight the Texas Veg Fest, soon to be in Austin, TX for its second year running.  After attending last year’s first Texas Veg Fest, I’m anxious to see what changes there will be.  Last year, I was able to sample a tremendous amount of food, I scored tons of great coupons and freebies and chatted with some helpful and informative companies/vendors.  I would say if you’re into trying new, funky vegetarian/vegan variations of foods like faux migas, faux cheese (that melts :p ), and some of the best dairy-free ice-creams out there, this festival is for you!  You will also get connected to businesses that are in the holistic and naturopathic vein, which is incredibly beneficial if you’re new to a plant-based diet.  Having a support system is incredibly important during any transition and there were numerous outlets of info last year and many more to come, this year.  My hope is that there will be more of an abundance of veggies and whole foods this year, but only time will tell.

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photo by: RAM – ConnectaBite March 2012 | Lady Bird Lake

Here’s a breakdown of  Texas Veg Fest, straight from the source:  

Texas VegFest is a family-friendly festival celebrating plant-based foods, with a focus on health, physical fitness, the environment, and compassionate living. For this year’s event, more than five thousand attendees will gather at beautiful Fiesta Gardens on Town Lake on Saturday, April 6th from 11am – 6pm. With engaging activities, vendors, speakers, demos, and, of course, great food and live music, you won’t want to miss Texas VegFest!

Our Fabulous Speakers and Cooking Demonstrations

Come see best-selling cookbook author Isa Chandra Moskowitz cook delicious cashew-based meals like Caesar salad, Creamy Chickpea and Rice Soup, and cheesecake. Executive Chef Ayinde Howell, the entrepreneur behind Hillside Quickies in Seattle, will be serving up some amazing vegan soul food including Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Texas BBQ Rubbed Seitan, and Mini Sloppy Joes. The Blissful Chef Christy Morgan will demonstrate easy protein-packed snacks that everyone will love.

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, the author of five books and frequent guest on Food Network and PBS, will captivate you with her presentation “From Excusitarian to Vegan.” Champion boxer Omowale Adewale is coming all the way from New York to share his presentation on how to incorporate positive habits into your life. His presentation will be interactive, so come prepared to learn a few moves. Dr. Baxter Montgomery, the founder of Montgomery Heart and Wellness, a cardiology practice and wellness center in Houston, will speak about all the health benefits of going plant-based.

Fantastic Activities for Families

In our kids’ area, enjoy youth yoga and face painting by Austin Bhakti Yoga, Austin’s premier nonprofit yoga center, or watch Austin’s healthy cooking school, The Natural Epicurean, demo recipes for kids and teens. Food is Free Project will share their model of simultaneously growing food and community through seed planting and seed ball-making activities. The captivating Brooke Chavez of Sunny Day Farms will be speaking to kids and teens about animal compassion and awareness. Sunny Day Farms is the largest farm animal sanctuary in the Central United States. For some quiet time to balance all this activity, Vegbooks.org has donated fantastic kids’ books for our reading and coloring zone.

Hungry for Food and Knowledge?

photo by:  Heather Schramm

photo by: Heather Schramm

Hungry attendees can feast on a variety of food such as curry, Tex-Mex, funnel cake, fresh juices, cupcakes, falafel, and veggie burgers from some of Austin’s most-loved restaurants. Or sample delicious treats and great products from companies across the nation. It’s all delicious, and it’s all vegan!

Premier Sponsor Wheatsville Co-op, opening their new store off South Lamar in June 2013, will have a booth representing their cooperative shopping model.

Explore local produce, tempeh, earth-friendly cleaning products, agave nectar, plant protein mixes, an electric car, blenders, baked goods, and other items showcased by Texas VegFest sponsors Plant Fusion, South Point Nissan, Natural Epicurean, and Wholesome Sweeteners, Vitamix, Clif Bar, Health Force Nutritionals, Dr. Lucy’s, Greenling, Johnson’s Backyard Gardening, The Hearty Vegan, Veggietopia, Way Better Snacks, Ecos Earth Friendly Products.

Nonprofits like Mercy For Animals and Vegans Rock Austin will be there to answer all your questions about how you can help protect animals. And people of all ages can enjoy a few moments of guided mediation by the Isha foundation on the shore of Town Lake.

Talented Music Line-up

It wouldn’t be an Austin festival without live music, and Texas VegFest doesn’t disappoint! Musical backdrop for Texas VegFest 2013 includes:

·         Edison Chair

·         Ray Prim

·         Mighty Mountain

·         Silver Ships

·         The Asteroid Shop

·         Technicolor Hearts

 

More information at www.TexasVegFest.com. Email us at info@texasvegfest.com, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter!

 

Official TVF 2013 Poster

Official TVF 2013 Poster

 

Keep an eye out sometime next week for my follow-up post on the festival, where I will give a ’round-two, Veg Fest breakdown’.  My thoughts, exciting new discoveries, critiques and more.  I’ll break it down for you!

Thanks for reading, tell all of your friends, and I hope to see you there.  And remember…bite responsibly!

 

Healthy Regards,

 

RAM

New Year: Food for Thought (part 2)

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HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone!  I’m here this morning to top off the final six of my 12 foods, lessons, concessions, thoughts and ideas of 2012.  I’m a day late with this one, but here they are nonetheless!  Tell me what yours are if you can think of any.

7.  Soup:  Hot, brothy, or even creamy soups…what more can I say.  They ease digestion and help eliminate those pesky toxins whilst adding a savory treat to your palate.  My favorite lately, a simple miso (I vary the miso type) with wakame or dulse and these big straw like rice noodles, so deeeelish.  I was much more experimental in 2012 with soups, here’s hoping I make even more in 2013!

8.  Squash:  We have gone squash crazy this month, wherein I’ve prepared more dishes from squash than I thought possible.  What is more, most thick skinned squashes have a much longer ‘shelf-life’ than most other fruits and veggies, thus they sustained us when we hadn’t yet gone grocery shopping.  Best discovery, delicata squash.  I prepared a dish wherein I sautéed delicata squash with a gluten-free pasta, chickpeas and greens…savory and delicious.  This particular squash has a natural umami.  Most adored squash, butternut…I could eat this EVERY day.  Most fun squash, spaghetti!  Most underrated squash, pumpkin.

  1.  Tamales:  Yes, I started off the new year the correct way–for me that is–and I followed through with something I’ve wanted to do for years now, make tamales.  In fact, I finished off 2012 by making my first batch and started off the new year by amping up my filling.  With the help of my love, we made a killer batch of spinach, mushroom, black bean tamales, and then pumpkin black bean tamales.  They were both a hit, and tasted delicious!  This was another way for me to get closer to what I eat because oftentimes we’ll get fresh tamales at the market on the weekends, it was nice to have my heart and hands close to such a delicate and unique process.
Waits Spock Runner

Waits Spock Runner

  1.  Waits:  As some of you may know, my kittle’s name is Waits, and he has had an interesting food journey this year.  I felt a strong need to mention him in my top 12, mainly because I feel we often forget about how important the diet of those we are guardian’s to, is.  Waits started off the year eating the same hard food we’ve given him for a long time now, and then began to have issues with his gums and lil’ teeth. He’s also quite eccentric about how and from what source he will drink water.  Though some disagree, we, for a time, were feeding him wet cat food–to relieve the pain he was experiencing munching on hard food–and as we adopted him at an older age, he–in some previous life–must have been accustomed to eating either wild animals outdoors, or a strictly wet-food diet.  Then, post-cleaning, we transitioned him back to hard food, much to his dismay.  The great part about Waits’ food journey in 2012, is that we’ve discovered he loves nori, chickpeas and ALL salty foods, acorn squash, and almond milk.  We also found a way to peak his water interest.  With all of his food troubles this year there have been great revelations, so my  hope is to start preparing more out of the ordinary snacks for him…wahoo!

  2.  Oats:  Oh, what to say about Oats. :p  I mention these, mostly because they have been a breakfast standard for most of 2012.  We buy gluten-free whole rolled oats, and dress them up in all sorts of ways in the morning.  I don’t know where my morning appetite would be without oats!  Cool finding:  Blended oats with all my ‘fixins’ is rather scrumptious and a welcome texture change.

  3.  The Farmers’ Market:  Some of you may have previously read my post on why I like shopping at the farmers’ market, but regardless, I couldn’t leave the market off of my list because it has been a remarkable learning and growing experience for me.  I’ve come to understand even more, a sense of community I don’t think I truly understood before.  I’m getting to know some of the farmers and coming to understand their trade with more intimacy.  I tried to grow a few things in 2012, and hope to do more this year.  My weekend routine was not the same if I had to miss our market trip; thanks to SFC and everyone who has worked hard to keep these markets up and running.  Eating local has changed my life in many ways.

Again, thanks to everyone who made writing this blog in 2012, more special than I imagined.  With the multitude of blogs out there, if you’ve ever taken the time to read mine, I am truly appreciative.

And remember…bite responsibly!

 

Healthy and Happy New Year Vibes,

 

~RAM~

 

New Year: Food for Thought (part 1)

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The year is only hours away from being just another recycled calendar so I thought it best to bestow upon the internet saturated world one more list of tops to help you consolidate your yearly conclusions.  This will be a first for me, but what will follow are my top 12 (in no particular order) foods, food thoughts, conclusions, lessons and the like for the year 2012. Without further adieu…

  1. Pizza, pizzzzzza, pizzer, peeetza:  Whatever your opinion on this Naples, Italy staple, pizza has played a significant role in 2012.  In fact, friends and I rang in the new year (2012) with homemade pizza topped with tomato sauce, onions, jalapenos, spinach, and a faux cheese brand, Daiya.  Our crusts have ranged from unbleached white crust (the naughtiest, but fullest of fluff crusts) to gluten-free (crispy, cracker-like crust).  Pizza has been a prominent foodstuff in many ways because for us, it has become both a treat that we treasure and a convenience that we appreciate.  Our bulk grain buying and muscle pumped ( :p ) arms have been given a true workout this year in the pizza making department as eachslicewas created with a labor of true love and devotion.  What’s more, we always make enough pizza dough to have a pizza crust stored in the freezer for later.  Additionally, I became rather fond of making homemade sauce.  Our pizza goals for the new year; more creative crusts (possible because of our new and much appreciated holiday gift of a pizza stone), tomato-free sauces (I’m already working on the recipe) and unique/experimental pizza topping ideas!

    Cathy Sparks Etsy

    Cathy Sparks Etsy

  2. Cleansing:  Whether this is something you do daily or occasionally for a full-body flush, cleansing is something I thought I knew everything about at the onset of 2012, but, like most of life, realizing I have much to learn has been such a relief.  It may sound rather strange, but it’s so comforting that I don’t know it all.  Coming to the close of another year, which for me (be it placebo or not) is a true marker of a new beginning, I’ve discovered so much about my body and how it responds to certain foods and how to truly cleanse. I know with confidence that with every day that passes I am one step closer to knowing nothing at all.  Ha, what a relief!  Maybe more than cleansing internally, I am cleansing mentally… letting go of mental road-blocks and archaic ideas in regards to food and how it will affect my body… cleansing has taken on a new meaning for me.  It’s not just a physical act, but emotional and mental too.
  3. Smoothie City:  This can’t be too much of a surprise to some of you who know me or read my blog regularly, but making smoothies has become a part of my food making routine and some flavas hold dietary dominance.  On my birthday this year I was given a Vitamix blender, which was quite possibly the best purchased gift I’ve ever been given.  Thanks go to my sweet loving man. <3  The two most prominent smoothies:  the green smoothie variety–I couldn’t live without you–and my protein, body-loving smoothie. Here’s how to make the latter! Ingredients:  2-2 1/2 cups unsweetened original almond milk, shake of cinnamon, two brown-buddy ripe (my phrase for extra-ripe) bananas, and 2 tbsp of the following:  flax meal (freshly ground), chia seeds, hemp seeds, cocoa powder.  [This is enough for two.]  Yumtastic to the max.  Connect with your food on a more visceral level with immediacy by liquefying.  The channels of nutrient delivery will burst wide open and your body will love you.  Thanks 2012 for this fantastic implementation only to be improved upon in 2013!
  4. Gluten-Free:  On day two of 2012 I was on a strict zero-gluten product diet.  This change didn’t carry 100% consistency throughout the entire year–though this was never my intention–but it did teach me a few things.  I’ve learned a great deal about what gluten does to our bodies and the role wheat, more specifically, has played in the history of food consumption.  It has occurred to me that replacements are not always necessary, nor are they a sound alternative to what you were previously eating.  Sometimes abstinence from a food texture in general, is not a bad thing. Forgoing teaches us discipline and appreciation.
  5. Self -Reflection:  Although I’ve already remarked on this topic to some degree, I thought it (self-reflection) deserved its own bullet.  An ongoing theme of growth for me this year has been to focus less on my surroundings and those individuals around me and focusing more on centering myself internally.  Working on myself from the inside out with an emphasis on what I consume, how I consume it and why I consume it has not been an easy journey for me this year, and it is no stretch to say at times it has been a struggle.  When I started this blog in March, I put all of myself into it, and with every post I have tried to imbue the purest form of gratitude possible towards food.  A goal for the new year/life, allowing myself the gift of truly experiencing food, however corny this may sound.
  6. Chamomile  and Hibiscus Mint Tea:    Without an unneeded amount of expansion on this topic, let me just say that if my body has reached an internal idea of its most perfect temperament, these two teas would be apart of the equation.  As my body tunes itself into a lovely melody, sipping on these lovely gems in my favorite tea-cup helps to pamper my mind and digestive system back into a state of ease.

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Until 2013, I must depart.  I hope the onset of the new year finds you happy, healing and well.  Make sure to check-in tomorrow for the last 6!  And remember…bite with love, responsibly!

Healthy Regards,

 

~RAM~

Be Well: Acupuncture and Thougtful Behavior

homesteadrevival.blogspot.com/2012/03/plant-garden-markers.html

Good Morning All,

Who would have thought that having numerous little needles placed at various points across your body, could be transformed into such a relaxing and fulfilling–not scary–experience?  Personally, I’ve never had any strong opposition to needles, but universally, needles are a ‘no no’; chacha!  On Monday afternoon, I had a rather transformative (forgive me for hyperbolizing a little, the experience is still fresh) visit with a acupuncture specialist.  Though it was not my first time experiencing acupuncture, it became more than just a session with an acupuncturist.  What I mean to say is, sometimes one’s lack of expectation leading up to an experience can amplify its impact.  This was certainly true for me.

In light of this experience, I would like today’s post to explore a life with intention and how, when we least expect it, the realization that our bodies are fastened to our experiences is proven true.

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Okay, so after what felt like a 20 minute session with my acupuncture specialist (real-time: 3 hours), I realized I was internalizing and absorbing all of the positive energy I was being given.  Some of you may think this is a load of (insert your favorite bowel expletive here), but I find that much of what we put out there is what we get back.  A “You get what you give” kind of thing.  We (my acupuncture physician and I) talked about a myriad of things and made plans for progression of healing in slow steps. This thoughtful conversation immediately put me at ease and the tone of our voices were soft and tranquil.  The clarity I reached in respect to my body’s reactions was easy to trace back to a moment; when we discussed food choices.  A motif in our conversation: food really does change your life, whether you’d like to acknowledge this fact or not, it’s there…waiting for you…sometimes until it comes out.  OH YUCK, right?!  I don’t mean to be lewd, but let’s be straight, bowel movements make a world of difference in your overall health as a functioning human being of society.  That’s just NOT something people at large like to think about or come to terms with.  Chatting about the inner-workings of our systems and how throwing one part of our body’s functions out of whack can send the other parts into a shocking down-turn (one that rears it’s ugly little head in an assortment of nasty plays, like acne, gas, moody behaviors, sore muscles, you name it), is of utter importance, yet gets little to no attention in too many analytical circles.  My visit was a reminder of all the subtleties of consumption’s relationship to our happiness.

http://b-slick.com/food-animals/

Every Friday, people will bring in what our office likes to call ‘Friday Morning Goodies’, which most typically entails an array of items I wouldn’t or choose not to consume.  However, the past three Friday’s, a couple of co-workers have been so thoughtful as to bring in alternative edibles.  There was a delicious fruit salad that was freshly made with kiwi.  Then, the spread of organic fruit ranging from Honeycrisp apples to Medjoold dates (my favorite), was a lovely assortment of culture and nutrition.  Finally, the most recent Friday saw a gluten-free, sugar-free and animal-product-free pumpkin pie with pecan halves on top.  It wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet and the crust was a nice texture (made from almond flour). More than just snacks, to me they were gifts of thoughtful behavior.  Being an American can often have many negative connotations to those looking at us from the outside, but if there is one thing I have learned in regards to socialization, it is that challenging the norm’ is never a bad idea. In fact with so many overt privileges here, what’s wrong with a little questioning and boundary breaking?  I might be over-analyzing simple choices by these individuals to provide some fruit or alternative pie for the office, but maybe these choices aren’t recognized enough.  It is actions like their’s that help inspire me to write this blog.

With an astronomically high-priced presidential election (6 billion dollars) that just came to a close, I reflect on the many aspects of citizenship in the U.S.A. and I ask only that we (Americans) think of the allowances given merely by being born here.

Food and our relationship with it, truly can change lives, and it is our job to discover how to embrace it.

I have a lot of new projects going on and I hope to keep you all up-to-date on them, as they unfold.  Thanks for reading, enjoy your Sunday, and remember…bite responsibly!

 

Healthy Regards,

~RAM~

 

Giving It Up. Part 2

I’m going to ‘get down to business’ as my absence from completing my previous post has muddled my train of thought a bit.

Food choices.  Like most choices in life they are difficult, should require thought, care and most of all should elicit a positive response from both our minds and our bodies’.   Relinquishing any part of your normal and for some it seems their ‘natural’ diet feels like a punishment and to be fair is definitely more difficult than it seems for so many reasons.  The reasons can be straightforward and some are more abstract, but no matter, the intricacies and details our all-mighty digestive system and our moral standing deserve a little time and attention paid.  Why not right?

What we consume is more than just organic matter.  Aren’t we?

Here are some ways you can begin your abstinence of whatever foodstuff(s) is on your ‘give up’ list.

  • Identify why it is you’re doing what you’re doing.  What I mean is, avoid at all costs making a food decision based on a singular article you read, one person’s opinion that you feel ‘changed your life’, one film, one book, etc…  Make the choice be your own and part of who you are.  That sounds heavy right?  Nope. It’s actually the best thing you can do for yourself.  I can almost guarantee one of the first things you’ll be asked when in a circumstance of questioning in regards to your new changes will be, “so why’d you give up ***…why aren’t you eating ***…is that hard?  There are many variations, but it will be something along those lines.  You don’t want to be–at least I hope not–the person standing there with wide, confused eyes and a tilted head asking yourself that very same question.  “Why the hell am I not eating *insert food(s) here*?”  because the truth of the matter is for some people it’s not a medical reason, for some it’s both, but have this reason neatly ironed out.  It WILL make your life so much easier if you can give a clean, concise response.
  • In many circumstances, and if it is within your means (budget/time) I would suggest seeing a trained professional about your choices.  For some this professional is a general practitioner and for others it’s a natural or traditional Chinese doctor–and within these extremes there are an assortment of others.  Why do I suggest this?  More than anything because if you’re facing a dietary restriction based on ethical and moral decisions you can do harm to your body by making extreme changes and not knowing/understanding the consequences/repercussions.  In the circumstance you’re cutting something out of your diet temporarily, this can be helpful, but it can also lead to large stints of time of self-experimentation and self-diagnosing that becomes tiresome and embellishes a neurotic…I should know. :p
  • As I’ve suggested in earlier posts, consider your likes and dislikes.  Are you an especially picky eater?  What is your reasoning for ignoring or avoiding certain food product(s)/items?
  • What are your options?  For instance, if you’re giving up processed sugar, ask yourself how much of your daily diet has processed sugar?  Will your environment/culture/circumstance allow for any changes you would like to make?  Thinking about these things seems like such a chore, but  it is necessary if you would like to stick with your decision long-term.
  • Be realistic, do you cook?  Choosing a diet or being semi-forced into one because of health issues can put many people in a tough spot, especially if you don’t do more to prepare a meal than pop a frozen dinner into the microwave.  What sort of tools and gadgets will you need to prepare the meals of your dreams and are you willing to put in the time and effort to meet your culinary goals?  If you’re anything like Carrie Bradshaw, that oven may have cobwebs and those knives might a dull.    Be realistic.
  • Plan. Plan. Plan.  Enough said.  This will be a drag for some of you, I know.
  • Make a food budget.  I’ve talked about this before, but I’m going to be honest here–aren’t I always–food should be of the utmost importance when it comes to our finances.  We only have one body and with all the mysterious and sometimes ominous environmental factors one way we can ‘defend’ ourselves is by what we’re eating.  Expand your normal–for some of you miniscule amount– food allowance by 15% and see where that gets you.  That’s not a lot, but it’s a start.  Don’t go raw and expect to spend only $50 at the grocery store per week and expect to be eating well.
  • Choose your items wisely and buy the essentials.  Keep in mind those items you will be using and have a back-up for those busy nights when you don’t have the time to run to the store.  It will be more helpful than you know.
  • Start small.  Try weaning yourself off of a couple of things at a time so as not to overwhelm yourself or your body.  As odd as it may sound, giving up meat entirely overnight can do a world of damage to your body.  Imagine telling your body overnight, “oh hey, I forgot to tell you…I’m going to be reprogramming my DNA within a matter of a week, let’s make this happen…pronto, yeah?”.  It’s an unrealistic and foolish request.  Additionally, if you go in an extreme route quickly, you may relapse.
  • Remember, you’ll be detoxing.  As I said above, even giving up detrimental foods slowly will be taxing to some degree, but doing it quickly will be a nightmare for some.   At first you may feel jazzed and full of energy, but soon it will hit you…it being the feeling of exhaustion, foggy-headedness and so much more.  If you feel worse before you feel better, stick with it, you won’t regret it later.  Be patient with your body and your mind will catch up.
  • Thoughtfully tell those closest to you the choice that you’ve made and hope that they will be accommodating and  understanding.  When or if they are not, understand this is their choice and you should not feel slighted or hurt.  This is your journey, not theirs.
  • Do a little research or maybe a lot.  With education comes confidence and with confidence comes strength. Unravel all details and you’ll be surprised how beneficial this will be.
  • Check your sources.  This one is also pretty self-explanatory. :)
  • Finally, make the connection between where you’re food is coming from and how it’s getting into your grocery bag.  Think about your purchases and make that connection.

http://cutestfood.com/4148/sad-onigiri/

Please note that this list is not exhaustive.  My next post (Part 3) will be some of the blogs and websites that I frequent when I need a little help with the choices I’m making.  I hope this post was helpful and put some of you at ease.  Food is such an important and magnificent part of our existence, it’s always my pleasure to share my thoughts on its inner-workings and sociological stamps.

If you have any questions, thoughts or concerns, please share.

And remember…bite responsibly.

 

Healthy Regards,

~RAM~

Life beyond gluten, continued.

So, now you understand the basics of how to live a life less dependent on gluten, but what the hell are you supposed to eat now? You are used to taking a whole wheat sandwich everyday with (insert your food trappings here) and spaghetti for dinner and oh yeah toast for breakfast–even a muffin or doughnut.  And if you are vegan, than you are initially going to feel even MORE restricted, but trust me this feeling too, shall pass.  If you start to forget what it means to apply your new founded dietary change refer back to my last post or food journal that I know you have all been keeping since Sunday. Where are your weak spots?

Lucky for us, we live in a time of excessive labeling and precautionary companies, so it is easy to avoid gluten in processed foods.  If gluten will not be 100% cut out of your diet than it is important to at least avoid it in trivial amounts in other foods.  For example:  if you like to eat oats in the morning, you no longer can eat conventional oats because they are processed in a plant where gluten is handled.  You can however by ‘safe’ oats, I suggest Bob’s Red Mill.

What do I suggest you eat?  This is a semi-difficult question to answer because I can only direct my response to the vegetable/fruit based diet.  Here are some ideas for foodstuffs you might consider in your transition:

  • whole rolled oats with unsweetened almond milk (insert amaranth, quinoa, oat groats); for those with a sweet tooth, try adding stevia (liquid or granule) or a teeny amount of pure maple syrup.  You could also try adding in coconut oil (shoot for cold pressed).
  • green smoothie variety:  recipes are in assortment online, I say switch off your complimentary fruits inside the smoothie to the season at the moment, but bananas are always a great natural sweetener and thickener regardless of the season.
  • protein smoothies:  blended mixtures with hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, almond milk (hemp milk), stevia, raw cacao, etc…
  • greens wraps with roasted root vegetables, sprouts, hummus (raw and typical chickpea)
  • raw almond butter with celery, apples, carrots
  • brown rice crackers with avocado and bell pepper
  • vegetable sticks or pieces:  bell peppers, celery, carrots, radishes
  • blended vegetable soups with a grain (millet, quinoa, brown rice assortments)
  • HUGE salads:  go crazy with the vegetable variety and add deeeeelish raw dressings like raw sunflower seed ranch, or a walnut dressings
  • buckwheat noodles marked as gluten-free with steamed veggies
  • legumes hot, or sprouted in salads:  sprouting your legumes isn’t hard, and they are better for your simple digestion
  • lentil dips
  • raw seeds and nuts (soaked of course)
  • corn tortillas:  although more acidic, these are great on occasion and of course in moderation; check for non-gmo corn!
  • craving pasta:  there are an assortment of gluten-free pastas out there, I say stick to the ones containing the LEAST amount of corn starch and vegetable oils like canola, I like these brands =  Ancient Harvest & Tinkyada (neither one of these are very gummy and mushy)
  • tempeh sautéed with assorted vegetables (raw, roasted, steamed, sautéed)
  • AGAIN dips are your friend!!
  • For those craving moments, there are gluten-free pizza crust recipes and some pre-made mixes and there are also a variety of gluten-free baking recipes out there.

I could certainly list more, but these are the most critical items without getting too detailed and frivolous.  The key to cutting out gluten is to realize what you are NOT missing and move on.  Don’t even consider it an option when you are dining.   If you are vegetarian, this could be a simpler process.  Dwelling on any circumstance from the ‘past’ is not a very fun or healthy mental state to carry everyday.  Overall, cutting out gluten for some is just a transition into eating more processed foods or equal value to those they were eating previously, but I say try to see cutting gluten out of your daily food routines as another excuse to bring your diet closer to the ground, to whole, slow-foods.

As always, if you have any questions, critiques or comments, I would love to hear from you.

And remember…bite responsibly.

 

Healthy Regards,

~RAM~

Is there life beyond gluten?

[for a friend in need of some advice] ^___^

Edward Gorey

I used to ask myself this question quite often, and occasionally I wax nostalgic about the good ol’ days when my life was so breadtastic, but to be perfectly honest…I know I’m not missing out on much.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying a crunchy piece of rye toast with coconut oil isn’t a nice addition to a plate of pasta and red sauce, what I am saying is, it’s not necessary and your palate will adjust.

Maybe I should back up a bit.  I’ve not been fully screened for Celiac’s disease, gluten sensitivity or intolerance–and setting aside all the education I’ve acquired in reference to the negative affects of gluten on everyone–my intuition and connection to my body (apologies to those who find this a crock) has put up many signs directing me to the decision that I most assuredly have some natural biological aversion to this protein.  What were the main symptoms I noticed that some of you may?

  • Headaches (all the time, why because I was always eating these products)
  • Weight loss (I wasn’t necessarily ‘losing’ weight’ but I certainly wasn’t gaining it either, which may seem like a novel idea to some, but this is dangerous territory.)
  • Lack of nutrient absorption ( a form of malnourishment), when you’re intestines become so clogged up with gluten gunk, the receptors in your body don’t know how to process and receive nutrients from the food you’re ingesting.  You won’t break down any food you’re consuming properly because you won’t have the proper digestive enzymes to do so.  Scary, right?
  • Skin problems
  • Changes in mood
  • Menstrual disrupt (this symptom and the oneaboveareinterconnected in many ways, hormonally)

    You don’t have to feel like this about your choice.

Those are some of the main symptoms I experienced, and though I don’t think it is always safe to self-diagnose, I also think it’s reckless to ignore disruptions in your body and mind without addressing your diet.  I’m not one to turn to doctors or pharmaceuticals as my first choice of action.  I am also not here today to non-verbally ‘preach’ about the science (there are a multitude of articles out there related to the science and toward the bottom I’ll share some I find helpful), I’d rather share with you some of my solutions to weaning myself off of gluten.  Here’s a path you may try following:

  1. Begin by taking the time to examine your daily food routines.  My suggestion is to keep a food journal for one entire week while you’re consuming your regular diet.  It’s easiest to start on Sunday, and write down every single thing that you eat.  Don’t concern yourself with nutritive values and precise amounts, that’s not what this journal will be used for.  This journal will be a helpful tool for what is to come in your food transitioning.  Be specific, however.  Here’s a good example of what I mean:  MY LUNCH TODAY= salad:  baby kale, baby spinach, dried oregano, garlic granules, lemon juice, nutritional’s yeast; leftovers:  short grain brown rice, pinto beans, with sautéed (with grapeseed oil) red, green bell pepper, sweet onion, and white cap mushrooms; spices:  crushed red pepper, oregano, garlic granules, cumin, Himalayan sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper
  2. After the seventh day, take a thorough and thoughtful look at what you’ve eaten and grade yourselff.  No particular scale, but notice whether you are a high gluten consumer or a minimal gluten consumer.  Ask yourself questions like:  Where are your weaknesses when it comes to eating gluten-dense products?  What time of day do you have the greatest concentration?  Are there any triggering foods?
  3. Now, decide what you are and are not willing to eat.  I mentioned this in an earlier post, and I’m bringing it up again because I think it’s so important.  Being honest with yourself about what you’re willing to chow-down on, on a regular basis, is essential to having a well-balanced and most of all fulfilling diet.  This isn’t to say you should be restrictive with those foods which you’ve metaphorically ‘quarantined’ but it is important to know your limits because if you graded yourself as a ‘high gluten consumer’ you may feel initially like you’re giving up a part of your soul. No, really, some do.  Diet change should never feel like personal deprivation, it should be a cleansing and fun process.
  4. Analyze your budget.  This is paramount because you may find yourself craving food analogs of those baked goods you’re accustomed to and they can be quite pricey.  Almost double sometimes the price of a regular loaf of bread for example.  Be realistic about what you can and cannot spend.  I’m not personally recommending you reinstate all gluten-free products in place of all the gluten-ridden products you were consuming prior to your switch even if you have the budget, but the occasional gf pasta dish is nice, and makes for a varietal diet.
  5. Choose your problem spots and work on them first.  What do I mean?  If there is a particular time of day where you were gluten dense, ask yourself how you can change that meal or snack without a) depriving yourself b) adding in more processed food or gluten alternative c) skipping a meal because you’re stuck.  I don’t think for some it is entirely necessary to exclude gluten from your diet one hundred percent, although I recommend it, but I know this is not an entirely plausible lifestyle for some, especially those who willingly choose to filter such products out.
  6. Regroup.  Before you take your first ‘gluten-be-gone’ shopping trip to the market, think about your new food routine and be happy about it.  Shaking up our routines is a wonderful and empowering experience, especially with something as important as food.  Try not to be overly circumspect about trying new things, this could make dining a boring part of your life.  Understand that an assortment of shopping and food prep rituals will be different, but that’s a good thing.
  7. Don’t dwell.  As with many addictions in life you will go through a period of ‘jitters’ where you may not think life is fun or as enjoyable without drinking those gluten-laden beers with your girlfriends and buds, or having that comfort pizza on a rainy film night, but things will get better.  Yes, there are alternatives, and though I will reiterate I don’t recommend relying on them, they are there for those weak moments to help you transition.  Your will is only as strong as you’ll let it be.
  8. Be happy with your choice.  Thisshould be an obvious one, but so often in life we make decisions that we grumble and mumble about after we voluntarily chose to do so.  Own up to your life choices and support yourself.

    You could feel like this. =^_____^=

My next post will be a follow-up to this one with meal-time tips and more transitioning ideas.  I am currently not 100% gluten-free, but I stray away from it about 93% of the time.  I hope each and every one of you understand you’re totally capable of changing your diet, as long as you support yourself with true grit.

I look forward to hearing from you all with comments and ideas.

And remember…bite responsibly.

 

Healthy Regards,

~RAM~

Gluten Intolerance Symptoms

Reasons to Gluten-Free For Dummies 

Going Gluten Free For the Right Reasons

Should you go gluten-free?

Should We All Go Gluten-Free?

Gluten, What you don’t know…

gluten-free diet

 

Review: Spaghetti (sauce) and Beet Balls

Rachel Manning © 2012

Oh beets, how you constantly surprise me with your varietal flavors and textures.

Recently I tried out Susan Voisin’s recipe for gluten-free, soy-free, vegan ‘Beet Balls’ and they were fantastic.  I had a few of my own tweaks, but for the most part I stuck to the recipe at hand, which is saying a lot for me.  Click on the link above for a more ‘behind the scene’ look at the origin of this recipe.

What did I think? These things were completely marvy!  Everything about them was pleasurable from the savory, evenly seasoned flavor to the chunky yet doable texture.  I have tried them two different ways; once on top of pasta which I’ve shown, and once crumbled on a dish. Both times my experience was exceptional and satisfying.  Additionally, the reheat factor is a cinch; I just threw mine on a dry skillet at a low setting for about 10 minutes whilst rolling around to evenly heat.

Rachel Manning © 2012

I recommend using these ‘beet balls’ as just that or in a taco, on a pizza as Susan suggests, crumbled on top of a salad, or even mixed into a bowl of quinoa. You could even add them on top of lightly wilted beet greens in order to use the entire vegetable.

Here are a few of my recommendations and tweaks.  (All local produce).  First of all, I used baby bella mushrooms which have a very similar texture to porcini mushrooms and are easily accessible and less expensive.  To match the proportion, I used around 6 or 7 small to medium-sized mushrooms.  Additionally, I used a typical red beet, rather than a golden beet, so mine turned out a lovely crimson color.  Note that the red beets are a tad sweeter, but not by much.  I also used raw walnuts instead of pecans or almonds because I felt they would add a lovely flavor and texture that wouldn’t overpower everything else, and luckily for me, I was right! ^____^ I would recommend taking the balls out half way through the cooking process to turn them so they can brown evenly on both sides.

Rachel Manning © 2012

Thank you Susan for a fantastic and creative recipe that I will be making many more times.  In fact I have two medium-sized beets left, and I’ll be in beet ball city this weekend as I prepare them for the freezer.  There’s nothing better than homemade frozen dinners for when you’re in a time crunch. 😀

I knew I wanted to stick to an Italian theme when I prepared these, so I cooked some gluten-free spaghetti with a pasta sauce I had never tried before and I would like to share it with all of you.

Rachel Manning © 2012

Rising Moon Organics – Garlic & Merlot Pasta Sauce Breakdown:

  1. Cost:  1 jar is Net. Wt. of 14oz at a cost of $4.50-ish.
  2. Types:  There are five different varieties including; Garlic & Merlot (which is what I tried), Organic Port & Asiago, Garlic and basil, Olive and Asiago, and Garlic & Chanterelle Mushroom.
  3. Ingredients:  Three of the five have no animal products and are clearly marked as so and all are Organic.  There is no additional sugar added.  No real allergen specifications are marked.
  4. Packaging/Environment:  Glass jar, and lovely label that contains quotes and info about the co. and encourages recycling.
  5. Preparation:  Serve cold or hot (stove-top or microwave) on top of your desired dish.
  6. Nutritional Facts:  (basics) 1 serving = 40 Calories, 0 grams of fat, 190 mg of sodium, 2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein

My First and Final Impressions and Reflections:

  1. Cost:  As I appraise the value of this product in comparison to its cost, I would say it is worth what you pay!  As drought’s have affected many farmers crops and considering organic products are sometimes a couple blinks higher than your average grocery store produce, this product is worth the price even in a smaller jar.
  2. Types:  Although I’ve only tried one of the three I choose to consume, the Garlic & Merlot was delectable and savory!  I am personally not a fan of  sweet pasta sauces and this one is certainly not.  It has a tinge of sweet that lingers from the tomato and a kick because of the Merlot.
  3. Ingredients:  Again, another company that commences their ingredient list with water, which instills the concept of true definition in their product.  There is no added sweetener, which is such a relief because most pre-made pasta sauces have some form of sugar added in by the third or fourth ingredient.  There are not added preservatives and yucky additives.  Everything is what it is.    The fact that the ingredients are organic is sigh of relief as well because tomatoes can harbor a lot of icktastic residues and pesticides that can  leak into their thin skin.  Who wants to eat that?
  4. Packaging/Environment/Company:  Cute small jar (I love jars because I repurpose them), and fun/informative label. This quote was on my jar and I think it speaks for itself in conjunction with what Rising Moon Organics stands for.   “Cooking is like love.  It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” – Harriet Van Horne(famous journalist)

    Rachel Manning © 2012

  5. Preparation:  I served mine mixed in with pasta on the stove-top, but you could also liberally  (hee) pour it over your favorite pizza crust or cooked pasta.  I would even put in over steamed veggies or as a dip.
  6. Nutritional Facts:  I have stated this numerous times already, but I adore the fact that there is no added sugar.  I also appreciate the low sodium content because I would rather spread my sodium intake throughout the day than saturate it in one area like an overdosed sauce.  So many Italian inspired herbs that have tremendous cleansing properties make me very pleased.

Take Away:  I would most assuredly buy Rising Moon Organics pasta sauce again.  In fact as far as a quick sauce, they are #1 for me at this point.  Something I’d like to see them specify is allergens and perhaps more about the packaging of their materials.   This sauce was fantastic and I cannot wait to try the Garlic & Chanterelle Mushroom!

My full meal:  Susan Voisin’s recipe for beet balls on top of Tinkyada’s gluten-free spaghetti mixed with Rising Moon Organic’s Garlic & Merlot flavor pasta sauce.  Très magnifique!  (Pre-dinner bed of greens of course :p ).

I hope you all truly enjoy preparing this meal, I did.  I must admit, I have a hard time approaching any meal with abandon, but I’m working on relaxing a bit when it comes to food.  Although I’m a firm believer in being as connected as possible to what you’re eating, I am also keen to the fact that I can’t change everything and life can have a modicum of hedonism, right?

I’d love any feedback about fun ways you’ve incorporated beets into recipes and how you’ve utilized pasta sauces in creative ways.

And remember…bite responsibly.

 

Healthy and Warm Regards,

~RAM~

Only A Recipe Away

As most recipes are planned out with precision, I find it very difficult to EVER truly follow a step-by-step list of directions and ingredients.  Most typically I look at recipes for inspiration, ideas and a tad-bit of direction. That being said, last weekend I made these fresh yummy wraps that I’d like to share with all of you because I didn’t follow a recipe I just gathered a few tips online.  I’d like to share my product and yes, a bit of a directional list.  What’s great about this recipe, if you’d even call it that, is it coincides perfectly with my last post about being ‘spatially challenged’ in the kitchen.

As with most of my ‘recipes’ I am going to simply put estimates of product, but for the most part I will simply list the ingredients I used.  Enjoy!!

Killer Collard Wraps

(for 1 person)

  • 2 collard green leaves (if you don’t have an affinity for collard greens, try using Swiss chard leaves).  Now some recipes you’ll find out there in internet land will instruct you to cut out the leaf stem, but I find this to be wasteful, unnecessary and it creates a messier and much smaller wrap.  Take the stem of the leaf and at a horizontal angle, slice off the excess bulky part of the stem so that you’re left with a flattened stem on the leaf. It should be flat not circular.  Now place the leaves on a flat surface (I used a plate) and stack them in a way where together they make a wider leaf, but the edges of one are exposed.
  • Use any condiment you prefer and spread it over the top layer leaf and somewhat on the underlying leaf. I used a raw almond spread I made, which I’m still perfecting, but I’ll eventually post its recipe.  Some ideas:  humus, zucchini spread/dip, mustard, vegan mayo, nut spreads, sunflower seed spread, avocado spread, pesto.
  • Cucumber – slice thin pieces and then cut into half-moons, place 6 on each side of the wrap bottom, almost as though you’re keeping an inch or more between each row of them.
  • Tomato – again, thin slices and now place them between the two rows of cucumber half-moons
  • 1/2 a ripe avocado – I typically make long vertical slices and place them in a stagard row in the center.
  • 1-2 green onion – at an angle, slice small pieces of green onion including the white area.  Sprinkle the small pieces on top of the tomato and cucumber liberally.
  • Sunflower sprouts (or whatever you prefer) – about a handful; I chose sunflower sprouts because they have a lovely crunch.  Spread these out across the top of everything else you’ve
  • Quinoa – 1/4 a cup or so, but I mostly just sprinkled unseasoned quinoa on top of the vegetables.
  • Tempeh – slice in long medium thick strips and sauté over medium heat in grapeseed oil until golden and moderately crisp.  Place tempeh strips on top of all other layers.
  • Sprinklings!  Try sprinkling:  garlic granules, paprika, cayenne, nutritional yeast (nooch), Himalayan sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, or even a spicy hot sauce.
  • Fin!

Now what you’ll need to do is fold in the vertical end of the wrap where the stems end and then tuck in the horizontal end nearest your body and squish in the wrap contents.  Now fold in the other vertical end and complete the wrap process.  It’s generally like making a burrito, except you’re using green leaves.  In retrospect I should have taken pictures of how I wrapped it.

I hope you enjoy these wraps as much as I do.  I don’t think sticking to the vegetables I used is a must.  I would use whatever you have available and what is freshest at your local market.  Make the wrap your own and share with me different methods you’ve approached with making yummy vegetable wraps.  I would love to hear from you!

Don’t forget to masticate every bite because digestion begins in the mouth.  Crazy right?!  Have a lovely first weekend of spring!  =^_____________^=

And remember…bite responsibly.

 

Healthy Regards,

~RAM~