Raw Meal Monday: Raw-spiration

With all the excitement of the Oscars cascading into my computer screen, it’s a wonderful time to reflect on 2 things:

1. Ten bucks all those women on the red carpet have been eating nothing but carrot sticks for 2 weeks.

AND

2. They’re crazy to only be eating carrot sticks for 2 weeks. There’s an abundance of far tastier raw meals out there to be feasting on.

The good news is that we’re not under that same level of scrutiny. Thank Goodness! And while I encourage a healthy, balanced diet with lots of whole foods, seasonal foods, and tasty treats, anyone who knows me personally will know that I am never one to shy away from an egg and mushroom roll from Kawa in Surry Hills, or kumera chip from Fish Mongers in Bondi, or vegetarian pizza from Big John’s in Bondi, or chicken taco from El Loco. Phew, I get around.

But shit, it’s Raw Meal Monday, so I have to put all my premenstrual cravings aside for just a minute and share with you this week’s recipe.

Wait, scrap that. I’m not in the mood for a recipe. I’m in the mood for some link love. Think of it as the Oscars of Raw Food Bloggers and Websites.

And the nomnomnomnominees are…

1. The Raw Chef’s Russell James
Find him at: http://therawchef.com/therawchefblog/

2. Sweetly Raw’s Heather Pace
Find her at: http://www.sweetlyraw.com/

3. Choosing Raw
Find it at: http://www.choosingraw.com/

4. Raw Model’s Anthony Anderson (AKA The Raw Hottie)
Find him at: http://rawmodelcom.blogspot.com.au/

5. We Like It Raw
Find it at: http://www.welikeitraw.com/rawfood/recipes/index.html

So, next time you don’t feel like cooking (literally), why not head to one of these five sites to score yourself an award-winning dish.

Stay Happy,

Yaz x

If you have any sites you love (they don’t have to be raw) why not share them here.

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Raw Meal Monday: Date & Almond Delicacy

I’m not really much of a sweet tooth. My husband on the other hand, well, he’s probably got his nose in the dark chocolate block right now. That said, I do enjoy a little slice of something sweet from time-to-time (especially at that time of the month).

So, in an effort to make something healthy, but sweet and packed with flavour, I embarked on creating these moorish treats. Time out of day: 15 minutes. Not bad!

Here’s what you’ll need:

1/2 x cup of almonds soaked overnight
1/2 x cup of Brazil nuts soaked with their mate, Almond
2 x cups of pitted dates soaked for 2 hours
1/2 x cup water or coconut water
2 x cups of coconut flesh
1 x handful of sesame seeds
1 x handful of any other seeds you have lying around (optional)

And here’s what you need to do…

1. Place almonds, Brazil nuts and half the dates in a blender or food processor and whiz.
2. Add coconut flesh and blend a little more.
3. Place mixture into a slice tin or plastic container and push down so it’s firmly packed.
4. Blend remaining dates with water or coconut water so that they form a liquidy icing and place on top of nut mixture.
5. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and random other seeds, and place in fridge for a few hours to firm up.
6. Enjoy with a cup of Rooibos tea (made with soy milk and a dash of honey).

Here’s a visual of mine still in its container ‘firming up’…

*After picture was taken I couldn’t help but try it. Oh. Em. Gee. Flavour bomb in my mouth. This is clearly a winner!

Stay Happy,

Yaz x

Hump-Day Happiness: Homemade Baba Ghanoush

When I’m not dreaming up new ice cream recipes, it appears I’m figuring out what dip or condiment I want to tackle next. This week: Baba Ghanoush, the slightly zingier cousin to hummus and something I am proud to now be stocking (in abundance) in my fridge.

The good news? Eggplants are in season. Hooray! Head to your local green grocer, Harris Farm, or Farmers’ Market and you’ll see what I mean – they’re everywhere (and cheap, too).

Once you’ve secured your eggplants, make sure you have tahini, lemon, garlic, and olive oil on hand, as well as a mixing devise. I use a hand-held mixer as space is an issue in our kitchen, but a blender or proper food processor would work a treat as well.

To start, throw your eggplants in a warm oven, pre-heated to 180 degrees Celsius. No need to chop, salt, or remove skin; just chuck them in whole and leave for about an hour. Alternatively, if you have gas, you can brown them on your stove-top, or throw them on the BBQ.

Once your eggplants are done (they’ll be super soft and the skin would have turned a slightly brown colour), remove from heat and let cool in a bowl. They’ll start leaking heaps of liquid; so for cleaning purposes, place them in something (and thank me later).

While your eggies are cooling, roughly chop some garlic, and get your olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, and Himalayan salt ready. Remove all the skin from your cooled eggplants, and throw them in a large bowl (or blender/food processor) with all the other ingredients. Blend! Whiz! Pulse! Stir! Until all the ingredients are creamy and smooth.

That’s it, ENJOY! I like to have my Baba Ghanoush with salads, on grainy sprouted bread, even tossed through buckwheat pasta spirals with spinach, Spanish onion, and roast cherry tomato. The possibilities are endless. Brilliant!

Enjoy, and stay happy,

Yaz xx

Happy Valentine’s Day; let’s celebrate the things we love

Hey, it’s Valentine’s Day, and to celebrate this day of romantic gestures, I urge all of us to think about the things we love and put aside a moment of gratitude and appreciation for each of them.

What’s that? You’re single! You don’t ‘do’ Valentine’s Day! Well, who ever said you needed a lover in your life to celebrate, well, love. Bugger your boyfriend, if he’s non-existant this year, celebrate the love you have for your friends, your family, your pet, and most of all, yourself.

Here’s some imagery to get you in the mood. Enjoy and have a lovely day…

Stay Happy,

Yaz xx

Eat this: Fish Tacos (without the taco)

It’s no secret that my hubby and I have a lust for lettuce cups. If there’s a meal that can be made into ‘lettuce cup’ anything we’ll create it. Sandwiches, burgers, burritos, fajitas, and now…tacos. Not just any tacos, delicately seasoned fish tacos with homemade avocado salsa, red cabbage, and oodles of flavour. Read on if your mouth is watering!

If you’re new to the whole lettuce cup scenario, it’s basically ice berg lettuce with a meal inside. Like San Choy Bow, without the added oil, MSG, or questionable mystery meat inside (I actually LOVE San Choy Bow, especially the one at Golden Century in Chinatown. Best hangover food ever).

Anyway, this particular lettuce cup meal enjoys the fresh Westernised Mexican flavours you’d expect it to, with a piece of Ling fillet proudly marinated in fresh lime, a teeny tiny bit of burrito seasoning (watch out for that packaged stuff, it’s rammed with salt and other nasty unnecessaries), paprika, cumin, and ground coriander, then served on a bed of red cabbage; tomato, onion and avocado salsa; finely chopped kale, and a dash of curry powder salad dressing, all elegantly wrapped in a lettuce leaf. Oh man, this is so yummy.

Here’s what you need to create your lettucy delights for 2 hungry people…

1 x large piece of white fish. Either ling, snapper, or some other firm white swimmer
1 x cup of finely sliced red cabbage
1 x cup of finely sliced kale
1 x avocado
1 x tomato
1 x red onion
2 x limes
1 x teaspoon of burrito seasoning
1 x teaspoon of paprika, cumin, and ground coriander
4 x ice berg lettuce cups
1 x dash of sweet chilli sauce (optional)

And here’s what you need to do…

1. Marinate the fish in the spices, burrito seasoning, and 1 lime and set aside.

2. Now, separate your lettuce cups, wash, and leave aside to dry.

3. Next, finely dice your red onion, tomato, and avocado and mix together, throwing in some lime to taste, salt, pepper, and little bit of sweet chilli sauce if you feel like it. Bingo! Your salsa is made. Set it aside.

4. Now, finely slice your cabbage and kale and leave while you cook the fish.

5. Cook your fish for a few minutes on each side, ensuring it’s cooked through yet still yummy and tender. While it’s cooking compile your tacos so that you have your cabbage and kale at the bottom, then your salsa, and then, once cooked, your fish.

6. Drizzle with a few spoons of the world’s best salad dressing. AKA, the dressing for my curried carrot salad. You’ll find the secret to its success over here.

7. Hooray! You’re done. Now all you have to do is serve it up and dig in. Enjoy!

Here’s a visual…

Oh no! My camera was in my car and it was so delicious I ate it all before I could be bothered to run downstairs. Damn it!

Check this out instead…

Stay happy,

Yaz xx