Day 33 – Juicing Leftovers

I was planning to write about the black bean brownies I made last night but they really didn’t turn out that great, so I’m writing about juicing.

I love to juice, but like everyone else I hate cleaning the juicer. It’s a pain in the butt. I find that if I rinse it immediately after I use it, it makes the cleaning process a little easier, but it’s still a massive pain. So I usually make a juice every other day.

My favorite things to juice are the parts of the vegetable I would have thrown away – like broccoli, cilantro, kale and cauliflower stems, or celery, carrot and radish tops. It makes me feel like I am wasting less of the vegetable. I usually keep a little baggie in my fridge of parts I don’t use for cooking, eventually it all ends up going through my juicer and into my belly.

For my base, I always use the same 4 things – 4 celery stalks, 1 apple, a large hunk of ginger, and some tart citrus (either 1/2 lime or 1/4 lemon, peel on). Everything else is fair game.

On Tuesday I used leftover broccoli and celery tops:

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Yesterday I used all of the cauliflower stems leftover from the curried cauliflower salad, as well as the cilantro stems:

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Yum. I like to drink the foam first and pretend it’s a latte 🙂

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Day 14 – Preserved Lemons

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I am ecstatic. Not only have I survived my first 2 weeks on my new diet and lost 5 lbs, but my preserved lemons are finally ready after a month of anticipation! And thankfully they are vegan so I can still eat them – I didn’t know I was going to have to go on this diet when I made them a month ago, I originally made them for a Moroccan Beef Stew recipe.

Preserved lemons are one of the most amazing things I’ve ever tasted. The first (and only) place I’ve ever had them was actually at Ken’s Creekside, the restaurant I wrote about yesterday. Mercer, the head chef, makes huge vats of them and puts them on salads and pizza. If you’ve never had them, I can’t really describe the taste because it’s so unique, but if you can imagine what a salty lemon pickle might taste like, that’s sort of it.

Preserved lemons are typically made with meyer lemons. Last month my favorite grocery store had bags of them on sale so I brought one home and browsed the internet for a recipe. I take zero credit for this one, it is not mine, I just followed it. You can find it here:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Preserved-Lemons-231570

I didn’t have any coriander seeds so I skipped that part but I put all the other spices in. Make sure you use a good salt, like sea salt or Himalayan salt.The recipe is super easy, it only takes about 10 minutes to cut and salt the lemons. The only annoying part is the waiting, because once you jar it you have to leave it on the counter for 30 days before you can open it. I didn’t have a mason jar so I just put it in an old almond butter jar, I figured if it was moldy when I opened it I would just throw it away but thankfully it was absolutely fine. I shook the jar almost every day to make sure the juices permeated all of the lemons.

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I think you can use the whole lemon, but I’ve only ever eaten the peel so I discarded the inner part and sliced the peel to put in my salad.

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SO yummy!!! I’m so happy cause now I have enough lemons to put in my salad for a month. Today I put them with some butter lettuce, spinach, chopped apple and green onions. I made a light dressing with a little bit of olive oil, coconut aminos and apple cider vinegar.

Image It was so good I think I’m going to stop writing to eat another salad. 🙂

Day 12 – Chocolatree

One of the best things about coming home is the lack of cooking I have to do, and dishes I have to clean. My parents really enjoy going out to eat, as do I. Who doesn’t? They are being especially accommodating this trip since I’ve become vegan, and tonight we went to the only vegan restaurant left standing in Sedona, Chocolatree.

Chocolatree is best know for known for their amazing vegan chocolates. They also have a pretty decent menu of raw and cooked vegan food. I’ve only been there twice since they changed owners, but both times I have gotten the same thing, the Sedona 2012. It’s reaaaaallly good. In their own words, it’s a raw tomato wrap filled with hearty quinoa, chunky potatoes, carrots, cilantro, hot sauce, vegan cheese, pico de gallo, honey mustard, and topped with guacamole. The honey mustard is the only thing I really can’t taste, but there’s so much stuff loaded into this wrap, it really doesn’t matter.

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Yum! I ate the whole thing, of course. Even though I doubt I can recreate the wrap part, I’m going to do my best to recreate this thing at home. I think I’ll call it the Shauna 2013.

If you’re ever in Sedona, AZ definitely check this place out. They have a cute little garden patio in the back of the restaurant that’s really pretty during the day. And their chocolates are pricey but amazing, you have to at least try one. Or three.  http://chocolatree.com/the-chocolatree-eatery

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Day 9 – Turmeric Juice

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I came across this recipe completely by accident. About a month ago I decided to make a Thai green curry from scratch, which meant making the green curry paste myself. I went to my local Asian market and bought everything I needed, including galangal which is similar to ginger. As I was cutting up the galangal, my fingers turned orange, so did my cutting board… I couldn’t figure out how this paste was going to stay green if I put this stuff in it. That’s when I realized I hadn’t bought galangal at all, I’d bought turmeric. A lot of turmeric. Asian markets in Arizona tend to sell their produce pre-packaged, so you can’t just buy 1 piece, you have to buy 12. I had like 10 pieces of turmeric I didn’t know what to do with now so I went on a Google search. I found this recipe at http://www.terawarner.com/blog/2010/07/raw-recipes-fresh-turmeric-juice/ and I’m so happy I did because this drink is one of my favorite things now. I don’t know how to describe it cause it’s like nothing I’ve ever tasted, kind of peppery, slightly spicy, turmeric is in the ginger family but it’s much milder than ginger. I highly recommend trying this, just be aware that most likely your hands, counter and juicer will temporarily be stained an orangy-yellow. This is my slightly modified version.

You will need:

  • ~10 pieces fresh turmeric, washed
  • 1 lemon, quartered, peel on
  • 1 meyer lemon, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 T raw honey (or agave if you don’t use honey)
  • ~2 cups cold water
  • 32oz jar (I used an old pickle jar)
  • juicer

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Put the turmeric and lemons through the juicer, into the jar. You can use 2 regular lemons if you don’t have a meyer lemon, just make sure one of the lemons is peeled. Run 1 cup warm water through the juicer to get all of the juice out. Mix in honey. Top off with cold water until the jar is filled. Enjoy!

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If you get a light buzzy feeling after drinking it, don’t be alarmed, this is normal! The first time I drank it I felt kind of loopy, I couldn’t stop laughing. Turmeric is great for your liver and immune system. Perfect if you have Grave’s Disease, like me.

Day 8 – (Almost) Raw Japanese Restaurant Carrot-Ginger Dressing & Radish pickles

Well, I’ve survived my first week of being vegan, and I’m feeling pretty great. So far the biggest thing I’ve learned is that not all recipes are created equal, sometimes the finished product is terrible, and freaking out over a bad outcome does not solve anything. I have definitely not gotten the hang of cooking Indian food. I attempted to make this “Sweet Potato Dal” recipe I found on VegWeb last night, and it wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t great. It was bland. I went easy on the spices cause the last Indian dish I made was completely over-spiced and a muddled mess. Ah well. The next time I have a craving for Indian I think I will just spare myself the trouble and go to a restaurant.

Speaking of restaurants, I did find one recipe this weekend that actually turned out successfully. I really love the ginger dressing that most Japanese restaurants throw over iceberg lettuce, so I started searching the web for a recipe that would compare. I found this one at http://www.shockinglydelicious.com/japanese-restaurant-salad-with-carrot-ginger-dressing-for-sundaysupper/, I edited it a little bit to fit my dietary needs better and it turned out great. Without the miso paste, it’s raw.

(Almost) Raw Japanese Restaurant Carrot-Ginger Dressing

  • 24 organic baby carrots, cut in half OR 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1.5 T raw Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cold-pressed EVOO
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar (raw honey or agave would work too)
  • 4 tsp miso paste (optional)
  • 2 – 4 T filtered water

Put carrot, ginger, shallot, vinegar, oil and sweetener in a food processor and pulse until well combined. Add miso and 2 tablespoons filtered water and puree until blended and smooth. If you want a thinner dressing, add more water and puree again.

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I made mine with a large shallot and it was a bit too onion-y so I added another carrot to lessen the bite, that’s why I recommend a small shallot. You can put the dressing over pretty much anything and it will taste good. The other day I put it over greens, mango, and coconut chips and it was delicious. Above I put it over arugula, cilantro, snap peas, avocado, and radish pickles. Also delicious.

The radish pickles I’ve made before, I love them but I also love radishes so if you’re not a radish fan, the pickling is not really going to make you like them any better. My boyfriend, for example, is not a fan. It’s all good, more for me! I found a nice bunch of pink radishes at the farmer’s market, which are what I used here, but you can use any color radish and the recipe will work. I particularly like this recipe because it uses the green tops as well as the actual radishes.

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This recipe is from the macrobiotic cookbook, Love, Eric and Sanae by Eric Lechasseur & Sanae Suzuki. Eric was the original executive pastry chef at M Cafe de Chaya in Los Angeles. M Cafe is one of my favorite restaurants ever, and I worked there for a few months when I lived in LA. I bought the cookbook at the restaurant but I’m sure you can find it on Amazon. Even though it is a macrobiotic cookbook, all of the recipes are vegan.

Red Radish and Green Top Pickles

  • 1/2 cup red radishes, thinly sliced (I just use the entire bunch)
  • 1/2 cup radish greens, julienned
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black sesame seeds, roasted (optional)

In a medium bowl, combine the greens, radish slices, and sea salt. Transfer to a pickle press*, apply pressure and let sit on the counter 2 to 3 hours. Rinse pickles if they are too salty. Squeeze out excess liquid by hand. Pickles will keep in the fridge up to 3 days. Serve with black sesame seeds as a garnish.

*I don’t have a pickle press, I don’t even know what a pickle press looks like. I just put the radishes on a plate, put another plate on top of it, and put something heavy on top of the top plate to press it down (like a gallon of water). This method works fine. Oh, and I never rinse my pickles cause I like them salty 🙂

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Day 5 – Mojito Fruit Salad

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I’ve been told to eat a lot of fruit. Thankfully I love fruit, so that’s not really a problem, the only problem was that I had a giant watermelon in my fridge that was taking up way too much space.

Before I started on this diet, one of my last meals was a yummy brunch at one of our favorite local spots, Vintage 95 in Chandler. They offered a fruit salad as a side option, it was so good that I ate more fruit than anything else on my plate. Since I had to do something with the giant watermelon, I figured why not make that delicious salad. Here’s what I came up with:

Mojito Fruit Salad

  • 1/4 of a large seedless watermelon (around 3 cups)
  • 10 organic strawberries
  • 1/3 of a sweet pineapple
  • 3 organic persian cucumbers
  • 3 T fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 3 T raw honey
  • 2 – 3 T fresh mint – chopped

Directions

Chop all of the fruit (and the cucumber) into bite size pieces and place in a large bowl. Whisk the last 4 ingredients in a small bowl until smooth, then pour over the fruit. Mix well and serve. Best eaten within 1 day. Serves 8. (or 2 if you eat it all day like I did)

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It was reaaaaalllly good. Almost exactly like what we’d eaten at the restaurant. The cucumbers give the salad a really nice crunch, and also add a pretty color to the mix. We have fresh mint growing in our kitchen so this was a perfect dish to utilize some of the excess. If you’re in the mood for something sweet and refreshing, I highly recommend this salad over ice cream, I guarantee you will feel much better afterwards 🙂

 

Day 4 – Raw Curried Cabbage Salad

I just got back from an eye exam and they dilated my eyes, so I can hardly see but I’m going to do my best to get through this entry! Please forgive me of any typos, if I can see them I will fix them.

So today I took my supplements a little differently than yesterday and it was a much more pleasant experience. Putting the Spirulina in my smoothie definitely helped, even though it turned the whole thing black. I was so scared to try it but it really wasn’t that bad, I just couldn’t look at it while I drank it.

I know it’s only been 4 days but I’m definitely sinking into the rhythm of this diet. It’s been fun experimenting with new recipes and trying to figure out how the hell to make vegetable entrees more interesting. I’m still looking for ideas though, so if you have any, don’t hesitate to throw them out there!

Since I’m limited to only raw fruits and veggies during the day, I tried to recreate this Curried Cabbage Salad that I’d eaten previously and really liked. My parents live in Sedona and the grocery store I always go to there is called New Frontiers – it’s like a small Whole Foods. They have a really great little deli in the back with lots of vegan and raw salads and entrees. I tried this cabbage salad one day and kept the label in hopes to one day recreate it at home. Well, now seemed like the perfect opportunity!

I Googled “Raw Curried Cabbage Salad” and found something pretty close to what I wanted to make, so I changed it up a little and this is what I came up with:

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Raw Curried Cabbage Salad

Ingredients

  • ~2 lbs head of green cabbage, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut flakes or chips (unsweetened, and raw)
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 T cold-pressed olive oil
  • 3 T coconut aminos
  • 2 T black sesame seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger

Directions

In a large bowl (or pot), toss together first 3 ingredients. Whisk the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture and toss, making sure the cabbage is evenly coated. If possible, chill for at least an hour or overnight to let the flavors blend and the cabbage break down.

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That’s it! It was so good, I ate 2 big bowls of it. Since I’m not really supposed to have a lot of oil in my diet, I lessened the olive oil and increased the lemon juice. If you don’t really like lemon, you probably won’t like this salad, but if you do it’s a winner.