Raw Almond Thai Noodles

Raw Almond Thai Noodles

I am often creating dishes from whatever I have and here is an example of something I threw together in a hurry before work recently. I am really pleased with how it turned out and have since recreated this dish several times.

I recently started eating a lot of zucchini noodles, and this is by far my favorite version I’ve made yet. If you’ve never used or even heard of a spiralizer be sure to check out this link:

http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Spiralizer-Tri-Blade-Spiral-Vegetable/dp/B006THC75E/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1406215399&sr=8-4&keywords=spiralizer

Without a Prime membership to Amazon.com there may be a cheaper option available (I didn’t check shipping prices) however, with Prime I found this to be the cheapest option. If you are not used to unusual kitchen appliances, do not be intimidated! Here’s a link to a video I like that shows just how simple and straightforward using it really is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWbEuWy3C6A

Ingredients:

  • Raw zucchini noodles, spiralized
  • Pine Nuts
  • Cilantro
  • Shelled Hemp Seeds
  • Pairs well with Avocado

Sauce:

  • Almond Butter
  • Water
  • Hoison Sauce
  • Gluten Free Soy Sauce (or Braggs Amino)
  • Lime juice
  • Coconut Milk (optional)
  • Udo’s oil (add last, also optional)

To make the sauce I whisked together a fair amount of Almond Butter (main ingredient, be sure to use enough) with just a bit of water until the consistency was smooth and creamy.  And then I added about a tablespoon of Hoison Sauce, a dash of GF Soy Sauce, squeezed the juice from about half of a lime, a tablespoon or so of coconut milk and at the end I also added a bit of Udo’s oil for added nutrients.

I hope you give this a try and enjoy it as much as I have!

Cheers to good Health!

Raw Strawberry Cheesecake

 Raw Strawberry Cheesecake

I recently attended an 11 day juice fast in upstate New York (blog to come with more information!) and while juicing I had plenty of time to look up recipes I was interested in recreating once back home and eating again. Having tried a wonderfully delicious raw food cheesecake once in the past, I was particularly interested in a go at it myself. With a quick google search I found this video:

And in no time at all I was able to throw together this delight of a dessert. A truly delicious and creamy raw strawberry cheesecake. The crust is an excellent staple to use with any raw cake or pie, and the filling can be varied any way you like. The next time I make this I am going to use mainly blueberries instead of strawberries in the filling and see how it turns out. It will be heavenly I’m sure!

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw macadamia nuts (soaked)
  • 1 cup raw pecan nuts (soaked)
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup shredded raw, unsweetened coconut (optional)
  • 4 medjool dates (soaked and pitted)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt

Process in a food processor, and then conform mixture to a Spring Form pan.

Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw cashews (soaked)
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 12 medjool dates (soaked and pitted)
  • 3/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup fresh, raw almond milk

Blend all ingredients in a High Speed Blender (i.e Vitamix) until consistency is very smooth. Place on top of crust, and layer berries on top. A great option is to also layer berries in the middle of pie.

Refrigerate 1-2 hours, or overnight. Or freeze. I found I liked it best when I cut the pie into little squares, froze the pieces, and thawed them for a few minutes before eating.

Pairs very well with Vegan Coconut Whipped Cream.

A dessert you can feel good about indulging in, Cheers!

 

Lumi ~ My Precious Best Friend

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I am forever grateful to share in this life with you.

 

For years you have been a constant in my life.

 

A joy to be around,

A delight to come home to,

A gem of a best friend.

 

For years you have loved me unconditionally and trusted me to provide for you in every possible way.

 

Everyday I hope to provide the very best for you- my all.

 

Everyday I strive to be the best person that I can be and you remind and inspire me to be a better person.

 

A perfect playmate,

A precious Soul,

A gem of a best friend.

 

Thank you for teaching me to be more forgiving and gracefully being the embodiment of Divine Love.

 

You offer a wonderful example of how to love purely, presently and unconditionally.

 

You truly are my precious best friend.

Don’t forget to soak your nuts

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It’s widely known that nuts in general are very healthy for us and full of protein, vitamins and nutrients. They are especially essential in vegetarian and vegan diets, working as an amazing source of protein. However I have found that it is not as prominently known that soaking our nuts before eating them is important in order to digest more easily and to fully absorb the nutrients with-in.

Look for example at how the skin of almonds separates when soaked. The skin of almonds can cause a great deal of bloating and discomfort when trying to digest, and gets in the way of the best part of the almond.

The same thing goes for walnuts for example, again the skin separates some when soaked, but a bit more work is required to get it all off. Give it a try! And notice how different they taste. So much sweeter, because the bitterness comes from the outside layer.

I recommend soaking nuts for a day or two at most, usually a couple of hours is sufficient, cashews requiring the least amount of soaking time I find. An hour or two for cashew nuts should suffice, they will become a bit softer.

If you plan to leave nuts in the fridge, over night works great but if you plan to leave them in the fridge longer, just be sure to change the water at least 2-3 times throughout the day to keep it fresh.

Enjoy, and feel free to leave me a comment to let me know what you think. Is this something you’ve done before? Is this something you’d be open to trying, or have tried with success and enjoyed? I’d love to hear from you.

Have a great day and enjoy!

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Carrot Ginger Delight

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Carrot juice is one of my least favorite things to drink, though I love the way I feel afterwards, so it’s worth it in the end. Here’s what I put together today, and it turned out great!

Ingredients:

  • 6 large organic carrots
  • generous chunk of fresh ginger root
  • 1 green apple

I just processed it through my Champion Juicer and voila!

 

Quinoa and Mung Bean Soup with Kale

Quinoa and Mung Bean Soup
A wonderfully comforting dish for a chilly winter day or anytime.

Ingredients:

  • Quinoa
  • Mung Beans
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Ghee
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Seasonings: mustard seeds, curry powder, cayenne, and S & P

Directions:

  1. Prepare Quinoa and Mung Beans together, 1/2 C Quinoa with 1/2 C Mung Beans and add 4 C of water or broth. (I used half water and half broth and the flavor is wonderful!)
  2. Prepare Vagar (Ghee with seasonings): adding mustard seeds first, and once they pop add curry powder, cayenne or spices of choice, then saute onions, adding garlic towards the end.
  3. Once mung beans and quinoa are cooked fully, texture should be a soft consistency (about 20 minutes) add onions and chopped Kale, cover and let simmer on low for an additional 10 minutes or so.
  4. Add extra seasonings if needed and top with nutritional yeast before serving.

Enjoy!

*Note: Before adding water/broth I like to allow quinoa to rest for a moment on the hot surface of pot to enhance it’s toasty flavor.

A sweet hello from a beautiful friend this morning.
A sweet hello from a beautiful friend this morning.

Quinoa with Fruit and Nuts

Quinoa with Fruit and Nuts

The last breakfast quinoa dish I created was so well received that I wanted to go ahead and share another wonderful creation. When I prepare food, I know that I am still learning as I go and I can’t even begin to express the amount of joy I am filled with when I am able to successfully create a healthy dish that tastes as wonderful as this, and it was so simple to make!

Ingredients:

  • Quinoa
  • Raw cashew pieces
  • Dried cranberries
  • Fresh sliced mango
  • Ghee and Coconut Oil
  • Seasoning: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Coconut Sugar

Directions:

  1. Prepare quinoa, 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water.
  2. Add Ghee and coconut oil, and seasoning, sparingly at first and then to taste.
  3. Mix in raw cashew pieces, cranberries and top with fresh mango.

Simple and delicious!

Breakfast Quinoa

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An ensemble of ingredients on hand.

Ingredients:

  • Quinoa
  • Organic dried cranberries
  • Organic raw cashew pieces
  • Banana, thinly sliced
  • Organic Raw Pecans
  • Coconut Oil or Ghee
  • Unsweetened Vanilla Almond milk (or other milk substitute)
  • Seasoning: Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, coconut sugar, pink Himalayan sea salt, maple syrup
  • ‘The Perfect Snaque’ coconut almond quinoa crunch (optional)

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Directions:

  1. Cook quinoa: 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is a soft and fluffy texture, about 20 minutes.
  2. Add coconut oil (or ghee) generously, almond milk, maybe 1/4 cup only, a little at a time, and seasonings: a generous amount of cinnamon, a dash of clover and nutmeg, just a hint of salt to balance the sweet from a dash a maple syrup (or agave) and coconut sugar.
  3. Once seasonings are mixed, add any ingredients you’d like. I used raw cashew pieces, dried cranberries, halved pecans, and thinly sliced banana.

This recipe came together this morning when I was craving something warm and soothing, a dish high in protein and nutrients and not too heavy on the digestive system. This is what I came up with and I’m very pleased with the results. If you decide to give it a try, I’d love to hear from you, see how you liked it and what other ideas you may have come up with.

Thank you for your continued support,

Spiritual Foodie  ~  Brooke Ridgeway

Enjoy!

 

Making Healthy Food Fun for Kids!

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Working as a nanny I have found that the most important thing to getting kids to eat healthy food is to start when they are young, and as they get older, making healthy food fun really helps them to stay on the right track. As parents and caregivers to the children in our lives, we are able to help pave a path that they can take and benefit from for the rest of their lives.

When working with infants I like to begin introducing solids with savory soft foods first like squashes and avocados and waiting before introducing sweeter foods like bananas and apples. Once they’ve acquired a taste and liking for sweet foods, it’s likely going to be harder to get them to eat their vegetables as well.

I’ve worked with a lot of infants and really young children over the years, and more recently have been working with older children as well, around the ages of 3-6. I am encouraged seeing how much kids really enjoy healthy food when they have the taste for it, when they get to participate in the preparation or be engaged with the food in some way while eating it and when it’s just fun. Kids always want to have fun, and this carries over into food. One way to make food fun is with the presentation and here are just a few protein and nutrient rich food ideas that I’ve used and had success with over the years. I will continue to add more with time. I do love these tasty treats and eat them regularly myself.

Almond butter is great of course because it is rich in protein. Apples, bananas and celery make for a great base, and cinnamon and honey are full of immune strengthening and anti-inflammatory properties.

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I set these up usually to allow the kids to have as much participation as possible, unless under a time constraint of course. They love topping the celery with either raisins or Goji berries. Apples and bananas with either cinnamon and/or honey, and on special occasions I even pull out the sprinkles. If there is something here you’ve tried before or plan to make, I will love to hear what other wonderful ideas you come up with!

Note: A fun trick to making something like a plain apple or banana fun to eat is to slice a few pieces and then put them back together. Sell it to the kids as ‘Puzzle’ fruit!

Bon Appetit and cheers to good health!