Holding on to Summer yet Dreaming of Fall…

As summer is winding down, I have been dreaming of the cool breezes of Fall time. Pumpkins, squash, curries, camping, warming soups, raw candy apples, comfy sweaters and jeans, sleeping with the windows open, backyard pit fires….ahhh, I cannot wait! 

Let’s not jump out of the present too fast now. Summer’s not over just yet. My cucumber plants are bountiful, there’s still farmer’s markets to be visited filled with baskets of peaches, tomatoes, & the last of the watermelons. I plan to savor these last few weeks by enjoying the last harvest of some of my favorite produce. Here are some meals I have been enjoying with local in-season produce!

My cucumber plant is so abundant this season! It has latched on to its neighboring bushes so I have cucumbers peeking out of everywhere. I’m amazed at how fast they grow. One day there is a little spud and a few days later its a full size cucumber. It’s always such a rewarding thing going out and finding yet another cucumber hiding & ready to be picked. 

What have I been doing with all those cucumbers? Adding them to juices for one. A new favorite snack seen on the right, are sliced cucumbers with scallion cashew cream cheese and jalepeno sauerkraut. So good! I also made this great cooling salad with cucumbers thats perfect for end of Summer.
Chickpea, Cucumber & Tomato Salad 
with Zingy Oregano Dressing

1 can of organic chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1/2 medium size cucumber//de-seeded and chopped small
1 large tomato, chopped
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, minced
1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar//or balsamic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
1/2 tablespoon honey
salt & pepper and//or dulse to taste
Splash of fresh lemon juice

Mix all together & allow the flavors to marinate 
in the fridge for an hour before eating. 

Basil Balsamic Tomato Salad with Ribbon Thyme 
Summer Squash & Almonds

I don’t have a recipe for this. I kind of made it up as I went. I started by making summer squash ‘fettucine’ by slicing thin on the mandoline. I marinated it in a little olive oil, salt//pepper, thyme & honey. Then I sliced a variety of tomatoes – heirloom, cherry, tomatillo, plum. I layered them on a serving plate and sprinkled a few dashes of balsamic vinegar & olive oil, salt//pepper. Added zucchini on top with rosemary marconi almonds & fresh basil leaves. The sweetness of the tomatoes goes very well with the sour balsamic. Add a little crunch factor with the almonds & a layer of fresh flavor with the raw zucchini and you have yourself a simple fresh summer salad. 

We can’t forget about eggplant! My friend Lauren posted an Eggplant No-Parm Recipe which inspired me to make my own. I used egg white and bread crumbs to bread them and then baked until crispy. Added a little Daiya cheese to each slice of eggplant and returned them to oven until the cheese melted, then stacked them with fresh marinara sauce in between each layer. Served with fresh chopped basil.
Stuffed Portabello Caps
A week is never complete without having kale highlighted in a dish! I had some leftover eggplant that I diced and sautéed in olive oil with garlic, red pepper flakes and whole bunch of kale. I then stuffed that into big sauteed portabello caps and served with marinara sauce. 
Forget about strawberries and cherries for a minute. Let’s highlight the blackberry! This is my new favorite berry to snack on at the moment. Its sweet and sour and so juicy. I’ve been making them the star ingredient in our morning smoothies. It creates such a beautiful vibrant purple color shake that’s really fun to drink. 
Speaking of fun, last week was my honey’s birthday!!! I love celebrating birthdays – as you can see I went all out with decorating. He LOVES fresh squeezed orange Juice (No Tropicana in this house!) so I made fresh organic OJ for him to go along with his favorite breakfast. The breakfast was not Vegan of course, otherwise I would share a pic. 

Yes, I even made Bowie wear a birthday hat. He did not like me for that. 
A post wouldn’t feel complete without something sweet. Hail Merry Miracle Tarts  come in Persian Lime flavor. One memory I always have of summer is eating an old fashioned Key Lime Pie from our local country market Delicious Orchards. They have since retired making this flavor pie and I’m (somewhat) glad because I would be tempted to go buy one!  I’ve been on a hunt for something to fill that craving. This tart is pretty darn close in succeeding with that. So good and hard to believe its completely raw! Even my non-raw eating boyfriend enjoyed it. Yum!
Hope you are enjoying the last bounty of summer produce! Are you excited for Fall as much as I am? What are your favorite things about the Fall season?


Farmer’s Markets and my latest favorites….

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Hi there! I promised a post yesterday but the day seemed to slip away from me. Work has been so busy and life’s little extra’s have been catching up with me. Today my boyfriend and I & some friends are going to a festival in rural NJ for the day. I’m excited to get away and have a relaxing day with good people & good music. 

A reader asked if I would post more green juice recipes so you will be seeing me post a little more of them here. Soon I will have a Smoothie//Juice Page with all recipes listed for easy access. Hopefully they will inspire you to juice and make green smoothies more! 

My Favorite Green Juice

The recipe is for one serving:

2 apples

1 lemon
2 celery stalks
1 inch of fresh ginger root
half cucumber
handful baby spinach
2 kale stalk//leaves

I also like to add a little ice to mine before drinking. 
The Regulator
This juice regulates your body in a way where the celery and cucumber act as diuretics, flushing toxins out while hydrating the body at the same time. Celery and cucumber are also known to regulate blood pressure due to its minerals and traces of sodium. This is a cooling and refreshing drink to have when its hot out because it will help regulate your body temperature. 

1 cucumber
2 apples
1 lemon
5 stalks celery
2-3 kale leaves//or leftover stems

I’ve been eating a lot of sushi these days. It’s considered one of my “safe” foods for my tummy. I can never go wrong with a few rolls and some miso soup!
My latest addiction: Mango, Avocado, Cucumber wrapped in soy nori & a Sweet Potato Roll. You can always ask for steamed sweet potato roll instead of them frying in tempura!

Another serious craving I’ve been having is for broccoli. I even make broccoli for breakfast sometimes! Here is a great simple recipe for 
Quick Creamy Cheesy Broccoli
2 tablespoons of hummus
1/2 tablespoon of Nutritional Yeast
1 teaspoon of Coconut Aminos//soy sauce
juice from half a lemon 
touch of salt & pepper

Lightly steam a small head of broccoli. While still warm, mix the rest of the ingredients with the broccoli, adding water by the teaspoon if needed to make it creamier.  

This combo may sound odd, but for someone that’s been craving mustard lately, this hits the spot! 100% rye toast spread with mustard, smashed avocado and caraway kraut on top. 
Have you tried Emmy’s macaroons yet? These Mint Chip ones are really good. 
Every month therawfoodworld.com has ‘At-Cost’ Specials that are too good to miss. 
I always stock up during these times. I’ve been making my own almond milk so I bought 3 bags of truly raw almonds. Broccoli Sprout Powder – broccoli sprouts have tremendous amount of cancer fighting properties in them! Brazil nuts to add to my smoothies – just one nut contains enough of the daily required selenium! Honey dates for desserts and to add into my smoothies for extra sweetness. My favorite purchase of this order – Jem Almond Butter. This stuff will transport you into cinnamon heaven! Its like having the taste of freshly baked cinnamon buns without the fat and all that sugar. You put this stuff on anything and it will turn it into a dreamy dessert! 
I smeared it onto celery and added crumble chlorella tabs. Yummy!
You can make almond butter banana sandwiches….
Roll into raw coconut wraps with bananas…
…or make things fancy with sliced bananas, sprinkles (hemp seeds), chlorella powder and nuts. I’m slightly addicted to this almond butter! 
Another thing I’m absolutely loving right now are Farmer’s Markets.
We are fortunate enough to have a local market every Sunday that is pretty impressive – packed with local just picked off the farm produce, pickles, organic fresh juices, baked goods, flowers/plants and the famous Vegan food truck Cinnamon Snail! Their food is pretty AMAZING. In fact its kinda out of this world amazing. I’m never disappointed with their wonderful choices. 
Ok. Ok. Ok. 
So yes my dears,  this was a CHEAT day for me. 
I couldn’t help it…that inner fat kid inside me was screaming to try their Vegan Coconut Cream filled Twinkies…and the Toasted Coconut Vegan Donut…and the Chipotle Breakfast Burrito – chipotle grilled seitan, scrambled tofu, fresh jalepeno’s, marinated kale, and chipotle mayo. 
To even things out I got a fresh Green Juice from Yummy Yummy Good Stuff
I got all this good stuff too! 
Union Square, NYC Farmer’s Market
I work only 2 blocks from this famous farmers market that’s held a few times a week. There are so many vendors that I can never get through them all on my lunch break. I typically end of seeing only half. This place is heaven to me – you should see all the beautiful fresh veggies that are on display! I need to invest in one of those portable granny carts on wheels so I can buy more when I’m there. 
purple potatoes! Another latest addiction of mine. 
every type of plant for sale at this stand – herbs, lettuces, flowers…
beautiful displays
cute rustic display of fresh herbs for sale. 
I lugged all this stuff back to work with me. Phew! The kale was the biggest bunch of kale I ever saw. I don’t even know what to do with it all! It was only $2. 
Look at the size of those Cucumbers – 3 for $2!!! 
I bought gold beets and made baked beet chips 
They were really good but next time I will cut them thicker – they burned too easily! 
I made my honey a nice dinner of fresh striped bass that I also picked up from the farmers market. I glazed it in Chickpea Miso and panko breadcrumbs and had a basil corn tomato salad with rice noodles & beet chips on top. 
Two new favorites that I bought at the market as well – Sungold Yellow Cherry Tomatoes (these are super sweet, firm and so fun to eat as a sweet snack!) and blackberries. I’ve never had fresh blackberries. These were amazing and may just be my new favorite berry – they are sweet and sour
 and really juicy!
Last but not least, I figured out what to do with some of that kale – PESTO!
KALE PESTO. Brilliant. 
This is a great idea to sneak in your greens (or sneak them in to your picky kids!)
You can make Vegan by omitting the Parmesan or replacing 
with extra nuts or even sub with nutritional yeast.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend! 
Be back soon with more yummy food ideas!

Caesar, Peachy, Snappy…

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A few yummy recipes I’ve been creating lately….

Raw Vegan Caesar Dressing
Adapted from here.

Into a small mixing bowl whisk together the following:

1/4 c Coconut Water
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
Juice from one lemon
1 heaping tsp Onion powder
1 heaping tsp Nutritional yeast
1 tsp Garlic Powder or minced garlic
1/2 tsp Dulse or Kelp 
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Salt
6 basil leaves, minced finely

Store in an air tight container in your fridge for at least one hour so the flavors develop. Just before serving, mix well with fresh crispy romaine. 

Suggested Garnish
Macadamia nut parm 
(macadamia nut, carefully grated with a hand grater)
Nutritional Yeast
Fresh cracked pepper
raw bread croutons

I grated a whole macadamia nut and heavily sprinkled with nutritional yeast and cracked black pepper. I had some spiraled yellow squash that I dehydrated until crispy and served on top. 
You can also crumble raw bread for croutons. 

My boyfriend and I  LOVED this salad. I couldn’t believe how similar it tasted to the real thing. 
We didn’t miss the eggs, anchovies or dairy! 

Looking for another recipe to try? 
Here is another Vegan Raw Caesar Dressing that is very popular. You can replace the expensive raw macadamia nuts with cashews or almonds. 

Peach Strawberry Basil Ice Tea

4 black tea bags
3 peaches
1 cup strawberries
1/2 lemon
5-6 basil leaves
sweetener of choice//I used vanilla stevia

*The amount of water will depend on how big a container you are filling. You will want the end result to be mostly tea, since the strawberry peach mixture is being added for a subtle flavor. 

Start by boiling some water with the tea bags.  Take tea bags out when it is strong enough for your preference. Add the tea to a pitcher to cool some. In meantime cut your fruit and add to blender along with lemon juice and a 1/4 cup water. Blend until smooth. It’s up to you if you want to strain the liquid mixture to remove all seeds or if you want to add right to the tea. (I strained mine through a nutmilk bag because I don’t like seeds in my drink.)

Add the peach strawberry mixture to the tea thats been cooling in the pitcher. Add basil leaves, sweetener (I used about 4 droppers full of vanilla stevia) and mix well. Store in fridge to cool down and let the basil leaves infuse. 
Serve over ice and garnish with basil. 

The Snappy Apple Jack Smoothie
This green smoothie definitely gave me some snap!
I was feeling awesome after drinking this. 

8 0z coconut water
generous cup of baby spinach
1 pear
1 apple
1 frozen banana
good heavy sprinkle of cinnamon
scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder//Sunwarrior
1 tsp Maca Powder

the star of the smoothie

  • Loaded with flavonoids which act as antioxidants, protecting the body from free radicals and protect against cancer.

  • Different phytonutrients and pigments have been shown to protect the skin from harmful rays of sun including the UV rays

  • High content of potassium and low content of sodium which is beneficial towards regulating high blood pressure.

  • Rich source of beta carotene, lutein and xanthene, all of which are beneficial for eyesight.

  • The beta-carotene and vitamin C in spinach work to protect the cells of the body’s colon. 

  • Spinach has many anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Strengthens muscles, especially of the heart. 

  • It’s an excellent source of iron. 

    Because iron is a component of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to all body cells, it’s needed for good energy.

Hope you are all having a beautiful week. I will be back on Friday with more on what I’ve been eating lately!!! Stay Healthy & always remain positive.