Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fun with Colours

A few days ago I decided it would be fun to get my 2.5 year old in the kitchen with me. At the moment he is really into picking out the differences in color. His favorites in our kitchen were red and yellow fruits, so we made a bowl of each. I made a bit of game out of prepping our snack, which taught him color, taste and texture differences.

The Fruit Fun Game

1. Ask your little one to pick out their favorite fruits. If you have a well stocked fruit selection more than likely there will be at least two fruits of similar colours.

2. Lay them on the table and then ask them which piece of fruit is what color or vice versa.

3. Once they colour co-ordinate (lol) the fruit, start chopping and dicing it into pieces (parental supervision here).

4. My little one really likes being part of every step, so this is a good time to ask them to put the pieces of fruit into a bowl (seperating the colors).

5. Once complete, start snacking!

6. Wait...we are not done yet! This part is even more fun, ask your little one what each fruit tastes and feels like after they eat it. This can help add new words to their vocabulary and help them recognize differences in taste and texture.

The great part about our game was that you can do this with vegetables too! My little one wasn't really into trying out different fruits. He immediately thought based on appearance that certain fruits wouldn't taste delicious. Keeping things fun, like color co-ordinating their favorite colours and letting them take part in the preparation of foods helps encourage them to try new foods.

In case you were wondering my little one ended up picking out...

Red: Strawberries and Watermelon
Yellow: Mangoes and Oranges

Now go have fun with your little ones in the kitchen!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me!

It's my 28th birthday today and so far it's been pretty great. This morning I was spoiled with presents that totally relate to my love for hiking :) The three things I received were items I'd been looking at for awhile, but never mentioned to my guy. How he knew..I'll never know..i guess he knows me well! I got a camel back, which is a back pack with a bladder you can fill with whatever beverage you would like as you jog or hike. A small 1st aid kit that I thought was a case for my camera that is how small it is. I really wanted one of these since we are hiking with our little guy a lot and you just never know what can happen. I also was given a polar heart rate monitor watch, which is great to keep in me in my target heart rate zone :) All awesome gifts :)

I then went to the spa and used my gift certificate given to me at Christmas for a manicure and pedicure, which was really nice. The best gift though was when I came home and my little guy showed me what he and his daddy had made me...

Maggie's Swirly Tart

You might recognize the ingredients for the crust, which is similar to Ani Phylo's recipe for Lemon Coconut Bars.

1/2 cup of almonds, chopped
3/4 cup of dates
1 vanilla bean
1 tsp sea salt
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon (roughly 1 tablespoon of juice)
1/2 cup of dried shredded coconut

In your food processor, chop the almonds and coconut into small pieces. Then put the remaining ingredients in the food processor and blend until it starts creating a dough ball. Press in the base of your pie plate or pan.

(1st & 2nd layer)
3 Kiwis
1-2 Mangoes

The 1st layer is kiwis which you may want to blot the base of them on a cloth before placing them on the crust. This way it helps prevent the crust from going soggy. We didn't have a problem with the crust getting to soft or wet. The 2nd layer is mangoes, be creative and decorate.

(3rd layer)
3 fresh peaches or 1 can of peaches, rinsed (if out of season)
1/4 cup of dates

Blend the peaches and dates in a blender till smooth. Pour the puree over top of the mango layer.

(Fruit Toppings)
6-10 strawberries
2-3 mandarins

Decorate the top layer of your tart any way you like. Get creative and have some fun with it.

Well I'm off to enjoy the rest of my day! Hope you try out my Swirly Tart because it's so delicious! The fresh fruit with the sweet crust and puree is a great spring/summer dessert.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rice Wraps with Orange Vinaigrette Sauce

Tonight's dinner was rice wraps stuffed with a medley of veggies and a homemade vinaigrette. It took me a couple stores to find the rice wraps, but they are becoming more common to purchase in grocery stores. I used to buy mine from a small Asian market, but I've moved away since. If you live near an Asian market I recommend you purchase the rice paper there, because it's usually better priced than the big box grocery stores.

The other thing you're probably wondering is if rice paper is raw. Well it isn't, but it's extremely thin and the basic ingridents are rice, water and salt. I treat it like nori, sometimes my local store is out of unroasted nori sheets, so i do purchase the roasted variety. I think that as long as i'm stuffing either the roasted nori or rice paper wraps full of nutrient dense veggies i'm going to be okay with eating it. It's up to you and what you feel is best for you :)

"Rice Wraps"
1 sheet rice paper
4 thin slices of red pepper
2 thin slices of avocado
A handful of veggies julienne (celery, carrot, broccoli, cabbage, onion)

Soak the rice paper in warm water, once it softens lay it out gently. The paper can rip easily. Place your veggies on the center of the wrap, then fold the bottom edge over the veggies. Next fold each side of the wrap and roll upwards. I wait a few minutes before cutting the wrap in half. This lets the paper dry off giving it less chance to rip or fall apart. Seve with your favorite sauce.

"Orange Vinaigrette Sauce"
1 Orange
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1tsp of red wine vinaigrette
dash of chili powder

Mix all together in a bowl and serve.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Green Machine :)

I haven't been feeling emotionally well the past couple days, a lot of ups and downs. I think it might be that for whatever reasons, cooked foods and a little bit of dairy snuck into my diet. I've notice that since eating highly raw living foods going back to cooked foods can sometimes be very pleasing, but in the long term not so much. The long term affects are really brutal on me, physically and emotionally. I am feeling better today, but I credit the greens for this and the sun!

Check out my greens for the day...

First my every day green juice :) I've given this recipe here before, but it is such a great combo that I'll share it again.

"Everyday Green Juice"
6-10 pieces of Romaine Lettuce (or any green you have on hand)
1 cucumber
1/2 a lemon
1 large apple or 2-3 small apples

I've been making it this way for so long I forgot that my old recipe called for a pinch of ginger! I'll have to start adding ginger again for that extra bite. Silly me :D

Second and certainly my new favorite soup is the Cream of Spinach Soup. This recipe comes from Jennifer Cornbleet's Raw Food made Easy.

I am a super picky person when it comes to raw soups. I have made quite a few that haven't turned out, mostly my own concoctions. It takes a bit of practice to get what makes a delicious raw soup. This recipe nails it hands down. It incorporates veggies, spices and fats to make it a creamy bowl of goodness.

"Cream of Spinach Soup" (Serves 2 or 1 hungry person)

1 handful of spinach
1/2 a cucumber, peeled
1 tomato, cut in wedges
1/4 cup water (I used warm water and my soup ended being room temperature, rather than cold)
1 avocado
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons of Namo Shoyu or Soy Sauce
1/2 teaspoon of salt
dash of Cayenne Pepper
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Blend everything till smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste.

This was so satisfying and tasty. I totally recommend it to living food beginners to the accomplished.

As you can see from my soup pictures, I'm outside enjoying today. It is so warm outside I almost think that spring might have left us for the day and summer decided to visit. Yesterday, since I was feeling well I stayed inside and cleaned everything. Our house is spotless, at least for a few hours. Anyway, my point is today I'm outside enjoying the sun, eating greens and feeling HAPPY!

Enjoy yourself today :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Energy Bars!

I'm baaaack! The past week or so my little family has been feeling under the weather. I fought pretty hard to not get it, but it attached itself to me anyway since I was taking care of the boys. I did notice that since I've been eating a very high living food diet my symptoms from a cold or flu are definitely not as horrible as they were before I ate this well.

A few days before we were sick we made some delicious energy bars! Well I didn't make them, I came home to a surprise in my freezer. My guy made up this recipe based on the fact that he loves chocolate and needs to consume more calories. I am so impressed by his creativity and the outcome of these bars. They are delicious! I sliced 1 bar into 4 little pieces for a taste, that way I am not consuming a lot of calories. I also let about 5 other people, who are not eating a high living food lifestyle, try a taste of these bars and everyone was impressed. I've even been asked by a couple friends if my guy could make more to bring on our future hiking trips. My guy was also gracious enough to share the recipe so everyone can enjoy!

My Guy's Energy Bars

1/2 cup Almonds
1/2 cup Cashews
1/2 cup Walnuts
1/3 cup Goji Berries
1/2 cup Cacao Powder
1.5 cup Dates
1/2 cup Cacao Butter (liquid form/melted)
1/2 cup Agave

Blend all the nuts, berries and cacao powder in a food processor until powdery (small chunks visible is okay) and begins to stick. Then add the dates, cacao butter and agave to create a sticky, dough like texture. Spread evenly onto a 9inch pan and pop into the freezer.

My guy is so sweet, he even calculated the nutritional information for anyone interested. Based on a 16 bar yield, each bar contains roughly:
342.88 Calories
16.67 g Fat
38.69g Carbs
5.28g Protein

This of course will vary on thickness of bar and size differences in cutting your bars. It gives you a basic idea though, for those interested in a raw energy bar.