Friday, May 25, 2012

Loaded Creamy "No Pasta" Salad

I'm happy to report that this post is being written without a brace on my wrist! Cue cautious, yet celebratory jazz hands! It feels good to be back at my keyboard and my cutting board, at the end what's been a very trying  and insightful couple of weeks. There's no doubt about how fortunate I am to have such good health, and even though a small amount of chronic pain can seemingly get in the way of a lot, these past few days/weeks have shown me just how much I have to be grateful for. 
Thanks to my kitchen assistant aka gorgeous Sister, I had a fridge full of readily prepped veggies, so making this dish took less than minutes -- it was just a matter of mixing everything together and putting it on a plate. The sunny weather we've been having (er, until today) created a perfect setting to dine al fresco. I've always believed that good food should be accompanied with good surroundings so be sure to sit in your favorite corner of the house, back yard, park bench, or sandy dune with a big bowl of this wonderful salad - kay? 
Important Note About This Recipe
This is also a great way to sneak a lot of greens onto a picky-eater's plate, AND if you think you aren't a fan of raw Broccoli then you may want to think again. With a simple tenderizing technique used in the preparation as well as the warming of the Broccoli, this dish that will seriously knock your socks off. Don't be shy, give it a try! Just be sure to follow every step noted and you can't go wrong! 
Loaded Creamy "No Pasta" Salad
Yields 5 to 6 side servings
Step 1.
Broccoli Prep 
3.5 c Broccoli Florets
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Grape seed Oil //or// Safflower Oil
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 Black Pepper 
Toss all of the above together until the Broccoli has been evenly coated
Transfer the Broccoli to a ziplock baggy, removing as much of the air from that bag as you can
Let the Broccoli marinate in the fridge for 2 hours or longer (overnight is even better)
When you've finished marinating the Broccoli choose from one of the following Raw Vegan Warming Methods noted here(click)
Spread the marinated Broccoli florets evenly out on to a dehydrator sheet or parchment lined baking sheet
Proceed to warm the Broccoli for 1 hour 
When the Broccoli is finished warming set it aside in a bowl and get ready to make your salad!
Step 2.
Salad Components
In a large mixing bowl combine the following:
All of the Broccoli from Step 1
2 c Green Peas 
1 c shredded Zucchini
1 c shredded Parsnip (shred your parsnip with a small-toothed grater)
1/2 c thinly sliced Green Onion
Evenly toss your salad components together, set aside and move on to the next step/
Every classic pasta salad has a combination of mayo, mustard and relish - here's my raw vegan twist on those very important ingredients
Step 3.
Creamy Salad Dressing
In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the following:
3/4 c AtV Sour Cream
2 Tbsp Mustard (any creamy mustard will do - I just recommend keeping away from the grainy types)
2 Tbsp Pickle Relish (this is optional)
Mix/Whisk together the above ingredients
Now all you have to do from here is transfer this dressing to your Salad components from Step 2...
Season with additional Salt & Pepper to taste, and enjoy!
Excuse me while I go have another giant bowl...

For those of you in the States celebrating Memorial Weekend, this salad would make a great addition to any outdoor barbecue or picnic. Mr AtV and I don't have any big plans over the extended weekend, but hopefully the sunny weather will return so we can enjoy some more meals outside on the patio!

What are you doing this weekend?


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Raw Vegan Instagram Round-up & More Tasty Teasers

Caesar Dressing all ready to go into a giant bowl of Romaine = yum!
Last week I mentioned that I was going to be posting a recipe on Monday, and suddenly I've found myself watching the sun set on a lovely Wednesday... 
The good news is that my right arm/wrist is feeling so much better, thanks to the healing hands of my wonderful massage therapist, and also because I decided to take a few more days off; hence the lack of activity on Monday. If you don't mind I'd like to share one more instagram round-up...and I'll be back in full recipe-mode come this Friday, I promise!
Banana, Strawberry, Mango Orange Smoothies before Mr AtV and I headed out to Farmers Market last Saturday
Saturday afternoon, lounging in the sunshine with a plate of Canapes; Cucumber rounds topped with French Onion Dip, sunflower seeds, and wilted cherry tomatoes
Our senior kitty, Flower decided to join me in the sunshine for a little snuggle. She's not very social these days, so I had to take a photo to document this rare event.
A yummy snack plate; Raw Almond Butter mixed with Date Paste and a dash of sea salt, paired with Gala Apple and Carrot slices
A few of my recent thrift store finds from last weekend; (top to bottom) vintage sweater clip, "Flower" pin, and the most adorable little spoon locket! I have a thing for spoons.
Super mega sun-drunk pups. Adorbs.
Mr AtV looking all handsome while he grates some Parsnip for me - what a hunk.
The aforementioned Parsnip, all grated and fluffy. You'll want to have this ready for Fridays recipe!
Me and my retro Lakers shirt. Sadly the Lakers and the Clippers didn't make it to the finals. 
A slice of Strawberry Cream pie with a glass of fresh orange juice to quell an unexpected craving for something sweet.
The next day I turned my leftover Strawberry Cream pie  into a pretty tasty smoothie. I added to it; spinach, bananas, frozen strawberries, dates, ice and water. Yum!
Sun-tea and Jazz (Miles Davis) in my kitchen.
A big bowl of Romaine Lettuce with the Caesar Dressing from the top on this post. 
This is kind of amazing - Malted Chocolate Banana Smoothie. All of you chocolate lovers had better stay tuned for a recipe. 
More fresh squeezed orange juice with a shot of spirulina on the side. This is a great post work-out treat.
And finally tonights dinner; tender Asparagus marinated in a sweet mustard-dill dressing, with fresh Avocado, on thinly slice tomato. So good with extra cracked black pepper. 
I hope you are all having a wonderful week so far! See you on Friday with a new recipe!


Friday, May 18, 2012

Raw Vegan Instagram Round-up & Recipe Teaser

The week has been so nice! I'm still focusing on the little things -- which isn't that hard to do since a few of those little things are adorable and furry. 
If everything works in my favor, I'll be posting a lovely and incredibly tasty recipe for you all on Monday next week. Today's sunny weather had me pining for a picnic on the beach, so after tomorrow's trip to the Farmer's Market (weather permitting), Mr AtV and I will be packing up our pups, our running shoes, a tasty lunch, and head towards the coast. I can already feel myself falling in love with Summer...
Lucy posing by my Sister's itty bitty computer - she  knows how to look extra cute.
Cucumber slices, ala my kitchen helper.
Look at those knife skills! I'm so proud!
Last night's easy dinner -  Creamy Spinach Dip with an assortment of veggies: Cucumbers, Celery, Carrots, Bell Peppers, and Salad Turnips
My new purse, with Lemons! Oh, how I love lemons!
Green Orange Creamsicle Smoothie for breakfast today. Yum!
Sun tea - this happens a lot in my backyard.
Flowers from my handsome, dreamy hubby.
Just as wonderful as flowers (also from my Mr. Dreamboat), giant bags of organic frozen fruit for my smoothie habit.
Jungle Peanuts - these can be a little hard to find (my natural foods store just started carrying them), but they're not that pricy, and pretty tasty too. Get some!
And last but not least, a teaser photo of something I'm calling
Creamy Loaded "no pasta" Salad
The review of this dish so far is "This is so good, it doesn't  need pasta -- I don't even miss it"
More details on this coming up next week. You don't want to miss it!

What are you doing this weekend? Any yummy food-related plans?


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cream of Asparagus Soup & Raw Vegan Instagram Round-up

Hello lovely readers, I'm still here with my wrist in a brace -- but staying optimistic and hopeful as the week goes on. Before I get started on my photo round-up I wanted to share with you my most recent recipe post over at The Chalkboard's pretty tasty!
SPRING HAS BROUGHT a lot of gorgeous produce to my local farmers’ market, but it would be in poor taste if I didn’t celebrate asparagus as long as it’s in season. This soup is an asparagus lover’s dream come true, and when paired with my current favorite raw food staple, the results are effortlessly tasty...(click to read the full article and recipe)

And now, with the help of Instagram here are some of the little things that have been lifting my spirits:
- Copious amounts of tangy smoothies in the morning and evening
- Fresh Bananas and Apples no chopping needed
- My lovely Sister who has come to stay with me and help out in the kitchen it's not easy watching someone else prep my veggies
- Teaching the Sis how to properly hold a knife and getting to see the difference almost immediately in her chopping skills
- Afternoon shots of Spirulina; in a small jar with a lid combine 4 ounces water with 1 tsp Spirulina powder - shake and *drink quickly. *Spirulina thickens/expands as it sits in liquid, this one of the reasons why I prefer to have it as a shot instead of putting it into my smoothies.
- Puppy and Kitteh snuggles
- My Cuisinart food processors shredding/slicing attachments SUCH a sanity saver - don't buy a food processor without these attachments, people! 
- My new dry skin brush! Such a wonderful addition to my health/beauty regimen.

What are some of the little things that make your day brighter?


P.S. I'm so sorry for my lack of comment/email responses over the last few weeks. I totally plan on doing some serious catch up just as soon as I'm able! In the meantime please know that I'm so grateful for all of your comments and correspondence, and I hope it never stops! 

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Good, the Bad and the Raw Food Instagram Addict

Farmers Market loot!
This week and the days to come is all about being thankful for the little things. 
Like the fact that I still have the use of my left hand, while my right hand/arm is severely suffering the pangs of carpal tunnel. The good news is I'm totally going to be fine. The not so good news is under the care and instruction of my wonderful massage therapist I'm not allowed to use my right hand/arm for anything -- including; chopping vegetables, typing on my keyboard, washing dishes, even making my bed. For someone as active as me (not to mention right-handed) this is frustrating to say the least. At the moment I'm using my cell phone to verbally dictate this post into about the miracles of modern technology! All impatience and silly complaining aside I definitely have a lot to be thankful for, so I'm determined to stay positive!
For the next two weeks I'm going to try an experiment using the wonderful and very addictive social media application, instagram. At the moment this is the easiest way for me to reach out to you all without having to compromise the use of my (annoying) healing arm. I hope you'll check in as I plan on posting a photo round-up on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday over the next two weeks. These photos will feature everything or at least most of what I'm eating, with the occasional bonus photos of puppies thrown into the mix.
This is going to be a little challenging given the fact that I have minimal use of my right hand. Most likely you'll be seeing a lot of salads and smoothies, but I also plan on putting Mr AtV to work in the kitchen when his chopping talents are needed. Thank you in advance for your awesome support and patience -- if I had it my way I'd be in the kitchen right now, chopping up the gorgeous bag of shiitake mushrooms that I bought at Farmers Market last weekend. 
Rainbow Carrots from Farmers Market
Snack time; Mango & Pineapple
A couple plates containing some yummy savory raw vegan tarts! 
A tasty bowl of Mango and Blueberries
Spirulina shot and a giant Banana/Spinach smoothie
Sun-drunk Lucy - aka Puppy Prozac
Sun-drunk Elmer in the background (and entry to my messy backdoor), while my pale tukas takes shelter from the lovely sunny weather we had over the weekend.
Lovelovelove to all of you wonderful AtV readers!