Wednesday, March 13, 2013

raw can be tasty, i swear!

remember how i mentioned last time that i sometimes mimic recipes from my amazing co-op? well, i was able to do it again, this time with a raw vegetable salad that has only FOUR ingredients. indeed. it goes like this:

Raw Beet & Carrot Salad

4-5 medium to large carrots
so delicious!
3-4 medium to large beets
agave syrup -approx. 3 tbsp
apple cider vinegar - approx. 2-3 tbsp

keep in mine that this recipe is not exact, nor does it have to be. it is entirely up to you how much you want to make and what your tastes are. i prefer the sweeter, more vinegar-y taste so i went heavy on the agave and vinegar.

grate the beets and carrots into a large bowl, either by hand or by food processor. then add agave and vinegar to taste. keep in mind that if you grate by hand your fingers and hands will turn very pink from the beets.

that's it!

see, i told you that was easy. it's raw, vegan, and very healthy. beets and carrots are extremely high in vitamins and when eaten raw those vitamins are better able to absorb into the bloodstream. i used the amount of veggies listed here and we still have some in the fridge (its been about a week). the vinegar helps preserve the veggies so it will last a good 7-8 days in the fridge. easy to pack for a lunch or snack!!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

meal prep for next-to-nothing

a few weeks ago, i bought some super delicious chicken curry salad from the Wedge co-op in Minneapolis (as most of you know, i am a HUGE support of co-ops). as i checked out the ingredients, i realized i could probably make something similar and just as delicious at home. it's so easy to grab something that's already been made when you're heading off to school or work, so it was a no-brainer to try and imitate the recipe.

at our local Eastside Food Co-op, they sell whole rotisserie chickens from the deli on Sundays for only $7.99. compared to a $17 raw whole chicken we could've cooked ourselves, this was a steal. the original salad was made with mayonnaise, but i wanted to keep it healthy and use Plain yogurt instead. Trevor and i decided to make the salad slightly different than the original one we tried, and the results were absolutely perfect. see here how i did it:

whole chicken, being cut
for salad
1. cut and cube (or shred) 2 breasts or 2 legs of a chicken
2. chop 1 bunch of celery
3. add 1 cup of dried cranberries and 1.5 cups of raw cashew bits to chicken and celery
4. in a separate bowl, mix 1/2 cup of plain yogurt with LOTS of yellow curry powder (powder will absorb into the yogurt better than a curry paste, but do as you like to). we also added sugar and salt to taste.
5. mix all ingredients and the yogurt sauce together, then package for the fridge.

et voila! there you have it. in total this recipe cost about $12 and fed us for a number of days (it was best at lunch). meal prep and healthy eating has never been easier!
the finished product!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

ode to my love

me and trev, March 2012
happy Valentine's day!!! i know it's been a while since i've written so i wanted to write a few words about the one i love the most. you've heard about Trevor in many of my previous posts and on this day it's fitting that i tell you just how much that love means to me and my world.

best friend forever, my dear Brooke
we always hear about "the One" and how "you'll just know" when you find him (or her). when i first met Trev i knew he was something special, so we took it slow. part of the beauty of finding the one person you love the most is the romance, the spark and the special connection you share. when i first felt that spark i knew i didn't want to screw it up, so i made sure to always be on my best behavior. time went on, we grew closer, and ultimately we discovered just how deep our love was.

once you are comfortable with someone it can definitely be hard to maintain the romance and spark, so we always try and make a point of doing it. even if it means doing a small favor for your partner, or maybe a big surprise, romantic dinner, there's always an opportunity for romance. to this day, we do not let the other person use the bathroom in front of the other. even when we are camping. it's the one sacred thing we have left!! it's different for everyone and that just happens to be one way we keep the spark alive.

my nephew Emmett, who always makes me smile
i hope that everyone finds the people in their world who truly make them happy, feel special, feel loved and supported, without question. maybe its your best friend, your partner or your dog, but we all have someone in our life that just makes everything better. love to all.  xoxo

Thursday, January 31, 2013

winter detox

every so often i like to do a cleanse for the body, primarily for my liver. i'm not necessarily a heavy drinker, but i can be if i want to. i always feel great after i do a cleanse and i decided to do one this week and Trevor decided to join me.

i don't juice cleanse. some people swear by it, but i know that my body cannot sustain any energy without the proper nutrients. before i even did research about the different cleanses out there, i made my own. for 7 days, i avoid alcohol, meat, dairy and gluten. i focus most of my attention on vegetables and fruit, and still allow myself eggs for lots of good protein. basically its like being a wheat-free vegan for a week (if you drink coffee, switch to green tea!). it's definitely challenging and your body will feel tired out, but the results are worth it. trim a little off your belly while also cleansing your system of toxins.

one of my favorite websites for all things holistic, nutritious and conscience-minded is i even found a page with links to a plethora of articles about cleansing, juicing, detoxing and healthy eating here. i HIGHLY recommend doing research on any cleanse you plan to try, and seek out advice from people who have done them before. talk to your friends, family, yoga teacher, or any other mentor for guidance and you will surely find the right way to detox for yourself.

enjoy and be a healthy Betty!!



Sunday, January 20, 2013

the best thing i've ever cooked

OK, so by now we've established that i have a deep love for eating, vegetables, cooking and all things food-related. the other night, i made the best thing i've ever cooked. in a decade of living independently and learning how to cook delicious and nutritious food for myself, i swear this is the best thing i've ever made. and it was super easy! 

the other day, i got some organic chicken legs to roast with winter vegetables, and i found a couple of fennel bulbs in the fridge that were about to go bad. i looked up recipes with fennel and found myself this one. i made a few adjustments to the recipe, like i cooked it in a large skillet on the stovetop, so that the house would smell more like fennel and bacon, and so the oven wouldn't be crowded (the chicken and vegetables were roasting away already). instead of using spinach, i substituted chard that we had in the fridge from the other night. i meant to include the chard stems, like i've mentioned before, but i forgot and they can be used for something else delicious. 

the finished product: sweet, salty, fatty, crunchy, garlicky,
tangy goodness. 

maybe it was the organic, thick-cut bacon i used that i get from the co-op, or the slow simmer of the stovetop, but this dish became an instant classic that i will now cook many times in my life. 

to top it all off, we used the leftovers in our egg scramble, such as we love to do, this morning, with avocado slices and Udi's gluten-free toast. if you are vegetarian or vegan, you'll have to use a bacon substitute, and for your sake i hope it's comparable (because only bacon is as good as bacon). 



Wednesday, January 16, 2013

use every last bit

cutting the "spine" out of the leaf: make sure you
cut along the inside of it!

one of the current trends in restaurants right now is "nose-to-tail" eating, wherein the chefs use every bit of the animal possible to cook different dishes for your meal. i like to take this concept one step further to my use of vegetables. in the summer when we compost outside, it's easy to let go of a few leftover bits of fruits and veggies. in the dead of winter, we eat a lot more hearty greens like kale and chard. since the greens make up the majority of the leaf, it usually means throwing away the "spine" of the plant. i choose to instead buy chard over kale (Rainbow Chard for the fun colors, to be exact), and then use the tasty spine bits like any other vegetable in my dish. they can be sauteed, blanched, or fried, and will absorb any flavor you add to it (it can be bitter, so err on the side of extra flavor like garlic or ginger). 
cut the spine completely out and cut the greens
as you like

save the chard stems for other dishes!! (optional
to store in a reused gelato container)

Monday, January 7, 2013

betty bakes

if you've read this blog before, it's pretty clear that i love food and i love to cook. one thing i'm not that great at, however, is baking. the measurements are exact, the mixing techniques require patience and the work to make a small baked good is not always worth the effort to me. today, though, i decided to try a recipe that i've been thinking about since i ate an oatmeal date bar at my favorite co-op, The Wedge. they have an incredible bakery and deli so i figured with the same high-quality ingredients i could create my own.

i went to work finding a recipe online that would be simple, and i found this one. i used gluten-free flour for my own preference, and made sure to use organic dates. personally i like the pitted Deglett dates bates, but Medjool would work fine also.

Deglett dates, chopped
one thing the recipe doesn't state is how long to cook the dates, sugar and water (to make the filling). i let mine simmer for a good long while (40 minutes?) so everything would be nice and thick and mushy. also, to ensure that your crust is solid (mine was too dry), measure your butter exactly and be sure that it is soft when you add it to the dry mix.

the finished product: not exactly as i'd hoped but
still extremely tasty!! (next time: more butter)

the filling sits between the 2 layers of crust and when cut into 1-inch squares, these little bars make a great snack!! enjoy and be healthy.