The Power of Raw

Summertime – don’t you love it? And summertime is the perfect time to spoil your body, recharge the old batteries and rejuvenate yourself!

I find nothing quite as powerful as a couple of days on raw food,  plant-based, entirely raw dishes, full of all the goodness you need to tune yourself back into vibrant.

Here is how it goes – for breakfast how about some  Creamy Raw Food Oatmeal

Raw food musli

Raw food musli

Or delicious Raw Food “yoghurt” with mango and raspberry coulis

IMG_0590

 

Or Raw Food Granola made from fresh sprouts and almond creme…

Raw food Breakfast

Raw food Breakfast

For lunch how about Raw Food Sushi served with ginger, garlic sauce.

Ready to enjoy

Ready to enjoy

or Raw Food Pasta with fresh tomato sauce and capers….

Raw Food Fettuccine

Raw Food Fettuccine

or a delicious salad with pomegranate, apples and pineapple 

Salad with pomegranate and apple

Salad with pomegranate and apple

or Raw Food  Veggie Chili with Cashew “Cheese” DSC_0135

And lots of green juice

IMG_0323

And green smoothies during the day

IMG_0882

For dinner Raw Food Curry served with Parsnip “Rice” 

1 red pepper

1 orange pepper

1 zucchini

5 big brown mushrooms

4 spring onions

Wash and finely chop everything – make the curry sauce

Curry Sauce 

2 big  scoops tablespoons of cashew butter

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger

4 dried lime leaves or 2 fresh

1 cup of water

2 tablespoon of soya sauce

1 tablespoon sweet chill sauce

juice and rind of 1 lime fruit

1 teaspoon of Thai red curry paste

Put it all in the blender and blend into a delicious creamy curry sauce.

Raw Food Curry Sauce

Raw Food Curry Sauce

Parsnip “rice” 

Peel 2 parsnips and cut them into smaller pieces – put them in the blender and blend them till they look rice- alike – squeeze a little fresh lemon juice on and a little sea salt.

Serve on a plate with the chopped vegetables – pour over the curry sauce and enjoy!

Raw Food Curry with Parsnip "Rice"

Raw Food Curry with Parsnip “Rice”

 

” What you find at the end of your fork is more powerful than anything you’ll find at the bottom of a pill bottle” – Dr. Mark Hyman

Advertisements

Fresh Homemade Tomato Soup served with Garlic and Goat Cheese Focaccia

Today I went out to my local market,  a fantastic place just outside the city where I live. Right now the market is  booming with local strawberries, new potatoes, fresh herbs, tomatoes, spinach and so much more.

…and chickens wandered around in the shop while I was filling my basket – that’s my kind of place.

A basket full of goodness

A basket full of goodness

I  simply love this time of year when the markets are booming with the delicious fresh produce of the season- particularly the deep red sweet tomatoes! They are like candy in themselves and create a little party in your mouth – so intense with flavours!

When I saw them I immediately decided that I wanted to make fresh tomato soup. Continue reading

Delicious Raw Food Falafel with Creamy Tahini Sauce

As many of you know, every week we like to change some of our meals with vegan meals, and in particular, we love those vegan meals that are fresh delicious Raw Food meals.

The other night we had Raw Food Tacos and they were wildly good – and tonight we had Raw Food Falafel.

I love middle eastern food and falafel is one of my all time favourites – so I decided I wanted to create a Raw Food version of this wonderful dish  – it turned out to be equally delicious. I love how I feel after eating Raw – I feel  energized and light, full of energy.

Every bite nourishes the body.

Raw Food Falafel

Raw Food Falafel

Here’s the recipe

Raw Food Falafel with Creamy Tahini 

This recipe makes 14 – 16 falafel

2 cups of walnuts

2 big brown mushrooms

1 celery stalk

1 glove of garlic

A little piece of red onion

1/4 red pepper

1 bunch of fresh cilantro

1  teaspoon ground cumin

3 tbs Braggs

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

You also need – sesame seeds to roll the falafel in

Diced tomatoes, cucumber and red onions as an accompaniment and

radicchio lettuce – as your “pita”.

Put the ingredients for the falafel into the blender and blend until smooth – leave in the fridge for 1/2 – 1 hrs, to make them  easier to work with – then form them into little round balls and roll them in the raw sesame seeds.

Falafel in process

Falafel in process

 

Falafel

Falafel

Walnuts

Walnuts

Creamy Tahini 

Creamy tahini

Creamy tahini

 

For the dressing:

3 small tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

4 heaped tablespoons of tahini

1 clove of garlic

2 teaspoons of agave sirup/maple sirup

4 teaspoons  tamari

8 tablespoons of olive oil

1/3 cup water

a good squeeze of lemon

sea salt

Put everything into the blender and blend it into a creamy tasty dressing.

Serve the falafel on a crisp red radicchio leaf, put some mixed leafy greens on top and add a good scoop of creamy tahini sauce. Top this with diced cucumber, tomatoes, red onion and fresh cilantro…. and Enjoy!

Served perhaps with a glass of wine

Served perhaps with a glass of wine?

 

On another note –

Many many weeks have gone by without my writing a single blog post…. so what happened?

I had surgery while I was in DK – hysterectomy – all went well, no cancer, a huge relief, and goodbye to the pain that has been with me for many, many months.

Recovery has been fast – incredibly fast, just 2 weeks after surgery I was biking through the forest, and now only 6 weeks later I am out running!

I am grateful!

I was privileged and happy to be in Denmark while having my surgery – surrounded by family and wonderful friends who spoiled me rotten! Taking turns to look after me!

Thank you for all your kind comments and emails asking about my health and well-being – I feel very lucky to have so many amazing people in my life – my virtual friends as well as personal ones!

Thank you!

Let Food be thy medicine — even in the hospital!

It has been busy around here and life is not always as you plan it or want it to be …..

I had just accompanied my beautiful daughter to her new home. Helped her as she settled and got ready to start a new life at university. We had some amazing days together and my heart was filled with of love, tenderness and tears, as Ihugged her goodbye and headed to the airport to fly home, without her.

Back home again, I was busy giving workshops and it was fun, I love it, I was busy preparing for another 4 workshops that were already booked. I was running my beautiful 10 morning k’s every other day.

IMG_5111

And then one day just after I had been out swimming in the lake, enjoying maybe the last swim this year — I got sick — really sick! And ended up being taken to the hospital in an ambulance! That, definitely, was NOT supposed to be!

I spent 4 intense days in the hospital, and gratefully I am now home recovering and feeling the strength and energy coming back. Wonderful!

But it definitely was not the food that healed me………..I know that for a fact. The doctors and nurses were absolutely incredible, they went out of their way to help me heal and feel comfortable. Amazing competent, warm and wonderful people!!

But the food……… that’s another very sad story!

During the 4 days, I was served 12 trays of food, each of them impossible to eat. I know I should be happy and grateful that I was served food at all ……. but honestly, it was the most unappetizing sad “food” I have ever seen in my life – I was chocked!

As a chef and a person who has been healed through food and lifestyle changes – I just couldn’t stop myself from thinking – why?

Food is so important for so many reasons!

Surely this can be done better!

Over and over again I was thinking how absurd it was that I was in hospital, a place of healing and there was no interest about the food. Fresh nourishing food is such a vital part in healing!

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food – Hippocrates (year 431 BC!)

In those 4 days I did not see a single fruit or vegetable, never mind the fresh anything at all – no fresh fruit nor fresh vegetables – no – ZERO – none at all!

The food on the trays had perhaps never been fresh! Everything was processed and as far as I could judge, had nothing to do even with nourishment! And served in dull plastic containers on a dull plastic tray.

With a rumbling tummy and food fantasies on my mind, I talked to the nurse about the food – they said that over 70% !!! of all trays go back untouched!

70% -What a waste!!! What a shame, how sad, what a total missed opportunity!

We know that healthy food helps us heal faster, we know that healthy food has the potential to prevent disease. We know that sick people more than anybody needs nourishment.

We also know that a vast majority of diseases are caused and directly linked to unhealthy lifestyle and eating the wrong diet……..so why don’t the hospitals grab the chance and serve sick patients enjoyable, nutritious fresh food. Grab the chance to feed and inspire healthy living – and help the patients to heal themselves.

So why? …….. The argument is “It’s too expensive!”

But is it, really?

In Denmark, at one point in time, they went through the same gloomy experience! 40 tons of hospital food was chucked away every day, because it was so grim, no one wanted to eat it.

To change that, they employed professional chefs along with dieticians and they designed menus for people to enjoy, to look forward to every day and to help them heal faster!

Serving meals, 3 times a day became a thing of the past — because when you are sick you are not necessarily hungry on the dot. Instead every patient has a menu and a telephone. And when hungry, they simply take the menu, pick their fancy and call the chefs in the kitchen. The meal is then prepared, cooked from fresh natural ingredients and brought up to the patient. Nutritious, fresh, delicious — real food from real people – who care and love cooking!

What they found was, not surprisingly, that there was hardly any food waste, patients got well, out of bed and home faster, too.

And, it was not more expensive!

But unfortunately, it is in general the same story – no matter where you are in the world – hospital food has a bad reputation.

Hospitals around the world are missing a huge opportunity. Hospitals, our health care system, could be the greatest example of health! Show us how to enjoy food, teach us what to eat to stay healthy and nourished, the best food for our bodies – to assist us heal, to help fight disease and prevent it.

Great food in hospitals would not only help us heal, but it would also inspire us all to practice more healthy living when we got back home.

Imagine how we could assist the body in healing if we were served something like this:

Freshly squeezed carrots

Freshly squeezed carrots

Green smoothies

Freshly prepared green smoothies with fresh spinach leafs and juicy fruits

Creamy Raw Food Oatmeal

Creamy Raw Food Oatmeal, with almonds, dates and apple – a glass of freshly squeezed orange

Fresh fruits and veggies

Free access to fresh fruits and veggies

Crispy Spring Rolls

Crispy Spring Rolls

A bowl of freshly made tomato soup

A bowl of freshly made tomato soup made of REAL tomatoes

Instead of this –

Breakfast?

Jello for breakfast?

Lunch?

Lunch?

Not sure...

Not sure….

On the fourth day I cried…….

If we have to spend money – why not spend it well?

I know there are other places that have changed the concept of tasteless grey hospital food – and with great success – that’s here in Canada.

Listen to this inspiring talk by Joshna Maharaj – an amazing passionate woman who helped change the hospital food in Toronto.

Hurraaa for people like Joshna!

Baby Kale & Portobello Salad with Walnuts and Sun Dried Tomatoes

I can never get enough salad – I think there are so many fantastic creations out there.

This one is simple and super delicious!

Baby Kale Salad with Portobello

Baby Kale Salad with Portobello

Baby Kale  & Portobello Salad with Walnuts and Sun-dried Tomatoes 

Baby kale

4 Portobello Mushrooms

1 clove of garlic

Freshly squeezed lemon juice

6 sun-dried tomatoes

A good handful of coarsely chopped walnuts

3 Tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar reduction

1 teaspoon of good Dijon Mustard

1/3 cup Olive Oil

1 clove of freshly squeezed garlic

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Rinse the baby kale and put it on a clean cloth to take a way excess water before putting it in a salad bowl.

Clean the portobello and chop them.

Portobello

Portobello

Fry them with a bit of olive oil in a pan- till they are golden. Add sea salt, lemon juice, garlic and some freshly ground pepper. Leave them to cool slightly before adding them to the salad.

Cut the sun-dried tomatoes and chop the walnuts. Add to the salad.

Make the dressing;

Dressing

Dressing

For this salad I used a really great local balsamic vinegar reduction that I have fallen in love with  – “Nonna Pia’s Balsamic Cabernet Merlot Reduction made with love! “ – it’s intense and slightly sweet, you can taste it’s made with love (perfect for salad and so many other things)

Nonna Pia's Vinegar

Nonna Pia’s Balsamic Vinegar

In a bowl, put the Dijon mustard and the balsamic vinegar. Stir together. Whisk in the olive oil little by little. Add sea salt and freshly squeezed garlic.

Toss the salad together and enjoy on it’s own or like this with parmesan or some goat cheese.

Walnut Bread

Nothing quite like homemade bread……

People frequently ask me – “really, do you make your own bread?”

– I would never have time for that, they say, but really, it doesn’t take that long to make delicious homemade bread. Once you have gotten into the routine, it’s the easiest thing on earth! Honestly! And fun! And rewarding!

Actually, mixing up the dough takes less than 5 min. And then the secret is to leave it to raise for at least 4 hours, the longer the better – I usually mix it in the evening before going to bed. Put it in the fridge or leave it on the counter with a wet cloth, to do it’s magic overnight.

In the morning I let it rise a second time, while the oven is heating and then I pop it in to bake, which it does while I’m in the shower.

Freshly baked bread in the morning is such a treat for everyone.

Just imagine waking up to the smell of homemade bread – a day starting like that, is bound to be a good one!

Not all bread now-a-days is honest as there are so many additives that go into store-bought bread today. Unless of course you get it from a good baker!

When you make your own bread you know what goes into it. 

Bread from the good baker

Bread from the good baker

 Walnut Bread

2 cups of water

1 teaspoon dry yeast

2 teaspoons of salt

2 tablespoons of raw sugar

3 tablespoons of olive oil

4 cups of organic unbleached flour

1 cup of chopped walnuts

1/2 cup of extra flour

Dissolve the yeast in the water, add the oil, the salt and the sugar, add the chopped walnuts and add the flour little by little while stirring.

Walnuts

Leave the dough to raise with a wet cloth overnight or at least for 4 hours.

Fold in a little extra flour and sprinkle some on a clean countertop. Place the dough on the flour and gently fold the the sides of the dough underneath – without kneading it.

IMG_4032

Allow the dough to raise on the table while you heat the oven to 450 F – place a cast iron pot with the lid in the oven for 1/2 hour to heat it.

Take the cast iron pot out and carefully place the dough in the very hot pot, put the lid back on – please don’t burn yourself! And place the pot back in the hot oven and bake for 30 min.

Take the lid of and bake for another 10 min

Take it out, and try to let it cool a little before cutting it, I know it’s difficult :-).

IMG_4036

Enjoy!

IMG_4039

A Raw Food Day

A Raw Food Day – an entire day with pure raw organic food. Fresh fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, nuts and seeds – and all prepared in flavourful ways .

It’s a luxury for your body, mind, heart and soul.

And, … it’s super easy to prepare and even easier to clean up afterwards – imagine no greasy pots and pans!

I have been amazed, astounded really, by the power of green food!

Lifestyle diseases can be cured by lifestyle changes! 

Continue reading

Awaiting Summer Smoothie

We are enjoying beautiful spring weather here on the West Coast of British Columbia.

This morning I decided I would make a true “Awaiting Summer Smoothie” – because to be honest with you, I crave summer like crazy!

Awaiting Summer Smoothie

Awaiting Summer Smoothie

 

I had some deliciously ripe mangos (juicy and sweet)

some fresh pineapple,

and a cute pear with red cheeks.

Pear with red cheeks

Pear with red cheeks

Some fresh mint, freshly squeezed juice of lime and some cool coconut water.

Mint & Lime

Mint & Lime

Sweet Mango

Sweet mango

For 4 people:

1/2 pineapple

1 pear

1 big mango

1-2 lime

2 sprigs of fresh mint

2 cups of coconut water

Put it all in the blender along with some ice to cool it down. Blend into a fabulous nutritious and delicious drink.

Enjoy!

In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer – Albert Camus

Lime and Herb Infused Green Papaya Salad

A total craving for Green Papaya Salad lured me out into the cold and windy day, on the hunt for green papaya. I love my local China town – it’s always full of life, hectic, intense, full of colors, smells and hints of adventure. Then, the sun came out, and what more can you really ask for?

China Town


Fisgaard market

Red Door

Fan Tan Alley Victoria

China Town Victoria MarketMarketMarket

I found the freshest and most beautiful green papaya fruit, a deliciously sweet pineapple, fresh herbs, big juicy oranges, tangy lime fruit and dried cranberries. That’s when I knew I was fully ready to go home and create a delicious Green Papaya Salad.

Green Papaya Salad

Green Papaya

Green Papaya

Papaya in Julienne

Papaya in Julienne

Filets of Orange

Filets of Orange

Juicy Orange

Juicy Orange

Mint, Cilantro and Basil

Mint, Cilantro and Basil

Green Papaya Salad

1/2 green papaya

1/4 fresh sweet pineapple

1 big orange

1 bunch fresh cilantro

1 bunch fresh basil

1 bunch fresh mint

A handful of cranberries

Cut the papaya and the pineapple into julienne strips and cut the orange into fillets. Wash and finely chop the herbs, mix everything in a bowl. Add a handful of dried cranberries

Marinade

2 lime

3-4 sps of maple syrup or agave

1 -2 cloves of garlic

some freshly grated ginger

Squeeze the lime, add maple syrup, squeeze garlic and grate some fresh ginger – mix well.

Pour the marinade over the salad and enjoy!

Green Papaya Salad

Green Papaya Salad

Green Juicy Juice

I have been so spoiled lately!  Last weekend I went to Montreal with my beautiful daughter – just the two of us! Wow, what a treat, spending time alone with her was so precious!

Then this weekend I went skiing with some girl friends. Both of these experiences were like big-time tonic for my soul.

 

The down side is however that while traveling it can be hard to maintain healthy habits and routines. I love joining the party and eating what everyone else is eating and I treasure visiting interesting restaurants and eat whatever takes my fancy.

But I also love to get back home and squeeze myself a rejuvenating green juice. Its the perfect way to recoup and getting back into the rhythm again .

Fresh spinach

Fresh spinach

Celery

Celery

Sweet Apples

Sweet Apples

Lemon

Lemon

Pear

Pear

Green Juicy Juice

This juice is made in minutes and served on ice.

You need:

A bunch of fresh spinach

3 sticks of celery

3 apples

1 pear

1 lemon

Put it all through the juicer (or blender, but then you need to add some water) to make a delicious, refreshing green juice.

Delicious Juice

Delicious Juice