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My New Love: Coconut Water + Green Smoothies

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I’ve never liked coconut water. Honestly? It tasted like vomit to me. Gross, I know. But it did!

In the raw food world, there are lots of recipes that call for it and I’ve purchased them at the Asian grocery store and cracked them open with a butcher knife in hopes of gaining some love for them. I even bent my favorite knife doing it! But despite my efforts…no love.

And then my friend was going on and on about it…but she wasn’t drinking it plain, she was putting it in her smoothie as the liquid.

So I thought I would try it too.

Eureka! I liked it. I more than liked it…I LOVED it. It gives my smoothie a totally new taste…nothing really overpowering, just a nice overall flavor. I don’t use it every time, but if I have it on hand, it adds a twist. It also has nice health benefits like high potassium and electrolytes (great for post partum) and a bunch of other things that (according to the Internet) may or may not be true. Google it 🙂

I like the kind with no sugar added (for obvious reasons) and have found it locally for 9 cents an oz. If you want to order a case (but not the same brand), check out Amazon. It appears to be well-liked and is 12 cents/oz if you do the subscribe and save option.

So for all you smoothie lovers out there, try it out! I know I’m late to the game and I’m sure some of you are already doing this, but I just had to share. Yum.

April 24, 2012 at 4:40 pm 16 comments

Necessities

We all have them. Those food items that you would run to the store in the middle of the night to buy. The favorites that you just can’t live without. Here are a few of mine:

Avocado
We ALWAYS have avocados on hand. Could there be anything more delightful? They are the ultimate power food…and we all love them. We eat them on salads, salted on sprouted bread, plain, on curries…you name it. Avocado was both Bella and Lucy’s first food. Yum yum.

Raw Goat Milk Cheese
This is not the soft goat cheese that you might be thinking of…we get the raw cheddar cheese and we eat A LOT of it. It’s more spendy ($6.99 for a small block)…but it’s so worth it because we don’t do cow’s milk cheese around here most of the time. If you’ve never had it, you’ll be surprised at how wonderful it is! Even when we’re eating mostly raw, we keep this cheese in to satisfy cravings.

Justin’s Nut Butters
Oh.My.Goodness. Love it. Maple is our favorite. We top our brown rice cakes with it. We put it in our oatmeal. We like to scoop it right out with a spoon. No, it’s not raw…but it’s darn good. They also make them in little travel packets. So handy dandy. They are based out of Boulder…I might have to go take a photo of their headquarters while we’re here. I love them that much.

Green smoothies
These are a staple around here. We are still making them almost morning…we can’t go too long without one or we feel it! And yes, I am planning another Green Smoothie Challenge. Don’t ask me dates…but I’m hoping to do it soon! So get ready 🙂

Watermelon
Crave it. The smell. The sweetness. Love it. We eat LARGE bowls of it in the summertime, sometimes having entire meals of just watermelon.

Citron Oolong
This is easily my favorite tea. I have it nearly every morning. Just the smell will amaze you. Excellent hot or iced.

Steel Cut Oats
This is a recent addition to our favorites. The texture is similar to brown rice. Chewy, nutty, and delicious. Iwe like to top it with bananas, almond butter, walnuts or hemp seeds, maple syrup, and almond milk.

Iced Tea
We’ve been drinking OOODLES of iced tea around here. I’m loving the Celestial Seasonings tropical “cool brew” as well as their blueberry green tea. I love to mix and match my flavors…it’s like making a cocktail! 🙂

So there you have it. A short list of the foods and drinks that we’re loving right now. What’s on YOUR list?

**Disclaimer: Some of the links above are linked to our affiliate account at Amazon.
If you order using our link, we will get a tiny bit of that sale.
Mostly, I’m just trying to be helpful 🙂

July 28, 2010 at 1:23 am 37 comments

Mary’s Secret Garden – Ventura, CA

This is possibly the yummiest veggie burger ever made. All veggie, all VEGAN! Even the cheese. Matt devoured this at Mary’s Secret Garden in Ventura, CA, a sweet little vegan and raw cafe near the beaches in Ventura. I ordered some fresh spring rolls and a pineapple & date smoothie, but forgot to take photos. Oops! I ate them too fast.

The cafe featured all vegan food…with much of that being raw vegan. They had such a great mix of food…and they were super sweet with Bella, making her a special noodle dish upon her request. I had read rave reviews about this place, but we almost left town without checking it out. I’m so glad we didn’t…now I wish we would have been there longer so I could go every day. Yum.

A cute little outdoor patio…looking over the park across the street.

It was hoppin’ at lunch time.

A quaint little corner.

January 23, 2010 at 1:48 pm 11 comments

Road Food

sara cooking
Here I am…in Walla Walla, Washington cooking up some Sunchoke Quinoa with my friend Ali. If you don’t read my other blogs, you might be wondering if I fell off the face of the earth. This blog has been mighty quiet lately 🙂 Our family has gone back on the road full time and the last few months have been full of transition and craziness.

I will still be posting to Happy Foody, but while we’re on the road, it tends to be very sporadic. I’m usually cooking up some deliciousness in my friend’s homes…but most of it is stuff that is on my blog already! So…as I try new and fun recipes, I will post. I’ll be launching our new travel blog soon…stay tuned! Thanks for your patience.

Have a wonderful weekend!

xxoo
sara

November 13, 2009 at 12:59 am 9 comments

Quick Coconut Curry Stir-Fry

I’m always looking for a relatively quick and healthy lunch option…and this one was definitely a hit. The sauce is really simple to throw together, and yet is very flavorful. Yum!

Quick Coconut Curry Stir-Fry
1 medium onion, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
1 pound extra firm tofu, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
2-3 cups broccoli, snap peas, peppers, mushrooms…you choose!
Salt and pepper to taste

Stir-Fry Sauce:
1 (14 ounce) can light coconut milk
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon (about a thumb size) minced fresh ginger

Saute the onion in olive oil until soft. While that is cooking, stir together the sauce ingredients and set aside. Add all of your veggies to the onions and saute for a few minutes. Pour the stir-fry sauce over the mixture and cook through until veggies are soft. You could throw in a couple handfuls of spinach until just wilted if you like (right before you serve it). Serve over quinoa or brown rice. Top with some sweet thai chili sauce for a little extra kick! 🙂

January 21, 2009 at 2:46 pm 29 comments

Snobby Joes


I’m not sure how I have lived so long without these…they are definitely a keeper! Another goodie from Isa Chandra…these “snobby joes” are certain to please both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. We ate them on buns with organic ketchup (way better tasting than regular!), mustard, and pickles. If you wanted to omit the bread, you could serve them in lettuce wraps. These were SO TASTY. Wow.

I tweaked the original recipe a bit…up the chili powder if you like it spicier!

Ingredients
1 cup uncooked lentils
4 cups water

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
1 green pepper, diced small (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 – 1 Tablespoons chili powder (orig. recipe called for 3!)
1 1/2  teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon salt
8 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1-2 tablespoons yellow mustard (wet mustard)

4 to 6 kaiser rolls or sesame buns

Directions
Put the lentils in a small sauce pot and pour in 4 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until lentils are soft. Drain and set aside.

About 10 minutes before the lentils are done boiling, preheat a medium soup pot over medium heat. Saute the onion and pepper in the oil for about 7 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and saute a minute more.

Add the cooked lentils, the chili powder, oregano and salt and mix. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the maple syrup and mustard and heat through.

Turn the heat off and let sit for about 10 minutes, so that the flavors can meld, or go ahead and eat immediately if you can’t wait. I like to serve these open faced, with a scoop of snobby joe on each slice of the bun.

January 17, 2009 at 7:43 am 37 comments

Beautiful Beets


My midwife, Rebecca, encouraged me to eat beets during my pregnancy…so I promptly went to the coop and bought 2 different varieties, but they sat uneaten in the back of my fridge for weeks. Finally, upon seeing them, I had a craving and decided to cook them up. I do love beets…I grew up eating them fresh from my parent’s garden, but I didn’t know of (or care about) the awesome health benefits back then! 🙂

Beets are super high in folate, which is essential when you’re growing a baby! It also has a decent level of iron and tons of other nutrients. There are several different ways to eat beets:

  • Roast or boil until tender…season with lemon juice, olive oil, herbs, etc.
  • Grate raw beets over your salads (I love this!)
  • Juice them!
  • Marinate/steam the greens just like you would with mustard or collard greens.

This particular variety of beets has a striped pink and white flesh and is called a “chioggia” beet. Aren’t they so beautiful? It was such a surprise when I cut into it! It’s a pre-1840 Italian heirloom garden beet and I had never seen it before. But the coop had a bunch of kinds, so I thought I should mix it up! I will definitely be buying more. Yum.

January 17, 2009 at 7:33 am 9 comments

Lindsay’s Garden Chowder


I saw this recipe on Lindsay’s blog, Passionate Homemaking…and I knew I had to try it! I did tweak her original recipe a bit for our tastes … and it was soooooo yummy (the recipe below is the way we made it).  We all LOVED it. I made the agave vegan cornbread muffins to go with it…a perfect pairing. This will definitely be going into our regular rotation. It made enough for the three of us to have it for supper and lunch the next day.

Lindsay’s Garden Chowder
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
1/4 cup butter or Earth Balance
1 1/2 cups potato, diced
2 cups cau­li­flower, chopped
1-2 carrots, sliced
2 cups broc­coli, chopped
6 cups vegetable broth
1 tea­spoon salt (more to taste)
3 garlic cloves
1/4 tea­spoon pepper
1/2 cup flour or arrow­root powder (optional)
1 – 1 1/2 cups unsweetened soy or almond milk
1 T minced fresh pars­ley (optional)
1/4 t paprika
1/4 t corian­der
1/4 t ground mus­tard (increase as desired)
1 cup shred­ded cheese (stir in 1/2 cup just before serving, and top with the remainder)

In a Dutch oven or large pot, saute green pepper, onion and butter until tender. Add veg­eta­bles, water, bouil­lon, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 min­utes or until the veg­eta­bles are tender. Com­bine flour and milk until smooth; stir into pan. Allow to thicken at a low tem­per­a­ture. Add the pars­ley and other spices and allow to simmer for 5 more minutes. Just before serv­ing, stir in the cheese until melted. Yield: 6-8 servings.

January 15, 2009 at 4:05 am 6 comments

Something From Nothing

something-from-nothing
We’ve been working on our budget for 2009…and we’re going back to my favorite method. Cash budget! Using cash only really helps me when I’m at the grocery store. I pay MUCH closer attention to what I’m putting in my cart, I look for the specials, menu plan ahead of time, etc. Love it. I’m always up for a good challenge, and when I know that I only have X amount in my wallet, I’m thrilled when I don’t spend it all 🙂

With that said, I’ve been taking inventory of my pantry to see how long we could go without going on a major grocery run. I made a big list of all the ingredients I had on hand and also all the meals I could make. I came up with 9 meals out of “nothing”! Yay! One of the meals I came up with is the one you see above.

Here are the things I had to work with:

  • A big bag of quinoa: I love quinoa because it cooks so much faster than brown rice and it has such a high protein level. I made twice as much as I needed and then put the rest in the fridge for another day.
  • Broccoli (I found a big Costco bag of it in the bag of the fridge…sometimes I get a little over zealous and think that we will eat it all, but we never do. So even though some of it was getting mushy, most of it was good. I picked out enough for this meal and then put the rest of it into freezer bags for other meals.
  • Snap peas: I used some of this bag of peas for something quite awhile ago, but amazingly, they were still totally fresh and yummy. I love snap peas, so I was thrilled.

So, I have these ingredients, and I decide to whip up some stir-fry. I like my stir fry to have a little kick, so I Googled a sauce recipe to loosely follow and oh my…it was delish. I squeezed some fresh orange juice from some OLD (but apparently still good) oranges in the pantry, added some fresh ginger, garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce…and poured it on top of the veggies while it sauteed. Healthy, tasty…cheap!

Normally, I would have added tofu to this and probably some shitake mushrooms as well. But because I had taken inventory of what I had, I knew I wanted to keep those things for my miso soup recipe later. Being that the quinoa is so high in protein, it was a well-rounded meal without those things.

Here are more of my favorite “something from nothing” pantry meals:

  • Pancakes: I always make my own (basic vegan recipe from “How it all Vegan”) and love to top it with whatever I have on hand. My favorite is peanut butter, bananas, and pure maple syrup. If we have have blueberries on hand, I will mix those into the batter…but you could also use thawed frozen berries as well. More topping ideas: walnuts, applesauce, any nut butters, the possibilites are endless.
  • Eggs: If you’re not vegan…eggs are a great cheap option for quick protein. We LOVE hard boiled eggs, but often make egg sandwiches or just scramble them.
  • Beans and Rice: Can’t forget this pantry staple. You can dress this up in so many ways it’s ridiculous. Put it into a tortilla, or top it with veggies, add some sweet thai chili sauce…yum.
  • Curries: I try to keep several cans of coconut milk on hand…and as long as I have some rice, curry powder or paste, and frozen veggies, I have a meal.
  • Baked potatoes: Bake a bunch of taters and top them with shredded cheese, beans, salsa…whatever you have on hand.
  • Soup and bread/muffins: You can make a soup from pretty much anything! I keep the all natural veggie bouillon cubes in my pantry at all times so I can have an instant broth. Add whatever veggies and beans you have on hand and some herbs voila! Soup!  Throw it on the table with some homemade bread or quick corn muffins and it’s a perfect meal.

I’m sure I’m not the only one watching my budget carefully right now…what is your favorite pantry meal?

January 8, 2009 at 7:15 am 22 comments

Mighty Miso Soup


Another goody from a favorite cookbook of mine, How it all Vegan by Sarah Kramer and Tanya Barnard. This was SO easy to make and much more tasty than I expected. If you’ve ever had miso soup when you’ve gone out for sushi…multiply the yumminess by 10 and that’s this soup. It’s got so much healthy goodness in it…and so much taste. The perfect healing soup…when I was pregnant with Bella, my midwife told me that it would be a great after-birth replenishing meal.

Here is an excerpt from the intro in the cookbook…very educational 🙂

Miso is a fermented bean/grain paste that orignated in Asia. There are 3 varieties of miso: soybean, barley, and brown rice. I like to use the brown rice miso in this recipe because I find it has the best taste. Combining miso with shitake mushrooms creates a balanced protein. Shitakes not only enhance the soup’s flavor but also contain all 8 essential amino acids the body needs. A word of caution, NEVER boil or overcook your miso; this kills all of its nutrients. Always add your miso just before removing the soup from the heat.

Mighty Miso Soup
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup medium or firm tofu
2 large shitake mushrooms or 1 cup frozen
3 T dried seaweed, chopped (hijiki is best)
2-3 heaping T of miso paste (more or less to taste)
3 stalks green onions, chopped
3 T spinach, chopped (or kale, bok choy, or swiss chard)

In a medium pot, add the water, tofu, mushrooms, and dried seawood and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-8 minutes, until mushrooms are tender. Remove from heat, stir in the miso, onions, and spinach, and let sit for 30 seconds. Makes 4 servings.

Sara’s Tips:

  • I used the sweet white miso and it was delicious!
  • The frozen shitakes worked great.
  • Dissolve your miso in a little warm water first, before adding it to the soup. I didn’t do this, and ended up with giant chunks of miso in the soup.
  • Enjoy!!

November 3, 2008 at 12:01 am 10 comments

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