Category Archives: Let’s Eat!

Let’s Eat: Cacao Buckwheatie Brittle!

Buckwheaties are dehydrated raw, sprouted buckwheat groats. You can eat them like cereal or grind them up and use as flour in raw recipes. OR you can make brittle!

Several months ago I bought a little bag of buckwheat groats at this tiny local health food store with the intention of making raw cereal. Last week I finally started the process. I looked online for some guidance and found all kinds of conflicting info. Soak them overnight. Don’t oversoak or they won’t sprout. I was confused but decided to wing it a bit and soak them overnight and see what happened.

First I measured out a cup of groats and rinsed them well in a fine mesh sieve. Then I covered them in four cups of water and let them soak overnight in a bowl. In the morning I drained and rinsed them and let them sit in the bowl covered with a tea towel all day. That evening I gave them another rinse and drain and let them sit overnight covered again. The next morning they had sprouted tiny green tails! So cute! (If groats can be cute. Which they can because almost anything can be cute with a tiny tail!)

At that point the groats could have been eaten for a truly raw experience. Or I could have continued to let them sprout and then added them to salads. But I continued my quest for raw cereal. I spread the sprouted groats out on dehydrator sheets and put them in the machine at 115 degrees F. I let them go for about 8 hours. They seemed dry and ‘done’. When I squeezed them between my fingers they crushed easily so I figured they were dry enough.

deydrated groats- buckwheaties!

The next morning (this is, like, four days later from starting the process!) I poured them into a bowl and was about to pour some soymilk over them for breakfast when I decided to give them a taste first. They tasted like I figured they would. Planty. Sprouty. Groaty. They would have been good with some berries and agave or stevia. But it was Sunday morning and I wanted something heartier. And more Sunday brunchish. So I made pancakes.

I decided to follow the advice of one of the blogs I came across and flavor them and give them another spin in the dehydrator. So I made a coating using raw agave and raw cacoa nibs. I mixed the groats with the coating and spread it out of parchment paper (I don’t have those special sheets for my dehydrator). I dehydrated overnight. The next morning I flipped it over and dehydrated another eight hours or so.

groats mixed with agave and cacao nibs ready for dehydration

When I finally felt like it was done I started to break up the big piece to store and realized that not only did I have cereal if I wanted it, but even better I had made buckwheatie brittle!! I decided to enjoy it as a snack. I took a piece to my raw-enthusiast co-worker too. When I received an email from her entitled: “Brittle is the Bomb” I knew I had reached success! And it only took a week! ;)

raw buckwheatie brittle!

Let’s Eat: Raw Nachos!

These raw nachos were three days in the making! But they were totally worth it! I was inspired by my friend Ty over at Camera Phone Vegan.  She’s been eating high raw lately and we both love nachos. So when she made raw vegan nachos with a cashew queso sauce, I HAD to try it!

I started out by making juice pulp crackers a couple days ago. I always save the pulp when I juice veggies in a bag in the freezer. I’ve tried a few recipes but the one I used this time is by far my favorite. I used this recipe and the only thing I changed was that I used a half teaspoon of granulated garlic instead of fresh garlic, and I made them in my dehydrator instead of in the oven. I dehydrated them for about 12 hours at 115 degrees F- flipping once after a few hours. They looked like this when I took them out:

I cut the crackers into wedges and then broke them in half for the ‘chips’ in my nachos. When I was ready to make the nachos I arranged them on a plate and topped with chopped romaine and red bell pepper.

Then I made the queso sauce! Holy Moly! This stuff is awesome. I kept eating it out of the blender with a spoon. I used Ty’s recipe found here. The only things I did different were to use a red bell pepper instead of yellow, I added a clove of garlic, and I added a 1/4 teaspoon cumin. I liberally drizzled the sauce over my nachos and it was beautiful!

look at that sauce!

I thoroughly enjoyed these raw nachos and I plan to make them again and again! I have leftover sauce that I think I’ll use as a dip for veggies or a salad dressing later this week. YUM!

Whole Food Eating Day 2

I was planning to post about the raw nachos today, but yesterday afternoon didn’t turn out as planned and so raw nachos will be had tonight! (or someone is getting hurt!) We ended up going out to dinner last night and I had a big salad with beans and guacamole but I forgot to ask for the fritos to be left off (ok- I didn’t forget), but other than a handful of fritos the ‘taco’ salad was right in line with my plan.

Today I started out with more green juice and then a small cup of coffee. Since I didn’t prep anything last night and had to drive David to work this morning (the car is in the shop with a recall issue…), I didn’t make a fruit salad. I just grabbed an orange and a banana to eat at my desk. This wasn’t really enough food for the morning but I survived. I need to get in the habit of planning better so that convenience food doesn’t rule my life.

I sipped matcha green tea (my latest tea obsession) throughout the morning and waited (impatiently) until noon for my lunch.

I had more of the lentil pistachio salad and green beans that I had yesterday and I also added a mixed green salad with chili beans on top. I just grabbed the salad package and the beans on my way out the door and threw it together at lunchtime. It was was beautiful but it needed more flavor. I should have made a nice oil-free dressing. I ate a little bit of it but I just wasn’t feeling it so luckily I remembered that I had more green juice in the fridge at work. When I got home I had a small romaine and banana smoothie to tide me over until dinner was ready.

One of my goals for eating better is that I hope to wake up refreshed in the mornings. Currently I have to drag myself out of bed every day and I feel like if I didn’t have to go to work I would sleep until 10am. And I go to bed at 10pm! I know people have different sleep needs, but I’m not sure I should ‘need’ 12 hours of sleep on a regular basis.

Here’s to another day of whole food eating!

Adventures in Whole Foods!

No, not the store, but actual whole foods! A few months ago I came to the harsh realization that although I eat lots of healthy foods I also eat lots of process junk foods. And just because they are vegan junk foods does not make them healthy! Anyone that follows me on Twitter knows how much I ADORE nachos. Like, LOVE them. OBSESSED with them. I always have tortilla chips in the pantry. I eat a variation of nachos at least once a week if not more often. Yes, I usually make my own vegan queso that is low fat and relatively healthy, and I sometimes put veggies on top of the chips and queso, but still. I am eating full fat, fried, processed, not even always organic tortilla chips! This needs to stop (not entirely (gawd forbid) – but just not as a regular habit).

And even more recently I realized that I have become addicted to sugar. In the afternoons, sitting at my desk, I get an overwhelming urge to eat something sweet and if I don’t get it I get all panicky! (umm, sugar-holics anonymous much?) And then, if I do eat something sugary, I get that terrible crash later and feel like I’m going to pass out at my desk! No Bueno.

So I’m embarking on some changes around JenoJoon-land. I’m focusing on whole foods and primarily on fruits, veggies, and beans. With a little bit of nuts and seeds thrown in and the occasional serving of a cooked grain or sprouted bread or pasta.

I’m taking parts of a few philosophies that work for me and combining them into an eating-habit revamp. This isn’t a cleanse or anything like that. I need to make some permanent changes. However, I was definitely inspired by Bianca of Vegan Crunk, who does a cleanse each January, and I decided to give The Crazy Sexy Diet another read. I’m incorporating green juice most mornings because I know how good it makes me feel. I’m also using the little ph sticks to test my alkaline/acid balance in my body. So far today I’ve been nice and balanced!

I’m reading Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat To Live so I’m also incorporating lots of raw fruits and veggies (also recommended by The Crazy Sexy Diet). As well as some cooked veggies, lots of beans, and moderate amounts of nuts and seeds.

So, with all that being said, here’s what I’ve eaten today:

Before I left for work I sipped eight ounces of fresh green juice. I juiced what I had on hand that needed using up so I did collards, bok choy, rainbow chard, romaine, a little carrot, a couple apples, half a lemon and a couple oranges. (this made enough juice for four servings) This made for a pretty spicy green juice but very tasty.

Then I ate some chia seed pudding that I’d made last night- just chia seeds, some organic soymilk, and a bit of stevia. It ‘gelled’ overnight and tasted like vanilla tapioca pudding. I also had a small cup of coffee with soymilk. I’m not giving up coffee. It brings me joy and I don’t think the 6 ounces I drink each day is going to hurt me…

chia seed pudding

Then I had a big fruit salad with a combo of fresh and frozen fruits: Frozen peaches and strawberries and a fresh orange and banana. Dr. Fuhrman recommends at least four fruits a day, so that was my breakfast.

fruit salad

I was definitely feeling hungry around 10am but I need to remind myself that it is ok to feel a little hungry between meals. My body needs down time. If I’m constantly eating, I’m constantly digesting! Dr. Fuhrman recommends not snacking between meals.

So I waited until lunch time to eat my next meal. I had some juice pulp crackers that I dehydrated (more about this tomorrow when I tell you about my raw NACHOS! See? Told you I wasn’t giving them up!), and two dishes that my mom gave me. She gets food delivered from a vegan food service sometimes and I always get to try some of the items. This week she gave me a lentil pistachio salad and green beans with leeks and fennel! So delicious. I’ll do a post on the food delivery service soon too.

lentil salad, green beans, and raw crackers

I guess this wasn’t all that different from a typical day for me, but it was what I DIDN’T eat instead of what I did eat that was so different. There was no snacking, no afternoon cookie gorging, and the only processed thing I had was the soymilk in my chia pudding and coffee. I had to make a concerted effort not to snack before dinner too. But I knew that I’d had plenty of food and plenty of nutrients throughout the day and also that I had an awesome raw dinner to look forward to!

I felt clear and energetic all day. Which was nice.

Let’s Eat! Spicy Split Pea Soup

The other night I decided I needed to use up the last of some split peas I’d had around for a while. I ad-libbed a spicy soup recipe and was super happy with the outcome. I like when I just throw stuff together and it turns out great! I had a good feeling about this one so I actually wrote down what I did so I could make it again- and share the recipe!

I had some onion leftover from another recipe, a near-the-compost-bin-bound carrot, some beautiful bok choy from a friend and a bit of soyrizo leftover so this is what I came up with:

Spicy Split Pea Soup– 3-4 servings

1 Tbsp olive oil

half large onion- chopped

2 cloves garlic- minced

1 large carrot peeled and rough chopped- smallish

2 small bunches bok choy- rough chopped- smallish

pinch of black pepper

dash of celery salt

3 cups veg broth (I made mine using Better Than Bouillon)

1 cup split peas soaked overnight- then drained and rinsed

1/4 tsp marjoram

bay leaf

half package soyrizo

In a three quart pot sautee the onion in oil for a few minutes till softened. Add garlic and cook another minute, stirring often.  Add the carrot and cook a few more minutes. Add the bok choy and cook another minute. Add a pinch of pepper and a dash of celery salt (I love celery salt and try to find ways to use it, but if you don’t have it, I’m sure regular salt would be fine. Or you could even use Mrs. Dash or something like that if you are watching sodium).

veggies cooking

Now add the broth and peas and stir. Add the marjoram, bay leaf and soyrizo and stir well. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for 1-2 hours or till peas are tender (depending on how old the peas are or how long you soaked them- just keep an eye on them). Test for seasoning and voila! (be sure to find the bay leaf and remove it before serving) I ate mine with some crusty french bread, but I also think it would be great with a quesadilla or grilled cheese sandwich or cornbread!