Archive for March, 2010

Coconut Yogurt!

Finally, a yogurt that is kind to my tummy… the best part?  I made it myself!!  After seeing this yogurt featured on both Choosing Raw and Pure2Raw I knew I just HAD to try it out!  I normally can deal with my lactose intolerance, but sometimes I honestly truly miss good ol’ Greek yogurt and the soy substitute doesn’t cut it.  

Clearly my picture taking skillz aren’t up to par, but the taste is outta this world.  And even better, it’s all raw!  Check it.

Coconut Yogurt (makes 2 servings)

  • 1 c. young Thai coconut meat (I used 2 coconuts)
  • 1/4 c. coconut water
  • 1 packet NuNaturals stevia
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp probiotic powder (I opened my capsules like the twins did)

Throw everything in the Vita Mix and blend until smooth.  I had to add about another spoonful coconut water to ensure it blended well.  The pour the mixture into a bowl, cover loosely with a towel and let sit overnight in a warm spot (although since I made mine in the morning, I only let it sit out for about 7 hours) and then stir and refrigerate to chill until ready to enjoy.  Then grab a spoon!!

March 29, 2010 at 6:33 pm 2 comments

A spiralized delight!

I just got my brand new Joyce Chen spiralizer and I was literally skipping home from the post office thinking of all the meals I couldn’t wait to try with this.  I don’t normally like zucchini, but I remember my mom making a raw pesto growing up out of walnuts, basil, zucchini, garlic and olive oil which I used to love, so I figured raw spaghetti might not taste quite so squash-y with the right sauce.  Man was I right!!  Need proof?  

I made Natalia Rose’s Amazing Raw “Peanut” Sauce.  With sauces like this, who needs a stove?!  This sauce was so rich, creamy and decadent – and didn’t contain a single peanut!  It really reminded me of a Pad Thai sauce.  I actually ended up adding more water to this and more chili peppers because I like my foods with a little spice 😉  I served this over raw zucchini noodles along with julienned carrots, red cabbage and broccoli (which I lightly blanched).

Amazing Raw “Peanut” Sauce by Natalia Rose (makes a little over 1 cup)

  • 1/2 c. raw almond butter  
  • 1.5 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 dried red chilis (seen here)

Blend all ingredients in the Vita Mix until smooth, adding more water as needed to thin and Voila!

March 27, 2010 at 1:33 pm 9 comments

Food Combining + Raw Chocolate = Love

I thought I would write a quick explanation on food combining since I mentioned it in my last post.  I know some people approach food combining differently, so I wanted to explain the way I have decided to follow them based off Natalia Rose’s approach.  I have mapped out some simple rules & exceptions.

The Rules:

There are 4 basic groups (excluding non-starchy veggies); fruit, nuts/seeds, fleshes and starches.  These groups should not ever be eaten together, but can all be enjoyed with raw or cooked non-starchy veggies with the exception of fruit.

Starch:  breads, rice, potatoes, avocados, legumes (lentils, beans, cooked peas), young coconut, cooked corn, pasta
Flesh:  eggs, fish, poultry, meat (lamb, pork, beef, etc.), wild game, shellfish, cheeses
Nuts/Seeds: all nuts, seeds, dried fruits and mature coconut (small and brown)
Fruit: citrus, bananas, berries, etc.

  1. Fruit should always be enjoyed on an empty stomach.  Fruit is a “quick exit” food which means it can be consumed 30 minutes before another food group.
  2. You may eat different foods within the same group for the exception of the flesh group – i.e. Do not mix cheese & meat, or fish & poultry.
  3. Wait 3 hours after eating a properly combined meal before switching food groups; 4-6 hours if the meal contained flesh.
  4. Caffeine is best consumed on an empty stomach.
  5. “Neutral Foods” may be combined with any food group except fruit (dark chocolate, raw goat cheese, oils)

A Few Exceptions:

  1. Avocados combines as a starch, although may also be combined with fruit.
  2. Lettuce or celery may be combined with fruits.
  3. Bananas may combine with the nuts/seeds group, as well as with starches.

There is a ton more rules & exceptions when you start to really delve into things, but since I’m just starting out I’m pretty much just sticking to the above.  The main thing is really to just avoid processed food and dairy other than raw goat cheese (which is fine since I’m a little lactose intolerant), practice food combining to the best of your ability and listen to your body to figure out what feels best for you.

I like to start out the day with some variation of the Green Lemonade listed in the book, and then have fruit or a fruit smoothie throughout the morning until lunch which I am trying to keep raw.  So far this has been making me feel really great so I’m going to continue on.  …and of course I am keeping wine in my diet – which is actually allowed by raw food standards!!  As is raw chocolate of course!  

I would like to introduce you to my new best friend… Gnosis Chocolate.  Check out the ingredient list.  Could it be?  Healthy, raw and dairy-free chocolate??  The ingredient list says it all: Cacao beans, agave nectar, Crystal Manna Blue-Green Algae, Vanilla Bean, Peppermint Essential Oil, Love.

My older sis actually turned me onto this chocolate after she and her husband found it in Whole Foods – and ended up buying about 10 boxes of the stuff!  It has the texture of fudge, with just the perfect amount of sweetness to satisfy your dessert craving.  Honestly I just can’t get over how PURE this stuff tastes.  It actually comes in different flavors and you could get the regular kind called “Simplicity”, but for my first box I wanted to get the Cool Peppermint flavor since mint & cocoa are my favorite combo ever!  Who needs thin mints or york peppermint patties though, when you have this stuff??  If you live near a Whole Foods or health food store, stop reading immediately and go out and buy some!!!

March 25, 2010 at 9:39 pm 3 comments

Raw Detox – Day 2

Warning: this is an epic post!

I know I mentioned detoxing a while back now, but I fiiinally am getting around to posting on this!  Last week I bought the book The Raw Food Diet by Natalia Rose and completely devoured it in about two days.  I can’t quite explain how well this book seemed to just speak to me.  To make a long story short, I feel like I have been searching my whole life for a way of eating that works well for my body and allows me to enjoy and love pure foods without feeling like I’m depriving myself of treats and taste.  I might be a little premature in saying so, but I think this book may have been the missing link I have been searching for.

Not just in terms of a clean eating approach does this book make sense to me, but the concept of food combining just kind of makes sense to me.  In addition to this book I have done a TON of reading on the subject, so don’t think I’m the kind of person who hears something in a book and takes it as the word of God.  I make sure to get all the facts before I decide if somethings for me – inclusive of pro-con lists 😉  After reading the book I discovered I am considered a “Level 2”, but since I’m new to this, after reading the sample menu, I decided starting at a “level 3” was better for my lifestyle right now.  Level 3 technically means you go “raw ’til dinner” and allows the inclusion of cooked fish, although I’m still stickin’ to my vegetarianism right now so I sub in other options.

Since reading the book I purchased a Breville juicer which has changed my life – for serious chickadees.  I have been transitioning into cleaner eating and incorporating more raw foods into my diet over the past week because I didn’t want to totally shock my system (even though I was already eating minimally processed, clean foods).  I also started practicing proper food combining to the best of my abilities leading up to yesterday and then had my first real “raw detox day yesterday”.  What does that mean?  I started the day off with lots of green juice, then tons of fruits all day followed by a big raw salad with goat cheese and bread for dinner.  I know I went pretty hardcore for day 1, but I wanted to start it off with a bang.

Today I went mostly raw ’til dinner again with a big salad with veggies for lunch, but then kinda cheated with some whole wheat pretzels for a snack later in the day before my evening run.  I’m not worried though because I feel like the biggest key to focus on is making sure I combine my foods properly and then just do the best I can in terms of eating as raw as I can during the day.  I finished off my day with leftover Detox Lasagna and a salad with the most amazing Raw Caesar Dressing ever from the book.  Seriously, I usually hate salad dressing and I could bathe in this stuff.  

Raw Caesar Dressing by Natalia Rose (makes 3 cups)

  • 1/4 c. cold-pressed olive oil  
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 medium stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp white miso
  • 4 medjool dates
  • fresh pepper, to taste

Blend all of the ingredients in a Vita Mix until smooth and creamy!

I’m new to this new raw food thing, so expect to see lots of new recipes in my coming posts!!

March 24, 2010 at 7:45 pm 4 comments

Lipton Tea… w/Stevia?

Yesterday I was lucky enough to be invited to the unveiling of a new line of Lipton PureLeaf Iced Teas… sweetened with Stevia!  The event was held at the posh restaurant Butter in NoHo.  The space was gorgeous and decorated perfectly for a health-forward event in my opinion.We started off with a short lesson on how tea is made and got to see and feel different types of teas.  From long, rough cut green teas to superfine black teas.
Gilbert Kendzior, Lipton’s own Master Tea Blender shared his 30 years of experience working for Lipton buying, tasting and creating delicious tea blends.  It was truly interesting learning more about the process of making tea from bush to tea bag.  I also learned lots I never knew about Lipton – they are an incredibly environmentally friendly company working with the Rainforest Alliance to ensure sustainability worldwide.  We even got a lesson on how Gilbert tastes new blends and decides if they’re suitable for the company.Now for the eats!!  Chef Alex Guarnaschelli whipped up an amazing meal for us, incorporating the Lipton teas into all of the dishes except for the amuse bouche – which literally means “to amuse the mouth”!  …and the butter of course 😉  They were homemade and soo good.  I don’t eat dairy too much, but I did sneak a taste.I was surprisingly the only vegetarian and non-dairy eater there, but the chef was kind enough to tailor the menu to suit my dietary needs.  I tasted the dairy-filled soup everyone else got and to be dead honest I actually like mine better.  😀  It was a roasted yellow & red tomato soup with baby palm fronds.  I thought the colors were amazing.
My next amuse bouche was toast points topped with fresh made hummus, scallions and roasted leeks (they’re hiding underneath).  This was one of my favorite dishes – so flavorful, yet still light!The next course was a Roasted Squash Caponata with Celery Root, Mache and a Lipton Tea Lemon Dressing.  Mouth-watering my friends…  who would’ve though to use iced tea as a sauce base too?
Ok, I didn’t eat this, but had to show this…That’s Chef Alex in the middle showing her enormous whole-roasted Striped Bass stuffed with roasted Brussels Sprouts, Heirloom Potatoes and  Tea Buerre Blanc sauce.Instead of the fish I got the most amazing vegetarian pizza you could imagine.  Seriously, this dish made me realize that I NEED to come back to Butter soon because Alex is crazy talented!  It had the most amazing pesto, purple heirloom potatoes, eggplant and tomatoes.  The crust was so amazing too – it looks oily, yet somehow tasted light and wasn’t even slightly oily to the touch, just perfectly crisp!Finally we finished off an amazing meal with a fun take on coffee and tea.  I had an apple sorbet topped with coffee granita on a lemon-tea caramel sauce and tea-soaked raisins.  Everyone else had ice cream instead of sorbet… they had no idea what they were missing 😉  Ok, so now for my review of the product.  I’m a tough critic because while this blog may be called Stevia ‘n Spice, I do not have a huge sweet tooth.  I like subtle sweetness (and natural).  On it’s own I wasn’t a huge fan of the tea, although I must say it was much lighter and cleaner tasting than any bottled iced tea I’ve ever tried.

However, in the beginning of the event we tried the tea mixed with fruit purees, juices, etc. and I thought they were fabulous.  I tried the tea myself in a glass topped off with some sparking water and loved it!!  I think the bubbly water added the perfect amount of lightness I was looking for.  Also, Chef Alex made a great suggestion – pour the tea and some ice in a Vita Mix (or high-powered blender) and make your own sorbet!

Would I buy this product on my own to drink?  Honestly, probably not.  However, I really might get this to make some summer cocktails when I’m entertaining my friends.  Waaay better for you then a lot of those “cocktail mixers” you find in the grocery store!!

  • General Taste:  7/10
  • Compared against other “bottled teas”: 8.5/10
  • Overall Score: 8/10

March 21, 2010 at 10:50 am 8 comments

I cannot tell a lie!

Did you guys figure out which one of those statements were true?  No?  It was #5!  I went skydiving with my fiance (then bf) for his 21st birthday!!  I’ve been dying to do it again, but nobody wants to go with me.  😦

1.  I’ve been a vegetarian since I was in high school. – Although I’ve gone off and on since I was about 13, I actually only recently gave up all fish & meat.  We’ll see how well it sticks because I’m obsessed with sushi!

2.  I don’t like wine – gives me headaches. – Ahh this is the furthest from the truth! I LOVE wine.

3.  I love mushrooms (not the magical kind). – Mushrooms are actually the one vegetable I really don’t like eating.  Mixed into sauces and soups I’ll still eat them though.

4.  I’ve been to a bull-fight in Spain while I was living there. – Although I did live in Spain for a while, I am morally opposed to bull-fighting.

5.  I’ve gone skydiving. – Yessir!  It was fabulous.  My jump buddy/instructor (I went tandem) even let us do flips in the air!

6.  I once met Robert Pattinson.  – Only in my dreams.  Sigh…

7.  I live in Cali. – Once again, only in my dreams.

March 19, 2010 at 5:49 pm Leave a comment

“I crown thee…”

I got an award!!!

I’m blushing, thanks Monica 😛

With this award, I have to list 7 things, one of which is true… you guys have to guess which one it is!!

1.  I’ve been a vegetarian since I was in high school.

2.  I don’t like wine – gives me headaches.

3.  I love mushrooms (not the magical kind).

4.  I’ve been to a bull-fight in Spain while I was living there.

5.  I’ve gone skydiving.

6.  I once met Robert Pattinson.

7.  I live in Cali.

I’ll post the answer in my next post!

And now for the eats…

I made a stir fry out of soba noodles, red cabbage, carrots, dried chilis, broccoli & red onion.  I made a sauce out of Mirin, Soy Sauce, Rice Wine Vinegar, ginger powder, red pepper flakes.  Loved it!!  I actually created this meal for a reason, but more on that later.  😉  I’ll give you a hint… it has to do with Detoxing.

March 18, 2010 at 7:18 pm 3 comments

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