Raw Dinner for Two

Dining is such a fun, creative experience nowadays, bringing so much Joie.

Used to opening the fridge and seeing “things” ready made to eat, now when I open the door I see what seems like “nothing”. Jars filled with random dressings and dips and an assortment of whole fresh veggies and leafy greens. Lots of food but umm…what exactly to eat?

I have fresh tomatoes ?, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, parsley and salt but no recognizable jar of spaghetti sauce, ready to pop open and pour into a saucepan for warming up.

It now takes imagination to put an unprocessed, fresh meal together, if I want something that is more than a plain salad. And yes, I definitely want more. There is real Joie in unique and different flavors, textures, a variety of colors and overall vibrancy.
It starts in my head before I ever open that door. What do I feel like? Sweet, salty, leafy, crunchy, rich, dense, crispy, soft, spicy…etc. Then I go from there and think what ingredients I have in that category, what is ripe in the garden and how you could build a meal from it. It’s quite a visual experience. A world away from how I used to prepare meals. I do still do meal planning, try out new recipes and shop for the needed ingredients but I also now shop for Raw & Living food staples: veggies, leafy greens, nuts and seeds to have a foundation upon which to create.

Just yesterday Kerwin is scrounging for a snack, opens the fridge door and sees “nothing”. I suggest a bowl of cereal. But the catch is we don’t have any sugar laden, fake food cereal boxes or a carton of ? milk?. Instead I say to grab one of those random, unlabeled jars that has fresh cashew milk, take out some home-made & dehydrated granola from the jar on the counter and add one of the ripe bananas that didn’t get frozen for smoothies yet, to make a bowl of cereal. But it took running through an inventory in my head of ingredients to come up with “cereal”. Getting into the spirit, he added goji berries – bonus! ?

Dinner tonight was an especially beautiful thing! Highlights were:

  • The most amazing leftover Basil Vinaigrette, I didn’t think anything could beat my Basil Pesto recipe but this absolutely does.
  • Crackers I’d dehydrated earlier in the week.
  • Micro Arugula harvested from the garden
  • Raw, Vegan, Sulfate Free Wine ?

Thanks to some prep work (gardening, dehydrating, leftovers) I had a couple of things on hand and was able to whip together a simple dinner that was simply delicious and eye-catching too.

A take away from my trip to Japan ?? is that eating starts with your eyes and as such, attention to presentation details is very important. It makes such a difference in your overall enjoyment of the meal. It’s like you eat less too when the meal is so pretty. ??

For example, storing the flax crackers standing up in a cute basket makes me smile. It’s a lovely display and it’s so fun to choose your next perfect cracker.

Drinking a glass of wine in pretty, well made wine glasses instead of the cheap stemless ones we have takes it up a notch. (Found the glasses at a garage sale! ??)

Pausing to snap a picture actually helps you take a step back and appreciate what you have in front of you. Odd as it sounds!

I am grateful for this journey we are on together. Sitting down to a lovingly prepared meal, that tastes AMAZING and is absolutely nutritious and healing for our bodies makes me pinch myself – is this real???

How far we’ve come!

I hope my sharing our story inspires you! I NEVER saw this coming and if it looks impossible from where you are, that’s okay. I was there too, scared to commit to anything past this immense challenge of 87 days without meat, added sugar or processed flours. It seemed almost insane! Definitely crazy. That is if you call deciding to listen to yourself this time, for the first time, crazy. To do it my way, win or lose, and just see what happened.

All you need to do is start. Start something. Start anything. ??

Here’s a look back at my Day 1 of 2017’s Year of Transformation, if you’re looking for a place to start.

You are also warmly invited to join my Joie to Your Health group on Facebook for more inspiration, recipes, tips, support, challenges, fun and of course JOIE! ?

2017: The Summer of My Transformation

It’s been a Summer To Remember, that’s for sure!

I came across this, to me shocking, 3 year old video and was struck by the changes in my life, not just the physical but my overall wellness, mental health and the brighter light of life and passion in my eyes.

So I decided to start this blog post to highlight some of the standout moments of my transformation.

I ? in the mirror and as of yet, I still don’t recognize myself, it’s all so new, so being able to look back on where I came from will help me to never GO back.

This video is a year before EHT was launched, 3 years before the release of Youth Factor and almost 3 years before I decided to do something I’d never done before to become someone I’d never been before.

Yes, I was still happy and yes I was still grateful but listen to WHAT I was happy and grateful for! ?

Stay tuned for more transformation updates….

 

In the meantime, check out this new Power Couple!

Raw Marinara Sauce

Enjoy this most delicious and simple raw dish!

Yum!!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups Tomatoes
18 Sun-dried Tomatoes – soaked (less if they are big)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
4 cloves of garlic (I double or triple this!)
3 Medjual Dates (pitted & soaked)
2 Tbl Parsley
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt

Throw all ingredients in a food processor or blender till it’s the consistency you prefer and you’re set! Serve with spiralized zucchini noodles. Or freeze for later for to go meals for work or school.

Optional toppers: capers, yellow tomatoes, chopped walnuts or raw Parmesan cheese.

(oops, need to watch my camera angle a little better. If you were wondering it’s the end of the water spout that is showing at the top of the screen. LOL ? Sorry!)

The Beginning…

My 87 Day Adventure begins, as my adventures often do, with a random thought that caught fire. A moment of self-reflection that turned into “what if” as my thoughts went down the rabbit hole and a decision was made only yesterday, that begins today….

Brownies never tasted so good!

One thing I’ve learned on my journey to better health, is that temptation is a killer!

How do you avoid temptation? Always be prepared.

Case in point, was our recent Date Night out at the Super Summer Theatre ?. It’s an outdoor stage production show set on the far West side of town, in the cooler desert hills. If you’re lucky, you might even get to see some wild burros.

 

Families come with coolers jam-packed full of every tasty goody you can imagine. Pizza boxes wafting scents through the air; full meal take outs from restaurants in town; picnic baskets full of homemade deliciousness. Temptations galore!

 

Being as I knew this, I had an ace up my sleeve. ?? A brownie recipe I’ve been waiting for just the right moment to make.

The key is, it must be decadent. A real treat, not just celery sticks. LOL. Otherwise you will feel deprived and still be tempted. If it’s a delicious something NEW to your taste buds, even better. ??

The anticipation built on the drive out. I was so excited for the time with my honey doing something really FUN while still being healthy. Heck with Pizza Hut, I had a brownie!

Here’s my tweaked version of the recipe I found in the Clean Cooking magazine.

Raw Brownies:

1 2/3 cups Raw Walnuts

1 2/3 cups Dates, pitted

1/2 cup Carob Powder (I’ll try Cacao next time)

2 Tbsp Almond Butter

1/2 – 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil

Pinch of Salt

1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Pulse the walnuts in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until a thick, sticky batter forms. Press into a glass pie pan, or other similar sized dish, lined with parchment paper. Chill in the freezer for 20 minutes, to firm it up, before serving. Store any leftovers in the freezer.

5 minutes to make and only slightly longer for cleanup. I love not baking!

(Next time I’m going to make a frosting for them. I’ll keep you posted!)

They are so dense and filling that I only ate one during the show. The couple next to us eating soup & salad with breadsticks from Olive Garden followed by Nothing Bundt Cakes didn’t even phase me. I was so happy!

Yes, food brings Joie! ☺️

And yes, we were very lucky ?