Let’s start with the brand new, ready for purchase Living Raw By Grace UnCookBook! Yes folks, it’s finished! It has almost fifty recipes, two pages of color pictures to match to recipes, and lots of information about appliances, shortcuts, and even a brief explanation of my own raw walk. It’s spiral bound so that it can lay flat on your kitchen counter as you work out of it. It is single sided so you can take plenteous notes and add/subtract/substitute for a recipe that works to YOUR tastes. It’s only $15 or $25 if you would like to purchase one for you and one for a friend. You’ll enjoy recipes like “Sweetheart Ice Cream Cake,” “Where’s the Beef & Broccoli,” “Cheezy Sauce,” “Apple Strawberry Banana Granola,” “Incrawdible Lasagna,” and many more!
In order to have it finished by September I had to stop adding recipes. I am already working on the next edition of the uncookbook and have over fifteen recipes so far. As I hold Raw Recipe Nights, I create recipes just for those evenings and I will add them to the next book. For example, the Tiramisu and Italian Dressing from the Italian Night are in the next edition of LRBG’s UnCookBook, and the Chocolate Mousse Pie and Peach Cobbler from the Ice Cream Night are in the next edition as well. I’ve had several requests for the next UnCookBook, like a chapter devoted solely toward Green Smoothie recipes, an Ice Cream chapter, and of course, plenty of desserts.
Interested in buying your own? Go HERE! If you would like it shipped to you, it’s an additional $3 a book. Or you could meet up with me when you see me and get one for a flat $15.
There has been quite a bit of change regarding Raw Recipe Nights. Living Raw By Grace had eight Raw Recipe Nights scheduled for September, but due to low attendance has had to cancel two and has reassessed how Raw Recipe Nights are to held. From now on, any scheduled events will be held in my home, to keep rent and travel expenses minimal. This means that groups as small as three and as large as fifteen can be held. I will be hosting two events a month at my place, the rest will be Raw Recipe Parties.
I just held a Raw Recipe Party at a friend’s house in Peoria – she picked an Italian theme with Fettuccine Alfredo, a side salad with Italian Dressing, and Tiramisu. So easy and DELICIOUS!
I have another Italian Party planned for the end of September in Buckeye, AZ, as well as an Asian Party, with California Rolls and Strawberry Cheesecake for dessert, planned for the middle of September. September is pretty full with classes and parties, so if you are interested in hosting a party, start taking a look at your October and November schedules. Saturday evenings, Sunday afternoons, and Monday and Wednesday evenings or afternoons work great for me. As for the 31 flavors of Raw, please go HERE to choose a theme.
LRBG's UnCookBook news
I was officially finished with my UnCookBook and was determined to get some estimates regarding having it printed. I went to Office Max, Staples, FedexKinkos, and tried a few places online. According to my current needs, each book would cost around $15 to PRINT! Oh no, that's way too much. So, I talked to a few know-it-all's and couldn't get the price dropped much. They suggested I find a way to pare down my color printing. So I was chatting with my wonderful friend tonight who gave me a great idea. What I was planning on doing was having a photo next to each recipe so you can see what it looks like. Well, that's a LOT of pages in color. Soooo...my friend's awesome idea was that I simply have a few pages in the middle of the book (or end, I'm thinking), of ALL the pictures with the page numbers for each recipe. That way it's much cheaper for you and for me! So, this puts the book back a few days. I'll be working on it a little tonight and tomorrow and I'm still hoping I can get it printed before September 1st. Kinkos said they could have them printed and bound next day...so I think I still have plenty of time! :) So, it's coming, everyone!!! LOTS of recipes! VERY easy! Tips, Shortcuts, even a glossary! Oooh, fancy-shmancy.
One woman I talked to asked me why I was writing a cookbook when there are a billion out there written by, well, you know.."real chefs". HA! I briefly explained what I do and her eyes about fell out of her head! I gave her a card, and I whole-heartedly expect her to come to a class. ;) I may not be a formally trained chef...but I love what I do and the Lord has given me the gift of teaching. That's all that matters to me! I'm not "Chef" Living Raw By Grace! Just a plain ol' gal who wants to share what she has learned!
Raw Recipe Nights Revamped
I love my Raw Recipe Nights. I love showing people how to make healthy food and add it to their lifestyles. I love that almost everyone comes with an open mind and soaks everything up like a sponge. I love that most also implement what they learn and become healthier one step at a time.
I do not like losing money. So the Raw Recipe Nights will be growing in a new direction. First, I will only host two classes a month in which I will pick the topic and you can sign up and come. Okay, now the new direction is exciting. If you have ever been to a tupperware party, a pampered chef party, a slumber party ;)....you have an idea of what I'm about to say. I'm going to start offering Raw Recipe Parties. Say you want to host a Raw Recipe Party...... You find 6+ friends and your admission is free, you get to pick the topic (ice cream, Mexican, Asian, Italian, dips, pies, cookies, etc.), AND you get to keep the leftovers. You pick the day (within reason), and I will bring ALL the supplies, food, and information. So easy. This way I'm not planning events on days that no one is available, or topics that few people are interested in. :) Please contact me if this sounds like something you would like to do!!
Another idea I'm throwing around is to cater small events. Say you want to get together with a few of your friends. You all pitch in $10-$20 and get a four course Raw meal! You can choose off a menu and it will come either prepared for you, or I will prepare it in front of you for an extra fee. Whatcha think? Would anyone be interested?
We have a beautiful harvest for our CSA this week! I wanted to share what we got in our basket, and remind you all that this is ORGANIC, LOCAL produce…which when you buy at a farmer’s market or in a store, is twice this price. We pay $20 a week, three weeks in advance, to help support our local farmer so she can invest that money back into the planting…a wonderful cycle.
First, we got a small bag of fresh herbs: basil, oregano, chives and mint. Now with all of these, you can leave them out in the AZ sun for a day or two until they are nice and crisp. Then, grind them down (mortor & pestle, food processor, blender, etc.) into powdered spices! OR you can use them in your dishes. Now, fresh herbs are WAY more potent than dried...you don't need much. Start with one leaf and taste. It's easier to add more than to take away. Second, we got 4-6 carrots. They would be great for dipping, or eating by themselves. They are also fun additions to MANY meals. We use them in my Asian class that's on Tuesday if you'd like to sign up for it. The reason I like this CSA so much is the incredible greens we get. This week it was kale. Don’t know much about kale? No problem! It is particularly rich in beta-carotene (which protects against diseases of the skin) and the carotenoid lutein (which prevents damage to the eyes), with seven times the beta-carotene and ten times the lutein of broccoli and carrots combined! Just one cup of raw kale contains 15% of the recommended daily value of calcium and Vitamin B6, 40% of the magnesium, 180% of the Vitamin A, 200% of the Vitamin C and a whopping 1020% of the Vitamin K and 45% of it's calories are PROTEIN! Now that you know it's a POWERHOUSE of nutrition, I would suggest making a green smoothie out of it (that's the easiest way to eat it). Now it's a mild green, like spinach, but still be careful not to overdo it...work your way up to a couple cups of kale in your smoothies. Also good for smoothies: cabbage. Wait, Haley...it's not very green! That's okay, check this out: It is impressive with high content levels of calcium, iron, iodine, potassium, sulfur, and phosphorus. In the vitamins department, it is loaded with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, K and folic acid. This is NOT a mild green...less is more when adding it to smoothies. Feel silly with only 1/2 a cup of cabbage to the whopping 3 cups of fruit? Well, that cabbage is blended and broken down and already half digested...you're getting MUCH more nutrition than if you had simply eaten it straight. :) I'm taking mine to the Asian Night on Tuesday and we'll use it for the lettuce rolls...so we'll do cabbage rolls instead. So yummy! It make a great wrap, good salad additions, and again...it's awesome for smoothies! We also got a huge bag (3-4 pounds) of green beans, 3-5 small red and orange bell peppers, a quart baggie of small sweet peppers, 2-5 small red onions, a huge cucumber (not sure of the variety yet), and a large bulb of garlic (which I will use up quickly!). We also received 3-5 cobs of corn…yum! I remember eating my first cob of fresh raw corn and thinking, “why do we cook these?! They are so sweet and juicy raw!” No wonder we add butter and salt after cooking…we lose all the flavor! I’m excited for the fresh, tree-ripened peaches we got today. Realize that they were picked TODAY…RIPE…unlike the ones at the store picked months ago green. Eat them as soon as you can. J At last, but not least, we got a 4-7 pound watermelon. Some of these are really huge! We also offer a “family” basket that contained items that are easier for the “cooked” family than the “raw” family, like potatoes, eggplant, etc. This week they got sweet potatoes and cage-free/free-range eggs. They just get less greens and didn’t get a watermelon.
Isn’t that a HUGE amount of food?! And organic! And local! Too good to be true! Nah, I love it. I’ve been organizing this CSA for a couple months now and I’ve never been disappointed with my basket. Sure, it doesn’t last me the whole week and I need to supplement with more fruit, but I use the whole thing. And if you have any bad items (once a watermelon was overripe, and the tomatoes doesn’t last too many days), my farmer at Horny Toad Farms will replace it for the following week. J I can’t help it…I love this. Good, inexpensive food? I’m in heaven.
If you get a CSA bag and need specific recipes for any particular thing, please message me. I'll let one or two recipes slide for free. ;) AND, we use four of these ingredients in my Raw ASIAN Night on Tuesday. Speaking of which…
Raw ASIAN Recipe Night SUCCESS!
The first Raw ASIAN Recipe Night was on Saturday and it was incredible! I love making these dishes for myself, but I don’t make them all that often…I have a good variety so I don’t wear out good meals. The day before, I was typing up the recipes for the class and started drooling…so I made my own Lemon Ginger Lettuce Wraps. Okay, I used collard leaves, because they are just way easier to wrap and less messy to eat, and I definitely doubled the garlic. They were SO good.
On Saturday during the RRN, we started with the orange broccoli (my version of orange chicken). The orange sauce is so incredible I had a few people licking their plates afterward. The second dish was relabeled by one of my friends who attended: “Where’s the beef” & Broccoli over “Un-noodles”. Again…delicious, pretty, and filling! When we got to the third dish, people were already starting to complain that they wish they hadn’t eaten dinner beforehand. We finished off the night with the Lemon Ginger Lettuce Wraps. It’s almost an Asian DIY (do it yourself) burrito. You start with this, add some of this, and top with the dressing. Definitely a little messy with lettuce. I’m looking forward to taking my cabbage from my CSA bag and using it instead. Cabbage is already the right shape, so we’ll see how that goes. Yum! I’ll also be using the garlic, the carrots, chives and red onions that night as well. So if you come on Tuesday for the second Raw ASIAN Recipe Night, you’ll be getting fresh, local, organic produce. Oh, and did I mention that I sent several people home with containers of food as well? That’s right…next day’s lunch! Man, maybe I should raise the price of my classes! ;)
I don’t know why I wait so long to blog that I’m overflowing with news. I need to blog more often so as not to overwhelm myself. Would you all keep me accountable in this area, and pray for me if you can? As much as is possible, I like to live a transparent life and keep everyone around me fully engaged…so as to make real friendships. Shallow, surface, connections are undesirable to me…but I digress.
Upcoming Raw Recipe Nights
The first thing I want to talk with all of you about is my upcoming Raw Recipe Nights. Let’s talk about Asian foods! This Saturday and the following Tuesday are RRN’s Asian Entrées and Appetizers. We will learn how to make an Orange Broccoli dish that is a great entree, appetizer or side, a Lemon Lettuce Wrap that is full of nutrition but you will want to lick your plate afterward, and an Oriental Noodle dish that will remind you of cooked Asian meals. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE it if you would RSVP and let me know if you were absolutely coming. I’ve gotten used to people letting me know the day of that they can and cannot make it, but its hard to plan that way. But, I don’t want to discourage anyone from not attending simply because their schedule is a little more spontaneous than mine. ;) These two RRNs are both on the west side in Peoria, see my website for the exact address.
New Location in the East Valley!
Exciting news!!! I have a third location for my Raw Recipe Nights! My good friend David has volunteered his home in Scottsdale as a prime location for a RRN. August 21st will be the debut RRN, in the afternoon. We will be doing something a little different at this location: learning three recipes, but also having a small lecture/Q&A session. It will be a three hour class instead of the customary RRN…and it will also be in the afternoon instead of the evening. For that time period, the price has also changed. It will be $40 at the door and $30 prepaid, to encourage people to pay ahead of time and reserve their spot. This location has a bit of a cap, so I literally can’t allow a large amount of people…we need to keep it cozy and intimate. The theme for the evening will be crackers and dips. I’ll be demonstrating two different types of hummus, two garlicy spreads, and a simple and easy way to make crackers. Everyone will have plenty to snack on and take home, and I’ll be selling some dips and crackers as well.
Can you believe that my Raw Recipe Nights first became public and I started this business three months ago? Already I have three locations (with a fourth vying for my business) in which to hold Raw Recipe Nights, I have two clients whom I work with one-on-one, and I have an UnCookBook due at the end of the month! CRAZY!
I have had lots of questions lately, some of which I’ll save for the next newsletter (if you haven’t received a copy, make sure you email me with your info so I can send you one!), but I’ll go over a few with you right now.
Q: My first green smoothie was less than appetizing. Do you have any green smoothie recipes for beginners?
A: The main beginner blunder when making green smoothies is the attempt to add far more greens than your body is comfortable with. I did the same thing with my first green smoothie. I thought 2-3 cups of greens was very little compared to the 3-4 cups of fruit I had put into my Vitamix. I could barely choke it down and was completely discouraged. The second mistake I made was not adding enough water and it being more like pudding than something I could drink down easily. When I say to have one part greens and two parts fruit, I mean it! Also…a friend mentioned the fact that it felt wasteful to put so much fruit into a smoothie when she enjoyed simply eating the fruit. I would suggest you use fruit that you aren’t as enthusiastic about for your smoothies and save the savory fruit to eat whole. Say you love apple slices, enjoy those by yourself. Not a big fan of melon? Pears? Try them in a smoothie and you’ll feel less wasteful. I LOVE to put overripe fruit in my smoothies…things like mushy bananas, bruised pears, old and rock hard oranges. They are still nutritious, yet unpalatable. What better way to eat them, than by blending them into a full meal?
Here are some easy beginner green smoothie recipes:
I find that spinach, swiss chard, and kale are the mildest of greens (besides many wild edible greens like purslane and lambsquarters), and I always love bananas in my smoothies as it makes it nice and creamy and provides a wonderful sweetness. I know many people aren’t as big of fans of bananas, so I included some non-banana smoothie recipes. Again, make these to your tastes…if they aren’t sweet enough then experiment and throw another piece of fruit in.
NONE of this is going to waste. Your body will get all the nutrition and will use it! None of us chew our food to a creamy consistency before we swallow it, which is what the blender does, so we are losing lots of nutrition simply by chewing improperly. So if you buy a bunch of fruit and it all goes into the blender…think of it as one large (or two) meals and your body is receiving lots of protein, calcium, iron (from those awesome greens), as well as tons of vitamins and minerals that aren’t found in anything processed (even if it’s “fortified”).
Q: Just a quick question about where to find cheap produce: what's the easiest way you've found for price comparing? I'm trying to conserve money as much as possible right now and I'm going to have to start looking for cheaper than the most convenient.
A: Here is what I do and it's what I personally know about. First: google map the grocery stores in your area (simply to get a list, whether you would go to them or not). Then, see if they all have online ads (most do). Then, for each ad, do a search for produce. Start comparing them to one another and you'll find which stores have the cheapest produce on a regular basis. You can either go to the cheaper stores and do your shopping there, or make a list of all the stores and the produce that you like at the cheapest prices. Take your list to a Super Walmart (that sells produce) and they will match those prices for you.
For example in my area of Phoenix: We have Bashas, Frys, Albertsons, Sprouts, Walmart, Food City, Ranch Market, Safeway, and Trader Joes. Through searching in their online ads, I’ve found that Food City and Ranch Market sell produce for at least half, if not more, the price of the other supermarkets. So I take those specials to Walmart and they sell me things like bananas for a quarter a pound, peaches for a quarter a pound, cherries for .69 a pound. Of course, this is all conventional produce, not organic. I check Bashas, Safeway, the higher end stores for their organic produce sales and see if Walmart sells organic (which most in my area do). OR, if I have time I will drive down to a Ranch Market and buy their produce, as there is much that is NOT in their online ad that is still ridiculously inexpensive. So, check in your area and find who sells the cheaper produce.
ALSO!!! Google CSA or Farmer’s market or orchards or farm in your area. Call or stop by and see if they are organic, what their prices are, and if it’s a CSA, how much produce you will get for your investment. When I was in Pennsylvania I found a wonderful little farm that had a farm stand and a U-pick (usually even cheaper) that was all organic. It is where I purchased almost all my produce and it was wonderfully priced. Always support local produce, it’s healthier for you and it’s closer to the earth (better for everyone!).
Next Blog Post
Okay, I believe that’s everything for tonight. Tomorrow or the next day I’ll be blogging about Christian Stewardship. My friend asked me how I believe it ties into diet and health and I will be responding for everyone to read. I’ll also be praying that the words flow from God through me so that it might be understandable and relatable. J
I've sat down to blog every day this week and have just had enough time. So, I think I'll have to break this blog into two. This one will talk about my last Pie Raw Recipe Night, the current CSA goings on, and website fun. The next blog entry will talk about new and exciting foods, fun creations, and lots of new & yummy pictures. :)
Raw Recipe Night: PIES
Since it takes a little time for the pies to chill, I usually make a couple before the class so we have some to sample and take home. Yup...you get to take food home with you!!! The first picture is the lemon pie that I absolutely LOVE and decorate all pretty. If you remember it from the first class, I made it into an American Flag for the Fourth of July. The last picture is the pie we made in class that one of the attendees bought and took home with her. The second picture is six little chocolate mousse pies I made for the class, thinking I was going to have quite the crowd...but unfortunately several people were no shows, so more for us to share! The third picture is the delicious peach cobbler that continues to be everyone's favorite. Not only is it delicious, but it's super easy to make! In fact, it's so easy, I thought I would share it with all of you. Almost everyone who came to my class has been making their own peach cobblers, and I love how excited they get to be eating a raw creation that they can make themselves. So here you go:
· 6 peaches
· 1 C pecans
· 6-7 dates
· ½ C raisins
· Pinch cinnamon
Blend half of the peaches with raisins and cinnamon. Chop the rest of the peaches and stir them into the peach sauce. Process the pecans and dates with cinnamon and crumble on top of the peach mixture. Enjoy!
This is our third week of the CSA I've been organizing here on the west side of the Valley of the Sun (a.k.a. Phoenix, AZ). :) It will be the last basket for those who started at the beginning, but I don't make everyone wait for each campaign, you can join in whenever you like. Some people get 1/2 a basket each week, some get two baskets every other week, and I have two who have prepaid for three weeks but had to go on vacation so will continue to get baskets when they return. If you simply want to try it for a week to see if you can use all the produce, that is fine too...I've had three people do this and always come back for more. :) You get much more than $20 worth of produce...and it's organic!
This Thursday we should have Anna Apples and peaches, which I've been eagerly anticipating for some more peach cobbler. Yum! If you ever sign up for a basket and aren't sure what to do with your produce, please ask...and I can pass along lots of recipes to help out. I'm looking forward to August...my farmer loves preparing foods for the raw lifestyle, so she's been planting lots of greens (yay!), and will soon be sprouting! Yum...organic sprouts...I cannot wait!
Last, but not least, I've been making some changes to the Living Raw By Grace website. If you have noticed, we now have a STORE! Oh, don't get your panties in a bunch. ;) Lots of people have asked about my appliances, the books I recommend, and where to get certain foods. Well, I'm now working with Amazon to supply you with all of these for very low prices. One of the reasons I love Amazon so much is that you can buy USED goods there! My recent used purchases: wireless mouse for my laptop (works wonderfully..for ridiculously cheap), and an FM transmitter for my Ipod in my car. Amazon sells everything, I absolutely love them...so why not make it even easier for you?!
Also...If you take a look at the calendar page, I've uploaded an actual calendar that makes it much easier to see when classes are. If you want details on each class and would like to prepay and register, just scroll down and find the class you want.
I've combined the Links & The Gallery page to make room for the store, but I hope it won't make much of a difference. :)
I've been kicking around the idea of buying my website so that it's simply LivingRawByGrace.com. Whatcha think? Would it make it easier to recommend? It's about time to reorder my business cards as well...I'd love feedback on those as well. Here they are:
So much to talk about!!! This may be a very long blog post, beware. ; ) First and foremost, I need to share about the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) that I belong to. Pretty much, you prepay for organic produce to keep the farmer, well..farming. The farmer I work with, Stella McPhee from Horny Toad Farms, is so generous with her produce it's a steal! The amount of produce she sells for simply $20 is remarkable. I got my first CSA basket this past week: an Armenian Cucumber (these are so cool...crazy long and they look like flower petals when sliced - check out the pictures!), four regular cucumbers, eleven Anna apples, five peaches, five tomatoes (Heirloom, Zebra, and Roma), a bag of mixed greens (basil, mint, chives, lemongrass, beet tops, and purslane), four grapefruits, a bunch of carrots (a dozen with greens attached - which I like in smoothies as well), a four pound watermelon, eleven onions (white, red, and baby), seven different peppers (mild and hot), and a potted chive plant - that you can cut the tips off to eat and it will continue to grow! I can't believe how much I got for such a reasonable price...and all organic to boot! No wonder I can't help but share it with everyone I know!!! And the fun thing is that it isn't set in stone...I have different people doing different things. One person is getting two baskets in one week and then skipping the next, another is getting half a basket at half the price, etc. I love that I can work with people to help make everyone happy!
Raw Recipe Night: Pies!
My third Raw Recipe Night was held this past Saturday. It was my first dessert class, and pies are the perfect beginning into raw desserts. They are ridiculously easy to make with simple ingredients. The first we worked on was a Lemon Meringue Pie. Since it was Independence Day weekend, I made mine into a lovely little flag. Cute, isn't it? :) This is the most inexpensive, delicious, and the easiest to make. Two ingredient crust, four ingredient filling...takes less than five minutes to make.
The second pie was a delicious Chocolate Mousse. It was originally planned to be an apple pie, but I think I'll save that for the holidays and introduce everyone to raw chocolate. ;) It's made with young Thai coconuts, which are fun to open and sample...and the water is incredible. You'll learn all about them at the class. That's the fun part of the Raw Recipe Nights. First and foremost, you learn how to make simple healthy food. But there is also TONS of info given out, all prompted by what we are making, the foods that we work with, and any questions that arise. :)
The last dish we created was a peach cobbler. This one is ridiculously easy and has three different components: sliced peaches, peach sauce, and a pecan crumble on top. Yum! You can do this cobbler with any fruit you enjoy, but it's peach season so we will take advantage of fresh, inexpensive produce! Oh, one last thing. If you are interested in coming to the next RRN featuring pies on July 12th, make sure you sign up, prepay or let me know that you are definitely coming...it's filling up very fast. I'm praying I don't have to turn anyone away at the door...
Raw Potlucks (a.k.a Rawlucks)
Last, but not least....there is one topic I don't think I've mentioned before in my blog: raw potlucks. This is where a group comes together and everyone brings a different raw dish...pretty self explanatory. There are seven or eight different Raw Potluck groups in the area and they all hold different kinds of potlucks. Some are small (10-20 people), some are large (100-200 people), some have themes (ice cream, chocolate, etc), and some host classes (kind of like mine). I attended one for the Fourth of July last evening. It was a Raw Ice Cream Party. You could either bring ice cream/sorbet/or supplies, or you could offer some money. It was also a pool party/fireworks party as well. It was held right off of Squaw Peaks, which is a small mountain range in Phoenix that you can hike...breathtaking views and the weather was just right. I brought my Vitamix and made banana based ice creams: Mint Chocolate Chip and Vanilla Blackberry. They went FAST! There was also lots of different ice creams, many sorbets, and some syrups, sauces, and nuts to garnish with. I ate far too much, which is usually what I do at potlucks (because there is so much to try!). Someone had brought a watermelon, so I made some watermelon/mint juice for everyone to refresh themselves after all the ice cream sampling. There are three reasons to go to these potlucks (in my opinion). First, the food: there are always dishes that I don't make (either they have exotic ingredients, take too much work, or I simply don't need more than once a year). The food is simply incredible...and since there aren't many raw restaurants in the area, it's a great way to eat food that I didn't have to prepare personally. ;) Second, the people: everyone is excited to meet others who share the same passion for raw foods, the same open minded stance regarding health, and the incredible energy we all possess even AFTER we fill our bellies. Third, there are almost always fun activities as well. Last night we had a swimming pool with a diving board (which I had LOTS of fun on...pictures might come later) as well as fireworks, some raw groups go on hikes, there are retreats up north in the mountains and forests and down south in the hot springs, trips to the Grand Canyon, and at one of the potlucks I went to someone was using flaming nun chucks. Never a dull moment at one of these get togethers. ;)
Raw Recipe Night SUCCESS!
The first official Raw Recipe Night hosted by Living Raw By Grace kicked off on Saturday, June 12th and the second was on the 21st. They both featured Raw Dips/Spreads/Dressings. I loved choosing dips as the first class, because you don't have to be raw in any aspect whatsoever to enjoy a dip. You can even eat them with crackers and chips, but it's a wonderfully healthy addition to your lifestyle. It's also a very simple raw meal...you grab some carrots, broccoli, celery, and/or cucumber and your dip of choice, and voila...you've had a raw meal! They were all either nut, seed, or bean based, which is your protein and complex carb (for those who like that full feeling) in their natural state, which also included all the vitamins and minerals that you usually cook right out and end up in the boiling water. Featured was a cashew "cheese" sauce, a garbanzo bean hummus, and a sunflower seed garlic spread, all with less than ten ingredients and taking less than five minutes to make. No cooking/baking/grilling = no waiting! I usually keep 2-3 dips in my fridge at all times as a quick meal or snack. I have at least ten more dip recipes, so I may do another dip class in a few months. This was by far the easiest raw dish class. The next will be a bit more involved, but still very easy. We'll be making pies next weekend, and I cannot wait. Raw desserts are by far my favorite to make and share, since they don't taste "healthy" at all. :) We'll be making a Lemon Meringue, a Chocolate Mousse (it was an apple pie I decided to replace), and a peach cobbler. Since the first class is during Independence Day weekend, I believe I'll make my lemon meringue pie into a flag. :) Can you tell I'm excited?!
I was hoping to post pictures when I told everyone about the class, but I haven't gotten them downloaded yet...I need to bring my own camera to the next one...or someone should come take pictures for a free spot! ;) ;) Speaking of spots, there are only around ten spots per class (to keep it cozy and the costs down), so if you are interested, make sure you prepay to save your spot! The second pie class is almost full!
During each class you get a cutting board and knife, (oh yeah, I put you to work! - no really, when you take part of the creation, it's more 'yours') a recipe sheet and pen (to take lavish notes), and a sample of the dish while we make it and some to take home (either bring your own reusable container or buy one at the class). You can ask any and every question you can think of...and I'll try to pay attention to what I make while I talk. I still haven't mastered that yet, and every so often I slip and lick my utensils. ;)
Feel free to visit the Calendar for a list of upcoming classes and you can register directly on the website through Google Checkout.
Local, organic CSA
Horny Toad Farms supplies the produce at the farmer's market that I attend every Thursday night in Peoria, AZ and I have gotten to talk to the farmer, Stella, quite frequently about personalizing the produce she brings. I use greens like most people drink soda, so I'm always interested in organic greens. She usually supplies me with chard and lettuces, for ridiculously cheap prices for organic produce. This past week she mentioned her CSA, which is simply a prearranged, prepaid basket of produce that she delivers weekly. It's 8-10 different items in varying quantities that will change every week, depending on what is in season and what she harvests. I love that her farm is in Phoenix, and you can't get more local than that! The price of the basket is $20, which is cheaper than any CSA in the area (believe me, I've looked), and it's delivered to the Farmer's Market that is ten minutes from my house. Well, I'm sold! In fact, I have to share this with everyone! Stella tends to run at least 5-10 different farmer's markets in the valley, which keeps her plenty busy, you know...besides running her farm. So, I decided to help her out (I love the idea of helping a local farmer!!!) and organize the CSA at this farmer's market. I already have three that have prepaid and can't wait to see her face when a dozen people show up for her CSA this Thursday.
Yes, this Thursday we are starting it up. :) We will prepay for the first three weeks, so $60. You can pay by check or cash when you arrive on Thursday to pick up, or I can make a button on my CSA info page on my website to pay through, just let me know. You can choose from two different baskets: a raw basket which contains mostly vegetables and fruit that you can eat raw, or the regular basket which contains things like potatoes, onions, eggplant and other things that you would use very sparingly, if at all, in raw dishes. Each week you will receive the pick of the pick regarding produce (the leftovers will be sold at the farmer's market). After the first week, I am planning on holding a quick little class on what raw dishes you can make with the produce in your basket. Something simple, and possibly some recipes to try out on your own with the produce you get. Also...if you cannot make some week, or Thursday nights are difficult for you to commit to, I can always take your produce home and meet you somewhere (or you can come to my place) to pick up in the next few days. Just realize that I have VERY limited fridge space...so it will have to wait out for you in my laundry room (dark and cool...hopefully will help your produce keep). :)
LRBG is BUSY these days. If you are interested in the CSA, please contact me as soon as possible. If you miss this week's deadline, I'll let you know and get you signed up for next week's. You can always email me at LivingRawByGrace@mail.com, or contact me through my website, or visit my facebook page whether you want to sign up for a Raw Recipe Night or the CSA.
For those who are not in Phoenix, CSAs are everywhere and the organic produce is usually much cheaper (not to mention healthier) than what you find in stores. Check it out!
My frugality is an aspect of my personality, but it sure helps with grocery shopping. I love to bargain hunt, shop at thrift stores, craigslist, ebay, go to clothing swaps and freecycle. Now I can add one more to my list: Price Matching. I had heard of it before, but was always intimidated by it. I could just imagine myself in line with a host of angry shoppers behind me as I fumble with grocery ads, redfaced and seemingly inept. How wrong I was!
Here is the concept: you search the grocery weekly ads for all the stores in your area. You find the bargains you like (i.e. cherries for $.79/lb - no kidding!), and then you find what stores "Price Match," like our Super Walmarts do here in Arizona. Then you take your list of bargains (and possibly all the ads as proof), you shop for the items, and at the checkout line you proclaim your "Price Matching" stance and voila! CRAZY bargains in one place. :) My becoming-better-friend-by-the-day, Christa, introduced me to how easy it was, and she even included the sales for the week. What?! A friend who not only shows me how to save MORE money, but makes it effortless?! Now, that is incredible! So, let me be that friend for you!!!
If you are in the Phoenix Area:
Ranch Market sells the CHEAPEST produce by far...check out the online ad for the sales you like.
Food City comes in at a close second.
Sprouts is where I do almost ALL my shopping (although, not anymore).
And then you have Bashas, Frys, Safeway, Albertsons, Fresh & Easy, have I missed any?
Just click on any of those links and you'll be able to find the grocery ads. When I went to Walmart I didn't have to have the ads, just my little notebook of prices and locations. The cashier acted like it was completely normal. SO easy and I saved more than I spent. How awesome is that?!
Now the great thing about this is that it works not only for produce, which is all I buy, but also for EVERYTHING! For boxed meals, wine, meat, cheese...ANYTHING. Can you tell I'm geeking out about this?! Yup, it's what I'm doing from now on.
3 Peaches, pits removed
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
5 dates, pits removed
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Serve cold.
p.s. isn't that wooden bowl adorable?! I got a whole set at goodwill for a few dollars. I love wood...so warm and inviting...makes me feel all old fashioned. ;)
MORE Raw Recipe Nights!
Even though I haven't even held one official Raw Recipe Night for the public, I am planning away. I have added three more Nights to the Calendar, a few weeknights for those moms whose weekends are family nights, and a new class: pies! Ooooooh, desserts are my favorite Raw dishes. There is ZERO guilt. You can eat two helpings, heck let yourself have that third piece of Chocolate Mousse Pie! Not only is it NOT bad for you, but there is lots of good nutrition in there that is healthy and nutritious.
Whether that dessert be my Lemon Meringue Pie that is so scrumptious I make it every Sunday so I can have a slice EVERY DAY, or my Vanilla Almond "Ice Cream" that we eat every morning for breakfast (unless it's Chocolate Almond, like today). Desserts are wonderfully filling, in fact they can be an entire meal. Usually a nut or seed base (your protein, and vitamins and minerals), with plenty of fresh fruits (the rest of your vitamins, minerals, and fiber), along with some fun spices and oils. While I'd love to do a "desserts" night, there are too many to choose from. So, this one will focus on PIES. I will be supplying you with my famous Lemon Meringue Pie (that has less than five ingredients!), a simple Apple Pie, and a delicious Peach Cobbler (because it's peach season!). ALL of these take less than five minutes to create, have very few ingredients, and are inexpensive. You don't need to be a raw foodie like myself to make and enjoy these lovely creations. That's the fun of it!
Interested in the desserts theme? Stayed tuned for "Raw Chocolate Night" and "Raw Desserts in Under Five Minutes & Five Dollars" and "Raw Ice Cream Night" and "Raw Cupcakes Night" and much, much more. Oh, and have I mentioned that I'm creating a Raw Recipe Book? We have schemed that we will have binders available at each of the Raw Recipe Nights. The more nights you come to, the more pages of recipes to add to your binder...thereby making your own Raw Recipe Book! OR...when I'm finished you can simply purchase the whole thing. Should be within the next month!
I am ridiculously excited. I've been working with my best friend and we have come together with the first Raw Recipe Night that anyone and everyone is invited to. It's not held in my apartment, but in a guest house of a dear friend. I'm charging $15 a head to cover the costs of the ingredients and the space. It's in two short weeks. Want more information on the RRN? Have I mentioned that I'm excited?! My best friend and I have been talking about possibly having Raw Recipe Nights (RRN's from here on out) 2-3 times a month. Two Saturdays a month and maybe a weekday as well. Who says dreams can't come true?!
This first RRN will be on raw dips: a simple and easy way to add more raw food into your lifestyle. Not only are the dips raw, but you use raw veggies to dip into them - viola, an entirely raw meal that is delicious! I have dip meals at least 4-5 times a week. I'll be demonstrating 3, maybe four dips. One using nuts, one with seeds, one with beans, and one without. I don't know what I'll do next, but my brain is abuzz as to RRNs to come: Raw Pies, Raw cookies, Raw Crackers, Raw Gourmet, Raw Snacks, Raw Beverages, Raw Kids Meals, Raw Ice Cream, Raw Breads, Raw Entrees, Raw Appetizers, Raw Mylk, and SO MUCH MORE!
This also gets me off my tush and back to school to get some nutritional degree so I am accredited. I already have a B.A., but something tells me that English Literature may not be useful in my new field. Although, it seems to be helping here! I'm bouncing between the idea of a simple certification, or perhaps pursuing my masters. I'll talk it over with my mother when she is here for a visit, she's been pushing me to go for further education as my little one is getting easier and easier to care for.
Tonight I had a wonderfully satisfying dinner (which if you are my friend on FB, you heard about). I left for the farmers market and completely forgot to bring dinner for myself. This is very rare, for as you know I take food EVERYWHERE I go. Well, I wasn't completely stranded, there are half a dozen Larabars in my car, but I try not to eat them - they are for emergencies, after all. So I thought, I'll just nibble as I go along. It started with a peach...YUM...and then a few little apricots that remind me of cherries they are so tiny and wonderfully scrumptious. Then those tomatoes began to look incredible, and I hadn't eaten a "white carrot" before - I had to try that one out. There was some sliced watermelon, so I helped myself to a few slices, along with a few slices of an apple that someone was offering. Then I went back to the beginning and had more of everything. By the time I was on my way home around 9:30 (my best friend organizes the farmer's market, so we visited afterward), I had eaten four peaches, six apricots, four tomatoes, three carrots, four slices of watermelon, a few bites of chard and lettuce and an apple. Holy Moly! No wonder I wasn't hungry! Wonderfully satisfying...not overly stuffed. AND, I have so much energy that I'm obviously blogging at ten at night. I could go for a night hike I have so much energy! I love organic produce!! And so cheap...I love Horny Toad Farms.
Also, expect many more recipes and pictures in the next week. I have some eggplant in my fridge I'll use to make mini pizzas, some parsnip that I'll use to make Mexican rice, some monster zucchinis that I'll use for raw lasagna...oh and much much more. Which should I make first?
About the Blogger
Haley is passionate about Raw Food and how God has used it to heal her. She loves to share what she knows with anyone who is curious, and finds herself talking to everyone around her about her lifestyle.