I scheduled my vacation for two and a half weeks, which is the longest that I've ever been away from my kitchen. I know, that's a weird statement, but my kitchen is an extension of myself. Since I can't just go to the grocery store or any restaurant and get something, and need to make almost everything myself...my kitchen is my better half. ;) I wasn't sure I could go that long without all my things...so I brought them with!! I took my Vitamix blender and my Cuisinart food processor...not very travel friendly, but they fared well...whew! I'm not sure how I was able to stay under the weight requirement (the Lord was definitely watching over me), because I brought all my nuts and seeds too! Three pounds of almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, and garbanzo beans. When I arrived, I had realized I forgot my walnuts and was sad...but I've learned to improvise. Half a dozen spices, my cacao powder and nibs, and some kelp noodles also joined into one of my two checked bags. I also dehydrated for two weeks before my trips, since I couldn't also take my dehydrators. ;) I brought two types of crackers, two types of flat bread, granola, fruit leather, mini pizzas, 'croutons', and lots of handmade trail mix. I would have loved to have seen the x-ray techs checking my bag before it got on the plane. ;)
I've been here a week and my stash has diminished some, but I need to make sure I still have more for next week. This week I get to visit two raw restaurants, but there will be none where I'm going next week. I'm saving my kelp noodles and most of my granola for next week...fun meals to show off the raw lifestyle. I went to one raw restaurant in the area today and was pleasantly surprised. First, it was ALL raw (which is highly unusual outside a large city), and second, it was a small cafe that anyone could enjoy. I dined with my daughter, one friend who isn't raw at ALL, and another friend who makes healthy choices. They enjoyed it and I loved new, interesting foods that I didn't have to make. ;)
It was called RawCanRoll Cafe...cute name. To begin with, it's a cafe...not a restaurant, so it's small and cozy. Small menu, which I enjoyed. It was all very easy foods...things that I have moved beyond but still enjoy. Five entrees that come with one of four side dishes and a side salad with one of five dressings, you could also choose from four appe-teasers (hehe) and they had at least ten different smoothies to offer. Two different types of macaroons for dessert, which we sampled, of course, and four different types of salads. All in all, small, concise, and not much frufru.
I ordered the Tostada, which was a dehydrated tortilla with lettuce, mango salsa, small dehydrated mock pepperonis, and some wonderful southwestern sauce drizzled on top. It was wonderfully satisfying and delicious. I hoped my daughter would join in, but it was very messy and difficult to eat...she's finicky that way. ;) I chose the "potato" salad made with jicama and fresh dill. My daughter loved it, and I thought it was pretty good...I probably would have chopped the jicama smaller. My salad was greens, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, and apple slices and I picked their House Creamy Tahini Dressing. YUM! I almost licked my entire plate clean. That was another incredible thing, they use silverware, biodegradable plates and napkins, and green plastics (made from plants). I was super excited at how green they were. We finished off our dinner with a Love Potion #9 Smoothie (cacao, vanilla, bananas, and almond mylk) - which my daughter claimed as hers - and four Almond Coconut macaroons (two vanilla, two chocolate/cacao). I'm going to have to start making those macaroons...they were heavenly!!
All in all, it was a wonderful experience...and my friends say they will probably visit at least twice a month from now on. Now THAT is a great revelation of how good it was. One of my friends ordered the hummus sampler for an appetizer, which we all loved (especially my daughter), and i was proud to see them using sprouted sunflower seeds as a base. Hurrah! They both got the Thai Spring Rolls with a Ginger/Sesame dipping sauce. They enjoyed it and I got to finish some of it for them. ;) Very good, very simplistic and beautiful presentation. Not only was it delicious, but so ridiculously inexpensive. My meal was $8.50 (side and salad included!), my smoothie was $5.75 and my dessert was $3.00. Now that is cheaper than most restaurants, let alone a "healthy" one that usually charges more.
It's been three hours since that meal and I'm still stuffed. I tend to overdo it when I eat other people's raw food. ;) I'm hoping to stop by the place tomorow and drop off some business cards and talk to the chef. Honestly, the place is so simple! I could easily do all of the uncooking, most of it is morning prep and day before dehydrating...and then you have others assemble the meals. I was thoroughly encourgaed and am excited. MANY people have asked me to market my products or start a small cafe or something, and this is something I could easily do. I am currently working with a restaurant in the Phoenix area to start with a few classes and then possibly work with them to add things to their menu. Exciting!!!
Tomorrow I'm off to another restaurant called Good Eatz Green Cafe, which seems to be more of the same...but I've had a few recommendations for this one from NON VEGANS! It's not raw, but most everything can be "catered to your needs", so we'll see if they have much experience with a raw vegan. ;) In fact, I might call early and see if I can be accommodated. Their online menu is very impressive and definitely more expensive than the little raw cafe I visited today. I'm a simple girl, and I don't need much, so if they cannot make raw stuff...we may go back to RawCanRoll Cafe. :)
OH! I wanted to share something that I have been thoroughly enjoying that ANYONE can do. I love my lemon meringue pie...I'm pretty sure I've mentioned that. It's delicious, easy, and inexpensive...so I almost always have one piece a day. Well, I've discovered the fun of decorating my pies. It's an easy way to impress your friends and family or even yourself, and spruce up a boring dish. Here are some examples. Berries are easy, you can simply plop them right on without cutting, but I love several colors. I encourage all of you to start decorating and send me pictures of your creations!!! Whether it's a pie, or anything else...I love beautiful presentations! Reveal your creativity to me!
Living raw means that I bring food EVERYWHERE. I do not have the convenience of stopping at a fast food place, a store, or a restaurant (unless I'd like salad) to eat, so I always make sure I have something on hand. Yesterday was two apples, one pear, a bag of trail mix, and my little girl and I made more Nori Rolls (little ones for her). I went to the mall yesterday to let my daughter enjoy their play area, which is quite fantastic. I try not to eat in the play area, for I don't know if any children have food allergies and don't want to make any kind of mess. So we went directly above the play area where they have some couches and tables. It's just around the corner from the food court, but I see no reason to submit myself to the smells or sights of food that kept me ill for 26 years. Now mind you, if we were with a group of people, my daughter eats whatever she likes. But if she is with me, she eats what I keep in my home and what I provide, which is usually raw. She was excited about her mini Nori Rolls and dessert of apple and pear slices, so I made a little picnic on one of the tables and we sat and munched while she bounced around and watched the kids playing below us (there is a cutout so you can watch - a little creepy at times, I must admit).
An elderly man slowed down while passing our little table. A middle aged woman stopped and asked where I had bought my food at the food court. Several others slowed down and a couple stopped to hear my answer. When I told them that I made it myself, they were shocked and disappointed that they couldn't have the same option. I made maybe twenty rolls, about six for my little girl and the rest were mine. When we were both down to a couple, another crowd gathered and asked the same question. "No, the food court doesn't serve these, I choose to eat healthier and make my own snacks." A lot of nodding, some sad looking faces, and my four year old beaming as she pops one in her mouth (perhaps a little gloating?!)
If I had been a little more prepared, business cards would have materialized out of thin air and I could have given them fliers regarding my upcoming classes. Perhaps that will happen soon? My first thought was simply, "They were attracted to something that would bring them health...I KNOW I am on the right path." So I prayed for everyone of them. That they would continue to recognize health and seek it out, to start asking questions, and to remain unsatisfied with the food court options. And of course...praying that I can share not only my health, but my faith.
I was in the kitchen tonight taking inventory so I can go grocery shopping tomorrow. Five of my avocados were waaaaay overripe. :/ Oh no! Had I forgotten about them?! Well, looks like it's guacamole time! So into the food processor they went. I made a delicious and EASY guacamole salad tonight. I made my guac and laid it on top of a bed of greens and sliced up some cherry tomatoes for color (and to cut the spice in half...my guac can be sinus draining!), and sliced some sweet corn of the cob for a wonderful little contrast. Beautiful and yummy!!! Finished that baby off in minutes.
2 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon onion, diced
¼ red bell pepper, diced
1/2 ear corn, sliced off cob
1 tomato, diced
Mash by hand or process avocado, jalapeno, garlic and spices. Stir in diced veggies and sprinkle lemon juice on top to keep it green and fresh.
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.