Veggie Platter

Recently I’ve been addicted to simple veggie platters. Raw eating is so super easy! The ingredients are usually whatever we’ve got in our fridge – cucumbers, carrots, beets, mushrooms, tomatoes, cauliflower, defrosted corn etc. All this is peeled, sliced and diced and served on a nice plate for us to munch on during the day. The veggies are so colorful and delicious just by themselves, but they also go very well with either my raw vegan ranch dip or my red pepper dip. The dips are also super light and can be whipped up in minutes, including the Vitamix cleaning time 😉 Check out the links to see the recipes!

Veggie Platter

This veggie platter contained:

  • cauliflower
  • avocado
  • cucumbers
  • cremini mushrooms
  • corn
  • carrots

So healthy, light, yet satisfying and overall YUM 😀

Blackberry Smoothie

Today’s breakfast smoothie is different than usual – it’s purple! Although it technically classifies as a green smoothie because it has kale, it resembles more of a power food smoothie which it also is because of loads of berries I added to it – blackberries and blueberries. Both of these berries are super high in vitamin C, vitamin K, nutrients and dietary fiber. As we know, dietary fiber is extremely important in maintaining a healthy digestive system, so berries are very good for you. Also, blue foods are high in anthocyanins which have strong anti-oxidant properties, so eat your berries guys as they’re not just delicious but also amazingly healthy.

Blackberry Smoothie

Blackberry Smoothie recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 large kale leaf (or 3 small ones)
  • 2-3 tangerines

Instructions:

Blend all ingredients up in your Vitamix and enjoy! If using a different blender make sure to chop tangerines and banana into smaller pieces, and remove the hard stem from kale leaf.

The Healing Stinging Nettle

Today, while walking in a park nearby, I stumbled upon a beautiful bush of stinging nettle and remembering about its amazing healing properties I collected some leaves before the grass gets mowed. Did you guys know that nettle leaf is among the most valuable herbal remedies?

The Healing Stinging Nettle

The Healing Stinging Nettle Benefits

  • Nettle contains many nutrients and because of that it is traditionally used as a wonderful cleansing spring tonic;
  • It is a slow-acting nutritive herb that gently cleanses the body of metabolic wastes;
  • It also has a gentle, stimulating effect on the lymphatic system, enhancing the excretion of wastes through the kidneys;
  • Nettle’s iron content makes it a wonderful blood builder, and the presence of vitamin C aids in the iron absorption, so it is often used for anemia and fatigue;
  • Stinging nettle is an effective remedy for nose bleeds.

Always collect it in gloves or with some sort of protection for your hands because it really does sting! I’m sure the stinging is also healthy, but my hands are still burning couple hours after collecting it without due care. As soon as I got home I juiced the leaves and mixed with cara oranges juice (make sure to use a slow masticating juicer like Omega when juicing greens!). In addition to being super healthy this concoction was also amazingly delicious. Now I’m definitely planning to buy some nettles to grow in the garden to have this Nature’s wonder within easy reach!

PNW Forests

We’ve been planning to go see bald eagles up in Rockport for a long time – they’re feeding on salmon up in Skagit River there and I would love to take some pics of these magnificent predators. Lately I’ve been seeing bald eagles all around Seattle, so this past weekend we decided it’s definitely time to go see them and finally found time to drive up to Rockport…. just to figure out that the season for eagles’ salmon feeding is already over for couple of months – best time to observe them there would actually be December and January. No wonder we didn’t witness a single eagle! But luckily PNW nature has wonderful things to see every day of the year and instead we just went for a hike in the Rockport State Park. I love love love PNW mossy trees!! Never seen anything like that anywhere else in America. Local forests are truly magical, feels like you got transferred into a fairy tale.

PNW Forests

PNW Forests

PNW Forests

PNW Forests

PNW Forests

PNW Forests

PNW Forests

Whole Foods Lunch

Happy Friday peeps! Weekend is almost here! 🙂

Today I didn’t pack my lunch with me, so for that reason I’m (very happily) taking salad out from a nearby Whole Foods! Since I went raw, this store has become our major go to place – no other restaurant or store has such an amazing selection of raw salad bars, and the ingredients are all so fresh and delicious, no mentioning they are also organic and non-GMO. Feeling so blessed that we have such awesome health stores like Whole Foods and PCC here in Seattle, makes my raw foodism much easier.

Today’s salad is the usual decadent mix of greens, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, mushrooms, beets, corn, peas, olives. Yummm!

Whole Foods Lunch

Garden in Bloom

End of March and Spring is already at its peak here in Seattle! And my garden is all in bloom as well. All newly planted flower seem to be doing well – azaleas, heather, daisies, violas and my all-time-fave lavender! I also got a beautiful Iceland poppy, never had this one before, so I’m super excited! It just had its first flower opened up today and it’s orange! And smells wonderful, so this seems to become my new favorite plant. Previous couple buttons on the poppy got sneaked away but some animal and I’ve been wondering for some time until I researched and figured who’s causing the problem – squirrel bandits of course! Knowing that nobody usually likes bitter taste, I just sprayed the poppy with some wormwood solution and nobody touches it anymore. Sorry squirrels 🙂

Garden in Bloom

Garden in Bloom

Garden in Bloom

Garden in Bloom

I’m not the greatest gardener, that is why most of the flowers I adopt into my garden are also medicinal or could be used in herbal teas – lavenders, heather, violas and of course peppermint! They all bloom beautifully during the summer as well as provide us with some nutrients along the way. Go herbal gardening!

Garden in Bloom

Veggie Platter With Cheesy Red Pepper Dip

One of the things I love about raw foodism is when you don’t have time to prepare something fancy you can always chop up some veggies and enjoy them in their most natural delicious way. Today our dinner is super simple and yet beautiful and so filling – sliced cucumber, carrots and tomatoes on the vine. The dip is my new cheezzie sweet red pepper sauce – it is sweet, sour and also a bit cheezzie due to nutritional yeast. Works perfect with fresh and crunchy veggies we’ve got in our fridge today. It’s such a fantastic combo – you just gotta try for yourself!

Veggie Platter With Cheesy Red Pepper Dip

Red Pepper Dip recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup basil
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cold pressed olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp water

Instructions:

If using Vitamix – blend up all ingredients and transfer to a container. Keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days. If using a different blender – make sure to chop ingredients into smaller pieces, then mix everything together.

I use this delicious sauce both as a dip and as a decadent sauce for various dishes.

 

Tropical Mango Smoothie

Experiments with smoothies continue! My day is going to be super stressful today, so gotta need to fuel up in the morning to cope with all the tasks I’ll have to deal today at work. And nothing is better at that than super sweet delicious organic mangoes and pineapples! A smoothie based on these guys will definitely give me enough energy to turn the day into a great and productive one. Since I went raw my stress levels are definitely much more in control than ever, which is definitely a nice side effect of this amazing lifestyle that changes you in such a positive way not just physically but also spiritually and psychologically. Go berries, smoothies and all the great abundance of raw foods!

Tropical Mango Smoothie

Tropical Mango Smoothie recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 super ripe delicious mango
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 2 tangerines
  • dash of vanilla
  • 2 tbsp water

Instructions:

Vitamix all of the ingredients and devour with gusto!

Tulip Festival

All ready to report about our next in a row drive up to Skagit Valley this weekend to see some tulips! I’ve never been to a tulip festival before. Of course I’ve heard of them and seen the pictures, but of course any of this previous information does not actually provide a tiny idea of how fantastic those tulip fields are!! Daffodils were fantastic last week, but tulips….oh my. Looking at such beauty I start to understand the Dutch and their tulipomania during 17th century, when tulips were valued more than gold. It’s easy to become crazily obsessed with these marvelous flowers. And given the perfect weather, the views of the tulip fields this past weekend were simply breathtaking. Here are some pics that are worth a thousand words.

Tulip Festival

And as if the tulips are not beautiful enough by themselves there are also magnificent Cascade mountains at the background with the most photogenic clouds…

Tulip Festival

And this red tulip is definitely stating “Don’t be afraid to be different than everyone else!” 🙂

Tulip Festival

Cauliflower Rice Salad

My fascination with the “broom” salads continue. Today’s variation of it is replacing cabbage with cauliflower! Love the simplicity of ingredients and the ease of making it – it literally takes only 5 minutes, which is perfect with my super busy schedule these days. The other thing I love about this salad is its gorgeous summery colors so fitting with today’s sunny warm weather. And all served on my new fave Italian made plates 🙂

Cauliflower Rice Salad

Cauliflower Rice Salad recipe

Ingredients (for 1 person)

  • 1 cup white cauliflower
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 5 yellow grape tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp chives
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)

Instructions:

Chop up cauliflower, carrot and parsley in food processor (or Vitamix on low speed). Slice tomatoes, chop up chives finely. To prepare the sauce mix cumin, salt, grapeseed oil, lemon juice and nutritional yeast (if using) in a separate container, blend everything up and add to you salad. Mix well.