Monday, May 3, 2010

It may take a while for me to get out of the habit of typing this in everyday, or I may just keep it up!

Today’s Meals

  • 1/2 pound fresh organic strawberries
  • 1/4 (leftover) Vegan Pure Protein Salad (brown rice, quinoa, red lentils, edamame, and kidney beans)
  • 1 1/2 cups Quinoa and Arugula with black beans, corn, cucumber, tomato, and grapeseed dressing
  • Vegan protein shake with maca and greens
  • Quinoa with beets, greens, and “feta”

    Quinoa with Beets, Beet Greens, and "Feta"

    Quinoa with Beets, Beet Greens, and "Feta"

I ate berries for breakfast at 7 and was FAMISHED but 10 so I did not do the shake then (since it is not very filling) instead I ate the leftover salads I had from the weekend.  I finished the pure protein and ate half of the remaining Quinoa and Arugula.  I felt much better after eating them.

Tonight I get to eat the salad with the cashew cheese in it.  I am not sure what is more exciting, eating beets and beet greens together for the first time (I know, how sad am I?) or eating the cashew cheese.  It is raw, so I could taste it when I made it last night.  Super YUM!

And… I am excited about tomorrow night’s dinner as well.  It made 6 portions, so last night I cooled and froze 4 portions, 2 for lunch/dinner in freezer week, and another one for before I leave for Spain and one for when I come back (I think shopping will be an issue right away when I get back and the night before I leave I am going to be so busy).  This will help me get by.  It is more processed so I would eat a raw salad or soup with it, but it looked and smelled like mac and cheese so I will be thrilled if it is a good substitute!  More on that when I like it, it could be a huge flop.  I have decided to wait and post recipes until I have tweeked them to my liking, so this weeks meals (which are ALL new recipes) will go up when I have determined my changes and if they are even worth posting.

I KNOW I will be posting my dinner.  I is supposed to be Farro with beets, beets greens, and feta.  I couldn’t find gluten free farro (and based on chefshop.com, I won’t) so I had to use quinoa.  I know, I know, this is supposed to be about VARIETY and I had quinoa for lunch.  Well… the beets and beet greens were ready and the cashew cheese was made, so I made the salad with quinoa.  WHOA!  It was delicious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Absolutely delicious.  I loved the cashew cheese, too.  Didn’t miss feta at all.  Recipe in Vegan Recipes.  Try it!  Even the cashew cheese!

Did I mention I love my MacGourmet?  I still don’t have it working full functionality but I am digging it big time.  It really helps me stay on top of the meal planning and shopping lists!  Maybe some time I will post a review on there that goes deeper into how I use it, would that be helpful to anyone?

My aunt emailed me last night and asked why she would want a VitaMix.  I am responding to her but I thought I would share on here why I like mine.  Last night I needed it for two recipes.  I ground cashews with it for both the cashew cheese for the salad tonight (cashews, lemon juice, garlic, fridge for at least 4 hours) and I ground the cashews then blended in the cooked onion, garlic, and Yukon Gold potato with the broth and spices to make the “cheese” sauce for the mac and chard.  Here are the reasons I love my Vitamix, in no particular order:

  • It is easier to clean than my other blender and food processor, once you get past the “reach in” factor.  By this I mean that since the bottom is not removable, I had to get past the use of a utensil or taking the thing apart to get stickier items (like nut butters) out.  Now I use a rubber scraper for as much as I can, then in goes the hand and fingers.  Of course I remove the container from the base.
  • It is all sealed at the bottom so there is no fluid leaking when processing very liquidy foods like soups and sauces.  Blenders really don’t leak that much but the food processor does.
  • It will grind, chop, puree… anything.  I think if I put a shoe in it I could have shoe soup (If I added liquid) I never worry about the motor or the gears.  They are strong, durable, and they work HARD.  Smoothest purees and butters ever.

    Ground Raw Cashews for Cashew Cheese

    Ground Raw Cashews for Cashew Cheese

  • It incorporates a little air into things when they are processed, so they give raw soups and sauces an almost creamy texture.  My husband even tries to use it for his protein shakes for this reason: frosty, frothy goodness without leaving ice chunks (unless you want them) behind.
  • I can make nut milks with it.  Raw almonds, coconut, etc, a little filtered water, vanilla, stevia (if needed) Vrrrrrrrrrrrrr, strain in a nut milk bag and whala!  Homemade almond milk!  Coconut milk doesn’t even need to be strained!
  • Fantastic for whipping up ice creams and sorbets.
  • Raw soups, if blended high for a while, actually warm in the Vitamix, so they aren’t really a cold soup anymore.  This without the risk of going over 110 degrees and killing enzymes.
  • Great salsas and chutneys without a ton of chopping (depending on how chunky you like them).

There are some of the off-the-top of my head reasons why I love my Vitamix.  I understand they make “dry” containers (I do not have one) and newer versions that can even grind things like meat for pate (I think mine could but I have not/will not be trying this).  I would possible look at a dry container eventually, but I don’t know that much about it.  I think I could then grind my own flours (quinoa, spelt, amaranth, etc).  Since I don’t bake a lot, I would not use this option, but my aunt probably would, she is an EXPERT baker!

I cannot imagine being vegan trying to be 60% raw without one.  One cannot just eat chopped salads all day and be satisfied.  So much of food satisfaction comes from texture and variety.  If I am tired of salad I can throw it into the Vitamix and have what is called a blended salad and drink it like a V8!  The hardest part of being vegan for me is cheese… so making my own nut cheeses will be a crucial part of this process.  I have had mine since the first time I tried to go raw and took FUNdamentals of Raw Foods in 2002 and sadly it sat in a cupboard while I ate unhealthily from 2004-2009 so it is like brand new, but now that I am really learning to use the techniques and vary my diet (one thing I really failed to practice back then) I have appreciated it so very much!

I am planning to purchase an Excalabur Dehydrator sometime by the end of this year.  when I do that I will use my Vitamix even more to make raw fruit leathers and raw crackers (blend the ingredients first).  The dehydrator is really the last thing I need to complete my raw foods tool kit.  There… that is why I am in LOVE with my Vitamix.  I still use a food processor and occasionally a regular blender when I don’t need the power or I want things chunkier.  But for smoothness in anything, it is essential!

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About amkaz

A Virtual Assistant is a highly trained and skilled administrative professional who works in a collaborative partnership with successful small business owners and entrepreneurs providing administrative support and personal concierge services, without having to be physically present in your office. Communication and collaboration is easily accomplished through phone, fax, e-mail, and the internet. True assistance is no longer bound by geography or nine to five, Monday through Friday business hours. I am an accomplished and versatile professional with 10 years management and entrepreneurial experience in retail sales, buying, and store operations and another 8 years experience with office operations management within the banking and merchant payment processing industry. I am a determined individual who consistently achieves desired results in challenging environments while building and maintaining strong relationships with clients and colleagues. My areas of expertise include document creation and management, process improvement, organization, and coordinating classes, meetings and events. Contact me for more information about how I can help you grow your business! Mission Statement: My mission is to create time, opportunity, and results by delivering the highest level of administrative services with integrity, diligence, and responsiveness. I am not successful unless my clients are administratively successful.
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