Sunday, April 20, 2014

Romaine Roll-ups

The sandwich was invented as a vehicle for fillings. One of my favorite variations on the sandwich theme is to use a crisp, juicy romaine leaf in place of the usual bread.

Spreads as simple as raw almond butter + honey, or tahini + miso taste great on a romaine leaf. Tofu salad, guacamole, hummus: also delish. Or you can get fancy like I did here, filling my wrap with some of the extra Pate Forestier I had leftover from the other night, when I made marinated stuffed mushroom caps for a special dinner.

This Pate recipe is taken and slightly modified from one found in my favorite raw food restaurant in the world's cookbook: Crudessence, by David Cote et Mathieu Gallant. (If you're ever in Montreal, be sure to eat there. It's the best!)

Pate Forestier

Soak 1 c raw sunflower seeds and 2/3 c raw walnuts in cold water for 6-8 hours. Rinse well, drain and purée in a food processer, adding a touch of water if needed to facilitate grinding.

Add in: 1 c mushroom stems or chopped  mushrooms, 1/4 c parsley, 2 Tbs dried dill, 2 Tbs tamari soy sauce (or Braggs Liquid Aminos, Nama Shoyu, etc), 1 clove garlic (minced), 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 or 2 Tbs lemon juice, pinch of sea salt and drizzle of truffle oil (optional).  Process until creamy. 

Store covered in fridge; keeps for about 4 days. Use for romaine wraps, salad topping, cracker spread, etc. I'm going to mix what's left with cooked brown rice, grated carrots and a few chia seed to make some super savory veggie burgers.  Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Green Brown Rice

Over the weekend I cooked up a pot of short-grain brown rice to use in meals throughout the week, such as this Green Brown Rice. I'm a big one-pan-dish fan and love anything green in my belly, so this one's a winner all around.

To cook brown rice: Combine 1 cup short grain brown rice, 2 cups water, a tiny drizzle of olive or flaxseed oil and a pinch of sea salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil on high heat, stir, cover and immediately reduce heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes. Do not lift lid even once while cooking!! After 45 minutes has passed, remove pan from heat, fluff rice with a fork, recover and allow to cool. 

Green Brown Rice

Sauté 1/4 of an onion in a tiny drizzle of olive oil over medium heat for a few minutes. Add 1/2 cup chopped broccolini, stir and sauté a few more minutes. Add one minced clove garlic, some halved snow peas (about half a cup) and 1/2 to 1 cup cooked rice, depending on your appetite. Sprinkle with tamari soy sauce or coconut aminos. Stir, cover, and simmer on low for about 5 minutes. Adjust salt level with more tamari if desired. Top with a handful of pumpkin seeds and enjoy!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Chew More, Eat Less

Everyone knows it's not polite to wolf down your food. But did you know that eating slowly and deliberately can actually help you to eat less, without efforting to reduce portion size?

Of course it makes sense, and science concurs. Consider this 2011 Chinese study that recruited college students of both high and normal weights to participate. Subjects were videotaped while eating a test breakfast of pork pie divided into pre-measured bite sized pieces, the tapes were reviewed and average number of chews per bite were counted. The purpose of the study included investigating if the number of times each pre-measured bite of food was chewed could be associated with the total amount of food eaten in a sitting.

The researchers found that average number of chews per bite ranged from less than 15 in the fastest eaters to about 40 in the slowest. Average number of chews per bite also correlated with the subjects' weight: obese subjects tended to chew each bite of food less times than did normal weight subjects. But regardless of weight status, all subjects' energy intake was 11.9% lower after 40 chews than after 15 chews per bite. Intentionally focusing on chewing each bite 40 times led to decreased total food intake, even in typically rapid eaters.

Take home message: If you're trying to eat less, chew more! Beyond weight loss support, increased chewing improves blood sugar balance and enhances mood, since the simple act of chewing itself stimulates the release of calming serotonin in the brain.


Li J, et al. Improvement in chewing activity reduces energy intake in one meal and modulates plasma gut hormone concentrations in obese and lean young Chinese men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Sep;94(3):709-16.  []

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Practically Raw Pizza

Pizza. It's a loaded word, right? Just take a deep breath, think "PIZZA" and what happens in your mouth? I know. Salivation City.

Practically Raw means 1) easy to make; 2) lots of raw ingredients!
For numerous reasons I rarely touch "real" pizza anymore—poor digestibility, antibiotic-laced pasteurized cheese, white flour and gluten being tops on the list. But there are times when I still crave the stuff; can't help it. Last night, for instance. The calling was strong, but no question: going there would mean trouble. (IBS friends, you know what I'm talking about.)

So I got creative. Poked around in the fridge, pulled out a few ingredients I had on hand and came up with some scrumptious faux pies. No, they don't much look like the real deal (okay, not even close) but the taste is in the ballpark—thanks to flavorful melty raw cheese plus plenty of fresh tomato-garlic-oregano standing in for sauce. And the health upgrade is tremendous. I ate my Practically Raw Pizza with joyful abandon and woke up in the morning with no regrets (always a good feeling).

Practically Raw Pizza upgrades: Ezekiel sprouted grain tortillas, raw sheep cheese, olives (aka "vegan anchovies"), beet sprouts for garnish.
All prepped up.

Assembled & ready-to-heat.

350º for 10 minutes = raw melted bliss.
Top liberally with sprouts to increase life force factor, slice and eat. Yum!