Thursday, April 30, 2009

More Dessert?

Hello again. So for lunch today we got Legal Seafood at the record. I decided to go "light" and get a salad.
This was delicious but not exactly light. It had romaine, tortillas strips, apples, avocado, roasted red peppers, herbed goat cheese, and scallops with an orange chipotle vinaigrette. I had a warm roll on the side. Our session ended shortly after lunch, and I was in no big rush to get back to the office. The beautiful weather just makes me not want to work! I decided to take a detour and head over to J.P. Licks to try some of the Pinkberry style frozen yogurt I just heard about. But, when I got up to the counter, they told me they were out! I was so bummed! I couldn't exactly walk away and not order anything at that point. So I got a small cup of hard peanut butter yogurt with oreos.

This yogurt didn't taste at all like yogurt - like the stuff I was hoping to get, but it was very tasty. You could really taste the peanut butter - it reminded me a lot of the peanut butter frosting I made for my PB&J cupcakes. Shortly after I got back to the office, I was invited to celebrate my friend Holly's birthday - with more dessert!

This is a blurry slice of her dolce de leche birthday cake. It was vanilla and chocolate cake with a layer of dolce de leche in the middle. I ate all the cake except the frosting. I'm very particular about frosting, and this was just way too sweet and had no flavor. I totally had a sugar crash after this cake. Waaay too much sweets this afternoon.

I made a simple dinner, with mostly leftovers. I have a bit of a jello project going on in the kitchen, so I threw dinner together in a hurry.

I baked a piece of white fish (I honestly don't remember what it was - it was in the freezer) and then covered it in leftover pesto. I also heated up some orange mash and sauteed junior bok choy and shitake mushrooms with soy sauce and sesame seeds.

The jello project is something I'm helping Derek with for a shoot he's doing. I've had to submerge random things in jello before for a shoot I worked on - and he needed an experienced jello worker for a similar project. Very random, I know. I'll take some pictures if it come out!

Melted to Perfection

Good morning! Watching Lost took priority over blogging last night. Luckily I have a record that doesn't start until 9:30 this morning, so I have a little time to post.

Yesterday started off with the usual oatmeal.

1/2 cup of oats with water, skim milk, 1 sliced banana, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.

Late morning I headed over to an online session to finish up some spots I'm working on. We ordered lunch over there from the Trident Cafe on Newbury St.

I had a veggie wrap melt, which contained broccoli, lettuce, tomato, and swiss and havarti cheese. The wrap was grilled so it was a little crunchy on the outside and melty inside. I also ate the pickle and a few of the chips on the side.

We ended up working kind of late, so I made myself a little snack mix from various jars of treats they had in the kitchen.

This glass contained almonds, cashews, honey roasted peanuts, goldfish, and M&M's. Odd combo, I know, but it totally worked.

I got home late so I wanted to make some fast and easy for dinner. I ended up having another melt!

I made an open faced tuna melt on a slice of sourdough. I mixed the tuna with chopped green onions and wasabi mayo. If you don't know about wasabi mayo, you should! Its the only way to eat canned tuna. We buy it at Trader Joe's. I topped the tuna with slices of tomato and avocado and low fat cheddar, then broiled it in the toaster oven - uses a lot less energy than the oven. I served some sauteed zucchini on the side, to get a little green veg in.

I had a very ripe mango sitting on the counter, that needed to be cut up or it would end up in the trash. Mango is one of my favorite fruits, so I couldn't let that happen. I served it for dessert over lemon sorbet with raspberries and unsweetened coconut.

Speaking of frozen desserts - I got tip from a very helpful blog reader that there are several Pinkberry knock-offs that we have access to here in Boston! There's a place called Yo Berry in the food court of the Super 88 in Allston, and BerryLine in Harvard Square. I'm definitely going to have to make some excursions to these places soon. Apparently J.P. Licks also sells a tart soft serve yogurt flavor called Yo Tango, AND Trader Joe's sells a packaged hard yogurt version. Yes, I have lots of taste testing to do. I also came across a recipe to make it myself. So stay tuned for a very yogurty post in the future!

I just had some oatmeal for breakfast, with more of those mangoes.

I used 1/2 cup of Bob's Red Mill 5 Grain Cereal (I love the chewy texture), cooked on the stove with 1 cup water, 1 sliced banana, a couple scoops of non-fat yogurt, mangoes, strawberries, blueberries, and unsweetened coconut.

Headed to my record soon. "Melted to perfection" not only describes my lunch and dinner yesterday - its also one of the lines we're recording this morning! See if you can spot the commercial on TV in a couple weeks...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Venezuelan Stuffing

I started this morning far too early. I had to get up at 5:30AM to catch an early shuttle to New York. This is what happens when I try to eat breakfast at that hour.

My berries and yogurt took a nosedive. It was a real sign that I should have still been in bed. Luckily, I was able to salvage most it and it all ended up on the table and not on the carpet. The rest of my breakfast went a little more smoothly, most likely because it involved caffeine.

I toasted one of my orange cherry scones to eat with my tea. When I left the house to head to the airport it was already very warm out. It was 93ºF in Boston today! Crazy weather - we went straight from winter to summer. It's not going to last, though. This is just the cruel New England weather playing tricks on us. It'll be cool and rainy the rest of the week, as it should be in April.

My trip to New York was scheduled to be very quick - we only had a about 2 hours of work to do there and then we were planning to head straight back to Boston. But seeing as it was SUCH a nice day out, and we weren't in any rush to head back into the office, my co-worker Mike and I decided to spend a couple extra hours in NYC to walk around and grab some lunch. We walked from Midtown to the Lower East Side and it was hot! We were sweaty by the time we reached our destination - a special request from Mike. Mike comes from a restaurant family and he lives for food as much as I do - if not more! So when he suggested a Venezuelan place he loves for lunch, I knew it would not let me down. Caracas Arepa Bar did not disappoint.  They specialize in arepas (obviously), which are these Venezuelan sandwiches, stuffed with various combos of cheese, meat, beans, and veggies.  The bread for the sandwiches are these thick, dense corn cakes, that are grilled and split like a pita and stuffed with the different fillings.

When we first walked in, we were very grateful for the air conditioning. And even more grateful for cold glasses of all natural mango juice.

We started the meal with an order of Tequeños, which are bites of cheese wrapped in dough and fried.
That's Mike art directing in the background.  Can't go wrong with fried cheese! We dipped these in this delicious yellow sauce that was on the table. It was sweet, vinegary, and spicy. Mike and I were trying to pick out the ingredients - I would kill for this recipe.

For my meal I ordered a La del Gato arepa, which was filled with cheese, fried sweet plantains, and avocado.
Amazing! I added some of the spicy sauce and it was perfect. I would love to try to make these at home, too. I think you would need just the right kind of cornmeal. It was very coarsely ground - it reminded me of stone ground grits. I think I'm going to have to do a little experimenting on this one!

After lunch we still had a little time to kill before our flight back, so we decided to walk over to Washington Square Park to check out my old campus. Mike had never been in the park before, and its a great people watching spot. On our walk over, we passed by a Pinkberry, and despite being totally stuffed from lunch, we just had to stop. I've only been to Pinkberry once before (it was actually a knock-off, which I'm told there are a ton of), but they seem to be all over the place in NYC. I'm dying for one in Boston! Its a pretty simple concept. They serve only a few flavors on nonfat frozen yogurt, with fresh fruit and few other toppings (like random breakfast cereals) that you can add on. The difference between this place and a TCBY is the quality. The yogurt does not taste like watered down fake ice cream nothing. Its tart and really yogurty (there's live and active cultures!), which I love. And the fruit is super fresh with lots of variety. For my serving I had green tea yogurt with mango, kiwi, and shredded coconut.

Perfect on a hot day. This place would do so well in Boston, I can't believe we don't have them here.

After all this food today I wanted a simple dinner.  I made a veggie stir fry served over brown rice.

I sauteed 2 cloves of chopped garlic in grapseed oil, then added junior bok choy (even smaller than baby bok choy! I just love mini sized vegetables), green beans, shitake mushrooms, and toasted cashews. Then I simmered this all with a simple stir fry sauce until vegetables were coated and sauce was thickened.

Stir Fry Sauce
serves 2
1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 vegetable stock or clam juice
2 Tbls rice wine vinegar
1 Tbls fish sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbl honey
2 finely chopped green onions
1 Tbls grated ginger
  • Whisk all ingredients together in small bowl
  • add to stir fried vegetables and simmer over high eat until vegetables are coated and sauce is mostly reduced
This was a nice healthy dinner that wasn't too heavy - perfect after a day of stuffing myself full of Venezuelan food!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Back to the Grind

Is it Friday yet? Seriously? Its not? I started this lovely Monday with a rather unattractive smoothie.
This had skim milk, nonfat plain yogurt, 1 banana, frozen mango and pineapple, chia seeds, and hemp protein powder (the cause of the unattractive color). I sipped this on the way to work and its was sooo thick that by the time I got to the office I had to finish it with a spoon. I'm liking smoothies to start off the day recently. I get something in my stomach earlier than I normally do, and they keep me full for hours. This kept me going until 11AM when I had my oats.

1/2 cup COOKED oats with berries. This then kept me full for so long that I didn't eat lunch until almost 3PM.

A salad with beets, grapes, walnuts, wasabi goat cheese, and balsamic vinegar and EVOO. I'm just pushing my whole eating schedule back. Which kind of makes sense since we don't usually eat dinner until almost 8:30PM.

I still had a snack late in the afternoon.

I really like this flavor of Larabar. I want to try making these at home sometime - they're basically the same as the raw desserts I was making last week.

For dinner I made...

Crabmeat Stuffed Zucchini and Orange Mash
serves 2
1 large zucchini
1/3 lb jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbls dijon mustard
2 Tbls chopped parsley
1 tsp old bay seasoning
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 grated gruyere cheese
  • Preheat oven to 350º
  • Trim ends of zucchini and slice in half horizontally
  • With a sharp spoon or melon baller, scoop out seeds and inner flesh of zucchini, leaving about a 1/4 shell
  • Brush a medium baking dish with EVOO, then brush outside of zucchini with oil
  • Mix together crabmeat, egg, mustard, parsley, old bay, and bread crumbs in medium bowl
  • Scoop crab mixture into zucchini, then sprinkle with grated cheese
  • Bake in oven for about 30 minutes, until zucchini is tender
  • Serve with Orange Mash

Orange Mash
serves 6
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into medium sized chunks
2 large garnet yams, peeled and cut into medium sized chunks
2 Tbls chopped cilantro
1 Tbls grated ginger
1/2 Tbls unsalted butter
1/4 cup low fat sour cream
  • Cook carrots and yams in a large part of boiling water until tender, about 20 - 25 minutes
  • Drain vegetables and transfer to food processor
  • Add cilantro, ginger, butter, and salt and pepper
  • Process until smooth
  • Add sour cream and process until combined
A yummy and colorful dinner!  I love the addition of the ginger to the orange veggies.  I'm about to continue that theme with a gingersnap sorbet sandwich...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gretchen's Gourmet Ice Cream Sandwiches

Yoga was great this afternoon. We did a lot of hp opening exercises, which felt really good after my run yesterday. When I came home, I blended up a raw chocolate covered Jimmy Carter.

Raw Chocolate Covered Jimmy Carter
2 ice cubes
1/2 cup raw almond milk
1 ripe banana, sliced
1 Tbls raw almond butter
1 Tbls raw cacao powder
1 Tbls chia seeds
1 Tbls hemp protein powder
1 tsp raw agave nectar (or to taste)
  • Blend ice in blender until crushed
  • Add almond milk and banana and blend until smooth
  • Add remaining ingredients a blend until smooth
  • Enjoy immediately!
This is raw food I can really get into. I think this will continue to be a favorite treat of mine. Add it really fills me up for hours. After sipping this in the sun, I came inside to do some work (ugh). Then made a veggie sandwich which I ate back on the patio.

I used 2 slices of good sourdough bread layered with low fat cheddar, tomato, cucumber, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, and avocado. So good. After lunch I headed into the kitchen for my favorite Sunday afternoon activity - baking! Even on a hot day, I'm still inspired to bake treats. I made a batch of crispy gingersnaps. Some of these will make an exciting appearance next weekend at my mother's Kentucky Derby party - so stay tuned. But I saved a few to make my favorite treat - ice cream sandwiches! I really think there is no better food in the world than cookies with ice cream in the middle. I have fantasies of selling my own line of all natural, gourmet ice cream sandwiches. Maybe some day...

These particular ICSs used the gingersnaps with lemon sorbet in the middle. I picked this brand up at the local grocery.

Its made right down the street in Newton. And I love the ingredient list.

The sorbet is really tart, which is a great contrast to the sweet, gingery cookies. I highly endorse this recipe, adapted from the King Arthur Flour cookbook.

six dozen cookies
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsps baking soda
3/4 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening ( I use Spectrum Organic)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1/2 cup cinnamon-sugar (2 tsps cinnamon mixed with 1/2 cup granulated sugar)
  • Preheat oven to 375º
  • Sift together flour, spices, salt, and baking soda in small bowl
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat shortening, sugar, and egg until light and fluffy
  • Slowly add flour mixture in 4 additions and mixed until flour just disappears
  • Measure slightly rounded teaspoonfuls of dough, roll into a ball, and roll in cinnamon-sugar
  • Place cookies 2 inches apartment on silpat or parchment lined baking sheet
  • Bake 10 minutes until golden brown
  • Cool completely on wire racks
For the ice cream sandwiches, I scooped about a tablespoonful of softened sorbet between two cookies, and put them in the freezer to chill. Stay tuned for the finished product.

For dinner, I wanted to use some of the many vegetables I still have in the fridge leftover from raw week. I sauteed 2 chopped portobello mushrooms, a couple handfuls of baby summer squash, and a bunch of swiss chard. I mixed this with some lobster meat I picked up at the fish market, a batch of pesto made with a wilted bunch of basil, and some cooked linguine.

Very tasty. The squash was the best part - and they're so cute and little!

As promised, Gretchen's Gourmet Ice Cream Sandwiches - Gingersnap with Lemon Sorbet


Last night we had another nice dinner at Delux with Derek's parent's. We talk about going there all the time, so they were interested in checking out our local haunt. Derek's father is a very, er, particular eater, so I was a little concerned he might not find anything he wanted to eat. He was won over right away when he saw that they had chocolate cream pie for dessert. And enjoyed his roasted chicken and mashed potatoes, which was lucky for all of us. I had the current fish entree for the first time.

Pan seared merluzza with roasted potatoes with paprika and green onions. I added a side of sauteed asparagus because it didn't come with any greens. And of course, we had to have the chocolate cream pie.

I'm always trying to come up with desserts to bring to Derek's family functions. Now I know chocolate cream pie would be a hit!

I sent Derek's parents home with a few of my orange cherry scones. My junior year of college, I spent a semester studying in London. It was one of the most fun times of my life, and some of the girls I met there are still my closest friends. During the semester, we travelled around England and Europe whenever we could. Of course we had to take a trip to see Stonehenge. What I remember most about that excursion is not the impressiveness of the structures and history, but the amazing scones they served at a little tea shop at the site. They were both light and dense, with the perfect crumb and a subtle sweetness. I now fondly remember that historic monument as "Sconehenge."

Robin's scones are not quite Sconehenge level, but they come pretty close. I love the addition of the orange zest and tart dried cranberries, although I've still liked them better when Robin's made them. She's been making them for many years, so she must have perfected how to handle the dough. Mine came out a little denser than her's.

I served the scones this morning with a portobello mushroom, chive, and gruyere frittata.

Now that we have our patio furniture back, we can dine alfresco!

I'm about to head off to a yoga class. Enjoy this lovely Sunday!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hot Hot Heat

Hot. That was the temperature today. Of the air and of the food. It was glorious! Before I went on my run today, I had a little raw snack. Yes, raw. Can you believe it? I'm definitely still planning to eat some raw food. But because I want to, not because I have to. I still believe it has a lot of benefits. So I snacked on 2 dates stuffed with raw almond butter.

This is great workout fuel, and really tasty. After properly hydrating, I put on my running skirt and sunblock and went for a 4.5 mile jog. It was hot for running! I'm not used to running in the heat yet. But I'm looking forward to more heat to get used to. After my run, I fixed myself a late lunch.

Half a bagel with wasabi goat cheese, smoked salmon, and cucumbers and a salad with mixed greens, more cucumbers, radishes, grapes, and balsamic vinaigrette.

After lunch I went out to pick up some groceries and decided the hot weather was a good excuse for a frozen treat. I got myself a small cup of peanut butter fudge frozen yogurt.

There are few better matches in this world than peanut butter and chocolate. After the groceries, I decided to bake a batch of my cousin Robin's scones.  I added some orange zest and dried cherries to the basic scone recipe - you can mix it whatever flavorings you like.  This recipe was a special request from my incredibly supportive dentist :)

Robin's Cream Scones
makes 8
2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsps baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup chilled unsalted butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
1 well beaten egg mixed with 1 Tbls of heavy cream
  • Preheat oven 375º
  • Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl
  • In a small bowl, beat together egg, vanilla, and cream
  • Cut butter into small pieces and cut into flour mixture with pastry cutter or fork
  • Sit cream mixture into flour mixture, then stir in orange zest and cranberries
  • Use to squeeze batter together until it becomes crumbly and holds together
  • Knead dough several times on lightly floured surface
  • Pat into a circle about 7 inches across and 1 1/2 inches thick
  • Cut dough into 8 wedges and place wedges on baking sheet lined with parchment or silpat
  • Brush wedges with glaze
  • Bake for about 15 minutes until scones are golden on top
  • Cool slightly on baking sheet than transfer to rack to cool
Can't wait to try these with breakfast tomorrow!  Tonight for dinner we're actually going back to Delux.  Derek's parents are coming into the city to deliver our patio furniture that was stored at their house for the winter.  So, we're taking them out for dinner at our favorite place!

Raw Week RIP

Ah, food. Sweet, glorious, cooked food. How I've missed you. I did attempt to eat raw for most of the day yesterday. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a crazy day at work and I didn't take any decent pictures. In the morning I had another almond milk, banana, mango, pineapple, and hemp protein smoothie. Then oat grouts with berries in the late morning. Lunch was big raw salad.

At the end of the day I was sooo happy for the week to be over. Why are 4 day weeks always the longest? Work was crazy this week, and obviously the raw food experience did not make it more manageable. So meeting friends at Delux for drinks after work was the perfect way to end the week! I had several glasses of wine, a big salad with ROASTED beets and goat cheese, and mushroom risotto. Yummmm...warm food...

Last night while discussing pancakes with our pals (one of my favorite topics) I came up with the brilliant idea to make chocolate milk pancakes with the good chocolate milk we have in the fridge. Last night it sounded like a brilliant idea...but in the light of the morning it sounded kind of gross to me. So, I just made regular old buttermilk pancakes. Instead of my usual whole wheat flour, I used cake flour. I wanted something a little less healthy this morning. The fine cake flour made these thinner and more crepe-like. I cooked them with bananas, strawberries, and blueberries.

Perfection. Its an amazingly beautiful day outside, so I'm looking forward to going for a run later (after I've recovered from this slight hangover headache I've got). I didn't get to run at all this week, so I'm itching to get out there!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Raw Week - Day 3 and 4

Sorry for the delayed blog! My computer was on the fritz last night and I just got it back from my IT department. So let me back up and take you through 2 more days of my raw food journey. Yesterday morning I needed a little treat to get me going. I decided to whip up a variation of my favorite smoothie from Bolocco - the Jimmy Carter. At Bolocco its made with frozen yogurt, banana, and peanut butter. Its amazing but I rarely get them because they're a million calories. Here are the ingredients in my version.

Almond milk, chia seeds, almond butter, hemp protein powder. 1 banana, a little agave nectar, and a scoop of raw cacao powder. I also blended all this with a couple ice cubes.

It was very chocolaty and tasty. And it kept me full until 11:30! At that time I snacked on some raw blended oat groats mixed with strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.

I mixed in a little tepid water to thin this out a bit. I also had a cup of warm water tea with almond milk. Lunch was another buffet with Liz!

I had several of our raw taco wraps - which I'm now calling Rawcos.

I'm still liking this lunch! For dessert I had a Brawnie.

I've been doing ok managing the raw food until I get to dinner. That's the toughest part of the day. I had an apple and a few nuts in the afternoon.

When it came time for making dinner, I could not bear to spend another hour running perfectly good ingredients through the food processor to turn them into poop. I just made a big simple salad.

This had mixed greens, grape tomatoes, radishes, red peppers, avocados, grapes, broccoli, and bean sprouts with a apple cider vinegar and EVOO dressing.

This morning I made another tasty smoothie. Unfortunately, the hemp protein powder made it green.

This had almond milk, 1 banana, hemp protein powder, frozen mangoes, and frozen pineapple. It tasted like a tropical cocktail! Without the rum, though. 8AM is too early even for me.

Again, this smoothie held me over for several hours until I ate my oat groats with berries. I was pretty slammed at work today and didn't end up taking any pictures. But lunch was the same Rawcos as yesterday, with a Brawnie in the afternoon, along with a few grapes and some snow peas.

Work was kind of stressful today, and by the time I got home I was exhausted, cranky, and felt like crap. And the last thing I wanted to do was prepare and eat a raw meal. I felt like if I had to eat another raw vegetable I would scream. So I gave up. And ordered sushi. least I was eating raw fish? Yeah, I know that's a total cop out. But after 4 days, I think I've eaten enough raw food to know that this is not for me. The promises of abundant amounts of positive energy have not been fulfilled. I'm tired and angry. And the whole thing about raw food being easier to digest? Well, I guess my body needs more time to get used to it, but I'm definitely not seeing that. This diet is just too extreme for me. I generally consider myself a really healthy eater, but a diet this drastic is causing me to want to go to the opposite extreme and I'm craving totally unhealthy food. Extremes are not good for me. I need balance.

So, I'm waiving the white flag. I'm throwing in the towel. It was an interesting experiment, and I'm glad I tried it out because I was really curious about this lifestyle, but a raw food diet is just not for me. However, I am hoping to explore more raw food recipes in a more sane manner. Where I can try them a few times a week because I want to, not because I have to.

And man, doesn't this sushi look good? It was so worth it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Raw Week - Day 2

Another day of raw food! I have to be honest - I woke up this morning not very excited about the day ahead. It wasn't that any of the food I ate yesterday was bad - it just wasn't amazing or very exciting. Food is such an important part of my life (obviously) that thinking about the yummy meals I'm going to be eating really helps get me through the day. And when I'm not excited about my food, the day looks less appealing. But, I'm trying to be open minded and try new things here! This exercise is not just about how the food tastes. If I made all my food choices just based on how things tasted I'd probably live off of macaroni and cheese and ice cream. But if I did, I would feel very gross all the time. And very fat. So, I kicked myself in the ass this morning and packed up a big healthy raw breakfast and lunch. And both were quite good!

For breakfast, I got to have my oats!

Don't these look like my usual oats? This is made with oat groats, which is the whole unprocessed oat kernel. Last night I soaked 2 cups of these in water. This morning, I blended them in the food processor with a couple dates, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a little water to thin it. It really tastes like oatmeal! At work I scooped some into a mug and mixed in my usual banana, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. It really was good! And super filling. I also sampled one of Liz's raw donut holes from Ani's Raw Food Kitchen.

These were also really yummy! A little on the sweet side, but a good treat. I was really going to try to not have any tea this morning - and I held out until noon. I was feeling kind of groggy and out of it all morning, and I kept hoping I would just snap out of it. But when I was still feeling sleepy by noon, I realized I just had to have a little caffeine fix. So I made a cup of tea with warm - not hot - water and drank it without milk. I felt much better afterwards. I will not try to suck it up tomorrow morning.

Liz and I both did lots of raw "cooking" this weekend, and for lunch we had a big buffet of all the food we made.

All of this is from Ani's cookbook. We made ourselves some wraps using romaine leaves, collards, endive, and radicchio.

I had chopped up some red peppers, carrots, and golden beets that we used to fill these, along with Ani's garden pate, taco meat, broccoli mash, and some avocado dip that is Liz's own recipe (and one of the best things on the table!).

I had 4 of these wraps! They were really tasty. I seriously would have no problem eating lunches like this every day.

After lunch I had another donut hole - this one had dried cranberries in it.

I brought some raw nuts, dried apricots, and goji berries to snack on, and had a few of these to get me through the afternoon.

I came home tonight and put my food processor back to work. Its really going to get a workout this week! I started by making a batch of raw almond butter, so I'd have that for snacks. Then I tried to experiment a bit and made some raw brownies - Brawnies! I didn't really measure anything, and I would definitely make some adjustments if I made them again. Its not even really worth posting the recipe, unfortunately. I mixed in the processor almonds, dates, vanilla extract, chia seeds, raw cacao powder, cocoa nibs, and dried cherries. I think I should have used more nuts and more cacao powder. They're a little too sticky and not too chocolatey.

Looks like I skipped straight to dessert, doesn't it. Well, I did make dinner before sampling these brownies. Derek advised me not to post a picture of it, but I just couldn't do that. I have to own up to serving this for dinner.

Yeah, I know. I wish I could say it tasted better than it looked. Well, it didn't taste bad. But it wasn't exactly, um, good. This was another Ani recipe. Marinated portobello mushrooms, topped with broccoli mash and mushroom gravy. Sounds good, doesn't it? It had potential, but it just did not work. The texture wasn't appealing, the taste was eh. And you can see that the presentation left something to be desired. Derek decided tonight that he would not be joining me for dinner the rest of the week. I don't blame him.

So, here's where I stand after Day 2. I'm feeling really good about raw breakfast and lunch. Raw dinner has not worked out so well. And how do I feel? I have yet to feel the burst of positive energy I was told accompanies eating raw food. I'm sure the total body changes take time. But I felt kind of tired and meh all day long. That very well could of been the due to the fact that it was a Tuesday after a long weekend and raining. I'm not passing any judgement yet. But I'm also not sold yet. Trying to stay positive over here! Its tough when my fiance is sitting next to me devouring a slice of warm rhubarb pie with vanilla ice cream. I'll just go back to my brawnie...