Saturday, March 26, 2011


A common complaint I hear from folks is, "Oh, I'd love to eat raw, but I just don't have the time to prepare all the food."  I thought about this today when I was have a Raw Afternoon, thinking that maybe it was indeed time consuming.  I made 5 raw dishes, and when I finished, I checked the clock, and it took me less than two hours, which included, walking in the door from the market with my produce, assembling my equipment, cleaning and preparing my produce, preparing the dishes. and pausing between dishes to enjoy a cool pale ale.  Not bad if you ask me.

Here is what I made:

1.  My world famous onion bread - or at least it is infamous in the White-Powers Household.
I prepared this recipe first using:
3 large sweet onions - I used a slicer and thinly sliced each down about 1/2 way or until my fingers got nervous of being sliced.  I tossed the slices in a large mixing bowl and marinated them in 1/4 cup Nama Shoyu, and I tossed the remainder of the onion in the food processor with the S blade.

Then I ground (in my coffee grinder)
1 1/2 cups of raw sunflower seeds and
1 1/2 cups of flax seeds
and tossed them into the food processor with
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Gave it a whirl until it made a paste or dough and then dumped it into the mixing bowl and with my super clean hands (lol) I massaged the dough into the onion rings and the onion rings into the dough.
Then I took this mixture and spread it on two dehydrator sheets with the teflon liner, flattened each down with love, and put them in the dehydrator at 110 degrees until my next addition of the Kale Chips or 1 hour, which ever comes first.

2.  Then I made my Cheezy Kale chips - you have heard this recipe too many times to stay sane, but recall that I use 1 cup of soaked and drained cashews, 1 yellow pepper, a hardy shake of nutritional yeast, cayenne and Himalayan sea salt.

I lined 3 trays (no teflon liner) with these tasty chips and when I put them in the dehydrator, I reduced the temperature to 100 degrees.

I will visit these treats at midnight tonight to flip the bread.  They chips should be done in the morning, the bread in the afternoon, but aside from the grand flip (and removal of the teflon sheets) my work is done here.

3.  Next, some Raw Cashew Hummus using
2 + cups of raw cashews, soaked and rinsed
1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 minced clove of garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp nama shoyu

Give it a hardy whirl, salt if necessary - probably won't be, and voila - a great spread for the onion bread!

4. How about some Walnut Pate -- a meaty tasting treat?!
I used 1 cup of soaked walnuts, 
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon nama shoyu
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
and a tablespoon of minced green onion

Give it a whirl and smush it into a container.  Not only can this be a spread for crackers or the onion bread, but you can use it like a meatloaf with sauce over it, or crumbled on a salad - it is quite versatile.

5. A salsa that was so good I almost fainted with orgasmic delight when I tasted it.  Wowie Zowie!
Into the food processor with the ever ready S-blade, I tossed:

2 cups diced tomatoes
1 yellow pepper, seeded
a big handful of cilantro - maybe a loosely packed cup
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
a hardy teaspoon of diced ginger (I get the tube of ginger in the produce section of Publix just to make sure I have some on hand -- I have tossed away too many rotted ginger roots in my day)
2 teaspoons diced fresh jalapeno pepper
1/4 cup nama shoyu
1/2 teaspoon ground sun dried lime (first time I have used this - wow! - got them in a middle eastern grocery, put a dried lime in a baggie and whacked it with a hammer, then poured the pieces into my coffee grinder and ground it into a powder.  I put the rest in a jar for another time)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin.

And as we say: give it a whirl, let it be just a little chunky;  I stored mine in a mason jar after my near delirium post-pleasurable taste.  I think it would be poor form to just drink it or eat it like a soup, but it sure was goooooood.

And that's it.  This gives me fixings to use all week.  Add to these dishes, (during the week) a veggie salad, or a wrap, or top spiraled or shoestring  zucchini with the salsa -- many different uses and ideas, just taking two hours of prep time on the weekend.

May you be blessed with two hours of time when you can go to your kitchen, turn up the music (if you like), drink beer (or whatever floats your boat), chop, get your hands full of healthy food, dance around the kitchen like no one is looking and just have one heck of a time, so you can be blessed with a head start on the weeks worth of healthy meals.   It's all good.  Eat it raw!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The oft neglected but yet delectable brussel sprout!

In my previous post, I said I was aiming for 90% raw -- well let me tell you a bit about the other 10% - the oft neglected but yet delectable brussel sprout!  These little powerhouses of health and energy also pack a flavorful punch.

To prepare them, I heated my large toaster oven to 400 degrees.  I washed the sprouts, performed a minor circumcision on each, and halved them.  I placed them on the baking sheet, insides up, gave them a spray of olive oil, and set them in the oven to bake. 

After 4 to 5 minutes, I took out the pan and doused them with a generous bath of freshly squeezed lemon juice, the last of my home grown big juicy lemons (I hate to buy them at the store for the exorbitant price they charge, when my tree produces such grand ones, but alas, growing season awaits.)  I put the pan back in for another 4 to 5 minutes.

I take the pan out one more time and drizzle a hint of dark toasted sesame oil on each little sprout - back in the oven for the finale -- take them out when they start turning golden.  Sprinkle with your favorite sea salt - my current is Himalayan.  And yum.

I ate a generous portion right off the pan (sorry Ms Manners) - and took some cold for dinner last night.  A taste treat due to its mix and marriage of flavors.

Back to raw:

This morning's juice was a blend of a head of Romaine, a leaf of kale, a handful of spring greens, three carrots, an apple and a pear.  What a way to begin a beautiful day!

I am meeting a girlfriend for lunch after Pilates and we are going to Rolling Oats - a health food grocery store and cafe - I usually get vegan soup, but today I will get their Green Drink with a pear - another juiced delight.

And tonight, my supper is the remainder of yesterday's cauliflower, apple, yellow pepper and cabbage mix.  I eat between traumas (since I am a trauma chaplain) and it relieves stress for me to crunch my dinner.  Well meditation and breathing techniques work well too, but there is nothing like a flavorful crunch to ground me too, especially of earth grown produce - truly, talk about grounding.

Wishing you all sunshine and rainbows and perfect health.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Raw and pure sunshine and health

Going Raw

21 Days to my wedding and I am counting down by going raw - at least 90% raw, the remainder, of course, will still be vegan.  I read a great and inspiring book by a great and inspiring author:  Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr.  Google her; get her books.  She is great and her writings are motivating.  Sort of how Skinny Bitch flipped the switch in my brain to become vegan even before I finished the book.

I began my day by drinking 8 oz of filtered water - I wanted to drink 16 oz. but did not have the patience to finish my water.  However, this is an aspirational goal: 16 oz of water each morning upon waking.

Then I had a cup of life! Actually, I juiced it yesterday in an attempt to clean out the refrigerator for today's Raw Challenge.  I juiced carrots, celery, pears, apple, spinach, bok choy, zucchini - and it was really good.  I like to drink my juice in a wine glass just to add that touch of celebration of life.

Lunch:  I combined (photo above):
1/2 head of cauliflower florets
1/4 head red cabbage diced
1 yellow pepper diced
1 red apple diced
some herbs from my meager herb garden - we have had a hot spell in SW FL, and also, some hungry squirrels, but there was a little cilantro, basil, and parsley left for the snipping.
Seasoned with Himalayan Sea Salt and White Balsamic Vinegar

The colors are inviting, and the flavors tease each other and the tastebuds.  With each crunch - just imagine pure sunshine and health.

I also made a Raw Goddess Soup from Kris' recipe -- it tastes great, but it was NOT photogenic, so it remains private.   One would never go raw if I shared a photo of this healthy soup.

Wishing you  a day of sunshine and health.  Support your local farmers - and stay out of the center aisles of your supermarket -- there is nothing good for you there, honest.

The Story Behind the Garden of Eden Vegan Blog

For those of you who knew me prior to December 30, 2009, I was a veteran of the fast food culinary institute. My son, when he lived with me would ask if I had ordered the "Shabbat pizza" yet as the sun was setting Friday nights.

My idea of a good meal was a McFish sandwich, fries with extra salt, and a medium diet coke.

Everything was better covered in a rich creamy sauce and the idea of a naked baked potato was as foreign to me as walking naked in Manhattan.

In June of 2009 I decided to formally become a vegetarian. Although I had dabbled with this, it was not until I read Skinny Bitch that the gauntlet was thrown.

Now being a vegetarian does not sign you up for good health. I was proof of that. Chubby when I started, I indulged in pizza, french fries, cheese, cheese, butter, cheese, pizza......and became very over weight, tipping the Toledos at 200 pounds at 5'4". And taking an assortment of meds for cholesterol and GERD and who knows what else.

As the decade was waning, and with my 60th birthday approaching in the year 2010, there was a perfect storm that snapped my beak and got me in gear. The same friend who gave me Skinny Bitch, turned me on to the John McDougall website. At the same time, there was a Grand Round lecture at the hospital where I work on the book Eat to Live, and at the same time, I was tired of how I looked and felt and needed to make a change.

I regret that I did not start this blog when I changed my lifestyle, but it is better late than never.

My weight is down about 35 pounds, my size has gone from a tight 16 to a loose 12. And I am on no meds, although my vegetarian doctor and I will review my blood work within this month to see if I need anything (like b12) boosted.

I began as a Vegan Minus. Or what I call a Garden of Eden Vegan.

As you know, a Vegan eats no animals nor animal products - none. But then I subtracted oil, sugar, and processed foods.

That is a big subtraction -- but it is this subtraction that helped with weight loss, lack of cravings, increased energy, health, and vibrancy.

Now I am dabbling in raw foods and have signed up to learn with Russell James (google him).

I like the taste and health aspect of raw foods, but worry about the increased calories. So I will (hopefully) use the raw creations as a supplement to my Gan (Hebrew for Garden -- I am in a Hebrew mood today) Eden Vegan lifestyle.

My doctor said that I should write a book about this since most of her patients need it. I said, "Who, or how many, would want to do this?" We shall see. It has been easy (no cravings) and exciting as life and energy unfold before me, just as it was meant to be. (It didn't unfold over a fried fish sandwich, extra tarter sauce.)

Join me or not. Walk with me the whole journey, day trips, part of it, or not. This is my 60th year -- buckle up life, here I come.