Herbaceous Babe is going to be a little less regular in the days to come as the author gets launched in her professional career. Keep checking back, because there's no telling when a new post will appear!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Raw M.A.T. Patties

Here's another quick'n'simple lunch idea inspired by BeautifulonRaw:

(Picture coming soon - camera was dead, so I'll have to make it again this week for a photo shoot!)

Take a clean Mushroom cap , stuff it with Avocado (mashed or sliced) and Tomato (trust me when I say 'bite-size pieces), and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add fresh herbs to taste.

Seriously, I've been eating avocado and tomato like a crazy woman this summer! And why not? Avocados are a great source of good fat, and tomatoes are rich in antioxidants (among other health benefits). Good tomatoes are hard to find though, so I buy local, organic tomatoes whenever possible for the best flavour.

Something else I did last week was make a Bruschetta "bowl" - diced tomato and avocado drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and topped with basil and oregano. Eat it with a fork, or serve with corn chips :)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Raw Sprouted Lentil Bowl

Tardy again - tsk, tsk. Whatever will you do with me?

Sorry about that. Things have been picking up in the professional realm, leaving me less time to cook let alone write. But I still manage to whip up some simple and nutrient-dense meals during the week - like this sprouted lentil bowl:

Sprouting lentils is the exact same process as alfalfa (soak overnight, rinse twice daily after that). Throw in some kale, carrots, and cucumbers, then toss in italian dressing.

Admittedly, I'm entering into another season of 'I don't care enough to think right now; I just want to eat,' which is probably the reason I had this particular dish three days in a row... But I know you've been there too (and if you haven't, don't be surprised when it comes), and I just want to tell you that's okay - just have a grab-bag of simple go-to meals so you don't end up bingeing on candy and chips.

Can't decide? Fill a jar with popsicle sticks labeled with some of your favourite meals (kinda like those date-night idea jars on Pinterest), then let Fate decide for you.

Image from "I Love This and That" by Denise Derbyshire

Monday, June 24, 2013

Raw Beet Nori Rolls (2 ways)

Here's something I've been wanting to try for quite some time: rice-less nori rolls. There were still beets left over from Ravioli night that I needed to use, and a recipe from Russell James that had been sitting in my queue for months. So it seemed like a no-brainer: it was time.

This is a really simple recipe - only six ingredients. My beet sauce came out a bit chunkier than his. Maybe my beet was larger; maybe I didn't blend it long enough. Flavour? Fresh, but not too significant. Next time, I'll add more lemon juice... and an avocado. Biggest problem: I didn't sprout enough alfalfa! Man, I could have eaten three or four of these easily.

Back to the drawing board... Hey, I have jicama!

The gal at Simple Raw Life says, "Don't process it too much or it will become too mushy." ... I should have listened. Consistency ended up far too close to coconut, which is a HUGE deal-breaker for me. Plus, I don't think I squeezed out enough water. Still, I felt like it was much more meal-like than the alfalfa.

I dunno... So far, my vote still goes to old-fashioned sushi. But one of these days, maybe I'll try it with hummus or a nut paté, or parsnip rice if I'm feeling really adventurous.

Meanwhile, the beet purée persists. Oh look, zucchini! Add a bit of bell pepper and a sprinkling of tarragon, and bam, I live to eat another day.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Raw Balsamic Broccoli Bowl

"Salad" has kind of become a dirty word in my kitchen. But veggie bowls with dressing have started to gain a bit of renown lately, especially as I search for more delicious and interesting (but still simple and nutritious) raw meals. "Veggie bowl" ...I could live with that.

After a particularly monumental splurge at the grocery store, I contemplated what to eat first. Here's a glance into my thought-process in real-time:

It's been a while since I've eaten raw broccoli... And I LOVE mushrooms... Oh, but let's not use liquid aminos this time... Hmm, out of almond slivers.... Hey, I bet I sun-dried tomatoes would go well with that... OOOH, balsamic vinaigrette...

There it is, folks. Ten minutes later, it was in the depths of my belly and feeling rather cozy. Very satisfying. Very refreshing. Very worth repeating.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Barbecue Shroom Sandwiches

*This post is labeled as Raw and Vegan. The Udi's gluten-free whole grain bread pictured below is cooked and contains egg-whites. Substitute a diffferent bread to suit your dietary needs.

One day during my long commute, my nose caught a whiff of something akin to barbecue sauce, leaving me with a sudden and inexplicable craving for pulled pork sandwiches. Seriously?! Pork was my original inspiration for becoming a vegetarian! Weird, huh? Granted, it was late, and I was famished and very open to suggestion.

Well a few miles down the road, it hit me. In my fridge were mushrooms and a bottle of Saz's gluten-free barbecue sauce. (It tastes great on bean burgers, so why not?) Chop, chop. Glug, glug, a handful of alfalfa sprouts for good measure. Five-minute supper, done.

Now, I will say this. The barbecue sauce (which was the Vidalia Onion variety) was sweeter than I would have preferred, but as a whole, the sandwich was pretty tasty. If I were to do it again (and I will), I'd probably opt for making a homemade sauce that had a darker, smokier flavour such as the one featured on The Simple Lens (except I never have beer on hand...).

*P.S. Here's an article by Bon Appetit about their favourite gluten-free beers.

Of course, you can't have a barbecue without chips! But skip those deep-fried potato slices, and try these raw kale chips by Rhythm Superfoods (pictured: zesty nacho). If you don't like spicy food (and even the kool "ranch" flavour has a bit of a kick), they also sell sweet potato chips.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Raw Beet Ravioli

Beets* are one of those veggies I've only ever eaten cooked (partially because I only discovered that I liked them a couple of years ago). I was a little scared to try it after my non-vegan family had tried it during a cleanse several months ago and it didn't go over well. But all the other vegans are doing it, so why not? Bad recipes rarely persist. Therefore it stood to reason that there must be something to this beet ravioli craze.

The cashew cheese filling in this is AMAZING! The quiet fortitude of the tarragon combined with the subtlety of the green onion made the meal seem less like a glorified salad and more like a hearty dinner.

I had my doubts about the yellow bell pepper purée at first though. Post-taste, I glanced up at my sister and squinted: "More lemon juice? More salt maybe? What about black pepper or basil?" Nope, she assured me. It was fine the way it was. And she was right. Before I remembered to tweak, my ravioli was half-eaten. Yum!

*high in folate (37% DV), potassium (13%), manganese (22%), vitamin C (11%), and iron (6%). Russell James recently sent out a link to this video that describes beet benefits for athletes.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Raw Collard Wraps

So... yesterday was a holiday, right? Very deceiving. I forgot it was Monday - sorry about that!

Okay, now anyone who has been a vegan for long has heard of collard wraps. They're one of the staples for plant-based life-forms. Can you believe it that I was vegan for over a year before making one of my own? (I did eat a Raw "Chili Cheese Burrito" at Ecopolitan.

Tomato, Carrot, Yellow Capsicum, Alfalfa Sprouts, and Mushroom
Tip #1: Don't be shy. Obviously, your collard needs to be able to close, but you want to feel like you actually ate something when you're done.

Tip #2: Use some kind of spread and/or dressing (italian-style is my preference) to add a little pop of flavor. It's like eating a salad... without a fork.

Tip #3: It may look prettier to wrap from the narrow end of the leaf to the outer edge, but it's easier to maintain a uniform shape when starting from the wide end.
Besides sprouting the alfalfa (which you could buy...), this meal is simple and fast. I just stood at the counter, trimmed the main stem, and sliced the veggies directly into the leaf.

If you like having a few recipes to follow, or simply to inspire:
Here's one from Edible Perspective.
And another from "Avocado Pesto."
And one involving sprouted quinoa from The Sprouted Kitchen.