Lazy Sunday I: Iron-Rich Recipes You Should Totally Make

LVV MoFo 2014 main

In my exploration of iron-rich foods this week, I’ve come to two conclusions: 1.) Iron is freaking everywhere, and 2.) Blackstrap molasses is a rock star. I honestly could’ve spent the entire week sharing molasses-based recipes, and I had to exercise some restraint to prevent myself from doing so. Rest assured that it’ll show up again this week, because guess what? Not only is blackstrap molasses loaded with iron, but it’s also full of calcium. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Today, let’s check out a few recipes that will help you reach your daily iron needs.

Not a bad selection, eh? I just love the variety of foods that are iron-rich. You could basically have an entire day’s worth of meals just from this list!

Now I’m off to make some spinach-mushroom mini quiches, shower, and prepare for a wine-tasting fundraiser tonight. Ooh, so fancy. :P

What are your favorite iron-rich recipes?

Raw Wednesday: A Lack of Novelty

I failed to diversify this Raw Wednesday, by which I mean that I ate the exact same thing I had a couple of weeks ago. Maybe that makes me super lame and boring, but I appreciate a dish I can depend on, one that I know is going to satisfy me and taste delicious. If a raw meal can count as a comforting standby, then that’s a good thing, right? I think so, and Gena‘s Zucchini Marinara is well on the way to achieving that status. My meal tonight was both beautiful and delicious, as ever.

Raw deliciousness.

When I made this dish two weeks ago, I enjoyed mixing avocado slices with my zucchini noodles. Tonight, I used sliced mushrooms instead, and found that the marinara complemented them quite well. I wasn’t extremely hungry, so I had leftover sauce, and my brother ended up mixing it with some bottled marinara sauce and using it over regular ol’ pasta. We both enjoyed our dinners, and now I’m going to wrap up this short ‘n sweet post to go do some shopping with the aforementioned brother. Ciao!

Hooray, it’s Chocomole Day!

…sorry; I couldn’t resist the stupid rhyminess of that title.

After my big Raw Wednesday fail, I knew I had to make amends this weekend. The two extremely ripe avocados sitting on my kitchen counter this morning seemed to be looking at me reproachfully, asking why on earth I hadn’t cut ’em open and whizzed them into a bowl of chocolaty deliciousness yet. So who was I to resist their call? I quickly set to work whipping up a batch of Gena’s Chocomole.

Chocomole!

Dudes, it took a heckuva lotta willpower to resist eating this for brunch. But in an impressive feat of resistance, I put this in the fridge and decided to save it for dessert. All that anticipating and waiting just makes the final satisfaction so much better, don’t you think? (That’s what she said!) Whatever the case, this was one yummy dessert. I was surprised by how rich and filling it seemed! I could barely finish this smallish serving. It was creamy, sweet, and just slightly avocado-y. I used a mix of my favorite extra dark cocoa powder and carob powder, but I think I’ll stick to straight-up carob next time. I’d love to get my hands on some of the raw cocoa powder Gena used, but we’ll see about that. For now, I’ve got at least one more serving of Chocomole sittin’ pretty in my fridge, waiting to be gobbled up next time I get a chocolate craving. Mmm, mmm, good. :)

Raw Wednesday: Choosing Raw’s Zucchini Marinara

It’s Raw Wednesday, people! Get excited! I know I sure did. Today I realized that I haven’t used Sallie the spiralizer in a few weeks, and that’s just a darn shame. So I liberated Sallie from her hiding place in the cupboard and set her to work making zucchini “pasta” for my raw lunch.

As I was debating what to use as a topping for my zucchini noodles, I remembered hearing various bloggers rave about the Sweet Pepper Marinara from Choosing Raw. When I checked out the recipe and realized that I had everything I needed to make the famed raw marinara sauce, I just couldn’t resist. Into my trusty ol’ blender went all the ingredients, and the result was a thick, beautiful, brightly-colored marinara sauce that tasted as good as it looked.

Pretty colors, no? I followed Gina’s suggestion and added some avocado slices to my zucchini noodles, which helped bring some variety to the bowl. Unpictured is a big handful of mung bean sprouts I also threw in there; we had some in the fridge that needed to be eaten and I figured, what the heck? They’re noodle-y enough! And the marinara sauce tasted just wonderful over all my veggies. I’m glad to say that the sauce lived up to the hype; I really loved it. I think I’ll be sure to add more sundried tomatoes next time, though, because I was eyeballing my measurements and I think I skimped in that department. Ah well.

Now I just need to get me some dates and whip up some of that Chocomole that looks so enticing! Mmm, dessert… :)

Raw Wednesday

I suppose it’s not technically Wednesday anymore, but better late than never, right? I meant to post earlier, but I got tied up with family and friend type activities and you know how it goes. Anyway, I’ve got a doozy of a post planned for tomorrow, so I’ll keep this one short and sweet. And that’s fitting, really, because my eats today were simple and unassuming yet undeniably satisfying.

In the spirit of Raw Wednesday, I put together a magnificent raw lunch that filled my tummy and made me smile thanks to its colorful appearance. Check it out:

Raw delight.

Lovely, no? My lunch was comprised of two dishes. First, I decided to try a recipe from Choosing Raw that I’ve had my eye on for a while now. Although I’ve never been a huge tomato soup fan, Gena’s chilled Basic Tomato Soup looked like the perfect way to use some delicious tomatoes from my dad’s garden. And it performed that function perfectly.

Avocado and tomato goodness.

Although it ended up being a little avocado heavy (and thus turned a borderline unappetizing green-brown color), the tomatoes fought back and let their garden fresh flavor shine through. The result was a delightful mix of creamy avocado and sweet tomato goodness. My only problem with the soup was the slight tangy balsamic vinegar aftertaste I noticed with each spoonful, but that’s just because I seriously dislike being able to taste or smell any type of vinegar in my food. Even though I did cut down on the amount called for in the recipe and added the smallest of splashes, I should have left it out entirely to tailor the soup to my personal tastes. Other than that, however, it was a perfect summer soup, and it paired so well with the more substantial part of my lunch.

Lovely lettuce wraps.

These lettuce wraps were filled with matchstick zucchini slices and generous scoops of the Sunflower Pate I made a few days ago, and they were fantastic! Although Romaine lettuce may not be optimal for wrapping, it was the only type we had in the house and worked fairly well. I had another helping of pate on the side with more zucchini for dipping, and I also enjoyed three delicious heirloom Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes. I love these little guys; they’re so amazingly sweet and smooth and rich. They’re truly a treasure and I love popping them in my mouth right off the vine. They complemented the meal perfectly, and I washed everything down with some Santa Cruz Mango Lemonade. It was a wonderfully refreshing lunch on a hot summer day.

Although I planned on enjoying a big ol’ massaged kale salad for dinner, my wonderful father ended up making a potato-leek-mushroom hash and I just can’t resist his cooking. There’s always tomorrow, right?
:)

Soft Serve on a Sunday

Remember when I thought I broke the family food processor whilst attempting to make Gena’s banana soft serve? Well. I didn’t break it.

In fact, it’s so very unbroken – and apparently so full of contrition for its previous failure – that it graciously allowed me to succeed at my soft serve-making endeavors. But more on that later, because banana soft serve wasn’t the only raw part of my day.

I’ve been eyeing Gena’s sunflower seed-based pate ever since she posted the recipe, and today I finally got around to trying it. You see, my sister has a fairly severe allergy to nuts, and because I don’t make or bake food that she can’t eat, I’ve not tried out as many raw recipes as I’d like since so many of them are nut-based. Although I personally feel that peanut butter is akin to the wheel as one of the greatest inventions of all time, VeggaSis wouldn’t appreciate it if I baked huge batches of peanut butter cookies every night and gobbled them down in front of her, so I tend to tone down my nut consumption in her presence. After all, sharing is almost the best part of baking and cooking! Almost.

So when Gena posted a recipe for a pate made from sunflower seeds, I was ecstatic. The recipe has been at the back of my mind for a few days now, so when I happened upon a tub of raw sunflower seeds at the grocery store last night, I knew the moment had come. I didn’t realize Gena uses dates in her recipe (to add thickness, I imagine), but since I didn’t have any in the cupboard I just left ’em out. Actually, I added a tiny scoop of raisins, since I figured they’d function similarly. I don’t really like raisins, but my dear friend the food processor chopped them into oblivion, so all’s well that ends well. And end well this recipe did.

Rawsagna!

As you can see, I used the pate in a mini “rawsagna,” nestling the spread between thick slices of zucchini. And since I ended up deconstructing the rawsagna and eating it slice by slice, the extra mound of pate served as a perfect dip. It made for a truly delicious meal; the pate was a little tangy from the lemon, slightly salty, and just substantial enough to fill me up without making my tummy feel uncomfortably full. With a Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar for dessert (hey, I never said I didn’t eat single-serving nutty items!), it was a perfect raw lunch.

And then came the soft serve. Oh, the soft serve. I’ll admit, I was skeptical. First of all, my food processor is obviously temperamental. That’s why I let my frozen banana chunks thaw out a bit before attempting to make this tasty treat. Also, I’m not the hugest fan of banana-flavored things. Never would I ever choose banana flavored ice cream, that’s for sure. So yes, I was skeptical.

But then my food processor decided it was in the mood to do its job. And then I made the soft serve. And then I tasted it.

Soft serve ho!

And reader, I loved it.

Seriously. I was so surprised to discover that not only did the soft serve taste good, but it had an amazingly creamy, light, and fluffy texture! So that’s why the blog world’s been going crazy about Gena’s ingenious invention! I liked this stuff so much that I decided it was perfectly acceptable to eat dessert before dinner. Even if it kinda “melted” and got a little runny when I took it outside for a photo session, it was truly enjoyable. Next time I’ll be sure to keep it in the food processor a little longer.

All in all, today was a super successful Sunday, and I can’t wait ’til Raw Wednesday to eat more sunflower seed pate and try even more delicious raw recipes!