Raw Food / Raw Taco Salad

I first heard about raw food about 5 months ago. I was watching the news and they were talking about a local co-op in Houston that has organic fruits and veggies. I thought it was interesting so I visited the website. Wow. I couldn’t believe that people actually go fully raw. I’m sure you’re thinking “what is fully raw?” Well here is a breakdown:

So it intrigued me. I mean, I knew I couldn’t go “fully raw” since I have to feed my family but I thought “hmm, I could do this part-time”. So I made my first two meals of the day “raw” meals. I was amazed at how delicious and tasty they could be! I love sweets so of course the idea of eating lots of fruits appeals to me, but I’m learning to love all things plant-based. You’ll find that some of my recipes are raw recipes and I hope you enjoy them. You also find tons of great recipes at the Rawfully Organic website as well. Here is one of my faves, and yes these are paleo approved ;)

RAW TACO SALAD

Ingredients

Taco meat:
1 cup walnuts
½ packed cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked 2hrs and drained
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt

Add some Cashew Sour Cream!

Paleo Pumpkin Pie

This morning I had a cup of coffee with coconut milk and a slice of pumpkin pie. Wha! Pie? Yup, a delicious no bake sugar free, grain free pie. Even my preteen son loved it.

No Bake Pumpkin Pie

For the crust:

  • 1 c nuts (walnuts, pecans, or almonds) whatever you like
  • 1/2 c dates
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Use less of the dates or cinnamon if you want. Make it to your taste.
Throw all ingredients in blender or food processor. Pour into pie crust and mash down and shape into a crust. Put in in the fridge while you make the filling.

Filling:

  • 1/2 can of pumpkin (make sure there’s no sugar or other ingredients, just pumpkin)
  • 2 T full fat coconut milk
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 t cloves
  • 1 t ginger
  • 1 t nutmeg
  • 1/2 c dates
Throw all ingredients in blender or food processor. Use more dates if it’s not sweet enough. If you’re not doing the Whole 30, add 1 T raw honey. Pour into pie pan on top of crust. Refrigerate for 30 min, then eat!
pie

Whole 30 finish line

So today is the last day of our “Whole 30″. We weighed in and so far my total weight loss is 25 lbs! I lost 11 doing the Whole 30 which is great considering how close I am to my target weight. Hubby has lost a total of 38 lbs! He lost 28 on the Whole 30.
This was a very difficult experience, but well worth it. We will still be doing our usual grain-free diet, but we’ll add dairy back into our diet. I’m very excited about this because I missed cheese!
I’ve still got lots of great paleo recipes to share, some of which are Whole 30 approved. Last night I made an awesome chocolate mousse pie that was raw, vegan, sugar free, and of course grain free. I can’t wait to share that recipe!

 
I encourage you all to consider doing the Whole 30 to help reboot your system and change the way you think about food :)

Operation: meat!

Sugar? In meat?

That was my reaction when I started this whole Paleo thing and started reading the ingredients in my lunch meat, bacon, sausage, etc. I was so disappointed to find that I had been consuming sugar in foods that I had not expected. If you’re doing Paleo or the Whole 30 you’ve probably given up bacon, lunch meat, and other good choices. Well, I refuse to limit my foods any more than I have already had to and I think you should consider these options too.
  • Applegate Farms http://www.applegate.com/ has less than 2% of sugar in their bacon and meats. That is not bad considering how much the other brands put in theirs. You can find this brand at Kroger, HEB, and Sprouts.
  • Jolie Vue Farms http://jolievuefarms.com/ delivers local grass fed meats to your door. Kinda pricey, but if you can afford it, their meats are delish!
  • Boars Head Deli meats. The “Natural” label is gluten-free and sugar-free. HEB carries it.
  • Sprouts carries grass-fed beef and some natural meats, but they can be kinda pricey too.
If you can’t find grass-fed meats that are reasonably priced HEB has a “Natural” label as well that is good enough. You can buy all varieties of pork, beef, and chicken and the prices are very reasonable. Take it from someone who has to feed a family of 5!

Whole30 Meal Ideas

Being on the Whole 30 I’ve found that finding ideas for meals can be really frustrating. So I’ve decided to throw out some meal ideas for lunches and dinners. The Whole 30 is trying to get you to think differently. No more sandwiches for lunch and meat/veggie/starch for dinner. Forget all the “rules” that we’ve made up.

Lunches:

  • A bowl of cut up fruit and top it with almond butter = a fruit salad! It’s yummy and your getting good carbs and protein. It’s also great as a post workout snack.
  • Omelettes. I put a little almond milk in the eggs before I whisk and it makes the eggs fluffy. I chop tons of veggies and cut up ham or bacon and throw it all in my omelette. Mmmm.
  • Taco Lettuce wraps. My fave! I get a big lettuce leaf and smear avocados or guac on the leaf. Then add some seasoned ground meat and lots of veggies like colored bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, onions.  Roll it up and eat!
  • “Sandwich” Lettuce wraps. Large lettuce leaf with avocado or guac (I use this instead of mayo). Turkey lunch meat, tomatoes, olives, pickles. Add whatever you like on a sandwich. Sometime I use mustard instead of guac.
  • Salads (of course). I make my own dressings and I do not like oil and vinegar so I don’t use that. If you do, go for it. I make either an avocado dressing or a tomato dressing depending on the type of salad I’m eating. Throw whatever meat, veggies, eggs, nuts on a bed of lettuce.

Dinners:

  • Pork chops and roasted veggies (zucchini, squash, tomatoes, onions)
  • Steak and brussel sprouts with bacon
  • Chorizo and eggs with sauteed veggies (bell peppers, onions, calabasita)
  • BLT wraps with avocado
These are just a few simple meal ideas. I’ll post more detailed recipes later.

Tips:

  • Always have a homemade dressing, salsa, and cashew sour cream in your fridge. It makes making meals easier.
  • If you’re a coffee drinker, put coconut milk in your coffee and use good fresh ground coffee. You’ll begin to appreciate the flavors without any sweetener.
  • When looking for meal ideas online search RAW RECIPES, PALEO, GRAIN-FREE.

Cheating:

If you’re tempted to cheat…wait, I mean WHEN you’re tempted to cheat remember it’s only 30 days! Also if you can’t take it, then “cheat” with paleo approved meals or desserts.

Quick Recipes

Want the recipe for my salad dressings and cashew sour cream? Here it is…
  • Throw avocado in a blender with cucumber, tomatoes, salt, pepper, garlic, or whatever you like. Blend it til it’s creamy like a dressing.
For a tomato dressing:
  • Throw tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, garlic, and cashew sour cream in the blender and it makes a yummy Italian tasting dressing.
Cashew Sour Cream:
  • Soak 1 cup cashews for 1-2 hours. Then throw the cashews, 1 T lemon juice, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/3 c water, 2/3 c ice in a blender. Puree, then refrigerate.

 

I hope this helps those of you just starting on the Whole30.  You can do it!

Paleo Ravioli

Honestly, I can’t wait to eat dairy again. I’ve been dairy-free for 4 months and I miss cheese sometimes. This recipe would be awesome with cheese, but was delish especially considering we’re doing the Whole 30 and the ingredient list is so limited.

rav-plated

Here’s what you’ll need:

Marinara sauce 2 large zucchini
1 lb ground beef
If you can’t find a sugar-free marinara sauce, you can make your own real quick.

1 Tblsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic mashed
28 oz can crushed tomatoes or use fresh tomatoes
1 sm can tomato sauce
1/4 sm onion minced (optional)
1/4 sm red bell pepper (optional)
1 small bay leaf (optional)
1 tsp oregano (optional)
Or use an Italian spice blend
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
salt and fresh pepper to taste
 Directions:
 In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until golden, being careful not to burn.
 Add crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, and bay leaf. Stir and reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer about 15 – 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add fresh basil.
Now back to the ravioli…
Preheat oven to 350. Cook your meat and add a little of the marinara sauce. Just enough to flavor the meat.
Next, slice the zucchini long-ways using a mandolin slicer.
rav-zuch
Put a little sauce at the bottom of your baking pan. Place zucchini in a cross and add meat to the middle.
rav-stuff
rav-done

Do the same with the rest of the meat and zucchini. Top with remaining sauce.
Bake for 15min.
rav-reallydone