Saturday, June 23, 2012

Raw Food at Oryana

My sister is working at Oryana in Traverse City. She has long been interested in the relationship between food and health, so working at Oryana is a great fit. Oryana is a food co-op that consistently provides quality food to the community. It's an amazing store that reminds me of a smaller, better version of Whole Foods.

There's a lot going on in this store and all of it is good. They pride themselves on featuring local products some of which include produce, chocolate, wine, and bread.  There's a restaurant that serves up anything from smoothies to sandwiches and when you visit you may find yourself happily listening to live music as you sip your chai.

But back to my sister. She loves her job and its easy to see why. She demonstrates healthy, delicious meals featuring seasonal food while focusing on dishes that are easy to prepare. I visited recently with our mother and she was serving up a raw dish that could be made for lunch or dinner. It's a twist on pasta. You simply sub out the pasta for zucchini and end up with a raw, fresh, healthy, fun, good for you meal (her words). She found the recipe in the magazine,  "Whole Living,"  and it is so delicious I had to share.

Zucchini "Pasta"
Serves 2

8 ounces cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped raw walnuts
2 T torn fresh basil, plus leaves to garnish
2 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle
sea salt
1 zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise, slices cut into 1/4 inch long strips

In a bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, walnuts, basil and oil. Season with salt. Let stand 20 minutes. Toss with zucchini, garnish with basil and an extra drizzle of olive oil if desired.

This photo is from the Whole Living website.

Oryana - Natural Foods Market

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Why not meat?

We come to this way of eating for different reasons, in different ways and with different levels of commitment. My Uncle Gene emailed the following excerpt to me and I thought I would share.

I met Christof Koch at the Consciousness Conference 4 years ago. He has this remarkable new book out entitled "Consciousness," in which he not only pulls together the research on consciousness, he says a great deal about himself, and about how his research has changed his life. 

"When my beloved dog Nosy died, I was moved to act... when she passed away, I was distraught; I still dream about her today. I asked myself that night, as she lay dying in my arms, how could I cry over her but happily eat the flesh of lambs and pigs? Their intelligence and brains are not that different from those of dogs. From that night on I stopped eating mammals and birds, though somewhat inconsistently, I still consume fish." (p. 160)

--of all the Consciousness researchers I have met, he was by far the most personable. I can't help but thinking he might also be the smartest.....which is no small compliment....

Monday, June 18, 2012

Easy Vegan Baked Beans

I made this dish for Fathers Day and everyone liked it. I have to say it was very simple.  

Easy Vegan Baked Beans
Serves 4 - 6

1 28 oz. can vegetarian baked beans
1/2 C onion
1/2 C celery
1/4 C catsup
2 T brown sugar
1 T canola oil
1 t. molasses
1 t. prepared mustard
1/2 t. apple cider vinegar
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. onion powder
fried onion rings

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl add all of the ingredients. Place the beans in a shallow ovenproof dish. Bake covered about 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle some fried onion rings on top and bake 30 minutes more.

Note: The pic is not mine.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Pico de Gallo

I know I haven't been blogging, but there's a reason. One you can all relate to... stress!

Work had been crazy and I felt like I wasn't doing anything well. I had been in the middle of reading a book (for about a month), my house was screaming "CLEAN ME" as I walked through every room, the weeds wouldn't stop growing (no matter how I looked at them) and I wasn't cooking. I was a mess.

Still, there are those beautiful moments that happen in the middle of all the chaos, and you just can't ignore them. In this case, it was on Mother's Day. Everyone (including the dog) let me sleep late. I laid in bed and read all morning. My girls came home. They cleaned the house, shopped and cooked dinner. What a gift. They probably won't understand what that meant to me until they're a little older, but I know the gift will be returned to them one day.

So, when I saw what they were making for dinner I decided to help out, just a little. I had the ingredients to make a pico de gallo that would fit in nicely with the dinner the girls had planned. So I made it.

I really love adding pico de gallo to a Mexican menu. In fact, I think it's a great condiment most any time. It's also called salsa fresca. It's a fresh, uncooked condiment made from chopped tomato, onion and chilis.  Other ingredients are often added, such as lime juice and fresh cilantro. My recipe is well liked and very versatile. You can easily build onto it and I hope you do.

Also, I know it's seriously late in the year, but Happy Mother's Day ladies!

Pico de Gallo

3 plum tomatoes, about 1 3/4 - 2  cups
3/4 cup diced red onion
1 tablespoon diced jalapenos, seeded and de-veined
1/2 cup cilantro
Salt and pepper


In a bowl combine all ingredients. Cover and chill until ready to almost ready to serve. Let it sit out for about 30 minutes if you can. Serve.

Note: The pic is not mine.