Staying Nourished

After three absolutely wonderful weeks at home with family & friends in Chicago and Wisco, I’ve settled in quite nicely back in Pittsburgh. Any apprehensions I had on returning were immediately dissolved. My first day back last week I feasted on a very.delicious.juice. I probably say this everyday (to myself). But really, it was great. I decided to experiment with my usual green so I gave it a citrus twist.

Citrus Green Juice:
Yields:~16 ounces
1/2 grapefruit, peeled
1/2 lime
1 peeled cucumber
1 1″ piece of ginger
handful romaine
handful kale
1 Fuji Apple

I’ve been on a lime kick (thanks, Heather!) The lime in this juice really comes though but is not overwhelming. And the grapefruit is just enough to be sweet and not bitter.

Another juice I’ve really been enjoying as of late is carrot, beets, and apple. A natural liver detoxifier, beets are a great veggie to add to your diet, particularly at this time of the year as many of us are trying to eat lighter and detoxify a bit after the holidays. If too much liquor and rich foods were part of your holiday fare, start the healing process by adding more beets to your meals. The beet substance betaine is responsible for allowing liver cells to release toxins – thus exiting the body as opposed to camping out or getting recycled into your system. I can never get enough carrot and apple juice-I swear I could live off this stuff.

Carrot-Beet-Apple:
Yield: ~ 16-20 ounces
Handful and then some of carrots
1-2 Fuji Apples
1-2 red beets
1/4-1/2 lemon
1 1″ piece of ginger

Any juices that call for carrots I make sure to juice them first and save the pulp. I love adding carrot pulp to salads, eating it straight, mixing into muffins, and rolling up into homemade sushi or veggie wraps (see collards wrap below). Or my latest favorite is turning it into mock tuna salad (recipe below)!!!! Thanks to my lovely friend Molly- my world has been turned upside down with this newbie.

With collards on sale this week at Whole Foods I bought a huge bunch with the intention to make tahini and veggie wraps. While I haven’t been into any nut butters for awhile now, I still get a taste for tahini every once now and then. To save the packaging and to control the ingredients (i.e. salt, toasted sesame seeds) I make my tahini at home. In a food processor I add ~ 1 1/2 cups of sesame seeds and ~1/4 cup olive oil. Blend for at least 5 minutes until a creamy, uniform spread is formed. You may need to scrap the sides and bring the mixture to the center a few times, otherwise the seeds and tahini get pushed to the bottom and sides of the bowl and the blade can’t reach. Store in a sealed glass jar in the refrigerator up to two or three weeks.

To make the collard wraps I take a collard leaf and score out the center stalk so I have to pliable leaves. Next, spread 1/2-1 tablespoon of tahini at the bottom of the leaf. Layer on that carrot pulp, sliced red onion, sliced cucumber, sprouts, and any other veggies you like. Tightly wrap everything up and you have yourself a gluten free and raw veggie wrap! If you don’t like collards, dino kale is another tasty and sturdy green that works well.

And my favorite! Molly and I went to a raw foods potluck on Sunday evening- the mock tuna being her contribution. I brought my go-to thai coleslaw. Her and I both became instant fans of each other dishes and went home with each others bowls to finish the leftovers. This recipe is so good and super easy… and comes without the risk of mercury!

Mock Tuna Salad
3 cups carrot pulp
1 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup yellow or red onion, chopped

Add to that some regular mayonnaise or for the raw aioli version:
3/4 cup water
1 cup cashews
1/2 tsp garlic, minced (or more according to preference)
pinch or two of sea salt
*combine these ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. Add to carrot mixture and viola! Wrap in lettuce or serve with crackers of preference. For cheese and bread lovers try it on a piece of your favorite toast topped with melted cheese.

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