Thursday, July 1, 2010

Healthy Eating

For the past few days this week, I have been eating healthier: More vegan and raw foods, though not totally vegetarian. I can not give up my weekend pizza gorge-fest, so I am trying to offset any potential damage by eating the best foods possible during the week. Besides, when it is hot out, I'd just as soon not turn on the oven.

For breakfast: Raw Apple Breakfast.*

Snacktime: persian cucumbers stuffed with a vegan cashew puree (sometimes called cashew cheese**) and topped with zesty sprouts and sunflower seeds.

For lunch, I had a tomato and avocado salad with watercress and a lime-cayenne dressing on homemade flatbread. Sorry, no picture. I practically inhaled it before it even occurred to me to take a photo.

But about these flatbreads***, one of my favorites. It is amazing how a lump of dough can go from this:

To this, in just about an hour and a half.

This particular recipe I like to cook on a griddle even though it smokes the hell out of my kitchen.

Look carefully, you can see smoke.

But the end result is worth it.

Raw Apple Breakfast
  • 1 tart apple (I like Granny Smiths)
  • 1 T almond butter
  • agave nectar or honey
  • 1 T flax seeds, ground in a coffee grinder
  • pumpkin seeds
  1. Take one apple, peel and all, core it, cut it into quarters and toss it into a food processor with the almond butter.

  2. Process until nicely chopped.

  3. Then put in a bowl and drizzle the agave nectar or honey over it and top with ground flax seeds and, my favorite, pumpkin seeds.

    You can also top with fresh berries or, if you like to live dangerously, some Greek yogurt. Wheat germ sprinkled on top is also a nice option.

  4. It is filling, packed with fiber and very tasty.

**Vegan Cashew Cheese


  • 2/3 cup raw, unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 8 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1 T Bragg's Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt


  1. Put everything in a food processor and blend very well until it is nice and creamy. If it's too thick, add more water slowly through the feed tube until it reaches the consistency you like. If it's too watery, toss in a few more cashews.

***Sesame-Flax Whole Wheat Flatbread

  • 2 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 cup flax meal
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 3 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour (or a combination of whole wheat and bread flour)
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/3 cup untoasted sesame seeds

  1. In a large bowl, mix together yeast and warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes in a warm place until the yeast mixture is foamy.

  2. Add the flax meal, bread flour, and 1 cup of the whole wheat flour, one cup at a time, mixing well until you have a rough, shaggy dough that starts to drag on the sides of the bowl.

  3. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes. When it is done, you will have a messy-looking sponge. Don't worry, it is not supposed to look pretty at this point.

  4. Add the sesame seeds, salt and oil, mix well and then add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until you have a nice stiff dough. Sometimes you may need only 2 cups of the flour, and at other times, you will need the full 3 cups.

  5. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead well for 8-10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.

  6. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise int a warm spot for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.

  7. Preheat a cast iron griddle or skillet over medium-high heat.

  8. Punch down the dough and divide in half. Section it into 8 pieces. Roll out each ball of dough to about 1/4 inch thickness.

  9. Lightly coat the griddle with cooking spray.

  10. Place a round on the griddle (mine can hold two at a time). Let it cook for 15 second, then flip it. Let it cook for about a minute until bubbles start to form, then flip it back over and let cook another minute.

  11. Repeat with remaining dough.

  12. Wrap the breads in a kitchen towel to keep warm.

Note: This will smoke the hell out of your house, so have the windows open and the fans cranked, but it is so worth it.

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