E: Let’s talk about salads today. I’m sitting here in my living room watching “Defenders” on Netflix on an early Saturday morning. It kind of reminds me of the days I used to wake up early as a child to watch x-men. I love superhero movies, don’t you? Anyways.. it’s going to be a beautiful sunny day. We are going to my nephew’s birthday party today. It’s middle of August and summer is almost over! So sad… I didn’t even go to the beach one time. Sigh. Actually, wait, I just remembered we went to southern California to Newport Beach in early May. We went to Balboa Island- such a cute place! Anyways, what I wanted to say was that although summer is almost over, my vegetable garden is still kind of just starting out! Weird right. I have an abundance of cherry tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. This is one of my favorite combinations of a salads. It has sweetness from the corn and grapes, crunch from the cucumbers and pumpkin seeds, and a burst of tangy sweet juice from the cherry tomatoes. Salads are so easy to prep and I’m trying to get my fill before summer ends, because then I crave hearty warm food. I’ll have to see how I adjust to eating raw/vegan once the season changes. Wish me luck!
E: My sweet parents visited a few weeks ago. My mom made this side salad which also has jicama and cucumber in it. You’ll see from the picture of my mother that we had the jicama,cucumber next to the salad bowl. We didn’t mix it in because my husband doesn’t like jicama or cucumber. Weirdo. But let me tell you, the jicama was crunchy and sweet. The tomatoes, cilantro and avocado were perfect for the tacos we were eating too. Enjoy.
Soo… my sister Sandy is a big advocate of raw foods. She wanted to embark on the 21-day Raw-vitalize plan and needed our moral support (by way of my sis Maggie and I doing the 21-day revitalize plan with her). So naturally, being super into healthy foods, and having major FOMO, we all decided to start it together. I have no idea how she heard of this book, but so far (from reading and glancing at the recipes) we love it. We started the plan today. JJJJJJJJOIN US! The awesome thing about IG, is that you can hashtag everything and I found a few other people #rawvitalize -ing too. We are all one big community of health nuts, I love it.
I’ll report back on how things are going, and also at the end let you know how we both did. So far Sandy likes the recipes, because they are kid friendly (she has two kids, a 4 year old and a 1 year old.) The three of us have high hopes this is do-able and a lifestyle change we can get on board with. If you’ve been following my health journey, you know that I went from the standard american diet, to paleo diet, to mostly vegan during the week, and now trying the raw lifestyle. I do see how it can be easier to do it progressively, because your tastebuds gets accustomed to the natural flavors of organic fruits and vegetables.
If you want to join us, download the book from our shop page link and follow me on IG stories (thencomescooking). I’ll be posting my journey there for the next 21 days. Do it, do it, do it! Everyone is doing it.
Ceviche de Mahi Mahi
E: I love having ceviche on hot summer days. All you need are some healthy crackers, and some hot sauce like tapatio and you are good to go. Yum! Aside from the wonderful taste of ceviche, I like making it because it is a meal I can make ahead of time and can be made without dirtying up the stove or pans. It’s a one-pot meal so to speak. The only caveat is that the fish cooks by way of acidity from the lemon so it needs time for the cells to be denatured. The smaller you cut the fish, the quicker it will cook. However, I’m a big fan of ahi-tuna and sushi so I don’t mind the big chunks of fish, and don’t mind if they are slightly undercooked.
E: This is my mom’s recipe for birria. It’s super easy. Birria is slowly cooked meat with chile sauce. I made it here with beef, some people use chivo (goat) or borrego (lamb). Birria is usually served at weddings, quinceaneras, birthday parties, etc.. I rarely make it but I don’t know why. Weirdly enough, it wasn’t until my mother-in-law started asking for my mom’s recipe that I started making it myself. They encouraged me to “get the recipes, write it all down.” “I’m trying,” I said. So here it is.
E: Make yourself a batch of this enchilada sauce. You can use half of it and freeze the other half for another time. It’s not that hard, and it will be ready in about 10 minutes. Once the sauce is ready, it’s downhill from there. I tend to vary my sauce depending on what kind of chile I have on hand. This time my mom left me with a bag of California and Japanese Chili pods, so I used that. However, you can also use chile pasilla and guajillo. You can serve the Enchiladas with rice and/or beans. We ate them a la carte to save calories.
E: I highly recommend this smoothie. The burst of tropical fruit early in the morning really wakes you up and encourages you to start your day. Plus, it’s fully loaded with fiber, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, etc. You will not be disappointed.
Research has shown that mango has antioxidant compounds which have been found to protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers. Pineapple is good because it has a lot of fiber. A diet high in fiber helps reduce risk of constipation, heart disease, and possibly cancer. Plus the fiber keeps you full and can help you lose weight. Bananas have high potassium content and they are an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function.
E: Cuz sometimes you just want to live a little. I made these cupcakes for Valentine’s Day mostly to treat my sister in law Jocelyn. Once I find a topping with a lower sugar content I will share it. This ended up yielding about 16 cupcakes.
Kale-Basil-Parsley Pesto with Toasted Nuts
E: I got home around 7:10 pm today. I didn’t have to cook because I have spaghetti and fajita leftovers. But I was in the mood for a vegetarian dish that incorporated kale. I got the idea to make this recipe once I saw the pine nuts in my pantry. I haven’t made pesto in over four years, so I kinda forgot how to make it. I started googling kale pesto and I found several recipes that used kale instead of basil and walnuts instead of pine nuts.
One recipe from epicurious from Fifty Shades of Kale, by Drew Ramsey, M.D. and Jennifer Iserloh mentions that kale-walnut pesto has high amounts of folate capable of producing a pound of serotonin in one hour- which they say translates into good sleep and a smile in the morning. Umm. .. sold!
E: We love fajitas in our house. It was actually the first meal we shared together. Sam took me to Margaritaville in Capitola and we shared fajitas for lunch on our first date. He likes to order beef, chicken and shrimp fajitas. At home I will sometimes make the trio for a special occasion. This time around I incorporated more vegetables. It was fun selecting what veggies to put in my taco and sometimes substituting out the chicken. I made the salsa ahead of time.
Instead of using the fajitas pre-packaged seasoning envelopes with preservatives, just make your own. I sometimes add lime juice at the end too. Okay, enjoy.