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: How good does this crunchy and tangy salad look? I’m on day 9 of my eating raw journey. I am still trying to follow the recommended plan from the Rawvitalize book, shown below, but I haven’t gone grocery shopping and still have so much left over produce from the first week’s plan so I’ve been using what I have to eat raw. I find that when I buy purple cabbage, recipes usually only call for about 1/4 cup or so, and you end up throwing the rest away because it goes bad. I have another recipe on the blog that I like for purple cabbage and broccoli, but I don’t current have broccoli… hmmmm. Anyways, today I browsed through the book and came across this cabbage salad. I had mostly all the ingredients, except I ran out of granny smith apples. I used the remainder of an apple and supplemented it with organic homegrown pears. I recently received a gift of three varieties of organic, home grown, baby pears. They are so delicious, and still very crispy. They are sweeter and less tangy than the apple, but they fit in nicely with this salad. You would think that I would have apples, and not beets, but nope! This year I planted beets. It’s a good thing I did because so far- I’ve found that the beets grow at a good pace, I don’t need to eat all of them at once. I can pick one or two if a recipe calls for it. I also use beets for juicing. Almost every time I think of making pressed juice at home, I will always have beets, carrots, and celery (I grow that too) as a base. Sooo long story short, I made this salad.
E: Have you heard of adaptogens? I recently started doing more research into how to reduce my “stress.” I’ve been told several times that stress may be a reason why my skin breaks out and why I can’t seem to shake off that weight around my tummy. People tell me, “just relax!,” or “don’t stress.” Thinking about not stressing out, stresses me out! Isn’t that usually the case, when someone tells you “don’t eat ice cream,” the first thing you want to do is go to Baskin Robbins.
Using adaptogens wasn’t something that I looked for as the only way to reduce stress, that would be unrealistic. I don’t believe in cure all gimmicks. I’ve recently changed my work outs, have made a stronger commitment to eating healthy (mostly raw/vegan), am trying to meditate in the mornings (download the “headspace” app) and recently switched to a less stressful job (bye bye non-profit world). I discovered adaptogens as I was surfing the web doing research on how adrenals regulate your hormones. I came across information on how natural herbs can help. Several studies show that detoxification of the liver helps detox adrenals which in turn helps regulate cortisol and our hormones. I came across a video by Dr. Josh Axe on his you tube channel on cleansing the adrenal system, and starting snooping on his channel. Adaptogens are something he and his partner talk about frequently in several videos: on reducing stress, on losing weight, on improving acne, etc.. What I enjoy reading and listening to (as I’m working out in the mornings- I watch you tube videos sometimes) is that there are many ways to help our body improve its function with natural herbs, essential oils, and “ancient medicine.” I much rather address the root or cause of my problem than to take antibiotics or topical creams for acne that will only disrupt my body more! I highly recommend doing your own research, but I wanted to share the links below and share the products I’m trying. So far I’ve noticed a slight change and feel in a better mood overall. I’ll have to update you more the further along I get into using these products.
Pear Super Salad with Raspberry Dressing
yields: 1 serving
E: We resurrected this salad recipe from a few months ago. This was before I stopped eating dairy products and meat. I would still make this salad, but I would add some walnuts, and maybe some stonefruit like nectarines and maybe some apples, and a tiny bit of thinly sliced red onions. That’s the beauty about salads, you can add whatever you like.
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.