alternative mashed potatoes?!

Just thinking about making mashed potatoes in my too-hot-Chicago-apartment makes me overheat. However, there is something very comforting in eating mashed potatoes; a creamy comfort food. Linda Page, Ph.D., a naturopathic doctor, suggests in her book Healthy Healing, eating comfort foods such as mashed potatoes, oatmeal, and yogurt to help with anxiety. I was feeling the need for some comfort today, and decided to find an alternative to the sweat-me-out-of-my-kitchen dish. Here’s the delicious raw substitute I found: cashew cauliflower mash! I found this recipe in The Goddess of Raw Foods by Nwenna Kai, who is actually an alum of SAIC (School of the Art Institute, my former graduate school)!

“Cashew Cauliflower Mash” (The Goddess of Raw Foods, 105)

Ingredients:  1 small head cauliflower (chopped), 4-6 garlic cloves (I used 4 and it was very garlic-y, so if you would like to tone it down, I’d suggest less garlic), 1 cup cashews (soaked 1 hour and drained), 1/3 cup fresh chives, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, and this is my addition: salt to taste

Directions: Process the cashews first in the food processor until smooth. Then add the cauliflower, oil, garlic, and the nutritional yeast and process until smooth. Place in a bowl and stir in the fresh chives.

Yum! And, calming…

Dr. Linda Page has a website called “Healthy Healing” with a newsletter and other info; to check it out, click here.

To check out Nwenna Kai’s healthy food project, click here.

some recipes!

I’ve been in a cooking slump; not excited about preparing or eating anything that I usually do. I’ve been eating out a lot more recently, and I’m starting to feel the ramifications of that. I woke up this morning and felt achy and fatigued even though I had slept 12 (!) hours. I decided that maybe I should just mix it up a bit and actually utilize the cookbooks I have and friends’ suggestions. On top of that, I also decided that I’m going to try to incorporate more raw and fresh foods into my repetoire. I’m vegetarian already, but sauteing/steaming/baking veggies every night is getting a bit old. Plus, some of the nutrients are lost during these heat processes.

These next few weeks are going to be an experiment! Now that I’m taking a bit of a break before my PhD program begins, I figured this is the time to forge new habits. Maintaining health is going to become super important come end of August, and hopefully some of these new food ideas will keep my energy up.

Here are a couple recipes I’ve tried in the past couple of days – these come from ani’s raw food kitchen by Ani Phyo.

For breakfast: “Coconut Breakfast Cakes”: Substitute for pancakes that are usually packed with gluten! (ani’s raw food kitchen, 78)

Ingredients: 3 cups flax seed meal, 2 tablespoons liquid coconut oil, 1/2 c agave or maple syrup (I used part honey instead of the agave and that was ok – agave is more liquidy though so probably works better), 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 c water

Directions: Put flax meal, coconut oil, agave, salt, and water in large bowl and mix well. Form balls with the “dough” and flatten into a pancake shape. I served these up for myself with dollops of yogurt on top with fresh berries and bananas.

Now on to lunch! “Cabbage Kale Slaw in Simple Greek Dressing” (ani’s raw food kitchen, 94)

Ingredients: Salad: 1/2 head kale, any type, destemmed, 1/4 head red cabbage, I also used 2 shredded carrots; Dressing: 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon thyme (I used fresh)

Directions: Thinly slice the kale and cabbage, shred the carrots, and place all in large bowl. Add the vinegar, oil, salt, and thyme to the bowl and toss well. I preferred to wait a few minutes to eat the slaw so that the kale softens and marinates.

And now for some after lunch dessert! “Carob pudding” (ani’s raw food kitchen, 73)

Ingredients: 2 avocados, 2 bananas, 1/4 cup carob powder (I used cocoa powder instead because I didn’t have carob), and this is my addition: almond milk for smoother consistency.

Directions: Put the avocados, bananas, and carob powder in blender and process until smooth. (The original recipe calls for a food processor, but I used a blender, thus the almond milk addition.)