I've been vegan for a little over a year, a vegetarian for about two years before that. Lately, I've found myself rationalizing. A lot. Nutter Butters? Vegan. Oreos, too. The occasional scoop of ice cream? Close enough. I don't want to waste Paul's leftover Cocoa Crisps, so if I just skim the milk off... Obviously my standards have been bent. And even when I've been strict, my eating habits have not been all that hot. Breakfast and lunch? Several giant soy cappucinos. Several meaning a minimum of three, sometimes five. And by giant, I mean giant. This is frequently the only thing I consume before 3:00pm. Not a nutrition powerhouse, but hey, soy milk is good for you, right?
This winter I found some really cool books about raw food, chief among them, Ani Phyo's "Ani's Raw Food Kitchen". These books got me thinking -- it wasn't so hard to go vegan (easier than the switch to vegetarian had been) -- so why not go one step further? When I first mentioned the idea of going raw, Charles response, in a word, was "NO". Then he hit the accelerator. End of discussion. Thank goodness for libraries. I found "Ani's Raw Kitchen" at my library and brought it home. Left it out on the table. Charles noticed. "You didn't tell me about the hot Asian chick." Suddenly, he's a little more open to raw food. (Sidenote: She has a website, too.)
I'm on Day 3 of Raw Food Week (full disclosure: I am still having 1-2 espressos each day. I am not a masochist and everyone will be happier if I stay stable.) I'm the only one in the house doing it full-time: Charles has bread, soy mayo, a little cheese. The kids are eating pretty much what they always eat, but I am aware that I'm giving everyone more vegetables than normal. We're eating good stuff: gazpacho (lots of garlic), Asian cabbage slaw with apples, ginger, and almonds (and lots of garlic), nuts, chopped salads, dried fruits, lots and lots of vegetables (and garlic). I feel surprisingly good -- occasionally a little lightheaded, but a few apricots or nuts usually do the trick. The one thing I've been jonesing for is chocolate. Well, thanks to the cookbook, I'm able to fix that problem, too....
Mexican Chocolate Mylkshake
(This is based on Ani Phyo's recipe for Chocolate Mylk. I am not good at following recipes and think -- especially with raw food -- that experimentation way more fun than following rules.)
1/2 c. almonds
1/3 c. pitted dates
1/3 c. pitted dates
4 tbs. bittersweet cocoa powder
2 tsp. cinnamon1/8 tsp. chipotle chili cocoa powder
2 c. water
Put everything but the ice in the blender and blend at high speed until very smooth (you don't want mealy almond crumbs -- yuck.) Add the ice and whip until thick and smooth. If you're not a spicy person, forgo the chili powder, but it's a nice kick.
Yum yum yum. So good that I couldn't wait to take the photo before scarfing it down. I have no self-control.