All the Cool Kids Eat Collard Wraps

After reading Gena’s tutorial on Collard Wraps and realizing I had been wrapping them wrong all this time (oh the horror), I rectified the situation and made a proper Collard Wrap.  I’m glad to finally be legitimate in my wrapping.  It’s like finally sitting at the popular table.

Turns out the secret is in cutting the stem slightly off, not removing it.  Who knew?  Clearly not me.

The kids and I did a picnic lunch last week.  They had pb&j, as collard wraps aren’t exactly their style.  I keep hoping they’ll come around, but am not holding my breath.  I used hummus (store bought/not raw), romaine and red leaf lettuce, cucumbers, red peppers and carrots.

Rolled it all up…. voila!

I also made a dessert wrap with almond butter and banana.

I love wraps for sack lunches, as they travel and keep well.  It’s like a hand held salad – no utensils needed.

ps – Enter the Hail Merry Macaroon Giveaway!

Hail Merry Friday – Macaroon Giveaway

 

I have another Hail Merry Giveaway for today.  It’s no accident that it is on Friday, my favorite day of the week.  While I really liked the Grawnola, I LOVE the macaroons.  Love them.  The two flavors, Chocolate and Blonde are Raw, Vegan and Gluten-Free.

The chocolate macaroons (made of organic shredded coconut, dark cocoa, organic expeller-pressed coconut oil, pure maple syrup, organic Mexican vanilla, and sea salt) are dense and not too sweet.  They taste a bit like fudge mixed with coconut.  Not really milk chocolate like, nor dark chocolate like.  The best descriptor I can think of is McDonald’s Hot Fudge Sundae Sauce (which is clearly not raw or vegan).  To be totally honest, I prefer the macaroons (aka chocolate coconut crack) that I make, as the raw cocoa I use has a darker flavor.  These are a nice alternative for those who don’t have a dehydrator or simply don’t want to wait through the prep and drying time for a chocolate fix.

The blonde macaroons (made of organic shredded coconut, almond flour, organic expeller-pressed coconut oil, pure maple syrup, organic Mexican vanilla, and sea salt) were honestly amazing. Amazing.  Probably one of the best desserts (cooked or raw) I’ve ever had.  They are crumbly, buttery (though dairy free), have a hint of almond and have the most delicious and aromatic vanilla flavor.  They leave the a wonderful taste in your mouth, like a little gift for your mouth after you finish chewing.  I am seriously having to ration these out to myself, as I don’t want to see the bag empty.  I might have hid them in the fridge so I can have them all.  Don’t tell my husband to look behind the dates and miso paste.

Want to try them for yourselves?  Hail Merry is giving away both flavors to a lucky winner.  All I ask of the winner is that you ship me the blonde macaroon bag.  I kid.  You get to keep them both.

Please enter (US shipping addresses only) by leaving a comment with your favorite dessert.  Happy Friday everyone!  I’ll pick a winner on Tuesday, 2/1. How is it almost February?

If you can give me a good raw blonde macaroon recipe, I’d love it!

The winner of the Hail Merry Grawnola giveaway is #18, Julie. Congratulations! Can you send me an email at housewifeintheraw(at)gmail(dot)com to get the Grawnola shipment set up?

What I Ate – Monday's Menu

Linking up with Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday.

 


 

Here was Monday’s eats:

Morning Juice Ingredients (which I had to re-arrange when I realized the first arrangement (with the cuke and carrot perpendicular to the bag, between the two round fruits) looked rather, uh, male)

The Juice. I hadn’t juiced in a few weeks, but felt the need for an instant energy fix after a rough night with my sick little guy.  The juice did it’s magic and had me feeling almost normal and ready to face a day of kid chasing.

Breakfast a couple of hours later was steel cut oats topped with bananas, coconut and pecans.

I snacked on some Hail Merry Grawnola while writing my review and giveaway.  Good stuff.

For lunch I turned leftover Cracklin Cauliflower from Peas and Thank You into a curried cauliflower soup.  I added some vegetable broth, a splash of rice milk and half of a (leftover) boiled potato and blended away.  My husband has an almost instant gag reflex to even the smell of curry powder, so I have to consume my RDA of curries during lunch.

Before:

After:

It made two of these bowls and I ate both.

I had a afternoon snack of a banana-almond milk-coconut smoothie.  Which looks awesome atop an Elmo placemat.

For dinner I made pizzas.  The kids had a cheese pizza which they barely touched.  Nice.  The husband and I did our usual his and hers pizza.  He had chicken apple sausage with peppers and I had spinach, goat cheese, pine nuts and red peppers.  We ate the whole thing.  Nice.

Looking back, it was a pretty appliance heavy day.  I used the juicer, rice cooker (to cook the oats overnight), Vita Mix (twice), Kitchen Aid (to make the pizza dough), stove top and oven.  No wonder I felt all dishwashed out that night.

Thanks for stopping by to check out my eats.  Go enter the Hail Merry giveaway and come back Friday for another giveaway.

Hail Merry Grawnola – Giveaway and Review

I first heard about Hail Merry Snacks on Amber Shea’s Almost Vegan blog.  I filed it away in my mind as something to look for during my monthly pilgrimages to Whole Foods.  Last month I finally found them on the shelf, conveniently close to the kombucha.  I picked up a package of the Blonde Macaroons and tore it open as soon as I was back in my car.  Heavenly.

I contacted the company to tell them how much I loved their product and to inquire about the possibility of their product being sold in HEB, the local grocery chain in San Antonio.  Hail Merry generously offered to let me host a giveaway of both Grawnola and Macaroons.  Come back Friday for the Macaroon giveaway.

As for the Grawnola, I got to sample both the Lemon Blue Agave and Orange Cranberry.

The Lemon Blue Agave has the following ingredients: almonds, organic buckwheat groats, sunflower seeds, organic raw blue agave, organic dried apples, fresh lemon juice, organic blueberries, fresh ginger, walnuts, organic flax seeds, lemon juice powder, seat salt and organic rice bran solubles. Not a bad label, huh?

I would put lemon just behind chocolate as my favorite flavor of sweets, so I loved this one.  It does pack a lemony tang, though, so if you aren’t a lemon fan, you might find it a bit too lemon-y.  I loved the hint of ginger and the very light sweetness. The blueberries add a nice visual, but I didn’t pick up any blueberry flavor.  The product isn’t cloyingly sweet like so many of the traditional granolas on the market.

You know who else liked this?  My two year old.  See his little fingers caught in the act?

I’ve made my own Orange Cranberry granola with the Raw Food, Real World recipe, so I was eager to see how the Hail Merry product compared.

I prefer the texture of the Hail Merry Grawnola to my version.  The buckwheat groats add a nice dry crunch that contrasts well with the chewy cranberries and whole nuts.  It is wonderfully balanced texture with just the right amount of crunch.  I loved the cinnamon and cranberry flavors together.  I didn’t get much of an orange impact, which I actually think is a good thing.  At times the orange zest used in raw granola can lead to a candied orange taste that overpowers the other flavors.  Hail Merry uses orange juice, not zest, so it adds more of a fruity sweetness as opposed to a strong orange hit.  The product almost has a brown, toasted note to it, even though it is heated at low enough temperatures to qualify as raw.

As with the Lemon Blue Agave, you can see the high quality ingredients.  Full pieces of nuts and fruit galore.

The toddler grawnola snatcher strikes again.

I would also call these products kid-friendly, based on my little guy’s pilfering during my photo shoots.

Want to try some? Hail Merry is generously giving away 4 bags of Grawnola to one of you!

Please leave a comment below with your favorite way to eat granola.  I’ll choose a winner on Friday, Jan 27.

Come back on Friday to see if you’ve won, as well as to enter for a chance to win Hail Merry macaroons.

Cabbage Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Cilantro and I weren’t friends until about 3 years ago.  One day I woke up, realized it was indeed delicious and, ever since, have been on a mission to eat enough cilantro to make up for all that I missed for my 30ish years of cilantro-abstaining.  One nice thing about living in San Antonio, TX is that cilantro is crazy cheap year round, as in no more than 3/$1.

I modified the Cilantro Citrus Vinaigrette in Viva Vegan to make the following dressing.  Which I may have eaten with a spoon before putting on my greens.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

1/4 c EVOO
1/4 c grapeseed oil
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp cilantro leaves
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients and blend until smooth.

I tossed it with a bag of cole slaw mix, topped with even more cilantro, to make a really light and refreshing salad.

I ate about half the bowl for lunch one day and then used the rest atop a green salad for the next day’s lunch.

For the ease and low cost, I’ll be making this one again.  The slaw would also be good in soft corn tortilla tacos or wrapped in collard leaves.

You tell me:

Cilantro – love it or hate it?  It seems to be an all or nothing kind of herb.

Peanut Butter + Hummus = Good

I am a bit of a library cookbook addict and only a very small percentage of the books I check out actually become books I buy.  One of those was Eat Drink and Be Vegan.

This week I made the Peanut Sesame Hummus (on pg 51).  YUM!  It has chickpeas, peanut butter, garlic, ginger, tamari and a few other seasonings.  It was delicious with celery and carrots and would have loved to been eaten with snap peas, but, alas, I had none.

 

What is your favorite kind of hummus?

 

Drunken Beans with Faux-Rizo

Part 2 of the seitan chorizo experiment…

After letting the sausages chill overnight, I took out 3 to use in the Drunken Beans with Seitan Chorizo recipe from Viva Vegan.  It is basically pinto beans cooked with onions, roasted serranos, spices, beer and diced tomatoes.

As I do most times when I make pinto beans, I remember after I make them that I should only make 1/2 lb instead of the full recipe. That is a lot of beans and one can only make so many dinners out of the musical fruit in a week.

I wanted to make something else that I knew the kids would eat, since they are both pretty leery of recipes with spices in them.  I attribute it to the fact that they were both conceived in Minnesota and that somehow ensured that they receive the MN-bland taste buds.  In the spirit of bland-ness, I made plain rice with our new rice cooker that I absolutely love.

I also decided to try my hand at making corn tortillas. In college I actually worked for 2 years in a Cereal Quality Lab where the students and professors tested the quality of various cereal grains from around the state and country.  One of the tests of corn quality was to bake it into a tortilla and then use all kinds of fancy and pricey instruments to test attributes of the tortilla.  So you could say I’ve watched more tortillas being made than the average person.  I have never actually made them by hand though.  I figured that a couple of food science degrees should mean that I have a reasonable chance at making something with 3 ingredients (corn meal, water and salt) and that countless home cooks with much more rudimentary kitchens than I have can turn out daily.  It was actually quite easy.  So easy, in fact, that a child can do it*:

* And by ‘do it’ I mean she could shape the tortillas.  I handled the cooking part.  She is only 5 and I’m giving her at least 2 years before she is in charge of making family dinners.  I kid.

The beans and tortillas cooked side by side like the natural partners they are:

And dinner was served.

The verdict?  Good, but I didn’t think the sausages added much.  The beans were delicious and I will be making them again, but without the seitan chorizo.  For the amount of work (and cost of the ingredients), the chorizo didn’t come through.  I have 3 more in the freezer that I’ll try in another recipe or application, but I’m not rushing to make another batch.  The texture was a bit spongy.

The corn tortillas were great and my little girl loved making them.  In the spirit of transparency, the kids had a dinner of rice, corn tortillas, shredded cheese and fruit.  Nary a bean or chorizo touched their lips.

Faux-(Cho)Rizo

I don’t know if I’ve ever used both an X and Z in the same title.  Is there a blog title scrabble out there?  If so, I just scored big points.  If it wouldn’t be a lie, I would have said Quick Faux-Chorizo and gotten ‘Q’ points too.

I’ve already admitted to hogging The Kind Diet from the library.  I’m also avidly reading my library copy of Viva Vegan.

I too chop my plantains in a sparkling white kitchen while wearing a lovely purple dress and straightened  hair.  Don’t you?

The first recipe I tried was for a Chorizo Style Seitan.  Seitan (say-tan, not satan) is a meat like food made from wheat gluten.  I’ll be the first to say I generally avoid meat substitutes.  I’m a bit leery of soy, so I don’t buy all the soy ‘meats’ and ‘cheeses.’  If you open my freezer and dig past the Coscto Bags of frozen fruit, Blue Bell Ice Cream and frozen peas (which my kids eat like candy), you won’t find Boca or Morningstar Farm boxes. They aren’t my thing.

Seitan, being from wheat gluten, seemed a bit less hormone mimicking than soy meats to me.  The recipe looked straight forward enough so I put the kids in front of PBS Kids and starting making (fake) sausage.

First up, wheat gluten and chick pea flour.  I bet anyone reading with gluten issues is now clicking off the page….

Then every spice in my kitchen spices like oregano, smoked paprika, nutritional yeast, cumin, coriander, chili powder and a few others.

The spices and flours were mixed with broth, oils and tomato paste.

The mixture was kneaded.  I’ve kneaded my share of bread dough and kneading seitan felt nothing like bread dough.  It was very spongy and, for lack of a better word, puffy.  As this was my first experience making it, I’m not sure if that was normal.  Also, the paprika and chili powder turned my hands nice and orange and the oils made them nice and greasy.  Orange greasy hands and not a cheetoh in sight.  Who knew?

The dough was formed into sausage shapes which looked both fecal and phallic.  I preferred not to dwell on that.

Then the sausages were rolled up like candy and baked.

After cooling and unrolling, I had 6 of these little guys:

They were put in the fridge and used in a dinner the next day.  Stay tuned for the continuing saga of the wheat sausages.  How do they taste?  Where they worth the effort?  Did anyone in the family actually eat one?

Any seitan lovers out there?

Pretty in Pink Pickled Radishes

I’ve been hogging Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet from the library (as in renewed it 3 times, took a 2 week break and then picked it up again last week).  I will say that most of her macrobiotic recipes aren’t too family friendly, at least for my mainstream tastebuds kids and husband, but I’m enjoying making some of them for myself.

This is my first foray into macrobiotic foods and I’m tip toeing in slowly.  I’m learning about umeboshi plums, but haven’t worked up enough courage to either (1.)  spend $12 for a small container of them at whole foods or (2.) actually eat something described as ‘extremely sour and salty.’  I did splurge on the vinegar, after seeing it mentioned in several recipes in both The Kind Diet and Clean Foods.

For my first experiment with ume vinegar, I made Alicia’s (we have to be on a first name basis simply due to the number of times I’ve seen Clueless) recipe for Pickled Radishes, which is a bit like this recipe over on allrecipes. Her recipe has a different ume vinegar:water ratio and doesn’t cook the radishes.

Before:

After:

They are really good and embarrassingly easy.  I’ve been eating a few at a time between meals when I get the urge to snack but am not actually hungry.  The salty/tart/crunchy combo hits the spot.

Any of you have any experience with macrobiotics?

Did You Know Gullible Isn't in the Dictionary?

I worked in the food industry for 6 years.  I worked side by side with food marketers and consider myself immune to their creative names and dubious yet wonderfully worded claims.  That is until you promise me Serenity. For $2.99 a box, I get 15 cups of peace.  Guaranteed, right?

You know when Serenity is particularly needed?  When your 5 year old does art on her 2 year old brother’s face.  Yes, face.

Actually, maybe I should put down the tea cup and get out the wine glass.  Chardonnay = Serenity. If only it was $2.99 for 15 glasses.