Archive for May 2010

Raw and Rumi

May 31, 2010
Panaramic View from Deck

Panaramic View from Deck

What a fabulous meetup we had last night at Table for Life in San Carlos.   We were treated to an inspired evening of poetry and music with Eric Rumi Schneider and cellist, Elaine Kreston.

Eric & Elaine

Eric & Elaine in Concert doing Rumi

Our hosts, Michael and Anna Coulter, have a gorgeous home in the hills that has a panoramic view of the Bay Area, and the food shared by all attending was truly delicious. Again it reminds us of how good we feel when we eat a raw diet, and reaffirms our commitment to doing more. Beyond that, how grateful we are for the opportunity to meet with like minded individuals who are also on a journey within the raw food lifestyle.

Even though we’re not all 100% raw, we are each making our way and finding the benefits and challenges through the process. The super thing about meetup groups is that there are people who can answer questions and who can share their own journey, as well as wonderful recipes that are healthy and delicious. These monthly gatherings affirm the journey and often lead to friendships and learning about other things of interest.

Most incredibly, you note the aliveness of everyone participating. There is something about raw food that creates a glow that emanates from within and shines on the faces of those who have found this way of eating. I think it is the cells within the body all playing in symphonic delight, grateful for being given food that is alive and vibrant so that renewal can take place in the healthiest of ways. Steve has taken pictures of the food, and even won second prize for his delicious onion/mushroom crackers with cashew “cheese” spread.

Mushroom Onion Crackers with MocKotta Cheese

Mushroom Onion Crackers with MocKotta Cheese

If you would like to join or start a group in your own area, check out http://www.meetup.com for information. Just enter raw food groups in their search dialogue box, and see what’s available. If the groups in your area are anything like the ones in ours, they are well worth attending! (KJ)

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Gluten & Wheat-Free Vegetarian Zucchini Lasagna Recipe

May 30, 2010

Gluten & Wheat-Free Vegi Lasagna

Gluten & Wheat-Free Vegi Lasagna


by Steve Freier

This is my own creation based upon both raw and cooked versions.  It uses thinly sliced zucchini and yellow squash to produce amazingly realistic noodles with the texture you would associate with pasta noodles made from wheat! The benefit of course is that this dish is ideal for those who cannot tolerate wheat or gluten in any form.  I like to use zucchini; spinach and yellow squash for this vegetable lasagna. Feel free to experiment with different vegetables. Serve with a nice salad.

(See Assembly Photos Below)

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Ingredients:
·    1 Red Bell Pepper.
·    2 -3 medium Zucchini, Sliced
·    2-3 medium Yellow Squash, Sliced
·    Red Onions Slices
·    2 C mushrooms, sliced
·    2 C Spinach
·    Himalayan Pink Salt
·    Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
·    1-1/2 Logs Trader Joes Goat Cheese
·    2 large eggs
·    3 cloves garlic, minced
·    1 C Parsley
·    1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
·    1 26 oz. jars Raw Tomato sauce

Preparation:
·    Slice the Mushrooms and soak in a mixture of Olive Oil & Soy Sauce for an hour or more.
·    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
·    Using a Cuisinart, blend the Cheese with the garlic, eggs, parsley and Italian seasoning till smooth
·    Using a Mandolin, thinly slice Zucchini, Yellow Squash & Red Bell Peppers.
·    Spread a layer of the Tomato Sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.
·    Layer the Zucchini & Squash in an even layer.
·    Layer Onions and bell pepper Slices
·    Layer Spinach & Mushrooms
·    Spread Cheese Mixture
·    Spread tomato Sauce
·    Repeat process ending with a layer of Tomato Sauce and then a sprinkle of Parmesan Cheese on top.

Zucchini & Yellow Squash Slices

Zucchini & Yellow Squash Slices

The Journey Goes Way Beyond Food

May 27, 2010

As we embarked on this journey into the lifestyle of raw food – and make no mistake – it is a lifestyle, there were other things that emerged as well. Watching my body change and feeling the difference the unadulterated food made to my system, I wanted more at a deeper level.

Years ago, I wrote a book called Vision of the Grail, ( http://www.grailvision.com ) and it had come about because I was honoring a daily practice of meditation and gratitude. I flowed with life and with my inner guidance, doing the things that brought harmony into the space that was my world. When Steve and I got together, my routine changed, and I stopped meditating daily. I found all kinds of other things to grab my attention, and the spark that was so alive and vivid within me slowly dwindled to an ember.

As synchronicity would have it, whenever I ask from my heart for answers, they come. And this year, along with the raw food exploration, I’ve had the good fortune to have several meaningful promptings to return to my spiritual underpinnings. First was the book, Chants of A Lifetime, by Krishna Das, whose chants I find both compelling and soothing to my soul. Secondly was The Tapping Solution (mentioned in a previous post), that brought a way of moving beyond the blocks I couldn’t see or touch at surface level, but through tapping, was able to release major issues from childhood.  And finally and best of all, a DVD:  Eckhart Tolle’s Findhorn Retreat, Stillness Amidst the World.

When Steve and I had our radio show, The Millennium Cafe, in the San Francisco Bay Area back in 2000, we interviewed many people who were on the cutting edge of consciousness. Byron Katie was one. When she came to our home studio and we looked into one another’s eyes, there was only Presence. She had awakened, and has gone on to be a major source of inspiration to many. Eckhart Tolle is another who has woken up, and he offers a way to us that is simple and filled with grace. I had one other person who was awake enter my life many years ago, and his work prompted my writing and many other remarkable insights. But, just as we need food and water to sustain the body, we need our spiritual nourishment to sustain our Being. In the Western tradition, we state in prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread.” That refers to food for the soul, and it is that for which we all long, whether we know it consciously or not.

Taking time daily to watch small portions of the Findhorn DVD, do the tapping exercises, read Krishna Das’s book and chant, has brought me back to my spiritual home. The interior life is such a rewarding reality, and as we clear out the demons of our mind, we find a place that is unruffled by the latest political scandal or disaster. We have a space that is beyond all the momentary flare-ups where we can come into a place of peace and repose. The amazing thing about the inner world is that it is always available and it is free if we but open the door. That of course is the trick. Interestingly, salvation is hidden in plain sight, merely a breath away…a shift of attention and focus. In the twinkling of an eye, we are there. And that, my friends, is what this whole journey is about. (KJ)

Elegant Simplicity

May 18, 2010
Spiralized Raw Zucchini "Spaghetti"

Spiralized Raw Zucchini "Spaghetti"

We bought a spiralizer not long ago and have played around with it, appreciating how it can make one zucchini make two servings of spaghetti.  We decided that tonight we’d have a simple meal, and Steve made a raw tomato sauce while I got the zucchini spaghetti ready. The results are here. We had crackers with some hummus and wonderful snap peas that we ate in the shell. It was great, we felt good, and there was very little to wash up after.

Eating raw can really be the epitome of elegant simplicity! (KJ)

Spiralized Raw Zucchini "Spaghetti" with Snap Peas, Sauerkraut & Oinion Crackers

All Raw Spiralized Zucchini "Spaghetti" with Snap Peas, Sauerkraut & Oinion Crackers

A Little This, A Little That

May 15, 2010

We haven’t written for a while, not because we haven’t been doing our raw food journey – just because we’ve been very busy. We’ve got several things to report. First, on the health front, I am still having to find a balance with my blood pressure, and an old problem re-emerged for a week as I felt constant gas and discomfort from eating raw. This has really surprised me since everyone is so complimentary about how much better you feel when you go raw, and for the first month I did feel that way. However, it has been explained to me that once the body starts getting used to being fed “real” food, it begins to let go of the toxins that have been stored up, and an inner housecleaning gets underway. Well, if that’s all it is, I don’t mind. But it really does annoy me to think I’m doing all this good stuff for my body, and the body is not responding as it’s “supposed” to.

We went to an interesting Raw Food Meetup Group meeting where the presentation was given by Dr. T – Dr. Tel-Oren – about what foods are good, and what is not. He said if we eat things that aren’t good for us, we need to be aware that we’re compromising. It’s not about justifying – just accepting that there are times when we do eat things that may not be the best for us. On his list of no-no’s, agave syrup and raw cacao. Shocker! Dr. T said that there are so many things floating around the raw food movement that are stated as gospel, when they are actually incorrect. He said cacao is poison, no matter what studies tell you. He said if we must eat chocolate, it is better to have it cooked than raw. And he had about the same thing to say about agave syrup related to poison. His recommendation for sweetener is date paste. He thinks honey should only be used in very small amounts. So…that was an interesting evening of information that we may not have wanted to hear in total, but it brings more awareness about the need for discretion AND for really checking out the research – not just reading what each of the “me too” books keep passing along as fact. Check out more about Dr. T. He is a fascinating man who has a raw restaurant called Ecopolitan in Minneapolis, and travels the world giving workshops and talks about foods that matter.

Que Seraw Seraw

Que Seraw Seraw

We found a wonderful raw food take-out place in Burlingame. For those of you on the S.F. Peninsula, this is good news. Que SeRaw SeRaw has been there for nine years next to Earthbeam Health Food Store on Broadway and Cappuccino. The owner, Alicia Parnell, is a vibrant and vital woman, having gotten into raw food herself to improve her health. She is a dynamo and is planning to expand to other sites further south on the Peninsula.

Que Seraw Seraw

Que Seraw Seraw

Since finding her take-out shop, we’ve been back several times, and there are several offerings I really like a lot. Sundried Miso Pate is yummy as are the sunflower crackers. Cranberry Scones appeal to my love of something not too sweet to go with an afternoon cup of tea (yes…I have not given that up yet). I’ve had the green olive pizza and the vegie lasagna – both really yummy, and my favorite – the beet salad is a wonderful zesty addition that would please anyone. In fact all the food

Que Seraw Seraw

Que Seraw Seraw

there is great whether you are a raw foodist, vegetarian, or omnivore. I’m so glad we have this close by so we can enjoy and support this kind of quality food offering. Oh…and then the other thing which was not available the last two times we went – the collard green wrap was SUPER. Parnall makes a “cream cheese” spread from cashews, lemon, and her own special spices that is just delicious, and all the fresh veggies and dried cranberries wrapped in the collard green were fresh, full of flavor, and just hit the spot. This is a thumbs up place for sure. Jamie Oliver ought to be promoting some of THIS food for schools! Here he is giving a Ted Talk! You can check out Que SeRaw SeRaw at: http://www.queserawseraw.com/index.htm

We’ve done 4 videos for You-Tube on non-cooking with Steve and Dave, sharing four recipes that our friends wanted to learn how to make. We decided to do the videos while the boys prepared the food, and they were fun and informative. We’ll have them up as soon as Steve is able to get them edited. He’s been inundated with editing jobs recently, so that’s another reason we haven’t been posting as he is our tech wizard with the pictures.

Thai Coconut Soup

Thai Coconut Soup

Our latest recipe was a delicious Thai coconut soup…very good. Here are two photos of recent Thai Coconut Soup creations… the latest recipes we’ve been playing with.

Thai Coconut Soup 2

Thai Coconut Soup 2

Finally, on the raw food front, I recently bought a DVD called Raw Food for Real People done by Rod Rotondi. It’s a 3 DVD set including step-by-step recipe demonstrations and a recipe booklet. I would have given this a 5 star rating except for the most annoying music that unfortunately plays throughout most of his demonstrations. We did a showing for a few friends, and two of them had to leave the room because the quality and choice of music was really almost completely opposite to what the raw food experience should be. Oh, well. Too bad they didn’t have a choice of subtitles so we could have turned off the sound. Other than that, the recipes are great, and he gives a lot of good tips. If you are interested, you can go check out the trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QU2XGFzLWFM I just saw that he has a recipe book by the same name, so that might be a good option for those of you who are sensitive to noise.

Hope you are having an enjoyable spring and trying new recipes and ways of increasing your joy with raw food. That’s it for now! (KJ)

Cooked Food Experiment

May 2, 2010

On Saturday we had my younger son over for a farewell lunch. He has been living nearby in San Jose for many years and was preparing to leave to live in Chicago. He’s a big meat-eater and would not even begin to accept eating raw food, so we decided to put on a minor feast consisting of grilled skirt steak marinated in garlic and spices, his favorite potato salad with bacon from a local grocery store, and cooked garlic broccoli, one of my specialties.

He loved it and we thought it was pretty good also. However, after he left we both fell into a sound coma-type sleep! That’s a far different reaction that what happens after a raw meal!  When eating raw we feel rejuvenated and alive! What an amazing difference!

Lately, on our Journey2Raw experience we have been experimenting with eating some raw and then some cooked foods. Going completely raw is starting to feel like a better and better option as we feel what happens with our energy levels after eating each way.

It would be an easier choice to go all raw if society and the food chain that has been constructed would favor raw fresh foods. One has to be extremely strong and committed to be 100% raw all the time. That’s not always realistic. And I am beginning to understand that some things may actually be better for you cooked such as broccoli? I will be looking into this subject more along the way.

Last evening Kathleen made a wonderful raw tomato sauce which we had on top of some beautiful spirilized raw spaghetti zucchini which Kathleen had made using our new Saladacco machine. I was surprised at how good it tasted and then how good we felt afterward as we recovered from our over-indulgent cooked meat and potato luncheon! Going raw seems like a better choice now than ever before!  – Steve