Sunday, November 11, 2012

Kinder Holistic Dental Care

My New Dental Routine.

Recently I had a really painful situation with my teeth. I spent many nights and days researching dental remedies. I wasn't receiving relief from the dentists I sought out so I started to dig deeper into the field of holistic dentistry. I bought many books as well as scoured the internet and found the information to be really eye opening. I came up with a routine that does no harm and has provided me some great results, along with peace of mind. Eventually, I also sought out a biological dentist who discovered I was allergic to a metal based crown in my mouth. He replaced that as well as some biologically incompatible fillings. I am now metal free and I am doing so much better.

I never have understood why dental care was always separate form medical care. Does that make sense to any one else? Your mouth is in your body after all. What you eat affects your teeth and the health of your teeth affects what happens in your body as well. Your mouth is also one of the quickest delivery systems into the blood stream. So why is it acceptable to put toxins in your mouth?

Have you ever noticed that there is a poison warning on your dental care products telling you not to swallow it?  Toothpaste and other dental care products fall under personal care products and are therefore not under the control of the FDA. They can literally put anything in there.

For a list of what is in toothpaste and their tested effects on the body see the bottom of this post.

To be as brief as I can on an in depth subject, I want to share with you what has become my new dental routine and what helped me stem off a painful infection as well as impress the pants off one of my dentists!

I gave up toothpaste years ago after learning about the chemicals in them. I first switched to health store brands but learned they just have some similar ingredients and still some that interfere with tooth care.
For instance Glycerin is something that has been put into tooth paste to coat your teeth, thinking this will prevent cavities. The problem is, it takes approximately 20 rinses to remove it and meanwhile the saliva in your mouth that is designed to remineralize your teeth is prevented from doing so. 
Glycerine is not good. As a matter of fact there is not much that is necessary in tooth paste at all.
Most ingredients are sweeteners and chemicals, including anti freeze! YEP!
You are better off with a dry brush then adding these items into your body. 

What you need to know is that teeth are alive. And just like everything else in the body, your body is designed for self care. It's best not to interfere too much with this process but instead support it.

Sea Salt Water

The purpose of Sea Salt water is to neutralize the Ph of your saliva, 
which is what really cares for your teeth and gums. 
Plus it supports remineralization of the teeth with mineral rich Himalayan Sea salt.

When you have a sore in your mouth or an infection the first thing they tell you is to rinse with salt water. This should be a regular step even something to do after meals if you are able.

Worst thing you can do is brush your teeth when they are coated with an acidic saliva and to be clear meat, grains, dairy and fruit are all acidic in the mouth.
The acid coating plus the act of brushing actually brushes away the tooth enamel.
A few drops of Sea Salt in some filtered water and a shot glass makes this a snap.

My Dental Care Steps

Step 1.
Rinse / Alkalize
Take a shot of Sea Salt Water and Swish and Spit.
Do not swallow.
If you do nothing to change your current dental care routine at least consider this one.

Step 2.

Brush your gums gently with a dry tooth soft brush. Notice I said brush gums not teeth.
You brush one direction only from gums toward tooth, slowly.
Brushing teeth aggressively brushes your gums away from the tooth and creates receding gums and pockets. You don't want to expose your teeth this way.

Step 3.

Floss but with a floss that does not contain chemicals, please. 
I like Smart Floss, found at Health Food stores because it stretches with tension and
 then thickens when tension is released to really remove debris.
I add a drop of Healthy Gum Drops to the floss to get the essential oils in and around the tooth,
again being very gentle with the gums.

Step 4.

A drop of Gum Drops on the Gum Massager and I gently go around massaging my gums.

Step 5. 

I use a battery charged Round Headed Tooth Brush and a dab of Non Aluminum Baking Soda to polish teeth, being careful not to annoy the gums. 
As an extra step of antibacterial action I dip my brush head in some coconut oil first
 and then the baking soda.
This is not necessary every day but maybe once or twice a week.

Step 5.

If there is any inflammation, I take a shot of half Hydrogen Peroxide and half water 
(never H2O2 straight on healthy tissue) and swish for a couple minutes.
(Even my dentist admitted to doing this.)
This kills any bacteria causing infection.

I believe this step and the Gum Drops got rid of a horrible infection 
and helped relieve intense pain until I could find a biological dentist.

Tea Tree Oil can also be used diluted in water to rinse the mouth and fight bacteria. 
A good way would be using a few drops in a water pik or a syringe.

Step 6.
Final Rinse

Rinse again with Sea Salt Water to rebalance the mouth ph again.

Step 7.
Special Needs

If I have a tooth giving me attitude or a gum that shows some bleeding, 
I rub a drop of the Gum Drops on it.

Step 8.
Disinfect Tools

I dunk my tooth brushes and massager head into some straight H2O2 in my shot glass
 to disinfect and air dry.
It amazes me how we were never taught to do this. 
Water alone does not remove bacteria.

This may seem like a lot of steps but really it is not a hassle. Having everything ready makes it a snap. Plus I feel like I am really doing something good to help keep my teeth healthy.
I want them to last a lifetime.

Another step that I have yet to incorporate is a tongue scraper. This would be up there right after the first rinse as a way to remove bacteria from the tongue.

For Tooth Pain or Bleeding

If you are not already following the above steps- do it!
You will not be sorry. You will start to feel relief with each day you do it.

Clove Oil

This is a pain reliever you can put directly on the tooth causing the problem. 
Dilute it first with a neutral oil like little olive oil. 
It may burn or sting a little but it will work.
Clove Oil has been used for hundreds if not thousands of years for tooth pain.

The Gum Drops has this as an ingredient so I just kept applying that.

For Infection:

At first sign rinse with sea salt and water mix.

Try one of the following:

Add 6 drops of tea tree oil to water pik and use daily
Apply Lobelia Tincture, Tea Tree Oil or Colloidal Silver directly on gum to control infection.
Rinse with One part water to one part Hydrogen Peroxide

Eat a alkalized diet full of fruits and vegetables and make sure you get enough Omega 3s daily.
Omega 3 s will help rebalance your body's chemistry.

Gum disease leads to bone loss and starts with a deficiency in the Vitamins, A, C, D, and Calcium.
Strawberries, honey, lemon juice and stevia are all good foods for your gums.

If you have deep gum pockets, sensitive teeth, or even the first signs of a cavity, 
consider giving this protocol a couple months to work before taking a next step.

Toxic or abrasive mouthwash and toothpaste ingredients:

Source:  This is a culmination of several sources but the main one is Nadine Artemis. I had viewed some of her videos on Self Dentistry online as well as hearing her speak at a Longevity Now Conference a couple years back. She is very impressive! When I heard her back at the Longevity Now conference, it was a new concept to me then and I wasn't yet onboard. What really caught my attention was hearing all the people lined up at her products table sharing their testimonials of how they have reversed dental issues such as tooth sensitivity, bleeding gums, deep pockets, gum disease, cavities, and even enamel errosion by following her protocall. While she can not make these claims on her website, I was hearing them first hand out of the mouths (no pun intended) of her followers and they were impressive. I finally gave up my toothpaste and other commercial products.

The real beauty of this is, you don't really need her products to follow along, although one in particular, The Healthy Gum Drops sure makes it easier. I have since listened to several of her online interviews and special reports on dental care.

Check out Nadine at Living Libations and watch some of her great videos.
PS: I have no monetary gain from her products. I just want to help spread a good word to help others.

I hope this was helpful.  I know it's made a big difference for me.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

How to Transition to a High Raw Diet

There are many people out there making the news about going raw, reversing illness and or losing a great deal of weight and changing their lives. It is so exciting to hear, I think partly because it puts the possibility of great health and wellness, where it should be, within our own hands.

So you hear the stories. You get excited and you want in! 
Now what?

Many people jump in, myself included and try to go raw overnight, or go on a cleanse of some sort. Juicing is really big right now and I have many friends doing that. No doubt it can make a tremendous change if you can stick it out. But for most of us these changes don't last long. Sure we feel great while we are doing it. Many people say they never felt better than when they were juicing or eating all raw. So why have they stopped?

Conversely there are those that said it made them feel too weak and ill and they had to go back to their old food ways to feel better. Leading to a yo yo eating effect between wholesome food and SAD (standard American diet) food and a lot of feeling bad about it too.

I have been both of these and that's why I keep slugging it out. I know I can feel better so I don't give up. I know better health and a better life comes with a plant based diet.

But why is it so hard? There must be an easier way.

Lately I have been noticing that the people who have made the biggest changes and most dramatic results are still keeping it up and it made me wonder...

How did they go raw and how come they stay raw successfully?

Here is the secret common denominator:   They transitioned slowly.

Mark Sonowski- Minus 115 lbs Raw

Recently a friend of mine, Mark Sonoswski was interviewed on a radio show. Although I had heard his amazing story of transformation before, I listened again and as I did something he said really hit me.

He laughingly said that....

He didn't set out to go all raw or lose 115 lbs in the beginning. 

He just started with adding an apple to breakfast!

Ding!!   Ding!!   Ding!!

In time that turned into a healthier salad for lunch and after a time he had to give up his home cooked meals made by his elderly mom, because they no longer tasted or felt right to him.

Meanwhile the weight melted, the medicine was discontinued and his life made an amazing turn for him.

He didn't struggle. He wasn't forcing through with willpower. 
Nor was he suffering from detox symptoms.  It was easy.

It was an organic transition to what felt and tasted better to him and it has not only changed his life, it is still how he continues to eat today.

His story made me start to think about others that had a similar beginning. Kathy came to mind.

Kathy Caulfield Before and After Raw- Down 120 lbs
Kathy Caulfield says she rarely ate fruits or vegetables at all but her health was suffering to the pointed that she needed a change.  She started with green smoothies for breakfast. 

That was the only commitment she made and all she thought she would do. But little by little her taste buds changed and her diet followed.  She lost over 120 lbs effortlessly and is happier and healthier and still raw today. She says she is now so passionate to share this new found vibrant health and joy with others, especially after a life time of struggling.

Angela Stokes Monarch- Before and now Raw

Probably the most notorious raw weight loss story to date is Angela Stokes Monarch.
She initially did go raw overnight but had to quickly add in some cooked food to keep it going.
She was not all raw until much later in her journey but she is the queen of the raw lifestyle today!

I had read her story way back in the beginning for me, and she even recommends going only 50% raw to start. But I thought like a lot of people do, why take it slow? Why not speed up the healing process?

Turns out there is a good reason to take it slow:

When you have been eating a diet low in fruits and vegetables, chances are you have some stored up toxins in your body. Through eating but also from drinks, the air we breath, environmental toxins, any residuals left over from medications and even extra hormones like estrogen.

When your body is not busy digesting food, it is cleansing and healing. 

When you eat clean unprocessed food, digestion is a snap and the body can get back to healing and cleaning. But when you eat heavy, acidic (meat, dairy, grains) or processed food, the body is overworked and often because of excess, does not get to process everything in a timely way. It stores these extra and complicated things aside to work on later when it has free time. Like when company is coming and you start throwing things into closets. Later you'll clean it out again when you have time. This is where fat storage comes in.

Think of fat cells as like little tiny soap bubbles full of toxins.

If you have been raised on a Standard American Diet, chances are you have some storage closets that haven't been touched in a while. We are often malnutritioned so the body keeps sending out signals for food, even though we are full. It wants real food but we give it more of the same. Due to the quality of our food and the amount we eat, most Americans are in a constant stage of digestion. We don't like the feeling of cleansing because often it feels like withdrawals and sometimes it is just that.

When you start eating a clean raw and wholesome diet of fruits and vegetables in their most nutritious state, your body readily processes them and then has time left over. So it starts digging around in that old storage closet- popping those bubbles and removing old debris. The problem is, those toxins are now back in the system and if there is too much all at once or it doesn't get removed fast enough, it will make you feel sick and tired.

The easiest way to slow this process down and relieve the queasy feeling is to start up the digestion again- remember if you aren't digesting, you're cleaning. And if you want to slow it even more, eat complex processed food that will keep the body occupied for a while, the more processed the slower. Not a suggestion- just what happens.

This is why people that jump from a highly processed diet into a fast of juice or even just fruit or all raw foods, can have a reaction of feeling ill. They then blame it on the clean food and chalk up the cleanse experience as negative.

So this is why it's important to start slowly with raw foods. Don't go popping all those toxic storage bubbles all at once. You won't like it and you'll quit before you even get started.

This is why the people that start out slowly on a raw food diet, adding a little at a time, do not experience this anxiety or healing crisis. Nor are the relying on pure willpower alone to make a change. They are cleaning the toxins out slowly and the cleaner they get, the more the body can handle and wants these highly nutritious foods. The cravings and tastes for those other foods just fade away on their own.

Suggested Transition:

Start with fruit only or better yet skip it! Drink water and some lemon juice to continue the cleanse (remember when not digesting?) and elimination from the night before. This will be the lightest part of your day digestion wise and your body will start cleaning those bubbles out.

Mid morning
Add more fruit or a smoothie to get you going. This will take the body about 20 mins to digest.
You are still cleaning.

Try get in a raw salad to add some roughage to help move that debris from the morning's cleaning along. You are also starting to slow the cleaning process now by preparing the trash for take out.

Have a small salad or soup if you like, some steamed veggies or and even a baked potato if you are really wanting that full feeling. If you are still eating meat, skip the potato and have that with the veggies. When you are further along, you can make that salad a BIG salad and skip the cooked.  You have halted the cleaning process but will be going into a long sleep when digestion can happen and the cleansing can begin again.

This would be the ideal but if all you get in is that morning fruit or smoothie and the rest is sandwiches and pasta and steak, that's okay too. This is all about what we are adding to your diet, not taking away and freeing up a little digestion time for deep cleaning. Add in those fruits and veggies!

Don't get me wrong, there are some really motivated people out there that can and do go raw overnight but they are not the majority. Also the worse off your body, the harder those withdrawal or cleansing symptoms will be.

If you want more of a jump start, try a juice fast or a fruit fast for one day and see how you feel. Actually it's not a bad idea to add into your week as a regular thing. Maybe like Mono diet Monday or if you are still eating meat on a regular basis try Meatless Monday as your place to start.

Whatever you decide to do, remember it's all about improvement. One step at a time will get you there.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Save the Tuna! Raw Mock Tuna Salad

Mock Tuna Salad

There was a time that I used to eat tuna or moreover albacore salad almost daily. I was very picky about it too.  It had to be like my mom made it without many fillers and lightly held together with mayo. Key points were: not watery, a little onion, celery, salt and lemon pepper and just enough mayo to hold it together. Definitely nothing that would detract from the taste like egg or pickle relish (what is up with that?!)

Once after a friend came back from a deep sea fishing trip with fresh canned albacore, we had albacore for months and I was forever spoiled. It was white meat albacore from then on. 

After some really awful tuna salad experiences in restaurants, I even went so far as to start asking for samples before ordering tuna salad. It's amazing how few places serve good tuna salad. When we had a restaurant that was a key menu item- the best albacore tuna salad ever! and our patrons really appreciated it.

What I am really saying is I was a tuna fish salad snob! and proud of it.

When news came about the concerns with mercury link to fish and most notably tuna, I stopped this favorite almost overnight. I was very sad. 

Now there are also other reasons I don't eat fish often or even at all.  But there are times, I really miss my salad favorite. Today was one of them.

So I whipped up this mock tuna salad to satisfy that desire and it really fits the bill.  It doesn't taste exactly like tuna- really how could it? But it does taste really good and reminds me of my old favorite.

Save the Tuna! Mock Tuna Salad

Mock Tuna- raw vegan ingredients


For Pate:

2 cups of hulled sunflower seeds that have been soaked for about 2 hours and strained

1 Tbsp Dulse granules

juice of half a lemon

1 clove of garlic, pressed

1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper or to taste

enough water to hold mix together
(about a couple tablespoons or to your liking)

Mock Tuna Salad- raw vegan

Place the seeds, dulse, garlic and lemon in the food processor and grind until crumbly or it no longer looks like seeds.

Add salt and pepper and start tasting.

Add in the water a tablespoon at a time until it holds together as you like it.

Diced celery and green onions

For the Salad:

Dice up:

2 stalks of celery

2 green onions

Mix in the pate until well combined.

Season with more salt and pepper if needed

For Serving:

I chose 2 big beefsteak tomatoes as they are in season.

I cut off the tops and scooped out the centers to make a nice sturdy cup (setting aside the insides to use in a dressing)

I then filled the centers with the "tuna" salad.

I whipped up a little green salad to accompany it.

Lunch is served! 

Save the Tuna- raw mock tuna salad

It really does look like tuna salad, doesn't it?

Note: This was a ton of food and very filling. One tomato this size definitely serves two!

This pate, for lack of another name is often called mock tuna, but could be mock chicken salad too if you omit the dulse flakes that give it that slight sea taste and add whatever ingredients remind you of chicken salad. Perhaps, chopped apples and walnuts? Almonds or walnuts can be substituted for all or some of the sunflower seeds too.

Refrigerated it should keep about 5 days. Like most salads like this, it tastes better the longer it has time to mix flavors.

It's quite versatile, tasty and very filling.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Yonanas- Summer's New Toy!


Yay! Summer's here!! 
Don't you just love going into the market and seeing and smelling all the colorful fresh produce this time of year? I do! There are so many wonderful summer fruits and veggies, it seems like a celebration. I guess it really is!

This is the time of year that I like to eat the very simplest. Fruits, smoothies, juices, salads. It's all good!

But the summer heat around here makes cold treats a real staple. Last summer I played around with making popsicles and that's always a hit but this summer I have found something even more easy.

Yonanas frozen treat maker

This is the Yonanas Frozen Treat Maker. It basically takes frozen fruit and churns it into a creamy ice cream like consistency in minutes!

It doesn't get much easier than this to make really simple and purely delicious frozen treats like creamy ice cream or sorbet.

No having to freeze an ice cream maker ahead of time, no popsicle sticks, or forms to fill either.

No list of ingredients, no dairy, no nuts, or coconuts for the base. Definitely no chemicals like in store bought stuff.

And if you are used to making banana ice cream in your blender or food processor this is a much easier way with similar results as using an expensive juicer with a blank plate.

This little device simply turns frozen fruit into sorbet and bananas into something creamier.

Clean up is super easy too.

Bananas, Mango and Pineapple, frozen for Yonanas

You simply freeze some ripe fruit, largely bananas are used for a creamier base but you can add others for variety of flavor.  It only needs to be frozen for an hour or 2 before they are ready to use.  Mine were really frozen and icy.

Place a bowl under the Yonanas' chute. Thaw the fruit a little or it comes out more icy than creamy.

Yonanas in Action.
Turn on the machine and then just feed the fruit into the chute and press down with the tamper as it comes out the bottom. That's it!

Tropical "Ice Cream"
And Voila! What you end up with is a bowl of pure fruit, in ice cream form.

Close up of Mango Banana Pineapple "Ice Cream"

All bananas is the creamiest and most like ice cream. The mangos and pineapple here were more like frozen fruit sorbet. As you are alternating what you press down the chute, the outcome is the same and needs stirring to combine the flavors.

This tropical blend is a delicious combo by the way!

You can see in the closeup picture above the bits of mango and pineapple mixed in. A little coconut sprinkled on top would have been good too. Next time!

Mixed Berry Sorbet
I ran a mix of berries through to see how that would do with no bananas.  It's more of a chunky sorbet that I mixed up and put into the freezer before scooping.  It comes out with seeds and all- still very good but not as creamy as the banana mix.

As opposed to a juice or smoothie where you can strain the seeds and sweeten if necessary before freezing into pops or the ice cream maker, this is straight fruit, which is sort of the point. It was definitely a hit though!


*  They say that when mixing other fruit into the bananas, you won't taste the bananas. We didn't find this to be true. If you don't like bananas, no one is going to pull this one over on you. It does taste like bananas... mixed with other fruit. It's good!

*  There are so many things you can blend in for additional flavor like nuts, cacao nibs or even push a frozen chocolate bar through the shute for chocolate shavings mixed in.

*  Don't forget the fresh fruit toppings or cacao/chocolate or fruit sauces too.

*  It is loud when turned on but so is a blender and it's only on for a few minutes, so no biggie.

* You can make the frozen treat and then store in a container in the freezer fro scooping later, like I do or still place into popsicle molds.

*  The Yonanas is super easy to take apart and clean. Not even a consideration.

*  Remember to let your bananas freckle well before freezing. Nothing worse than unripe and unsweetened bananas to try to digest!

*  I think you will find that eating fresh frozen fruit like this is very filling! You won't eat as much of this as maybe you could have with ice cream. This is full of nutrients and fiber and very filling. Can't say that for the other stuff.

* And speaking of that, I thought it was funny how in the infomercial when they are talking about how healthy this is to have real pure fruit with no additives, that the first thing they show is placing the "ice cream" between two chocolate chip cookies or toaster waffles before giving to the kids. ;-P

Oh! and for those of you that still believe the myth that bananas make you fat,
check out Freelee from 3o Bananas a Day, who didn't resolve her over weight issue until adopting a high fruit low fat vegan raw life style, including... yes, eating 30 bananas a day!

I purchased the Yonanas 902 Ice Cream Treat Maker, Black/Silver from this seller on Amazon for $49.95. It was new, shipped fast and arrived perfect condition so I recommend them. The "deluxe" ones just mean that they include containers and popsicle molds etc with the unit. I had those so I went for the regular version.

All in all this was a very good purchase that I am very pleased with.  I see a lot of bananas in my future!

How about you? Do you have one? Think you might like to get one? I'd love to hear any more tips on using it.

Also if you're a regular, what do you think of the blog design changes? 

I also added Recipage to the tab bar up top and am busy moving all the recipes in there. This will make finding, printing, saving or sharing GettingRAW recipes super easy. Love any input.

Thanks and Happy Summer!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tuscan No Bean Hummus With Checca

No Bean Hummus with Checca, Baby Carrots and Pita Bread Triangles

Hummus is a staple in the raw food world, because it's just a great way to get your raw veggies in as a snack, lunch or use in wraps etc.  but I have a confession....

I have never liked hummus. Yea, I know-Crazy right?

Don't know why either but for years now I haven't even bothered to try making raw hummus, even though it rarely involves the main ingredient of regular hummus-cooked chickpeas. I've been looking for a nice snack idea or light lunch that doesn't require a big salad, and it lead me back to hummus again.

I remembered that there have been many things that I did not like cooked that now I really enjoy raw. With raw food, all previous food bets and tastes are off. It's a whole new ball game with mostly good results.

In researching raw hummus recipes there are many ideas of how to make it raw. Some use sprouted raw chickpeas, while others say they don't like that taste. Some use nuts but then again many have nut allergies, plus that can use a lot of nuts and add a lot of fat. Then there is another school of thought using zucchini and tahini that seems to be a winner.

Since nothing is more upsetting than trying a new raw recipe and having it fall flat, I decided to go for a combo that is a tried and true favorite for many...

The Tuscan Hummus and Checca from California Pizza Kitchen. Now here is the silly part, I have never tried it but I hear people rave about it and CPK is one of my favorite places for fresh veggie combo ideas.

So I decided to base my recipe on theirs, minus the beans. Beans are the heavy part that can leave you feeling bloated afterward. They can be hard to digest for many people even sprouted so the seeds and zucchini base is much more agreeable.

The result? I can honestly say I really like this!  I'm surprised!

Even Rich who is not a hummus fan, really likes this. He's also not a fan of carrots, so I warmed up some pita bread for him. But in the scheme of things, there is a lot of fresh veggies in this dish even with the pita bread so it's all good!

Another winner! What a relief!

No Bean Hummus with Paprika and Chopped Parsley & Baby Carrots

Tuscan No Bean Hummus Recipe

Yes that's 10 cloves of garlic! But I did not use them all.

Hummus Ingredients:

  • 3 zucchini, peeled and chopped 
  • 1/2 cup raw Tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds (soaked in water about 2 hrs and then drain) or use 1 cup Tahini instead
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed if possible
  • 1Tbsp + 1tsp Nama Shoyu  (or tamari or even Braggs Aminos)
  • 1 1/2 Tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp coriander
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 5-10 cloves of garlic, minced (I used 6 large cloves to start and it was very garlicky so add them in last and taste as you go.)
Zucchini lightly peeled

You can choose to leave the peel on your zucchini if you like because there are more nutrients in the skin but know the hummus will be more green. Chop the zucchini and place into food processor. Pulse until finely ground. Add the lemon juice, seasonings, Nama Shoyu, Olive oil. Then when well combined add in the seeds and/or tahini.  Then add in the garlic. CPK's recipe calls for 10 cloves of garlic and while we really do love garlic, 6 was our limit.  If it's too watery add in more tahini to desired consistency. Chill and let sit a bit before serving ( if you can wait.) Sprinkle with paprika and top with chopped parsley. Drizzle with olive oil if desired.

Will keep refrigerated 5 days.
No Bean Hummus Plain

This is really tasty as is- plain. I could have eaten the whole bag of carrots just like this. But for added taste and color and because I had some lovely ripe tomatoes, I made the...


Fresh Checca

Checca is an Italian salad/garnish made with ripe tomatoes, basil, garlic and olive oil- delicious!

Checca Ingredients:
  • 3-4 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic (about 3 cloves)
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin olive Oil- cold pressed if possible
  • Sea Salt to taste
Chop the tomato and set aside in a bowl. Add in the rest of the ingredients and lightly toss to coat the tomatoes. Chill or serve right away.

Top off the hummus to serve or eat with anything you desire- including a fork. So good!

No Bean Hummus with Checca

Ready for a Bite?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Johnny Apple Salsa

Green Apple Salsa

Most likely, you've had Tomato Salsa. Maybe even Corn or Mango Salsa. How about Pineapple Salsa? Yep that's good too. But here's a new one for you.

Chances are you haven't had it yet but before you turn up your nose, I'm here to tell you...

It's really really good!

It's light, refreshing with a little tang and a little heat.

I actually found this in an old Costco recipe/cookbook flyer. You just never know where a great fresh produce recipe will pop up.

Serve it with chips, raw or otherwise or even just scoop into a lettuce leaf for a refreshing salsa taco, complete with crunch. No chips required.

But even with chips, you are at least getting lots of raw fresh goodness in the salsa so enjoy!

Another benefit of the apples is that if you serve this with less raw accoutrements, the apple is a built in heartburn helper! But that won't happen if you stay raw.  ;-)

Green Apple Salsa

Green Apple Salsa Ingredients
1 large or two small tomatoes, cored and finely chopped
3/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 large jalapeno, cored seeded and finely chopped
2 granny smith apples, cored and diced
2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp honey
 fresh ground pepper
sea salt 

In a medium bowl, stir together tomato onion, lime juice and jalapeno. Quarter and core apples and cut into fine dice. Stir apples into the tomato mixture with cilantro, honey, and salt and pepper to taste. 

Refrigerate for up to 6 hrs before serving.
Because of the apple it does not keep longer than a day.

I ended up going to a neighbor's door to share. His words ...."sweet!"

This went over really well! I highly recommend sharing!

Try it, I promise you won't be disappointed.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Quintessential Desert Resort and Salad

One of my favorite places to visit here in the California desert is around the corner from us, a place called The La Quinta Resort. It was built in 1926 in the Spanish hacienda ranch style, which is a favorite of mine with cozy terracotta floored casitas surrounded by mature foliage and citrus trees all tucked back into the base of the mountains.

Back in the day, it was a popular hideaway for the Hollywood elite looking to escape to pools, tennis and golf and still a draw for those in the know today. The Christmas classic movie, It's a Wonderful Life was actually written by Frank Capra in one of the casitas and every Christmas they make this place magical with lights and decoration.

It became such a landmark that the town of La Quinta was named after it. It is still a charming resort and since it is now run by a large hotel chain, we keep our fingers crossed that they won't modernize it too much and ruin it.

I like to visit because it always has a spectacular show of flowers any time of year. It's like a giant garden, something we don't see all that much here. One of my favorite places there is a restaurant that has a large sunny patio with umbrellas, which surprisingly is a rarity around here as well.

There is a fountain providing the cooling sound of water as a backdrop and lots of color in the plants that surround the patio.  It's a nice place to go and enjoy our sunny weather. My dish of choice is their Mandarin Orange Salad, minus the chicken.

Since our desert is full of citrus this just seems like the perfect California Desert Salad.

Just the other day I was feeling like I needed a vacation, a change of scenery to just get outside and soak up some sunshine.  Visiting the resort always feels like a vacation to me. So we went. The grounds were beautiful and the flowers put up a good show, as always. I ordered my salad but perhaps memory is better than reality or they changed it. Sadly, my taste buds were disappointed.

I thought... I can make this better.  So that's what I did!

A blend of California classics, mandarin oranges and almonds with the addition of sunflower sprouts, a mix of romaine, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, green onion and mung bean sprouts, with an asian inspired ginger soy dressing sweetened with honey and lime. This time I was not disappointed!

Mandarin Orange Salad
with a Sweet Soy Ginger Dressing

Mandarin Orange Salad with Sweet Soy Ginger Dressing


Salad Mix
green cabbage
carrots shredded
broccoli slaw
bean sprouts
romaine lettuce, chopped finely (optional)
8 mandarin oranges, peeled and sectioned
 3 green onions, chopped finely
1/3 cup slivered almonds
sunflower sprouts

I actually buy the first 4 ingredients in bags and mix together in a large ziplock to have ready for salad anytime. It keeps for about a week in the fridge as long as I toss only the amount I need with dressing when ready to eat. 

For the salad, take the first four items plus the romaine if using and toss with dressing.  Figure about 2-3 cups salad per person for main entree and just enough dressing to coat lightly. The dressing is strong so a little goes a long way. Add the green onions, mandarins, and slivered almonds and toss again before serving. Sprinkle the sunflower sprouts over the top with a few more almonds as well.

Sweet Soy Ginger Dressing
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 Tbsp grated fresh peeled ginger
3 Tbsp honey or agave
 juice of one lime
1/2 cup olive or sesame oil
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil (optional)
1/3 cup Nama Shoyu or Tamari (soy sauce)
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro
1/4 cup water

Blend all in a blender until well emulsified. Chill to let flavors marry.
Makes about 2 cups

I hope you give it a try and enjoy!

Ps: all the pictures of the resort are from the La Quinta resort's website. 
Sometimes it's best to let the professionals do things. 


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