Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Superbowl Sunday Recipe: Heavenly Nacho Cheese Dip

Raw, vegan nacho cheese dip. Yes, Please. 

Superbowl Sunday parties are synonymous with "worst food choices possible." Am I right? I have never gone to a football party that served anything remotely healthy. Fake cheese dip from a jar and other processed junk is not the way I like to have fun, because even if my favorite team won, I'd feel like crap the rest of the day from the gastrointestinal distress. Well, here's an addictive, but healthy, raw cheese dip from my new book Raw and Simple that you can bring to your next sporting soiree that won't make you feel gross.

The key to making this dip fabulous is not soaking the cashews or minimally soaking for 30 minutes if you don’t have a powerful blender. The sweetness of the cashews is essential to the flavor balance in this super creamy, luscious cheese sauce. Serve as a dip or spread it on everything. 

Nacho Cheese Dip
Makes 8 servings

Plan Ahead: If you do not own a high power blender, soak cashews for 30 minutes. Do not oversoak.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

1 cup cashews
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
¼ water, if using soaked cashews, 1/3 if unsoaked
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ancho chili pepper (optional)

Blend all ingredients in a blender until very smooth and creamy. You may need to stop and start the blender to scrape sides back into the blades.

Adjust seasonings as desired.

From Raw & Simple: Eat Well and Live Radiantly with 100 Truly Quick and Easy Recipes for the Raw Food Lifestyle. Copyright Quarry Books 2013. Available on Amazon

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Products I Love

Rockin' Wellness

 I first heard about Rockin' Wellness from Paul Risse who heads up the very popular Cleanse America. He and many others raved about how great it was, so I had to check it out and see what the hubbub was all about. It's a powdered superfood blend that contains the following:

Raw Organic CACAO Bean; Raw Organic GOJI BERRY; Raw Organic HULLED HEMP SEED; Raw Organic BROWN RICE PROTEIN; Organic Non-GMO LECITHIN; Raw Organic MACA ROOT; Organic CHIA SEED; Organic Evaporated CANE JUICE; Organic BANANA Fruit; Organic GREEN TEA (leaf); Organic YERBA MATE Leaf; Organic GUAR GUM (Bean); Organic FLAXSEED; (Lactobacillus) L. ACIDOPHILUS (Super Strain DDS-1); Organic STEVIA Extract (Leaf)

Nowhere do I see crack listed here, but I'm pretty sure its laced with it because I've been hooked ever since. At first, I was surprised how much I could taste the green tea and it wasn't super chocolatey as I had expected by looking at it, but I only used one scoop in a cup of fresh made almond milk. It was a little grainy with the bits of goji berries and chia seeds (and crack, I'm sure of it) but I quickly started to enjoy the texture it gave my smoothies. Besides the taste, I also really liked how I felt. You get a little lift from the raw cacao, green tea and yerba mate but it's not like a coffee buzz and it didn't give me the jitters. It made me alert, energetic and put me into a great mood. HELLO WORLD!

This is a great booster for your morning smoothie, mixed into chia pudding or homemade raw chocolate treats. Visit their website for more info and read the testimonials. Pretty impressive. I didn't have any miraculous health benefits from taking it, but I'm a long time health enthusiast and just appreciate the nutritional boost it gives me. If you've never put anything healthy into your body before, then there's a good chance you're going to feel the benefits of eating this antioxidant and anti-inflammatory rich crack snack.

Here's a video of Paul making a Rockin' Wellness raw brownie and check out their website to order.

Bella Vado Avocado Oils
I just recently discovered avocado oils while visiting Stehly Farms Organic last month. They provide the organic avocados that go into Bella Vado avocado oils. It's raw, extra virgin, cold pressed, non-GMO, gluten-free and contains no artificial colors. It's also high in omega-3, vitamins A, D, and E. Does that sound like a party or what? They come in 3 flavors: Lime, Jalapeno, and Garlic. You can use them in salad dressings or for cooking. They can stand up to high heat without degrading or becoming toxic like olive oil. Awesome, right? Garlic is my favorite. I've used it in salad dressings and sauteed my greens with it. The flavor is rich, nutty and pleasant. The jalapeno is very spicy so watch out if you're sensitive while the lime is really lovely in salad dressings. Learn more about them at the Bella Vado website.

ELF Botija Olives
I've been eating dried botija olives for at least 3 years but never have they been so accessible until now in my area (Long Beach, CA). I used to have to order them online or drive to Erewhon in LA but now my local Lazy Acres carries them and I am in absolute heaven. If you love olives and haven't tried these, yet, you are in for a treat. I prefer the dried over the ones in brine. The flavor is rich, tart and salty and the texture soft and chewy. My favorite olive used to be kalamata, but they pale in comparison to these. Even my husband who is indifferent to olives has been chowing down on these. Unfortunately, they're $9.99 a jar so I have to reign in my enthusiasm and savor each and every one slowly. Order them here from Essential Living Foods.


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