Last week, my husband and I were on vacation in Hawaii to celebrate our upcoming 30th wedding anniversary. It was a FABULOUS trip filled with adventure (helicopter ride), breathtaking sites (The Road to Hana), relaxation (ocean view), shopping (Hilo Hattie) and of course, food (every meal was delicious). Our rule with the our food was we could not go to a restaurant that we had close to home. That allowed us to fully experience the Hawaiian cuisine, which we did in abundance. When we got off the plane in Maui, I told my husband I was going to have my fill of everything pineapple and coconut during the week because after all, it is fresh and authentic there on the island. And that is exactly what I did. I discovered POM (pineapple/ orange/mango juice) and had that with most breakfasts. I had fresh pineapple for breakfast and lunch on most days and even on my pizza for dinner. I sipped the best ever virgin pina coladas. And I discovered coconut-macadamia nut brittle. Calories certainly were not spared. Measured by what we ate, right there, our trip was outstanding.
Then we had to go home (boo hoo). As my mom remarked, “Hawaii is probably the only
destination you don’t want to leave.” I couldn’t agree more. It took a few days to adjust to the time difference (Hawaii is three hours behind California) in sleeping and with our eating patterns. After all, dinner time in Maui was 10:00 p.m. California time. Ugh. Not only did I have to adjust the timing of my hunger pains, I had to adjust what and how I ate. No more vacation excuse to over do it. What better way to make the break than to follow the information I shared all last week on this blog regarding Raw Food Cuisine. Utilizing this type of choice in to my daily meal planning has already helped me to shed some vacation poundage. And, I just feel better all around.
Before I left on our trip, I downloaded in to my e-reader the cookbook, Raw Food Made Easy by Jennifer Cornbleet.
This marvelous book was highly recommended at the raw foods cooking class I took hosted by Rawmazing Food. Several of Jennifer’s recipes were demonstrated during the class. So, I was already familiar with some of the dishes. On the flight home, I read, bookmarked, and highlighted several raw food techniques as well as tasty recipes to try. What I really like about this cookbook is that all the recipes are made for one or two people, so if you are the only one in your family experimenting with this kind of cuisine, you don’t have to worry about wasting any food. Likewise, if you maybe don’t care for a particular recipe, you aren’t out much time or money for ingredients. And, if you really like something, it is easy to double or triple for more servings. Most dishes last for three to five days in the refrigerator, so leftovers are handy. Another cool advantage of trying raw food meals is that there is no cooking involved. Once you have prepared the dish, it is ready to eat. You actually save on time and energy which is really handy now that summer is upon us.
The first recipe I tried was lemon mousse pie with vanilla creme sauce. I made it for Father’s Day because my husband said he wanted a dessert that wasn’t fattening (?). The pie crust also came from the book. It consisted of flaked coconut, macadamia nuts, (couldn’t leave those tastes behind in Hawaii) and dates. Simply put all the ingredients in a food processor until crumbly and pat in to a pie plate. The dates are what holds it all together and make it sweet to the taste. The ingredients for the mousse and vanilla creme are crazy (avocados, cashews, agave, to name a few) but they actually work out quite well. What a tasty dessert it turned out to be!!!
Last night’s dinner consisted of stuffed red bell peppers and a cucumber-mint salad. The peppers were stuffed with “mock tuna salad.” Each of these ideas came from the cookbook and surprisingly, my husband wolfed it all down and said he liked it all. (I did too). This morning for breakfast, I had the green smoothie I posted last week. Also this morning, I made almond milk to use for future desserts and breakfasts. Tomorrow I am making cashew cheese, the raw food version of cream cheese. And of course, I have leftovers to eat the rest of the week.
Eating these raw dishes has left me feeling satisfied and healthy. And, if you can believe this, my desire for white sugar desserts (my staple) has virtually vanished. I am excited to try more recipes in the cookbook, especially since my husband has been a willing participant. But even if he didn’t want to, I could still enjoy it on my own without any hassles.
I hope I have encouraged you to give raw food cuisine a try. As a little extra incentive, I am offering my first giveaway, a copy of Jennifer Cornbleet’s book, Raw Foods Made Easy. To enter for the giveaway, just comment on this post what you are doing or want to change in your life to become more health conscious in your eating. I will randomly choose the winner from the comments shared. The winner will be announced next Tuesday on the blog. Hopefully my posts so far this month has inspired you in some way to change up your eating style. Let me know and heck, you just might be my winner!!! Entries for the giveaway will be accepted until midnight PST on Sunday, June 26, 2011. Good luck and happy eating!!!