Saturday, September 29, 2012


Hello Friends,
October is going to be a Vegan Month of Food.  So, you will most likely see a lot of vegan recipe postings all over the web and on A Simply Raw Life.  We will be trying to post one vegan recipe every week day!  Please spread the word... share your recipes, our recipes and recipes from your favorite sites, repost and share this healthy way of life.
We are putting together some great recipes to share so we look forward to interacting with you all this month!  We love to read your comments!  It keeps us going.  October is going to be a great month!!
Talk soon,
Check out Vegan Month of Food's originating home page Post Punk Kitchen too...

Friday, September 28, 2012


Vanilla Pear Smoothie
Written by contibutor Britney Manuel of Btanjerine and A Simply Raw Life.
I am currently in love with this smooth, subtle smoothie.  It's one of those things you sip and savor.  A definite keeper for a great go-to meal on the go.

And the perks are, that this buttery fruit can deliver up to 6 grams of fiber, including pectin, which lowers bad cholesterol.  Can I get a woot?  And the juicy flesh contains vitamin C and copper, essential for the formation of red blood cells.  All the more reason to take advantage of this delicate fruit.



1 frozen banana
2 pears peeled
1 c. coconut milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 inch. vanilla bean 


Scrape the inside of the vanilla bean and blend it with the coconut milk for 20 seconds.  Then add all other ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.

Serves 1.  Makes approximately 2 cups.

Love the flecks of vanilla bean!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Written by contibutor Britney Manuel of Btanjerine and A Simply Raw Life. 
Looking to add some unique smoothies to my repitore,  I came across this one again from the app Whole Living Smoothies (here's the link to the website).  I am always trying to make sure to incorporate something green, I mean might as well since you won't taste it anyway.  And this one came out light and mild.  Perfect in my opinion!

A few health tips.  Berries are full of anti-inflammatory and disease-preventing stuff (too many words I can't pronounce but trust me it's good stuff).  And cucumbers are loaded with water to help keep you hydrated.  They are also a source of silica, a trace mineral that strengthens connective tissue.

The Line-up before

Et Voila! The finished product!



1/2 c. frozen blueberries
1/2 cucumber
1 c. almond milk
1 pear
2 dates


Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.

Makes 1 serving approximately 2 cups.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012



I love this simple twist on thetraditional potato salad using Japanese sweet potato and squashes to not onlyadd flavor but also nutrients. Adding in other raw vegetables gives it justthat much more freshness and crispness to each bite.

I think I am going to catagorize this as ridiculously simple!


3 each Japanese sweet potatoes, steamed and cubed
1 pound butter nut squash,steamed and cubed
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup cucumber, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon dill, optional
1/2 cup low fat veganaise
salt & pepper to taste
1 lemon, juice of , optional
Add all ingredients into a largebowl and serve.  Love it!

 Take a look at these the goodness inJapanese sweet potatoes and butternut squash on Livestrong's site. You can’t go wrong.



Monday, September 24, 2012


Here in Southern California it is still burning up, so before I can even think about soup and cozy sweaters I’m still making smoothies, and thinking about getting that mani/pedi.   I have a few resources I like to use for smoothies, one being the app Whole Living Smoothies, you can see some of her other smoothie recipes here.  Its a collaboration from Martha Stewart and it includes smoothies for detox, immunity boosting, weight-loss, etc...  I adapted this weight-loss smoothie to make it raw.

Written by contibutor Britney Manuel of Btanjerine and A Simply Raw Life.

This smoothie is a melange of pineapple, ginger and mint.  And did you know pineapple can give you more than 100% of your recommended daily allowance of manganese, a mineral required to metabolize food?  Ginger is known to be a stomach settler, and a remedy for colds.  And mint is rich in Vitamins A and C and also contains smaller amounts of Vitamin B2. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant and may help to decrease the risk of certain cancers such as colon and rectal cancer.  And i didn’t know this, mint is a very good cleanser for the blood, and mint tea can help clear up skin disorders such as acne.  For more of the benefits of mint click here.  These are just a few reasons to get your sip on with this revitalizing and refreshing smoothie.

So here are the deets.



1 c. frozen pineapple diced
1/2 c. coconut milk
5 mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon ginger (about the size of a dime)
dash of cinnamon

Puree all ingredients in blender until smooth.

Makes 1 serving approximately 1 cup




I'll be traveling aboad this week, so posts may be light.  Its gong to be a smoothies week for the most part.  Britney will be contributing 3 tasty drinks for us, so look out for those.  I can't wait to see what she has put together.  I think I will be able to post something on Tuesday.  We shall see and thanks for your patience.   Have a wonderful week everyone!!

Saturday, September 22, 2012


How to Transition into a Raw Food Diet:

When I first started out transitioning into raw foods, I had no idea where to start.  I didn’t know anyone else who ate the way I was attempting to eat.  I just knew I did not feel good and something had to change fast.  So from one day to the next, I basically quit cold turkey going from the typical Standard American Diet (SAD) of meats, processed foods, sugary refined desserts to whole, fresh raw foods.  Although I found myself really enjoying the new foods I was eating, I found quitting so drastically set me up for failure. 

So I thought I would share with you today some tips on how to transition into raw foods in a way that sets you up for success.

1)    Instead of focusing on what to take out of your diet focus on adding in more fruits and veggies into your diet.

2)    If raw foods seem daunting at first, try going vegan.

3)    Start with having fruit for breakfast, ie smoothies, fruit bowls, several pieces of whole fruit.

4)    Once you get breakfast down start making the rest of your meals half raw.  For example, if you have pasta for dinner, add a large green salad with that.

5)    Eat the salads or raw part of your meal first.  So instead of filling up on pasta and only finishing half the salad you intended, eat the salad and veggies first so that you are sure to fill up on the most nutritious part first crowding out the other food.

6)    If you give into a craving or caved into to old habits, don’t get discouraged it happens.  Get back up and start with the next meal.  You always have the very next meal to start off on the right foot.

Transitioning into raw foods is an amazing journey.  So have fun along the way and enjoy it.  Have your why’s for doing the diet clearly in mind, to always keep you motivated.  If you are having set backs or struggling just keep moving forward.  Remember it’s not the pace but the direction in which you are going.  Keep moving forward and you will feel the inner GLOW exuding from the inside out!

Christine has helped people make this amaizng transition.  For more information, you can contact Christine by visiting



Friday, September 21, 2012


As you already know, we love tacos in this house.  My husband can eat tacos everyday.  I recently and amazingly enough, had a version of these tacos at Rubios.  I knew my husband would love these So, for him, I made my these very tasty Portobello & Poblano Chilli tacos with a vegan chipolte ranch dressing.  The dressing is fabulous and super easy too! 
The ingredients are simple for the tacos.  I love the mix of bright colors.


For the tacos cut equal amounts of the following:
Portobello mushrooms, sliced
Poblano chillis, sliced
Red onions, sliced
Tomatoes, sliced
Cilantro, chopped for garnish
Avocado, sliced for garnish
Red bell peppers, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
First sautee the poblano chillies, red onions and red bell peppers for 5 minutes in the olive oil.  Add in the tomatoes, mushroom, cumin, salt and pepper and cook for 2 more minutes.
Warm up the tortilla on an open flame.  An optional step is to add a small slice of non dairy cheese in the middle of the tortilla until its slightly melted.  Plate the tortilla with the vegetables.  Add in the avocado, cilantro, and drizzle with the chopolte ranch.  Super tasty!
The chipotle ranch recipe is below...

For the chipolte ranch dressing

2/3 cups cashews, optional soak them for 4 hours and drain
1 cup almond milk
1/4 cup reduced fat vegenaise
1 lime, juiced
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 clove garlic
2 tbs shallots, chopped
2 tablespoon chipolte tabasco sauce or 1/2 tablespoon chipolte chilli powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp salt

Add all the ingredients and blend thoroughly. The dressing will thicken after it refrigerates. Makes about 2 cups.

If you need a nut free version, try this one

1/2 teaspoon paprika chilli
2 cloves garlic
1 shallots, finely chopped
1/2 cups reduced fat vegenaise
1/2 lemon, juice of
1/2 cup almond milk
5 dashes of chipotle tabasco

Blend all the ingredients together well in a blender.  Refrigerate.  Makes about 1-1/2 cups.

I love this chipolte dressing.  I am definitely going to use this on my salad as well.  A great mix of flavors in this dish.



Thursday, September 20, 2012



If you like the drink Arnold Palmer (a mix of half lemonade and half iced tea) like my husband does, you will love this tasty drink.  On our recent jont out to True Food Kitchen, I had their Matcha Green Tea Lemonade and fell in love with it.  I love green tea, but in the middle of summer heat, you really don't feel like drinking a hot cup of tea.  This drink was so freshing and flavorful.


You can pick up Matcha, which is a stone ground green tea powder, from your local Whole Foods, or Asian Food Store.  This time I decided to try the one from Republic of Tea.    


For the Agave Lemonade Base:

1 ½ cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
6 cups water
¾ cup agave nectar (or to taste)
1 tablespoon peeled and finely grated ginger root
Stir together the lemon juice, water and agave nectar. Stir in the grated ginger if desired, and chill thoroughly.

For the Matcha Tea Base: Steeping Instructions for two servings

Fill the kettle with fresh, filtered water and heat to just short of boiling. Fill the matcha bowl with 1 teaspoon of matcha powder.  Blend in 1-2 tablespoons of the hot watern and wisk.  Pour 8 oz of cold water and stir. 

Fill a glass with half matcha tea and half lemonde.  Garnish with a lemon wedge and a straw and sip.

So refreshing!  Enjoy!
Additional Information on Matcha
On average, Matcha contains less than half the amount of caffeine per cup than in a similar-sized cup of coffee. 

Finally, are my shots I took of True Food Kitchen on Instagram...

True Foods Kitchen, Santa Monica, CA

True Foods Kitchen Matcha Green Tea Lemonade

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Pretty excited that my Tofu Tacos with an Asian Kick was featured on Vegan Food Share's Tumbler page and Instagram Feed.   I hope to be able to congure up more share worthy recipes in the future.  Thank you Vegan Food Share!


My friends have been waiting for a raw dessert recipe and so I have finally posted a super, super easy and delicious recipe.  Most of my gal pals LOVE chocolate.  When I say LOVE, I really mean LOVE!  So, this recipe is right up their alley and will definitely satisfy that craving for chocolate.
Now, please do not get afraid when you see the word raw in the dessert title.  Many people get afraid when they see a raw recipe.  But really, it only means "uncooked" and "keep in the nutrients" and so really, you can, in this case, equate it to simplicity.  You will not believe how EASY this is!

Lately, I have been loving that fact that I am able connect with some wonderful people over Instagram.  What a great way to connect with other Raw, Vegan and Vegetarians all over the world and exchange food ideas and recipes.  This recipe is adapted from what I originally saw on A Life Unhurried.  I recently connected with her on IG.  Her recipe was adapted from Judita Wignall's famous Mexican Spiced Brownies. So delicious!

Prep time: 30 minutes
Chill time: 1 to 2 hours


4 cups walnuts*
2/3 cup raisins
2/3 cup medjool dates, pitted
2/3 cup cacao or carob powder
1 tablespoon Mexican (ceylon) cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons finely ground star anise
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
pinch of sea salt (optional)
2 tablespoons water

*preferably soaked 6-8 hours and dehydrated but not crucial.  For this version, I did not soak or dehydrate them and they came out very nice.  Just a tad more chunkier than it would be soaked.

1. Place walnuts into a food processor and grind into the consistency of
a meal. Don’t over process or it will release too much oil.

2. Add the raisins and dates and process until the mixture is well combined.

3. Add the cocoa powder, cinnamon, vanilla, star anise, cayenne and sea salt and process again until mixture is sticky yet still crumbly. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

4. Add the water and mix well using your hands. It should start to resemble a dough.

5. Press mixture into an 8 x 8 inch baking pan lined with parchment paper or plastic wrap.

1/2 cup maple syrup or agave nectar
1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid
2/3 cup cacao or carob powder

1. Add maple syrup to the blender first followed by the coconut oil and cocoa powder. Blend well until smooth.

2. Spread topping over brownies and chill at least 1-2 hours.

3. Remove brownie by lifting up the parchment paper and slice into desired size pieces.

Store in the refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for one month.

NOTE: Try substituting cayenne pepper with chipotle or ancho pepper for a whole new experience. Chipotle is smoky and spicy while ancho is mild and sweet. For a traditional brownie omit cayenne, anise and cinnamon.  My next batch will be the Traditional Brownie.  (Actually, think I will make this and not tell anyone its raw and see what they say.  Hee hee!)

Makes 12 to 16 servings

These are incredible!

Check out Judita's book Going Raw HERE.


Monday, September 17, 2012


Vegan: Eggplant & Herbed Quinoa

A few of my friends are loyal Sprouted Kitchen followers, so naturally, I adopted them too as a great go to food blog for all things wholesome and scrumptious.  I was quite thrilled...ok probably more surprised when I tasted this medley of herbed quinoa.  The ingredients seemed kind of random while I was preparing it, dill, cilantro, basil, capers...etc.  All of these herbs and the capers have very distinct flavors so I was a tad skeptical that some of the flavors may be a bit overpowering, but I was wrong!  You can see the post at Sprouted Kitchen here.

The first time I made this dish I did the eggplant as suggested, and it was wonderful, but as of lately I’m a bit burnt out on the aubergine vegetable.  So I opted to use portabello mushrooms and zucchini, and it worked just as well.

So here are the deets!

Purple basil, dill & cilantro

portabello mushrooms

Dill, tri-color quinoa, red onion, pine nuts and capers



  • 3-4 medium eggplants (maybe 2 larger ones, 4 smaller ones)
  • sea salt
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • za'atar seasoning
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • half of a small red onion, sliced thin
  • generous handful each of fresh basil, dill and cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp. capers, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. honey or agave nectar
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts


Cut the eggplants into 1 1/2'' rounds. Sprinkle with salt and set aside for 30 minutes to release water.
Add the quinoa to a pot with a pinch of salt and 3/4 cup water or stock. Bring it to a gentle boil, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, fluff with a fork, cover again and leave it to steam another 5 minutes.
Heat up your grill or grill pan. Press the eggplants between a dishcloth or paper towels to absorb the excess moisture. Brush both sides with olive oil and grill for about 5 minutes per sides until you get nice dark marks and the texture seems pretty soft throughout. I like the softer texture that comes with covering them. Remove to a plate, drizzle a bit more olive oil and sprinkle with za'atar to taste.
To finish the quinoa, toss in the onions, all of the herbs, oil, vinegar, honey or agave and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to mix. Taste and adjust as you like.
Put the eggplants on a plate, top with the quinoa and garnish with the toasted pinenuts.

***NOTE:  A few things I changed.  So I've never heard of the seasoning za'atar, and the person at my local market had never heard of it, so I abandoned that seasoning.  If you have heard of it please leave a message below because I'd like to know where I can find it.  But wait it's probably at Whole Foods!  Also the first time I made this I did coat each eggplant piece with olive oil.  But the second go round I opted to just put some olive oil in the pan, and let the mushroom coat themselves, again I am a lazy vegan.  I also thought I'd try it this time with portabello mushrooms and zucchini.  So instead of the 2-3 eggplants I used 2 portabello mushrooms sliced, and 1 zucchini sliced into spears.


Saturday, September 15, 2012


I am really loving this "rice" recipe!  Super, super easy and packed with flavor.  The pesto recipe is vegan and super flavorful.  I have been craving some pesto lately since my basil plant is still thriving... pray for me.  I hope it stays strong.

I definitely think this "rice" will be one of my go-tos for a quick and easy raw meal. 


1 head cauliflower, chopped in the food processor
1 red pepper, diced
4 stalks of celery, diced
3 persian cucumbers, diced
1 small basket of crimini mushrooms or portobellos, chopped

1/3 cup pine nuts                  
1/2 cup olive oil                  
5 cloves garlic
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
For the pesto all the ingredients except the olive oil in the food processor, start processing and then slowing drizzle in the olive oil as everything is being processed.  Mix thoroughly.
Mix all the ingredients for the rice into a large bowl.  Then fold in the pesto sauce as desired and its ready to serve!
Such a delicious recipe.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 14, 2012


Last weekend I went to a conference where I needed to pack a picnic lunch and was racking my brain as to what I wanted to bring.  My friend Christine posted a raw "rice" dish photo on her Instagram that I thought was fabulous.  So, I made my version of it.   It's so easy to make you won't know what to do with yourself.  I love the color!  And the flavor of the carrot ginger dressing just gives it a subtle tang that's just delicious.


1 head cauliflower, chop in the food processor
1 cup tomatoes, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup cucmbers diced
Carrot ginger dressing... you can find the recipe HERE.
Chop up the head of cauliflower in the food processor to your liking.  You can chop it really fine or leave the pieces a little bigger if you'd like.  Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and stir in the carrot ginger dressing to taste.  And voila!  It's so easy!
I topped it off with my vegan flat bread.  Can you say tasty???  You can find the flat bread recipe HERE.  I friend of mine who is not raw or vegan tasted it and she was so surprised by how flavorful it was. 
Let me know how you like it or what your own raw rice combination is. :)


This was an inspiration from an outing with Felicia to the wonderful little cafe Lemonade.  Side note: They have many great and unique options for the everyday vegan.  Anyway, Felicia got this wonderful salad that was heirloom tomatoes with a light olive oil and basil dressing.  And that was it, but it was sooo flavorful!  I think that the key is to use really great tomatoes,  if you don’t have quality tomatoes you might as well make ketchup or something else because it just won’t do the salad justice!  I purchased my tomatoes from my local farmers market.


2 small heirloom tomatoes
8 yellow grape tomatoes
1 tbsp. basil finely chopped (I used purple basil, but you can use whatever you have on hand)
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 c. olive oil
coarse salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)

Pour olive oil in a bowl.  Add finely chopped basil and muddle basil by smashing with the back of a spoon.  Next quarter tomatoes into bite size chunks.  Add salt and pepper.  Stir to coat all tomatoes and garnish with lemon zest.  Enjoy!

Makes approximately 1 serving

A flavor revolution in your mouth!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Lemon-Coconut Tofu Bars

Howdy Britney here!  Well one thing that you should know about me is that I am a lover of all things citrusy and tart!  And one thing I sometimes miss are lemon bars.  So when I stumbled upon this recipe I knew I had met my match.

What I love about this recipe is that the crust is savory and rich, the lemon filling is smooth and creamy.  And with hints of the lemon zest it’s a perfect combination of savory, sweet and tart.

This is the original recipe from Whole Living.

*please see my note, because I changed a few things from the original recipe. 

The Components



1/2 c. coconut oil, melted, plus more for brushing
1/4 c. cane sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1 1/2 c. whole-wheat pastry flour


1/2 c. silken tofu
3/4 c. cane sugar
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp whole-wheat pastry flour


Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Brush an 8-inch square baking dish with oil, then line with parchment, leaving an overhang, and brush parchment with oil.  Set aside.  

Make crust: Stir together 1/2 cup oil, sugar, vanilla, and salt.  Add flour and stir until just combined.  Press dough into prepared dish and bake until pale golden-brown, about 20 minutes.  

Meanwhile, make filling: Process tofu, sugar, lemon zest and juice, baking powder, and flour in a high speed blender (I used my Vitamix) and process until smooth.  Pour onto baked crust and bake until set, 25 to 30 minutes more.  Let cool completely, then sprinkle with coconut flakes.

**NOTE:  Ok, so I made a few alterations to this recipe.  First for the crust I used raw sugar.  The first time I used raw sugar in the filling as well as the crust.  This gave a more caramel hue to the filling instead of a more lemony yellow color I was going for.  So the second time I used raw sugar for the crust, and cane sugar for the filling which gave the bars a bit more of the lemony yellow hue I was going for.  Also the crust was thick and was about 1:1 with the filling.  I don’t know about you but I can’t get enough of the filling so I doubled the filling to give me a better crust to filling ratio!  (I understand I probably sound ridiculous talking about crust to filling ratio, but it is important to me :)  Also I let it bake about 35 minutes instead of the suggested 25-30 minutes since I doubled the filling.  And then instead of dusting it with confectioners’ sugar I opted for some shredded coconut.  And last thing is that I like my lemon bars on the cold side so I freeze them, and then keep them in the fridge.

That's it can you say DELISH?

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