Sunday, February 23, 2014

Moving Forward

Buddha Blessings - Beet of my Heart Green Smoothie, recipe below

Life truly takes us on an exciting journey with twists and turns abound.  My life, so far, has been filled with many of them - from good to bad to WTF... and everything in between.  And now, another one begins.

This is going to be an exciting journey!  One that I've been waiting to happen for many years, but just didn't know exactly what it was going to be.  Let me briefly explain...

For many years I worked in the corporate and medical world, then ended up horribly sick with CFIDS and could no longer work, let alone function at home.  Food, holistic medicine, Mark, family and my own perseverance (aka: never give up) is what got me well - even though it sneaks up on me sometimes.  Out of that sickness I discovered a talent I didn't know I had, which ended up as my successful metalwork career for the past 7 plus years.  I've had other medical blows and other crappy things happen in my journey, with the most recent one of early breast cancer (1 1/2 years cancer-free this month!) .  With each one of the blows, I eventually got back up, became stronger and continued on with life. Hence my nickname Rocki - as in Rocky Balboa which one of my docs had tagged me with years ago.

Moving forward.  The past few years I've told Mark how I wish I could do something more profound with my life that would help others in some way or another.  I had no idea what I wanted to do, but something that was close to heart.  He suggested for me to take the same nutritional class that he took as he loved it and said I would too.  While I thought about it, no bells went off.  Another thing to mention is that due to my wrists and arm issues, metalworking is not going to be a lifelong career for me. 

Sometimes when you stop looking for something, it appears right before your eyes.

It's going on two years since I became a raw foodist/raw vegan and I cannot express enough I very much I LOVE eating a clean diet and creating recipes.  My head spins sometimes with thoughts of what to make next!  I think I actually eat, sleep and dream it.  Mark sure isn't complaining, especially since he's my official recipe taster.  Well, so are our friends at SKW (his office).

I've always enjoyed learning about healthy eating and treating food as medicine. I have several books that I've read cover to cover, more than once and cannot seem to get enough knowledge.  In fact, my dad is the same way - not a raw vegan, but he sure loves his raw veggies!  We used to talk for hours on end about nutrition, healing with food, etc.  Now we share recipes too.

Okay, so let me get to my next journey in this life that I'm going on or else I'll just keep writing and writing about how much I love my raw vegan life!  Two things that I'm extremely passionate about and are close to my heart (besides family of course) is my Buddhist path and my raw vegan healthy lifestyle.  Well, this could not be any more perfect for me as I'm now enrolled in the Body Mind Institute to get my Raw Nutrition Certificate!  After that, I'm going to take a course to become a Raw Vegan Chef!  After that, I don't know.  I'm leaving the door wide open.

To manage my class and studio time, I'm going to work only part-time in the studio as that is the only way I can achieve my goal.  Yes, I do actually have a goal in mind as to where I want to be in a couple years and with perseverance, I will get there.

Moving forward.

Peace and love,


Here's the smoothie recipe that is in the picture with Buddha:

Beet of my Heart Green Smoothie
2 handfuls baby spinach
1 small beet
2 bananas
1 cup strawberries
1 cup hemp milk (or milk of choice - adjust as needed)
1 Tbs flax meal (optional)
1 Tbs maca powder (optional)
1 Tbs raw vegan protein powder (optional)
optional ice if you like a cold smoothie like I do :)

Blend, pour, be thankful for the little things, and enjoy.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Raw Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and Bliss Balls

Raw Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

My grandma made the best oatmeal molasses raisin cookies.  I can still smell them!  Lots of fun was spent in the kitchen at my grandparents house.  Sweet memories.

My Raw Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are guilt-free, gluten-free, healthy and very tasty.  They go pretty quick too, so next time I'll make a double batch... maybe even triple. 

in the dehydrator - smells so good!

No worries if you do not have a dehydrator as you can eat these cookies completely raw!  You can form them into cookie shapes or Bliss Balls (see below) - they taste like oatmeal cookie dough! 

Raw Vegan Bliss Balls - Oatmeal Raisin

For this batch I did a little of both and Mark took them to work to share.  I rolled some in hemp heart seeds, some in coconut sugar and the rest I left plain.  Shredded coconut would be a nice topping too... so many choices.

Here's my simple recipe for a yummy healthy treat.  You can adapt to fit your likes.

Raw Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and Bliss Balls

1 heaping cup of soaked steel cut gluten-free oats (rinsed and drained) - or regular oats
1 cup flax meal
1/2 cup walnuts (soaked and dehydrated - optional)
2 Tbs hemp heart seeds
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp Roasted Saigon Cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt

Put into food processor and pulse to combine.

Add in:
1/2 cup packed medjool dates (or dates of choice), process until well combined and can hold it's shape when rolled into a ball.

Add in 1/4 cup full of golden raisins and pulse a few times to mix in.  You can leave the raisins out if you like.

For dehydrated cookies:

Form into balls, sprinkle with a tiny bit of coconut sugar (or sugar of choice) and flatten.  Put onto mesh dehydrator sheet and dehydrate at 115 degrees for approximately 4-6 hours or until desired doneness.  Time will vary due to weather, location, dehydrator, etc.

For bliss balls:

Form into round balls and if desired, roll into coconut shreds, hemp seeds, coconut sugar... or leave plain.  I love them plain.

Store them in the fridge or freezer - if they last that long. 


Monday, February 10, 2014

Goji Berry Green Smoothie - Raw Vegan Recipe

Raw Vegan Smoothie

I've been having so much fun creating a variety of smoothies lately.  Many of them are ones I've been making for a long time, but never thought to layer them or be so creative!

This one is my antioxidant rich Goji Grape Green Smoothie, garnished with coconut shreds, blueberries and pomegranate.  The Goji Berry (also known as the Wolfberry), are delightfully tasty little berries known in Asia for over 2,000 years as one of the most nutrient rich foods on earth. This superfood is packed with protein, antioxidants and over 20 vitamins and minerals.  You can add them to smoothies, oatmeal, salads, brownies, a variety of recipes... the options are endless!  They make a quickie out of the bag snack too. 

Let's get to my recipe.  Oh and just to note that I use a Vitamix so the texture may be different if you are using a standard blender.  But no worries, it will be delicious just the same!

Goji Berry Green Smoothie

Purple layer: 
1 handful of grapes (about 1 cup)
1 large frozen banana
1/2 cup blueberries
1 heaping Tbs goji berries
1/2 cup coconut water (adjust as needed)

Blend, pour into large measuring cup and set aside in fridge while you make the green layer.

Green layer

1 large handful kale
1 large handful spinach
1 large frozen banana
1 Tbs flax meal (or seed, I grind my own)
2 Tbs protein powder (I use Sunwarrior's Warrior Blend Raw Vegan Protein)
1 tsp Matcha green tea powder
Coconut water - enough to blend.

Layer as you wish and top with garnish or not.  Or, pour both mixtures into a large glass (or 2 small) and swirl together or blend all of the ingredients together and enjoy!  I've done all 3 and it is delicious either way.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Rocki's Raw Vegan Hemp Cheese Sauce

Raw Vegan Hemp Cheese Sauce

Today was such a beautiful day all around.  We got some needed work done around the house in the morning, prepared veggies for Mark's lunch for tomorrow, played barber and cut Mark's hair, went for an awesome bicycle ride and now relaxing on the couch until it's time to create dinner. 

Oh wait, I forgot one little detail... made a batch of my hemp cheese.  Yum yum yum!

We sat down to have lunch and dug right into our veggies and cheese sauce.  I dunked my zucchini into the bowl of deliciousness, took a bite and looked at my cheesy zucchini - it looked like a half moon.  Mark's exact words were: "Well, they say the moon is made of cheese."
He always makes me laugh!

Not only is this cheese sauce gluten, dairy and nut-free, but it is super healthy and guilt-free!  Okay, on with my recipe as I'm wanting to dig back into the cheesy goodness.

Rocki's Raw Vegan Hemp Cheese Sauce

1/4 cup water
1 red bell pepper
1 large garlic clove (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
3 TBS nutritional yeast (heaping)
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 TBS raw apple cider vinegar
1 Serrano chili pepper, seeds removed (or pepper of choice)
1 cup hemp heart seeds

Put everything into your blender and blend until smooth and creamy.  You can add more water if you want a thinner consistency.  Sometimes I add a little tahini for added creaminess.

Living in the southwest we tend to love heat, especially in our food.  Well, actually it took Mark a long time to realize that ketchup was NOT salsa (silly boy).  Now he loves heat in his food too :)  But no worries if you don't as you can change the flavor of the cheese by omitting both peppers and enjoy as is or add herbs and spices of your choice.  You can also use a yellow bell pepper instead of the red.  So many choices.

Time to eat.  Chow for now.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Raw Cashew Raspberry Cream Brownie Hearts

Raw Vegan Brownie Heart with Cashew Raspberry Cream and Goji Berries

I was busy in the kitchen creating another brownie treat.  I LOVE raw vegan brownies! At first it was going to be simple little brownie hearts, but then one thing led to another.  I decided to make some cashew raspberry cream to top them off with.  As you can see, I took it a few more steps.

Heart Brownie - Raw and Gluten-Free

I thought a few sprinkles of coconut shreds would be a subtle tasty topper.

Pink Heart - Raw Vegan Brownie

Just with the cashew raspberry cream on top makes the brownie heart pretty in pink.

From my heart to yours - raw vegan brownies

And you can't go wrong in the buff, you know what I mean ;)  Nothing but brownie.

Pretty little raw vegan cupcake - recipe by Raw Rock

If you don't have a heart mold, I have different silicone molds (bpa-free FDA food-grade silicone) then no worries as they can be made in any shape and look yummy enough to eat.  You can even roll them into a ball, put them into a brownie pan... the choice is yours.

I love my raw vegan brownie recipe, but also like to change it up now and then.  Don't be afraid... change is good! Feel free to change it up as you like.  One thing about raw food is it is so easy to make changes, so let your inner chef out of the box and go for it!

Raw Vegan Brownies

1/2 cup pecans
1 cup walnuts (soaked and dehydrated)
1/2 cup hemp heart seeds
4 TBS Cacao powder
3 TBS coconut shreds
1/8 tsp sea salt

Put into food processor and process until little bits. Then add in the following:

1 TBS coconut butter - softened
1 1/2 cup packed dates (I use medjool - yum!)

Process until well blended but not buttery consistency.  You want the mixture to be able to hold its shape.  Check to see if it will roll into a ball or just give it a squish or two then pop it in your mouth... mmmmm, warm brownies!

Put into mold or pan of choice.  If using a silicon mold, put it in the freezer for at least 60-90 minutes so they will be easy to pop out.  The brownies can be stored in the fridge or freezer - if they last that long.

Cashew Raspberry Cream

1 cup cashews - soaked for at least 2 hours, rinse and drain
1 cup full raspberries
1/2 tsp vanilla
2-3 TBS raw agave (or to your desired sweetness)
1 TBS coconut oil - softened

Blend all ingredients until you have a smooth cream consistency.  You can put this in the fridge while waiting for the brownies (I make this first and then the brownies) or leave on the counter and try not to dip a piece of fruit in it... or your finger.


Peace and Luv,

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Enlighten Up - Healing Hug

Okay, I look goofy as all get out, but hey... that's me.  I'm just plain ol' Rocki that simply expresses myself as is. 

Anyway, this was in our motel room (nope, it's not X-rated, lol!) when we went to Sedona last year to celebrate my 1 year of being cancer free.  It's a short video about... well I'll just let you watch it.

Peace and luv,

Monday, February 3, 2014

Pizza Night! Raw, Vegan and Gluten-Free

My Mandala Pizza :)

One thing I love to make is my raw vegan pizza... nom nom nom!  That's right... raw vegan pizza.  Follow me and I'll tell you about it.

Pizza crust

Above is my own tasty recipe for the crust, which is not only raw and vegan, but also gluten and nut free.

Pizza with lots of veggies

I like to change up my pizza each time I make it, from a variety of toppings, sauce or no sauce and cheese.  Yes, that's right... raw vegan cheese.  Stay with me now and I'll give you the recipe soon.

Mandala Veggie Pizza

I know my pictures are not the best, but heck, I just love how this one looks so have to share another view of it.

Back in the dehydrator

After I put all the ingredients onto the crust I then popped it back into the dehydrator for about an hour.  This gives the cheese time to settle in with the ingredients and makes the house smell yummy!

Fresh sliced pizza

If you think us raw vegans only eat bunny food, take a look at this scrumptious pizza.  However, we do still love our bunny food :)

Raw Vegan Pizza!

And now it's time to eat!  As you can see, the crust holds up nicely and is quite filling.  We had a small side salad with a couple little slices and... okay, well not so little... and we were full.

That's the end of my pizza tour and now it's time for the recipes for my crust and cheese.

Raw Rocki's Pizza Crust

1/2 cup flax meal
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (ground into little bits like flour)
1/2 flax seeds
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 1/2 TBS psyllium husk
1 TBS Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp sea salt

Combine all the above ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

1/3 cup sundried tomatoes - soaked in 1 cup warm water for about 30 minutes (drain and reserve liquid as you'll need it in the next step)
1 large tomato
1/2 red bell pepper
1 tsp garlic powder or clove
1 tsp fennel seeds
pinch sea salt

Put ingredients into a food processor and process well.  The mixture will be somewhat thick and not watery.

Add 3/4 cup of the soaked water to the dry mixture bowl and combine well.  Now add the above tomato mixture to the bowl and stir until combined. 

Line a dehydrator mesh tray with a teflex sheet (or similar) and spoon the mixture onto it.  I put another teflex sheet on top of the mixture then use a rolling pin and my hands to form into a big round pizza crust shape.  You can also make a big square pizza too, I do that sometimes.

Put into the dehydrator at 145 degrees for 1 hour only then turn down to 115 degrees for about another 3-4 hours.  Total time can vary between 4-5 hours or longer depending on a variety of factors.  Mine took about 4 1/2 hours this time.  *When the top crust is dry to touch, transfer it to another mesh sheet tray and remove it from the teflex sheet by slowly peeling it off.  Put it back in for about 1/2 hour and then flip back over until done. 

When the crust is done, top with your favorite ingredients and either put it back into the dehydrator for about an hour or eat right away and enjoy!


Before I get to the cheese recipe, just want to mention that yes, all the ingredients are raw even the mushrooms.  We like the mushrooms to take on a little bit of "cooked" texture so I wilt them slightly by using a tiny bit of liquid amino acid like Braggs.

Raw Rocki's Pizza Cheese

1 cup cashews - soaked for at least 2 hours then rinse and drain
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 yellow bell pepper
1 clove garlic
3 TBS heaping of nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 TBS raw apple cider vinegar (I use Braggs Organic)
*1/4 cup water (can adjust texture by decreasing or increasing water for a thicker or thinner cheese)

Combine all ingredients into vitamix/blender and blend until smooth and creamy.  This makes much more than what you need for the pizza crust, but I always make this size batch because Mark likes to use it as a snack dip for his veggies, etc.

Hope you enjoy these recipes and feel free to change them up as you need to.


*2/4/14 Updated:  I left off a couple things so have made the notes here *