But back to more important things. First, a report on the raw challenge. I didn't make 21 days - at day 13 I gave up! Partly this was due to an unexpected trip where I was separated from the blender that had become essential to me, but in large part it was due to a realization that I was indulging my less-than-healthy perfectionist tendencies in pushing myself so much. I definitely wanted to incorporate more raw food into my diet, and 13 days ended up being enough to really introduce me to the wonders and variety of raw food without getting fed up or bored. The challenge is definitely something I'd like to try again, but at this time it's been a great lesson for me in just enjoying new things, not feeling the need to be so madly hardcore about everything, and so hard on myself if I don't stick to it 100%. I recently read Eat, Pray, Love (despite the fact that my inherent obtuseness means my knee-jerk reaction to something a lot of people are raving about is usually outright hostility) and something Ms. Gilbert said really resonated with me: "Never forget that once, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend." I think many of us are far harsher with ourselves than with our friends - certainly I would never dream of reprimanding my friends the way I do myself internally - and I'm trying really hard at the moment to recognise that and not beat myself up so much over small failures.
In terms of cooking, I've been pretty obsessed with a few recipes by Angela Liddon at ohsheglows.com. This lady is seriously inspiring, I love her upbeat posts and cooky style, and I'd really recommend her blog for anyone unfamiliar with it. I've been pretty much living off her chili (made as part of her endurance lunch) and her chocolate brownie recipe for the past couple of weeks now that New York is getting cold...
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 3 bay leaves
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 2 tablespoons dried oregano
• 3/4 tablespoon salt
• 3 stalks celery, chopped
• 2 green bell peppers, chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, chopped
• 2.5 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
• 1/4 cup chili powder
• 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
• 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
• 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
• 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
• 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn
Directions: Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and season with
bay leaves, cumin, oregano, and salt. Cook and stir until onion is tender, then mix in the celery,
green bell peppers, garlic. When vegetables are heated through, mix in the walnut burger
crumbles. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 5 minutes. Mix the tomatoes into the pot.
Season the chili with chili powder and pepper. Stir in the kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and
black beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 1-1.5 hour. Stir in the corn, and
continue cooking 5 minutes before serving.
I made a few changes - left out the corn, used one red and one green pepper instead of 2 green, and used canned tomatoes with chili peppers in them.
Angela's brownies were made as part of a brownie-pumpkin-pie recipe. I have been making them just on their own, as brownie cupcakes.
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup + 3 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
3/4 cup white kamut flour (or white)
1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp cornstarch (or arrowroot/tapioca)
1/4 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
I substituted the pumpkin for apple sauce (when I ran out of pumpkin - these have been made many times), and vegetable oil for coconut oil (though for health reasons I'd recommend the coconut). I also used a mix of white flour and whole wheat pastry flour instead of kamut flour, and brown sugar rather than white. My one tip is do not forget the salt - it makes the world of difference.
Next up books. Or fashion. Or both.