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All posts tagged raw

The Hearth, New Hope, PA

Published November 9, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_9180The Hearth

My first visit to The Heart, in New Hope, Pennsylvania: http://hearthnewhope.com/

This is a cozy restaurant. They play excellent music (like Traveling Wilburys and Bob Dylan).

They specialize in vegetarian, so I had a chickpea burger, with a side salad. It was a little dry, as was the salad. They are chintzy with the dressing; you could barely taste it.

The best was the dessert, pictured below, Raw Chocolate Mousse: avocado, cashew, cacao, agave blend topped with raspberries and toasted coconut. [Note: I make a similar pudding at home with frozen acai, banana, honey and avocado. It sounds weird, but the avocado gives it the pudding consistency and it really does taste like pudding!]

My husband had the Flourless Chocolate Torte [also pictured below] which is gluten free. I had a taste and it was very rich.

The Ethiopian coffee was perfect.

SAM_9174Raw chocolate Mousse w/pear

SAM_9175Flourless Chocolate Torte

Upstairs is nice and cozy, with a beautiful stained glass window, though with the acoustics, it’s a shame it’s too loud and you can hear conversations at everyone’s tables — even a soft whisper sounds loud. Luckily we were able to enjoy the dessert portion of our meal when a foursome left and only another quiet couple were upstairs with us.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the managing editor of Dining Out magazine and a serious Yelp-er.

Live Kombucha Soda

Published May 6, 2015 by Maryanne

Live kombuchaLive Kombucha Soda Series

I think I’m in love!

I’ve written in the past about my love for kombucha. Today I discovered, Live Kombucha Soda (which is really kombucha with evaporated cane juice, stevia and natural flavorings). It’s a fabulous treat. I had the “Pure Doctor.”

According to the label, the founder had a dad who was a soda addict so he wanted to create something healthy and tasty.

I look forward to trying the Cola and Limon flavors.

I found mine at Stop & Shop in Clifton, New Jersey. If you go to their website, you can put in your zip code and find out where they carry it in your area: http://livesodakombucha.com/

Happy National Spicy Guacamole Day!

Published November 14, 2014 by Maryanne

avocadoAvocado — GOOD fat!

Today is National SPICY Guacamole Day. Wanna celebrate? I got you covered. This has been my “go to” party dish for years. I found this recipe on a raw food message board over 10 years ago. It’s very simple.

To make a small serving, blend one avocado, one banana and one clove of garlic. Yes, garlic — that’s what gives it the spicy kick! I’ve had someone tell me, “This is the best guacamole I’ve ever had!”

This recipe is not only good as a party dish, but great to pour over greens when you’re seeking something different in a dressing. It comes out thick and creamy. The fat in avocado is so good for you, I have one every day.

This recipe is suitable for paleo minded as well as vegans and raw foodists.

ENJOY!

Healthy Raw Non-Dairy Dessert

Published May 30, 2013 by Maryanne

Raw Coconut Cream Ice Cream

I’ve always been a fan of raw “ice cream” (which isn’t really ice cream because it’s made without milk, making it a non-dairy vegan product). I love raw ice cream because it’s easier on the stomach and actually tastier. It just melts in your mouth. It’s low glycemic and has no artificial ingredients or preservatives. And because it’s raw (uncooked, unprocessed) you get all the enzymes — the full benefit of all the natural ingredients.

Today for the first time I tried the Coconut Secret brand. I went for the Madagascar Vanilla – and it’s heavenly!

I’ve been using Coconut Secret products for a couple years now. I love their coconut vinegar and their coconut amino acids (so much better than Bragg’s in my humble opinion).

I can’t wait to try the other flavors! It’s pricey, but I’m worth it!

HELLO SUMMER!

Cold (Raw) Mango Soup!

Published May 6, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_0761Cold Mango Soup (Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

I just made this amazing cold mango soup (suitable for vegans and raw foodists!)

Simply blend all the following ingredients

2 cups diced organic mangos

1 orange

1/2 large cucumber

1/2 red bell pepper

2 cloves organic garlic

Juice of two limes

Handful of cilantro

1 tablespoon organic cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil

A half cup water

Flavor with sea salt and freshly ground pepper

This makes one serving. And it’s so ultra delicious! Yum!

“Awesome Foods”

Published May 4, 2013 by Maryanne

???????????????????????????????Collard Wraps made by “Awesome Foods”

For quite a few years I’ve been a fan of Awesome Foods (http://www.awesomefoods.com/) — “on the go food” that is raw and vegan.

They are located in Pennsylvania but distribute to health food stores in my area. One of the places is Dean’s (in Shrewsbury and Ocean Township). Today I had a dentist appointment just a half hour from Shrewsbury, so I took a drive on this gorgeous New Jersey day and got some Awesome Foods goodies. I absolutely LOVE their collard wrap, as well as the raw vegan sushi rolls (which come with natural wasabi).

Over the years I’ve tried so many Awesome Food products I’ve actually got sick of some of them! Can you imagine liking something so much you eat it twice a week for almost two years straight?! Well that’s what happened with their raw pizza.

Now aside from sharing with my blog followers about the raw pizza, I keep my mouth shut about it because a lot of people are just clueless when it comes to good health. You say “raw pizza” and they’re picturing uncooked doughy yeast. Uh — NO!

Raw pizza is a burrito made with flax meal so soft it practically melts in your mouth. The “cheese” is made from Brazil nuts and sunflower seeds with lemon juice and garlic. And it’s topped with sun dried tomato sauce, parsley, and other goodies like fresh peppers.

How can you not love that?

Then the same thing happened with their eggplant lasagna. I loved it so much, again, I ate it for years, two or three times a week until I could no longer look at the dish! Does that make me a glutton, or just a die-food foodie who likes what she likes?

Now, let’s move on to their salads. The raw beet salad is my favorite thing in the world. Second is the cucumber sea vegetable salad — whoa, just so super delicious! The raw “egg-less” salad and “better than tuna” salads are terrific. One container makes for two meals easily.

And last, but not least, the mother of all treats — Awesome Foods raw coconut goji berry bar! Again, ate these so much I got sick of them. Absolutely melts in your mouth! Runner up is the raw chocolate coconut bar. (But I did get another brand of raw chocolate today — as I was just jonesing for some real chocolate!)

So if you wanna bon appetite without the cooking and mess — try Awesome Foods for a truly good meal that’s both tasty and healthy.

Also have to rave about other Dean’s goodies. I always love their house brand raw cream “cheese” which made from raw cashews. Also scored some Kvass — a probiotic cultured drink (they have many flavors but I try to go for the super green). And took home a loaf of manna bread, which isn’t raw but cooked at very low temperatures so you get plenty of good nutrients from it.

And Dean’s took the time to special order a mascara for me that’s all natural and doesn’t test on animals.

Funny thing on the way out, the cashier was so nice, I told him he had a dynamic personality. He loved that and started joking around with me. So much joking that I handed him a $100 bill and he forgot to give me change! I didn’t even realize because we were laughing so much until I got in my car and went to my wallet for change for the Parkway! I ran back into the store and was like, “Stop everything!” And then I got my $45. Whew!

A perfect spring day with lots of fun, a good report at the dentist and yummy treats!

The BEST ‘On the Go’ Juice!

Published November 29, 2012 by Maryanne

BluePrint Juice — RAW, NATURAL, ORGANIC, UNPASTEURIZED!

I’ve been eyeballing these juices for MONTHS, but held off on trying them because one serving is very costly (example: between $6.99 to $8.99 — ouch!) But a few days ago I was a bit under the weather and rationalized that if I brought something in the homeopathic area, it would cost just as much so …

One word “WOW!”

I tried the “kale/apple/ginger/romaine/spinach/cucumber/celery/parsley/lemon” drink and it was to die for. This is something I’ve always dreamed of — fresh juice on the go. This tastes like it came straight for the juicer. No exaggeration!

All those times I drank Naked Juice, I always felt I could taste the pasteurization. Those juices were always too heavy for my tastes. They also tasted sugary even though they were made of nothing but fruit and vegetable juices.

But BluePrint Juice is the real deal. This stuff is purely RAW. No evil pasteurization or flash pasteurization.

What a lovely treat when you’re on the go!

How to Choose a Veggie Burger

Published July 14, 2012 by Maryanne

De Canto’s Best Burger — Quinoa flavored

Since it’s summer and there will be a ton of outdoor parties and barbecues, I’ve decided to compile a list and guide of the top three easy to find and reasonably priced veggie burgers, as well as the “to avoid” burgers and the reasons.

Vegans and vegetarians can email this article to friends and family this summer so they know what to prepare for you on the grill!

How cool is that?

Top 3

1. De Canto’s BestBurger. I just tried this burger and it’s not only 100 percent natural, it’s pretty close to raw. There are limited ingredients in each one. The original has: sunflower seeds, organic brown rice, celery, carrots, squash, onion, red cabbage and seasoning. It’s soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, corn-free, wheat-free, oil-free with nothing artificial and low in sodium (only 140 mg!) And it is DELICIOUS, although a little heavy on the stomach — perhaps from the cabbage.

I’m excited that they have a quinoa flavored burger, which I’m dying to try, as quinoa is a complete protein and so very good for you!

2. Dr. Praeger’s California Burger. This was voted the best burger to lose weight by Dr. Oz. And I have to say, even though De Canto’s is a bit healthier, Dr. Praeger’s is my FAVORITE, as it just melts in your mouth. It’s all natural and has all the ingredients you could find in your own cupboard: carrots, onions, string beans, oat bran, soybeans, zucchini, peas, broccoli, corn, soy flakes, spinach, expeller pressed canola oil, red peppers, arrowroot, corn starch, garlic, corn meal, salt, parsley, black pepper.

3. Amy’s. God bless Amy’s, I’ve been using her products for YEARS! The veggie burgers are YUMMY, but they have a bit more sodium than the previous two and they also use a little bit organic cane sugar. However, on the plus side, all ingredients are organic. Note that they do contain soy and corn.

Bottom 3

1. Boca. I never liked these burgers. To me, they are the worst tasting veggie burgers on the market, plus they are loaded with artificial ingredients, cheese and milk.

2. Garden Burger. They taste good, but I haven’t had them in years because they put artificial ingredients in them. They do use dairy in some of their products, but it is kosher. The Veggie Medley and Black Bean are vegan.

3. Morning Star Garden. I don’t think I’ve ever tried these mainly because of all the artificial ingredients. If you can’t pronounce something, it doesn’t belong in your body. I mean, really, what the hell is this stuff?: DISODIUM INOSINATE, DISODIUM GUANYLATE, KONJAC FLOUR … SCARY!

DISCLAIMER TO ALL – While this list is meant to be a healthy guide, do not take your eating so seriously that you do not enjoy life! Nothing is more of a buzz kill than a militant Hitler-esque vegan or health freak that turns his/her nose up to something that isn’t up to his/her high standards.

If someone loves you and invites you over, but picks out the wrong veggie burgers, do yourself a favor and just ENJOY the damn thing! Stress and a bad attitude will have a worse effect on your health than a pinch of DISODIUM INOSINATE will!

Seriously!