Tag Archives: my raw food lifestyle

7/14/14 CSA SHARE: What we got and what I’ll do with it

GOT                                                                          TRADED FOR
1 bun Cilantro, parsley or purple basil
1 hd Lettuce or radicchio…………………………..1 bun kale
1 bun Kale
5 Cucumbers (full-size or pickling)
2 ears Corn
2 Leeks or new potatoes……………………..………..2 ears corn
Zucchini or cauliflower…got 1 lg yellow squash
1 pt Cherries
1 pt blueberries

CILANTRO: dehydrate (I may hold back a few sprigs for a corn salad
KALE: dehydrate for chips!!!!
CUCUMBERS:  old-fashioned cucumber salad with onions and ACV
SQUASH:  spiralize for a pasta dish
BLUEBERRIES: process in the food processor – they gel up nicely for a dessert or pie filling – you can only do this with fresh blueberries!


CSA SHARE 7/15/14: What they say we will get

What they say we will get:
Cilantro, parsley or purple basil
Lettuce or radicchio
Cucumbers (full-size or pickling)
Leeks or new potatoes
Zucchini or cauliflower

Fruit Share:

I am not going to think about what I hope to see or what I want to make until I see what the real deal is.  I’ll let you know.

GREAT GRATED BEETS – from the Corbin Hill CSA Newsletter

2 T rice or balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 T agave
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
4 med. beets, grated
4 med. carrots, grated
1/2 C thinly sliced basil leaves
2 T finely shredded fresh cilantro
1 scallion, thinkly sliced diagonally, for garnish (optional)

In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, lemon juice, agave, an a large pinch each of salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.
Gradually whisk in oil.
Add beets, carrots, basil, and cilantro. Toss to combine. Taste, and adjust seasonings.

7/8/14 CSA SHARE: What we got, etc.

We got pretty much what they promised. Here are the specifics:

Basil or sage………………….1 bun Basil
Cabbage or lettuce…………1 med. hd Cabbage
Collards……………………..1 bun Collards
Peas……………….……………..@ 1/2 lb. Snow Peas
Beets with greens………….1 bun beets, no greens
Yellow or green zucchini…1 big Zucchini
Cucumbers or onions……..1 big Cucumber
Cherries…………………………1 pt Cherries

I also got 1 quart of Cherries in the fruit share.  I think I have to find a new cherry recipe that is more than just pop a cherry in your mouth, savor it, spit out the seed, repeat.

The lady who prepares the featured recipe each week was making a raw beet salad. I loves my beet salad, so I was all ears and eyes.  Hers was much more designer than mine is,but I can definitely see myself adding some of the ingredients she uses to my own delicious recipe My Famous Beet Salad (you can find other beet recipes on that page, too). I will write a separate page with the CSA recipe – it is goooood!

Basil – I am going to try to find something new with basil other than to use it as a main ingredient in a salad (yes, I like it that much). Maybe some in a cheeze?
Cabbage – this is a no-brainer. I need sauerkraut! (I made sauerkraut with the last head)
Collards – Easy would be to make marinated massaged collards but maybe I should try a wrap with them. Got it! 2 leaves go to wraps (that will be 4 or so), and the rest go to collard greens!
Snow Peas – right now, I have no clue. I should have traded them. Must meditate on this.
Beets – these are small beets, so there is really no point in trying to spiralize them. Okay, default to my famous beet salad
Zucchini – I haven’t had spaghetti in a while! The spiralizer probably thinks I’ve forgotten it. I think I’ll get out my old Ann Wigmore almond tomato sauce recipe!
Cucumber – I have had a hankering for something cucumber for a few days now. I could slice the cucumber thin and put it in vinegar with salt and pepper and have that old Southern summer salad.  I could. Or, I could make some jalapeno cheeze roll-ups.  Must think quickly! Cucumbers don’t last long in my fridge.

What the heck am I going to do with all these cherries?







1 hd Lettuce or cabbage                         1 bun Garlic Scapes
1 bun. Mustard greens or chard
1 bulb Fennel
1 pc.Broccoli
2 Yellow squash or zucchini
1 bun.Radishes, onions, or cucumbers
1 bun. Garlic scapes
1 pt Cherries

The fruit share was 2 pts of cherries!

I know! I always say that I am going to eat the lettuce next time, but …. I just am not Salad Girl!  I do like garlic, and garlic scapes are the next best thing, so it was a no-brainer.

The mustard greens will go to marinated greens or else get dehydrated.

A woman at the distro demo’d a nice raw fennel and mint slaw (recipe below), and so I kept that. 

I kept the big piece of broccoli because I *am* going to challenge myself this week to do something with it. No clue what that will be yet.

Next week’s FERMENTED FOODS meetup is about miso.  I am just not the type to make miso, but there are miso pickled/fermented vegetables! Some squash, some radishes, maybe something else will get in the miso tomorrow night an lie there until Sunday.

Now, the big challenge is what to do with all of these cherries. I’ll take some to work tomorrow to much on. Then what? Can you dehydrate them?  And, if you did, what would  you do with them later?

I’m a little busy tonight with another project, but I will post my recipes, as well as the fennel one from the CSA, tomorrow.


I’m excited. Tomorrow I will pick up my first CSA share from Corbin Hill Food Project. This CSA is completely new to me, so I don’t know exactly how they will do, so I am going to make an effort to be there when they open up at 4:30 (shares can be picked up between 4:30 and 7:00).  Will there be a mob scene at the door at 4:30?  Who knows.  I will get there about 3:30, to get in line for the Supper Club, and then, if it looks like there’s going to be a mob scene for the CSA pick-up, I’ll just put everything from the Supper Club in containers to bring home . I’ll report back with my experience tomorrow night.

HERE IS WHAT THEY SAY WE WILL GET (for a number of years, I was a member of a CSA related to Golden Earthworm Farms. Often they would say were going to get something, but we didn’t, so, out of habit, I’m saying what they said, and I’ll report back tomorrow with the true “get”)

Peas (English or sugar snap)
Radishes, Kohlrabi, or Zucchini


I have signed up for a “medium” share, but I’m going to try to see what the “large” share looks like.

Tomorrow, when I get back with my booty, I’ll let you know  what this CSA is really like


The history of Pretty Smart Raw Food Ideas is directly tied to my first venture into CSAs.  Some years back, I saw an announcement for a CSA a couple of blocks from my home, and I signed up right away.  As CSAs often deliver vegetables folks have never seen before, I began to hear people asking what they should do with what they had received in the box.    Me? Being raw, I just went on-line, found out about the vegetable in question, and then started experimenting.  People started asking me for recipes.  I asked the CSA if we couldn’t have a way to publish recipes for the benefit of the members. They poo-poo’d my idea.  My blog was born the next day, with raw recipes for the vegetables I found in my box. 

Now, I have found  a CSA which allows you to casually  join whenever you find out about it, and allows you to pay by the week.  (I have had to leave that first CSA because they require an up front payment which I could not manage).  I’m telling you this because, if you have thought about a CSA, but didn’t sign up for one in the spring (most CSAs require you to sign up before May), there is a CSA that you can still join.

Corbin Hill Food Project is a CSA that works with local farmers to provide low cost organic vegetables and fruit (and other products, as add-ons), mostly in low-income neighborhoods (that doesn’t mean that you can’t join if you are not low-income – it just means that you might have to travel a bit).  The beauty of this CSA is that you can sign up at any time during CSA season (summer to fall), and, if, for any reason, you cannot receive your share the next week (for example: you will be away, or you can’t afford it), you can put your share on hold, simply by notifying them a week in advance.  If you are interested, please visit Corbin Hill Food Project to find the most convenient location for you to receive your share (I’ll be going to the Community Kitchen and Food Pantry on 116th St in Harlem – it’s familiar to me, and I want to support its programs, and, also, the commute there and back home is reasonable, even if it is not right near my home – heck! Fairway, Costco, and Trader Joe’s involve commutes so it is not really that big of a deal). 

The first deliveries are June 18th and June 19th (depending on your chosen location – I’m set to receive my share on Tuesday, the 18th), and the last day to sign up for that week is June 10th. 

Just saying.


Good Southern girl that I am, I do love my okra.  Only thing is it does have that tendency to get slimy – I’ve always thought that’s why we so often prepare  it together with tomatoes (to hide the slime).  I was just visiting FreshBitesDaily.com and noticed their suggestion:

Dry your okra after you wash it, and before you cut it.

So simple.

RAW SOURCES OF PROTEIN – thanks to Rawtarian for the info

POST #1002

I’ve been hearing from people asking about raw vegan protein sources, and I always fall back on my old standby’s: raw nuts and seeds, lentil, sunflower seed, and alfalfa sprouts, and people keep coming up with reasons why they cannot eat whatever I say.   Tonight, I just got someone to admit that she had been avoiding raw nuts because they have too much fat…. Hello-o? If you are eating raw nuts and seeds, no matter how much fat they have, it is all GOOD fat, good for you, going to build healthy cell walls, etc and so forth ad infinitum. (Even the AMA has started back-pedaling on the low fat dictum – have  you ever noticed how we have gotten steadily fatter ever since the low-fat idea came out?)

So, anyway, yesterday, I saw Rawtarian’s post How to Get Protein on a Raw Food Diet, and, being one who prefers not to re-invent the wheel, I asked Laura Jean if I could repost her article, and she has kindly agreed.  Don’t miss the protein equivalents list at the end – that was the part that I wanted most!

How to get protein on a raw food diet
When people find out that you’re a vegetarian or a vegan or raw vegan, the subject of protein is always a huge concern to friends and family. I bet every raw vegan has been asked the question, “But where you get your protein from?” Maybe some of you know a lot  about how to get protein on the raw food diet already. And maybe there are those who have an idea, but just don’t know how to make other non-raw friends understand. Why is it such a big deal to have enough protein, anyway? What makes it so special? And what are the best and most common sources of protein for raw fooders? Lemme tell ya!

But before we get into the details, I want to start with a few soundbytes:

“Yes, you can get protein without eating animal products!”

“As long as you are eating a wide variety of legumes (ex. sprouted chick peas), grains (ex. sprouted quinoa)  greens and veggies, nuts and seeds, with a little mindfulness you can easily get enough protein.”

“Horses and cows are strong – and they don’t eat meat either. Ever wondered where they get their protein? Plants!”

It’s handy to arm yourself with a little useful information about the protein question so that you understand it and can answer the question with quick confidence. Don’t go down the rabbit hole of stammering and ums! So in the future, when you come across the question on where you get your protein from, you’ll know exactly what to say. So here’s a bit more detail for you detail-oriented folk!

Protein defined

Don’t be daunted by that headline. This is just a little bit of science and nothing too intense, I promise. Let’s just start from the beginning. And so the question: What is protein?

Proteins are basically one of the most vital building blocks of human bodies. They are the second most abundant substance in our bodies next to water, and they are very important nutrients made of a combination of amino acids. Think of protein as the alphabet and amino acids as the letters in the alphabet. Just like letters forming a number of possible words, different combinations of various amino acids make up different kinds of proteins, which serve their own purposes. Simply put, protein is a word used to call different combinations of many amino acids. There are amino acids that can only be gained from the food we eat (essential amino acids) and those that our bodies produce (non-essential amino acids). Complete protein just refers to a combination of all nine essential amino acids proportional to the needs of the body.

Functions of proteins

But before we go into the sources of proteins, let’s first get to know what these proteins do in our bodies and what we need them for. Proteins actually provide structure to every single cell in our bodies. There are proteins that serve as enzymes, hormones, antibodies and more. Some proteins are involved in transporting oxygen and other molecules, and some are involved in contracting our muscles. The list of tasks proteins are responsible for goes on. They’re busy guys! But the most notable functions of proteins are to build, maintain, and replace tissues in our bodies (e.g. nails, hair, skin, muscles, bones, red blood cells, etc.), as well as to keep our cells in good condition for them to be able to work properly.

How much protein do we need?

According to numerous studies and research, the amount of required daily protein intake for human bodies varies depending on several factors such as age, gender, body condition, lifestyle, etc. For instance, an inactive female adult’s protein needs may be much lower than that of an athlete’s or a bodybuilder’s. But on an average, an adult female vegan’s protein recommendation is around 46-58 grams per day. Whereas an adult male vegan’s is around 56-70 grams per day.

Richest plant-based raw food sources

It’s traditionally believed that proteins from animals are the best source of proteins are already complete. And this is because their bodies already exerted the effort to combine the amino acids from the many different plants they’ve consumed. However, true as it may be, that could also be just what it is – a traditional belief. Because contrary to popular belief, animal products are not the only and more superior source of (complete) proteins.

Green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds are some of the richest sources of proteins in a plant-based raw food diet. There are various plant-based foods that are high in certain amino acids. But incomplete protein doesn’t mean it’s inferior compared to complete proteins. It just tells us that it’s important to get the right balance of these nutritional values in order to meet the required amount of amino acids our bodies need to make complete proteins.

There are also even studies that show a human body actually prefers incomplete protein or as individual amino acids. This is so that it can combine them in the best possible way to serve their many different purposes, because when our body takes in complete proteins, it has to break down and tear the amino acids apart to reassemble them in a way that our body needs them to be. In saying so, amino acids from plant-based food therefore allow the body to skip that process entirely and get right down to business.

And that’s basically what protein is about and how to get protein as a raw vegan By learning this tidbit of information, we get to understand the importance of knowing what a raw vegan lifestyle entails and how we can better improve our raw food diet. Not because we have to prove something but to share a better understanding and hopefully eliminate misconceptions.

If you’d like to find out more about the intersection of protein and raw food, check out my podcast about raw protein sources.

And lastly, here are some common raw foods and their protein levels:

  • 1/4 cup almonds = 15 grams protein
  • 1/4 cup walnuts = 7.5 grams protein
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds = 7 grams protein
  • 1/4 cup cashews = 5 grams protein
  • 1/4 cup pecans = 2.5 grams protein
  • 1/4 cup medjool dates = 2 grams protein
  • 4 tablespoons of hempseed hearts = 15 grams protein
  • 3 tablespoons of chia seeds = 4 grams protein
  • 1 cup raw kale = 2 grams protein
  • 1 cup raw broccoli = 2 grams protein
  • 1 cup raw spinach = 1 gram protein (1 cup cooked spinach = 7.6 grams protein)
  • 1 cup alfalfa sprouts = 1 gram protein

from How to Get Protein on a Raw Food Diet, Rawtarian.com


POST #999
Next on my to-read list:
Idealism Meets Greed – How the raw food movement ruined my life
By Dr. Jim Carey, Ph.D.

In 2010, Jim Carey, a quiet mover in the raw vegan world, was sued, along with Creative Health Institute, by the Ann Wigmore Foundation (AWF), for using the deceased Dr. Ann Wigmore’s name, which AWF claims to have exclusive permission to use, and for which they claim to have a registered trademark.

Unfortunately, Jim lost in the suit (and, as far as I can see, AWF didn’t win – How many of you have ever heard of them?).  It seems that AWF took their winnings, which included Jim’s very popular raw foods lifestyle program, and ran everything into the ground in New Mexico.

As part of the legal settlement, Jim was banned, by a no-compete clause, from publishing or speaking on raw food topics for 3 years. As a result, he had to turn down dozens of job offers, as well as requests for help from friends.

Ahh! At last, the three-year gag order has expired! Jim has now written an expose on the raw food world and its gurus, as only someone in his position can do. He has worked with the people raw foodists come into contact with often (on websites, in emails, or in trainings), and, with his unique insight, having been turned on by an organization which he helped develop, and then left, in order to pursue his own way of bringing the raw food lifestyle to a broader awareness, he has a lot to say.

As I had the opportunity to exchange ideas often with Jim during his raw food education career (I was privileged to take his distance training, which, with copious printed material and a stack of DVDs, was probably the most thorough distance – or even “in person” – education on raw food lifestyle that has ever been issued), I am looking forward to seeing what he has to say in his expose (when I chatted with him back in the day, we’d occasionally talk about this or that “raw guru”.. mostly, he’d just listen to my take, but occasionally he’d let drop that he didn’t think my attitude was off-base).

I’ve missed that camaraderie over the past 3 years, but I didn’t know what his legal arrangement had stipulated he could or could not say even to close buddies, so, when I have had the chance, I’ve just chatted with him about his new endeavors (The man does not stop! Can’t do this? Go excel at something else!).

Will Jim come back to us? I can only hope.., but, at least, he has decided to reveal his experience in and take on the world of raw food gurus, to be released on March 1, 2014. I will be first in line to grab his book. It should be a moment to remember.

For more information about this new book, go to Jim’s website: