Archive for the 'Mexican' Category

Day 36. Bikram Yoga Challenge

January 18th, 2011

snow yogi
This has been the story of my life these days…tromping through snow to get to yoga! We have had a ridiculous amount of snow this year. I’m scared to see what happens when it all finally melts.

I’ve been meeting some really cool people at the yoga studio. This is WILL. He’s hilarious! He’s also doing a yoga challenge. So, we are like comrades in arms. You should check out his blog.

This YOGA CHALLENGE has been intense!! But in a good way. I’ve been helping things along with my uber clean diet. This is a watercress/seaweed salad that I made yesterday. I got the recipe from SARMA’S book, and it is a winner! I have to tell you that raw food plus bikram yoga equals very powerful detox, to be sure. I’ve been going through a lot…from sore muscles to amazingly efficient elimination to feeling ill to feeling wonderful to unbelievable progress with my health issues. Admittedly, I’m holding up better than I thought I would. In some ways, I wish that progress was a little faster. But I know that my body is going at MY pace. If it went any faster, I think I would be overwhelmed.

halfmoonThis is the half moon pose, and it is my nemesis (for a lot of reasons). It’s the second pose in the series. It looks easy enough. But for me, it’s hard. First off, it’s early in the series. So, I’m still stiff. It’s very hard for me to lift my arms over my head like that the first time around (we do each posture twice). I have a lot of muscle pain from my ACCIDENT in my upper back and neck. It’s actually improved a lot since I started this challenge. In the beginning it was more widespread and diffuse. Now, it seems more focused. Like a lot of the milder tension has released a little. Now I’m left with the most stubborn spots. The other issue is that according to my teacher, Martha, there are many small muscles in the pelvis that stabilize you in this side stretch. Since I was on crutches/walker for some time, these muscles are really weak. This pose starts with a left and right side stretch and then progresses to a front and back stretch. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? You would think so. But OMG. It’s hard!! My lower back is kind of a wreck right now.

standing bowThis is the standing bow. I’ve actually been making good progress on this pose the last week or so. It really stretches out the shoulder surprisingly. So to me, it feels really good. The professional yogis do this pose and it looks like a sideways split. Right now, I can NOT fathom how they do that. But it’s amazingly inspirational. I have a ways to go before I get to that point. But I can see my foot coming up behind my head when I look in the mirror. So, I’ve reached the first goal. Yay!

I’ve been eating really well to support the challenge, and I have to say it doesn’t feel difficult at all to me. Now that I have the repertoire, I feel like I’m really hitting a stride with my food prep. Here are some chalupas I made the other day.

This is a raw pizza. I garnished it with marinated mushroom, COCONUT JERKY, and pineapple for a hawaiian feel (I’m in denial about the snow). Healthwise, I’ve been noticing lots of changes. My muscle tension is slowly dissipating. I hoped that I would have worked through most of it by now. But alas, it is a lot worse than you can tell when you’re all numb. But it is changing. So I’m determined to stick it out until I get ahead of it. My liver has been going through a lot. If you have liver issues like me, I should warn you that I definitely had to do a lot of work on my liver to work up to this. My yoga teacher even noticed. She said that it seemed like I had a lot of gunk to work through at first. I was really surprised that she would observe that. Really intuitive! The liver is definitely working things out. Like, I have this constant burp that comes and goes in class (a symptom that first appeared when I was in the HOSPITAL with my liver issues). I also have had some healing crises like an episode of the chills and a severe episode of heartburn that wasn’t food related (liver symptoms). But I went into see my doctor last week (to follow up on my TEST RESULTS – perhaps a topic which is worthy of it’s own post). She checked my liver numbers, and they were good. So despite the challenges, I seem to be staying on top of things. And my doctor encouraged me to keep doing what I was doing. So, I think I will. I’ll keep you posted…


Tostada Special

March 12th, 2010

This week, I ran another special…tostadas! They featured a corn tostada with spicy ‘beans’, salsa, and queso fresco with a quenelle of mango guacamole and mole sauce.

queso fresco
Thes secret ingredient was definitely the queso fresco which my instructor, LADAN, helped me with. She’s been developing ALL KINDS of fancy cheeses lately. This one was a macadamia nut cheese fermented with kefir (have I mentioned that I have developed quite the kefir addiction while being here) and dehydrated into a crumble.

It seems like they went over pretty well. They sold out right away. So, I offered them again the next day. I was really excited because my boyfriend was passing through town that day, and he actually got to try one of my dishes! He really liked it. He is going to be so happy when I come home with all these new recipes in my repertoire!


Latin Station

March 10th, 2010

This week, I’m on the Latin/Mediterranean station. This is one of my favorite dishes to make…the nachos.

The mezze plate is also a big seller on this station. It comes with hummous and eggplant chips, hemp tabouli, marinated olives, and falafel.

These are the cheese empanadas. Quite possibly the best deal on the menu.

m falcon
I have been catching a lot of flack this week over my interpretation of the nacho plate. A lot of people were making outer space references. One person said it looked like an asteroid.

Someone else commented that it looked like my plate was about to take off. Well, a girl’s gotta dream, right? Hopefully, this nacho plate won’t be the only thing I’m launching this week. I have something brewing that I’m very excited about. I’ll keep you posted…


Tostadas and Tamales

November 14th, 2009

tostadas and tamales
Yesterday, we worked on latin flavors. We had been prepping a couple recipes that culminated a HUGE meal. I had big ambitions to finish them both. But alas, for I could not.

jicama salsa
We started the day prepping sides. This was the jicama mango salsa.

mango guacamole
We also made one of my favorites…MANGO GUACAMOLE.

dehydrated masa
The night before we had dehydrated our masa which was our tamale filling.

making masa
This was made by combining a corn and squash mixture with a sundried tomato and pine nut mixture. This was spread on teflex and dehydrated overnight.

working the masa
The next morning, we reconstituted the masa by working a little oil in with our hands. We wrapped the reconstituted masa in dried corn husks.

Now we have tamales! These were put back in the dehydrator to stay warm utnil we were ready for plating.

making tostadas
We also made blue corn tostada shells from scratch…

…to go with our blue corn tostada. This featured a red pepper cream sauce, marinated portobello mushrooms, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and a pine nut sour cream.

The tamales were garnished with the most delicious mole sauce.

class plates
Here are all our plates lined up for review. Gotta run. I’m working in the restaurant tonight. Last night was my first night working my own station. So, I guess you can call me a chef now…or at least a line cook. 🙂


Avocado Soup Redux

May 3rd, 2009

avo soup
We’re still getting ready for CINCO DE MAYO over here with this BLAST from the past, avocado soup. It’s really easy and simple. I like to drizzle mine with a little hemp oil. I also tend to sub the rosemary in the recipe with cilantro. Rosemary is good and all, but who celebrates Cinco de Mayo with rosemary? That’s for the SCARBOROUGH FAIR.



April 29th, 2009

empanada plate
Fiesta continues with this raw version of empanadas from ENTERTAINING IN THE RAW. Oddly, we were serving empanadas at work tonight (beef). They looked gross to me. Everyone said they were bland.

These empanadas were AMAZING. They were stuffed with marinated spinach and a pignoli sour cream (leftover from the CHOCO CHILI TACOS).

Then, dehydrated to perfection.

The sauce was this amazing cilantro mint chutney that I LOVED. I might even marry it. Or at least get engaged to it long enough to make a splash on celebrity magazines.


Chili Rellenos Tres

April 26th, 2009

To continue with our MEXICAN theme week, we made the chili rellenos recipe from ENTERTAINING IN THE RAW. I’ve tried a few different VERSIONS of THESE from different recipe books, and I LOVE them.

warm peppers
These are some warm peppers fresh from the dehydrator.

The mole sauce for these was so good, I made it three times. I ended up with a lot more stuffing than mole. So I just kept making more peppers…


Chocolate Chili Tacos

April 14th, 2009

cc taco
This is an interesting little recipe from ENTERTAINING IN THE RAW.

The taco skins have cacao in them. It was supposed to be cocoa powder, but mine have little nibs in them.

The filling is marinated tomatoes and arugula.

sour cream
Plus, pignoli sour cream.

beans and guac
We ended up making some BEANS and guac too…

…and making chalupas with the leftovers.


Avocado Tartar

April 12th, 2009

I knew that as soon as my boyfriend saw this recipe in ENTERTAINING IN THE RAW, he was going to have to make it.  He is ADDICTED to avocadoes.

It’s an interesting combo of Indian and Mexican cuisines.  These are the pappadams going in to the dehydrator.

The froth is kind of a mango curry mixture.  And the tomatoes are marinated in a tamarind sauce.  The guacamole is more traditionally Mexican.  I have to say though that although it was good, the recipe was a lot more work than it looked like in the picture.  It’s deceptively complex.  And for that reason, I probably won’t be making it again soon.  Unless I have a lot of time and something in mind to do with all the leftover froth.  I would definitely recommend making less froth.


Chili Rellenos Redux

February 10th, 2009

chili dots
One of the tactics that I’ve started to notice emerging is that when I start vearing off track, I start recapping my greatest hits (the RERUN category). Time to break out the CHILI RELLENOS!

My boyfriend and I were having a contest over who could decorate their pepper prettier. He did these perfectly symmetrical stripes. I just started spraying sauce everywhere (see above). I think I cheated a little though. Because my pepper had better lighting for the picture. 🙂

This time around, we were even more deluxe. We already had a few sauces LEFTOVER from the enchiladas the day before. So, we decided to really go for it and make the mole, too. I’m glad we DID!

corn chips
We also made some of the corn chips PENNI was talking about to snack on with the sauces.

Here is a picture of my battered up peppers right before they went into the dehydrator.

Am I making you hungry?