Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Skinny Pasta- Simple and Delicious!

Sometimes you just want a great big bowl of pasta.    With bikini season right around the corner, do you exercise portion control and eat half serving?  Do you ignore your craving and have another salad?  Or . . . do you try shirataki pasta?  Shirataki has a firmer texture than wheat based pastas.  It also has a strong odor that requires the pasta to be rinsed before using.  But if you can create a recipe that works with shirataki’s unusual texture and flavor, you may just be able to have keep your figure and eat pasta too!

For this dish we started at the local farmer's market, where we found asparagus and mushrooms fresh from the garden.  We sauteed these with onions and garlic, and then infused the whole dish with a rich sauce made with miso and sherry.  Top it off with a bit of fresh rosemary and thyme and you have a dish that will keep your taste buds happy (and your waste-line slim!) 

Shirataki Pasta with Seared Asparagus

Serves: 2

Shirataki Pasta with Seared Asparagus, Mushrooms, Rosemary and Thyme


·      ¼ cup Sherry
·      1 ½ tablespoons Miso
·      1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
·      1 tablespoon Agave
·      1 package shirataki noodles, such as Nasoya
·      ½ onion, julienned in ¼ in slices
·      ½ pound asparagus (~12 spears), ends snapped off, cut along bias in 2 inch pieces
·      6 oz button mushrooms (~12 small to medium), ¼ inch slices
·      2 large cloves garlic, very thin slices
·      1 sprig rosemary, removed from stalk, chopped finely
·      1 sprig thyme Leaves, removed from stalk, chopped finely (plus extra for garnish)

Sauteed Onions, Garlic, Mushrooms


  1. Blend miso, olive oil, sherry, lemon, agave in blender 
  2. Rinse shirataki multiple times then place in pot of boiling water 
  3. In 12 inch skillet, either spray with pam or coat with oil and heat to medium-low, add onion and sautee until starting to brown (about 7 minutes) 
  4. Add garlic, turn heat to low and cook until garlic just starting to brown (about 3 minutes, be careful not to burn garlic!) 
  5. Add mushrooms, cook until juice from mushrooms has been released into pan and then cooked out so that pan is again dry (about 5-8 minutes)
  6.  Drain water from shirataki and allow noodles to cook on low heat to boil off remaining water 
  7. Push mushrooms and onions to side of pan, add asparagus.  Turn heat to medium high and cook for 4 minutes, without stirring, until underside browns
  8. Add shirataki and blended miso mixture, cook until miso mixture darkens and reduces
    Nutrition Facts (Recipe yields 2 bowls):
    Shirataki Pasta with Seared Asparagus





Sunday, May 26, 2013

Brad's 7 Day Raw Challenge - Day 7: Blue Pineapple Basil Milkshake

Aaah it’s the last day of Brad’s 7 Day Raw Challenge! It’s always a bittersweet moment as I realize it’s once again time to say my temporary goodbyes to the raw challenge family til next month while sighing relief that I don’t have to worry about creating posts each night. I love it but it takes some serious time when doing it every night. And yet I love it… :)

So here’s to Day 7 and to another successful end to Brad’s 7 Day Raw Challenge.


Grapefruit! I adore grapefruit. I love the contrast between sweet and tart and bitter. I always add a drizzle of raw honey and a sprinkle of grounded flax for a boost of nutty sweetness. 


Kobi Kenzo, as part of her challenge, just posted a recipe contest. For that, I created this delicious Blue Pineapple Basil Smoothie. It’s definitely sweet, a tad tart, and full of earthy herbal goodness. If you love basil, you love this smoothie!

Blue Pineapple Basil Milkshake

By Beth Mickens
Makes 16 ounces 

  • 1 cup of pineapple. frozen
  • ½ cup blueberries, frozen
  • ½ banana, frozen
  • 2 handfuls of kale (about 2 large stalks, stems removed)
  • ¼ lime or lemon, juiced
  • 2 shakes of cinnamon
  • 1 cup almond milk, plus more for desired consistency
  • Aloe and turmeric (optional)
  1. Blend and Go baby!

For dinner, making regular mashed potatoes had me craving for a sweet potato with sour cream and onions…so that’s what I made!

The sweet potato noodles were mildly sweet and super crunchy covered in a thick, light, creamy cooling garlic-cilantro sour cream. The green onions topped the dish off perfectly adding an extra boost of bright flavor to this refreshing, mild dish.

Sweet Potato Noodles with Garlic-Cilantro Sour Cream and Green Onions

By Beth Mickens
Sour Cream adapted from the Rawtarian 
Serves 1 

Sweet Potato Noodles:

  • 1 large, extra long sweet potato, peeled ( ended up with about 2 cups)

  1. Use a spiralizer according to the instructions or if you don’t have one, use a regular peeler to  peel the sweet potato into long thin strips. Then, using a sharp knife, slice the thick strips into long thin noodle shaped strips.
  2. Place into a large bowl and set aside.

Garlic-Cilantro Sour Cream:

  • ¼ cup cashews, soaked
  • 2 Tbsp of water
  • 1 Tbsp of lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 packed Tbsp of cilantro
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon of garlic, mashed

  1. In a high-speed blender or bullet, blend until well blended, thick and creamy.
  2. Sliced green onions, to garnish

To assemble:

  1. In a medium bowl gently toss the noodles and the sour cream together using your hands or a fork.
  2. Place into serving bowl and garnish with green onions.
  3. You can add any other veggies if you prefer. I think some tomatoes may work!

I nibbled on more raw chocolate as I continue to attempt to perfect the raw chocolate recipe. Hopefully I’ll have it by next month! Instead of a hard chocolate that chewed but never melted in your month, I ended up with a chewy chocolate that reminded me of extra firm fudge. We’re getting there!  I think nut butter is a necessity at this point :)

Well there you have it rawkstars! Another challenge completed. I hope some of you join me next month!

Until then, rawk on!

* Beth *

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Brad's 7 Day Raw Challenge - Day 6: Raw Samosas = flavor bomb in your mouth!

Here’s to Day 6!

Another unexciting day, but not quite as boring as yesterday…*thank goodness*

I woke up shockingly hungry. I guess my jar of nut butter wasn’t enough after all. So I went straight for my planned breakfast….a bowl of large cherry tomatoes from the farmer’s market. I smothered them in a light drizzle of olive oil from Italy (my parents brought it back from their trip and I love the unique taste!) and a sprinkle of garlic salt. Oh so good and satisfying!

After breakfast we headed to the farmer’s market where I found this giant thing! It’s a burlap cucumber and it’s huge! I cannot wait to cut it open and discover it’s unique taste and texture. Supposedly it’s crisper than regular cukes. 

Second stop: the theater, yes again. This time I brought with me a Thunderbird Energetica raw bar in Sweet Lemon. It was all I needed to satisfy my hunger until I was able to get home and test a new recipe for raw samosas from the raw chef, Russell James.

Home bound…finally! After my workout I got to work on my samosas. Unfortunately, I am currently unable to use my dehydrator due to the limited and confined space in this apartment and therefore, was unable to make the samosa wraps. As an alternative, I used my favorite raw wrapper: collards! The collards were a PIA to work with. I was able to create two before I finally gave up and turned to the beautiful romaine lettuce leaf to hold the remainder of my samosa stuffing.

I had never had samosas before so it was important to me that I followed the recipe to the T. The taste of the filling was outstanding, loaded with complex flavors! Fresh, earthy, warm and spicy…it was hard to miss the “cooking” that is normally involved in making samosas. The Raita sauce was the absolute perfect complement to the spicy filling. It was really creamy, sweet, cool and a bit savory. Together they create this well rounded, balanced flavor party in your mouth. I definitely plan on making this again, maybe in salad form. I’m thinking massaged kale, samosa filling and a drizzle of raita sauce. Mmmm Mmm!

Raw Samosas with Cucumber Mint Raita Sauce

Modified to serve 1 = 4 collard samosas or 3 filled romaine leaves

  • 1-2 large collard leaves, washed and cut in half

  • ¼ cup zucchini, peeled
  • ¾ Tbsp of water (I didn’t use)
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ tsp miso
  • ¾ tsp of lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp of garlic, mashed
  • ½ tsp of ginger, grated
  • 1 ½ tsp of garam masala
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • 2 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for an hour
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Grind all ingredients in a food processor, leaving some texture to the mix.
  2. Add the following ingredients and pulse in:
  • Small palm full of spinach, shopped
  • ½ spring onion, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp of diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp of chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp of fresh shelled peas

To Assemble:

I attempted to follow the Raw Chef’s instructions as provided here using my collard leaves as opposed to the raw wraps. I couldn’t honestly tell you how I did it because I pretty much tucked and folded here and there until it well, just worked. 

If you make these, please let me know if you find a step by step method that works!

If using romaine lettuce, simply fill those babies with the filling.

Cucumber Mint Raita:
  • 2 Tbsp of cashews, grind into a powder
  • ½ cup of cucumber (I only used a ¼..oops)
  • ½ teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • 2 Tbsp of mint
  • ¼ tsp of garlic, mashed
  • ½ teaspoon lime juice
  • Pinch of cayenne
    1. Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender.
    2. Serve with samosas or drizzle over filled lettuce cups.

For a late night snack, my family wanted to go to Tutti Frutti, a frozen yogurt shop so instead of frozen soy yogurt I went for a cup of fresh fruit topped with coconut and almonds.

I can’t believe it! We have one more day left and that’s tomorrow! I also have a playdate to take my daughter to at a park. What to bring!? I don’t know but we’ll see! 

As for the raw chocolate, the recipe is still being worked on. My first batch was eh...

I hope everyone is have a rawking holiday weekend!

* Beth *

Friday, May 24, 2013

Brad's 7 Day Raw Challenge - Day 5: My new kitchen + Simple Veganista's Banana Split Protein Smoothie

Well, Day 5 was less than exciting… When I’m off, I find it hard to stick to a normal routine. Workouts rarely happen, diet routine out the door, and sleep…what sleep? Yep day offs are a disaster to my health… but at least they’re fun!

Today my husband and I rode up to our soon-to-be new l living location to check out the progress being done on our home. During the entire process the only request I had was to be able to customize my kitchen and have a sunroom to go with it. Everything else was up to my husband. He okayed my request and here it is half way done! 

Saddle hardwood, dark cherry cabinets and New Caledonia granite countertops with stainless steel appliances,70/30 kitchen sink and an extra long island next to an open sunroom. The backsplash has yet to be decided but it’ll be a mixture of light and dark colors to match what is already in the room with some broken glass pieces added. You have no idea how excited I am to get into this kitchen and start cooking! The lack of space in this apartment has me occasionally screaming on the top of my lungs how much I hate the place. I mean look at what I’m transitioning from/to!? 

Old Townhouse Kitchen
Current Apartment Kitchen

Future Kitchen - same size as townhome

My dream kitchen in terms of layout and size

Enough ranting about my cosmic powers and itty bitty living space. For breakfast, I stuck to my mono meal ways with a delicious red cameo apple. I adore apples and love exploring the different varieties and tastes. When apple season hits at the farmer’s market, I’m in pure tasting heaven. I literally eat one or two a day tasting and experimenting with each one. My favorites are the Nittany and Honeycrisp. Sweet, juicy and super crisp just the way I like it. Any apple favorites you’d like to share?

After breakfast we headed out to the house and came back to watch Fast and Furious 6. Can’t beat $5 movies! I could tell I was getting hungry as drove towards the theater but I thought I was going to be okay until the movie was over. WRONG! By the time the movie started my belly was growling asking for something to eat! I should have taken up my husband’s offer to stop by Trader Joe’s and grab a banana. After 6 hours since eating my apple, you can only imagine how I felt once I got home: famished and a raging animal in the kitchen. My first stop, ugh, the poor Cacao Nib Cookie Dough Nut Butter.  I nibbled and nibbled until finally I came to my senses when my husband looked at me and said, “Seriously, that’s what you’re going to eat?”. He was right. I needed something quick: smoothie.

I ran across a Banana Split Smoothie recipe by the Simple Veganista and just knew it would go perfect with my raw chocolate protein powder. I modified the recipe accordingly to accommodate my chocolate powder but the smoothie, I’m sure, tasted just as great! Although, I have no doubts hers is better. :)

Banana Split Protein Smoothie

Inspired by Simple Veganista
Makes 16 ounces

  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 4-5 strawberries, frozen
  • 1/3 cup pineapple
  • 1-2 handfuls of greens
  • 1 scoop/packet of raw chocolate protein powder (Garden of Life or Sunwarrior)
  • 1 cup of raw almond milk
  • ½ cup water or coconut water
  1. Blend! Top with a cherry. Don’t you love my ugly frozen cherry turd!?
For dinner I sipped on a Passionberry Kombucha. I love kombucha. And shamefully the rest of my nut butter. It was one of those days.

So there’s my NOT so exciting day. However, I am off to make raw chocolate so I may have that for you soon. As for tomorrow, I already have plans on making some raw samosas!!