Tag Archives: kale chips

Baby I Like It Raw

My husband took me to a romantic dinner at Elizabeth Raw this past weekend.  Elizabeth Raw started as a catering business, but eventually opened their restaurant on Friday evenings.  I’ve been dying to try this place because they specialize in raw foods.  A raw food diet is when you consume plant foods at its natural state, meaning foods that are uncooked and unprocessed.  Most raw foodists spend a lot of time chopping, blending, peeling, and dehydrating.  Although I’m not a raw foodist 2-3 of my meals on a given day are typically raw.  If I can have dinners like this every day I would be 100% raw for sure.

The restaurant looks like an art museum  – beautiful paintings, hard wooden floors, and chandeliers to create a warm and intimate atmosphere.  We were actually greeted by Elizabeth herself.


While we waited for our table we sipped our cocktails and noshed on kale chips at the bar.


I actually saw people come in just for these kale chips.


Chef Jonathan Seningen comes up with a different menu every month.  We came right in time for the March menu.  There’s also a wine pairing option, but we opted out since we still had our cocktails.  We didn’t even finish our drinks at the end of the night, so skipping wine was a good idea.  Here’s what we had:

Beet Aumoniere
pistachio mousse, avocado, parsley
This is my favorite dish.  It’s a spoonful (literally), but the flavors were dancing in my mouth.    


Warm Cucumber Soup
apple, cashew yogurt, avocado
Super creamy and I can’t believe this is raw.


Parsnip Choux Froid
black olives, sun dried tomato, marjoram, beets
My husband’s favorite dish.  Such a pretty plate. 


Apple & Celery Sorbet
sel gris, olive oil
This was surprisingly a great combination. 


Curry Scallop with Carrot Risotto
rutabaga, fennel, saffron cappuccino
The scallops were made out of trumpet mushrooms and the risotto was made out of carrots.  Yum-O!


Banana Chocolate Semifreddo
coconut, rum, almond
This was intimidating at first because I was full, but after one bite it was soon an empty plate with leftover chocolate smears.  Yea I wanted to lick the plate, but remained ladylike for the sake of not embarrassing my husband.  I would so do it if I was at home. 


What a phenomenal experience!  My husband and I ate slowly to savor every single bite.  We were thinking about what to do after dinner – a stroll along Georgetown Waterfront like old times?  Or grab another cocktail in the area?  Something romantic?  When you’re married you can skip all that mumbo jumbo and tune in to your guilty pleasure.  For us it was Duck Dynasty.  Yup, we couldn’t get enough of that show.  Hey we were laughing together and to me that’s romance.


picture from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duck_Dynasty

My Super Duper Foods

There are a couple foods that I eat religiously to give me super powers.  Well, super powers as in energy and strength. I feel like Mario when he gets invincible powers from a starman.  So what are superfoods?  Superfood is really a marketing term used for describing foods that are high in nutrients to give you superior health benefits.  Here are a few super duper foods that help me stay classy and fit:

KALE – Remember when Popeye eats a can of spinach he gets ginormous arms that are too big for his body.  First off, you won’t get a lot of nutrients if your veggies are in a can.  Raw is the way to go. Secondly, Kale can give you as much or more benefits than spinach.  I eat about two servings of kale 2-3 times a week.  I incorporate kale in my meals, soups, and snacks.  Kale chips are delicious, so replace those bags of potato chips and Doritos with kale chips.  Kids love them!  I can tell you I eat a big bowl of raw kale a day before a race.  No pasta for me.  With kale, I feel 100 times lighter but it still gives me the stamina I need for a race.  If you’re looking to build calcium Kale can give you more per calorie than milk.  As for iron, it gives you more per calorie than beef.  Kale is the new beef.  It’s also an anti-inflammatory food that fights against inflammatory-related issues such as arthritis, asthma, and autoimmune diseases.  I can rave on and on about kale, but this infographic says it all.

GOJI BERRIES – Growing up, Mama Chiang used to make me a nice bowl of soup with goji berries.  Sometimes she’ll make desserts or drinks with goji berries.  As a child I was told this is good for your vision and it keeps you looking young.  Well, fast forward a couple years later, I found out that it does a lot more.  Goji berries are packed with vitamins, protein with 18 amino acids, and antioxidants.  I love sprinkling these berries over salads and oatmeal.  I especially love to eat these by itself as a snack.  You’ll find that it curbs your appetite, gives you energy, and keeps your mind sharp (definitely brain food).

QUINOA – I heard that this is “God’s gift to vegans” and I totally agree.  Quinoa is a fantastic source of protein with 8 essential amino acids and it’s gluten-free.  This is definitely the type of grain you want to incorporate in your diet.  I’m slowly getting my parents to replace white rice with quinoa.  It’s versatile, so you can make just about anything with quinoa.  You can make stuffed red peppers, quinoa crackers, breakfast quinoa porridge, or throw quinoa into your salads.  The possibilities are endless.

CHIA SEEDS – Chia Seeds are tiny black seeds that are grown from a flowering plant known as Salvia hispanica.  One tablespoon of these seeds punches in a good amount of Omega-3.  For vegetarians that don’t eat fish chia seeds will give you the Omega-3 oil that you need for your body.  Athletes – chia seeds can hydrate your body longer and provides the protein that you need for intense workouts.  Simply soak the chia seeds in water and it becomes a gel like the image below.  The gel allows your body to absorb carbohydrates to slowly covert them into simple sugars, so it controls your blood sugar.  They make you feel fuller because they absorb 10 times their weight of water.  It doesn’t have any flavor, so I love to sprinkle these over my salads and soups.  I particularly like to coat my bananas with chia seeds.  There are plenty of dessert recipes that incorporate chia seeds such as pudding or baked goods.

HEMP – There are three types of hemp that I like – hemp milk, hemp seeds, and hemp oil.  It works just like Chia Seeds providing you plenty of protein with essential amino acids, calcium, and Omega-3.  It curbs your appetite, it prevents inflammation, and it’s good for your skin.  It has a nutty taste, so I love sprinkling hemp seeds in fruit such as bananas and kiwis.  They are good in breakfast bars and oatmeal.  I found blending hemp milk with smoothies help me recover faster after intense workouts.  Instead of using too much olive oil I use hemp oil for cooking and salads.

KOMBUCHA – When I was younger, I found these odd-looking jars in the basement.  From time to time, my grandpa would drink these for breakfast.  I thought it was one of his strange Chinese medicinal drinks.  I found out it was Kombucha.  Kombucha is a fermentation of a sweetened tea with cultures such as good bacteria and yeast.  This is actually known to detoxify your body, increase your immunity, alkaline your PH, and increase your metabolism.  It’s full of probiotics to help you with digestion.  Vegans – since you’re not getting probiotics from yogurt you can sure get it from Kombucha.  I love the Synergy Drinks.  My favorite flavors are Strawberry Serenity and Multi-Green.  This is a great replacement for soda and coffee.  I have soda once in a blue moon, but if you are a heavy soda drinker this is 100 times better for you.  As for coffee, it gives you the pick-me-upper you need in the morning. Amazingly this also curbs my appetite, so I tend to have a swig of this closer to 4 pm when I get hungry.

These items are found in Whole Foods, your local organic market, and Amazon.  Try it out!  I hope you feel the super duper benefits I do with these superfoods.