Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My pre-Thanksgiving Colombian "Pizza", November favorites, and an update!

Hey everyone!!! Long time no talk! 

Sophomore year at the university is pretty amazing so far, I'm not gonna lie. But it's also pretty darn busy. I really haven't had the time to post up anything exciting. Plus, I was detoxing a lot these past couple months, so the super imaginative recipes were few in number (well, actually, there were a lot, but I'm saving those for a surprise that I'll talk about later.. perhaps much later).

Detoxing was a fantastic experience, and I learned so much about my body, and just about health overall. I learned how to eat the best food for your body, but I also realized that sometimes it's ok to realize you're not perfect. See, I had this goal to be 100% low fat raw vegan for a whole year. Though that is a beautiful and attainable goal, one needs to be truly ready and truly committed to do something like that. I was becoming so nit-picky about every little thing I put in my body that I started to feel unhappy... very unhappy. That's when I realized that it is better to eat 50-70% raw and be happy than to be 100% and miserable. I'm not saying that 100% raw is a bad thing - it's not!! If you so desire, it will be one of the best choices you make in life. I just realized that it's not the time or place for me at this busy, growing, and exciting time in my life.

That being said, here are my latest favorites:

Amazing fall fruits like this soft hachiya persimmon
Korean Red Ginseng Tea. Gives natural energy, no caffeine, has a lovely flavor and is super good for the body.
Teeccino's Herbal Coffee in Dark Roast. Pretty much the most amazing stuff ever. My heart and my tastebuds feel happy when I drink this caffeine-free beverage (caffeine is a no-no for my body. It just can't handle it anymore).
This amazing natural sweetener. Maple syrup has become my #1 sweetener of choice lately.  I even drink little "shot glasses" of this from time to time (don't judge me!!!!!!!!!!!)
Miso broth and udon noodles has been my favorite go-to when I eat out with friends (or get takeout)

I have plenty of other favorites I want to share (I might do that more often, we'll see), but those are the most recent pictures.

In summary, the fall season has treated me well, and I'm very thankful to God for so many things. 

I'm thankful for my family,
friends, for my Creator God, for my education, for my passions, for wellness, for nature, for FOOD!

I'm especially thankful for 1) God, and 2) for friendship. 
For God, because He is so good to me and has taught me so many things about life and about love. I've been through a lot (we have all had our own challenges that seemed impossible to survive), and yet here I am today, healthy and happy, saved by His grace. He is so good, He loves me, and He loves you too. 

... And I'm thankful for friendship because friendship is the foundation of all things good in life. Any relationship - whether serious or even simple acquaintance - will thrive if true friendship is the foundation. And what is true friendship? Unconditional love and acceptance. I love that. I love that so much. 

This pizza is actually not a pizza. It's a Italian take on a colombian dish called "arepas". Arepas are palm-sized corn cakes that are pan-fried and then filled with a variety of delicious toppings. I decided to mash the dough all together and form a giant arepa "pizza crust". Today, I only rely on three main toppings: Avocado-tomato-cilantro salad, a mild salsa, and my favorite "tofeta" (it doesn't taste like feta, but I like that name). 

This is the stuff I use. It's not organic. But it is delicious. This flour is very versatile, and I just love it. 

The measurements are not exact, but I think you will be fine. :) It's hard to go wrong with this recipe, in my opinion.

Colombian Pizza (Arepa Style) 

Serves 2-3 hungry people - can serve 6-8 as a small appetizer, I think

Dough Ingredients:
* A little less than 3/4 of P.A.N. white corn masa package (can purchase at international foods market)
* water
* salt/seasoning of choice - garlic salt is great
Dough/Crust Assembly:
1) Slowly add water to dough, mixing first with a spoon, and then with hands. Keep adding water until dough is easily moldable (it shouldn't be sticky at all). 
2) Line a regular-sized round pizza pan with aluminum foil and then press dough into pan.
3) Place in a preheated oven at 365 F and bake in there for about 25-30 minutes.

This is my aunt's recipe - she is the coolest!

* 1-2 packages of extra firm tofu, drained
* garlic salt
1) Cut tofu into little cubes. Slightly crumble into a bowl, add lots of garlic salt to taste(or regular pink salt).
2) Cook in non-stick wok until tofu is more dry and is starting to brown a little bit. Should taste somewhat like cheese. Somewhat. 

Avocado-Tomato-Cilantro Topping
* 2 hass avocados, diced
* 3 medium-small tomatoes, diced 
* Heaping 1/4 cup cilantro
* 1 green onion/scallion (or a large handful of sweet onion chives)
* Juice of 1/4 lemon (more if desired)
* Salt, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Done. Ready to go.

* Favorite salsa recipe - I go simple and use Pace "Picante" Medium salsa. I serve this on the side. 

Pizza Assembly:
1) While crust cooks in oven, prep your other ingredients.
2) Remove from heat. Add Avocado-Tomato-Cilantro Salad to pizza. 
3) Top with delicious tofeta goodness. Garnish with some more cilantro.
4) Drizzle a little salsa on that bad boy and devour the goodness on your plate!!!!!

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Please enjoy this recipe. Share with everyone. Enjoy life, and all of it's blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Much love,

~ Natalyn