Monday, September 23, 2013

Autumn and Alison's Spicy Spaghetti

“Gratitudes” – September 23, 2013

 Today I’m grateful for:

  1. It’s officially fall!
  2. Waking up earlier so that I could go for a walk before starting my day
  3. Deep belly breaths in the crisp fall air
  4. Taking time to do 10min of yoga stretching in the living room
  5. Arthur’s inspirational video 
  6. All of the happy little sparrows that I saw today
  7. 99 cent cauliflower
  8. Having homemade soup in the freezer
  9. Cooking grains with veggie broth
  10. This beautiful story of friendship – dog and cat
    Every day - at the same time - she waits for him. Sometimes she barks to call him. He comes; they rub and greet each other and they go for a walk. They have done this for 5 years and no, they don’t belong to the same owners. The owners didn’t know until neighbors seeing them together so frequently commented to the cat’s owner, who then followed the dog home which was a distance away - not in a house close or next door. How it started no one knows.
  11. Having enough time to not feel in a rush
  12. Learning something new
  13. Keeping an open mind
  14. Exercising my social skills
  15. We watched Trekkies last night tonight!
  16. Getting out of the house for awhile yesterday so that I could enjoy coming home
  17. Realizing I had enough fruit in the morning to make a smoothie
  18. Avocado sandwich
    (Ezekiel toast, smooshed avocado, sweet onion, tomato, basil, chives, sea salt, black sesame seeds.)
  19. My Grandpa’s 95th birthday!
  20. My sister’s birthday! (Happy Birthday, Ali!!! :)
  21. Having a nice chat with my sister this morning
  22. Receiving a nice thank you note
  23. Taking a nap because I really felt like it
  24. How a bed that’s made always seems more comfortable to climb into than one that is not
  25. Jasper cat cuddles in the afternoon
  26. Being able to walk up stairs (there was a time when I couldn’t. I’m so thankful that now I can.)
  27. Being able to stand and cook in the kitchen
  28. A nice email from one of my favourite friends
  29. Spaghetti
  30. Kalamata olives
My sister and I used to spend Thursday nights together, cooking, laughing and watching Hell’s Kitchen (in particular Season 6, which in my opinion is the best one.)  In honour of her birthday I’m making a spaghetti dish that she created on one of those nights out of random ingredients from my fridge. I call it Alison’s Spicy Spaghetti and it has become my favourite pasta recipe. I love that I generally have all of the ingredients on hand and that it always tastes great. If you like olives and hot sauce this one is for you!

Alison’s Spicy Spaghetti  

1 tbls olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced (less or more to taste)
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
Handful of cremini mushrooms, chopped
Handful of kalamata olives, sliced
Hot sauce to taste (depends on the hot sauce you’re using and how spicy you like it. This time I used  2 tablespoons of Frank’s Red Hot)
Jar of your favourite pasta sauce (or a jar of strained tomatoes and your own dried spices)
Spaghetti of choice, I use spelt pasta (I generally use about 2/3 of a box because I like to have leftovers)

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil your pasta.

Heat oil on medium heat, add garlic and sautee for a minute or so, add the onion and continue to cook until translucent. Add in the green pepper, mushrooms and kalamata olives and continue to cook for about 5min. Next add in your hot sauce – start slowly, you can always add more heat later if you need it. At this point, add your sauce, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 20min. Stir occasionally, taste and add more hot sauce, sea salt, etc., if needed.

While the sauce is cooking make your pasta according to the box directions. If the pasta is a little al dente, that’s okay; it will soak up more of the sauce flavours.

Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Now, at this point, I like to pour the sauce onto the pasta in the bigger pot and mix it together because that’s how I like it. If you prefer to put pasta on your plate first and then top with the sauce, go for it!

Topped with nooch, basil, and extra olives

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Kindness of Strangers and TLTs

“Gratitudes” – September 21, 2013

Today I’m grateful for:

  1. A gorgeous rainy day—it reminded me of the time I spent living on the east coast
  2. The woman who shared her umbrella with me (Thank you!)
  3. Watching our red kale sprouts grow
  4. The opportunity to meet some new people
  5. Trying new kinds of tea
  6. Random acts of kindness
  7. Packing a lunch that I felt really good about
    (Romaine lettuce dressed with olive oil, apple cider vinegar and sea salt, millet mixed with cucumber, tomato, chives, lemon juice and umeboshi vinegar, leftover taramind lentils, avocado, black sesame seeds.)
  8. The first apple out of a new bag
  9. Speaking with a good friend
  10. How good it feels to laugh
  11. Being on time when I thought I was running late
  12. This picture of a purple snail
  13. Having an extra pen to give someone who asked
  14. Doing some dishes in the morning so that I don’t have to do them tonight
  15. People who post inspiring and positive facebook messages
  16. Comfortable shoes
  17. Y;./67’ <-- Jasper Cat wrote this one
  18. Deva Premal and her beautiful music using Sanskrit mantras, especially the Gayatri Mantra 
  19. That I made homemade granola last week! Hello no-worry breakfast :)
  20. My awesome and very supportive sister
  21. This quote by Hafiz
  22. That I live on a street with lots of trees
  23. Coloured highlighters
  24. The way nature is so generous
  25. Clean dish towels
  26. Lemon water
  27. Ontario concord grapes
  28. Vegenaise coupons
  29. Toast
  30. Homemade tofu bacon
I had a craving for a BLT. I had really good bread from the local bakery, beautiful tomatoes and some perky romaine lettuce. I generally don’t eat many meat substitutes and so was stuck on how to replace the “B” in the BLT. Enter tofu bacon. I thought it fit into my sandwich rather well and even got crispier as it cooled on the pan. It tastes just how I like it -- a little smokey and a little maple-y. Plus it made my kitchen smell really great. So this is my TLT sandwich. Every time I say TLT I hear it to the tune of ACDC’s “TNT”.

TLT: tofu bacon, lettuce, tomato, vegenaise or homemade mayo, toasted bread

Tofu Bacon

1 block of extra firm tofu, cut into 24 pieces
2 tbls olive oil
2 tbls soy sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp maple syrup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix liquid ingredients in a small bowl. Dip each piece of tofu into the liquid, turn to cover completely and then place onto a cookie sheet. Cook for 15min. Flip the tofu, spoon the rest of the marinade over the tofu and then bake an additional 10min.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Green Juice Love and An Eclectic Supper

“Gratitudes” – September 20, 2013

Today I’m grateful for:

  1. The adrenaline rush that comes with a new job offer
  2. Starting the day off with green juice
  3. How the fall always makes me want to light candles and get cozy with a movie
  4. My fall apron
  5. Extra dish soap
  6. That the grocery store opens early in the morning
  7. A new bag of food for Jasper cat
  8. Cooler nights for sleeping
  9. Extra blankets
  10. Seeing Guinness glasses at the Goodwill (my favourite kind of water glass)
  11. Being able to sprout with a mason jar and a window sill
  12. The first page of a new journal
  13. Fall gourds 
  14. Cucumbers on sale (I really, really, love cucumber)
  15. The smell of cauliflower roasting in the oven
  16. Starting a list of soups that I want to make this Fall/Winter
  17. That I can learn how to twist my hair into up-do’s from the internet
  18. Bobby pins
  19. Beautiful red swiss chard
  20. Internet cafes with a printer
  21. The big, bright, beautiful, full moon last night
  22. The harvest baskets at the grocery store
  23. Salted peanuts
    (Salted peanuts in a retro peanut bowl from my childhood)
  24. New blooms on the houseplants
  25. Recipe cards
  26. Finding a “Christmas Cook” hat
  27. Learning that stepping outside my comfort zone won’t be comfortable, and that’s okay
  28. Green lentils
  29. Rediscovering an old favourite recipe
  30. An eclectic supper
I love food that inspires me when I'm in the kitchen. I was only planning on frying some leftover basmati rice with onion and cooking some green lentils. Quick. Easy. So, I started chopping an onion. Then out of nowhere my brain thought "lemon rice would be really easy to throw together right now." I didn't want to hunt down a cookbook though, so I just went with it and tried to remember what I'd used in the past. There was something really freeing about just using ingredients that felt right instead of trying to read a cookbook that is half-balanced under a large jar of sundried tomatoes that's trying (almost successfully) to keep it open to the right page. Sure, it was by no means an authentic lemon rice but the flavour hit the spot.

The lentils had halfway cooked when my mind piped up again, "tamarind lentils would go really nicely with lemon rice. You have all of the ingredients. Who cares that the lentils are half-cooked already?" I sometimes forget about the ingredients that I have in the cupboard because I'm too busy making lists of ingredients that I need for new recipes. I was already in the kitchen so I decided to roast a block of tofu that was in the fridge. Then since the oven was already hot I roasted half a cauliflower that was also hoping to be used up somehow. I found a kitchen groove and it felt good. Lessons learned: 1) cook with what you have and trust your intuition, 2) if you're already cooking and the oven is hot see what extras you can make at the same time, it means less cooking the next day, 3) cooking can be an act of self care -- nurturing the creative and nourishing the physical.

Clockwise from top right: Tamarind Lentils (Veganomicon, p123), tomato, sauteed red swiss chard, lemon wedge, roasted cauliflower, roasted tofu, lemon rice, avocado. Eclectic and tasty!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

New Music and Mom's Granola

"Gratitudes" -- September 15, 2013
Today I'm grateful for:
1. Spending a gorgeous day in Kensington yesterday
2. Waking up from a bad dream and having my boyfriend say "It's okay, you're safe and sound now, back in good old 2013."
3. Yesterday I had the best gluten-free, vegan brownie that I have ever eaten -- I ate it before I could take a picture of it's ooey-gooey, chocolatey, toasted walnut-y goodness
4. Fresh grapefruit

5. The moment when the sun comes out after it looks like rain
6. Orange Week by Ashley of A. Cook In The Making. I absolutely love the colour theme! Orange is so cheerful and this blog has brightened up my week.
7. A friend recommending new music. I can't wait to check out Rasputina!
8. Getting called back for a second interview
9. How walking on my favourite nature trail is always grounding
10. Living within walking distance to a great little bakery
11. Drinking smoothies from a wine glass
12. Finding a penny on the ground
13. This dancing pea that I met at the Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival

14. Wishing on a star very early in the morning
15. Discovering handmade pottery in thrift stores
16. The way Jasper Cat licks my hand if it's near him when he's taking a bath
17. Colorful plant-based food pictures on twitter
18. How this magnesium supplement can sometimes stop a caffeine freak out, thanks Natural Calm!
19. Awesome spice stores
20. Finding old journals
21. Ontario cantaloupe
22. Signs on the street that tell me I'm awesome

23. How the mailman knows my name
24. Knowing there is extra toothpaste in the cupboard
25. A day with no plans except relaxing with my favourites
26. It's still the weekend
27. The way my favourite pink hoodie is so comfortable
28. Rolled oats on sale!
29. Pumpkin seeds
30. How smells can bring back vivid memories

These are a few smells that take me right back to my childhood and make my space feel like home. One is olive oil and garlic in a pan on the stove, a precursor to many delicious soups, pasta sauces, stir-frys and a myriad of other tasty dinner delights. The other is homemade granola toasting in the oven. When I was growing up my mom always kept a container full of homemade granola in the cupboard and the smell of it cooking always made the kitchen feel extra cozy. It was always there for a nourishing breakfast or a quick snack. She stills makes it and now I do too. It's a pretty easy recipe, and versatile in that you can substitute a lot of the ingredients with what you have on hand. Flaked barely instead of oats? Sure! Walnuts instead of almonds? Oh yeah! Spice it up too if that's how you're feeling. In the end you will have A LOT of granola, the satisfaction of making it yourself and a kitchen that smells like home.

Mom's Granola

8 cups rolled oats -- large flake
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup flax powder or wheat germ
1 cup sunflower seeds -- plain
1 cup slivered almonds
1/2- 3/4 cup liquid sweetener (I use maple syrup), depending on how sweet you like it
2/3 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla

Optional ingredients: raisins, cranberries, other dried fruit, whatever spices you love!

In this latest batch I substituted pumpkin seeds for almonds and added pumpkin pie spices:

1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/8 ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients together in a big bowl, including any spices if you decide to use them.
Mix liquid sweetener, oil and vanilla together in a cup, add to the dry ingredients and mix well.
Divide mixture onto two shallow baking trays and clean the mixing bowl.
Bake the granola in the oven for 10min and then stir.
Bake for another 10min and then stir again.
You may need to bake for another minute or two -- until toasty looking.
Place the granola back into the mixing bowl. Add in the raisins or other dried fruit at this point if you want. (I usually save the raisins and add a few to my own bowl at breakfast if I feel like it.)
Stir at intervals to help cool.
When cool store in an airtight container.

Enjoy! <3

Friday, September 13, 2013

Graffiti and The Best Tofu Scramble Ever

“Gratitudes” – September 13, 2013

 Today I’m grateful for:

  1. Checking things off my to-do list – what a good feeling! Along with the bigger things, I like to include simple things on my to-do list like the dishes or taking a shower because I love that "win" feeling that comes after checking them off.
  2. Remembering to have a sense of humor
  3. Finding really beautiful sweet potatoes at the grocery store. The picture doesn’t do them justice they were a gorgeous orange-y pink!
  4. The smell of granola in the oven
  5. A big pot of soup on the stove
  6. The weather being cool enough to wear a colourful scarf
  7. That I spent some time cleaning. Cleaning isn't my favourite but I do love having a clean space
  8. Going on a job interview that was only a few minutes from home
  9. Seeing beautiful flowers in people's front yards
  10. Having taste buds
  11. The colour purple in all of it's lovely shades
  12. Positive graffiti
  13. It's the 13th today -- my favourite number
  14. Natural lip balm
  15. Papertowels
  16. Seeing and buying some of the first Ontario fall apples
  17. How my breath always brings me back to the moment
  18. A roof over my head
  19. The feeling of cool fall air on my skin
  20. I am no longer a nail biter
  21. That moment when tangled necklace chains finally come undone
  22. The salad bowl at Hibiscus
  23. Learning that I can choose my reaction in any situation
  24. Giving myself a break -- because sometimes you are the only person who can really let you off the hook
  25. Getting to walk outside in the fresh air
  26. Clean clothes
  27. New bags of spices
  28. Taking the time to make a really awesome breakfast
  29. The way tofu gets crispy in the pan
  30. Trying out a new recipe

I've never made a tofu scramble before. Actually, that's not quite true. I have a vague memory from high school of my sister and I making some sort of tofu scramble from a box. No veggies and kind of tasteless. I've never made an amazing tofu scramble before. But then it happened. I woke up with a craving for a really hearty breakfast -- something heavy and comforting, something with fried potatoes. So I googled "best tofu scramble ever" and the first link to show up was Scrambled Tofu Revisited on the PPK. It was delicious. Thanks again Isa, for bringing great food into my life -- it really was the best tofu scramble ever.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Public Libraries and Pizza Bagels

“Gratitudes” – September 6, 2013

 Today I’m grateful for:

  1. Public transit
  2. The sound of babies laughing
  3. Kensington Market
  4. Access to a public library
  5. Cold, clean, fresh water
  6. Ceiling fans
  7. It’s Friday!
  8. Kind customer service reps
  9. Going outside of my comfort zone and applying for a new job
  10. Two dogs coming to say hello while I was on my walk – they were so joyful!
  11. The smell of watermelon bubblegum (took me right back to my childhood)
  12. Homemade granola
  13. Baskets of new potatoes at the grocery store
  14. Smiling at strangers
  15. Reusable bags
  16. Learning that baking soda paste is magical for itchy bug bites (thanks AJ!) 
  17. Being able to use the mouse with my left hand
  18. Seeing that fresh Ontario organic watermelon does exist, with seeds and everything
  19. The Toronto Vegetarian Festival!
  20. Buying vegetables and herbs that people picked from their home gardens
  21. Healing face cream
  22. Being able to only buy a few mushrooms at a time
  23. Pumpkin seeds
  24. Craigslist
  25. Sharpie pens
  26. An ipod with a full battery
  27. Really good dish soap
  28. Hearing a woodpecker doing it’s thing
  29. Positive facebook updates
  30. This blog post about pizza bagels by Julie over at My Apologies For The Novel. (Thanks!)
I saw Julie’s blog post about pizza bagels when I woke up this morning and I really wished that I could have made them for breakfast! I thought about them all day and finally found myself at the grocery store looking for toppings. The stars aligned and bagels were on sale -- as many as you could fit into a paper bag for $2.99! I managed to squeeze in nine. Pizza bagel goodness ensued. I topped ours with sauce, FYH mozzarella, onion, olives, mushrooms and green pepper. 

Happy Friday! :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Chickadees and Chickpeas

“Gratitudes” – September 5, 2013

 Today I’m grateful for:

  1. Cool mornings
  2. Deciding to take a morning walk today
  3. Living close to a large park
  4. Sun salutations
  5. Chickadees
  6. Stopping to help a worm and a caterpillar out of foot traffic
  7. Tuning in to natural hunger cues
  8. Sunlight through our bedroom window 
    (Jasper enjoying his patio)
  9. A working phone
  10. Being able to see all of the beautiful colours in the world
  11. My supportive family
  12. My awesome boyfriend
  13. Great computer speakers
  14. mindbodygreen and the inspiring articles that they post
  15. Discovering new blogs because of Vegan MoFo!
  16. Afternoon snacks
    (Rye toast, roasted garlic, beautiful fresh tomato, basil, sea salt)
  17. Hot water with lemon and mint
  18. The moment when the dishes are done and the kitchen is clean again
  19. Can openers
  20. Hoodies
  21. Leftover sushi
  22. Affirmations
  23. Tony Robbins audiobooks
  24. My Grandpa
  25. Remembering that there is peace in the present moment
  26. My favourite apron
  27. Finding an onion in the fridge when I thought there were none
  28. An afternoon nap
  29. Chickpeas
  30. Vegan cookbooks!
Vegan with a Vengeance wasn’t the first vegan cookbook that I bought but it is my favourite. Since I bought it five years ago I have been meaning to make the Punk Rock Chickpea Gravy (p111). For whatever reason it took me until three weeks ago to make it for the first time and tonight I made it again. No one was here to see me but I’ll tell you that I’ve been eating it from the pot with a spoon – it’s amazing! I did end up actually putting some on a plate too and having a complete meal with turmeric seasoned brown rice, kale sautéed with sun-dried tomatoes and carrots with fresh dill.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Rainbows and Sweet Potatoes

“Gratitudes” – September 4, 2013

Today I’m grateful for:

  1. Prism rainbows 
  1. Another sunny day
  2. Honeybees doing their thing to keep life going on the planet
  3. The feeling of walking barefoot in the grass
  4. Taking time to cloud watch

  1. The sound of wind in the trees
  2. The way dogs look like they’re smiling
  3. The silence when construction stops for the day
  4. Being able to turn off the air conditioner
  5. Ants-On-A-Log (a snack from my childhood that I have a new found love for!)
  1. Getting carded at the liquor store on a day I felt frumpy
  2. Watching TV in bed
  3. Fresh Ontario garlic!
  4. Old friends
  5. New possibilities
  6. Having a desk for my computer
  7. Colourful scarves
  8. 80s movies
  9. Magnetic poetry 
  1. Wall calendars
  2. Being able to walk up a hill
  3. The sound of birds chirping
  4. Old episodes of “The Good Wife”
  5. Notepads
  6. My new backpack
  7. Mason jars
  8. Kleenex
  9. Learning to trust my instinct
  10. Voicemail
  11. Blended soups
My go-to soup is a spicy and comforting mix of red lentils, sweet potato and curry. Quick and easy to throw together, you can basically forget about it while it’s cooking and have a nourishing meal on the table without too much work. This soup also freezes really well for a fast week-day supper. If you don’t have sweet potatoes handy butternut squash is also good.

Curried Red Lentil & Sweet Potato Soup

1 tbls olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced (less or more to taste)
1 inch of ginger, grated
1 tsp curry powder
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp cinnamon
Sea salt to taste
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
1-2 sweet potatoes (depending on the size), peeled and chopped
Parsley and hemp hearts for garnish (optional)

Heat oil on medium high heat until hot; add onion and sauté until translucent, about 7min. Add garlic and ginger to the pan and sauté for about 30 seconds. Add in spices and sauté for another minute. Use a bit of water to deglaze the pan. Add sweet potatoes, lentils and enough water to fill the pot leaving about an inch of space. Heat to boiling, cover and then simmer for 45min – 1 hour, until lentils are cooked and sweet potato is tender. Blend in batches until you have a creamy soup! I sometimes add in greens at this stage when I’m blending – kale and spinach both work well. I enjoy my bowl of soup garnished with parsley and hemp hearts.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sushi Rolls and Sunshine

“Gratitudes” – September 3, 2013

Today I’m grateful for:

  1. This beautiful day!
  2. The cooler temperatures
  3. Feeling the sun warm on my face
  4. The sound of my honey playing acoustic guitar in the living-room
  5. Summer tomatoes
  6. Isa’s recipe for vegan mayo
  7. Toasted tomato sandwiches! 
  8. Natural toothpaste
  9. Comfortable running shoes
  10. Happy-face stickers
  11. Ear plugs
  12. Cute animal videos on youtube
  13. Our comfy bed
  14. Blendtec blenders
  15. Finding an old handbag that I was looking for
  16. Rediscovering an old playlist in itunes that I made years ago
  17. Handmade, knitted, colourful socks
  18. The green smoothie that I had for breakfast:
                                                 (with peaches, kale, basil and chia seeds)
  19. How laughing can change my mood
  20. Digital cameras
  21. Hardwood floors
  22. Realizing that true friends are just that, no matter how often you talk
  23. The smell of coffee
  24. My favourite tea mug
  25. Our “Good Things” jar
    (I repurposed an old sauerkraut jar at the beginning of the New Year and I started to write down good things that happen to us, happy moments and experiences that we'd like to remember. We'll go through them this New Year's eve as we revisit the year past and look forward to the one ahead.)
  26. Having lots of dried lentils and beans in the cupboards to cook with
  27. Seeing dragonflies dance on the breeze
  28. Dish gloves
  29. Sweet potatoes
  30. Sushi rolls
Simple or stuffed so full of veggie goodness that it spills out the sides, I love sushi rolls and nori hand wraps. They’re really great for a lunch on-the-go, road tripping or a satisfying snack. I like playing with the colours and textures that I include and this combo is my current favourite:

Sunrise Sushi Roll
Makes one big roll -- cut into 8 pieces or enjoy burrito style

1 sheet of nori
1 c brown rice
1 tsp umeboshi plum paste or more to taste
¼ avocado, sliced
2 inches cucumber, sliced
Few pieces steamed sweet potato, sliced
1 green onion, cut in half and sliced lengthwise
Grated carrot
Black sesame seeds for garnish and dipping (I love the crunch they add!)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Morning dance party and Umeboshi plum

“Gratitudes” – September 2, 2013
I’m so grateful for:
  1. Impromptu dance parties!
  2. Talking to my parents on the phone
  3. Vanilla hazelnut coffee
  4. Yoga pants
  5. Electricity
  6. Pausing to take a deep belly breath
  7. A breakfast that I really loved
                         (Rye bread, roasted garlic, homemade baked beans, green onion)

  1. Seeing the first leaves start to turn red on my favourite nature trail
  2. How Jasper cat stays in bed with me until I get up
  3. Comments on my last blog post (thank you! xoxo)
  4. Remembering how good it feels to stretch
  5. Hair elastics
  6. Green juice (my favourite blend: cucumber, celery, kale, ciltantro, lemon, garlic, jalapeno)

  1. New blooms on my houseplants
  2. Really good hand cream
  3. The hawk that hangs out in our neighbourhood
  4. Laundry change
  5. Motown instrumentals
  6. That moment when you finally find the pen you’ve been looking for
  7. A new jar of tahini
  8. Coloured Post-it notes
  9. Kitchen tongs
  10. This bunny picture that I saw on facebook:

   24. A comfortable couch
   25. Thumb drives
   26. The smell of garlic roasting in the oven
  1. A clean kitchen
  2. This long weekend
  3. Corn on the cob
  4. Umeboshi plum
I really, I mean REALLY, love umeboshi plum. When I was on a 30 day raw food retreat almost two years ago I missed it so much that I had a friend drive me an hour away, to another town, just so I could buy some. I feel really balanced when I include it in my diet. It replaces lost minerals and has been known to cure a hangover. Considered in macrobiotics to be the king of alkaline food, I like the salty/sour taste that it adds to grains, sushi rolls and especially the late summer gem that is corn on the cob. I’m a sucker for a salty/sweet combo and ume paste on corn on the cob does just that for me in a healthy way. Give it a shot!