Good news! Raw Vegan Not Gross is coming back in early January. We are actually going to do some cooked stuff this season. Hope you're as excited as I am!
I get a ton of emails asking for suggestions on what food processors and blenders to buy. I really want to emphasize that if you’re just getting started with raw food, definitely don’t feel like you have buy everything all at once! Start with what you’ve got, then figure out which of these you're actually using a lot or really feeling like you're missing. The worst thing is to spend a bunch of money on kitchen stuff that will just take up shelf space. My suggestions below are all for things that I've either used myself or gotten glowing recommendations about. Hope you find it helpful!
High speed blender - It's great for making super smooth green shakes, desserts, sauces, anything. You're really looking for that smooth, creamy texture here. Blendtec and Vitamix are the high-end ones that really take it to the next level. That said, I know lots of people who LOVE the Nutribullet, which is much less expensive. ($498) Blendtec ($399) Magic Bullet NutriBullet ($88)
Good knives - you’ll be cutting A LOT of fruits and veggies, so this is a must. make sure they’re sharp, because (funny thing!) the duller the knife, the more likely you are to cut yourself -- believe me, I have the scars to prove it. ($130) Victorinox 10-Inch Chef's Knife, Rosewood Handle ($68) Victorinox Fibrox 8-Inch Chef's Knife ($34)
Mandoline - really cheap and really handy! great for making thinly sliced “pasta noodles” out of zucchini!
Swissmar Borner has great reviews ($49) Benriner Wide-Body Large Slicer extra-wide! I have the regular version but I'm going to get one of these so I can do full-sized beets without cutting them. ($35) OXO Hand-Held ($15) or alternately, a very good peeler Kuhn Rikon Peeler (set of 3, $6)
Spiralizer - for making those incredible zucchini noodles! Spiralizer ($30)
Dehydrator - how to make crackers, crusts, kale chips, and basically anything crispy! In my opinion, it's not totally necessary to buy a dehydrator just because you're getting into raw food. Especially if you’re just starting out, an oven kept at a low temp works fine. That said, I have yet to meet a who doesn’t love their dehydrator - you can really just set it and forget it! TSM Stainless Steel Food Dehydrator with 10 Shelves ($584) Excalibur this is the most commonly used one ($233) Excalibur 2400 4-Tray ($104)
This is a just a quick video my grocery haul from Trader Joe's during a busy week and also two of my quickest zero-effort meals!
I shove this piece of paper under my desk every time someone comes over. (That's why it's all dirty and crumpled up.) It looks like some exercise out of a self-help book and it's embarrassing.
I was feeling crappy. Extremely crappy. So I grabbed a piece of construction paper, and scribbled down a pep talk to myself. Then I read it aloud to myself every morning for the next week or so. Can you imagine me doing this? WAIT STOP PLEASE DON'T because I definitely do look just as crazy as you're imagining.
But here's the thing: it actually worked. I started drinking more water. I started eating more leafy greens. I made myself exercise even when I felt exhausted and terrible because that's when I needed it most.
Maybe it was the act of saying it out loud, as if I was telling a friend to take care of herself (i.e. "not for any other reason other than it will feel good and help you feel better") which makes sense, because I don't want my best friend to look skinnier or prettier, I just want her to feel better.
Anyway, this embarrassing post is just a reminder to you to "TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF, (insert your name)" because feeling like a self-help-book-reading cheeseball and embarrassing yourself still beats feeling like crap.
Tastemade Channel (who I filmed the original RVNG videos with) has released one of my first videos with Spanish and German voiceovers! I think they are kind of just testing it out to see how people like it, so I don't know if there will be more, but definitely send to anyone you know who might like it!
I made this headpiece out of goji berries. It reminds me of the kind of jewelry you might get at a place like Free People, no? Except with more antioxidants.
I had to drive down to Los Angeles last night and decided that I'd share what I picked up from my local market on my way out of San Francisco. What snacks do you bring on road trips? I'm driving back up in a few days so I'll need some suggestions!
I've gotten a ton of comments/emails asking how to get these prints if you're not local, so HERE is the link to The Aesthetic Union's online shop to buy them. They were printed by James Tucker (a friend of mine who runs his very own letterpress shop) and created by some of my favorite local artists. Every single one is going up in my house, just FYI. Check them out and support some local artists right here!
Here is a little behind-the-scenes look at the raw vegan dinner I hosted at The Aesthetic Union a couple weeks ago (to celebrate a fruit+veg art show I curated!) Every single one of these prints is going up in my living room. If you'd like one too, you can find them RIGHT HERE.
Here are a few shots from my Sunripened Dinner last week. It was a pretty surreal experience for me, and something I'd wanted to since I started making raw food 8 years ago! I'm putting together a little video over the next few days, but here is a sneak peek!
I was honestly going to try to space these out, but I just got too excited to share them with you, so here is another one from my shoot with Julia Stotz. For the record, I attached the mushrooms with little floral pins that were digging into my scalp while I was trying to balance the whole thing on my head. #nopainnogain
Here is the link to buy tickets!
I'll be hosting my FIRST EVER 5-course raw vegan supper club in the coolest little letterpress shop, The Aesthetic Union.
The evening will offer a sneak peak (and first dibs!) on limited-edition prints from the accompanying SUN-RIPENED show, which will celebrate the amazing local fruits and vegetables we have access to during our gorgeous Northern California summers.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 15th at 7pm
Cost: $75/person + tax
Location: The Aesthetic Union Letterpress Shop, 555 Alabama Street in San Francisco
I'll be posting a live link for tickets tomorrow at 10am. Space is very limited so act fast!
FRIDAY, AUGUST 15th at 7pm Cost: $75/person + tax Drinks: BYOB Location: The Aesthetic Union Letterpress Shop, 555 Alabama Street in San Francisco
I am out-of-my-head excited about this dinner and art show. I have been a giant ball of anxiety, which is always an indicator that I'm about to throw myself into a big project. I just met with Risa and James of The Aesthetic Union this week and am now feeling much more confident about us pulling all of this together! Plus, it's in their letterpress printing studio, so no matter what, it's going to look cool! I cannot wait for you guys to see these prints. I am so excited about each and every one. Here's a secret: after seeing all the artwork, I decided that I'd buy 13 matching frames to display them at The Aesthetic Union, but REALLY I'm getting them because I then plan on hanging ALL OF THEM on the wall in my living room. Don't tell anyone.
THE FULL DEAL
Laura Miller of Sidesaddle Kitchen will be hosting a 5-course raw vegan dinner at The Aesthetic Union. The evening will offer a sneak peak (and first dibs!) on limited-edition prints from the accompanying SUN-RIPENED show, which will celebrate the amazing local fruits and vegetables we have access to during our gorgeous Northern California summers. The show will feature 13 local designers who have created images specifically for the theme. They will be printed by The Aesthetic Union in limited editions for $25 and available for purchase to the public on opening night.
Dinner August 15th 7pm Opening Party August 21 6-9p.m.
Tickets will go on sale at 10am Tuesday, 8/5. I will post a link here on my site!
I know. It's a big deal. I've known it was happening for over two months now, but I've been keeping it a secret because, well, FEELINGS:
1. I didn't want to jinx it. But really it was more than that. I've tried and failed at so many things at this point in my career, that I have gotten very good at bracing myself for things to not work out. I had originally wanted Sidesaddle Kitchen (the inception of my tagline RAW VEGAN NOT GROSS btw) to be a wholesale business, selling sweet treats to coffee shops and markets. There were a few problems though: First, I was afraid to charge enough for my products because I was embarrassed that I was selling "yuppie food" that I couldn't afford to buy if I wasn't making it myself. I would sell out at farmers markets and still couldn't pay my rent! Second, I was more interested in telling people how to make it themselves than selling it to them. People would ask me questions at the markets and I would get their emails and follow up to give them my recipes, tell them about how I crafted my signs, or send them links to websites they should be following. FYI this is NOT how you run a business! I made wedding cakes, catered parties, and tried a hundred different things, but was never making money. All this is to say that I became very familiar with the feelings of failure and disappointment.
2. I'm a little scared. And by a little I mean a lot. Wait, am I not supposed to say that? BECAUSE I DEFINITELY AM. What if my recipes are boring? What if my publisher thinks I'm a bad writer? What if everyone hates my book? What if everyone hates me? What if the whole world starts doing #froobs and my #froobs are rendered obsolete? (jk I'd be pumped if that happened!) Really though, my sensitive introverted anxious self is having an anxiety-thon.
3. I'm not actually a raw vegan. I just love raw vegan food. I eat cooked food (GASP!) and that will be incorporated into the book because I think it is just more practical and cost-efficient than eating all raw. And truth bomb here: I also will occasionally eat eggs from my parents' chicken coop and even a cheese stick if one of my adorable nieces hands it to me. I think the introduction to raw vegan food can be hard because it seems very intense and exclusive to outsiders. My hope is that more people will come to see that plant-based diets are not boring, dogmatic, or cult-like, because I see much more benefit for our collective health and environment if most of us eat a plant based diet than if 100 of us are extreme hard-core raw vegans.
4. Criticism Not long after I started doing the Raw Vegan Not Gross series for Tastemade I found myself afraid to say/do/make anything because I was so afraid of the criticism I'd get. People criticized my recipes saying they were too nut -heavy (they were right and I worked on that!) They criticized my voice (sorry haterz - I take after my gorgeous and graceful low-voiced mother and I'm not ashamed of that one!) They also criticized my weight, and, if you're a woman, you probably know that this digs into the deepest crevices of your soul and brings up feelings of shame, hurt, self-loathing, the whole bit -- it certainly did for me. But I decided that if I stopped doing this just because commenters told me my thighs were too big, I was missing an opportunity to offer a new voice. A big-thighed voice.
OK LAURA, ENOUGH FEELINGS.
The point is, I'm writing a cookbook and I am so excited to finally tell you that I want to explode.
It's going to be mostly RAW, all VEGAN, and definitely NOT GROSS, because you know I'm gonna put everything I've got into it.
If you'd like to get updates and be first on the list to pre-order, put your email in here (I promise I won't blast you with pyramid scheme emails!)
photo by Julia Stotz
Ok, so I'm not even sure Beyonce is into green shakes, but if she is, you can bet your bootylicious behind that she drinks ONLY THE BEST.
The amazing illustration above is from my friend Donna Suh (who by the way is one of my favorite people in the BeyHive to dance with - the girl has moves) and already tells you what's in the shake, but just in case you need more specifics, see recipe below.
2 cups water, 2-3 handfuls of spinach, 1-2 cups grapes (frozen grapes are even better!,) 1/2 avocado, 2-3 mint leaves, juice of 1 lime, 1/2 cucumber, pinch sea salt, pinch of stevia
1. Add water and spinach and blend - you may have to add a handful at a time depending on your blender. 2. Add grapes, avocado, mint, lime juice, cucumber, salt, and stevia and blend until fully incorporated. 3. Add ice to taste (I always like it icy!)
Ok, so this isn't raw. In fact, most of the components are store-bought. But you know what? I'M BUSY, AND I'M GUESSING YOU ARE TOO. It's super quick, and every person I've made this for (usually mid-project in my living room) has loved it.
brown rice tortillas store-bought pizza sauce (just make sure its organic & there is no sugar added!) nut cheese*** basil
1. Preheat oven to 350F. 2. Coat both sides of the tortilla with a tiny bit of olive oil (one of those refillable oil sprayers works great here) 3. Place tortilla on cookie sheet, add a thin layer of pizza sauce all over, excluding the outer half inch so that it wont cook over the sides. 4. Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes or until crispy. 5. Top with cheese and fresh basil. Enjoy your single lady snack. ***I usually make a cheese out of whatever I have in the kitchen, or I just omit it completely. (The one in this picture is a mix of pine nuts, hemp seeds, and nutritional yeast.) If you're going for dairy, I'd recommend goat cheese!
I am so excited to announce TWO EVENTS that I have coming up in August! A couple months ago, my friend James Tucker of The Aesthetic Union asked me to curate an letterpress show about fruits and veggies. My first response was UM I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO DO THAT and then WHATEVER LET'S DO THIS.
I reached out to my favorite local artists to each create a piece based on their interpretation of SUN-RIPENED -- a focus on the amazing local fruits and vegetables we have access to in the summer (p.s. hopefully we ourselves will be happy and sun-ripened by that point in the summer, as well!)
Each poster will be printed by The Aesthetic Union in a limited edition of 25 and available for purchase.
Our artists: Anna Hurley Celeste Prevost Donna Suh Eli Myers Eric Bailey Erin Ellis George McCalman Grace Danico Hope Meng Heather Hardison Maria Schoettler Rinee Shah Shannon May
RAW VEGAN DINNER with the artists + SNEAK PEAK Friday, August 15, 7pm Five-course raw vegan meal prepared by... ME! *Limited seating - tickets go on sale August 1*
OPENING PARTY Thursday, August 21, 6-9pm Drink, snack, and buy prints! More details coming soon!