Raw Tuesdays with Bianca

by Gena on October 10, 2009

Hey readers!

Hope you’re all having a good weekend! And that you enjoyed Sarah’s super awesome post.

bianca Prepare yourselves, readers, for a culinary treat. In honor of my travels through the dirty South this weekend, I thought I might ask to hear from another one of my very favorite bloggers: Ms. Bianca of Vegan Crunk. Bianca’s blog has been on my must-read list for just about as long as I’ve read food blogs. Why? Because she’s sassy, smart, committed to veganism, and a damn tasty chef. Bianca and I may have slightly different palates — among other things, she’s a whiz with spicy cajun fare, whereas I’m all about the simple, un-spicy flavors — but we share a love of the veggie-full lifestyle.

We also share a love of raw! Bianca has been practicing a “raw Tuesday” tradition for a year or so now. On the first Tuesday of every month, she eats all raw — sounds a lot like Raw Wednesdays, eh guys? Great minds…

What I love about this is that Bianca is living proof that one can dabble in raw foods — even just once a month — without getting subsumed in stress about going 100%. She experiences the fun and good vibes of a raw diet, but she does so on her own terms, and — as you’ll see — according to her own tastes. Without further ado, Ms. Bianca!

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Hey ya’ll! Bianca here from Vegan Crunk. Gena kindly asked me to do a guest post about my long-standing monthly tradition of raw food cleansing on the first Tuesday of every month. So here goes …

First, let me introduce myself. I was born and raised in the Mississippi Delta — land of barbecued pork, ham hocks, and fried chicken. Thankfully, I gave up all that nastiness and went lacto-ovo vegetarian by age 14. By 24, I was vegan, and last year, I began dabbling into raw foods. However, I still love fried tofu, cupcakes, and vegan donuts. And at this point in my life, I couldn’t even fathom giving up junk food.

But in February 2008, I began experimenting with a once-a-month raw food cleanse. The idea of a monthly one-day “fast” came from Skinny Bitch, a book I credit with totally changing my life. Since I only eat all raw one day a month, I don’t know how much cleansing is really taking place. But it’s an amazing exercise in self-discipline and a perfect excuse to play with raw recipes. Raw food is tasty, and it makes you feel great about yourself and what you’re putting into your body.

I began my monthly tradition with only two raw un-cookbooks in my collection — Alive in 5: Gourmet Meals in Five Minutes by Angela Elliott and Raw Food Made Easy by Jennifer Cornbleet. My first raw dinner in that February 2008 cleanse were these tasty Garden Wraps from Cornbleet’s book:

gardenwraps

I discovered pretty quickly that I wasn’t really into raw collards. However, a few raw food days later, I did learn that I LOVE raw desserts! These Raw Brownies (also from Cornbleet’s) book have been one of my favorite raw desserts to date (with the exception of Gena’s amazing banana soft serve of course!):

rawbrownies

These were made with a base of walnuts and cocoa powder (mine wasn’t raw, but they would be even better with raw cacao powder). And they froze wonderfully, so I snacked on this batch for months!

Unlike on my normal cooked food days, I tend get hungry every couple of hours when I’m eating all raw food. But I’ve learned that eating a meal heavy on the nuts and seeds helps curb the hunger cravings. Of course, I don’t go overboard on nuts for every meal. But this breakfast of Raw Spanish Scramble from Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen satisfied well until the noon hour:

rawspanishscramble2

Over the past year, I’ve relied mostly on Ani’s book, the Cornbleet and Elliott books mentioned earlier, and of course, the lovely Gena’s recipes from this very blog (see her recipe tab above). Gena’s cashew alfredo, raw tortilla soup, and creamy avocado bisque are TO DIE FOR!!!! Occasionally, I’ll branch out and seek raw recipes online from unknown sources. This recipe for Raw Mashed “Potatoes” is one of those, but I’ve made a few adaptations of my own:

mashedrawcauliflower

Raw Mashed “Potatoes”

1 small cauliflower, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup cashews or walnuts, soaked for half an hour
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic

Blend the cashews in a food processor. Add cauliflower and blend until it forms course crumbs. Add the olive oil and garlic and blend again until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.

* * *

Thanks, B!

I hope Bianca’s post shows you all that you don’t have to make eating raw an all or nothing thing. You can set the terms of what you hope to get from a raw diet — be it lifelong or purely experimental and curiosity-driven. And I hope you all try Bianca’s recipe! I happen to have a similar mashed potato recipe to unveil, but you guys will have to wait a bit for that!

Sending you all my love from the Big Easy.

xo

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

evergreen October 10, 2009 at 7:24 am

All your pictures look amazing…just added cauliflower to my shopping list to try those “potatoes”. Thank you:)

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VeggieGirl October 10, 2009 at 7:48 am

Bianca = freaking amazing. Been reading her blog for some time now and she ALWAYS features fabulous cuisine!! Awesome guest post.

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Sarah October 10, 2009 at 8:05 am

I cant see Sarah’s post. or anything past this entry. The page just stops?

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Manda October 11, 2009 at 6:37 am

That happened to me on the previous post, but I can see this one. Odd.

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Heather October 10, 2009 at 8:11 am

Bianca is so adorable, and makes some damn fine food, that’s for sure. I love her Raw Tuesday posts!

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Nicole October 10, 2009 at 8:16 am

Wow, those brownies look awesome! I wouldn’t have guessed they were raw.

I love Bianca’s blog! It’s one of my favorites :)

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Shelby October 10, 2009 at 8:49 am

Aw, I love Bianca!!! Lovely guest post and fantastic food!

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Christine October 10, 2009 at 8:59 am

Great post, I’m adding cauliflower to my shopping list right now :-)

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Teresa October 10, 2009 at 8:59 am

I’m yet another fan of Bianca’s blog. I didn’t grow up in the South, and heck I’ve never even been to the South, but I imagine it must be a bit more difficult to live a veggie lifestyle there than say here in California. For that I am impressed and I really admire her commitment to vegan food and her personal beliefs. I also love the Southern spice she incorporates. Most of all I love that she’s open, as she shows how even a southern gal can dabble in raw foodism. Great Post!

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Manda October 11, 2009 at 6:40 am

As someone who lived in Cali (Humboldt) for several years, and now lives in the deep south – yes! It’s a huge difference, there is simply less availability, and one has to be much more creative. I can’t believe I waited until I moved down here to be completely veggie.

Love this post! Can’t wait to check out Vegan Crunk!

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) October 10, 2009 at 9:14 am

Thanks for the guest post Bianca! I am high raw all vegan and I agree, it’s a life-changing path! I also like that you gave shout outs to two lesser known cookbooks on the raw scene. I know of them but it’s nice to hear mention of them again. I make raw vegan brownies too and yeah, they always steal the show! Great guest post and I try to comment on your blog a few times a week and it’s great to see you here too :)

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Leslie- La Mama Naturale October 10, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Wonderful guest post! First time commenting here. Love your blog! So much wonderful information! I can’t wait to try the Alfredo dish and Bianca’s cauliflower dish. I’m dabbling into raw foods myself and have recently incorporated green smoothies and other raw dishes including the Spanish Scramble which happened to be my first raw meal. LOL! ;) My son is 6 mos. old and I’m definitely going to incorporate a raw lifestyle into his diet too! I like your take on the raw diet with children, Gena- I feel the same way! Same approach I’m taking! Thank you both! Have a marvy weekend :)

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KTBuns October 10, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Choosing Raw and Vegan Crunk are in my Top 5 favorite vegan blogs of all time… this post was a marriage of two wonderful minds! :D

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pure2raw twins October 10, 2009 at 4:16 pm

Thanks Gena for introducing me to Bianca. She sounds like an amazing person. I love how enthusiastic she is about vegan and how she incorporates raw foods that fit her where she is in her life. Fantastic!

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Katie October 10, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Great guest post! All of those recipes are on my “must-make” list, starting with the “potatoes”!

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Jessica @ How Sweet It Is October 10, 2009 at 6:51 pm

The garden wraps look AMAZING. I’m headed to your blog, Bianca!

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elise October 10, 2009 at 7:30 pm

i love that she gives props to skinny bitch. that book got a lot of shit for its writing style but cmon, it was a gimmick, sure, but it worked! awareness is awareness, right? cant hate.

thanks for introducing us gena :)

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Abby October 11, 2009 at 1:10 pm

Those brownies look amazing…is there a recipe anywhere?

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mikey October 11, 2009 at 2:09 pm

one of the best guest posts ever. i’m headed over to her blog now!

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Allyson October 11, 2009 at 3:15 pm

What an inspiring post! I can definitely do raw once a month… definitely. Thanks!

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Brandi B. October 11, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Anyone else having a problem looking at Raising kids the healthy way–I’ve been really wanting to read the post but it is blank every time I try to link up to it? Not sure how else to view it

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Sarah (LovIN My Tummy) October 11, 2009 at 9:45 pm

I love this, Bianca and Gena. I too love tofu, vegan cupcakes and all sorts of other cooked vegan treats…and like Gena said, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. That’s the great thing about Gena’s Raw Wednesdays and Bianca’s Tuesday cleanses. Moderation is beautiful in a lot of ways :)

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Bianca-Vegan Crunk October 11, 2009 at 9:46 pm

Aw shucks! Thanks guys for all your sweet comments and thanks to Gena for letting me crash her blog party for a day!

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Guava October 12, 2009 at 9:01 am

Aww… that made me so happy to see both of you in one google reader window! haha… you both are amazing!!! One day I hope I can jump on that raw train more often! :)

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melissa October 13, 2009 at 7:31 am

so so so yummy! I have been wanting to try that spanish scramble for literally 2 years! thanks for the great tips and ideas.

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