Thursday, July 29, 2010


I love making foods that can be more than one meal. I don't mean like leftovers. I mean foods that actually do more than one thing. There's a guy on TV who refuses to have any tools or appliances in his kitchen that only have one purpose, and I feel that way about food. Example number one, pineapple. We love it cut up in chunks, especially in a fruit salad. It's a great snack dried also when we have more than we can use fresh. We also use two of them when we make Hawaiian granola, so it definately qualifies as a multi-tasker.

The picture at the top of the article demonstrates another one: no-net tuna. We've seen this on every menu at every raw vegan restaurant we've been to, but I don't see people trying to do a lot of other things with this sunflower seed pate. Because it makes a large quantity, and we get tired of eating it every day, we were anxious to use it in some other ways besides just on top of a salad (though it is good that way!).

One of our favorite variations is the sushi roll. Yesterday Alicia lined a nori sheet with a leaf of lettuce and spread some no-net tuna on it. Then she added a couple of slices of pickle from some leftover cucumber salad and some cabbage from leftover ensalada. We shredded up some carrots and slivered up some red pepper to make a perfect little sushi roll. Easy peasy lunch, wouldn't you say?

We also like to sandwich a layer of no-net between 2 nori sheets to make a tasty little snack. These can be eaten fresh, but we like to dehydrate them a little while to make a little sandwich cracker. We get a lot of mileage out of our no-net!

The other day my meat and potatoes son was visiting while we were making some. He wouldn't even try it (he's been burned before, he says!), but his friend who came with him did. She said, "That doesn't taste like tuna salad. Why do you call it that?" I guess it sounds better to say it is no-net tuna (since it does look like it) than to ask the kids if they want sunflower seed pate on their salad tonight. There are so many variations of sunflower seed pate that each would have to have their own name anyway. Can you think of something better to call it? It does have kelp in it (to make it from the sea) and all the other stuff that goes into tuna salad, so that seems as good a name as any.

Besides, when you haven't had any "real" tuna in a couple year, who can remember what it's supposed to taste like. All we know is that we like it, and our 12 year old grandson could eat it everyday if we weren't trying to find so many other things to do with it.

Another great multi-tasker is the honey almond butter. We love to eat it as a dip for apple slices and/or celery sticks, but it is also good as a base for a peanut sauce we make to go over shredded zucchini (pasta). We mix a cup of it with some water to thin it down, grate some ginger in there and grind up a couple of cloves of garlic as well. We also add some raw soy sauce, Nama Shoyu, and some lime or lemon juice. It really is tasty over the vegetable noodles.

We like to make "peanut butter and jelly" with the honey almond butter spread on some apple slices. Then we stick a little sliver of a date on top and sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt. It is a really tasty snack or meal. We also make banana mambo by slicing up 3 bananas. We top this with some honey almond butter and add raisins and some sunnies. Very filling and delicious! Now that I think of it, the sunnies are pretty versatile as well. We love them as a snack or on top of salads. They can even be ground up to make some mock taco meat. They can also be ground up with some almond flour and walnuts and veggies to make a veggie burger.

Do you have any good multi-taskers in your kitchen? How about sharing them? I think we use almost everything in at least 2 ways, but I don't want to beat this to death if no one is interested in it.

On the menu this week:

Elotes con crema (of course). This one actually doesn't multi-task too much, but we do eat it in several different ways. Love it on a bed of lettuce or ensalada. These are just corn mixed with a picante mayonnaise (cashew cheese, lime juice, agave nectar, salt, and chili powder) topped with some of our crema (raw vegan sour cream made from cashew cheese, lime juice, hemp seed, salt, and olive oil).

Unfried no-bean (to be used in some lettuce burritos with tomato salsa and guacamole. Ingredients: sprouted sunflower seeds, sun-dried tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, coriander, lemon juice, olive oil, agave nectar, sea salt, jalopeno peppers, sweet onion, and some cilantro. This is great with some Mexican rice as a side dish: cabbage, fresh and dehydrated tomatoes, onion, olive oil, salt, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic, and green peas.

We're loving our berries this time of year for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, especially as a parfait with vanilla yogurt sylk. (Who says you can't eat dessert for dinner?) ingredients: cashew cheese, lemon juice, honey, Irish moss, vanilla bean.

Olive Cheese Spread stuffed in celery (cashew cheese, olives, fresh and dry red peppers, jalopeno peppers, lime juice). This spread is also good spread on everyday bread or with corny chips.

Surf n Turf salad topping: arame seaweed, shredded carrot, sweet onion, sweet pepper, mixed with a nice ginger dressing: nama shoyu, olive oil, sesame oil, sesame seeds, apple cider vinegar, ginger, miso, and some salt.

Lots of snacking type meals this week with yet another spread: Olive tapenade. This is made with 2 different kinds of olives, capers, olive oil, lemon juice, basil, garlic, and some black pepper. Yummy...

We're also going to make some marinara (oooh, another great multi-tasker), cucumber salad, and kale salad. Desserts include pumpkin pies, chocolate mousse cake, skinny mints, crunch meister, candied pecans, soul dates, and chocolate macaroons. Please check the catalog or give me a call if you need ingredients for any of these as I'm out of time...have a great week and know we love you and can't wait to see you again!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Employee Minded Management

We've been at the Beaver Street Farmer's Market each and every Saturday for 15 months now. This is an interesting experience. I have been to farmers' markets in every town I am able to visit, and this one is different from any other one in some good ways and in some not so good ways.

At most farmers' markets, they have actual farmers. At this one there are more vendors than farmers. They purchase from huge clearing houses and bring the product to the market. I'm talking 50 cases of lettuce, etc. Most of their income is derived from selling to restaurants and other clients who buy several cases of each item.

There is a lot of walk-in traffic from people who know this exists, and that is where we draw most of our customers since we do no retaurant or bulk business like the other vendors do. It is really a challenge to be at this market because the conventional produce is priced so cheaply, it is very difficult to compete. We have an organic sign over our booth so that people can find us, but it also serves to help many of the customers to know where they DON'T want to go!

One of our customers who found us when they were doing their weekly shopping visit to the market were happy to find a vendor who carried organic food. They have been a regular to our stall ever since.

Last Christmas they asked us to make up a gift basket for a benefit auction which we gladly did. Then last month, the guy, who works for a big company in Jacksonville, asked us to participate in a health fair his company was putting on for their employees. We weren't sure what to expect from this as we have never done this before, but we agreed to do it.

Most health fairs are put on for the community. It was interesting to me that this one was for the employees and that they would have enough employees to make it worthwhile. Come to find out, this company does many things to help their employees be healthy. Someone figured out a while back that a healthy employee costs their employers less in terms of health insurance, sick pay, etc. To me, this is a win-win. While they may be doing this to help their own bottom line, it is a wonderful perk for the employee as well.

To encourage their 600 employees to attend the health fair, they were given a sheet with all the booths listed. I guess there were 20 - 25 of us including Duval County Parks and Recreation (what a good idea!), Duval County Health Department (diabetes screening), St. Vincent's Hospital, Weight Watchers, several gyms and personal trainers, yoga instructors, massage therapists, and us. We felt privileged to be allowed to be there as there were no others like us there. We gave out samples of our honey almond butter with celery sticks which was pretty popular, and several people signed up to get our newsletters. They were such a wonderful group of people, and we really enjoyed meeting all of them.

To encourage them to visit all of the booths, they were told they would be entered into a drawing for door prizes if they got little stickers from at least 16 participants. Of course, there were those who only went from booth to booth to pick up the free stuff and get their sticker, but most people genuinely seemed interested in what we had to say. They were either very health conscious or extremely polite!

We particularly enjoyed it from the networking aspect. We met some great people with whom we hope to have a long association. We also got to see our customer, Randy, from a different perspective, and got to see what drives his desire to be healthier. I guess the main thing we came away with was what a great concept it was for a business to do something like this for their employees. I am not a big fan of big business, but I have to admit, I admired their commitment to their employees and their health even when it stands to help their own bottom line. There are other ways to do that, so I see that as a good thing that helps both parties. (I believe the business partnership should benefit both parties - we live in a society where everything is about "What's in it for me?" Our government has trained us well to be very ego-centric, but that's another soapbox!)

I wondered if the employees appreciate what went on that day - the sacrifice the booth participants made to be there (since there were no sales or contracts allowed) as well as all the work management put into the event. I think they probably do. I'll bet this company does not have a high turnover rate...

I was thinking this is why we keep doing the Beaver Street Market in spite of the fact that it is not organic friendly. We have met some remarkable people. I wouldn't give anything for that. When I think of who we wouldn't have met if we had not chosen to be there, it makes me really appreciate the hard times as well as the good...

This week we've got some delicious sprouted garbanzo bean hummus made up to eat with cucumber slices, celery, and corny chips. We feel our hummus is very unique in that we sprout our garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and then mix them with the traditional hummus ingredients: tahini, garlic, sweet pepper, onion, cumin and other spices, lemon, salt, and cilantro or parsley. It really is tasty. Because it is made from a sprouted legume, we were worried that it would be too starchy, but it is very good. We particularly enjoy having a little too much as we love it dehydrated into what we call falafels. These are very tasty additions to our salads or dipped in tahini sauce.

We must be in a dipping mood as we also have our olive cheese spread which is delicious spread on celery or anything else you can think to use it on. yummy. We also have some guacamole this week, no-net tuna, Waldorf salad, and cucumber salad. Of course, our ever present Ranch dressing is available, and we made some sweet and sour sauce to serve over shredded zucchini. We've also got some fresh everyday bread and corny chips along with veggie crisps.

Dessert and snack items include Hawaiian granola, soul dates, candied pecans, crunch meister, apple crisp, key lime pie, pumpkin pie, chocolate cheesecake, curried cashews, and chocolate mousse cake.

As a plug for the produce, the celery is excellent this week, and we are selling it at cost as we like to get it in fresh each week for ourselves, but we can't eat a whole case by ourselves (24 to the case). All items like this (lettuce, cilantro, parsley, celery) we sell at cost, so our customers definately benefit from our personal addictions! Please consider purchasing these items from us so that we can keep getting in a case of them. You won't find a better price anywhere else. I don't know how it compares to conventional produce, but the organic has got such a magnificent flavor, I can't believe anyone would eat these foods conventionally if they could get them at a decent price organically. But maybe that's just me...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, Angelina

Not much going on this week as we had a lot of work in our “real” job to do, but we still gotta, eat, right? So here’s our list for the upcoming week:

Desserts first:

key lime pie
rawky road
coconut banana cream pie
chocolate mousse layer cake

entrees (and other stuff):

broccoli cheese soup
no-net tuna
tomato salsa (good on the no-net tuna & nachos)
Ranch dressing
elote con crema (once with avocado “boats” and secondly as a nacho topping)
cheddar cheese (to have with shredded zucchini and marinated mushrooms)
ball park sunnies
everyday bread
corny chips
honey almond butter

We haven’t made rawky road for a while, but it’s my granddaughter’s birthday this Sunday, and that is her special request. I hear we’re having ice cream too! If there’s any ice cream left over, I think I’ll experiment making some ice cream sandwiches with the cake we use for the chocolate mousse layer cake and/or ice cream sundaes with the skinny mints. Birthdays are a fun excuse for experimenting!

In fact, her request for dinner that day is pb & j:

Core and slice up some apples.

Pit and slice up medjool dates.

Apply a dab of honey almond butter to the apple slice. Top with a date slice.

Arrange on a plate and sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt. Delish and super easy.

We’re working really hard at getting our web page up and running. Really we are, but it is a challenge. Not only is there a lot of time needed for doing it, but my technical abilities aren’t as good as I wish they were. I made up my own web page several years ago for our school, but making one that has shopping cart capabilities is more difficult. But we are determined, and it will happen. Thanks for your patience.

Alicia made her specialty for lunch today, mashed no-taters, hence the marinated mushrooms as we like that as a topping for them. Massaged spinach and/or kale makes a lovely base, and we had grape tomatoes on the side. Here’s our recipe for the taters:

Mashed no-taters

1 head of cauliflower
2 cups macadamia nuts, soaked
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ – ½ cup water
2 cups corn, either fresh or frozen and thawed
Black Pepper (to taste)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
Handful of fresh rosemary or choice of herbs, finely minced
1 scallion, finely minced
½ teaspoon salt or to taste

Break cauliflower into 2 inch chunks and chop in food processor with S blade until grainy.

Put corn in blender and process until smooth. Add water if necessary, but only enough to result in a smooth, creamy blend. It needs to be thick.

Add soaked nuts, coconut oil, and lemon juice to corn in blender and process until smooth. Add water only if necessary. This mixture should be thick and creamy.

Add nut and corn mixture to the cauliflower in the food processor and process until well combined, but not completely smooth. It should have a bit of texture, like mashed potatoes.

Place in serving bowl and serve as is (mixture should be warm from the processing) or put entire mixture into baking dish and place in dehydrator for 2 hours to warm through. Season with salt and pepper and herbs to taste.

Serve right away. It tastes best if served shortly after preparing, and changes after refrigeration. If you do have leftovers, they are good as the base for a cream soup. Just add more water. We like to whirr it up with the leftover greens we used in the base for a green soup.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

All Things Mexican ... or how do I live without tortillas, hot sauce, and refried beans?

We've been getting some good batches of corn lately. I think you learn to appreciate good produce more when you only eat raw produce. Back in my cooking days I'd always add sugar to my cooking water for corn to help sweeten it up. A starchy ear of corn didn't taste quite so starchy that way. When you only eat raw corn, though, you really are grateful for those naturally sweet ears, and we don't enjoy the starchy ones too much.

That being said, my favorite way to eat raw corn is in a recipe we made up to imitate a treat we got when we were sitting in our car waiting to get across the Mexico border into the US. The line was wrapped around the block several times, and apparently this is a common occurrence as there were several industrious vendors lined up right next to the cars offering last minute souvenirs and/or snack and lunch foods. One of the items for sale were elotes which turned out to be sweet corn with a spicy mayonnaise sauce. It was really good, and we wanted to replicate it when we started eating a living foods diet.

Picante mayo was our secret: we just make a cashew based mayonnaise with cashews, lemon juice, some type of sweetener (I usually use agave nectar), salt, and a good dose of chili powder. Once this is made, we just mix the corn into it, and we love it. It is now one of our staples every week. We have found several ways to use it: piled into peeled avocado halves served on a bed of ensaladsa (shredded cabbage, lime juice, cilantro, and salt) or Mexican "rice" (cabbage chopped to look like grains of rice, minced onion, dehydrated and fresh chopped tomatoes, English peas dressed with cold-pressed olive oil, unrefined sea salt, chili powder, cumin, garlic). We also love to make "Super Nachos" with them: corny chips, elotes con crema, tomato salsa, guacamole, unfried no-beans, diced tomatoes, ensalada, on a bed of shredded romaine. Sometimes we mix crema and tomato salsa or harissa sauce for a dressing if we need one. (It's also good with the ranch or avo mayo though.) Do we live good or what?

Many people ask us where we got the name of our business (i Viva La Verde !). This means "Live Green" which is something we hear at every turn nowadays. We didn't mean for it be so cliche when we came up with it, and we apply it more to our plant-based diet than our environmental concerns. We, of course, do care about our earth and the waste of our resources, but our business was designed to help people live a greener life in terms of their eating choices.

We chose a Spanish name because of our love for the Latin people. Darius spent two years in Mexico on a mission for our Church where he fell in love with the culture there. We returned with him twice and were just as enamored as he was. We have tried to learn the language and as much about the cuisine and culture as we could.

Once we started eating a predominantly living foods diet, this presented a little bit of problem. While the Mexicans with which we had eaten used only fresh ingredients, usually they were cooked. (They think Americans eat only canned food and find that very distasteful. It is unimaginable to them that someone would eat a canned salsa or vegetable. Though a staple at every meal, salsa is made fresh (and often differently) each time.) You will notice in our catalog we have several items that help fill the void for us including our beloved elotes con crema.

Crema is another food we love to use inspired by our experiences in Mexico. I'm not sure how it is made there, but it is similar to our sour cream except thinner. We culture it with cashews and hemp seed. (Hemp seed is NOT a source of THC, by the way, in case you were wondering. Here is a well-researched blog post on it if you're interested: We use crema on top of all of our Mexican dishes, but we also use it in our lasagna. We like it any way we would normally use sour cream.

I was just thinking how much we enjoy our non-dairy foods that used to be made from cow's milk. I really wonder how dairy foods became popular. Nut-based mylks and creams and cheeses are so delicious that we really don't miss their dairy equivalents. A lot of it might be the convenience. We used to raise dairy goats and made all of our own cheese from their milk, so making nut-based cheeses is actually a lot easier. I suppose it is a matter of convenience though for those used to the plastic wrapped variety at the store.

Another item we are pleased with that helps us with our little addiction to Mexican food is our new Harissa sauce. Quite accidently we stumbled upon it, and now it helps fill the void for all those little bottles Darius brought home from his mission. (No kidding, he had a whole suitcase full of them because he knew he couldn't get them here. I never knew there were that many varieties of hot sauce...)

Well, I'm in quite the mood for Mexican this week, so we'll get busy on that right away.

Ranch dressing
cucumber salad
Harissa sauce
everyday bread
Hawaiian granola
veggie chips
crunch meister
picante mayo
corny chips
tomato salsa
un-fried no beans
elotes con crema (to stuff avocados & for nachos)
queso verde (used this week to stuff peppers)
queso dulce (with celery sticks)

dessert items:

crispy treats
pumpkin pie
chocolate mousse layer cake
skinny mints
vanilla yogurt sylk (on top of those lovely blueberries and strawberries)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thinking It Through

Doesn't this poster remind you of the Chick Filet restaurants' ad where the cows are always telling you to eat more chicken? Every time I see one of those ads, I always wonder why they think a cow would think it was alright to eat a chicken but not a cow.

I've been thinking a lot about veganism and why it is as popular as it is and why it isn't more popular. (It's been around since 1944; did you know that?) According to the American Vegan Society (, being a vegan (vegans (pronounced VEE-guns) live on products of the plant kingdom, i.e. no animal products)is more than just eating in a more healthy way. "Veganism is a[n] ... way of living in accordance with Reverence for Life, recognizing the rights of all living creatures, and extending to them the compassion, kindness, and justice exemplified in the Golden Rule... AHIMSA is a Sanskrit word for non-killing and non-harming. It is not mere passiveness, but a positive method of meeting the dilemmas and decisions of daily life. In the western world, we call it Dynamic Harmlessness. The six pillars of this dynamic philosophy for modern life (one for each letter: A-H-I-M-S-A) are:"

I was reading a review of a book I'm reading (Eating Animals) where the reviewer (Tim Challies) indicated that he was very moved by the facts presented by Mr. Foer in this book but didn't quite know what to do about the information he now had:
And yet I don’t quite know what to do about it. As I read this book I felt guilty when reading about the conditions of the animals on their factory farms. I felt positively sick reading about the conditions in many of those slaughterhouses. And then I ate a ham and egg sandwich. It was delicious.

Are we so addicted to our lifestyle that the facts are meaningless to us? Are we (as a society) determined to lay the realities aside so that our personal "needs" can be met? Are these "facts" just fabrications of lunatic minds? Veganism is obviously more than a decision to live in a more healthy way which explains why we are in what might be considered both the best and the worst of times.

On a friendlier note, our mostly vegan family menus (we use honey sometimes) are based on the requests from our customers, and this week one of our customers asked for some items we haven't made for a while, so that's been kind of fun. We get in a rut like everyone else I suppose.

One thing we've really enjoyed this week on our salads is surf n turf. This is a play on words because the surf is some delightful arame seaweed, and we mix it with shredded carrot, onion, and sweet pepper for the turf part. We mix it with a nice vinaigrette: 1 tablespoon nama shoyu or liquid aminos (the liquid aminos are gluten-free), 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, ¼ cup white or black sesame seeds, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon minced ginger, ¼ cup miso, and ½ teaspoon salt. The result is a fantastic salad topping that is power packed with lots of nutrients.

Our big "new" thing this week is Skinny Mints. I made a chocolate cake base similar to what we use in our chocolate mousse cake except it has peppermint extract in it. Then I frosted it with chocolate ganache. Since it is not a baked cookie, I keep it frozen, but it's not lasting too well around my kitchen, if you know what I mean. Darius has already requested it for one of his birthday dinner treats later this month. He thought we might call it "I Can't Believe It's Not Thin Mints..."

I also experimented with a new cheese called Pimento Cheese so named because of the addition of paprika. It also has miso and tahini, so that's a first for us in any of our cheeses. It is very savory. I used it to stuff some nice little banana peppers, and served it with Raita (crema with diced cucumber and cilantro) and Harissa Sauce. This was an interesting pepper sauce I found in one of my books: fennel seeds, caraway seeds, sun-dried tomatoes, red bell pepper, garlic, yellow onion, lemon, coriander, red pepper flakes, curry powder, cayenne powder, sea salt, and a little olive oil. Sounds exotic, huh? It was really nice and not so hot you couldn't enjoy it like so many hot sauces are. We're going to use the Pimento cheese as a dip for one of our meals this week with celery and carrot sticks, and cucumber circles. It will probably be good with cherry tomatoes too.

Our cashew cheese has been amazing lately, and we loved the queso dulce we made from it. Nothing beats this "sweet cheese" as a dip for celery. Celery isn't in season here in Florida anymore, but the ones we've been getting from California are gorgeous, so we're enjoying it as a couple of our meals every week besides everyone of our salads. Honey Almond Butter is good with celery too, so we get to switch it up...

We've got some Hawaiian granola in the dehydrator so that will be ready for the market. I always laugh when people ask for the recipe for this. I formulated the recipe one day, and then when I made it, I wrote down the cost of each of the items I put in it. It makes almost a dehydrator full (which is only enough for a week around here!), so it is a large batch, but it cost about $60 for the ingredients. People think they will save money by making their own, but sometimes it is worth it to let someone else do it for you, especially since we don't add anything in for the labor or even the electicity for the equipment. Gold-plated you say? How can it cost that much? Well, I don't know, but here's the ingredients: sprouted buckwheat, flax seed, almonds, sesame seeds, dates, raisins, pineapple, coconut, and honey. Simple, yet amazingly delicious, and totally alive. This and the crunch meister are our two favorite treats I'd venture to say.

Also on the bread menu this week are the veggie chips formerly called pita chips. We had to change it because we made a new bread this week that smelled just like "real" pita chips baking, and it tasted like them too. We're going to try to make them more flexible next time and do more experimenting with them. We decided they'd be our new pita chip, so we decided to call our old ones Veggie Chips since they are so loaded with veggies: cabbage, carrot, sweet and hot peppers, garlic, parsley, sprouted buckwheat, and sprouted sunflower seeds. The newly named pita chip is surprisingly made from coconut meat, zucchini, onion, and a little salt. It is hard to believe something so simple can be that tasty.

Since the pita chips and veggie chips put us in a Mediterranean mood, we decided to make some Sprouted Garbanzo Bean Hummus, so we'll be having lots of dipping dinners this week. It will taste nice with a swirl of Harissa sauce on it. Considering this is made from a raw sprouted legume, it is surprising that it doesn't taste starchy like you'd expect. We love making our hummus from a sprouted legume (which we consider a vegetable once it's sprouted) so that it can still be a live food. We've also got some East Indian Sprouts (made from sprouted lentils) in the dehydrator that will be out in time for the market.

Since a customer requested No-Net Tuna, we got to make this treat again. It is a great addition to a summer menu as it is such a great topping for our salad. I like it as a stuffing for tomatoes too. It is made from sprouted sunflower seeds with lots of celery, some walnuts, a little onion, dill pickle made into sweet pickle relish, and seasoned with dill weed, kelp, and mustard seed. We dress it with our avo mayo, a very simple dressing made with avocado, honey or agave nectar, lemon juice, and a little salt. Delicious...

And, since we made Avo Mayo, we decided to shred some carrots so that we could have carrot raisin salad we all love. Avo Mayo is a delicious untraditional dressing for this rather traditional salad. It is a nice change of pace from our usual Ranch Dressing (even though we still go through a gallon of that a week!).

While we were in the avo mayo, we also made some waldorf salad topping: diced apples, celery, walnuts, raisins, lime zest and juice. This time of year it's all about lots of different toppings for the salads.

A customer also requested some sweet potato souffle. I don't think we've had this since Thanksgiving, so it was a nice surprise for our family. This is reminiscent of that traditional sweet potato casserole with the marshmallows on it sans the marshmallows of course. (Did you know marshmallows and anything with gelatin is made from horse hooves? GROSS!) I did go to a pot luck once where a lady made vegan marshmallows, but I guess I'm too lazy to do that. We like this one just as well without them: sweet potatoes, some cashews and macadamia nuts to add creaminess, vanilla beans, Medjool dates, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The recipe called for lemon juice, but I forgot that when I made it this week, and it tasted good. I also added some extra honey to make it a little sweeter. Who knew you could eat sweet potatoes raw? We are getting some very nice Covington sweet potatoes out of North Carolina with which we have been very happy. Whenever I think of this dish, I think of little Carl, a son of one of our customers that loves anything we make that's orange it seems since this is one of his favorite dishes along with the pumpkin pie. Besides the pumpkin pie, we also have the yummy key lime pie that is so refreshing on a hot day.

Surprisingly, we're still getting some great cherry tomatoes out of the garden, and I've been wanting some avocado tomato salad. It's like a very chunky guacamole with lots of tomatoes in it, and I love it on top of salads and in sandwiches. I'll close on that note. You know I'm hoping you have a wonderful week enjoying all the fresh, ripe, organic fruits and veggies available this time of year. Don't forget your melons! We have one almost every morning. I keep thinking I'll get sick of them, but every morning I awake yearning for just one more day of it.

Avocado and Tomato Salad

4 ripe avocados (not too soft) peeled, seeded, diced into medium sized pieces
1/2 lb tomatoes diced into same size as avocado
1/2 bunch cilantro chopped
1/2 sweet onion chopped small
1 lemon juiced
sea salt
freshly ground pepper

Place all ingredients into a large bowl and gently fold in all ingredients making sure not to smoosh it up too much.