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Chaco Canyon Organic Café : Consciously Delicious

Chaco Canyon Organic Café : Consciously Delicious

Chaco Canyon Organic Café in Seattle’s University District offers consciously and artistically handmade vegan dishes, smoothies, juices, desserts, baked goods, and espresso while striving to build community and support sustainable, organic, eco-friendly, and local farming.

The café’s namesake is the spiritual center of the Ancient Pueblo people, to whom the Man in the Maze motif, seen in the restaurant’s logo, meant “through all of our struggles and lessons, we grow wiser and stronger as we progress towards the center of the maze.” Chaco Canyon weaves this into its food philosophy—namely, that we each have a personalized diet that works best for us. Its goal is to help people on their dietary path by providing healthful and unique options. Food transparency matters at this café, and a comprehensive, up-to-date list of all ingredients for the entire menu is available upon request. The kitchen staff will accommodate any food allergies or sensitivities whenever possible, and gluten-free options are clearly marked on the menu.

Warm desert tones, wooden furniture, and potted plants give a natural and inviting feel to this unique café, which has the rare distinction of being a Certified Organic restaurant. An impressive 95 percent of their ingredients are organic, and they are dedicated to sourcing the very best quality foods. Special menu items rotated by season, month, or week enhance the diverse core menu with even more flavors and variety.

The popular lentil burger is a tender patty with a hint of cumin and a delicately crisp outside, served on a grilled potato roll with zesty vegan mayo, marinated onion, cucumber, sprouts, and pickles with the choice of soup or salad. The raw enchilada plate features two flavorful tomato-flax wraps filled with spicy, creamy cashew cheese, marinated vegetables, and avocado, topped with mango pico de gallo and served with a beautifully adorned salad.

For breakfast lovers, Chaco Canyon’s hearty, signature gluten-free bread is transformed into the comforting French toast, served with whipped maple butter and maple syrup. On weekends, the brunch version includes your choice of delicious maple chia pudding, scone, or potato pancakes. Banana, raw cacao, raw maca, agave, salt, and house-made raw hemp milk are blended together to make the rich and creamy Choco-Maca smoothie, deemed the “Smoothie of the Gods.”

Their array of desserts, muffins, cookies, and other treats will entice even the most vegetable-phobic diner. The coffee bar serves Stumptown organic, free-trade espresso and coffee, as well as organic teas. During happy hour, discounts on select alcoholic beverages, smoothies, coffees, teas, and baked goods are offered; the discount applies from 4 to 6 p.m. every weekday.

In the spirit of community and stewardship, customers bus their own tables. A central station provides dining essentials and a selection of natural hot sauces, including the Lopez Island-based Chicaoji Chipotle Chile Sauce infused with raw cacao and goji berries.

For those interested in trying the raw food lifestyle at home, the café sells sprouting supplies, specialty raw ingredients, packaged raw foods, and kombucha starters. The retail section also has teas, spices, handmade soaps, and natural gift sets.

Whether you want to experience some delicious plant-based dishes for a change or are already fully immersed in a vegan or raw vegan lifestyle, Chaco Canyon Organic Café has you covered. In supporting them, you also make a positive impact on the community and organic food movement. They support local farmers and businesses, partner with local organizations and community associations on meaningful projects, nurture community engagement, and spread awareness about sustainability.

Chaco Canyon also has a location in West Seattle, and a new location in Greenwood is planned for fall 2014.

A Beauty In The Raw

My answer to that question is YES! I love breakfast and I always have, I have to eat within an hour of waking up otherwise I start to feel nauseous and get grumpy. I know a lot of people who enjoy eating breakfast but simply "just don't have time" for it. While that may be true with a traditional cooked breakfast a raw smoothie takes just a minute or two and you can take it on the go!

I have always loved smoothies but gave them up awhile back after realizing how much a regular fruit smoothie raises glucose levels. I used to be a Jamba Juice junkie not realizing that the fruit smoothies were doing more harm than good for my body. I did my research and have found that if you balance greens, protein and fruit it will inhibit the sugar in the fruit from rising glucose levels so fast.

My favorite raw breakfast smoothie right now is a Blackberry Banana Green Smoothie, its takes about a minute to make and keeps you full for hours. Here is the easy recipe:

Take a handful of fresh or frozen blackberries
(I get my blackberries fresh off the bushes in my yard! It really get much better then free fruit and they taste so much better then store bought!)
1 Banana
Handful of spinach or other leafy greens
2 TBSP of Nutiva Hemp Protein

Put all ingredients into your blender and fill with purified water. Blend well & enjoy!

Best Veggie Sandwiches In Seattle

Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe serves only vegetarian and vegan sandwiches and other dishes. The restaurant works with local farmers for fresh, local ingredients for their menu items. Each item ordered is hand-crafted at the time it is ordered, making it neither a fast-food or slow-food restaurant. The sandwiches are superb for their taste and quality. Their business focus is on serving the best raw, vegetarian, and vegan food, zero-impact on the planet, and meeting their customer’s needs. Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe can be found in West Seattle, the University District (flag-ship store), and Greenwood.

Other Coast Cafe is a locally owned sandwich shop, located in Ballard. They carry the standard sandwich selection, and have a wonderful veggie sandwich. This is a great place to go with friends that are vegetarian or meat lovers. The cafe serves both vegetarian and meat items on their menu. They specialize in sandwiches, including Veggin’ Heaven and Roasted Veggie. They offer customized sandwiches, made to customer preferences. This is a great place to stop for lunch while shopping around the Ballard area.

Scratch Deli started in 2012 as a food truck, and now is located on Capitol Hill in Seattle. The restaurant focuses its menu on sandwiches. This small deli serves delicious food, and offers seating inside or on their patio. The staff is customer oriented, the food is prepared and delivered quickly, and the atmosphere is “artsy.” The best veggie sandwiches on the menu are their Mushroom Melt and Veggie Breakfast. The deli is located in a renovated house, and is easy to pass by, so keep your eyes peeled and your taste buds ready for a great sandwich.

The Honey Hole is located on Capitol Hill, and opened its doors in 1999. Their menu is vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free friendly. Each menu item is fresh made daily, and contains the finest local ingredients. Their menu carries 5 different vegetarian sandwiches. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, and has a full bar for adult beverages.

PCC Market started as a group in the 1950’s to provide healthy, nutritious, organic food. It evolved into PCC Market, and is a membership co-op. Non-members can buy at the store. The store has an extensive deli department with many selections of vegetarian and vegan sandwiches. Their veggie wrap and other sandwiches are made with quality, locally grown ingredients. The Edmonds PCC Market is on the route to the Edmonds-Kingston ferry.

Organic Restaurants – WYOMING

Giving You The Edge Naturally – HealthProducts2

Harvest Café and Natural Foods
130 W Broadway Ave
Jackson, WY 83001
Organic bakery, all organic cafe and complete natural food store

Medicine Bow Natural Foods and Deli
101 E Ivinson Ave
Laramie, WY 82070
Natural, organic, eco-friendly, healthy, local/gourmet products

The Peaks Restaurant
Signal Mountain Lodge
Inner Teton Park Rd
Moran, WY 83013
Serves a variety of organic dishes

Snake River Grill
84 E Broadway
Jackson Hole, WY 83001

Sweet Melissa Vegetarian Café
213 S. 1st St
Laramie, WY 82070
Eclectic vegetarian cuisine

Organic Restaurants – WISCONSIN – 8

Posted in Wisconsin on April 18, 2010

Summer is over and fall is here, it’s the perfect time of the year for soup. I usually make a squash soup every fall, typically a butternut squash soup. I honestly was never very knowledgeable about winter squashes. Pumpkin and butternut are the only two I have any experience cooking with, but there are so&hellip Read More Ham, Cabbage and Squash Soup

Why spaghetti squash you ask? Spaghetti squash has a lot less carbs and sugar content than pumpkin so it’s more healthy for you. I made a few updates to the original recipe including making a gluten free crust. The original recipe does not call for making a crust at all but I like my pie&hellip Read More Fake Pumpkin Pie with Gluten Free Crust

The Yogi’s Guide to Seattle

Seattle isn’t just rain and Nora Ephron movies it’s a cultural oasis filled with mountainous horizons, outdoor adventures, unique eats, and eclectic bookstores. While the city is known for its beer and coffee (it’s the birthplace of Rainier Beer and Starbucks), it’s also home to a thriving art and music scene. Wander the streets in your favorite flannel and you’ll find everything from live-grunge music, to whiskey tastings, to a museum shaped to look like a smashed-up guitar.

And let’s not forget Seattle’s affinity for local food. The famous Pike Place Market serves as the city’s pantry, offering local fish, fruit, veggies, meat, and cheeses, as well as an arsenal of homemade pastries and pickles. It’s the kind of city where almost every restaurant knows the name of their farmer and can rattle off the life story of just about every animal on the menu. On top of that, Seattle’s enthusiasm for the health scene has led to a series of fun outdoor activities and yoga studios. Nope, you aren’t hallucinating from any of that legal marijuana—Seattle’s lure is 100 percent natural.

Where to Eat

Bang Bang Café
2460 Western Ave., (206) 448-2233
You’ll have your pick of delicious Seattle restaurants, but we highly recommend you stroll over to Bang Bang Café. There are both vegan and meat options, so it’s great if you’re dining with omnivores or trying to please a large group of people. That being said, the vegan food is out of this world. The breakfast burritos are a particular fan favorite, and the freshly roasted coffee isn’t anything to complain about, either.

Chaco Canyon Organic Café
4757 12th Ave. NE, (206) 522-6966
Come get your juice fix at Chaco Canyon, a cozy raw and vegan food joint with house-made kombucha. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but locals love the artichoke melt, Egyptian lentil soup, and the “hippie bowl.” The owners clearly work the place with love, as the entire restaurant is buzzing with friendly energy and happy conversation. Stay for hours and catch up with friends, or snag a peach smoothie on your way to one of Seattle’s many awe-inspiring parks.

Local 360
2234 1st Ave., (206) 441-9360
With its extensive bar menu, cabin-like interior, and farm-to-table food offerings, Local 360 is an ideal spot for a dinner out or a Sunday morning brunch. The menu consists of upscale twists on classic eats, such as the peanut butter and jelly bonbons and sourdough “bread and butter.” A majority of the ingredients come from within a 360-mile radius of Seattle, and the owners believe in maintaining a mindful attitude when crafting their cuisine. Swing by for a date night, dinner with friends, or an epic start to your Sunday funday.

Where to Sweat

The Grinning Yogi
345 15th Ave. E, (206) 755-7611
A warm, Vinyasa-based yoga haven located in the thriving Capitol Hill, The Grinning Yogi is one those studios that feels like home. Classes occur throughout the day, seven days a week, and have unique names like “My Happy Place” (a donation-based class where all proceeds go to charity), “Grinning Fly” (a class dedicated to arm-balances and inversions), and “Rockin’ Flow” (with yup, you guessed it, a rock ’n’ roll yoga playlist). Expect 80-90 degree studios, a healthy sweat, and a delightful post-yoga glow.

Urban Yoga Spa
1900 4th Ave., (206) 420-0222
Urban Yoga Spa is located in the heart of downtown and just a few blocks from the Pike Place Market. In addition to their hot yoga studio, they offer an entire wellness program, including acupuncture, health care options, manicures, massages, and more. They also offer a traveler’s special: $45 for a week of unlimited yoga—making it the ideal spot for yogis on the road. Even when you’re in the midst of travel, Urban Yoga Spa makes it easy to find community.

shefayoga Roosevelt
6521 Roosevelt Way NE, (206) 729-2561
Yogis rave about the teachers at shefayoga Roosevelt, and how the studio’s welcoming environment makes it a fantastic spot to unwind after a hard day. There are also tons of fun workshops and retreats, including oceanic yoga and culinary experiences along the Pacific Coast. Power up with a feisty Vinyasa flow class or settle down with a cozy restorative sesh in the natural-light flooded space for a mindful and inspiring practice.

Where to Shop

Pike Place Market
85 Pike St., (206) 682-7453
The Pike Place Market is one of the United State’s most iconic large-scale marketplaces. Not only is it home to the original Starbucks and the famous fish-flinging mongers, it also has fresh fruit and veggie vendors. You’ll also find local Seattle-made brands such as Rachel’s Ginger Beer, mini doughnuts, free samples, great views, and amazing people watching. Plan on dedicating at least two hours to this flavor museum, or consider one of the market’s walking tours. It’s a great way to discover the hot spots if you’re pressed for time.

Favorite Outdoor Hangs

Discovery Park
3801 Discovery Park Blvd., (206) 386-4236
With breathtaking views of the Puget Sound and trails draped in lush greenery, it’s hard to imagine that Discovery Park is only a few miles from downtown. With miles of mountainside trails, it’s never too crowded, and serves as a quiet getaway for an urban hike or casual stroll, depending on your chosen path. Wander far enough and you’ll find the park’s picturesque lighthouse. Bring a jacket—that beautiful water brings on a bit of a chill.

Marymoor Park
6046 W Lake Sammamish Pkwy NE, (206) 205-3661
Perfect for dogs and people, Marymoor Park is an enormous playground of outdoor activity. Visitors will discover all sorts of fun sights and activities, whether it’s the totem pool, windmill, or climbing wall. It’s also home to a ton of Seattle concerts and events, including this year’s Wanderlust 108. In July and August there are outdoor movies on Wednesdays, complete with food trucks and live acts to weave into a perfect summer night.

Night Out on the Town

The Crocodile
2200 2nd Ave., (206) 441-4618
One of Seattle’s most beloved music venues, the Croc is famous for launching some of America’s favorite bands, including Pearl Jam and Nirvana. It’s the place to go to catch some of the best up-and-coming music, and tickets are surprisingly cheap for the quality of the drinks and music. If you want to give yourself some fuel before rocking out, you’re in luck get there before seven and you can snag a three-topping pizza for just $5.75.

A perfect winter outing

Want more fresh ideas for off-season fun? We asked local adventurers for their perfect winter’s day.

The ferry adventure

“One of my favorites is a trip to Bainbridge for ice cream at Mora, no car required! After taking the ferry over, visit the Japanese American Exclusion Memorial and one of the many parks. Also consider a stop at Marché for a visit to the bar (the counter is child-friendly, and you can watch the magic happen) for a quick bite before or after ice cream!” — Donna Moodie, owner of Marjorie restaurant and Mayor-appointed commissioner for the Seattle Center

Ballard Farmers Market flickr CC

The culinary adventure

“Here’s a recipe for a fun Sunday: Visit the Ballard Farmers Market — it’s great in the winter because there are fewer crowds. Then head to Fremont for lunch at Revel, where you can eat tons of delicious noodles. Then for the real treat: a 2:30 p.m. kids’ tour at Theo Chocolate followed by a chocolate-themed story time.” — Angela Stowell, restaurateur

The holiday bus adventure

“One of my favorite local organizations is Metro Employees Historic Vehicle Association, an all-volunteer group of mostly current and former bus operators who restore vintage Metro and Seattle Transit buses and use them to provide fun, low-cost excursions to the public. One of the most popular is Santa’s Lights, a three-hour tour of the best holiday lights in Seattle, held on Dec. 12 this year, from 7 to 10 p.m. (only $5). Kids will love the novelty of the old-school vehicle, the sense of community fostered by a group excursion after dark and, of course, the beautiful lights.” — Carla Saulter, blogger at

The perfect park outing

“A great park to explore in the winter is the recently restored Montlake Playfield. The gigantic playground offers several unique play structures (the huge obstacle course for older kids is especially amazing, as are the steep slides!). Parents can exercise on adult equipment that overlooks the play area. Turn your visit into a longer outing by finding the hidden wetland trail at the north end of the park.” — Linnea Westerlind, blogger at

The best-kept-secret hike

“I like Paradise Valley Conservation Area, a new Snohomish County park near Woodinville that offers a good close-in outdoor escape. Mostly level trails loop through and around the headwaters of Bear Creek, letting you explore among the large trees and wetlands.” — Krista Dooley, Washington Trails Association

Our Partners

Magic Bean Farm has grown to include many partners, from other urban farmers to drop off location hosts thanks to generous, local-minded restaurants like Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe and Eat Local. We’ve had help from many along the way, and continue to get help from many, including our own subscribers! Our long time subscriber Melody has generously contributed to the farm not only resources but home crafted recipes!

Our farm now includes other farmers wanting to make a difference in the world, and those we are helping make a difference in their lives. Mikhaila Gonzalas of Delridge Sub-Acres and Christina Hahs of Grey Sky Farm are major urban farming partners of Magic Bean Farm. We’ve also worked other urban farmers like City Kid Farms. And we have helped the immigrants that Seattle Tilth is helping through their Farm Incubator Program to give them the opportunity to grow local, ecological farms.

Magic Bean Farm is thankful for all the community support we have received!

Sign up to our Mailing list to learn of updates from the farm!

Seattle's Urban Farm

/>Welcome to your vibrant Seattle CSA farm in the city! Magic Bean Farm grows lush gardens of vegetables, herbs, and flowers in yards and other available spaces to nurture ecological, nutrient dense food that is both tasty and healthy. Receive a box full of tasty vegetables and herbs every week during the season. A newsletter goes out with updates and pictures from the farm, as well as suggestions for using your fresh veggies. Delicious hand grown, real food fresh from the fields!

Subscriber Raves:

Start Your CSA Subscription Today!

Mid-Season! Our half share boxes are perfect for a small family or couple without overwhelming you! Pickup weekly. Sign up today for your 12 box mid-season subscription! Be sure to choose your pickup location!


A CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and arose from the idea that the community around a farm supports the farm. They help by buying a share of the harvest early in the year when the farmer needs it most.

A farmer has to invest a lot in seed, starts, equipment, labor, and more months before a single harvest is ready. That is a lot of uncertainty and risk. The community decides to become a part of the farm by becoming shareholders for the year. They provide the essential needs to get the farm year started, while receiving their share of the harvest when crops start to mature.

© 2011 Seattle CSA Farm - Magic Bean Farm - an ecological urban farm in West Seattle! | Google+ | Designed by Resonate Branding + Web Design

Healthier Meals at 5 National Parks

Take a trip to a National Park this summer and you're in for a happy surprise: healthier, more sustainable food choices.

Take a trip to a National Park this summer and you&aposre in for a happy surprise: healthier, more sustainable food choices.

The National Park Service recently rolled out new healthier food standards, offering its 292 million annual visitors more fruits, vegetables and local foods. The Healthy and Sustainable Food Program means better choices, including more salads and no-sugar-added beverages on menus. Rest assured: you can still get your hands on summer classics-but now the burger in your hands is more likely to be grass-fed and organic. Of the 75 national parks (with food service) from sea to shining sea, here are five that go above and beyond the mandate with delicious, often organic and local food options that are so tasty you won&apost even be tempted to pack a picnic.

Camp Denali
Denali National Park, Alaska (shown here)
Since it&aposs a bit of a challenge for food suppliers to get to this park, the staff at Camp Denali nurtures a large, organic greenhouse to supplement the menu. Additional purchased produce is organic and meats are locally raised. The menu changes depending on what&aposs available, but you might start the day with reindeer sausages and sourdough pancakes with lingonberries picked from the Alaskan tundra outside the lodge.

Crown Café
Statue of Liberty, New York
The food is appropriately American-style here-but the café has cut a significant number of calories from its menu thanks to healthier options. Plus, the hamburgers are now made from local and sustainably raised Angus beef and served on whole-wheat buns.

Muir Woods Café
Muir Woods National Monument, California
Try the chicken salad sandwich, made with humanely raised chicken from Petaluma, California, and fresh local greens, on organic focaccia from a nearby bakery. All the meat comes from California and nearly all produce is sourced within 30 miles of the park, making this a yummy destination for a post-hike sandwich or salad.

Lighthouse Restaurant
Isle Royale National Park, Michigan
You have to take a three-hour ferry ride to access this rugged, isolated island-so it makes sense that the fish on the menu comes straight from Lake Superior. The Tobin Harbor Tacos are filled with whitefish caught in Rock Harbor, just a few thousand feet away from your table.

Metate Room
Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
Metate Room&aposs menu pays homage to the indigenous crops and spices cultivated in the dry, rocky canyon with dishes like the Poblano Relleno, a roasted poblano pepper with asadero cheese, roasted corn, Dove Creek black beans, ancho chile polenta and red pepper coulis.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

SRK Tour Adventures: Washington Part I

Hello again everyone! (I know, I know it's been way too long!)

At last summer is here! Yippeeeeeeee!

After spending several weeks in the city visiting with our friends Mosaica and Pontifex, The Mystery has us where we feel most at ease: in the deep boonies. -) Ahhhhhhh, feels soooooo good to be surrounded by peaceful and nurturing Nature! Its potent healing powers combined with gorgeous sunshine and a revolutionary tool (which I'll be telling you more about in a future post) are all working wonders in my recovery. My energy is finally beginning to come back. (Yay!) Sure has proven to be a long and tedious process and has given me a greater appreciation of how truly demanding these months on the road have been.

It seems to be taking me forever to wrap up my tales of our Sunny Raw Kitchen Tour adventures (sorry guys!) but we're really getting down to the last of it now. Woo hoo!

After driving through 18 different states (if I do my math right) we entered the last one on our itinerary: Washington. As most of you know, the entire journey was filled with amazing connections and powerful experiences we could feel the intensity gradually building up as we went. With less than 2 weeks to go before crossing back into Canada, the momentum seemed to reach a climax. So much happened in that short time that I thought best to give you a day-by-day account of our last twelve days in the US.

12 Days To Go
The morning after the raw potluck at Gayle and Rick's the time had come to put our new wheels to the test. As you can imagine, in the light of our recent car troubles I was somewhat holding my breath. "Please, please hang in there long enough to complete the trip and take us home!" While the van is definitely not a Cadillac and has its little quirks and issues, we still made it safely to our next destination, just south of Olympia. Phfew! *wiping the sweat off her brow*

I had been writing back and forth with Heidi for months and was looking forward to our getting together, especially since we came so close to having to cancel our stop. (Eeek!) As I mentioned in my previous post, everything fell into place smoothly in terms of finding a new vehicle and we were able to stick to our original schedule.

Heidi had arranged for us to stay with her parents, Sharon and Gary. She told me that while they weren't really into raw they were keen to learn more about it and try some of the food. It's been so awesome to see how the "non raw folks" we've met along the way have been open to exploring something so different and new. Yay! The timing of our arrival couldn't have been better as Heidi and her two sweet kids, Madeline and Daniel, were there when we pulled into the driveway. We were greeted with bright smiles and warm hugs. Once again I was reminded of how blessed we've been to be able to undertake such a journey! None of this would have happened in the first place if it wasn't for my blog and our forum, Raw Freedom Community. A-ma-zing!

Once the introductions with the two leggeds were over we were guided in back in order to meet the three resident llamas that Sharon and Gary are looking after.

Dirty Harry and Shooter (Guess how he got his name? lol)

Sharon had brought with her their all time favorite treat: carrots!

Although the llamas tend to be rather shy around people, especially strangers, Don managed to tempt Shooter with a carrot. Actually the latter ended up spitting it out like two minutes later. lol. Call him Mr. Picky! -)

And here's Abigail, Dirty Harry's mama, who had been keeping her distance. She sure was mighty curious about Kylo.

The Fasnachts are such genuine and warm folks we felt immediately at ease. Sharon has a wonderful sense of humor and brought many a smile to my lips with her impromptu faces. We spent the rest of the afternoon around the kitchen counter, telling traveling stories and having some good laughs. We did eat at some point too but I have completely forgotten what we whipped up. Ooops! (Blame it on my delayed blogging!)

11 Days To Go
We woke up early and began the preps for that afternoon's class. Thankfully we had lots of help in the kitchen and it all went super smooth. Those who attended were all family and friends so the atmosphere was very congenial and relaxed. On the menu was a couple of soups (Cream of Zucchini and Corn Chowder), Spinach & Cream Pasta Casserole, Spring Rolls with Ginger Dipping Sauce and my Fruit & Nut Choccie.

Heidi and the kids stayed for dinner afterward to help us eat all the leftovers. As it has become a bit of a tradition, we later pulled out the didges from the van and I did a short demo. Next thing you knew the whole family was at it! he he Madeline was a true natural and got a drone right away, while Heidi and little Daniel had to work at it a bit harder.

10 Days To Go
The next day we and Heidi's family had a rendez-vous at their friends', Derek and Sara's place. I first 'met' them online way back in the early days of Raw Freedom Community. Derek is a very talented photographer in fact this year he was voted second best wedding photographer in Western Washington. Sara is the one who introduced Heidi to raw foods (and to my blog) as they live in the same neighborhood. Derek and Sara used to have a lovely blog Sara's mouth watering creations with Derek's gorgeous food photography made for a powerful combo. Unfortunately they have decided to take it down as they found blogging too time consuming. (Yep, that it can be!)

Going For A Bike Ride
Derek and Sara have a passion for bicycling that is contagious. I'd seen so many beautiful pictures that Derek has taken during their cycling excursions it was hard to believe that we were finally about to peddle next to them! Derek is a bit of a bike collector and fitted us out with two of the coolest rides we've ever seen on which we took a leisurely trip through Olympia's back streets.We paused briefly in front of the Capitol for a pichie before making our way to the downtown area where we checked out the Farmer's Market.

Photo courtesy of Derek Pearson

A picnic and some chill out time was in store at the park by the water. At one point Derek dug a Frisbee out of his bag and soon had us all playing Ultimate Frisbee. Man oh man, did we ever have fun!

The happy cycling gang!
To our left is the Cope family: Scott, Heidi, Madeline and Daniel. To our right: Sara and Derek.

We had a truly fabulous afternoon! Don and I couldn't remember the last time that we were so relaxed and carefree we felt like little kids! My face actually hurt from grinning so much! lol

9 Days To Go - In Sara's Sunny Kitchen

On our 'to do' list was playing in the kitchen a little, so we met up with Heidi and Sara the next morning and went shopping. The girls wanted to pick up ingredients in order to prep some of the concoctions I had demoed at Sharon's class. It made me so happy that they felt inspired to recreate the recipes at home! Yay! Sara was particularly excited for Derek to try the new additions to her culinary repertoire. After stocking up - which ended up taking a good chunk of the day - we headed over to Sara's and began to work on dinner. We started with dessert: Sweet Gratitude 's Lemon Cheesecake with blueberry and raspberry sauces. Next we tackled the savory dishes: Corn Chowder, Spring Rolls and Ginger Dipping Sauce.

After the meal, the boyz took a snooze while Sara and I plated the dessert. We could even hear the occasional snore coming from the living room! lol

Didn't she do a be-yu-ti-ful job?

8 Days To Go - Washington From the Air
Sharon and Gary live on a private airstrip which allows them to take their planes up at will. Gary's love of flying was ignited when he was in high school and it's still blazing. He has been a flight instructor for years and according to Sharon is the most competent pilot she knows. We'd been watching the weather very closely, hoping it would cooperate so that we could go on a ride in their Cessna.

To my great excitement, on our last day in Olympia we were able to fly above Puget Sound. Woo Hoo! The sky was still a little cloudy when we took off but it cleared up on the way.

Here are some shots taken from the air.

He took us to the snowy mountaintops of the Olympics. Breathtakingly beautiful!

Donnie admiring the view. He used to jump out of airplanes once upon a time when he was in the Airborne Regiment.

Mount Rainier hiding among the clouds.

On our way home we flew over mima mounds. These mysterious low, flattened, circular to oval, domelike, natural mounds have given rise to many a theory.

At some point I caught a glimpse of the plane's shadow in the trees below. How cool!

Our hosts, Sharon and Gary.

Once I found my land legs again I finished assembling dinner, as we were expecting company. Heidi's friend, Becky, is also into the whole healthy diet thing and makes herself green smoothies every day. She'd have loved to come to the class but was away in sunny Florida, so I thought she might like to at least join us for a meal. We had raw soup (again, my memory is failing me) and Asian Spinach Salad. I also got to inaugurate our brand new Cuisinart ice cream maker. Hee hah! I knew that we don't have much room to spare in the van but this was the last piece of equipment missing to complete our raw kitchen. I also figured that ice cream makes such a wonderful easy peasy dessert just what we needed! I made a simple Vanilla Ice Cream which I served with Heathy's Chocolate Sauce. Sooooooo yummy!

By the way, you can't really distinguish the words but the yellow sign on the right of the door says: "Spit Happens". -)

7 Days To Go - We're Off To The Big City
Although it seemed like we had only just gotten there (what with all of our activities!), it was already time to continue our trek. I felt so so grateful that everything fell into place so that we could come to Olympia after all!

Kylo and Puss comfy and ready for the road. It's been SUCH a relief that they have both adjusted to our being constantly on the move. Real furry warriors these two are!

We only had to drive for a couple of hours up to Seattle where Jennifer and her family had kindly offered their home as our base while in the city. Once again our connection was immediate and felt so natural!

Meet Jennifer and her daughter Michael.

. and their cute spunky boxer Phaedra.

In spite of her busy working schedule, Jennifer had prepared us an amazing raw feast for our arrival. On the menu was one of my absolute favorite things: pizza! Yum!

She had also assembled Cafe Gratitude's German Chocolate Cake something I'd been wanting to try for a long time. Yippee! This is a very rich but utterly decadent cake. Guaranteed to send choccie lovers to heaven!

20 oz. date paste
3/4 c. extra virgin coconut oil
4 tbs liquid vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
7-9 c. almond flour (I use the leftover from making almond mylk. Then I dehydrate for a day) after it's dry I blend until nice and powdery. I think you get better "baked" results.
2 1/2 oz. cacao powder
1/2 c. coconut milk

Add to a mixer bowl, the date paste, coconut oil, vanilla and salt. Add flour 1 cup at a time until you have a cookie dough consistency. Try to get the batter not too dry, not too wet adding more flour as needed. Mix until smooth. Fill 2 8" cake rounds (the kind with the pop out bottoms!) Put the the two cakes into the freezer while you do the next step.

Walnut Coconut Filling
5 c. walnuts chopped. Set aside 1 c.
1 c. agave syrup
2 tbs liquid vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
3 c. coconut flakes

Process until smooth (in a food processor) 4 c. walnuts, agave, vanilla and salt. in a bowl combine with a spatula the processed mixture and the remaining 1 c. walnuts with the 3 c. coconut flakes

Take the cake out of the freezer then spread this mixture on top of the 2 cake rounds. You might have a bit leftover.

Put it the 2 cakes back into the freezer while you make the chocolate frosting.

Chocolate Frosting
3/4 c. almond mylk
1/2 c. cacao nibs
1 1/2 oz. cacao powder
1/2 c. agave syrup
3 oz. date paste
4 tbs liquid vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbs lecithin powder
2 tsp extra virgin coconut oil

Put all the ingredients (except the last 2 ingredients) into blender until smooth. After it's smooth, add the last 2 ingredients and blend for another 20 secs or so. Pour into a bowl and put in the fridge for 20 minutes until thicker.

Assemble the cake! Taking the cake out of the cake rounds is a bit tricky and requires a bit of finesse so be careful or you could lose it all! Plus it's heavy so be warned. It's nice to have an extra set of hands helping! Take a butter knife and slide it between the pan and cake the release it from sides. Lift it from the bottom. Then take a large knife and slice between the cake bottom and pan. Set it on a dish then do the same to the next cake. Put one cake on top of the other and now you can frost! Decorate the cake with shredded coconut or cacao nibs.

This cake won't keep more than 3 days so what I did is freeze the leftovers in individual slices. It comes out beautifully!

Yet another wonderful treat that Jennifer had prepared from Sweet Gratitude : Baklava. Sooooo good!

6 Days To Go
Since we had brought along a durian and young coconuts, the next afternoon I whipped up a Durian Pudding. Ryan wasn't too keen on the stuff and couldn't finish his bowl. (Durian, after all, is an acquired taste!) As we left in a bit of a hurry I put it in the fridge but forgot to cover it up with a piece of saran wrap. Big mistake! The poor guy was assaulted by 'The Smell' when he opened the fridge. Ooopsie! -)

In the afternoon we headed over to Chaco Canyon Cafe, Washington's First Certified Organic Vegetarian Café and Restaurant, where we were scheduled to give a class that evening. Wouldn't you know it, the van died at a light only two blocks away! Oh nooooo! A group of young guys gave us a push around the corner so that we could at least get out of the way. Ah man, what now. Good thing we had allowed ourselves plenty of time! Still with the prospect of giving a class in just a few hours, let's just say I wasn't too stoked at this new development. It looked like we had run out of gas (the auxilary tank gauge doesn't work so we couldn't tell how much was left.) In spite of Don switching to the primary gas tank (ain't that handy?) for some reason the van still wouldn't start up.

We decided to walk over to Chaco in order to contact AAA and get someone to help us carry our gear. After calling Don headed back to the van and while waiting for the tow truck to arrive, he decided to give it another try. It worked! Yippee! We later learned that in that situation it takes a while for the fuel to pump back up. Phfew! That was a close one!

Still a bit shaky from it all, we took a few minutes to grab something to eat before the class, as Chaco Canyon offers a few raw items on their menu.

Ginger Sesame Bowl
Ginger-sesame sauce on a base of shredded zucchini or raw kelp noodles (I asked for both!) and topped with seasonal vegetables, shredded carrots and shoyu pumpkin seeds.

We'd heard from several people in the Seattle area who were interested in participating in a class, but were having difficulty finding a venue. That's when Jennifer had the idea to mention it to the folks at Chaco Canyon Cafe. Although they had never hosted anything like that before, they immediately accepted. Being a super busy restaurant without a separate private room, it wasn't an ideal location but since nothing else was showing up we decided to all do our best.

Chris and the folks at the Cafe were super nice and accommodating. They managed to find us some partitions which helped a LOT. Unfortunately however it did little to reduce the noise level I had to virtually yell in order to be heard. On the positive side it was an excuse for everyone to snuggle up and get closer. -) In hindsight, due to the surroundings it was the toughest class I ever had to teach, nevertheless it was a wonderful group and I had a great time.

Among the participants was Aimee of Bitt of Raw. It's not every day that you get to bump into a fellow blogger and we were both thrilled to finally meet in the flesh. She did a fabulous job blogging about the class here.

She had brought us a very special treat: two kinds of moonie pies - vanilla and durian - that she had whipped up for Heathy's Moonie Pie Challenge. How thoughtful!

During the class I demoed how to prepare Tuscan Pizza, Tuna Salad, Asian Veggies in Ginger Marinade, and my Oatmeal Raisin Cookies for dessert.

I also whipped up my Cheezy Spinach Almond Soup which has become a new favorite of ours and has been a big hit everywhere we've been. As promised, here is the recipe for you all now that our tour is over. I hope you guys like it as much as we do!

Cheezy Spinach Almond Soup

2 cups packed spinach
1 1/4 cups roughly chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup almonds , soaked for 8 hours or overnight
1/4 avocado
1 garlic clove
1 tbs nutritional yeast
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh parsley
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh dill
1 tsp light miso or 1/2 tsp salt (or more, to taste)
Water until desired consistency is reached

Blend all ingredients in high-speed blender until smooth.

If you wish a warm soup, use hot water or heat it up gently on the stove while stirring constantly.

On that delicious and creamy note, methinks I'll stop here for now. I promise to do my best to be back with the last of our adventures real soon . In the meantime, let's hope we all get to enjoy some more of that healing and embracing summer sunshine!

Watch the video: Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe Seattle NE (January 2022).