Hi, I’m Serena! If you love cooking, have a taste for the adventurous side in food yet you also want to get the most out of what you eat and know that you are putting the optimal source of vitamins, minerals and fuel in your body, well, you’ve come to the right place! As far back as I can remember, I have always loved cooking and experimenting with foods. It’s one of those things for me that calm you down, make you feel relaxed, happy and productive when you are at the end of a long day, or have some free time on your hands. To unwind after a long day some people like to go to the gym, some cry, some do nothing, while I…I just cook!
When I first joined Instagram I used it as a site mainly to post pictures of my food mixtures I came up with, rather than flooding everyone’s wall on Facebook (Your complaints about seeing so many food pictures were duly noted, my FB friends). When I went vegan in January 2013, I started posting only vegan and raw vegan food pictures of meals that I was eating or had created, as I was so excited about this new found lifestyle that I wanted to share it with anyone I could! After awhile, people started asking me for the recipes, and as requests for recipes increased, I decided to create a vegan and raw vegan food blog in April 2013.
I discovered I was rather good at cooking at an early age, and soon found myself preparing food for for 70 – 100 people beginning at the age of 10 in Brazil. I became the go-to “chef” for my personal specialties such as homemade crepes and chocolate sauce, orange caramel popcorn, beer battered fish tacos (made with both fish and shark meat), beef brisket, and my famous homemade spaghetti…secret ingredient being soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. This was all before the age of 16.
Since then, I have had a love/hate relationship with food. I’ve been up, down and back around again on the dieting trail with lots of experimenting here and there with fad diets, diet pills and extreme exercise regimens. This is not a realistic nor healthy lifestyle for anyone to live. As I got older, yo-yo dieting got old, I realized I needed to stop the endless dieting cycles, stick with one tried and true form of healthy eating and be done with it! Becoming a 50% raw vegan 50% vegan was like finding the final missing piece to my diet and nutrition puzzle. I now live a life of ABUNDANCE, I eat whenever I want, as much as I want and I don’t count calories!! That’s because when you live a whole food plant based lifestyle, there is no reason for calorie restriction, no need to treat carbs like the enemy, and ABSOLUTELY NO REASON to consume any meat, dairy or animal products!
The recipes on this blog are a reflection of what I eat on a day to day basis. I start my morning with a smoothie, I end it with a cooked vegan meal. I eat till I’m full, not until I’ve reach my calorie count for the day. And if I want, I will eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If I want spaghetti all day I’ll have it. If I want tacos all day, it’s not a problem. What’s more, is that I feel GREAT after every meal. I don’t need a nap because my body is exhausted from trying to digest heavy, fattening, acidic animal products. In the morning I can get up and go, at night I can lay down and fall right to sleep, because the food I’m putting in my body are plant based whole foods, low fat, high in vitamins, minerals and enzymes that keep me fueled and feeling great all day. That’s it! It really is that simple!
A couple things to know for this blog:
1) I rarely follow exact recipes. The things I create are done simply by throwing ingredients together, crossing my fingers and hoping for the best. And…it usually comes out great! Obviously, this comes from year of trial and error. After 20+ years of cooking, you tend to figure out how much a tablespoon is or 1/3 of a cup is without actually using a measuring cup. This is also why some of my recipes will say “about 1 cup” or, “a handful” or “2-3 tbsp”. The amounts I have are the recommended amounts, and I have had to literally recreate some of my recipes to see how much is actually needed in a serving.
2) There is little to no cooking needed for these recipes! The one thing that always had me procrastinating about whether to cook meals for myself or not, is that I know my apartment will smell like onion, fish, or garlic for hours or days after. This has always been a large deterrent for me in the cooking department. Plus, it takes time, and sometimes that is time you just don’t have. Well, the good thing about eating plant based is that the cooking time is minimal, and usually for only short periods. Which means no harsh smells, less prep time, less cleanup and more raw, healthy goodness for you!
3) As I mentioned above, I began a raw vegan diet as of January 2013. I later altered it to allow some cooked foods, as being 100% fully raw just wasn’t realistic for me. I didn’t feel that completely cutting out all cooked food was the right decision for my body. Besides, you can’t make good hummus without cooking the beans! (although I can make a mean raw hummus!) Neither can you enjoy quinoa, my old best friend, potatoes, rice, noodles or Brussels Sprouts, since you have to cook it. So I tweaked my diet to include foods like the ones mentioned above, as well as beans, squash, eggplant and sweet potatoes, since I simply cannot part with these amazing staples. –And why should I, they are good for you! So I do have some cooking, but it is very minimal. This is also great because it means less burned fingers for me! If I am cooking with any heat in the kitchen, chances are I WILL burn a finger… or ten.
4) I have altered recipes that I found on other websites, and I give credit to those recipes, with tweaks on my own. I also post original recipes from others that I have tried and came out amazing, so thought to share them with you all, giving credit to the original creators. If you intend to use any recipes on this blog for your own websites, remember to give credit to the author! This is very important for all aspects in life. No one likes to be a victim of plagiarism!
So, now that you know a little about the blog, read on and enjoy! Comment, share, rant, rave, whatever you want to do!