Green Global Bites

In as much as we enjoy Sri Lankan curry, and there are quite a number of good restaurants in the Galle area where we live, the offering of creative plant based, live food aka raw vegan, my preferred diet, is scant, virtually non existent.

I love food that is fresh, very fresh, as in eating it as soon as possible after it comes out of the ground. Food that is organic and has not been subjected to pesticides and toxins is definitely preferable. In Sri Lanka the vegetables at the regular market are not organic, but there are a few farmers who grow organic produce in the mountainous region of Nuwara Eliya. Luckily for us we have a friend (Sion) who is a permaculture expert and arranges to get organic produce to our region once a week. He meets the veggie boxes at the train station and then we pick up our box from his house a few minutes away. I am enormously grateful to him for providing a pipeline of organic vegetables every week.

Food in my opinion has to be vibrant. It must look vibrant and taste vibrant! “Alive” food. Living foods are fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, roots, seeds, and some grains. Virtually nothing makes me as unhappy food wise as seeing a plate of food that is overcooked, mushy and brown or grey in color (dead, dead). I would rather not eat than eat something that is mediocre in taste and does not nourish. It has been proven by scientists that when you subject vegetables to heat greater than 120 degrees, its nourishing enzymes die, which means the majority of its essential nutrients are greatly diminished or dead when you eat them.

What we eat determines not only our health but our mood, and how our brain functions. You might have noticed that after you eat a very heavy meal or a big steak that you feel tired and sluggish. The body has to work hard and use significant energy to digest this kind of food.

My youngest son Adam, (who is an incredible chef and organic city farmer) tells me I am a food snob! And he is absolutely correct. I AM a food snob. I love food, but it has to be GOOD food. I will for example, occasionally eat a French croissant (my French husband Ben, says this is food that is good for the soul), but I will only eat it if it is fresh and crispy and be an example of a perfect croissant, otherwise, I am just not interested. Pass the kale salad please.

When preparing meals at home, my preference is to  make food without cooking it, (with a few exceptions for things like chickpeas, for example) and to create as much variety and explosion of taste so as to have delicious looking and delicious tasting food. And to knock the socks of those who try it, too.

And so, I have stepped up my game here in my little Sri Lankan kitchen.  I have always had a proclivity for home cooking, and given that one of our sons is a chef, and that Ben has well honed French tastebuds, well, the quality of cuisine in our household has always been on the high side.

My own diet and lifestyle has evolved since I had a bout with breast cancer some 10 years ago. It has been quite a journey. As a cancer survivor I got interested in researching food and the impact of different foods on overall health, I found the majority of doctors, even oncologists to have the very limited knowledge about mind and body connection and to have general disinterest in cutting edge nutrition.

Ben jokes that I am his Lamborghini. Because the majority of my diet is a “clean” diet  when I do eat something that does not fall into this category I often feel the impact and “suffer” accordingly after eating. Like a fine tuned Lanborghini, I need pure fuel. (He refers himself more as a robust all terrain vehicle that run well enough on any fuel, and thus is more fitted to our sometimes rugged green global trek environment).

We have our diet regimen figured out now. At home we both eat plant based live food 95% of the time. When we eat out, we make a point of finding interesting local specialties.

To be clear, for me there is no space for degrading the taste level just because I make mostly raw mostly vegan meals at home. And so, I gradually started to discover the world of creative, high end raw vegan cuisine.

I do not define or call myself a vegan or a vegetarian or a raw foodie. At best if I had to categorize myself by using a label, I would say I am  ” flexitarian.” Yes I eat fish if its very fresh and I do love sushi. Yes I eat meat on occasion (not often) but I have been to known to consume as many pork sticks wrapped in rice paper and dipped in peanut sauce on the sidewalks of Viet Nam, as Ben. And yes I love veggies cooked in creative ways which retain the crisp freshness yet add unusual flavor and taste profiles. 

With this as backstory, “Green Global Bites”, is an effort not only to capture the best of delicious plant based local food we encounter in different countries,  but also to start capturing my own plant based live food creations.

The vision?

I have been doing research for years, but now that we have a home base again, I have been able to experiment with recipes, for an eventual Green Global Bites book that, I hope, will illustrate the space where nutritious meets yummy and creative.

Breakfast Bowls

We first encountered these “smoothie bowls” in Ubud, Bali ~ the mecca of raw vegan cuisine. Same concept as Acai bowls, which are a Brazilian specialty but have spread globally in popularity.

Kale, swiss chard, moringa powder, topped with shredded coconut, papaya, dates, banana, hemp seeds and dried blueberries.  Nutritional highlight of Moringa: Moringa has a delicious spinach flavor and is rich in anti-oxidant and all 9 essential amino acids.  It has massive benefits for the skin (rich in vitamin A and E), energy levels (rich in calcium, iron and magnesium) and vision (vitamin A), teeth (magnesium) and bones (vitamin K).

Coconut water, banana, pineapple, mango, topped with pomegranate and sunflower seeds. Nutritional highlight of pomegranate: Pomegranates have impressive anti-inflammatory effect with benefits in terms of fighting or preventing breast cancer and colon cancer cells. A diet that includes Pomegranate helps fight high blood pressure and arthritis.

Banana, orange, almond butter and fresh coconut, topped with dried blueberries, hemp seeds, chia seeds, crunchy granola and banana. Nutritional highlight of Chia seeds: Chia seeds have become one of the most popular superfoods in the health community. Originally from grown in Mexico, Chia seeds were recognized by Aztek warriors for their unique source of energy. Chia seeds support the heart and digestive system, have been linked to healing diabetes. HIgh on vitamins and minerals, chia seeds are also densely packed with anti-oxidants.

Soups

Cold, fresh coconut, curry soup, topped with hemp seeds, truffle oil, chopped red peppers and diced cucumber. Nutritional highlight of coconut: the young coconut meat is beneficial because it is low in cholesterol and sodium, and is a very good source of Manganese, which directly impacts the body’s metabolism, contributes to a healthy immune and nervous systems. It is also valuable due to its high content of potassium and copper, which is needed for red cell production.

Tom Kha soup with lemongrass, jalapeno and fresh coconut milk, topped with pumpkin seeds, shredded purple cabbage and diced tomatoes. Highlight of pumpkin seeds: With a wide variety of nutrients ranging from magnesium and manganese to copper, protein and zinc, pumpkin seeds are nutritional powerhouses wrapped up in a very small package. Rich in Magnesium, which has been shown to benefit your blood pressure and help prevent sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack, and stroke. Pumpkin seeds are also a rich source of zinc, Zinc is important to your body in many ways, including immunity, cell growth and division, sleep, mood, your senses of taste and smell, eye and skin health, insulin regulation, and male sexual function.

Raw butternut squash, turmeric, mango and orange soup, topped with shredded gotu kola (pennywort), and sunflower seeds. Nutritional highlight of Gotu kola: an herb endemic to South Asia, also known as Centella, has been recognized for centuries as a medicinal herb due to its concentration of saponins, which among other benefits, activates the skin healing process. By stimulating blood flows to the cells, and protecting against infections, gotu kola can speed the wound healing process. Surprisingly, the very same process has an entirely different impact re the brain and cognitive abilities. The main explanation for this is the positive impact gotu kola extract can have on the circulatory system, thereby oxygenating more of the brain and allowing cognition to improve. The antioxidant effects of gotu kola are also somewhat responsible, as they can stimulate neural pathways by eliminating plaque and free radicals in the brain. This has also made it a popular supplement for aging populations, as there is some evidence to suggest that it can slow down the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Vegan crackers with ground almonds, ground flax seeds, sunflower seeds, dates and fresh dill, (also makes a great raw vegan gluten free “pizza” crust). Nutritional highlight of flax seeds: Flax seeds have been consumed as food for around 6,000 years and may have very well been the world’s first cultivated superfood! This is principally because flaxseeds rank as the #1 source of lignans in human diets. Flaxseeds contain about 7 times as many lignans as the closest runner-up, sesame seeds. Lignans are known for their anti-viral and antibacterial properties, therefore consuming flax regularly may help reduce the number or severity of colds and flus. The three lignans found in flaxseeds can be converted by intestinal bacteria into enterolactone and enterodiol which naturally balance hormones which may be the reason flax seeds reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Salads

Kale salad with pomegranates, blueberries, walnuts, cucumber, and avocados, with Tahini dressing. Nutritional Highlight of kale: Most people by now have adopted Kale in their diet as it is widely available, and remains one of the most potent super foods. Of particular note is Kale’s combination of fibre and sulfur, which makes it a powerful in detoxifying the body and keeping the liver healthy. That would be reason enough to add kale to one’s diet- but kale’s high calcium content is valuable to those eager to address the risk of osteoporosis. Kale also has been demonstrated to lower cholesterol levels and to have great anti-inflammatory benefits.

Zucchini/beet/carrot rainbow noodles, with red cabbage, mango salad with dried blueberries. Nutritional highlight of zucchini: Zucchini contributes to weight loss as it is low in calories yet gives a feeling of being full.  Zucchini is rich in B-complex vitamins, folate, B6, B1, B2, B3, and choline, as well as minerals like zinc and magnesium, which are all valuable in ensuring healthy blood sugar regulation – a definite advantage for diabetics. It also contains essential minerals such as iron, manganese, and phosphorus.  The most significant deficiency symptoms of phosphorus include weak bones and discomfort in various body joints. Phosphorus acts in a similar way as calcium does in providing strength to bones, so a deficiency of phosphorus may lead to weakness, tooth decay, rickets and other related bone problems.

Stacked raw beet crunchy squares layered with cashew “cream” and orange peppers puree, topped with chopped hazelnuts and fresh dill. Nutritional highlight of beet: Beets are rich in nitrates, which the body converts to nitric oxide—a compound that relaxes and dilates blood vessels, turning them into superhighways for your nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood. That means better circulation, and possibly lower blood pressure. Nitric oxide relaxes and dilates your blood vessels, which in turn increases blood flow to more blood flow to the frontal lobe of their brains—a region known to be involved with executive functioning skills like focus, organization, and attention to detail. Your liver does the heavy work of cleaning your blood and “detoxing” your body. You can lighten its load with a daily serving of beets. Research shows that betaine, an amino acid found in beets (as well as spinach and quinoa) can help prevent and reduce the accumulation of fat in the liver.

Desserts

Chocolate fudge raw, vegan, gluten free brownies with dates and walnuts, topped with  raw cacao “frosting” and pomegranate. Nutritional highlight of raw cacao: The Incas considered it the drink of gods, an association that gave rise to the scientific name of the cocoa tree, Theobroma cacao, from the Greek words theo (god) and broma (drink). It may surprise you to discover that raw cacao contains nearly four times the antioxidant content of regular processed dark chocolate, 20 times more than blueberries, and 119 times more than bananas. Cacao can improve your memory, increase your bliss, reduce heart disease, shed fat, boost immunity, and create loads of energy.

Lemon, coconut and almond balls. Let’s not kid ourselves, we would gobble these up whether or not they had nutritional benefits! Nutritional highlight of lemon: Lemons are alkalizing for the body – Lemons are acidic to begin with but they are alkaline-forming on body fluids helping to restore balance to the body’s pH. Your liver loves lemons: lemon is a wonderful stimulant to the liver and is a dissolvent of uric acid and other poisons. In this particular format, which makes use of lemon peel (zest), it should be noted that the lemon peel contains the potent phytonutrient tangeretin, which has been proven to be effective for brain disorders like Parkinson’s disease.

Raw vegan chocolate bites ~ no sugar, no butter: Cacao, coconut oil, banana, dates, himalayan salt and walnuts. Nutritional highlight of walnuts: Walnuts contain the amino acid l-arginine, which offers multiple vascular benefits to people with heart disease, or those who have increased risk for heart disease due to multiple cardiac risk factors. Walnuts also contain the plant-based omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is anti-inflammatory and may prevent the formation of pathological blood clots. Research shows that people who eat a diet high in ALA are less likely to have a fatal heart attack and have a nearly 50 percent lower risk of sudden cardiac death.

Cinnamon roll up mini “buns”. Raw, vegan, gluten free. Dates, walnuts, coconut butter and cinnamon.  Nutritional highlight of cinnamon: Cinnamon is a powerful spice that has been used medicinally around the world for thousands of years. Cinnamon is packed with a variety of protective antioxidants that reduce free radical damage and slow the aging process; in fact researchers have identified forty-one different protective compounds of cinnamon to date. The health benefits of cinnamon are attributed to the type of antioxidants called polyphenols, phenolic acid, and flavonoids.  These are similar antioxidants to those that can be found in other “superfoods” including berries, red wine, and dark chocolate. These compounds work to fight oxidative stress in the body, which can lead to disease formation when uncontrolled, especially as someone ages.  Cinnamon is known to have an anti-diabetic effect. It helps lower blood sugar levels and also can improve sensitivity to the hormone insulin, which is the vital hormone needed for keeping blood sugar levels balanced.  Importantly, Cinnamon is a natural anti-microbial, anti-biotic, anti-fungal, and anti-viral agent.

 

And what do we do with all the yummy, healthy food coming out of my kitchen? Well, we share of course… here our friends Mike and Wally, coming to pick up a box of delectables for a lunch with friends at their boutique hotel “9provinces”.

Nice to see it all come together in the form of a healthy, energizing and delicious lunch, here at “9 provinces Retreat”.

These are just a few of the delicious dishes that are plant-based, raw, vegan, sourced locally and nutritious!  Featured in this dishes presented above are primarily local ingredients, whenever possible.   In Sri Lanka, kale, fresh coconuts, mangoes and a wide range of bananas are always readily available, as is gotu kola, and many other green leaves specific to Sri Lanka that we are incorporating into our food.

Take a look below at the “roadmap” of dishes that I am considering for inclusion in an upcoming cook book.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

Hippocrates, father of medicine, 431 B.C.

 

82 thoughts on “Green Global Bites

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Soph, so glad to see you are reading us!! I would normally say “when the book comes out” .. but of course I would be happy to oblige, so let me know which of those you would like to try out and I will be happy to email them to you. The beauty of this kind of food is that it really is about good ingredients… I can tell you that your brother who as we both know is quite an adventurous eater, is a big fan of everything plant based raw that I have made. Now if that is not a compliment… haha, right?

      And when are you coming to visit us in Sri Lanka? When you do, I will prepare a raw feast….:)

      Peta

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Aw thanks Mike… You guys were part of the inspiration for me to get cracking on gathering all this info that is in my head and putting it down on paper and onto the table. A timely blog post for you guys to make a cameo appearance!

      Peta

  1. gabe

    Peta, what an extraordinary journey you (and Ben) have led thus far. Exotic destinations, victories over cancer, spiritual growth, and now I see that you’re sharing a diet that is fascinating to me.

    I joke quite a bit about my fondness for Snickers, and Taco Bell, and, when I’ve been good, all the yellow Skittles my teeth can endure, but after seeing the delicious looking breakfast bowls, I suddenly have a craving for pomegranate again.

    Thanks for sharing and I hope that you continue to pursue the cooking book. I suspect you will find a very receptive audience.

    Cheers
    Gabe

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Gabe for commenting. Oh yes, who needs skittles and snickers when you can have fresh pomegranates and raw cacao treats? So glad to introduce you to the plant based live food diet and lifestyle. I hope it influences you in the smallest or largest of ways. In fact the thirst for exotic destinations is not entirely divorced from the cancer bout. Before I went in for my 8 hour surgery, Ben asked me what I wanted to do most once I recovered and I stated emphatically that without a doubt I wanted to travel to exotic destinations I had read about, but not travelled to. So here we are….

      Peta

  2. Kelly

    Fantastic post, Peta! Everything looks divine, especially the cinnamon buns and kale salad. The nutritional information is really helpful. Looking forward to your cookbook!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks so much Kelly. It is nice to know which things appeal to people most. Those are two of my favorites. I have been making kale salads for years but many of the desserts are new to me. Thanks for the encouragement.

      Peta

  3. Anabel Marsh

    Mmm, I would love most of these but I’m not sure I could ever eat this way most of the time. I would still crave the comfort of hot food sometimes, but I’d definitely be interested in your book.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Anabel.. It definitely takes time to slowly “convert” one’s mental preconceptions. As Dr Gabriel Cousens (master of raw live food) says, everyone can determine the percentage of raw/vegan to include in their diet at any given time. Even if you start with one day a week, you will start to see health benefits and see a difference in how you feel. Then you might start adding more plant based meals overall. Once you do it for a while, it is hard to eat cooked food all the time.

      I too sometimes crave hot food, especially things like baked potatoes and so on. It is important not to suppress cravings but rather to listen to your body as everyone is different and the ability to eat plant based, raw can be dependent on weather, seasonality, and availability of produce. The point is, it is not an “all or nothing” kind of proposition.

      Peta

  4. Shari Pratt

    WOW! Food for thought and food for health. I always thought raw vegan meant eating cup up apples and raw almonds and nothing else. Your presentation of creative and beautiful food has made me see eating in a new way.

    I don’t think I can do what you’re doing even though I see incredible benefits – Peta looks about 30 years old with beautiful skin and hair, yet I know you’re older.

    I can add pomegranate seeds to the kale salad I’ve been favoring the last 3 years, I can try some of the other seeds and greens over veggies. I’ve been putting tumeric on veggies and canela cinnamon on oatmeal as well as chopped prunes. But now I see there are lots of other ways of improving even a rather ordinary diet like mine.

    Thank you for the nutrition info, the photos, and the recipe ideas. This is an inspiration and I will bookmark.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Shari for your compliments and thoughtful feedback.

      I am absolutely thrilled that this post has had that kind of impact on you… namely to have you see eating in a new way. Nothing could be a better compliment than that!

      30 Ha!! My oldest son Josh is 33! You can often tell those that eat mostly plant based and live foods as yes, I have noticed this amongst those that frequent some of my favorite raw vegan cafes in Ubud, Bali. There is a certain vitality that comes from eating predominantly live/raw foods.

      I can also recommend you take a look at Dr Gabriel Cousens’ book “A rainbow diet” and “Conscious Eating”. Everything you need to know is in these two books….

      Peta

  5. Sharon Rosenzweig

    I want you to prepare my food! Cook book would be most welcome, including your processes as well as how to source the more obscure ingredients.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Sharon!! I think the trick to a successful to a plant based live food diet is precisely not to look for obscure ingredients, but rather to go to the local organic food market and see what farmers are growing and buy their produce. In many of the recipes I read these days, there are ingredients that are absolutely not available here and so very often I make substitutions and that is the way to make it not a complicated process but an easy one. Find the freshest organic vegetables and fruit and that is the best starting point always!

      Love ya
      P
      xoxo

  6. shoreacres

    Some of the dishes look quite appealing, although I’m not sure I have either the time or the money to eat this way regularly. On the other hand, my diet has been changing over the past decade or two — to the point that I never eat fast food or processed foods from the grocery, and my meat eating now is mostly chicken and fish, with the occasional winter pot roast thrown in!

    But there are ingredients here that I certainly can add — walnuts, for example, and kale and lemon. I’m actually fond of them all, and just need a little push to be more intentional about using them. Your entry here was a nice first push in that direction.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks for commenting.

      So glad to be providing the impetus for more healthy eating of organic fresh fruits and vegetables.

      The one thing you might like to consider eliminating from your diet is chicken. If you do the research you will find out that almost all chicken today is injected in industrial farms because of the widespread diseases that come from housing massive quantities of chickens in less than sanitary conditions. Most chicken is full of antibiotics and when you eat the chicken, you eat what it eats. I highly suggest you look for farm raised, organic chickens that have had happy and healthy lives outdoors ~ if you must eat chicken. Not as easy to find as one might think, as there is a lot of false advertising on of “free range”. But chicken was one of the first foods I gave up forever.

      Yes organic food is more expensive than non organic. But for me at any rate, spending the extra dollars for my health is well worth it. If you compare the money and time spent by making plant based live food at home with going to a restaurant, well you are still ahead of the game financially. Large salads need not be expensive nor time consuming to make.

      Thanks for stopping by to read and to comment.

      Peta

      1. shoreacres

        I’ve already made the move to farm raised chicken — and raised by people I know personally. I’ve not purchased chicken in a grocery store for several years. In the same way, I get my eggs from a local farm, and what beef and pork I buy comes from a local, old fashioned meat market. If I want ground beef for a particular dish, I can pick out the cut I want, and have it ground in front of me. It’s better tasting and not nearly so “iffy” as what people purchase in the stores.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Louise, pomegranates are definitely one of my favorite ingredients to use in salads as they provide such a lovely burst of fresh flavor. And a single pomegranate goes a long way in elevating a dish.

      Thanks for reading.

      Peta

  7. Sue Slaght

    Peta this is wonderful!

    I often term myself a flexitarian but struggle a bit as I don’t like being in the kitchen so much. Your creativity and skill mesmerizes me. I prefer most things uncooked if possible.

    Loving your combination of tastes and the colours are extraordinary. All I can say is delicious!

    Fantastic that you have a cookbook in the works!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Sue for your encouragement and enthusiasm!

      As a painter I like to apply the same creativity with food as with paint. I love dishes that have vibrant rainbow colors.

      Ben is my eager guinea pig for my creations and especially he is super surprised at how much he is loving the desserts and the soups. (The salads and crunchy veggies we already knew he loved.) I know that for the book I will select nutritious and visually pleasing dishes, but if as well I pass the rigorous taste bud test, then I know I am home free!

      Peta

  8. Lexklein

    Peta, you really are an inspiration in many ways, and this is just another one.

    How does a lazy person manage preparations like these? I am an everyday shopper, so I guess that would help with the freshness, but it seems very time consuming to put together these creations each day and for each meal.

    I’d love to work harder to eat healthfully … when is that cookbook coming out?!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Lex, I am really touched by this flattery. Thank you.

      The key to preparation is to start with salads that are fresh, organic and have interesting unusual ingredient combinations. In the States you can find organic micro greens which are the most nutritious vegetables you can possibly eat. Buy as many rainbow colors of fruit and veggies, a variety of raw nuts, some chia seeds, some hemp seeds and make a yummy dressing and you are on your way. Tahini, makes a great dressing for salads. You can buy that at most stores, just add lemon, olive oil, and water. Mix and voila you have a great meal:

      I am working on the cookbook. The basis of it is at the bottom of the post and now I am working my way through all the selected recipes in order to taste and refine them.

      Peta

  9. Jacqueline Bell

    Amazing Peta! Your collection of raw food is very appetizing, very colorful and very pretty.
    I can’t wait for your “NOT cooked book”
    Carry on my darling xoxoxo
    JB

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Madame Bell your compliments are most meaningful to me! I know you would never say that unless you really meant it! Thank you.
      I like your title … the “NOT cooked book”!!
      Thanks for your encouragement and support ~ always!

      xoxo
      P

  10. Brook

    OMG…HOORAY to Green Global Bites! Photos are beautiful and tease the tastebuds. You are such an incredible writer and chef. It is truly a gift to taste your food…SO much love. You missed that ingredient on all your dishes. From now on that needs to be the #1 ingredient.

    My favorite part…the nutritional highlights. This is exactly what you need to be doing Peta…a delicious talent that is coming alive… Let the food adventures begin! (You will be famous for this one day!:))

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Brook, thanks for always being such a fan of my food. You pack a lot of compliments in one paragraph. Thank you, that means a lot to me. You are absolutely correct, food made with love, ALWAYS tastes good. You are right on…

      “Let the food adventures begin”. Brook you know us TOO well, haha and that his will be a multi year trajectory, somehow in many different forms. May the manifestation begin.

      Nice to read you and know you enjoyed this particular post so much. Here’s to more plant based, raw food made and eaten together. Thanks for your encouragement all along. We have made some good dishes together in Puerto Rico, Viet Nam, and Sri Lanka. Looking forward to more!

      xoxo
      P

  11. Alison

    I’m with you on crispy croissants (otherwise why bother), but you can keep the kale 🙂
    Some of these dishes look really delicious (except for the kale lol) – I think I’ll come eat at your restaurant! 🙂
    Alison

    1. Green Global Trek

      Exactly! Why eat fish if it is not fresh or overcooked and why eat bread if its overprocessed and not stellar?

      Okay …about kale. There is a specific technique for making raw kale. I think that if you that try this method you might change your mind. The kale gets cut in super thin ribbon like pieces. Massage the kale with your hands after adding lemon juice and sea salt which “cook” the kale, the way ceviche is “cooked” by the lime. Add nuts of your choice, avocado, an interesting fruit, a tahini dressing… you will be surprised!

      Do come and share a meal one day, wouldn’t that just be the bees knees? 🙂

      Peta

  12. Cheryl

    Food must look colourful! I couldn’t agree more, Peta! 🙂 Moving to Seoul, I’ve used toward greener and raw food too. Although, I still prefer most of my meals cooked. 🙂 Loved the pomegranate and berry salad! 🙂

    1. Green Global Trek

      Cheryl, when we lived in Hoi An, Viet Nam we also ate mountains of greens with most meals. In fact for a while we lived on an organic farm which was bliss.

      http://www.greenglobaltrek.com/2013/08/a-traditional-way-of-life-tra-que-organic-herb-garden.html

      We are very limited berry wise here in Sri Lanka. The only berries we can get are dried blueberries! Thankfully we can get pomegranates here, although I believe they are imported. I try to use local fruits as much as possible, but definitely enjoy the treat of the special fruits that are brought in, such as pomegranates.

      Peta

    2. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Cheryl, that is why many refer to this diet as a “rainbow diet”. Having as many colors on a plate as possible makes it both appetizing and nutritious.

      When we were living in Viet Nam we had an abundance of greens with almost every meal and in Hoi An we also lived on an organic farm, which was heavenly.

      http://www.greenglobaltrek.com/2013/08/a-traditional-way-of-life-tra-que-organic-herb-garden.html

      We love pomegranates too but the only berries we can get here are dried blueberries. I so miss fresh blueberries, raspberries, peaches too.

      Peta

  13. Anita @ No Particular Place To Go

    Food snob or not, Peta, you have some wonderfully creative ideas for eating based on good, sound nutrition and your photos are a colorful explosion of various fruits, vegetables and seeds.

    One thing we love about Portugal are the very fresh fruits and vegetables, and while I can’t attest to their organic state, they are definitely several steps ahead of the produce available in US groceries. Your ideas, however, make me want to up my approach towards eating healthy even more.

    I’ll be doing some research on eating raw foods and looking forward to your cookbook!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Anita, I am so glad that this post has inspired you to do more research on live plant based foods. Thanks for the lovely compliments!

      We both loved the food in Portugal, and Ben REALLY loved the Pastel de Nata!

      Long way to go before the cookbook is ready for print but it is nice to know that so many people are interested in it.

      Peta

  14. Kris

    Wow. Just wow. Another extraordinairy Peta creation – Live food NON cookbook to keep that vibration high! Can I already get my hands on Some recipes?

    You are such an inspiration in many ways Peta and this is just another one. It reminds me of our Nica days and how I discovered raw food enjoying delicious meals (and stories) at your table, siempre compartiendo con amigos.

    It inspired us to do our 30 day raw challenge to raise money for Olive (who is still happily by our side by the way). Traveling and wwoofing it’s not always easy though to eat what I want. So slowly a plan is coming together to build some roots (and have an income again!). Once settled it would be a delight to have you guys!

    Love you beauty X
    Kris

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Kris… how fabulous to read you here! Thanks so much for your warm words and thoughts. Happy to share recipes with you….

      Ahh those lovely raw food meals that we all shared together in Nicaragua. Such great memories! Thanks for recalling that Green Global Bites really started in our house in Granada. Absolutely. So happy to have inspired you and that the inspiration was a way to help you take your adorable poochie Olive along with you on your journeys. He is one lucky dog to have you both.

      Look forward to having a sweet reunion with you beauties (now 3!) sometime, somewhere. We will have to stop in Spain one day.

      Much love to you both
      Peta
      xoxo

  15. Bespoke Traveler

    That pomegranate salad oh my! We should all be food snobs, because what we put inside of us matters so much. For so many without the resources that can be incredibly challenging. I love learning about fresh, local produce and recipes so I am looking forward to your tackling of the subject.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Haha I like that “we should all be food snobs”. In most places in the world, one can find vegetables and fruit even if limited. Eating nutritious food is good “health insurance”. My own spin in “tackling the topic” is to optimize the fruits and vegetables which are abundant (ie in season) wherever I live. Right now in Sri Lanka has mangosteen and rambutan fruits in season and we both love both of these, in addition to the standard variety of bananas here, papaya, watermelon, coconuts…

      Peta

  16. Judi Israel

    Thanks for the beautiful post, Peta. The food looks luscious! I was introduced to gourmet raw food by Boris Lauser in Bali in 2016. He is the German raw food guru (https://www.borislauser.com/blog/) and does amazing stuff too. In Sri Lanka, I actually struggled with the food unless I was in a city (Colombo) or tourist area (Marissa) as the veggies were so cooked out! Thankfully, the fresh fish everywhere saved me!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Judi. And thanks for the lead, I will definitely check him out. The raw food in Ubud is just heaven for me.

      Yes, it can be challenging when traveling to find fresh food. That is definitely one of my biggest challenges when “on the road”. The trick is to have lots of things like dates and nuts with you, so that if you don’t find anything fresh at least you have some sustenance to keep you going. Also one can almost always find local food markets to stock on fresh fruit and veggies for a picnic. If you limit yourself to restaurants, especially in rural areas as you say, here in Sri Lanka, then yes, you are going to struggle. That is why picnics save the day for us!

      Peta

  17. My Inner Chick

    ***Food in my opinion has to be vibrant. It must look vibrant and taste vibrant! “Alive” food***

    You, my dear, Peta, are similar to the food you desire!

    Superb post.

    Delicious, amazing, delectable food. Oh, My)))!!

    From Duluth.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Oh Kim thank you, you make me blush.

      SO very happy to read that you enjoyed this post so much and that my plant based food is being “appreciated” all the way in Duluth! (From Delawela to Duluth). I have definitely been surprised by the positive feedback to Green Global Bites. Thanks for your loyal readership and upbeat responses 🙂

      P

  18. Caroline Helbig

    I love your preamble to this delicious post and like the term “flexitarian”.

    I could eat sushi, fresh fish, and lots of greens most days. But I admit, I love a good (small) filet mignon once in a while and chocolate, perhaps more than once in a while (though I am a big snob when it comes to chocolate).

    I see that pomegranates figure prominently in these recipes. I adore them and wish we could get them more often. The cookbook ideas sound great. Right now, the coconut ceviche is making my mouth water.

    Cheers, Caroline

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks for your thoughtful feedback Caroline. It took me a while to figure out what I am, food wise. I used to define myself as a vegetarian, and then more recently as a vegan. My son Adam, who favors accuracy, blasted my blindspots out the door as he reminded me of my occasional flirtations with food that definitely does not fit into the category of vegan. And so, a flexitarian seems the most apt description.

      Chocolate. Oh yes, one MUST be a chocolate snob. After all, there is average chocolate and then there is really good dark chocolate with nuts. Lately I look for the purest of pure without sugar and additives. And then I started to make my OWN chocolate in the kitchen using raw cacao and coconut oil and butters, using a touch of honey for sweetness. Wish I could invite you over to try some!

      I grew up with parents that were and still are avid chocolate lovers. My mom would hide it from us and stash it in her underwear drawer, which is the only reason one could find four teenagers scrambling through her bras! And today my dad will still have a “secret” stash of dark chocolate with almonds in his filing cabinet, filed among his engineering papers, under ‘C’. Except that the secret is obviously now out. 🙂

      Pomegranate is one of the exotic highly nutritious fruits we can easily get here. I do miss fresh berries so much! But we are lucky with so much tropical fruit on hand every day all year round. About 6-7 types of bananas, papaya, watermelon, coconuts, jackfruit… We have quite a few jackfruit trees outside our house, but we do have to compete with the monkeys that congregate around the ripe ones.

      Peta

  19. Joanne Sisco

    As I was reading this, I felt grateful for my lifelong love of fresh fruits and vegetables – preferably raw. For all my bad habits, at least I have this one good one 🙂
    Best of luck with the cookbook. These look yummy!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Joanne. This one good habit can help insure good health. We definitely started adding way more fruit to our diet since reading an amazing book written by Anthony William, the Medical Medium. Fruits all have such incredible nutritious value, much more than most of us realize.

      Peta

  20. Pamela

    Oh my gosh – the time it must have taken you to create this delectable post! I so appreciate it, as I’m sure all of your followers do. As I began reading the post, I was thinking, “Peta should create a cookbook.” I was also thinking that your son takes after you beautifully. Then I thought that your son would love your cookbook as a chef! And then I thought…oh never mind. I could go on forever. I love your healthy way of eating.

    I, also, am a food snob. I realized finally about 10 years ago that if I don’t like something, and if it doesn’t taste fresh and natural, I don’t have to eat it! So, I stopped eating processed, old, bland, canned food and most meat and lost 10 pounds. I feel so much better. I do eat chicken (free range) and lots of fresh fish. Sushi. But my main love is vegetables. I never met a spinach leaf I didn’t like. 🙂 Thanks for this, Petra.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Pamela for the lovely compliments! I am chuckling at the thought of my son Adam “loving my cookbook”… Probably not. He is miles ahead in creativity and knowledge than I will ever be. He is truly a gifted chef. However, lately he has been making and selling his organic micro green salads at a Chicago farmers market. So I guess the apple does fall close to the tree! I do LOVE that he is an organic urban farmer (in addition to being a kickass chef.)

      “I never met a spinach leaf I didn’t like” .. I love that. However, I have to tell you, that I HAVE met one I didn’t like. That would be the Nicaraguan spinach which frankly was very slimy in texture. Generally in Asia the only spinach one can find is water spinach which is pretty good cooked. I have not opened a can of food in 10 years. It now seems so very “old school” now but I can understand the appeal in the middle of winter if fresh veggies are hard to come by. And given that we have not lived in a winter climate for that amount of time, the two factors seem to correlate.

      From one food snob to another…You are welcome!

      Peta

  21. Gilda Baxter

    Peta, fresh ingredients really are the best. Can’t go wrong with eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and avoiding the over processed foods.

    All your recipes look yummy, I am sure your recipe book would be a success 🙂

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Gilda, absolutely, freshness is key. We are definitely lucky that we get fresh coconuts brought to our door by a neighbor, and that fruits and veggies are readily available in small storefronts close by.

      Thanks! My main motivation for putting a recipe book together would actually be for travel purposes. So that I can easily access recipes to things I really like to make, while on the road. 🙂

      Peta

  22. jet eliot

    Great post, Peta.

    I often wonder what foods you live on in Sri Lanka, and if they are organic, and this was a very informative look at yours and Ben’s preferences. I was a nutritionist and teacher for many years, and although I do not have that occupation any longer, I have many opinions about food and nutrition and intake. It is easy for me to look at strangers and see when they are not eating well.

    I see by this lovely post, by those elegant dishes in the photos, that you and Ben have a happy foodie life. This is a magnificent thing.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Jet, interesting to read you have a background as a nutritionist, if only doctors had to have some of your training or similar background. Completely agree that one can determine a certain radiancy when people eat good healthy foods.

      Ben and I definitely have a happy foodie life, yes. Thanks for stopping by and for your thoughtful comments.

      Peta

  23. Liesbet

    Wow, Peta! All these dishes look wonderfully tasty and attractive. Bring them on!! What a great idea for a cook book. You are the right person for it and your photos are striking as well.

    I was thinking that, if you really love to “cook” that much, you could start your own little restaurant at home. I”m sure you have thought about that yourself. To not be too busy, you could open one day a week and take reservations.. I am happily surprised that you find all those ingredients in Sri Lanka, probably thanks to your friend.

    Mark and I – especially after his breast cancer episode – also eat a plant-based diet. I find that the older I get. the less interest I have in meat. Now, I only eat chicken (usually breasts) and fish. At home, we always cook very healthy and the rare times we go out for dinner, everything is possible and allowed! 🙂

    And, you are so right, not only do I feel better mentally when living the “healthy life”, my body is delighted as well and tells me minutes after consuming something containing the wrong oil, that it is not happy!! 🙂

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Liesbet for your thoughts and feedback.

      I did at one point consider a one day a week of raw vegan food to go, however, after doing it once for friends, the amount of work, time and energy made me decide that a variant of that which is more satisfying, is for me to provide consultancy for existing restaurants and hotels or individuals. I think my value added lies in offering creative ideas for cooking but not being the person who is in the kitchen toiling away. Haha. Being a chef is a very hard job, as I know well from one of my sons who did it for years.

      I often do the same Liesbet.. which is to eat really healthy at home and then when we do go out, I eat whatever strikes my fancy and because of the 90% healthy intake at home, it all balances out. Oh, the many times in Viet Nam that my body unhappily told me I had unknowingly consumed MSG!

      Peta

      1. Liesbet

        It is so interesting that our bodies sometimes know us better than our minds… Or better, our bodies are less easy to fool than our minds. 🙂 I fear that MSG will never leave the menus in SE Asia… 🙁

        1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

          So true Liesbet. While living in Viet Nam, I learned how to say “hello” and “thank you” and “NO MSG” (Hong Mi Ching) and even then, getting the pronunciation accurate was tricky and locals hard time believing I didn’t want their “go to” flavor enhancer. Even Vietnamese friends of ours who made us a meal just put a “tiny bit” of MSG in, even though I told them “NO MSG”. They are so accustomed to using it to flavor foods.

          Peta

  24. Suzanne

    What a fascinating post.

    I have to echo the sentiment of everyone who has responded by saying that this looks very much like the outline of a great cook book. The dishes look appetizing and I can only imagine the flavors present.

    Thank you for the dietary education as well.

  25. Terri Vance

    Peta and Ben, this is fabulous. Not only pleasing to the eye, but wonderfully appealing to the palate. I love the breakfast bowls and plan to give some of these a try!

    All the best, Terri

  26. Frank

    Some really interesting recipes and so full of variety and colours! I could never find all these ingredients in Croatia though…
    Gee, I wish you were our personal cook.

    Frank (bbqboy)

    1. Green Global Trek

      Haha Frank, thanks for the compliment! Yes, we have a bounty of tropical
      fruits here….but just substitute with what is locally available.

      What is the best of Croatian food?

      Peta

      1. Frank

        Burek (kind of a filo pastry usually filled with potatoes, cheese or spinach), cevapi (little sausages – really good)…but the usual Mediterranean cuisine as well with fish, olives, etc..lots of temptations but some healthy stuff as well.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Hear, hear. I am not one for “labels” but in this case, the label is actually pretty freeing and it works. And I totally agree with your added definition.

      Peta

  27. Laurel

    Yes, we should ALL be food snobs, if that means insisting on fresh, organic, beautifully prepared, delicious, and healthful foods! The food you prepare is gorgeous and obviously created with the intention to nourish body and soul.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Ahh Laurel, thanks for your lovely comments which definitely made me smile. Not always easy to source organic products, as farmers often get pesticides free from the government making it an easier to increase yield. But I have found both here and in Nicaragua, that if one is determined one finds likeminded people and those that are committed to growing organically. Thankfully!!

      Peta

  28. J.D.Riso

    Good for you for beating cancer. What we consume (physically and mentally) has so much effect on our health. Your recipes look divine. I have a spleen deficiency (Chinese diagnosis) so I’m unable to eat a lot of raw foods and fresh juices, unfortunately. I’ve begun to experiment with plant based recipes. I haven’t eaten red meat for 27 years and poultry for 20…but I’ve depended on too much dairy and carbs for too long. Ben is totally right about croissants (and other boulangerie/patisserie creations) as being good for the soul. 😀 Sometimes you gotta live a little.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      J.D. thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. Ben is smiling ear to ear as I read this to him.. haha. Yup, eating a plant based diet for most of the time and then indulging from time to time in other delights, is for me, definitely, the way to go… We also love finding really creative vegetarian restaurants. I don’t know anything about spleen deficiencies but I know that for many the raw vegan diet is supposed to be the one that is the most healing, (see Dr. Gabriel Cousens) and at the least, if not raw, then lightly cooked (steamed). Sounds like green vegetable juices, such as from celery, kale and cucumber might be beneficial.

      Peta

  29. Thrifty Campers

    Every single meal you posted looks so delish. With being health conscious ourselves, it’s always great to find new, and better ways of clean eating.

    Phenominal post.

    Enjoyed every second of it.

  30. Dahlia

    Your dishes look like works of art – I’d be more than happy to just look at them 🙂 But I am sure they taste delicious too! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Dahlia, thanks for such a lovely compliment! I am a firm believer that food should not only taste good but look good too. Maybe being a painter, it helps with creating visually pleasing dishes.

      Peta

  31. Pingback: Food markets of Asia (Part 1) – Empty Nesters on a Green Global Trek

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