Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ribbons & slice, spirals & dice ...

... these are just a few of the things made easy with the Joyce Chen Asian Mandoline Plus and Spiral Slicer. I had hoped to do a showdown of sorts between the two, documenting it all in pictures, but as you can read in a recent post on my blog, my "plans" didn't quite go "as planned." Instead, I decided to share two simple spa-inspired recipes made using both of these tools sold on the Natural Zing website.

You see, my friend Becky and her son Leo had come for a visit the other day to help me sample some natural beauty recipes from a book I was reviewing, in addition to testing out the mandoline and slicer. I should have known that completing both tasks with two tots in tow would prove to be an even bigger challenge than the one between the two cutting tools.

I managed to test them out while making a spa water recipe and beet-wrapped melon snack, fitting for the theme of the day. Thank goodness I took some pics then, as the lighting was terrible later in the evening. That's when I finally got the chance to run some other produce through these gadgets.

Besides, I never would have had room in this post to give a true visual of all that these little guys (they'll easily fit into any kitchen, no matter what the size) can do. Just check out the pics on the side of the mandoline box to get an idea.

The mandoline comes with a variety of interchangeable blades (be careful changing them, as they are small and very sharp) for slicing (there is a knob to adjust the thickness and as a safety precaution when not in use; don't forget to use the finger guard when you are slicing, especially when you are getting dangerously close to the end) and creating different strip sizes (chop across these and you have a dice). The smallest one reminds me of straight noodles.

If curly noodles are more your thing (like the ones in this recipe), than I recommend making them in a spiral slicer. Although I already have another bulkier model (it's good, too), I do like this one's compact size and ease of use. Just pop your produce of choice, whether it be onion (probably not the best idea for noodles, though), cucumber, sweet potato, zucchini, turnip, daikon radish, carrot, potato, apple, etc., (make sure it fits the size requirements) onto the center of the device, lock on the top, lower the handle so the holder prongs are firmly attached to your produce and turn the crank one way for spiral slices and the other for ribbons (like the beets in this post). Rather than changing blades, you only have to switch a lever to the right or left.

Now I have read some complaints about the amount of fruit or veggie left at the end of the process, but as you can see, it really isn't all that much, in my opinion. I just snacked on what was left, while I made the following recipes. I also noted that this particular model has a stainless steel shaft, so you know it is the real deal (from what I understand, there are some imitators that are entirely plastic).

In the end, I had fun running various fruits and veggies through both. They are definitely time savers, including the fact that they are easy to clean, too.

They definitely came in handy while making spa recipes yesterday (I've never sliced lemons so perfectly and quickly), along with this simple snack and refreshing beverage. Finally, I can relax. Enjoy!

Spa-like Lemonade
*This version of spa water tastes like a jazzed up lemonade without the refined sugar. The sweetness comes from the apple ... and the fact that using these tools makes the prep process more relaxing.
  • Organic lemons (the rind is included in this one)
  • Organic apples (I kept the skin on them, too)
  • Fresh sprigs of rosemary
  • Filtered or spring water
Thinly slice lemons, using a mandoline. Add to the bottom of a glass pitcher and/or individual drinking glasses.

Using a spiral slicer, thinly slice apples into ribbons. Add to the lemons in the pitcher and/or glasses. The lemons will help maintain the apple's color, while the apples sweeten the lemony taste.

Next add fresh sprigs of rosemary and fill the pitcher and/or glass with water. Chill to allow flavors to combine.

Beet-wrapped Melon with Mint
*This recipe is inspired by the classic melon and prosciutto pairing. Spiralized beets are flexible enough to wrap around the melon in place of the meat.
  • Cantaloupe and/or honeydew melon (I used 1/2 of each)
  • 1 medium or large beet, peeled
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt, to taste
  • Bunch of fresh mint leaves
Using a spiral slicer, thinly slice beets into ribbons. Squeeze lime juice over top and sprinkle with sea salt. Set aside.

Use a melon-baller to scoop out/shape melon. Place a bit of mint leaf on top of each melon ball and wrap with a piece of marinated beet ribbon (just tear off a small slice for each melon ball). Arrange on serving plate and garnish with lime slices and and mint leaves. Serve.


Shannonmarie, a.k.a. "Rawdorable," also posts on her blog of the same name,

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

New technology is a blessing and a headache

New technology is a blessing and a headache.  Our current newsletter system has been adding new technology to automate emails, connect with various social network systems, and utilizing feeds from blogs, etc.  However, this new technology can be overwhelming.  I have to admit that I am overwhelmed and feel like I can not control  it half the time, causing duplicates to be sent, sometimes it picks up feeds that have already been sent (promotions that have past), and other errors. Some subscribers to our news have contacted me with concerns that they are receiving too many emails.  I apologize.  I am doing my best to determine what is happening and reducing the emails that go out to all of you without delaying emails that are time sensitive like monthly specials.  Again I apologize and I am working to minimize the errors in our system and keep our emails to once a week.

The good news is that we are working with some of the latest technologies and I am committed to making them work for us and you.  We are writing more recipe articles and other articles that we hope you find enjoyable.  Overtime I hope that you will be happy with our communications and look forward to them in whichever way you prefer to receive them.

Natural Zing September Specials

Order today at Natural Zing online or call 1-866-RAW-ZING!

One promotion code per retail order!  Promo codes are for retail orders.

Free shipping on a case of Peruvian Sundried Unsalted Olives (raw, organic)Free shipping on UPS ground orders within the contiguous US states.

Promo Code:Freeshippingolivecase_1110
(offer ends 12/1/2010)


Buy 2 jars of Peruvian Sundried unsalted olives (raw, organic) and receive one free

Promo Code:FreeOlivebuy2get1free_910
(offer ends 10/1/2010)


Salt-free Peruvian Olives, 10.5 oz. jar
(raw, organic)

Sale: $7.99 Regular Price: $11.95
Free Aji Olives (raw, organic) with purchase of $40 or more
Promo Code:Freeajiolives$40_910

Free Sun-dried Tomatoes (raw, organic) with purchase of $50 or more
Promo Code:Freesundriedtomatores$50_910

Free Ecuadorian Cocoa Powder, 16oz (raw, organic) with purchase of $90 or more
Promo Code:Freecocoapowder$90_910

Marine Phytoplankton  (1 fl oz ) New Lower Price!!!!  $34

One promotion code per retail order!  Promo codes are for retail orders. Order today at Natural Zing online or call 1-866-RAW-ZING (1-866-729-9464)!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Raw Food Summer Recipes (From the Archives)

Natural Zing starting a new series called "From the Archives". Helen recently found electronic copies of our old newsletters and some of the recipes and articles were still helpful and relevant. Here is the 1st of the series with updates from Shannon.
I was so excited to check my e-mail inbox the other day and find these "From the Archives" recipes from Helen. Although so easy to make, sometimes you need a little reminder to get them on your plate. And, when you do, don't forget to take a photograph or two to keep them fresh in your mind.

It's fun to revisit recipes and snap new shots. I don't know about you, but I like these new views. What do you think? They look perfect for a Labor Day gathering, without much labor involved in both preparation and presentation.

First up are the raw veggie kabobs that were featured in a past Natural Zing newsletter (that's them marinading in the picture to the left; they look yummy already).

Don't worry about the lack of measurements, as you can easily adjust the amounts to suit your tastes and the size of your plate, whether it be just for you or the whole crew. Here is how Helen sent the original recipe to me, along with a few of my notes:

Raw Veggie Kabobs
Assorted veggies: grape tomatoes, squash chunks, pineapple, bell pepper (oops, I forgot to add it), pitted or stuffed olives (I ran out of room on the skewer for that, too), onion, etc. (I found mushrooms were the perfect addition)

Marinade: Bariani olive oil, lemon juice, fresh herbs, garlic and spring onion

  1. Arrange veggies, olives and fruit on skewers artfully.
  2. Marinate skewers for 2 to 12 hours, and then serve over salad greens.
  3. Blend marinade with a small slice of avocado for a creamy dip.

I had fun mock "grilling" these kabobs in my old-school dehydrator for a bit. It kind of looks like one of those round grills I think my parents used to have. One day, I'll try making this recipe in one of these Excalibur models, as I could easily purchase one from Natural Zing.

Next up are the fruitilicious versions of these kabobs with a decadent chocolaty drizzle. Here's the original recipe with my updates. Again, feel free to play around with the measurements.

Fruit Berry Kabobs with Chocolate Sauce
Assorted berries/other fruit: strawberries, blackberries (I substituted raspberries), incan berries (Mmmm ... those would've been good), dates (I used fresh figs from a friend instead), etc. (celebrating the end of summer, I just had to include some peaches)

Chocolate sauce: 1 cup agave nectar (raw & organic), 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder (raw & organic)

  1. Arrange fruit and berries on skewers artfully.
  2. Place skewers on over-sized plates and drizzle with chocolate sauce, creating a Jackson Pollock (I just drizzled it over the top, but my son loved the Jackson Pollock reference; he's a fan).
  3. Share.

Shannonmarie, a.k.a. "Rawdorable," also posts on her blog of the same name,