The Avocado Queen Welcomes You

This blog is mostly about raw vegetarian/vegan recipes, many of which incorporate avocados. Since I became a raw/live food vegan several years ago, avocados became an important part of my diet. I'd even say that they are my favorite food, and as it turns out, they are also considered one of the world's healthiest foods. While my primary purpose here is to showcase avocados and how awesome they are, I will also share some recipes that are just plain good raw/live food as well as vegan food.

Most recipes are accompanied by a meditation or reflection - posting as "food for thought."

Wishing you peace, love, joy, and blessings wherever you are in your journey towards health...

All recipes of the Avocado Queen are original creations. In some cases, variations on other recipes have been made and credit of that original source has been given.

All content on this blog is strictly the property of the owner or has been used with permission. If you see a recipe or photo that you like, please contact the owner for permission to share it...more than likely, your request will be honored as long as you agree to give credit to the original source.


The Traveling Vegan Goes to Belize

Belize is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.  Recently, I spent almost two weeks in Placencia for  adventure, SCUBA diving, relaxation, and rejuvenation.  Spending time in Placencia has given me a deeper appreciation for the beautiful simplicity of pure, fresh food.  If ever there was a place where being vegan could be exciting, this is it!

Since I was going to be in Placencia for an extended period of time, I searched for lodging that would provide me with a full kitchen.  I also wanted to stay somewhere within walking distance of Placencia Village.  I found lovely rustic lodging at Harry's Cozy Cabanas.  Not only was there a private beach, but fruit literally falling off the trees.

The fruit was so amazing: pineapple so delicate you could eat the core... starfruit with a perfect balance of tart and sweet flavor... bananas so complex in flavor they should be tasted like fine wine... the mangoes  oh, the mangoes, so spectacular and exotically delicious... For a "raw" vegan, there was certainly and abundance of food.  Of course, there were plenty of avocados and a variety of vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, celery, carrots, cucumbers) at the local markets.  

I was able to prepare plenty of exotic salads and veggie/fruit plates, spiced up with a dash of Marie Sharp's Hot Sauce or Exotic Sauce.  At the grocery stores, it was easy to find the staples for preparing vegan cooked food: coconut oil, olive oil, rice, beans, pasta, yellow split peas, granola, soy milk, and some of them even sold almond milk.

Eating out at restaurants was easy for a "cooked food vegan" - most all restaurants had a variety of vegetable stir-fry dishes.  Best of all, most all of them also understood what "vegan" meant.  There was also the option of the traditional Belizean plantains and rice-and-beans. (Ask if the beans are cooked with pork/meat; this was not the case at the places I ate.  Usually the stewed beans and rice would be prepared with pork.)  At The Secret Garden Restaurant, the chef offered to alter a multitude of dishes to be prepared vegan -- the curry was spectacular along with the black bean soup.  The Shak served the best, perfectly seasoned veggie and rice dishes, although B.J.'s was pretty good for the creole vegetable plate.  For dessert, Tutti Frutti, the local gelateria serves the most delicious fruit sorbetto (all flavors are vegan except the coconut).  For coffee, Above Grounds, offers soy milk beverages (and free WiFi).

Lots of places also had fresh fruit juices (made by blending fruit and water then straining it) as well as fresh coconut water.  (At B.J's Restaurant I saw the guy walk behind the building with a machete   He came back with a whole coconut that he had hacked open and put a straw in it!)

Perhaps the best place, or at least my favorite place, was The Shak for their smoothies.  They use real fruit, fresh fruit.  There was a huge variety of combinations.  Raw vegan heaven.  They were also keen to make substitutions/modifications -- anything with diary, such as the traditional and very popular "seaweed shake", could be made with soy milk instead.

In a "coconut shell", Placencia is paradise: "barefoot perfect" as they say, a perfect vacation spot for vegans, raw foodies, and SCUBA divers!

If you're thinking of traveling to Belize and have more questions about Placencia, please post a comment below.


Tips for Traveling Veg Heads

Being a raw foodie and vegan can occasionally be challenging when you're traveling or simply out and about.  Aside from being frequently asked how I get enough protein or calcium, I'm also asked what I do when I'm not at home with the ability to prepare my own food.  It's true that if I'm just meeting friends at a local brewery, I'll stash an avocado or some soaked/dried nuts in my purse to throw on a salad.  But, for those times when I'm hitting the road, here's my two-cents:

1. Remember "100% is possible 100% of the time".  

This is to say that there are almost always grocery stores (and now, even some convenience stores) with fresh fruits and vegetables.  Keep it simple and be creative.  This is how I came up with the recipe which combines avocado, kiwi, and pineapple.

2. On the road.  Know before you go.  

Do your research on sites like Happy Cow

Cooked Food and Raw Vegans: look for places where you know you can eat, especially if you're passing through or visiting a big city or an area with a college/university.  Check out menus in advance.
Raw Vegans: be willing to settle for salad or maybe adding a little cooked food into your diet. (Order guacamole salad at a Mexican joint with corn tortillas.  Combine with salsa.  Yum.  Or go for the Mediterranean place where you can get tabbouleh and hummus.)

3. Pack snacks.

Cooked Food Vegans: Ezekiel Bread + Banana + Almond Butter = great food for the road.
Raw and Cooked Food Vegans: your own homemade granola bars (or if you don't have time for that, Pure Bars, Vega Bars, or Larabars).  Your own homemade trail mix (or if you don't have time for that, look for store brands without sugar, candy, and additives).    Your own homemade spiced nuts (or if you don't have time for that, Living Nutz).  Your own homemade crackers (or if you don't have time for that, Go Raw or Mary's Gone Crackers).  Apples and your favorite nut butter.  An avocado and a side-salad from Wendy's goes a long way, especially if you're driving through the backwoods of the Carolina's.  (If possible, pack your own salad dressing, but when traveling sometimes I make concessions because it's easier and I know that most of the time, my diet is really clean.)

4. For less stress, plan ahead.  See tips 1, 2, and 3.

5. Save room for the Vita-Mix.  

Yes, when I'm road-tripping to a place with a kitchen and electricity and I'm going to be there for more than a weekend, I bring my Vita-Mix.  Then, I make amazing foods for everyone.

Please post a comment if you have questions or more suggestions!

I plan to provide more tips, especially when traveling outside of the country.