Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Raw Combo - Week 4

Another week of food for my clients. I always have so much fun coming up with the menu and trying recipes I’ve always wanted to make.


Yani’s Chili
Carmella posted this for me when I asked for any good chili recipes on RFC.
I looked at various chili recipes, before deciding to try this one, and am I ever glad I did! It is excellent! I doubled the recipe, and only had 3 avocadoes but it worked out. I also added chopped zucchini to the veggies.
I served these with a side of cumin lime crackers.
I made these with almonds, ground and whole flax, lime juice, cumin, sea salt, and a touch of cayenne.


Chop up:
2 carrots
2 celery
1 red pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup leek


Add about 1/4 cup olive oil and a touch of Celtic salt.
Stir it up and put it in your dehydrator for an hour.


During that time in the food processor add:
1/2 cup soaked sun dried tomatoes


4 tomatoes
2 avocados
1 T ginger
little more Celtic salt
2 T Chili powder
2 t ground cumin
cayenne (anywhere from a titch to 2 t of the stuff. HOT!)
Mix this with the veggies above and put it back in the dehydrator for one more hour.




Mock Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy





Rawvolution’s Meatloaf


* 1.5 cups raw almonds (soaked for 3-4 hours, drained and dried)
* 1.5 cups raw walnuts (soaked for 3-4 hours, drained and dried)
* 1.5 cups raw sunflower seeds (soaked for 3-4 hours, drained and dried)
* 2.5 cups portobello mushrooms (I used button mushrooms), briefly marinated in 2-3 T Nama Shoyu
* 1 yellow onion, diced
* 3 cups chopped celery
* 1/2 bunch parsley, stems removed and leaves chopped
* 10 cloves garlic, minced (I used about 6 cloves)
* 1/3 cup olive oil
* 2 T cumin seed (I used 2 tsp powder)
* 1 cup Nama Shoyu (I used 1/2 cup plus about 1/4 cup of water)
* 1/2 bunch tarragon, stems removed and leaves chopped (I didn't have these so I omitted)
* 1/2 t cayenne pepper

Using a green star juicer and the homogenizing attachment, homogenize the almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds. Then, mix with rest of ingredients. Spread mixture evenly on Teflex sheet (or make burger patties - about 12). Dehydrate at 100°F for 12 hours. Flip the tray over on an empty tray and gently peel the Teflex sheet off. Return to the dehydrator for another 20 hours.
Tip: I made this recipe and used it in three ways. I made it into burger patties, balls, and meatloaf. This saves a lot of time.

Mashed Potatoes
Another Rawvolution recipe. I don’t even like cauliflower – raw or cooked, so I was surprised at how good these are! Yes, there is a cauliflower flavour there, but the flavour of the olive oil and sea salt are more prominent.

Cauliflower
Cashews
Olive oil
Sea salt

Gravy
From Rawvolution, again. This is really good! With a bit of a bite from the garlic and onion. Delish on the loaf and taters! But it seriously would be a good salad dressing too! Here are the ingredients.

Mushrooms ,Tahini , Garlic, Lemon, Nama Shoyu, Celery, Onion, Red pepper, Sea salt, Agave

Marinated Mushroom and Spinach Pizza

I make individual pizza crusts in large batches and then freeze them, making preparation easy when it comes time to make a pizza! I use Soaked Almonds, carrot Pulp, olive oil, and celtic sea salt.

This weeks toppings are the Sundried Tomato sauce – same as the sauce we made in food class #2, but I used pesto instead of fresh basil.
Lots of Mushrooms – marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt.
Spinach
Thinly sliced red onion


Beetroot Ravioli with Cheese Filling

2 Beets, thinly sliced on a mandoline

This Cashew Cheese I adapted this recipe from Sarma Melngailis’ Cashew Cheese Filling on Green Chefs. She added herbs and lemon zest to her recipe.

3 cup cashews
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
¼ cup Lemon juice
¼-1/3 cup water
Grind the cashews as finely as possible. Then blend all ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate to help thicken.

Sauce:

I used some leftover tomato sauce from the pizza and added olive oil, fresh basil, and kalamata olives. Smooth and creamy, mmm!

Assembly

Spread a good dollop of the cheese on a beet slice. Top with a second slice of beet. Top with the sauce.

Smoothies this week were:

Tropical – Banana/orange/pineapple/mango
Berry Banana – Strawberries/raspberries/blueberries/blackberries/banana/orange

Chocolate Banana Cream Parfait
Mixture of all kinds of things…sorry I didn’t measure so don’t have any amounts.

The Chocolate Cream was made with:
Avocado,Dates, Soaked raisins, Carob, Cacao powder, Water

The Banana Cream was made with:
Cashews, banana, coconut, dates, honey

These creams were layered with sliced bananas and a ground nut and raisin mixture.


Mango Cake

Crust: Almonds and raisins

Cheesecake layer:
2 cups cashews, ground finely*
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 cup agave
Juice of 1 medium lemon
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

In high speed blender, mix all ingredients until smooth.
Spoon the mixture onto the nut crust.

Optional: Spread a layer of chopped mango over the cheesecake.

Mango layer :
4 cups fresh or frozen mango, diced
2 dried pineapple rings, soaked 2-4 hours
1 small, really ripe banana
1 tbs coconut oil (optional)

Puree all ingredients until smooth in a food processor or blender. Pour over the cheesecake layer.
And that's all for this week!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Raw Food Class #2


Last Saturday I held another food class. With 9 people in attendance, we had a lot of fun! Five of these people were at the last class, so it was nice to build upon that. I brought out a few of the "toys" - the milk bag, the mandoline, and spiral slicer which seemed to be the most exciting!

I started off the class by doing an almond mylk demo. People said it was definately better than they expected it to be. lol
I then talked about some of the ingredients we would be using for the class, and a few people shared funny stories about their raw food preparation attempts, lol. One woman said she knows all the recipes from the last class off by heart and has been making them for her family almost every day! lol
Here are a few tips I've learned about giving a raw food class that I would like to share with whoever might be reading this:

1. Use ingredients that people have easy access to - this one is really important around here becuase I live in a small, remote town that has no health food store. So when I introduce a new ingredient, I make sure it is available at the local grocery store, or in the town closest to us.

2. Use cost effective ingredients - People often tell me that it seems really expensive to eat raw, or even just healthy. I always explain that when you go back to the basics, it is really very affordable. So, this particular class used ingredients such as apples, zucchini, tomatoes, almonds, lemons, romaine, spinach, cucumber, avocado, and garlic as a BASE...with higher cost items used as secondary ingredients, such as raw tahini, maple syrup, dates, celtic sea salt, pecans, and walnuts - in smaller quantities.
3. Introduce recipes that are familiar - Everyone knows what pasta is, and apple pie, milkshakes, caesar salad, etc. So rather than starting with a green smoothie which I have seen people shy away from right off the hop, I start with food that people know and are comfortable with. One woman on weight watches was so excited that zucchini pasta means Zero Points! That means "she can eat all she wants as opposed to just 1 cup of cooked pasta", she told me.

4. Encourage experimentation with raw food recipes- Another point that I feel is especially important because people will often tell me that raw recipes don't work for them. When I talk to them about their experience, it boils down to having made the recipe exactly as it is written. I encourage people to taste test as they go through a recipe, adjusting the flavours to suit their preference.

5. Stay on the minimal side with garlic and onion to start - two very strong flavours that can each easily ruin a recipe. One woman in my class spoke of trying a recipe where she used a few cloves of garlic in the sauce and it completely ruined it. I can relate. I once made a soup using only one small clove of garlic and it was unbearable. I now start with half of these recommended ingredients and then add accordingly.

After that we broke into groups and made: Cream of Spinach Soup, Caesar Salad, Angel Hair Pasta with Sundried Tomato Sauce, and Apple Crumble Pie


Almond Mylk

Soak 1 cup almonds in pure water over night.
Drain and rinse well.
Blend the almonds with 2-3 cups of water until completely blended.
Strain with a milk bag, paint strainer, or panty hose.
Add the milk back to the blender with a few dates or few teaspoons of natural sweetener. Blend until smooth and creamy. Any other nut or seed can be used for this mylk recipe.

Creamy Spinach Soup, recipe found here on Raw Freedom Community.


Woody Harelson’s Caesar Salad Dressing

This dressing is sooo great! I especially like how it firms up in the fridge - great as a dip! Everyone in the class particularly enjoyed how similar it is to "real" caesar dressing! yay!

5 tablespoons raw tahini
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 nice clove garlic
2 green onions, or 1/4 cup sweet onion
1 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup or 3 soft dates, pitted
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1-2 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
1-2 teaspoons sea salt or to taste
2 tablespoons good olive oil (optional)
fresh water, 2 tablespoons at a time as necessary to blend.
In a blender, combine all ingredients, adding oil and fresh water, 2 tablespoons at a time as necessary to blend until very smooth.
Makes 1 pint of thick dressing that will keep fresh for a week.

Pasta with Sundried Tomato Sauce




Noodles:
3 zucchinis, peeled into thin strips with a vegetable peeler, or on a mandoline.

Sauce:
1 ½ cups sundried tomatoes, soaked a few hours
1 cup tomato, diced
3-4 tbs fresh basil, chopped
1 pitted, medjool date or tsp honey
1 tbs fresh parsley, minced
1 tbs olive oil
1 small clove of garlic
3-4 pitted kalamata olives (optional)

Blend the sauce ingredients together in a food processor until smooth.
Mix with the zucchini noodles.


Apple Crumble Pie
Must remember dessert, and what better than apple pie for this time of year? This is simple and yet Oh so delish! It makes my heart sing! I could eat this every day probably!
Crust:
2 cups pecans
1 cup walnuts
¾ cup pitted and packed, medjool dates

In a food processor, combine all ingredients until they become crumbly.
Press half of the mixture into a 9” pie plate.

Filling:
6 medium sized apples, separated
½ cup pitted and packed, medjool dates
¼ cup raisins
2 tsp cinnamon

Peel and core all apples.
In a food processor, puree 2 of the apples, and remaining ingredients, until smooth.
Pour this mixture into a bowl.
Chop the other 4 apples into large chunks and then process into small chunks in a food processor, making sure NOT to puree it into applesauce! Add to the puree.
Spread this filling into the pie crust.
Top with the remaining pie crust, sprinkling it over the top like crumble.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

World of Cakes!



I have a real sweet tooth, and am passionate about creating desserts that not only taste great but look amazing too. When I see a piece of fruit, or other ingredient, my mind immediately goes in a million directions, coming up with the perfect dessert to feature that particular food. I’m not even sure how or why. It just IS this way. Like my psychic said last week when I had a reading “You see food differently than most people. When you see a strawberry, you can see it, taste it, and then passionately think up many new ways to use it.” Very accurate.

That brings me to the point of this particular post. The other day I was sorting through old pictures on my computer, and came across some of the cakes I’ve created in the past. So before deleting them, I figured I’d post on here even though they are not raw.




I call this first one my Pink Spring Cake...I just love the softness of the pastels.




Here I am making the cake...ah yes, back in my old college days. Such fun times!



I call this Double Chocolate Decadence Cake that I made for a friend's birthday. She is a chocolate lover so this cake has it all. Layers of dense chocolate cake and whipped chocolate cream, all topped with rich chocolate ganache...yup, chocolate lover's dream! I then garnished it with sugar work. I made caramel and spun it into these twisties. When a friend of mine saw this cake, he thought I plunked a piece of plastic on top! "I'd never top a cake with plastic!" I practically shouted at him. LOL

My Fresh Flower Cake, that I made one summer when our pansies were out. In between layers of white sponge cake is vanilla cream, with blueberries on the top layer and strawberries on the bottom. Vanilla cream spread around the entire cake and pansy petals to garnish. Very feminie I think ;) Perfect for a summer's day...and yes I am going to make a raw version next summer.


A few summers ago I got a totally random call to replicate a Chocolate Wedding Cake for a couple who got married in Hawaii - only they wanted it done on a much smaller scale. It's a three layer cake but I dont even remember what is spread on each layer. The topping is a thick chocolate buttercream, topped with a ring of crushed pistachios. Around the sides is sugar work...and oh boy oh boy, that sugar was so fragile! Garnished with fresh flowers and strawberries. I'm happy to say that it tuned out exactly like the picture they gave me to work with.




Dinosaur Volcano Cake - I made this cake for a friend's son who absolutely loves dinosaurs and had just visited an active volcano. A child's cake is my exception to "never putting plastic on a cake". The cake IS raw - made with walnuts, pecans, dates, cacao, and vanilla...but the frosting is that yucky sugar and butter stuff...with a ton of food colouring to achieve such vibrant colours. I had a heck of a time getting the near black shade for the volcano, lol. It was really fun to make though, and I think everyone at the party got a kick out of it.




These days, I make raw cakes and have just as much fun - actually MORE fun creating them. It gets my creativity going so much! That being said, I want to end this post with a raw creation, since afterall, this is supposed to be a raw food blog right?! This is a chocolate and vanilla Birthday Cake with Strawberry Frosting. Garnished with cacao nibs and dried wild rose petals. I made this for my friend's Birthday last summer. It was her first time trying a raw dessert and she loved it. Yay!

Raw Combo - Week 3

Well, no soups this week! I had Carmella’s green celery soup planned, but my clients quickly realized that they don’t like raw soup. They’ve tried but enjoy blended smoothies instead.

The two smoothie combinations this week are:

-Bananas/pineapple/orange
-Strawberries/pineapple/orange/banana/soaked sunflower seeds

Onto the mains!

“Taco” lettuce wraps
I’ve created a variation based on the recipe from RAWvolution.

Wraps
Romaine Lettuce

Walnut Meat Filling

Walnuts
Cumin
Corriander
Nama Shoyu

I tossed red and green bell pepper strips together with a little chili powder, onion, garlic powder, lemon juice, and olive oil to go on top of the walnut filling. All topped with fresh salsa!

Side Salsa
Tomatoes
Red and green bell pepper
Cilantro
Red onion
Lemon juice
Sea salt
Touch of olive oil

All process together in the food processor. Couldn’t be any easier!
It's especially nice to garnish these with avocado too!


Veggie Kabob’s with BBQ Dipping Sauce

These are from Carol Alt’s book, The Raw 50…Skewered veggies marinated in a tangy sauce, served with a BBQ dipping sauce. These are fabulous!






Broccoli Cheddar Cannelloni

Again, from Carol’s book, by Chef Dan Hoyt. Bits of broccoli folded into a thick cheesy filling, all rolled up in wide zucchini noodles. Topped with a tomato basil sauce. Mmmm! I modified the recipe, removing the herbs from the filling, and because I didn't have any fresh basil, I used some of my fresh pesto. This pic was taken by my dear Carmella when she made it. Here is her review on this recipe and The Raw 50.




For dinner last night, I made a variation of this dish, using chard leaves instead of zucchini to roll the filling up with. They make a fabulous wrap- just make sure to remove the thick red vein.




Mock Chicken Salad Stuffed Bell Pepper


Rawvolution’s recipe – made with sunflower seeds, celery, creamy sauce, dried herbs, and I folded in chopped red pepper – all in a bell pepper. yum yum...even my meat eating dad said "yeah its really good, but it doesnt taste like chicken". Haha, I do agree with him and am happy to say that I'm glad it doesnt taste like chicken!!!


Side Cucumber Dill Salad


K, guess I’m on a roll with Rawvolution because this recipe also comes from there with a few additions.

Sliced cucumbers, fresh dill, and red onion (I added baby tomatoes and sunflower seeds), topped with a vinaigrette. AVC, olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt. Simply Fresh!

And finally…I ALWAYS remember dessert ;)

Chocolate Strawberry Crunch Cake

I won’t divulge the recipe yet because it will be in my dessert book (out soon), but here is a picture. I like using my clients as guinea pigs, hehe.




Orange Chocolate Dip with Fresh Strawberries

2 medium avocadoes
½ cup soaked sunflower seeds
2/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup carob powder (cacao could be used)
1/3 cup maple syrup or agave
4-5 large medjool dates, pitted
3 tbs water
1 ½ tsp orange zest

Blend ingredients until completely smooth and creamy. Serve with fresh fruit!
So that wraps things up for another week! Stay tuned for Pizza, Chocolate, and Meatloaf with mashed taters as part of next week's menu...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Raw Food Class #1

Last Saturday I taught a “hands on” raw food class. It was all women and it was so much fun! I started out by doing a vanilla milkshake demo, and got the ladies to taste a medjool date since none of them had before! I can’t even imagine it! Anyway, they were all excited and wanted to know where to find fresh dates. I told them the “secret”, of where to buy them. In the town an hour away, they cost $9.89 a box. Here in town, the same box costs $17.99! Ummm difference?! I’m thinking about talking to the store owner here in regard to that because it’s ridiculous!


Vanilla Milkshake

2 Large Frozen bananas
2-3 tsp Pure vanilla extract
or seeds of 1 vanilla bean
2-3 Cups water
4 Medjool dates or 2 tbs agave

Blend until creamy and smooth, adding enough water for your preferred consistency.

Chocolate milkshake - add a few tsp of carob or cacao powder to the vanilla milkshake.
Strawberry – Add a handful of strawberries or other berry.
Extra Creamy – add a handful of cashews.


Next, we made Ani Phyo’s almond ginger nori rolls. The decision behind this is kind of funny. I had something else planned – a recipe by a well known raw chef and kept wanting to make their pate, so decided that the raw class would be an ideal time. I made the pate the day before to test it…and realized that I didn’t like it after all. So I started to panic, thinking what do I plan now?! There wasn’t much time left either…so I told Carmi about the predicament and she suggested the tried and true almond ginger pate. It just so happened that I’d bought almonds at the store earlier in the day, woo hoo! Decision was final.


Some of the ladies worked on the pate while the others prepped the veggies for the nori rolls. Then I showed them what nori is, and how to make a roll out of it. They had fun making and eating the nori rolls. Yay!




Ginger Almond Pate
I've slightly modified this recipe by using soaked almonds and eliminating the water Ani calls for.

1.5 Tablespoon ginger
1 clove garlic
½ - 1 teaspoon sea salt
1.5 cups almonds, soaked overnight
1 large lemon’s juice

Blend ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Serve with veggies or in nori rolls.


After that, we made a salad with creamy sunflower seed dressing. This was originally going to be another of Ani’s recipes – her Beet Salad. But then I wanted a dressing that was a bit more interesting and the salad part evolved into something different as well. Everyone was surprised at the idea of using raw beets in a salad, hehe. It was really delish and the ladies went back for seconds – good sign!


Red Beet Salad

1 red beet, julienne1 large carrot, julienne 1 bunch spinach 1 cup cucumber, chopped
1 apple, chopped
handful hemp seeds

Dressing:

Blend ingredients until creamy:
1 ½ cups soaked sunflower seeds
1–1 ½ cup water
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 cloves fresh garlic
Sea salt or nama shoyu to taste


Last but definitely not least – dessert! Choccie pudding. Hehe…it was a strange, but I think, pleasant, surprise that the main ingredient in this dessert is avocadoes! One woman claimed she didn’t like avos…until she tried this!!! They all went to the store afterwards and bought avocadoes. My goal was accomplished! One yummy raw dish at a time.



Chocolate Pudding

2 large ripe avocados

1/2-1 C maple syrup or agave nectar

1/3 C raw carob powder

1 tbs pure vanilla extract

Blend until smooth and creamy.






Stay tuned for Raw Food Class #2...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Raw Combo - Week 2

Here is this week’s Raw Combo (weekly meal delivery) menu and recipes.
I have so much fun every week coming up with a menu that I think is full of flavour and fun to look at (can you tell that I'm a really visual person?!)

Carmi’s Red Pepper Curry Soup:

Thanks to my sister Carmella for this recipe. This is excellent, especially if you are a curry fan. I served this at a raw food dinner before and people loved it!

1 ½ large red bell pepper
2 cups water
1 apple, peeled and cored
1 small avocado
½ cup basil leaves
¼ cup walnuts
1 green onion
1 clove garlic
1 tbs curry
Sea salt to taste
Dash of cayenne pepper

Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Garnish with minced red pepper and apple.



Alissa’s Broccoli Soup

As Alissa says, the cumin and sea salt are really important in this recipe to bring out the flavour of the soup, so add enough.


I love these flavours together!

1 cup almonds
3 cups water
1 tsp honey
2 cups broccoli
1 avocado
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp onion
½-1 clove garlic
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sea salt (I needed a bit more)



Blend the almonds, water and honey until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.

Note: Careful not to add too much garlic either, because I added 1 clove the first time and it was too strong.



Angel Hair Pasta with Pesto Sauce

A few zucchinis made into pasta with a spiral slicer, or made into strips with a vegetable peeler.

To a batch of pesto, add enough spinach and water to make it into a nice sauce. Re-season with sea salt.




Burger with Toppings

I made Rawvolution’s Raw Nut and Veg Burger. OMG, amaaaazing! I don’t feel right about posting the recipe from the book, but highly recommend this book containing recipes that use basic raw ingredients, are easy to make, and taste delicious!



This burger used romaine lettuce as the “bun” with avocado and tomato as toppings.

One night for dinner I had this burger with really scrumptious “sauteed” mushy and leek toppings.
I sliced mushrooms and leeks, marinated in nama shoyu and olive oil, then dehydrated for a few hours. On top of a bed of lettuce, along with a slice of tomato – ah, heaven!



Stir Live

Once again, my dearie Carmella to the rescue! I used the marinade from her veggie chop suey as the sauce on the veggies for the stir live. Mmmm!
You can find her recipe here, where she has 2 versions of the marinade – I used this one:


Marinade Variation II:


1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons tamari, Nama Shoyu or Braggs

1/2 lemon, juiced

1/2 lime, juiced

1/2 orange, juiced

1 or 2 garlic cloves

1 ” chunk of ginger, grated

2-4 soft dates, to taste

Blend marinade ingredients until smooth. Toss with veggies of choice!

I used snow peas, celery, carrot, red pepper, green pepper, broccoli, and sesame seeds.




Sprout N’ Veg Sandwich

My most favourite raw bread, Russell James' Sundried Tomato Bread!!

The recipe on his site might look a bit long and involved at first glance, but its honestly easy. I don't even bother making the almond flour the "proper" way. I just use soaked almonds, which I then grind in the food processor. It works just fine and provides nice texture to the bread.

Topped with a mixture of different sprouts, tomato, cucumber, red pepper, lettuce, and cheese spread.

I love raw sammies, because they are so easy to throw together once you've got a batch of bread made up. The sandwich pictured here is made with my olive and onion bread...packed with the same fillings as on this week's menu.






Cheesy Cucumber Bites

A great snack! Cucumber slices with cheddar cheesey dip!
Looks just like that fakey cheez wiz stuff outta the jar but tastes so much better and is made out of real food! This is excellent on pizza too!

Rich Cheddar Sauce

Adapted from "Rejuvenate Your Life" by Serene Allison


1/2 large red bell pepper
¼ c water
1 c raw cashews
1 T tahini
2 T nutritional yeast
1 ½ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons onion powder (or a small slice of onion or 1 tbs or so of green onions)
1 clove garlic
2 T lemon juice


Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.
This will firm up as it sits in the fridge, becoming more of a spread.


Salad with Apple Ginger Dressing

Another one of Rawvolution’s yummy recipes, this dressing is gingery and sweet from the fresh apple juice.



Key Lime Pie

From The Raw Table, very creamy, limey and delish! I made individual ones which I think are very cute. The creator, Anna, has the best recipes!


Crust Ingredients:

3 C fine almond flour*
4-5 fresh medjool dates
2 T coconut oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt


Filling Ingredients:

2 small ripe avocados
1 banana
1 1/4 C juice from key limes (regular limes will also work fine)
1/2 C mango chunks
1/2 C agave nectar
1/3 C coconut cream concentrate or oil
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla


Preparation:

To make crust, place almond flour, dates, coconut oil, and sea salt in a food processor and blend until it balls up. Firmly press crust into pie pan and set aside.
To make the filling, process all filling ingredients in a high-powered blender such as a VitaMix until smooth and fluid. Pour into pie shell and freeze about 4-6 hours or longer. I like to serve this topped with a little shredded coconut and mango chunks or slices.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
*Almond Flour is made when you grind almonds for making almond milk. Almond pulp is what is left over. After the grinding process, strain it as much as possible and dry it in your dehydrator. It is kept best in the freezer in an air-tight bag or container.
If you do not wish to go through this process, you are certainly welcome to just use ground raw almonds, but you won't get the same fine texture on the crust.

Chocolate Cupcakes
For this one, check out my previous post on choccie cupcakes…Mmmmm!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Raw Choccie Cupcakes Anyone?




I was totally enthralled last week when I saw the post on The Daily Raw for Chocolate Cupcakes!!! OMG, and the pictures – total eye candy! I returned to the post several times after that, making a mental note to create these as soon as possible.

Well, it ended up happening sooner than later, because I decided to put them on the menu for this week’s Raw Combo. As a matter of fact, I had some brownie “dough” already in the freezer containing walnuts, pecans, cacao, and sea salt. So all I needed to do was add the vanilla and almond extract that this recipe calls for. The icing has always been my favourite part on a cupcake and I already had some young coconut/cashew frosting made up, woo hoo! It was meant to be!
I only added beet juice to colour the frosting pink, but next time I’ll make green and chocolate icing too, because its just so darn pretty and would make a fabulous platter for entertaining.




So here is The Daily Raw’s Recipe for Choccie Cupcakes!

1 cup walnuts, unsoaked
5 Medjool dates, unsoaked, pitted
1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon coconut oil, liquid form
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Process walnut and dates in a food processor until mixture sticks together.
Add sea salt, vanilla extract and almond extract.
Roll small eight balls out of the mixture and place each one in 1 ¼-inch baking cups.
Mold the sides of the baking cups around the balls and form into a cupcake shape.

COCONUT ICING
1 cup coconut pulp
½ cup agave nectar
¼ cup coconut water
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
dash of sea salt


PINK ICING
1 tablespoon coconut icing
¼ teaspoon beet juice


LIGHT GREEN ICING
1 tablespoon coconut icing

CHOCOLATE ICING
1 tablespoon coconut icing
½ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon maple syrup
¼ tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes, for garnish
1. Puree coconut pulp, coconut butter, agave nectar and water in the blender until you achieve a smooth consistency. Add vanilla extract and sea salt.
2 . In three small bowls, place 1 tablespoon each of the coconut icing.
3. In the first bowl add the beet juice and mix until the icing turns pink. In the second bowl, add the chlorophyll to the icing and mix until the icing turn light green. In the third bowl, add the cocoa powder and maple syrup to the icing, stir until it turns a dark brown.
4. Pour the remaining coconut icing in a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
5. Frost the cupcakes with the coconut icing



Best of all...eat these with a big smile on your face because these are delicious!!!!!! :D
OH, and I'm coming back to this post about a week later with excitement because The Daily Raw who of course, was my inspiration for thsee cupcakes, posted the letter I sent to them, on their website! hehe, ever cool!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Autumn Delights



About a month ago the leaves turned and since then have all fallen off the trees....the cold started to set in...yup, its Fall in the north - actually, before I know it, there will be snow on the ground. This morning it was 1C when I woke up! Ahhhh!


Anyway, this time of year has me craving things like squash, yams, carrots, apples, and cinnamon, so I enjoyed them in simple preparations in addition to a few "pumpkin pie" flavoured treats. I use maple syrup in both recipes for a few reasons - I love the flavour, it is a natural sweetner, and since I live just north of maple syrup country, it is abundant here!



Pumpkin Pie Bars/Cake

3 cups carrot pulp
1 1/2 cups pecans
1 cup pitted, packed dates
2 tbs maple syrup
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp sea salt

In a food processor, crush the pecans down to crumbs.

Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.
Spread into a pan and chill.


Maple Frosting

1 cup cashews
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup water

Blend until smooth and creamy in a high speed blender. Spread over pumpkin bars. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon (optional). Chill.
Layered Cake: Spread half of the cake "batter" into a pan. Spread with 1/2 of the frosting. Spread the rest of the cake on top and spread with remaining frosting. See?! So simple! :)



Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

1 cup carrot juice*
½ cup packed young coconut pulp
½ cup cashews
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup agave
1 ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
½ cup chopped pecans, mixed in at the end.


Blend all but the pecans together until smooth and creamy.

Chill in the fridge and then run through an ice cream maker

OR freeze in an ice cube tray and then blend until smooth and frosty.
*Note: I like it with all carrot juice, but if you find it too "carroty", use 3/4 c juice and 1/4 cup water.

So there ya have it...two new takes on pumpkin pie! Yumm yum in my tummm!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Simle Recipes of the Day

Today Im posting a few very simple recipes I've made lately....far from the lasagnas, pizza, and thai spring rolls, but sometimes its nice to enjoy things that can be put together in a matter of minutes and still taste good!

Creamy Pineapple Dip/Smoothie

Suuper creamy from the coconut! Drink as a smoothie or eat with celery sticks.

Blend:

pinapple, young coconut pulp, young coconut water



"Green is Great" Smoothie

Arugula, water, pineapple, banana, and goji berries

Weird combination, at least to me....but surprisingly light and tasty!



Hempy Tabouli - I love it because it's fresh and quick - perfect as a side dish, or entire meal!

Chop the following:

1 red bell pepper, 1 green bell pepper, 1 cucumber, 2 medium tomatoes

Toss with:

olive oil, lemon juice, minced fresh parsley, lots of hemp seeds!

Apple Pie

I made this last weekend for thanksgiving dinner with fresh apples that a friend picked and brought up from southern Ontario days prior! I swear the fresh apples make a world of difference. Anyway, we also had a cooked pumpkin pie and everyone tried both but only commented on how great the apple pie was. OOooh yeah! Raw is the best! One friend commented "this tastes just like the oatmeal I make with brown sugar and cinnamon - are there oats in here?" haha. I know there are a million raw apple pie recipes floating around, but I thought, hey, no harm in one more!

Crust: 2 cups pecans, 1/2 cup walnuts, 1/2 cup dates

Process ingredients together in a food processor until crumbly. Press into a 9" pie plate.

Filling:

6 medium apples, cored, peeled and separated

1/2 cup pitted medjool dates

1/4 cup raisins (or use a few more dates)

2 tsp cinnamon

Blend 2 apples, dates, raisins, cinnamon until smooth.

In food processor chop the other 4 apples.

Mix into the blended mixture.

Spread into pie crust. Chill.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Raw Combo - Week 1



This was the first week of my raw food meal delivery service...I am hoping that soon my cooked veggie clients will convert over to the raw stuff! Ive been doing catering for a few years when I'm not travelling, and now that Im going to be around all winter, I decided that its high time to do what I REALLY want which is to make raw food. My inspiration for the set up comes from Matt Amsden's, The Box. Every week my clients get 2 soups, 4 entrees, 2 sides, and 2 desserts - delivered to their door on Sunday or Monday.

I really really hope they like the food. Only one person is already into raw food, and the others have briefly heard of it or tried it once. SO, I shall hope for the best! My goal is to bring more people to raw, one raw food meal at a time ;)

Here's what was on the menu this week:

Carrot Ginger Soup
Tomato Basil Soup
Mediterranean Pizza
Lasagna
Spinach Salad with Vinaigrette
Blueberry Pie
Chocolate Nut Balls





Friday, October 5, 2007

Thai Dinner

I made this thai style dinner while in Australia and it was delish.

Spring Rolls
For the spring roll wrappers, I made Sarma Melngailis' samosa wraps. I was a bit nervous about trying this recipe since I wasn't sure how it would pan out. So the first time I attempted these, at my dear friend Blythe's house, I halved the recipe to prevent wasting any or our precious young coconuts!



I was delightfully surprised to discover how easy and quick these wraps were to make - plus they held together just fine! The filling is really simple but I love it because I can really taste all the individual flavours of each ingredient, and the dipping sauce adds more flavours and saltiness.




Spring Rolls Wrappers:

2 cups young coconut pulp

1 1/2 cups young coconut water

(she adds sea salt and cayenne but I didn't)


Blend together until completely smooth.
Spread thin on a teflex sheet and dehydrate at 115 for 2-4 hours or until the top is dry. Flip onto a mesh sheet and continue to dehydrate 30 minutes or until the sheet can easily be handled and is still very pliable.
Cut the sheet into 4 squares.



Filling: Sunflower sprouts, Carrot, Cucumber, Avocado, Red pepper, Cilantro, Mint, Basil


Slice the veggies into thin strips.
Roughly chop the fresh herbs.
Arrange the filling ingredients in a line across the middle of the wrapper
Start rolling it up, tucking in the sides along the way.
The wrapper should be completely rolled up.

Dipping Sauce: Nama shoyu, Lime juice, Minced garlic, Minced ginger, Minced red chili

Gently mix together. Serve with spring rolls.



Spicy Carrot Ginger Soup

I've never been much of a soup person, but i looove this soup! Its smooth and creamy, with a beautiful colour and refreshing taste. I make it on the less spicy side but more chili can be added for those who like a more firey dish.

On top I swirled young coconut cream - simply young coconut/water, bit of lemon juice, blended together.



3 -4 cups carrot juice

1 small avocado

1/3 cup young coconut pulp

2 tbs agave

1/4-1/2 red chili

1" piece ginger root

1 small clove garlic

1/4 tsp sea salt


Blend all ingredients together until completely smooth, starting with 3 cups of carrot juice and adding more if needed for a preferred consistency.


Salad Time!

No dinner is complete without salad (in my mind)...so here is a yummy spinach salad with the addition of thai flavours - much like the spring rolls. Unfortunately I don't have measurements but it can easily be played around with just by tasting and adding a bit more of "this" or "that".



Dressing: Lime juice, Cilantro, Tahini, Nama shoyu, Ginger, Garlic, Agave


Salad: Spinach, Red pepper strips, Cucumber chunks, Avocado chunks, Carrot strands (made in a spiralizer), Zucchini strands , Fresh mint, Fresh basil, Cashews, chopped for topping


A delicious gourmet raw meal without the addition of lots of nuts! yay! Not sure what a thai dessert would be...hmmm...well if i knew, I would have made that too!