Monday, November 30, 2009

Pizza

I've got a pizza crust recipe to share today! Last week I made a bunch of round and square crusts to keep on hand.

Buckwheat Tomato Crust

2 cups buckwheat, soaked
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup ground yellow flax seed
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, soaked
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup tomato soak water
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 teaspoon himalayan salt
2 teaspoons agave
1Tbs dry or 1/4 cup fresh, packed basil
1 1/2 teaspoons tried oregano

In a food processor, grind the buckwheat, adding 1/4 cup of the 3/4 cup tomato soak water. Transfer to a bowl.
Grind the sunflower seeds. Add to the buckwheat along with the ground flax.
In a blender, combine all remaining ingredients until smooth.
Mix into the buckwheat/sunflower/flax.
Spread the mixture onto teflex sheets, creating rounds or squares. Score.
Dehydrate at 145F for 1 hour. Turn the temperature down to 115F and continue to dehydrate until you can flip the crusts over to the mesh screen. Dehydrate until dry.


I topped the pizza with cashew cheese, sun dried tomato/arugula pesto, marinated mushrooms, spinach, and tomato... covered it with more blobs of cheese and dehydrated them for a few hours.

Pesto: I wish I had written down the recipe, but it was made with: soaked, sun dried tomatoes, arugula, spinach, walnuts, garlic, olive oil, and himalayan salt.

Cheese: A mixture of cashews, water, lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast, and salt

Mushrooms: Sliced mushrooms and green onions, marinated in tamari, olive oil, lemon juice, and honey - dehydrated for a few hours.

Having crusts on hand makes it super easy to throw together a delicious pizza in minutes. You don't have to bother dehydrating it. For a 5 minute meal, mash some avocado on the crust for the cheese, layer sliced tomato, chopped spinach, and whatever other veggies you've got. For a quick splash of flavour without making a pesto, chop up some fresh basil and garlic - throw it on the pizza and drizzle a little olive oil on top.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Latest Goodies

I've been whipping up a lot of goodies in the kitchie lately. Here's a photo montage of the latest:

Papaya, au natural
Cacao Brownie Nut Decadence
Rich cacao cream mixed with bits of brownie and cashew cream
Caramelized Walnuts
Walnuts mixed with agave and cinnamon - dehydrated to sweet crunchiness
Persimmon Chocolate Cups
Persimmon cream filling in cashew dough, wrapped in dark chocolate
Vanilla Cream Oatmeal Bars
Chewy oat bar topped with smooth vanilla cream and goji berries, topped with cacao nib crunch
From Just Desserts - dense, sweet, chewy, oat nut bar filled with tasty gems
Vanilla Choccie Cream Oat Bars
Oatmeal bar with chocolate/vanilla creams, and cacao nibs

From Just Desserts - Strawberry and Chocolate Fillings with three layers of nut crunch

Filling the caramel cups
Adam's carawmel filled cacao coconut cups in dark chocolate
Freshly dipped chocolate caramel and persimmon cups


Friday, November 27, 2009

Fun in Vermont

I traveled to Vermont for the first time, last weekend, in order to be a part of the Healer's Symposium in Greensboro. It's really funny how things manifest... I've known about this event for a while, and was asked to do a dessert class, but had to decline due to some plans I had lined up. Fast forward a bit - plans changed and I figured, hey!, why not go after all, help do some food behind the scenes (by this point it was too late for me to do a class), and hang out with fabulous people! I met Joshua (who organized the retreat) and his girlfriend, Carrie-Ann, at The Tree of Life (which is also where I met Adam). It was really awesome to be connecting with them again!

Adam and I flew into Burlington, VT where Josh picked us up - was it ever cold! It was a reminder that I'll be heading home to Canada soon.
Josh treated us to his special Chia Seed Roll Up, filled with Macadamia Apple Cream... Wow! Despite being stuffed from our delicious and exciting trip to Rockin Raw, I enjoyed some of this goodness!

I wasn't too diligent about getting pics (what else is new... I somehow did this at Spirit Fest too! Augh!).

The weekend was fab - Adam did a raw food class, Josh did an elixir class, Carrie-Ann did sprouting, the fabulous Alexandra did a choccie class/demo one evening ,a few different styles of yoga were taught (including flying yoga which was new to me and very rad!), we had an herb class, and other raw food classes, including one that Adam and I unexpectedly did together, as one of the presenters was unable to come at the last minute. They were all quick and easy recipes for breakfast or snacks: cacao superfood shake, strawberry cream shake, avocado super gadget, banana nut mash, and figgy walnut bars.

One afternoon Ali, Adam, and I stemmed and massaged an entire box of kale that was left over. You wouldn't believe how much it compressed... Im feeding them outta the ol bucket here!

We got a little crazy with the kale stems... and I burst into laughter when I look at Josh's expression.
On the evening that Ali did her choccie presentation, I served this Cacao Maca Cake with Chocolate Mousse and Macadamia Whipped Cream (from Just Desserts), for dessert. A few of us were already a bit strung on choccie because Ali made a batch in the afternoon to serve during her demo, then I made us a cacao shake, and a batch of choccies to serve the next day... course we were into it like crazy people! Let's say it was a hyper-fun evening!

Josh chopping cilantro with the world's smallest cleaver - whatever works, right?!
The waterfront in Burlington, VT.
Great trip all the way around... and I'm grateful to be back where it's warm!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Rockin Raw

A trip to a retreat in Vermont last weekend (more about that in another post) delivered great fun... and a wonderfully unexpected stop at Rockin Raw Restaurant. It just so happened that there was a three hour stop over in New York City, so I figured what better time than the present to hit up the resto for a scrumptious bite?! A rushed walk through the airport, a dive onto the sky train, a hop into the subway, a hike up the longest flight of stairs I've ever climbed, and another subway ride later... we arrived! It only took almost 1 1/2 hours, LOL. It gave me the utmost excitement to be standing outside the resto!

I'd been wanting to go there ever since checking it out online a while back - and a few friends have given rave reviews.
They have a fabulous menu featuring Peruvian/ New Orleanian/Creole dishes.

Adam and I had a hoot on the subway... part of me couldn't believe we were going on this escapade when time was short and we really had no idea where we were going...

Upon arrival I already knew I wanted to start with a Cookies N Cream Milkshake - almond milk based, frosty, and sweet, with little bitties of cacao nibs throughout providing a nice crunch. It was delish, the only disappointment was the lack of thickness that comes with the thought of a milkshake... you know, thick and creamy... this was more icy.

Adam got the Apple Maca-licious Smoothie - light and frosty with lots of zingy ginger power! It was yumm-O!

After ordering the shake, I stopped by the dessert case to see what would be on my dessert plate.
The lucuma cheesecake appealed so much, but I knew I'd have to get something to go, and wasn't sure it would travel too well.

He also got the Crab Cake Appetizer, with creamy dill sauce and greens. They were seriously over salted... to the point where I managed one small bite. It's all good... here's a fab recipe for Crab Cakes which I've made a few times with success.

Since time was of the essence we ordered dinner to go. I got the King Oyster Mushroom Po' Boy Sandwich on their in-house essene bread, with chipotle aioli and a side salad. I got a side of the Caramelized Plantains too. My goodness - all of this was amaaazing! The bread was so super moist and thick enough to hold everything in together, the mushroom patty and sauce were phenomenal!

Adam had the Raw Boy Sandwich with Cajun Mayo - a sea veggie patty, in the same bread/toppings, and a creole slaw. It was also good, but I preferred my mushroom sammie.

It was a mad dash to find a cab and get back to the airport when we realized where the time had gone... fortunately the plane was delayed by 45 minutes, allowing us to catch it in time. Whew! Close one!


I settled on the Chocolate Hemp Brownie - big enough for us to share and solid enough that it would travel... buuut as it turned out, we enjoyed half the brownie on the cab ride. We weren't impressed... it was rather dry and bitter... ugh. We ended up eating it with some dates and mulberries.

That wraps up another raw restaurant adventure. I believe it was destiny for us to eat at Rockin Raw!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Present Moment Cafe

I've had the great fortune of eating at yet another great raw restaurant lately. The Present Moment Cafe is nestled into the old and adorable water side city of St. Augustine, Florida. Let me say right off the hop - amazing food here!!! I have only good things to say about this place - in fact I have to say the food is up to par with Pure Food and Wine.

Once again, the best way to share the experience (besides actually giving you a taste of the food!), is with pichies. So here ya go...

Here's a shot of the cafe - an open, yet comfy space with lots of natural light.

I went with friends, Adam and Gary - we had such a fab time! We shared all the food... that way we could order more and try a bit of everything!
Upon arrival, Gary ordered The Universe Drink - cacao, maca, goji berry, banana smoothie. He let me have a sip... it was delish... but I had to save room for all the food I was about to consume! Side note, it looks like I have some thingy coming out the back of my head!


For starters, we ordered the Caesar Salad - topped with dulse, rosemary flax croutons, and pine nut parmesan. It was good!
We also had the Nacho Platter and my goodness! This was seriously amazing! Romaine lettuce topped with taco walnut pate, tomato salsa, cheese sauce, sour cream, sprouts, guacamole... with corn chips for dipping.
A side of Sea Veggie Salad - wakame, peppers, green onion, pumpkin seeds, in a delicious tamari, sesame, ginger vinaigrette.

The featured soup of the day was this Lobster Bisque - OK , I need to recreate this, if it's even possible. It was incredible beyond words! A thick, creamy soup base, filled with meaty chunks of lobster mushrooms, green onion, and red pepper. Seems simple enough ... as soon as I get my hands on these mushies, I'll give it a shot and report back with a recipe!
For the main, we enjoyed the dinner special: Mushroom Melange - a mixture of lobster mushrooms, portobello, and I think shiitake (or another)... marinated, and dehydrated with peas and red pepper, all in a delicious sauce that had tamari, ginger, garlic, lemon in it, served with an herbed parsnip nut rice, and salad. Wow!!! Another excellent dish!

Mango Samosas - Indian veggies in a mango coconut wrapper on a bed of spinach. These were excellent as well! It tasted like there was some sweet apricot in the sauce or something.
Goofballs!
G-Man, taking a bite of samosa. Yum!

Dessert Sampler Platter! Naturally, we had to try it all - this was perfect!
Cacao brownie, chocolate torte with bananas in caramel sauce, berry medley with vanilla sauce, candied pecans, mango ice cream (which was the best thing ever and Im going to re-create it), vanilla ice cream, and mint ice cream with chocolate sauce. Insane or what?!


Friday, November 13, 2009

Choccie Persimmon Cake


My motto is: Any excuse to make dessert! Persimmon heaven around here lately, as I mentioned in the previous post, so I decided to incorporate them into a cake a few days ago.

Chocolate Persimmon Cake
I layered sliced persimmon and bananas here, but berries would be nice, as would orange... or papaya... !!! There's just enough maca in here to taste it, but not overwhelm the choccie. I garnished with more persimmon, macadamia nuts, and shredded coconut.

Cashew Crust

1 1/2 cups cashews
2 Tbs agave
Seeds of 1/4 vanilla bean
1 Tbs coconut oil
2 pinches salt

Grind the cashews in a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse to combine all ingredients. Press into the bottom of an 8" spring form pan.
Spread sliced fruit of your choice evenly over the crust.

Cacao Filling
2 large avocados
2/3 cup palm sugar
1/4 cup liquid vanilla*
1/4 cup cacao powder
3 Tbs agave powder
1 Tbs maca powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup melted cacao butter

Blend all but the cacao butter, until smooth and creamy. Now add the butter and blend to incorporate.
Pour HALF this mixture over the sliced fruit.
Evenly spread another layer of fruit over top.
Spread the other HALF of the choccie. Decorate however you want!

I made a Vanilla Cream for the top using: banana, cashews, lucuma, and agave. Naughty me - sorry, I didn't measure this part!

*3 vanilla beans, chopped and blended with 1 cup water

Inside shot!
Extra big blob of vanilla banana cream on mine!
Friend Gary taking a few shots with his professional cam and lights - I still have yet to get the pics back, but Im sure he was able to do the cake justice!