Raw Food

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January Raw Kickoff: Day 3 and a Raw Carob Peanut Butter Dip recipe

Published January 10, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

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Well, as things sometimes go…

Day 3 of my raw didn’t really happen. We had leftovers of the carrot slaw for lunch (no breakfast, a more common occurrence than these nicely planned days I had accomplished) and ended the night with some delivery pizza. 🙂

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We split an extra large roasted garlic, spinach and basil pizza sprinkled upon delivery with nooch (nutritional yeast) and crushed red peppers!

However, my raw carob powder did get delivered and I was able to put together a nearly raw carob peanut butter dip/sauce recipe to share with you! I decided to order raw carob powder instead of my usual raw cacao since caffeine just sends me into anxiety mode. I used a recipe from Raw Food as a guide. Her recipe called for tahini, and since my tahini was roasted anyway, I figured I may as well use some of the peanut butter for a nice chocolatey combo that I knew would go over well with Thomas.

You can easily make this completely raw with any raw seed or nut butter you can find. I don’t buy them because they’re so expensive, but you can make your own. If you want to make your own raw peanut butter (you can buy raw peanuts on amazon), or any other raw nut butter for that matter, just toss the raw nuts in a food processor or high speed blender, and blend until smooth. You may need to add a little oil. Google it.

[Nearly] Raw Carob Peanut Butter Dip

1/2 c. peanut butter   (or preferred seed/nut butter)
7 tbsp. raw carob powder
2-3 tbsp. raw agave
1/2 c. of water, plus more to desired consistency (I ended up with about 2/3 c.)

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a small, resealable jar. Adjust water to desired consistency.

It will thicken up in the fridge, so you may need to thin it out again. My inspiration recipe said keeps for 1 week in the fridge, so halve this if you don’t need so much.

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This recipe made about a small jar of peanut butter’s worth. We’ve been using it on toast and rice cakes, you can add it to your smoothies or stir it into nut milk.

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It also made a great dipping sauce for fresh cut apple slices, and would be amazing drizzled over banana slices, marshmallows, or on a [raw] sundae! I also happen to know it is perfectly decadent eaten off of a spoon! 🙂

January Raw Kickoff: Day 2 & a Raw Apple Cobbler recipe

Published January 9, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

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Day 2 started out much like Day 1, with the buckwheat groat porridge, though this time I ran it in the Vitamix until it was warm.

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For lunch I made us some celery soup. You can see most of the ingredients above! It was delicious and the avocado kept us full for a while.

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Dinner came from Matthew Kinney’s Everyday Raw Express. I made the Curried Carrot Slaw, Endive, Pine Nuts, Golden Raisins.

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Only minus the endive, because it is too expensive, with regular raisins, and with ALMONDS instead of cashews for the sauce because Thomas is allergic to cashews. (I do this all the time now as a straight substitute and have had no problems. I’m going to try to make some artisan almond cheese one of these days based off of a cashew recipe.) I served it on romaine leaves as incredibly fresh and tasty burritos. The pine nuts gave this the necessary filling ingredient. The sauce on this combined with the mint was just so flavorful.

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For dessert, I made this apple cobbler, very similarly to the way I made the pear blackberry one the day previously.

Raw Apple Cobbler

2-3 apples, cut into bite-sized pieces
drizzle of raw agave
sprinkle of cinnamon
pinch of ground ginger

1/2 c. almonds
1/2 c. raisins
pinch of salt

1. Place apples in a 2-3 quart dish. Drizzle with lightly with agave and toss with spices until lightly coated.

2. For the topping, add almonds, raisins, and salt to the small bowl of a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of fruit.

Beet Burgers

Published January 16, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

This was one of the dinners that Thomas had picked out from Raw Food: A guide for every meal of the day, which has turned out to be my favorite of the raw books. The recipes are simple, easily adaptable, always work, and don’t require a lot of prep, or a dehydrator to prepare. This was also one of the two recipes he picked that involved beets.

I’ve never bought beets before, so I was kind of perplexed when I looked in the bin at WF and saw that they had small ones like these, and also big giant ones. So I bought 1 big one and 4 little ones. This recipe called for 3 beets, so I used the 4 little ones. It turns out beets are really messy, but at least they stain your hands a really nice hot, hot pink. (This made me wonder if that’s what they use for the vegetable based Manic Panic shade of the same name that once graced my tresses. The fact that it easily rinsed off of everything but my hand sort of verified it, at least for me.)

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Recipe called for beets, carrots, avocado, lemon juice, sea salt, dijon mustard and pistachios were listed as optional, so I threw in a small handful of walnuts instead. The “burgers” are served on romaine leaves and garnished with capers.

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Results: The recipe leads you to believe that it’s going to taste something like a burger, but it doesn’t. And really, that’s okay with me. It kind of grossed me out to associate the lovely beets with bloody meat. It would still taste good, or even better if you called it Beet Mash on Romaine. My hand did lose the pink fairly quickly too, which was a relief! I served these with some hot brown rice simply cooked with a pinch of sea salt. I ate the leftover rice with meals the last two days too, though, I have to tell you, today I really just wanted more raw food instead, so that’s what we’re having for dinner. It’s funny how you crave what you start eating. Raw food is addictive. Watch out! ; )

Full Raw Week

Published January 15, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

Monday was the kick off of our full raw week. Breakfast most days consisted of ginger tea and dried fruits & nuts. (I was hoping to lose weight this week, but I actually just fluctuated around the same exact weight range I always do, which is fine.) We had leftovers and green smoothies for lunch, and then for dinner, an assortment of raw meals. I decided that if we were going to do this for a whole week, we should probably make it more exciting. So Thomas & I went through the two raw books, and also The 30 Minute Vegan, which has some raw entries peppered in. On Tuesday we made a giant shopping list, and hit the store. We realized right away that trying to make recipes from the Pure Food & Wine Raw Food Real World cookbook was really expensive, so we’ll probably limit our use of the book in the future. The only real exceptions to the raw thing was that I bought soy milk instead of almond milk (which I figured commercially wasn’t raw anyway? not sure.) for the extra protein, and the occasional condiment, like hotsauce or nutritional yeast.

Anyway, here are some of the highlights from our raw week…

One of the recipes I was excited to try out was for the Live Lemon Bars from 30 minute vegan. It called for buckwheat groats for the crust and I was glad because…

A.) it wasn’t nut based
B.). I’d never had it before
C.) it would be starch~ish.

I did some tweaking here by using a combo of raw honey (which isn’t vegan, and is not nearly as delicious as my raw agave. too flowery.) and maple syrup (which isn’t raw), because I ran out of raw agave. I used 3 frozen bananas for the 3 cups of sliced banana, and I halved the coconut oil, because I just couldn’t bring myself to put the entire  1/2 cup in there. 1/4 seemed like more than enough, and honestly, if I did it again, I’d probably press this into a pie plate, and probably omit the coconut oil altogether. I know it was to thicken the topping, but I’m okay with pressing the buckwheat into a pie plate and having a mushy topping. Consequently, I couldn’t cut these into bars, and we just ate it out of the pan with a fork. No problem, still tasted good!

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Later in the week I broke up the leftovers into pieces and ate it as a cereal with soy milk, which was pretty awesome. I got the idea from RFRW. I think they have a buckwheat cereal recipe.

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Something that I was super thrilled about was Quinoa Tabouli from RFRW. Did you know you can eat quinoa raw if you sprout it? It only takes about a day, and I was so enchanted watching the little sprouts grow out of it. You soak it over night, drain it in a colander with a towel over it, and rinse it twice, the last time still being a while before you’re going to use it. So I rinsed it in the morning in the colander, threw the towel over it, and rinsed it again when I came home for lunch. By the time I was ready to use it at dinner time, it was pretty dry. And look at all those little sprouts! At first we thought it was the little twisty part of the seed that comes out when you cook it, but no, as the day went on the little sprouts kept growing!

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I wasn’t really crazy about their recipe. I thought it was a little over seasoned for my palette, but I will admit, that was due in part to me not having as much parsley as called for. Basically, add lots of parsley and some mint, and season to taste with lemon juice, olive oil and salt. The quinoa had a nice chewy texture. I will make this again for sure, I’ll just season it as I go.

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Here’s another recipe that I did a lot of tweaking on… the raw lasagna from Raw Food Real World. This recipe calls for pine nuts for the ricotta and heirloom tomatoes. Pine nuts are just way too expensive, so I used cashews and there aren’t any heirloom tomatoes available right now, so I just used a mixture of organic & non. This recipe made A LOT. Which was super convenient because it cut down on my workload for the week and tasted even better the longer it sat marinating in the fridge. I didn’t soak the sun dried tomatoes for the two hours called for (but I did for the cashews, I just didn’t read far enough for the sun dried tomatoes) so I just blended them with additional water to make up for it. I couldn’t find raw pistachios anywhere, so I used a little bit of raw pumpkin seeds instead in the basil puree. The nuts/seeds can probably just be omitted there. Especially since there are already so many nuts in the “ricotta”.

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So overall, I feel like I learned a lot this week. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t really see any weight loss, but this always happens with me. When I went vegan, and later started drinking green smoothies, same thing. My body just likes where it’s at. Which I take to mean that I must be at my ideal weight. I suppose if I got off my butt and actually did more exercise than rollerskating twice a month I could have the slightly slimmer physique of my malnurished twenties, but I’m not going to worry about it too much. 🙂 My aim for this week is to keep a lot of raw foods in our diet, and just add in some simply cooked grains. Weekends can be whatever vegan food we feel like.

PS- Sorry for the long pause between posts this last week! I was busy trying to get stuff done for my Seattle professional license and for my application to Dosimetry school!

Half Raw Weekend

Published January 8, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

We were fortunate enough to have some of our very good friends over for most of this weekend. I made Thomas, Mary and I green smoothies for breakfast Saturday morning. Later we had some of those cacao, walnut & raisin balls for a snack, and we had raw “burritos” from Raw Food for an early dinner. Unfortunately I only had 1 avocado, so I couldn’t double the recipe (serves 2) so it was a very light meal, a very tasty light meal. So tasty in fact, that I’m making it again for dinner for us tonight. 🙂

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After dinner I made a raw apple pie, covered it, and set it in the fridge. I made this yummy treat before, and remembered that it was way better after sitting in the fridge overnight. I didn’t have any dates so I subbed apricots and raisins instead.

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Fast forward into the wee hours of the night. Five of us are hanging out, drinking beer, and playing board games, and it occurs to me that I’m pretty hungry, and I’m sure everyone else is too. Timb had mentioned something earlier about vegan cornbread, and the seed has been planted. In a few minutes I’m in the kitchen getting cornbread muffins into the oven. (Thomas took a picture! I was dancing on a stool whilst getting out the muffin liners. Polka dots make it party pretty.)

I also figured that this would be a good time to finish off the rosemary mashed potatoes and sweet onion sauce in the fridge. Behold our lovely little starch filled snack plates! These were very well received. Timb & I also got into that not quite set yet apple pie. It was delicious. (And even more so the next day!)

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Sunday morning I decided that since I had already broke raw the night before, some “buttermilk” herb biscuits were probably the best option to offer to my three overnight guests. Those biscuits sure were warm, yummy, and comforting, but we ate raw for the rest of the day after that. I figured the weekend was a good warm up, and that it’d probably be a lot easier to eat full raw for the rest of the week. So that’s what we’ve been doing. I’ll keep you posted! ; )

Raw Food’s Carrot Cake with Pear Cashew Cream

Published April 7, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

After making their delicious apple pie, I was curious to try the carrot cake recipe. The “crust” is a blend of carrots, apple, almonds, dates, cinnamon and nutmeg. It also calls for lemon zest, but I subbed a capful of lemon juice instead.

I spread the carrot mixture out onto a pie plate as suggested, but since this wasn’t a firm crust, like the apple pie one had been, I figured it wasn’t going to cut and serve well. So I transferred it all to a container and figured I’d just make the individual servings as needed.

The pear cashew cream called for a very ripe, large pear, and I found this very nice, BIG asian pear at WF.

cashews, pear, water, agave and vanilla extract in place of the vanilla power/paste.

The directions tell you to keep the cream separate, and top the “cake” when serving. It also says you can freeze this to make a frozen dessert. It made quite a bit, so I may do this if there is any leftover. I also added about a teaspoon of raw agave for a little extra sweetness.

To serve I topped it with cream and sprinkled on some raisins. It was really fresh and delicious. It still feels a little naughty because of the cashew cream, but you don’t have to feel too guilty. ; )

Raw Zucchini Pasta with Kalamata Marinara

Published March 24, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


Here is a quick raw pasta dish I threw together today for lunch. Since I started drinking green smoothies I’ve been craving more and more raw food. After a particularly stressful morning today, I decided I deserved something nice for lunch. This is like a puttanesca meets marinara sauce. I like to use the large shredder disc of my food processor to make my zucchini pasta. It’s really fast, and doesn’t require a spiralizer, a mandoline, or labor intensive peeling and slicing. Besides being way easier, I’ve always preferred bite size shapes to noodles, so this works for me quite well! ; ) I may crumble some cooked tempeh into the sauce later to make a little more substantial dinner.

Raw Zucchini Pasta with Kalamata Marinara

3 medium zucchini, shredded

2 medium tomatoes, quartered
1/2 red bell pepper, quartered
1+ tbsp. of chopped sun dried tomatoes (mine were soaked in olive oil)
1/4 c. of pitted kalamata olives
2 tsp. capers
3 cloves garlic
1 large handful of parsley
2 tsp. fresh thyme
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, optional
salt & pepper

Directions:

1. Use large shredder disc of a food processor to make zucchini pasta. Set aside.

2. Change to metal processor blade and add all other ingredients to food processor. Pulse until well combined, or until desired texture is reached. I let it blend for a minute or two.

3. When ready to serve place “pasta” into dishes and top with sauce. I topped it with some nutritional yeast for protein & B vitamins!

Raw Food’s Asian Cashew Curry

Published March 21, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

Last night’s meal was another recipe from my new Raw Food book. It’s an interesting one because you don’t often see rice in raw foods, but this one uses wild rice that you soak for 3 days. (I ended up soaking mine for 4, but I don’t think it really made a difference one way or the other!) Another cool thing was that this was my first time using a leek, which I got a kick out of because it looks like a giant green onion; I’m easily amused ; ) I didn’t know which part to use, but since it wanted it cut into rounds, I figured the white part. I used baby spinach for lettuce. It’s a very easy & adaptable recipe. I ended using red cabbage instead of green, and it made a nice contrast to all the greens happening in there.

Torn baby spinach, wild rice, green apple, leek, red cabbage, celery, and cauliflower.

The dressing was super delicious, and the recipe was kind of open ended. I’ll give you the measurements of what I used. The base recipe was 1/2 c cashews, 1/2 c water, 1/4 yellow pepper, 1″ leek, and curry, turmeric, tamari, and lemon juice to taste. Here’s my version with measurements:

Cashew Curry Dressing:

1/2 c. cashews
1/2 c. water
1/2 red bell pepper
1″ leek
2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. bragg’s liquid aminos (or shoyu, tamari, or low-sodium soy sauce)
2 tsp. lemon juice
pinch of cayenne
pinch of sea salt

First you’ll pulse the cashews done until they’re ground finely (or you can use a high powered blender)

Then you can add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.

Mmmmm!

MMMMMMMMMM!

 

Raw Food’s raw Apple Pie

Published March 20, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party



So I recently got 2 raw food books, Raw Food: a complete guide for every meal of the day and Raw Food/Real World: 100 recipes to get the glow. I started with RF because it’s more of a beginner book as it doesn’t require the raw foodist fancies: a dehydrator, a spiralizer, a high powered blender. (Though I do have the vitamix, I have neither a dehydrator or spiralizer.) RF/RW is written by the owners of Pure Food & Wine in NYC, and the recipes are little more involved & advanced, but sound delicious.

It was pretty simple to make, but it does require a food processor. But the processor really does all the work for you.

The recipe and the picture! This is a really beautifully illustrated book.

The crust is mostly made up of the 1 3/4 cups almonds.

Finely ground.

Add some dates and spice and honey. Yes, I occasionally use honey. It would probably work with raw agave just fine.

Press into a pie plate.

Filling is apple, banana, dates, spices

Blended smooth.

Topped with a sliced apple…

and sprinkled with cinnamon!

Results:

This was really yummy! It was better and easier to cut/serve after a couple of days in the fridge. Recipe says 4 servings, but clearly it’s more like 8. It made a nice little brunch treat too.

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