Archive | June, 2011

fettucini alfredo

27 Jun

When I was younger one of my favorite meals was fettucini alfredo. I would make a creamy alfredo sauce  with heavy cream and romano cheese when I made it at home. Then that was always my go-to dish if on the menu when eating out at a restaurant. I cringe at the thought of how often I would eat that meal. I remember it tasting good, yet feeling heavy and run down after. Maybe that was due to the loads of saturated fat, mucus producing dairy, and insulin spiking white pasta. Not to mention the 2,000 empty calories with no nutritional value.  I will hold myself back from talking more about the horrific effects of eating cheesy white pasta. This dish on the other hand does not lack in flavor or volume and is something you will feel good about eating, knowing you are consuming all raw whole food that your body will thank you for.

I was so excited to finally get this World Cuisine spiral vegetable slicer. It slices, spirals, and makes raw veggies and fruits into crazy shapes and forms. But it is most popular for making pasta-usually squash and zucchini noodles! Although I know many make curly fries for potatoes and sweet potatoes, and also curly apple rings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfectly shaped noodles! I was way too excited when I used it the first time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the Creamy Alfredo Sauce

1 1/2 cups of soaked raw cashews (soaked atleast 4 hours, or overnight)

2 garlic cloves

1 Tbs nutritional yeast

1/4 large onions

1/4 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp nutmeg

2 Tbs olive oil

1 Tbs lemon juice

dash of ground salt & pepper

Combine in vitamix. Add water , coconut water, or almond milk if it is too thick. Blend to desired consistency!

This sauce is so awesome, I bet most people wouldn’t ever guess it is raw, cheese-free, gluten-free, animal-free & artery clogging-free! This protein-rich sauce will fill you up and keep you comfortably satisfied, since the combination of low starch vegetables and nut-based sauce will stabilize your blood sugar levels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add halved cherry tomatoes and chopped broccoli with the zucchini and squash noodles. Top with sauce!

Even if you are looking for a healthy alternative to this dish and don’t care about eating raw, you can always partly cook the squash and zucchini and even heat up the sauce if you want it warm and softer to better mock the real thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Replace this with a typical fettucini alfredo=not sacrificing flavor or satisfaction=not shaving approximately 8 months off of your life  (:

Advertisements

lovely lavender

24 Jun

The other week my mom and I made a trip to the lavender farm in Milton, Delaware. The fields were full of beautiful purple lavender, covered with butterflies and bees. I could have done without the bees, but luckily they were more interested in the lavender than stinging us. We got baskets and scissors, and went out to pick our own!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the lavender we went to Lewes, which is the cutest little town on the water with adorable shops and restaurants. We ate lunch on the porch at The Buttery. The Buttery is right on the corner of the main street with a quant homey feel.  I got a vegan vegetable platter (no it was not raw) that was amazing. It was a pile of spring vegetables over quinoa with a ramp and sorrel pesto. There was fresh asparagus, kale, beets, carrots, and I even ate the morrel mushrooms (which arn’t my favorite).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lavender is one of my favorite scents for lotion, soap, or anything. But cooking with lavender was new for me, but just as good. It is much more potent and flavorful if you hang the leaves upside down and let them dry out. Some of the buds have been falling on the floor, so its best to put something under to catch them to save. First I made a lavender iced green tea. I heated a little bit of agave nectar with water and a huge tablespoon of dried lavender. I brought to a boil then drained the lavender out and mixed the liquid in with the iced green tea I made. It was the perfect amount of lavender and very refreshing.

I was planning to do raw coconut lavender icecream, but then decided to made a raw lavender coconut cheesecake! I had a young thai coconut in the fridge anyway, so it was perfect. Young coconuts are the white ones with the point at the top-you can get them at Whole Foods and most other grocery stores. They are full of hydrating coconut water, that has a ton of natural electrolytes. One coconut gives about 1 1/2 cups of water and about 1/2-3/4 cup of coconut meat. It is absolutely heavenly eating fresh coconut meat from a young thai. Although you can buy coconut water, drinking the fresh water from a freshly cut coconut doesn’t compare to the VitaCoco or Zico, although both contain the natural potassium, electrolytes, and hydrating power.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening a young coconut is quite the process in my house. You really need to use a machete, I just have yet to get one. So I end up either sterilizing a nail to break open with a hammer, or sterilizing a drill bit to use a power drill. No knife will cut through the hard shell. But whatever it takes to get it open, is so worth it.

To make the cheesecake:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raw Coconut-Lavender Cheesecake

Crust

1-2 cups of unsoaked pecans or almonds (depending on the size of the pie dish)

About 7-8 large dates, soaked for a few minutes

Cinnamon

Filling

1 1/2 cups soaked raw cashews, for about 2 hours

Coconut meat (the more the better-But I just had 1 coconut)

1 cup of fresh coconut water

1-2 Tbs coconut oil

2 tsp dried lavender

1-2 tsp vanilla

pinch of sea salt

Note the more cashews you use, the more cheesy it will be. The more coconut meat & oil will make it have a stronger coconut flavor. Use less coconut water if you don’t want it to become too icey when you freeze it. I really liked the lavender flavor, so use less if you don’t want it too over-powering

First put nuts then dates in food processor or vitamix until it becomes a heavy, thick consistency (will be a little wet). It will be very thick. Press into a pie dish and chill in refrigerator.

Meanwhile make filling by combining all ingredients in vitamix, until a thick liquid. The more cashews and coconut meat, the thicker it will be. Mine was a little thin because I used a little more coconut water-so it just ended up to be more frozen. Freeze for several hours before serving, but thaw for at least a 1/2 hour before eating so that it becomes more of a cheesecake (and not frozen) consistency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sprinkle with some lavender to make it pretty!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After it thaws for a little it becomes so creamy. The perfect dessert!

Here’s to dad

20 Jun

I always make breakfast for my mom and dad on mothers/fathers day. Growing up my sisters and I would usually do french toast for my dad and eggs for my mom. Since my dad hasn’t had pancakes in a very long time (because of me) I made him some healthy but delicious vegan banana pancakes.  He loves bananas, and after the pancakes, banana bread my sister made for him, and banana ice cream, he was happy. They turned out to be delicious. Accompanied with fruit and coffee it was the perfect fathers day breakfast. He deserved it, love you dad!


Almond Oat Banana Pancakes 

1/2 cup oat flour

1/2 cup almond flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup coconut water

2 chia egg (2 tbs chia, 6 tbs warm water)

1 tsp vanilla

1 Tbs agave

cinnamon & nutmeg

bananas, sliced

other fruit

First prepare chia egg, mix and let sit on counter for several minutes. You can buy oat and almond flour, but i just make it in the vitamix! Oats take less than 30 seconds to just grind the rolled oats (NOT quick) to a fine powder. Do the same for almonds. Almond flour and almond meal are practically the same thing. Combine wet ingredients separate and combine with dry ones, in bowl or vitamix. Let the batter sit a couple of minutes before making the pancakes. Pour on griddle and throw in banana slices, grill until golden brown. Drizzle with some extra agave if you want and fresh fruit! makes 4 or 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These pancakes are vegan, NOT raw. But they are soy, dairy, and gluten free!

He enjoyed them (:

 

Later Lauren and I took my dad kayaking on the Potomac…



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best fathers day dessert to end the day? Banana ice cream of course! with blueberries..

just sprouted

20 Jun

Sprouting is vital to the diet of eating raw. Sprouting raw grains and beans/legumes allows the natural enzymes to be activated (releasing enzyme inhibitors), increasing the nutritional content, and neutralizing some bad acids. This is also true with soaking raw nuts, but I will devote a separate post to soaking nuts. Besides this, soaking grains and beans allows raw vegans to be able to eat them to take in all the benefits they do have to offer. A variety of plant protein is important, getting some protein from grains and beans opposed to soly nuts, seeds, avocados, etc..Plus, sprouting  grains and seeds softens them up to make them more enjoyable to eat! Raw grains/beans that are un-soaked/un-sprouted are dangerous and unpleasant to consume. You can buy sprouting jars online or at health food stores, or use glass jars you own with cheesecloth or a breathable cloth to cover. Sprouting times vary for every type of food you are sprouting. I sprouted chickpeas and quinoa to make burgers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the chickpeas: Rinse and drain dry chickpeas well. Soak in water overnight in bowl or sprouting jar. Then rinse and drain 3-4 times a day, returning to a dark place with the jar at a 45 degree angle. (I just placed in bowl tilted down) The chickpeas shouldn’t be sitting in any water, they should just be moist.  The sprouting jars have holes so that you just rinse and drain very easy!  I sprouted for about 3 days, but you can as short or long as you want, the tails will get longer every day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the quinoa: Follow the same game plan, but quinoa will sprout even sooner! With quinoa sort and rinse well before soaking overnight to get rid of any small black particles. Sprout until the tails are at least 1/4th inch long.

The chickpeas were still a little hard after 3 days, but since the tails continued to grow, they are ready to eat.

So I have yet to buy a dehydrator, so I ended up setting my oven as low as it goes (which was 170) then cracking the door to keep the air flowing and hoping it didn’t get too hot! But this would be much better in a dehydrator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chickpea-Quinoa Burger

1 1/4 cup  sprouted chickpeas

1/2 (or more) cup sprouted quinoa

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/4 large onion

1/2 cup shredded carrot

1 flax egg (1 Tbs ground flax, 3 Tbs warm water)

2 garlic cloves

2 Tbs fresh parsley + any other herb (oregano and cilantro are good additions)

1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp curry powder, 1/4 tsp chilli powder (add more if you want more spice)

1/4 cup olive oil

2-3 Tbs lemon juice

cracked black pepper and pinch of sea salt

The amount of ingredient will vary depending on the consistency and spices desired.

Let flax egg sit for a couple of minutes to firm up. Combine the sprouts and seeds with carrot in vitamix first. add the rest of the ingredients. If the consistency is too thick, add water to thin. If too wet add ground flax or chia seeds. Form into patties and dehydrate about 105 degrees for an hour and flip for another 1-2 hours. I used the oven as low as it went with the door cracked, for 45 minutes on each side.

Before:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After:



 

 

 

 

 

 

The longer you dehydrate the dryer and more “cooked” it will be.

 

I had it over lettuce with avocados, onion, and tomatoes…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next day I topped with fresh pesto!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* I updated my about me section to give some more background info on the raw vegan diet for those who wanted to know more*

FRESH

16 Jun

These freshly picked flowers were waiting for me by the door when I got home from work the other day. My neighbor Mary left them for me, right from her yard (: They are so so pretty and I love being able to look at fresh flowers everyday.

Fresh flowers come close to the joy of fresh cut vegetables, fruit, & herbs. Basil is probably my favorite herb. We grow it fresh every year, and my favorite thing to use it for is pesto! Raw pesto is just as good/better than “normal” pesto. The only difference is there is no cheese and it is not heated up. Raw pine nuts can be hard to find, so I used walnuts. I do love pine nuts, but in pesto walnuts are just as good. I like to use a lot of garlic and a lot of basil. I added some spinach to make it go further and also add that vitamin K.

* Nutritional yeast is a yeast fortified with B vitamins (especially b12) which is crucial for a vegan/raw diet. It has a cheesy flavor that many use over popcorn or other sauces. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of the flavor, but it is an unbeatable source of all the B vitamin, so I rally try to incorporate it everyday. It’s great in pesto because the strength of the basil covers the flavor just enough so that is adds the slightest cheesy hint to the pesto without over powering.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh Basil Pesto

15-20 medium-large  fresh basil leaves

10 organic spinach leaves

1 cup raw walnuts (soaked for just 15 minutes)

3-4 garlic cloves (you may want to use 2-3)

*2 Tbs nutritional yeast

1/3 cup EVO oil

1-2 Tbs lemon juice

a little water to thin

Tbs flax oil

Combine all ingredients (except flax oil) in food processor/vitamix (no need to chop or grate anything, just throw it in whole). Add some extra water or more olive oil to get the right consistency. Once well combined, add flax oil and pulse just for a few second. Flax oil can NOT be heated hardly at all, because it oxidized easily, losing it’s high concentration of it’s Omega 3 fatty acids. The vitamix is so powerful it will heat food, and although it will not above 118 degrees- Just to be safe and conserve all the nutrients, I add it last.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just piled on all the fresh vegetables I had over a bed of spinach, and enjoyed a vegetable platter with pesto! I had red and green peppers, carrot, cucumber, radishes, tomato & onion over spinach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last fresh ingredient I enjoyed earlier that day was mango! I threw together a tropical chia pudding!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tropical Chia

2 Tbs chia

4 Tbs almond milk

2 Tbs 100% mango juice (no sugar added)

couple drops of vanilla

fresh chopped mango

raw sunflower seeds

grated unsweetened coconut

squeeze of fresh lime

Combine chia with almond&mango juice & vanilla. Let sit for 20 minutes. (May want to add a little more liquid) top with the rest of the ingredients and anything else! It is a delicious tropical treat. Fresh mango is hard to beat.

thai anyone?

14 Jun

While my parents were here I had to make some delicious peanut pad thai. This dish has seaweed noodles (kelp noodles) Kelp noodles one of the best food inventions. They actually have very little taste, but they are almost clear and shaped like noodles- the perfect pasta! There are endless possibilities of raw dishes with these great noodles. Kelp noodles are the gel that comes from the kelp, is completely raw, and looks and tastes like noodles. Sea vegetables are so important in the raw food diet to get all the trace minerals. Kelp helps with thyroid function. Now you can only get kelp noodles at asian markets, and there aren’t exactly any that I am aware of, here on the eastern shore. So I had my mom pick them up before coming down here. Sadly, one of the asian markets that I previously got kelp noodles at recently closed. The other asian market in Centreville (since there are SO many) did not have the right ones 😦 So she made the effort to get a form of  kelp noodles, but it ended up being the green, soggy kind. So I had to improvise and use soy noodles this time. They were very close to the composition of kelp noodles, but soy noodles technically are not raw. The dish still turned out great though!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fresh baby bok choi gives the pad thai the perfect crunch. I love how this dish is loaded with vegetables, and I don’t often eat bok choi or radishes, so it’s a great way to get in that variety.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are the soy noodles (should be kelp noodles, but look identical) Soak in water and lime juice for a bit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raw Pad Thai  (this recipe was originally from Sunny’s Raw Kitchen)

Veggies

2-3 cups sliced baby bok choi

1 cup julienned carrot

1 cup grated or julienned daikon radish

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

2 green onions, sliced

Sauce

1 cup raw almond butter

2 Tbs fresh ginger

1/4 cup coconut water to thin

4 Tbs lime juice

1/4 cup agave nectar

3 Tbs nama shoyu (or soy sauce)

4 tsp sesame oil

2-3 garlic cloves

1/2 jalpeno chile (I used a tiny bit of chile powder)

Soak kelp noodles in water and lime juice for 20 minutes. Then drain and combine with veggies (may need to cut some of the long kelp noodles) Combine sauce in vitamix and pour noodles & veggies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This raw “peanut sauce” is similar to the sauce I made for the lettuce wraps. It is soooo good-I could just drink it plain (well maybe not too much). I did not hold back with the sauce!

 

 

 

 

 

For dessert? Raw chocolate coconut ice cream!

 

mmmm kale

14 Jun

So most people would never eat a raw kale salad. Too raw and bitter. That was my opinion as well a couple of years ago. I have thankfully discovered ways to eat delicious raw kale, preserving all it’s vitamin and nutrients. This salad recipe I got from one of the lovely raw classes at wholefoods, but it originally came from Sunny’s Raw Kitchen. The avocado dressing plus the hemp seed makes it like no other salad with a little kick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kale is a dark leafy green that takes most people a while to truly appreciate

Besides the dressing, you are only adding hemp seed & chopped tomatoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The chipotle in the dressing definitely spices up the avocado

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creamy Kale Salad

4 heads of kale (I usually half it to 2 heads. This does wilt down a lot to it’s not as much as it seems)

2 Tbs sea salt

2 Cups chopped tomatoes or halved baby tomatoes

1 cup hulled hemp seeds cup hemp seed

3 avocados

2 chipotle peppers (I didnt have peppers so I used a little ground cayenne)

1/3-1/2 cup olive oil

1 1/2- 2 Tbs agave

1/4 cup lemon juice

Chop kale and remove stems. Mix with salt and massage it until it wilts down. Add tomatoes and hemp seed. Combine dressing in vitamix or food processor and pour over kale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trust me this will be like no other raw kale dish you’ve have. It’s not bitter at all, just creamy and delicious.- so give this kale a try if you think you don’t like it!