Raw Tabouli Salad

Using cauliflower instead of rice is a super secret – that’s not so secret anymore!

I recently made Amber’s Raw Rice Pilaf from Practically Raw, which uses cauliflower and almonds to simulate the rice part of the pilaf. Delicious! I used the left-overs to make almost raw avocado sushi rolls! (They were almost raw because my nori sheets were toasted.)

I spread the raw rice mixture out on the nori sheet, flattened it down with the back of a spoon, added sliced avocado, and rolled tightly. I didn’t use a bamboo rolling mat, which I actually own (thanks to my friend Ellen – who not-so-secretly wants me to use it to make her some avocado sushi – ha!), but I can’t quite remember where I put it. I know it’s safely out of the way – but I can’t remember where that is :-/ Don’t you hate that?!

Regardless, the sushi rolls were amazing. Great first attempt at home made sushi!

Before I tried the raw rice pilaf, I riced some cauliflower and used it in place of Bulgar in some raw, oil free tabouli.

Raw Tabouli Salad

1 head cauliflower, riced (chopped small and processed in food processor until resembles rice)

1 bunch parsley, chopped (curly or flat leaf)

2 tomatoes, seeded and diced

2-4 green onions, minced

1/4 c match stick carrots, chopped

2 celery ribs, diced

4 lg radishes, sliced thinly

1/4-1/2 bell pepper (any color)

1 c chopped greens (chard, kale, spinach, lettuce, etc)

Dressing

1/4 c soy sauce (or tamari, Braggs liquid aminos, coconut aminos, nama shoyu to keep it raw)

1 TBSP curry powder (less for less spice, more for more spice)

1/4 c fresh lemon juice (about 2 juicy lemons) OR ACV

1 TBSP granulated garlic/garlic powder OR 1 tsp fresh garlic, minced

Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl. Combine dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Add to salad and toss to combine. Flavors meld over time, so try to allow a few hours before eating. (I usually make mine the day before I plan to eat it.) If the salad is too dry, make a little more dressing, or just add a splash of soy sauce. Additionally, if you don’t mind, you may choose to add a little olive oil. (Sometimes, when I eat a bowl of this salad, I add half of a diced avocado, which makes the salad feel a little more like a meal. )

Don’t be afraid to add your own mix of veggies. Stick to traditionally tabouli veggies or go crazy! Sometimes I add raw or frozen peas to up the protein, fresh (raw) corn for added sweetness, or sliced broccoli crows (just the nibbins) for added everything.

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Raw Buckwheat Ciabatta Bread

During my first buckwheat experiment, I also made a raw buckwheat ciabatta bread that turned out pretty good.

I used the pizza mixture from the Pizza Kale Chips recipe in Practically Raw by Amber Shea Crawley (love this book!), added it to a couple cups of blended, sprouted buckwheat, and spread it out on a paraflex sheet to about 1/4 inch thick. Then, I dehydrated the bread at 115F-ish for a couple of hours, removed it, flipped it over onto the mesh screen, pressed in some sliced red onion (I cut the onion into very thin slices) and sliced green olives, and returned to the dehydrator for another 4-6 hours – or until soft but dry.

This was definitely a hit. I can’t wait to try it with the soaked but not sprouted buckwheat!

Side note: I’ve tried a dozen or so of the recipes (lots more to try!) from Practically Raw, and they’ve all been delicious. I’ve made the Pizza Kale Chips three times, the Sour Cream and Onion kale chips twice (I tweaked the recipe a bit), the Nut and Seed bread twice, and I’m going to be making the Raw Rice Pilaf again this weekend. (Review and re-purpose of that recipe coming soon!) Seriously, if you are looking for a new (or a first) raw cookbook, check this one out. Why? Well, aside from the tasty tidbits it contains (yes, I meant that to be  alliterate), Amber offers cooked options for all of the recipe, and she offers suggestions for ingredient substitutions.  I love that! (In case you haven’t noticed, I like to offer suggestions/substitutions, too, and I can’t stand cookbook authors/bloggers who insist substitutions can’t be made to their recipes. Ummmm…yaaaa…they can. Trust me.) 

Raw Blueberry Buckwheat Bagels

I’ve been adding to my kitchen gadget arsenal the past few weeks.

Meet the newest members of our household…Address: Kitchen

5-Tray Small -Excalibur with 26 hour Timer #3526T

I’ve officially broken in the dehydrator (um, hello, kale chips!), and we’ve played around with the juicer. I’d like to do a lot more with the juicer – perhaps even trying a little juice fast, but the timing is off right now – mostly because my fridge, freezer and kitchen are all filled to the brim with raw food goodies that need to be eaten sooner than later.

As I’ve been breaking in the dehydrator, I’ve been trying some new-t0-me foods and/or techniques for “cooking” familiar foods. Last weekend, my culinary adventures centered around buckwheat.

According to the Bob’s Red Mill website, “Buckwheat Groats are the hulled seeds of the buckwheat plant. These soft white seeds have a mild flavor, but when toasted or roasted, they have a delightfully intense flavor.”

After doing a lot of research – and watching a lot of YouTube videos, I decided the best way to handle my first experience with the buckwheat groat was to soak and sprout before use. I may have chosen poorly. But…this is what I came up with…

Raw Blueberry Buckwheat Bagels

2 c sprouted buckwheat (you may need more if your groats are especially moist)

2/3 c blueberries

2T maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)

1T whole flax seeds (not meal)

pinch salt

additional blueberries for garnish

Process buckwheat groats in a food processor or high-speed blender. (I used my Vitamix because I’m at odds with my food processor. More on that later.) Add blueberries, maple syrup, and salt. Process/blend to combine.  Move mixture to a bowl and stir in flax seeds.

Scoop about 1/4 c mixture onto a paraflex sheet and flatten to about 1/4 inch thick. Repeat with remaining mixture. Make a hole in the middle of each bagel with your finger (or a spoon if you’re more polite than me – ha ha) to make your bagels look more bagel-like. My mixture made four large bagels.

Dehydrate at about 115F for 2-3 hours, or until you can easily lift bagels off the paraflex sheet. Flip bagels over onto mesh screen, top with whole blueberries if desired, and return to dehydrator until dry but pliable: 6-8 more hours.

My mixture was a little wet, so it took longer to dry. I think it took me 3 hours on the paraflex sheets and roughly 8 hours on the mesh screens.

I also made plain buckwheat seed bread (just buckwheat, soaked pumpkin seeds, and soaked sunflower seeds), but it didn’t turn out that great. It was dry and flavorless. Maybe I should have added some flavor. Ha ha 😉

Then, I dehydrated the leftover sprouted buckwheat groats for buckwheat crunchies (both Mimi Kirk and Annie Phyo have recipes for these), but, honestly, I didn’t dig the flavor of the buckwheat. When I posted this on FB in response to someone else’s experience with buckwheat, I received a bunch of suggestions – all of which started with, “Don’t sprout your buckwheat.” Now I know.

I haven’t tried just soaking the groats overnight before use, but it’s on my to-do list. Good thing I’ve been filling a giant bulk-bin bag of it every time I’m at a Whole Foods! I’ll be sure to share the results of next buckwheat experiment 🙂

Gourmet Pate Plate

Why gourmet? Because I went all fancy with my seed spread!

Pumpkin Seed Pate

1 c pumpkin seeds, soaked (I soak mine over night in the fridge)

1 carrot, chopped

2 green onions (whites and greens)

3 kale leaves, stemmed

1/4 c cilantro, chopped

10 green olives, chopped

Seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, etc…

Add everything to a food processor and process. Add a drizzle of water if mixture is too dry. Refrigerate to chill mixture and allow flavors to meld. Eat within two or three days.

Options

Creamy: Add 1TBSP EVOO to mix before processing OR Add half of an avocado OR Use a high-speed blender to blend for a creamier texture

Saltier: Add 1 TBSP soy sauce/tamari/nama shoyu/Braggs aminos/coconut amino OR 1 TBSP mild miso (white or brown)

Sweeter: Add more carrot OR Add shredded apple OR Add chopped dried fruit (raisins, currents, cranberries, blueberries, cherries, etc)

Seed-free: Try mushrooms and/or tomatoes (seeded) instead of pumpkin seeds OR Sub soaked almonds, walnuts, or cashews for seeds

Add some tang: Add 1-2 TBSP lemon (juice from 1/2 – 1 lemon) OR Your favorite vinegar (try ACV!)

Use different seeds: Try sunflower seeds or hemp seeds AND/OR add some flax seeds (ground) or chia seeds (whole or ground)

Use different olives: Black or kalamata

Use different herbs: Parsley, watercress, mint mix, rosemary mix, tarragon mix, etc.

Once your pate is ready, so something simple with it, like dip veggies in it or use it as a sandwich spread, or do something fancy with it!

Raw Stuffed Tomatoes

Cut the top off of a medium tomato. Cut into the core forming a cone to remove seeds and pulp. Fill tomato with about 1/4 c of pate. Top with herbs or seasonings of choice.

Raw Pate Wrap

Clean and stem a leaf of your favorite green. (I used Swiss Chard). Assemble your favorite ingredients, lay down a layer or pate first (to help the veggies stick), and roll like a burrito. I used matchstick carrots and avocado.

Raw Spring Rolls

Soften rice paper/spring roll wrappers according to package directions. Lay flat. Assemble favorite ingredients, lay down a lay of pate first (to help veggies stick), and roll like a burrito. I used matchstick carrots and avocado.

Eat your goodies by themselves or assemble a fancy plate for a gourmet raw lunch or dinner. Enjoy!

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I’m sharing this recipe with the readers of…

Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays @ Simply Sugar & Gluten Free

Allergy Free Wednesdays @ Laura’s Gluten Free Pantry

Wellness Weekends @ Diet Dessert and Dogs

Raw Food Cookbook Love

I’ve been on a bit of a raw food kick lately.

Before I had my gallbladder removed in March, I had a lot of digestive issues  that I thought would go away once that stupid, broken organ was gone. Well, they didn’t. Go figure. Luckily, the weather has changed here, and fresh fruits and veggies are beginning to show up in gardens and farmers’ markets, so trying a high-raw food diet seemed like a great idea to help alleviate some of my tummy troubles. Guess what…it has!

Before I purposely incorporated more raw foods into my diet, I did a lot of research and read a lot of cookbooks. I’m still doing a lot of research and reading a lot of cookbooks 😉 But, I’ve come across some cookbooks (un-cook? anti-cook? no-cook?) that have really been a big help and are loaded with enough delicious recipes to keep me not-cooking for months!

Practically Raw: Flexible Raw Recipes Anyone Can Make by Amber Shea Crawley

I’ve been a fan of Amber’s for a few years, and I was psyched when she announced she signed a cookbook deal.  But, when Practically Raw hit Amazon, I waited. I wanted an autographed copy, and I got one. Woohoo!

I finally made a few things from Practically Raw last week: Pizza Kale Chips, Raw Bread, and Sour Cream and Onion Kale Chips. The pizza kale chips are ah-ma-zing. Seriously, if you buy this book and only make the pizza kale chips, it’s worth the money. Yes, dear readers, they’re that good! (I even made the pizza ‘sauce’ and used it to make raw buckwheat bread and raw pizza dip for veggies!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Live Raw: Raw Food Recipes for Good Health and Timeless Beauty by Mimi Kirk

Who doesn’t love Mimi? Or, more accurately, who doesn’t want to look like Mimi when you’re her age?? I know I do! Live Raw is full of great, basic raw-food recipes. And, the price is certainly right at just over $10. This book is huge!

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Raw by Mark Reinfeld, Bo Rinaldi, and Jennifer Murray

I love this book. Not only does it contain tons of great recipes, it is super full of newbie info. What’s rejuvac? This book will tell you! It will also tell you how to make it and how to use it to make raw cheese and other dishes. Why do raw food recipes always say to soak nuts and seeds? This book will tell you. And, this book has been around for a while, so you can probably find a good deal on a used copy.

All of Ani Phyo’s books are awesome!

Ani’s Raw Food Essentials: Recipes and Techniques for Mastering the Art of Living Food

Ani’s Raw Food Asia: Easy East-West Fusion Recipes the Raw Food Way

Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen: Easy, Delectable Living Foods Recipes

Ani has two other books I haven’t checked out yet: Ani’s Raw Food Desserts: 85 Easy, Delectable Sweets and Treats and Ani’s 15-Day Fat Blast: The Kick-Ass Plan to get Lighter, Tighter, and Sexier…Super Fast

I checked out a little raw dessert book from the college library a month or so ago, and I can’t wait to get my hands on my own copy! Pure Pleasures Cupcake Heaven: Raw Food Sweets that Make your Heart Skip a Beat by Natalia KW. Natalia uses coconut flour and apples to create the most delicious raw cupcakes. Yum! There is a downside, though. The recipes make a lot of cupcakes – at least a dozen regular size or 30 minis. That’s too many cupcakes for me…because I’ll eat them all – ha! I haven’t tried cutting the recipes in half yet, but I’ll keep you posted when I do. I hope it works! (Some baked dessert recipes don’t work that way, but most raw food recipes do because they don’t need leavening ingredients or rely on complicated chemical reactions to create the final product.)

Natalia has another cook book, Pure Pleasures: Luscious Live Food Recipes from the Glowing Temple Kitchen, that I’m also interested in. I read a review of this book last week, which put Pure Pleasures at the top of my must-buy cookbook list!

Finally, Alive in 5: Raw Gourmet Meals in Five Minutes by Angela L. Elliott is an awesome little raw-food cookbook a friend just loaned me to review. At first glance, I didn’t think this little gem had much to offer, but I was wrong. I can’t wait to order my own copy!

I’ve added quite a few other raw-food cookbooks to my bookshelf lately, too.

Raw Food: A Complete Guide for Every Meal of the Day by Erica Palmcrantz Aziz and Irmela Lilja

Everyday Raw Express: Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less by Matthew Kenney

Raw Food Made Easy For 1 or 2 People by Jennifer Cornbleet

Becoming Raw: The Essential Guide to Raw Vegan Diets by Brenda Davis, Vesanto Melina and Rynn Berry (I’ve had this one for a while.)

Raw Food/Real World: 100 Recipes to Get the Glow by Matthew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis

Living Raw Food: Get the Glow with More Recipes from Pure Food and Wine by Sarma Melngailis

Raw for Dessert: Easy Delights for Everyone by Jennifer Cornbleet

I’ve reviewed a lot more than I’ve listed, and there are a few more I want to check out. Obviously, there are tons of resources for raw food newbies. I’ll do a website/Your Tube channel follow-up later 🙂

Fancy Fun with Hazelnuts

I’m almost ashamed to admit this, but I’m not a big fan of the hazelnut. (Add that to my growing list…). I try to like them. Really. I do! But they always kind of taste rancid. And no, they weren’t. (I had Mr M taste one just to be sure.) But, in my vein effort to convince my taste buds that hazelnuts are, indeed, the fancy culinary delight I keep reading so much about, I made a couple of recipes out of the bag that has been inhabiting my freezer for a few weeks. (There’s another bag in the pantry. Any takers?)

To begin, I soaked 1 c of the hazelnuts overnight in enough water to cover them. I like to store mine in the fridge in a covered container, but I’ve read that’s not necessary – soaking on a counter is fine.

First up, my very first attempt at making nut milk.

Spiced Hazelnut Milk

1/2 c soaked hazelnuts

2 c water

1T vanilla

Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Clove – to taste

Blend everything together in a high speed blender. (I used my Vitamix). Strain through a nut-milk bag for silky smooth milk, or don’t strain if you don’t mind the floating nut-pulp. (I didn’t strain because I knew I was going to use the milk in recipes as opposed to drinking).

Store in an air-tight container in the fridge. Use within three days – give or take. (Most info I’ve found on the web says to use within three days.)

Optional Add: sweetener of choice

The hazelnut milk wasn’t too bad. The water diluted the nut flavor, and the spices really kicked it up. If you’re going to drink it alone or add it to something like cereal or oatmeal, I’d add some sweetener.

Next, I used the reaming soaked nuts to make a fancy pants dessert.

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart with Vanilla Hazelnut Cashew Cream

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart Crust

1/2 c hazelnuts (soaked)

1 T maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener/stevia of your choice)

2 T raw cacao powder (or regular cocoa powder, carob powder, or a mi)

Combine everything in a food processor (I used my mini chopper) and blend until comes together in a ball. Remove dough and press into two mini tart pans. If your crust is too dry, add a tiny dribble of hazelnut milk at a time until it stick together.

Store in the fridge or freezer while making filling.

Vanilla Hazelnut Cashew Cream

1/2 c cashews (soaked)

1 T hazelnut milk (or regular nut/seed milk)

1 T vanilla

1 T maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener/stevia of your choice)

Add everything to a high speed blender and blend until smooth.

I used my Magic Bullet.

You want the cream to be thick – like pudding. (I had to force myself not to eat all of the filling before it went into the tart shells. I love this stuff!)

Add the cream to the tart shells and refrigerate or freeze until ready to eat.

Optional Adds: Make your tarts super fancy by adding some raw cacao nibs and/or crushed hazelnuts as a topper before serving.

I used my left-over hazelnut milk to make a  smoothie. Everything tastes good blended with some fruit!

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I’m sharing this recipe…

Wellness Weekends @ Diet Dessert and Dogs

Allergy Free Fridays @ Cybele Pascal (not vegan)

Fresh Bites Friday @ Real Food Whole Health (not vegan)

Fight Back Friday @ Food Renegade (not vegan)

Foodie Friday @ Simple Living w/ Diane Balch (not vegan)

Foodie Friday: Summer Lunch @ Rattlebridge Farms (not vegan)

Friday Favorite Finds @ The Atwoods (not vegan)

Delicious Dishes @ It’s a Blog Party (not vegan)

Chicago Eats & Treats

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Ellen and I went on a little road trip. She’s a vegan too, so that made eating while traveling a lot easier!

Armed with Traveler’s Trail Mix, Tofu Two Ways, and assorted fresh fruits, we left early Friday morning for the 5+ hour drive to Chicago.

Our main objective for the trip was to attend the Self Work-Out in the Park, which was on Saturday, so of course we had to go a little early to enjoy the vegan-friendly parts of Chi-town.

Before we left, I researched places to eat that were either close to our hotel or easy to get into and out of on our way home. Coincidentally, our hotel was within view of Karyn’s Cooked, one of the three Chicago restaurants owned by Karyn Calabrese.

The inside of Karyn’s Cooked was quaint – clean and friendly. Craving comfort food, Ellen ordered the sampler meal, which included a choice of three side dishes. She chose potato wedges, mac-n-cheese, and chili with cornbread. And, for dessert, lemon meringue pie. I went with the raw plate, which included broccoli with aminos, red cabbage sauerkraut, half of an avocado, almond hummus, sunflower seed pate, and a couple of raw nori rolls. For dessert, I chose gluten-free carrot cake and a raw cranberry-almond cookie bar for later.

I originally ordered the green enchiladas, but it didn’t make it to our takeout order, so when I called to find out what happened (somehow my order didn’t get added to the ticket), I changed my order to the raw plate, and the staff threw in a couple bags of raw crackers.

Throw in my new favorite drink – kombucha – and I was a happy one-night Chicago resident.

Saturday morning, Ellen and I got up early and headed down to Butler Field in Grant Park for the Self Workout in the Park. The weather was perfect, and the crowd wasn’t too bad.

After we got into the event, we waded through the excited exercisers and visited all of the vendor booths before spotting what we came for – Dolvett Quince.

Ellen originally asked me tag along on this trip because she’s a huge fan of Dolvett and really wanted to meet him. (She attended the Self workout last year in Chicago and got to meet Jillian Micheals – her idol.) I was pretty skeptical that we’d get to actually meet Dolvett, but she was determined.

It worked!

We accidentally stumbled upon the media area where Dolvett was taking photos with Self staffers and some fitness models. I was surprised how close we were able to Dolvett, and Ellen was ecstatic. She kept trying to sneak in for a photo, but after a few minutes, photo ops were offered to everyone in line (about 10 people). With cameras ready, gleeful ladies got to touch the rock-hard abs of Dolvett. Giant smiles for miles!

After the excitement of the photo op of the year, we headed to Lincoln Park to grab some goodies from the Chicago Dinner before making our way back to Ohio.

Mmmm…cake…

Traveler’s Trail-Mix

I don’t know about you, but road trips make me hungry! Even if we’re just running errands to the next biggest city about an hour away, I pack snacks. Lots of snacks. Mr. M scoffs at my food, but he almost always ends up eating some of it 😉

Last weekend, a friend and I road-tripped to Chicago – 5 hours from home. Five hours requires A LOT of travel-friendly food!

This trail-mix (and some fruit and Tofu Two Ways salads) got us through the trip there – with some left for snacking at work this week.

Traveler’s Trail-Mix

(raw, gluten-free, oil free, sugar free, soy free, peanut free)

1/2 c raw almonds*

1/4 c cacao nibs

1/4 c raisins

1/4 c golden raisins

1/4 c currants

1/4 c raw sunflower seeds*

1/4 c raw pumpkin seeds* (pepitas)

pinch salt

Combine everything in a large bowl. Store in an air-tight container.

Makes about 2 cups.

You can, of course, choose any nuts, seeds, dried fruit of your liking to make your trail-mix. But, what’s nice about this one is that it’s RAW. I love that! It’s also oil free. Neither of which will you find in store-bought trail-mixes. Plus, many aren’t vegan because of the chocolate.

*Raw nuts and seeds should be soaked before consumption. Soaking and then dehydrating is an easy way to prep a bunch of nuts and seeds so you don’t have to worry about soaking and drying before making something. Using soaked/dried nuts will also help the shelf-life of your trail-mix, allowing you to leave it in a warm place like the car without fear or rancidity. (I didn’t soak/dry the nuts or seeds in this batch of trail-mix, and they tasted fine, but they did give me a bit of tummy trouble at first. Lesson learned!)