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Posts Tagged ‘Raw’

A lot of the dishes I make are often inspired by something I’ve seen or eaten before at a restaurant, and this is especially true for raw dishes as I’m still quite an amateur when it comes to ‘uncooking’. I first tried this creation in the Living Food Cafe in Phuket, and only because it was recommended to us by another customer – I was quite skeptical of the sound of it. I may have mentioned before that I was never a big fan of mixing fruits with vegetables, but honestly the mix of Papaya with the savoury flavours work wonderfully! Add chopped Mango to your salsa and you’ll be in raw heaven…Trust me, this combo is delicious  & satisfying, and makes a great starter or even a light dinner. Don’t use Papaya that is too ripe, as it won’t keep its shape!

Ingredients: (serves 2)

1 large Papaya, ripe but firm

Alex’s Mango Salsa (omitting Cucumber, adding 1/2 tsp. minced Garlic)

Guacamole (recipe from The 30-Minute Vegan: Over 175 Quick, Delicious, and Healthy Recipes for Everyday Cooking):

2 ripe Avocados, peeled & seeded

2 Tblsp. chopped Red Onion

sqeeze of fresh Lime juice

1 small Garlic clove, minced

1 tsp. fresh Red or Green Chile, minced (optional, depending on how spicy you want it)

dash of Chile powder or Cayenne Pepper

Salt and Pepper

for garnish: Spring Onion (optional)

 

Method:

– Peel Papaya and cut off top and tail. Cut into thick, even sized rings and carefully scoop out seeds from the centre of the rings. Place on plate.

– Mix ingredients for Salsa in a bowl and set aside.

– For the Guacamole, place all the ingredients together in a bowl and mix well, mashing the Avocado until a few chunks remain. Taste, and adjust seasonings.

– Scoop a large spoonful of Guacamole onto each Papaya ring, followed by a spoonful of Salsa. Decorate with Spring Onion if desired.

*Eat with a knife & fork, and enjoy!

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On a recent quest to detoxify my body, and lacking the willpower for another 7 day liquid cleanse, I decided to stick to a Raw menu for a few weeks. This dish is just one of the many delicious & satisfying meals I have been feasting on, which I decided to recreate after having it at one of my favourite Veggie haunts. To be honest, the idea of eating Zucchini uncooked has never really appealed to me – along with Broccoli, Cauliflower and Mushrooms…And so, despite the hype around Zucchini ‘Pasta’, I hadn’t even considered trying it – until it was the only raw choice on the menu one night, and now I’m so glad I did! Julienning the Zucchini into long, thin strips creates mock noodles with just the right texture, and they’re packed with fibre & water unlike heavy, starchy pasta. But it’s the zesty Basil Pesto and juicy Cherry Tomatoes that make this dish so heavenly – nothing can beat homemade Pesto! I like mine with lots of garlic, so if you’re not a big fan then adjust accordingly. These noodles are topped with Gomasio (a mixture of Sesame Seeds & Salt) for some crunch, but you can just as easily replace it with finely chopped Almonds or Sunflower Seeds…You’ll be surprised by how filling this dish actually is!

Ingredients: (2 servings)

2 medium sized Zucchini

handful of Cherry Tomatoes, halved

1 Tblsp. Sundried Tomatoes, chopped

Gomasio to sprinkle on top (or finely chopped Almonds/Sunflower Seeds)

For the Basil Pesto: (from The 30-Minute Vegan: Over 175 Quick, Delicious, and Healthy Recipes for Everyday Cooking) – makes 1 cup

1 1/2 cups fresh Basil leaves, packed

1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp. Pine Nuts

1/2 cup plus 2 Tblsp. Olive Oil

2 Tblsp. freshly squeezed Lemon Juice

2-3 Garlic cloves (I used 3…)

1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

1 tsp. Nutritional Yeast (optional)

 

Method:

– After washing the Zucchini, cut the tops & tails off and, using a Mandoline, julienne into long, thin strips (make sure they are not too thick). Place in a large bowl, along with the Cherry Tomatoes and Sundried Tomatoes.

– Combine all the ingredients for the Pesto in a food processor or high-speed blender, and blend until mostly smooth.

– Mix Pesto with Zucchini Noodles (you may only need half the batch), and top with Gomasio.

*Enjoy, guilt-free!

 

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Raw Carob Cheesecake with Almond Crust...

As I may have mentioned before, I always found raw food recipes to be rather intimidating with all the soaking, dehydrating and time consuming preparation, and have therefore hesitated to try my hand at raw desserts…Well, I don’t know what took me so long! The actual assembly of this dessert is simple & fast – all you really need to do is blend the ingredients & pop it in a dish. The only advanced preparation needed is to soak the cashews the night before, and even this isn’t completely necessary,  but I would recommend it as it gives the nuts a creamier texture as well as activating the enzymes in them and making them easier to digest. Coconut Oil can be a bit pricey, but you will need it for this recipe as it is responsible for ‘setting’ the cheesecake (Coconut Oil solidifies in cold temperatures) – it’s also worth investing in to use for baking & cooking, as it is safe to heat to very high temperatures [incidentally, my Indian friends swear by using it on their hair once or twice a month!]. These ‘Cheesecakes’ are so much like the original, in texture and taste, you wouldn’t guess they are raw…Here are two variations for you to try out:

Raw Lemon Cheesecake (modified version of the one found in Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen: Easy, Delectable Living Foods Recipes)

Ingredients:

Crust

1 1/2 cups Nuts (your choice, I used a mixture of Hazelnuts, Walnuts & Cashews) or 1 cup Nut Meal (eg: Almond or Hazelnut)

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 cup pitted Dates (soaked in hot water for about 15 mins. to soften)

1/4 cup shredded Coconut

Filling

3 cups raw Cashews (soaked overnight, or atleast 8 hours, in filtered water) and rinsed

3/4 cup fresh Lemon Juice

3/4 cup Agave Syrup (or 1/4 tsp. Stevia powder & 1/3 cup Agave)

3/4 cup Coconut Oil (liquid form)

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

zest of 1 Lemon (optional)

1/2 cup Water, as needed (use the soaking water from the dates)

 

Method:

– For the crust: Process the nuts into small pieces with the salt in a food processor. Slowly add Dates and mix well, then mix in Coconut. Press ‘dough’ into the bottom of a Cheesecake dish or pan (9-inch), and place in refrigerator until needed.

– For the filling: Blend Cashews, Lemon Juice, Agave (and Stevia, if using), Coconut Oil, and Vanilla (and Lemon Zest, if using), in your blender/food processor. Add just enough Water to blend into a smooth ‘cream’. Pour onto the crust in the dish and place in freezer for about an hour until firm. Then refrigerate until serving. (Keeps for about 5 days, if it lasts that long…)

Raw Carob (or Chocolate) Cheesecake (based on a recipe in Kristen Suzanne’s EASY Raw Vegan Desserts: Delicious & Easy Raw Food Recipes for Cookies, Pies, Cakes, Puddings, Mousses, Cobblers, Candies & Ice Creams)

Ingredients:

Crust

1 cup Almond Meal

dash of Salt

1/2 cup of pitted Dates (soaked for about 15 mins.)

1/4 cup shredded Coconut

Filling

3 cups of raw Cashews, soaked overnight (or atleast a few hours) and rinsed

1/3 cup Agave Syrup

1/4 tsp. Stevia powder or another 1/3 cup Agave

1/2 cup fresh Lemon Juice

1/4 cup Water (use soaking Water from Dates)

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

3/4 cup Coconut Oil, liquid form

3/4 cup Carob powder, or Chocolate powder

 

Method:

– For the Crust & Filling: Same as with Raw Lemon Cheesecake, but adding Coconut Oil and Carob powder at the end for the filling, after blending the rest of the ingredients.

Raw Lemon Cheesecake...

 

*Keep in mind that this dessert is packed with calories, albeit good ones, so take it easy…(says me, who devoured a whole Cheesecake to myself in a matter of 2 days -whoops!)

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Gazpacho…

Every now and then, if I start to feel groggy, tired & bloated from a bit of neglect, I have a Raw Juice Day (or 2, or 3…) to revitalise myself. [Check out my Veggie Juice post for an idea of what I like to juice when I do a cleanse]. Usually I have no problem with drinking only liquids for the day, especially when it’s as hot as it has been lately…But in the evenings I start to crave something a bit more substantial – something that can be had on a fork or spoon, not through a straw! Enter the Gazpacho: perfect for a Raw Juice Day as half of it is blended, aiding digestion, and it doesn’t get heated so it’s full of raw energizing goodness. This is also great when you feel like something satisfying, but not too heavy due to the Summer heat, and it can be whipped up in minutes.

Ingredients: (another great recipe from You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan!: 200 Recipes for Simple and Delicious Animal-Free Cuisine)

Serves 6-8

5 large fresh Tomatoes, cored and diced

1 medium Red Onion, peeled and finely diced

1-2 Cucumbers, peeled and diced

1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and diced finely

1/2 Yellow Bell Pepper, seeded and diced finely

Juice of 2 Lemons (about 6 Tblsp.)

Juice of 2 small Limes (about 2 Tblsp.)

1/4 cup Tamari/Braggs Liquid Aminos

2 Tblsp. Hot Sauce or 1 small Chilli finely chopped

1/2 tsp. Sea Salt (taste soup first & then add if needed)

1/2 ripe Avocado, diced

handful each of finely chopped, fresh Cilantro, Basil and Parsley

 

Method:

– Combine diced Tomatoes, Onion, Cucumbers, and Bell Peppers in a large bowl.

– Add the Lemon & Lime Juice, Tamari, Hot Sauce/Chilli, and Salt (if needed).

– Put about half (or more) of the mixture into a Blender and blend for 30 seconds until finely textured.

– Combine blended mixture with diced mixture, stir in Avocado and fresh Cilantro, Basil & Parsley.

– Cover and refrigerate until chilled, or if already cold – serve.

*Make sure to cut everything into very small pieces…

 

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This creation was brought to the BBQ (along with the skewers in the previous post), and we ended up eating it out of paper cups due to the wind which really didn’t do it any justice – but it was still delicious…In case you’re wondering, those are little Apricot slices peeking out from underneath and they turn this Salad from great to amazing! The candied Walnuts are really easy to make, they literally take 5 minutes – but to keep this dish completely raw you can pop the nuts into a dehydrator instead, or just add them au naturel. This summery combination will delight your ‘buds…

Ingredients:

handful raw Walnut pieces

1-2 Tblsp. Maple Syrup

4 cups Rocket, washed & dried

1 fresh Apricot, stoned & thinly sliced

1/2 Red Onion, thinly sliced

1 ripe Avocado, thinly sliced

Dressing:

2 Tblsp. Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tblsp. Maple Syrup

2 Tblsp. Olive Oil

 

Method:

– For the Walnuts: Turn oven to 400F/200C, and line a baking tray. Pour Maple Syrup over Nuts & mix with hands to cover. Lay out the Nuts on baking tray and toast in Oven about 5 min. or until beginning to brown (do not take your eyes off them – they burn very quickly!). Remove, and let cool.

– Place Rocket in a large Salad bowl, and cover with Apricots, Red Onion & Avocado. Combine Dressing ingredients in a jar & shake to mix. Sprinkle Nuts over Salad, and pour Dressing over just before serving.

 

*Tastes just as good out of a paper cup…

**FYI I’ve made a second version of this Salad, adding chopped Mint which takes it to a whole ‘nother level! I also substituted Pumpkin Seeds for the Walnuts (keeping them raw), Lime Juice for the Maple Syrup in the dressing & added Cherry Tomatoes = Heavenly

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Raw foodism is very popular these days, and it’s not surprising: how can eating uncooked, unprocessed foods not be good for you?! Food eaten in its natural state becomes much more easily available to your body in terms of nutrients, and can be digested alot faster than cooked foods – hence, instant energy! But sometimes Raw food recipes can seem a bit daunting, with all the soaking, sprouting & special equipment needed…These crackers, however, are pretty simple – no fancy processor needed (a simple blender should do the trick), no soaking or sprouting, and they can even be made in your oven if you don’t own a dehydrator! Please note, though, that for the crackers to still be considered Raw they need to be cooked in 46°C (115°F) or less – my oven only goes as low as 80°C, but I still did a batch in there anyway and they turned out delicious (took about 3 1/2 hrs), and tasted almost exactly the same as the batch I put in my dehydrator. The Hummus recipe is not Raw, it’s just something I made to go with the crackers – I’m still unsure as to whether I would make it again, but I have included the recipe at the end just in case you want to give it a try. This recipe comes from You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan!: 200 Recipes for Simple and Delicious Animal-Free Cuisine, and I’m so glad I decided to page through this book again because I’ve realised there is a whole chapter on Raw Food recipes! I plan to try the Apple Pie recipe very soon…

Ingredients: (makes 2 trays)

1/2 cup Ground Flaxseeds

1/2 cup Buckwheat Groats or chopped Almonds

1/2 cup raw Pumpkin Seeds

1/2 cup raw Sunflower Seeds

1/2 cup grated Carrot

1 cup finely chopped Sundried Tomatoes

1/4 cup raw Sesame Seeds (I used Black)

3/4 tsp. dried Thyme

3/4 tsp. dried Basil

3/4 tsp. Garlic powder

3/4 tsp. Onion powder

1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast (optional)

1 1/2 cups Water

1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

 

Method:

Combine all the cracker ingredients in a bowl, cover with water and allow to absorb for 15 minutes or so.

– Put mixture into a processor or blender and run until mostly smooth with some texture.

– Spread mixture thinly onto a Teflex deydrator sheet (or a lined baking tray), and score crackers into 2 inch squares. Place in deydrator for 8 hrs (or oven at lowest temperature for about 3 -5 hrs). Flip over and continue to deydrate for an additional 4 hrs or until crackers are crunchy.

* PS: These are seriously tasty by the way! They were brought along as snacks in the cinema, as well as for lunch with some veggies and dip…Very addictive!

 

Beetroot Hummus

Ingredients:

1/2 Onion, diced

1 Tblsp. Cumin, ground

2 medium cooked Beetroots, chopped

1 tin of Chickpeas, drained

1 Tblsp. Tahini

2-3 Tblsp. plain Soy Yoghurt

2 cloves of Garlic, minced

2 Tblsp. Lemon Juice

3-4 Tblsp. Olive Oil

Water, as needed

 

Method:

Heat a little Oil in a frying pan and cook Onion for 2 -3 mins. until soft. Add Cumin and cook for a further 1 minute, until fragrant.

In a processor, or blender, process Beetroot, Onion, Chickpeas, Tahini, Yoghurt, Lemon Juice and Garlic until smooth. With the motor running add Oil in a steady stream. Process until combined, adding Water if needed.

(from Vegie Food (Chunky Food))

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Veggie Juice Fast…

What a juice cleanse entails – an amount of vegetables that you could never imagine consuming in one day! However, once juiced, this pile turns into a gold, frothy, life-giving drink…

Always start with a Crapple (Carrot&Apple) base, especially if you’re not used to Veggie Juices. Then you can add a bit of Beetroot, a stalk Celery,  1/4 Cucumber, bunch of Parsely, chunk of Red Pepper, half a peeled Lemon, a piece of Ginger, and some chopped Pineapple if you like it a bit sweet. A few branches of Broccoli are always good too…And a handful of Spinach & Sprouts! Make sure to juice the more leafy veg (Parsley, Spinach) with the juicer ones (like carrot & cucumber), otherwise they won’t juice properly.

And Voila ~ Liquid Sunshine for your Soul! Great for a good Detox of the Liver & Bowels…

*Remember to drink slowly, and swirl juice in your mouth before swallowing to prevent a rise in Blood Sugar Levels

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