Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Raw Eggplant Spinach Zucchini Rolls with Sunflower Seed Pate

Raw Vegan Meal

Last Sunday we had lazy morning planned before going on an afternoon outing.  Well, for me that meant playing with food.

I was originally going to make another variation of my raw lasagna, but then my mind started to roll.  Literally ;)  I told Mark my idea and he said it sounded yummy!  So I went with it.

These triple layer rolls of goodness goes like this: 1st layer - marinated eggplant topped with my sunflower seed pate and shredded carrots then rolled. 2nd layer - spinach leaves topped with my hemp ricotta style "cheese" and wrapped around the eggplant roll. 3rd layer - zucchini lasagna noodles topped with more sunflower seed pate and snugly wrapped around the spinach leaves. 


There are a few steps to this and I meant to take pictures of them, but... so I'll just break down each step of my recipe with the ingredients needed.  It's not an all day prep, but do allow yourself a little time.

Eggplant Spinach Zucchini Rolls with Sunflower Seed Pate
makes approximately 12 rolls - pending size of veggies

Step 1 - Eggplant Marinade

1 eggplant - thinly sliced. I used my mandolin at about 1/8" - set aside.

1 Tbs each: apple cider vinegar, braggs amino acids, agave
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder

Stir well to combine.  Place the sliced eggplant in a Ziploc bag or large pan/dish and pour the marinade over them.  It will appear that there is not enough, but the juice from the eggplant will develop while marinating.  Try to coat each slice with marinade and double stack the eggplant so they can mingle.  Marinate approximately 60 minutes while preparing the remaining ingredients.

note: I got 12 slices from the eggplant I used, but please take into account that veggie sizes vary.  If yours is very large then you'll need to adjust the amount of marinade 

Step 2 Hemp Ricotta Style "Cheese"

1/2 cup heaping hemp heart seeds + 2 Tbs
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp Herbs de Provence
1/4 cup water

In blender, blend all ingredients.  You may need to stop blender and work down ingredients.  It will look similar to ricotta cheese.  Due to blenders vary, adjust the water as needed, but you don't want it watery.  Put in small bowl and into fridge while preparing next step.  This will also thicken it up more.

Step 3 - Sunflower Seed Pate

1/2 cup heaping sunflower seeds (soaked and dehydrated, but not necessary)
1/2 cup hemp heart seeds
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove - minced
1 tsp Herbs de Provence
1 tsp basil (fresh would be best, but I was out)
fresh Rosemary sprigs - approximately 1-2 inches
1/8 tsp sea salt

In food processor add the sunflower and hemp seeds and process until you have little bits, almost flour like.  Add in the remaining ingredients and process until well combined.  Divide into 2 small bowls, cover and set aside while preparing the next step.

Step 4 - Shredded Carrots, Zucchini and Spinach Leaves

2 large carrots - shredded.  I used my food processor with the shredder attachment to make it easy, but however you wish is fine.  Put in bowl and set aside.

1 long large zucchini - sliced thin.  I used my mandolin at about 1/8".  Have an extra zucchini on hand just in case.

Spinach Leaves - as many as you need, grab a handful and set them aside

Step 5 - time to rock and roll

Remove the marinated eggplant from the dish and onto a paper towel lined tray or cutting board.  Place another paper towel over them and pat dry.  You don't want them wet and juicy.

Have at least 2 trays to work with: a large one for rolling up the different veggie layers with and the other to place them on.  I used 3 trays - I tend to spread out.  Also give yourself enough room and set out all the ingredients in working order.  Here we go...

1st layer: take a marinated eggplant slice and roughly spread with sunflower pate - you don't need to cover it completely or be neat and perfect.  Make sure to get a little dab at both ends so it will seal close.  Top with shredded carrots and roll up snug.

2nd layer: take 1 large spinach leaf (depends on size of leaf, but you want it to wrap around so use 2 if needed) add some hemp ricotta "cheese" on it and wrapped it around the eggplant roll.

3rd layer: take a zucchini lasagna noodle, roughly spread with a little pate, again at the ends, and snugly wrapped around the spinach leaves.

Now repeat until done.  I had a little bit of the mixtures left over, but not much, so I made a few extra zucchini rolls with it. 

Oh and I double wrapped a few of the rolls with the zucchini, but the rest I only used one as I like how they look with the spinach - more colorful.

You can serve these immediately or chill in fridge for a couple hours and then enjoy.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Raw Dessert: Chia Coconut Cinnamon Chocolate Strawberry Parfait

Raw Vegan Dessert

This is one of my gourmet style desserts that is very easy to make.  I love when I have time to be creative. 

There are 6 layers in this delicious, healthy and guilt-free raw vegan dessert.  From bottom up they are: cinnamon chocolate mousse (can't see in the photo), coconut chia pudding, cacao nibs, strawberries, cinnamon chocolate mousse and coconut chia pudding - topped with more cinnamon chocolate, cacao nibs and a ring of coconut shreds.

 Yes.  This is guilt-free and loaded with nutritious yumminess!

Coconut Cinnamon Chocolate Strawberry Parfait

This may look more difficult than it actually is, but it's really quite simple.  The only time consuming part is letting the chia chill (that's fun to say!).  I typically make my chia pudding in the evening and let it chill overnight.  Or you could make it in the morning and let it chill several hours until pudding consistency.  
I'll skip the chatter and get right to my recipe.  Well, unless you want me to tell you how my day went and... um, okay.  I get the hint ;)  On with the recipe.
Chia Coconut Cinnamon Chocolate Strawberry Parfait
serves 2

Cinnamon Chocolate Mousse
1 large avocado
1 Tbs hemp seeds
2 Tbs cacao powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbs coconut oil
2 1/2 Tbs agave
1/4 cup coconut milk

Blend until smooth and creamy.  Best when chilled for at least 60 minutes or longer.

Coconut Chia Pudding
3 Tbs chia seeds
1 1/2 cups coconut milk - not cream (or almond milk is fine)
Stir several times so that there are no clumps and chill for at least 6 hours for a pudding consistency (I make it the night before and let it chill over night).  I periodically stir the first couple hours.

Use desired amounts of the following:
Chopped strawberries
Dried shredded coconut (I use unsweetened)
Cacao nibs (or chocolate chips of choice)

Layer in serving dishes as I have or be creative and layer as you wish.  Enjoy!

Peace ☮

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Strawberry Mint Swirl Smoothie - Raw and Vegan

Strawberry Mint Smoothie

When I have a little extra time in the mornings I enjoy being creative with my smoothies.  I love to do layers with different fruits and greens, from simple to elegant.  This one was rather simple in looks, but the taste had a definite WOW factor!

Strawberry Mint Swirl Smoothie Mint

Cream Layer:
2 cold ripe bananas
3-4 mint leaves
1/4 cup hemp milk (or milk of choice)
1 tsp Matcha (optional)

Blend all ingredients, pour into a separate container and put in freezer while making the next layer.

Reddish Pink layer:
1 handful strawberries - about 1 1/2 cups
1/2 small beet
1 small frozen ripe banana

Blend all ingredients.

Alternately pour each layer in a tall glass and give a little swirl after each layer.  I topped mine with mint and a few nibbles of my fudge brownie, which is completely optional.


Friday, April 25, 2014

Raw Vegan Single Serve Nut Fudge Brownie

Raw Vegan Fudge Brownie - Single Serve

Single serve nut fudge brownie. Because sometimes you need to satisfy that "GOTTA HAVE CHOCOLATE NOW!" fix in a jiffy.

While this raw vegan brownie does contain nuts, it's still healthy and guilt-free - and quick to make in a single bowl.

Single Serve Nut Fudge Brownie

1/3 cup walnuts
1/2 Tbs dried coconut shreds (or hemp heart seeds)
1/2 Tbs cacao powder
1/2 Tbs agave (or liquid sweetener of choice)
1/2 Tbs almond butter or other nut butter

Grind the walnuts in a coffee grinder or for a quick, barbaric dishes-free way: put them in an unsealed baggie and smash them with a heavy utensil, but don't pulverize them to smithereens.  With a fork, combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Form into a brownie or any shape you wish. Eat this warm ooey gooey fudgy nutty brownie immediately or put in fridge for at least 30-60 minutes and it will taste even better! 

That's it.  Simple and quick. Your chocolate fix is now cured. 


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Becoming Raw Book and Rocki's Tropical Peachy Green Smoothie

Becoming Raw Book and Rocki's Tropical Peachy Green Smoothie

If you're new to raw or thinking about becoming a raw vegan, I highly recommend this book: Becoming Raw.  This is one of the first of several books I bought when Mark and I started on our raw path almost 2 years ago.  I keep this informative guide book in my kitchen and still reference it - and learn something new each time.

While this is not a recipe book, it does have a few in there.  But in short, it is a complete book filled with science-based raw vegan nutrition from A to Z - and much more. This easy to read book is packed full with a wealth of information and truly is an "essential guide to raw vegan diets".

I'm including my smoothie recipe in this post since I do have it pictured.  That would be rude of me if I didn't ;)

Tropical Peachy Green Smoothie

2 handfuls baby spinach
1 peach (or 1 cup frozen)
1 large frozen banana
1 Tbs dried coconut shreds
1 piece peeled turmeric (approx. 1")
1 Tbs flax meal
1 Tbs maca powder
3/4 cup coconut water (adjust as needed)

Blend in a powerful blender and enjoy.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Raw Carrot Cake Cookies - Vegan and Nut-Free

Raw Carrot Cake Cookies - Vegan and Nut-Free

Carrots.  I love carrots!  I eat them whole, shredded, grated, julienned, chopped, diced... guess I could just sum it up and say I eat them raw.

Not only are carrots delicious in the raw or as a savory side dish (not to mention packed with nutrition), they also make a very yummy dessert - like cookies!  And smoothies, shakes, cakes, pies... I'll stop.

I wanted a cookie without nuts.  I'm not a nut hater and I do love them, but I like to keep a low fat diet so I don't use them that much.  When you bite into these cookies, it's like taking a bite of moist carrot cake. Mark REALLY loves them.  I have to hide them in the back of the fridge or put them in a hidden container.  Kidding.  Maybe.

Raw Carrot Cake Cookies - Vegan and Nut-Free
makes approximately 20-24 small cookies

1 full cup carrots - roughly chopped
1 cup hemp heart seeds
1/4 cup coconut shreds
2 Tbs raw vegan protein powder (or replace with flax meal or more hemp)
1 cup packed medjool dates
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves

In food processor, process carrots into tiny little bits.  Do not over process - you don't want mush, just tiny bits.  Put into large bowl and add in the remaining ingredients.  Stir well to combine.  Mixture will seem too wet, but after dehydrated they will be deliciously moist cookies.

Form into small balls and flatten into cookie shape.  You may need to periodically wet and dry your hands as they'll get a bit sticky. Put onto lined dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 145° F for 1 hour only then turn down to 115° F.  Once tried to touch on top, remove and flip them from the lined tray onto a mesh tray and continue dehydrating until done.  Total time varies approximately 10-12 hours or until desired liking. These took me 10 hours total time. 

Store in fridge or freezer in a sealed container.

NOTE:  these are too wet for bliss balls or non-dehydrated cookies.  However, if you do not have a dehydrator you can use shredded carrots or squeeze dry the processed carrots with paper towels and add in a about 1/4 cup flax meal until the mixture holds together.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Raw Vegan Puerto Rican Rice

Cauliflower Rice - Raw Vegan Puerto Rican II
One thing I love to do in the kitchen is turn traditional food raw - especially what I call "old school" favorites. While this raw version isn't actually old school, it is an old favorite that we used to have quite frequently at our friends house long ago.
The above version of my Puerto Rican Rice is a spinoff of the first one that I made, which is below.  There isn't too much of a difference recipe wise, but was enough to give it a bit more flavor so am posting both recipes. 
Raw Vegan Puerto Rican Rice II
1 small head cauliflower
3/4 cup roughly chopped onion
1/2 cup heaping sundried tomatoes - soaked and drained well
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp Saffron
1/8 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup peas
Cut cauliflower into chunks, put into food processor and pulse several times until you have rice like pieces - don't over process or you'll have mush.  Scrape sides as needed.  Depending on size of your processor, you may need to do this part in 2 batches.  Put "rice" into large bowl and set aside. *don't clean the processor*
Add the following to the food processor:
roughly chopped onion
sundried tomatoes
Process until you have semi-small bits.
Add in the chopped cilantro and pulse process a few times. Add this mixture to the rice bowl and stir in the following spices only and combine well:
cayenne pepper
garlic powder
sea salt
Gently stir in the peas.
Serve immediately or put in fridge to chill.  Store in fridge for up to approximately 3 days.  Remember, this is fresh food so it's best to eat it sooner than later. 
Raw Vegan Puerto Rican Rice Dish
This is my first recipe and again, while there's not much difference in ingredients, there was a definite overall taste in flavor.  Both scored two thumbs up from my official taste tester. 
Raw Vegan Puerto Rican Rice
1 small head cauliflower
1/2 cup roughly chopped onion
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes
1/2 Serrano pepper - seeded
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup peas
Cut cauliflower into chunks, put into food processor and pulse several times until you have rice like pieces - don't over process or you'll have mush.  Scrape sides as needed.  Depending on size of your processor, you may need to do this part in 2 batches.  Put "rice" into large bowl and set aside. *don't clean the processor*
Add the following to the food processor:
roughly chopped onion
sundried tomatoes
serrano pepper - seeded
Process until you have semi-small bits.
Add in the chopped cilantro and pulse process a few times. Add this mixture to the rice bowl and stir in the following spices only and combine well:
cayenne pepper
garlic powder
sea salt
Gently stir in the peas.
I served this rice with avocado slices and sliced bananas sprinkled with Saigon cinnamon.  Both version are delicious room temp or chilled.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Raw Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and Cookie Dough Bliss Balls

Raw Vegan Oatmeal Cookies
This is another recipe that I transferred from my old blog

My grandma made the best oatmeal molasses raisin cookies.  In fact, I can still smell them!  Lots of fun was spent in the kitchen at my grandparents house.  Sweet memories.

My Raw Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are guilt-free, gluten-free, healthy and very tasty.  They go pretty quick too, so next time I'll make a double batch... maybe even triple.

The aroma of these cookies in the dehydrator is like pure bliss!

No worries if you do not have a dehydrator as you can eat these cookies completely raw!  You can form them into cookie shapes or Bliss Balls (see below) - they taste like oatmeal cookie dough! 

Raw Vegan Cookie Dough Bliss Balls

For this batch I did a little of both, and Mark took them to work to share.  I rolled some in hemp heart seeds, some in coconut sugar and the rest I left plain.  Shredded coconut would be a nice topping too... so many choices.

Here's my simple recipe for a yummy healthy treat.

Raw Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and Bliss Balls

1 heaping cup of soaked steel cut gluten-free oats (rinsed and drained) - or regular oats
1 cup flax meal
1/2 cup walnuts (soaked and dehydrated - optional)
2 Tbs hemp heart seeds
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp Roasted Saigon Cinnamon (or regular)
1/4 tsp sea salt

Put into food processor and pulse to combine.

Add in:
1/2 cup packed medjool dates (or dates of choice), process until well combined and can hold it's shape when rolled into a ball.

Add in 1/4 cup full of golden raisins and pulse just a few times to mix in.  You can leave the raisins out if you like.

For dehydrated cookies:

Form into balls, sprinkle with a tiny bit of coconut sugar (or sugar of choice) and flatten.  Put onto mesh dehydrator sheet and dehydrate at 115 degrees for approximately 4-6 hours or until desired doneness.  Time will vary due to weather, location, dehydrator, etc.

For bliss balls:

Form into round balls and if desired, roll into coconut shreds, hemp seeds, coconut sugar... or leave plain.  I love them plain.

Store them in the fridge or freezer - if they last that long. 


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Raw Blueberry Jam

Raw Blueberry Jam

I LOVE jam and my grandma made the best ever!  Okay okay, hands down... make that ALL grandma's made the best jams.  I have a lot of favorites, but blueberry is number one.

Back when I ate traditional food, especially growing up, I put jam on my waffles, pancakes, crackers, a spoon, my face, etc.  And of course P&J sammies - and lots of it.  The more the better. My P&J's were more like J's.

I've never made traditional jams, but that's okay because I can make my own raw version anytime I want.  This is a simple basic recipe that can be used with other fresh fruits and altered as well, such as add your own sweetener if the fruit is on the tart side or if you have a major sweet tooth. 

It's so fresh and tasty that it will make you want to eat the whole jar!  And guess what?  You can!  Or you can put it on anything you wish.  Ooh and its super tasty on top of nice-cream - guilt-free vegan ice cream made with frozen bananas.  That will be another post, for now let's get to the recipe.

Blueberry Jam
2 Tbs *chia seeds
1/4 cup water
1 cup fresh blueberries
Optional: 1 Tbs (or to taste) agave or sweetener of choice if fruit is tart or you prefer sweeter jam

Add chia and water in a small dish or cup, stir and set aside - this will gel. Put blueberries in food processor and process briefly or until desired texture. I like little bits of fruit in mine so I don't process them entirely smooth. Put the blueberries in a bowl and add the gelled chia.  Stir/wisk to combine well.  This is best when chilled at least 30 minutes or longer as this gives the chia more time to absorb and give more of a jam taste and appearance.

Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

*chia seeds are known as a superfood.  They are gluten-free, a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants.  These tiny little seeds have healthy omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein and minerals.  They can absorb 10-12 times their body weight in a short amount of time.  Chia is a dieter's perfect food as it adds bulk and makes your tummy fill fuller longer.  There are numerous health benefits by adding chia to your regular diet and many ways to include it.

Note: the jam and almond butter is on my soft fruit tortillas that I'm using as flat bread, which will be in an upcoming post.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Raw Vegan "Baked" Bean Sauce - great on veggies too!

Raw Vegan "Baked" Bean Sauce

As you may know by now, I enjoy turning traditional foods raw and vegan.  However, there are some foods that I cannot eat or do not like.  Let me back up to give you a little perspective, I have several food allergies and I'm practically and joyfully fully raw, say at least 95%, while Mark is at least 85% raw.  There are several foods that he likes that I've recreated for him to fit into our raw lifestyle and this is one of them - Baked Beans.

While the beans themselves are not raw, the sauce I created is and I must say is pretty darn tasty!  Too bad I didn't get to partake on the entire dish - beans do not like me one little bit.  I can, however, handle adzuki beans that I sprout myself. 

Anyway, Mark was hankering for some baked beans so to the store I went.  I read the ingredients on several cans and decided that this was doable.  Because I do not cook food, I bought a can (bpa free) of Eden Organic white beans and home I went.  I donned my Raw Vegan Mad Scientist Coat (apron) and into the garden I went (kitchen).  After adding this and that, adjusting here and there, I exclaimed "I MADE RAW VEGAN BAKED BEANS!" - with a bit of weird science laughter.  

Into the office I went with my bowl and spoonful of sauce.  I gave Mark a taste.  His eyes glazed over with delight - or maybe I had forgotten to wipe the sauce off my chin.  Anyway, I had to stop him from taking the bowl out of my hand. In other words, I had another success!

Here is my recipe for the sauce that can be added to your own cooked beans or canned. 


1 15 oz bpa free can of white beans - drained and rinsed - or use beans of choice.  This sauce was rather delicious on my raw veggies, so the choice is yours.

1/4 cup sundried tomatoes - soaked in 1 1/2 cups fresh water and drained - reserve soak water
1 cup of the soaked water
4 medjool dates
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 Tbs raw gluten-free apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp sweet paprika
1/8 tsp turmeric - ground/powder
1 tsp mustard
pinch of sea salt

Put all ingredients into blender and blend until creamy.  Due to date fruit size varies, along with blender types, you may need to add more of the soak water and/or adjust to desired liking.

Pour sauce onto beans and gently stir to combine.  Enjoy immediately or chill for a couple hours.  Store in fridge up to 3-4 days.


Raw Vegan Fig Dressing

Raw Vegan Fig Dressing - perfect on green and fruit salads!

Obviously, being a raw vegan means you eat a lot of salads too, but they don't have to be boring.  I make our dressings from mainly fruits and veggies, along with a few other ingredients.  Sometimes I don't use dressing at all, but Mark does so I love creating a variety for us both.

This refreshing salad is a mix of greens, strawberries, pear, dried figs and walnuts with my thick n creamy fig dressing.  This also makes a wonderful fruit dip.

Raw Vegan Fig Dressing

1 cup dried figs
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 cups fresh water

Remove fig stems, cut in half and soak in the 2 cups fresh water for at least 60 minutes and then drain. Reserve the soak water.  In blender, add the drained figs, lemon juice and 1 cup of the soak water. Blend until smooth and creamy. If it is too thick, add more soak water until desired liking.

Store in sealed jar in fridge for up to 5 days.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Raw Vegan Lasagna

Fresh Raw Vegan Lasagna
This is another recipe that I transferred from my old blog

Before I go on about my Raw Vegan Lasagna recipe, I just want to mention that I have included several pictures to show part of the process and how the ingredients look after preparing them.  I just don't want you to feel overwhelmed by all the photos.

Every time I make my lasagna I change it up here and there.  I never measured anything or wrote it down, for most of my recipes actually.  However, after several requests and starting my old blog, plus preparing for my E-books, I figured it would be a good idea.  I have a kitchen full of my recipes. 

I'll skip the part in telling you how flavorful, delicious, mouthwatering and nutritious it is and get straight to the good stuff.  One little note and then I'll zip it.  Under each photo I explain a little about it, but the entire recipe is at the end.

Veggies prepped and ready to make lasagna

This is a little backwards, but this is almost the end result after preparing all the fresh ingredients (except for the zucchinis) in order to make the lasagna.
Wilted fresh baby spinach

Sometimes I like to wilt the fresh baby spinach a little in a tasty mixture, but not to the point that it looks entirely cooked.  It will take on a more cooked texture and appearance after the lasagna has chilled for a couple hours.  I start with the spinach to give it time to wilt and set it aside.

Fresh mushrooms take on a "cooked" texture after marinated

Next we wilt the mushrooms.  I slice the fresh mushrooms and place them in a bowl with my wilting mixture.  I like to wilt them to not only take on a cooked appearance, but for taste and texture as well.  I set this aside and proceed with the next step.  (I strain them after they get to the wilting point that I like)

raw vegan "cheese" crumbles

Sometimes I have this "cheese" on hand as it is a great topping for salads, but to show the entire process of this recipe I made some fresh.

fresh tomato sauce

The yummy sauce!  I start with sundried tomatoes that I soak in warm water.  I actually start the recipe by soaking them and proceed from there, but I didn't take a picture of that part. 

Anyway, after making the sauce I put it in a fine mesh strainer while I prepare the rest of the ingredients.  The reason I do this is because I don't want my lasagna to be wet and soppy.

Sliced zucchini using a mandolin

I slice the zucchinis very thin, approximately 1/8", except for about 5 slices as I make them a little thicker and use for the bottom layer.  If you don't have a mandolin, a sharp knife is perfectly fine.

Zucchini pasta noodles

It still amazes me how zucchini can take on a pasta texture in many raw recipes and it is so yummy!
organic olives

Occasionally I add clean organic olives in my lasagna, but this time I used them as a garnish.

first layer of lasagna

Now to layer the lasagna.  No, I didn't forget my lasagna dish.  Sometimes I like to make it on this platter as it is easier to cut and serve from.  The choice is yours.

I start with a little sauce on the bottom, then zucchini and more sauce.  You can layer how you wish, but I'll explain how I do it in the recipe at the end.

raw vegan lasagna RAWks!

(waves magic wand) And in a blink of an eye we have raw vegan lasagna! 

veggie filled lasagna

Look at all those yummy layers!  This can be served immediately or put it in the fridge to chill so it can take on a more cooked texture and appearance as in the photo below.

chilled raw vegan lasagna takes on cooked texture

This is what it looks like after chilled for a few hours.  Sometimes I pop it in the dehydrator to warm up a bit, but for the most part we love it right out of the fridge.

And now for my recipe.  Don't let all the steps scare you...once you get everything set out and start going it is a fairly smooth process.  Just allow yourself a little time, it is SO worth it!  I listed everything in order as I make it.  This can be altered in many ways to fit your liking and/or diet.  For instance, you can completely skip the wilting process and use the fresh ingredients as is.  I make plenty lasagna that way too as it's quick and simple .  Hope you enjoy it!

Raw Vegan Lasagna

Step 1 - Soaking Sundried Tomatoes
3/4 cup sundried tomatoes

Soak in warm water and set aside while preparing the other ingredients.  You will use these in the sauce that will be made in Step 6.

Step 2 - Wilting Mixture
1 Tbs EVO (extra virgin olive oil)
1 1/2 Tbs Braggs or other Amino Acids
1 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbs Agave

Wisk all ingredients in a small dish. I use a glass measuring cup as it is easier to pour from.  This is used for both the spinach and mushrooms.  It may not seem like enough for both, but it is - plus the shrooms will produce liquid as they start to wilt.

Step 3 - Wilt Spinach
3 big handfuls of fresh baby spinach

Loosely tear spinach and place in large bowl.  Add less than half of the wilting mixture to the spinach then toss to coat.  Set aside.

Step 4 - Wilt Mushrooms
8 oz or more of Mushrooms of choice

Slice mushrooms and place in bowl.  Add remaining wilting mixture, toss to coat well then set aside.

Once they have wilted to desired liking, drain and set aside.

Step 5 - "Cheese" Crumbles
1/2 cup cashews
3 Tbs pine nuts
1 small garlic clove
1 Tbs nutritional yeast (gives it the cheesy flavor, not to mention health benefits)
1/8 tsp sea salt

Add all ingredients to food processor and process until it resembles small crumbles.  Set aside.

Step 6 - Sauce
1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (or tomatoes of choice)
3/4 cup soaked and drained sundried tomatoes from Step 1
1 medjool date (stone removed)
1/3 cup roughly chopped onion
1/2 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
4-5 fresh basil leaves
1 large garlic clove
1 Tbs Italian Seasoning

Place all ingredients in order into food processor and pulse several times until well blended (may need to scrape down sides), but do not over process.  You don't want this to be a smooth sauce or it will be too runny for the lasagna - it needs to be a little chunky.  Set aside.

Step 7 - Zucchini Noodles
2 large zucchinis

I use a mandolin, but if you do not have one then a sharp knife will be fine.  I start by making about 5 thick slices which will be used for the bottom layer.  Slice the remaining zucchinis very thin or desired liking.  Set aside.

Step 8 - Layer the lasagna  
Now comes the fun part...wait, the above was fun too, right?  This part isn't rocket science, but I'll explain how I layered it, but feel free to layer as you wish.

Take a little bit of sauce and splatter it around with your hand onto a large platter, just to have a thin layer.  Just note here that for the rest of the layering when it comes time for the sauce, I use my clean hands because it's much easier to place on top of the zucchini and spread around.  The sauce doesn't completely cover everything like in traditional lasagna, but enough to get a decent covering.  So the rest goes like this...

Place the thick slices of zucchini on the sauce plate and then...
optional olive garnish
top with lots more "cheese"

You can serve and enjoy immediately or place in the fridge to chill a few hours which will let the zucchini become more "noodle" like and all ingredients take on a more "cooked" texture and appearance.  You can also warm it in the dehydrator if you so choose.  Enjoy!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Raw Chocolate Almond Bars

Raw Chocolate Almond Bars

Prior to going raw, I thought the one thing I would no longer be able to have was chocolate.  Not that I ate a lot of chocolate candies, but I've always loved chocolate in a variety of ways.  In fact, I used to buy the organic vegan chocolate bars and they would actually last me a whole week because I would only eat a little square each day.

As you can see above, as well as many of my other recipes here and on Instagram, chocolate is still in my life - but now it is healthy raw cacao and tastes so very good! 

This chocolate bar recipe is a variation of several others I make and is very versatile.  Next time I make a batch I'll take pictures of all the silicone molds that I use and the different types of candies from bars to yummy fillings.

Raw Chocolate Almond Bars

1/2 cup cacao powder
3 Tbs agave (or maple syrup is fine)
1/2 cup coconut oil (liquid form)
2 Tbs grated cacao butter (melt the raw way or as you wish)
1 tsp vanilla
pinch sea salt
almonds pieces - or can omit

In a bowl wisk all ingredients except almonds. Pour into molds of choice (I use silicone molds) or a tinfoil lined dish.  Add desired amount of almonds on top. Put in freezer for at least 60-90 minutes or until hard. Remove from molds, test for chocolaty goodness and store in freezer... if they make it that far.

Note: these will start to get a little melty if left at room temperature for too long, maybe 10 minutes or so.  I'm still working on a chocolate recipe to give it a longer counter life - but then again I don't thing they would last that long anyway ;)


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Raw Chocolate Coconut Smoothie - Vegan Shake

Raw Chocolate Coconut Smoothie

I'm finding it rather difficult to concentrate on typing while sipping on my uber delicious thick and cream, rich and chocolaty, coconuty, raw vegan, guilt-free dessert like smoothie.  Whew!  That was a mouthful.  So I'll get right to the recipe.

Raw Chocolate Coconut Smoothie

1 large frozen ripe banana
1 large not frozen ripe banana
1 Tbs coconut oil
2 Tbs cacao powder
1 Tbs dried coconut shreds (I use unsweetened)
3/4 cup water (adjust as needed)
1/2 cup ice
optional toppings: coconut shreds and my homemade chocolate chunks, which I'll post tomorrow morning.

Blend all ingredients until thick and creamy.  Due to blenders vary (I use a vitamix) you may need to adjust the water.  This delicious shake like smoothie is perfect as is or add toppings of choice.

Note:  if your bananas are not ripe then add a medjool date or sweetener of choice to sweeten it up.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mango Strawberry Rolls

Mango Strawberry Rolls

Just cut into a fresh mango and want to turn it into something fun?  Or perhaps you have a romantic day or evening planned with your special someone and want to add a little more sweetness to it.  Well here's a quick and easy idea:

Mango Strawberry Rolls

Sharp knife
Mango cutter if you have one - I got mine at Target and LOVE it!

Cut the fresh mango.  With a sharp knife, cut very thin slices and set aside.  Chop the strawberries.  Now this part is a little messy and sticky, but worth it.  Put some chopped strawberries on the mango strip and roll it up.  Set aside and roll as many as you wish.

I garnished mine with cilantro, but mint would be perfect.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Cherimoya Parfait - Raw Vegan Smoothie

Cherimoya Parfait - Raw Vegan Smoothie

I have a new love and it's name is Cherimoya!  I won a tropical fruit box on Instagram via one of the other IG accounts I follow.  Anyway, the fruit box arrived from Melissa's Produce and I was floored by the amount of fruit that was in it!  Most of them I had never had, but have been wanting to try.  I was beyond excited!

This delicious custard like fruit (it is also known as a "custard apple") is amazing and I'm completely hooked - so is Mark.  It's a little bit of work to get all the big seeds out and scrape the fruit off of the peel - do NOT eat the peel - but believe you me it is more than worth it!   

Cherimoya Fruit

This took a bit of time with the layering process as I wanted it to look as delicious as it tastes!  Friday's are my days off so I had plenty of time. I was going to also garnish it, but I love the way it turned out as is. And the taste... out of this world! Like a pudding smoothie.

Cherimoya Parfait Smoothie

Green layer:
2 frozen bananas
1 huge handful spinach
2 Tbs hemp heart seeds
1 Tbs flax meal
1/2 cup water (adjust as needed)
1 tsp Matcha Green Tea Powder (optional)

Blend, pour into a separate container and put in freezer while making next layer.

Cream layer:
1 cherimoya - peeled and seeded
1 frozen banana

Blend, pour *half* of the mixture into separate container and put in freezer.

Orange layer:
With remaining cream layer in blender, add 1 Tbs goji berries and blend.

Take the containers out of the freezer and get ready to create!  After each layer, put the glass in freezer for about 5-10 minutes to let it set up (not frozen solid). With a small spatula or spoon, slowly add in another layer - start around the rim/inside of the glass first then work your way into the middle - this helps to keep the layers separate.  Do as many layers as you wish or simply blend everything together.  You can eat this super thick n creamy delicious parfait smoothie with a spoon or drink it with a straw. 

While waiting in between layers, you can do Sun Salutations or the dishes - your choice. Enjoy!


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Raw Vegan Pizza Rounds and Poppers

Raw Vegan Pizza Rounds and Poppers

Pizza anyone?  Here's a fun tasty variation of my full size Raw Vegan Pizza that makes a perfect little bite size snack, appetizer or even a meal.  Plus, you don't need to dehydrate them if you don't want to.

Dehydrated or not these are tasty little bites of pizza

This batch I dehydrated (well, except for a few that accidentally ended up in our mouths), but I've also made them without dehydrating.  Seriously, these are SO very yummy right out of the food processor!  The texture is a little different without dehydrating, soft and chewy, but you'll definitely taste the delicious pizza flavor either way.

These were perfect for our lunch with a nice green salad and watermelon

You can either make them round little balls like pizza poppers or flatten them out like mini pizza's - or both.  They make fun and tasty appetizers with or without toppings.  I've made them with a topping of raw vegan cheese with a variety of different veggies on each one.  Put a little olive in the middle of the rounds and you'll have an awesome popper!  A fun and nutritious appetizer to take to parties and family dinners. 

Raw Vegan Pizza Rounds and Poppers
Makes approximately 18 small bites

1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 Tbs flax meal
1/4 cup hemp heart seeds
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup heaping sundried tomatoes (soaked and drained)
1/3 cup onion, roughly chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
*water if needed

In a food processor, add sunflower seeds and process until small bits like flour.  Add in all remaining ingredients *except* water - process until mixture holds together when forming a ball.  If it seems too dry, add 1/2 tsp water at a time until achieved.

With your hands roll into small bite size balls. Take a little taste test - you know you want to.  You can leave them all round little balls or flatten with your hands into little pizza rounds - like cookies. You'll probably want to do another taste test at this time.  If there are any left and you don't want to dehydrate them, serve immediately or put them in the fridge to chill.

Or - put them on a lined dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 110° F for approximately 1-2 hours.  This will not turn them into crust or crackers, it will simply firm them up a bit more which makes them perfect if you want to turn them into an appetizer with toppings.  You will definitely want to do another taste test right out of the dehydrator - mmmmm!  In fact, at this point you may want to make a double batch.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Raw Vegan Spicy Hemp Cheese Sauce - Nut-Free

Cheese Sauce - Raw, Vegan and Nut-Free

This is a recipe from my old blog that I've transferred here.

Today was such a beautiful day all around.  We got some needed work done around the house in the morning, prepared veggies for Mark's lunch for tomorrow, played barber and cut Mark's hair, went for an awesome bicycle ride and now relaxing on the couch until it's time to create dinner. 

Oh wait, I forgot one little detail... made a batch of my hemp cheese.  Yum yum yum!

We sat down to have lunch and dug right into our veggies and cheese sauce.  I dunked my zucchini into the bowl of deliciousness, took a bite and looked at my cheesy zucchini - it looked like a half moon.  Mark's exact words were: "Well, they say the moon is made of cheese."  He always makes me laugh!

Not only is this cheese sauce gluten, dairy and nut-free, but it is super healthy and guilt-free!  Okay, on with my recipe as I'm wanting to dig back into the cheesy goodness.

Raw Vegan Hemp Cheese Sauce

1/4 cup water
1 red bell pepper
1 large garlic clove
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
3 TBS nutritional yeast (heaping)
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 TBS raw apple cider vinegar
1 Serrano chili pepper, seeds removed (or pepper of choice)
1 cup hemp heart seeds

Put everything into your blender and blend until smooth and creamy.  You can add more water if you want a thinner consistency.  Sometimes I add a little tahini for added creaminess.

Living in the southwest we tend to love heat, especially in our food.  Well, actually it took Mark a long time to realize that ketchup was NOT salsa (silly boy).  Now he loves heat in his food too :)  But no worries if you don't as you can change the flavor of the cheese by omitting both peppers and enjoy as is or add herbs and spices of your choice.  You can also use a yellow bell pepper instead of the red.  So many choices.

Time to eat.  Chow for now.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Raw Vegan Onion Rings

Raw Vegan Onion Rings

Ahhhhh... the smell of onion rings.  Due to food allergies, I haven't had onion rings or the likes in over 14 years.  I can honestly say that one of the traditional snack foods I miss is onion rings.  Now hear me out.  I don't mean the greasy, high calorie junk food onion rings themselves.  Well that's what they were, but I miss the taste.  Yes I know that doesn't make sense... welcome to my world ;)

I am beyond happy with my raw vegan lifestyle and would never change it - I thrive for raw food, but I'm human and sometimes have cravings.  When that happens, I turn traditional food raw and healthy. 

Back to front: coconut flour, coconut milk and flax meal & coconut shreds blend

I wanted to keep this batch nut-free.  I'm not allergic to nuts and do use them as they provide nutritional value, but I don't use them daily as I like to keep our meals low fat.  I also wanted a different flavor than traditional onion rings.  Coconuts were my inspiration - along with lack of sleep.  For some reason my mind likes to create at the most odd times.  I didn't object this time :)

My house smells like I can eat it!

I had no idea how long it would take for them to dehydrate.  I live in the southwest and yes it's dry with very little humidity here, but we do experience changes in weather from frost to our fair share of humidity, along with heat.  Yesterday was 98 degrees and we were heading for a record spring day high, so it probably wasn't the best day to test these out.  Well, to sum this part up it only took 7 hours, but there are many variables to this which will be in the recipe below.

Guilt-free onion rings

I was pleasantly surprised how this batch came out!  They had the crunch factor I wanted and the tropical like coconut flavor was perfect.  I'm going to make a couple of adjustments, like make them thicker (I love thick chunky onion rings!) and am already working up another onion ring recipe with a different overall flavor.

Oh and don't expect traditional fried onion rings, this is a healthy raw version which scored me two thumbs up from my official taste tester.  Mark mumbled: "MMMMMMM" along with something else but I couldn't quite make it out while he was taking bite after bite after...

One final note then onto the recipes.  I wanted a dipping sauce that would compliment the coconut onion rings.  So I basically threw something together and will include that below.

Raw Vegan Onion Rings

2 large sweet onions (or onions of choice) sliced and rings separated
I used the 3/8" on my mandolin, but would have preferred a thicker ring.  Just note that the thicker the slices the longer in the dehydrator

Bowl #1
1 cup coconut flour

Bowl #2
1 cup coconut milk (if you use canned, thin it out to milk consistency or use almond milk)

Bowl #3 (dry)
1 cup flax meal
1 cup dried coconut shreds (I used unsweetened)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

This is the messy part and will take a little while, but it's super easy so put on some good music and have fun. 

In bowl # order dredge/coat each onion ring into the mixture and put onto dehydrator sheet.  I used the back of a large spoon handle, with made it easier and less messy.  Here's the breakdown:

- Coconut flour (#1) this is a dusting only to prepare the ring for the next bowl, so do not worry if it looks like nothing is sticking - it will simply look like dust
- Coconut milk (#2) dip the dusted ring into the milk to coat
- Dry mix (#3) place the ring into the dry mixture and coat well.  Before placing on dehydrator sheet, give the ring a little shake into the dry bowl to let any loose ingredients fall off.

Note: due to veggie size varies, you may need to add more to the bowls if you run low.

Dehydrate at 115° F approximately 7-12 hours or until desired doneness.  Please note that time varies due to numerous factors, such as type of dehydrator, humidity, weather, thickness of onion rings, etc., so please take this into account.  As mentioned earlier, I live in the desert and it was a hot day yesterday so this batch took around 7 hours (I have a 5 tray Excalliber). 

Storage: we ate most of these with our salad last night and there was about a couple handfuls left so I stored them in a zip bag in the fridge.  This morning I tested them (I had to, it's my job) and they were still crunchy with a moister onion - total yum factor!

Sweet n Spicy Dip/Sauce/Dressing

1 yellow bell pepper
1/4 cup hemp heart seeds
1 small Serrano pepper (seeded)
1 Tbs agave
1 Tbs raw gluten-free apple cider vinegar

Blend until smooth and creamy.  This was super yummy with the onion rings, as well as on our salads.

Hope you enjoy these recipes.  Once I create the other onion ring batch I'll post it.