Saturday, May 31, 2014

A&J Smoothie - Almond Butter and Jam

Smoothie - Almond Butter and Jam

The other day I was dreaming of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  So I created this thick and delicious healthy smoothie!  But instead of a P&J, this one is A&J -  without the bread.  Creamy almond butter and lick my lips blueberry grape jam.

I don't use too many nuts in my smoothies, but a little here and there is perfect for me.  Besides, it's kind of hard to create a A&J smoothie without them. 

A&J Smoothie - Almond Butter and Jam
Jam Swirls
1 cup blueberries
1 cup red grapes
1 very small banana

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

Almond Butter Layer
1 frozen banana
1 non-frozen banana
1 heaping TBS almond butter
1/2 cup water or milk of choice (adjust as needed)

Blend in powerful blender.  Alternate each layer in a tall glass as you wish and enjoy!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Raw Vegan Veggie Lasagna Stack

Raw Vegan Veggie Lasagna Stack

There are so many ways to make raw vegan lasagna and this is another one of mine.  It is super easy to make and you can change it up to your own liking.  In fact, this is so simple that a recipe really isn't needed, but I have provided it at the end.

Raw Lasagna loaded with veggies

I didn't know where I was going with this one, so I just grabbed a bunch of veggies and went with it.  There are 3 huge layers plus the top, but a couple of them are double stuffed.  Just look at all that raw goodness!

Raw Vegan Meals are far from boring

I text Mark a picture of what I made for dinner (I know, I'm such a tease!) and could hardly wait for him to get home so we could eat.  It was very difficult to not dig into it before he got home.  Okay, so I had a little bite... I had to make sure it was edible, right?

Well, let me just say that the lasagna was our entire dinner.  That is how huge and filling they were.  So if anyone ever tells you that a raw vegan lifestyle is boring... need I say more?

Raw Vegan Veggie Lasagna Stack

This is truly very simple, but here are the basics for my sauce recipe and avocado mash.  The rest of the ingredients I'll list, but there are no measurements as I pretty much winged this one.

Tomato Sauce
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes - soaked until softened then drain
2 medium tomatoes - roughly chopped
1 medjool date
5-6 basil leaves - chopped
1 long sprig rosemary
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
black pepper - few turns or to taste
pinch sea salt

Process well in food processor.  Mixture will be thick.  I don't like my lasagna wet and soppy, so I strain my sauce.  Put the tomato mixture into a fine to medium mesh strainer, place over bowl and set aside to drain while you prepare the rest of the lasagna ingredients.  You can see how I did it in my other lasagna recipe here.

Avocado Mash
1 avocado
squeeze or two of fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp onion powder
black pepper - couple turns
pinch of sea salt

Just like it says - mash the avocado along with all the ingredients.

Zucchini noodles
I used 3 zucchinis - sizes vary so use however many you need

I made the noodles with my mandolin - a bit thicker than usual due to the amount of veggies that I was using.  They soften up like noodles while in the fridge for a couple hours and are so yummy!  Anyway, you can also slice them with a knife if you don't have a mandolin.

Use whatever veggies you would like in your lasagna, but here's what I used in this one from bottom up:

zucchini noodles
chopped yellow bell pepper
zucchini noodles
peeled carrots
zucchini noodles (I put a little avocado on it first then put it on top of the carrots to hold in place)
avocado mash
chopped onion
zucchini noodles (I put a little tomato sauce on it first then put it on top to hold veggies in place)
tomato sauce

Serve immediately or at least within a 2-3 hours and enjoy!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Green Custard Smoothie - Raw & Vegan

Green Custard Smoothie - Raw & Vegan

Cherimoya - also known as the custard apple, and for good reason.  You can read more about this OMG! fruit in my Cherimoya Parfait recipe post.

I do believe that cherimoya is my most favorite fruit of all.  Well, right next to mangos, bananas, blueberries, watermelon... Anyway, it's in my top 5 at least, that's for sure. 

Green Custard Smoothie - Raw & Vegan

Custard layer:
1 small cherimoya - peeled and seeded
1/2 banana
water - enough to blend with (amount varies due to fruit size)

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

Green layer:
1 frozen banana
1 non-frozen banana
2 handfuls baby spinach
1 tsp Matcha Green Tea powder (optional)
1 Tbs flax meal (optional)
1/2 cup water - adjust as needed

Blend in powerful blender.  Alternate each layer in a tall glass as you wish and enjoy!


Buddha and my Green Custard Smoothie

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Watermelon Mint Slushy

Watermelon Mint Slushy

In the mood for a simple refreshing drink?  Try my no brainer Watermelon Mint Slushy.  It's super easy to make and oh so delicious to drink!  I've made a few other variations too, like Watermelon Lime - mmmm... so good!

Watermelon Mint Slushy

mint leaves
ice - approximately 1 cup or as much as you like

Fill up your vitamix/blender with as much roughly cut watermelon as you like.  Toss in 3-4 mint leaves and ice, then blend.  You're done.  Now enjoy this cool refreshing slushy.

Option:  if you don't want a slushy, simply omit the ice.  You can also strain it to remove any pulp.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Raw Vegan Sloppy Joes

Raw Vegan Sloppy Joes

So the other night we were watching a movie and in one scene they were eating Sloppy Joes.  My mind suddenly went to food and I blurted out I NEED TO CREATE A RAW VEGAN SLOPPY JOE!  Mark didn't miss a beat and said "YES!!"

Let me back up.  When I was a kid I loved Sloppy Joes!  But not the meat part, just the sauce.  While my mom was making the packaged sauce (I don't know how I ate that crap), I would sneak in and taste it by the spoonful before she added the meat.  So fast forward to the other night.  As soon as I seen them eating SJ's my taste buds went off - big time. The next day I put on my Raw Vegan Mad Scientist Coat (apron) and into the garden (kitchen) I went to turn another old school dish into a healthy raw & vegan one.

I've included sort of a step by step photos and at the end is the recipe.  I'll admit that it was very difficult to take a decent photo of the SJ's without it looking like meat, which it's not, but trust me when I say that the flavor will burst in your mouth!

Walnut and Mushroom Mixture

I used walnuts and baby portobello mushrooms for the base mix and pulse processed to semi little bits.

Fresh Tomato Paste Mixture

The tomato mixture is processed until it resembles tomato paste, but tastes much better!

Tomato Paste Mixture with added Veggies

Little bits of veggies were then added.  The flavor was absolutely bursting in my mouth!

Both mixes combined

After adding the tomato veggie mixture to the walnut shroom mix, I scooped a big spoonful and took a bite.  BAM!  Oh yes, it is seriously that good! 

Veggie Joes!

I happened to have made a new flatbread recipe a few days ago, so I served my raw vegan SJ's on my new bread.  Perfect!  I haven't had time to post the recipe for my new flatbread and while I could have done that first, I was just too super excited about my SJ's! 

Speaking of my SJ'S, lets move on to the recipe.  Just to note that I'm writing it out in steps, so all the ingredients are in each step of this simple recipe.

Raw Vegan Sloppy Joes
This makes a big batch - I'll measure next time.

Step 1
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
2 medjool dates (or dates of choice)

Soak in fresh water together for approximately 20-30 minutes.  Set aside - these will be used in Step 3.

Step 2
2 1/2 cups baby portobellos - roughly chopped
1 cup walnuts (soaked & dehydrated, but not necessary)
1 tsp Braggs or Tamari
1/8 tsp chili powder

In food processor, pulse process to semi-bits - but not too small as you don't want this mushy.  Put in large bowl and set aside.

Step 3
2 medium size tomatoes - quartered
1 garlic clove - chopped
1/4 cup green bell pepper - roughly chopped
1/4 cup celery - roughly chopped
sundried tomatoes & medjool dates from Step 1 - drained

Put in food processor and process well, until it resembles tomato paste.  Leave in the processor and follow next step.

Step 4
1/4 tsp chili pepper flakes
1/4 tsp heaping ancho chili powder
1/2 tsp dry mustard powder

Add to the tomato paste mix in food processor and pulse a few times to combine.

Step 5
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1 large garlic clove - minced

Add veggies to the tomato mix and pulse process briefly just to combine.

Step 6
Add the tomato veggie mix to the walnut shroom bowl and stir to combine. 

Serve on bread or buns of your choice.  For lunch I had leftovers on romaine lettuce - delish!  Store in fridge.  Best enjoyed the day of making it and will keep for one extra day.



Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Raw Fudge Cookies and Freezer Fudge

Raw Vegan Fudge Cookies and Freezer Fudge Bites

Fudge.  Cookies.  Do I have your attention?  I thought so.

I experimented once again and came up with another new recipe: Raw Fudge Cookies and Freezer Fudge.  These deliciously moist and chewy cookies (and fudge) are vegan, nut-free and gluten-free.  And of course, raw.

One ingredient that makes them oh so fudge like is zucchini.  Yes, I said zucchini.  My grandma used to make the most chewy brownies of all with a secret ingredient that she wouldn't tell us kids.  She barely would pull them out of the oven before we were practically stuffing our faces with them.  And then it happened.  I had no idea she put veggies in my chocolate until one day I watched her make them and I about fell off my little helper chair!

Raw Vegan Fudge Cookies

Anyway, I grew up and thankfully fell in love with all veggies - except lima beans (blech!).  Then I discovered zucchini in a ton of dessert recipes from smoothies to brownies, cakes and pies... you get the idea.

With the same batch, I made cookies in the dehydrator and freezer fudge bites.  I did this because I wanted to see how the freezer fudge turned out as there are many people who do not have a dehydrator and I wanted that to be an option.  The fudge turned out super yummy!

Let's get down to business and make some raw deliciousness!

Raw Fudge Cookies and Freezer Fudge

1 heaping cup unpeeled zucchini, roughly chopped
1/2 cup hemp heart seeds
1/2 cup flax meal
1/2 cup coconut shreds
1/3 cup cacao powder
2 TBS raw vegan protein powder (or replace with more hemp)
1 cup packed medjool dates (stones removed)
3 dried figs, roughly chopped
2 TBS coconut oil (liquid)
2 TBS agave or coconut nectar
pinch of sea salt

If you do not have a large and powerful food processor, you may have to do this in two batches as it is a large quantity and gets pretty thick.

Put zucchini in food processor and process enough to break it down a little.  Add in remaining ingredients in order and process until well mixed.  You'll need to stop and scrap down the sides several times until achieved.  If mixture seems too dry, add 1 TBS of water at a time.  Mixture will be thick and sort of gooey dough like. 

For cookies - drop style (dehydrator needed):
Drop dough by the spoonful (desired size) onto lined dehydrator sheet and form into a cookie - at least 1/2" thick or so (doesn't have to be exact).  Dehydrate at 115° F for approximately 1-2 hours then remove from liner and transfer to mesh tray.  Dehydrate for another 6-8 hours.  Time frame will vary due to climate, cookie size, dehydrator, etc.  Cookies will be fudge like, but not wet.  They are ridiculously delicious right out of the dehydrator! Store in fridge in sealed container.

For freezer fudge (no dehydrator needed)
Line a pan of your choosing (depends on how thick you want them) and scoop mixture in and spread around.  Lightly cover and put in freezer for at least 90 minutes or until firm enough to cut into bite size pieces.  Store in freezer in sealed container.  These will soften at room temp.



Thursday, May 8, 2014

Raw Chocolate Cake with Orange Fudge Icing

Raw Chocolate Cake with Orange Fudge Icing

My gosh... I cannot express enough of how excited I am about my new recipe!  Raw Chocolate Cake with Orange Fudge Icing - yum! 

I wanted more of a cake like dessert rather than brownie.  However, don't think traditional fluffy cake as this is raw and is not like that.  While I typically go light on the nuts, this one I didn't.  But that's okay as I'm sharing this cake with Mark's work so it won't be around long enough for me to eat it entirely by myself.  Not that I would do that (grin).

The cake itself has a pleasant chocolate flavor with a subtle sweetness to it.  I didn't want a sweet cake because of the icing I had in mind.  I wanted a fudge type icing, but with a bit more tickle-the-taste-buds flavor. 

Dehydrating Oranges

Orange.  Yep, that will work.  Orange and chocolate are a delicious combination.  So I made an orange fudge icing.  Just a thin layer of it turned my raw cake into a decadent dessert.

As you can see above I dehydrated some oranges.  Some for snack and some for the cake.  This is entirely optional as it was for garnish only.

Orange Fudge Icing - oh my!

I'm going to get right to the recipe now, but let me just say that Mark REALLY loved my cake!  This is a keeper and will definitely be in my e-book.

Raw Chocolate Cake with Orange Fudge Icing
8" springform pan (or pan of choice)

1/2 cup cashews
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts

1/2 cup cacao powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs coconut oil (liquid)
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup hemp heart seeds
1 cup packed medjool dates
4-5 dried figs (soaked approximately 30 minutes and drain)

In a food processor, add in the nuts and process until you have small bits, almost like flour.  Do not over process.

Next, add in the cacao, cinnamon, coconut oil, vanilla and sea salt.  Process just until combined.  Add in the remaining ingredients and process until well combined and mixture holds together.  Do not over process or it will turn into an entirely different dessert. 

Put cake mixture into an 8" springform pan and press down firmly.  Put pan, uncovered, in the fridge for at least 60 minutes.

Orange Fudge Icing
this makes more than you need, unless you want a thicker icing

1/2 cup agave
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup coconut oil (liquid)
1/2 tsp orange extract
pinch of sea salt

Wisk all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth - it will start to thicken up a little bit at this point, but will be pourable.  Pour desired amount onto cake and spread to cover all areas.  Put iced cake back into the fridge for at least 90 minutes or longer for icing to set. 

Optional: before serving top with orange zest and dehydrated orange slices.  Store in fridge for up to 5 days - if it lasts that long.


Monday, May 5, 2014

Raw Green Protein Bars - Vegan and Gluten-Free

Raw Green Protein Bars

The other day I experimented and created another new recipe that turned out awesome! I make a variety of energy bars, but this one is different. These earthy tasty bars are very nutritious (not a dessert bar) and because of the nutrients in them, I had a hard time coming up with a name. So I decided on Raw Green Protein Bars. 

These make an excellent travel pick-me-up bar, but need to be kept chilled for long distance. I tested them out and they did well at room temp for a few hours and only got soft, not melty - in the southwest.  I'm going to experiment a bit more with these to see if I can get a longer lasting bar without having to be chilled.

Go Green!

Raw Green Protein Bars - Vegan and Gluten-Free

1 heaping cup packed medjool dates
1/4 cup golden raisins
2 Tbs goji berries
2 Tbs flax meal
1 Tbs spirulina
1/4 cup raw vegan protein powder (I use Sunwarrior Warriors Blend Natural)
2 Tbs almond butter

In food processor, process all ingredients until mixture starts holding together and you can form a ball with it.  Mixture will be warm and play-do like.  Put into an over lined 7x5 pan and press down firmly.  Cover lightly with the wrap and freeze for approximately 60 minutes.  Cut into small bars, bites or size of choice and store in fridge.

These can also be stored in the freezer as they will harden, but will soften up of course after a while - makes for a great on the go bar.



Saturday, May 3, 2014

Blueberry Plum Green Smoothie

Blueberry Plum Green Smoothie - Raw and Vegan

My daily breakfast is a smoothie, typically green as they are my favorite, or sometimes all fruit.  Occasionally I'll have a chia fruit parfait, but smoothies rock my mornings.

All, if not most, of my smoothies contain superfoods of some sort.  This one, which is actually a green smoothie in disguise, contains the superfoods: dried Goji Berries (upcoming post soon about this nutrient rich superstar) and Matcha Green Tea powder (see Green is the New Orange for more info on Matcha). 

So lets get to the recipe for this super healthy and uber delicious smoothie.

Antioxidant Boost Blueberry Plum Green Smoothie

2 handfuls baby spinach
1 cup blueberries
1 plum (pit removed)
1 Tbs Goji berries
2 frozen bananas
1 Tbs flax meal
3/4 cup coconut water or plain (adjust as needed)
1 tsp Matcha green tea

Blend all ingredients well.  Due to blenders vary (I use a Vitamix) as well as the size of fruits, you may need to adjust the water.

Enjoy this super healthy and delicious tasting smoothie!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Raw Pizza and Flatbread - Spinach Basil with Vegan Cheese

Raw Vegan Pizza

Raw pizza.  Oh yes.  And we can eat it anytime we want without the guilt.

This is another variation of my raw vegan pizza crust.  I was in a spinach and basil kind of mood, so I took the hint and into the garden I went (kitchen).

Raw Vegan Spinach Basil Pizza Crust and Flatbread

Besides the fresh basil plant that I have in the kitchen, the house smelled like basil throughout while the crust was in the dehydrator.  My oh my, was my tummy rumbling! 

I decided to make a smaller pizza than usual as I wanted a flat bread for sammies as well.  That's what is on the bottom tray.  Same recipe, but two different yummies.

Veggie Pizza on Raw Spinach Basil Crust

I wanted different toppings to go along with my spinach basil crust. Something bright and colorful - and of course tasty.  So while the crust was in the dehydrator, I made a simple orange bell pepper hemp cheese spread.  Perfect.

Then I opened the fridge and just started pulling out veggies.  I thought it would be fun to have something resemble stringy cheese - like when you bite into a pizza, you have a string of "cheese" from your mouth to the pizza.  Carrots were my choice for this and I used a peeler for it.  The rest of the veggies I thinly sliced, except for the beet root.  I used a small flower cookie cutter.  Every raw vegan pizza needs pretty purple flowers.

Before I go onto the recipe, I have to say that the carrot "cheese" truly worked!  Mark took his first big bite and stringy "cheese" went from his mouth to the pizza in his hand.  We both smiled.  "Cheesy" smiles of course.

Raw Pizza and Flatbread - Spinach Basil

3/4 cup flax meal
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup hemp heart seeds
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 Tbs phyllium husk
1/8 tsp sea salt

Combine all ingredients in large bowl and set aside.

1/2 cup sundried tomatoes - soaked in 1 1/2 cups water for approximately 30 minutes.  Drain and reserve liquid for next step.
2 large tomatoes - roughly chopped (just about 2 cups)
1/2 large yellow bell pepper - roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced or diced small
1/2 cup onion - roughly chopped
pinch of sea salt

In food processor, process until well combined.  Leave in processor and add in:

2 handfuls baby spinach
small handful basil

Continue processing until well combined. 

Add 1 cup of the reserved soak water to the dry mix bowl and stir well.  This will be thick.  Stir in the wet mixture.  If it seems too thick to spread, add some more soak water a little at a time. 

Spoon the  mixture onto two lined dehydrator trays.  You can either make 2 pizzas or flatbread or one of each.  With your clean hands or spatula, form into shape of choice.  You don't want it too thin as it will shrink up a bit in the dehydrator.  Also, the thicker it is the longer dehydrator time.

Put into the dehydrator at 145° F for 1 hour only then turn down to 115° F for another 5-7 hours or until done.  Total time will vary due to location, weather, dehydrator, wetness, thickness, etc.  When the top is dry to touch, transfer it to a mesh tray - put a mesh sheet on top of the crust/bread, flip it over and remove it from the lined sheet by slowly peeling it off.  Put it back in the dehydrator until done.  I typically rotate the tray around, but is not necessary.  The small pizza crust took a total of 6 hours this time and the large flatbread about 7 1/2.

Top the pizza with your favorite toppings and enjoy!  For the flatbread, cut it into desired sizes.  Store in sealed container on counter for 1-2 days or in fridge for 4-5 days.  Can be stored in freezer for longer storage.

Note: you can also dehydrate longer for a cracker instead of bread.

Raw Flat Bread and Vegan Cheese Spread

Orange Bell Pepper Hemp Cheese Spread
this makes more than you need for the pizza, but is versatile like any other cheese spread

1 orange bell pepper
1 cup hemp heart seeds
3 Tbs nutritional yeast
juice of half a lemon
pinch of sea salt

In blender, blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.  This makes a thick cheese spread.  If you want a thinner cheese, add a little water at a time and blend. 

Store in sealed container in fridge for up to 4 days.