Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Raw Vegan Nut-Free Taco Filling, Pico de Gallo and Green Baja Sauce

Pico de Gallo, Nut-Free Taco Filling, Green Baja Sauce - Raw and Vegan

For those who like or need to keep their meals nut-free, I altered my Walnut Mushroom Filling to accommodate you.  I like to keep most of our meals either nut-free or at least enjoy them sparingly.

This version I tweaked ever so slightly and replaced the walnuts with raw sunflower seeds.  It has a nice texture and same great flavor as my original recipe.  Perfect replacement for the walnuts.  I'm also working on another one, which I've made before but want to tweak it a bit more before posting it.

I also created another new sauce to go with our raw tacos tonight.  Mark loves my hemp cheeses, but I wanted something different and was thinking of a Baja sauce.  It came out fresh and bursting with flavor!

My pico de gallo is a staple here, we eat this regularly and it was funny to actually measure it.  I change this up frequently, so go with your taste buds.  Oh and yes, there was guacamole with our raw tacos.  Can't eat Mexican food without guacamole!  Any meal for that matter.

Nut-Free Taco Filling - Sunflower Seeds

1 heaping cup raw sunflower seeds
2 1/2 cups quartered baby portobellos (8oz package)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp ancho chili powder (I typically use more)
1 tsp smoked cumin powder
2 tsp Braggs liquid aminos (or Tamari)
Put sunflower seeds into food processor and process until you have small bits.  Add in remaining ingredients and pulse process until it resembles taco meat.  Don't over process or you will end up with pate - unless you want pate.  This will be light in color, but will darken after a little while. 
Store in fridge for a couple hours to let the ingredients mingle or eat immediately.  This is best when eaten fresh, but will last in the fridge one extra day.
Note: Feel free to adjust the spices to your to your taste buds - I do that all the time.

Green Baja Sauce

1/2 yellow bell pepper
1 small pepper for heat of choice - or use more yellow bell
1/4 cup roughly chopped onion
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup hemp heart seeds
water as needed

Put all ingredients in blender and just a tiny bit of water to help get it going.  Blend until smooth and creamy.  Add a little more water at a time to thin it out as desired.

Store in fridge for up to 3 days.

Pico de Gallo

3 medium tomatoes roughly chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup cilantro (small handful)
1/2 cup roughly chopped green onion
1/2 cup roughly chopped white or red onion (I use a mix of both)
2 cloves garlic - *minced (or see below for easy way to mince)
juice of 1 lime
jalepeno of desired amount or other pepper for heat
pinch or two of sea salt

Put all ingredients into food processor and pulse process until broken down into chunky little pieces.  Or, process until your desired consistency.  I like to put mine in mesh strainer and let most of the juice strain out so it doesn't make our tacos soppy wet.  Your choice.

*TIP: to mince garlic the easy way, turn food processor on and with it running toss in the garlic cloves and voila'! minced garlic!  Scrape down the sides and then add in the rest of the ingredients.

Hope you enjoy the recipes and have fun creating!


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Taco Night! Raw Vegan Walnut Mushroom Filling and more

Raw Vegan Tacos and Dip
I'm going to get right to the recipes as I'm a bit short on time, so I'll just let you look at the yummy pictures.
Raw Vegan Tacos with Baby Romaine
However, I will say that it's taken me a while to post more of my raw vegan Mexican food because, just like when I used to cook, I never measured - especially when it came to Mexican food.  Anyway, I finally did. 
Raw Vegan Tacos with my Soft Spicy Corn Tortillas
Walnut Mushroom Taco Filling - raw & vegan
(for my nut-free version, go here)
1 heaping cup walnuts
2 1/2 cups quartered baby portobellos (8oz package)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp ancho chili powder (I typically use more)
1 tsp smoked cumin powder
1/2 Tbs Braggs liquid aminos (or Tamari)
Put all ingredients in order into food processor and pulse process until you have small bits that resemble taco meat.  Don't over process or you will end up with pate.  This will be light in color, but will darken after a little while. 
Store in fridge for a couple hours to let the ingredients mingle or eat immediately.  This is best when eaten fresh, but will last in the fridge for one extra day.
Note:  I change this recipe up almost every time I make it by adding other spices, increasing the heat, etc.  It's very versatile, so adjust to your taste buds.
For the rest of the recipes you can find them here:
My pico de gallo will be in the next post.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Raw Vegan Pizza Balls - version II

Raw Vegan Pizza Balls

Bite size pizza - raw, vegan, gluten-free and nut-free.  This is a super tasty tweaked version of my Raw Vegan Pizza Rounds and Poppers.  There's just a slight difference between the two recipes, but enough to notice so thought I would post this recipe as well.

I popped these yummy snack size bites into the dehydrator for just a couple hours and boy, I don't know how I stopped myself from eating them one by one!  They are SO good right out of the dehydrator, but no worries if you do not have one as these tasty pizza balls can be eaten without dehydrating.  Yep.  Sure can.

Bite Size Pizza - the Raw Vegan Way

When you bite into these delicious balls of bliss, especially right out of the dehydrator, you'll think you're eating a slice of pizza.  Pretty close to it at least.  Plus they are chewy and... oh my... I think I need to make another batch.

Raw Vegan Pizza Balls Makes approximately 18-20 small bites

1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 heaping cup sundried tomatoes (soaked in 1 cup of water - reserve water)
1/3 cup onion, roughly chopped
1/4 cup hemp heart seeds
1/2 heaping cup nutritional yeast (needed for "cheese" flavor)
1 tsp fennel seeds (needed for tasty pizza flavor)
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp sea salt
*optional black olives (about 5-6 quartered)

In a food processor add sunflower seeds and process until small bits that resembles flour.  Do not drain the soaked sundried tomatoes - simply scoop them out of the soak water, give a gentle squeeze and add them to the processor.  Add in all remaining ingredients *except* water and process until mixture holds together when forming a ball.  You may need to stop and scrap down the sides, etc. as mixture will be somewhat thick.  It shouldn't, *but* if the mixture seems too dry add in some of the soak water a little at a time until achieved.  Take a little taste test too - you know you want to.

Roll the mixture into small bite size balls.  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 2 hours or longer if you wish.  This will not turn them into crust or crackers, it will simply firm them up a bit more.  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.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Raw Pizza Crust - Vegan, Gluten-Free and Nut-Free

Raw Vegan Pizza

Every time I make my pizza I like to change the toppings, and sometimes tweak the crust.  I have a couple of my raw vegan nut-free crust recipes posted here on my blog, but even though I only tweaked this one a bit, it was actually enough to make a much larger pizza or a couple medium ones. 

The toppings on the pizza above are: peeled carrots, sliced white onion, shredded red cabbage, sliced sweet yellow peppers, my own sundried cherry tomatoes and sliced avocados.  My Spinach Basil Pesto recipe can be found here.

Mark's Birthday Pizza and Bliss Ball "Cake"

Mark's birthday was July 1st.  I asked him what he would like for his birthday dinner and he said "PIZZA!"  You got it hon!  So I made him his special birthday pizza topped with marinated mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and avocado.  He ate every last crumb. 

Yes.  I sang the birthday song.  Twice. 

So here's my raw vegan, nut-free crust that I tweaked.  This will make 2 medium size pizza's or 1 large plus 1 personal pizza... or...

Raw Rocki's Pizza Crust
vegan and nut-free

1/2 cup plus 3 TBS flax meal
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup heaping hemp seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (ground into flour)
1/4 heaping cup nutritional yeast
1 1/2 TBS psyllium husk
1 TBS Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp sea salt

Combine all the above ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

1/3 heaping cup sundried tomatoes - soaked in 2 cups warm water for about 30 minutes (drain and reserve liquid as you'll need it in the next step)
2 medium tomatoes
3/4 large red bell pepper
1/4 cup heaping roughly chopped onion
1 tsp garlic powder or clove
1 tsp fennel seeds
pinch sea salt

Put ingredients into a food processor and process well.  The mixture will be somewhat thick and not watery.

Add 1 1/2 cups of the soak water to the dry mixture bowl and combine well.  Now add the above tomato mixture to the bowl and stir until combined.  If mixture seems too thick, add more water a little at a time.  It won't be like typical pizza dough, but will be quite thick.

Line two dehydrator trays with a teflex sheet (or similar) and spoon the mixture onto them.  Your choice of the sizes you want to make, but just make sure to not make them thin as it shrinks up while dehydrating.  Shape into pizza size and shape of choice.

Put into the dehydrator at 145° F for 1 hour only then turn down to 115° F.  When the top is dry to touch (about another hour), transfer them to mesh trays - remove them from the teflex sheet by slowly peeling it off.  Put them back into the dehydrator, wet side up, until done. 

Total time can vary between 5-7 hours or longer due to a variety of factors (thickness and size of crust, weather, location, humidity, dehydrator, etc.).  Mine took about 6 hours this time, but I live in the desert, so that is a factor.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Dragon Fruit Delight Smoothie Parfait

Dragon Fruit Smoothie Parfait

Every time I turned around, Dragon Fruit was everywhere on Instagram.  Except in my hands.  I was so wanting to try this fruit that I looked everywhere for months on end, but no luck.  Then I won a tropical fruit box that was filled to the brim with delicious fruit which I had never tried before or even seen in person.

And there it was... wrapped up so sweetly.  A single Dragon Fruit.

Buddha with Dragon Fruit

I actually jumped up and down with excitement.  Okay, actually I screamed like a little girl.  Out loud.  I'm sure my neighbors all heard me.

Anyway, I waited until the very last minute of ripeness to try this fruit.  Mark and I each took a taste and, to be perfectly honest, it was just okay.  It wasn't horrible mind you and had an okay taste factor, but perhaps I put too much into my pursuit of this interesting fruit and expected fireworks.  So I made us a couple smoothie parfaits with it and they were quite delicious. 

In any case, I finally got to try Dragon Fruit, and for that I am thankful.

Dragon Fruit Delight

Bottom layer:
1 1/2 cups strawberries
2 frozen ripe bananas
1 cup coconut water (adjust as needed)

Blend in high powered blender, pour into 2 glasses and set in freezer while making the next layer.

Top layer:
1 Dragon Fruit
1 frozen ripe banana

Blend well.  Remove glasses from freezer.  Gently pour or scoop onto the bottom layer of both glasses.  I garnished ours with chopped strawberries, coconut shreds and dragon fruit.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Goji Berries - Superfood

Goji Berries

I absolutely love goji berries!  This little powerhouse of a berry not only adds a nutritional punch to your diet, but can be used in a variety of recipes, or eaten as is.

Dried goji berries are chewy with a taste all on their own.  They are not overly sweet and have actually been described as a cross between a cherry, raisin and cranberry.  These tiny berries are a powerful nutrient rich food and have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 2000 years.  Filled with antioxidants, carotenoids, 18 amino acids, fiber, vitamins A, C and E, and over 20 other trace minerals and vitamins including zinc and iron... well, you can see why they are one of the top superfoods.

I add goji berries to a variety of my raw vegan recipes for added nutrition, flavor and bulk, such as: smoothies (makes an excellent chocolate smoothie combined with raw cacao powder, another nutritious superfood), nice cream (vegan ice cream), brownies, bliss balls, protein bars, overnight oats, chia pudding, and so much more.

There's much more to know about Goji Berries, so Google them for more information.

Be healthy.


Monday, August 4, 2014

Herb Smoked Lasagna - Raw Vegan

Raw Vegan Herb Smoked Lasagna

I love creating raw lasagna.  And eating it.  You really can't go wrong as there are a ton of ways to make raw lasagna.  I think that's part of the fun actually.  And eating it.

In this version I created a nut-free herb cashew "cheese" along with smoky tomatoes and onions in place of a sauce.  On each side of the zucchini noodles I put plenty of the "cheese" to hold all the fresh veggies in, and of course for the yumminess factor.  You can use any veggies you like, but here's the layers for this version from bottom up: shredded red cabbage, sliced avocado, double stacked mushrooms with "cheese" in between, and the tomato onion mixture.

Now that you're hungry, here's the recipe that made two huge stacks.

Herb Smoked Lasagna - Raw Vegan

2 large zucchinis - sliced thin or as desired
plenty of veggies of your choice

Cashew Herb Hemp "Cheese"
1/2 cup raw cashews - soaked at least 4 hours.  Rinse well and drain.
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 Tbs nutritional yeast,
1/4 cup hemp heart seeds,
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
1/2 tsp Mediterranean Marjoram
1 tsp Mediterranean Basil,
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup + 2 Tbs water

Blend all ingredients.  You may need to stop the blender and scrape down sides a few times.  Mixture will be somewhat thick, but if too thick add more water to your liking.

Smoky Tomato & Onions
2 cups cherub/cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup heaping onions, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Put all ingredients in food processor and pulse several times until it resembles chunky salsa.  Put in strainer over a bowl and let drain - otherwise the lasagna will be soppy wet. After draining, put mixture in a small bowl and sprinkle a few times with more smoked paprika.

I used 2 slices of zucchini noodles for each layer, slightly overlapping them.  Spread some "cheese" on each side of the zucchini noodles then layer with veggies as you wish and enjoy!


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Black Cherry Chocolate Smoothie

Vegan Smoothie - Black Cherry Chocolate

It's been quite hot out lately and that makes me more thirsty.  Well, "hot" is actually an understatement.  Last week we were over 110 degrees, as in 115 melt my brain degrees on Thursday.  Below is a screen shot of my phone in case you don't believe me.   However, the "Feels like 110°" part... I beg to differ.  Bear with me, I feel a wee rant coming on - blame it on the heat ;)

July 24, 2014... 115 degrees - hot is an understatement

Yes, I live in Arizona so I should accept the summer weather of 110° - pushing 120° (Yes, I lived here when we hit 122 OMG!° in 1990 and survived).  First off, let me say that I only live in Arizona and have nothing to do with the ignorant government and their policy's here in the great state of the sun.  I say this because lately AZ is in the news every time I turn around, and sadly not in a good way - it's embarrassing to say the least.  With that said, I do love the weather here.  I love the sunshine, wearing flip flops, shorts and tank dresses practically year round, the gorgeous sunsets, the beauty of the desert... but I do not like the brain melting, burn your hands on the steering wheel and your bum on the car seat type of heat.  Or the politics.

Rant over.

Not only in this type of heat, you need to drink plenty of fluids.  I love and drink plain fresh water from the time I get up until I go to bed.  Other than that, the only other drinks I have are my daily morning green smoothies, 1 cup of jo in the morning and my afternoon smoothie of choice.  Like my Black Cherry Chocolate Smoothie.  It is oh so delicious!

Black Cherry Chocolate Smoothie

1 frozen banana
1 non-frozen banana
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup tart black cherries (or cherries of choice)
1 heaping TBS cacao powder
1 medjool date (or more if you like sweet - I don't like too sweet)
1/2 cup or more of cold water (adjust as needed)

Blend in high powered blender until smooth and creamy.  You can adjust the consistency for a thinner smoothie by adding more water.

Stay cool and enjoy!