Friday, September 19, 2014

Cherry Chocolate Smoothie - Raw Vegan Treat

Smoothie - Cherry Chocolate

Sometimes less is more.  As is the case for my Cherry Chocolate Smoothie - and this post.

Only 3 ingredients, plus water, and you'll have a delicious smoothie treat.

Oh and just to mention... I don't like overly sweet foods and while I think this was sweet enough, feel free to add sweetener of choice if needed.

Cherry Chocolate Smoothie

2 ripe bananas: 1 frozen and 1 non-frozen
1 cup frozen cherries
1 TBS heaping cacao powder
water - start with 1/2 cup

Blend all ingredients in high powered blender until smooth and creamy.  You can adjust the consistency by adding more water to your liking.

Enjoy the simple things.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Raw Taco Salad with Spicy Hemp "Cheese" Dressing - Vegan as always

Raw Vegan Taco Salad with Spicy Hemp "Cheese" Dressing

Who doesn't love taco salad - especially guilt-free eat all you want taco salad!  We eat taco salad frequently and I tend to change up some of ingredients each time, as well as the spicy "cheese" dressing. 

Above is one version that I have loaded with a rainbow of veggies on top of a bowl of greens: cherry tomatoes, red onion, green onion, red & yellow bell pepper, corn, avocado, cilantro and my Walnut Mushroom Filling that I tweaked just a tad bit (recipe below).  

Oh and Mark likes beans in his sometimes (beans do not like me), so I added pinto beans in his bowl.  On the side are my raw vegan taco chips that I have yet to write up the recipe for, but I'll do that in good time.

Raw Vegan Taco Salad with Spicy Hemp "Cheese" Dressing

This version is just about the same, but I added red cabbage and omitted the red & yellow bell peppers.  Both were served with my Spicy Hemp "Cheese" Dressing.

You can't go wrong with taco salad, or salad in general, so fill your bowls with lots of greens and add whatever veggies you love to your hearts content!

Walnut Mushroom Taco Filling II - 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 tsp oregano
1 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 serve 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.
Spicy Hemp "Cheese" Dressing
1 small red bell pepper - seeded
1 small banana pepper- seeded (or pepper of choice for heat)
1 large clove garlic
1/2 cup hemp heart seeds
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (needed for "cheese" flavor)
1/4 tsp ancho chili powder
juice from 1 lime
good pinch of sea salt
*1/4 cup water
Put all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth and creamy.  You might have to work the ingredients down with a tamper (if using vitamix) or stop and push/scrape down as needed.  *You may want to add a little more water to thin down if you like or to desired consistency.  This dressing will thicken up a little more while in the fridge.
You can adjust the heat by adding less of the pepper and chili powder and/or adjust to your tastes buds. 
Store in fridge in airtight container for up to 4-5 days, but is best eaten fresh and within 3 days.

Monday, September 15, 2014

High Raw - Vegan Quinoa Collard Wraps with Special Sauce

High Raw Vegan Quinoa Wraps 

Occasionally I do eat cooked foods, but not very often.  When I do, I typically incorporate it with mainly raw foods.  One of the cooked foods I truly love is quinoa. 

In short, quinoa is a nutritious gluten-free seed that is a great source of complete protein and fiber.  Quinoa is used like a grain - you can use it in both savory and sweet recipes.  If you've never had it before, give it a try!

For this recipe I used cooked quinoa as the base along with a lightly steamed sweet potato (not yam) with raw veggies and my Raw Vegan Special Sauce.  My tummy isn't able to handle uncooked sweet potatoes, so I simply lightly steam them to satisfy my sensitive tummy. 

This is a very flavorful and filling meal - easily prepared with just a few basic ingredients.  I did not measure the ingredients I put into the quinoa mixture as I just went with what looked and tasted good to me.  Feel free to add or omit any of them.  However, I am including my Special Sauce recipe as that is what really makes this dish flavorful.

High Raw Vegan Quinoa Collard Wraps
approximately 8-10 wraps

Collard Leaves or other wrap of choice

cooked and cooled quinoa (1 cup dry cooked in 2 cups water as per package directions)
1 lightly steamed sweet potato - diced (not yam)
couple handfuls baby spinach - chopped
onion - thinly sliced (as much or little as you like)
avocado - sliced thin

Put all ingredients *except sliced avocado* into a large bowl and gently combine.  Set aside and make the Special Sauce.

Raw Vegan Special Sauce

1 yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup hemp heart seeds
1 banana pepper (or pepper of choice)
juice of 1 lime
small handful cilantro
1/4 tsp ancho chili powder (or to your liking)
pinch of sea salt

Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.  Pour sauce into the quinoa mixture bowl and gently combine.

Note about the collard leaves:  I use very large leaves that I cut along both sides of the stem, which gives me 2 leaves.  But you can do this however you like.

For each wrap: place the collard leaf on a cutting board, add a scoop of the quinoa mixture and a couple slices of avocado then roll up like a burrito.  Serve immediately and enjoy!


Friday, September 12, 2014

Raw Vegan Veggie Burgers - Nut-Free Version

Raw Veggie Burgers - Vegan and Nut-Free

Super delicious and bursting with flavor raw vegan veggie burgers!  

This is one of my older recipes that I'm finally getting around to posting.  Just never thought of taking pics of these as they aren't the prettiest looking specimens, but they sure are delicious!  I make different versions of veggie burgers as I tweak them all the time.  These are nut-free, but then sometimes I feel like a nut so I'll use walnuts (tee hee hee). 

Raw Veggie Burgers in the dehydrator

While in the dehydrator, they smell soooo good that it's hard to not eat them right off the tray.  Not that I have ever done that (snicker snicker).  But it's well worth the wait. 

The recipe is super easy to make and you can adjust the seasonings and herbs to your liking.  That's one of the tweaks I make as I just let my taste buds take control - partly anyway.  So let's get to the recipe.

Raw Vegan Veggie Burgers - Nut-Free
*makes approximately 8 burgers

1 cup sunflower seeds ground to flour consistency
place in large bowl and set aside

2 large garlic cloves - minced
2 heaping cups mushrooms (quartered)
1/2 onion roughly chopped

Put the above into food processor and pulse process several times until broken down into small bits, but do not over process or it will turn into mush.  Transfer this mixture into the flour bowl and combine well.

Add the following into the flour bowl:

1 large carrot - shredded
1 large zucchini - shredded
1 1/2 TBS Braggs or Tamari
1 tsp heaping Marjoram
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 TBS flax meal

Combine ingredients well.  Mixture will be thick and wet.

I make 8 large thick patties as they shrink down in size.  However, you can make them as big or small as you wish - just remember that will alter the time frame in the dehydrator.

Scoop mixture onto lined dehydrator sheet and form into a large thick pattie.  Do this for each one.  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 or so), transfer them to mesh trays by placing a mesh sheet and tray on top of the patties, flip the trays over then slowly peel back the liner.  Put them back into the dehydrator, wet side up, until done.  They will be moist (not wet) on the inside, yet firm when done.

Total time can vary between 5-7 hours or longer due to a variety of factors (thickness and size of patties, weather, location, humidity, dehydrator, etc.).  Mine took about 6 hours total, but I live in the desert, so that is a factor.
I used romaine leaves for our "bun" and topped them with sliced tomato, onions and avocado.  These are flavorful enough so that you don't need any condiments, but if you prefer to use them then by all means go with your taste buds and enjoy!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Raw Lasagna - Marinated Portobello with Vegan Herb "Cheese"

Raw Vegan Lasagna

Raw Lasagna - YUM!  As you can probably tell I love making raw lasagna.  It's one of Mark's favorites, besides my raw tacos, burritos, etc.  It's so easy too.  Of course there is some food prep depending on what you have in the fridge and how you want to make it, but for the most part it is so easy it's crazy.

Marinated Portobello with Vegan Herb "Cheese" Raw Lasagna

This one I made a little heartier by using Portobello mushrooms which I marinated for extra flavor and to soften them up a bit.  I also dehydrated them, but no worries if you do not have a dehydrator as you don't have to do that step.  It just gives them a more "cooked" like texture and appearance.  

Raw Vegan Lasagna - Yum!

The "cheese" is a variation of many of my other hemp "cheese" recipes.  I don't always have fresh herbs on hand, which are always the best, so I use dried in those cases - use whatever you like though.  For the red sauce... well I change it up here and there all the time, but here's this version.  Feel free to change it up to your taste buds.  That's the beauty of raw foods!

Raw Lasagna - Marinated Portobello
with Vegan Herb "Cheese"
this made 2 huge platefuls

Marinated Portobello Mushrooms
2-3 Portobello's, degilled and sliced thick (I used 2 large)
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar (I use a raw gluten-free version)
1 Tbs Braggs or Tamari
1 Tbs EVO (extra virgin olive oil)
1/2 Tbs Agave
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl.  Place the sliced portobellos into a Ziploc bag or other container and pour the marinade into the bag.  Try to coat each one as well as you can.  It may seem as if there is not enough marinade, but the shrooms will develop juice while marinating.  Marinate in fridge for at least 6-8 hours - the longer the better.  Every so often I gently turned the bag over a few times to coat.  When ready to layer, simply remove the shrooms from the bag and let rest to drain onto a paper towel lined plate or cutting board. Or...

*optional* After marinating, place on lined dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 115° F for approximately 1-2 hours, or longer if you wish.

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

Process 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 placed over a bowl and set aside to drain while you prepare the rest of the lasagna ingredients.

Hemp Herb "Cheese"
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
1 large garlic clove
1 cup hemp heart seeds
small handful fresh basil
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp sea salt
water as needed

Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.  I like this "cheese" to be a little on the thick side as it works best for spreading on the zucchini layers.  If it is too thick, thin it out with water, a little at a time, until desired consistency.

Spinach Layer
Fresh baby spinach - roughly chopped or torn
amount will vary, use as much or as little as you want

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.

Let the layering begin!  I used 2 zucchini noodles for each layer that I partially overlapped to make a hearty lasagna serving.  I put a good layer of the herb "cheese" on both sides of the zucchini noodle layers so that it would hold in the veggie layers all nice and snuggly - except when I layered with the red sauce.  You can see how I layered mine, but feel free to layer in any order you wish. 

This can be served immediately, or put in the fridge for 1-2 hours to let the flavors mingle and the zucchini noodles soften.  Enjoy!


Monday, September 8, 2014

Chocolate Grape Smoothie

Chocolate Grape Smoothie

Simply put - this is one awesome tasting smoothie!  I took my Chocolate Jam Swirl Smoothie and simplified it into one easy step.  It will definitely satisfy your chocolate sweet tooth.

Chocolate Grape Smoothie

1 frozen banana
1 non-frozen banana
1 cup ripe red grapes (or grapes of choice)
1/2 cup frozen (or fresh) blueberries
1 heaping TBS cacao powder
water - about 1/2 cup (start with 1/4 cup and adjust to your liking)

Blend all ingredients in high powered blender until smooth and creamy.  You can adjust the consistency for a thinner smoothie by adding more water.  Enjoy to your hearts content!


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Mexican Pizza - The Raw Vegan Way

Mexican Pizza - the Raw Vegan Way

We LOVE Mexican food (obviously) and could eat it 7 days a week.  Scratch that.  Make that Raw Vegan Mexican food.  Living here in the southwest we practically live on Mexican food.  In fact, Mark is getting much better with having a little heat in his food. 

Scratch that.  He now LOVES heat in his food.

Raw Mexican Pizza

I simply took one of my raw vegan pizza crusts out of the freezer (sometimes I make a few personal sized pizza crusts and store them in the freezer for up to a week, but they've never made it that long in there ;) and used the leftover walnut mushroom taco filling, mildly spicy hemp "cheese" and pico de gallo from the night before, along with some veggies and voila'!  Mexican pizza!

Eat the rainbow with my Raw Vegan Mexican Pizza!

You can find my pizza crust recipe here or for my soft corn tortillas go here - both raw and vegan of course.  My Walnut Mushroom Taco Filling is here  and my Pico de Gallo is here along with a nut-free taco filling.  Last but not least, is another version of my hemp cheese that I used for my Mexican pizza.

Hemp Cheese - Mildly Spicy version
1 yellow bell pepper
1 cup hemp heart seeds
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (needed for the "cheese" flavor)
1 large clove garlic
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp ancho chili powder
juice from half a lemon
1/4 cup water (or more)
good pinch of sea salt
*optional: small pepper of choice for more heat (tastes yummy with or without)

Put all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth and creamy.  You might have to work the ingredients down with a tamper (if using vitamix) or stop and push/scrape down as needed.  This will be somewhat thick and creamy, but you can adjust it with more water to thin it down to your liking.