Friday, May 30, 2008

Lentil Soup

Uggh, not a success. That's the problem with making your own recipes. It was OK. Not awful, but super starchy. I think if I use lentils in the future it will be a small amount in dehydrated bread or something. Luckily I think I can just cook the remainder of the soup I made and it will be pretty good and alex will eat it. The taste was pretty similar to the cooked lentil soup I used to make, and the texture too... but the starch was too much to handle, and I just don't know if I can hang with cold soup.

Fresh CHEEZY Tahini Dressing

This can be used as a dressing or a veggi dip. I made it yesterday and it ruled.
2 T Raw Tahini Butter
1-2 Cloves Garlic
1 T Balsamic vinegar
1/2 t salt
Black Pepper
1/2 lemon's juice
1/2 cup soaked Sunflower Seeds
2 T olive oil
1/2 t paprika
Hunk of Parsley
Blend and add cold water as needed to reach desired consistency. Keep in mind it will thicken when chilled.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Fancy Dinner/Lunch

I got off work a little early today so I decided to get a little complicated with food.
I made a Raw Lasagna and a Banana Cream Tart. As per usual when I make up my own recipes I tend to have mixed success. With the raw lasagna I made a fresh bruschetta, with tomato, garlic, basil, onion and olive oil. I also made an almond based cheese. I think in the future I will skip almonds as a cheese base since they tend to taste a little sweet, no matter what you do. It turned out alright though. Soaked almonds, soaked sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, onion, garlic, thyme, and water. I layered nut cheese, bruschetta, basil leaves, and orange bell pepper between thinly sliced pieces of eggplant. My initial idea was to dehydrate the eggplant into "chips" and then spread it with the cheese spread and pile bruschetta on top. Since I do not have a dehydrator I tried to use the oven but it was taking so long I finally gave up. I think I would use zucchini instead of eggplant for "lasagna" next time as the eggplant is SO fiberous it is hard to cut through. Actually next time I think I would prefer more of a savory lasagna to a fresh spicy one. It was pretty good but a sundried tomato sauce and some olives and spinach was really more what I was craving. It was a good fresh lunch though. If I were to use eggplant in this situation again I may try to break it down a little bit first by marinating it in some olive oil or something.  The Banana Cream Tart turned out much better. I used cashews and almonds with a little sea salt and about 6 dates to make the crust
I just processed it until it was a consistant texture and began to ball up. The only thing I would do differently is to make sure the nuts were completely dry from soaking before using them for a crust. I need a dehydrator! The cream filling is 2 Bananas, 1/2 cup cashews, some vanilla, and a tsp. of lemon juice. I processed with some water until it was smooth and creamy. Then I put strawberries and kiwi on top. Mostly I am just reading everything I can about preparing raw foods and am trying to learn how to put together recipes and try to get an idea of how combinations turn out so I am better able to make things up on my own. I have had varying levels of success but nothing has turned out "bad" yet. So that's a good thing. I am soaking some red lentils tonight in hopes of creating a dahl type soup tomorrow. Wish me luck!

The raw fruit can have a somewhat bitter taste, but becomes tender when cooked and develops a rich, complex flavor. Salting and then rinsing the sliced eggplant (known as "degorging") can soften and remove much of the bitterness. Some modern varieties do not need this treatment, as they are less bitter. The eggplant is capable of absorbing large amounts of cooking fats and sauces, allowing for very rich dishes, but the salting process will reduce the amount of oil absorbed. The fruit flesh is smooth; as in the related tomato, the numerous seeds are soft and edible along with the rest of the fruit. The thin skin is also edible, so that the eggplant need not be peeled.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Energy Pudding

Mostly adapted from a Brendan Brazier recipe, it is super sweet and delicious and I am looking forward to all the energy it will give me tonight at dana's gymnastic class I'm going to.

Makes 1-2 servings
Requires: Blender

1/3 cup soaked almonds
1/2 a banana
3 dates 
1 T (heaping) coconut butter (artisana)
Water as necessary to turn it into pudding state

Blend it all together and chill.
I topped mine with chopped apples and sprouted buckwheat and coconut gRAWnola. 

From Wikipedia:

Because of cases of Salmonella traced to almonds in 2001 and 2004, in 2006 the California Almond Board proposed and the USDA approved rules regarding the nature of almonds available to the public. From 1 September 2007, raw almonds will technically no longer be available in the United States. Controversially, almonds labeled as "raw" will be required to be steam pasteurised or chemically treated with propylene oxide.

PCC carries almonds from spain which ARE raw. I sprouted some so I know they are legit.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Raw Zucchini Fettucini with Cashew/Basil Alfredo

I made this raw pasta dinner tonight and it was super fast, easy, and delicious. I Mostly took it from ami's raw food kitchen, but changed it a little to fit what I had available.

Makes 1 serving
Requires: Blender, Vegetable Peeler
soak cashews in advance if possible

1-2 t lemon juice
1/4 c Raw Cashews
1 Stalk Celery
1 Sm Clove Garlic
1 T Onion
1 t Thyme
3 Basil Leaves
1/4 c Water

1 Med Zucchini

Put Cashews, Celery, Garlic, Onion, Thyme, and Basil in the Blender. Add just enough water to blend into a smooth thick sauce.
Peel Zucchini into long strips resembling fettucini noodles.
Pour sauce over the zucchini and top with black pepper and nutritional yeast (optional)

(pronounced /zuːˈkiːni/, in North American and Australian English) or courgette (/kʊɚˈʒɛt/, in New Zealand and British English) is a small summer squash. Along with some other squashes, it belongs to the species Cucurbita pepo. The zucchini can be yellow, green or light green, and generally has a similar shape to a ridged cucumber, though a few cultivars are available that produce round or bottle-shaped fruit. On a culinary level, zucchini is treated as a vegetable, which means it is usually cooked and presented as a savory dish or accompaniment. Botanically, however, the zucchini is an immature fruit, being the swollen ovary of the female zucchini flower.

Alex's Birthday Cake (raw pie!)

I made this raw apple pie from the ami's raw food kitchen book. It turned out really good although I forgot to add the raisins to the filling and had to put them on top! I also did not have time to soak the nuts. Next time I will leave the apples that are "filling" in slightly larger chunks as they were almost sauce like in texture and I would have liked them a little larger. I reserved about 2 apples to go on top and put the rest of the slices into the processor with the majority of the sauce and pulsed just a few times. I could have sliced them thicker and had better results. I will also put the cinnamon directly into the sauce so that it mixes in a little better. I used a tart pan but you could use a regular glass or ceramic pie pan or baking dish. I advise looking for cheap dates in advance because this recipe requires a lot and they are over 13$ at whole foods!

Thanks to Nicole for this recipe
Requires: Blender, Food Processor
Makes 10-12 servings

Almond Pie Crust
2 cups almonds, soaked and dried
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups pitted dates (use Medjool, Trader Joes has organic ones out here which is half the price of WF)

1/2 cup pitted dates
1 orange, peeled and seeded
Splash of water, as needed

5 cups apples, peeled, seeded, thinly sliced, about 5 or 6 apples
1 cup raisins
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

To make crust, pulse almonds and salt in food processor until nuts are in small pieces. You want your crust to have chunks of almonds in it, so don't over process. Use some of the finer powder to "flour" the bottom of you pie dish. (I think I used a whole 9x13 pan, unless you want really thick crust/pie)

Slowly add dates into processor in small batches to mix with almond bits. The dates will bind the almonds to form a dough. Press dough into the bottom of "floured" pie pan. Set aside.

To make syrup, place orange into your blender first. Then add dates and blend. If needed, add small amounts of water to help everything mix well. Set aside.

To make filling, place sliced apples in a large bowl with raisins. Toss with cinnamon and syrup. Spoon filling into pie crust.

The Medjool Date
The date itself is probably man’s oldest cultivated fruit. Ancient writings depict date palms growing in Egypt in the fifth century B.C. Medjools were once the most prized dates in the whole Mediterranean area. Moors carried Medjool dates to Spain and they were especially prized there by Moorish royalty. Then for centuries after the Arab occupation, Spaniards sent carefully packed boxes of Medjool dates to friends as gifts. The Medjool would have been lost to the world had not Dr. Walter Swingle, a horticulturist with the US Department of Agriculture, made a trip to French Morocco, observed what he called “the perfect date” and managed to bargain with a desert chieftain for eleven offshoots. These offshoots, sent to the U.S. in 1927, were the nucleus of all the present gardens here. The date gardens Dr. Swingle had observed were rapidly being destroyed by the Bayound Disease and it was very fortunate that the isolated area where Dr. Swingle’s purchase was made seemed to be disease free. The variety later all but disappeared in North Africa. The U.S. Department of Agriculture took no chances and ordered the offshoots kept in quarantine in a remote area in southern Nevada for seven years. In 1935, nine surviving offshoots of the original shipment, plus sixty-four offshoots, which had grown up around them, were brought to the U.S. Date Garden in Indio, where they continued to multiply. In the late 1930’s they were ready for distribution to commercial growers.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Liquid Breakfast

My new breakfast of choice. Today I had one and I wasn't hungry for 5 hours. Packed full of vitamins, fats, and plenty of protein.

Breakfast Nut-Butter Shake
1 16-20oz smoothie
Requires: blender

2 T Raw Cashew or Tahini Butter (Yay Artisana!)
2 T Hemp Seed Protein Powder (living harvest)
1.5 Frozen Bananas
3-5 Frozen Strawberries (depending on size)
3/4 c Filtered Water

Throw it all in the blender and shake it up!
It rules.

Living Harvest Hemp Protein