Obsessed with Raw Summer Soups

I haven’t blogged for a while, mainly because I’ve been very busy but also because my habits, values and interests have steered me away from desserts. I’ve been enjoying a lot of wonderful salads and my usual green smoothies. However, I’ve got a new culinary interest and it’s about time I started to record my creations.

Raw Soups have been rocking my world lately. It all started with Raw Gazpacho, but this week I’ve been experimenting with wonderful results. I love my Vitamix!

This year, I’ve also started some gardening for the first time. I’ve been growing loads of beautiful kale, 3 kinds of tomatoes, lots of fragrant basil and cilantro. It’s so great to pick these and add them straight in to my soup.

Raw Gazpacho

  • Tomatoes, about 3 medium sized
  • Zucchini, one or two small ones.
  • Celery, 1 or 2 stalks
  • Loads of fresh basil
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic
  • Raw Saurkraut, a third of a cup
  • Red Onion, or green onion depending
  • Avocado, optional but creamy and delicious
  • A drizzle of Rallis ice pressed olive oil (my favourite)
  • Sea salt sprinkled on top

Yesterday I made a similar soup but with cilantro instead of basil and I added some fresh ginger and a little coconut. Very yummy.

Raw Ginger Beet Soup

  • 1/2 BeetIMG_00000179
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Celery Stalk
  • .33 coconut milk (I just used light canned coconut milk which isn’t actually raw but I don’t feel like cracking a coconut)
  • small piece of ginger
  • drizzle Honey Ginger infused White Balsamic (optional)
  • sprigs of cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • avocado cubes to swim in the soup (optional)
  • sea salt (optional)

IMG_00000186Raw Corn & Pepper Soup

  • fresh kernels from 2 ears of corn
  • 2 small orange peppers
  • 6 yellow tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp red onion
  • 1 ripe peach
  • 1 small piece of ginger
  • 1/4 tsp organic miso
  • touch of white balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • touch of hot sauce

 

This version of the soup includes coconut milk, a zucchini and some hot pepper.

This version of the Corn & Pepper soup includes coconut milk, a zucchini and some hot pepper.

Example of a Raw Summer Vegetable Soup

  • 1 Medium Tomato
  • 1 Medium Zucchini
  • Aprox. 1 cup of the red stalks from Swiss Chard
  • 1/2 Medium Beet
  • 1 Small Carrot
  • 1 Celery Stalk
  • 1 Clove of Garlic
  • Aprox. 1/4 cup of Red Onion
  • 1/2 small Avocado
  • Bunch of Basil
  • Drizzle of infused White Balsamic (something else sour would do the trick)
  • A drizzle of Rallis ice pressed olive oil (my favourite)
  • Sea Salt sprinkled on top

My dad’s excellent Gluten Free bread

Yesterday I had breakfast at my dad’s place and I was really impressed by his homemade Gluten Free bread. This was really one of the best GF breads I’ve ever had. (Obviously not vegan.)

Daddyo Cheese PicIngredients:

1 1/4 cups milk @ 90 degrees
3 large eggs @ room temperature
1/4 cup melted butter
3 tbsp Xylitol
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup Amaranth flour
1/2 cup Oat flour
1/2 cup Brown Rice flour
1/2 cup White Rice flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Potato starch
1/2 cup Tapioca starch
1/2 cup Corn starch
1 tbsp Xanthan Gum
2 1/2 tsp Yeast

Made in the bread machine according to the machine’s instructions.

Recipe by the awesome, Mr. Lorne Gould!

Enjoy!

The Mighty Kale Chip

Kale chips are awesome. Everyone thinks they’re weird until they actually try them… and then they think they’re awesome! Still weird, but totally awesome too. Yum!

I made some kale chips last week for my birthday gathering and a lot of people were asking about them.

There are a lot of proper recipes out there for kale chips, both raw and cooked, but I’ll jot down my go-to ingredients for the record which follows below. However, the best kale chips I ever had were these.

Raw Garlic Kale Chips from Nouveau Raw. Click to check out her recipe.

Approximate recipe for about 2 good bunches of kale:

  • 1/4 cup of raw tahini
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 6 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp mustard powder or mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt

In a large bowl, whisk together the tahini and water. Then whisk in the rest of the ingredients and add more water as needed to make a quite runny sauce. Adjust the ingredients according to taste. Just be careful if you’re using mustard powder because it can be quite strong.

2 important steps:

  • Wash your kale thoroughly – there can be spiders hiding in there!
  • Cut out the stems.
Cut your kale into the desired pieces. Remember, it will shrink. Then add the kale to the large bowl with the sauce and toss it until each piece of kale is coated.
If you have a dehydrator, great. Spread it out on sheets and dehydrate at 110 degrees until it’s crispy. I usually leave it overnight. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can do this in the oven on a lined cookie tray at the lowest temperature with the oven cracked open. I’m not sure how long this would take in the oven so keep an eye on it.
Yum!

Mexican Raw Vegan Dinner Party


Last night I hosted my first 100% raw vegan dinner party. It was a lot of fun! My husband decorated the table with the colours of the Mexican flag and got some Mexican music from the library. He also made some margaritas to welcome the guests.

Not everyone in attendance was too familiar with raw, so I was definitely setting myself up for a challenge. I’m also continuing an anti-parasite detox after seeing an Ayervedic guy when I was in California at the beginning of January. As a result, I’m not allowed anything sweet, and the only fruit I can have is pineapple and papaya since they have digestive enzymes. All that came in to play in the menu.

I made tortilla chips which I started on Friday and dehydrated for over 24 hours to make sure they were really nice and crispy.

I made lots of guacamole, and a pineapple papaya salsa. I’m not really supposed to eat tomato right now either so I had a friend at the local farmers’ market make the traditional tomato salsa. I still had some tomato though since there was a bit in the guacamole and some in the burrito. I served the salsas in a pineapple.

For the guacamole, I like to use this highly rated recipe from All Recipes. I just skipped the cayenne since my salsas were already a bit spicy.

For the pineapple papaya salsa, it went something like this…

PINEAPPLE PAPAYA SALSA:

  • 2 cups chopped pineapple
  • 2 cups chopped papaya
  • .75 cup chopped red pepperc
  • .5 cup cilantro leaves, ripped off the stems
  • 6 green onions chopped
  • .5 cup fresh lime juice
  • salt to taste
  • pinch of cayenne optional

The burritos were made with a filling based on Sarma’s, the famous chef from Pure Food & Wine in New York. I decided to wrap mine in collard greens though since I like the wraps that are served that way at Rawlicious.

The “rice” was something that I sort of invented after some research. I would say that it was an acquired taste. Surprisingly, when I asked my husband what his favourite part of the meal was, he said the rice! But I know that my friend, Steph, wasn’t crazy about it. I made it with plantain, and it was a little bit sweet with that slight banana flavour, and a tiny bit slimy. I think that it would have suited her better if it were dehydrated longer. But Geoff really liked it so that’s saying something!

RAW VEGAN TORTILLAS

  • 5 cups fresh corn kernels, or thawed frozen corn – preferably organic*
  • 3/4 cup golden flaxseed, finely ground
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

*Ok, I used frozen which might mean that it wasn’t actually raw. I think they might blanch the frozen vegetables first. But close enough!

TORTILLAS METHOD:

  1. Blitz in food processor, smooth out on teflex sheets. Score into triangles and dehydrate at 105 for a looooong time. I left them for over 24 hours, flipping them once.
RAW VEGAN BURRITO FILLING:
  • 3 cups sunflower seeds, soaked for 2 hours or more
  • 2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for 1 hour or more
  • .25 cup irish moss, soaked for 2 hours or more (optional, but helps it to stick together)
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 4 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • 4 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1 jalapeno, cored but with seeds, chopped
  • 6 green onions, chopped
BURRITO FILLING METHOD:
  • Blitz in food processor. You might need to add a lot more water, or I ended up using some of the liquid from the big bowl of salsa that I had made earlier.
  • Dehydrate to get the desired consistency. I wanted mine to be formed into large “lumps” that were tender inside and crispy on the outside. You could break it into smaller pieces or leave it as a big log. It will depend on how moist you want it to be.
  • Toss burrito filling in tomato sauce, as listed here:
RAW VEGAN BURRITO SAUCE:
  • 4 cups sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for at least 1 hour
  • 2 small roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

BURRITO SAUCE METHOD:

  • Blitz in food processor! Toss burrito filling in the sauce.
RAW VEGAN SOUR CREAM
  • 1.5 cups cashew nuts, soaked for 1 to 2 hours
  • 1.5 cups coconut milk
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 probiotic capsule, optional

SOUR CREAM METHOD:

  • Blitz in food processor! Adjust to taste. You might want more lemon, or more liquid. Mine did get very thick in the fridge which ended up being good for helping my burritos to stick together, but you might like to make it more liquidy.
BURRITO ASSEMBLY:
Lots of large collard leaves. I bought 3 bunches to be sure that I would have enough that were the right size. Wash your collards in advance and let them dry for several hours so that they’re truly dry. You’ll be stuffing them with the burrito filling, the burrito sauce, and the sour cream.
For wrapping your burritos, I found this video to be very helpful. However, in this video she COOKS the collard greens. I definitely didn’t cook mine! Leave them raw. But this was the most helpful video I found for the trimming of the stems and the wrapping technique:

Next, dessert! The dessert was one of my usual recipe-less creations. The base had to be made without dates this time since that’s on my no-no list. I did miss the dates in the base, but I’d say that the pineapple and papaya layers were very successful.

I’ll make a variation on this dessert for the raw vegan potluck this Sunday. I’ll try to post a recipe at that time.

The pineapple syrup was the most exciting discovery. I juiced some fresh pineapple and dehydrated the juice in a shallow tray and it made a very sweet, concentrated syrup. It tastes so sweet, like there must be sugar added, but there isn’t! I’m going to use this technique again. For the dessert I make this weekend, I’ll incorporate more of that syrup into the crust to make up for the absence of dates.

One of the best things about having a raw vegan dinner party is that all of the work is done in advance! There’s no fuss to serve things hot and to time things so that they’re ready at the same time. It’s all totally done so you can let it be and enjoy time with your guests. Go raw vegan!

Raw Vegan Coconut Milk

Well, getting in to the raw vegan groove certainly is a learning curve. I’m embarrassed to say that I hadn’t fully been paying attention to one of the ingredients I’ve been using in my raw vegan desserts. Coconut milk (from a can) is not actually raw! Major oops!!!

I was so focused on the overall recipes and textures that I’ve been grabbing a can of coconut milk and basically assuming that it’s raw but this is not the case. For it to be canned, it’s heated. Bummer! There goes another convenience.

Not to fear. I found an excellent website that explains how to make raw vegan coconut milk. Check it out! For the truly devoted raw foodists, this is the ticket to making the raw vegan coconut milk that I use in so many desserts in combination with coconut butter. Yum! And well, if you’re not that die hard of a raw foodie, you can just keep on using the canned stuff.

How To Make Fresh Raw Coconut Milk

Raw Vegan Manicotti

I wanted to make two dishes for today’s Conscious Eating Niagara raw vegan potluck. I was hoping that making a second dish would encourage my hubby to join me, and he did come by for a bit which made me very happy. Once again, it was a great potluck and I’m so happy to have found this lovely community.

My savoury dish was raw vegan manicotti. I used my raw vegan tomato sauce, and filled zucchini rolled around probiotic Brazil  nut ricotta cheese. I was very pleased with how it turned out.

How to make Raw Vegan Manicotti:

This is like making raw vegan lasagna, but I decided to roll the zucchini so that it would be easier to serve at the potluck. You can either use a mandoline or if you’re very careful and patient, you could cut the zucchini into thin slices. Get your slices ready several hours in advance and salt them and let them air dry so that some of the moisture evaporates. Otherwise your dish can get very watery. I did this but it still got watery, so next time I might even slice them the night before.

I layered my raw vegan tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish and then placed my zucchini pasta on top.

For the Probiotic Brazil Nut Ricotta cheese, first have a look at my blog post about making raw vegan nut cheeses. This isn’t a difficult process, but the aging process takes time so planning becomes a bit more complicated. I decided after the last raw vegan potluck that I would make something with cheese and started to make the cheese straight away so it would have time to age. It wasn’t until much later that I decided exactly what I would use the cheese for and that doesn’t matter, you just want to start making the cheese straight away so that you’ll have it available.

For this recipe, the cheese was aged for 3 weeks which seems to be the magic length of time for really creating a true cheese-like quality, texture and flavour. The ratio that I use is 2 cups of nuts to one tablespoon of probiotic powder. Unlike many recipes, through trial and error I’ve now given up on soaking my nuts first. Instead, I blitz my nuts in the food processor, dump the probiotic powder directly in and season with salt. For other cheese I add additional seasoning but for the ricotta I like to keep it more simple. Once it’s fully blended, I lay it out on a dehydrator sheet and dehydrate it on a low temperature for about 4 hours or until it’s getting dry enough that it holds together in solid form, but not so dry that it crumbles. Then I mash it in some sort of a mould (a glass container works) and leave it to sit in a warm place for an additional 24 to 48 hours. This might be in the dehydrator on low, or I’ve found on top of the fridge to be a nice warm place. Then I cover it and put it in the fridge and let it age for 3 weeks.

For a bit of ‘parmesan’ I took the last of the cheese and added a bit of extra sea salt, then sprinkled it on top of the dish.

Raw Vegan Pizza Chips

Raw Vegan Tomato Chips

What to do with too many tomatoes...

Raw Vegan Pizza ChipsRaw Vegan Pizza Chips

Made too much tomato sauce? Well I did, so I poured the rest of it on to dehydrator sheets and loaded up my 9 tray Excalibur. The result? The most delicious pizza chips! Seriously, tastes so much like pizza. What a great snack!

Click here for my Raw Vegan Tomato Sauce recipe, aka. Pizza Love.