Archive for May, 2010

Raw Soup made with Tomato, Avocado, Bellpepper, Apple and Cucumber

Raw Soup made with Tomato, Avocado, Bell Pepper, Apple and Cucumber

I got this recipe from the Raw Glow blog. (http://rawglow.com/blog/2010/05/03/cecilias-everyday-raw-food-blended-soup-recipe/)   It was my first raw soup and was pretty good.  Actually it was a lot better than I expected.  It was very creamy and a little spicy from the garlic and cayenne. 

I really had no plans to ever go the raw soup route.  I have never tried gazpacho because cold soup just sounds gross!  However, I read in one of the books that raw food doesn’t have to be cold, just not overheated.   I decided to warm the soup by running the Vita Mix for a little bit.  It got it up to 110 degrees.  (I was shooting for 105 but ran it a little too long…oops!)   This was definitely a very quick and easy meal!

Trying out raw foods

We have decided to incorporate more raw foods in our diet.  Ideally, we would like to get up to 80% raw but will take it slow.  A lot of raw foodists are vegan, but I do not plan on giving up raw dairy.  We have a great source for raw milk and I am able to make my own butter, yogurt, kefir, buttermilk and some cheeses from the milk.  I also will still occasionally have free-range, grass fed beef and free-range chicken as part of our cooked foods.   I will continue to make our cooked foods using the Nourishing Traditions methods as much as possible.

Our first change is adding green smoothies.  As beginners, we put in more fruit and less greens while our taste buds get used to the “green” taste (and to make sure the kids will eat them).  The books I’ve been reading tell you to start out adding the healthy things, and not worry about taking away foods right now.  As your body gets nourished by the greens, it will start craving more of those types of foods.  I’ll let you know how that goes.  🙂

We  have several raw food books and I’ve been trying out recipes.  What I’ve discovered is that it takes a lot of planning and time if you are making actual meals!  My quest now is to find great tasting recipes that don’t take as long.  Last week we had several all or nearly all raw days, but had a cooked meal on Friday night.  It was a big green salad with grilled asparagus and angus beef patties w/ raw cheese.  Except for the squash spagetti, it was the easiest meal of the week!  I’m going to start some breakfast cereal in the dehydrator and see if we can get rid of our cheerios and organic granola which are two of  the main processed foods we use regularly.   The other thing I’m going to try to replace are the organic tortilla chips we eat.   There is a recipe in Raw Food Real World  that you make in the dehydrator.

Raw Tacos

Raw Tacos

These were by far the most labor intensive of any of our meals so far and probably my least favorite.  I didn’t really care much for the “bean” filling.  It had a lot of sun-dried tomatoes in it and I’m not a big fan of those.  The filling also took about 12 hours of dehydrating.  I did like the taco shells and would probably use them again w/ a different filling.  The shells took about 5 hours of dehydrating so I was able to start them the same day we were going to eat them.  The recipe came from Raw Food Real World  by Matthew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis.

Green Smoothies

Squash Spaghetti

Raw Squash Spaghetti with Olive Oil, Garlic and Sesame Seed “Parmesan”

 The squash was sooo easy!!  I just got a spiral slicer (Joy Chen Saladacco spiral Slicer for about $20) that turns veggies into long strands like spaghetti noodles.  I just ran a couple squash through it and then tossed it with organic extra virgin olive oil.  (I would assume you can use a grater and just have short “noodles”.)  I squeezed three garlic cloves in it (too much for me…raw is much stronger) and tossed it again.  Added a diced roma tomato and some fresh parsley.  I make a “parmesan cheese” from equal amounts sesame seeds and nutritional yeast blended together in a coffee grinder w/ 1/2 to 1 tsp sea salt.  (I use this on top of all my green salads…it makes them amazing!!)  I sprinkled the “parmesan” on top of everything and that was it!!  No heating up the kitchen!  I wouldn’t take a squash straight from the fridge…let it set out on the counter a while so the dish is room temperature, not cold.

Juicing…so easy a child can do it!

Juicing...so easy a child can do it!

Sushi Rolls with Jicama/Pine Nut “Rice”

 

Sushi Rolls with Jicama/Pine Nut "Rice"

 I used the rice recipe from Raw Food Read World and then added what I had on hand for the rest of the ingredients.

For the rice:
6 cups chopped jicama (roughly 1-inch cubes)
½ cup pine nuts
1 tablespoon plus 2 tsp sea salt
¼ cup brown rice wine vinegar (I used regular rice wine vinegar)
3 tablespoons agave nectar (I used raw honey)

Place the jicama and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until chopped to the approximate size of rice grains.  Press the jicama between clean kitchen towels or paper towels to remove all the excess moisture.

In a large bowl, combine the rice with the salt, rice vinegar and agave (honey) and mix well.  Gently spread the mixture onto dehydrator screens and dehydrate at 115 degrees F for about 2 hours to remove additional moisture.  Check occasionally and toss it around because the edges dry faster.

I spread the rice on nori sheets and added thin carrot strips, avocado slices, thin asparagus slices, and thin cucumber slices.  I rolled them up and served with nama shoyu and wasabi.

Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart

Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart

Try Something New!

To be successful at eating healthier, start by adding new meals to your routine before you begin to eliminate foods.  As you begin to discover foods you truly enjoy, you will gladly drop those unhealthy meals in favor of your new nutritious alternatives.  The recipes listed in this section are foods that our family has adopted into our regular meal routine.

Red Beet Ravioli

Red Beet Ravioli

1 to 2 red beets
1  1/2 cups cashews
1 1/2 cups pine nuts
3/4 cup cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil
2 whole lemons, zested, peeled and quartered
1 onion, finely chopped
1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
3/4 cup purified water
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
cracked pepper to taste
salt to taste

 Soak the pine nuts and cashews in enough purified water to cover them, and let them soak for 2 hours.  Drain and put the nuts in a food processor, and add the olive oil, lemon quarters and zest.  Process for 8 minutes or until the mixture is well combined and clumps together.  Pour half of this mixture into a blender and set the rest aside.  Add the nutritional yeast and 1 teaspoon of the peppercorns to the mixture in the blender and blend on medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until thick and smooth.  Transfer this mixture to a glass bowl and refrigerate uncovered for 1 hour.  This mixture will be the “cheese” filling for inside the beet ravioli.

 While the “cheese” chills in the fridge, place the remaining nut mixture in the blender. Add the remaining teaspoon of peppercorns, the garlic, and the ¾ cup purified water and blend on high speed for 1 minute or until smooth – but not quite liquid.  Add salt to taste, and set the sauce aside.

 Roughly chop the basil and fold ½ cup of the leaves in the “cheese” filler once it has completely chilled.  Add salt to taste.

 Peel the beets and slice paper thin (use a mandolin, peeler or other thin slicer).  You can leave them round or trim them square. Lay out half of the beet slices on a clean surface (remember, beets will stain).  Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the “cheese” filler onto each slice of beet, the top each with a second beet slice.  Arrange on a baking sheet or serving platter in a single layer, sprinkle with salt, then store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

 To serve, pour the sauce on to a deep serving platter and arrange the ravioli on top in a single layer.  Sprinkle with the remaining chopped basil, and salt and cracked pepper to taste.

This recipe was adapted from Sarma Melngailis recipes listed in both her Raw Food Real World and The Raw 50 by Carol Alt.  It is a little different in each book.  The changes came from what I had on hand, i.e., no tarragon so I used basil, and I used 1/2 cashews and 1/2 pinenuts due to the fact that I couldn’t make myself use 3 cups of pinenuts when they cost $23.00 a pound!  I also used onion instead of a shallot.  I would also use ground pepper instead of peppercorns next time because I had a hard time getting them to blend in the Vita Mix.

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