Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Raw Mexican Fiesta

Last night we had a filling, satisfying raw vegan Mexican meal.   It was delicious!

Over the weekend we used our brand new Excalibur food dehydrator to make Raw Classic Corn Chips.  We served the resulting tortilla chips as "raw nachos" as an appetizer for tonight's dinner.  This recipe came out of the Excalibur cookbook, Preserve it Naturally.  Here's our take on it:

Raw Corn Chips

10 ears of corn
1 onion
1 orange bell pepper
2 carrots
1 cup alfalfa sprouts

Place in a food processor and process until chunky.  Place in a strainer and press out any extra liquid.  The liquid is drinkable and tastes a bit like milk.  Spread into two large rounds on a dehydrator tray lined with a Paraflexxs sheet.  Dry 12 hours, then dry on the other side for 17 hours.  To flip the tortilla over without breaking, place a Paraflexx sheet on top of the tortilla, then a tray over that.  Flip both trays over, and peel the Paraflexx sheet off of the top of the tortilla.  The resulting tortilla can be broken into tortilla chips or used for raw tostadas, Mexican pizzas, etc.

Note:  It stuck to the Paraflexx and might have released more easily if it had been lightly brushed with some olive oil.  The resulting tortilla might have looked more appealing if the mixture had been processed until smooth.  The flavor was intense with a hint of bitterness.  My husband liked it.  It wasn't completely dry after 29 hours, but we refrigerated it and then warmed it again in the dehydrator before serving, and by then it was perfect.  I enjoyed it more with the Raw Vegan Nacho Cheese sauce.

Raw Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce

Here's our version:

1 cup raw pine nuts (pine nuts do not require soaking)
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper  (about 1/2 pepper)
2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
2 tablespoons water
1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt (then adjust to taste)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon low salt white miso
1/4 teaspoon turmeric

Blend all ingredients together in a high powered blender.

Note:  Next time, intensify flavor by adding paprika and slightly increasing the nutritional yeast.  This recipe originally used cashews but a family member is allergic.  Try using different nuts or blends of nuts.  The pine nuts were reminiscent of pesto.

We attended a picnic on Friday, and someone brought this beautiful, delicious salad.  I went online and found a recipe for Mexican Fruit Salad and then we made our own version.

Chili Fruit

Chop and slice the following fruit into large bite sized pieces:

1 mango
2 small pineapple
1/2 a large seedless watermelon
1 small honeydew melon
3 kiwi
1 English cucumber
1 medium jicama

juice and zest of three limes
chili powder (we used a mixture of Anaheim chili powder and regular chili powder)
salt, to taste

Gently stir the lime juice and zest into the fruit, and then sprinkle on the chili powder.  Stir and tasted, adding chili and salt until it reaches the desired flavor.  Serve chilled.

Looking for the perfect raw vegan burrito recipe, once again we searched the net.  Rachael Renee Gerk was a great help on Youtube, and we made the burritos pretty much like she demonstrated. 

Rachel Renee Gerk's Raw Vegan Burritos

1 bunch collard greens

3 Brussels sprouts, coarsely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper chopped
baby spinach
1 medium yellow squash, chopped

Blend the ingredients and place in a bowl.

Use the largest leaves of the collard greens to wrap the burritos.  The stem can be pounded flat so that it's flexible.  Layer with guacamole, the filling, and the salsa, and roll.

Simple Guacamole

3 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 ripe avocados
cumin to taste

Process until smooth.

Normally we'd add tomatoes, onion, cilantro and chili powder etc. to our guacamole but these burritos are loaded enough!

Raw Salsa

4 vine ripened tomatoes
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 cup cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded.

Process until smooth.

Next we had desert.  Strawberries are widely available, and we found this recipe on Me Amoeba for amazing Frosty Berry Squares.

As always, since our son is allergic to cashews we replaced them, this time with macadamias.  Otherwise this is the exact recipe on Me Amoeba.  This recipe makes four enormous servings, with leftover filling that we made into pops.  It could easily serve eight.

Frosty Berry Squares from Me Amoeba


1/4 cup raw almonds
15 dates, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt

Grind the almonds in a food processor until they are fine, then add the rest of the ingredients and process until it begins to clump together.  Divide into four equal portions and press into the bottoms of individual serving molds.  We used little silicone cake molds in star shapes.


1 cup macadamia nuts, soaked  2 hours.  (macadamia nuts do not have to be soaked but I did it anyway because it might help with the moisture content of the mixture.)
20 large strawberries
2 tablespoons agave nectar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Process in a food processor until creamy, then divide in equal portions over the crust.

Place in the freezer until set.

Topping  (make while the desserts are starting to thaw slightly)

6 strawberries
Agave nectar

extra strawberries for garnish

Process the six strawberries with about a tablespoon of agave nectar.  Unmold the desserts and top with the strawberry puree.  Garnish.

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So what do you think? Have you tried raw vegan food?