Monday, July 23, 2012

What to do with all that juicer pulp

Last week, after spending an evening with our ancient Champion juicer,  we went to a fancy kitchen store and bought a Breville juicer.  The thing rocks!  It extracts more of the juice from the pulp so there is a higher yield.

It's a big lifestyle adjustment.  The first night that we made three day's worth of juice for the whole family, we had everyone washing and prepping the greens and by the time it was over it looked like a psychedelic veggie bomb had gone off in our kitchen.  It was funny and a bit sad.

Anyway, three-day-old green juice is not so good.  We know we should drink it as soon as it's juiced, but we are so busy that it's hard to find time to run the juicer every day!  We are looking for ways to save time in the prep and cleanup.  Because it isn't provided for you in a cardboard box, and you don't just add water and stick it in the microwave, it's a bit more work that the standard American diet.
Three day old juice may not be so great, but I guess it's an improvement over diet cola.  We have to keep the positive energy going and not put ourselves down when we are doing our best.

So we get up and drink our green juice in our coffee mugs, and then we start prepping the fruits and veg for our lunch smoothies.  My husband takes a big cup to work, and we drink the rest here at home.  When the afternoon comes, sometimes I am stumped.  What can I make quickly for the family dinner, that doesn't require another run to the store for a missing ingredient?

Like today, for example.  We have this beautiful heirloom type corn, avocados, and some decent tomatoes. We have an herb blend that we dehydrated here at home.  Add some garlic cloves, throw it in the blender, and this will make some delicious raw soup.  We tried this a few days ago so we know it works.  I also have some spaghetti squash.  The only way I know of to prepare spaghetti squash raw is to peel it, seed it, and then put it in the food processor until it has a rice-like texture, then season it.  Trouble is, last time I tried that, it was not well received.  Last time, I tried giving it a bit of curry, turmeric and coriander.  This time we'll try it with soaked pumpkin seeds and Mexican seasoning, and go for something reminiscent of beans and rice.  Will they like it?  I don't know, but we need to do something with all that squash!

(Update:   We added tomato and avocado to the spaghetti squash and pumpkin seeds, and it was pretty good.  Next time, we'll try adding a finely minced raw chili and some fresh chopped cilantro.  That should really make the flavors pop!)

And the potatoes.  I have potatoes that came with the co-op basket, and so far what we have tried has not turned out.  We tried a recipe for dehydrated raw potato chips that didn't work.  I'm sure that when the chef made them they were wonderful.  Our version tasted like we were eating the dehydrated potatoes out of the box.  We tried processing them with herbs and oil and then dehydrating it like fruit leather.  Potato leather is . . .errr. . .  okay. . .  but if you want a healthier version of Pringles this is not it.  There is a raw vegan spinach and potato latke recipe floating around on the net, and I'm going to try that next time we get around to it.  On the standard American diet, I can make potatoes, spaghetti squash and all kinds of things 9 different ways.  And they all come out wonderful.  This is like learning how to cook all over again, except that it's not cooking.

And finally there's the juicer pulp.  We keep producing bags and bags of it.  A lot of it is going to the composter, but I have been making several batches of crackers,chips and wraps using the pulp and the dehydrator.  Let's just say that my recipes are gradually improving but need a bit of work.  One batch that went over pretty well was seasoned with a curry masala blend.  There is a decent looking recipe online for burgers using pulp, and in yesterday's raw vegan class, Ree at the Go Raw Cafe taught us how to make barbecue flavored sliders using carrot pulp.  They were delicious.

Ree's raw food prep class was amazing again, of course.  She has gentle, uplifting positive energy and healing grace.  She demonstrates how the dishes made, dropping many helpful little raw food tips along the way, and then the food is brought to the table.  See the love, feel the love.  Can't wait for the next class!

Over the weekend, the family went to my son's dance recital.  Usually we go out to eat afterwards, but our old haunts are not healthy and we need to cut back on expenses anyway, so we made sure we'd have something nice to come home to.  After the recital we celebrated with a delicious raw meal.  I made this recipe for Essene bread, which was basically 1 1/2 cups each kamut and winter wheat, sprouted until they started to take over their jars, mix it with some pitted dates, and run it through the Champion with the blank plate on.   What comes out is a bit chunky and a bit soupy.  Drop it by the ladle onto teflex sheets and dehydrate it on low for a few hours, then turn it over and dehydrate overnight or until it has a bread-like texture.  Those were our "hamburger buns."

We had some beet burgers in the freezer which were leftover from the 4th of July, and they were placed in the dehydrator for two hours until they were the perfect texture.  We marinated some cucumber slices for a few hours in apple cider vinegar and a bit of salt.  On top, a raw almond cheddar adapted from a recipe by Russell James.   The end result is the photo above.

It was so delicious, and we didn't need anything else to go with it, but we did finish the meal with this amazing rich dark chocolate cake.  

We topped it with fresh cherries that we simply pitted and processed for a minute in the food processor.  I didn't take a picture because despite being decadent and wonderful it looked like. . . well let's just say it was ugly.  The recipe made a teensy cake, the size of what might have been a single serving in another lifetime.  Raw food is so nutrient dense and satisfying that you simply can't eat a standard-sized piece.  We cut it into four little pieces and it was more than enough dessert.  It was amazing and we are definitely going to do that again some special day.  But no pictures.

The next day we warmed up the leftover Essene bread, smeared it with peanut butter, and topped it with more raw cherries.   The new PBJ was a big hit.

We do have some successes in the midst of our learning experiences.  We'll definitely make Essene bread again, and we'll try it several different ways.  Our juices and smoothies are good, even though we can't seem to find the time to juice daily.  Zucchini pasta is a fool proof standard that can be made many different ways.
Bottom line, everyone is well-nourished and getting healthier every day.  My husband and I are gradually losing weight and feeling a bit better.  Our son who is overweight despite dancing, playing tennis and exercising each day, got up onstage in his dance costume, and it looked like it was about two sizes too big for him.

Every day I am more glad than ever that we decided to take a raw food journey.  We might not ever come back.   Looking ahead, I'm working on a raw vegan take on the old comfort food standby, grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup.

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Solution To The Morning Rush Problem

As I type this, I'm sipping on some delicious Cherry Limeade

The recipe:

1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
2 cups pitted cherries
Agave nectar and stevia to taste
Ice and water

Blend and add water and sweeteners to taste.

This makes about a gallon of limeade, although it can be made stronger or diluted more.  I can't say how much agave nectar and stevia to add.  If you are 100% raw you can omit the sweeteners and add juiced cherries instead.  It would probably take a lot of cherry juice to offset the sour flavor of the lime juice - maybe 3 or 4 cups.  If you just blend the cherries you get a drink with more body and a foam on top.  If you don't want the body and foam, juice the cherries instead.

Served over ice, it reminds me of what Kool Aid never quite tasted like, no matter how hard it tried.


My beloved husband revealed that he hasn't been eating at work.  Gah!  Instead of eating the donuts his coworkers bring in, he's been fasting on water.

Me:  "Why don't you go out for healthy food or go to the store and bring some back?"
He:  "It's too hot at lunchtime to leave work!  And I keep leaving too late in the morning to stop on the way in."
Me:  "Okay, why don't you fix something here before you leave?"
He:  "I'll be late for work."

So, last night we got everything together so that our breakfast and lunch could be fast and delicious.

We broke out my old beat-up Champion juicer from 1984 and made the "new coffee," so it would be cold and ready in the fridge in the morning:

Green Juice A la "The Life Regenerator"

1 whole bunch celery
1 whole bunch kale
1 whole bunch of spinach
1 whole bunch cilantro
1 whole cucumber
1 cored apple

It's not black and bitter like coffee.  It's green and sort of sweetly bitter, a bit like wheatgrass.  It's an acquired taste, but wonderful and energizing.  We drink it in coffee cups, symbolic of its new role as the drink that gets us moving in the morning.  When I jokingly said to Beloved, "This is the new coffee," he interpreted as a cue that we can remove the Mr. Coffee from the kitchen.  I stopped him.  I'm not quite ready yet.  Although, strangely, I don't feel like drinking coffee this morning, for the first time in practically forever.

Of course, our beloved almost-12 year old is having a hard time choking the green juice down.  Right now he's trying to make it more palatable by blending it with grapes and cherry limeade.  He knows it's good for him and his doing his best to go along with it, bless his heart.

Last night the old Champion took a long time, didn't get all of the juice out of the pulp and got stuck a couple of times, so we are contemplating a new Breville.  It's an investment, but this is our life.

For breakfast, we dusted off the old recipe for the oat shake.   This time we made it without the almond milk or almond butter, relying on one banana for creaminess and a bit of vanilla and cinnamon for flavor.   We placed the oats, water and dates in the blender and left them there to soak until morning.   We are still using up our supply of quick rolled oats, but when they are gone we'll be looking for a reliable source for truly raw, sproutable oats.

After prepping the green juice, Beloved cut up a pineapple and a cantaloupe and placed it in a bowl.   I washed some grapes and kale, removing the stems from the grapes.  We left it covered in the refrigerator until this morning.  This morning, we blended it with some ice and poured it into portable shaker cups.

That  was it.  In minutes, Beloved was ready to go to work nourished and equipped to face a day filled with SAD (Standard American Diet) temptations.

We want to try this for about a week and see how it makes us feel.  Right now I'm thinking about how we can do it more efficiently. While he was on the road,  Dave The Raw Food Trucker made 3 gallons of raw juice at a time, drinking a gallon a day.  So tonight I'm going to experiment with making a 3-day supply of juice.  I'd also like to try prepping all of our juice, smoothie and salad veggies for the whole day all at once to cut down on prep time.

As of this morning, I've lost about ten pounds.  It's been slow, partly because we started off on a high-fat raw transitional diet with lots of avocados and nuts.  For most of this week, we plan to eat low-fat with mostly raw juices and smoothies.  We'll make an exception on Saturday, when we plan to celebrate a special occasion with a special raw vegan meal with nuts, olive oil, avocado and a raw vegan dessert.  This isn't a fad and it's not a rapid weight loss gimmick - it's a way of life.  I still don't care about the weight, but about being healthy.

Note:  We quickly abandoned the idea of making a 3 day supply of juice.  In our opinion, fresh juice is better if you drink it as soon as possible after making it.  Some people may still need to make three day's worth at a time for personal reasons, and that's better than no juice at all.  But fresh is always best. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Italian Night

Italian Chia Seed Crackers
Garlic Bread with Macadamia-Brazil Cheese
Antipasto Salad

Italian Chia Seed Crackers  (shown above with eggplant bacon and raw sweet corn chips)

8 oz. chia seeds soaked in 4 cups water
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup onion, chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp oregano
4 basil leaves

Stir the chia seeds in the water until the mixture thickens.  It could take an hour or longer.  The thickened mixture including the water will be used.  Blend all ingredients including the chia seed mixture in a blender or food processor.  The mixture should be uniform with no large pieces.  The chia seeds will remain whole.  It's fine if the mixture is nearly pureed but it's not necessary to go that far.

Pour the mixture onto dehydrator sheets, either by the spoonful in smaller cracker shapes, or in one large piece to be broken into smaller pieces after drying.  Dry according to your dehydrator instructions for at least 12 hours or until dry.  We dried ours at the lowest setting.

Garlic Bread
Recipe Courtesy of Russell James

2 cups almond pulp  (reserved from making almond milk)
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup psyllium
1/2 cup flax meal
3 tsp lemon juice
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 tsp garlic powder
3 dates, pitted
t tsp sea salt

Blend the zucchini, garlic and dates in a high speed blender until smooth.  Transfer to a food processor and combine with the rest of the ingredients until combined and mixture starts to come together.  Form into four small loaves and press on dehydrator mesh screen.  Dehydrate 12 1 14 hours.  Remove and refrigerate.  Two hours before serving, slice each small loaf into three pieces, and place back into dehydrator cut side up, and dehydrate for an additional 2 hours.
Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.  Serves 8-12 with a meal, or 4 if the bread and cheese is the meal.  This bread is even better on the second day!

Macadamia-Brazil Cheese
This recipe adapted from Russell James' Raw Nut Cheese Ebook, which was a great investment!

Step 1:

1 cup each Macadamia and Brazil nuts, soaked overnight and rinsed
1 cup water
1 tsp probiotics, (5 opened capsules of NOW Foods Gr8-Dophilus)

Blend the nuts and water in a high speed blender.  Pull apart each capsule of probiotics and empty into mixture, then blend again.  Place the mixture in a colander lined with a cheesecloth.  Wrap the mixture in the cheesecloth, with the ends of the cheesecloth brought together on top of the mixture.  Twist the ends together and place something heavy on top, in order to press the extra liquid out of the cheese.  We used a glass measuring cup.  Leave to culture in a warm place for 24 hours.

Step 2:

Transfer the cheese to a bowl and stir in 1/2 tsp sea salt and 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast.  Place the mixture into a mold, cover and place in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours.  Remove from the mold and serve.  This recipe made 3 1/2 of the cheese "stars" shown above, and we enjoyed the leftover cheese on crackers throughout the week.

Antipasto Salad
(Note:  The olives in this recipe were not raw.  For those who choose a 100% raw lifestyle, it is possible to obtain raw olives, but I wasn't able to in time for this recipe.)


Lemon juice from 1/2 lemon, (adjust to taste)
2 tbsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive brine (substitute with raw apple cider vinegar if 100% raw)

sea salt to taste, (may not be needed with olive brine)


1 small head cauliflower, stem, leaves and core removed, broken into small bite-sized florets
1 small bunch of kale, washed, trimmed and chopped, (at least 4 large leaves)
1 red pepper, trimmed with seeds removed and finely chopped
1/2 cup organic mixed deli olives, pitted and sliced

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup pine nuts

Whisk the dressing ingredients, toss salad, and dress salad.  Allow the dressing to marinate the salad in the refrigerator for several hours, tossing occasionally to distribute dressing.

Lasagne (With Marinated Mushrooms)

This recipe reflects our adjustments to the recipe we featured here.  It came out much better this time.  Practice makes perfect!

One of the tricks to making this recipe work is to bust out your cake-frosting skills.  Each delicious layer of this lasagne is thick and can be spread somewhat like frosting.  When we approached it this way, it was easier to put it together.  We found that by dotting the mixture on by the spoonful prior to spreading, it was easier to make sure the layer was evenly distributed.

Start by marinating the mushrooms:

1 lb. small portabella mushrooms, (Baby Bellas)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
squeeze of lemon
pinch pepper

Wash, trim and slice the mushrooms.  Whisk the marinade ingredients and pour over mushrooms, tossing well to coat.  Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours, stirring occasionally.

Now for the lasagne:

Nut Cheese Layer

2 cups macadamias and 1 cup pine nuts, soaked overnight and rinsed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 yellow pepper
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1 teaspoon salt

Process in a food processor until well blended.  If necessary, add a little water to the food processor to help get it going.

"Meat" layer

1 cup marinated mushrooms
1/2 cup walnuts, soaked overnight
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in love oil
1 tablespoon miso
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried sage
1 tablespoon Braggs liquid Aminos
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon agave nectar

Combine in a food processor until well blended but still somewhat chuky

Tomato Sauce Layer

1 1/2 cups sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
2 dates
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups tomato, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Process in a food processor until smooth.

Pesto Layer

2 cups tightly packed basil leaves
3/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Blend in a high speed blender until smooth.

Spinach Layer

6 cups torn spinach, tightly packed
5 tablespoons dried oregano
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Place all ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat well.  Place in the dehydrator on the low setting for an hour or two, tossing occasionally.


5 medium or 7 small zucchini,sliced thinly lengthwise so that they resemble the shape of lasagne noodles.  A mandolin works well for this.
1 tablespoon of salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch black pepper

Combine marinade ingredients and pour over zucchini slices.  Toss well to coat.  Marinade for ten minutes.  (If you have any leftover zucchini slices, they can be dehydrated overnight for a snack.) 

Assembly method:  (Use a large lasagne pan)
1. Line the base of your dish with a layer of the zucchini strips, overlapping them slightly.  
2. Spread 1/2 half the walnut and mushroom "meat", reserving half for another layer.
3. Spread 1/2 of the cheese mixture, reserving half for another layer.
4. Repeat with the 1/2 of the tomato sauce, followed by 1/2 of the the pesto. Remember to think of it like you are frosting a cake.

Next, spread the spinach layer.  Place all of the spinach in one layer.

On top of the spinach, repeat steps 1-4 above.  First the zucchini, then the remaining "meat," then the "cheese", then the tomato sauce, and finally the pesto.

Garnish with about 1/2 cup chopped pine nuts.  For Russell James' original recipe, go here.

Refrigerate several hours before serving.  This recipe will serve 12 people generously if part of a full meal.


1 cup pecans, soaked overnight, rinsed, and dehydrated  (reserve 1 tbsp for the coffee layer)
12 pitted dates

Process together in a food processor until finely chopped and well combined.  Press into the bottom of a pan.


1/2 cup macadamia nuts and 1/2 cups pecans, soaked overnight and rinsed
6 ripe bananas
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 vanilla bean
2 tsp vanilla extract

Blend ingredients in a high speed blender until liquified and pour over base.

Coffee Layer

Grind together 1 tbsp reserved pecans, 3 tbsp cacao powder and 3 coffee beans in a spice mill and sprinkle over filling.  Note:  Coffee beans are not raw.  If 100% raw, omit coffee beans, or if simply avoiding caffeine, substitute with a 1/2 tsp Caffix or other caffeine free substitute.


Mix together 2 tbsp ground cinnamon and 2 tbsp cacao powder and sprinkle over the top

Place in the freezer until 15 minutes before serving, then slice and serve.  Serves 12.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Check-In

We are doing quite well with our raw vegan plans.  I have absolutely no desire to eat meat, cheese or eggs.  Sometimes if I am out running errands while feeling hungry, walking past a restaurant, I think, "If I wanted to I could get a bit of takeout," but I haven't.  Why not?  I think it's because I have so many other options.  If I want something sweet, I choose a ripe juicy fruit.  If I want something a little more substantial, I can have nut cheese.  If I want something salty, cucumbers are good.

Another reason I've been able to resist fast foods and junk foods is that we are maintaining high levels of nourishment.  It seems obvious that if the body is starving for nutrition, the person will eat whatever is available.  I believe it's possible to have a full stomach and a starving body, due to poor quality nutrition.  I also believe that much of the foods that are marketed as healthy is actually below standard for optimal health.

One strange thing I have noticed is that in the past when my nutrition was sub-optimal and I was very hungry, I was more likely to choose high fat foods, even when foods with less fat and a higher nutrient density were readily available.  It is a vicious cycle.

Maybe this is why raw food coaches advise newcomers to raw foodism to not allow themselves to get hungry.  They say to stock up on plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, arm yourself with a preparation plan, and stay full of good stuff!  Transitioning to raw foods is probably best experienced in phases, and we are just beginning to experience that.  There are plenty of programs for people who want coaching through the transition.  We've decided to try to figure this out on our own.  We are getting ready for the next phase, where we replace more of our meals with smoothies and simple salads.  We'll consume less of the higher fat raw foods, like nuts.  It's not something we could have done on the first day but it will be easier now.  Recently we enjoyed a raw Italian meal, but it will be the last full three course meal we will have for several weeks.  Recipes and photos to follow, of course!

We are willing to make one concession:  My youngest son loves to bake pizza with a whole wheat crust. We are making it vegan with plenty of fresh vegetables, but it isn't raw.  It's delicious, and it's the one family tradition we've decided to keep.  Perhaps one day we can find a raw crust that we like.

I've been reading:  "Rawsome!" by Brigitte Mars, "Raw Foods For Busy People" by Jordan Maerin, and "Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health" by Rosemary Gladstar.  I've been trying to watch a bit of raw food inspiration on Youtube each day.  Here are a few favorites:

Raw Food World, 
Fully Raw Kristina,
Dara Dubinet

Life Regenerater


My weight has been holding steady at about eight lbs below the starting weight.  Rapid weight loss has not been the main goal - health comes first.  I'm convinced that much of our weight gain was exacerbated by toxins collecting in our bodies, and as we eat cleaner foods, we are clearing out the toxins.

I'm feeling an increase in mental clarity, and a lifting of brain fog.  I'm feeling happier and more comfortable in my skin.  It's easier to get out of bed in the morning.  Most of the fatigue has dissipated, although that should improve as I exercise more.  Usually, I find it very difficult to cope with the heat in the summer heat here in the desert, and lose all motivation to go anywhere or do anything.  Even though this is a very hot summer, and it's 108 degrees Fahrenheit outside and 85 degrees indoors today, so far I'm doing okay.  I've finding it easier to find  acceptance and a balanced perspective on things.  It seems easier to deal with stress.  The benefits definitely make the effort worthwhile.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Raw on the 4th of July

In years past, to celebrate July 4th we've barbecued burgers and hot dogs, and made giant bowls of potato salad  We drank beer, lemonade, sodas and sweet tea, and topped it all off with apple pie and ice cream.

This year the challenge was to enjoy a standard all-American Fourth of July feast, without any animal products, and without using a stove or barbecue. 

I asked my son how he would rate the meal compared to a standard July Fourth feast, and he said he would give it a 4 out of 5.  I asked him what would have made it a 5, and he said, "A bit more flavor in the burgers, crispier zucchini sticks, and less sweetness in the salad."

Hey, that's not too bad for a first attempt.  He's 11 years old but he can be a harsh critic.

Here are the recipes, with comments.

We started thinking about the buns a few days ahead of time.  We sprouted about a 1/2 cup of soft white wheat, and made some almond milk with one cup of soaked almonds, straining it through a nut bag and reserving the pulp in the freezer.  By the day before our feast, the grain had sprouted.  If you avoid gluten, you are probably aware of the many substitutions you can use instead of the wheat.

We used Russell James' recipe for raw vegan bread.  We had to change it up a bit due to a coconut allergy in the family, and also I forgot to add the lemon juice.  There are some variations in his recipe book, "Raw Nut Cheese."

This was started the day before the meal so it could dehydrate overnight:

Raw Garlic Burger Buns
makes about 3 - 4 buns

Almond pulp from 1 cup of almonds, (about 3/4 - 1 cup)
1/2 cup sprouted soft white wheat  (if you are avoiding gluten, replace with young coconut meat)
1/4 cup flax meal
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp garlic powder
1 date, minced
1/2 tsp salt

Some water, if needed.

Place the sprouts, minced dates and minced garlic in the food processor and process until very fine and well combined.  Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and process until  it begins to come together.  If it's too dry, add some water, but don't add enough that it becomes too sticky.

Divide into four balls.  Place on a dehydrator tray and dehydrate on low about 12 -14 hours.  Cut the buns in half vertically, and if they are too moist in the middle, dehydrate with cut side up for about two more hours.

Note:  The bread turned out delicious.  It's very worthwhile. 

This is not raw meat!  It's beets and carrots!

Carrot Beet Burgers
Makes nine generous burgers
Begin soaking the nuts the night before and then start the burgers mid-morning, so that it can dehydrate during the day.

Important:  there is a trick to this.  When you first chop and combine your ingredients you might not think it will come together.  Knead the mixture, massage it in your hands, and soon it will begin to take on a texture reminiscent of raw ground meat, without the meat.

This recipe came primarily from here with a few minor differences. 

The night before, soak 1 cup walnuts and 2 cups sunflower seeds.  To make it easier, they can be soaked together in the same water.  They will expand so cover with plenty of water.

1 cup walnuts, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
2 cups sunflower seeds, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed.
8 carrots
3 beets
4 cups of kale
2 stalks of celery
1 tsp Trader Joe's South African "Smoke" Seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder

(1/4 cup rolled oats, 1 tbsp organic almond butter)

Process the veggies until they are finely chopped.  Place in a large bowl.  Process your nuts in a food processor until they are very fine and start to get a bit creamy.   Add the nuts to the veggies with the spices. 

Mix the entire mixture with your hands, folding it over onto itself and pressing down much like kneading dough.

Note:  At this point, worried that it wouldn't come together, I added the rolled oats and almond butter.  As I kneaded this into the mixture, I was amazed at how the texture started to change.  Next time, I'm going to try kneading it a bit longer to see it it can be done without those two ingredients.

Form into patties exactly like hamburgers.  Place on a dehydrator tray and dehydrate for about 6 hours.

Also, next time we'll try it with fresh chopped onion, and something to add more depth to the flavor.  Maybe more of the South African smoke seasoning, and maybe something fermented for more punch, like nama shoyu or raw apple cider vinegar.  Or maybe we'll step outside the "clean food" world, cheat a tiny bit, and add just a drop of liquid smoke.

Raw Zucchini Fries

Susan Powers at Rawmazing came up with this wonderful recipe.

We made it pretty much according to the recipe except that we sliced the zucchini into larger sticks, maybe the size of large French fries.  We took about 6 zucchini, cut them up, drizzled them with olive oil, salted them, tossed them, and dehydrated them for about 24 hours.  They shrank up and became very chewy.  Next time we'll use less oil and take them out of the dehydrator sooner.  It was enough for four people.

Jicama Salad

This one was also inspired by Susan Powers at Rawmazing.

Soak the macadamias overnight.  The rest of the recipe can be made the day it will be eaten.    The leftovers are terrific on the second day.

8 generous servings

For the mayo dressing:

We made extra dressing, saving out 4 tbsp for the burgers.

1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts, soaked overnight
juice of one lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp agave nectar
3 tsp dried mustard powder
sea salt and pepper to taste

water and apple cider vinegar

Mix all ingredients in a high speed blender, adding additional liquid as needed until mixture reaches desired consistency and flavor. 

1 large jicama, cubed
1 small bunch of scallions, thinly sliced
1 chopped green pepper
a few thin slices of a large black radish, cut julienne-style
2 stalks celery
2 tbsp dried chopped parsley
paprika, turmeric and salt to taste

Toss veggie ingredients, stir in seasoning, then stir in the mayo dressing.  Serve cold.

Note:  Next time I want to try this with Daikon radish, some raw peas, maybe some red pepper, and a bit of nama shoyu.

We met the challenge!  We ate well, we didn't heat up the kitchen, and no one had stand outside in the heat over a barbecue grill!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Mexican Monday

After attending Ree's preparation class featuring raw vegan Mexicali cuisine,  ordering Russell James' "Mexican Style Raw Food Recipes," and making a couple of raw Mexican meals, I feel pretty comfortable preparing a Mexican style raw vegan meal.

Raw salsa or or pico de gallo is easy to make, macadamia "cheddar" is a breeze in the food processor, and guacamole is already raw.  We use walnuts and sundried tomatoes for the "meat" layer in a layered dip.  Almonds are used for the "bean dip."  The tortilla chip recipe is coming along.  There is a batch in the dehydrator that appears to be pretty good.  Organic, non GMO corn can be a bit hard to find sometimes, but we did find a reliable frozen source at Costco.  Of course fresh is preferable but frozen is a fairly reasonable alternative.  We make a cinnamon and vanilla oat shake with the flavors of horchata without the cooked rice.

I found a great recipe for raw tomatillo sauce here:

I may make a full raw meal most Mondays, but for the rest of the weekdays we are too busy for much more than quick salads and smoothies.   Sometimes on the weekends we indulge a bit.  Sometimes we indulge  a bit too much.  Raw vegan chocolate is still chocolate, and Himalayan pink salt is still salt.  A yummy vegan queso with baked tortilla chips is still cooked and the chips contain too much fat.  Over the weekend I gained back a bit of the weight lost over the last month.  It's okay though because those indulgences are becoming more infrequent.  I noticed that after eating some good quality dark chocolate, what I was really craving was a good salad.

On a positive note, someone who hasn't seen me in more than a month said that my skin looks much better than the last time she saw me.  Most of the time, the only thing I use on my face is a shea butter cream that I make myself.  Maybe raw food is a beauty secret too.  Yay!