Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Raw Vegan Chunkeee Monkeeee, and Two Fabulous Things To Do With Zuchinni

First, it's day 2 of the Garden Diet, and so far I'm loving it!  Today, we prepped breakfast, lunch and dinner all at the same time.  Lunch and dinner are currently chilling in the fridge.  It can't get any easier than that.

For me, the most challenging thing about being raw is feeling like a complete beginner in the kitchen again.  My bread baking and potato frying skills are not relevant here.  The oven is full of ripe peaches and the microwave is full of clean pyrex dishes because we aren't using those appliances.  Forget all the years I spent honing my skills developing the perfect rib sauce.  Now the whole family is developing new skills and trying new foods.  Good thing I love a challenge!

Here are two easy raw zucchini recipes that will come out perfect every time and taste just like familiar cooked food.  But since the veggies are raw and living, the nutrition is intact. 

Raw Vegan Zucchini Hummus

This recipe is adapted  from "The World Goes Raw" by Lisa Mann.  It's filled with great ideas!

1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked in water for 4 - 6 hours, rinsed and drained
6 cloves garlic

1/3 cup olive oil
1 large lemon, juiced

3 medium zucchinis, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped (or one large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped)

1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dulse granules

Place the sunflower seeds and the garlic cloves in the food processor with the S blade, and run it while drizzling the olive oil into the mixture. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl, and continue until the mixture is smooth and creamy.  Next add the vegetables and spices and process until creamy again. Finally, add the lemon juice and process until well incorporated.    Taste test and adjust as needed.  If it's too thick, add more lemon juice and olive oil as needed.  Serve with fresh veggie sticks.


I was surprised that this recipe called for steeping the veggies in hot water.  In Jennifer Cornbleet's original recipe, she placed the veggies in the water, brought the water up to a boil, removed the pan from the heat and let the veggies steep in the hot water. I poured hot water from a teapot over the veggies and was very pleased with the results.  The veggies are somewhat softened, but still raw and flavorful.  You can use any mixture of veggies you like, but the zucchini is highly recommended for the noodles.  Here's our adaptation:

3 medium zucchini, peeled
1/3 cup chopped dried mushrooms
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1/4 cup minced onion
2 tbsp miso
1 tsp Braggs Liquid Aminos
Hot water

Using a spiralizer, a mandolin or a vegetable peeler, cut the zucchini into long thin strips like noodles.  Place the noodles with the rest of the veggies in a medium saucepan with a tight lid. Whisk the miso and Braggs with about 1/4 cup of hot water, and pour over the veggies.  Next, pour hot water over the mixture, enough to make a soup and cover the veggies, but not too much.  Stir, cover the pot and allow to steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve.  This recipe made about 3 generous servings.

Even though we are living a raw vegan lifestyle, I do have a special place in my heart for Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey Ice Cream.  But we aren't eating that right now.  In fact, we aren't even eating this raw vegan version right now - it's for special occasions and it is not a diet food!   The raw vegan version isn't going to taste exactly like the original version, but it is scrumptious. When we made it, we used regular organic chocolate chunks because that's all we could find that day, but in a perfect world we would make this with Sacred Chocolate. 

It's so easy you won't believe it!  Start prepping this about 6-8 hours before you plan to eat it: 

4 large, ripe bananas
1/4 cup whole walnuts
1/3 cup raw vegan chocolate chunks

Peel the bananas, cut them into pieces, and place them in the freezer.  Place the walnuts in about a cup of water, and refrigerate them.

About six or eight hours later, your ingredients are ready.  Blend the bananas until they are creamy.  Drain and rinse the walnuts, and fold them them into the bananas with the chocolate chunks.  Serve immediately.  This will serve four people generously.

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