Tuesday, May, 21, 2013
Last week I went to a raw foods potluck. I was almost overwhelmed, everything on the buffet was safe for me to eat!
I can’t remember the last time I had a plate of food like this, unless I had prepared it all myself. There is so much joy in sharing a meal with others, especially when it is the same meal, when all of the food can be enjoyed by everyone gathered around the table.
My contributions to the potluck were my Brigadeiros, a decadent chocolate truffle with healthy ingredients, and these Pad Thai wraps.
The wraps were inspired by this recipe, shared by Heather at Gluten-Free Cat. Heather hosts Raw Foods Thursdays and attends raw potlucks often. She inspired me to give it a try and I’m glad I did. I met fun folks at the potluck, heard Dave the Raw Food Trucker speak again and ate lots of delicious food. Plus there was homebrew Kombucha, which makes my body sing. I hope to go to a potluck like this again soon, but in the meantime, I’m gonna make more of these wraps.
About these wraps: I used a dehydrator to make the wrap, but they may also work in the oven on the lowest possible temperature. If you try it, let me know. And the sauce….well, you’ll want to make it again and again. It’s great not just on these wraps but drizzled over just about any vegetable dish. Or straight off a spoon. Not that I would do that…
Living Foods Pad Thai Wraps
For The Wraps:
- Blend all ingredients in high speed blender or food processor until very smooth. Add more water only as needed to reach a thick batter consistency.
- Spread batter evenly on two teflex lined dehydrator sheets. Score into six pieces on each sheet. Dehydrate at 115 degrees for about 3 hours or until wraps can be peeled off of the teflex sheets. If the wraps are still too moist to remove, put them back and check again in 30 minutes to an hour.
- Once the wraps can be peeled off the teflex, remove the teflex, flip them over onto the mesh dehydrator sheets. Dehydrate another 1 1/2 or 2 hours. If they dehydrate too long, they will crack and won't roll into a wrap. If you do dehydrate too long, you can try placing the wraps in a ziploc bag with a moist paper towel. This is also how the wraps should be stored to keep them from getting brittle.
For the Sauce:
- Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
For the Filling and Assembly:
- Put a bit of each vegetable atop one carrot wrap. Drizzle with a little sauce. Roll and serve! I serve with a small bowl of the sauce along side, as you really can't get too much of this sauce. It's delicious.
A word on preparing these wraps ahead of time: the carrot flax wraps will absorb the moisture of the filling and crumble. If you need to make them ahead of time, I suggest wrapping each wrap in a paper towel. This helps some, but the best way to enjoy these is to make them and immediately eat them. It’s hard not to anyway!
I’m linking this post up with Gluten Free Cat’s Raw Foods Thursday. Click on over and take a look at all of the goodness folks are sharing!
Thursday, May, 16, 2013
I have a fascination with Brazilian food. This might surprise you if your idea of Brazilian food is visiting a churrascaria to eat endless mounds of meat cooked on a skewer. What would a plant-based eater have in common with a meat-on-a-stick way of eating?
Nope, it’s not about the meat for me. It’s about the breads, the crepes, the desserts, made without gluten. Naturally gluten-free, always have been.
But here’s the thing (there’s always a *thing* with me and food)…many of the Brazilian desserts I like best are made with sweetened, condensed milk. That doesn’t work well for me, so I wanted to find a way around it. Then I started thinking about how that became the Brazilian way in the first place. How did a processed food become an essential ingredient in the desserts of a country so rich with fresh products, fruits, seeds, nuts? It was because of World War II food shortages. Nestle introduced sweetened, condensed milk and cocoa powder to Brazil to compensate for their shortages of fruits and nuts. Interesting!
Since we aren’t currently short of unprocessed foods, I’m reinventing the Brigadeiro. My version is free of dairy and refined sugar, it’s technically raw and vegan if that’s how you like to eat. You can also make it nut free if you prefer. Instead of rolling the truffles in the traditional chocolate sprinkles, I’ve rolled mine in cacao nibs. You could also roll them in finely shredded, unsweetened coconut. Any way you go about it, these are decadent, luscious bites of chocolate. Enjoy!
Oh! One more thing…there’s still time to enter my giveaway for a signed copy of Michael Pollan’s new book, Cooked. Click here to enter.
Brigadeiros, a raw vegan twist on Brazilian chocolate truffles
- 3/4 cups raw sunflower seeds, soaked in water overnight and drained
- 1/4 cup raw nut butter of your choice OR raw sunflower butter
- 3 T. maple syrup, raw agave or raw local honey
- 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
- 2 Tablespoons maca powder (replace with cacao if you don't have maca)
- 2 T. coconut oil, softened but not liquified
- 1/2 t. cinnamon
- 1/4 t. raw vanilla powder (or scrape 1/4 of a vanilla bean)
- dash of sea salt
- raw cacao nibs for rolling, about 1/2 cup (I break mine up a bit in the food processor)
- Place all ingredients except the cacao nibs in either a high speed blender or food processor with the "s" blade. Process until smooth.
- Put mixture in a bowl and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. It will be firm enough to roll into a ball. Roll into 12 to 14 balls. Roll each ball in cacao nibs.
- Store these in the refrigerator.
I’m linking this post up with Gluten Free Cat’s Raw Foods Thursdays , Wellness Weekend at Diet, Dessert and Dogs and Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. Drop by to see all of the goodness folks have shared this week!
Wednesday, April, 17, 2013
For the past couple of years, I’ve made a taco filling with walnuts. It’s very quick to make and really tasty. Until you need something with no nuts. While I can’t eradicate the human nuts from my kitchen, I knew I could find a way to make meatless tacos that were also nut free and maybe even raw vegan.
So I sought out to find an alternative to nuts. Would you believe this is even better than the walnut one I thought was absolutely fine? Isn’t that how it often works out? A new dietary challenge often ends up being the impetus to creating something that tastes even better. This taco filling is made with sunflower seeds! While not always a cup-for-cup replacement for nuts, it required minimal modification to my walnut taco filling to make a similar filling that is even more flavorful.
As I mentioned in my jackfruit taco post, my go-to for taco shells is a very thinly sliced jicama. I learned this from Diane at The Whole Gang and have never looked back. It’s crunchy, light and perfect for making a plate full of tacos, not to mention gluten-free.
Here’s how I made these tacos:
One slice of jicama and a bit of sunflower seed filling:
A generous dollop of lazy guacamole*:
Just a bit of shredded cabbage. And that’s it.
Super easy and makes a very quick dinner for four!
Sunny Tacos, gluten-free, raw vegan, nut-free taco filling
- 1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked overnight in water, rinsed and drained
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 T. tahini
- 1 T. Bragg's Aminos or gluten-free soy sauce
- 2 t. taco seasoning (see my favorite blend below)
- Juice of 1 lemon, approximately 2 to 3 T.
- Combine all ingredients in bowl of food processor, fitted with "s" blade. Pulse until well ground, but not long enough to turn into a paste.
- This makes four generous servings. Store any leftovers for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
Johnna's Favorite Taco Seasoning Blend
- 2 T. chili powder (I use medium heat from Penzeys)
- 1 T. cumin
- 2 t. ground black pepper
- 1 ½ t. finely ground sea salt
- 1 t. paprika (I like smoked)
- ½ t. garlic powder
- ½ t. oregano
- ½ t. onion powder
- ½ t. red pepper flakes
- Mix all together and store in an airtight container, such as a glass jar. I mix a large batch and keep it handy. Give the jar a good shake to mix the spices together before using.
*My version of lazy guacamole isn’t really a recipe. I toss in a couple of avocados, one small onion diced, a handful of cherry tomatoes halved, a little garlic, a little cumin, juice of a lime and stir away.
I’m linking up with Gluten Free Cat’s Raw Foods Thursday. And while you are at her site, check out the tacos she shared this week–the nacho cheese spread she made is delicious!
Friday, February, 22, 2013
TodayI’d like to share with you a quick and easy snack I eat often. Actually I eat this almost every day.
This isn’t my usual recipe-sharing kind of post, it’s more of an un-recipe at best. While I cook a lot, I also travel and work a lot so having nutritious options in a hurry is important to me. And getting superfood nutrients into my body is imperative for folks like me with nutrient absorption challenges. Well, really any of us could probably use a little help getting more goodness into our bodies, right?
This un-recipe includes a banana, one of my very favorite fruits. Bananas are technically a berry and are loaded with fructooligosaccharide, which is a prebiotic. Think of this as a fertilizer for probiotics and one which will help your body absorb calcium!
It also includes two of my favorite seeds, chia and hemp.
If you’ve been in one of my cooking classes, you’ve heard me cheer for the tiny chia seed. I love it for making pudding and add it to granola bars, fruit and nut bars, smoothies and so many other things I eat. I incorporate chia into my diet because it is rich in Omega-3s. I eat a plant-based diet, I’m careful to add plenty of Omegas. Really, we should all be concerned about Omegas, but particularly those of us who don’t get it from animal sources. I like the fiber chia provides, it keeps me full longer. Chia is also rich in antioxidants, which means I can store them for longer than other seeds, which go rancid quickly. Chia is a win-win-win seed for me!
Hemp seeds…this one always gets a giggle when I share it in cooking classes. Nope, I don’t put it in brownies and the edible variety doesn’t contain any THC, so it’s not the stoner seed. But there’s still plenty of good reason to eat it! Hemp seeds are high in Omega-3s and -6s and also pretty high in protein, 5 grams per 80 calories of seeds or so. All ten of the essential amino acids are in hemp seeds. The big highlight of hemp for me is the Omega-6 fat gamma linolenic acid (GLA). Reportedly the only edible source of GLA, hemp seeds help my body produce good anti-inflammatory hormones. For someone with an autoimmune challenge, this is important!
So here’s the scoop on this un-recipe:
1. Slice one banana
2. Dip the banana slices in chia seed and hemp seed.
3. Do a little victory dance because you’re eating like a superfood rockstar!
When buying seeds, look for raw varieties, not roasted. I also buy organic when possible.
I buy my chia and hemp seeds from Navitas. Please read labels carefully when buying seeds. I noticed recently the hulled hemp seeds from Bob’s Red Mill are no longer processed gluten-free. Products change often, so I try to remember to read labels every time I shop. It’s ok to take up space in the grocery aisle for label reading, your body will thank you for it!
Have a terrific weekend. I’ll see you on Monday with a cookie recipe that you will most definitely want to try!
Thursday, January, 31, 2013
Over the holidays I grocery shopped at one of my favorite little grocery stores, Fausto’s in Key West, Florida. When I paid for my purchases, I was offered a calendar. Seriously, who does that anymore? A calendar! Of course I took one. I remember businesses doing this when I was a child but really can’t remember the last time I received a calendar. I got a second calendar at my favorite flip flop shop, the calendar-giving tradition is alive and well in Key West!
Back at our little getaway cabana, I checked out the calendar, thinking I might not take it home. We don’t usually keep a calendar on the wall, might not have room in the luggage but it made the cut. It’s actually a pretty neat calendar, each month featuring a photo of a dish and an accompanying recipe.
I decided before coming home from that trip, I would make each of the recipes in the calendar in 2013. Except that most of the recipes don’t work with my dietary restrictions so I’ll actually have to re-make them. What a fun challenge!
January’s recipe is a Ham & Bell Pepper Sandwich Wrap. The recipe calls for whole wheat wrap, non-fat mayonnaise, leaf lettuce, sliced ham, red bell pepper, avocado, cucumber and sliced provolone cheese. Four of those ingredients I don’t eat but I did come up with a variation of this wrap that works for me and is delicious.
Instead of whole wheat wraps, I used Rudi’s gluten-free wraps. Instead of ham I used hummus. Instead of mayo and cheese, I whipped up a spicy citrus cashew cream. I left the greens, red pepper and avocado alone, those are big favorites for me already.
This makes a quick and easy lunch for two. It might be more appropriate for the weather they are having in Key West right now than the sub-zero windchills we are experiencing in Missouri. Or perhaps it’s just a tropical vacation that fits in a lunchbox. It sure does make a delicious lunch. Enjoy!
Hummus Wrap, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan
- 2 Rudi's Gluten-Free Fiesta Tortillas
- 1/4 cup hummus (store bought or make your own if you are ambitious!)
- Handful of mixed salad greens
- Slices of red bell pepper
- slices of cucumber
- 1 avocado thinly sliced
- spicy orange cashew cream (recipe separate)
- Allow tortillas to come to room temperature if keeping them frozen.
- Spread 2 Tablespoons hummus on each tortilla. Top with greens, red pepper, cucumber and avocado slices. Drizzle spicy orange cashew cream over the top.
- Roll into wrap and slice in half. Enjoy!
Spicy Orange Cashew Cream, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, raw
- 2/3 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 t. cayenne
- In high speed blender of food processor, combine cashews, orange juice and cayenne. While processing or blending, slowly drizzle water in, stopping when the cashew cream has reached the consistency you desire.
- Store in the refrigerator. Keeps well for at least one week.
Thursday, January, 17, 2013
After a recent Introduction to Green Juice class, I had a surplus of cucumbers. I’ve been experimenting a lot lately with the dehydrator, two months of raw eating helped with that, and decided to give it a go with cucumbers.
Success! Cucumber chips are delicious! I made batches with only a little salt and pepper, batches with homemade ranch seasoning and my favorite, barbeque. While not exactly a greasy barbeque potato chip from a bag at the store, they satisfied my craving AND are low in calories so I don’t feel bad eating quite a few of them in one sitting.
To make the chips, slice three cucumbers using a mandoline. Please, please, use the handguard when using your mandoline! I like the OXO Good Grips Mandoline Slicer best. Slice the cucumbers about the thickness of a dime.
Place the cucumbers on a mesh sheet inside your dehydrator. My favorite dehydrator is the Sedona Digitally Controlled Food Dehydrator. It has plenty of trays, has an exact temperature control and is very quiet. It’s ok for your cucumber slices to touch each other, they will shrink as they dehydrate.
Sprinkle each cucumber slice with the spice blend. Set the dehydrator to 115 degrees and let it do its thing. Easy! A few hours later, you’ll have a tasty bowl of crunchy chips you can eat with abandon. By my guesstimate, a dehydrator full of cucumber chips is under 150 calories. And that’s a lot of chips!
- 3 large cucumbers, peel-on if organic, peeled if conventional
- 1 T. plus 1 t. smoked paprika
- 2 t. garlic powder
- 1 t. onion powder
- 1 t. chili powder
- 1/2 t. mustard powder
- 1/4 t. cayenne
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- Using a mandoline, slice cucumbers very thin, about the thickness of a dime.
- If you like a tangy chip, toss the slices in a combination of apple cider vinegar and filtered water.
- Place slices on mesh sheets for your dehydrator. It is fine for slices to touch each other, they will shrink as they dehydrate.
- Mix all dry spices together. Sprinkle the spice mix over the cucumber slices.
- Dehydrate at 115 degrees or less until they are crisp. Some cucumbers take as little as four hours, some as much as eight. This will depend on how thick you slice them and how water-rich your cucumbers are.
- Remove from dehydrator and store in an air-tight container.
I’m linking up this post with Gluten-Free Cat’s Raw Food Thursdays.
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