Month: February 2014

Lasagna (Raw, Vegan Paleo)

It’s raining in earnest here in Silicon Valley for the first time in months. I had to work late, and that combined with the traffic and slick roads meant coming home late. I looked in fridge and found leftovers from the week, and I decided to combine it all into a lasagna. Really it was inspired from a picture of raw lasagna that I saw in a cookbook. Only I cheated by using items I already had.

Raw Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup oil free pesto (recipe here)
  • 1/4 cup jalapeno cheese (recipe here)
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tomato thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini

Instructions:

  • Cut the ends off the zucchini and cut it in half. Then slice with a mandolin on the thickest setting. Make 9 slices total.
  • Add the olive oil and spinach in a separate bowl and combine with your hands. Really work it through until the spinach looks steamed.

Construction:

  • Start with 3 zucchini slices slightly overlapped.
  • Add the “cheese”.
  • Add the pesto.
  • Add 1-2 slices of tomato. Make sure the lasagna is relatively level.
  • Using your hands to mold, add a handful of spinach.
  • Top with 3 zucchini slices facing perpendicular to the ones on the bottom.
  • Repeat with the cheese, pesto, spinach and tomatoes.
  • Top with the remaining 3 slices of zucchini.

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Chocolate Pies with Macademia Salted Caramel Crust (Raw, Vegan, Paleo)

Raw cacao powder is tough to find. But I finally found a bag at my local Whole Foods, and I’ve been dying to try it out.

To be honest, I don’t know much about pies. But I knew I wanted one with a crunchy and flaky crust, so when I stumbled on this recipe for Raw Macademia Salted Caramel Pie Crust, I knew I had to give it a try. This crust is so wonderfully thick and stiff, that I was able to use my little tart cups that I got just recently. Just make the crust, press into the molds and set in the freezer. It’s so easy.

Next I used half of the filling from this Raw Chocolate Cheesecake recipe. With zucchini blended with cashews and raw cacao. Who would have thought that it would taste so good! But trust me, you don’t even taste the zucchini at all. I used half the recipe, and it was a little over the amount I used to fill my mini pie crusts. Using these two recipes, I was able to make 4 small pies. Store them in the freezer and you can take them out and enjoy them right away. All in all it took me a little over 30 minutes to make, and they are fantastic!

The Crust

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The Filling

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The Pies

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Burritos! (Raw, Vegan)

Another crazy weekend. It was World War IV: Hopkins versus Bug. Guess who won?

Hopkins with the bug on the ceiling fan

Hopkins with the bug on the ceiling fan

I'm gonna get you!

I’m gonna get you!

Hopping into action!

Hopping into action!

Well ok, since that’s decided, now to get down to  business…

I’ve been borrowing raw cookbooks from the local library for a couple weeks now. I initially bought a couple, but I was so disappointed by the ones that I bought, even though they had 4+ ratings on Amazon. Borrowing these books works out a lot better for me, because I get to test drive some of the recipes and decide for myself if those recipes work. On Friday I got The Art of raw living food. I was excited not only to see recipe for wraps, but also one for a burrito. This recipe is my version of the Baja Burritos.

The tortilla (makes about 7-8 tortillas)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup carrots shredded
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 1/2 cup brown flax seeds ground
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions:

  • Put the carrots in a nut milk bag and squeeze as much juice as you can out of them.
  • Add all ingredients into a food processor and process. You will see the mixture puff up. Stop when fully combined. The mixture should be pasty and not runny. If the mixture is very stiff, then add a little bit of water and keep processing until the mixture is pasty.
  • Using a rubber spatula, put the mixture onto non stick sheets. (Note: the sheets need to be non stick, otherwise it will definitely stick to the trays). Try to make your torillas as thin as possible. The thickness will affect the drying time.
  • Dehydrate on 135 degrees for one hour. At this point, the top should be done. Flip the tortillas directly onto the trays (no non stick required here since the bottoms are done drying).
  • At this point, you can score the tortillas and make them the size you would like.
  • Dehydrate on 105 degrees until both sides are done. For me this took another hour.
  • Store in an air tight container and use within 5 days.
All ingredients in the processor

Place all ingredients in the food processor

The dough fully combined

Process until the dough looks like this

Place the dough into your dehydrator sheets. (Note: my Nesco does not have non stick sheets, and so I tried parchment paper. This worked as a non stick surface, BUT did not allow the heat to pass through the tray, which is why I do not recommend doing this)

Place the dough into your dehydrator sheets. (Note: my Nesco does not have non stick sheets, and so I tried parchment paper. This worked as a non stick surface, BUT did not allow the heat to pass through the tray, which is why I do not recommend doing this)

Jalapeno Cheese (makes about 1 1/2 cups)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup almonds (unsoaked)
  • juice of half lemon
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp chili powder (I used this recipe)
  • 1/2 roma tomato (insides scooped out)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 jalapeno pepper with seeds

Instructions:

  • Add all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth.
Place all ingredients in the food processor

Place all ingredients in the food processor

The jalapeno cheese combined

The jalapeno cheese combined

Construction:

  • Add any vegetables you would like: I suggest spinach, carrots, red bell peppers, and zucchini.
  • Add any garnishes you would like.
  • Add the jalapeno cheese.
  • Roll the burrito and add as many toppings as you like.
Fillings

Fillings

Jalapeno cheese and another topping, red bell pepper puree

Jalapeno cheese and another topping, red bell pepper puree

Burrito with jalapeno cheese and red pepper puree

Burrito with jalapeno cheese and red pepper puree

Oat and Almond “Wheat Thins” (Raw, Vegan)

Since changing my diet, there have been very few things that I miss. But one thing that I do miss terribly are Wheat Thins. Especially when those lovely crackers go on sale at Safeway for $1.88 a box, like the last time I was there. I swear that my hand almost reached out and grabbed one before I could stop myself. Honestly it’s kind of scary that these crackers are so cheap…

Anyhow, I have been looking around and found several Wheat Thin recipes that are raw, but none of them worked for me. I made several with very disappointing results. Here I will show you the recipe I developed. The only thing I am still working on is the seasoning. Therefore I will leave that part of the recipe up to you. Otherwise these crackers have a wonderful texture without using too many nuts or flax seeds.

Oat and Almond “Wheat Thins” (makes roughly 3 cups of crackers)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oats ground into flour
  • 1 1/2 cup almond flour made from almond pulp
  • 1/8 cup flax seeds
  • 5/8 cup filtered water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of agave
  • 1 to 2 tbsp seasoning (I recommend more rather than less)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp of salt, plus extra for sprinkling

Instructions:

  • Place the filtered water in a small bowl and add the flax seeds. Cover and let sit for 4-6 hours.
  • Grind the oats into a flour.
  • Place the oats and almond flour into a large bowl.
  • Add the flax seed “gel” into the flour and mix until combined.
  • Add the agave and oil and combine.
  • Add the seasoning including the salt and combine.
  • Add the sesame seeds and fold in.
  • Place the mixture on a piece of parchment paper. Fold the paper in half over the mixture. (The parchment paper should be double the size of the working surface.)
  • Use a rolling pin and roll the mixture to the desired thickness. (You can choose how thin or thick you want the crackers to be.)
  • Score the dough into the size of crackers you desire. I recommend using a pizza cutter if you have one.
  • Sprinkle salt on top of the dough.
  • Place the crackers in the dehydrator. You do not need to use teflex sheets.
  • Dehydrate at 145 degrees for 1 hour.
  • If the crackers are still not dry enough for your taste, then after one hour, reduce to 105 degrees and continue to dehydrate until done.

Enjoy these with:

  • Almond butter
  • Hummus
  • Jam or jellies
  • Any other dips you would like
Flax seeds soaked

Flax seeds soaked

Oats, almond flour and flax seed gel mixed

Oats, almond flour and flax seed gel mixed

Dough after rolling

Dough after rolling

Crackers in the dehydrator

Crackers in the dehydrator

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Crackers with homemade almond butter

Crackers with homemade almond butter

Strawberry Nutella Macaroons (Raw, Vegan, Paleo)

I’m sad to admit, but I ate my first macaroon only this year. I was at the Fairmont for a work event and there were some small treats for the customers. During the afternoon sessions, I finally caved and tried one, and they were amazing. So I was glad that I stumbled upon a post for raw vegan macaroons, and I thought, I would make my own. My recipe is based on the post by gliving and can be found here.

Strawberry Nutella Macaroons (Makes about 18 macaroons)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp strawberry puree
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded light coconut flakes
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla
  • Stevia drops to taste (I used about 1  1/2 tsp)
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup raw nutella (recipe can be found here)

Instructions:

  • Puree the strawberries. Do not leave chunks.
  • Combine the strawberry puree, coconut flakes, coconut oil, vanilla and approximately 1/2 tsp of stevia in a food process, and pulse until the coconut oil i combined.
  • Taste and add stevia to taste. Do not make the cookie mixture too sweet. It should just be lightly sweet.
  • Take a 1 tsp spoon for each cookie and place on a flat surface.
  • Using a measuring cup (I used 1/4 cup measure), press the bottom against each cookie and press until you feel some resistance and stop. Use your fingers to reform the cookie if it breaks.
  • Place the cookies on a mesh dehydrator sheet.
  • Dehydrate on 115 degrees until the cookies are slightly dry on the outside, but still moist on the inside. (For me this took about 2 hours.)
  • Separate the cookies into pairs. For one cookie in each pair, place the flat side up. 
  • Scoop 1/2 tsp nutella onto  the flat side of one cookie in each pair.
  • Using your palm, take the other cookie and press down to form the macaroon. 

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Banana Nutella Ice Cream (Raw, Vegan, Paleo)

Happy Friday! I needed a little pick me up after my long work week. Ever since I heard you could make raw nutella, I’ve been dying to try it. And I thought that since I don’t eat bread, what better way to eat it, but in ice cream? No better way! This recipe is so ridiciously delicious, you’ll wonder how it can possibly be healthy.

Nutella (makes roughly 1 1/4 cup)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup of hazelnuts (unsoaked)
  • 1 tsp stevia liquid
  • 7 tbsp raw cacao
  • 4 dates
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup filtered water

Instructions:

  • Place hazelnuts in a food process or high speend blender (high speed blender is highly preferred).
  • Process hazelnuts until it resembles meal.
  • Add the dates and about 1/2 tsp stevia liquid. Continue processing for a bit.
  • Stop and add the raw cacao and process until the nutella looks like a paste.
  • Add 1/4 cup water and continue processing. If the nutella is still pasty (meaning very thick), then continue adding the water. Process until smooth.
  • Taste. Add more stevia if the nutella is not sweet enough for you, and process to incorporate.
  • Store in an air tight container.

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When hazelnuts are mealy, add the dates and stevia

When hazelnuts are mealy, add the dates and stevia

If you continue mixing and the hazelnuts will not break down, add the water.

If you continue mixing and the hazelnuts will not break down, add the water.

Complete thick nutella spread

Complete thick nutella spread

Banana Nutella Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 3 bananas (ripe)
  • 1/4 cup nutella
  • 1/8 cup filtered water and more if needed
  • 1 handful of walnuts for each serving

Instructions:

  • Peel and cut the bananas into pieces.
  • Place in an air tight container and store in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
  • Take the bananas out of the freezer and place into a food processor.
  • Process until smooth. Do not over process. You can also leave small chunks of banana unprocessed if you would like.
  • Remove from processor/blender and move to mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, add the nutella and 1/8 cup water. Using a metal spoon, mix until the nutella resembles a pudding (adding more water as necessary).
  • Add the nutella/water mixture to the banana ice cream. Mix lightly until combined.
  • Store in a container in your freezer.

Cut up bananas and store in the freezer in an air tight container.

Add the frozen bananas into the food processor

Add the frozen bananas into the food processor

Completed banana ice cream

Completed banana ice cream

The mixed nutella and water

The mixed nutella and water

Add the nutella into the banana ice cream

Add the nutella into the banana ice cream

Mix the nutella and banana ice cream until combined

Mix the nutella and banana ice cream until combined

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Top with walnuts and serve

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Easy Guacamole Lettuce Wraps (Raw, Vegan, Paleo)

Happy Thursday, or day before Friday!

I was looking for something to do with some ripe avocados, but didn’t want to make another pesto. So I thought, why not try guacamole with some raw veggies? Sounds bland, right? Not necessarily. I found a wonderfully simple recipe for guacamole on The Rawtarian. The recipe can be found here. I used basically the same recipe, but I didn’t use hard measurements, but something like this:

Guacamole Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients for the guacamole:

  • 1 part avocado (plus another part diced avocado reserved)
  • 1 part tomato (with the seeds taken out)
  • 1/4 part sweet onion
  • 1/4 part cilantro
  • 1 squeeze of a lemon
  • 1 pinch of salt

Note: What I mean by one part, is that if you use 1/4 cup avocado, then the reserve 1/4 cup avocado, use 1/4 cup tomatoes, 1/8 cup onion, etc.

Instructions:

  • Use a fork or food processor to process 1 part avocado until smooth.
  • Add in the other part avocado.
  • Cut the tomatoes, cilantro and sweet onion (rough dice).
  • Add in the tomatoes, cilantro and sweet onion to the avocado mixture and fold in with spoon.
  • Add in the lemon juice and salt and mix.

Constructing the lettuce wrap:

  • Use 2 romaine leaves for each wrap.
  • Julienne 1/4 zucchini.
  • Thinly slice 3 small mushrooms (I used cremini mushrooms).
  • Add the zucchini and mushrooms on the romaine lettuce.
  • Add the guacamole on top.
  • Enjoy!

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Add the tomatoes, onions and cilantro

Add the tomatoes, onions and cilantro

Completed guacamole

Completed guacamole

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Banana Tartlets (Raw, Vegan)

I’ve been waiting for the chance to go grocery shopping so I could pick up some bananas. Bananas are such a fantastic fruit for raw cooking. It can be used for cookies, cakes, energy bars, ice creams, or in my case, tarts! These tarts are packed with banana flavor and utilizes oats instead of nuts for the crust.

This recipe is good when you’re craving a lighter dessert. And the best thing is that it only makes 6, so you can have them all to yourself.

Banana Tartlets (makes 6 cupcake sized tartlets)

Tartlet Shells

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup oats (I used quick oats)
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 dates
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes

Instructions:

  • Put all ingredients into a food processor and process until the mixture starts to clump.
  • If you have some, line a cupcake tin with parchment paper.
  • Take 1/6 of the mixture and place into the muffin tin. Use your hands and press down and form a small tartlet.
  • Pull the tarlet out of the muffin tin. If you did not have parchment paper, then you can unstick the shell from the muffin tin using a very dull knife. Repeat this 6 times until you have 6 tartlets.
  • Store into the freezer while making the banana filling.
Add all ingredients into a food processor and process until the mixture clumps

Add all ingredients into a food processor and process until the mixture clumps

Crust processed

Crust processed

Mold the tarlets in a muffin tin

Mold the tarlets in a muffin tin

Finished empty tartlets

Finished empty tartlets

Banana Filling

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium/large banana
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp cashews
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tbsp agave (you can wait to add this in case you need it)

Instructions:

  • Put bananas in the food processor and puree.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients except for the agave and process until smooth.
  • Taste and add the agave if necessary.
  • Take one spoonful of the banana filling and fill each tartlet. You may have more filling than room in the tartlets.
  • Put the tartlets into the freezer to set.
Pureed bananas with cashews, agave and coconut oil

Pureed bananas with cashews, agave and coconut oil

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Broccoli Detox Salad (Raw, Vegan)

At the end of the week, if you’re anything like me, you will have bags of leftover unused vegetables. I like to combine those items into a salad. While searching the web for things to do with my leftover broccoli, I found this recipe from The Sweet Life. My adapted recipe is below. This recipe is nut free, nutrient dense, and sure to satisfy any salad craving.

Broccoli Detox Salad (serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 cups of broccoli florets
  • 3 leaves of kale
  • 1/8 small red onion (if you like fresh onion taste), otherwise 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 cremini mushrooms
  • 1 small fistful of parsley
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 handful of raisins

Instructions:

  • Shred the carrots and set aside.
  • Put the broccoli florets and onion into a food processor and pulse until pieces broken down.
  • Shred the kale.
  • Roughly chop the mushrooms.
  • Add all the cut vegetables into a mixing bowl and combine.
  • Add the olive oil and lemon juice (lemon juice is not needed if you have onions) and combine.
  • Add the sunflower seeds and raisins and combine.

Note: To change it up, you might also think about adding: diced apples, dried cranberries, sliced almonds, walnut pieces, or changing out the olive oil with your dressing.

Pulse the food processor to break up the broccoli (and onion if you desire)

Pulse the food processor to break up the broccoli (and onion if you desire)

Combine the carrots, kale, broccoli, onion, and mushrooms into a mixing bowl

Combine the carrots, kale, broccoli, onion, and mushrooms into a mixing bowl

Add the olive oil (and lemon juice) and mix in

Add the olive oil (and lemon juice) and mix in

Add the sunflower seeds and raisins and mix

Add the sunflower seeds and raisins and mix

Broccoli Detox Salad

Broccoli Detox Salad

Blueberry Brownies Remade (Raw, Vegan, Paleo)

Earlier this week, I picked up a small carton of blueberries. I looked on my refrigerator today and they were still staring at me. I could tell that if I didn’t eat them soon they would go to waste. So I tried to find some good recipes that didn’t require more than 1 cup of blueberries. And I hit on this one, from Coconuts with Berries. The recipe can be found here. The only problem is that when I tried to make it, I didn’t like the taste of the coconut in the brownie. It seemed to make my brownie too tart, even sour?

So if you are have some spare blueberries, then try this out. It tastes delicious, and doesn’t have too much added sweetener or oil. The top of quite creamy and not so stiff, so I recommend storing it in the freezer and eating it cold. But don’t we all like cold desserts?

Blueberry Cream

Ingredients for the brownie base:

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • 3 pitted dates (on the larger side)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (raw cacao will also work)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts processed roughly into a flour
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp almond flour (store bought or made of almond pulp)
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions:

  • Process the walnuts into a flour. This can be as fine or rough as you like.
  • Add vanilla, agave, and dates into a food processor and process until smooth
  • Add the walnuts, cocoa powder, salt and almond flour into the mixture and process until smooth.
  • Spread in a small pan or plastic container (I used a 5×5 container) using a silicon spatula.
  • Store in the freezer to set.
In a small processor, process the walnuts into a flour like consistency

In a small processor, process the walnuts into a flour like consistency

Put the wet ingredients into the food processor

Put the wet ingredients into the food processor

Process until the dates are completely broken down

Process until the dates are completely broken down

Add the dry ingredients and process

Add the dry ingredients and process

The resulting mixture should be grainy, but with no large pieces

The resulting mixture should be grainy, but with no large pieces

Spread the brownie mixture into a small pan or container and store in the freezer

Spread the brownie mixture into a small pan or container and store in the freezer

Blueberry Layer

For the blueberry topping follow the instructions on here. I substituted 1 for 1 agave to maple syrup. I also kept the coconut oil at room temperature, since it really doesn’t need to be heated up. Spread on top of the brownie layer and put back in the freezer to set.

In a small blender or food processor, process the blueberries until smooth and then add the agave and coconut oil. I left the coconut oil at room temp and used 1 tbsp of agave

In a small blender or food processor, process the blueberries until smooth and then add the agave and coconut oil. I left the coconut oil at room temp and used 1 tbsp of agave

Processing...

Processing…

The resulting blueberry layer should look like this. Taste and add more agave if it is not sweet enough

The resulting blueberry layer should look like this. Taste and add more agave if it is not sweet enough

Spread the blueberry layer over the brownie and return to the freezer to set

Spread the blueberry layer over the brownie and return to the freezer to set

Blueberry Brownie Remade

Blueberry Brownie Remade

These brownies are wonderfully sweet. Keep in the freezer until serving time.