Paleo

Chocolate Orange Truffles (Raw, Vegan, Paleo)

Even though I’m going to be out of town next week, I volunteered to make some treats for a bake sale being held by some vegan ladies that I know. If you happen to live in Silicon Valley and having nothing going on, or if you need to bug some pet food, please drop on by. Some of the recipes that I will be blogging about in the next week will be there! An added plus is that Pet Food Express is one of my favorite pet stores. The staff is really knowledgeable without ever making you feel like they are trying to sell you on something. And they have some animal rescues in the area host adoption events. So at the very least, you’ll always get to see some potential four legged friends, which will be guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. Even if you won’t be there, if you do have some friends in the area, please invite them!

This event will be held on March 15, and will be benefiting Doggie Protection Services.

bake sale

So I’ve been thinking about what raw treats would last well at an all day bake sale, and I immediately thought of truffles, which are typically thicker in nature, and chewy in texture. I found my inspiration from The Sweet Life Online, and the recipe can be found here. My recipe is an adaptation.

Chocolate Orange Truffles

Chocolate Orange Truffles 2 Ways (Makes about 24 small truffles)

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp raw cacao
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 3/4 cup dates
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1tbsp agave

For Rolling

  • Option 1: 1/4 cup raw cacao plus 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • Option 2: 1/4 cup coconut flakes ground in flour plus 1 tbsp lucuma powder

Instructions:

  • Soak the walnuts and dates in filtered water for 30 minutes.
  • Drain and add the walnuts and dates in the food processor with the orange juice, zest, agave and salt. Process until it forms a dough.
  • Add the 2 tbsp cacao powder and pulse until combined.
  • Remove and set in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
  • Remove from freezer and roll using heaping teaspoons.
  • Place your dusting ingredients in a bowl.
  • Drop each truffle individually into the bowl and swirl the bowl to coat the truffle.
  • Ready to eat, or for storage, place in an air tight container in the freezer.

Chocolate Orange Truffles

Chocolate Orange Truffles

Chocolate Orange Truffles

Chocolate Orange Truffles

Chocolate Orange Truffles

Chocolate Orange Truffles

Chocolate Orange Truffles

Chocolate Orange Truffles

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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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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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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.

Raw Sliders No Dehydrator Required (Raw, Vegan, Paleo)

I am always on the hunt for lunch and dinner recipes. To my disappointment, most recipes tend to be for pasta like dishes. One thing that I miss the most are the turkey burgers from The Counter. Nothing like a burger to make you feel like you’ve eaten a full meal. So I searched and found some inspiration. Young and Raw posted the Veganator Burger, but I didn’t want to wait 5-8 hours to eat, so I made my own and here they are. These sliders can be made in about 10 minutes, just make sure to have some condiments ready, and dinner is served!

Raw Vegan Sliders (makes 6 sliders)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup ground brown flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup baby carrots
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning (or whatever seasonings you would like)
  • 1 tsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1 small fistfull of fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 pinch of salt (or salt to taste)

Instructions:

  • Put all ingredients except for the salt into a food processor and blend until it resembles ground meat.
  • Taste and add as much salt as you need.
  • Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop out the “meat”. Use a dull knife and pull the “meat” out onto a flat surface and use your hand to press down until you reach the desired thickness. Repeat until all sliders are done.
  • Form the slider: Place each slider on a romaine lettuce leaf, and top the sliders with a thin slice of tomato, the oil free pesto from here,  and top with some nut cheese (recipe below).
Combine the ingredients except salt in a food processor

Combine the ingredients except salt in a food processor

Process until the mixture looks like this. The "meat" will be clumpy and a little dry.

Process until the mixture looks like this. The “meat” will be clumpy and a little dry.

Using the 1/4 cup measure, drop onto a flat surface and press down with your hand until desired thickness

Using the 1/4 cup measure, drop onto a flat surface and press down with your hand until desired thickness

Sliders topped with tomatoes, pesto and  nut cheese

Sliders topped with tomatoes, pesto and nut cheese

Nut cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of walnuts
  • 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast flakes (not strictly raw)
  • 1 handful of cashews
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions:

  • Add all ingredients and blend until the “cheese” looks like crumbles. Store in air tight container in the refrigerator until it should be used.

Frozen Mango Cheesecake (Raw, Vegan, Paleo)

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Mangoes bring me back to my childhood. When I was a kid, my mom didn’t believe in desserts. Fruit was our dessert. And mango was my favorite. My mom would buy a whole box of manila mangoes from the local market in San Francisco when it was on sale. And we would have mango for weeks.

Last week, I saw boxes of mangoes on sale at Costco and I couldn’t help it. I bought a whole box for myself. Only 8 mangoes is more than one reasonable person can eat in a week. So when they became ripe yesterday, and I still had 4 left, I knew I had to transform them into something special. And so the idea of a mango cheesecake came into being. A nutty crust made of walnuts and pecans, and topped with a fluffy mango and cashew cream. Yum! Too good to be healthy! But it is!

Frozen Mango Cheesecake

Ingredients for Crust:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1 pinch of salt

Ingredients for Filling:

  • 1 cup of cashews (soaked for 2 hours in warm water)
  • 1/8 cup agave (optional, you should add this by taste)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped mangoes (up to 2 cups)
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions for crust:

  • Add all ingredients and process until the crust clumps in the processor
  • Press into an 8×8 pan and set in the freezer at least 1 hour

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Instructions for the mango filling:

  • Add the cashews, coconut oil, lemon juice, and vanilla extract and process
  • Add the mangoes. Start with 1 cup and process. If the taste of mangoes is weak, then continue to add mangoes up to 2 cups and continue processing until smooth.
  • Taste the mixture. If it needs sweetness, then add the agave, otherwise omit
  • Process until the mixture is soft and smooth
  • Place on top of the crust and set in the freezer overnight for the best results.
  • When serving, the mango filling may be stiff. If that is the case, when you can serve upside down for those eat with a fork.
Skin and cut the mangoes. I used a little less than 2 large mangoes

Skin and cut the mangoes. I used a little less than 2 large mangoes

Put the cashews, vanilla extract, coconut oil and lemon juice into the food processor

Put the cashews, vanilla extract, coconut oil and lemon juice into the food processor

After processing, the mix should look like this

After processing, the mix should look like this

Add the mangoes. Don't forget to taste!

Add the mangoes and the pinch of salt. Don’t forget to taste!

Add the agave if necessary. I added 1/8 cup

Add the agave if necessary. I added 1/8 cup

Spread the mango filling on the crust

Spread the mango filling on the crust

Mango Cheesecake

Mango Cheesecake

Oil Free Pesto? (Raw, Vegan, Paleo)

Can a pesto be good with the absence of oil? I wondered if anyone had ever done it, and if it could everything an oily pesto is and more. And guess what? I found one. If you’re looking for a good dinner recipe that can be made in 10 minute or less, look no further…

The Detoxinista is a treasure trove of healthy recipes, and this is one of them. The recipe can be found here. It is so tasty!

Tips:

  • This recipe is rather tangy. If you want a more mellow taste, then use more zuchini. I used about 1 1/4 cup instead of one cup.
  • If you have trouble finding zuchini, then your store may have a different name for it. At my local Sprouts Farmers Market, it’s called Italian Squash.
  • Get creative with your plate! I added shaved baby carrots, dehydrated tomatoes (sun dried tomatoes will also work), and avocado. You can also top with nuts and if you are not vegan, add chicken. Yum!
Fresh basil from Whole Foods

Fresh basil from Whole Foods

Basil, walnuts, zucchini, water, lemon juice, salt into the food processor.

Basil, walnuts, zucchini, water, lemon juice, salt into the food processor.

The pesto got all over my food processor! I set it on high for about 1-2 minutes

The pesto got all over my food processor! I set it on high for about 1-2 minutes

I got my Julienne tool from Bed Bath and Beyond for under $10.

I got my Julienne tool from Bed Bath and Beyond for under $10.

Simply set the zucchini on a cutting board and run the julienne tool over it.

Simply set the zucchini on a cutting board and run the julienne tool over it.

Viola! 5 Minute Basil and Walnut Peso with zucchini noodles, shaved baby carrots, sun dried tomatoes, and avocados.

Viola! 5 Minute Basil and Walnut Peso with zucchini noodles, shaved baby carrots, sun dried tomatoes, and avocados.