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Archive for July, 2011

I had dinner at a friends the other night, and of course.. I was the only vegan in attendance. Instead of making them find something vegan to make for me, I offered to bring something instead. Only having a short window of time between waking from my nap and when I was destined to arrive, I needed something quick and easy. So I ran to the grocery store, picked up the freshest looking veggies, some quinoa.. and threw this together. Luckily it was easy enough to remember without me having to write anything down. 🙂 This recipe literally took 15 minutes – while the quinoa was cooking, I prepped the veg..and by the time the quinoa was ready (12 minutes later), so was the veg! So if you’re looking for something quick, easy, crowd-pleasing, and crowd-filling.. this is your dish! There were 4 adults, and there’s enough left over to feed me for a few more meals… so it’s a perfect pot-luck dish to feed up to maybe 10 as a side, and maybe 4-5 hungry vegans as a main dish. But of course, you can easily double the recipe to feed a larger crowd.

Ingredients:

2 tsp canola, safflower or olive oil
1 C quinoa
2 C water
1 can or 1-1.5 C cooked black or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
sea salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tsp garlic powder
1-1.5 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 bunch kale, chopped [it was about a handful of stems, maybe 8]
2 medium carrots, washed and chopped
6 Campari tomatoes, quartered (or 12 grape tomatoes, halved)
1/2 red bell pepper, 1” dice
1/2 yellow bell pepper, 1” dice **if you don’t want to use 1/2 of two different bells, you can use a whole of 1.. whatever tickles your bell pepper fancy!
1 bunch cilantro, minced
juice of 2 limes

Directions:

1. In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add 1 C quinoa and toast lightly, about 2-3 minutes. Add water and spices, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, prep (wash and chop) all the veg. Place all veg and half the cilantro into a large bowl, set aside. Juice the limes, set aside.
3. When the quinoa has maybe 3-4 minutes left, add the drained beans.
4. When all water is gone from the quinoa, remove from heat. Fluff with a fork. Toss onto veg, let sit a few minutes to “steam.”
5. Give a stir, drizzle with lime juice, add remaining cilantro. Salt and pepper to taste. Voilà!

Almost-Raw Veg & Quinoa Salad

Almost-Raw Veg & Quinoa Salad

**I call this almost-raw because the only thing cooked is the beans and quinoa. If you wanted it completely raw, omit the beans and sprout your quinoa.. it’ll take longer since the quinoa takes some time to soak and sprout, but it’s certainly doable.

Happy Chopping!

On this day in History: Chai Spice Shortbread Cookies (2009)

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I’ve been interested in dabbling in raw food for some time now, but after spending a month eating a greater portion of raw food than normal I knew I had to get on it post-haste! For my birthday last week, I made these babies.. they’re mostly raw – and I say mostly because the Agave Nectar I had on hand was not raw, nor the tablespoon of maple syrup used in the tart crust… so almost raw. You can certainly adapt to a full raw version by using raw agave, subbing agave in the crust and using water in place of the coconut milk beverage in the cashew cream. But even though it was “almost raw” it was still super delicious, and doesn’t sit heavy like most baked treats. The recipe was adapted from Raw Food Real World. They used dehydrated cherries, but I like the fresh blueberries..but feel free to use whatever sturdy berry suites your fancy. Makes about 36-42 mini tartlets, or 1 standard size tart.

Ingredients:

For the tart crust:
3.5 C almond meal
3 TBSP date paste (I pureed about 6 Medjool dates – pitted – in the food processor before starting)
1 TBSP maple syrup
3/4 C coconut oil
large pinch of sea salt

For the almond-cashew cream:
1.75 C raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hrs
1/4 C raw slivered almonds, soaked for at least 2 hrs
1 C coconut flakes/shredded coconut, or coconut meat
1/4 C coconut milk beverage (or water)
6 TBSP coconut oil
2 TBSP vanilla extract (or 1 TBSP + 1 tsp almond extract + 2 tsp vanilla extract)
pinch of sea salt

For the topping:
4 C fresh blueberries (~ 2 pints)
1/4 C agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Place the cashews and almonds, for the cream, in a large bowl with enough water to cover. Set aside for at least 2 hrs. Place the blueberries in a bowl with the agave and vanilla. Stir to combine. Set aside until needed.
2. Tart Crust: In a food processor, mix together all the crust ingredients until thoroughly combined. Line individual mini tart shells (or one large tart shell) with plastic wrap. Divide the dough between the shells and press evenly into the sides and bottom – to create an even thickness throughout. Refrigerate until firm – at least 1 hour or more – and keep refrigerated until ready to fill. **Because I used mini tartlet shells..it took the time the nuts for the cream required to soak to complete this task. If you’re using a single standard tart shell, it would go much faster and you’d have some time to dawdle.

Almost Raw Fresh Berry Tart
3. Cashew-Almond cream: In a food processor or high speed blender, puree all the cream ingredients until completely smooth – stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. **If necessary, you can slowly increase the amount of coconut milk beverage to adjust consistency. Caution, if you add too much the cream will not stay firm in the tart shells..so better to err on the side of a thicker cream. 🙂
4. Fill each tart crust with the cream, creating a flat surface at the top. Cover and return to the refrigerator to chill and set – about 2 hours or more.

Almost Raw Fresh Berry Tart
5. Assembly: Remove the tarts from the fridge and the use the overhanging edges of the plastic wrap to carefully pull the tarts from their shells. If using a standard size tart shell, it should have a removable bottom from which you simply lift the tart out. Top each tart – or single tart – with the delicious soaked berries.

Almost Raw Fresh Berry Tart*Note: Keep covered in the fridge. These have kept in my fridge for at least 5 days, and are still tasty. Of course, the fresher the better.. but if they survive the hungry masses a few days, they’ll still be delicious.

Happy Unbaking! 😉

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