real raw kitchen: March 2012

Saturday, March 31, 2012

RECIPE: blondie maca-roons

When I first discovered Maca root powder I was excited. The earthy, malty taste brings such a wonderful flavor to any dish it's added to. A friend warned me to be careful, though, because it can increase libido. Naturally, this only increased my fascination with the superfood.

RAW Blondie Maca-Roons
adapted from Raw Food Real World

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups nut pulp (leftover from nut mylk)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened, raw)
  • 5-7 pitted dates, made into date paste
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 2 heaping tablespoons Maca powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • dash of sea salt
Instructions

  • Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. 
  • In a food processor process dates with a couple tablespoons of water. 
  • You may need to soak your dates first if they are not soft. 
  • Once a paste has formed, add the paste and the coconut oil and almond butter to the bowl. 
  • Mix everything thoroughly with a spoon or spatula. 
  • Take a rounded tablespoon measurer and scoop out small balls and place onto dehydrator sheet. 
  • Put in the dehydrator at 104 until it is as dry as you like. Some recommend 5 hours, though I left mine in for only about 2. If it is not dried completely, store in the fridge. 

SO delicious and so easy. These are perfect as a filling snack or dessert. I had a couple of these for breakfast this morning. YUM

Why is Maca so seXXXy?

Maca is a natural libido enhancer and plays with the hormone and endocrine system in our bodies. It is found to increase fertility in animals and humans alike by increasing sperm count and motility. In women it helps the ovaries mature its eggs for fertilization. After pregnancy Maca helps mothers produce more breast milk. Watch out, though, because Maca can increase sexual desire as well and stamina...

Maca is especially beneficial to women because it works to balance the hormones which can be incredibly helpful for menstruation, PMS symptoms, and menopausal symptoms. The more in balance your hormones are the fewer side effects and symptoms you will have with your rockin' reproductive rhythm. 

Maca is also an excellent adaptogen which helps you fight off sickness, stress, and fatigue. It is an excellent way to provide a little boost to your mood or day. It also has an excellent source of calcium, equivalent to that of a glass of milk without all the side effects of dairy. It is also a great plant-based protein source with slightly more than 10% protein per serving. It is also rich in magnesium, phosoporous, potassium, sulfur, sodium, and iron as well as zinc, iodine, copper, selenium, bismuth, maganese, tin, and silicon. It also has vitamins B1, B2, C, and E. The controversial B12 is reported to be included in this list, though some are skeptical.

Maca is known to improve the following conditions:

Anemia
Chronic Fatigue
Depression
Infertility and sterility
Lack of libido
Malnutrition
Menopausal symptoms
Menstrual discomfort and disorders
Poor memory
Stomach cancer
Stress tension
Tuberculosis

Become the super whoa-man that you are and eat more Maca!




Wednesday, March 28, 2012

RECIPE: creamy tahini dressing

Maybe I'm part bird or maybe I'm part rabbit .... I LOVE salads and I'm so fortunate to be excited by a ginormous bowl of greens. Or maybe I'm just uber creative with my dressings ...
RAW Creamy Tahini Dressing

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons raw tahini
  • juice from one orange
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons nama shoyu
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Instructions

  • Place the tahini in a small bowl and slowly add the oj a little bit at a time as you stir with a fork.
  • Stir until everything is mixed evenly. 
  • Add the rest of the ingredients one at a time and stir to incorporate. 
  • I put mine in a small glass jar to begin with and once everything was in I shook it vigorously.

In the salad above I poured it over my usual base--greens, tomato, avocado--and ate it immediately. Store in the frig until ready to eat. It's best to pour over greens and eat immediately (do not let sit) as the citrus in the orange juice will wilt the lettuce rapidly. 

So easy. So rad. And still so delicious.

YUM

Not only is this dressing delicious it packs a nutritional punch as well. The tahini provides an excellent source of most B vitamins as well as the ever-important calcium. In fact, sesame seeds (the un-ground version of tahini) contain one of the highest concentrations of calcium of all food sources. Also, the nutritional yeast adds a nice cheesy flavor as well as a whopping dosage of vitamin B12, which is crucial for energy production in the body. So slurp it up!



Tuesday, March 27, 2012

RECIPE: coconut yogurt

I love having a bowl of fruit in the morning but sometimes it doesn't pack enough calories to last me until early afternoon. Adding a creamy and dreamy coconut yogurt can add bulk to that perfect bowl of fruit.
RAW Coconut Yogurt
4 cups coconut (6-8 young coconuts, meat scraped out)
1 cup fresh coconut water
1 teaspoon vegan probiotic powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Put everything but the probiotic into a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass bowl and mix in the probiotic powder. Place in the dehydrator at 100 degrees for 3-6 hours, until the yogurt becomes nice and thick. It should stay fairly white. If it becomes dark or purple, discard.

In this bowl I had a banana, strawberries, blueberries, fresh figs, and chocolate granola. I felt energized and light all morning and wasn't hungry until about 5 hours later. Such a fabulous way to start the day!


YUM !!!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

RECIPE: key lime cheesecake

In honor of St. Patrick's Day I made a to-die-for all raw key lime cheesecake.


RAW Key Lime Cheesecake
Ingredients

For the crust:
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut (raw, unsweetened)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 dates, pitted
For the filling:
  • 1 1/2 cups cashews (soaked for about 30 minutes)
  • 1 avocado
  • 3/4 cup key lime juice
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut water (or plain)
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil/butter
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • (1/2 teaspoon of spirulina if you want a more vibrant green)
Instructions

For the crust:
  • Put the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until crumbly and sticking together a bit.
  •  Dump the contents into the bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan and press down until the entire bottom is evenly covered. 
  • Place in freezer until you are ready to pour the filling on top.
For the filling:

  • Place everything save the coconut, vanilla, and salt into a high speed blender.
  •  Blend until smooth. 
  • Add the remaining ingredients and blend until everything is incorporated, but do not over blend. 
  • Pour the filling atop the crust and then place the pie into the freezer for 2-3 hours. 
  • Move to the frig and keep there until ready to eat.

I noticed that it got tastier as time passed. The next day and even the second day it was best, though I doubt you can wait that long.

It is so sweet and creamy and soft with just the right amount of lime-y taste. Divine. I could eat the entire thing in one sitting.

YUM





Wednesday, March 14, 2012

RECIPE: red beet ravioli

Sometimes I'm skeptical of beets. I'm not sure why, they've never failed me. But beware, these are ADDICTIVE and sans carbo-overloading guilt trips ...


Red Beet Ravioli
(serves 2)

Ingredients

For the shell:
  • 1-2 large beets, sliced on thin blade on mandolin
  • 3-4 tablespoons oil (I used Walnut here)
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
For the ricotta cheese:
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts (or pine nuts)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon seat salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut water (or regular water) if needed
For the green pesto drizzle:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 bunch basil (2 cups?)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 clove of garlic

Instructions
For the shell:
  • Mix the slices with the rest of the ingredients and let marinate in a bowl while you work on the remaining components.

For the ricotta cheese:
  • In a food processor or high speed blender mix everything except the oregano until fully processed. 
  • The cheese should be soft but somewhat chunky, much like regular ricotta. (Or not. Who cares, it's still delicious!) 
  • Put mixture into bowl and fold in chopped oregano.

For the green pesto drizzle:
  • Place basil, pine nuts and garlic in food process and process until chunky. 
  • Then, while the processor is running, slowly add the oil until everything is creamy and saucy. 

Assembly

  • Put one slice of beet down on your plate. 
  • Put a dollop of cheese in the middle. 
  • Place another slice on top.  
  • Drizzle some pesto over the top. 
  • Voila! The best ravioli to come out of your kitchen, to date!
 I had one ravioli the first night I made it because I wasn't too hungry and it filled me up. The next day I couldn't contain myself and I had FOUR ... but I was bouncing with energy for HOURS afterward. So filling but not in the unbutton-your-pants way. I die.

Also ... this was non-vegan approved by a self-proclaimed manly man! It's divine.

YUM




Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Christopher's Kitchen is AH-mazing

Every once in awhile we venture up to Palm Beach Gardens to treat ourselves to one of the best raw food experiences I have had, to date (even including my Santa Monica experiences).

Christopher's Kitchen is the cleanest, nicest, tastiest, and most expensive raw food restaurant I have ever been to. I have not been disappointed and am inspired to recreate everything I've tasted there.
Dragon Bowl

French Toast

Pecan Pie

CK Tacos
My favorite dish so far was the tacos. Divine. So filling and delicious.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

RECIPE: rye bread

There is a rye bread at the farmer's market (all raw, yeah!) that I love. However, the price is less than stellar. So I pulled the ingredients out of that version and made my own .. win!

Rye Essene Bread

Ingredients
  • 1 cup rye seeds (soaked overnight)
  • 1 cup barley (soaked overnight)
  • 1/4 cup scallions
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
Instructions

  • Soak the rye and barley overnight and then rinse and drain thoroughly the next day. 
  • Put everything but the caraway seeds into a food processor and process until smooth. 
  • Spread the batter on a Teflex sheet and sprinkle with caraway seeds. 
  • Dehydrate at 104 for 5-7 hours.
  •  Score into whatever shapes and sizes you like (I typically do two lines down each side creating 9 squares). 
  • Carefully flip onto a mesh sheet and peel the liner off and dehydrate for another 3-4 hours, until crisp.



Spread your favorite guacamole on top, slice some tomatoes, and add some avocado. SO easy and so rad. You could put any of your favorite toppings on this open face sandwich and it would be a total kill.


Monday, March 5, 2012

RECIPE: miso orange dressing

Miso is an ingredient that was recommended to me well over a year ago and I have been reluctant to try it out. Why? Because it just seemed too new for my already new roots. Until now...

Raw Miso Dressing

Ingredients

  • Juice of one orange 
  • Juice of one lemon 
  • 1/2 cup miso paste 
  • 1 clove garlic 
  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil*
Instructions

  • Chop the garlic roughly and put into high speed blender. 
  • Place everything else (except oil) into bender and blend until smooth. 
  • Add the oil one tablespoon at a time and pulse the blender until it's the consistency you like. 
  • Store in a glass jar in the fridge and use 1-2 tablespoons over salad when craving. (Only use when you are going to eat, the citrus wilts the lettuce pretty quickly)

*I omit the oil to make a virtually fat free dressing that is still creamy, tangy, sweet, and just delish. 

I poured this batch over a pre-prepped kale salad, and then tossed in some spring mix, as well. Preparing ahead of time leaves the busy work for the newbies and allows you some time to get creative, listen to your body, and build a salad that you crave, not just one you-should-have.

Basic Base Kale Salad

Ingredients
  • 2-3 bunches kale (I prefer rainbow) 
  • juice of 1 lemon 
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Instructions

  • Wash and de-stem the kale. I tear the kale by hand into bite-size pieces. 
  • Place in bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Get cozy with the kale and massage the ingredients until well mixed. 
  • The dressing will wilt the kale so it's more palatable. 
  • And VOILA! There's a salad waiting for you in the fridge and all you have to do is add to it.

For this salad I added a beefsteak tomato, hemp seeds, avocado, and miso dressing. I go easy on the olive oil in the marinade for the kale and especially easy on the wilting process if I have this dressing on hand ... it acts as a great softener on its own. 

YUM YUM YUM

More on Miso ...

Miso is a fermented soy bean paste. Eating primarily raw limits the legume intake so this provide an excellent venue for the nutrients associated with legumes. Even more amazing is that the fermentation process provides a beneficial bacteria to your intestines, which is key to overall health. Here's a glimpse at what fermented foods--and more importantly, a healthy GI--does for you:

-Digests certain sugars and proteins.
-Facilitates absorption of certain minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and iron.
-Regulates appropriate storage of fat in the body.
-Prevents bloating, gas, and yeast overgrowth.
-Manufactures vitamin K and B vitamins sometimes otherwise in short supply.
-Deprives invaders of nutrients, secretes acids that less-friendly microbes can’t tolerate.
-Strengthens the lining of the gut to help block dangerous pathogens, toxins, and allergens.
-Stimulates immune system by increasing T-cells, producing natural antibiotics/antifungals.
-Metabolizes and recycles hormones, including estrogen, thyroid hormones, and phytoestrogens.
-Helps detoxify drugs and other harmful compounds.
-Exerts anti-tumor/anti-cancer effects.