Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rawsagna Casserole

This recipe was inspired by Ani Phyo's Rawzagna recipe found here http://www.aniphyo.com/
In line with keeping things simple, I made this casserole in just a few steps and used one of my favorite raw cheese and marinara sauce recipes.

This is one of those recipes that can change depending on what veggies you have on hand. I've thrown in some leftover dehydrated mushrooms, cheddar seed cheese, red pepper and marinated greens before and it was just as delicious. Experiment and see what combinations you can come up with.
Don't forget to share them with me!

1c ground sunflower seeds- Vit E, phytosterols which help lower cholesterol
1/2c ground flax seeds- Omega 3 fatty acids, high in fiber, lignans
2tbls extra virgin olive oil- rich in oleic acid, regulates cholesterol levels
1/2tsp garlic powder
1/2tsp onion powder
1/4tsp salt
1/4c water

In a deep dish, mix all ingredients and then press onto bottom of your dish.

1 large thinly sliced zucchini- Vit A, folate(Vit B9), potassium
4c shredded spinach leaves- high in iron and calcium
2c shredded carrots- high in fiber, Vit A
1/2c diced green bell pepper- Vit C
any other filling you like
salt and pepper to taste

Toss each of your veggies in olive oil, s and p. You can do this on one bowl. I kept them separate for neater layering and prettier presentation.

1c ground sunflower seeds- Vit E, phytosterols which help lower cholesterol
1c ground cashews- high in magnesium, rich in oleic acid
juice of 1 lemon- Vit C, potassium, bioflavonoids
1tsp Bragg liquid aminos- Non GMO amino acids
1 clove garlic- can regulate blood pressure and increase immune system
water for thinning

Put all ingredients in food processor and mix until creamy and combined. use water to thin to desired consistency. for this casserole I used a thicker cheese for the inside and then thinned it out for the topping.

6 Roma tomatoes- vit C and lycopene
2 cloves garlic- can regulate blood pressure and increase immune system
1 Medjool date- fiber and potassium rich, natural sweetner
1c sun dried tomatoes- Vit C and lycopene
1/4c olive oil- rich in oleic acid, regulates cholesterol levels
1tbls fresh rosemary- Vit A, C
2tbls fresh basil- Vit A, C
1/4c olive oil- rich in oleic acid, regulates cholesterol levels
1tsp dried oregano- Vit A, C
1/2tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients except olive oil in food processor. Process until finely chopped. Drizzle in olive oil until well combined.


Layer in zucchini, spinach and carrots. Press down making sure layer is even. Top with sauce and then dollop with cheese. Repeat layer once more ending with zucchini. Press down again and then top with cheese and bell peppers.


Dandelion Greens

Dandelions are in the sunflower family and grow all year long, peaking in the springtime. Chances are, you have some growing in your back yard right now. You know, those small yellow flowers that mature into feathery balls that get blown off into the wind. They're much more than just weeds, so stop trying to get rid of them and start eating them!

The dandelion leaves are what you want to harvest and taste best if picked before flowering occurs. They have a slightly bitter and tangy flavor that goes especially well with salads.
Besides flavor, dandelions are filled with more nutrients than many wider known greens. Just one cup of raw dandelions has 98%DV of Vit A, 58%DV of Vit C and 18%DV of calcium. http://www.elook.org/nutrition/vegetables/2410.html
Dandelion greens aid in digestion as well as cleanse the liver, blood and kidneys. For the most benefit, you can use them in tinctures, teas and juices.

Nothing makes me feel more alive than a freshly squeezed glass of juice in the morning. This recipe using the dandelion greens is especially great for fasting and cleansing.

Dandelion Lemonade
makes about 24 ounces
1/2 bunch organic dandelion
1 collard leaf or handful spinach
1 lemon
2 cucumbers
2 apples

Put all ingredients through your juicer.
Enjoy straight or over ice!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Mmmm, Blood Oranges

The blood orange is perhaps one of the most captivating fruits out there. Like the dragon fruit, passion fruit and kiwi, they are as interesting to look at as they are to eat! The blood orange gets it's ruby red flesh from a pigment called anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is also a powerful antioxidant, which is not usually found in citrus, but rather other red fruits and flowers. Just like other citrus, the blood orange is high in Vit C and potassium, so you can feel even better about enjoying one of these gems!

I picked up a few at the farmers market today and had a couple as soon as I got home. Blood oranges have a lighter orange flavor with a sweet hint of raspberry. They are delicious and can be used in many savory and sweet dishes. As for me, I like to enjoy mine straight up!

I learned from the vendor that they originated in Italy and have been growing in Texas and California now for many years. There are three main types, but the one often found here is the Moro. I am fortunate to live in California where these beauties will be available up until May.
Enjoy them while you can!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Crispy, Crunchy Tacos

I've made a few versions of tacos since becoming raw and this was by far my favorite. It has all the crunch you get with a standard taco and the flavor combination is spot on.

It came about by mixing and mingling a couple of left over recipes and it turned out to be a match made in raw food heaven!


Rinse and drained Romaine lettuce leaves
chopped tomatoes

Cheddar cheese

1c ground sunflower seeds
1c ground macadamia nuts
1 small red bell pepper
1 small orange, peeled and deseaded
juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic
1tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos

Mix all ingredients in food processor until creamy.

Carrot filling

2 large carrots shredded
1tsp chili powder
1/4tsp garlic powder
1/4tsp cumin

Mix all carrot ingredients together and set aside.


Anything goes here, but I like to start with a generous amount of carrot. I add pieces of the onion bread down each side like a taco shell. Then spoon the cheese down the middle and top it off with fresh tomato.


Famous Onion Bread

If you have even so much as dabbled in raw and living foods, you have come across The Onion Bread recipe. It was one of the first things I tried when I jumped into raw and I have to say, it is quite fabulous.
The tried and true recipe is from Matt Amsden's book RAWvolution. http://www.amazon.ca/Rawvolution-Matt-Amsden/dp/0060843187
Even my husband who isn't too fond of onions enjoys this recipe. Dehydrating onions mellows them out and also brings out their sweetness. Five simple ingredients yield a delicious result.
I came up with this version when I was jonesing for some onion bread, but only had purple onions on hand. As with most of my meals, I worked with what I had. The purple onions and brown flax meal gave the bread and even darker color and the sweetness was divine.

Purple onion bread

2 pounds purple onions- Vit C, rich in phytochemicals
1c ground brown flax seeds- Omega 3 fatty acids, high in fiber, lignans
1c ground sunflower seeds- Vit E, phytosterols which help lower cholesterol
1/4c Bragg Liquid Aminos- Non GMO amino acids
1/4c extra virgin olive oil- rich in oleic acid, regulates cholesterol levels

Slice onions in food processor. Grind until the onions are in small pieces, but not mush.

Remove them from FP and place in a bowl with the remaining ingredients. Let sit for a minute so the flax and seeds will soak up some of the juices from the wet ingredients and onions.

Smooth onto teflex sheets or parchment paper about 1/4 inch thick. Dehydrate at 110 until firm enough to flip(about 5 hrs). Dehydrate other side until bread is firm.
Sometimes I will dehydrate further to create a crispy flat bread.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Collard Wraps with Walnut and Sun dried Tomato filling

I'll wrap anything up in a collard green and eat it!
It makes the perfect holder for so many fillings. Collards are very similar to Kale, but for me it has a slightly different flavor. I also like the size of collards. The size aids in it's ability to wrap up so many things.
Even greater, collard greens are high in fiber and filled with phytochemicals, which reduce your risk of cancer.
So, eat up!

Collard leaves- Vit A, K, phytonutrients

Take out the stem and wash these well by submerging them in a bath of salt water.
Rinse and let drain in colander or on a towel.
If you want more pliable greens, let them sit for awhile or even over night. They become more limp, the longer you let them sit. I like mine crunchy, so I just rinse and drain.

1c walnuts- high in protein and omega 3 fatty acids
2tbl chopped sun dried tomatoes- Vit C and lycopene
2 carrots- fiber, Vit A
1/4 of a medium green pepper- high in Vit C
2tbl chopped basil- Vit A, C
1 clove garlic- can regulate blood pressure and increase immune system
1tbl olive oil- rich in oleic acid, regulates cholesterol levels
salt and pepper to taste
1/2c sprouted kamut-you can use all kamut and skip the walnuts. I like the chewy texture this gives the filling.

Put everything except kamut in a food processor and mix until combined, but not mushy. Hand mix in kamut. Layer this in your wrap with more shredded carrots, avocado or anything else that suits you.

Hibiscus Flowers

Hibiscus flowers come in a range of species and are grown in warm regions throughout the world. Different species are used for many things including making paper, hair tonics, teas and herbal medicines.

I bought a big bag of dried hibiscus flowers with the intent of using some with my henna hair treatment and using some to make ice cold agua de jamaica. I haven't mixed up my hair concoction yet, but I sure did make a big pot of Jamaica.

Jamaica has a taste all it's own. A perk of making it at home is you can steep the flowers for however long you like to get your desired strength. Jamaica is also great paired with ginger, citrus fruits or spices.

Hibiscus flowers are a great source of vitamin c and can help reduce high blood pressure. So drink up!

This time I kept it simple:

Agua de Jamaica

2 cups hibiscus flowers- great source of vit C
6 cups filtered water- filtered is best for drinking
1 1inch piece of ginger- helps digestion and upset stomach
agave syrup to taste- I prefer agave to white sugar

Be sure and wear clothing and use utensils you don't mind getting stained.

Bring water and ginger up to boil, then add flowers.
Let boil for 2 minutes and then remove from heat.

Steep the flowers and ginger in the water for 30 minutes to 2 hours and then drain. Add your agave syrup to taste. Pour over ice or refrigerate.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Head to Toe Body Butter

I have been making some of my own beauty products for a couple of years now. I tired of reading labels over and over only to find out that it's not something that I want to put on or in my body.

My motto is: If I can put it in my mouth, then I will put it on my body. Everything else is rubbish!

I generally use the same products in the bathroom as I do in the kitchen. All of my cooking oils do double duty as hair and body moisturizers.
Fruit and coconut/nut milks are blended into conditioners and many of my teas and spices are used as well. Let's not forget my beloved baking soda. There is not a day that goes by that I don't use baking soda. I use it as a hair cleanser, teeth cleanser, face and body exfoliant, antacid...the list goes on.

I like to keep my beauty regimen basic, all natural, chemical free and healthful.
Although, I've been using oils and butters to moisturize my hair and skin, I had not yet ventured into mixing, whipping or fragrancing them.
I decided I would put together a recipe for myself as well as gifts for some family members. They were very pleased.

Here's my basic shea butter recipe:

1/2c unrefined shea butter- repairs, moisturizes and nourishes
1/4c virgin coconut oil- heals and protects from sun
1tsp vitamin E oil- antioxidant that helps your butter stay fresh
Few drops of fragrance oil- use any kind you like
3tbl cornstarch- helps butter go on smooth with a less greasy feel
I get my supplies from http://www.thesage.com/catalog/index.html
Make sure you have all your ingredients portioned out and ready to go. You don't want to be fumbling around once you've started melting your butters.

Melt your butters by putting it in a bowl over steaming hot water. I bring the water to boil and then turn it off. The heat from the steam is efficient enough to melt your butters.

Once the butter is fully melted, I add in the coconut oil. Combine well and let cool for about 30 minutes. At this point I add in the other oils and cornstarch.

Next I put the mixture in the fridge or freezer until it starts setting up. I take it out and start beating with a hand held mixer. After beating for about a minute I return to the fridge. I do this about 3 times until the desired consistency is reached.

It should resemble a thick whipped cream.

I store my whipped butters in a glass container. There are no preservatives in this mixture, so be sure to keep your storage containers clean and free of outside moisture. Use it from your head to your toes.

This will be the greatest feeling moisturizer you've ever put on your hair and body. The best thing about it is you know exactly what every ingredient is and where it came from!

Pom and Pers the Perfect Pair

Who knew that pairing two fruits that are delicious on their own would bring about such a flavor explosion!

I had purchased quite a few pomegranates and persimmons at the farmers market. I did'nt want them to over ripen, so I started using them in anyway I could think of. I threw some together for breakfast and was so impressed that I had it again later in the day. I do that often...I get ahold of something and eat it to my hearts content until something else sparks my flame.

If you think of persimmons as being a pucker fruit, don't be discouraged. You may have experienced an unripe one or a Hachiya variety.
Fuyu pers can be enjoyed while still firm, but the Hachiya must be soft and mushy like to avoid the dreaded pucker.

Can't really call this a recipe, but here it is:

1 dissected pomegranate- full of potassium and antioxidants
1 skinned and diced persimmon- high in iron and vit C


The Farmers Market

I look forward to my stroll down to the local FM every Friday. Over the holidays the market shutdown and oh how I missed it!

I love talking with the different vendors and not only finding out where and when they harvest their produce, but also what's new with them. It's so interesting and it does me good to know exactly where my food came from. I love thinking about each person who touched each pear, persimmon, tomato...as I'm enjoying it.

The sights and sounds are something to behold. As I walk up, I'm always greeted by an enticing scent. Today it was strawberries. I was not planning on purchasing any, but the fragrance drew me in! I wasn't disappointed.
There are innumerable types of fruit and vegetables in the world and I plan on trying them all! Not really, but I would like to sample a good amount of them. Here in the U.S we only have about 10% of the varieties that are available throughout the world. FM's are a great way to expand your produce horizon. You can get many varieties of things you wouldn't find in your local grocery store.
All chemical free and straight from harvest!