I promise you won’t miss the ham hock in this deeply satisfying soup. Remember to soak the spilt peas overnight or, if you wake up craving this soup, soak them first thing in the morning so they will soak all day and you can make the soup for dinner! Soaking makes the beans cook faster and some say, makes them less gassy. Well, ahem, you be the judge of that. :) I also love to make this soup using yellow spilt peas. They add a lovely brightness to your meal in the wintertime but I only had green on hand so…yep…still as yummy!
I woke up this crisp September Sunday morning with the feeling of Fall. A slight chill in the air. Mist along the west coast. Mmmmm. I LOVE these morning’s. Especially here in Cali, where the weather of the season’s seem to always blend together. Finally, a change! YAY! Gonna embrace this new day in all it’s glory. Enjoy it while it lasts. Stay cozy for as long as I can. And that means, makin’ one of my most beloved dishes…SOUP! Woooooooo hooooooo. Yes, I am really THAT excited to make some yummy homemade soup! And, yes, I am the type of gal that fantasizes about makin’ it in the last long hot days of summer…just sayin’…
Soooooooo stay in your warm comfy PJ’s, put on some holiday music (I know it’s very early in the season for some holiday cheer but, I ain’t gonna lie, I’ve been know to rock out in the kitchen to those fab festive jams while makin’ me soup as soon as it gets chilly outside…:) ). And be sure to call some friends and invite them over for a delish homemade Sunday Soup Supper! Just ask them to bring a baguette and a bottle of wine and you got a wonderful din din…
I love the delicate nature of micro greens and every time I get my hands on them, I’m always so impressed with their depth of flavor. Despite their daintiness, they pack a huge flavor punch! Locally, I get a mix of red mustard, arugula, mizuna, tatsoi, red cabbage, amaranth, celery and radish. Actually, what I’m finding is labeled “exotic tiny greens”, so I think they are a bit more mature than your average micro green, but who’s counting? This week, I was thrilled to find them for my book photo shoot. They make the loveliest garnishes on savory dishes.
In the summer, I’ve always been all about salads. Even before raw food, fresh salads in the summer just made sense. It’s hot out and you want to keep your kitchen and your body cool. The only problem with summer salads at the moment is that in Florida, all of my beloved organic famers are on vacation! Well, probably not vacation, but it’s too hot to grow and they’re prepping for their next season. It is a tough transition to go from huge baskets of dirt cheap, freshly picked produce to the limp, shipped from who knows where, sitting there for who knows how long, offerings as my local health food store. Oh, it’s almost painful. I do the best I can, picking through and finding what looks the freshest. This week, the fennel was looking nice and I had apples from my co-op share. With the micro greens I had left after my photo shoot, I was inspired to toss this together. It’s a really nice, fresh change from my normal daily lettuce or kale-based salads.
When it comes to healthy living, I’m all or nothing. I love raw food, because it keeps me on track and feeling in control. Right before I even knew what this lifestyle was all about, I was a super junk food eating vegan. Like full on dinners of potato chips because, well, they tasted good and they were fairly natural, meat & dairy free. But healthy? Let’s get real. Overnight I decided raw was the way for me and haven’t looked back. Most importantly, I pushed through the transition and pumped my body full of as many greens as I could handle until I craved them as I once craved chips.
My lifestyle is rooted in pleasure—but not the kind of fleeting pleasure a bag of chips used to give me. This is a flow of pleasure. I love to go to the farmer’s market and hand pick every veggie, sniff the herbs and taste the ripe fruits. I adore creating in my kitchen. A little of this and a little of that = magic. As a life long foodie, you know I love to eat and indulge in all of the pleasures of gourmet raw food. But the most pleasure for me? I feel amazing. I don’t get sick, like ever. I’m completely blissed out. It’s deeply empowering.
Golden and Green Cannelloni with Sun-Dried Tomato–Ginger Marinara, Mint-Basil Pistachio Pesto, Green Zebra Tomatoes, and Pine Nut and Black Truffle “Ricotta” (raw, vegan) Recipe by GreenChef Matthew Kenney
The first raw food dish (or at least, the first successful raw food dish) that I ever created was a green zebra tomato lasagna that I designed for my first raw food menu. There was never a single evening that it wasn’t the best-selling dish on the menu, which lies in the fact that it offers familiar flavors in a unique form. Raw food can often be intimidating, especially for those who have never tried it, and the components of this dish resemble a welcoming gesture—tomato sauce, pesto, ricotta, tomatoes. They work together, we’ve all tried them, and the dish is full flavored.
Now, I am not really a hard alcohol drinker, I would say I am more of a lover of wines. But when I was reading my Bon Appetit magazine a few years ago, I came across this recipe and couldn’t pass it up. I mean, chocolate liqueur. Damn. Yum! And it also makes a wonderful gift. Just be sure to make it about a month ahead of time so the flavors will have time to infuse.
For Canadian thanksgiving, I made mini vegan pumpkin pies. For years I’ve made raw pumpkin pies, trying sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squash, carrot juice/nut combo – but I have to say, I prefer this cooked style. Enjoy it with a big dollop of the coconut whipped cream that I featured in my previous recipe post.
What’s so great about this pie? First, there are no nuts in the filling, making it far easier for me to digest (and good digestion is the name of the game for me these days more than ever). Instead I’ve used the natural creaminess of the cooked pumpkin along with healthy raw ingredients to create a delicious pie.
Secondly, this is a low glycemic dessert, using a small amount of coconut sugar in conjunction with stevia to sweeten it.
What makes it a “mousse” pie? I’ve suped it up with irish moss and coconut oil to give it a light, fluffy moussey texture. In fact, I’ve made this a few times already, that’s how much I like it, and it holds well as a cheesecake and as a simple mousse/pudding too! Whatever you choose, I’m fairly certain you’ll enjoy :)
I must admit. I have never done this before. Making my own Vanilla Extract that is. It’s also only been 3 weeks since it started marinating in its beautiful glass jar. I am not sure how it’s gonna turn out BUT it looks so beautiful we decided we had to share this recipe with everyone. Life is all about the journey…right… :) Jump in and let us know how yours turns out.
Beans and greens. Mmmm. One of the simplest, best tasting meals ever. And since I’m currently operating with three, count’em three stictches in my right thumb, my dinners this week have been dishes without a whole lot of chopping involved.
I’ve made lots of similar dishes in the past, but I’ve always used canned beans, since the thought of using dried beans always seemed like so much work to me. Then I came across this cookbook called ‘Super Natural Cooking’ by Heidi Swanson. In it not only is there a fabulous recipes for beans and green, but Heidi also mentions a company called Rancho Gordo that specializes in heirloom beans. I decided to order a few different kind of beans (there are so many amazing varieties) and am now totally obsessed over their giant Cannellini beans. Oh, and they are ‘kitty approved’ as well… :)
Yes, dried beans are a little more work, but with just a little planning ahead, it’s really not that difficult and sooo worth the extra effort. All you have to do is soak them in water before going to bed and then some time the next day, cook them up which takes about an hour to an hour in a half. In fact, you can find out all sorts of helpful tips and recipes at the Rancho Gordo website.
During the summers at our Russian dacha, meals were always accompanied by small, curiously shaped cucumbers that we picked from the garden that very day. Sometimes they were so perfectly sweet, that we would simply cut them in half and sprinkle with a bit of salt. Other times, we would toss a basic cucumber and tomato salad. Either way, this vegetable served as a cooling, hydrating, and nutritional companion to any summer meal. Cucumbers are at their best from May to July, and while we are at the peak of their season, here are two undemanding cucumber salads. One is a deserved favourite, and the other – a new addition. They are simple in preparation, and work well as side dishes or as snacks, on top of crackers.
I’ve always liked to pair cucumbers with dill, but came across the idea of combining them with apple cider vinegar in Carol Alt’s book.
Todays salads are the Cucumber and Dill Salad (an old favourite) and Ginger Cucumber Pickles (a Japanese salad).
This decadent Blackforest Chocolate Cheesecake by Vanessa Sherwood drew quite a knockout reaction when she posted it on the forum. I’m sure you can see why. It is bursting with sweet cherries layered between a chocolate crust and a creamy chocolate cheesecake filling. Vanessa advised the members of the forum they can purchase raw cacao butter and coconut oil for great prices at Organic Living Food. She also said it can be replaced with a dark Green and Black’s chocolate bar. I know what some of you will be making your loved ones this Valentines!
Some of you may already know that I have a brand new dehydrator at home, which is also the reason for the lack of posts lately. I’m diving into the raw cuisine with the open eyes of a new born baby. Raw crackers, raw desserts, “baked” nuts… I want to try it all and my dehydrator is working 24-7!
There are so many recipes I want to taste that the first moment the Excalibur arrived I got totally lost. I had absolutely no idea what to start with, where to begin and how to do it, although I spent the last 2 weeks preparing myself and reading all there is to read about using the thing. I also had a list with favorite recipes sticked to my desktop… Well, I had a list with recipes and no ingredients at all. Yeah, I know, the joke is on me. Instead of reading all days long I could’ve bought the necessary products, sprouted different things and prepare better.
Anyway, I managed to pull a couple of cracker variations (will share my most favorite one soon) and some desserts. I’m a true believer that you eat with your eyes wide open, so when I see something beautiful I got inspired. This time my inspiration were these cute little raw fruit paper like crepes appetizer from rawmazing.com, I just wanted mine sweet. The best option I could think of for making them sweet was fruit crepes for the bags and raw brownies for the filling. Easy, delicious and so beautiful! Especially if you make different variations, in my case – orange, apples & kiwi ones. Yum!