I am not a raw foodist, vegan or any one thing, but I have to say, preparing raw recipes is definitely one of my most favorite things to do in my kitchen! For me, raw recipes seem to be especially easy to make and nearly impossible to ruin. Well, not fatally at least. For example this Raw Jerusalem Artichoke Pasta was planned a little bit differently than you see it here in this post. My original idea was to make a raw version of a traditional pasta with a basic italian tomato red sauce. Which should have been easy, right? But unfortunately, when I finished making the sauce, and tasted it, I was a bit shocked. Something important was definitely missing, the flavor! Yeah, not good. I think the problem started with the tomatoes I used. I live here in Bulgaria and the super markets are completely out of stock of local in season tomatoes and the only veggies on the shelves seem come from far far away. Maybe picked before they had a chance to ripen. Whatever happen to them, the result wasn’t a good one. They are completely dull and for the most part, tasteless. They reminded me a little of wet paper. Not very exciting.
They are completely dull and for the most part, tasteless.
This means I had to improvise and come up with a new sauce on the spot. I had already prepared my Jerusalem Artichoke pasta, and now I just need to sauce it. I know what your thinking, I should do a Pesto. So was I, but for some reason that too sounded a bit boring to me. Thats when I decided to wing it and came up with my own creation. We will call this new sauce, Nadia’s Mixed Winter Green Sauce. The recipe is below. I used a little chicory, radicchio, spinach, arugula and little olive oil with salt. Mmmmmm
What is seitan? Well, technically it’s made from flour (just the gluten part), so I guess it’s a type of bread or noodle, but mentally it fits into the meat category for me. I have been a vegan now for about 13 years, I don’t crave meat or anything, but I do crave the textures, the sauces and the spices used to flavor meats. That is where seitan comes in for me. It’s a good substitute for chicken or I guess even pork.
The only way to really get the most out of seitan is to make it yourself from scratch. Most store bought seitan, just plain sucks. It’s tasteless, shaped badly, has a rubber texture and just doesn’t look good. In 13 years, I have only seen a freshly made version once and it was sold at Whole Foods in the Venice / Santa Monica areal. So, if your going to make a seitan dish, please try this recipe out and make your own fresh seitan.
This recipe is so simple to make, even a monkie can do it. Plus it only takes about two hours to complete. I know, your saying, only two hours, that is a lot of time. Yes, it would be a chunk of time, if you only make one batch, that is why I make 2 to 3 batches at a time and save the steaks in the refrigerator to use throughout the week. Also, this recipe requires making your vegetable stock to simmer the seitan in, which gives the seitan it’s flavor. I normally save the stock and make a quick soup with it. So don’t toss it. After I made my seitan this week, I made a black bean vegetable soup with miso and soy sauce. It was great.
Here is what I love about this recipe. The final seitan steaks are juicy, warm, have a slightly crispy skin and are packed with flavor. The trick is after you simmer the seitan in the vegetable stock, you re-coat them in a olive oil and teriyaki sauce, salt, pepper and then grill them. This seals in the flavors and takes the steaks to a whole new level. Try it, I bet you like them. A word of warning, seitan isn’t the healthiest food option and since it’s pure gluten, some people might have issues with it. I am not one of those people :)
My Green Diva Yogini Stephanie Bernstein, the founder of To-go Ware, and I created this recipe years ago when our days were filled with nothing but yoga and cooking in the kitchen. It has evolved through the years but the core remains the same. This is a wonderfully nourishing breakfast to keep your inner spirt warm and cozy through these cold winter months!
Yummy yummy elegant goodness is abundantly found in this soup. The sweetness from the squash and the smoky nuttiness from the chestnuts are a decadently delicious combination — a perfect compliment to any holiday dinner party or lunch. You’ll be amazed at how easy this is to make and how easy you will WOW your guests…
This is one of those, I need a delicious beautiful dessert now recipes. Tapioca is a quick dessert that will definitely delight you and your guests! You can even make the tapioca part the night before for simple assembly the next day. Just be sure to marinate the berry topping the day you are gonna eat this yummy dessert.
A little about the berry topping. You can make it with or without the Brandy and/or Cognac. I like the flavor and the little warmth the Brandy brings to the berries. If your serving this to young ones, its just as good with the pure sweetness of the berries.
One of the many amazing gifts, my BF gave me this year was a beautiful Wolfgang Flour Mill. I know. He did real real good. :) So I have been experimenting a little with all the grains I love. In they go and out comes some lovely flour. You have to get one of these! It turns out, fresh milled flour really is better.
For this recipe I found a bag of heirloom purple barley and milled it into a fine flour. Then I found a bag of frozen organic blueberries and thought to myself, how beautiful the two would look together. You can alway substitute another whole grain flour if you don’t have barley on hand and of course, you don’t need to mill the flour yourself. Either way, this cobbler is subtly sweet and seemed to get better with the passing days in the fridge.
Now go out and get a mill! They are more fun than…. well, you get what I mean. Oh and they save you a small fortune if your a power flour user like me.
I am a huge fan of making homemade dressings. They are extremely easy to make, cost effective and much more delicious, not to mention healthier than the bottled stuff. Think about it.
Now I am a true blood New Yorker at heart which means, I must hit the town and dine out a few times a week. This gives me plenty of tasting opportunities and when I run across a yummy dressing…I make sure to ask for the recipe. Most of the time, I get some vague answer, but that isn’t a problem, that is a challenge. With my new flavor discovery, I go into my kitchen, and like a mad scientist, I try my hand at re-creating it. This was one of those inspired moments….
Possibly an interesting documentary by our friends over at Café Gratitude. I have to be honest, I say possibly, because I haven’t seen it yet. I have only seen the trailer but the trailer alone made me want to post about it. I love when people turn their lives around and find happiness on the other side. Congratulations to Cary, Ryland, Conor and Gregg for bringing May I be Frank to life.
New York Times: “May I Be Frank,” by Cary Mosier, Ryland Engelhart, Conor Gaffney and Gregg Marks, at S.F. DocFest. This film came about by accident: when Frank Ferrante, a depressed and overweight New Yorker, ate at Café Gratitude, a feel-good vegan and raw food restaurant, he did not imagine the effect that meal would have on his life. But after Mr. Ferrante, a divorced drug addict with hepatitis C, declared to three young male managers at the restaurant that he wanted to fall in love again, they set out to change his life and took a camera along.
Over the course of 42 days, the Café Gratitude workers put Mr. Ferrante through a regimen of wheat grass, colonics and touchy-feely advice. The New Age jargon may put off some viewers, but Mr. Ferrante proves to be a compelling on-screen presence: at once honest and manipulative, hopeful and frustrating.
I have to admit, as a natural food enthusiast, Halloween and the entire holiday season ( Thanksgiving, Christmas ) really puts me in quite a quandary. On one hand, I love the mild madness that ensues around this time of year. The costumes, the parties, the creativity, the (idea of) candyland-come-true . . . clearly there’s some serious residual little-kid excitement in full force here. The irony is that much of what Holidays is about (conventional candy . . . and lots of it) is basically my nemesis. It’s not a matter of fun-size package denial, it’s a matter of reality: hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, red #5, or any ingredient made in a labcoat for that matter, generally equates to things humans should not consume.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to pull a scrooge moment. I understand this isn’t the time of year to tout the benefits of things like toothbrushes, raisins, or a nice apple. But don’t you worry; I’ve got plans for us. Better plans. Plans like, ahem, chocolate hazelnut plans. And while these chocolate hazelnut plans may still totally reside in the treat category (aka – don’t eat the whole recipe in one serving . . . everyday), this dessert is billions of times more beneficial than traditional holiday candy fare. Aside from using clean natural ingredients, it’s full of superfoods too. Raw cacao powder lends its copious antioxidant content and abundant minerals, and the chocolate coating utilizes the natural sweetness of mesquite powder (the milled mesquite pods from a low-lying South American shrub) making the exterior especially low in sugars. I’ve even snuck a little bit of optional adrenal-supporting maca powder into the filling of these candies, perhaps as a preemptive healthy strike against any conventional sugary “incidents.”
This dessert is billions of times more beneficial than traditional holiday candy fare.
Needless to say, these candies are an all-around “yes.” The exterior chocolate coating will remain solid at room temperature, and the inside pocket is a soft, sweet blend of cacao and hazelnuts. You can use ice cube trays for as molds for these, or get fancified and use real-deal candy molds with deep vessels to properly contain the filling. If using candy molds, double the amount of chocolate coating that the recipe calls for (the filling will remain the same). Short on time? Simply melt down a dark chocolate bar and use as the exterior coating instead of the raw chocolate recipe below.
I have two passions in life: Health and Art (in the sense of being creative and working with my hands). My goal: To eventually figure out how to merge the two together. How the hell I do that, still to be decided. I could write about all the options I’ve considered in my head, but then you’d just see me as a bipolar mess of a child. Literally, it expands from culinary school in France (to learn and embrace the emotional aspect of dinning/eating – which I think is SO important in our over-all health) to furthering my education in Natural Health – Like I said, two opposite ends of the spectrum. Pretty much, if you could jump inside my head, you’d beg to get out – as everyday it’s seems to become more and more a cluster f**k of ideas. Creativity truly is a blessing and a curse
In the meantime though, I’ll stick to the undecided route – i.e. cooking (or, playing) with healthy food!
Yesterday’s playtime included squash (told ya you’d be seeing a lot of this) and cookie cutters… Which I heart, because cookie cutters equal perfect shapes and perfect shapes make this perfectionist, perfectly happy.
At first I thought, “ravioli!” Which was then immediately followed by, “boring!” So instead, I went for a mix between lasagna and ravioli – A ravioli stack. Easy, but elegant. What more could a girl want!?
For this recipe, you might end up with some extra filling, which is still very good by itself, with a green salad or crackers. Knowing my family’s appetite, I made a double portion of the crust “dough”, and used it for a variety of tart sizes, making individual ones for Paloma. She now eats entirely on her own and enjoys being in charge of her meals, not letting anyone interfere with her spoon. Having a quiche all to herself made her one happy girl, and there may have been a few second helpings involved.
As predicted, I didn’t regret making the extra quiches, as all of them were gone in no time.
The quiche is particularly good when combined with a simple watercress and pea salad, my newfound culinary delight. I’ve tried watercress many times before, and always believed it to be too strong and tangy for me to enjoy. Well, I’ve recently realized that that’s not always the case. If you try it in a right combination of flavours that balance the tang just right, it’s quite refreshing and delicious.
We’ve been enjoying milder weather, which is always exciting after months of lazy summer heat. Consequently, our farmers market has opened for a new season, and the lengthy wait for the freshest local produce is over. We’re happy.