Raw Vegan Thai Zucchini Salad

by Bella

When I eat delicious,  fresh,  raw,  nutrient rich vegan food I feel good in mind and body.  It’s light,  energizing, cruelty-free and too good to keep to myself.

Easy to make and delicious with only 324 calories and packed full of nutrition, this is a must have recipe.

raw thai salad

Salad ingredients

Salad dressing

Dressing ingredients

SALAD:   

2 cups raw organic zucchini cut into thin strips
1 small raw carrot peeled and cut into thin strips
2 tbsps diced red bell pepper
1 small tomato diced                                                                                               

DRESSING:

1tsp lemon juice
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/2 tsp​ fresh crushed garlic
1/2 tsp​ ​crushed​red pepper2 tbsps liquid aminos
1 1/2 tsp​ ​apple cedar vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1tsp lemon juice
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/2 tsp​ fresh crushed garlic
1/2 tsp​ ​crushed​red pepper

GARNISH:

1 tbsp raw cashews (I used peanuts which aren’t raw)
1 tsp cilantro


Place all the salad ingredients  in big bowl.  Mix all the dressing ingredients and pour over salad.  Toss.  Garnish with raw cashews and cilantro. 

Yum!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Raw organic curried nut pate

by Bella

I love easy and delicious healthy recipes. I whipped this up by just tossing things together and turning on the food processor. Super easy.

Tomorrow we’re going on a hike and then having a picnic. The weather’s been pretty hot here, so I needed something easy that doesn’t have to be kept cold while we hike.

I decided last night that I wanted nut pate to have with some gluten free crackers and carrot sticks, so I soaked some raw almonds overnight. It wasn’t until the nuts were rinsed and in the mini Cuisinart today, that the inspiration for the flavor came to me.

You can really do anything you want as far as flavor combos with a raw nut pate; so I just looked at what I had in my kitchen and grabbed the first thing that jumped out at me, curry powder.  I then I built upon the south Asian flavor with complimentary ingredients. I ended up with a slightly sweet coconut curry combo that  is hard to resist.

imageMaybe I should have waited until tomorrow to make it, because I have to resist it until the picnic. That’s the hardest thing about making stuff in advance. When it’s good, the wait is excruciating.

Without further ado, here’s the “recipe.”

It’s really just a list of ingredients. The quantities of each are up to you. Flavor to suit your taste and make as much as you need. I like it mildly sweet with a more intense spiciness and a savory bent.

Directions:
Process the drained and rinsed soaked nuts with the seeds (peppercorn and sunflower) first to break them up and to get them to rough texture. Then add everything else and process until well mixed and it starts to clump together.

I think letting it sit in the fridge overnight, if you can wait,  will make the flavors more intense.

Ingredients:
Soaked raw almonds
Nutritional yeast
Curry powder
Cumin
Sunflower seeds
Garlic
Spring onion
Salt
Raisins
Carrot
Shredded coconut
Crushed chili flakes                                                                                                                                                             Peppercorns

PB&J Gluten-Free Cookies

by Bella

recipe by Bo

Bo is an amazing baker. She started quite young and just has a knack for it.

This is one of her own recipes. Peanut butter and jam gluten free cookies.  They taste as good as they look. Slightly crispy on the outside but mouth-wateringly soft on the inside with a chewing and sweet jam center.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup softened butter
3/4 white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup peanut butter
Jam (I used raspberry)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups rice flour
1 cup gluten free flour blend
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Directions:
1. Preheat oven for 375 degrees and line baking tray(s) with parchment paper.
2. In a medium size bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
3. Mix in eggs one at a time and add peanut butter and vanilla.
4. Combine dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda) in a separate bowl and gradually mix them into the wet ingredients.
5. Roll mixture into small balls and place them on tray(s).
6. Use your thumb to create an indentation in each ball of dough and place a small amount of jam inside (a tsp or less).
7. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Raw Strawberry Buckwheat Porridge

by Bella

For me, it’s hard to beat almost any smoothie as my breakfast of choice, but Raw Buckwheat Porridge always comes out on top. Like a smoothie, it gives me a boost of energy. I always know the night before that I’m going to have buckwheat porridge for breakfast, because I have to soak the raw groats (Actually, Jack does it for me). When I wake up, and I know that I have that to look forward too, I jump out of bed and anxiously wait for Jack and Bo to get up too. The sound of the food processor will wake them, so I have to wait for what seems to be an excruciatingly long time for them to get up (it’s usually only about 1/2 hour to an hour – I’m hardly going to starve) before I can fire that puppy up and then tuck in to the creamy, fruity, refreshing deliciousness that is Raw Buckwheat Porridge. I’m salivating as I type this.

Do you see the spoon in the picture. I found it very difficult to wait. I had to get Bo to take these shots for me, and to stop me sneaking a bite and making a mess of the bowl.

I use the freshest, most vibrant, and sweet berries that I can find.

True raw foodests will have spotted the toasted coconut (not raw). The great thing about this recipe is that it can be done COMPLETELY raw, gluten-free and in a multitude of varieties, everyone of them yummiful. Yes! I just made that word up. When something tastes this good, there are no existing words to describe.  The recipe is for strawberry porridge, but you can substitute any berry you want. For that matter, you can change up or omit the pecans for your nuts of choice, and put in any variety of seeds, replace the banana and/or apple with juicy pears. It can also be topped off with granola or made creamier with a non-dairy yogurt in place of non-dairy milk. Experiment until you find your favorite.

Raw Strawberry Buckwheat Porridge

1/4 cup raw (gluten-free) buckwheat groats (soaked overnight)

3/4 cup fresh berries of your choice

1 medium size ripe banana

1/2 small apple

small handful of pecans

splash of vanilla

dash of pink Himalayan sea salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

small handful of shredded coconut

enough coconut milk to get a creamy consistency

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp ground flax

toasted coconut flakes, pecans and strawberries for garnish

Soak the buckwheat overnight. In the morning rinse thoroughly until no more frothy bubbles appear. Place groats in food processor and process until a paste starts to form (add a little coconut milk if needed so you don’t burn out the motor). Toss in the banana, apple and then strawberries and then add the vanilla, salt, cinnamon, pecans and shredded coconut with the rest of the coconut milk. Process until well combined, creamy and a little bit runny. Scoop out into your serving bowl, then ass the chia and flax, This is why you made it a bit runny, so that there’s enough liquid for the chia seeds and ground flax to soak up. Let it sit for as long as you can wait to thicken (for me that’s only about 10 minutes that feel like forever), then garnish with strawberries, pecans and coconut flakes.

Vegan, gluten free pumpkin bread muffins – YUM! – Cold weather – YUCK!

by Bella

Ugh! Winter. I am not a fan. When you live in a cold climate you have to have more crap just so you don’t freeze to death.

I resent having to have a coat, boots, gloves, hat, scarf, etc. What’s worse is having to put all that stuff on, then peal it all off over and over again. From the theme of the blog, you can probably tell, that I like things to be simple, and winter is not simple.

We live in a nice place, surrounded by nice people. I like my job, Bo is doing well with school. The summers here are amazingly beautiful, though a bit short. It’s just the winter that I gripe about; it’s for all of the other things that we stay and put up with it.

So from the minimalist perspective, what does that mean. It means that we have to have the bare minimum in winter stuff to keep us comfortable. There’s one snow shovel, one scraper for the windshield, and each of us has one set of winter gear. We try to wear mostly the same clothes year round, but we layer it up to stay warm in winter.

There are some perks that come with the cooler weather, like no bugs. My favorite thing has to be warm, delicious foods. Don’t get me wrong. If I lived in a warm climate with abundant fruits and veggies, I would eat raw vegan food quite happily. Since I don’t live in that environment, I adapt to what’s seasonally available. Right now there are loads of pumpkins and they’re pretty cheap. I do love me some pumpkin bread so I whipped up some soft, warm pumpkin read muffins.

I made a pumpkin bread recipe and put it in muffin tins to make them easy to grab n go.

Just put batter in muffin cups and bake for on-the-go pumpkin bread.

Pumpkin Bread/Muffins (makes 9-12 muffins)

  • 1 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 3/4 cup nut milk of your choice
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup cooked, mashed pumpkin
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbs ground flax mixed with 3 tbsp water)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease muffin pan or line with paper cups.

In a large bowl, mix wet ingredients: sugar and flax egg together then add coconut oil, nut milk,  and finally mashed pumpkin mixing to combine after each addition.

Now in a medium size bowl,mix the rest of the ingredients together (flours, baking powder, and raisins) and gradually add this dry mixture to the wet mixture. Stir only until fully combined. Add water if mixture is too thick and dry. Do not over stir.

Spoon batter into muffin cups. Top with crushed nuts. I used pecans. They taste deliciously different when they’ve been baked. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool for as long as you can stand to wait before tucking into ’em.

Preparing for winter: knitting, crocheting and comfort foods -gluten-free vegan zucchini bread

by Bella

It’s that time of year again. I personally dread the long cold winters, because I don’t like piling on layers every time you go out nor do I enjoy the treacherous ice. But I do love autumn with the beautiful colors and cool breezes. At this time of year, like most people, I want to cozy up inside and eat hot and hearty foods. I also start to crochet and Bo, our daughter gets out her knitting needles.

At the moment, Bo’s knitting a new winter hat for herself. I’m more into crocheting, and I get into phases where I crank out loads of small items; I don’t have the patience for big projects. I enjoy making amigurumi toys and have spent the last 3 winters making dozens of them. Some I’ve given away. A few I’ve sold on Etsy, but most have just accumulated in a most hated place…..A BOX!  We want to be box free, so that just doesn’t cut it. I found a local shop that will sell them. It’s a little consignment shop that also carries hand-made unique items. Now my little amis are out of the box and on display where they should be. Hopefully, they will find homes where they will be appreciated.

Here are a few of the ami that we’ve made. They’re all crocheted except for the turtle which was knit by Bo.

Ami Frog – crocheted by Bella

Ami owl – crocheted by Bella

Ami squirrel – crocheted by Bella

Ami turtle – knit by Bo

Ami bear – crocheted by Bella

I get most of my amigurumi inspiration from a series of book by Ana Paula Rimoli. She makes the cutest ami. I usually adapt her patterns to my own creative vision. You can visit her blog here where there are links to each of her books.

While at the consignment shop, the owner asked if I’d like to make some small crochet accessories for the shop. Since it’s fall and I’m getting the itch to crochet, I jumped at the chance. At her request, I’m making headbands and boot cuffs and loving it! Not only can I do what I enjoy doing at this time of year, but I feel like there’s a purpose to it, and it’s more than just a hobby. If I can make a little bit of money, that will be a nice bonus.

I’ve got several pieces in the works at the moment. Here are a couple that I’ve finished so far.

Boot cuffs – crocheted by Bella

Periwinkle headband – crocheted by Bella

I may need that extra money for the extra yummy foods we consume in fall and winter. I love raw foods more in warm weather, but when the weather turns, I turn to more cooked foods that ease the chill. I try to use readily available local produce and make lots of chilis, curries, pastas, banana bread, and fruit crumbles. Of course every thing will be vegetarian, gluten-free and organic where possible.

Recently, I made my first  gluten-free vegan zucchini bread of the season with an organic zucchini from a friends garden. It was so soft and warm and comforting just like comfort foods should be.

Gluten-free vegan zucchini bread

Zucchini Bread (makes 2 loaves)

3 cups gluten-free flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

3 tsp ground cinnamon

3 flax eggs (3 tbsp ground flax w/3 tbsp water)

1 cup coconut oil

2 1/4 cups coconut sugar

3 tsp vanilla

2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

Grease and flour two bread pans (I just used an 8 x 8 cake pan and cut it down the middle like 2 loaves). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Sift your dry ingredients together in a medium size bowl.

In a large beat the flax eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar together.  Add the sifted, dry ingredients gradually and beat well. Stir in the zucchini and nuts then pour in to prepared pan.s.

Bake for about an hour. I like to cook it until the surface gets a little crispy and cracks. Let cool a little before digging in. It tastes best warm so make sure you’re good and hungry when it’s done. Slice and enjoy alone or topped with your favorite nut butter or some jam.

Raw Creamy Chocolate Avocado Pudding- It’s so simple

by Bella

I love desserts that are Oh! so satisfying and good for you too. Avocado pudding fits the bill on both counts.

I made this this week for the first time. I can’t believe I never tried it before. It’s one of those easy to make, raw food essential recipes, like banana ice cream.

Basically, you put all of the ingredients in the food processor and turn it on.  I recently got a steal of a deal on a Cuisinart Mini Prep at Costco – ONLY $19.99. About 6 weeks ago, I sold my far too large food processor with it’s zillions of attachments. I had used it for 5 years, it still looked like new and I got my money back out of it ($85). So now I have only what I need and was able to pocket the difference.

Check out my awesome bargain full of pudding.

Look at how creamy this is.

Avocado Pudding

3 medium size ripe avocados

4-6 tablespoons maple syrup (sweeten to your liking)

1/2 cup carob powder (if you prefer cocao or cocoa, go for it!)

add coconut water until you get the right consistency (everyone knows what pudding consistency is, don’t they?)

Slice the avocados and put them in the food processor with everything else. Go easy on the coconut milk adding it as you need it. You don’t want to end up with runny pudding. Although one of the many great things about raw foods is that you can’t really mess it up. If it does get to runny or it’s too sweet, if you have more avocado on hand, you can just add it. The worst that could happen is that you make more than you originally planned. For me, more chocolate pudding is not a problem. So you’ve got your ingredients in the processor, so turn it on. I had to take the top off several times and scrape the sides with a rubber spatula and I gradually added the coconut milk, so that took more than a few additions and more scraping. Other than that, the food processor does all the work. Once it’s fully combined, scoop into serving bowls and devour. Don’t forget to lick the spatula after serving it up.