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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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.

Urban food foraging and savory and sweet smoothies

by Bella

This is going to be another post about free food. It’s in abundance if you know where to look. There’s even a website to help you find it. Brace yourselves, because this is really cool. It’s called fallingfruit.org. This site shows you where to find fresh fruit and nuts just waiting to be harvested. Just type in your zip code to find what’s available in your neighborhood or city.

I found this site thanks to a YouTube video by Emily von Euw of This Rawsome Vegan Life. You can check out the video below to see her foraging food haul from the streets of Vancouver, BC.

My last post was about the kindness of strangers and the wonderful abundance of fresh foods that were so generously shared with us. We’ve been enjoying the bounty for a week now and today I made smoothies, 1 savory and 1 sweet from mostly free, delicious produce.

The weather this last week dropped below freezing at night, so gardeners were frantically harvesting, preserving and in many cases giving away food. Many of my co-workers brought in their excess and put it out for grabs. I received the biggest cucumber that I’d ever seen and several rich red and savory Roma tomatoes.

Spicy tomato and cucumber smoothie – just spicy enough to jump-start your digestion. The cucumber makes it refreshing and hydrating.

Today, I got out the blender and whipped up nearly 2 quarts of a spicy, cucumber and tomato smoothie and 1 quart of a pineapple, banana and coconut smoothie. Note: The pineapple, banana and coconut are obviously not grown in the inland NW US, but were things I had lying about that were ripe and ready to be blended into a delectable combo that I can’t resist.

Nearly three quartz of deliciousness.

Spicy Tomato and Cucumber Smoothie

(makes approximately 2 quarts)

4 cups ripe Roma tomatoes

4 cups cucumber

2 fresh chili peppers (I used Serrano peppers)

2 lemons juiced

salt and pepper to taste

Put it all in the blender with enough water to get it started (about a 1/2 cup), and blend away.

Check out the beautiful colors. They taste even better than they look.

Pineapple, Banana and Coconut Smoothie

(makes approximately 1 quart)

3 cups pineapple

1 very ripe large banana

1 1/2 cups coconut milk

Blend together and enjoy.