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

You don’t eat meat? What did you eat over the holidays.

by Bella

The subject of what we eat becomes a curiosity more so over the holidays that at any other time throughout the year. During the holiday season we eat an incredible variety of delicious foods. Like many other westerners, we put in extra effort to make special dishes that make the meal festive and unique.

This Christmas we had lentil, mushroom, walnut balls, cranberry sauce, Indian spiced mashed potatoes, baby carrots with dill butter, gluten free rolls, raspberry trifle, mint chocolate chip cookies and organic raspberry wine made by and thoughtfully gifted from a friend of mine.

These recipes are to good to keep to myself, so I’m going to share them with you here. Well, I’ll share all but the trifle….that’s a post unto itself. Enjoy!

Our vegetarian (partly vegan) Christmas dinner

The lentil, mushroom and walnut balls are an Oh She Glows.com vegan recipe. Oh She Glows is one of our favorite vegan blogs. These taste amazing, are easy to make. The recipe includes a homemade cranberry pear sauce. We bought a ready made organic sauce this year. It was a lovely accompaniment to the balls, though I bet the homemade one is even better. As we all know, fresh is best for taste and nutrition, but I confess, I took a short-cut on that one. To try the recipe click on the link at the beginning of this paragraph. I highly recommend exploring her other recipes too. Like Emily Von Euw of This Rawsome Vegan Life, Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows has never steered me wrong.

The Indian spiced mashed potatoes were Jack’s, on the spot invention. They are so good that no gravy is needed. They’re vegetarian, but could easily become vegan by swapping out the butter with coconut oil and the milk with an unsweetened vegan milk., or another oil of your choice. He peeled, boiled and mashed Yukon gold potatoes with butter, milk, tumeric, chili flakes, vegan mayo, black pepper, Cosco’s organic no-salt seasoning. He didn’t measure anything. He just seasoned it until it tasted creamy and dreamy.

Bo found this recipe for the baby carrots with dill butter on line. They were super easy to whip up while everything else was cooking and the kitchen was crowded with all 3 of us pitching in on the meal.

The gluten free rolls were from the bakery of a local organic grocery.

Bo made the mint chocolate chip cookies by adding peppermint essence to our tried and true chocolate chip cookie recipe that we’ve used for years. In the early 90’s a friend gave me the recipe. We’ve since adapted it to be gluten-free. They come out crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside and of course, as with all chocolate chip cookies, they’re best when eaten fresh from the oven.

Bo’s gluten-free mint chocolate chip cookies.

Yummy Chocolate Chip Cookies (vegan alternatives listed in recipe)

Makes 2-3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup salted butter or coconut oil, softened
  • 3 cups rice flour
  • 2 large eggs (or 2 tbsps ground flax mixed with 2 tbsps water – let thicken for 10 seconds)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups chocolate, cacao or carob chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine both sugars, butter, eggs and vanilla.
  3. in a medium bowl, combine baking soda, baking powder, flour and salt.
  4. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet while stirring (if dough gets to thick to stir use your hands).
  5. Mix in chocolate chips.
  6. Grease two medium size baking pans.
  7. Roll dough into equal balls and place on tray.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until bottoms start to look golden brown.

Additional notes

Add peppermint essence, shredded coconut and/or chopped nuts for extra flavor.

I’m sure most towns now have a source for healthy ingredients and options like these. If you’re not fortunate to have these things readily available,  you can always order the ingredients on-line and have them shipped to your home. We live in a small town, so we often use Amazon, iHerb, and Vitacost to get some of the hard to find items. If you don’t live in North America, iHerb.com has the best international shipping costs and they ship to over 150 countries. Click here for international shipping information.

What did we eat for the holidays?  Nothing but delicious, comforting, satisfying food made with love. What did you eat? I’d love to know.

Weird dream and beet greens smoothie

by Bella

Other than music and dance, what do Footloose and The Producers have in common? Absolutely nothing, until my whacked-out imagination randomly decided to combine the two in a dream.

About a month ago, I mentioned that I was going to blog about this, but then I suddenly, out of nowhere got the motivation to finally add a links page to my blog, so I posted about that ‘exciting’ topic instead. I keep getting visuals from the dream popping up at random times, like during staff meetings, that make me giggle. I figure this keeps happening because I have to get this out there.

Are you ready?

Picture this….

blended with this..

and you’ll have some idea of how unrelated these 2 things are.

I only remember snippets. The thing that stands out the most is the image of Kevin Bacon in his undershirt, grooving a Hitler ‘stache.

Don’t judge me!

My subconscious was out of control. Other than a whole lot of singing and dancing, there wasn’t any story line.

What do you think it means? I’d be interested to know.

To bring things back to earth, I have to share this over the moon delicious recipe that I threw together as randomly as my brain threw together that dream.

I had never tried beet greens before, after hearing about smoothies with iron rich beet greens from Raw Food YouTubers and bloggers like Emily von Euw of this Rawsome Vegan Life, Ka Sundance, ShaktiGoddess, Fully Raw Kristina and Dara, I decided to give it a go.

When I started, I had no idea what beet greens would taste like, so I just grabbed some things that I had on hand, tossed them together and hoped for the best. What I got was so amazingly dreamy and invigorating, that I forgot to take a picture until it was nearly all gone.

This was all that remained of a whole pitcher full. I struggled to stop sucking it back to take this picture. Sorry it’s blurry. It’s amazing that I got a picture at all.

Beet Green Smoothie

Greens from approximately 4 beets (about 2-3 cups)

3 medium size bananas (frozen or not. I used fresh and ripe)

1/2 cup cherries (frozen or not. I used frozen)

3/4 cup flavored yogurt of your choice (I used drinkable banana strawberry. Note: use dairy alternative yogurt for vegans)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

about 1 1/2 cups of water (coconut water if you prefer)

Load the bananas in the bottom of the blender with yogurt, vanilla and water, then top with cinnamon cherries and beet greens. Blend until smooth then try to be civilized enough to pour it into a jar or glass, because it’s going to be tempting to drink it straight from the pitcher.

Warning! This will make you drool – Jack’s vegan chippies

by Bella

I’m going to show you the picture first. They taste as good, if not better than they look.

You may be wondering…Why not just call them french fries?

2 reasons:

  1. Fries is a misnomer, because they’re baked
  2. This is Jack’s special recipe, and he calls them chips or chippies (he’s Australian). It’s his very own super delicious recipe, so he gets to decide what they’re called. I don’t really care what they’re called. I just want to eat them.

You can probably tell from the picture that the fries are all the same size. Jack’s a bit of a perfectionist and he hand cuts them then carefully mixes them with oil and spices until they’ve got the perfect blend of flavors, Then he bakes them until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Here’s another photo to entice you before I reveal the recipe.

If you want to try these you only need vegan cooking oil, golden potatoes and 4 spices.

Jack’s vegan chippie recipe (serves 3 restrained diners, 2 semi-restrained, and 1 with no restraint what-soever)

5 medium golden potatoes (preferably with the skin on). Slice into 1/4 inch thick long fries.

3 tbsp of vegan cooking oil of your choice (he uses avocado oil)

turmeric, chili flakes, fresh ground black pepper and organic no-salt seasoning (we buy it at Costco)

Preheat oven to 400F.

Put the cut potatoes in a large bowl, drizzle with oil and sprinkle on the spices. Toss until all of the chips are thoroughly and evenly coated.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the fries out as much as possible on the tray.

Put tray on lowest rack and bake for 45 minutes.

Remove from oven and lightly salt with Himalayan sea salt, if desired.

Devour as-is or with your favorite condiment.

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.