Thursday, July 31, 2014

Raw Chipotle Baba Ganoush and Sprouted Sun-dried Tomato Hummus

I love eggplant, but  a lot of people have bad reactions to it. That is because eggplant, like all nightshades, has a poison Solanine. It is always important to eat ripe eggplant, and to treat the eggplant first to avoid this poisoning. All you have to do is slice the eggplant and leave it for a few hours in salted water and it will not only be healthier, but more tender and delicious!

Chipotle Baba Ganoush

4 baby eggplants, sliced and soaked in salt water in the fridge overnight (roughly 6 to 8 hours)
1/2 cup of tahini
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper
Celtic sea salt to taste
Dash of cayenne pepper for garnish

Put all ingredients (except garnish) in a  food processor and blend to a smooth consistency. Add garnish and serve with fresh cup vegetables for dipping.

Sprouted Sun-dried Tomato Hummus

2 cups of sprouted chickpeas (roughly 2 days to sprout)
1/2 cup of tahini
1/2 cup of lemon juice
1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes
pink Himalayan salt to taste
Dash of olive oil to garnish
Sprinkling of fresh basil to garnish

Put all ingredients (except garnish) in a  food processor and blend to a smooth consistency. Add garnish and serve with fresh cup vegetables for dipping.

10 Packaged Food Items I Love

No one is paying me to write this (but if any of the companies want to give me money or coupons, I wouldn't complain). While I have been trying to make as many things straight from fruits, veggies, and nuts myself, sometimes you need a little help! I am not the type to get satisfaction munching on a celery stick alone. So these ten items are staples I keep in the kitchen, or at least try to. Most are raw, everything is vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free.

1. Julian Bakery Paleo Wraps- My most recent discovery! I am waiting on a shipment of turmeric ones right now. These wraps are made from dehydrated coconut meat and are a raw food enthusiasts dream come true!

2. Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos- If you haven't noticed most of my savory recipes call for this stuff. As far as I can tell it is the only soy-free substitute to soy sauce. I only wish they sold the stuff in larger containers.

3. Rawxie's Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies- All of their raw cookies are good, but these are my favorites. I know it seems disappointing that there are only two cookies per package, but usually I am satisfied by just one!

4. Bragg's Organic Apple Cider Vinegar- This is pretty straight forward, but still pretty essential. Even works well on acne.

5. Raw One Rosemary-Sundried Tomato Flax Crackers- There are a lot of flax crackers out there, but these are my favorites. They compliment most raw dips and "cheeses" I make and are thinner than most.

6. Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Pizza Dough- Every now and then I crave pizza. My son was watching the Ninja Turtles last night and it was driving me crazy. For special treats I make this by using egg replacer instead of egg and coconut oil instead of olive oil (since coconut oil is healthier for cooked food).

7. Dr. Bronner's Virgin Unrefined Coconut Oil- Speaking of coconut oil... there are many kinds out there, but this is my favorite. Replaces butter in any recipe.

8. King Soba Pumpkin, Ginger & Rice Noodles- The best gluten-free noodles I have ever tasted. These are specifically good for Asia dishes, but also great with coconut or nut based cream sauces.

9. Once Again Sugar and Salt Free Sunflower Seed Butter- The perfect replacement for junkier peanut butters.

10. Ancient Harvest Garden Pagodas- Another favorite gluten-free pasta of mine. This one is quinoa and corn.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Raw Vegetable Curry with Turnip Coconut "Rice"

I love my sauces. I love my Indian food. I love avocado, but it doesn't belong in Indian food... or does it? While I am not completely opposed to a little cooked food now and then, this raw kick has been making me feel pretty good, so I invented this little creation! Have fun with it!

Vegetable Curry

1 small bunch of broccolini
1 cup of sliced cherry tomatoes
1/2 slice red bell pepper
1 avocado
1 tablespoon almond coconut milk
1 teaspoon coconut aminos
2 tablespoons turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
pink Himalayan salt to taste

In a food processor, combine avocado, almond-coconut milk, coconut aminos, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Blend into a thick sauce. Slice remaining vegetables and cover with sauce.


1 large turnip
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Celtic sea salt to taste

In a food processor, pulse turnip, coconut oil, and salt. Stop when it has become a grain-like consistency. Serve next to curry and enjoy!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Raw "Turtle" Brownies

Okay, so I try not to overdo the nuts. People can go NUTS with the nuts. But sometimes you need a little treat, and this is decadent and rich enough that one small brownie square will do the trick!


3/4 cup walnuts (soaked 8 hours or overnight)
3 dates, pitted
3/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup carob powder
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon honey (optional)

Caramel Topping

4 dates
1/2 cup tahini
1 tablespoon coconut oil


1/4 cup cacao nibs

In a food processor mix all of the brownie ingredients until like a very thick batter. Smooth brownie mix over contents across a small, shallow pan. Clean food processor and blend together ingredients for caramel topping. Coat caramel topping over brownie mix. Top with cacao nibs and refrigerate for at least an hour. Slice into brownie squares and serve!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Raw Zucchini "Un-Baked Ziti"

This is a quick and easy recipe for week night raw dinners when you are craving something savory. No, you don't really get the zucchini into penne shapes, but if that means so much to you cut the ends of the zucchini at a diagonal to trick your brain a bit!

4 baby zucchini
1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in water to hydrate
1 to 2 fresh tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon almond milk
1/2 clove of garlic
1 large handful of fresh herbs (basil, parsley, and oregano)
1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
pink Himalayan salt to taste

Cut the ends off of the zucchini and slice lengthwise with a mandolin. Leave zucchini "noodles" in a colander and dab with a paper towel to get rid of excess moisture. Set aside. In a food processor combine sun-dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, olive oil, almond milk, garlic, herbs, and salt. Pulse until chunky. If too dry, add more fresh tomato. If too wet, add more sun-dried tomato. In a large bowl mix sauce with zucchini noodles until covered thoroughly. Top with nutritional yeast as you would Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

5 Pleasantly Surprising Benefits of Eating More Raw Foods

There are a million websites out there that will tell you the health benefits of eating more raw foods, so I won't repeat those. I just wanted to give you five more practical benefits that I have found to be added bonuses.

1. No worrying while you are out that you have burned the house down. If you have a full time job, a child, a pet, hobbies, an online business, and social obligations, it is easy to get distracted. I have found myself halfway to work and wondering, "Did I turn the stove off?" Well, if you have made an all raw lunch for yourself, you know you never turned it on in the first place! Problem solved.

2. No struggling to get the food on the table while it is still hot. My husband worked a 12 hour surprise shift yesterday. I felt sorry for him having such a long day and wanted something nice to be on the table for him when he got home. If it was cooked, I would have been struggling to time things correctly or else figuring the best way to keep things warm (microwaves are major bummers). Luckily, I had prepared a raw dinner, so the food was pretty much the same by the time he got to it.

3. No scrubbing crust off of pans. My least favorite part of doing the dishes is scrubbing pots and pans. Well, that one goes out the window with a raw diet!

4. The colors. Cooked food has a tendency to go into the brown and neutral tones, if you aren't careful. There is nothing sadder to me than brown green beans... they are supposed to be GREEN, people! With raw food the colors are what they should be- brilliant and beautiful.

5. Being creative. I love trying to figure out how to make something out of what I have. Limitations can breed innovation. Yesterday I found a three ingredient recipe for raw salted caramel that was nothing short of genius... dates, tahini, and coarse salt to top. Bam! Salted caramel. Who knew?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Raw'nuf Curried Kraut Egg Rolls with Date Dipping Sauce

Good news and bad news... first the bad news. I am NOT going to give you this recipe. The reason being, these were too good. So now for the good news. I am going to make a cookbook, and this recipe will be included! I will update you on my progress as I undertake this creation. Until then I will give you hints on these egg rolls. The elements that aren't raw are the mushrooms (my research points to cooking mushrooms being more beneficial than raw) and rice vinegar in the dipping sauce. I used Paleo Wraps which are made from coconut meat, and are raw (AMAZING!). The rest of the details, you will just have to wait!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Raw Vegan Three Cheese Hors D'Oeuvres

My best friend had a wedding shower Sunday. She has been vegan since the end of high school, so I wanted to do something she would enjoy and that would look absolutely beautiful. I came up with these treats!

Photo credit: Katie Smallwood, beautiful bride-to-be!

Herbed Hemp on Turnip with Cherry Tomato and Parsley

1 cup hemp seeds
juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1/4 cup hemp milk
1 large handful of herbs (parsley, cilantro, rosemary, dill, and basil)
1 teaspoon olive oil
pink Himalayan salt to taste
1 turnip
cherry tomato and parsley to garnish

Slice turnip on a mandolin in round, flat pieces. Chop tomato and parsley, and set aside. Place all other ingredients in a food processor and pulse to desired texture. Top the mixture on turnip slices and garnish.

Chipotle Almond on Cucumber with Yellow Tomato and Jalapeno

1 cup soaked almonds (about 8 hours, overnight)
juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/4 cup of almond milk
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
pink Himalayan salt to taste
1 cucumber
yellow tomato and jalapeno to garnish

Slice cucumber in round, flat pieces. Chop tomato and jalapeno, and set aside. Peel skins off the soaked almonds, if you like (this is more for appearance and texture than anything else), and place in a food processor. Place all other ingredients in the food processor and pulse to desired texture. Top the mixture on cucumber slices and garnish.

Curried Coconut on Watermelon Radish with Pickled Carrot

meat from 1 young green coconut
1/2 cup water from one young green coconut
1/4 cup of soaked almonds (about 8 hours, overnight)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon corriander
pinch of paprika
pink Himalayan salt to taste
1 watermelon radish
pickled carrot to garnish (see previous recipe)

Slice radish in round, flat pieces. Chop pickled carrot and set aside. Peel skins off the soaked almonds, if you like (this is more for appearance and texture than anything else), and place in a food processor. Place all other ingredients in the food processor and pulse to desired texture. Top the mixture on radish slices and garnish.

Note: Each of these can also be used as a dip with the slices on the side as "chips". 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Raw Sprouted Lentil Soup with Pickled Carrot and Ginger

This was my first experiment pickling carrots. All the recipes I saw online for pickled carrots wanted you to boil the carrots first, but that isn't what I wanted to do. Instead I used the same 3-day technique I have used on cucumbers and radishes, and it seemed just fine! The lentils took about the same amount of time to sprout, so it is easy to plan this recipe together!

Pickled Carrot and Ginger

2 carrots
1 piece of ginger, 1 to 2 inch cube
1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons pink Himalayan salt
red pepper flakes
spring or filtered water to cover (about a cup)

Wash carrots and cut into desired lengths. Peel ginger and cut into small pieces. In a mason jar, carrots, ginger, apple cider vinegar, salt, and red pepper flakes. Add water as to submerge the vegetables. Cover with lid. Store is a cool, dry area of your kitchen, burping (releasing the air by opening the lid) about twice a day. Should be ready in about 3 days.

Sprouted Lentil Soup

3 cups of sprouted green lentils (sprouted for 3 days, rinsing about twice a day)
2 medium-sized tomatoes
carrots and ginger pieces from above recipe
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or brine from above recipe
2 tablespoons coconut aminos
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon corriander
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup spring or filtered water
pink Himalayan salt to taste
parsley sprig to garnish

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until chunky. Add more water if desired. Garnish with parsley sprig and serve cold or room temperature. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Strawberry-Ginger "Wine" Kombucha

I used to be quite the drinker, and it got me into quite a bit of trouble. Now I can't remember the last time I had alcohol. I don't miss what it did to my behavior or my relationships, but honestly I do miss the taste sometimes. I also have had a juicer phobia. I usually leave the juicing and kombucha making to my husband, and I take care of the food. Yesterday, though, I came home with bags full of fruit and felt inspired. So this is a short recipe, if you can call it that, but a pleasant one. I am not going to go into the kombucha making process... there are many people on the internet that already have, and have done it far better than I could! Here is a link to one that I just saw today on the Free People blog:

1 cup juiced red grapes (stems included)
1 cup juiced strawberries (tops included)
1 small piece of ginger, juiced
1 cup of homemade kombucha (if you don't make your own, you can used store-bought, but really it is so much cheaper and more delicious when you make your own at home!)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Raw Italian Zucchini Boats

I was tired after my 9-hour work day yesterday, and came home asking my husband if he wanted millet, quinoa, or something else lightly cooked. He made a sad face, but said he would be fine with whatever I decided. We have been eating a lot of raw food the past few days and have been feeling pretty good about it. The only problem is I was drained, hungry, and craving something savory. So I looked in the fridge and invented these babies. Paired with a side salad with homemade Dijon vinaigrette. Satisfaction guaranteed.

1 large zucchini
1 medium-sized tomato
1/4 cup of red onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup of hemp seeds
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon coconut aminos
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 handful of mixed herbs (I used parsley, oregano, basil, and rosemary)
dash of red pepper flakes
pink Himalayan salt and black pepper to taste

Cut the zucchini in half length-wise. Carefully hollow out the inside zucchini bits and set aside. The thinner your boat wallas are, the better! Dice the remaining zucchini guts, tomato, and onion. In a medium-sized bowl combine the zucchini guts, tomato, onion, hemp seeds, olive oil, lemon, coconut aminos, nutritional yeast, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. Allow to soak for a few minutes and fill your boats. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Raw'nuf Fajitas with Coconut Sour Cream

In diet, as in politics and religion, many of us cling to extremism. I feel the reasoning behind this is a search for identity, that we need a cause to rally behind or a group to support us. But sometimes we become trapped by our own categorizations and become victims to mob mentality. That is when you need to step back and think for yourself and decide what you actually believe and not what "people like you" are supposed to believe.

My diet is a path to my own health and my own ethics. Sometimes I learn from foods. As a vegetarian for so much of my life I discovered how damaging a diet of wheat, dairy, and soy could be. In my explorations in raw food recipes I realize how easy it could be to over-eat nuts. When you look at some raw food dessert recipe ingredients and realize you are eating cashew pie with walnut crust everyday, is that really healthier than lightly steamed greens? Or are you just drinking the raw food kool-aid (hmm, new recipe idea? I digress...) And have you even realized that most cashews aren't raw to begin with anyway?

So this is an almost raw recipe, but with lightly cooked mushrooms. From my individual research of a variety of different articles it seems that lightly cooking mushrooms is more beneficial than eating them raw. Heating releases nutrients including protein, B vitamins, and minerals. Some claims have been made that uncooked mushrooms contain toxins which are actually considered carcinogens. Raw mushrooms do contain more vitamin C than cooked mushrooms, but the rest of this recipe (with tomatoes, kale, and bell peppers) contain more than your daily requirement of vitamin C. So I went with my gut on this one. Hope you enjoy it!

Coconut Sour Cream

meat from 1 young green coconut
2/3 cup water of 1 young green coconut
juice from 1/2 a lemon
dash of pink Himalayan salt

Pico de Gallo

1 large tomato
1/4 cup of onion
1 small jalapeno (test for spiciness)
1 large handful of cilantro
1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
dash of red pepper flakes
dash of pink Himalayan salt


2/3 cup water of 1 young green coconut
2 tablespoons of coconut aminos
juice from 1 lime
1 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper
dash of pink Himalayan salt 


1 large portobello mushroom cap
1 orange bell pepper
1 avocado
6 large dinosaur kale leaves

*nutritional yeast sprinkle, if desired

Mix together all ingredients for marinade in a large bowl. Slice the mushrooms and bell pepper into long thin strips and soak in marinade. Slice avocado. Set aside.

Open the young coconut. Strain water into a bowl to avoid getting wood chips mixed in. In a food processor, combine the coconut meat, coconut water, lemon, and salt until creamy. Set aside.

In a pan, cook your marinade-soaked mushrooms on low heat. Leave the bell peppers to soak in marinade.

For the pico de gallo; dice the tomato, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro. Mix together in a bowl with the vinegar, red pepper flakes, and salt. Set aside.

Take kale leaves and cut the top ridge of the center stalk so that they will be easier to roll. Put leaves on plate laying flat, and layer with vegetables, coconut sour cream, and pico de gallo. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast, if desired.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Chilled Tomato Coconut-Hemp Cream Soup

Back from vacation, and back on a raw kick. The easiest meals to go raw for me are breakfast (smoothies every morning) and lunch on the work days. Why work day lunch you ask? Because there is no stove and microwaves do not only zap out nutrition, but sharing it with your co-workers can be just plain icky at times. This is an easy, throw-it-all-in-the-blender recipe. The hardest part is opening the coconut, but at least that can get out some aggression!

1 large tomato
1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, soaked
1/2 cup of hemp seeds
water from 1 young green coconut
meat from 1 young green coconut
1 cup spring or filtered water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon coconut aminos
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili pepper
dash of white pepper
pink Himalayan salt to taste
flax cracker and dill sprig to garnish

Open the young coconut (make sure it is a YOUNG coconut, which will have water and soft flesh as opposed to hard). Consult online tutorials of how to open a young coconut if you are unsure. Pour coconut water through a sieve (to make sure you don't get any wood chips) and into blender. With a spoon scrape out coconut meat, removing any wooden brown bits, and add to blend. Segment the tomato and add to blender. Add the hemp seeds, water, olive oil, coconut aminos, paprika, chili pepper, white pepper, and salt. Blend thoroughly. Serve chilled and add garnishes.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Red, White, and Blueberry Raw Almond Cream Parfaits

Happy 4th of July weekend everyone! I am taking a family vacation/ late honeymoon, so I thought I would leave everyone with 3 recipes to savor while I am gone. This one takes the cake (or maybe takes the place of cake?) Have a good one!

2 cups of blueberries
2 cups of sliced strawberries
1 1/2 cups of soaked almonds (overnight or about 8 hours)
1/2 cup of almond coconut milk
1/2 a lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of pink Himalayan salt
2 enzyme capsules (optional)

Strain the soaked almonds and remove their skins (you should be able to do this with your fingernail if they have soaked long enough). Place skinned almonds in a food processor, along with the almond coconut milk, lemon juice, honey, vanilla extract, salt, and powder from enzyme capsules. Blend until smooth, yogurt-like consistency. If the mixture is too wet, add more skinned, soaked almonds. If the mixture is too dry, add a bit more almond coconut milk. In a glass or jar layer berries and almond cream mixture. Enjoy!

Ethiopian Inspired Tomato Salad with Homemade Sauerkraut

Once you get making homemade sauerkraut (see my krautfleckerl recipe for some simple instructions), the trouble is figuring what to put it with! While combining German flavors with Ethiopian might not be traditional, it sure does make a yummy salad!

1 1/2 cup of homemade sauerkraut
1 large tomato
1/2 an onion
1 small jalapeno (Test for spiciness, as it varies. You may need less.)
1/2 lemon juiced
pink Himalayan salt to taste

Dice tomato, onion, and jalapeno. Mix in a medium sized bowl with lemon juice. In salad bowls make a nest with the sauerkraut and fill with tomato salad mixture. Add salt to taste.

Gluten-Free Lemon Rosemary Pasta with Artichokes and Button Mushrooms

1 package of gluten-free pasta (I used quinoa/rice shells)
1 small jar of artichokes packed in water
4 to 5 large button mushroom, sliced
1/4 cup of chopped onion
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
1 large handful of fresh rosemary
1 pinch of fresh parsley
1 pinch of fresh oregano
pink Himalayan salt to taste

Boil a pot of water and add pasta. In a separate large pan, saute mushrooms and onions in coconut oil at medium-low heat. Once mushrooms and onions are tender, lower heat and add artichokes and lemon juice. Once pasta is fully cooked, drain the water and add pasta to large pan. Turn off heat and add the olive oil, nutritional yeast, rosemary, parsley, oregano, and salt.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Watermelon Salad Two Ways

It is watermelon time, and this food is a blessing for health food enthusiasts! Watermelon is ant-inflammatory, alkaline-forming, and a natural diuretic, which more simply means it is a great way to flush out all of the bad guys! Here are two salad options, sweet or savory. While they look similar, they taste worlds apart, which will keep you from getting a bit bored this summer.

Sweet Mint-Lemon Watermelon Salad with Crystallized Ginger

1/4 of a large watermelon
1 large handful on mint
1/2 a lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon honey (or agave)
sprinkle of crystallized ginger

Scoop the watermelon in large pieces and place in a large bowl. Chop mint and add to bowl. Add lemon juice, honey, and crystallized ginger. Enjoy!

Savory Basil-Balsamic Watermelon Salad with Tomato

1/4 of a large watermelon
1 large handful of basil
1 large tomato
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt

Cut the watermelon and tomato into small cubes, and place in a large bowl. Chop basil and add to bowl. Add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt. Enjoy!