Raw “Nachos”

This dish has a creamy cheese sauce and sun-dried tomato sauce made from cashews. It also has marinated onions, sprouted lentils, and beets as chips. Raw food has full flavor, and full amounts of nutrients. The feeling of eating an entirely raw, extremely healthy, and filling meal is seriously like  no other. There are so many ways to experiment with raw foods and the flavors and textures they offer.

Nacho recipe:

Beets

Kale

Sprouted Lentils

Marinated onions

cilantro

lemon

avocado
Slice the beets very thin. You want them to be the chips in your nachos. Nice thin and crunchy beets add flavor and all the added benefits of beets. See all additional recipes below for the other ingredients. Layer the desired amount of beets, kale, lentils, avocado, and onions and then drizzle with both sauces and add desired amount of lemon juice and cilantro. Add any other veggies you’d like! Mushrooms, pickles, jalepenos, or carrot would all be great additions.

Cheeze sauce (bulk recipe):

1 cup cashews

1 cup water

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

few dashes of dried basil

few dashes of cayenne

dash of salt

Blend all the ingredients together until the sauce has a smooth and creamy consistency. I love a simple cashew based cheese sauce. The base is simply cashews, water and olive oil. A little bit of herbs and spices adds a little more flavor. I like to add a little bit of sriracha to mine as well, I love spiciness. You’ll have plenty of this leftover to spread on sandwiches, put on raw noodles, use as a dip or a salad dressing and etc.

Sun-dried tomato sauce:

1/2 cup cashews

1/2 cup water

1 tbsp oil

few dashes of cayenne

1 tsp nutritional yeast

dash of salt

1 tsp white miso

1 tsp maple syrup

1 tbsp onion

2 – 3 sun-dried tomato

up to 2 cups water

Add half the water and the rest of the ingredients except sun-dried tomato in blender and blend until smooth. Add each sun-dried tomato one by one and taste until it’s to your liking. Too much sun-dried tomato can make it too strong so go one by one to make sure it tastes good to you. Add the rest of the water as needed. You’ll have some leftover of this sauce too for  another batch of nachos and etc.

Marinated onions:

Red onion

White onion

1 tsp braggs liquid aminos

1 tsp coconut aminos

1 tsp maple syrup

Cut rings off of both the red and white onion. It’s up to you how much you want, I only did a little bit but if you love onions and if you want to add extra spiciness, add more onion. If you don’t have coconut aminos, that’s fine. Add a little bit more braggs or maple syrup or both. Put the onion in a bowl with the liquid and let sit while you prepare the rest, at least ten minutes.

Sprouted lentils:

You need to prepare ahead of time for this. To sprout lentils, take the desired amount and place in a bowl of water for at least 7 hours. After soaking, leave in a colander overnight or at least 8 hours. Soon enough the lentils will start to sprout. Full sprouting time is around 3 days but lentils will start to sprout after about one day. After they’re done sprouting, keep in the fridge to keep them fresh. I used mine after the first day of sprouting.

There is a lot of flavor in this dish so it wasn’t hard for me to sit down and enjoy it slowly. I tend to usually eat quite fast, so it was nice to be able to take my time without even trying. I’m still rather new to raw food but I’m continually taking classes and learning and looking at recipes!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pancakes With A Chocolate Cashew sauce

I had a typical work day today which isn’t such a bad thing. I do actually enjoy my job for the most part. Maybe not “enjoy” but I really don’t have any complaints. I work in the kitchen of a retirement community doing “salads” and “desserts.” Non of it is vegan, of course but other than that it’s a nice job. I get paid well, I like my co-workers and my managers are very accommodating to me. I really am excited to go back to school, however, I honestly miss it. At this point, I’ve decided to go to school for environmental studies. I cannot wait to move forward with my life. Just one step closer to my dream of owning a farm full of animals I’ve adopted!! No, but seriously.

On days I work my eating schedule tends to be really off. For example, I had breakfast at 5:50 am this morning (cereal), a green juice at around 10:20 (I go to my house on break because it’s close) and my lunch break was at 1 but all I had was a banana because I refuse to eat the gross food they serve where I work. It’s all processed with huge lists of ingredients for the most part and even the vegetables (which are of poor quality quite often) are covered in oil and cooked at high temps a couple hours before even being served. It’s just not my cup of tea.Anyway, enough rambling. Basically, I got home from work and had a nice work out and and was then in the mood for pancakes.

You really don’t need eggs or dairy to make good pancakes!

Pancake Recipe:

1 banana

1/3 cup coconut milk (or any other non dairy milk of your choice)

1 tbsp maple syrup or agave

1 tbsp liquid coconut oil

1/3 whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/8 cup cacao nibs or vegan chocolate chips

Mash the banana with a fork and combine with the milk and maple syrup and coconut oil. To get coconut oil to be liquid, it’s easy to just heat up a little bit of water and put the container in the water until the coconut oil softens and turns to liquid form. The whole thing doesn’t need to be liquid, just enough for the recipe. Mix together the baking powder and flour and then mix with the wet ingredients until everything comes together and then add nibs or chocolate chips.

It helps to preheat the pan to medium heat before hand because these pancakes are a little thicker with wet ingredients and take a little longer to cook. Cook on one side until ready to flip and golden brown and then cook on the other side until golden brown. The insides may still be a little wet because of all the wet ingredients, so if you like you can cook longer. This recipe makes about two nice sized pancakes, four little ones, or one huge one. Double if you want to feed more people, or if you’re really hungry!

Sauce recipe:

1/3 cup raw cashews

1/3 cup coconut milk (or other non dairy milk)

1 tbsp carob powder (or cacao or coco powder)

1 tsp maple syrup or agave

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Add more milk if you want the sauce to be thinner and add more maple or agave if you want this to be sweeter.

I had these pancakes with another banana but I was really craving strawberries, those would go so well with this recipe. Blueberries or raspberries would also be good.

Gluten Free Thrive Diet Inspired “Pizza” With White Bean Sunflower Crust and Sun-dried Tomato Sauce

When first transitioning into veganism, pizza was my biggest temptation. I cut out eggs (which I ate all the time), milk (which I always thought was gross) and butter (which I never used) and all other dairy products just fine. I’ve always loooved pizza. Even after cutting out all other dairy I did eat some pizza every now and then for the first couple months into my transition. Finally, I told myself that I was being wrong and I wasn’t fully committing to this lifestyle. I’ve made plenty of delicious homemade pizzas without cheese or with daiya and I’ve been to a vegan pizza place and they’ve all been even more delicious than the traditional pizza.

If you take apart the ingredients of a traditional pizza, it’s anything but healthy. White, enriched, bleached flour for dough. The sauce does have tomatoes in it, but there’s also a high chance of the sauce containing sugar or other unwanted ingredients. And then there’s the cheese, and lot’s of it. So the whole thing is just unhealthy. And I dont know about you, but I always found it hard to eat just one piece of pizza.

What I decided to experiment with is a Thrive Diet inspired pizza. The Thrive Diet is something that athlete Brendan Brazier put together to optimize your full athletic potential by eating whole, vegan (and raw vegan) food and cutting out allergens and processed food. In his book, he has recipes for what he calls pizza. These are not the traditional pizzas you’d find in a pizza shop. These are pizzas with crusts made with ingredients like chickpeas, sunflower seeds, and / or beets. I had never thought of a pizza with a wheat-less crust, so I decided to try out my own recipe.

1. Crust recipe:

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 can white beans (any kind will do)

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 clove garlic

a couple pinches of sea salt, dried rosemary, and black pepper

Before you do anything, preheat the oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit so it’s ready for action.

Add all the ingredients to a food processor and process until everything comes together. Make sure the oil is well incorporated into the entire thing and the herbs and spices are all mixed in. Then take the dough and flatten it onto a greased sheet pan. I made two small pizzas, but you can easily make one big one.

2. Sauce recipe:

1 1/2 cup tomato

2 gloves garlic

2 tbsp olive oil

a few pinches of fresh or dried rosemary and basil

a dash of black pepper

4 sun-dried tomatoes

Add all the ingredients except sun-dried tomatoes to the food processor. Process until everything is chopped and then add sun-dried tomatoes and process again. Evenly spread the sauce mixture onto your dough.

3. Veggies

This step is up to you, add any veggies that you want! For mine, I just added spinach and extra basil leaves. Here are some suggestions for good toppings: red onion, white onion, kale, broccoli, mushrooms, seaweed, zucchini, daiya, nutritional yeast

4. Bake

By now, you should have preheated the oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit. If not, then do this now and wait until your oven is ready. When it’s preheated, add the pizza and bake for about 45 minutes or until the crust is crisp. Don’t be surprised if it falls apart when you’re eating it. Like I said, it isn’t traditional pizza! Cut a slice and use a spatula to transfer it to your plate. This is best eaten with a fork. This “pizza” is loaded with nutrients and the textures and the flavors are really incredible!

Have you heard of the Thrive Diet? Have you read any of the books by Brazier? What do you think? If you try this pizza or have tried any other thrive diet inspired pizzas, let me know what you think!

Raw “Honey” Mustard Sunflower Seed Dressing

I’ve been really intrigued by juice cleanses lately and I’ve been dying to do one. I just remembered today about the juice cleanse you can get delivered right to your doorstep! It’s called BluePrintCleanse and there’s three different levels of cleansing and the juice comes to you ready to go and you just drink them throughout the day. For those of you who don’t own a juicer or don’t have time to do all the juicing, BluePrintCleanse is the way to go. I do have a juicer, and I would like to do all the juicing myself. I have plenty of greens to do it, so hopefully it works out!

For those of you who don’t know, or think juice cleansing sounds crazy, it’s actually something that almost everyone can do and should do (however, you should always do research on the process if you’re unsure and if you have questions about your overall health consult your doctor or nutritionist). Over our lifetime, we’re exposed to vast amounts of chemicals and toxins. There’s pollution, exposure to cleaning products and other toxic chemicals, processed foods, and old waste in our system that can best be removed by doing a juice cleanse. I’m waiting for at least two or three days off from work to do this, because I have no idea how high the levels of toxins are in my body and how doing this will make me feel. I have been eating well the last several years, but before then it was all junk food and some fruits and vegetables here and there. Now, the majority of my diet is fruits and vegetables. My eating is clean, but I want to feel clean from the inside out. Right now, I’m trying to focus on preparing for a cleanse by eating light and mostly raw (which is how I eat anyway for the most part). For lunch today I decided to have a nice light salad with some raw homemade dressing.

I usually make this with cashews but at the moment, I don’t have any. I do, however, have plenty of sunflower seeds. Salads are such a quick and easy light meal to prepare and having homemade salad dressing on hand is a must for me.

Recipe:

1/2 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds

1-2 cloves of garlic

small piece of ginger (about the size of your garlic clove)

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp stone ground mustard

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

a couple dashes of salt, mustard powder, and turmeric

1 tbsp maple syrup or agave

1 tbsp onion

1 cup water

Add all the ingredients to your blender except the water and pulse a couple of times. Add about half the water and blend. Add water until you have a creamy consistency. If you like your dressing to be a little spicier, you can add more mustard or more onion or both. If you want it to be sweeter, add more agave or maple syrup. This dressing is creamy and can be a little thick, so if you want to thin it out more add more water until the consistency is perfect for you!

Raw Peanut Butter Carob Oatmeal Cookies

I suddenly had an urge to make something sweet and something chocolately. I made two batches of these, one with actual peanut butter and one with almond butter. The almond butter actually turned out even better in my opinion, but either way it’s delicious! I’ve seen a lot of recipes for oatmeal cookies like this where the batter is heated on the stove before being chilled. I decided to go all raw and just mix everything together and chill them and see how it went. It turned out great, they make awesome little cookies.

Ingredients:

1 cup organic raw oats

dash of salt

1 tsp flax seed

1/3 cup coconut milk

2 tbsp maple syrup

1/4 cup liquid coconut oil

1/4 cup almond or peanut butter

1/3 cup carob powder

1/4 cup chopped dried cherries or pited dates

Put the salt and oats and flax in one bowl. Put the coconut milk, maple syrup, almond or peanut butter and carob powder all in another bowl and mix well. Add the wet to the dry and mix everything together until the oats are all well coated and everything is incorporated. Take the cherries and / or dates and put them in a food processor to chop them up small and then mix them into the whole thing. Cover a tray with plastic wrap and place about a tbsp of batter down and flatten it to make cookies. You can of course make these as big or small as you like. Put them in the freezer for one to two hours and you can keep them in there and eat them or transfer them to your fridge and eat them. You could add chopped nuts to these or coconut flakes and they’d be even better! Goji berries would also be awesome in these in place of cherries.

If you want these to be really peanut buttery add another 1/4 cup! With this recipe it’s just a subtle amount of peanut buttery flavor

Sun-dried Tomato and Rosemary Quinoa Burgers

I love veggie burgers. They’re easy and relatively quick and you can use almost anything to make them. I’ve made chickpea burgers and garlic white bean burgers and ones with all the veggies in my fridge. I always use beans as a base and you can add in any kind of grain like quinoa or brown rice. I like to use mine on salads or have it with avocado and some cashew cheese sauce. These would even be good dehydrated. These can be made completely raw if dehydrated and beans and quinoa are sprouted beforehand.

Ingredients:

cooked or sprouted quinoa

1 can or about a cup and a quarter of sprouted white beans ( I used white navy beans but any white beans would be fine!)

1/3 cup chopped bell pepper

2 tbsp red onion

2 large gloves garlic

2 tbsp olive oil

2 or 3 sun-dried tomatoes

a few pinches of fresh or dried rosemary

some freshly ground pepper

dash of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Add all these ingredients to a food processor except quinoa and blend until pattie like but it will still have some texture. I like to add in quinoa last for good texture, you can add it in to the food processor too if you like but I just stirred it in at the end. Take the mixture and form patties onto a greased sheet pan. Cook them for about 15-20 minutes on each side or until they’re at your desired crispiness! Dehydrating you can do at 105 degrees and about 4 hours on each side will probably do. This recipe makes about 4 medium sized patties

You can freeze the leftovers and reheat them later for a quick meal later on or you can keep them in your fridge and use them the rest of the week. These would be delicious with homemade ketchup, homemade cashew cheese sauce (see creamy raw zucchini noodles for a recipe), and avocado. I like to eat mine without a bun but these would also be great on a nice sprouted grain bun or on some raw bread.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie

I love a smoothie for breakfast. It’s light, it’s refreshing and it’s delicious! One of my favorite smoothies is a PB&J smoothie. This particular smoothie calls for almond butter, but if you like you can of course use peanut butter! The hemp powder adds extra protein while the chia or flax adds important omega 3’s. I chose almond butter over actual peanut butter because peanuts are one of the most common allergens, and almonds have more health benefits in the long run.

Recipe:

4 or 5 strawberries

2 tbsp almond butter

1 banana

1/2 cup coconut milk or soy milk

1 tsp hemp powder

1 tsp chia or flax seed

If you want this to be sweeter, add some agave or maple syrup. If you want a chocolate PB&J smoothie, add carob powder 1 tsp at a time until you have your desired chocolately-ness!

 

 

Energizing Green Juice

I made this juice today for an extra boost of nutrients to get me through the rest of my work day. Spinach, assorted greens, cucumber, grapes and apple all together form a mix of health benefits and raw energy for your busy day.

Recipe:

4 or 5 big handfuls of spinach

1 or 2 handfuls of spring mix (or more spinach)

1 cucumber

5 or 6 green grapes

1 apple

Wash everything thoroughly and juice the the vegetables first and the grapes and apples last. I know some people do not juice fruits and vegetables together, but I added the fruits to add a sweeter taste to the juice because it can be quite bitter with all the greens. I also like to get the benefits of both fruits and vegetables all in one drink. However, if you do not mind the taste feel free to leave out the fruits and have a nice refreshing green veggie drink. You can always add a couple drops of lemon or lime juice as well! Enjoy!

Crispy Spinach Chips

I love to snack so having something on hand that’s light and crispy and flavorful and healthy is the best thing in the world. I love kale chips and I made about a million batches this summer with all the kale I grew in my garden. I also experimented with collard green chips and they werent as good as the kale chips but still pretty good. Just recently I got the idea to do spinach chips, which turned out to be crispy and delicious. I do mine in the dehydrator because I believe the dehydrator truly gives the best results for this kind of chip. I’ve done kale chips in the oven and they were never as good as when they’re done in the dehydrator. Dehydrating takes out the moisture and dries the chips instead of baking them and possible burning them. They end up perfectly crispy every time.

I would definitely recommend getting organic spinach because spinach tends to be one of the vegetables that is most likely to be laden with pesticides. I urge everyone to buy organic and local whenever possible but I know for some people it’s just not in the budget or just not available. I certainly can’t buy everything organic either, I get what I can. But there are certain things that I always, always, get organic and one of them is spinach.  They have big bulk plastic bins of spinach that is USDA organic at my local supermarket and I always get it when I’m there.

Recipe:

5 or 6 handfuls of organic spinach

1-2 tbsp olive oil or another oil of choice

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1-2 tsp garlic powder

1-2 tsp

a couple sprinkles onion powder

1 tsp agave

1/2 tsp cayenne

*additional options: adobo, chili powder, cinnamon, vegan cheese, sea salt, black pepper, any other herbs or spices that you find delicious
Put all your spinach in a big bowl and coat with olive oil. You don’t want too much or the oilyness will delay the drying time. Add all the spices and then mix together with your hands and rub everything in to incorporate all the flavors. Place the spinach on several racks of your dehydrator and then dehydrate for at least 4 hours or longer until crisp and to your liking!

*If you’d like these to be raw, dehydrate at around 105 for 6 hours or longer

Vegan Blueberry Carob Pancakes with Strawberry Cashew Sauce

 

 

These pancakes are so easy to make and loaded with healthy ingredients. I’ve even made this pancakes quick in the morning within 20  minutes before work and just eaten them with maple syrup. However, they’re definitely best with the strawberry sauce.

Pancake Recipe:

1 cup whole wheat flour (I used buckwheat)

1 tsp baking powder

pinch of sea salt

3 tbsp carob powder

1-2 tbsp of agave or maple syrup

1 cup coconut milk

2 tbsp liquid coconut oil

as many blueberries as you’d like

 

Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and then pour the wet ingredients in and mix well. If the batter is too thick, add a bit more coconut milk and if too thin add a teeny bit more flour. Once you have a nice batter plop about 1/4 cup of batter or more (depending on how big you like your pancakes) onto a hot pan, griddle or whatever you have. Once they start to cook put your blueberries right in on top of each pancake.

 

Sauce recipe:

1/3 cup cashews

4-5 strawberries

1/3 cup coconut milk

1/2 tsp maple syrup or agave

 

Blend all the ingredients together in a blender and then pour over top of your pancakes! If it’s too thin add some more cashews, if its too thick add more coconut milk or water to get the consistency you want.  I also like to add coconut flakes on top of my pancakes.

*You can use cacao or coco powder in place of carob, carob is just the “chocolate” powder I have on hand. You could also add cacao nibs or strawberry pieces or coconut flakes into the pancakes too. Be creative! These are also great cold too, so keep the left overs!