Monday, November 29, 2010

Raw Vegan Thanksgiving Recap

Well this is a little late, but I'm still excited to share my Thanksgiving day with all of you!
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First off, I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday. One thing I learned this year about making a gourmet Raw Vegan spread for a Big Event: Prepping food in advance saves SO MUCH sanity! 
I was smart enough to start my food prep three days in advance. This way I had everything for my recipe/dishes ready to go, so all I had to do the night before the event was open up Tupperware containers, zip-lock baggies and assemble the dishes. The Morning of Thanksgiving was dedicated to simply warming my food --- starting this process about three hours before everyone arrived.
It was such a good day, filled with wonderful people; out of town guests, and basically three hours of intermittent eating. 
Alright...how about some photos? 
Sorry in advance for the poor quality of the following pictures. Photography wasn't really my priority on this day, and can you blame me? Yummy tasty distractions were everywhere!
A completely Edible Centerpiece for the "food table" - I'll be hand juicing all of those lemons and limes later tonight. In addition to shredding/grating and dehydrating a TON of Pumpkin flesh!
The "Main Table decor"...simple but elegant was my goal, and I was pretty pleased with the results. I also made sure to do the entire table on a budget. 
Hand-made name cards...thank you Google images for helping me find the perfect vintage image for these little buggers!
Looking down onto the cozy dining table in my cozy little house...pay no attention to my mismatched chairs please!
Food Table - packed to the brim with yumminess! 
(Apologies to those of you who might be offended by the non raw vegan things in the above photo.)
How CUTE is that edible Veggie-Turkey on the left that my awesome friend made for the event?!
In above photo: Raw Green Bean Casserole and Butternut Dumplings with Sage Butter/sauce. 
A blurry picture of my amazingly tasty plate (while we did have some non raw/vegan food at the table I was secretly excited and bubbling over about my food dominating the table!)...
Details of my Plate - Clockwise from Top Left:



Warm Massaged Spinach with Sweet Mustard (Sorry guys - no recipe for this yet!)



(positioned next to the Veggie Turkey)

And for Dessert....
Clockwise from top Left:
Peaches n' Cream Tart
Berry cobbler
Apple Pie Cheezecake Tart
These were all SO easy to make, AND they were served warm - just like a real pie! The most taxing part was assembling the crust for the tarts/cobbler. I'll be posting more info on my Holiday Desserts later this week, so don't go anywhere!
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Wishing you all Holiday cheer and lots of happy eating, if you're at all like me and still trying to finish off all of your Thanksgiving leftovers.

xoxo,
 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful...

I'd like to take a moment (since I'm finally able to sit down after a long bustling day of food related chores) to recognize a few things that I am thankful for...

For my cozy little house that is full of all kinds of love for all types of people, animals, and many many other things. 

For the friendly faces and employees at my favorite local Natural Foods Store. I've seen these lovely helpful people more than a few times this week and every time I've walked through the doors of their store I feel so welcomed, and so lucky to be able to shop with them.

Every day life gives me reminders that I'm human, and that this is okay. I'm thankful that I've learned to heed this more often, and take in those moments when something doesn't happen as planned (or hoped) and see the beauty that I'm still okay. I'm wonderful actually.

(Sneak peek at some of tomorrow's food and my Thanksgiving "Food Table")
I'm thankful that I can give to my friends wonderful - tasty - healthy food, and the same to myself as well. 
I'm also thankful that I have each and everyone of YOU to share my love of food with.

I promise to return shortly with a whole bunch of photos (much better quality than the ones above) from my Gourmet Thanksgiving meal. So don't go anywhere. 

Happy Holidays and lots of love to all of you!

xoxo,
Sarahfae - AtV

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Holiday Mashed Parsnips with Corn, Scallion and Parsley

You've probably already read my Parsnip rant from the other day, so for this post I'll save you the details, and just say "I DID IT!" The best raw vegan Mashed Parsnips EVER! I'm not even joking - there's no part of me that is going to miss Mashed Potatoes this year because I've found my secret weapon  to fight the cravings. Of course, it's only replacing starch with more starch, but my sensitive tummy will thank me in the end for not caving to the cooked food that still taunts me. 
If you're looking for an alternative to Mashed Potatoes this Holiday season, then I hope you'll give this one a try. Parsnips alone are such an amazing vegetable, and I couldn't be happier to keep them on my menu this year. To me this is Comfort Food in it's finest form, don't be fooled with the Raw Vegan title, there is NO sacrifice here - this dish is so darn satisfying.
Raw Vegan (and WARM)
Holiday Mashed Parsnips with Corn, Fresh Scallion and Parsley

Step 1:
1 & 1/2 c Parsnip - shredded and packed
1 c Cashews (soaked in warm water for 4 -6 hours)
2 tsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp Nutritional yeast
Lemon Pepper//or//Fresh Cracked Pepper to taste
1/2 tsp Garlic Granules//or//fresh Garlic to taste (this is totally optional)
--- In Food Processor puree the above ingredients until they become a paste. You may need to scrape down the sides of your food processor once or twice. 
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Step 2.
Add the following to your above puree/paste:
3 Tbsp Walnut Oil//or//Canola Oil
Puree again - for roughly 5 minutes until a thick creamy/whip consistency is obtained.
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Step 3. 
Add 1/4 c Water and Puree 1 to 2 minutes
Add another 1/4 Water and Puree 1 to 2 minutes
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Heating & Serving Your Mashed Parsnips
When you are ready to serve this dish, place the Mashed Parsnips in a mixing bowl and combine the following:
2 c fresh//or//frozen Corn
4 or 5 Scallions (Green Onion) finely chopped
Fold the Corn and Scallion into the Mashed Parsnips.
Into a large Shallow Casserole type dish spread your Parsnip mixture, the larger the dish the thinner you can spread your Parsnip Mixture, and the quicker it will heat in your Dehydrator or Conventional Oven.
Garnish your Parsnip mixture with a Handful of fresh minced Flat Leaf Parsley and Chopped Scallion. I also added a bit more salt and Lemon Pepper.
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Proceed with the following Heating Method of choice:
Heating/Warming with a Conventional Oven:
Set your Oven to its very lowest heat, leaving the door closed until your Parsnips Mixture has been Assembled ---
 Place your Casserole dish into the warm oven - leaving the door cracked open - for up to 1 hour. Remove when warmed through and ready to eat!
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Heating/Warming with a Dehydrator:
Assemble Parsnips as noted above in a Casserole dish. Place dish in your warm in Dehydrator for up to 2 hours. When Mashed Parsnips are warmed through remove from Dehydrator and serve immediately!
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Thanks for coming by!
And don't forget to check out these Recipes for your Holiday Menu:






xoxo,

Raw Vegan Cranberry Sauce & Cheezecake

Raw Vegan Cranberry Sauce with heart shaped Cheezecake bites
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Alright, lets face it --- Who actually looks forward to Cranberry Sauce on Thanksgiving? Not me! But it's one of those "oh-so-traditional" components of a Thanksgiving meal that just has to be there right? 
So why not make this boring dish EXCITING by adding a few key ingredients to the sauce itself, and some Cheezecake bites! Cheezecake? Yes, you read this right! I've been day dreaming about turning Cranberry Sauce into something desirable for a while now, and to me Cheezecake is where it's at. 
Berries and Cheezecake will aways make sense, and Cranberries like you've never before had them? This will forever change your Thanskgiving spread - if you make it AtV style. And I really hope that you do. 
The once boring and sometimes all-together avoided cranberry sauce is now going to become the star of your Holiday food.
AtV Cranberry Sauce & Cheezecake bites
*3/4 to 1 c Orange Juice (I juiced 4 small Oranges by hand)
13 Medjool Dates - soaked in warm water for 15 minutes or so, pits removed
2 tsp Vanilla
-Puree in Food Processor or Blender Until Very Smooth-
Add:
1 & 1/2 c Apples chopped (roughly 2 small apples)
2 & 1/2 c //or// One 10oz Bag of Frozen Cranberries - roughly 
-Puree until evenly mixed/blended - until desired texture is achieved. 
*If you prefer a thicker Cranberry Sauce use only half of the Orange Juice, or slowly add it until you've reached desired consistency.
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Cheezecake Bites for your Cranberry Sauce
Once your Cheezecake Cream has been made transfer it to a flat surface, like a cookie sheet, on top of a large piece of Parchment Paper, and place it into your freezer to chill/set for about an hour. After the Cheezecake Cream has chilled, leaving it on the large piece of Parchment Paper remove it from the freezer. Place another piece of Parchment Paper on TOP of the Cheezecake Cream. Proceed to flatten the cream with your palms, or with a rolling pin. I flattened mine to about 1/4" thickness. 
Important Note: For best "cutting results" place your Cheezecake Cream back into the freezer after rolling/flattening it out. The firmer it is the better you will be able to cut it to your desired shape. Using a small cookie cutter (or even a Melon baller) cut your Cheezecake Cream. I actually found these super adorable little fondant cutters (in the photo above) at my local craft store, and they worked perfectly. I plan on keeping my pre-cut Cheezecake Cream hearts in the freezer until Thanksgiving day. They will thaw out fairly quickly,  this way they'll be super easy to add to the sauce. 
Kid Note: Have fun with this one you guys! If you have little ones then this is a great way to get them involved and helping out on Thanksgiving day, and I have a feeling this dish will go over pretty well with the little ones too. A sweet dessert-style Cranberry Sauce, RICH in vitamin C, E, Fiber and Antioxidants. But don't tell the kids! 
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Stick around! I'll be posting another Raw Vegan Thanksgiving Recipe later on tonight...
Holiday Mashed Parsnips with Corn, fresh Scallion & Parsley 
(it's WARM raw vegan Comfort food!)

xoxo,

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Raw Vegan Thanksgiving

I don't know about you guys, but the first time I ever tried a Parsnip my world was forever changed. I was like: "whoa!" and then "what?" and then "ohmygodnesss" and then...
Well, you get the idea. 
They were the perfect consistency of starch/sweet/spice all wrapped up in a root veggie. I knew I had found a rival to mashed potatoes, and I was thrilled. You see, it's especially difficult for me around the holidays since choosing to eat a predominantly raw diet, because I miss my mashed potatoes SOO much. Last year I made these Mashed Parnips for Thanksgiving. They were good, but I realized upon revisiting the recipe that my technique for getting them really truly creamy was WAY off. WAY OFF. 
Tonight, I ran over the old recipe, tweaked it a little bit, added a much needed ingredient, and BAM! The best mashed Parsnips I've EVER had. 
EVER! 
Perfect for my Raw Gourmet Thanksgiving Menu, and even more perfect to share with you all tomorrow... 
Along with my "Dessert Cranberry Sauce" recipe too. 
You are not going to want to miss these recipes. I promise. So don't go anywhere, k?
And don't forget to check out these lovely recipes too:

Friday, November 12, 2010

Raw Vegan Butternut Dumplings with Sage "Butter"

I've been day dreaming about making a dumpling for a while now. This morning in my Google-searching madness I happened upon Stephanie at "Hope For Healing", and her amazing Butternut (Gluten free) Gnocchi recipe. It was JUST the inspiration I needed to get my booty into the kitchen. So thank you Stephanie, I'm really excited to have found you!
I wanted to call these tasty little buggers "Gnocchi", but being that I've never had real Gnocchi before I decided to go with "Dumpling" instead (basically the same thing, right?). Call them what you will, either way these amazing little squash infused cuties are SO good, and excitedly I'll be adding them to my personal Holiday menu this year. 
Butternut Dumplings with Sage "Butter" 
This recipe yields roughly 3 dozen small dumplings: 1"length by 3/4" width and 1/2" thick. It's not a lot if you're planning on serving it to more than 3 people as a side dish. I would recommend doubling or tripling this recipe if you're planning on entertaining a group of people.
Step 1.
Making your Dumpling
1/2 c packed Butternut Squash - shredded
1 c Macadamia nuts
1 tsp Nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
1/2 tsp dried Rosemary
1/2 tsp Onion powder
1 tsp Lemon juice
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Sea Salt - or to taste
1/4 c Water
Combine all of the above ingredients into Food Processor and puree for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of processor as needed. Transfer your mixture to a mixing bowl - it should look like this:
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Step 2. 
Assembling and Warming
Each Dumpling should be roughly 1 tsp of the Dumpling mixture. You can do this with a spoon, or with your hands (be prepared to get a little messy if you use your hands). Shape/roll your dumplings into 1" x 3/4" and 1/2" thickness. Transfer those cute little buggers to either your dehydrator or conventional oven and see below for appropriate warming/heating directions:

Raw Dumplings in Conventional Oven:
Set your Oven to its very lowest heat, leaving the door closed until your Dumplings have been Assembled ---
 Place your Dumplings onto a piece of parchment paper, place parchment paper onto a cooling rack, and place cooling rack onto a cooking sheet. Place your Dumplings into your warm oven- leaving the door cracked open - for up to 2 to 3 hours, checking to make sure they aren't getting to dry (they will get too dry and become crumbly if left in the oven too long. Remove dumplings when firm, but still tender in the center.
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Raw Dumplings in a Dehydrator:
Warm dumplings in dehydrator for 3 to 4 hours, checking after 2 hours and flipping them over. Remove dumplings when firm, but still tender in the center.
Sage "Butter" 
Make this in your blender or food processor and let it sit for at least an hour so the sage can infuse it's flavor into the oil.
1/2 c Walnut Oil //or// Canola oil
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp dried rubbed Sage
1/2 tsp Nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp Date Sweetener //or// Coconut Nectar
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
Blend all of the above ingredients well. 
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Serving Sage "Butter" with Butternut Dumplings:
If you're planning on making this dish as a part of a holiday meal then I recommend serving the Dumplings dry in a dish, with the Sage "Butter" next to it in a separate dish (with a spoon) so your guests can drizzle the "Butter" on top of their dumplings. Otherwise, if you let your dumplings sit in the "Butter" then they can become soggy and totally unappealing in texture (but still tasty though). 
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Are you guys getting as excited as I am about the Holidays?!
Don't forget to check out these other yummy recipes if you're looking for more tasty menu options:




xoxo,