Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Raw Vegan Holiday Food: Creamy Dill Dip

I'm so excited about this dip, I might even go so far as to call it a Christmas Miracle!
One of my favorite things about Holiday parties is the finger food I get to make (and eat). There's no question that I have an affinity for appetizers, but for someone who loves dips as much as I do I definitely have a very discriminating palate. I like my dips to taste like they're loaded with all kinds of flavor - in short, I like my dips to taste like they're NOT raw/vegan. 
I'm happy to say that this Holiday season I have successfully fooled my non raw vegan friends with some amazingly tasty dips...and I'm going to share one of them with you right now!
AtV Creamy Dill Dip
In this recipe you can use either dried or fresh Dillweed. I recommend fresh, if you have some available.
Step 1. Before-hand Prep
Make a batch of AtV Sour Cream (you will need to use half of 1 batch)

Step 2. Making your Dip
*** In a medium mixing bowl combine: 
1 & 1/2 cups AtV Sour Cream 
Mix evenly and set aside
*** In a small mixing bowl combine the following dry ingredients:
 4 heaping Tbsp minced fresh Dillweed //or// 2 heaping Tbsp dried Dillweed  
1 Tbsp & 1 tsp Onion powder
1 tsp Garlic Granules
1/4 tsp ground Celery Seed
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
Using a fork, mix together your dry ingredients evenly.
Slowly add your dry ingredients into your Sour Cream. Once you've mixed your dip let it chill in the fridge for about an hour - this will let the flavor of the dried Dillweed develop.
My favorite way to serve this dip for parties is with a HUGE bowl of thinly sliced Cucumber rounds. You can pair it with chips, bread wedges, sliced apple...and probably many more things. Either way you can't go wrong!
In the photo above I paired the Dill dip with fresh cucumber, apple, and a dash of lemon pepper - all piled onto flax/rye 'bread' (recipe for bread will be coming soon). This is probably my favorite way to eat the dip as a meal or snack.
Coming up next:
My favorite dip in the whole wide world:
French Onion Dip!
Seriously you guys. I don't even know what else to write about this. I'm beside myself with excitement!! I'll be back soon!


Monday, December 20, 2010

AtV Staple Recipe: Raw Vegan Sour Cream

It's the return of AtV Staple Recipes
(To learn more about what an AtV Staple Recipe is just click here and read!)

Why is this recipe considered a staple? 
Well, for starters it's an amazing base for a TON of wonderful dips and sauces you'll be seeing in the near future, and I'm pretty sure it'll find it's way into some soup recipes too. It also happens to be something I'm SO very proud of because it's versatile. This lovely Cashew "Sour Cream" can be used in just about everything - including sweets! I'll return tomorrow with a simple recipe for  a very tasty Dill Dip using this fantastic cream...
 But first, you'll need to start here:
Addicted to Veggies Sour Cream
Yields 2.5 cups total
Step 1.
Cashews and Soaking
Soak 1 and 3/4 cups *dry Cashews overnight (roughly 6 to 8 hours)
*Anytime you soak Cashews they will expand in size due to the water they retain.
*After the Cashews have soaked they will amount to roughly 2 cups.
Drain the Cashews from the soaking water and proceed to make your Sour Cream.
Step 2.
Making the Sour Cream base
Into your Food Processor combine the following:
2 c Cashews
2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 tsp Salt
Puree all of the above for 2 minutes until you have a thick and oily paste
Scrape the bottom and sides of your food processor as some of the Cashew mixture may begin to collect.
Leave everything in your food processor and move on to the next step.
Step 3.
Finishing the Sour Cream
Pay special attention to the following Water directions and measurements – this will ensure that you get the best quality and consistency.
This recipe calls for:
1 and 1/4 cup Water Total
Have your water measured out and carefully follow the directions below.
While your food processor is “On” proceed to stream in:
1/4 cup of water
Puree for 1 minute
Proceed to add the rest of your water in 1/4 cup increments
Let your processor puree for 30 seconds in between EACH 1/4 cup of water added
This means you will be adding 1/4 cup of water 5 times until you have added the total 1 and 1/4 cup of water that the recipe calls for.
Your finished product will be a fairly thin consistency, and it will need time to chill and set in the fridge for at least an hour.
After your Sour Cream has chilled it will have thickened into the perfect consistency.
Store Sour Cream in an air tight container and it will last for up to three weeks in your fridge. You can also divide it in small batches and it will keep for up to three months in your freezer. 


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Raw Vegan Christmas: Coconut - Lime "Let it Snow" balls!

Happy Holidays!
Holy cow you guys...I don't know how it's suddenly December 16th, and I'm finally back online after a very crazy last few weeks. My deepest apologies for disappearing for so long. One thing I've learned recently is how fragile life can be, and how wonderful it is to be surrounded by loving caring people this time of the year (and always!). There's no hiding how much I love Christmas - and anyone who steps inside my cozy little house this time of year will hear non-stop Holiday music, and see a plethora of fun vintage decor in just about every corner. I'm happy that things have finally simmered down, and I have the time to get back into the kitchen and share a new recipe with you all!
Coconut-Lime "Let it Snow" balls
Special Tools you will need for this recipe:
- Food Processor
- Melon Baller
These little buggers were a smash hit at our Annual Christmas Sweater Party this year, and I'll be making them a couple more times before the end of this year. The Coconut is so subtle that even non-lovers of Coconut were eating these little guys up!
Step 1. Making the Batter
1 c Macadamia nuts - ground
1 c Cashews - soaked 4 hours (or overnight)
1/4 c Lime juice
15 Medjool dates - soaked in warm water until softened, pits removed
2 tsp Vanilla
1/4 c Coconut Oil - softened
3 Tbsp Coconut Butter - softened
2 pinches of Sea Salt
*** Puree all the above ingredients in your food processor until smooth. You will have to stop at least a few times to scrape down the sides of your processor as the batter will tend to clump a bit. But don't be discouraged, this is totally a normal occurrence. I think I had to stop and scrape the mixture at least 6 times until it began to freely move around my food processor.
*** Once your batter has become a thick and creamy puree transfer this to a large shallow dish, spreading it about 2 inches thick. Place the dish with the mixture into your freezer and let it cool/harden for at least an hour. It's very important that your mixture has hardened in the freezer before you take your melon baller to it. This will make it easier for you to "scoop" them.
Step 2. Forming/Decorating your "Let it Snow" balls
Remove your Coconut-Lime mixture from the freezer and use your melon baller to scoop out uniform sized balls. Once all of the balls have been "scooped" ( you should have roughly 2 dozen)  move on to the next step...

Lime-Date Coating
6 Tbsp Date Paste
1/4 c Lime Juice
1/4 c Water
Whisk the above ingredients to a smooth creamy liquid. 
Proceed to transfer your balls into the Lime-Date Coating, rolling them around until they are evenly coated like so:
Remove your Lime-Date coated balls from the liquid coating ---
In a large shallow Tupperware container make the following:
Coconut Snow
1/2 c Coconut Flour
1/2 c shredded/dehydrated Coconut
Transfer your Lime-Date coated balls to the Coconut Snow (as many as will fit into the Tupperware container without being too crowded).
Roll the balls around until they are evenly coated with snow! 
Place them back inside the freezer until your guests arrive and they're ready to be eaten (even frozen they won't be too hard to eat - just cold).
How about a sneak peek at our Holiday party last weekend?
A photo from the food table - before I loaded it packed full of yumminess!
A couple of my favorite decorations by our fireplace.
The table had four raw vegan dips --- three for veggies and "bread" and one dessert dip for fruit. 
Old Saint Nic's French Onion Dip, Dancer & Prancer's Delicious Dill, All I want for Christmas is Artichoke Dip, and Blitzen's Blackberry Dip. I had WAY too much fun with the Holiday themed food names...I think I must have been channeling some inspiration from Andrea over at Very Vegan Holiday. 
Large view of the Table, packed full of amazing raw/vegan yumminess!
From left to right (minus the dips mentioned above):
Apple & Pear Slices
Merry Macadamia Cheeze
O Come all Ye Faithful Orange Sections
Festive Flax and/or Pumpernickel 'bread' 
Santa's Resolution Plate (veggie tray in the center)
Cucumber Slices
Merry Blueberry Kabobs
Coconut-Lime "Let it Snow" balls
Up on the Roof-top Chocolate Shingles (not raw) and Raspberry Elf Hats
Our Christmas party was also in conjunction with the Annual Truckers Parade that conveniently passes right in front of our little house!