Friday, March 30, 2012

Handmade Zucchini Ribbon Pasta & Pasta Salad

I normally wouldn't post something like this in place of a regular recipe post, but the Ribbon Pasta Salad featured in my recent article at The Chalkboard Mag is so good! I've actually made it twice over the last week, getting rave reviews from my parents who came over for dinner on Monday (thanks for taste testing you guys)! You may recognize the ribbon pasta from a variation of the recipe that I've already shared...
Buttery Zucchini Pasta with Thyme & Sage
(click here to go to recipe)
Everyone raw or not, should make this pasta/salad because it's so convincingly good! I recommend bringing it with you to a special event, barbecue, or Easter buffet. It won't disappoint!
One of my personal favorite vegetables and something I always keep well stocked in my refrigerator is zucchini. This lovely green squash has so much potential in the raw food world, finding its way into cheesecakes, savory cream sauces, dips and many more unsuspecting recipes. I’m also excited to finally be growing my own zucchini this year!
Today we’re starting with the basics, and focusing on a tasty alternative to a well-known favorite. Zucchini pasta is gaining popularity, and  not just in the raw food world as a super low-carb version of its cooked-food counterpart. Without a doubt, this veggie is one of the most important staples for a tasty raw food meal, and you won’t believe how convincing it is as pasta! That’s right, you can enjoy raw zucchini pasta that actually tastes more like pasta – the trick is all in a simple technique. Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying a big warm bowl of comfort food for dinner tonight. Click to read entire article and recipe...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Chocolate Crumble Cookies

When you take the seductive powers of chocolate and combine them with the healing powers of cookies and cake (yes, cookies and cake can be medicinal) you end up with something pretty amazing. 
Moist, dense, crumbly and basically everything a chocolate cookie should be. Not to mention these only take about an hour and a half to make from start to finish. So you really don't have any excuses, only a growing list of reasons why you should make a batch of these right away. Also, you might want to hide them in a secret place otherwise they're subject to disappearing very quickly - unless of course you're the sharing type - in which case you might want to make a double batch.
These special treats are dedicated to the stylish gals at Classic Hardware who make some of my favorite jewelry to wear when in I'm in the kitchen, and pretty much everywhere else. I wish I could teleport myself to Burbank so I could make you lovely gals batches of cookies and treats every day!
Important Note About This Recipe
About the Agave: 
Something I don't use very often in my kitchen is Agave, but where these cookies are concerned you need to use it, or another liquid sweetener of equal sweet-potency. I recommend Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Raw Blue AgaveI've actually taken the time to contact Wholesome Sweetenersinquiring to whether or not their product is truly raw. They were gracious enough to respond to my email, confirming that they do not heat their Organic Raw Blue Agave above 118 degrees. 
If you'd rather not use Agave then see the recipe for my other liquid sweetener suggestions.
Chocolate Crumble Cookies
This recipe yields roughly 2 Dozen cookies
Step 1.
Dry Ingredients
In a large mixing bowl:
4 c Almond Flour - you can either make your own or use store bought
1/2 tsp Salt
Mix together the Flour and Salt 
Set aside and move on to the next step
Step 2.
Wet Ingredients
In a small mixing bowl: 
1/3 cup plus 3 Tbsp Agave//or//Grade B Maple Syrup//or//Raw Organic Honey
4 Tbsp Cacao Powder
2 tsp Vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
Whisk together all of the above ingredients until all of the cacao has dissolved into the Agave
Step 3.
Combining Wet and Dry Ingredients
While your mixer is on begin to pour in your Chocolate Mixture from Step 2...
Mix together all of your ingredients evenly
 Your finished cookie dough will be crumbly but moist, like this:
It's also going to be really be careful!
Final Step
Assembling and Drying
If you don't already own one I recommend getting a cookie scooper:
This little gadget has made my world of cookie-shaping so much easier and quicker. If you don't own a cookie scooper than you can shape your cookies by hand or with a couple of tablespoons. You could also flatten out the dough and use a cookie cutter if you'd prefer. 
Keep your cookies relatively thick, since you're aiming for a crumbly moist cookie - not a flat dry one. These dry very quickly too!
After you've shaped all of your cookies choose from one of the following Raw Vegan Warming Methods noted here(click)
Warm/Dry your cookies for 1 hour total - no longer
Let the cookies sit and cool for about 30 minutes
The only thing to do from here is eat them!


Monday, March 26, 2012

BBQ Mixed Nuts

I've been sitting on this recipe since the Holidays...hence the pine-cones seen in the background of these pics. They were definitely the most popular of my "handmade" Holiday gifts last year, going to all the boys in my family. I remember having to hold back on "taste testing" them because a lot like BBQ Chips, they are very difficult to resist eating by the handful. 
Yesterday afternoon I made double batch in lieu of some traveling that I'll be doing early next month, and also because I try to have some sort of dry snack food on hand at all times. The only thing you need to know about these nuts is they are highly addictive, so exercise caution when eating them. I don't want you to end up with a tummy ache from eating the entire batch. Believe me, it's possible! My best advice would be to bring these with you to a barbecue, potluck, or as a gift to a hostess. Just be prepared to share the recipe!
Important Note About This Recipe
I've chosen to use Cashews and Almonds, but you can really use any kind of nut or seed that you like. Just be sure to use the same measurements that the recipe calls for.
AtV BBQ Mixed Nuts
This recipe yields 6 cups of nuts but it's very easy to to cut in half if that's too much
Step 1.
AtV Barbecue Spice Mix
6 Tbsp Coconut Crystals
4 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
2 Tbsp Onion powder
2 tsp Garlic Granules
1 tsp Lemon Pepper
1/4 tsp Chipotle Powder //or// Cayenne 
1.5 tsp Cacao powder
1/2 tsp dried/crushed Thyme
1/4 tsp Cumin powder
1/4 tsp ground Celery Seed
 1 tsp Salt 
Optional: 1/2 tsp Alder Smoked Sea Salt (so good if you can find it!)
Mix all of the above together evenly
Set this spice mix aside and move on to the nest step.
Step 2.
Mixed Nuts
3 cups dry Almonds
3 cups dry Cashews (I used cashew pieces since they're cheaper in bulk)
1/4 c Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 tsp Salt
In a large bowl evenly mix the Vinegar and Salt in with the Nuts
 Make sure that the nuts have been completely coated with the Vinegar - you will need to stir for about a minute as the nuts will gradually absorb all of the liquid
Stir in half of your Barbecue Spice Mix (from Step 1) coating the nuts evenly
Stir in the rest of the Barbecue Spice Mix, coating the nuts evenly
(I do this in two batches to ensure an even coating)
Ohhh, you're almost done!
Final Step
Drying your BBC Mixed Nuts
Evenly spread your mixed nuts in a single layer, making sure that they're not overlapped or piled on top of each other (this helps them dry quicker) 
Proceed to Dry/Warm your nuts for 2 hours total
Taste them after they've cooled and make sure that they aren't still moist or soft from the Vinegar - you may want to dry them another 1 hour if they need it - it won't hurt!
Let the nuts cool off completely before you store them 
Store in an air tight bag or container in your fridge for a longer and fresher shelf life
Happy Monday and Happy Snacking!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Almond-Macadamia "Sugar" Cookies

Being somewhat of a self-proclaimed perfectionist, when I have an idea in mind (where food is concerned) and it doesn't quite work out as planned it - even if it is really tasty - it's still a kitchen fail. However, even failures can be success stories and while these cookies may have taken me on a recipe detour I certainly can't complain about the outcome. I mean they're really really good! If you love the simplicity of a plain sugar cookie then you're going to love these little treats. With the addition of Macadamia nut, they'll make any other other sugar cookie pale in comparison.
So with my original intentions set aside (only for the time being), I'll enjoy a few of these treats as I catch up on Project Runway Allstars, sip a cup of lemon tea, and snuggle with a couple of pups (look at me multi-task!)...
Important Note About This Recipe
About the Agave: 
Something I don't use very often in my kitchen is Agave, but where these cookies are concerned you need to use it, or another liquid sweetener of equal sweet-potency. I recommend Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Raw Blue Agave. I've actually taken the time to contact Wholesome Sweeteners, inquiring to whether or not their product is truly raw. They were gracious enough to respond to my email, confirming that they do not heat their Organic Raw Blue Agave above 118 degrees. 

If you'd rather not use Agave then see the recipe for my other liquid sweetener suggestions.
Almond-Macadamia "Sugar" Cookies
Yields roughly 27 cookies
Step 1.
Dry Ingredients
In a large mixing bowl:
4 c Almond Flour (you can either make your own or use store bought)
1/2 tsp Salt
Mix together your Salt and Almond Flour
Set aside and move on to the next step.
Step 2. 
Macadamia Paste
Into your Food processor:
1 c raw Macadamia Nuts
Grind your Macadamias into a paste for about 1 to 2 minutes, until it looks like this:
Set aside and move on to the next step.
Step 3. 
Wet Ingredients
Into a small mixing bowl:
1/3 c Agave//or//Grade B Maple Syrup//or//Raw Organic Honey
3 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Vanilla
Whisk everything together
Set aside and move on to the next step
Final Step
Making and Assembling Cookies
Into the large mixing bowl containing your Almond Flour
Add your Macadamia Nut Paste from Step 2
Begin to mix your Macadamia Paste into your Almond Flour
While your mixer is on stream in all of the wet ingredients from Step 3
Now you've got finished dough!
Flatten your cookies out to roughly 1/2'' thick, and try not to eat too much of the batter! 
Warming/Drying your Cookies
Proceed to warm/dry your cookies for 2 hours
After they've finished warming leave them out to cool for 30 minutes to an hour 
Keep then in your fridge for a longer shelf life
These cookies will definitely be making an appearance in the future, maybe with some cute decorations too!
Happy Friday!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Raw Vegan Cream Cheese & Baby Bell Peppers

I'm finally back with my health and full energy in tact! Whew, that some bug. I definitely needed an extra day to rest up and find my bearings. I don't remember the last time I got hit so hard with a flu, and I tend to get more than just a little stir crazy when I can't do my usual routine. Needless to say, I've missed you guys!
Today's recipe is a simple happy dish, and a new Staple for building a flavorful raw kitchen! I can never seem to veer far away from my cashews and macadamia nuts, but I don't think this is really a bad thing. I truly believe that every day needs (or deserves) a little fat, and bonus points if it tastes really good. 
Since Spring has finally arrived the season of casual barbecues, picnics, and all sorts of sunny weather gatherings is right behind it --- well, as soon as the rain stops. As per usual my family always gets together, kicking off the Spring season with Easter. This always means a huge buffet, my favorites (and specialties) are always the rich finger foods that everyone can grab and much on. The cheeze spread I'm about to share is a wonderful go-to recipe, making appetizers easy without sacrificing flavor or excitement. Of course you can expect to see more of this yummy cheeze spread in the future...
AtV Cream Cheeze
yields roughly 1.5 cups of cheeze spread
Step 1.
Beforhand Prep
Soak 1/3 cup Cashews for 4 to 6 hours
Important Note: The Cashews should expand to 1/2 cup after being soaked
Drain them from their soaking water and move on to the next step
*You will also want to have some AtV Sour Cream on hand
Step 2.
Making your Cheeze
1/2 c soaked Cashews (from Step 1)
1/2 c Macadamia Nuts
Into your food processor proceed to puree your nuts together until they've become a paste, like this:
(You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of your processor once or twice until the paste forms)
Add to your Food Processor:
1/3 c packed Zucchini - peeled and shredded
1 tsp Nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/4 tsp Salt
Puree everything together for 3 minutes...
It's as simple as that!
Now all that's left to do is stuff the cheeze into some baby bell peppers, garnish with Cilantro and maybe a side of Salsa too...


Friday, March 16, 2012

Cream of Tomato Soup

This soup has been a sanity saver this week, while I fight off the first (and hopefully only) cold of the year. My ability to finally taste food as been restored, so I'm just waiting for my energy levels to catch up.
If there's one thing I'm thankful for in spite of being laid up these last few days it's all of those lovely Raw Vegan Staples that are in my fridge, basically begging to be turned into a soup!
In between copious amounts of green smoothies, this soup has been my go-to since it's super easy to make and ridiculously comforting. Whether you're nursing a fever or watching the Spring rain flood your yard while playing back-to-back games of Scrabble, I promise you this soup will far exceed your expectations! 
I may even make a "cheese sandwich" to go with it in the future...
AtV Cream of Tomato Soup
Makes 1 big bowl
Into a sauce pan or mixing bowl combine the following:
1/2 tsp Paprika
Cayenne to taste
Salt to taste
1/2 c Water
Whisk everything together...
Transfer your Soup to a Saucepan
 Warm  soup on your stove top at a very low heat while whisking continuously
Use a thermometer to monitor the heat...
When soup is warmed to 110/112F it's ready to be eaten!
Garnish with fresh torn Cilantro and chopped Green Onion for a "tip of the hat" to St. Patty's Day tomorrow.

Wishing you all good health and a tasty weekend!