Thursday, September 27, 2012

Raw Food Pumpkin Recipe Round-up!

Autumn is here, and in spite of some set backs this week I'm truly excited to welcome in the changing season -- not only because I'm an Fall baby, but most importantly because if I squint hard enough I can see Christmas time! I absolutely lovelovelove this time of year!
There's a lot of changes happening in the AtV household, and while I can't say yet how this will affect my kitchen duties, I can reassure you that any time off I might need to take from creating new recipes is only temporary. I promise!
I have some fun and easy raw food recipes coming up next week, but in the mean time (and in lieu of Pumpkin season!!) I wanted to do a recipe round-up featuring some of my personal favorites. I think out of all of the 2011 Holiday recipes I had the most fun with pumpkins...not to mention the outcome yielded some pretty freaking tasty results...


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cherry Tomato Cream Sauce (nut free)

It's the first installment of many recipes to come, featuring my AtV Nut Free Cream.
This one is just way too easy, and really lovely. Enjoy this simple tangy, peppery sauce with a bowl of zucchini pasta, as a salad dressing, or even as a dip for a simple crudites platter.
A Couple Quick Recipe Notes:
About the Tomatoes: For this sauce I used orange cherry tomatoes - the sweeties and tangiest tomato around. If you can't find these buggers at your local market you definitely want to stick with using another variety/color just as sweet and tangy.
About the Cream: As I've already noted, this is a yummy nut-free recipe, featuring AtV Nut Free Cream. But, this sauce would be just as good (if not better) with AtV Sour Cream if you're not worried about the use of nuts. Either way it's gonna be good!
Creamy Cherry Tomato Cream Sauce  
Yields roughly 1.5 cups of sauce
Step 1. 
  • 1.5 c Orange Cherry Tomatoes sliced in half
  • 1 c AtV Nut Free Cream
  • 1 tsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • *2 Tbsp minced fresh Basil
  • *1/2 tsp minced Garlic

Step 2.
Making your Sauce
  • Place all of your ingredients into your food processor 
  • Puree for 1 minute, stopping to scrape down the sides once or twice
  • Store in an air tight container in your fridge. Eat within 3 to 4 days.
Now, if you want a quick and yummy bowl of zucchini pasta follow me...
chopped Cucumber
chopped Red Bell Pepper
sliced Sun-dried Olives
minced Garlic
fresh Dill
drizzle of Lemon Juice and Olive Oil
Keep this sauce around for Friday's post and I'll show you something else that's really-really yummy...


Monday, September 17, 2012

Nut Free Raw Vegan Cream

The tides are definitely starting to turn, as I'm continuing to challenge myself a bit more in the area of nut free recipes. I'm not doing this because have a nut allergy, on the contrary I absolutely LOVE my cashews and almonds, but because the requests keep coming in!
I've thanked you all before for such resounding support and enthusiasm, and I have to thank you again because I really am so grateful for the creative "nudge" you've given me. It's exciting to be working with puzzles in the kitchen, and my brain absolutely loves the workout!
Today I'm sharing a recipe that will become the base for many future (and really tasty) nut free dishes. But before you run to the kitchen and start digging for the ingredients I have to share some important key notes about this cream. It may seem like a lot of information, but I assure you it's all easy to understand, and it helps to answer any questions for those of you just starting out here...
About the Seeds
I've used raw (sprout-able but not sprouted) Sunflower Seeds.
I chose these seeds for two specific reasons: they're easy to find and affordable. 
Always keep your Sunflower Seeds refrigerated, this keeps them fresh and from going rancid. 
Soaking the Seeds: In this recipe you will be soaking *1 cup of seeds for 5 hours.
After the 5th hour of soaking your seeds will have expanded to roughly *1.5 cups (maybe a bit more).
*The recipe calls for 1.5 cups of soaked Sunflower Seeds as you will see below in the ingredient list.
Do NOT wait for more than one day to use your soaked seeds in this recipe.
It is very important to use the freshest ingredients possible, otherwise you may yield slightly different flavors, most often bitter notes because either your nuts are not fresh, or your zucchini is overripe (read more about zucchini below).
About the Zucchini
Perfectly ripe zucchini is imperative for this recipe. 
As I mentioned above, if you use overripe zucchini the flavors of your cream will often yield bitter notes.
To find the best quality zucchini for this cream make sure that your zucchini does not have any soft spots on the outside of the skin, and once washed and dried the skin should not be sticky or slimy to the touch.
When you grate the zucchini, if it's overripe it will almost immediately begin to seep it's natural water content and the flesh will be more yellow than white.
Your ideal zucchini flesh will be as white as possible.
Nut Free Cream vs. AtV Sour Cream
For those of you who are familiar with AtV Sour Cream, you might be wondering if this cream is it's nut free counter part. The answer to that is; sort of.
About the Flavor: At the moment here's the biggest difference between the two raw vegan creams: The flavor. AtV Sour Cream is very similar to dairy in the sense that it's flavor base is extremely cooperative and it doesn't compete with anything it's combined with. If you're not a nut-sensitive person then there's no reason why you shouldn't continue making and enjoying AtV Sour Cream, because it's really awesome!
The new Nut Free Cream has a much more nutty flavor because of the Sunflower Seeds. I can't tell you yet what AtV recipes will go well with this new cream, but I can tell you that I'll be testing out a LOT in the coming days. 
About the Consistency: Just like AtV Sour Cream, you can make this Nut Free Cream in your food processor OR high speed blender. I personally recommend using a high speed blender if you have it, because a food processor will not yield the creamiest results. Pay special attention to the notes in the recipe body about how to make it using both methods
About the Color: Aside from the flavor the only other difference between the two is the color of the nut free cream. The natural pigments from the seeds make this cream a more beige color, verses the all-too-familiar creamy white. Everyone says we eat with our eyes first, so if you can get past the unappealing (to some) tint of brown this cream contains then you're gonna be just fine!
I think I've covered just about lets get to work!
AtV Nut Free Cream
This recipe yields roughly 4 cups of cream. If this is too much simply make a half batch, or you can freeze half of it for later.
Step 1.
  • *1.5 c soaked Sunflower Seeds (see notes above for details on soaking)
  • *1.5 c peeled and shredded Zucchini flesh (see notes above for details about zucchini)
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Date Paste //or// 2 Medjool Dates - soaked until soft
  • 1 tsp Salt //or// Salt to taste
  • 1 c Water
  • 1/4 c Grape seed Oil
Step 2. 
Making your Cream 
Directions for Food Processor:
  • Place all of your ingredients except for the Oil and Water into your food processor
  • Puree together for 10 minutes (I know that seems like a long time but it's necessary for the right texture)
  • While your processor is on, stream in the oil and continue to puree for 2 minutes
  • Begin streaming in your water 1/4 cup at a time. Wait a minute or more in between every 1/4 cup of water, until all of your water has been added
  • Transfer your finished cream to an air tight container and place in the refrigerator to chill. As it chills it will thicken quite a bit.
Finished Cream still in the food processor
Directions for High Speed Blender:
  • Place all of the ingredients from Step 1 into your high speed blender 
  • Puree everything together for 1 minute
  • Transfer your finished cream to an air tight container and place in the refrigerator to chill. As it chills it will thicken quite a bit.
Finished cream out of the high speed blender
And just for a quick tester I decided to make my Better Then Kraft Ranch Dressing Recipe...
The end result was definitely not the same as the original recipe (for more on the flavors read the "About" section at the top of this post), and I can't say that the flavors were anything like Ranch, but it was a damn tasty dip for a veggie lunch platter!

I hope you guys enjoy this recipe! 
I'll be back with more on Wednesday.


 One more non-food related note: 
Things are going to start looking a little different around here as I'm gearing up to format AtV to include some pesky web advertisements. I hope this doesn't keep you from enjoying AtV because I've been avoiding it for a long time! Having a background in sales/marketing had me resistant to make this change for way too long, but I can assure you other than a few flashy new icons the content will still be the same -- with lots of tasty treats!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Oh, Hello!

Over the weekend Mr AtV and I took a quick trip to one of our favorite coastal getaways, celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately we returned home with a sick pup, on the brink of both us getting a cold as well, but we still managed to have a wonderful time, and made some pretty great memories too.
So as I'm sitting on my sick bum, watching too much day time television I hope you'll accept some photos of our little weekend instead of a recipe post...
Saturday morning's breakfast stop (and crappy instagram pic) of my Smoothie and Chia Seed Pudding from Living Light Cafe. One of the many reasons why I love visiting Fort Bragg; this lovely little cafe makes it easy for me to pack little to no food, since they have a convenient grab-n-go cold case and gorgeous salad bar. There's no reason to not stop by this place at least once if you're in the area.
My favorite Natural Foods Store in all of California. Look at how cute it is!
One of our favorite things to do together is get dressed up really fancy and go out on the town...
A perrrrfect Heirloom Tomato salad from Mendo Bistro
Fun fact that some of you may not know about me; I do eat cooked food sometimes - usually when we dine out, and very very rarely at home. In the case of our Anniversary dinner I had a cooked main course (Tofu and sauteed greens/seasonal veggies) which was very poorly executed, but Mendo Bistro is such a charming place and the service is so good that I'm gonna forgive them and just be more choosey on our next visit (I'm really pretty easy to please).
My drawing on our paper table cloth (I love any restaurant that provides crayons!)
Mr AtV's drawing.
My little Lucy-Goose.
Elmer, looking very much like a Japanese Chin. Lovelovelove.
For more fun pics from our getaway follow me on Instagram @addicted_to_veggies.
Our first real family photo!

I'm dying to get back into the kitchen and work on more nut free recipes, but I need my sense of taste to return first. So stay tuned, and I promise the minute I'm feeling better I'll have something yummy to share. 


Friday, September 7, 2012

Cinnamon Sugar Cookies (nut free)

Every once in a while I'll have a random craving for something sweet, and when this happens I always head to my kitchen with the hopes of satisfying my super tiny sweet tooth. This morning I had cinnamon and sugar on my brain, but since AtV is trying to do more nut free recipes I knew this time around would be more challenging than my previous cookie adventures. Thankfully I love to solve puzzles...
Important Notes About This Recipe
About the Coconut Crystals: I've used two different sweeteners to get that brown sugary taste that is super important in making these a successful cookie. The first sweetener is raw Coconut Crystals (sometimes known as Coconut Palm Sugar). There seems to be a lot of different varieties of Coconut palm sugar popping up nowadays, and some brands are not necessarily raw. If eating a strictly raw diet is important to you then I recommend doing your research before settling on a brand. My brand of choice is Coconut Secret.
About the Maple Syrup: This is my first time officially using Grade B Maple Syrup in my recipes, and if you're wondering whether or not it's a "raw food", well it's technically not. But I can tell you in my humble opinion, and through my own personal research I've found that it's much better (and more pure) than Agave -- which I've officially banished from my kitchen after reading this article: "Why I never use Agave". If you'd rather not use Maple Syrup for these cookies that's totally fine. Other recommended liquid sweetener substitutes would be: Raw Honey, or Coconut Nectar.
Cinnamon Sugar Cookies - nut free
Yields roughly Two Dozen cookies depending on the cookie dimensions
Step 1.
  • 2 cups Coconut flour
  • 1/2 c Coconut Crystals
  • 1 Tbsp ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 c Grade B Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 c Safflower Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 C Water
Step 2. 
Making your Cookie Dough
  • In a large mixing bowl combine all of your Dry Ingredients
  • Mix/Whisk Evenly together
  • Set this aside
  • In a separate mixing bowl combine all of your Wet Ingredients
  • Mix/Whisk together until all of your wet ingredients
  • Set this aside
 While your mixer is on, proceed to slowly stream the wet ingredients into your dry ingredients...
Your finished dough will be moist and slightly crumbly
Now it's time to shape your cookies...
About 2 heaping tablespoons of dough for each cookie is about right...
Cinnamon & Sugar Topping
In either or a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle grind together:
3 Tbsp Coconut Crystals
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
Dry your cookies for 2 hours
After they've finished drying let them cool for 15 minutes or more 
Store them in an air tight container in your fridge for a longer shelf life
These yummy little buggers get Mr AtV's tasty seal of approval! He even went so far as to say; "they taste just like real cookies!" *snicker*

What's your favorite kind of cookie?

Wishing you all a very sweet and tasty weekend!