Sunday, July 31, 2011

Jicama Salad or Mock "Potato Salad"

Raw Jicama Salad or Mock "Potato Salad"
Hello All! I have so much I've wanted to share with you but our main computer has been in the shop. I have loads of photos all set to share with what I have been up to but they are trapped in the computer. I kept thinking any day now it would return but no such luck yet. Ugh!

Meanwhile I have been getting really good feedback on a recipe post I made awhile back over at Raw Food Rehab in their recipe section, so I thought I would share that here with you.  It's super easy and very tasty.

Many people call this "Potato Salad" because it's similar in texture I guess. It's creamy and a little crunchy. If you are like me and are not a potato salad fan, I hope you try it anyway. I was never a potato salad fan because I don't care for mayonaise so much, but I do love this! That actually is a theme running for me in raw. I am finding I like much more than ever, probably because the flavor and tastes are so fresh.

In general I am not a fan in calling things similar to regular S.A.D. (standard american diet) food versions because they generally do not taste anywhere near the original and if you are hoping so you will be disappointed but they do serve as some wonderful replacements in the diet. I challenge anyone to take this to a party with people that don't eat raw and see if it doesn't disappear the fastest out of all the dishes served- just don't call it potato salad.

Hmmm....Don't call me...Tater Salad.
        Love Ron White ;-)

I had already labeled it on my post and since I am just copying it over, Potato Salad it is. (sorry about the typos and lack of photos)

I hope you try this because it is delicious!

And if you do try it, tell me if you would call it mock potato salad, would you? I would love to know if you think it's similar.

Hope to be back up and running on my main computer soon. I've got lots of fun things planned and some news about an experiment I have going.

'Til then, take care!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Classic Andalusian Gazpacho

Classic Andalusian Gazpacho aka Raw Chilled Vegetable Soup
Psst: I just want you all to know that I did not enhance the color of this photo in any way- It's that vibrant!

It's Tomato Time!

Nothing beats a fresh raw organic ripe tomato in season. Well maybe there are other things but for me who never really liked raw tomatoes this was a new discovery. Tomatoes were things I would pick out of my sandwich or kick around out of the way in my salad. Who could blame me for not liking tomatoes when my only real exposure to them was in restaurants where you are hardly served a ripe tomato or from grocery stores where it is picked green or so modified where ever it comes from that it hardly has any taste at all.

No. there is a reason to wait for tomato season and then buy locally grown, or better yet from the farmer and indulge in the real deal- Flavor!! 

Take it an extra step and pick up some heirloom tomatoes, which means the seeds are at least over 50 years old and have been handed down the generations or have not been hybridized. There are over 600 varieties of heirlooms!

How many varieties of tomatoes does your grocer carry?

But I'm getting off track....

Back to Gazpacho!

A great way to enjoy the summer harvest vegetables is in Gazpacho, which is a very cooling  and refreshing soup made of raw fresh vegetables that is chilled. Gazpacho originates in the southern region of Andalusia and is a summer staple in Spain, Portugal and other Latin regions.

Traditionally gazpacho was made with raw fresh vegetables, mostly tomatoes, stale bread, garlic and olive oil. It is said that it became popular with field hands as a way to both eat and cool off without cooking and to use up stale bread. Over the years it has morphed into all sorts of cold vegetable combinations but I am going back to the source- the original if you like, but minus the stale bread.

What's kind of fun about Gazpacho is that you can make the basic soup and then pass around the garnish for people to add in any of their favorite flavors, including more oil or vinegar/sherry or more onions. You can have it smooth like a drink or chunky like a salsa. It's all personal.

Classic Gazpacho
Classic Fresh Ingredients


2 1/2 lbs ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered
1/2 cucumber peeled
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and quartered
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed to a paste
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar or wine vinegar, or to taste
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, or more to taste
1 tsp agave or more to taste, depending on your tomatoes
1 tsp sea salt to taste
Fresh black pepper to taste
Pinch of Cayenne pepper (optional)

1/2 cucumber peeled and finely diced
1/2 red onion or 4 scallions, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
Olive oil
(Or any combination of the above)

Quarter the bell pepper and blend to a paste in a food processor.
Add the rest of the ingredients minus the olive oil and blend until creamy or chunky if you prefer.
Drizzle in the oil while processing.
Place in a glass bowl or jar and cover.
Chill for an hour or up to a day before serving.

To Serve: 
Spoon into bowls and pass round the optional garnish or serve in a glass.

Takes about 10 mins to make this before chilling. This batch made up a quart and a half of soup,
Enough for 4-6 people


Raw Tomato Gazpacho

Monday, July 18, 2011

Raw Tacos and Peach Mango Salsa

Raw taco shown here with both corn and tomato salsa in butter leaf lettuce cup

When I first got into trying raw food, I was kind of excited by the idea of raw tacos and taco salads. After all, most tacos have lots of raw ingredients, so it was really about finding a good substitution for the meat.  I tried several recipes that were less than exciting and eventually gave up on the idea. Then I came across this blog post by my friend, Debra Garner on her blog, Vegan Family Style, who was preparing to serve this to her family for her birthday meal. I was thinking it must be good if the family likes it so I gave it a shot and it has been my go-to taco meat recipe ever since.

The flavor of taco meat is really about the seasoning and this one has it down.  Besides having it at home, I have since served it to others at a potluck with great reviews. People have asked me to share the recipe and Debra was kind enough to let me share it here.

Raw Taco Meat

Debra's Raw Taco Meat

1 cup walnuts, unsoaked
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 Tbsp Organic Taco Seasoning
3 sun dried tomatoes (soaked until soft)
pinch sea salt

Raw Taco Meat Ingredients
To Prepare:
The trick to keeping it crumbly is to dry the tomatoes after soaking. 
Toss everything in the food processor and pulse/blend until just crumbly. 
Don't over process or the walnuts will release oils and become more of a pate consistency
 (which actually could be good too!)

Raw taco meat, tomato salsa and corn salsa, with lettuce cups

Serve in lettuce leaf (both butter lettuce and romaine work well) for taco shell or over a bed of lettuce for a salad. Add your favorite salsa and other ingredients, like onions or avocado, corn etc.  (Debra has a great raw ranch dressing on the same post above.)

This week I took advantage of ripe peaches and mangos and tried out a new idea....

Peach and Mango Salsa- So good!

Peach Mango Salsa

2 mangos, peeled
2 fresh peaches peeled
1 sweet onion
1 medium tomato
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped,
juice of one lime
1/3 jalapeno, seeded and diced (optional)
pinch sea salt and pepper

Fresh ripe ingredients, including heirloom tomato

Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse until mixed.
 If you prefer chunky salsa, just chop all the above and mix in a bowl.
Chill before serving

( Note: Mine came out a little more blended then I wanted. Next time I will pulse/ chop the onion separately so as not to blend down everything so much.)

This made a little over a quart of salsa for me but amount will vary depending upon size of produce. We are finding many ways to enjoy it though!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Key Lime Pie!!

Key Lime Pie in a Cup!
 Man oh Man are you going to LOVE this!!!

If you like key lime pie as much as I do, you are in for a real treat!
No more need for condensed milk and eggs and unlike most recipes out there that use lime, I am using real key limes!! (although you can substitute regular limes.)
For creaminess and richness it uses avocados!! 
Thats's right avocados and trust me (the one who doesn't like avocados) it doesn't taste like avocados.

This is easy! The longest part is squeezing the key limes and chilling aka waiting. You can make it even simpler by skipping the crust and topping.

About Key Limes:

Key limes are much smaller than Persian limes- 
more like ping pong ball size. 
Once mainly produced in the Florida Keys, from whence they get their name, today most commercial crops come from Mexico. 
Some lucky ducks have trees in their yard or nearby.

A Tip:

Just like regular limes, and a lot of other fruits, 
if they are green they are not ripe!

They will be very acidic and sour. I think this is why many people shy away from these limes. 
But if you let them ripen to yellow you will get that sweet tart flavor without the extra acidity.

Raw Key Lime Pie Recipe:

For the Crust:

walnuts, medjool dates, sea salt, coconut
1 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut

1 cup walnuts

1/4 tsp sea salt

6 dates, pitted or more to hold crumble together

Process all in food processor until it can be pinched together and hold. 

(This is a great go-to recipe for some many things!)

6 of the 8 cups

Push the mixture evenly into the bottom of 
8  6 oz cups or ramekins.

You can also use a pie pan.

I like to make individual servings so that I can freeze some for later. It keeps us from feeling like we need to finish off the whole pie in a couple of days before it goes bad.

I use the pyrex cups with the lids.

This is a rich desert so a little goes a long way.

For the Filling:
ripe key limes and avocados

1 1/2 cups mashed avocado (3 small)
The secret ingredient to the creaminess!

3/4 cup fresh squeezed key lime juice 
(took me about 46 or most of two bags)
You can substitute regular limes here

3/4 -1cup light agave syrup (taste as you go)

1/8 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup virgin coconut oil- melted

2 Tbsp lecithin powder 
(This is optional but makes it creamier- I blended granules into powder in a magic bullet but spice or coffee grinder would work.)

coconut oil, blue agave, lecithin, sea salt
Save a lime or two for garnish!

Blend lime juice and 3/4 cup agave together in a blender and taste for tartness. Add more if needed. Add in avocado and blend.

Add the remaining ingredients and process until well blended. 

Taste again for tartness and add more agave if needed but remember it's supposed to be tart.

Divide mixture between cups and chill for at least a couple of hours. These should keep about 3 days in the fridge/

Ta DA! Key Lime pie ready to eat!

You can add a....

Raw Vanilla Cream Topping

1 cup cashews (soak in water for 8 - 12 hours)
I put them in water the night before then rinsed and kept covered in the fridge until ready to make.

1/4 cup maple syrup (can use agave but the maple has a really nice flavor.)

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp water

2 tsp vanilla extract

Blend all in blender until nice and creamy. Let chill for about and hour before using.
This will keep covered in the fridge for about 5 days.

You will have some cream left over but that's what peaches are for! ;-)

These recipes are inspired by Jennifer Cornbleet and her book: 

Raw for Dessert: Easy Delights for Everyone  I can't recommend this enough!


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