Raw Lasagna

One of the best things I’ve learned this month is improvising. Most of the recipes took me hours when I first started – but I managed to get this lasagna done in less than an hour and dehydrated in about 3 hours or less and it was extremely tasty and satisfying. I just prepared it, put it in the dehydrator, went about the evening activities and it was just perfect when we returned home after a full late afternoon.

Of course the noodles are made simply from one large zucchini that I thinly sliced with a mandolin. I squeezed 1/2 lemon on top of the zucchini and tossed it with just a tad of olive oil to tenderize it.

“Cheez” is:

1 cup soaked macadamia nuts

1/2 cup pine nuts

2 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons olive oil

Tomato “paste” is:

About 12 sundried tomatoes (I used the organic ones packed in oil)

3 small fresh Roma tomatoes

2 dates

handful of fresh basil leaves

about 1 tablespoon fresh oregano

1 teaspoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon dried onion flakes

dash of garlic powder

3-4 small baby bella mushrooms

For topping: Dehydrated mixed vegetables and shaved fennel (also dehydrated)

Make the “Cheez” by combining all of the ingredients in a food processor and blending until well combined and set aside until ready to assemble.

Do the same with the tomato paste (you can either rinse out the food processor or not).

I dehydrated all of the ingredients first for about 20 minutes then I assembled the lasagna with 4 zucchini noodles on the bottom followed by just a little bit of the “Cheez” mixture on top and a generous helping of tomato paste – I did this a few times, alternating the direction of the zucchini layers and ending with the Cheez on top minus the tomato paste. I topped it all off with the mixed vegetables and the shaved fennel. Very filling and quite delicious.
If these directions aren’t clear enough, feel free to ask me questions!

 

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Rawstada (Raw Tostada)

Last night was a fun experiment. I was really rushing making a tortilla because I didn’t start until about 3:45/4 pm. Results were pretty tasty, but my onions were almost too pungent – I ended up leaving most of them on the plate.

Ingredients:

4 cups corn kernels

1/2 cup ground flax

1/2 cup fresh orange juice (I would do carrot juice next time)

1/4 teaspoon Himilayan salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup chopped onion

Mixed vegetables (chopped, drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper)

Guacamole

Put all of these ingredients in the food processor until a thick dough forms. Spread it on the dehydrator teflex sheet (in the form of a large square) and dehydrate at 140 degrees for one hour then lower temperature to 105 degrees for another hour. While your tortilla is dehydrating, add the mixed vegetables to another teflex sheet and leave in dehydrator until you are ready to eat your tortillas. Flip over to a grid sheet and continue to dehydrate until soft but not mushy. If you dry it long enough you would be able to use it more as a foldable tortilla. Since it was already around 7pm for me I just cut out a square of it. I topped the tortilla with a generous helping of vegetables and some fresh guacamole made with avocado, jalapeno, tomato, cilantro, onion, lime juice and cumin.

The good news is that I have at least three servings left of my corn tortilla so I can have fun adding more veggies and new ingredients to that today. I like that it is nut free.

Almost There Plus Great Recipes

I’ve been on the go these last few days, putting many miles on the car, traveling high and low – from Copper Mountain to Buena Vista. I took this picture at Officer’s Gulch, between Frisco and Copper. The positive spin on that is that the colors are beautiful right now with the Aspens bright yellow and some of the brush turning deep orange and red. I had to think ahead packing plenty of car snacks and lunch for both days and I feel great about having negotiated that successfully. Car time can be a time of mindless snacking for me, especially when my blood sugar starts dropping. Today I was prepared with plums and what I’ll call a smoupie since it was sort of a mix between a soup and a smoothie. Yesterday I packed a great salad along with a peach.

I have to admit that I have been completely exhausted this week and I am ready for this experiment/adventure to come to a close this weekend. I am sure I will continue to eat more vegetarian and integrate raw much more than the occasion raw dinner out or salad for lunch. I enjoy the creativeness of the recipes. Yet as we head more into fall I have to admit I just adore a baked sweet potato, or dare I say it, sweet potato “fries.” I say fries, but what I really mean is sliced sweet potatoes drizzled with a little olive oil and baked until slightly crispy on the outside and tender insider. Don’t get me wrong, the dehydrated sweet potatoes aren’t bad, they just lack the meatiness and satiating quality of a baked sweet potato (at least for me).

Finally, why did it take me 4 weeks to figure out that tossing a bunch of chopped veggies with some olive oil and a dash or two of Himilayan salt and pepper and dehydrating for a few hours at 105 degrees is even better than steamed or stir fried veggies. WHY? WHY? This would’ve been my evening staple! Oh well, at least my last few nights will be veggie heaven. By the way, Lucy (the new cat) is doing great and the previous “issue” mentioned has taken care of itself – and in the right place, if you know what I mean.

Here are a few recipes from recent meals:

Jicama Salad

1 medium jicama, diced (about 1/2 inch dice

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

1/2 red bell pepper, small dice

3 scallions, chopped

1/2 jalapeno pepper, small dice

juice from 1 lime

1 tablespoon cold pressed olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin

salt and pepper, to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon each)

Mix all the ingredients together and allow to marinate for at least an hour before serving. Sometimes I enjoyed this with a little chopped cilantro and diced avocado on top.

Stuffed Endive

These were super quick and easy to prepare. Wash the endive and remove the leaves one at a time, make sure they are nice and clean and dry. Rub the ends on a half of a lime to preserve their color.

2-4 (depending on how many you want to serve) heads Belgian Endive

1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup walnuts (soaked)

1/4 cup pine nuts

15 fresh basil leaves

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

dash of pepper

Separate the endive leaves and lay them out on the tray you wish to serve them on. Meanwhile, add the red bell pepper through pepper to a food processor and pulse until you have a crumbly mixture. Place about a tablespoon of the mixture on each leaf.

Morning Cereal (Grawnola)

I wouldn’t really call this granola, but you can if you’d like. It is made in the dehydrator and if you really want to dry it out like a crunchy granola you could leave it in there for a very long time. I dehydrated it about 12 hours and it is still chewier than it is crunchy, but quite tasty nonetheless.

Makes about 6 servings:

1/2 cup ground flax seed (I grind the flax in a coffee grinder – not too long, just enough to crack the seeds)

1/4 cup shredded organic coconut (dried)

1 cup walnuts (pre-soaked)

about 10 dates, pitted and chopped

1/2 cup almonds (pre-soaked)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons raw agave nectar

Note: These ingredients may not be exact – I ad-libbed as I was going along, and am writing this by memory. The good news is, the recipe is so flexible you could really add whatever nuts and seeds you would like.

Add all of the ingredients to your food processor, fitted with the S-blade and process until mixture comes together – you may need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times. When you reach the desired consistency, spread out in a thin layer on your Teflex dehydrator sheet and dehydrate at 110 degrees for about 5 or 6 hours. Then flip over onto a dehydrator grid sheet and continue to dehydrate to desired consistency – 4 to 10 more hours.

I served this will homemade almond milk that I added some raw rice protein to, a teaspoon of raw hemp seeds, and fresh strawberries. Very filling and satisfying.

 

 

Chiles Rellenos

Last night’s dinner was Chiles Rellenos – these were easier than some of the earlier entrees – again just need to prepare in advance for some of the dehydrator time. Ingredients:

For the stuffing (“cheeze”):

4 mild green chiles with stems attached

1 1/2 cups soaked cashews

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon cumin powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

For the “batter”:

1 cup macadamia nuts

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 teaspoon chopped jalapeno

1/2 teaspon salt

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Rise and drain soaked cashews. Place cashews and other cheeze ingredients into a food processor and puree until smooth. Scrape this mixture into a small bowl. Set aside.

Puree batter ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a measuring cup or something deep enough to dip chiles into for coating (note: I still needed to use a spoon to get the chiles completely coated).

Soak chiles in hot water for 10 minutes to soften them up. Make a slit in each side from under the stem to just above the bottom tip.

Stuff each chile using a spoon with one fourth of the cheeze mixture. Hold onto the stem, dip the chiles into the cup of batter, coating them well. Place them on a dehydrator tray with a Teflex and grid sheet. Dehydrate at 110-155 for about 3 hours. Top with avocado salsa (see Enchiladas recipe) and feel free to experiment with adding your own homemade salsa.

If you desire more heat in terms of spice, feel free to increase the jalapeno – mine turned out rather mild.

 

Primo Pizza – Raw and Totally Satisfying

I browsed many raw pizza recipes before taking the big leap and diving in. I had eaten raw pizza once or twice before – once at a raw dinner in Evergreen when Whispering Weeds was still doing their monthly raw dinner night and I believe I tried the pizza at Juliano’s Raw restaurant in Santa Monica. Many of the recipes called for sprouted buckwheat groats, which I didn’t have. I bought some buckwheat from Vitamin Cottage and when I got home realized that it was “toasted” so it’s going back. What I liked the best I found on http://www.rawlifecoaching.com. I definitely altered the recipe a lot, so I will post the changes that I made in bold parentheses. But in all fairness to give them credit, go check out their blog for more raw info then I am providing here.

To have real success with this recipe, a food dehydrator is absolutely mandatory. I suppose you could do it at low temperature in the oven, but technically it isn’t going to be “raw” or “live.”

Ingredients:

3 Large Yellow Onions (I used one large onion)

2/3 Cup Flax Seeds, ground

1/2 Cup Sunflower Seeds, ground (remember to soak)

1/4 Cup Almond Flour, (dehydrated almond pulp)

1/3 Cup Nama Shoyu (I eliminated this and used pure water)

1/4 Cup Olive Oil (cold pressed or non-pressed)

2 Tbs Nutritional Yeast

1 Tbs Oregano

1 teaspoon fresh basil

1 Clove Garlic, minced (1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)

1 (1/2) Tsp Himalayan Crystal Salt (more or less to taste) (I added more to make up for the lack of Nama Shoyu)

Equipment Needed:

Coffee Grinder

Food Processor

Dehydrator with non-stick sheets

Start by grinding all of the seeds into a fine powder.  I use an inexpensive electric coffee grinder which works well on smaller seeds like flax, which can be difficult to fine grind.  Place the dry ground flax, sunflower, and almond flour into a large bowl and stir around to mix well.   Add the remaining dry ingredients, the nutritional yeast, oregano and Himalayan salt, to the bowl and again mix well.

Raw Pizza Crust Flipped

Clean and peel the three large onions and cut into quarters.  In a food processor slice all of the onions into slivers using the slicing disc.(Note: I opted to slice the onions as written, but I added to the food processor with the other ingredients so that I wouldn’t have the noticeable chunks of onion in the dough).

Break up any large pieces so you are left with mostly onion slivers.  Place the onion slivers a large clump at a time into the large bowl with the dry ingredients and toss until all of the onions are well coated.   Mix together the nama shoyu, olive oil, and minced garlic, then incorporate into the dry ingredients insuring an even consistency.   Set this bowl aside for five minutes or so to allow the dry mixture to soak up the wet ingredients. (I basically added everything to the food processor).

On a non-stick sheet over a dehydrator tray spread out half of the mixture to about 1/8 – 1/4 inch in thickness.   A flexible spatula works well for this.  Take some time to spread the crust evenly and insure there are no holes or high spots.    Repeat on another tray with the remaining mixture and place both into the dehydrator at 110° for 12 or so hours.

To flip the crust, place another dehydrator screen and tray on top of the crust and hold both together firmly, then in a smooth controlled motion flip both over and set down on the counter.   This should hold the crust in place while you turn it over.   Remove the bottom tray (which is now on top) and peel back the non-stick sheet revealing the portion of crust that was previously facing down.   Repeat for the second crust.

Place both crusts back into the dehydrator for another 10-12 hours, or until ready to use.    Next up, Ultimate Raw Pizza – Part II:  The Cheese and Sauce!

Note: It definitely takes 24 hours of prep for this crust, so plan accordingly. I made the sauce and the cheese in advance so that just about 1/2 hour before guests came over I assembled the pizzas and put them back in the dehydrator just to keep them warm.

Tomato Sauce

8 roma tomatoes (chopped)(I used about 15 baby plum tomatoes)

1 cup sun dried tomatoes (soaked for 2 hrs., save soaked water)

3 tsp. dried basil (I used fresh – about 10 leaves)

1 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. thyme

2 cloves garlic (chopped)(I used garlic powder again (about a teaspoon), preferring less garlic breath after the meal)

2 tbs. olive oil

3 dates (pitted)

1 tbs. lemon juice

Salt to taste

How to: Put everything in a blender, add the tomato soak water (taste first to make sure it isn’t too bitter and if so substitute water or tomato juice) and blend till thick. Set aside.

Macadamia Nut Ricotta:

1 Cup Raw Macadamia nuts

1/2 Cup Raw Cashews

1/4 Cup Raw Pine nuts

1/3 Cup Fresh Squeezed Lemon juice

1 Clove Garlic, minced

3 Tbls Nutritional Yeast

1 Tsp Himalayan Salt (to taste)

<1 Tsp Cold Pressed Olive Oil (just a drizzle)

Soak 3/4 cup of the macadamia nuts and all of the cashews together in approximately 3 cups fresh, filtered water for 20 minutes.    Drain and rinse.  In a food processor, chop the remaining 1/4 cup of dry macadamia nuts and all of the pine nuts into a fine meal.  Set this aside.

Chop the soaked macadamia nuts and cashews into a fine meal and add the lemon juice, garlic and drizzle of olive oil and blend until smooth.  Add a few tablespoons of filtered water to aid in blending smooth if needed.  You’ll want to get this mixture as smooth as possible while keeping it fairly thick.  Add the dry macadamia and pinenut mixture, along with the nutritional yeast and blend until mixed well.  Season with salt to taste.

NOTE: We had a lot of leftover “cheese” mixture so I am now adding it to salads……….

Toppings

I used kalamata olives, fresh thinly sliced fennel, zucchini, and marinated mushrooms (* see recipe)

Green Soup

I loved the taste of this soup but it was much thicker than I would have wanted. I ran out of carrots so I didn’t really have enough juice to start with and ended up adding a little water to try and thin it out. I’m going to post the recipe with the correct amount of carrot juice.

2 1/2 cups carrot juice (fresh pressed)

1/2 cup celery juice

1 inch fresh ginger – juiced

1/2 lime (juiced)

plus juice expressed from one whole lime

1 avocado

1/4 jalapeno pepper

Use a juicer to extract carrot, celery, ginger and 1/2 lime juice.  Combine this in a blender with extra lime juice, avocado and jalapeno and puree until smooth and creamy. Serve in fancy drinking glasses or small bowls.

                                                                                                 Melody enjoying her green soup!

Dried Veggies

Since I was tiring of the nuts and dried fruits I wizened up and decided to slice up some veggies for the dehydrator. Now I can snack on these all day without the heaviness of the nuts. I used my mandolin to thinly slice one small yam and one zucchini. I also tore up a few stems of kale. I drizzled all of the veggies with a tiny amount of olive oil, salt, and pepper and then I dehydrated them at 115 degrees for about 5 hours. The results are delicious, healthy, and crunchy. Loaded with vitamins and a small percentage of calories compared to the nuts.

Tremendous Toast

Remember I mentioned saving the pulp from the almond milk and the pulp from the fresh juices – well, here is where we use it. I used:

2 cups almond nut milk pulp

1 cup veggie pulp (carrots, celery, ginger, parsley, spinach)

1/3 cup flax meal

1/2 cup water plus about 1/4 cup of carrot juice

In a large bowl mix everything together. I eventually used my hands to sort of knead everything together. Then form the mixture into a loaf shape and slice about 1/3 inch wide slices and place directly on dehydrator tray with grid sheet in place. Dehydrate at 145 for one hour then reduce temperature to 110 and dehydrate until crisp – I left ours on overnight, so total dehydration time was about 13 hours. Be creative with your toppings. I plan on using nut butters, sauces, and fruit purees.

Pasta Primavera

 

Last night’s dinner was one I’ve enjoyed the most so far. It was also the simplest: pasta primavera made with zucchini and yellow squash. I used a mandolin to thinly slice or ribbon the squash and I also used a peeler and a knife. I may need to invest in a spiralizer to really get into the long, thin strands. I loosely followed a recipe for the marinara sauce but since it ended up differing quite a bit I’ll just show you what I used:

Marinara:

16 sundried tomato halves (that had been soaked overnight in fresh water and drained)

1 roma tomato

1/4 jalapeno pepper

About 20 fresh basil leaves

1 dash of garlic powder

1 small shallot

1 teaspoon agave nectar

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

about 1/4 cup vegetable juice (mix of carrot, celery, parsley) mixed with 1/2 cup water

Note: I should have saved the soaking water from the tomatoes, but I accidentally just drained them right into the sink – this is why I chose to add the vegetable juice plus water for my liquid.

Blend all of the ingredients together in a blender and adjust the consistency with the liquid. I used about 1/2 cup total liquid. Yield was approximately 1 1/4 cups sauce.

For the “Pasta:”

1 Zucchini

1 Yellow Summer Squash

You can choose whichever way works best for you in terms of making the pasta. You can use a mandolin like I did or you can shred the zucchini and make it like a raw “orzo” dish (my guess is it would be a bit mushy). You can make it chunkier and you can hand slice – up to you.

For the Primavera:

1 carrot shredded

1 broccoli stalk shredded (about 2 inches of stalk)

1/4 red bell pepper

4 fresh basil leaves – thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 dash salt

1 dash pepper

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Toss all of the ingredients together and serve on top of pasta and marinara. Save extra for salad.