Category Archives: Raw Savory

reboot week 1 round up

So the end of week 1 of my self-imposed reboot is complete.  How did I go you ask?

Suprisingly, whilst I didn’t struggle during the week, I did have a hard time staying away from sweet treats come the weekend.  Could’ve had something to do with all the chocolate floating around due to Halloween, or the fact that I have a good schedule during the week, but whatever the case, I did have moments on Saturday where I probably ate things I wasn’t meant to (dark chocolate mainly, oops).

But, I guess like with anything, you will have some slip ups and what gets you to the other side is forgiving yourself and moving on.

As for the rest of the time, I felt super motivated and happy with my choice to do the reboot.  I also got excited again about cooking and food prep again which is always nice.

In terms of what I’ve been eating, I’ve been pretty constant:

Breakfast:  Green juice or chia porridge

Lunch: Big salad (lots of greens), with some good fats (avocado, nut and seed butters, seeds), some crunchy fruit for texture and a little bit of added sweetness (think green apples, nashi pears, pomegranates) and sometimes some baked pumpkin.

Dinner:  Baked sweet potato (can’t get enough), green salad and some type of legume for added protein.

Here are some of the things I’ve been eating for breakfast:

IMG_3060IMG_3330I made both of these when I was in the USA, but it’s basically what i’ve been eating here, sometimes I just change up the fruit but try to stick to berries and kiwifruits because I’m really into them at the moment, and although the berries are way more expensive here, you can still get some good frozen berries which is what I’ve been using to substitute.  Strawberries have been good, so I’ve been using them quiet a bit.

I get a lot of questions about how I make my chia porridge so I’m going to outline the recipe below.  Everyone has their own way of making it but this is the way that I like to do it as it gives a really nice consistency and that’s what it’s about for me.

 

Basica Chia Porridge

Serves 1

Ingredients

2 TBS of chia seeds

3/4 cup of non-dairy mylk (I like unsweetened coconut or unsweetened almond)

few drops of stevia (0ptional)

 

Method

Add all of your ingredients to a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake the hell out of it.  A lot.  Like a few times.  To make sure the chia seeds don’t clump up together, because that has the freakiest texture and it’s not nice.

Leave it in the fridge overnight or for at least 30 minutes.  If in doubt, shake it again.

That is all!

You go get creative on that chia!

I like to layer mine with some coconut kefir yoghurt and above mentioned fruits but whatever rocks your mason jar.

I also like to make a smoothie first and then add it to the chia seeds, this adds flavour and colour and some extra nutrition depending on what you’re putting in your smoothie.  Below is one I made by blending coconut mylk with baby spinach, spirulina, a little stevia and 1/2 banana.  Sky’s the limit really with the flavour combos.

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IMG_3390This salad was really simple but yummy, I actually ate it two days in a row.

 

Baby Greens with nashi pear and roast pumpkin

Serves 1

 

Ingredients

1 cup each of baby kale, baby spinach and baby mixed greens

1/2 nashi pear, sliced thinly

1/3 cup of baked pumpkin

2 tsp of pumpkin seeds

 

Dressing

1 TBS raw and sprouted pumpkin seed butter (I use Dastony brand)

1/2 lemon, juiced

1-2 TBS of water

Himalayan pink salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

 

Method

Wash and dry your leaves carefully, using a salad spinner will help (my lifesaver).  Pour into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Mix all your ingredients for the dressing together and pour over the leaves.

Mix in the pumpkin and nashi pear, being careful not to mash it all up because it’s nice to have texture!

Sprinkle on some raw pumpkin seeds and eat.

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Ok, so this dish was inspired by Chicago raw vegan restaurant, Karyn’s Raw.  I went there on my visit to Chicago with fellow instagrammer and lovely human being, @ericabeevegan.  She treated me to a beautiful raw vegan brunch and it was the bomb!

I saw these ravioli on the take away menu there and Erica showed me that the trick to get the turnip soft and pasta-like, was to salt them first.  GENIUS!

Two Cheeze Ravioli with Napolitana Sauce

Serves 1

Ingredients

1 medium sized turnip, sliced with a mandolin to make thin even slices

1/3 cup of raw cashews (soaked overnight or at least 1 hour)

1/3 cup of raw macadamias (soaked overnight or at least 1 hour)

1/2 lemon, juiced

2 TBS nutritional yeast

1/2 clove of  garlic

1 tsp of dried dill

Himalayan pink salt

Freshly cracked pepper

1 cup of chopped tomatoes

4 kalamata olives, chopped and deseeded

1/2 clove of garlic

2 tsp of evoo

1/2 date

2 basil leaves

1/4 – 1/2 cup of water (optional)

 

Method

Peel turnip and thinly slice with a mandolin.  Set aside on a plate lined with absorbent paper.  Once you cover the plate with the turnip slices, sprinkle with salt, add absorbent paper on top and repeat the process until all of the turnip slices are covered.  Set aside to soften whilst you make the rest of the dish.

For the cheeze, first rinse the nuts well, then add them to the blender with the nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice and dill.  Blend until it’s mostly smooth but not completely.  Add a little bit of water if needed to get it going but not too much.  You still want it to be thick in consistency.  Once ready, season with salt and pepper to taste.  Scrape the contents into a small bowl and place it in the fridge to harden.

For the sauce, blend the tomatoes, olives, oil, basil, date and garlic until smooth and season to taste.  If it’s too thick for your liking, add some water.

Now let’s make some ravioli!

Rinse the turnip slices under cold water to get rid of the excess salt.  Dry again on absorbent paper.

Place about 1 tsp or more of the filling in the middle of each turnip slice, leaving plenty of room around the sides.  Turn one side over, making a half moon type shape.  This is your ravioli.

Place them on a clean plate as you go.  When you’ve done them all, pour over your marinara sauce and you’re done!

I served this with a baby kale and clover sprout salad with a chunky avocado and lemon juice dressing.  So good!

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This dish is one of my fave all time dishes as it’s quick and simple and the salad is delicious.  I’ve been making this salad for so long now and it never gets old.  It’s a fave at family gatherings because it’s so simple but so damn tasty, which is exactly what I’m about.

I always bake lots of pumkin and sweet potato so I have them in the fridge ready to go whenever I’m time poor.  Nothing beats freshly baked but if you’re out of time, it pays to have some handy.

Kale, Pomegranate and Avocado Salad

Makes a big salad bowl

Ingredients

1 bunch of curly kale

1/2 large pomegranate, seeds removed

1 large ripe avocado

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 lemon, juiced

Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Method

Remove stems from kale leaves, and wash them well under running water, being careful to remove any dirt or insects that can sometimes hide in the little curly bits.  Place in a salad spinner and spin well to remove water.  Repeat until you’re happy with how dry they are.

Place leaves on a chopping board and chop into thin threads.  Place chopped leaves in a large mixing bowl.

Add avocado in cubes, 1/2 the lemon juice, some salt and cracked pepper.  Use your hands to squish the avocado through the kale, at the same time mixing it through and massaging the kale (this will soften the kale).

Taste and adjust seasoning and/or add more lemon juice if required.  Mix with hands again to get every little bit of kale smothered in the avocado/lemon juice goodness.

Once you’re happy with it, add the onion and pomegranate seeds and use tongs to mix them thorough.  Done.  Don’t forget to wash  your hands

For this dish, i just used a baked sweet potato and canned organic black beans which I topped with some chiplote parmesan cheeze.

I fell in love with chiplote when i was in the states, it just tastes so good in everything!  So I bought some chiplote powder and brought it back to Australia, since I’ve found it hard to source here.

For the chiplote parmesan all you need to do is ground some walnuts, sunflower seeds, add some chiplote powder and nutritional yeast and season with a little bit of Himalayan pink salt and it’s ready.  I store mine in a glass container in the fridge.  I’m purposely not giving you measurements as it’s a very individual thing.  Feel free to leave out the chiplote if you can’t get your hands on some.

IMG_3403IMG_3448 IMG_3434IMG_3451Don’t forget there’s always zoodles!  They are another go to meal and I usually like mine with mixed baby spinach or baby kale and a cashew sauce or mashed avocado and lemon juice.

I’m also excited because a new About Life has opened up a walk away from where I work so if I’m ever lazy, I can just stroll there and get a healthy meal (as you can see above).

Well, I hope I’ve given you some ideas for some dishes to try if you’re on a reboot or if you just want to start eating more fresh plant foods.

Remember that it’s not just about eating well (although it mostly is), but also moving your body.  Get it doing something that gets the blood pumping for at least 30 minutes a day and your body and mind will be so grateful you did.  I promise :)

Wishing you a productive and fulfilling week.

Peas, love and mungbeans

 

xxb

 

 

let’s get saucy

IMG_2302When the culinary gods where creating dishes, I’m sure they picked pasta as the dish that would bring instant comfort and satisfaction to the lucky person devouring it.

Pasta is the reliable friend you can count on when your creative kitchen mojo has left you stuck and timepoor, and  your pack of loved ones are screaming to be fed.

But what makes a pasta a GOOD pasta.  After all, if there’s good, there’s also bad.  My money is on the sauce.  If  you have a super tasty sauce, man, you own it!

Here’s a recipe for a delicious sauce that’s sure to keep the family happy and you, with your sanity intact.

Spinach Pesto

Makes about 300 mls or enough to feed 4 hungry bellies

Ingredients

4 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup raw walnuts
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw pinenuts
4 TBS nutritional yeast

Method

Add all ingredients to your blender and and blend until smooth. You many need to scrape the sides and push the ingredients down to incorporate them into the blending.
Place pesto in a glass jar with tight fitting lid and store in the fridge until ready to use.

Here’s a recipe that I made with it (pictured).

 

Spinach pesto and zucchini pasta

Serves 4

Ingredients

Enough pasta for 4 people (approx. just over half a regular pack)
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1/2 medium brown onion, finely diced
1 quantity of spinach pesto (as above)
3/4 cup of plant mylk (I used unsweetened almond)

Method

Cook pasta al dente, rinse in a colander with warm water and set aside.
In a large frying pan, lightly sauté zucchini and brown onion with a little bit of water.  Add the pesto and stir to warm through.  It will be thick, so add your mylk a little at a time to maintain a thick and creamy sauce.  You may not need to add all of it.  When the zucchini is soft and your sauce is as creamy and thick/thin as you like it, add the cooked pasta and toss to cover each and every single pasta piece.

Taste and season if required.  Serve immediately with a fresh crisp salad simply dressed in lemon juice.  This will go well with the rich tasting pasta.  You could also add some more nutritional yeast on  top or sprinkle on some hemp seeds.

* I used gluten free quinoa pasta

 

Ok, now I’m going to share with you my favourite ALL TIME sauce.  it’s a pesto but I use it raw.  You can cook it if you like but my suggestion is that you use it raw.  It makes a great sauce for raw zucchini pasta, a deliciously creamy salad dressing, and you can also have it as a dip with a bunch of your fave veggies or on top of some raw crackers.

 

One Hungry Mami’s Almond Pesto

Makes 50o mls

Ingredients

1 cup of raw almonds, soaked overnight and rinsed well
1/2 bunch of parsley, leaves and stems
1/2 zucchini, chopped
handful of baby spinach
4 Tbs of nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp of spirulina (optional)
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil (optional)
1 clove of garlic
1/2 cup of water
Himalayan salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Method

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.   You will need to stop and push the ingredients down, as well as scrape the sides to incorporate all the ingredients.  You can add extra water also, just do so a little bit at a time.

Adding the zuchinni to the blender first will also help the blending process, as it releases fluid when blended.
This keeps well if kept in a glass jar with tight fitting lid.  However, mine usually only lasts 3 days as i have it a lot.  Basically have been living off it for the last week, oops!

IMG_2395

IMG_2400What can I say, green is my favourite colour!

 

Peas, love and mungbeans

 

xxb

Loco for taco

IMG_2072There’s just something about tacos that makes me think of parties, fun, music, laughter and good times.  Maybe it’s the vibrant colour of the ingredients, or perhaps the freshness of the flavours that incites good memories, but whatever it is, it doesn’t matter.  Tacos are amazing and a definite crowd pleaser.

Here’s a simple recipe that’s raw vegan and packs enough flavour punch to keep your tastes buds dancing with joy.

 

‘Soft shell’ Cabbage Tacos

Serves 4

Ingredients

Walnut Taco Meat

1 cup walnuts, soaked overnight and rinsed well
1/2 cup of packed cup sun dried tomatoes (you can get ones with no oil)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp of chilli flakes

 

Salad

2 radish, thinly sliced (I used a mandolin)
2 cups of baby spinach
1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
1 cup of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1 medium ripe avocado
1 cup of red capsicum, diced
1/2 cup of red onion, diced

Mexican Mayo (makes approx. 500 mL)

1 cup of raw cashews, soaked overnight and rinsed well
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of paprika
1 tsp of ground coriander
1/3 cup of banana chilli or red capsicum
2 TBS of nutritional yeast
1 tsp of Himalayan pink salt or to taste

Soft Shells

1 head of purple cabbage (A small one is usually enough and I cut it in halve first and get nice even sized ‘tacos’)

 

Method

Cover the sun-dried tomatoes in boiling water and leave to soak for about 10 minutes whilst you get the other ingredients ready.
Once tomatoes have had time to soak, process all of the walnut taco meat ingredients in a food processor until well combined, but still chunky. Set aside.
Blend all of the Mexican Mayo ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning if required.
To assemble the tacos, just layer your salad ingredients on a piece of red cabbage leaf and top with walnut taco ‘meat’ and mayo.

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If you think this is too fiddly, you could also make it into a salad and pop it into bowl, just shred the cabbage finely first so that it’s easy to eat.

Sometimes I make a big quantity of the taco meat and keep it in the fridge and take it to work for lunch or dinner.  It looks something like this:

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For each jar you will need:

1 cup of cos
1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup of yellow capsicum
1/4 cup of fresh coriander
1/4 piece of the avocado, chopped
1/4 cup of red capsicum
2 TBS of red onion
1/4 cup of walnut meat
Juice of half a lemon/lime (if you run out of mayo)

 

Just layer each of the ingredients in your mason jar and add the mayo or lemon juice prior to eating otherwise it can make your salad soggy if you add it to the jar.

 

And if you’re wondering what’s in the cups, it’s actually one of my all time favourite smoothies (I know, I have a lot of those)!

All you need to make this delicious smoothie is 1 cup of frozen strawberries, 1 banana, 1/2 beetroot, 1 1/2 cup of water.

Place it all in a blender and before you can say antioxidants, you’ll have a deliciously thick and creamy berry beet smoothie.

YUM!

 

Peas, love and mungbeans

 

xxb

 

 

waste not

So as promised, here is a recipe for almond milk.  It’s so ridiculously easy that I’m looking forward to making lots of other nut milks.

My first advice is to buy a nut milk bag, they are not very expensive and you should get a lot of use out of it.  I have tried using a clean dish towel before but it does let a lot of the pulp in, making your nut milk thicker, and that’s ok if that’s what you like.
The following recipe is for basic unsweetened almond milk.

Almond milk
makes 2 cups

Ingredients
1 cup raw almonds
2 cups of water

Method
Soak the raw almonds in lots of water for 48 hours.
Once soaked, rinse well and drain.
Place almonds in a powerful blender with 2 cups of clean water (use filtered if possible).
Blend until mixture is super smooth.
Pour mixture into nut milk bag, making sure you have a bowl to catch the nut milk!
Squeeze as much of the liquid out as you can.
Pour prepared milk into a glass bottle with tight fitting lid, it should keep in the fridge for 2 days.

Now at this point, prior to bottling, you can add your flavours.

So normally I would add some organic vanilla extract and a couple of drops of stevia or a date to give it a tiny bit of sweetness.

Was that the easiest thing ever or what?
You can do that to every nut you desire.

So, with delicious fresh almond milk in tow, I decided to make a yummy turmeric almond milk.

Why do I love turmeric so much?
Simple really, turmeric is an overall healing spice.  Apart from being a powerful anti-inflammatory, it also has anti-tumour and anti-microbial properties.
It’s the bright yellow pigment, curcumin, that makes turmeric the pharmacological powerhouse that it is.

Here’s what you need:

Tumeric Almond Milk
Makes 2 cups

Ingredients
Prepared almond milk (as above)
2 pitted medjool dates
1 TBS raw coconut nectar
1 1/2 tsp of ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp of cardamon
freshly cracked pepper*

Method
Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
*adding the black pepper means that piperin, the active ingredient in black pepper, increases turmeric absorption, making it up to 2000x more powerful.  Hand me the grinder!!

Whilst you can have the turmeric almond milk cold, it also makes a delicious and nourishing drink when warm.
To keep it raw, I just blended mine again in the vitamix until it warmed up a bit.

So I bet you’re wondering about the almond pulp right?  No, don’t throw it in the bin!  There’s many things that you can do with almond pulp, here’s one of my favourite ways with almond pulp.

Almond Hummus
Makes about 500 mls

Ingredients
Left over almond pulp
1 large zucchini
small handful of baby spinach
1 garlic clove
1 tsp of ground cumin
juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup of water
Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Method
Blend all ingredients together in a powerful blender, you will need to scrape the sides down to make sure you get a smooth consistency as it’s quite thick.  Don’t be tempted to add more water, you just need to push the ingredients down with the blender tool to get all the ingredients blended up.
Store in a glass container with a tight fitting lid.  Should keep for about 3 days.

 

The reason I love this hummus so much is because it still has that delicious smooth consistency and taste but is completely raw.  I’ve tried making raw hummus before using sprouted chickpeas, but it didn’t taste as good as this!

I also use the hummus as a salad dressing, it’s the bomb!

Peas, love and mungbeans,

xxb