Thursday, February 9, 2012

Easy Raw

These dancing ravioli and the salad were made with a simple spiralizer, set to make two very different kinds of noodles. The rawviolis are made with jicama. The base of the salad is a marinated chayote (they are growing on my terrace so I'm inventing all kinds of ways to use them). The sauce is a tomato basil vegetable mix which balances well with both the ravioli and the salad.

These are chayote flatbreads going into the dehydrator, sprinkled with tomato powder.

If you have a garden, simple salads using flowers from broccoli plants makes a nice treat. One of the joys of having a garden is to be able to eat plants at stages of growth not found in stores.

One of our delicious healthy drinks is pumpkin nog! Richly delicious with vanilla, cacao, dates, banana and'll wonder why it's not on the menu of your favorite juice bar.

Fresh picked chopped kale with pomegranate seeds and pine nuts.

Little purple sweet potato slider with a marinated, slightly dehydrated portabella mushroom for a "bun".

If you make ahead little pie shells and keep them in the freezer you can make a raw banana cream pie in minutes. This is a pecan cacao pie shell drizzled with chocolate and filled with banana coconut cream.

This is another variation with almost the same ingredients.

Pie with persimmon gelée.

A winter treat and great work snack: raw fig newtons.

All raw, all delicious and easy to make.

New Class

I'm really excited about how easy it was to prepare raw food while traveling in Costa Rica with my tiny "raw kitchen"..a few tools that made preparing meals in the tropics a breeze (breezes were perfumed with ylang ylang flowers).
This dish is made with a little coconut noodle tool created by UBRaw. I was interested to find katuk leaves and blossoms for this dish.

This dish featured freshly cut heart of palm in a dulce curry sauce, with vegetables and delicious variegated leaves.

These are spiral cut zucchini with a tomato mango sauce (I brought some dried tomatoes with me and used a few fresh ones as well).

This is a mame sapote and is so rich and delicious it can be eaten as is, made into a pudding or ice cream with nothing more added.

These are tree tomatoes. The skin is hard, but scoop them out and they taste just like tomatoes.

Thes little gourd shapes are called jaiba (pronounced hyba) and their taste and texture is a cross between cucumber and summer squash. Here, they are served in a banana flower petal, stuffed with herbed macadamia cheese and garnished with katuk flowers and medium hot yellow peppers (from a tree). Easy to eat finger food.

Little amuse bouche finger food made from katuk leaves. Fresh pineapple and herbed macadamia cheese with chives.

Another amuse bouche...wrap the lettuce around the pineapple with macadamia cheese and you've got a delicious bite! Garnished with bouganvilla blossoms.

One of the simplest lunches on the go: the gorrilla sandwich! Find some delicious looking lettuce leaves and wrap them around a creamy ripe banana and you're good to go. If you are at home and have time, slit banana, add some almond butter and stick fresh blueberries in the butter then wrap. Imagine all of the variations of this meal in 2 minutes!

I was on top of a mountain, in the jungle, and a long way from stores so each meal was an exercise in creativity. This meal was all from scavenging in the garden. A multi green pesto with zucchini and jaiba noodles and lovely tomatoes.

On a visit to the farm next door, Chef Eric made vegetable sushi for lunch.

Making sugar cane juice with Amy and Mattias.

Chris Kendal opening a jackfruit.

I picked the star fruit that garnishes the plate from a tree and created different kinds of vegetable noodles. I particularly liked the softly curried daikon noodles. There is a sauce on the side for the noodles. This dish was for a pot luck with people from the farm next door.

Chris and Karine Ionesco made a tropical orange/watermelon drink that was refreshing and delicious...also a chunky mango salsa and a gigantic salad!

A tropical feast!

What I learned from this trip was how to be so much simpler with my food. Away from my kitchen conveniences I could still make great tasting foods with just a few tools.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Living Raw While on the Road

A number of friends and clients have asked me how to manage a raw food diet and stay healthy while traveling. I decided to create some classes and put the basic outlines on this page.


In a one and a half to two hour class I can give a lot of pointers plus a couple of demonstrations.

A half day class includes more demonstrations, samples and recipes.

A full day's class can cover a lot of food options which will allow you to eat well with your minuscule traveling kitchen and include more long term solutions such as dorm room or whole vacation dining.

Topics covered can include:

Food First to deal with traveler's headache, belly ache, fatigue, stress....without reaching for a pain drug to deal with the symptoms. Deal with the problem and re-alkalize your system.

Your Survival Kitchen: light and compact equipment to take with you. Several possibilities depending upon the length of your trip and your needs.

Breakfast: Get a great start to your day! How to make fresh raw, delicious, nutritious, sugarless, fiber filled filling breakfasts that taste better than the high carb, high sugar pastry that's served with coffee in a "Continental breakfast" and keep you energized for hours.

This raw apple crumb cake is delicious, quick to make and a great breakfast.

Thinking Ahead: Power bar snacks you can make for your trip plus a few pre-packaged ingredients to pack to make meals fast and easy on your trip.

Lunch: Away all day? Take-along snacks can save the day.

Little key lime pies can be made in a personal blender.

Raw and Social: Tips for surviving, thriving and enjoying business lunches or social events while staying healthy and raw.

Entrees: On a budget? No good restaurants around? Tired? You can make delicious dinners in your room with little fuss. Smoothies, fresh soups, puddings, zucchini "pasta" with raw marinara sauce, not a problem.

A few examples:

This is a hand cut wide noodle zucchini pasta with a "pesto rustica"....a hand cut pesto, everything uses only a knife.

This pesto can be made in a small travel blender.

These are zucchini hummus and a raw babaganouj, easy to make in a personal blender.

Pear and arugula salad.

Strawberry custard tart. Raw Desserts are no problem.

Soups are fast and delicious!

You can be healthy and stay raw while traveling for work or on vacation.
Contact me if you'd like more information.

I can also teach classes for home raw food kitchens, for example: how to create delicious and beautiful raw (dehydrated at 105 degrees), non gluten crackers and flat breads.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mango Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

I'm really enjoying making pies that are hidden inside forms, so that the opening is a surprise.
This one was for James' birthday. Since we had a key lime pumpkin for Valentine's Day, only the opening part was a surprise this time.

Opening the pumpkin.

When I asked James what he wanted for his birthday, he said mangos. There are three forms of mango in this pie. The outer crust is made with dried mango, dried coconut and dried goji berries. Between layers of chocolate, there is a layer of mango and goji berry jam. In the center is a mango/coconut cream/chia pie filling with a "seed" made of chocolate covered mango jam.

The different textures, flavours and tastes made it fun to eat.

Here's how it's made. I used a form to press the two layers of crust into. To make the melted chocolate, I ran pieces of some very dark chocolate through the food processor so that it was in small uniform pieces. (This makes it melt better). I put the chocolate pieces in a small pan and put this in the dehydrator to melt. It's wonderful to use the dehydrator this way, rather than melting over simmering water, because no water can get into the chocolate and the temperature is kept constant.

Once I pressed both the outer and inner crusts into the mold, I put it in the freezer to chill. For the outer crust, blend dried mango, coconut and goji berries in the dry carafe for vitamix. The recipe for the inner crust is the same as the key lime pumpkin, found here. That's the basic recipe, anyway. I never really measure. Once the crusts have chilled and the chocolate is melted, swirl a layer of chocolate into the molds and put them in the freezer to harden.

To make the mango jam, I just added water to the extra mixture I had made for the outside layer and blended it. Let it sit for a few minutes until it is fully hydrated. This is the most wonderful, no sugar way of making jams and spreads! Remove the molds from the freezer and add the jam layer. Let this firm up in the freezer.

Add another layer of chocolate. This is why it is so great to have the chocolate in the dehydrator, because you can just leave it there between layers and it's always ready for you when you need it. At this time, make a 2 balls of the mango jam, flat on the top, and coat them with chocolate. These will be the "seeds" of your strange "fruit". These go in the freezer too.

Put some chia seeds on to soak. Blend some mango into a puree with some coconut cream or coconut milk (just a little). Then add the soaked chia seeds and blend just enough to stir. This is the mango pie filling. Remove the forms from the freezer and spoon in just enough of the pie filling so that when you add the "seed" it will not over flow. Back into the freezer they go.

Of course, with each layer, you need to be aware that the two halves need to fit together, so don't make any one layer higher than the other.

Push the two halves together gently. Add a little more of the outside coating along the seam if needed. The final step is to coat the stem of the pumpkin with chocolate. Keep in the refrigerator or freezer until you are ready to serve.

We never eat dessert at the end of a meal. For us, a dessert IS a meal. This is both filling and nutritious. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine Surprise

February is usually a busy month of celebration for us.
Valentine's day, James' birthday and our own yearly holiday: Pumpkin Day.

Pumpkin day occurs any day of the month in February. It notes the cooking and eating of the last pumpkin from the fall harvest. Before we began eating mostly raw food, we took delight in cooking the entire pumpkin in the oven, like a turkey.
I was wondering how we would celebrate Pumpkin Day this year, with raw food. I began to think that a pumpkin cheesecake would be fun and could also be James's birthday cake.

This year, while all three of these celebrations are happening in the same week, James is also leaving one job to begin another. At long last, he will be working from home, which will change aspects of our day to day life.

Because of this, I wanted to make a dessert that we could share.

*(just as a matter of scale, the spoons and forks are tiny dessert sized, not regular size.)

So, here we are, out by the little nectarine tree which has graciously burst into flower for the big week.

But there needed to be a twist, because of the surprise of the new job, and our new life about to begin.

Green is for new beginnings, and as I was thinking about making pumpkin cheesecake I found some beautiful little ripe key limes, and a recipe for a raw key lime pie arrived in my mailbox.

So this is the Valentine Surprise....a creamy mango key lime pie, hiding inside the pumpkin like treats in a piñata.

The basic recipe for our Pumpkin Day Surprise came from here.

The outer crust for the pumpkin was made by grinding dried mango, coconut and goji berries together.

Happy Valentine's Day!

PS: I made this and took the photos the day before partly because I don't like to stop to take photos in the middle of a nice dinner but also because I was testing the structural integrity of the form: the pumpkin shape. I didn't want it to fall apart while we were looking at it or while I was bringing it to the table. It needs to be refrigerated, but the form was strong, and worked well.

When I served it for dinner, I added fresh, plump blueberries to each half before I sealed them together. I served the pumpkin with an extra dish of blueberries. (The dark blue looked wonderful in the light green of the pie).

The combination of the creaminess of the key lime pie, the two layers of crust, with their different flavours and the taste and texture of little orbs of blueberries was truly a feast for the mouth! A guilt free, nutritious treat.

The recipe made this pie plus several small lunch pies and a try of thumb print cookies. I added some water to the extra outer layer (made of dried mango, dried coconut and dried goji berries) and this made a delicious mango jam to put in the thumb print indentation of the cookie. (I didn't actually use my thumb. I had a metal tool from a small mortar and pestle that I used.)

I did not use agave in the key lime pie. I used maple syrup, but less than suggested in the recipe. Because of that, I used a little less lime juice, to keep the balance of the taste.