The Raw Cooked Vegan

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I threw this together one evening when my sister was over. She raved about it and insisted I write down the recipe for her. So I wrote it down, fresh from my memory, and gave it to her. After having long forgotten about it, I was with her one day when she served it to me. I raved about how good it was. After explaining to me that it was my recipe, I laughed and asked her for a copy.

That's pretty much a day in the life of how my kitchen works.

I don't often use canned tomatoes, but it happens to be what I used when I first made this recipe and it turns out great every time. Fresh would probably work well if you have luscious tomatoes.

food processor recommended

1 28oz can organic whole, peeled tomatoes
3 TBS olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
4 TBS balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp crushed rosemary
1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
Handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped

Heat olive oil in skillet over med heat. Add onions and garlic. Saute about 5 minutes until heated through. Do not over cook. Remove from heat and set aside. 

In food processor, Add tomatoes (with juice), Italian seasoning, salt, balsamic and rosemary. Pulse until chunky. Pour tomato mixture into a serving bowl. Stir in onions, kalamata olives and fresh basil.

Let marinate at room temp for at least 30 minutes. Serve on small toasts or toasted french bread.

Ceasar Salad Dressing

Well, we fixed our internet! The lightning did something to our cable modem and luckily that's all it was. We had it replaced and all is working fine now. My previous post was sent from my mobile and I wasn't sure if it would work, but apparently it did!

Okay, now to the Ceasar Salad Dressing...Of course it's vegan, since this is a vegan blog....but seriously, I have experimented with many different ingredients and this one has to taste the most like ceasar dressing. I pour it on any salad jumble, although if you want the "authentic" ceasar salad,  just toss some croutons on your romaine and there you have it. It's also great as a veggie dip!

Ceasar Salad Dressing

1/3 cup Vegenaise
3 TBS olive oil
2 TBS fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dulse flakes
1 tsp dijon mustard (Grey Poupon)
1 tsp maple syrup (the REAL stuff)
1/2 tsp coarse black pepper

Using a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Consistency will be slightly thick. Let set for at least 15-20 minutes to let flavors mesh.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Noodles with Sesame Peanut Sauce

If you like Asian peanut sauce, you will love this dish! It's easy and quick and something your kids will probably devour. My family likes to eat it with chop sticks. This is also really good served cold and it packs well in lunch boxes.

Choose from whole wheat, semolina, spelt, brown rice pasta (my choice) or quinoa pasta. .

Noodles with Sesame Peanut Sauce

8 oz spaghetti-type noodles
1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, sliced
2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Peanut Sauce
1/3 cup natural peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
3 TBS dark brown sugar
2 TBS rice vinegar
2 TBS tamari or soy sauce
1 TBS sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water. Save 1/4 cup pasta water. Strain pasta when done to your likeness.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add broccoli, bell pepper and onion. Salt & pepper and saute for 10 minutes, until slightly cooked, but still firm. Add 2 TBS of hot pasta water to skillet, which will soften vegetables slightly. Cover and turn burner off.

In a lidded jar, combine peanut sauce ingredients. Shake jar until combined. If necessary, add a little of the remaining pasta water to thin out.

In a large serving bowl, combine pasta and vegetables. Pour peanut sauce over and mix well. Serve room temperature or chilled.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Almond Cranberry Coconut Chewy Cookies

This is a yummy cookie with all natural ingredients, no refined sugar and it perfectly satisfies your sweet tooth!  I love making these to have on hand, instead of say....M & M's (my daughter's weakness). Who needs chocolate anyway! Well...scratch that. I do have a fab vegan recipe with chocolate in it.

Thanks goes to Ani Phyo, raw food chef extraordinaire, who shared this recipe on her website.

I used a food processor, but you don't have to. The dates and almonds can be chopped up with a knife and the rest mixed by hand.


1 1/2 cups soft Medjool dates, pitted (pack them down in the measuring cup)
1 cup raw almonds, processed into chunks or chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 TBS vanilla extract, (alcohol-free if possible)

If using a food processor, process almonds first, then add the rest of the ingredients. Continue to process until chunky and batter sticks together easily.

Form into round balls (I use a mini plastic ladle) or you can use a cookie cutter to form whatever shape you want. Perfect lunchbox snacks!

Store in refrigerator. Good luck keeping them around long.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Five Star Corn Salsa

I'm into the crazy habit of jotting down recipes after making them so as not to forget a single ingredient. If they happen to be really great, I pencil a "5 star" on the paper to remember how much I liked it. Well, this particular recipe had a 5 star penciled on it, but no title.  So, you can guess how I came up with the name.

This is absolutely fabulous with pita chips, corn chips, or smothered over a baked potato...the possibilities are endless!

Five Star Corn Salsa

3 cups frozen corn, thawed (no need to cook)
1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped
1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped
1 large avocado, diced
Juice of 1 lime (or lemon)
3 TBS fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
fresh ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in serving bowl. Toss gently to mix. Keep refrigerated.

Note: I use organic produce, including frozen vegetables and fruit. Repeating the word 'organic' after every ingredient would be redundant. I recommend using organic whenever possible.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Two Tone Oven Potatoes

I've been making this recipe for a long time and I believe it originated from Cooking Light. My non-vegan husband actually found this recipe when we had to bring our own food for a week during a vacation on Little Gasparilla Island. I couldn't have been more proud when he searched for recipes, created the whole week's menu and printed out the shopping list! We ended up prepping and cooking together every night. That turned out to be a one time deal, but still...I cherish the memory.

Two Tone Oven Potatoes

2 medium organic sweet potatoes
2 medium organic baking potatoes
1 1/2 TBS olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground red (cayenne) pepper
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced

Wash and dry potatoes. Do not peel. Cut into quarters, lengthwise, then cut each wedge once more. Preheat oven to 400F. Place oil and seasonings in a gallon sized zip lock bag (this works best). Squish together the spices with the oil through the bag.  Add potatoes and shake to coat (I know 1 1/2 TBS does not seem like enough oil, but it is. If you want to go ahead and make it 2 TBS of olive oil, feel free). Arrange wedges on a cookie sheet, skin side down (so the potato is less likely to stick and, with the cut side up, browns both sides). 
Bake 40 to 50 minutes until tender and crisp.

I guarantee you will make this recipe more than once!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tempeh Curry Salad

This is one of those vegan dishes that I tried at a health food store deli. I pretty much guessed what was in it and went to work in my kitchen. I experimented with the spices several times and have the curry sauce down to perfection! To tell you the truth, the sauce is so good, I've been wanting to try it with other things, like maybe in a potato salad with green onions....hmmm.

1  8oz block of flax tempeh
1 tsp olive oil
2 small crisp, sweet apples, chopped
1 cup walnuts (or other nuts of choice), chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup celery, diced small
1 cup cooked squash, like butternut, buttercup or kabocha, diced
1 cup dark organic raisins, rinsed in warm water to plump

Perfect Curry Sauce
2/3 cup Vegenaise
2 tsp white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp garam masala spice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 TBS maple syrup or agave*

Cut tempeh into cubes. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat and saute tempeh cubes until slightly browned, but not dried out (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside to cool. In a small bowl, combine the curry sauce ingredients and stir until smooth.

In a large serving bowl, combine tempeh, apples, squash, red pepper, walnuts, celery and raisins. Pour all of curry sauce over and toss gently until thoroughly mixed. Chill.

*I used to use agave syrup for many things, but the controversy over it convinced me to use an alternate sweetener. The fructose content of agave is even higher than the dreaded high fructose corn syrup (which I avoid like the plague).

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cast Iron Skillet Pita Bread

I am forever looking for the perfect pita or flat bread recipe.  I've come pretty close to a good pita recipe with this one. I cook it in a cast iron skillet, which cooks it in about 5 minutes. I kind of cheated by using my dough setting on my bread machine to knead and raise the dough, but I've also done it by hand lots of times. I prefer my machine only because it saves time! Just throw in the ingredients and set the button. You only have to check the dough ball and add either a little water, or flour to get it the right consistency.

Cast Iron Skillet Pita Bread
4-5 cups unbleached white flour
1 cup water
2 tsp yeast
1/2 TBS sea salt
2 TBS olive oil
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp poppyseeds

If kneading by hand, dissolve yeast in 1 cup of slightly warm water until foamy (30 min). Combine dry ingredients, including seeds. In large bowl, mix flour mixture with yeast water and olive oil. Add more flour if necessary to get a smooth non-sticky dough. Cover bowl and set aside in warm area to rise for 1 hour. Turn dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Cover again to rise 1 hour.

If using a bread machine, add liquid ingredients first, then dry ingredients on top. Turn machine to dough setting and start. Watch dough ball carefully for the first 5 minutes, adding more flour if it's too sticky, or more water if it's too dry. You want a smooth-looking dough. Take out when cycle is complete.

Turn dough out onto floured surface and divide into 12 pieces. Lightly oil cast iron skillet with olive oil. Heat skillet to medium-high. Roll a piece flat with rolling pin, adding to pan while rolling the next. Flip pita after 2 to 3 minutes. Take out when puffy and slightly browned on edges. Tranfer to plate. Cover with towel until all pitas are finished.

You can cut these with a sharp knife along the edge to make a "pita pocket" and stuff with your favorite ingredients, like hummus or almond hummus, lettuce, avocado, tomato, sprouts, onions, etc. or just rip pieces off and dip into soup.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Raw Almond Hummus

Awesome Spread for sandwiches and pita!

I don't know where I got this recipe from, but I've been making it for a couple of years and it is so good! I use it for a base for rolling nori rolls, or as a spread in sandwiches. Love it!

1 Cup raw almonds, soaked overnight, then drained and rinsed
1/2 cup ground sesame seeds (or tahini, but I like to grind my own)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBS fresh lemon juice
Sea salt to taste (I use 3/4 tsp)
2-3 TBS water

Add drained almonds, sesame paste, lemon juice and garlic to food processor. While processing, add water through shoot to make a nice, thick consistency.

Refrigerate, covered.

Raw Almond Hummus Nori Rolls

Almond Hummus Nori Rolls

I like to use this hummus in nori rolls because it's thick and spreads like sticky rice. The picture above, consists of almond hummus, red pepper, celery and red cabbage. But feel free to add avocado, green onions (that's really good) or anything else your heart desires.

(Sorry about the pic, it looked much better in person)

NOTE:  I am no expert in nori rolling! The directions below are as good as it gets here.

Raw Almond Hummus Nori Rolls
1/2 cup raw almond Hummus (see recipe)
1 Nori sheet
Matchstick size veggies of choice

Lay Nori sheet out, dull side up and spread hummus 1 cm thick end to end across to cover 3/4 of the nori sheet  Leaving one end bare. 

Add your chopped veggies of choice, end to end, across half of almond spread. Wet bare end with a smear of water. Roll, like you would a poster, as tight as possible (I know that's a lame analogy). Cut with a sharp knife into pieces.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Grilled Marinated Tempeh

This is my grilled tempeh with hummus & roasted eggplant on lavash pita. Yum.

Sliced tempeh marinating...

After being grilled in panini maker

There are a lot of protien sources for vegans out there and tempeh has to be my favorite. Tempeh is made by fermenting soybeans with the Rhizopus mold. Not only does it contain protein, but also antioxidants, isoflavones, saponins, fiber, folic acid, potassium, iron and amino acids. I choose fermented soy over other soy products as much as possible for the health benefits.
Great for sandwiches, salads or use it as your main course. I usually pan saute it, but for this post, I used my panini maker.
Grilled Marinated Tempeh
1 8oz block of tempeh (I like flax)
3 TBS olive oil
1/4 cup tamari
2 TBS maple syrup (the REAL stuff)
2 TBS balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Cut Tempeh across into 2 inch strips. Cut each strip twice into thin layers. Lay tempeh pieces into shallow dish (I used a glass pie dish).

In a lidded jar, combine olive oil, tamari, maple syrup, vinegar and red pepper flakes. Shake well and pour over tempeh. Cover and let marinate several hours or overnight.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add tempeh pieces and saute until browned on both sides.

If using a panini maker (or Forman Grill), preheat and arrange tempeh pieces on grill and close. Cook 5 minutes. Careful, it cooks pretty fast. Transfer to serving dish. Store remaining in refrigerator.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Roasted Eggplant

This recipe is absolutely the BEST way to cook eggplant. Others have told me how great it is, so it's not just me. There is no salting or draining either! I use a panini maker (George Forman Grill works well too). But if you don't have a panini maker, you can use your oven, broiler or cast iron skillet.

Use the cooked slices cut up in pasta or quinoa or rice, or make pitas with hummus and a slice of eggplant. I've also used it on flatbreads. So delicious!

Roasted Eggplant
1 firm, medium eggplant
3 TBS olive oil
2 TBS balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried oregano

Slice eggplant thinly, just smaller than 1/4 inch. In a lidded jar, combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic and oregano. Shake well. Using a basting brush, baste marinade to cover both sides of slices.
(Notice why panini method is my choice...5 minutes and it's done)

Panini Method: Preheat panini or George Forman grill. Lay pieces on hot press and close lid. Let cook 4-5 minutes, checking doneness. Slices should be brown and soft.
Cast iron pan: Lightly oil bottom of pan with olive oil. Heat pan over med heat until pan is hot. place slices in pan, not overlapping. With a spatula, press as they cook. Turn over and continue pressing until they are soft and brown.
Broiler method: Line a shallow baking sheet with foil. Smear a light coat of olive oil on foil. Arrange slices evenly. Broil, watching carefully not to burn. Flip, broil until done.
Oven method: Same as broiler pan prep. Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Bake approximately 15 minutes. Turn each piece over. Bake additional 15 minutes until done.

Note: Make a little extra marinade (or double) to drizzle over cooked eggplant.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Citrus Wheat Berry Salad

Get more whole grains in your diet! Wheat berries are truly a whole grain food. I've really underestimated the versatility of this little kernel. When cooked, they are chewy, nutty and filling! I've made them for breakfast, like I would oatmeal. The only thing is, they take a little longer to cook (around 50 minutes). I know many people are in a hurry and sometimes taxed for time when it comes to preparing foods, but this citrus wheat berry salad is something you can make ahead of time and then refrigerate. I hope you make it at least once, because it's so good and its packed with protein, fiber and iron!
Citrus Wheat Berry Salad
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup dried wheat berries, rinsed
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup chopped carrot
1/2 head of small red cabbage, chopped
2 Clementine oranges, sectioned
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup apricot preserves
2 TBS rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp sea salt
In sauce pan, combine water & wheat berries. Bring to boil, reduce heat & cover. Simmer 50 minutes, or until tender. If water evaporates before 50 minutes, add a little more and turn burner down. Drain any excess water. Set aside to cool.
In large serving bowl, combine wheat berries, black beans, carrots, cabbage, oranges and walnuts.
In lidded jar, add oil, vinegar, apricot preserves, ginger and salt. Shake until mixed. Pour over wheat berry salad mixture and stir until combined.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Key Lime Snowballs

If you like Key lime pie and coconut, you will definitely love these! This is a no-bake, raw food and it's pretty simple to make. You can whip this up in less than 15 minutes if you have all the ingredients. You only need a food processor.
Key Lime Snowballs
1 cup raw cashews or raw walnuts
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 TBS Key lime juice or lime juice
1/2 tsp lime zest
6 large medjool dates, pitted
1 tsp vanilla extract, or 1/2 of vanilla bean
3 TBS maple syrup (the REAL stuff)
Extra shredded coconut to roll dough balls in
In food processor, grind nuts fine. Add remaining ingredients and process until thick and starts to form a dough ball. Roll dough into small balls (if dough seems too sticky, either add more coconut or slightly wet your hands). In a small bowl, roll dough-ball into shredded coconut to cover completely. Repeat until all dough is gone. Refrigerate a few hours to firm up. Eat chilled for best results!
Notes on dates: I like to soak the medjool dates in warm water to soften them if they seem a little dry. Just soak for about 10 minutes and drain. This helps them to process a lot easier. If you have fresh, humongous dates, than cut it down to 5 dates in this recipe.
Notes on other ingredients: I highly recommend using raw nuts. You can find raw nuts at a local health food store or order them online. I also recommend using real maple syrup, not that other maple-flavored sugar stuff.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Raw Onion Bread Pita

If you have an interest in raw, living foods and own a dehydrator, then it's likely you've heard of raw onion bread, or even tried making it. My first recipe came from a raw food book and I thought it was too salty and had an overwhelming taste of flax. I experimented with several different versions and finally came up with this recipe. I think it resembles pita more than bread. It's great with hummus! So good and so addicting!
Be prepared to wait 24 hours for this stuff. But totally worth it!
You will need a dehydrator and a spice grinder
Raw Onion Bread Pita
5 medium organic sweet onions, sliced thinly
1 1/2 cups ground raw sunflower seeds
3/4 cup fresh-ground flax seeds
2/3 cup hemp seeds (not ground)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup wheat-free tamari
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Peel onions and slice thinly (with a mandoline slicer if you have one). Place onions in a large bowl. With kitchen shears, snip onions into smaller pieces. Add hemp seeds to onion bowl.
Grind flax seeds in spice grinder until you have 3/4 cup. Add to onion bowl.
Grind sunflower seeds with 1 tsp rosemary in spice grinder. Grind two batches until you have enough for 1 1/2 cups. Add to onion bowl.
In a lidded jar, combine olive oil, water, tarmari and garlic. Shake well and pour over onions. Stir with a wooden spoon until completely combined and onions are saturated.
Divide onion dough evenly onto three dehydrator trays lined with parchment or teflex sheets. Spread thin with the back of a spoon.
Dehydrate at 105 degrees for 12 hours. Carefully peel back parchment paper/teflex, then flip onto another tray and dehydrate another 12 hours. Take out and cut with pizza cutter or kitchen shears.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Spicy Orange Moroccan Salad

Okay, you may be thinking oranges with Kalamata olives? YES! Oh my G. This is so good, I penciled a 5 star on the now scrappy paper its written on. I cannot describe the taste, other than it's sweet, salty and spicy. Everyone loves it here (well, except one little olive-hater). I originally discovered this recipe from the New York Times.
Spicy Orange Moroccan Salad
3 large, seedless oranges, or 6 small (Navel or Valencia)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp Hungarian paprika (or regular paprika if you don't have it)
2 cloves garlic, minced or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 TBS olive oil
1 TBS red wine vinegar
sea salt & fresh ground pepper (I use mortar & pestle)
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
15-20 Kalamata olives, cut in half with kitchen shears
Wash and peel oranges. In large bowl, cut each orange wedge into two or three pieces with kitchen shears. Cut away any stringy membranes. Add chopped parsley and Kalamata olives. Set aside.
In a lidded jar, combine olive oil, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic, vinegar, salt & pepper. Shake well. Pour over orange & olive mixture. Toss. Serve cold or at room temp.

Kitchen Essentials

I recycle jars and they come in handy for mixing dressings, sauces and marinades.
These are the tools I use the most and make my life so much easier! My citrus hand juicer, garlic press, big knife, wooden spoon, kitchen shears, mortar & pestle and spice grinder.
I have a collection of raw and vegan cookbooks. My fave is Alicia Silverstones book. After being vegetarian for over a year, I read her book and it completely convinced me to go vegan. Ani Phyo's book is great too. She has some fantastic raw food recipes that I just love.
Other things in my kitchen that I absolutely need is my food processor. I have two, a Cuisinart and Kitchen Aid. I really like the old Cuisinart because it's lighter and quick to get out and put away. The Kitchen Aid is bigger and less likely to spatter when making liquidy things. So I'm glad I have both. The KA was also a gift for mother's day!
For raw foods, I have an Excalibur dehydrator, a Breville juicer and mandoline-type slicer. Although you don't necessarily need a mandoline (I bought mine at Williams Sonoma-a OXO hand held slicer for $14.95), it helps to quicken the cutting time. As for a dehydrator, it was an investment, but it makes the most awesome onion bread pita EVER! That recipe is coming up very soon.

Hummus Perfection

My first recipe post is Hummus. I absolutely love hummus. Being a vegan, it's really hard to find things to eat at restaurants and I'm always thrilled if hummus is on the menu because I can order it with a side of vegetables or a salad and just pour it on. Once, while on vacation, I ordered it for breakfast because it was the only vegan item on the menu, other than "instant oatmeal", eww.
I call this hummus perfection because after having made so many different versions (and some were very mediocre), I finally created this recipe and immediately wrote it down. I believe it is truly the best I have ever made. If I change even the smallest measurement or leave something out, it turns out less than perfect.
You will need a food processor and spice grinder.
Hummus Perfection Recipe
2 1/2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (or one 25oz can, drained & rinsed)
2 tsp ground cumin (I crush cumin seeds in a mortar & pestle)
2 jalapenos, seeds and white veins removed
4 TBS white sesame seeds, ground in spice grinder
1 tsp sea salt
2 TBS water
2 TBS red balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
In a spice grinder, add the sesame seeds and grind until seeds turn to paste, tapping side of grinder while grinding. Carefully scoop out paste and add to Food processor. Add remaining ingredients to processor and process, stopping once to scrape down sides. Continue to process hummus until smooth and creamy. Top with kalamata olives. Perfection!

Friday, August 6, 2010


Hello! I am excited to start this blog (thankfully with the help of my techie teenage daughter) and hope to inspire some of you who love to cook. My posts will be raw and vegan recipes, notes and hints on cooking and not cooking (that makes sense, right?) I'm not a professional chef by any means, but have adopted the DNA for a love of cooking since I was a teenager. I hope to include lots of pictures of my creations and experiments in the kitchen. Hopefully I will have your patience as I get this off the ground! Thanks for visiting~