The Raw Cooked Vegan

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cashew Raw Slaw

This is a raw salad with shredded cabbage, carrots, kale and slivered almonds. I made it with a raw cashew dressing, which is fabulous on other raw crunchy salads too, like broccoli and cauliflower. You can also add so many more things to this dish, like apples, raisins, jicama, whatever! I used green cabbage, but you can also use Savoy or Napa.

The cabbage in this dish makes it a good source of vitamin K, and vitamin C. I have to admit, I love cabbage, and the good thing about making it raw, as opposed to cooking it, is you don't have to put up with all the moans and groans of other members in your household!  I think you know what I mean...but don't get me wrong, I LOVE cooked cabbage too.

I originally was going to shred it all in my food processor with the shred blade, but decided to hand chop it all instead. I thought it would make a better visual.

Cashew Raw Slaw

1/2 large Green Cabbage, chopped
4-5 Carrots, julienned/matchtick cut
4 large kale leaves, chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Cashew Dressing
1 cup raw cashews
3 TBS brown rice syrup* or agave or honey**
2 TBS apple cider vinegar
2 TBS lemon juice
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup water

* Not a raw food

**Not considered vegan

Thinly slice cabbage into strips. Then matchstick carrots. Chop kale leaves, removing hard center vein. Add to bowl.

In food processor or blender, add cashews, brown rice syrup, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, salt and a one TBS of the water (add all of the water if you are using a blender). Process, adding the rest of the water down the chute. Blend until creamy.
Pour dressing over cabbage mixture. Add slivered almonds and mix thoroughly. Chill for 30 minutes.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Butternut Zucchini Explosion

This dish has lots of flavor and goes well with just about anything. I occasionally add red peppers, but when I don't have any, I leave them out. If you buy butternut squash organic, you don't have to peel it. The skin is completely edible. Otherwise, I recommend peeling it after baking.

Butternut squash is usually available year round, but the peak season lasts from early fall through winter. You can pretty much always find it at your local grocer or farmer's market.

Speaking of markets, I'm really looking forward to our local organic farmer's market which starts in November. I can't wait!  Here is a link if you want to take a look:

Butternut Zucchini Explosion

1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), cooked
1 TBS olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 or 2 zucchini, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped (optional)
4 TBS Earth Balance buttery spread, divided
2 TBS cream sherry
2 TBS maple syrup (the real stuff)
2 tsp white balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt

Cooking Butternut Squash
Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Wash butternut squash and cut in half length-wise. Scoop and discard seeds. Rub inside lightly with olive oil. 
Set squash cut side down on roasting pan or cookie sheet. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Squash should be slightly soft, but not mushy. Remove and let cool completely. Cut into small chunks.

In large skillet, heat 1 TBS olive oil and 2 TBS Earth Balance. Add onions, zucchini and red pepper (if using). Saute or until starting to brown (10-15 minutes). Add cream sherry and oregano. Cook until onions are soft. Remove pan from burner. Set aside.

In small sauce pan, melt 2 TBS Earth balance with white balsamic, maple syrup and salt. Stir well. Set aside.

In large bowl, combine chopped squash with zucchini/onion mixture. Pour maple syrup mixture over the top and toss gently. Serve warm or chilled.

NOTE: I sometimes cook the squash ahead of time and refrigerate it until I'm ready to make the recipe.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

BBQ Baked Beans

Well, this went over really well with my daughters! I packed a little in their lunch today and they wanted it for dinner too! Success!

I wanted to make as close a version to the baked beans I remember as a child. Sweet, tangy and tomatoey. I put carrots in it, but wasn't sure if it was necessary. So I asked the consumers: Both my daughters thought the carrots were good. Okay, carrots stay.

This recipe makes a big batch. I started from dried red beans I bought from bulk and ended up with a total of 7 cups of cooked beans. Of course I forgot to measure the dried beans...but I calculated it afterwards: 3 cups of dried beans should equal 7 cups cooked. Or you can use 4 cans of beans (easy).

BTW: I use organic ingredients

BBQ Baked Beans

7 cups cooked red or cannellini beans (about four 15oz cans drained/rinsed)
2 medium sweet onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
2 med carrots, chopped
1 (28oz) can whole plum tomatoes, drained (reserve juice) and chopped
1 TBS olive oil

1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 TBS maple syrup (the real stuff)
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried ground mustard
1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup apple cider
2 small apples (macintosh or granny)

Bean soaking method: (skip this if you are using canned beans)
Rinse beans and soak in large bowl covered with water over night. Drain and rinse well. In large pot, add beans and fresh water to cover 2-3 inches over beans. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer half covered with lid for 45 minutes until tender, but not mushy. Drain beans.

Add beans to large bowl. Add tomatoes. Set aside.

In large skillet, heat 1/2 TBS olive oil over med heat. Saute onions until soft and starting to brown. Remove from pan and add to beans. In same pan, heat the remaining 1/2 TBS olive oil and saute the bell peppers and carrots until slightly soft (about 10 minutes). Add to beans.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub a 13 x 9 glass pan with olive oil.

In a blender, add reserved tomato juice, ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, mustard, worcestershire and salt. Blend for about 5 minutes to make sure it's mixed well. Pour mixture over beans and stir to combine. Pour beans into baking pan. Cover with foil.

Bake for 1 hour, 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Take off foil and carefully add chopped apples and apple cider. Stir. Bake uncovered for 45 to 60 minutes more. Remove and let set to cool completely.

This is even better the next day. Cold or reheated. Yum!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pan-Roasted Chickpeas with Kale

Chickpeas again! This is great as a main dish for you fellow vegans, or as a side to whatever else you're making. You will definitely get some protein and minerals here. 

I sauteed the chickpeas and kale with a little olive oil, sea salt and whole garlic cloves. I also added sundried tomatoes and toasted pumpkin seeds. Kale is a dark, leafy green, rich with lutein, beta-carotene, calcium and vitamins A and C. If you aren't crazy about kale, you can use spinach in the same way.

Pan-Roasted Chickpeas with Kale

1 and 1/2 cups chickpeas
3 organic Kale leaves, sliced into thin strips (remove hard vein)
6 to 10 small garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, julienned
1 TBS olive oil
1/2 TBS balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitos)
Sea salt to taste

In large skillet, heat olive oil over med to med-high heat. Add chickpeas and garlic with sea salt and cook until slightly browned. Add kale and drizzle balsamic vinegar evenly. Reduce heat if necessary. Cook until kale begins to wilt. Stir in sundried tomatoes and pumpkin seeds. Remove from heat and serve warm or chilled. I like to drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the top just before serving.

You can really dress this up...add artichoke hearts, olives, or red pepper!

My next chickpea experiment will be Spanish bean soup. I have yet to create a good one, but it won't be long. It will be perfect for fall's cooler weather! (Oh, right~I live in Florida~but indoors can feel a lot like fall with the air condition on). Maybe we will get a cold front early...

Raw Carrot Cake Bread

This is a completely different version of a raw recipe I found on the internet called Raw Cinnamon Bread. After making that, I thought it was a bit flaxy tasting and had way too much cinnamon and cloves. So, I started thinking that carrot cake ingredients would be really good in a raw version and came up with Raw Carrot Cake Bread.  It's chewy and moist and goes nicely with apricot preserves or vegan cream cheese (Tofutti brand or Follow Your Heart).

You will need a dehydrator for this recipe.

Raw Carrot Cake Bread

1 cup ground raw sunflower seeds
2/3 cup grated, unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup packed pitted dates
3/4 cup chopped fresh pinapple or tidbits (drained, reserving juice)
1/4 cup ground flax
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 vanilla bean
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup raw walnuts, processed into small bits

1/3 cups organic currants

Process your walnuts first. Set aside.

In food processor, add all ingredients except walnuts and currants. If using tidbits, add a little of the reserved pinapple juice (if needed), while processing until mixture becomes smooth, but not too wet. Transfer to a bowl.

Carrot Cake mixture
before going in dehydrator

Stir in walnuts and currants. Spread on teflex or parchment-lined dehydrator tray with the back of a large spoon. Dehydrate at 105 degrees overnight or 10 hours. Remove, flip and dehydrate another 4 to 5 hours or until desired texture is achieved.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Chickpea Salad

If you haven't guessed already, you will soon realize that chickpeas are a popular item in my house. I really didn't know what else to call this recipe other than "chickpea salad" which is kind of generic sounding. But nonetheless, really tasty. I wanted to make something that would be versatile enough to go between slices of your favorite bread, scooped over pita wedges, on crackers or rolled in a tortilla with lettuce and avocado.

Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are legumes (meaning pea and bean family) and have 140 calories, 5g of fiber, 6g protein, 1.6 mg of iron, 200 mg of potassium, and just over one gram of fat per 1/2 cup serving. They are also called cece or ceci in Italy, revithia in Greece and kichererbse in Germany.

I like to cook my own chickpeas from dried and it's much more economical. I do still use the can when I'm in a time crunch. I usually use Eden Organic. Their cans are BPA-free. So, if you are familiar with soaking and cooking beans, I recommend this method. You can make a lot of them at one time for several different dishes (including my favorite: Hummus Perfection)!

Chickpea Salad

1 and 1/2 cups chickpeas
2 TBS chopped fresh parsley
2 TBS chopped red onion
2 TBS Vegenaise
1 and 1/2 TBS fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt

In a medium sized bowl, mash chickpeas until chunky. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Serve or keep refrigerated.

Cooking Dried Chickpeas:

Using whatever amount you want, rinse under water. Transfer to large bowl and cover with at least 4 to 5 inches of water. Let soak overnight or at least 12 hours.

Drain soaking water and rinse. Transfer to large stock pot and cover with 3 inches of water (more if you have a big batch). Do not add salt (it will toughen them). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover with the lid slightly cocked so the water will not boil over. Make sure the water is still boiling slowly throughout. Skim off any foam. Cook for 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours. This seems like a long time, but the longer you cook, the better they are. Remove from heat and drain.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Raisin Brown Bread

Well, sweetness is the theme going on here lately. I really felt compelled to post this recipe because it's surprisingly simple and of course, vegan!

You may know it under the name "Boston Brown Bread". Though there are several different versions, the kind I make is simple and amazingly moist. The raisins are soaked, which makes them super plump and soft even after the bread comes out of the oven. It really should be served as dessert...

Raisin Brown Bread

2 and 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 TBS vegetable oil (I use safflower)
1 cup dark organic raisins
1 and 1/2 cups very hot water

In large bowl, add raisins, sugar, vegetable oil and baking soda. Pour hot water over top and stir. Let raisins soak for about 6 to 8 hours or over night. Do not drain.

After soaking, prepare a loaf pan by spraying with non-stick spray or coat with earth balance spread and dust with a little flour. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.

Now add the flour and salt to the raisins and mix thoroughly. Pour into prepared pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes until toothpick comes out clean in center of bread. Cool on rack.

I like to make this during the holidays. It also makes a yummy gift to an unsuspecting friend or family member!

Note of Caution: Boiling water can shatter a glass bowl in a thousand happened to me once. Some people swear by Pyrex (mine was Anchor Hocking), but I recommend "hot water" instead of boiling water.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Vegan Cake Cupcakes

These are perfect when you're craving that chocolate cake sensation! I made these with vanilla coconut frosting topped with flaked coconut (see vanilla coconut frosting recipe).

My daughter found this cake recipe on one day when she was craving cake and she knew it had to be vegan to get me motivated to make it. I've made it several times in a loaf pan and it comes out fantastic. It's dense, like pound cake, and very moist.

When I first made cupcakes out of this recipe, they didn't rise much and came out looking a little flat and not very cup cakey.  So, I upped the vinegar just a tad and added it last to the batter. I also filled the liners fuller, almost to the top. The vinegar and baking soda combo is what makes the batter rise.

So if you make them as I do, and fill up the liners, you only get 11 cupcakes. Thats the deal. But, feel free to even them out a little more if you want 12 and don't mind them being a little smaller. Besides, there are lots of other variables that go into cake making...such as type of flour, oven temperature variations, pan thickness, etc.  So experiment and have fun doing it!

Vegan Cake Cupcakes

1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used safflower)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 tsp distilled white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees C). Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
In mixing bowl. Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add oil, water and vanilla. Stir with a whisk until creamy and combined (about 5 min). Add vinegar and stir again (batter will be thin). Scoop batter with a 1/4 cup measuring cup and fill cupcake liners almost full.

Bake 15 to 18 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Coconut Frosting

This is definitely a super tasty frosting and it's so easy! I went through several different experiments with frosting and most of them came out too runny (picture eating a cupcake with runny's like trying to eat a melting ice cream cone).

I just recently came up with this recipe.  It holds up well and doesn't melt down the sides.  I LOVE coconut and it goes well with any flavor cupcake. 

Vanilla Coconut Frosting

1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
3 TBS shredded unsweetened coconut
2 TBS Earth Balance Buttery spread
1 TBS Extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or a 2 inch piece of scraped vanilla bean

Add all ingredients in a high speed blender. Blend thoroughly for about 4 to 5 minutes. Consistency will be thick, but will still churn in the blender. Turn off blender and carefully remove blade from bottom so the you can easily spoon out the frosting into a bowl.

Note: Extra virgin coconut oil typically comes in a jar and is white in color and solid at temperatures below 76 degrees. It will become a clear oil at temperatures 76 and above.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Loving Hut Cafe

Bottom; Melody Wrap

Top; Energy Wrap

Just had lunch at the Loving Hut Cafe with my sis. It was great! I had the Melody Wrap with seaweed, cucumber, cilantro, carrot, tomato, apple, avocado and "mayo" which I think was made from potato mash(?).  My sister had the Energy Wrap with hummus, avocado, tomatoes, sprouts and carrots. Everything was really fresh and well prepared. We both loved it and will definitely go there again.

The Loving Hut is a fast growing international vegan chain of restaurants. I ate at one while on vacation last summer and loved it. So when they opened one here in Tampa, Florida, I was really happy, to say the least.

My Sister

Well, I've learned my lesson trying to do a post via mobile phone. The pictures would not go through after I tried several times, so when I sent the text only, it ended up posting 4 or 5 times, so those of you on my email list were receiving multiple emails. I deleted those posts since they were chopped up and all in the wrong order.  Please excuse the confusing emails!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tofu with Mushroom Marsala

This was the first time I've tried Marsala anything. My family loved it! I used vegan butter spread instead of butter, and cream sherry for the reduction. I coated the tofu in Bob's Red Mill gluten-free all purpose flour mixed with oregano, salt, pepper and garlic powder. I actually thought the tofu came out better than usual and I think I know why.

It turns out that freezing tofu TOTALLY changes the texture!!! Now, some of you tofu fans may already know this, but I just recently discovered it. I avoided making tofu because no matter how I tried to season it, it always had a smooth texture on the inside and tasted bland. When you freeze and then thaw tofu, it becomes chewy and "grainier". Freezing creates tiny "holes" on the inside from the ice crystals and therefore lets marinade and flavors soak up better.  A solution to flavoring tofu!

Tofu with Mushroom Marsala

1-16oz block of extra firm tofu, drained, frozen, then thawed
1/4 cup all purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill gluten-free)
2 TBS olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste

Marsala sauce
3 TBS olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Marsala wine (or cream sherry or port)
1/4 cup Earth Balance buttery spread
salt and pepper to taste
Add olive oil to large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, mushrooms and garlic. Saute until mushrooms reduce in size and onions start to brown. Transfer mushroom mixture to bowl. In same pan, add wine and season with salt and pepper. Simmer until reduced by half. Stir in Earth balance spread a little at a time until creamy. Add mushroom/onion mixture to pan and stir well. Keep warm while preparing tofu.

Pat dry thawed tofu and slice thinly. In a bowl, mix together flour, oregano, garlic powder and salt/pepper. Dredge tofu slices in flour mixture until both sides are coated.

Add olive oil to clean skillet over medium heat. Saute coated tofu slices until slightly browned and start to crisp. Remove from pan and transfer to serving dish. Spoon marsala sauce over top.

NOTE 2: When you freeze the tofu, it will turn yellow. It turns back to white when thawed.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Quinoa Tabbouleh (also spelled Tabouli, Tabbouli, Tabouleh)

Tabbouleh is one of my favorite foods (made my way). Traditional Lebanese tabbouleh is made with bulgur wheat and usually has more parsley than grains. I like it the other way around...lots of grains, not as much parsley. I also like to make it with quinoa instead of bulgur wheat.

If you don't know what quinoa is, or have never prepared it, I urge you to try it!  You can pretty much use it in place of rice in any dish. You can find it at your health food store, either in bulk or packaged in a box. Some big grocery chains are now adding "organic" sections to their stores, where you might be able to find it. It comes in red and white and sometimes you can find it in black.

Dry Quinoa

Quinoa (pronounced Keen-Wah) is one of the most nutritious grains out there. It's actually considered a seed (but I will call it a grain here). It is an ancient Inca grain that is 12 to 18 percent protein (almost twice the amount of brown rice). It's gluten-free, has a high magnesium and iron content and is a great source of fiber. It's a tiny little grain, comparable to the size of sesame seeds. Quinoa has a coating on the outside called saponin, and you will need to be sure to first soak, then rinse it thoroughly with your kitchen sprayer through a fine mesh strainer, otherwise it can leave a bitter-like taste. (I have never had that problem). Check the quinoa product when you buy it. Some boxes already "pre-wash it", so you don't have to rinse. It's not at all complicated, so don't let the rinsing stuff scare you off.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

1 cup white quinoa, soaked 10-15 minutes then rinsed thoroughly
1 and 3/4 cups water
1 ripe tomato, diced
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 TBS green onions (green part only)
1/2 of small sweet onion, diced
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
4 TBS olive oil
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 garlic clove, minced (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)

Bring water and quinoa to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and transfer to bowl to cool.

In a lidded jar, combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Shake until mixed well. Add tomato, parsley, onion and olives to cooled quinoa. Pour olive oil mixture over top and stir to combine.

I LOVE this spooned on a soft spelt tortilla with some Hummus Perfection.
A perfect lunch box item!