The Raw Cooked Vegan

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Olive Oil Roasted Potato Slices

I have to thank my sister-in-law for sharing this awesome recipe with me. She came to visit from Missouri a little while back and made this during a get-together. It's so good and everyone loves it!

Russet potatoes work best, but you can use another type. If you have a gallon-size ziploc, aluminum foil and a large cookie sheet, you can put this together in no time at all.

Olive Oil Roasted Potato Slices
 2 and 1/2 pounds Russet potatoes, washed and scrubbed
1 envelope of Good Season's Italian dressing mix
4 TBS extra virgin olive oil

In a gallon-sized ziploc, combine olive oil and Italian seasoning mix. Set aside. Wash, scrub and dry potatoes. Slice potatoes lengthwise, quartered, then cut each slice again.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line large cookie sheet with aluminum foil.

Add potatoes to ziploc and shake/knead until all potatoes are coated well. Pour the potatoes onto the foil lined sheet and turn each slice up-right with only the skin side touching foil.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until browned and tender.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Lentil Goulash

My Dad used to make a great goulash when I was a kid. It was a hearty dish, and we liked to eat it with buttered bread. It seemed to be one of those foods that always tasted better the next day.

Growing up, no one was vegan or vegetarian in my household. But we did get exposed to some "healthy stuff" at an early age. We always had whole wheat bread while everyone else had the "good" soft white stuff. My mom would insist on buying that tasteless shredded wheat cereal while we would beg for that sugary stuff we saw on tv (she caved once in a while). She would also buy diet soda, which we really didn't like, though I do remember my brother stirring 2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar in a glass of it one time.

Well, I have to thank my Mom, because regardless of all the times we scarfed down candy at every possible chance, those early exposures to whole wheat bread, shredded wheat and stuff with no preservatives, made a difference on my choices today (thanks Mom).

So now, back to the Lentil Goulash! My version is totally vegan and something my Dad would probably like, but not prefer over his own.

Lentil Goulash
1 large yellow sweet onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 large stalk of celery, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 and 1/2 tsp Hungarian paprika
1 TBS v Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper

2 cups black or brown lentils, rinsed
1 28oz container of whole tomatoes (with juice), chopped
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tsp brown sugar (optional)
1 and 1/2 cups of water

8oz elbow pasta, cooked al dente

In large stock pot, heat olive oil over med heat. Add onion, celery and green pepper, salt and pepper. Cook until slightly browned (about 10 or 15 minutes). Add oregano, garlic and paprika. Saute for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Add lentil and stir to coat well. Add cayenne pepper now if using.

Add chopped tomatoes, ketchup and water (and brown sugar if using). Cover and let simmer for 45 minutes, checking occasionally for water level.

Test lentils, they should keep their shape, but be slightly tender. Remove from heat. Stir in cooked elbow noodles. Salt and pepper to taste.

Tip: Organic Ketchup does not have high fructose corn syrup

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sunflower Spread

This is a great way to prepare sunflower seeds into a gourmet spread for sandwiches, pita's or crackers.

This dish would be considered "Raw" but I've added a couple tablespoons of Vegenaise to mine for a creamier consistency. If you want to make it raw, leave it out (unless of course you want to make your own mayo with raw sunflower oil). I've made it with and without and kind of prefer it with a little Vegenaise.

Sunflower Spread
2 cups raw sunflower seeds, rinsed, then soaked in water for 2 hours
1 and 1/2 TBS Dulse flakes
Juice of 1/2 lemon (preferrably fresh squeezed)
1/4 cup celery, chopped fine
1/4 cup red or yellow onion, chopped fine
2 TBS Dill pickle, chopped fine
2 TBS Vegenaise
1/4 tsp sea salt

Drain sunflower seeds and place in food processor. Add lemon juice, dulse and salt. Process to desired consistency (from small bits to smooth). Transfer to large bowl. Stir in celery, onion, dill pickle and Vegenaise. Keep refrigerated up to 3 days.

I serve mine with bread-and-butter pickles. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Green Smoothies!

The green smoothie.

"What's in a green smoothie?" Well, you will get a different answer depending on who you ask. Everyone has their favorite ingredients, but the one thing that remains consistent in a green smoothie is greens. By greens, I mean spinach, kale, chard, avocados, wild edibles, lettuce, parsley, basil, arugula, spirulina, chlorella or supergreens powder.

Perhaps the most important thing in making a good green smoothie is to make it TASTE GOOD!  Compliment the greens with a fruit, like banana, pear, apple, grapes, blueberries, pineapple, raspberries, oranges, melon, strawberries, etc. You can use fruit juice as the liquid binder, but I recommend water or coconut juice.

My favorite fruit to use is bananas. I use them most because they compliment the greens to my liking. If my bananas happen to be really ripe, I'll use just half and freeze the the rest for the next one (I also peel and freeze several from a bunch if they are ripening too quickly before I use them all).

If you hate the taste of chard or arugula, don't use those greens. Use greens that you normally eat and like. My personal favorite is spinach, kale, spirulina and chlorella powder. I also add hemp seeds and chia seeds for extra nutrition.

Experiment until you find the perfect mix. All you need is a blender.

Here are a few of my favorite Green smoothies:

Spinach Banana Smoothie
1 bunch washed organic spinach leaves (about 1 cup packed)
1 banana
1 cup coconut juice or water, chilled
2 TBS hemp seeds
1 tsp chia seeds

Place in Blender and blend on high speed for several minutes.

Chlorella Smoothie (pictured)
1/2 large ripe banana
1 cup coconut juice or water, chilled
2 TBS hemp seeds
1 tsp chia seed
1 tsp chlorella powder

Pina Colada Green Smoothie
1 banana
1/2 cup fresh pineapple (or 1/4 cup juice)
3/4 cup young Thai coconut pulp (or 1/2 cup coconut juice)
2 TBS hemp seeds
1 bunch washed organic spinach leaves (about 1 cup packed)

Note: Coconut juice is available at most health food stores. I love "Amy and Brian" brand below.

Also, if you are lucky enough to find young Thai coconuts and have no fear of cracking one open for the juice and pulp meat, by all means do it. If you have never opened a young Thai coconut, then I highly recommend you watch a YouTube video on how to do so before trying. I did.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Smoky Lentils with Fire Roasted Tomatoes

Lentils are a favorite of mine. They are high in protein, fiber, iron and folate. This recipe is smoky and a bit spicy, but you can make it more or less spicy, depending on your own taste.

Smoky Lentils with Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1 and 1/2 cups dried lentils, rinsed well.
1 medium onion, diced (1 cup)
1 TBS olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp smoked black pepper*
1 (14 ounce) can diced organic fire roasted tomatoes
1/4 cup water or more if needed
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced (optional)
2 TBS capers (optional)

*If you don't have smoked black pepper, you can use a drop or two of "liquid smoke". I haven't used it before, but it's totally vegan.

Heat olive oil in large skillet over med heat and saute onion until soft and brown. Add jalapeno (if using) and cook a few minutes. Stir in minced garlic, cumin, salt and smoked pepper (or liquid smoke if using). Add lentils and coat well. Stir in tomatoes and water. Cover and simmer on med-low heat about 30-35 minutes, checking water level after 20 minutes. Add a little more if necessary. Remove from heat. Leave covered for about 10 minutes.

Stir in capers if desired.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Stuffed Tofu Milano

This is the most flavorful breadcrumb mixture ever! I based this recipe on a dish my good friend made from an Italian cookbook. The original recipe called for lots of butter, but I used Earth Balance and tofu. For the stuffing, I used leftover bread heels and crusts that I froze and then processed in my food processor. You can also use store-bought breadcrumbs (unflavored) and it will work just as well.

Stuffed Tofu Milano

1 package Organic Nasoya firm or extra firm tofu, drained well and sliced into 1/4 inch thick pieces.


3/4 cup Earth Balance buttery spread, melted
1 tsp v Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt


2 cups bread crumbs
1/4 cup dried parsley flakes
1 TBS dried Italian seasoning
3/4 tsp salt
2 TBS nutritional yeast flakes

In food processor, add bread crumbs, parsley, Italian seasoning, salt and nutritional yeast. Pulse until mixed well and resembles fine bits. Remove and set aside.

Melt Earth balance and stir in Worcestershire, mustard powder, garlic powder and salt. Mix well. Pour marinade into wide bowl. Drain tofu and pat dry. Cut in half and then slice into 1/4 inch pieces. Using a cast iron or non-stick skillet, heat pan over medium high heat.

Dip tofu pieces in marinade and place in hot skillet. Brown on both sides (approx 10 minutes). Remove from skillet and place several pieces in single layer in a 9 by 9 pan coated with oil or non-stick spray. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Top first layer of tofu with breadcrumb mixture. Add a second layer of browned tofu. Add more breadcrumbs. Pour remaining marinate over top (If you don't have any marinade left over, dot top of tofu with Earth balance).

Cover with foil and bake 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit covered for 5 minutes.