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Raw Recipes

12 March 2009

Cashew Cream Parfait


I was recently in Portland, Oregon on a girls' weekend where we spent several days exploring the city’s surprisingly empty streets and eating.

I had several good meals but there was one that outshone everything. It was breakfast at the Blossoming Lotus – a casual café-cum-yoga school serving raw and vegan meals. Sounds appetizing? Perhaps not for some but after several days of sheer gluttony sometimes a bowl of slow oats, rice milk and fresh fruit is what you need.

The dish I had was more of a 'breakfast dessert'. It was a cashew cream parfait served with live buckwheat, apples and kiwis. Dazzling.

On the way back to Vancouver I was mulling over in my head how to re-create it. I tried it the next day and met with success.

The best thing, apart from getting to eat this every morning for breakfast, is that it’s healthy. The "cream" is simply a combination of raw, organic cashews, water, pure vanilla extract and raw honey. I blend the ingredients until they’re smooth and resemble a silky mousse-like cream and that’s it. I’ve been eating it everyday for almost 10 days and I can't imagine tiring of it anytime soon.

The small triangular grains you see in the picture is buckwheat, and incidentally, they're actually seeds from the same family as rhubarb and sorrel. This was my first experience with whole buckwheat. I've only ever used the flour in cookies and blinis. The buckwheat seeds don't have a strong flavour, but they add a great texture and crunch with added health benefits.

Continue reading "Cashew Cream Parfait" »

01 October 2008

Raw Wraps: ridiculously good


A few months ago I wrote about my new found experiences with raw food in LA. It was a revelation at the time and I still try to incorporate some raw recipes into my diet.

I was recently trawling raw food guru, Juliano's website for some ideas when I spotted his recipe of the month for a basic wrap.

I read the recipe and instantly thought 'wow'. Now you might be looking at the picture above and be thinking that I'm far too easily excited. It's a bit of lettuce, tomato, avocado, onion and what looks to be like soy sauce in the background. So what?

But that's exactly why I'm excited. It's healthy, ridiculously simple and absolutely delicious. The sauce is a mixture of nama shoyu (raw, unpasteurized soy sauce) and lemon juice. Light soy sauce will also suffice.

The combination of red romaine lettuce, juicy tomato, slices of creamy avocado topped with sweet, white onion is perfect in its simplicity. The dipping sauce is also perfect -- full-bodied with a fresh lemony twist. I like to add finely grated ginger for an extra layer of flavour.

I ate ten of these little wraps and would have kept going if I hadn't had to share my simple feast.

I urge you to try this recipe and if you do, please let me know what you think. Am I too easily pleased?

Continue reading "Raw Wraps: ridiculously good" »

01 July 2008

Raw Broccoli Salad: I'm addicted.


Raw broccoli is not something that I would eat for fun, that is until I fell in love with this raw broccoli salad. I've made it three days in a row and am showing no signs of tiring of it -- true love, non?

I tried a raw broccoli salad at RAWvolution during a recent trip to LA which opened my eyes to the exciting possibilities of raw food.

Some vegetables are spiteful in the way they convey their goodness by making me suffer for every last vitamin and mineral, like those vicious little wheat grass shots, which might be good for me in the long run, but certainly do nothing for me in the short-term.

The raw broccoli salad was different for a number of reasons. Firstly, I finely chopped the broccoli florets and then soaked them for an hour in a mixture of lemon juice, finely minced coriander, minced garlic, cumin seeds, good quality extra-virgin olive oil and flor de Sal, a Portuguese salt. I bought the salt after reading an enticing review from Marc over at No Recipes in his 5 salts from around the world post. Marc succinctly described the salt as "Strong salinity, mineraly, briny, full of umami".

The combination of the salt, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil, softens the broccoli. It still however, retains its tender crunch and soaks up the intense flavour of the dressing. The addition of cumin seeds add a sweet complexity to the salad, like a fragrant perfume. They can be substituted with caraway or fennel seeds.

The extra-virgin olive oil I'm using at the moment is produced by Badia a Coltibuono, a 1000-year old estate in Chianti, Tuscany. The oil is intensely fruity with a peppery, slightly bitter aftertaste. I've found that when I mix it with various ingredients such as the garlic and lemon juice and then let it sit in the open for a while, the bitterness evaporates. What is left, is a delicious, intense and rich oil. I use it in dressings and top soups and pastas.

A note on chopping the broccoli. While it is rather laborious, it's well worth it at the end. Just make sure you sharpen your knife. The manual chopping is much better than using a processor. I know this from experience. Today we tried to take a short-cut by using the processor which resulted in the broccoli being cut too finely, thus becoming mushy. So...no cheating!

I'm submitting this post to Weekend Herb Blogging being hosted by Pam from Sidewalk Shoes.


Continue reading "Raw Broccoli Salad: I'm addicted. " »

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