Tag Archives: raw food recipes

GORILLA FOOD: great new recipe book – my new favorite!

POST #904
Was POST #901
I was very interested to receive this copy of Gorilla Food, by Aaron Ash, of the Vancouver restaurant by the same name.  Oh, this book is nice! Enticing new flavor ideas, fresh innovative recipes, pretty pictures – oh my! Get this book here

This is a recipe book – you asked for raw recipes and here they are. After a two page introduction, which tells the curious how the Gorilla Foods restaurant in Vancouver, BC, Canada came into being, and shows a picture pictures of a 1960s-throwback-looking space, it launches into a clarification of terms and descriptions of the appliances and tools needed to work the magic, as well as a shopping list, i.e., all of the ingredients which will be eventually called for in the recipes.

After that come the recipes. Now, if you like more or less “instant food” (not much more than a food processor involved), and don’t like to plan a day or two in advance, many of these recipes will not work for you as they are written (many require dehydration, or include dehydrated recipes detailed on other pages), but, often, the “raw” parts, i.e., the parts before you dehydrate, are good enough on their own – for example, although the Morning Curry Crepes call for the dehydrated Ginger Tomato Crepe,  recipe would be just as good sitting in a bowl for you to spoon up.  So it goes… I see this book as requiring a bit of creativity if you are to get the most from it – just about every page has something exciting, mouthwatering, or really curious.

That said, there are some truly innovative (as in: I haven’t seen this before) recipes for vegetable mixes, sauces, cheezes, condiments, crackers/breads/wraps/chips, and desserts. If you take the often unique vegetable mix ideas, and start adding different sauces, you get altogether different and exciting experiences. If you are willing to do the dehydrated breads/crackers/chips/wraps (which you can do in advance and freeze – you knew that, right?), you expand your options exponentially

When you get to the desserts in Gorilla Food, you will start to drool. Many of the desserts just involve combining the ingredients, and voila! Of course, the really fancy-looking ones in the pictures  the use of a dehydrator, but, often, the ingredients will taste good without the dehydrator, and just will be more like goo, or something you have to eat with a spoon.

There! I’ve just taken apart Gorilla Food and digested it into a recipe book for people who only have a knife, or, at best, a food processor. You can make almost all of these things (save the breads, the chips, the crackers) in a beginner raw food kitchen.

If you are a beginner, if you are an old hand, Gorilla Food will be worth your while.  So, do check out Gorilla Food. It is so very fanciful, and just this side of very basic raw food (which you don’t see much in recipe books anymore), with a kick!

You can get this book here

SUCCESSFUL TASTY SAUERKRAUT: why other people don’t like raw sauerkraut and how you can

POST #899
SUCCESSFUL TASTY SAUERKRAUT: Why Other People Don’t Like Sauerkraut, and How You Can

Swayze Foster recently posted a “low-sodium” sauerkraut-related video, in which she talked mostly about how she hates sauerkraut.

I’m a fermenter, and I do like sauerkraut, and I have been lucky that everyone who has tasted my sauerkraut has liked it (I do get lucky like that – people who say they are don’t like something that I am pushing  generally tend to like it once they have tasted it). 

Swayze says she put her sauerkraut in a jar covered by leaves, and topped  by cheesecloth to ferment for three days. That is, by me, the first mistake – if you are going to make “short-ferment” vegetables of any sort, you need to 1) press the vegetables down under the liquid, and/or 2)cover the recipient with a tight lid.

I’ve tried several ways to weight the vegetables, all of which involved putting a cabbage leaf on top and putting a weight on that, and then putting the lid on.  Each time, I have ended up with a slimy cabbage leaf, and an iffy batch of sauerkraut.

The sauerkraut I make is low sodium (I use a maximum of 1 T sea salt to a large head of cabbage — 2 1-qt jars worth). The sea salt is already low sodium, and it helps to draw the liquid/juice from the cabbage.  I find that the kicker, or the trick, to making a successful, tasty raw sauerkraut is the addition of 1 – 2 capsules-worth (or 1 teaspoon) of probiotics to the mix  (you could mix it in by hand, but I worry that some might get stuck on my glove and not remain in the mix, or you could mix it into the water you add to top off the jar)  The salt works to ferment, but salt wants a while.  The probiotics go to work immediately, and practically ensure that your batch of sauerkraut will succeed (when I first started making sauerkraut, I was warned that my first batches might fail – the only failed batches I have ever had were the ones where I did not use the probiotics)

I usually let my sauerkraut batches go for 3-4 days before I open them.  With the tight cap on them, I need to open them over the sink, as the probiotics will have created a fizzy pressure, and the cabbage sometimes pops out of the top of the jar.  I like the sweetness of the 3-4 day ferment, but I have left it as long as 7 days with no ill results.  My batches rarely last more than 7 days in the refrigerator, as, when I have a batch of sauerkraut, it goes into almost everything I make up (wakame seaweed and vegetable salad, raw tuno, crackers – you name it!)  I often eat it on its own, as I love the flavor (I most frequently simply add jalapeno pepper slices, but often I add garlic, dill, cilantro, curry powder, or kimchi spices).

The way I figure it is, if you don’t like raw sauerkraut, most probably, you have gotten a bad batch, or you don’t like the flavorings.  A simple, plain raw sauerkraut made with just sea salt and probiotics will be tasty, sweet-ish,  to almost anyone, even children, and will be a good addition to just about anything you want to make up.

One last thing about sauerkraut, or any other fermented vegetable: If you don’t like to chew,  or if you don’t like crunchy, process your vegetables to a fine grate (not applesauce texture, but more like if you chopped for 20 mins) and be sure to include probiotics in your mix (many people tell me you can use sauerkraut juice from an older batch, but I never have that much juice left, and I don’t trust commercial batches.  For my first batches, I used a Zukay salad dressing for the probiotic, but, since Zukay salad dressings are not available in New York City as of this writing, and the company refuses to sell even crates of their product to individual buyers, I have never used that since).

NUT FREE APRICOT CHOCOLATE SWIRL CHEEZE-CAKE from Raw Nouveau

POST #892
I  cadged this recipe straight from Nouveau Raw‘s Raw  newsletter – anything Amie Sue ever comes up with is stupendous – go check out her website for fabulous raw recipes you’ve never seen before! You might also want to check out her ebook!

If you spend some time on the Nouveau Raw website, you will find all sorts of very good information, in addition to the wonderful recipes. It is almost like a course in raw food. 

NUT FREE APRICOT CHOCOLATE SWIRL CHEEZE-CAKE
Crust Ingredients:

  • 3 cups (248 g) organic coconut, unsweetened, shredded
  • 8 (90 g) moist medjool dates, pitted
  • 3 Tbsp (42 g) coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup (62 g) flax meal, (ground flax seeds)
  • 1/4 cup (20g) raw cacao powder
  • 2 tsp (2 g) ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp (2 g) sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp (64 g) raw agave
  • 2 Tbsp (30 g) water

Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (260 g) dried apricots
  • 2 cups hot water (soaking water for apriocots )
  • 2 cups (316g) Young Thai Coconut meat
  • 1/2 cup (168 g) raw agave nectar
  • 3 Tbsp (60 g ) lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp (2 g) sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (254 g) raw coconut oil, warmed to liquid
  • 3 Tbsp (20 g ) lecithin powder
  • 5 Tbsp (1 oz) cacao powder
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla

Preparation:

Crust: 
  1. Prepare the Springform pan.  Wrap the base with plastic wrap and snap the base into the ring.  This will make it easier to remove when for slicing and serving.
  2. Combine the coconut, dates, oil, flax meal, cacao, cinnamon, salt, agave and water in the food processor, fitted the the “S” blade.  Pulse until the batter sticks together.
  3. Evenly sprinkle the crust batter over the base of the pan.  Then firmly and evenly press the crust down.  I used a large spatula to get really clean edges.  See photo below.
  4. Place the crust in the freezer while you create the filling.
Filling:
  1. Soak the dried apricots in 2 cups of hot water for 1+ hours.  The softer they are, the easier they will blend to a creamy texture.
  2. After the apricots are done soaking, place then in a high-powered blender along with the soak water.  Blend until creamy.
  3. Add the coconut meat, agave, lemon juice, and salt.  Blend till creamy.
  4. Drizzle in the melted coconut oil while the blender is running.  Make sure you have a vortex happening so it will draw the oil in which makes for an even mixture.  Once that is incorporated, add the lecithin and blend until combined.
  5. Pour all but 2 cups of the batter into the Springform pan.  Tap the pan on the counter top to bring any bubbles to the surface.  Do this on a towel to save your ears.
  6. Add the cacao and vanilla to the 2 remaining cups of batter that are still in the blender.   Process until well mixed.
  7. Pour 4-5 large puddles of the chocolate batter around the pan, on top of the other batter.
  8. Drag a skewer stick around and through the batter, drawing the colors into each other.  Be careful that you don’t dig in to deep and disrupt the crust.
  9. Place in the fridge for 4-6 hours to firm up or place in the freezer for 2-4 hours.  This cheesecake can be served chilled or frozen. To remove from the pan use warm knife (run it under the hot tap for a second) and run it around the inside of the loosened band.
  10. This cheesecake will last for 4 days in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer.
Tips:
  1. For clean cuts between slices, cut the cheesecake when frozen.  Also use a hot knife, wiping the blade inbetween each cut.  Also if you cut the cheesecake into smaller slivers it will help with portion control.  Those who are not used to raw desserts often dish up way to much not realizing how rich they are.
  2. This cheesecake can be served frozen or chilled.  I ran a test on one slice and it stayed firm well into the 4th hour of being on the table, of course half of it was missing by then. (haha)  The room tempature was roughly 68 (F) or 20 (c) (for my foreign friends).
  3. For decorations, if you feel the need… drizzle chocolate ganache over it and/or place edible flowers on top.
  4. Keep the cheesecake leftovers in the fridge or freezer.

CRAZY SEXY KITCHEN: Kris Carr’s great new recipe book

Post #852
I received Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Kitchen today. (I have followed Kris Carr pretty much since she started an Internet presence talking about nutrition as a way to overcome cancer, which is one of my interests as a nutrition consultant).

I was pleasantly surprised that this book contains so many interesting raw recipes that I haven’t seen anywhere else (lately, that is my new bellwether: how many times have I seen this idea with one ingredient change, or, is this something new or incredibly innovative?). Even among the cooked recipes, there is often a suggestion as to how to make them raw.

Although the book is co-written by Chad Sarno, a chef in his own wright, a number of other chefs have contributed recipes to it.

Notably, quite a few of the raw recipes look like things I can envision myself putting together in the near future (oh, if you don’t know me, that is pretty much the highest accolade I know how to give to a collection of raw recipes – I am really old school, and, also, a really lazy eater, so, if something looks enticing, and it looks like something that I would be willing to spend time eating, and I think I might actually be willing to put in the time to make it, that wins the blue ribbon). There are also a number of interesting and delicious-looking vegan but non-raw recipes, which would make this a very good book for those who might be transitioning to either a vegan or a raw vegan diet.

Aside from the recipes, one of the things I really liked about this book was the initial sections about food preparation equipment, starting from knife descriptions (this is always my favorite, as my first “food processor” was my beautiful knife, which I still have) and going through just about everything, including dehydrators; and methods for cutting (this is like a mini chef-prep course by itself).

By me, this is one of the best new vegan/raw vegan books out there. Despite my initial reservations, I’m glad I made the leap of faith and got it

FREDERIC PATENAUDE BOOKS: GOOD DEALS HERE and no endless ads

POST #851
Frederic Patenaude books are on amazon.com!

You no longer need to scroll through miles of “but wait! there’s more! Did you know? Do you want to…?”

If you already know what you want, you can go to amazon.com and pick up those books at reasonable prices.

2 CLASSIC RAW FOOD BOOKS & 1 RAWMAZING BOOK

POST #850
I LOVE GETTING NEW BOOKS!  I love books, period, but, when I get more books, I love that more. Today, I received three raw food books that I had ordered while I was away.  Boy oh boy!  Two are for my EARLY RAW FOOD BOOKS collection, and the other one is a book I had never heard of before the author sent me an email the other day.

I am very excited to finally have a copy of what may be the first raw food book published in America (1925), Mrs. Richter’s Cook-Less Book, by Vera Richter.  Vera Richter, together with her husband, Dr. John Richter, opened the first raw food restaurant in Los Angeles, Eutropheon, in 1917, and ran it until the late 1940s.  The book includes recipes for the dishes served in the restaurant. These are recipes from the days before food processors and dehydrators, so they are all quite simple to prepare.(Interestingly, someone has copied this book and made a Kindle version, so, unless you are a fanatic, like me, and must have the original, you can read through it on your Kindle for a highly reasonable price).

I also received a copy of John Tobe’s 1969 Health Giving, Life Saving No-Cook Book, which Raw Chef Dan showed me when I was at his studio a couple of weeks ago.  This is an interesting book – it is not 100% raw, but it does have a lot of good raw recipes (early raw food writers often included non-raw items in their recipe books).  The No-Cook Book would be a very good introduction for people transitioning to a raw diet.

I’ve been reading Susan Powers’ recipes on her Rawmazing site for quite a while, and have used quite a few of them.  The other day, I got an email from her, announcing her book, Rawmazing: Over 130 Simple Raw Recipes for Radiant Health, on Amazon.com for a very accessible price, so I ordered it. Wow! Among the usual re-worked recipes that we see versions of in almost every cookbook, there are some very nice, unique, tasty-sounding recipes in Rawmazing.  One thing I find interesting is that she uses sprouted wheat in a number of recipes –something we don’t usually see in raw recipes books.  I am looking forward to reading through this book more in depth, and, very likely, making some of the recipes.

GARLIC KALE CHIPS & GARDEN OF LIFE RAW MEAL

POST #849
Sometimes you have to try something new, and today has been that day for me.
Today’s new experiences:
Garlic kale chips
Garden of Life Raw Meal powder

GOOD NEW EXPERIENCE
I found garlic kale chips on the RawNouveau site, and decided to try them out last night. What was interesting to me was that, in contrast to the cashews which from the base of most kale chip “coating”, this recipe uses sunflower seeds, and I just happened to have a surplus of sunflower seed sprouts from making my sunflower seed crackers on Monday. I changed the recipe a little, because I’m me, and, also, because I only had one bunch of kale.  I ended up making one-fourth of the recipe, with changes here and there.

RAW GARLIC KALE CHIPS
1 bun kale, washed, stemmed, blotted dry
1 C sunflower seed sprouts
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 T nutritional yeast
10 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 med. jalapeno, finely minced
1/2 t sea salt
1-1/2 T raw agave syrup

  • Tear the kale into bite-sized (2-3 in.) pieces and place in a large bowl.
  • In a food processor or high-speed blender, blend the liquid ingredients, then add the remaining ingredients, and process to a smooth, creamy consistency (with a food processor, the consistency will be a little grainier)
  • Pour the cashew mixture over the kale in the bowl.
  • With you hands, toss and gently massage he kale with the cashew mixture until each piece of kale is evenly-coated top and bottom.
  • Spread the kale pieces evenly in one layer onto dehydrator trays covered with a teflex sheets.
  • Dehydrate at 115 degrees for 8 hrs. or until dry and crispy.
  • Store in a glass container with an airtight lid.

(notes on my changes to amounts/ingredients: I like garlic so I stayed with the original 10 cloves even though I was using 1/4 the amount of kale and other ingredients. I don’t like sweet normally, but this was my first time with this chef and this recipe, so I dug out the bottle of agave syrup I had, only to find out I only had 1 T left — I added a heaping t of the palm sugar I just got. The original recipe did not call for jalapeno, but I like spicy, so, there you have it.)

I took the garlic chips out of the dehydrator this morning and have eaten a couple of handfuls of them. They are good. I’ll do this recipe again.

NOT SO GOOD NEW EXPERIENCE
Now, about the Garden of Life Raw Meal,:
I bought this at Willner’s, on Park Ave., because they have better prices, and because it had such an impressive list of ingredients.
I had tried it once before, following the instructions to use 2 scoops of powder to 16 oz of water, but it turned out so thick and nasty-tasting that I decided to try it with half the powder and a huge handful of blueberries I had in the freezer, and I put 3 heaping teaspoonfuls of palm sugar in it..
Yuck. This stuff tastes like dirt. Despite all the palm sugar in it (and I normally do not use sweeteners of any kind), it just tasted like sweet dirt with a dirt aftertaste. This stuff was not cheap, so I will use it up, but I will never buy it again.

Note: I read a review on Amazon, in which the reviewer said his Raw Meal was moldy. I wouldn’t know how to tell it was moldy. It didn’t taste moldy, it just tasted like dirt, which some other reviewers mentioned. (I’m not unused to protein powder tasting like dirt—I used to use Nature’s Life Pro 96 Super Soy Green Protein, which tasted like dirt, until they changed the formula and added sweetener. With the original formula, a banana could disguise the taste.)

DILLY BEANS – fermented green beans with dill, and jalapeno

POST #813
DILLY BEANS –FERMENTED RAW GREEN BEANS
(loosely based on a recipe from Sandor Katz’s Wild Fermentation)

1 lb green beans
1/2 to 1 whole jalapeno pepper (according to taste)
1 T dill seed (not dill weed)
2 cloves garlic (or more, to taste)
1 C spring water
1 T sea salt
1 capsule probiotics (I use New Chapter Probiotic All-Flora)

Use 1 qt jar (but have a 1 pt jar on hand in case your beans don’t all fit in the 1 qt jar)  Thoroughly wash and rinse the jar(s).  (If you are really finicky, you can soak the jars in water with chlorine bleach added, or else boil them – if you boil the jars, cool them to room temperature before you use them—I, personally, did this the once I lost a batch of sauerkraut, and I wanted to be sure no mold was in the jar)

Top and tail your green beans, and then break them off (or cut them) in lengths to fit the jar(s) –  (since we don’t know exactly how many will go in which jar, you can measure for the first jar and fill it, then re-measure, and also use the odd pieces left over for the second jar if you need it).

Slice the garlic cloves into three pieces.

Finely chop the jalapeno pepper.

Place the garlic slices, chopped jalapeno, and dill seed in the bottom of the quart jar.

Pack the green beans into the quart jar.  Leave 1/2 in. space at the top of the jar.

Mix the sea salt thoroughly into 1/2 C spring water.  Empty the powder from the probiotics capsule into the water.  Mix thoroughly.

Pour the brine with probiotics mix into the jar, to completely cover the beans.

Cover the jars with two part “dome” lids (the ones they come with) and screw lids on tightly.  (if, for some reason, you are using plastic storage lids on your Ball jars, or if you are using re-purposed glass jars you’ve saved, and are using the lids those jars came with, leave the lids a little loose)

Set your jars in a cool dark-ish place in your kitchen (my spot is the corner of my stove next to the wall (the window is just ahead of this spot, but doesn’t shine on it)  I have a cutting board which covers that part of the stove, designating my fermenting zone.

Wait 3 days (the probiotics accelerate the fermentation process).  I usually look at the beans and shake up the jar a little (superstition, maybe, but I have the idea that it will make the spices go into the beans better)

After 3 days, taste a green bean and decide if you like the taste.  If you do, there you go.  If you are not sure, leave them another 2 days, and then taste test.  I have never left my beans more than 5 days, but you could, if you choose.  3 days is enough for me, then, after I get the “first fruits”, I close the jar back up tight and leave it on the counter for another couple of days (no room in the refrigerator).  If I haven’t finished off the green beans by then, I transfer them to a smaller container and put them in the refrigerator.

30 FREE DEHYDRATOR RECIPES

POST #774
The blog Healthy Blender Recipes is offering 30 free dehydrator recipes this month.  You have to go to the blog every day to get the recipes, but the first few I have seen look luscious.  As the blog mentions, some of them look too fancy or expensive to mess with on a whim, but some of the ideas inside of the recipes I will probably never make are useful for things I would make.  Hey! Free recipes are nothing to scoff at.  If you don’t want to make one, don’t download it, or else, do download it on the off-chance that you might make it one day, or that you might use a technique for something else.

IT IS TOO HOT TO EAT! Yes, I have to ingest nutrients

POST #773
Here in NYC, it has just been too hot to eat.  I guess this is where smoothies and green drinks come in.  Actually, I have been eating some of the sauerkraut that came ready last week, although I haven’t gotten around to opening that jar of fermented turnips yet.  My main nutrients have come from blending up the peaches from the CSA for a breakfast smoothie, and eating sliced cucumbers with onions, tomatoes, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar. (I used to love those big dishes full of cucumbers that my grandmother put on the table at summer dinners — I’ve just checked with my mom, and she says that all Grandmomma used to do is put the sliced cucumbers and salt and apple cider vinegar in a bowl, and mix it all up and chill it, but Mom says she prefers to mix water into the vinegar so it isn’t so strong).  I guess I’ve gone on and fancied up that famous dish in my memory.

I think I’ll mix cucumbers into sauerkraut tomorrow. We’ll see if that sounds right after I drag in from the heat. If it works, I’ll tell you how I did it.

Meanwhile, with the heat, and the not chowing down, I’ve taken off some pounds, and it looks like I might be able to get into those peach silk pants I bought at Salvation Army last year, figuring I would get back to my fighting weight some day soon.