Thursday, April 24, 2008

Many miles for a cherimoya

So I decided I really needed a cherimoya. It is a delicious sort of melt-in-your-mouth-peachy-banana-berry fruit with overtones of chocolate. I found them about a week or two ago, and loved them. So after my first cherimoya, I decided I wanted another. It took about 25 miles of biking, and much research, but I got it. I first went to the Alewife Whole Foods, which is about 4 miles away, and they were out! Then I went 8 miles to Russos, a food importer, and they were just closed! Then I went back to Russos the next day, and they didn't have them that time. So I found lil' Armenia, in Watertown, which I am happy for. They did indeed have them, and some other good stuff. I will have to explore further. For now, I am happy/sated.

I should start updating more and more regularly. I've been uploading the photos, it is just a matter of sitting down and organizing my recipes, notations, etc.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Arugala Salad with Shaved Pears, Cherries, and Meyer Lemo

This is a simple one to throw together. Wash and shred some arugala, shave some pears, toss some cherries on top. For the dressing just blend peeled meyer lemons with some olive oil, salt, a bit of honey or agave to taste... and voila. If you have some lying around, spiced walnuts or pumpkin seeds would add a nice touch to the dish.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Raw Raspberry Cheesecake

So Alison, my house mate, was looking through one of my vegan cookbooks and saw a raspberry cheesecake. It was a typical cooked, tofu based sort of affair. I'm not a big fan of soy, and try to avoid it, and told her I could totally make her a better, raw version. I had some raspberries in the freezer, some cashews I had been soaking the day before for a faux sour cream, or whipped topping, or something (I forget). So I threw this together. It was loved by all. It would be good with a whipped cream topping, I think... Mayhaps next time.

Here is the recipe:

1 c hazelnut meal (leftover from hazelnut mylk)
1/4 c almond meal
dash of vanilla
dash of salt
dash of cinnamon
Enough agave nectar to keep mix sticking together, or until desired sweetness is reached

1 c soaked cashews
1/3rd c nut mylk of choice (I think I used hemp seed)
1/3 c lemon juice
1/2 c frozen 0r fresh raspberries
1/4 c agave nectar, or enough stevia to reach desired sweetness
1 t vanilla extract
dash of salt
1 T lecithin
1/4 c unscented coconut butter

In a standing bowl mixer or food processor, mix together crust ingredients until they reach the consistency desired. Feel free to leave it 'dry' and crumbly, the cheesecake filling will hold it together. Press into an 8x8 brownie pan, or something of same surface area/depth.

Filling: Blend all the ingredients together, except lecithin and coconut butter. Add lecithin and coconut butter and blend until smooth. Pour into brownie pan, pie pan, whichever. Refrigerate until set.

Notes: Honestly, I didn't measure the raspberries. I just added to taste. Also a personal option, I added some slices of red beets for color. This is optional, but I like it, personally.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes with Spiced Frosting

Recipe coming up ASAP, as soon as I review my notes. But wow, they taste even better than they look. Def't make sure to click thru for full size.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Delicious [baking] Mistakes

So, there are several vegan baking projects I am trying to perfect. By 'perfect,' I mean my version exceeds pretty much any other version I have had, vegan or otherwise, in texture, flavor, etc. I make it so the product is indistinguishable as vegan, or in any way lacking. So far I perfected spiced ginger-molasses cookies, and almond cookies. Much as I love raw foods, and many of them far exceed their non-raw counter parts, many are fundamentally different, same with a lot of vegan goods. So it is time to eliminate the justification for any excuse of "just not as good," "different," etc.

Understandably, this takes some trial and error. Right now I am working on brownies. They taste amazing, but they always end up getting 'fried,' re: oil bubbles up along the sides, even when I use far less than recommended, etc. I am left with a sort of fudgey, almost candied product. It is completely irresistible and I am not doing my body any favors by having these delicious piles of dense chocolate ooze lying around, but it isn't a brownie, not yet.

Still. One of the many fun things, what to do with all that delicious failure?

Mmm... Whipped up some cashew-coconut cream (later to be used as a cardamom ice cream base), sliced some bananas and frozen strawberries, sprinkled with some walnuts, and voila! Brownie banana split sundae! Tres decadent! Totes delish (sorry had to short-hand).

As for the brownie 'frying' itself, this is a pic of what I am talking about...

Still tooling what to do... different egg substitute, perhaps (I want to avoid ones like banana that have their own distinct flavor. I am trying to perfect the dense, rich, pure chocolate square), even less oil than I am already using (I think I am using half recommended right now), more white flour (boo). Anyway... the quest continues.

Squash Linguine with King Oyster Mushrooms and Dried Cherry Tomatoes

The title pretty much says it all. I decided I need to make virtually everything in Raw Food/Real World... and of course document it. Next post will be a list of what I need to make, what I have made, and a bit of commentary on it. Anyway... today was... delish. So this was the titular recipe. Included below are some of the steps. The recipe can be found in the book, it is relatively simple, though.

First, you make some linguine noodles from goldbar squash, using a peeler, mandolin, whatever your weapon of choice is. Lightly alt them and let them sit in a colander, while you prep everything else.

Toss the mushrooms with some nama shoyu, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, a bit of italian spices. Let marinade. Toss cherry tomato halves with a bit of olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Dehydrate (sorry, I don't want to give the recipe away here, get the book!).

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Raw Food Real World: To Do List

So here is an index of the recipes I've tried and have to try from Raw Food, Real World, along with a brief commentary, some may be left out (like Bunny Spice, coz I don't have a juicer).

  • Vanilla Brazil Nut Milk (Strawberry milk variety)
  • Cinnamon Maple Pecan Milk (wouldn't rush to make again)
  • Creamy Macadamia Milk
  • Pineapple Star Anise Lassi
  • Pina Colada
  • Creamy Coconut Shake
  • Avocolada
  • Enzyme Boost
  • Blue Sunset
  • Bee Protein (yummy)
  • Fig and Grape Cleasning Shake (would love to try but organic grapes and fresh figs are hard to find)
  • Greenmarket Salad
  • Arugala Salad
  • Sea Vegetable Salad (Would def't make again, though maybe add a little more flavor to the dressing)
  • Red Grapefruit, Avocado, and Fennel Salad (this is likely my favorite salad recipe to make; simple, rewarding, wonderful)
  • Our Favorite Filling Salad
  • Double Mango and Thai Basil Salad with Red Chile and Star Anise
  • Warm Cherry Tomato and Sweet Corn Salad (Not bad, not phenomenal)
  • Quinoa Tabouli (The quinoa was a bit firm. Maybe let it sprout a bit longer? Will likely try hemp seeds instead, next time, or cooked quinoa)
  • Quinoa and Grape Salad
  • Pineapple-Cucumber Gazpacho (I think I am making this tomorrow...)
  • Watermelon Tomato Gazpacho
  • Creamy Carrot Ginger Soup with Lime
  • Celeriac and Green Apple Soup
  • Spicy Thai Vegetable Wraps (loved @the PF&W restaurant, yet to make)
  • Tomato Tartare (oh for tomatoes to be in season, again)
  • Shitake, Avocado, and Pickled Ginger Sushi Rolls (Good, not sure if they are worth the labor, or more a raw novelty with the jicama 'rice')
  • Summer Rolls with Green Papaya
  • Lobster Mushroom and Fava Bean Tarts
  • King Oyster Mushroom and Dried Cherry Tomato Fettuccini (Simple, not impressive, but easy and quick, dehydration time aside. I prepped everything the night before, put it in the dehydrator, and enjoyed for breakfast. Would make a great portable lunch 'salad')
  • Zucchini and Green Zebra Tomato Lasagne (I have made Ani Phyo's lasagne, loved it, but will still try this)
  • Red Beet Ravioli (Was not too impressed with the results of what I tried)
  • Pumpkin and Squash Couscous
  • Soft Corn Tortillas (Delish, semi labor intensive, but totally good. Housemates loved them)
  • Asparagus and Porchini Ravioli
  • White Corn Tamales
  • Green Curry Coconut Noodles
  • Cauliflower Samosas (Delish. Made the 'wrap's with flax meal as I didn't have several thai young coconuts at the time. The sauce is particularly impressive)
  • Japanese Eggplant-Filled Scallion Pancake
  • Flatbread Pizza
  • Golden Squash Pasta (I will never make this unless a generous soul donates truffles to moi :( )
  • Spicy Peanut Coconut Noodles
  • Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart (made the crust, crust is pretty divine)
  • Pineapple Carpaccio
  • Chocolate Pudding
  • Sour Cherry Tart
  • Lime Mousse Tart
  • Pumpkin Tart
  • Lavender Ice Cream and Blueberry Sundae
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Concord Grape Sorbet
  • Macaroons (Made the chocolate variety, tres decadent!)
  • Cherry Pistachio Biscotti
  • Almond Butter Cookies
  • Chewy Chocolate Freezer Fudge (quick, tasty, especially with course Himalayan sea salt)
  • Apple Crepes
  • Spiced Oatmeal with Dried Figs
  • Cranberry Maple Granola
  • Maple Cinnamon Buckwheat Crispies
  • Crunchy Honey Nut Butter and Berry Jam Sandwich
  • Cinnamon Date French Toast
  • Sun-Dried Tomato and Cashew Romesco
  • Pine Nut Parmesan
  • Macadamia Cheese
  • Fluffy Macadamia Feta
  • Candied Pumpkin Seeds (yum, added some cayenne, a bit of extra ginger, and a dash of powdered stevia)
  • Spicy Chili Lime Almonds
  • Spiced Brazil Nuts
  • Maple-Sugared Slivered Almonds
  • Candied Walnuts
  • Walnut Hemp Crackers
  • Sun-Dried Tomato and Herb Crackers
  • Jalapeno Corn Tortilla Chips
  • Spicy Flax and Herb Crackers
  • Mango Chutney
  • Green Olive Tapenade
  • Tart Sour Gream

Ok I am going to skip the drinks, mayhaps if I make one and it is an absolute must-try, I will push it here, but till then... I need to find a way to get a thai coconut tree growing outside my yard, as that is one of the bigger limitations on trying all these recipes.