"Reinventing Indulgence" One meal at a time!

Archive for the ‘Raw’ Category

Vegan day 297: Chocolate Avocado Mousse

This is the closest thing I have seen yet to VEGAN MAGIC!
This is a recipe that I learned firsthand in the LIVING AND RAW FOOD INTENSIVE at the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC. I love desserts and I love chocolate. When our chef, Celine Beitchman, said this was made with avocados- I was completely puzzled. After we made it and tasted it, I was even more amazed as I sat there in bewilderment.. a healthy chocolate wonderland.

Renee’s Chocolate Avocado Mousse
Avocado- 2 cups
Maple syrup- 1/2 cup
Organic sugar- 2-4 tablespoons (optional)
Coconut butter unscented- 2 tablespoons (optional)
Vanilla bean seeds- cut open one whole bean
Aged balsamic vinegar- 1 teaspoon
Shoyu- 1/2 teaspoon
Cocoa powder unsweetened- 1 cup

Mint leaves
Cacao nibs

This is quite simple!
Using a food processor: mix the avocado, maple syrup, optional ingredients, vanilla bean, balsamic and shoyu. Add in the cocoa powder; blend until you have the consistency you want and then chill it if you can wait that long to eat it. The only advice you really need here is to be careful tasting it. You will be so tempted not to wait that you may want to dive in near the blade. Use a spatula and have fun! Kids will love this!

Even though this dessert looks looks good without INSTAGRAM, feel free to check out my INSTAGRAM for fun! https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3005383461754.2117441.1477431979&type=3
or join me direct VITAMINGEE

Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.

[Tuesday, October 23rd 2012 blog]

Vegan day 296: Raw Vegan Pizza

Pizza, pizza, pizza…

Lately, it seems to be all I can talk or instagram about! When I posted today that I am making my first raw vegan pizza– even I couldn’t believe it. 

A friend of mine bought this book for me today, Raw Food Kitchen, by Dunja Gulin. We both stopped short in our tracks when we saw the picture of the raw mushroom pizza. It was a must! I talk so much about pizza, both vegan and raw vegan, that now was the time. I love experimenting with crusts too- and I certainly have yet to master it, so why not? 

We ran to the nearest health food store and stocked up on the ingredients:

Mushrooms (portabella)- 2-3
Tamari- a must have 1/2 teaspoon
Lemons- 1 1/2 tablespoons
Tomatoes- 2 large
Sun-dried tomatoes- 1/2 cup
Umboshi vinegar- 2 teaspoons
Cashew nuts- 1 cup soaked for 30 minutes

Sunflower seeds- 1 cup
Oats- 1 cup
Flaxseed ground- 5 tablespoons
Turmeric- 1/4 teaspoon
Olive oil

First I scrubbed the portabella mushrooms, sliced them thin and set them in the  marinade of tamari and lemon juice. I let this sit for about an hour.

This would have been a good time to soak the cashews too. The recipe says 30 minutes but an hour would be fine here too. 

For the base, I used the sunflower seeds (ground) and then added them to a mix of oats wet with about 5 tablespoons of water. I also added the flax seed and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. 

There are definitely instructions here that I didn’t pay attention to like use a rolling pin to flatten the crust which would be between two sheets of parchment paper. This would have been helpful. 

Seed the tomatoes- I have heard this before and I’m still not sure why. I didn’t do it. I made the sauce in a food processor with most of the cut tomatoes, the sun-driend tomatoes, olive oil and spices. The recipe called for capers. Again, I can see how this would have added flavor. 

The nut cheese was also made in the food processor with the drained cashews, a little olive oil, onion, lemon juice and spices. 

It looked delicious and was definitely hearty. I have to work on it more! I think I made the crust to thick. The next day, my friend baked the leftovers. I try to share the wonderful information here about raw food eating but I guess it didn’t work lol. In any case, she said it was delicious. Personally, I am not baking my raw vegan pizza!

Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.

[Monday, October 22nd 2012 blog]

Vegan day 285: Raw almond yogurt

No doubt.. I am a yogurt lover. It was probably one of the most difficult items to release before entering my veganhood lol! 

I have tried the other yogurts on the market that are made from soy, coconut and almond. It’s almost there in taste but I try to avoid processed foods for my daily food items. I guess by now, I gave up on yogurt until I came across this recipe in RAWSOME by Brigitte Mars.

At least if the consistency isn’t going to be perfect (which it wasn’t) then at least it should be HEALTHY! Oh how I forget in this quest to be an inspired vegan that the real name of the game is HEALTH! Wait.. I retract that. It was my first goal but now the farming system and the suffering it causes to the animals and our planet is my goal as well! I do choose to be a healthy vegan though even as I experiment with all these vegan ideas and recipes. So.. raw vegan nut-based yogurt– I didn’t even know it existed!

RECIPE as per Brigitte Mars
2 cups almonds – soaked for 24 hours
2 cups if water
1/4 cups of dates – soaked for 20 minutes

I soaked my almonds for almost 24 hours, drained/ washed them and then put them in my Montel blender with the water. I mixed them well and then poured it into a milk bag and let it drain out the excess liquid overnight. I let this process take place at room temperature. The next day I soaked the dates and put them in a food processor. I added the almond pulp from the bag. It was still a heavy textured consistency for me. I will try to grind the almonds longer before and after it ferments. I may also choose cashews next time. It’s in my best interest to perfect this recipe.

I used strawberries as well which helped sweeten the flavor. This is healthy, raw and full of bio-available nutrients!

Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.
[Thursday, October 11th 2012 blog]

Vegan day 259: Flax-Almond crackers

If I could dehydrate regularly, I would make granola, crackers and some type of bread each time. I could live on this food for sure. Crackers for me are my bread for now until I learn how to make other raw breads. I found this recipe in Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine by Gabriel Cousens, M.D. It’s for flax crackers but they are made with almonds too. I am beginning to think that almonds are the raw vegans’ “steak”.. for lack of a better word. Almonds are found in so many raw recipes. It’s exciting! I think I want to start ordering them in bulk- as in from an almond farm. If anyone knows a good almond dealer let me know: organic, raw and as local as possible! Thanks.
Flax-Almond crackers
Water 2 1/2 cups
Flax seed (ground) 1 1/2 cups
Almonds soaked 1 cup
Kale 1-2 cups chopped (kale is king)
Olive oil 1/4 cup
Salt 2T
Cumin 1T 
Combine all of the ingredients (except for the flax seed) into a blender and mix well. Then transfer to a mixing bowl and slowly add in the flax seed. Scoop onto dehydrator sheets. 
These crackers look similar to the LEMONGRASS COCONUT CRACKERS from the other day- but they taste completely different. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.
[Saturday, September 15th 2012 blog]

Vegan day 257: Rockin Raw, NYC

Due to information overload, I am not quite sure where I saw the link that Rockin Raw is now located in NYC. I had heard of Rockin Raw but this was news to me– and pleasant at that! Raw is on the rise! I think the vegan and raw movement is underway in NYC although, of course, there is alot of awareness and education that still needs to get out there. There are 2 new raw restaurants that I just heard of and Organic Avenues are popping up more quickly than garden weeds. 

Even better for me was that this restaurant is located in the heart of Greenwich Villageare we getting our own “vegan row” on the west side– one only can only hope! Of course, after learning this great news, I rushed right over- it is their 9th day of business in NYC, formerly located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 

ROCKIN RAW: 171 Sullivan Street
I never say “surprise me”, but that’s how good everything looked and I loved the energy of our food server/ owner. I happen to like when owners are “hands on”. You can really tell that they are in it for the love of raw food and educating others. By the time we left, I had personal tips for my own dehydrated flax crackers and the key lime pie I am about to make within the next week! Indulgences- they just never end- and thank goodness!

I started with an incredible berry freeze made with ginger- nothing else because I asked like 3x- a perfect healthy pick me up!
The “cheezy burrito” was the recommended entree (instagramed above/ vitamingee)- a house favorite! This was most likely chosen for me because I have been ordering too many lasagnas and pastas lately. I will be back for lasagna though- probably within the week! One experience and I am already addicted!
My friend ordered a raw boy burger and the jambalaya. Mostly everything is raw but they did have a warm vegan surprise today. 
Everything was really deliciousflavorful and healthy. It makes you just want to sit there and figure our how everything is prepared. That curiosity led us to a discussion on breads. When you learn how to master raw vegan bread making- look out! Terri, from Rockin Raw, said that she teaches classes there too– SIGN ME UP!!!!!
We ended with some green tea and desserts- but of course! We had the red velvet mini-cake and some ice cream. Actually we took the ice cream to go because it was their brand name ice cream all packaged in a container. It’s not like we weren’t full anyway. Terri also gave us a special dessert to take home: chocolate fudge cake. 
Thinking back now on everything I ate- I can no longer believe that this vegan woman I once met at an organic raw vegan spot months ago had told told me “calories don’t matter if it’s raw”

I super almost believed this — but no more! lol Well, truth be told, there is something to this way of thinking. When I was eating ONLY RAW– for example, I didn’t have to worry about eating larger portions of avocado or olive oil. However dining out is another ball game. If you over-indulge, no matter what it is.. you will push your stomach to expand and play with your cell’s systematic routine.

It’s best to eat as simple as possible- just save half of everything for later in the day. It’s good to space the food out. One huge plus about RAW food is that it won’t get cold!

Follow me on INSTAGRAM for instant pics on raw vegan food and fun times!

 Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.
[Thursday, September 13th 2012 blog]

Vegan day 256: Lemongrass Coconut Crackers

 Lemongrass Coconut Crackers

This is my second time making these. I realize now that my chef teacher at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Food & Health has called these crackers/ chips. When we made them in the Living & Raw Food Intensive- they were like thin crackers- almost chips. I have not yet achieved that state with mine. The ones I made are definitely crackers but I would love to get them just a little thinner and crisper. Anyway, these are still delicious!

Recipe (as per Celine Beitchman)
Dried lemongrass or 4 tea bags
2 cups of hot water
2 cups of golden flax seeds (ground)
1 cup of dried shredded coconut (ground this more finely)
3 cups of young coconut meat
1 cup of cilantro
1 cup of scallions
1t sea salt
1/2 t dried chili flakes

I steeped the lemongrass tea bags and let them cool. I used green tea lemongrass which seemed to work well both times. I mixed the dried coconut, coconut meat and cooled tea in a food processor/ blender. Combine this coconut tea blend with the other ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Let the mixture thicken for 10 minutes. Spread this onto 3 dehydrating sheets at 112 degrees for 12-20 hours.

*I’m beginning to skip too many days and I have too many excuses now. Skipped blogs 249-255; I did have my last final though yippie! Finished my diploma program at American College of Healthcare Science: Holistic Health Practitioner! That’s the good news. The other news is– I have to reconnect with this blog if I am going to finish it. I am living each experience and instagraming away and then too many days pass and I don’t want to go backwards to write. I need someone to invent INSTABLOG haha! I’m bummed for you guys that I didn’t write about Gingersnap’s Organics or Candle Cafe West. Yummy on both parts!
Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.
[Wednesday, September 12th 2012 blog]

Vegan day 248: RAW VEGAN LASAGNA

As with any lasagna – this is a process… well worth the prep!
I am truly a lover of all things lasagna. Lasagna has always been my thing. I would make lasagna for big parties and holidays! I used to make lasagna with meat but I have changed it up over the years. I have made lasagnas vegetarian, whole wheat, vegan and also pasta-less. I have NOT until today- made it RAW and VEGAN! 
I have to give total credit for this recipe to Celine Beitchman at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Food & Health. The recipe is broken out into (4) parts. I will highlight how I made this and if anyone has specific questions they can email me: djlisag@gmail.com.
Sun-dried tomato LASAGNA with marinated portabella mushrooms, zucchini, cashew-pine nut cheese and sun-dried tomato marinara
(1) The nut cheese: I soaked 2 cups of cashew nuts and 1 cup of pine nuts with water for 2-6 hours. Then I drained them, put them in a blender- covered with fresh water by 1 inch and 2 teaspoons of white miso. I pulse blended the nut mix but not until smooth. It should look like ricotta. Next I transferred this to a large mason jar (covered with mesh or cheesecloth) and left it out at room temperature for 12 hours. After 12 hours, I gently squeezed out the liquid portion or whey and put the remaining cheese into a food processor for flavoring. I added garlic, onion, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper. DELICIOUS!- Refrigerate!

(2) Portabella mushrooms– I de-capped them, cleaned them well and sliced them into long thin strips. I massaged them with a mix of olive oil, nama shoyu, garlic, onion, basil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Nama shoyu is a fermented soy sauce. I let this sit for an hour or so. 
(3) Zucchini- I finally learned how to use my new mandolin slicer. I am really afraid of this thing though I must admit. Anyway, slice the zucchini into long thin wide strips and marinate for an hour or so with lemon juice and sea salt. 
(4) The sauce: This was the most fun! Just as I used to make sauce… I winged it! Basically though, sun-dried tomatoes (1 1/2 cups) soaked, tomatoes (4-6), garlic, onion, basil, bay leaf, oregano, parsley, jalapeño or chili flakes, olive oil, maple syrup (not much), lemon juice (tiny bit), sea salt and black pepper. 
My food processor has become my new best friend. This sauce was insane- I couldn’t believe it and in this very moment, I knew I made my grandmother PROUD! I learned my sauce-making from my Grama who was the “best” cook and baker out there. It was even highlighted in her obituary. My Grama cooked for everyone and for all occasions. She even prepared many a care package for my college friends and I. 
Unfortunately, and heartbreaking for me, she died at a very young age for a Grama; none-the-less from a heart attack (& diabetes). There is no doubt with my intense craving for candy and sugar that I wouldn’t be on that track had I not committed to and delivered a COMPLETE LIFESTYLE CHANGE! I still have to beware of my vegan and raw vegan desserts. Sugar comes in many many many different forms- sneaky sugar! This blog is dedicated to my Grama for giving me the basics on making the best Italian sauce ever- not to mention an incredible life altering amount of love! I love you Grama– you would have liked this sauce too, even as it’s raw and vegan!
*The rest is all about layering- have fun!
Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.
[Tuesday, September 4th 2012 blog]