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Vegan Alfredo Sauce

Posted by clstevens | Posted in Recipes, Uncategorized | Posted on 05-12-2013

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I alwAlfredo sauceays feel like I should enjoy Alfredo sauces more than I do.  I am not sure what it is about them … I have no problem with cream or cheese but it always feels like it is lacking something – and truth be told, I am much happier without the dairy in my diet.  Here is one of the best recipes I have made.  Tangy and delicious and super quick to make!

Spray pan with coconut oil
1 chopped onion – sauteed until translucent.
1 cup of chopped mushrooms – add mushrooms after onion are sauteed
1 clove of garlic minced – add after the mushrooms

Use a blender for the rest:
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds (soaked overnight ideally – but if you don’t think about it, not to worry, carry on)
1/2 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight ideally – same as above)
2 TBSP pine nuts
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground pepper to taste
1/4 tsp sea salt
1.5 cups of water

In a strong blender mix the nuts, water, lemon juice and salt and pepper until smooth.

Add the nut mixture to the vegetable and garlic and warm slightly – do not boil, you want it to stay raw so you get the good nutritional value.  Pour over pasta or better yet spiroolied zucchini.   If you are using the zucchini you may eat it raw or I find it tastes more like real pasta when you warm is slightly.  You can also add steamed broccoli or steamed green peppers to this as well as a few TBSP of nutritional yeast for flavour and “cheesiness”.

NOTE:  I liked this so much that I made it again the next day but I had to buy more cashews and I don’t think the quality of them was as good and it changed the taste.  So buy the best cashews that you can.

Yam, carrot, cashew soup

Posted by clstevens | Posted in Recipes | Posted on 01-12-2013

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I originally got the idea for this soup from this posting on Food 52.  It looked so good that I decided to make it, however before I left for the grocery store I forgot to take a look at the recipe again so I guessed at the ingredients.  In the end, my creation came out really tasty without having some oYamsf the main ingredients from the original recipe.  This is a perfect winter soup and a great use of leftovers- be creative and make your own adjustments to the recipe with what you have around.  Here is my version:

2 large yams – chopped into bit sized pieces
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
1 green pepper chopped into bite size pieces
4 carrots chopped
1 onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic
3 tsp of ginger powder – if I had fresh I would have used that
1/2 cup Dry red lentils, rinsed and drained
1/4 jalapeno minced
3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground
2 teaspoons Cumin, ground
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric, ground
1/2 teaspoon Sea salt (or to taste)
4-5 cups Vegetable stock + extra as needed
1/4 cup Creamy cashew butter
1/4 cup minced cilantro
1/4 cup fresh roasted cashew pieces

Sautee the onion in coconut oil.  I get a spray from Trader Joe’s that works great.  Once they start to turn translucent, add in the garlic with a splash of water and all of the spices including the jalapeno – cook for a few minutes.  Add the yams and carrots, pour in the soup broth.  Take stems from the cilantro and blend with a small amount of water in a high powered blender, just so it makes a thick juice.  Add in 2 TBSP of the juice to the pot.  Simmer on low.  Once the potatoes and carrots are half cooked – (still hard but you can get a fork through them), put half of the mixture in a blender and blend until smooth.  Add back to the pot and add the green pepper – cook for 10-15 minutes and add the mushrooms.  Cook another 15 or so minutes until they are tender.  Turn to a low heat and stir fry in a separate pan, the cashews in coconut oil and sea salt.

Serve, topped with a TBSP or two of cashews and minced cilantro.

I was concerned that this soup would be too sweet but it wasn’t.  If you feel it might be too sweet you can reduce the carrots or add in apple cider vinegar to taste or cut it with some sour cream.  Adding the sour cream of course, takes the calorie count up.

 

Vegan & Gluten free carrot cake muffins

Posted by clstevens | Posted in Recipes | Posted on 26-11-2013

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Carrot cake muffinThis yields a really nice moist muffin that is quite filling.  I made them for a weekend treat and it was hard to just eat one.  This recipe could easily be called kitchen sink muffins because I just used what I had around.  I will notate other substitution ideas – use as much organic as you can, especially with the oats.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1.5 cups organic oats blended in the vitamix or other high powered blender to a powder

1 tsp non-aluminum baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

quarter size fresh ginger

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup olive oil, could also use coconut oil

1/2 cup brown sugar could also use maple syrup

1/4-1/3 cup water

Juice of 1 lemon

Grated lemon rind from lemon

1 TBSP of ground flax mixed with 3 TBSP of water – or one egg – now it is no longer vegan.

2 grated carrots – could also use zucchini – maybe about a half a cup

1/2 cup of nuts – I used a mix of walnuts and pepitas (pumpkin seeds).  Use any kind of nuts you like.

1/2 cup of chopped dates – use any other dried fruit you have around.

Mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl and the wet in another.  Then mix the wet into the dry.  Grease 6 large muffin tins with coconut oil and pour in.  Put in oven to bake for 20-25 mins.  Test with a toothpick – if there is little to no batter on the toothpick upon taking it out of the muffin, they are ready.  Let cool and flip over onto a cooling rack after 5-10 mins.

Top with Cashew cream icing.

 

Vegan, Dairy free Cashew Cream Icing

Posted by clstevens | Posted in Recipes | Posted on 26-11-2013

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White icing

This is a super yummy icing that has a slight resemblance to cream cheese icing – make sure to include the lemon juice.

3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for a minimum of 2 hours.  I soaked mine overnight.  Rinse and strain.
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Blend all in a high powered blender.  If needed add water to reduce thickness but you still want it quite thick, so it spreads easily.  You may also add some coconut milk instead of water and add in a 1/4 cup of coconut flakes.  You could also add a bit of cinnamon to the basic icing, to spice it up for a muffin or cupcake that needs a little kick.

Spread on muffins or cake.  This is a good carrot muffin recipe.

Raw Fettucini Alfredo

Posted by clstevens | Posted in Recipes, Uncategorized | Posted on 24-10-2013

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This recipe is mostly taken from Kris Carr’s excellent website.  I have found this to be one of the better raw alfredo sauces out there.  I made a few tweaks here and there but if you want some more excellent ideas on how to create raw or mostly raw food, I recommend a visit.

fettucini alfredoI made this last night and instead of my usual spiralized raw zucchini, I made it with steamed spaghetti squash, so it wasn’t a totally raw meal but it was all vegan.  I served it with my vegan caesar salad.

Preheat oven to 375.  Poke holes in the squash to ensure that it doesn’t burst while cooking, put it on an oven safe dish and bake for 60-90 minutes.  In the past I have also steamed my squash but this time I did 60 minutes in the oven, then split it lengthwise, scooped out the seeds and steamed it, cut side up on the stove in 1 inch of water for another 15 minutes.  I found it was too hard to cut when it was completely raw.  Once it was steamed, I put sliced mushrooms in the cavity, put the squash together again (just put the top half on top of the bottom half) and let it lightly steam the mushrooms with its own heat.

I like to make the sauce completely raw, so I put it in the vitamix to let it warm there, however you could lightly heat the sauce on the stove.  I just like to be careful I don’t bring it into the cooked state.  A few things I really like about this recipe – if you are a newbie, it is easy because the only thing you may not be familiar with is nutritional yeast.  This is easily found in most health food stores and now even in many conventional grocery stores.  It gives foods a slightly cheesy and nutty flavour.  This recipe also does not require soaking nuts, which for many can seem too labour intensive, though it really isn’t.  Lastly, it is something that you can try in bits and pieces.  So if all you have around is salted roasted cashews, try it that way.  If you don’t want to serve it completely raw, serve it with organic brown rice pasta and top with some parmesan.  For those who are trying to make a change with the family, this might be a good way to start.

1 cup of raw unsalted cashews
2 tablespoons raw pine nuts (Even though the pine nuts are a small amount, I have found them to be an important part of making this taste more like alfredo sauce.)
1 cup of water
4 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
1-2 cloves of minced garlic
1/8th teaspoon ground nutmeg
1  teaspoon sea salt
3-4 TBSP of nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 medium size spaghetti squashed steamed or one large zucchini spiralized and served raw.

Grind the nuts in the blender or food processor until they are a powder.  Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend until creamy.  You may need more or less water.  I found that this was too much sauce for just one squash, so I had the rest the next day as a dip with carrots.  Serve over “pasta”, crack some pepper on it and enjoy!

 

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