28 Dec 2012

vanilla blueberry tart


Holy walnuts, this is delicious. The filling is basically just an awesome blueberry-banana smoothie and the crust is walnuts and dates. You're gonna love my nuts (or be disturbed by my grotesque and obscure sense of humour). In any case, you actually will love this recipe, which includes nuts. Owned by me. Making them my nuts. So you will love my nuts. HAH.


Try to get organic blueberries, since you just need frozen ones it'll be easier to find them. If you'd like to use less nuts in this recipe then sub in another banana instead of a cup of cashews in the filling. The cashews do make it creamier though, so it just depends on what you like.

My food processor broke down when I was trying to make the crust so we ended up returning it and buying a new one - but not before I finished this recipe. I cut up the dates and nuts for the crust BY HAND. So it looks a bit rustic. It made me appreciate my food processor a tad more intensely. 


What is your favourite kind of music? I like all kinds but the ones that usually gets me in the best mood are 90's R&B and hip hop songs... I know. They all just have such positive messages and are fun to listen and dance to. The 90's were the sexiest and most original time for hip hop. I MEAN LOOK AT THIS. 


vanilla blueberry tart: makes one large tart and a few smaller ones

Crust:
1 1/2 cups walnuts
1 1/2 cups dates

Blueberry filling:
1 cup cashews
1 cup dates
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil (optional) 
2 cups frozen, organic blueberries
1 banana
seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

Cashew Cream:
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup agave syrup
seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod
water, if needed

To make the crust: pulse nuts in your food processor until crumb-sized. Add the dates and pulse until it all sticks together. Press into the bottom of a tart shell or spring form pan.

To make the filling: blend all ingredients until smooth, adding as little as possible to keep it creamy. It should taste RIDONKULOUS. Pour onto your crust and let it set in the freezer overnight. (I lined my tart tin with whole blueberries then poured my filling around them so it looked cool when I removed the tin.) 

To make the cashew cream: blend all ingredients until smooth, adding as much or as little as you need. Slice and serve with fresh blueberries.

24 Dec 2012

chocolate caramel tart with orange & sea salt


This turned out exactly as I had hoped. Score! The other day I got the image of this dark chocolate, decadent, sinful-looking tart with a hidden layer of caramel in my head and couldn't get rid of it. So I made it for you. I decided to add some orange juice and zest for the holiday season (oranges are christmas-y, right?) and also sprinkled on some sea salt because frankly it makes everything better. Then I realized it looked like it was snowing on my tart! Totally intentional. 


I cannot BELIEVE it is Christmas Eve today. I don't usually pay a lot of attention to reality but this year I've been away in my mind more than normal because I hardly even realized it was December. Woah, when did that happen? This evening we are going to a have nice dinner with family and other loved ones, as is the conventional custom I suppose. Tomorrow we're getting up early to systematically (yes, the von Euws have a system) unwrap our gifts to and from one another.

I am excited of course, but mostly just looking forward to spending the holiday with my boyfriend. My gift for him is below - a mug I drew all over, which I will fill with my poems. I don't really want any other presents except him! Having said that, I AM running low on virgin coconut oil... and I'm always down for some books on philosophy.


This tart is going to be dessert tonight and I can tell you right now - it's a keeper. Who doesn't like chocolate and caramel, especially when you don't have to feel guilty about eating it? Only crazy people. But don't judge them - they have lost their sanity. You can't trust anyone who doesn't like caramel.


I wish you the merriest holiday with whoever you spend it with. I hope you are able to surround yourself with positive energy, good will, love and raw vegan tarts. That is what I will be doing. Merry Christmas, my beloved and cherished readers! You are precious to me. (But don't worry, I won't go Golem on you). 


chocolate caramel tart with orange & sea salt:

Crust:
2 cups almonds
1 1/2 cups dates

Caramel:
1 cup dates
1 cup water, use as much or little as needed to get a thin caramel consistency
2 tablespoons chia seeds 
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Chocolate:
3/4 cup cacao
2/3 cup maple syrup
2/3 cup melted coconut oil
juice and zest from 2 oranges
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional) 

To make the crust: pulse the nuts in your food processor until crumb-sized, then add the dates and pulse until everything sticks together. Press into the bottom of a tart tin and put in the freezer. 

To make the caramel: blend all ingredients (you can do this in the food processor) until smooth, adjusting to your desires. Spoon into the bottom on the crust and put back in the freezer. 

To make the chocolate: blend all ingredients in your food processor until smooth. When the caramel in your crust is solid, spread the chocolate on top and put back in the freezer. Let it stay in there overnight, then garnish with sea salt and orange zest and serve.

23 Dec 2012

beet & avocado soup with cashew cream


Many of you have been asking for simple recipes that are comforting in these chilly winter months, when eating raw can be its most challenging time. To be honest, I find myself eating the most raw food in winter! It is probably because the first time I jumped into the 100% raw diet, it was winter time. Something to do with my subconscious, I’m sure.

Thanks, Freud. 



In any case though, generally winter is when we crave heavier, heartier, warm foods. When it’s cold, your body is working harder to keep you warm so you want to eat more, as one might expect. So although a fruit bowl may be delicious and totally satisfying in warmer months, it might not be just what you want when the sun goes away and temperatures go down for a while.  SO what do we raw foodies eat? Raw soup! For me, it’s the perfect winter meal. It is filling, easy to make and digest (think of it a savoury smoothie), delicious, warming and beautiful.



Instead of cooking soups all day on the stove - which, I certainly can’t deny, creates a heavenly, homey aroma - you simply blend a few whole food ingredients together with spices and hot water. The spices warm you up from the inside out and you feel satisfied with the nourishing bowl of goodness you just enjoyed. The colours are always outstanding, as a plus. But then, aren’t they always with raw food?

Mother Nature sure knows how to paint a beautiful canvas. 



beet & avocado soup with cashew cream: serves 2 or 3

Soup: 
1/2 avocado 
1 peeled beet
1 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon miso
1 peeled garlic clove
1 tablespoon peel fresh ginger root (optional) 
1 1/4 cups hot water (approximately) 
3 mushrooms
pinch of salt & pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon 

Cashew Cream:
1/4 cup soaked, drained cashews with enough water to cover them
Pinch of cinnamon & salt

To make the soup: blend everything together in your Vitamix until very smooth. Taste and adapt to your liking. Place in bowls and set aside. 

To make the cashew cream: blend the cashews with the water, salt and cinnamon until creamy. Add a little more water if you don't want it so thick. Change it as you like. Spoon onto your soup and enjoy! I recommend adding some fresh herbs and seeds. I used peppermint and pumpkin seeds but any combination would be lovely. 

21 Dec 2012

fruit kebabs with chocolate


Being raw is this easy! People have been asking for a simple recipe that everyone can make, not just those with all the fancy equipment (I am one of those lucky guys). So here it is! All you need is some sticks, fruit, chocolate and two hands. Heck, you could do this even you are missing a forelimb. No excuses unless you actually have NO arms. In that case - I am deeply sorry. But I have been fortunate to keep both of mine in top shape through the years so this was easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.


You can use a bar of dark/raw/vegan chocolate if you don't mind and you have it on hand, but the first option is to make your own raw chocolate which simply requires cacao, coconut oil and some liquid sweetener. If you don't have those, alternatives abound; you can use cocoa instead of cacao, nut butter or cocoa butter instead of coconut oil, and really any sweetener you like, such as raw honey, agave, maple syrup, date paste, or even raw sugar. As far as the fruit goes, you can use whatever you want. I place these decisions in your worthy (and hopefully attached) hands. I took these photos using my own two hands and Canon EOS Rebel T2i. Love it.

One last thing - give these guys a listen. Solid tunage.


fruit kebabs with chocolate: makes 5 kebabs or so

Fruit:
1 apple
2 mandarins
3 slices of pineapple
and/or any other fruit you may have and want to use

Chocolate: 
1/2 recipe of raw chocolate (or a melted chocolate bar)

Slice all the fruit into bite-size pieces and stick on to chopsticks or kebab skewers. Then drizzle with the chocolate. You can let the chocolate harden but I mean REALLY - who has that time? Just eat it right away and bask in the glorious delight this healthy, raw, cruelty-free snack selflessly provides. 

19 Dec 2012

green tea soba noodles with roasted vegetables & herbs


My boyfriend and I have been eating so many veggie-noodle dishes lately. Our routine right now (and probably through the winter break) is to get up "early", work out together, make post-exercise green smoothies or juice, then do homework/something productive and go for a walk. Then we make lunch and watch whatever TV show we are currently addicted to - at the moment it is The Wire. Thug life.

Anyhoo, the past week we've been making different kinds of soba noodles with a ton of raw and roasted veggies like sweet potatoes, cucumber, mushrooms, cilantro, beets, onions, garlic, bell peppers, etc. I like to add raisins and peanuts on top. So today I prepared some green tea noodles and served them with delicious, fresh vegetables.


green tea soba noodles with roasted vegetables & herbs: serves two hungry people

Roasted veggies:
1 sweet potato
2 large beets
4 large mushrooms
4 garlic cloves
1 onion
1 tablespoon fave veg oil 
1/2 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, fennel seeds, dill, paprika, turmeric, garlic powder and rosemary if you have it
1 teaspoon maple syrup 

Noodles:
1/2 package green tea noodles
1 teaspoon veg oil (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional) 

Toppings:
1/2 cucumber
1 cup cilantro 
1/4 cup peanuts
1/4 cup raisins 

Prepare your plants: pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel and slice all the veggies so they are all roughly the same size. Mix in the oil, herbs/spices and maple syrup until everybody is evenly coated. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the beets and sweet potatoes are soft and delicious. 

While they are baking, make the noodles: follow the instructions on the package, ya goof! Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop them from cooking anymore. Then add a teaspoon of veg oil and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, if you like. 

Cut up the cuke and cilantro for the toppings. When the vegetables are ready: put your noodles in two bowls, place the roasted veggies on top, followed by the cucumber, cilantro, raisins, peanuts and whatever else you think to add. Eat with your significant other while watching cops chase drug gangs in 90's Baltimore. 

Namaste, yo. 

16 Dec 2012

raw snickers candy bars


I don't remember what a "real" snickers bar tastes like but I know that they are basically just white sugar... gross. I had a fun time looking around the official snickers website where they claim snickers are "part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle."

LOL. 

Let's take a look at the ingredients that make this such a nutritional treasure, shall we? MILK CHOCOLATE (SUGAR, COCOA BUTTER, CHOCOLATE, SKIM MILK, LACTOSE, MILKFAT, SOY LECITHIN, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR), PEANUTS, CORN SYRUP, SUGAR, MILKFAT, SKIM MILK, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, LACTOSE, SALT, EGG WHITES, CHOCOLATE, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR. MAY CONTAIN ALMONDS. Yes. We all know "partially hydrogenated soybean oil" is necessary for fitness excellence. NOT. Anyways, enough with this silliness. On to whole foods chocolate bars!


I got the idea to make this recipe from a reader. These are so freaking tasty, and mostly just - you guessed it - almonds and dates. They are pretty sweet and filling so you probably won't need more than one. Or maybe you will. What do I know? After some quick research (thanks, Wikipedia), I learned snickers bars are defined by a nougat layer topped with caramel and covered in chocolate.

PFF. NO PROBLEM. 

Consider these rawified. The nougat layer is raw flour, almonds and a wholesome sweetener of your choosing. Then I made the simplest and most delicious raw caramel ever (anyone can do it, I don't have any special powers) by blending dates with water, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Finally I threw together some raw chocolate and covered the bars in it. I am impatient so I did not wait for them to harden but in theory - they should. 


raw snicker bars: makes about 10 bars

Nougat layer:
1/2 cup raw flour (such as oat, coconut, buckwheat, almond, etc.)
1/3 cup raw agave/maple syrup
1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 pine nuts (optional) 

Caramel layer:
1 cup dates and enough water to cover them
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional) 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

Raw chocolate coating:
Just use your fave recipe or my own 

To make the nougat: pulse the flour, pine nuts (if using) and sweetener together in your food processor until smooth. Add the almonds by hand. Shape into small logs on parchment paper and put in the freezer. 

To make the caramel: blend all ingredients together in your blender until creamy and thick, adding the least amount of water you can. spread a little on to the tops of each nougat log and put back in the freezer. 

When they are frozen enough, cover each one in chocolate and let harden in the freezer or fridge. Enjoy!