30 Aug 2013

SUN-DRIED TOMATO TART WITH ZUCCHINI HUMMUS


To quote my wise mother: "This one's a keeper." I concur. If you love hummus, tomatoes, and freshness; you're gonna freak out when you bite into this. If summer were a pizza,  it would taste like this tart. If you need to prove to anyone that raw vegan dinners can be delish, serve them this. If I continue with these "If" statements... where will we end up?

After making at least one dessert every day over the summer (not just because I am a glutton, but also because I was writing my raw dessert uncookbook), I am kind of going through withdrawal from the - albeit healthy - sweets. At the same time, I gotta keep making recipes for you guys! So I'm getting back to savoury-type dishes. This recipe was inspired by a tomato tart I saw on Sidesaddle Kitchen. And yes, by the way, Laura Miller IS the ultimate vegan babe / bad ass. I suggest you serve it with raw crackers or something else crunchy, to add another texture. It's also best after being refrigerated overnight; that extra time allows it to develop flavour and thicken up. 

You can find the recipe for this scrumptious baby over at one of my fave healthy food blogs, Ascension Kitchen, where I did it as a guest post for the always-gorgeous Lauren. But first... scroll through all the food porn photography. Wink. 

28 Aug 2013

CHERRY PIE WITH HEMP SEEDS & WALNUTS


Ahh... cherry pie. I am sure we all have our own special memories linked to this delicious dessert. Okay wait - I actually can't think of any for me. Oh well, in any case this raw vegan version is mondo yummy! The filling is simply cherries and the crust is made from hemp seeds, walnuts, coconut oil and whatever sweetener you like. This is super healthy for your heart and brain! Last time I checked, I use both those organs on a daily basis. I hear they have their uses.


I'd just like to take a moment to let you know (if you didn't notice my freak-out session yesterday) that I have been nominated for "Favourite Blog" for the 2013 VegNews Veggie Awards! This is like being nominated for the Oscars, if you're a vegan food blogger. Please please please vote for me in this survey. I will send you cyber kisses - they are almost as good as the real thing. Not really. But it's the thought that counts?


cherry pie {raw & vegan}

Crust:
1 cup walnuts
1 cup hemp seeds
1/6 cup coconut oil
1/8 cup preferred liquid sweetener (maple syrup, agave nectar, coconut nectar, date syrup, etc.) 

Filling:
1-2 cups fresh organic pitted cherries

To make the crust: pulse the walnuts and hemp seeds into powder in your food processor. Add the coconut oil and sweetener and process until it forms a ball. Press 2/3 of this dough into a small pie dish (I just used a 4-inch spring form pan) and put in the fridge for 2-3 hours to set. Roll out the remaining dough between two sheets of parchment paper then stick in the freezer until hardened, about 1-2 hours. 

Once your rolled out dough is hard, cut it into strips and carefully create a lattice crust on parchment paper. But don't flip back the strips as you're making it, simply slide the strips under each other. Fill your pie crust with cherries then gently transfer your lattice crust on top of the pie, rip off the excess strips, and press the edges together. Serve right away or put back in the fridge for another hour or so. This is best eaten the same day it's made. 

27 Aug 2013

SUPER EXTRA BIG NEWS! PLEASE VOTE FOR ME! I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER!

I AM TYPING EVERYTHING IN CAPS LOCK BECAUSE I NEED TO EXPRESS MY EXCITEMENT IN SOME PHYSICAL FORM, BESIDES JUMPING UP AND DOWN AND SQUEALING.

GUYS. I AM NOMINATED FOR "FAVOURITE BLOG" AT THE VEGNEWS 2013 VEGGIE AWARDS. I KNOOOOOOOOOW.

Alright enough with the caps. But don't think I have calmed down - I am. Freaking. Out. I have kind of been dreaming of being nominated for this for years; whenever I flip through a VegNews magazine and read about amazing vegan bloggers I think "One day, Emily... one day..." THAT DAY COULD BE SUPER SOON.

If you don't know what VegNews Magazine is... where have you been living!? It's the biggest all-vegan magazine in the world and pretty much the epitome of everything vegan all wrapped up in one glossy monthly mag. That's why this is such a huge deal! Vegan mainstream, yo.

You only have 6 days left to vote because I just found out I was nominated like 2 seconds ago, so PLEASE VOTE! I will give you hugs and kisses and cake and pie. Here's the link to the survey. And here is the page where I am nominated for Favourite Blog. Seriously, vote. This is actually the most important thing to me. I say that with only love but also just a hint of demanding. Here's an ice cream sandwich to show my abundant appreciation.


25 Aug 2013

VOTE WITH YOUR WALLET


Today I am just going to share some photos with you that I took yesterday when my mom came home from the farmer's market carrying a super nutritious and colourful bounty. Most of the tomatoes are actually from our own garden but I threw them together with the other heirlooms she bought.


You don't need any skill to take beautiful pictures of organic, heirloom produce. They speak  for themselves with their intricate colouring and individual patterns. Mother nature is an artist, and she shows us her talent for abstract painting in every heirloom variety. As I was shooting these, I exclaimed to my mom that they are like precious jewels! Certainly more valuable than gold, because we will always require nourishment and love to fulfill our well being. 


I cannot help but relish in the incredible, explosive flavours of these tomatoes, and I am sure when my family and I enjoy the corn and eggplant, I'll have the same reaction again. Some claim that organic produce has no nutritional superiority compared to the conventionally-grown stuff, but I choose not to listen to these folks. I trust myself first, and I know I can taste the difference.

In any case, it's of paramount important that we support and encourage local, sustainable farming. As the truism goes: you vote with your wallet. Do you wish to see a healthy world being built for your children where love, wellness and acceptance are vital factors? Do you hope for a future where individuals and groups have the ability to know exactly what is in their food and the effects their consumerism has on the planet? Do you long for a time when corporations are powerless, we are not slaves to the economy, and we are free to live our best lives? I do.

This is why we go to the farmers market.

24 Aug 2013

STRAWBERRY & CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM TART


I am so happy right now. For my countless blessings from the magical universe BUT ALSO - because I have succeeded in creating raw vegan buttercream. Chocolate. Buttercream. I know, I know; but please try to contain the applause.


Honestly, it was accidental. Two nights ago I was making some date syrup to photograph for my cookbook, and then I decided to turn it into a fudgy pudding type thing so I threw in some cacao, coconut oil, maple syrup, cashew butter, and other stuff. It tasted great but I had changed my mind - I wasn't hungry anymore. I put it in the fridge...

The next day my heart was set on creating strawberry chocolate cream tarts using the chocolate mixture I had made the previous night, along with a simple tart crust and fresh strawberries from our garden. Everything was set to go; I finally took out the chocolate mixture and tasted it. Oh. My. God.

It had evolved into chocolate buttercream overnight. Praise the heavens and all that is holy. Obviously it will taste great with anything, especially if that anything is strawberries. Make this ASAP.


strawberry & chocolate buttercream tart

Crust:
1 cup almonds
1 cup dates 

Chocolate buttercream:
1 cup dates
3/4 cup water
Juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup cacao powder
2 tablespoon cashew butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Topping:
Sliced strawberries 
Mint leaves

To make the crust: pulse the almonds into flour in a food processor. Add the dates and process until they stick together. Press into the bottom and up the side of a lined spring form pan or tart molds. 

To make the buttercream: blend all the ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate overnight so it can develop those magical flavours, then spread evenly into your crust. Top off with strawberries and mint. Enjoy the !#$% out of it. 

23 Aug 2013

SAVOURY GEM JUICE


Normally I like super sweet juices, but this one is more on the savoury side. The flavours of this recipe remind me of pizza because the juice includes tomatoes, basil and garlic. Even though I am finished my juice and fruit fast, I still incorporate juice into my everyday diet, and of course fruit continues to make up the majority of what I eat. 


I talked about this briefly in my last post about my cleansing, but I wanna go back to it now since it's important to me: I really am not a fan of calling this a cleanse. I'd rather just say I felt like consuming only juice and fruit for awhile, so I did, and now I am back to my regular diet. If I call this "cleansing", it implies that my normal diet is dirty. This is sooo not true. I also don't wanna call it a "detox" because it implies my regular diet is toxic! See what I mean? It just doesn't work for me. (But keep in mind that for some people, this could indeed be the case and they are starting off a new healthy life with a juice detox or smoothie cleanse. Yay for those guys!)


The only change now compared to when I was "cleansing" is that I am back to eating stuff like steamed veggies, whole grains, fermented soy, nuts and other fab foods. I absolutely love these foods (I could probably live off steamed broccoli and raw chocolate) and they certainly are a necessary part of a healthy diet - but every now and then I simply like to give my body a break and stick to the "cleanest" stuff with the highest water content and antioxidant amounts - fruit and juice! I love feeling lighter and refreshed after only having juice and fruit for an extended period (this time it was about nine days, but to be honest I lost count). In any case, I am LOVING this song at the moment. 


savoury tomato basil juice

1 large heirloom tomato
5-7 kale leaves, stems removed
Handful basil leaves
1 red bell pepper
1/2 pineapple
2 apples
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
1 lemon
1 garlic clove
1 cucumber (optional) 
3 carrots 

Wash, peel, and cut your produce as needed. Put everything through your juicer, strain and enjoy!

18 Aug 2013

DAY FOUR OF MY CLEANSE



































People have been telling me I shouldn't call this a cleanse, since my system is pretty much as clean as can be. I'd have to agree with this and I'll say right now I am not concerned about becoming more pure or losing weight or anything like that. I just love how I feel when all I consume is fresh juices and organic fruit! I am not restricting my calories as far as I know (although I do not, and never have, kept track); I am drinking and eating as much as I want/need so I don't feel deprived.

That being said, everyone fasts and cleanses for different reasons. Your aim may be to lose weight, detox, transition into a vegan or raw food diet, etc. Whatever your situation, make sure you have a clear goal in mind and that you do it safely! If you're "cleansing" with me, I hope you're doing great!

Today I took it easy again, certainly enjoying not having to work on my book - for now (I get my revisions back in a couple weeks). I cleaned and tidied the house, watered the plants, picked blueberries and immediately ate them, and I am still currently trying to bleach this cute lingerie-esque dress I bought at a thrift store two days ago. I figured it'd look great in white instead of black but the colour is taking a long time to come out... we'll see. Then I watched Reincarnated and almost fell asleep. Following that I made this juice (recipe below)! Hope you like it as much as I did.

























ginger jive carrot apple juice:

3 large carrots
2 green apples
1 cucumber
1/2 pineapple
1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh ginger

Wash, peel and chop the produce as needed. Put through your juicer, strain (optional) and enjoy!