23 Dec 2013

CHRISTMAS RECIPE ROUNDUP

Recipe roundups seem to be pretty popular, since they throw together all the best options for certain holidays, events, etc. In this case, the theme is Christmas. I'll start off by saying that there are endless choices for what to make, but the ones I have chosen to include here are simply past favourites of mine that I think everyone will be able to appreciate. Pretty much all these recipes are raw, except for the mostly raw potoato salad (you gotta steam or boil the potatoes). Let's get un-cookin'! 

DRINKS


SNACKS


ENTREES


DESSERTS

18 Dec 2013

CHOCOLATE PUDDING TART WITH COCONUT CREAM & GOJI BERRIES


I've made variations of this pie/tart/thing a few times now (click here and here for past recipes) and every time the result is a winner with the crowd I serve it to. It's one of those desserts where you can expect the plates to be licked clean. Why? It's simple, really. You have a crust that tastes like butter tarts, followed by the most delicious and healthy chocolate pudding you can imagine, covered in whipped coconut cream and topped off with goji berries. This here's a no brainer, folks - make this recipe immediately.


Technically-speaking, the coconut cream isn't 100% raw because as far as I know, there're no raw brands of canned coconut milk (which is what you need to make it). If this doesn't bother you, let's hug and chow down. If you'd rather keep it all raw, use a cashew cream instead (blend cashews, dates, water and vanilla). See? Everybody gets what they want. Happy happy happy people. I originally made this for a friend's birthday but they seem to have celebrated without me (pfffff not hurt at all) SO it's going towards another good cause; my mom's lunch party with all her lady friends. I hope they enjoy it. They loved it. 


CHOCOLATE PUDDING TART WITH COCONUT CREAM & GOJI BERRIES

Crust:
1 cup walnuts
1 cup dates

Chocolate pudding:
1 avocado
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons coconut nectar (or date paste)
2 tablespoons cacao powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of Himalayan salt
1/4 cup nut milk, as needed

Coconut cream:
See this recipe

To make the crust: pulse the walnuts into powder then add the dates until it all begins to stick together. Press into a lined tart tin (mine was about 8 inches) and put in the fridge.

To make the chocolate pudding: blend all the ingredients together in your food processor until smooth and thick... it should taste a-freaking-mazing. Spread evenly into your crust.

Make the coconut cream, spread it on top of the pudding layer, and put back in the fridge overnight. Serve with goji berries, coconut flakes and cacao nibs. Nom.

17 Dec 2013

ALMOND CACAO COOKIES with SALTED MACA CARAMEL


I made these for my friend, Vanessa, because she has a handful of food sensitives which leaves her unable to make a lot of my recipes. Sad face. My goal in making these was to keep out all the stuff she can't have, and throw together all the stuff she loves! Happy face. The visual inspiration came from a treat I saw in the dessert display shelf at Gorilla Food a couple days ago when I was there with Vanessa.


If you're getting tired of all these sweet recipes - especially after I've promised numerous times I'll be making more savoury stuff - please don't leave me yet! NEVER LEAVE MEEEE. I swear some non-desserts are on their way. *Cough cough raw vegan poutine cough* Having said that, you guys are giving me some great dessert ideas to rawify like tiramisu, ferrero rochers, chocolate croissants, baklava... so those should be expected too.


I think I'm in the midst of winter blues or something like it. I've been feeling pretty low lately. It's nothing physical - I'm as healthy as can be so don't ya worry about that. Nevertheless, emotionally I feel at rock bottom. Maybe it's because of what is going on in my life as far as relationships and personal struggles go, maybe it's because we haven't gotten sun in days and my body is telling me I need some vitamin D, maybe I'm just bored because school is done for a few weeks. Probably, it's a conglomeration of all those factors. All I know is that for the past two days (maybe more) I haven't wanted to see anyone, talk to anyone, or do anything besides burn smoky incense, cry for no reason and lay in bed listening to Joy Division, Swans, New Order, My Bloody Valentine, Radiohead, King Krule and Arcade Fire.



I know in years, I'm young (20 is considered young, right? I don't know anything anymore...)  but I can't help sensing that this gloomy feeling will never go away completely, but only be diminished temporarily by distractions like friends, romantic partners, school, movies, exercise, food, etc. It seems like the only things that aren't distractions are getting lost in great music and meditating. I've talked about this subject before: I usually feel utterly alone and lost in the world. I don't even feel human most of the time. I think I was meant to be a tree, or a sloth... or a moth.

Life is too emotionally overwhelming for me to cope with, and the fact that I feel that no one can understand what I go through every day only makes it more depressing. I mean even with my closest friends and family... they have never really seen what I am, and I don't know how to show them. But in any case, I don't particularly care about showing them. What's the point? Ya know? I hope some of you read this and can connect with my situation. Otherwise you are probably thinking, "Okay - this girl is crazy, naive AND mega depressing... I'm getting outta here."

Please don't go though! I made you cookies!


I certainly don't want to turn this into a pity party. I have an AMAZING LIFE. I am surrounded by loving, beautiful, devoted individuals who constantly make me feel great about who I am - that includes you! Thank you! I am young, healthy, getting a great education, financially stable (if that matters), living a gorgeous city, finding great success in work I absolutely love doing (this blog)... I mean I basically have my own dream life and couldn't possibly ask for more. The world seems to be on my side, blessing me with everything I could ever want; while my own mind is against me, never letting me be permanently content. This anguish has nothing to do with my life circumstances, it just seems to be part of my inherent nature. Once I described it as "being so happy, I have to be sad." Does that make an ounce of sense?

Ah, I dunno. Let's eat healthy food and worry about this later. I sincerely apologize if this post bummed you out. It's not like I'm faking it when I act happy - I can BE the happiest person I know! I'm just saying that it seems like my natural, default setting is sad... and I wish it was otherwise.

UPDATE: Okay so I wrote the post above about 2 days ago and I am relieved to say that since then, my spirits have been lifted substantially. A really good friend came over and made me feel loads better. Today I am ready to return to my positive and productive self. It's not like I am fixed forever; I know I'll be sad again at some point. But for now I am appreciating this renewed joy for all it is. I like to see happiness and sadness as intertwined and equally valuable, I work to find balance in all aspects of my life; and a balance between happiness and sadness is included in that.


///

ALMOND CACAO COOKIES with SALTED MACA CARAMEL

Almond cacao cookies:
1 cup almonds
1 cup dates
2 heaping tablespoons cacao powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Salted maca caramel:
1 cup dates
2 tablespoons maca powder
Himalayan pink crystal salt, to taste
3/4 cup water, more or less as needed 

Topping (optional):
Pecan halves, walnut halves and/or almonds

To make the cookies: pulse the almonds into flour in a food processor, then add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until it all sticks together. Press into the bottom of a lined baking pan and put in the fridge. 

To make the caramel: blend all the ingredients until smooth and thick like whipped cream. Put this in the fridge for about 2 hours. 

Use a cookie cutter to make your cookies, then scoop a spoonful of caramel on top of each one. Press a walnut, almond or pecan onto the dollop of caramel. Refrigerate overnight or at least for a few hours... then enjoy with fresh almond milk!

11 Dec 2013

WANT RAW VEGAN DESSERT HEAVEN? BUY MY BOOK! WOO!


PRE-ORDER THE BOOK:
Buy my book at AmazonBarnes & NobleIndigoBooks-A-MillionIndie BoundThe Book Depository, and wherever books are sold!

So, as many of you know, I wrote a book over the summer; it is called Rawsome Vegan Baking. It has about 100 brand new raw vegan recipes, and they are all desserts. The "baking" part of the title simply means that most of the recipes were inspired by baked sweets. It will be published and available for your gorgeous eyes in early March, but you can pre-order it right now. Right this second. Woah, man. I am SO EXCITED to share my hard work with you and spread healthy, easy-to-make, delicious and colourful treats all over the world! This book is also super inexpensive; you can pre-order it for around $15.00.

Buy my book at AmazonBarnes & NobleIndigoBooks-A-MillionIndie BoundThe Book Depository, and wherever books are sold!


All the recipes you see in these photos will be included in the book exclusively. You cannot get these recipes from my blog or anywhere else! Plus there's about 15 of my all-time favourite recipes (with photos, of course) that I've made for my blog, which are included. You're getting the best of all worlds here, people. Hint hint... this would make a great gift for anyone you know who is - or is trying to be - vegan, vegetarian, health-conscious, a foodie, or just creative in the kitchen. Who would turn down a healthy chocolate sundae!? Don't look at me, dude... I'd be all over that ice cream dream.

PRE-ORDER THE BOOK:
Buy my book at AmazonBarnes & NobleIndigoBooks-A-MillionIndie BoundThe Book Depository, and wherever books are sold!


Onto the details of the book! It is being published by Page Street Publishing Co., and distributed by Macmillan (one of the four biggest publishers in the world! Lucky me!?) Every recipe has a full-page colour photo. There are chapters on ingredients, equipment, substitutions and recipe adaptions, and basic raw food 101. And as you should expect, you fill find countless bad jokes and kwerky humour from yours truly (I know ya'll love me for it, don't deny the truth).

PRE-ORDER THE BOOK:
Buy my book at AmazonBarnes & NobleIndigoBooks-A-MillionIndie BoundThe Book Depository, and wherever books are sold!


Throughout the entire book-writing process, I kept in mind the goal and determination to create a book that I myself would enjoy, and actually buy. I can honestly say I maintained that attitude and achieved that goal. For a really low price you get more raw vegan recipes then you'll know what to do with, an abundance of beautiful photographs (taken by me, as per usual), and a general education about the raw food lifestyle and recipe-making tips!

I love doing what I do, and I love doing it for YOU. Thanks for always supporting me and sharing my joy in the world of health and wellness through delicious food. I feel like I'm just at the beginning of one incredible and positive journey and I am so grateful you're here with me. I send you all my love; I hope it reaches you soon, along with my book (in March, if you choose to purchase it... he-he)!

PRE-ORDER THE BOOK:
Buy my book at AmazonBarnes & NobleIndigoBooks-A-MillionIndie BoundThe Book Depository, and wherever books are sold!



PRE-ORDER THE BOOK:
Buy my book at AmazonBarnes & NobleIndigoBooks-A-MillionIndie BoundThe Book Depository, and wherever books are sold!

8 Dec 2013

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE TARTS with LEMON CASHEW CREAM


Hello, hello, hello! This recipe was inspired by this photo. I've been getting a lot of my recipe ideas from very unhealthy food porn lately, and the challenge for me is to make them raw and vegan. I think I'm doin' alright. So in keeping with that pattern, if any of you awesome folks want me to rawify and veganize your fave recipes - send me an email, or comment on this post! Let's make this holiday season 100% happy and healthy! No body needs to get hurt just so we can have dinner or dessert! Heh heh... see what I did there. I rhymed.


These are actually freaking unbelievable. It's not too surprising though, because as you're making each component, you'll be blown away by the deliciousness, so when you throw them all together you should expect them to taste as good as they do. You've got a chocolate crust encasing raw vegan chocolate mousse topped off with sweet lemony cashew cream and cacao powder. Even each ingredient on its own is yummy! How many of us can say that about white flour or baking soda? Have you ever eaten baking soda? What we've got in these tarts are whole foods like dates, avocado and cashews. Yes-siree, these guys will make your skin glow, teeth gleam, and body sing!


The fact that the mousse and cream are already blended up and smooth makes digestion even easier. Seriously, these are GOOD FOR YOU. Share them with your romantic partner(s), friends, family... not your dog though! (Cacao and avocado are apparently quite dangerous for canines to eat. Dang.) You will probably have left over chocolate mousse and cashew cream so you can either 1) live with the extras... oh man how troublesome... not. Or 2) make more crust and thus more tarts. Life's toughest decisions, eh?


Enough about food. I need to rave about my new iPod. Well, new to me; I got it off good ole craigslist for a decent price. It's a black iPod Classic and it has... wait for it... 160 GB. *Enthusiastic punch dancing*. Guys. The biggest iPod I have ever owned in all my years has been 4 GB, okay? Four. Gigabytes. I had to make special playlists of my top rated songs so my faves could fit onto my old iPod. With this new iPod I can fit my ENTIRE MUSIC LIBRARY onto it and it does not even take up half the space. *Joyous fainting*. Rant over. Let's eat chocolate mousse tarts.


CHOCOLATE MOUSSE TARTS with LEMON CASHEW CREAM

Crust:
3/4 cup oats, buckwheat groats or nuts
3/4 cup raisins
1 heaping tablespoon cacao powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional) 

Lemon cashew cream:
1 cup soaked cashews
Juice from 1 lemon
1-2 tablespoons coconut nectar 
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt

Chocolate mousse:
1 avocado
1 cup dates
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1-2 tablespoons cacao powder
1 cup water, more or less as needed
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil 

Note: I bet these would be even better if you added banana slices in between the mousse and cream. 

To make the crust: pulse the oats, buckwheat groats or nuts in a food processor until they turn into crumbs. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until it all sticks together. Press into two lined tart tins and put in the fridge.

To make the cashew cream: blend all the ingredients until smooth. Set in the fridge.

To make the mousse: blend all the ingredients until smooth. Spread into the bottom of your tart crusts and cover with the cashew cream. Put back in the fridge overnight or for at least a couple hours. Dust with cacao and serve!