Today is my day of rest; letting my muscles heal and relax so they can rebuild and I don’t burn out. Been seriously feeling it, super exhausted the past couple days. Right at the edge of full body muscle fatigue. By the end of the evening I definitely wanted to exercise and missed it. Will do my before bed sit-ups and push-ups, at least.
Anyway, before I get into the actual recipe, I’m going to put up a simple Caesar dressing. I’m adding it in with the hummus to take the place of mayo. More flavour, less fat = awesome. If you wanted to lower the fat of the Caesar dressing even more, I’d half the recipe with navy beans or white kidney beans. I’m going to try that out next time; and it adds some other nutrients, more fibre, etc. Protein would stay about the same, as tofu is good for protein. I don’t use oil in the Caesar, but you are free to add some in, same with some Vegan Parmesan. (Which, by the way, my brother and I use for making vegan “smartfood” – I should come up with a name for that… Maybe I’ll do a snack post soon…) The Rice version sometimes comes “vegan” – check your labels, the Rice cheeses will say “vegan” right on the package.
Easy Quick Caesar
2 pkgs silken tofu (I use mid-firm but any type will do)
LOTS of garlic, at least half a bulb. You can cut up the other half and lightly cook it to caramelised or bake it until its nice a gooey brown.
2 tbsp capers and some caper juice
Dulse flakes if you have them
Lemon juice/apple cider vinegar
(Optional: veg parm)
Fair bit of salt
Lots of cracked black pepper
(Optional: olive oil)
Food process garlic; add in everything else and process until creamy. Add water to desired consistency. You’ll want probably ½ to 1 cup. If you are using oil, emulsify it in before the water. If you want a more classic Caesar omit the water, emulsify some olive oil, and then whip with veg/canola oil.
My no-egg salad is different from my tofu scramble. That reminds me, I’m coining a new way of “cooking” – stoveless veganism. It’s like a fusion between being raw and cooked. When I get into some of the foods I eat and the recipes, it’ll become clearer. Basically I cook nothing (although, to save costs, you *could* cook some of your own stuff, like lentils and beans which is cheaper than buying cans) but I do eat some “pre-cooked” foods such as canned beans and tofu. I just don’t cook them further or eat anything hot.
My digestion is finally adjusting so it seems to be okay for me, lol. And I haven’t ballooned up or gained weight, so I think I’ll be okay. I’m noticing a real difference in my body so far. I know that to lose weight and tighten my stomach (losing lots of weight = loose skin, which sucks) I need at least a month to start seeing results, if not two, so I’m trying to not worry. There are obvious results with my arms and legs so it’s plain that things are changing. My health is definitely up also: jogging now is fairly easy and I’m going to have to increase my morning jogs.
In short, so far, I’m having positive results. In all my research of being raw (it was 2.5 years of 100% raw, and at least a solid year of complete 80/10/10) a lot of the literature says that its more about the focus on clean, balanced eating with a [i]high proportion[/i] of raw, natural foods. Everything I eat is crammed full of veggies. As I eat no breads I use collard leaves for my wraps, or I’ll make salads, or use bases of lettuce for meals. One of my favourite things is to get romaine hearts, cut them in half width-wise (just chop off the bottom to get the core; I cut it in half and feed it to my dogs. They’re veggie vultures!) and then separate all the leaves and give them a good rinse. I leave a container of those half-leaves in the fridge as chips! Then I can make different dips and sauces or eat my “bumblebee tuna” and “cookless chilli” with lettuce “chips” rather than a spoon or as a sandwich/wrap.
What’s so great about this is that you get awesome flavours, tons of veggies, the goodness of tofu (I love tofu, myself), tons of post-workout protein, not a ton of calories and fat, and plenty of nutrients and vitamins. Lots of colour. Turmeric is also really good for you and its an easy way to get it into your diet without always going for curries or mustard. As you don’t need to cook anything and you don’t even need to make it pretty — at its most basic you could do just green onions, or throw in any vegetables you happen to have on hand — it can be made in minutes. Leave it in the fridge and always have a meal on-hand, make it for a few portions right away, whatever. It’s handy to have around. And its cholesterol and cruelty free.
This is really easy to make.
1 block firm tofu (I use low-fat)
2 green onions, sliced
1 stalk celery, diced
¼ – ½ red pepper, diced
¼ red onion, diced
1 tbsp cumin
2 tsp Turmeric
Pepper (fresh cracked)
All you need is a large bowl and a knife. Into the bowl crumble tofu into chunks.
Prep veggies and toss them in.
Put in a couple tablespoons of hummus and a spoon or two of Caesar. Sprinkle in cumin and turmeric; I like a fair bit of cumin myself. Add a squirt of mustard and a drizzle of sriracha if using. Pinch in salt to taste and give a good amount of pepper.
Stir it all together and add water until a nice creamy gooey consistency without it being “wet”. Check seasoning and adjust as needed.
Really simple and just store in the fridge in a tight container. Make sandwiches and wraps without having to make a batch every time. It’s also tasty on a bed of sprouts or scooped onto a nice salad. Or as I did, in a collard leaf with some sprouts, rather than using a tortilla. Enjoy!
This hummus I use both as a dip and a sauce, but also as my mayonnaise. It’s crazy easy and super versatile. Because I have tahini, I’m going to use it up (I also sometimes give some to my dogs, they love it ^^). I have considered using a toasted sesame oil instead, so I can use way less and get that strong flavour.
Right now I’m using this in my “bumblebee tuna” salad, scrambled tofu, and not-egg salad. None of which I cook.
So a little update. I’ve started body building. Don’t bother laughing, I’m really loving it. So, against everything I’ve ever done before, I decided to go onto a heavy protein diet. I figured I wasn’t losing weight 80/10/10, and vegetable protein isn’t going to damage my kidneys, and I’m still following principles of raw veganism, so why not? So far, it’s been pretty good. Still no grains, gluten, rice (except if as part of protein powders like in Vega, or as one of those rice cakes or something for a naughty snack), oats, potatoes, etc.
I don’t cook anything. Everything is done raw-style or is raw. The only cooked foods I eat are tofu (low fat and mid-firm/firm silken) and beans. I apply no heat to anything, I don’t cook anything, everything is still done raw, only some of my ingredients aren’t. It’s been a week, digestion is still adjusting and rebelling, but other than that, it’s pretty positive.
Later I’ll be posting recipes for my no-heat bean chilli, the scramble and both salads.
Chickpeas have a middle range for fat and calories when it comes to beans. I balance that out by using navy beans with them. Tahini is extremely high in fat so I use a very small amount (compared to end volume). I use a lot of lemon and garlic, which is really what it should be anyway. Tahini-filled hummus always grossed me out anyway.
This makes about 1 litre of hummus. I think it’s about 1.25L.
Vitamix (or good blender, or food processor)
1 can chickpeas
1 can navy beans
2-3 cloves garlic
1-2 lemons, juiced
1 tbsp tahini (unless super strong tasting/super toasted, then use less; same with toasted oil. Use less.)
You’ll notice: NO OLIVE OIL. It’s not needed. If you desperately want to add the olive oil, go ahead, but that definitely ups the fat content. The water in this takes that spot. When it sits in the fridge it will settle, but you just have to stir it with a spoon to get it all back together. I think it tastes awesome, but if you’re used to high fat, you might need to get used to it.
Drain and rinse your beans; place them in blender. Add the other ingredients and add water until the beans are just covered. Add some salt and pepper and blend it. You want it to be runny and thinner; not a paste but a coating (say if you dip veggies into it). You can change this if you like, make it one of those heavy dips or a paste, but that again ups the fat. Your choice. Add water until it blends easily and it’s at the consistency you want. Taste and adjust seasonings and flavours as need be.
Simply store in the fridge.
You can add different things to change up the flavours; I would suggest making smaller portions of different flavoured hummus if you want to do this. Sriracha, sambal oleck, chipotle, parsley, dill, roasted red pepper, etc.
Chick pea Salmon Pasties
I wanted to post something but I have no idea what. I’ll probably go pick a random recipe and see where to go from there. Maybe one of my mom’s old recipes, I haven’t done one of those in awhile. That might be an idea.
First, a rant:
Eating vegan is easy. I hope I prove that in spades. The very fact I can open any cookbook and make a vegan version demonstrates quite simply that it is entirely possible. With a plethora of vegan cookbooks and how-to books, there’s no reason for it to be mysterious or difficult. In fact, what is easier than eating fruits and vegetables? What is so shocking about eating nuts and legumes? These are foods that *should* be normal anyway.
Being a vegan, however, can be tough. Be ready for that; people will attack you and jump down your throat simply for not eating meat. Hey, meat eaters: get over yourselves. I’m sick of kowtowing to flesh-consumer’s delicate sensibilities. You don’t care about the animal you’re munching on, you don’t care about my rights to NOT eat animals (why am I the bad guy for not eating specific “foods”?), so why should I care one whit about you? I’ve become so used to being smacked around for my veganism (let alone that I’m raw) that I’ve become entirely passive about it. I don’t want to fight, I don’t want to talk about it and I just say “whatever” to partially-cremated-corpse-munchers.
When you are politic and civil about being vegan and are encouraging and supportive, and then are still attacked, it grates at you, irritates you like a gnawing bug. To say simply “I don’t want to fight” or to not defend your position to avoid the inevitable blow-up (saying simply “Look, I’m vegan, that’s it”), to just have people scream in your face and go on and on about how you’re faulty and selfish and blah blah blah… Well I’ve woken up. I’m sick of people leaping on me no matter what. I’m a vegan. I’m a RAW vegan. So screw everyone who makes it their business because I’ll rip their freaking heads off. I don’t care about fighting or upsetting people anymore. They don’t care about responsibility and couch their actions behind bullshit phrases and happy meat lies. All I have to say is: go fuck yourself. I’m a vegan. I won’t change because you think honey is okay in veganism if you like the farmer and scream and yell at me because I say “No, honey isn’t vegan.” I’ll laugh in the next person’s face who says that we have “canines”. There are animals out there with teeth far larger, pointier and dangerous than ours; yet they’re herbivores. Canines are called “eye teeth” as well, but I can’t get glasses for them
I could go on, but whatever. Surprisingly I’m not here to alienate anyone. However, I have every right to be a vegan and not feel intimidated.
I found a recipe. Salmon Pasties. It mentions pie crust as if anyone should know how to make it. You need the amount that would make a 2-crust 9” pie. Thankfully pie crust is super easy.
Salmon used to be one of my favourite fishes. Especially raw. The idea makes me feel a little ill, and not just for the dead animal. The amount of chemicals in predator species is staggering. Salmon, tuna, halibut, shark, swordfish; these are all important fish in the ecosystem. (And just because you argue “oh, I don’t like this fish because its mean” doesn’t create a valid argument for slaughtering them and destroying the ecosystem, fyi. Yes. People try that one. Pathetic eh?) Not only are the important but by being predators “bioaccumulation” is a serious issue with them. They have extremely high levels of industrial runoff including mercury and PCBs, as well as hormones and chemical soups from pharmaceuticals. Even if fish didn’t feel pain, weren’t an important aspect of the ecosystem, didn’t have an impact on the oxygen we breathe, there would still be simply a huge health issue with actually consuming their dead flesh.
To those who say catch and release is humane, when was the last time you got a piercings? Through your cheek with a 0-gauge? Then were dragged around the streets by it before having it ripped out of your face and being kicked away? When you do this, I’ll listen. Better yet, I will gladly help you out and do it for you.
Oh, and so you know, pie crust is insanely easy. The finer you cut it, the more mealy and tough it is. This is good when you’re baking something heavy/liquidy and you need dough to stand up through the cooking process and not become mush/break down. For flaky pie crust, the bigger the chunks the better. What happens is that each bit of fat is coated by flour; when the fat melts and bakes with the flour, it creates separate flakes. This is how you get that awe inspiring flaky pie crust.
Yield: 8 pasties
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup chilled butter or shortening (yes, earth balance makes shortening too)
½ cup cold water
You want to make the dough first so it can rest in the fridge for at least 30 min.
In a large bowl combine flour and salt.
Cut in butter/shortening until chunks are pea sized. (CUT, not mix. Use a pastry cutter or a fork)
Slowly mix in water; form a ball.
Wrap in saran and set in fridge.
1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
¼ cup chick pea liquid + ¼ cup water
2 tbsp beet juice (optional)
1 tbsp dulse flakes (or another crumbled/flaked seaweed; optional)
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp chopped green onion
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¾ tsp dry mustard
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 ½ tbsp fresh dill
¼ cup soy (or other milk) with a little flour and sugar whisked in
Drain and rinse chick peas, saving some of the liquid. Food process to make flaked fish; mix in beet juice to make salmon pink, add seaweed.
Melt butter in medium saucepan over med heat. Add onion and cook 3 minutes while stirring. Sprinkle in salt, pepper, mustard and flour. Stir.
Remove pan from heat and stir in chick pea liquid and water, and lemon juice. Return to heat and stir until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in “salmon” and dill. Let cool.
Remove pastry from fridge (make sure oven is preheating/preheated).
Roll pastry thin and cut into 6-inch rounds (should have 8); or into 6” squares.
Split the salmon mixture between the eight.
Moisten edges of pastry with water and fold pastry over filling, sealing by pressing firmly with fork (or fold and pinch). Place on (parchment lined) cookie sheets.
Brush the soy milk over each of the pasties (turnovers). Sprinkle with sesame seeds and prick several times with fork.
Bake about 20 minutes, or until well browned.
Raw Sushi with Tamarind-Tamari Sauce
I keep saying no more raw dishes I know. But this is awesome and you definitely don’t need to be raw. Who doesn’t love a roll? Who doesn’t love sushi? This is sushi that EVERYONE can eat, even the diabetic in the family, or the people who won’t eat white rice — or the one, like me, who’s raw.
I get dried nori rather than roasted, toasted or fried. I highly doubt it’s dried at raw temperatures, but it is still better than the other options. I get it at the local asian supermarket, it’s with the rest of the nori and seaweed, so it isn’t specialty. But you can get it at most health food stores as well.
Tamari is a wheat-free soy sauce and pretty much the same thing, but you can use soy sauce or nama shoyu (sometimes raw, sometimes gluten-free sometimes not) or liquid Braggs.
Tamarind-date chutney is really thick and really sweet. For more flavour, get the samosa-pakora chutney; it’s the same thing but with more spices added. I have the regular tamarind-date one which is better specifically for this sauce, but in general, the samosa-pakora chutney is better. To be safe, have both on hand. Big jars go for the same price in asian stores as they do for small jars in the grocery store, fyi.
You’ll want to pre-cut all your veggies. Its up to you what you use, but I use these (either all, or varying mixes). You can also think up other things for substitution.
For the “rice”, I peel zucchini with a vegetable peeler. You either layer it onto half the sheet of nori, or just lay it on all bunchy. Up to you.
Peeled zucchini (for rice) – there will be seedy middles left over
Sliced (I also seed) cucumber
Carrot (shred or julienne)
Lettuce (cut lengthwise into about 1 inch strips)
Avocado (cut in half, take out the seed, cut the flesh in the skin then use a spoon to scoop out the slices)
Zucchini seed bed (middles), julienne
Green onions, halved
Mushrooms (enoki work well)
Anything else you like, or want to veganise. If you want to add some cooked into it too, like sweet potato or something, that works too.
Tamarind-tamari dipping sauce:
Mix the chutney with water, about 2:1 to 1:1. Add in about half the amount of tamari to chutney. Adjust to your taste.
Basically you just roll and go. Lay out the zucchini slices onto half the nori sheets. In the middle of that add in your fillings in a line and then roll up. Cut with a very sharp or serrated knife. Lay out on a plate and serve with the dipping sauce on the side.
You can make rolls of different mixes, or throw everything in together, and have a healthy non-starch based sushi. Its really like a salad in bite-sized-form, and it tastes as good as sushi to me. For a finishing touch you could process sesame seeds and white miso and sprinkle it on (or add in the rolling) the pieces of sushi.
Well, I’m having a very upsetting day. I can’t even focus on work or food – of course, they overlap. I don’t really want to eat either, yet I feel like I’ve already over eaten for the entire day. It’s pretty disgusting. So I thought “Hey, most people eat comfort food, right?” I figured I keep promising a cooked recipe – I know, I know, no one cares about raw; there were just some cool things I’d done lately – so why not use my misery as inspiration for you guys? There are all kinds of comfort foods people use to numb their emotions.
Actually, that’s a literal event. When you eat cooked food, it’s so overwhelming for the body that there is only enough energy to do one or the other; process higher mental functions (ie: emotions, which are superfluous to functional survival) or digest the food. Naturally the body digests, which is why comfort foods are comforting; it’s the “holistic” form of anti-depression drugs. It doesn’t actually DO anything, and doesn’t make you feel better, but it stops you from functioning and feeling for a little while. And I suppose respite is better than pain.
Unless you’re a masochist. Which I think is also healthful in small doses; we don’t learn without pain, after all. If nature didn’t give us pain sensors, think of how fast the human race would have died off. No pain in falling from trees or off cliffs or touching fire? Those would be very bad things. In fact, there’s a disease (anhidrosis) in which you cannot feel pain and it’s extraordinarily dangerous.
With that being said, onto the comfort food.
Here’s an insanely easy one:
2 large carrots
3 stalks celery
4 hacked up ripe tomatoes
1 can tomatoes (whole, diced or crushed all work, though I prefer whole or diced)
1-2 litres water
Salt and pepper
(optional: Soy/rice/coconut milk)
Cut up carrots, celery and onion; place in a large pot with the fresh cut tomatoes. Cook all this down with some of the olive oil. When veggies are getting sweated/soft, add the can of tomatoes, the bay leaves, and the optional basil.
Give it a good stir and add 1-2 litres of water; depends on how much soup and how thick you want it. You could add more water than that too, but will have to make up for flavour with salt FYI.
(You can also do this as all one step and just boil the hell out of everything).
Bring the soup to a boil and add ¼- ½ cup sugar or maple syrup (depends on how acidic you like your soup); season the soup but not completely because it will boil down and concentrate the flavours over time. Drop the soup to a simmer and leave it for 15-30 min.
Remove the bay leaves and blend the soup with a blender (I suggest one that can dial up from 0, because most blenders will make hot liquids EXPLODE everywhere, trust me) or, even better, an immersion blender (one of those hand-held stick things). Recheck the seasoning and adjust as needed.
You can add various milks to make it creamy; another option is to blend in left over cooked potatoes/mashed potatoes. This is a low-fat way to up a soup’s creamy factor and unless you have a potato allergy, its allergen free.
Alright, so we need another comfort food. Tomato soup is good and all, but we need something else too…
BWAHAHAHA I love the irony of this one. … I’m so veganising it.
Yeah yeah, its another soup. Like I said, irony. At least I still have my English sense of humour intact.
1 ½ lbs faux ground beef (yves or pc OR baked food processed beans OR food processed tempeh – you could even do food processed almonds and/or carrots, whole beans, cut up eggplant, or shred zucchini)
(optional: vegan “beef” bouillon cube – McCormicks makes 3 vegan bouillons; veg, chicken and beef, and they’re in the grocery store with all the rest of the bouillon cubes)
4 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped celery
6 cups diced beets
3 cups shredded cabbage
1 can diced tomatoes blended OR can crushed tomatoes
9 cups water OR 1 litre veg broth + 5 cups water
5 tbsp apple cider vinegar (adjust to taste)
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp fresh dill or 1 tsp dried dill; more or less to taste
In a large pot saute your onions, carrots and celery in oil or (soy free!) butter (with optional “beef” bouillon cube added after sweating). When sweated, add in your meat of choice and sautee down. If you can actually caramelise (brown) your meat and mirepoix, all the better.
Add everything else in and bring to a boil. Simmer 30-60 minutes, until veg is tender.
To serve: ladle portions in bowls and top with sour cream (check the mayo recipe! It can be turned into awesome sour cream!) and a sprig or sprinkle of dill. You could also crack some fresh black pepper over top.
Okay, so the next one WON’T be soup, I swear. (I know, I said that with the whole raw thing, but this time I mean it about the soup. Not another soup, promise).
Not the Chicken! Salad
2 cans lima or navy beans
2 stalks celery, diced
4 green onions, sliced
½ cup parsley
1 tbsp oregano (fresh; 1 tsp dried)
1 tbsp dill (fresh; 1 tsp dried)
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup crushed walnuts or pecans
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
¼ cup veg mayo or veganaise, plus 1 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp/drizzle balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
Mix everything together! Salt and pepper to taste; add more oil and balsamic as you like. Another way is to whip it right into the mayo mix and then stir it in. You can also add diced cooked potatoes to this and shredded carrots and/or cabbage if you like.
You should let chill it for 30-60 min, and then let it rest out at room temp before serving. Or, you could dig right in!
Well, I hope those were good enough. I was too lazy to veganise entire meals. It seemed like too much work and effort, especially since comfort food is kinda the opposite. Though now and then getting lost in a recipe can be good.
**Note: This looks like a lot of work and seems complex. If you understand the seperate elements involved, and the fact that you have to make them, rather than buy them at the store, it makes it a little easier to understand. There seems to be a lot of work involved, but it’s actually mostly just blending ingredients together and setting the finished products aside for later use. THIS IS WORTH ANY EXTRA EFFORT YOU PERCEIVE!!**
As you can see, I’ve been doing raw recipes of late. I have honestly been purposefully avoiding them, because raw scares most people, even vegans. The food I make myself is raw, but I normally don’t do raw with others. It’s never really a social thing for me, just “what can I make for dinner?” I very much enjoy being raw, and my raw foods. They’re delicious, nutritious and packed with tons of flavour (and fibre because it hasn’t been broken down by heat, and water, because the water hasn’t evaporated away, and protein, because the proteins haven’t coagulated and become indigestible, etc). What raw food isn’t packed with are calories, however. While nuts and seeds are full of fats and calories, nothing else really is – which means that you can fill up without guilt. Also, you can *visually* control the amount of fat by simply not putting in as much of it, while with cooking, fat “disappears”. Do you really know how much oil went into the pan, or how much butter is in the sauce? No, unless you are measuring. I know when I cook I don’t measure fats.
This lasagne though is far too amazing for anyone to pass up. Raw, vegan or otherwise. It is, quite simply, amazing. Even the nut cheese couldn’t stop me from devouring it. I made it as separate “pieces” in stacks on the plates, although you could do this in a casserole dish as a typical lasagne. The great thing is, after you assemble it, it’s done! No waiting for it to cook, and no cooking noodles. That noodle cooking time is devoted to the prep and assembly, after which you get to eat. (Rather than wait for noodles to cook, then assemble, then bake.)
And yes, this is very cheesy. You can add as much or as little cashew cheese as you’d like, but on average you’ll be using 3-6 tbsp per portion (about 1-2 tbsp per layer). This is fun to assemble and you can really go the mile and make it super elegant; or kids could “create” their own pieces and develop their own lasagne piece for dinner. Even if raised on a North American “palate” (I use the term lightly for people who deem mac n cheese and chef Boyardee “food”) with enough sauce and “cheese” they’ll eat it. And you can be comforted somewhat by the fact that the sauce and cheeses are ACTUALLY good for them. With more fibre and nutrients than they’ve probably had in days. Sad the state our food is in, isn’t it? When eating the cardboard your food comes in has as much nutritional density as the food itself?
For two massive portions I peeled two zucchini; we had green zuc but ideally you want yellow (to look more like traditional noodles). Either way is fine. I use certified raw cashews being actually raw; they are very expensive but well worth it for me as they aren’t blanched (read: steamed) out of the shell. I think there are two processors in the world who produce raw cashews, so yes they are limited and as I said, expensive. If you want to go that step (and for the quality of raw fats, I would suggest it, especially since you’re only using about ½ cup) go to your local health/holistic/organic stores or markets and ask about certified raw cashews. Mine are also a little more expensive as they’re organic as well, which isn’t necessary, but it’s the only brand I can get anyway lol!
Your other option is Bulk Barn which carries “raw split cashews” which I have used in a pinch. They are about half the price, but I do not know whether they refer to “raw” as “untoasted” or “certifiably raw unblanched out of the shell”. It’s up to you, and as you aren’t cooking the cheese, either way it’s still a healthier option.
You will need nutritional yeast; most grocery stores carry it now. I recommend one like Bob’s Red Mill because I know its B12 enriched and nutritional yeast (I call it “newt”) is one of the easiest ways to convince people that YES there is B12 in a vegan diet. (Also: B12 deficiency is usually a medical issue, regardless of meat or veggie eating.) I keep mine in the freezer in a sealed container. You should do so as well!
The sundried tomatoes you need for the sauce are DRY, not the “packaged in oil” or any of those. I recommend grabbing the ones from a health store because they’re more likely dried at acceptable temperatures, rather than practically baked as cheaper ones are. However, any ones you can get are fine I usually can only find the pre-julienned ones. The only times I’ve seen whole sundrieds are from food suppliers, actually. I haven’t been able to find them *anywhere* commercially.
Miso (white for this recipe) can be found in well stocked grocery stores, or any asian market or grocery store. With a brief search you can find gluten-free ones fairly easily (mine is gluten free white miso). Nama shoyu should be found at asian stores or health food stores; sometimes you can find it gluten free. Gluten free “soy sauce” options include: Braggs Liquid Aminos (raw) and your standard tamari which should be found at grocery stores.
Cold-pressed olive oil is the closest you will come to raw; some of them may even *be* raw processed and just not say it. I use ONLY Silver Leaf extra virgin olive oil, which is processed at 28-30 C, well below the ~42 C limit. Silver Leaf raw extra virgin olive oil (info purposes only) If I haven’t said it before, I will say it now: EXTRA VIRGIN olive oil is a CONDIMENT. Regular olive oil is a cooking oil! This is why there are different types of olive oil. Extra virgin is also far more costly; it is WORTH the extra money. I spend about $25/bottle for mine, and its 750mL. So you shouldn’t be complaining about spending $10 on a litre! You use it sparingly, it should last you awhile because its NOT used for cooking, and if you’re worried about not using it fast enough, keep it in the fridge and make sure to pull it out well before use.
Right, so, that should be about it. This is, contrary to how it may seem right now, a very simple, easy recipe. And well worth any effort. I suggest a vitamix! If you don’t have one, a food processor would be the next best item. If you don’t have that and just a regular household blender, you will need to make your cashew cheese a little more runny (or stop to stir a lot in the blender).
While this looks like a lot, it’s really just assembly. Tossing ingredients in a blender and blending, or mixing in a bowl. Nothing complex. Then it’s just piecing it together. Most of these things I have around the house, and they should generally be staples too, so there shouldn’t be too much grocery shopping. And if they aren’t staples, make them staples!
“Seasoned” is a term, when talking about fresh or real food, means “salt and peppered”. (When referring to frozen food, “seasoned” actually means “injected with brine”.) So when you season, place the veg in a bowl and toss lightly with salt and pepper!
To raw “wilt” your spinach, either put into a plastic food bag or in saran and roll a rolling pin or bottle over it until it becomes bruised and all dark; you’ll also need to beat it up a little. Then toss in some salt and a sprinkle of acv!
So this doesn’t seem as overwhelming, break down the recipe into parts: you need cashew cheese, so make the cashew cheese and set it aside. You need tomato sauce: make the sauce and set that aside. Make the parm and then set it aside. Get each element done separately, one at a time. THEN worry about assembly.
Heads up: read this well in advance: cashews need to soak for at least 2 hours and sundried tomatoes for at least 1. You can do both for the same amount of time too, if it’s easier. Remember: always drain and rinse your soaked nuts. The sundried tomatoes are blended in their soaking water, however.
And honestly, when it comes to these recipes, I eyeball everything. It really IS “toss it all in the blender” and scoop out into a dish for later use.
You will need (for assembly; recipes and directions will follow):
1 large carrot spiralised/julienne, seasoned
1 bell pepper julienne, seasoned
1 bunch fresh/two handfuls baby spinach, wilted
2 tomatoes, sliced and seasoned
½ bunch basil, chiffinade (reserve some for garnish)
Olive oil (garnish)
You will need (for the recipes):Yellow zucchini
Oregano (fresh and dried)
Agave nectar/maple syrup
Apple cider vinegar
2 yellow zucchini
With a vegetable peeler, peel the zucchinis and toss in a bowl with salt.
Raw tomato sauce:
½ cup sundried tomatoes soaked in ½ to ¾ cup water for at least 1 hour
½ clove garlic
2 tbsp fresh oregano
2 tsp dried oregano
1 large tomato (or 2 small)
2 tsp agave nectar (or maple)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Drizzle olive oil
Salt and pepper
*optional: ¼ red onion, sprinkle chilli flakes and a dash of cinnamon
Blend everything together until smooth. Add water and/or oil if needed.
Raw cashew cheese:
½ cup cashews soaked at least 2 hours, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Touch agave nectar
*optional: herbs, garlic, onion or spices
Blend together until smooth. Add water if needed.
Mushroom “meat” marinade:
3 tbsp minced rosemary
¼ cup nama shoyu/tamari
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup water
Sprinkle of salt
Combine everything in a bowl or container. Soak the diced mushrooms in the marinade.
½ cup dry cashew
¼ cup sesame seeds
1 tbsp miso
Blend or food process together until well combined and sprinkles like parmesan. It will clump together a bit; just loosen it with your fingers or a fork.
You can have all this stuff done earlier in the day, or a day ahead, or get different elements done through the day and night between chores or work or whatever. When all these things are made, the easy part comes:
On each plate, put down a bed of folded and lightly layered zucchini noodles.
Place 1-2 slices of tomato on top (so they are flat covering the zucchini noodles, not stacked).
Spread 1-2 tbsp cashew cheese on the tomatoes. Sprinkle parmesan and chiffinade basil over the cheese.
Layer carrots and then peppers over the cheese.
Add on some of the spinach.
Scoop on some of the meat; it’s okay if some tumbles off, or some of the marinade gets on the plate.
Spoon on tomato sauce.
Repeat at least once; place more zucchini noodles over the sauce, onto the stack you’ve made. Add the tomatoes and top them with the cheeses and continue on until another layer is done.
When you’ve made your lasagne as high as you want it, finish it by topping with zucchini noodles, cashew cheese, sauce, basil chiffinade and a sprinkle of parmesan. Drizzle olive oil over the lasagne “piece” and the plate.
If you want to save all these items (or double/triple the recipe) and keep them on hand, if you did a single layer (topping with zucchini, cheese, sauce, all that) as a half-portion, it makes a great lunch sized meal! Also, if you have leftovers you can toss them onto a salad and it tastes amazing!
And you’re done!
Believe me, it’s bloody well worth it!!
Raw Vegan Caesar Salad
This will make enough for a family of 4-6, or a really hungry raw vegan as an entire meal; you WILL be stuffed. I was starving and I’m unbelievably full. I decided to post this because of how much it tasted like Caesar (I’ve always been very picky about my Caesar and I surprised even myself; the dressing on its own tasted similar, but it wasn’t until it was on the lettuce that it truly tasted like Caesar) and how much healthier an option it is. If you want to thin it out with water, or use water instead of oil, you can (in case you don’t have raw oil around). The body uses raw fats differently than processed/cooked, so some raw oil won’t harm you. I’m NOT a fan of eating fats; however, a little raw fat and some fruit fat (like avocado or coconut or durian) are perfectly fine in moderation. Also there are vitamins and minerals that actually need fat to be used by the body. Make your fat choices ones your body can actually digest!
Avocados are chock full of nutrition and if you’re going to eat a fatty salad dressing, it should be made with a fruit that’s good for you, and not empty calories and fat! Yes, Caesar can be made with tofu, but you’ll be emulsifying oil into it anyway, and having a delicious raw salad dressing on hand is a terrific thing. It’s guilt-free Caesar; even tofu-based Caesar can’t claim that one!
Remember to wash your lettuce! You can do it before or after chiffinading (thinly slicing; believe me, salads done this way are awesome). If you have a salad spinner, you rock, not even I have one. If you don’t go get one… I plan on it lol. For choosing avocados, you want ones that are slightly pliable to the touch but NOT squishy. And they should be black with red/brown speckles. To open an avocado, slice it around with a knife, and then smack the pit with the edge of the knife. The knife should stick partway into the pit; twist and pull out. Two perfect halves and all you need to do is scoop out the insides. Sometimes there will be brown lines running through the avocado flesh. Check the taste; usually its fine.
California Avocado Nutritional Benefits
Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. They also act as a “nutrient booster” by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein, in foods that are eaten with the fruit.
Avocados and Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, but a healthy diet and exercise plan may help reduce your risk of developing the life-threatening illness.
The American Heart Association (AHA) Dietary Guidelines recommend a diet that has at least five servings of fruits and vegetables, contains up to 30% of calories from fats (primarily unsaturated) and is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, trans fats and sodium while being rich in potassium. Avocados can help you meet the AHA dietary guidelines because they have both monosaturated and polyunsaturated fat and contain potassium.
No, a little bit of RAW salt (pink Himalayan or Celtic sea salt. not the granulated type however) won’t hurt you. Besides, you shouldn’t be using enough salt in your day to make it a worry anyway! Seriously, you’re using maybe a ¼ tsp through the whole recipe, unless you live a sodium-heavy life. With the Celtic salt, it comes in three different forms; granulated is NOT raw. Granulated Celtic sea salt is processed at 2000C just like table salt. This extremely high procession temperature is also part of the reason why salt is so bad. I honestly have about as much salt in a month as the average person eats in a day.
Oh, and btw this is gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, peanut-free, seed-free… pretty much every major allergen
½ romaine heart, chiffinade
1 cup baby spinach, chiffinade
¼ – ½ orange pepper, julienne
1 med carrot, cut in half and sliced on bias
½ tomato, diced
¼ cucumber, quartered and chopped
½ zucchini spiralised, mandolined or julienne
Remember to lightly salt your lettuce (seriously, it’s the secret to amazing salads) and a light sprinkle on top of the veggies. You can crack some pepper on too.
1 medium avocado
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp capers, plus some juice
1-2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp maple or agave
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Heavy cracked black pepper
1-2 tbsp raw olive oil
Mash everything except the olive oil together. When it’s a paste, mix in the olive oil. Add pepper and salt as needed.
Use all the dressing on the salad; with your hands, gently toss the dressing through the salad so it’s all evenly coated and so the veggies are well-mixed in the lettuce.
If you wanted a “parm” on top you can food-process sesame seeds, cashews and a little white miso paste.