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Friday, November 4, 2011

Cheeze Dip/Spread - Cheddar Style (Raw, Vegan, Gluten-free)

Cashews make some of the yummiest vegan cheese or at least the base for it.  Red peppers add both color, nutrients and a tangy taste.  I haven't had cheese in over a decade but this works for us as a cheese dip, on sandwiches, veggie burgers, etc.

1 cup of soaked cashews (soak at least an hour and discard soak water)
1 large red bell pepper
1/4 cup purified water
2 tablespoons unhulled sesame seeds
1/4 small onion
1 garlic clove
juice of one large lemon
1/2 tsp sea salt

Put all of the above ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until creamy and smoothe. Keeps for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

(If you don't have a high speed blender, any blender will work.  You may need to soak your cashews a little longer so they blend easier and blend until creamy.  You also may want to substitute tahini for the sesame seeds if you are using a regular blender.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

This was a quick recipe and so easy my 15 month old helped pour and stir the ingredients.  Depending on the size of your cookies (we went large) this will make 18 large or 36 small cookies.  These cookies are cake-like and chewy and the date syrup makes them very dark in color.

1 3/4 cups Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free flour
1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Oats (regular not the quick cook kind)
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1 Tbls cinnamon
1 Tbls garam masala
1 1/2 tsp zanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup cold pressed olive oil
1/2 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
2 Tbls vanilla extract
3/4 cup Date Syrup
1 cup raisins


  1. Preheat the oven to 325, and either line or oil 2 cookie sheets
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients (except the raisins) and whisk together.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, mix all the wet ingredients then pour into the dry ingredients.
  4. Mix together until well incorporated, then add raisins
  5. Drop by spoonfuls on to the lined cookie sheets leaving about 1 inch between each cookie (they will spread as the bake)
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until dark and golden.
  7. Let stand for 15 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool another 10 minutes.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Date Syrup (Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free)

I just got an order of wet pack dates in from The Date People and have been enjoying them immensely!  If you enjoy dates and have never had fresh or wet pack dates, treat yourself and call them.  I want to use dates as sweetener in recipes as my family has gone sucrose free.

1 cup pitted organic dates (soaked for 2 hours if you have a regular blender)
1 cup fresh apple juice or purified water

Blend pitted dates and juice or water in a high speed blender until mixture is thick and syrupy in texture.
Use immediately or store in an air-tight container in the your fridge for up to 3 days.

This is great over waffles, muffins, in oatmeal, or in place of any liquid or dry sweetener.  Use in place of dry sweeteners in recipes in a ratio of 1 cup of dry sugar = 3/4 cup date syrup, or 1:1 for liquid sweeteners (1 cup of maple syrup = 1 cup date syrup).

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Red Lentil, Millet and Kale Stew (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

It has been raining for 3 days almost straight here in the Sunshine state which really when I type it sounds like no big deal, but we don't get rain like this where it rains all day.  It reminds me of rainy days up north even though today it was still over 85 - still that is about 10 degrees cooler than last week and to me means autumn is starting and what better way to start it than with a thick, hearty, bone warming stew!

Makes 6 - 8 servings

1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, just mashed
1 medium onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 mini sweet red pepper, diced
1/2 Tbls Braggs Liquid Aminos or other Gluten-Free Soy Sauce
2 Tbls of your favorite salt-free dried herb mix
6 cups of vegetable broth (or water, but broth is so much tastier)
1 1/2 cups red lentils
1 1/2 cups millet
1 bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped fine (I used purple kale and loved the color but any kale will do)
1 Tbls fresh squeezed lemon juice
salt and peper to taste

  1. In a cold dutch oven, pour the olive oil and add onions.  Turn heat to medium and cook until onions carmelize.  This is the key to this soup so that the sugars in the onion really get carmelly and lend that flavor throughout the soup.  This alone can take 20 - 35 minutes depending on your dutch oven and how long it takes to heat and how efficient it is.
  2. Add garlic, onion, celery, carrot, and the pepper.  Stir and cook another 5 minutes until the vegetables get soft.
  3. Add Braggs and herbs, cook one more minute
  4. Add broth, lentils and millet and stir.  
  5. Bring the broth to a boil, cover, turn to simmer, and cook for 35 minutes.
  6. Remove lid, the lentils will have dissolved and make the soup now look like stew without much liquid.  Add the kale, stir to incorporate, and put the lid back on for another 3 - 5 minutes.   We like a little crunch to our kale, but if you enjoy more wilted, you can always add the kale in with Step 4.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste, and add fresh lemon juice just before serving.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Frijoles con Queso (vegan, gluten-free)

I don't really know what to call this recipe - it satisfied my craving for Velveeta and Rotel, but it really is not a chili con queso type sauce, so until I think of a new name for now, it is Frijoles con Queso

2 cups cooked white beans
1 roasted red pepper
juice from 1 large lemon (approx 1/4 cup)
3 Tbls tahini
1/2 tsp onion granules
1/2 tsp yellow mustard
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups pico de gallo, or your favorite salsa, or even a can of ro-tel!

  1. Place all ingredients except salsa into high speed blender and blend for 2 - 3 minutes.  It will be smooth after about 30 seconds, but blending for the extra time will heat the sauce as well.
  2. Pour salsa, pico de gallo or ro-tel into a medium bowl
  3. Pour the bean mixture over the salsa and stir to incorporate
  4. Enjoy with tortilla chips!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Veggie Burgers (Vegan, Gluten-free)

Ahh, the veggie burger.  Why is it when I look for any recipe for a veggie burger, there are hardly any veggies in them?  I don't want a bean patty, or a wheat and grain patty, I want a patty made predominately of veggies and maybe some flax seed to bind!  So, in an effort to make a veggie burger like that, and include a bit of grain because my son loves rice, this is my cooked veggie burger recipe.  Our entire family loved them - my 14 month old ate half of one just waiting for the others to finish cooking!

Makes approx 8 - 10 burgers
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
3 stalks of celery, minced
2 carrots, minced or shredded
2 mini sweet peppers, seeds removed, minced
1 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp Braggs Liquid Aminos
1 Tbls olive oil
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1 cup cooked brown rice

Vegetable oil for frying

  1. Wash and mince all the veggies, or take the easy way and wash then add them to your food processor fitted with an "S" blade and pulse until finely minced.  Set aside in a medium mixing bowl
  2. Add the ground flax seed, poultry seasoning, Braggs, and olive oil and incorporate well - mix this with your hands to get everything really mixed well.  Let this sit for about 5 minutes so the flax can absorb some of the water of the veggies
  3. Add the brown rice and mix again
  4. Add your oil to a cold frying pan and turn to medium high heat.
  5. Take a 1/3 measuring cup, scoop into your hand to form a patty add to the fry pan.  I can fit 4 patties at a time in my pan - you want them to have space and not to be crowded - no touching each other.
  6. Cook for about 2 - 3 minutes or until you see a golden brown crust form, then flip and continue frying for about 90 seconds to 2 minutes until the other side is also brown.
  7. As you finish each patty, set aside on a plate, salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve in fresh romaine leaves rolled up with your favorite condiments, tomatoes, sprouts, avocado, etc.
  9. Store any leftover veggie burgers in the refrigerator for 3 - 5 days.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Chia Breakfast Pudding (Raw, Vegan, Gluten-free)

Chia seeds seem to be a new fad in natural food stores, supplement companies and even in protein shakes now, but their benefits truly do not seem to be a fad to me.  Chia seeds are a member of the mint family and yes, they are those fuzzy headed plants you see advertised at Christmas.  So why would I want to add chia seeds to my diet?
  1. Chia is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids,  even more so than flax seeds. And it has another advantage over flax: chia is so rich in antioxidants that the seeds don't deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid. 
  2. Chia seeds, unlike flax, are readily available to the body.  Flax seeds must be ground to make their nutrients available to the body.
  3. Chia seeds also provide fiber (25 grams give you 6.9 grams of fiber) as well as calcium,  phosphorus,  magnesium,  manganese,  copper,  iron,  molybdenum,  niacin,  and zinc. 
    1. Chia seeds are 16 percent protein, 31 percent fat, and 44 percent carbohydrate, of which 38 percent is fiber. Most of its fat is the essential omega-3 fatty acid – alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). It’s also high in antioxidants… as much as 8 times higher than blueberries.
  4. When added to water and allowed to sit for 30 minutes,  chia forms a gel. Researchers suggest that this reaction also takes place in the stomach,  slowing the process by which digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates and convert them into sugar.
  5. Chia seeds are not some new fad in the food industry - chia (from the desert plant salvia hispanica) was a major crop in central Mexico between 1500 and 900 B.C. and was still cultivated well into the 16th century AD.  Supposedly after the Spanish conquest,  authorities banned it because of its association with religious ceremonies.  They were also the staple of Mayan and Aztec warriors - Chia means "strength" in Mayan.  Some sites I reviewed stated that one tablespoon of chia seeds was believed to sustain an individual for 24 hours. The Aztecs also used chia medicinally to stimulate saliva flow and to relieve joint pain and sore skin.
  6. Given the shelf life and amazing nutrient rich content of chia, we keep some in our Hurricane survival kit now
  7. Believe what you want about its history, chia seeds make awesome vegan puddings without added sugar or processed foods!

Makes 1 serving of chia pudding 
1 Tbls chia seeds soaked in 1 cup of water for a minimum of 30 minutes
1 apple, cored
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 dates, pitted
2 Tbls raisins (optional)
2 Tbls walnuts, chopped (optional)

I took pictures of the time lapse of my chia seed soak that I'll post at the end of the recipe because it is pretty interesting to me that one tiny seed can absorb 4 times its weight in water!

  1. Add the first 4 ingredients to a high powered blender and blend for about 30 seconds until all ingredients are pureed
  2. Pour into a cereal bowl, top with raisins and walnuts and enjoy!

Chia seeds in water just moments

Chia seeds in water about 20 minutes

Chia seeds in water for an hour

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chai Spiced Pecans and Almonds (Raw, Vegan, Gluten-free)

I usually do not care for pecans, but if they are sweet, I love them. I completely understand pecan pie now - pecans on their own do nothing for me, but coat them in sugar and they are quite tasty. I made these for a playdate recently where the adults and the children ate them and really enjoyed them. These are sweet, spicy and salty and may make it into regular rotation for snacks in our home.

1/4 cup pitted dates plus 1/4 cup water for soaking (reserved)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp chai tea
1/8 - 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on your taste for heat)
2 1/2 cups of nuts (I used about 2 cups of pecans and 1/2 cup almonds)

  1. Soak 1/4 cup of dates in 1/4 cup of water for about 20 minutes.
  2. Place dates, reserved soaking liquid, salt, chai tea, and pepper in a highspeed blender and blend for 15 seconds until the mix is completely liquid and looks like a syrup.
  3. Place nuts in a medium mixing bowl, pour syrup over them and mix to coat each nut.
  4. Let sit for a few minutes and retoss - pecans seem to loose their syrup after the first mix.
  5. Either eat and enjoy immediately, or you dehydrate until dry and sticky - about 8 hours at 105 degrees.
  6. Keep dehydrated nuts for about 5 days in the refrigerator.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Raw Chocolate Kale Chips

The picture does not give these justice. I have tried 2 different chocolate sauces, and ultimately the one I like the best is a simple mix of dates, cacao and coconut oil. These were super saucy and the sauce that ran off the kale and onto the teflex sheets tasted like a raw Tootsie Roll (or what my memory of tootsie rolls taste like).

1 large bunch kale, any type will do but I prefer the curly leaf stuff for chips - I just like the texture
1 cup dates, pitted
1/4 cup raw unrefined coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup cacao powder (or reg cocoa but then it wouldn't be a raw recipe)
3/4 to 1 cup of warm purified water - 3/4 is still sort of thick, 1 C makes a runnier ganache

  1. Wash and destem the kale. Tear into bite size pieces and let dry (or spin in a salad spinner)
  2. Set kale aside in a large bowl
  3. Blend remaining ingredients in a highspeed blender until well incorporated. You may want to taste at this point - if you prefer sweet sauces, you can add a few more dates, or a little agave.
  4. Pour about 1 1/2 cups of sauce over kale - you will likely have some leftover sauce that is wonderful as a topping on any dessert (raw or otherwise).
  5. Massage the sauce into the kale. The kale should be coated but not overly wet with dressing.
  6. Place a teflex sheet on your dehydrator tray and lay kale on one layer. Depending on how much kale you have in your bunch, this should fill 2 teflex sheets.
  7. Dehydrate at 105 F for about 8 hours. They will likely still be soft. Take off the teflex sheets and place directly on the mesh liner. Dehydrate another 4 - 8 hours until crispy.

Raw Spaghetti with Marinara

It is summer time and a great time of year for raw food in our home. We all love spaghetti but I really have not found a pasta that I find to be healthful. Behold a spiralizer and zucchini!

In the past when I have made raw marinara, the sauce comes out very muddy looking from all the fresh herbs. This sauce came out very orange and was very tasty!


2 large, long and straight zucchini
pinch of salt
  1. Wash and dry your zucchini. If they are conventional, I would also peel them, but if they are organic, eat the peel! Leave on the ends
  2. Center your zucchini on the spiralizer. I get best results if I put the blossom end into the cutting end, and the opposite end into the prongs. The straighter your zucchini, the easier it is to spiralize the entire zucchini without having to readjust.
  3. Take your pile of angel hair zucchini and place in a colander. Toss with a pinch of salt and let sit in the colander. This will help release some of the water so your final product will not be watery.

2 ripe tomatoes
6 sun dried tomatoes, soaked for an hour
1 small onion
2 small sweet peppers (I chose red to help with the color)
1 date (optional)
2 TBLS cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

  1. Place all of your marinara ingredients and blend until smooth. If you prefer a chunky sauce, then blend in pulses until you get the texture you like.
  2. Transfer the zucchini to a large pasta bowl, pour the sauce over the top and toss.

This was definitely a kid friendly recipe in our home and my youngest ate an entire bowl, plus ate the 1/4 cup or so of left over sauce as soup.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Raw Black Sesame Sunflower Bread

This is a staple in our home that all of us enjoy as either crackers or sometimes less dehydrated and left as a pliable bread. Why black sesame seeds - well, the contrast is pretty, and black sesame is a nutritious food that is already known to contain lecithin, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and iron. Chinese wisdom mentions sesame to strengthen energy, and muscle growth, as well as maintaining soft skin. Chinese medicine also uses black sesame (hei zhi ma) to maintain kidney and liver function.

1 c ground flaxseed
1/3 c flax seed whole
½ t sea salt
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T onion, minced
1-1/3 c water
2/3 c sunflower seeds
¼ c black sesame seeds

In large bowl mix ground flax, whole flax seeds, salt, garlic, onion & water. Mix well.
Add sunflower & sesame seeds. Mix well.
Spread on 1 telfex tray smooth out into an even square., Dry at 105 degrees for 4 hours
Flip & score bread into 9 slices
Dehydrate another hour for softer bread (to use for a sandwich roll) Stores for up to 3 days in the refrigerator
or dehydrate another 3 - 6 hours for crispy crackers. Stores 1-2 months refrigerated.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Raw Chocolate Fudge (Gluten-Free, Anti-Candida)

We have started an anti-candida diet in our home and I am craving chocolate and sweets. I know that means my body just wants to feed the yeast, but I needed something to help me through this healing time from candida overgrowth. Messing around in the kitchen tonight, I think I found something that helps cover just enough sweetness and a lot of chocolate cravings for me. My 4 year old loved this and while we still have 3/4 of the pan left, he is already asking if we can finish it and just make more.

The ingredients here are listed by parts so that you can adjust the ratio as you need based on how much coconut meat you yield.

2 parts raw cacao butter
2 parts fresh coconut meat (young or mature coconut works)
2 parts coconut oil
2 parts cashew butter
1 part raw honey (used for anti-fungal properties and to sweeten - use more or less to your taste)
1/2 part raw cacao powder (or carob)
1/8 part cinnamon
1/8 part vanilla extract or portion of vanilla bean
pinch of sea salt

  1. Measure approximately 2.5 - 3 parts raw cacao butter in a small bowl. Place over another bowl filled with hot water to make a double "boiler." Stir as the butter starts to melt. Start this before anything else because it takes some time to melt cacao butter.
  2. Open and remove all the meat from the coconut. Reserve the water for your morning smoothie!
  3. Add all ingredients to food processor fitted with an "S" blade and blend until creamy. Add more cacao for richer taste, but the more cacao, sometimes the more bitter the taste.
  4. Pour into a glass baking dish and refrigerate for 4 - 6 hours or overnight.
  5. Cut into squares and serve chilled.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Raw Blueberry Cheesecake (vegan, gluten-free)

Raw Blueberry Cheesecake

2 cups pecans
1 cup dates
a pinch of salt

Cheesecake filling:
3 cups macadamia nuts, soaked overnight
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup agave nectar
3/4 cup coconut oil
1 vanilla bean, insides scraped (or 1 teaspoon vanilla)
2 tsp probiotic powder (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
14 oz blueberries
  1. If your coconut oil is solid, place a little over 3/4 cup of coconut oil into a glass measuring cup or, bowl. Melt the coconut oil in a large bowl or sink filled with a few inches of, very warm water, making sure the water does not reach over the top of the cup or, bowl holding the coconut oil. Stir every couple of minutes while you make the, crust, and it will melt faster. If your oil is already liquid, then just measure the 3/4 cup
  2. Place all "Crust" ingredients into a food processor fitted with the "S" blade and process until fine.
  3. Press crust mixture firmly into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. (I used a pie pan because I cannot find my springform and had leftover of the filling)
  4. Check your coconut oil measurement once it's all melted. It should be 3/4 cup, when melted.
  5. Put all Cheesecake filling ingredients into a high-speed blender or process in a food processor in batches until smooth.
  6. Adjust lemon juice and agave nectar to taste.
  7. Pour mixture onto crust. Tap the pan on your bench/countertop a few times to remove any air bubbles.
  8. Put the cheesecake in the freezer until firm for at least 3 hours but, preferably overnight.
  9. Transfer the cheesecake to the fridge about 2 hours before serving.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Make Your Own Toothpaste

Most toothpastes, even the ones found in natural food stores, are filled with ingredients that really do not need to be there, including toxic chemical, parabens, and petroleum by-products. When Tom's of Maine was purchased by Colgate-Palmolive several years ago, I started making my own tooth powder. Now I add glycerin to it and it is toothpaste.

This recipe takes minutes to make and I make a little cup of it for each of us. Because there are no preservatives in it, I only make about a month's batch at a time. I use arrowroot because it is less abrasive than baking soda or salt on our gums. I also like mint in my toothpaste but any flavored extract could be used here or none at all.

3 Tbls Baking Soda
1 Tbls Arrowroot
1 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Peppermint Oil (food grade)
3 Tbls Vegetable Glycerin (may take a little more)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until lump free. You can put the final product in a squeeze tube or a small cup. Too keep it sanitary, I typically use either one container per person in the family, or the squeeze tube.

This makes almost 1/2 cup and depending on how much and how often you use it, should last at least 1 - 3 months.

To make whitening toothpaste, add 1/2 Tbls ground sage.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Chia Water (Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free)

This is a great refreshing "energy" drink. I have felt pretty tired and nauseous in the mornings lately and this is a great pick me up that gives me some energy to last until the nausea is gone. Even if I were not feeling that way - this is a great way to get omegas and water into your diet.

Chia Water
8oz or more water
1 tsp chia seeds
Juice of half a lemon

Add all ingredients to a 10oz or larger glass, let sit for about 10 minutes then drink and enjoy! Chia seeds are different from flax seeds in that the human body can digest them and access the omegas without the seeds having to be ground.

This recipe has:
  • 30 calories
  • Omega 3 - 819mg
  • Omega 6 - 270mg
  • Vitamin C - 10.6mg
  • Calcium - 31.1mg
  • Phosphorous - 45.6mg
  • Potassium - 36.0mg
(based on data from

No Mother Left Behind