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Edamame Avocado Vegan Pesto

I love this delicious, yet simple pesto recipe using edamame beans. It goes great as a spread, or used as a sauce on your favorite raw or cooked pastas (i.e. zucchini, spaghetti, etc.). For those of you who prefer not to eat edamame, you can exchange it with delicious fresh peas. If you do use edamame, be sure to select organic. Edamame beans are immature soybeans inside a pod that can be eaten fresh, or peeled and boiled which is a more traditional method of preparation and use. They are high edamame is rich in protein, dietary fiber, carbohydrates, and micronutrients. It’s important to find true organic sources of this soybean, as soybeans are one of the top GMO plants next to corn. However, if you are comfortable with the source, you will definitely enjoy edamame and benefit.

When I made my pesto I didn’t add any lemon, so it’s important to use it right away as the avocado begins to brown. You can slow this down by adding lemon juice to the recipe and storing it in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. 

I used my pesto in a vegan wrap, made with fresh mushrooms, onions, and Mexican squash (also known as Chayote).  I used a gluten free, vegan tortilla and spread the pesto on it. I also lightly sauteed the veggies on low heat. You could marinate them and then dehydrate the veggies, or just prepare it raw. You could also use lettuce wraps or raw wraps in place of the vegan tortilla. 

Here’s the recipe for the pesto. Enjoy!

Edamame Avocado Vegan Pesto

Ingredients:

1 cups well packed parsley

1 cup shelled walnuts 

1 cup edamame beans (not the pods)

1 ½ T organic miso

1 cup avocado (about 1 large pitted avocado)

1 T Bragg’s

1 tsp or more Garlic Powder (to taste)

1-3 T water as needed for consistency

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix until smooth. Add water as needed. 

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“Tuna-Less” Stuffed Avocado Served with fresh Machet (Lamb’s Lettuce)

Here’s another great way to have your “tuna” and save the fish too!
I was checking out a variety of blogspots and recipe sites when I came across a variety of “tuna-less” recipes that use sunflower seeds and dried Dulse flakes or granules.

Usually I use almonds and soaked Dulse or soaked Wakame, as I have in my Collard Greens Stuffed with Spicy Mock Seafood Pate, and my Mock Tuna recipe published in my book Raw-Riffic Food’s Raw Food Basics.

This recipe is simple, and truly has the flavor of canned tuna. You will be quite pleased with the flavor. The avocados I used were fresh from my friend’s garden. Super buttery and creamy. I love the flavor of home grown. I love complimenting avocado with Lamb’s Lettuce or Machet. It’s hard to find this beafy lettuce, but Trader Joe’s has it and at a great price! Here’s the recipe:

Tuna-less
Ingredients
2 cups soaked raw shelled sunflower seeds
½ juice from one lemon
2-4 scallions, minced (use whole scallion including greens)
1½-2 stalks celery, minced
1T dried dill flakes
2-3T dried Dulse flakes or granules

Preparation
Drain soaked sunflower seeds and placed in a food processor. Process until seeds are crumbly and chunky. Add lemon juice and salt, and pulse until it has the consistency of canned tuna.

Place in a mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients. Mix well and serve.

“Tuna-Less” Stuffed Avocado Served with fresh Machet (Lamb’s Lettuce)
Ingredients
1 batch prepared Tuna-less (see recipe above)
2-3 large ripe avocados (peeled and stoned)
1 bag Lamb’s Lettuce (about 10-12 ounces)
chili sauce (optional)

Preparation
Fill avocado halves with generous scoops of prepared Tuna-less. I added a few drops of hot sauce to the inside of the avocado halves before adding the Tuna-less mixture. Place prepared avocado halves on top of a large bed of fresh Lamb’s Lettuce. Serve with drops of chili sauce around the plate, or by itself. This is a very filling dish. (Note: you can store the Tuna-less for up to 3 days in a closed container inside the refrigerator).

Kicked-up Fruit Salad

‘Tis the season for delicious fresh fruit. There’s nothing more refreshing and satisfying than a chilled, kicked-up fruit salad!
This salad has a variety of fresh and frozen fruit, greens, spices, and crunch.
Serve this recipe for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or even a filling snack. It’s super easy and super satisfying. Enjoy!

Kicked-up Fruit Salad.
Ingredients:
1 large watermelon wedge diced
1 cup fresh strawberries sliced
1 cup fresh blueberries (wild berries preferred – frozen okay)
1/2 cup dark cherries (stemmed and pitted – frozen okay)
1/2 cup pineapple (diced small – frozen okay)
2 T dried organic shredded coconut
2 cups fresh mache (lambs quarter greens)
1/2 cup crushed pecans
1/2 cup organic raisins or mixed dried berries
1-2 T Balsamic vinegar
3-6 drops Coconut flavored SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia
3-4 shakes Tajin (Mexican chili seasoning with lime)

Preparation:
Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, toss well and serve. Yummy!!!

Mango, Pineapple Chunky Salsa

Living in Arizona during the summer time can become quite uncomfortable, as the temperatures can get as high as 120+ degrees Fahrenheit. The air is usually so hot and dry, that it feels like your body is on fire at times. The only great place to be is in an air conditioned place, or in a pool (as long as the water isn’t hot)…

Now that July is here, Arizona will begin to see it’s Monsoon season. Dust storms, with the hopes of rain fall, to cool down the air, but resulting in a humid hot climate…ugh. However, I have to say, it’s still very beautiful here. You just have to learn how to work around the summer heat!

One thing is for sure with Arizona summers, fresh fruit, salsas, and cold beverages are always on the menu! I’ve been craving a fruity salsa, one that’s tart, sweet and spicy. I decided to make my own version of a “mango salsa”. This was so easy to make, and so super delicious! My son created his own salad using my salsa, and within a day, the salsa was all gone!

Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!

Mango, Pineapple Chunky Salsa.
Ingredients:
2 gold medium-sized mangoes
1 medium-sized standard mango
1 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
1 large shallot
3-5 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno
1 cup baby orange tomatoes
1 cup corn
1 bunch cilantro
1 large red bell pepper
pink Hawaiian salt
Sugar-licious Habanero, from go lb. salt (optional)
garlic powder
onion powder
coconut sap or other sweetener

Preparation:
Peel and stone mangoes. Finely chop mangoes and place in a big mixing bowl. Finely chop pineapple chunks and add to bowl. Seed, and stem red bell pepper, and jalapeno pepper. Finely chop peppers and add to bowl. Chop baby tomatoes and place in bowl. Roughly chop cilantro, and add to bowl. Add corn to bowl. Peel shallots and garlic, and finely chop. Add to bowl. Add all spices. Toss ingredients real well to incorporate all the flavors. Chill or serve at room temperature. Keep in tightly closed jars in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. Great with chips, or in lettuce wraps, or over your favorite vegan or raw meatless meal. Try the following two recipes for some delicious salad ideas.

Brad’s Tropical Spinach Salad.
Ingredients:
bowl of baby spinach
1 medium-sized banana (peeled and sliced)
1 cup Mango, Pineapple Chunky Salsa

Preparation:
Combine ingredients in a bowl and serve.

Spicy Vegan Herb Salad with Mango, Pineapple Chunky Salsa.
Ingredients:
bowl of mixed spring herbs (spicy)
1 Gardein Lime-Chipolte Crispy Fingers
1 cup Mango, Pineapple Chunky Salsa

Preparation:
Heat tender as directed. Toss all ingredients and serve in bowl.

Banana-Yam Pancakes, Wraps, and Cannolis

Recently a friend of mine told me about the local Gilbert Farmer’s Market. I couldn’t believe I had not known about it before. After all, I only live about 10 minutes away. This market is fabulous! The produce is super fresh, beautiful, and very reasonably priced. I stocked up the very first day I went. I purchased wonderfully tasting Swiss chard for wraps, curly kale to make chips, baby carrots, cucumbers, Heirloom tomatoes and vine tomatoes, lemons, parsley, and of course, delicious and super-huge sweet potatoes and yams.  I felt like I was in heaven!

When I got home I realized I purchased way too much stuff, and began thinking of things to make that would last. Obviously I made kale chips – and they went the first two days. I also prepped all my chard so it was ready to use for wraps – and what great wraps it made! Finally, I decided to make raw pancakes using the sweet potatoes and yams. I had so much of it, I decided to make wraps too. The results were absolutely delicious! I was so excited about what I made, that I created cannolis with the last of the pancake discs. This lead to making some delicious Sweet Cream, and eventually that turned into delicious Mocha Ice Cream. But first for the Banana-Yam Pancakes…

Banana-Yam Pancakes, Wraps, and Cannolis.
Ingredients:
Extra large sweet potato/yam (peeled and chopped)
2-3 small/med bananas (peeled and chopped)
1 cup Brazil nuts (ground to a powder)
½ cup flax seeds (ground to a powder)
¼ cup raw pecan butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp non-alcoholic vanilla extract
2 T raw agave nectar or raw honey
Dash of sea salt
½ cup to 1 cup raw orange juice (as needed for consistency)

Preparation:
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender. Mix until pancake-like consistency, adding orange juice as needed. Take large spoonfuls or serving spoons of batter and shape discs or squares for pancakes and wraps on teflax paper on dehydrator trays. Dehydrate for 8-12 hours depending upon desired consistency.

To make cannolis check pancake discs after 5-6 hours. As soon as batter is no longer wet and slightly pliable, shape into empty cannolis. Use paper towels, or paper dowels to keep cannoli shape from collapsing. Dry until firm, but not hard. Stuff with Sweet Cream and sprinkle semi-sweet chocolate chips over the cream. Place in refrigerator for about one hour, and serve.

For wraps, remove wrap shape once the wrap is firm, but still pliable. Fill with your favorite veggies, greens, and other yummies. Roll-up the wrap and eat.

For pancakes, remove pancake discs after a few hours, when pancakes are dry but very pliable and warm. Spread coconut butter, and drizzle maple syrup over it. Top with fresh blueberries or banana slices.

Green Kale Roll-Ups

The other day I was out of everything, so I took the leftover kale, greens, and avocado I had and made these simple but delicious kale roll-ups. Enjoy!

Green Kale Roll-Ups
Ingredients:
4-6 leaves Dinosaur kale (flat leaf kale)
1 avocado
2-3 handfuls mixed greens, micro herbs, sprouts
1/4-1/2 cup edamame beans (optional)
1 tsp (to taste) Wesley Gourmet Seasoning

Preparation:
Remove stem, and middle vein from kale. In a separate bowl combine avocado with remaining ingredients. Sprinkle spices if desired. Stuff kale leaves with mixture – just enough to fill and roll. Roll up leaves and secure with toothpick, or turn over on seam-side. Green roll-ups are ready to serve and eat. Yummo! Simple.

Mango, Arugula Green Smoothie, and Arugula with Peppery Vegetables over Coconut Brown Rice

Last night I realized I didn’t have any spinach to make my family’s favorite green smoothie. The only greens I had was lamb’s quarter (mache), and arugula. I love arugula, but it is a bit spicy – like a peppery mustard flavor. But I thought, “why not?” I could just add extra banana and pray for the best. Well, the results were great. It was a hit with my family. In fact, the flavor was minty and very refreshing. However, I have to say, it didn’t smell minty fresh, it smelled more like peppery-mustard – but that’s okay.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this spicy green, arugula is a leaf vegetable, and has been grown in the Mediterranean since Roman times.  Because of its strong flavor, arugula is often mixed with milder greens to balance the flavor. Arugula is great to sauté with other fresh vegetables with or without olive oil. It’s a great replacement for escarole, and dandelion greens.

Arugula is rich in vitamin C and potassium, and is considered a cancer-preventing food. Arugula has the same amount of calcium as spinach, but has better calcium absorption. During ancient Roman times, arugula was considered an aphrodisiac. Arugula usually is collected in the wild. It wasn’t until 1990 that this spicy green was cultivated on a large scale. At your local Trader Joe’s you can purchase arugula both in its organic cultivated state, or as the traditional wild arugula. I tend to purchase the wild arugula as it has a much stronger flavor.

I use arugula in a lot of my meals. It’s great for spicing up a dish, or balancing out the flavors of a dish. Its great raw or slightly cooked and it goes great with just about any vegetable, and many fruits. If you haven’t tried it, I highly suggest you do. Here are my recipes for the day using this wonderfully, nutritious, and flavorful green. Enjoy!

Mango, Arugula Green Smoothie
Ingredients:
3-4 handfuls Arugula
1 scoop vanilla-hemp protein powder
1 scoop Delicious Greens 8000
2 cups mango chunks (fresh or frozen)
2 medium bananas, peeled
1 spoonful raw honey
1 T bee pollen
4-6 drops SweetLeaf Stevia clear liquid
3-4 ice cubes purified water
purified water

Preparation:
Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Cover blender half-way with the purified water. Blend on high until super smooth. Makes about 2-3 12oz glasses.

Arugula with Peppery Vegetables.
Ingredients:
1 Red pepper, seeded, cored, and chopped
1 Orange pepper, seeded, cored, and chopped
1 Yellow pepper, seeded, cored, and chopped
½ large Sweet onion, peeled and chopped
1 full cup Butternut squash cubes (fresh or frozen)
1 full cup Sweet potato cubes (fresh or frozen)
2 T Coconut butter or goats butter
1 T EVOO
1 tsp Sea salt
½  tsp Pepper
½ tsp Chili pepper flakes
1 tsp Garlic powder
½ tsp Onion powder
1 tsp Bragg’s spice blend with kelp
dash Nutmeg
dash Cinnamon
½ cup Dried shredded coconut
2-3 cups Arugula

Preparation:
Add olive oil (EVOO) to a large skillet with lid. Heat on medium, and add coconut butter. Let melt slightly. Add all ingredients except spices and arugula. Place lid on top, and toss occasionally during heating process. Heat, but don’t overcook. You want to lightly sweat the veggies but keep them at a warm – not hot temperature. Lower temperature to simmer. Add shredded coconut and arugula. Toss well and remove from heat. Serve with or over top of coconut brown rice.

Coconut Brown Rice.
Ingredients:
1 cup Japanese brown rice
2 cups purified water
dash sea salt
dash pepper
1-2 T Coconut butter

Preparation:
Combine rice and water in a medium-sized sauce pan. Add a dash of salt and heat water and rice to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and placed a lid on top. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes until rice has absorbed all water and is fluffy. Remove from heat and add pepper and more salt. Stir up rice, and add the coconut butter, stir again. It’s ready to serve.

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