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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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Making Raw Ice Cream – Heather Pace of Sweetly Raw presents, Ice Cream in the Raw

Heather Pace has done it again! Her latest raw recipe book, Ice Cream in the Raw is absolutely fantastic!

Although some of the basic recipes are pretty close to most of the raw recipes out there for raw ice cream, the technique she teaches is what truly makes the difference. It’s an absolute true statement that Heather makes, “All of these ice creams are really easy to throw together and only require the use of a blender.” I literally was able to create three ice creams and two sauces all within a day. It was that easy, and so much fun! And the flavors really rawk! Heather is truly an expert raw dessert chef! I’m always amazed!!!

For starters, I prepared the basic Vanilla Ice Cream and added my own twist, by making the recipe for Fudgey Chocolate Sauce and mixing them together, with a few drops of organic coffee extract, and folding in mini vegan chocolate chips, and sliced almonds. I considered it my Mocha Almond Fudge with a touch Sweetly Raw. It was such a hit at my house, the dessert was gone within a few hours.

Next, I used the Vanilla Ice Cream recipe again, but this time I exchanged the cashews for hazelnuts and macadamia nuts. I added what I had left of the Fudgey Chocolate Sauce, plus a few drops of Hazelnut flavored SweetLeaf Stevia Liquid; plus sliced hazelnuts and mini vegan chocolate chips. I considered it my Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream. I then discovered Heather had a recipe for Hazelnut Ice Cream in the book. They were similar, but different, but both versions were delish!

My Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream w/a touch of Sweetly Raw.
Ingredients:
1 batch prepared Vanilla Ice Cream (from Heather’s book Ice Cream in the Raw)
Note: Exchange cashews for ¾ cup raw hazelnuts, and ¼ cup raw macadamia nuts
1 cup prepared Fudgey Chocolate Sauce (from Heather’s book Ice Cream in the Raw)
6 drops Hazelnut flavored SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia
½ cup sliced or crushed raw hazelnuts
½ cup mini vegan chocolate chips

Preparation:
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix well. Follow the tips for ice cream preparation in Heather’s book Ice Cream in the Raw). Store in a tightly sealed container and keep in the freezer for up to a couple of months.

I decided to venture more into the book, and prepared the Vanilla Ice Cream, the Chocolate Ice Cream, and the Strawberry Ice Cream. I created my own Neapolitan ice cream block. I made a double batch of the Fudgey Chocolate Sauce, and the recipe for Caramel Sauce. It’s so wonderful to have a variety of ice cream flavors and toppings ready and waiting to be eaten during these hot summer days in Arizona.

Heather also has a recipe for ice cream cones – which unfortunately I did not tackle well. However, I was determine to make cones, and ran out of buckwheat, so I used my recipe for Banana Pancakes – which worked out perfectly. The only thing I did differently was adding some raw cacao and a little bit of stevia and maple. Drying time was slightly different – you have to check it every few hours to see when it’s ready to roll, and when it’s truly dry. Once rolled, I added bunched-up paper towels to the centers to keep the cones from collapsing while drying.

Making raw ice cream has been so much fun; I decided to make small-sized ice cream sandwiches dipped in chocolate sauce. I used my own brownie recipe (see below), the Neapolitan ice cream block (made from the basic three ice cream recipes), plus the topping sauces, as well as Heather’s recipe for Dark Chocolate. The Dark Chocolate makes a nice hard chocolate coating – great for dipping.

Brownie Recipe (for Ice Cream Sandwiches).
Ingredients:
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw walnut pieces
¼ cup carob powder
3 T cacao nibs
1 ½ tsp ground Cinnamon
1 ½ vanilla powder
1 cup dates (pitted)
dash sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
1 T Coconut oil

Preparation:
Combine all ingredients in a food processor except for coconut oil. Blend well until crumbly and sticky. Add coconut oil and blend again. Remove from food processor and form into brownies or use a brownie mold. Cover with saran wrap and freeze for about 1-2 hours.

For Ice Cream Sandwiches dipped in Dark Chocolate.
Ingredients:
1 batch prepared brownies
Neapolitan block of ice cream (Vanilla, Strawberry, Chocolate)
Prepared Fudgey Sauce
Prepared Caramel Sauce
Prepared Dark Chocolate (prepare while brownie sandwiches are freezing)

Preparation:
Spread one brownie with Fudgey Sauce, and another with Caramal Sauce. Using a small scooper, scoop 1 generous helping of the Neapolitan block ice cream, and place on top of one brownie. Take other brownie and place on top. Lightly push down. Place on tray and continue freezing until ready to dip in chocolate. Repeat process with remaining brownies. Once Dark Chocolate is prepared, remove brownie sandwiches from freezer. Generously dip each sandwich into the Dark Chocolate, try covering most of it. Place back on the tray to freeze and set. Continue same process until all sandwiches are dipped in the chocolate coating. Freeze for about 30 minutes. Wrap each one in saran wrap and keep in freezer up to 1 month or longer. Yummo!!!

What I shared with you so far is just the tip of the iceberg. Heather’s Ice Cream in the Raw has so many more fun flavors to try, plus a variety of great toppers. I highly recommend this book – you won’t be disappointed. The book includes 40 incredible vegan recipes, with beautiful pictures, and easy to follow instructions and tips. To find out more about Heather’s Ice Cream in the Raw, or to purchase a copy for you, go to www.sweetlyraw.com.

For more reviews on raw recipe books published by Heather Pace of Sweetly Raw, check out my previous posts:

https://rawrifficfood.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/sweets-treats-and-book-reviews/

https://rawrifficfood.wordpress.com/2010/06/08/raw-chocolate-decadence-cake-5-layers/

https://rawrifficfood.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/neapolitan-ice-cream-cake-extravaganza/

https://rawrifficfood.wordpress.com/2010/04/12/sweetly-raws-moon-pie-challenge/

Well I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you… =)

Please check out Heather’s book, and prepare some of these recipes for yourself. They are truly delicious and enjoyable.

Until next time.

Peace! =) Debbie

Veggie-Pizza My Way! (transitional food)

As many of you know, during the last few months of 2009, I fell off the high-raw wagon – but not completely. So I’ve been trying to get back on track. In the process, I’ve been eating some great vegan and gluten-free transitional foods whenever I feel the need. It seems to be working for me.

The recipe I’m about to share with you is simple, fresh, and so delicious. You can choose to prepare exactly or exchange some of the ingredients for a more “high” raw meal. Here’s the recipe – enjoy!

Veggie-Pizza My Way.
(Makes 2 single-serving pizzas)
Ingredients:
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, cored and chopped
1 orange bell pepper, seeded, cored and chopped
1/2 cup sweet onion, peeled and chopped
1 vine tomato, stemmed and chopped
1-2 cups small zucchinis, stemmed and sliced
1 cup crimini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
1 avocado mashed
2-3 cups fresh arugula
1/4 cup goat’s cheese (optional)
4 slices vegan cheese, Pepper Jack flavored (optional)
Coconut Secrets Aminos
garlic powder to taste
onion powder to taste
1-2 T extra virgin olive oil
ground black pepper to taste
2 single-serving, gluten-free pizza crusts

Preparation:
In a mixing bowl, combine bell peppers, onion, zucchini, mushrooms, tomato, olive oil and spices and toss well. Place saute pan on stove top and heat. Toss in mixed veggies and lightly steam. Add goat’s cheese and stir in to create a sauce, keeping heat on a low-medium setting. Vegetables should sweat, not over cook. Fold in the fresh arugula and sweat veggies a little longer. Remove from heat and set aside.

Spread mashed avocado on one side of each of the two single-serving pizza crusts. Place heaping spoonfuls of the sauteed veggie mix on top of each crust and spread out evenly (pile it on). Place two slices of the vegan cheese over top of each pizza. Place in an oven heated to 350 degrees, and bake for about 3-5 minutes, just until the cheese slightly melts over the veggies (not gooey – just sealed). Pizzas are ready to serve and devour.

I know you will love these pizzas. The veggies are so fresh, and barely even cooked – so they maintain the great nutritional value. The vegan cheese and goat cheese add that “something-something”, and the gluten-free crusts are light on your tummy, but make the pizzas perfect. I actually wrapped the second unbaked pizza in saran wrap and placed it in the freezer, to enjoy at another time. I will definitely make this again. It turned out better than what I imagined. It’s great! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! =)

Vegan Wraps and Sandwiches (Transitional Foods)

The past few months I have been eating more heated and cooked vegan/vegetarian/whole foods than usual. Perhaps it’s due to the much colder weather, and the availability of fresh foods (or lack of), and the holidays, or just the need to eat more comfort foods due to the enormous amount of stress in my personal life these days. Within that I have made many great “transitional” dishes, as well as found some new “transitional” products.

One of my favorite things to do lately is to place warmed foods on top of fresh, delicious, nutritious greens. I’ve been enjoying a lot of collard green wraps, and have been enjoying the occasional sandwich on Ezekiel raisin bread, and gluten free, brown rice tortillas. But my favorite will always be the collard green wrap!

Around the holidays I discovered a great vegan product at Whole Foods, Garden Protein International (GPI), otherwise known as “Gardein“. Gardein carries a variety of delicious frozen meatless foods, such as Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Wings, Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n, Chipotle Lime Crispy Fingers, Classic Style Buffalo Wings, Home Stlye Beefless Tips, Lightly Seasoned Chick’n Scallopini, and my favorite Seven Grain Crispy Tenders.

Gardein contains no dairy, no eggs, no trans fat, and is a great source of protein, and you can eat it hot or cold. The main ingredients are water, soy protein, grains (such as quinoa, amaranth, and millet) as well as other flavorings and seasonings. It’s a great meal maker!

Gardein also makes a variety of fresh meatless meals, and makes these items for food service and for restaurants. It’s a fabulous product!

So here are some very simple vegan meals that are great for those transitioning to a raw food lifestyle, or for those who just want to eat a healthy, yummy, vegan or vegetarian meal.

The Vegan Sandwich.
Ingredients:
2 pieces Seven Grain Crispy Tenders
2 slices Ezekiel raisin bread
1-2 T vegan mayo or cashew mayo
1 slice vegan cheese, or raw nut cheese
drizzles of prepared mustard
lots and lots of fresh leafy greens, including mache (lamb’s quarter), arugula, a mix of herb lettuces, and baby lettuces
1 slice tomato
sprouts or micro herbs (optional)

Preparation:
Spread mayo with mustard on slices of bread. Place 1 slice of cheese on 1 slice of the bread. Heat the tenders and place on cheese. Pile lots and lots and lots of greens on top of the tenders. Add slice of tomato and top with sprouts or micro greens. Place other sandwich slice on top and cut in half. This makes for a very thick and delicious, fresh, and nutrient-rich sandwich.

Recommends:
Instead of using bread, use collard greens and create wraps. Add slices of avocado, or pieces of dulse and cucumber. Whatever you feel like munching on that’s fresh and living. It’s all good!

Spicy Barbecue Wraps.
Ingredients:
3 pieces prepared Gardein Classic Style Buffalo Wings
1 gluten free, dairy free tortilla (I prefer the brown rice type)
1-2 T vegan mayo or cashew mayo
1-2 T crumbled raw goat’s cheese (optional)
lots and lots and lots of fresh, spicy arugula
handful fresh mache (lamb’s quarter)

Preparation:
Spread mayo on tortilla. Add crumbled raw goat’s cheese (if desired). Place prepared wings on top of cheese. Add the fresh mache, and then pile lots and lots and lots of fresh, spicy arugula on top (make it fat). Roll up the tortilla the same way you would as a burrito or fajita – whichever way is easiest to accommodate the tortilla (some break apart easily). Enjoy!

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