Sunday, March 30, 2008

Mum's Food
Here's a meal I made for my Mum last week some time, she really enjoyed it. I used the recipe for Creamy Herb Dip from Shazzie's 'Detox Delights,' though I changed it up a bit. Mum really liked it and I think it is the most awesome colour!! I love green food :-P

To go with it she had some veggie sticks - carrot, celery, snow peas - and this, which is a buckwheat cracker. I make these using my own recipe, which I have never written down but I will soon (honest!) Mum really likes it and says it has a nice texture, kind of like shortbread, that sort of crumbly texture.

Once again, how awesome are these photos now that I know how to work my camera!?! While I'm talking about my Mum, I'll share a little story. As you know, she went totally raw at the beginning of December last year and has been doing really well, however, she has an intolerance to salicylates, which are a naturally occurring pesticide found in a lot of fruits. In addition, her digestion is not great and she can't have many nuts or seeds. So her diet is fairly limited, and she has trouble feeling really full. Last week, she decided that she was going to try introducing some boiled/steamed veggies into her diet (like potatoes and pumpkins); she was really looking forward to it for a few days and then she ate it Thursday night. Afterwards, she was really disappointed and said it fell far short of her hopes, plus it made her feel pretty unpleasant and the next day she said - "don't eat cooked food, it makes you STINK!" So there you go - she's on raw food for life, I think!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter-y Picnic Food
You know, when I was a cooked food eater, I liked hot cross buns a lot more than eggs at Easter so when I was deciding what to make for today's raw picnic I wanted to go for a raw Hot Cross Bun. I knew of a recipe by Elaina Love called Cinnamon Rolls and it looked really yummy so I decided to try it.

Since the recipe is already on-line in a number of places I'll publish it here if you want it, with my changes noted:

Elaina's Cinnamon Rolls ( from Alissa Cohen's book)

2 1/2 C almond meal (left over from almond milk)I used brazil nut pulp, cos it was sitting in the freezer)
2 1/2 Cflax meal (grind 1 1/3 C whole flax seeds
1 C soft dates, firmly packed
1/8 C pure waterI needed a LOT more water - don't know how much though
1/4 tsp celtic sea saltI omitted this altogether
dash cayenne (optional) I didn't use this
1/4 C olive oil or coconut butter I used coconut oil

Blend dates and water in food processor or blender till a paste. I used my coffee grinder blade
Mix everything together in a large bowl and work with your hands till dough is well mixed.
Place dough on teflex sheet and form into 1/4 inch thick square using hands to shape it.
Cover with another teflex sheet and roll with rolling pin till dough is uniform thickness. I don't have an Excalibur dehydrator so I just used baking paper, one piece under and one on top.
Prepare filling.

1/2 C soft pitted dates, firmly packed
1/2 C raisins (sultanas)
1T cinnamon I replaced this with Mesquite powder
1/8 C pure water
extra raisins
1/2 C soaked and dehydrated walnuts, coarsely choppedI left these out

Puree 1st 4 ingredients in food processor till smooth.
Spread this mixture onto the dough.
Sprinkle with extra raisins (sultanas) and walnuts.
Using teflex sheet on the bottom to push, roll the dough tightly.
Wrap the roll in teflex or wax paper and refridgerate till chilled.
Slice into desired thickness and dehydrate at 105 deg till warm.
I didn't dehydrate

It looks like a long and difficult recipe but it took me less than 45 minutes to produce a really delicious and fancy looking dish. If (when) I make it again I think I'll actually make two rolls from the one recipe as this was quite hard to roll up and it was also really rich so smaller pieces might be better. But it was really very yummy and I enjoyed it a lot, and everyone at the picnic agreed. My Mum thought it looked delicious - it was her idea to decorate with frangipanis from our garden. The coconut flavour really came through delightfully.

And I have to give an absolutely MASSIVE thankyou to my good friend Kate, who helped me figure out how to take AMAZING pictures on my camera. I have been getting really disheartened by how bad my pictures are so I'm sooooooooooo excited to have these amazing pics to show you. Hopefully there are many more to come! And Kate is going to come over next week and help me design a custom blog template. Kate rocks.

This is some salad that Rachan bought to the picnic, it was really yummy too, especially when mixed with the Indian Spinach Dip Kate and Chris bought (from Alissa Cohen's book, I think).

Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fancy Food
Hello! I know I've been away for a while but I've got quite a few yummy food pics to make up for it!

Last night I made capsicum boats - aren't they pretty? I would so serve this if I owned a raw restaurant, or had someone really special coming over for dinner. If you're interested, I actually had quite a few more boats than are in this picture, but with all of them on the plate didn't look as nice, lol! In terms of taste, they were good but only had about 3 hours in the dehydrator and in this case I think at least overnight would be much better, simply to soften up the capsicums a little bit. I like capsicums but they have to be really sweet for me and these weren't quite, so I think that would be good. And I needed to soak the dried tomatoes. But other than that they were good. So good in fact, that I'm going to post the recipe on my recipe blog. Aren't you lucky!!

This is another occasion recently when I felt like getting really creative. The kebabs have cherry tomatoes, pineapple, capsicum and cauliflower on them, they are served on a bed of baby spinach and have a tomato-ey dressing. Very yummy, but also could have done with longer in the dehydrator. Sorry that pic is so blurry!!

This is a picture that I took a looooooooong time ago and I really can't remember what was in this salad but I thought it was pretty (if a little blurry) so there you go!

Now before I post anymore meal pics, I need to tell you about the exciting thing(s) I bought just recently. COCONUTS! I love me some coconut, both young and mature but the ones available here in West Australia have been grown with chemicals, shipped from overseas, irradiated and stored for who knows how long. Buying a coconut from a shopping centre is basically taking a 50/50 chance on whether it will be edible or not - often even if it's edible it's quite tasteless. Plus i really think I could feel the chemicals having an effect on my body. So I pretty much gave up coconuts.
Then I discovered that Sunrise Coconuts delivers to WA. WAHOOOO! Basically, these are both young and mature coconuts, grown organically in Northern Queensland and harvested by hand, then delivered to your door. And they work out at about the same price as the awful supermarket ones. Yes please!! My friend Kate, of In the Raw and I went halfsies on a sack of coconuts and then we waited...and waited...and waited... then finally came! (They travelled by road, all the way from one side of Australia to the other, which is why it took so long.)

I personally didn't love the young coconuts that much - they were nowhere near as sweet as the ones shipped over from Thailand and they had almost no meat. They weren't bad, but not great either. But the mature ones! WOWEEE! These are amazingly good coconuts. My beautiful Ruhsa seems to love them too:

Here she is laying on the sack that they cam in, with one of the young ones next to her. She was having fun chewing on the sack itself so I thought maybe that was her fascination but then the cocos were moved into a box (without the sack) and she climbed in with them, so I guess it was them she was after. Isn't she a cutie!?! I know she looks grumpy but I think she was just getting sick of us pointing and laughing at her, lol.

So here are some coconutty creations:

Very loosely based on the Snow Cake in Ani's Raw Food Kitchen. Yummy but honestly, with dates and dried banana, it got a bit sickly at the end.

A salad with simply lettuce, snow pea sprouts, grapes and coconut. Yum. Grapes and coconuts are a very good pairing!

Well congratulations if you made it to the end of this mammoth post. If you celebrate Easter,I hope it's wonderful. If not, enjoy the long weekend like I will (though I'm working, lol!)