Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mini Raw Key Lime Pies

One of my favorite desserts ever is key lime pie.  I remember going to Florida and knowing that meant 3 things...1) I was going to get to get a tan 2) I was going to eat seafood every night and 3) I was going to gain 5 lbs eating the best key lime pie I had ever put in my mouth.  If I made these key lime cupcakes and sat outside with a sounds of the ocean CD on I could almost swear I was in Florida that's how close they are to the "real deal".

- 24 cupcake liners


- 3/4 c raw almonds
- 3/4 c raw walnuts or pecans
- 1/2 c dates
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Unsweetened coconut flakes

- 3 cups raw cashews (soaked overnight)
- 1/3 c coconut oil
- Juice of 7 limes, zest of 4
- Juice of one lemon
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 c agave, honey, or maple syrup (I used 1/2 c honey and 1/4 c stevia to cut back on calories)

Whipped Topping (optional):
- 1 can organic full fat coconut milk (refrigerated for at least 2 hours)
- 1 T agave
- 2 tsp vanilla

- Place entire, unopened can of coconut milk in the refrigerator
- Place cupcake liners in muffin tins
- Place all ingredients for crust, except for coconut flakes, in food processor and pulse until crumb-like
- Sprinkle bottoms of cupcake liners with coconut to prevent crust from sticking
- Press crust mixture into bottom of liners and freeze until set (1 hour)
- While crust is setting, place ingredients for filling in high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth
- Divide evenly on top of crusts and place back in freezer for another hour
- To make whipped topping, open refrigerated can of coconut milk and scoop the solids that have separated to the top of the can into a small mixing bowl
- Using a whisk, mix the coconut milk solids with the the agave and vanilla until fluffy and whipped
- Refrigerate "whipped cream" until you are ready to serve the pies

Mini Raw Strawberry Cheesecakes

I love having a fancy little raw party dessert to impress my meat-eating and vegetarian friends alike.  Bring these to a party and watch them disappear.  No one will ever know they don't contain eggs, cream cheese and refined sugar....that is unless you tell them ;-) The best part is...since you don't have to bake them, you can make this large scale, or go the route I did and use cupcake liners for an easy grab and go option either way you choose you don't have to worry about adjusting pesky cooking times...because they're raw.........................did I mention they're raw?

- 3/4 c raw almonds
- 3/4 c raw walnuts or pecans
- 1/2 c dates
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp of sea salt
- Unsweetened coconut flakes

- 3 cups raw cashews (soaked at least 3 hours but preferably overnight)
- 3/4 c lemon juice
- 3/4 c agave
- 1/2 c coconut oil
- 1 T vanilla
- Water (keep on hand in case you need to thin out during blending)

- 6 large frozen strawberries (or other fresh or frozen fruit of your choice)
- 1/2 c dates

- Go ahead and place frozen strawberries in a bowl on the counter to thaw
- In a high speed blender or food processor, blend all ingredients for crust except coconut flakes
- Sprinkle coconut flakes in bottoms of cupcake liners to prevent crust from sticking
- Press crust mixture into liners and freeze while you make the filling
- In a high speed blender or food processor, add all ingredients for filling.  Add water a little at a time, if needed to achieve desired consistency (you shouldn't need more than 4 T)
- Divide filling evenly on top of your crusts and place back in the freezer (let sit for an hour to set)
- To make the topping, combine thawed frozen strawberries and 1/2 c dates in food processor and blend well.  Once filling has set in freezer, top evenly with topping and place back in the freezer until ready to eat. (Note: if you wish to get a little fancy, you can also omit this last step, remove the liner and plate the cheesecakes and drizzle the thawed topping on top with some fresh strawberries as garnish)
- Take out 15 minutes beforehand so that they can thaw slightly and enjoy!

Southwestern Quinoa

I spent ALL day cooking yesterday.  I was going to my grandma's and, since she never makes it over to our neck of the woods for dinner, wanted to bring dinner to her.  On top of that I had made a whole batch of mini raw strawberry cheesecakes and key lime pies AND still had to pack for the week AND take all these pictures for the blog...needless to say, I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off :-) In the midst of all the chaos and commotion in the kitchen I nearly cut the tip of my thumb off.  As much as I LOVE cooking...I am relieved to just be sitting down today blogging.  Far away from any potentially hazardous sharp objects :-) This is the perfect accompaniment to my Walnut Crusted Salmon with Mango Mustard recipe.  It can be made ahead, which is always a plus, AND it tastes so fresh and summery.  I can imagine serving it with all sorts of meals...It would be epic with some Carne Asada tacos and plantains.
- 1 c. quinoa
- 2 mangos (diced)
- 2 jalepenos (minced)
- 1 medium red bell pepper (diced)
- 1/2 c chopped cilantro
- 1/2 of a small red onion
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
- 15 oz can of black beans (rinsed and drained)
- Juice of 2 limes
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp tumeric
- 1/2 tsp Sea salt to taste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper

- Cook quinoa according to package directions
- Combine ingredients through black beans in a large mixing bowl
- Whisk together remaining ingredients (lime juice through salt) and pour over quinoa mixture
- Stir well to combine and refrigerate until ready to serve

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Warm Tomato Kale Salad

I love salad.  Especially in the summer.  There is nothing like a fresh, crisp, cold salad in the heat of the summer.  But it's not fair to the salad that I limit it to one season.  That is where a nice hearty warm salad comes in.  A warm salad is the beef stew to my gazpacho, the eggnog to my mojito, the sweater to my bikini.  This salad is the perfect transition from the heat of the summer to a chilly fall night.  With its fresh roasted basil garlic tomatoes and hearty kale it's sure to make it into your winter sides rotation.  Don't believe me ask the dishes...
.....they don't lie :-)

- Kale (I bought mine in a bag already cut and destemmed and then chopped it chiffonade)
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- 1 T Olive Oil
- Himalayan sea salt (to taste)
- 6 plum tomatoes cut in half either length or width wise (make sure to take a little sliver off the base so it sits flat on the baking sheet)
- 1/2 c Fresh Basil (cut chiffonade)
- 5 cloves fresh garlic (minced)
- Salt (to taste)
- Optional: toasted pine nuts

Preheat oven to 300.  Massage kale with lemon juice and olive oil and let sit to soften.  Place tomatoes on baking sheet. Spray and rub with Pam olive oil spray.  Sprinkle generously with salt, top with garlic and basil.   Bake for 35 min or longer until  tomatoes soften and begin to collapse (trust me, the longer the better...lol....that's what she said).  Anyways, when the tomatoes are done place on top of a bed of your marinated kale, sprinkle with toasted pine nuts, and dig in! So good!

Spinach Mushroom Stuffed Chicken

Okay, so I'm supposed to be studying and doing homework that is due tomorrow, but I am so excited about this dish that I had to post it first.  Priorities.  This is one of those dishes that doesn't taste healthy, but is :-) I love those kind of recipes, don't you? I served this with Warm Tomato Kale Salad and they were both divine.

I keep the crust, minus the seasonings, and the cashew cream premade.  This way they're always on hand when I need them, which is quite often, and I can just spice them up according to the particular dish at hand.  

- 3 oz. Raw Walnuts
- 2-3 T Flax Seed
- Italian Seasoning
- Himalayan salt

- Pulse ingredients in food processor until a breadcrumb-like texture is achieved (put in refrigerator until ready to use)

- 4 oz. Raw Cashews (soaked for at least 3 hours)
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- Water
- 1 small package button mushrooms
- 2 green onions (diced)
- 5 c of spinach (chopped)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 4-4oz skinless boneless chicken breasts
- Preheat oven to 350
- Place soaked cashews in food processor with lemon juice and 1/4 c water and pulse until smooth and creamy.  Add more water a little at a time until desired consistency is achieved (you don't want it to run out of the chicken)
- Place mushrooms, green onions, and garlic in food processor with cashew cream and pulse until a coarse paste is formed

- Pound chicken as thin as possible without tearing
- Spread mixture on chicken, roll, and secure with toothpicks
- Spray pan with Pam and place chicken seam side down (Note: my sister was studying so I spared her the noise of me pounding the chicken and just cut out a pocket and stuffed that.  If you do go this route, place seam side up so your filling doesn't seep out)
- Coat top and sides with "breadcrumb" mixture

- Bake for 20-30 min, Let stand for 5 min then Enjoy

I served this with my Warm Tomato Kale Salad

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Favorite Little Green Monster

My raw food loving friend Lisa invited me to her house awhile back to play around with some raw recipes.  I was definitely not a raw foodie at the time...as a matter of fact, I was tossing back 2 happy meals a day and filling my body full of all sorts of processed, pasteurized, and pesticide loaded food.  I DID, however, enjoy cooking and trying new things, and making cream cheese out of cashews and chocolate pudding out of avocados was definitely new for me :-) For breakfast we juiced.  Although I loved the juice I didn't love the cleanup and thought, "I cannot see myself doing this everyday." So my juice-making days started and ended at Lisa's house that day.

Ever since I started my new food life I have been hinting at a Vitamix for my birthday/Christmas gift from my mom, dad, fiance, grandma, and anyone else who, I knew, would feel obligated to get me something.  I think they all thought I was on crack for asking for a $500 blender.  Another friend of mine looked at me and shook her head as if I had just set women/the feminist movement back 50 years.  No one understood that this wasn't JUST a blender...it was a game changer.

Then, one day I was sitting on the couch with my mom and this infomercial popped up advertising this Nutribullet.  It claimed to break down the cell wall of the fruits and vegetables yada yada yada just like the Vitamix.  I was skeptical, but I hopped online and started reading one amazing review after another.  I hopped online, reserved one at Bed Bath and Beyond (which is the best place to get one because it was only $80.00 with my 20% off coupon versus $130 on TV).  The next morning we went to go pick it up and the manager told us they couldn't keep the things on the shelf.

I LOVE it! It isn't a Vitamix in that you can't use it like a food processor.  Once you put something in there, it's liquidized, no pulsing to chop etc.  It also doesn't hold as much, so if you want to make an entire raw cheesecake you might be doing so in batches.  That being said, if you want the juice without the juicing this baby is perfect!

Tropical Green Monster
- 2 handfuls spinach
- 1/2 banana or 1/4 avocado
- 1/2 c fresh pineapple
- 1/2 fuji apple
- 1/2 pear
- 1 T Flax seed
- 1 c. coconut water
-1/2 c filtered water (or an extra 1/2 c coconut water)

Place all ingredients in blender and well....blend
I also like to pour some into Popsicle molds to enjoy later as a healthy frozen treat :-)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Walnut Crusted Salmon with Mango Mustard

Like I said before...I am not a fan of salmon, but I know how good it is for me so I have been experimenting with it.  I believe that you can learn to like anything if you just find the right way to prepare it.  Much to my fiance's dismay, I am still trying to prove that to him by slipping mushrooms and onions into his food lol.  
This is the perfect dish for entertaining the presentation is gorgeous, the taste is unreal, and, if you make the crumbs and sauce ahead of time, it only takes 20 min to have dinner ready and on the table.

- 2.5 oz raw walnuts
- 1.5 T Flax seeds
- 1/2 tsp dried dill
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Dash or 2 of salt free all purpose seasoning

- 1.5 T Apple cider vinegar
- 1.5 T Dijon Mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 c mango

- 16 oz Salmon

Make Ahead:
I like to make my sauce and "breadcrumbs" ahead so the sauce can sit and the flavors can blend.  Plus it makes this dish one of the quickest and easiest dishes to prepare once those things are made.
- For the Crust: Place walnuts in a nutribullet, vitamix, or food processor and blend until they look like breadcrumbs.  Transfer to a bowl, add all other ingredients, cover and refrigerate until ready to use
- For the Sauce: Place all ingredients into a nutribullet/vitamix/food processor and blend well.  (Note: I am not sure if a food processor will give you the smoothest texture possible.  It may come out chunkier, but it will still taste AMAZING)

- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Place salmon skin side down on a dish.  Place half of sauce in a seperate bowl.  Use this bowl of sauce to brush/spread on salmon.
- Top with breadcrumbs and let sit for an hour in the refrigerator
- Spray lightly with Pam
- Cook for 20 min or until salmon flakes easily with a fork