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Raw Crepes!!!

This is a proud moment for me. Last night I remembered to do the prep work and was rewarded with a super yummy morning.

You will need:

  •  A food dehydrator or oven on lowest heat; a sunny window might work unless (like me) you are prepping the night before.
  • Wax/parchment paper
  • Blender

 Crepes

  • 2 Bananas
  • 1 Lemon
  • 3 Ears Sweet Corn
  • Nutmeg and/or Cinnamon, etc. spices

Filling

  • 1 ½ cup Raw Cashews
  • ½ cup Raw Walnuts
  • 1 Tsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Raw Agave Nectar
  • Water
  • Few shakes Cinnamon
  • Fresh Berries or fruit

Begin by soaking your cashews and walnuts in water.  Using a knife remove corn from husk by slicing off the top half of the kernels. Basically get as close as you can but not so much that you include those little hard pieces. Then blend bananas, corn, a nice squeeze of lemon and spices. It doesn’t have to be super smooth but liquid enough to pour.

Line dehydrator or baking sheet with parchment paper and pour little pancakes. You should get about 8 little disks out of this. These will thin out a lot overnight. **If you are using an oven you may want to try this during the day first to see how it goes.

In the morning, or about 6-9 hours later depending on drying method, carefully peel crepes and flip them over. The crepes will peel relatively easily and still be flexible. You might want to leave them flipped over in the dehydrator while you make the filling.

In food processor or blender add nuts, coconut oil, vanilla, agave and spices. Start by chopping/pulsing these; then begin to add water slowly. Add a little at a time and keep blending until you reach a fresh whipped cream texture, or your desired thickness.

Assemble: a generous blob of kream in each crepe, fold over and add fruit.          So delicious; hope you enjoy!<3

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Vegan “Lox” and Bagels

“Lox and Bagels” is one of my favorite brunches of all time. Today I attempted a vegan version. Extremely simple and amazingly tasty.

You will need:

  •  Bagels- I used these nice sprouted grain ones.
  • Vegan Cream Cheese- You can pick this up in the store or make your own. Mine was store bought.
  • Organic Tomatoes- Because these simply have the best flavor and color.
  • Onion- sliced thin
  • A Lemon- for fresh juice
  • A few splashes of Braggs Amino Acid or Soy Sauce- optional
  • Dill, pepper and/or any other spice blend you wish.

To make your “lox” simply slice your tomatoes fairly thin. Roughly the thickness of real lox. Put on a plate or in shallow bowl and squeeze lemon juice over the tomato. Don’t skimp on lemon. About 1 half lemon for 2 tomatoes worth of “lox”.  A little bit of amino acid, soy sauce, etc. if you so choose. Then douse in spices. Dill, black pepper, any blends you like; either lemony or earthy. Totally your preference.

After at least 30 mins you can toast bagel and assemble. Cream cheese, onion, tomatoes and capers. Drool.

Thanks for reading!  ❤

Raw food….whaaaa??

For the past 2 weeks I’ve been on a mostly raw food diet. It all started with a health conscious urge and decision to perform some kind of detox/cleanse.

I’ve cheated. Approx 75% raw and 99% vegan, BUT I’ve made some huge changes. Changes I can totally live with.

My opinion of raw food before trying it… well, I don’t think it ever crossed my mind. I’m a meat eater. I love ice cream. I love to cook. Why would I want to eat only fruits, veggies and sand?

Surprisingly this has been a very tasty experience.  The methods are so new to me; more like natural science. The food I’ve made so far has loads of potential.

Things can tend to look a bit a like, but the flavours have a wide and fresh range.

Best of all- there is a wealth of information at your fingertips. Raw niche blogs, YouTube, cookbooks. **I will definitely try to update this post with my favorite online resources.

To give you an idea of the No-No’s as far as my cleanse goes:

  • Sugar has been cut and replaced by natural options. This was tough for me as it’s difficult to enter a deli and leave without sour patch somethings.  Luckily raw agave, (real) maple syrup, dates etc. are available.
  • Processed grains have been cut out dramatically. A few corn, lentil, or pop chips here and there. Vegan noodle dishes and bread are still in the mix occasionally, though not ideal.
  • Dairy has been totally cut, as well as meat. There are reasons-a-plenty to cut way back on both of these. **I’ll try to update this with some explanatory links soon.
  • Alcohol might be the toughest due to lifestyle and season. I’ve cheated here with some red wine, but never more than 2 glasses.

Is it worth it? To me, yes. Looking a little deeper into what you put into your body is never a wasteful act.  Am I feeling positive effects? Yes. Absolutely.  Would I recommend to a friend? Many of them.

Crispy Salmon with Artichoke Hearts, Sautéed Spinach and a Lemon Caper Sauce

My favorite thing about this is how little time it took. From prep to finish I spent about 20 minutes on this beautiful meal.

There are quite a few tastes going on in this dish. To maintain the distinctive flavors I cooked everything separately, and to keep the flavors working together I used the same pan for all the veggies and then made a sauce out of what was left in the pan.

Salmon is such a heavy, almost buttery fish. It’s full of natural oils and holds up well when cooking. This made it perfect for achieve a light crisp, adding texture to the meal. (Serves 2)

Ingredients

Fish

  • Salmon fillets, 1 per person
  • Salt and pepper
  • Splash of olive oil

Veggies

  • Fresh spinach, about 2 handfuls per person
  • 1 glove garlic, chopped
  • Good balsamic vinegar, few splashes
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, cut in half
  • ½ can stewed tomatoes
  • Dijon mustard, about ¼ tsp
  • Chicken stock, roughly 1 cup will be used
  • Lemon juice, roughly ¼ cup
  • Capers, about 2 tbp
  • Flat leaf Italian parsley, roughly chopped, about 1 tbsp

Side of couscous (optional). As per box directions.

Tools

  • Non stick frying pan for fish
  • Frying pan or wok for veggies
  • Pot for couscous (optional)

Start by prepping your veggies. Wash and chop parsley. Strain, rinse and (if needed) cut artichoke heart in half. Set aside.

Season fish with salt and pepper on skinless side.

Heat frying pan on med hi, adding a little olive oil to the pan.  When oil starts to smoke add fish, seasoned side down. Judging by the sides of the fish, you’ll be able to see when salmon is cooked halfway through. Flip once. Roughly 7 mins each side.

Add a few drops of olive oil to veggie pan and cook artichoke hearts on med heat until lightly browned. Remove and set aside.

Add a little olive oil to veggie pan. Heat on med hi and add garlic. When garlic begins to cook add spinach and stir. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper; stirring. When spinach has just wilted, remove and add to plate. (Also plate fish.)

In veggie pan, simmer tomatoes with roughly half a cup chicken broth, about 1 tbsp lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and a splash of balsamic. Stir thoroughly and add artichokes.

Allow liquid to cook out of pan, then plate veggies.

Add about 1/2 cup of chicken stock, 1 tsp lemon juice, and capers to veggie pan. Bring to boil; whisking vigorously. Be sure to scrap all the bits of flavor stuck on the pan.  Pour over fish. Top with fresh parsley. Yum!

Chicken, Rice, and Veggies with Tandoori, Sweet Curry and Coconut

I love Indian food so I tried making some stuff at home;  not  authentic, but tastes amazing and totally killed the craving.

There are plenty of markets that sell tandoori and curry seasonings. I got my from penzey’s spices. They have a great online catalog you can take a stroll in and find all kinds of awesome stuff each time.

With this you can pretty much add as much or as little of the spices as you prefer.

Tandoori chicken is marinated over night in yogurt and spices and then cooked in a very hot clay oven. Cooking it at such a high temp locks in the juices, but since I don’t have a clay oven I just set mine at it’s highest temp.

Ingredients

Tandoori Seasoned Chicken

  • Chicken, either boned pieces, or tenderloins, enough for 2-4 ppl
  • 2 cups of plain yogurt, roughly
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tandoori seasoning, or 2 small palms full
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove chopped garlic

Rice

  • 1 cup basmati, or Indian rice
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp sweet curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric

Veggies

  • 1 small or 1/2 large yellow onion, sliced or chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • Couple large handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 tsp sweet curry powder
  • few shakes turmeric
  • few splashes chicken broth
  • few splashes coconut milk

Extras

  • Nan bread, (you can find this in the bakery at most grocery stores)
  • Spices: salt, pepper, onion powder, tandoori, curry.  Taste food while cooking. if you think it needs more of something make adjustments
  • Chutney of your choice (I’m using mango), lime pickle (would be near chutney in grocery store)

Tools

  • Baking pan or oven safe skillet for chicken
  • Skillet, med-lg for veggies
  • Pot with lid for rice

Marinate. Combine yogurt, tandoori seasoning, garlic, and lemon juice in a lg bowl, blend, and add chicken, making sure to coat all sides of each piece. Leave this in your fridge overnight.

Set your oven at the highest temp it’s got.

Cook your rice as per instructions on box/bag but switch the water out for chicken broth and coconut milk. So if it call for 2 cups water, do 1 1/4 broth and 3/4 coconut milk. It doesn’t have to be that exact ratio as long as the amount is the same. Stir in all seasonings and cover and cook.

Prep your veggies.

Put chicken in baking pan/ skillet and stick in oven. Turn this once and cook for about 20 min or until blackened.

Heat oil in other skillet and begin to cook onions and carrots. Once they start getting soft add tomatoes and spices. Let cook for about 10 mins and add spinach. Mixing. Veggies are ready when tender, roughly 15-18 mins.

Once everything is finished, plate. Then add chicken broth and coconut milk to veggie skillet (without veggies) and whisk while on med/hi heat for about a min. Pour over rice and veggies.

Apple and Goat Cheez Hors D’oeuvres, with Honey, Spanish Almonds, and Black Pepper

This is a  simple thing you could make as an appetizer, snack, or even for a holiday party, in no time.  The flavours are nicely interesting, but the best part is you don’t have to actually cook anything.

Ingredients

  • Granny smith apples
  • Lemon juice, about 1 tsp or so for brushing
  • Goat cheese
  • Spanish almonds, or other somewhat soft nut
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon
  • Black pepper, finely ground

Cut apples into level slices and brush lightly with lemon juice. This prevents apples from browning too quickly. Top with goat cheese.  Using your fingers is probably best.

Add nuts, and drizzle honey over centers.  Carefully dust with cinnamon and pepper.

That’s it!

Pork Roll, Egg & Cheez on a Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin

This is super basic but still really stands out amongst breakfast yummies. It’s perfect for those morning when you can’t decide between an omelet or pancakes.

I’ve heard you can only get, or used to only be able to get, pork roll (taylor ham) in Jersey, because the standard for meat is really low there.  So if that’s the case, you could use any salty breakfast meat. Bacon, sausage, ham, vegan “meat”… But if you have access to pork roll, I’d go for that. It’s really awesome.

Ingredients

(per serving)

  • 1 egg
  • 2 slices pork roll
  • ½ English muffin, cinnamon raisin
  • 1 slice cheez, pretty much of your choice, I’m using American
  • Maple syrup, grade b preferably, just not
  • Salt & pepper

Tools

  • Non-stick frying pan for eggs, with lid, or some aluminum foil
  • Frying pan for meat
  • Toaster

Start cooking your pork roll as per box instructions, or pretty much exactly like how you’d cook bacon; on med/hi heat.

When done to your liking, transfer to a few  paper towels, for degreasing.

While pork roll is cooking, start egg.  Heat non-stick frying pan on med heat for about 30 seconds. For more control, I’d recommend first cracking egg into a small bowl and then pouring it in.  Also, if you hold your frying pan at a slight angle, and the pan is hot, it’s easier to get your egg to stay where you want it.

Cover with lid, or use a piece of aluminum foil to lay over the pan. We want the heat to stay in, and cook the egg on top too.

Toast English muffin.

When egg looks pretty close to being done to your liking (I like mine a little runny, but, ya know) place slice of cheez over egg and replace lid or aluminum foil, till cheez melts.  Should take only seconds.

Plate English muffin, pouring some maple syrup on it. Then pork roll, egg and cheez.  Top with salt and pepper, and maybe add a bit more maple syrup to the plate.

BOOM!

Sun Dried Tomato, Artichoke, and Goat Cheez French Bread Pizza with Balsamic Reduction, and Grilled Zucchini

This guy is full of flavor. You could make it as an appetizer or a meal. There’s a bit of prep work, but nothing too difficult. This recipe serves 2.

** I made this with sun dried tomatoes, chopped, and cooked in olive oil, but I would recommend either using a food processor to chop the tomatoes and using that to make a paste, or just buying a sun dried tomato spread.

Ingredients

  • Sun dried tomatoes, chopped as fine as possible
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 can quartered artichoke hearts, washed
  • 2 zucchini, cut
  • 1/2 loaf french bread, cut in half, length wise
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 pkg goat cheez
  • 1 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, or more if you want to make extra to store
  • Olive oil, have about 2 cups on hand
  • Olives of your choice, optional

Tools

  • Sauce pan
  • Skillet
  • Griddle
  • Baking sheet

To make the balsamic reduction just heat vinegar in sauce pan on low heat to release steam.  Let vinegar reduce by a bit more than half and set aside to cool. ** Don’t waste your money on expensive balsamic for this. Reducing the vinegar makes it taste amazing, no matter what.

Preheat oven to 375.

Cut the veggies and set each aside.

In frying pan add about 1 tbsp olive oil and artichokes. Cook on med/hi heat till golden brown. Set aside.

Toast pine nuts on med heat. These will cook very quickly, so keep and eye on them. Set aside.

In sauce pan heat about 1/2 cup olive oil and garlic, on med heat. Add chopped tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly. ** Like I said before tho, in the future I would just buy some sun dried tomato spread and use that. This was quite tasty, but didn’t sink into the bread as much as I would have liked.

Season zucchini with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Heat griddle to med/hi and cook for roughly 6 minutes each side, or till slightly charred.

Cut bread and hollow out some of the middle.

Drizzle olive oil over bread; add tomatoes, artichokes and goat cheez. Drizzle a bit more olive oil over pizza.  Place on baking sheet and cook for roughly 10-15 minutes, or to liking.

Plate zucchini, olives and pizza. Top pizza with toasted pine nuts and balsamic reduction. Mmmm.

Filet Mignon with Stuffed Green Olives

Filet mignon is the easiest to cook.  When you’re buying it you want to look for a pinkish red, not a dark color.  It’s also good when you can see fat marbled through the meat, making it prime.  It’s on the more expensive side but not out of control.  I spent about 20 bucks at the grocery store for this meal for two. $10 for the meat and the rest on olives and salad stuff.

Ingredients

Filets

  • Filets, 1 per person
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Dressing

  • 2-3 large olives, or 4-5 small guys
  • 2 tbsp cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp brine from olive jar
  • 1/4 tsp dijon mustard
  • pepper

Also

  • Stuffed specialty olives, with garlic, pimento, almonds, whatever you like
  • Salad, of your choice. I used mixed greens, orange pepper, cucumber and tomatoes

Tools

  • Skillet
  • Blender

Preheat your oven to 375.  Season filets with salt, pepper, and a few drops olive oil. Add olive oil to pan and heat on hi. Once olive starts steaming, add filets.

Sear filets; roughly 2 or 3 mins each side.

Turn off stove and place skillet with filets into oven. Cook for 5-6 min for rare, 8-10 for med, and over 10 for well done.  All ovens can be different so be sure to cut center of steak and check out if the coloring suits you.

While those are cooking, make your salad.

In blender add dressing ingredients…

.. and blend.

Once meat is cooked let sit for a few minutes. Then plate salad, olives, and filets.  **I pour a little of the dressing on to the steak. This goes really well with a bloody maria.

Ceviche Style Fish with Whipped Avocados, and Salad

I love this salad. It’s really light and fresh, but still manages to fill you up.  The three parts of this salad work very well together, but you can use them separately in other recipes. This recipes serves 2 as a meal, or 4 as a side.

Ingredients 

Salad

  • Mixed greens
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • Few handfuls of grape tomatoes, cut in half 

Ceviche Style Fish

  • Tilapia fillets, 1 large or 2 small per person
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 limes
  • 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • ½ small red onion finely chopped 

Whipped Avocados

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, white would be best to keep coloring in avacados
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 ½ avocados
  • ¼ cup water

Tools

  • Bowl
  • Large ziplock
  • Mixing bowl
  • Large skillet
  • Blender

Prep fish by combining olive oil, 1/2 lime, salt, pepper and fish, in bowl, and coat. Store in fridge till ready to use.

Add chopped cilantro, onion, and juice of 1 and 1/2 limes to large mixing bowl. Put in fridge till ready to use.

Peel and chop cucumbers, halve tomatoes, slice pepper. Add veggies and mixed greens to ziplock, and store in fridge.

Add fish and liquid to large frying pan, and cook on med/hi heat. Cook fish for about 5 minutes on each side, then chop fish using the edge of your spatula. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. **Traditional ceviche uses acid from the citrus to cook the fish.  I do this because it’s much faster and still tastes really good.

Combine cooked fish and ceviche mix.

In blender combine ingredients for whipped avocados; blend. If mixture has difficulty blending add a little more water, stir, and blend.

Mix salad, and plate. Top with fish mixture and whipped avocados; eat!