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Archive for the ‘Nuts & Seeds’ Category

This was my first foray into the realm of ice cream making,  and all I can say is that I wish I’d invested in an ice cream maker and tried this sooner!   No preservatives, no stabilizers, no artificial colors or flavors, no gums or thickeners darkened this doorway.   A handful of wholesome ingredients, including some gorgeous seasonal figs,  was simply transformed into an amazing summertime treat that bests any commercially-made vegan ice cream I’ve tried.

Caramelized Fig and Tree Nut Ice Cream

[Makes 1 pint]

Ingredients:

2 cups full fat coconut milk [I use AROY-D because it is preservative and BPA-free.]

1/3 cup organic dark brown sugar, packed

1 T coconut or macadamia nut oil [I used macadamia nut because of its rich and buttery flavor.]

4 figs, diced

½- ¾ cup nuts [I used macadamia nuts and cashews]

1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

pinch of sea salt

Directions:

Heat oil over medium heat and add in brown sugar.  Once the sugar has melted add the diced figs and a pinch of salt.  Cook for a few minutes until soft and bubbly.  Slowly add the coconut milk and vanilla extract.   Stir until the sugar has dissolved.  Transfer the mixture to a container and place in the refrigerator to chill.

While the ice cream mix is chilling preheat the oven to 400°F.  Place the nuts on a cookie sheet and roast for 10 minutes or until they begin to turn golden.  Set aside.  [Transfer the nuts from the cookie sheet to a cool container so that they do not continue to cook and burn on the hot cookie sheet.]

Once the ice cream mix has chilled, add to your ice cream maker and follow your manufacturer’s instructions.  Once the ice cream is semi-solid, add in the roasted nuts and continue to freeze until it sets up.

Serve immediately as soft serve or place in a container in the freezer to harden further.

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This is a simple and delicious rice dish that’ll become a favorite.  It has wonderful flavors and a variety of textures that keeps it interesting until the last bite.  It also just happens to contain some ingredients that are powerful antioxidants/anti-inflammatories such as turmeric, chile peppers, and ginger.

 

Lime Rice

[Serves 4]

Ingredients:

1 cup brown basmati rice

⅓ cup raw cashews

¼ cup yellow split peas

2 spring onions, sliced

1 T fresh ginger, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 T unsweetened dried shredded coconut

½ tsp turmeric

Juice and zest of one lime

1 dried chile [I used a Chile de árbol]

2 tsp coconut oil

Directions:

Rinse rice and split peas under running water in a colander.  Drain well and transfer to a heated pot on the stove over medium high heat.  Add the chile pepper.  Stir frequently until the rice begins to dry and pop.  Add water to cover by a couple of inches.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.  Drain in a colander.  Reserve the chile pepper.

Return the pot to the stove and add the coconut oil.  Sauté the onions, ginger, garlic and finely diced reserved chile pepper for a couple of minutes.  Add the turmeric, dried coconut and lime zest.  Add the cooked rice and peas, cashews and lime juice.  Stir until the rice is well coated.

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This dish was an awesome pairing of two of our favorite seasonal offerings:  asparagus and morel mushrooms.  I’ve found that roasting [rather than steaming] asparagus takes this already sublime stalk to its ultimate level of tastiness as those natural sugars caramelize and the tips slightly crisp.  I figured that if I then smothered that roasted asparagus in some earthy mushrooms, cooked in a tartly sweet and creamy balsamic sauce, and then further wrapped it all up into a calzone that had been spread with a lemony cashew “cheese”, it might just delight H.  Phew…what a mouthful; and it was!  I was right, but I had a pretty good hunch going in that this would be a winner.

This recipe yielded 4 calzones.

 

Creamy Balsamic Morels

Ingredients:

½ cup diced shallot

2 large cloves garlic, minced

2 oz mushrooms, diced [I used morels; you could use whichever mushroom you enjoy most.]

1 T olive oil

2 T balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup plain non-dairy yogurt [I used So Delicious Plain Coconut Yogurt]

Directions:

Add olive oil to a pan over medium heat.  Sauté the shallots and garlic until translucent.  Add the morels and sauté until softened.  Add the balsamic vinegar and cook until the mushrooms have absorbed the liquid.  Add the yogurt and mix well.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Lemony Cashew “Cheese”

Ingredients:

½ cup cashews, soaked for one hour

1 tsp lemon zest

1 T lemon juice

Directions:

Drain the cashews and place in a food processor.  Add the lemon zest and juice.  Pulse until a paste forms.

12 roasted asparagus spears [Toss in olive oil and roast at 450°F until they start to caramelize ~10-15 mins.]

One large pizza dough at room temperature [I buy this at my local grocery; your local pizzeria would probably sell you a ball of pizza dough]

***

Assembling the Calzone:

Preheat the oven to 425°F. [Also preheat your pizza stone or sheet pan.]

Divide the dough into 4 portions.  Stretch each into a small pizza-sized round.  Add ¼ of the cashew cheese to ½ of each round.  Lay 3 spears of asparagus [trimmed to fit] atop the cashew cheese.  Add ¼ of the creamy balsamic mushrooms.  Fold the top of the pizza round over the bottom and seal the edges by crimping and rolling over as you make your way around the semi-circle [as you would a pie crust].  Using a knife make a couple of vent holes on the top to allow steam to release as they cook.  You can also brush the surface with some olive oil.

Place upon a pre-heated pizza stone or sheet pan.  Bake until golden.

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Hummus is a true comfort food in our house.  We love to make wraps with it or use it as a healthy and filling vegetable dip.  This version is sweeter than traditional hummus because of the roasted carrots, but it’s fabulous, especially for youngsters who tend to have a sweeter tooth.  It’s also a great way to tuck the goodness of a vegetable into a dish where you’d least expect one to be lurking!

 

Roasted Carrot Hummus

[Makes ~4 cups]

Ingredients:

3 cups cooked garbanzo beans

3 cups carrots, roasted [Cut into large chunks and toss with olive oil.  Roast at 400°F for 45 minutes.]

½ cup roasted tahini

¼ cup olive oil

juice of two large lemons, zest of one

1 ½ T cumin

½ tsp coriander

½ tsp sweet paprika

4 cloves garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until smooth.  [You can adjust the thickness of the hummus by adding in water to thin it out if desired.]

Serve garnished with sesame seeds and a dusting of paprika.

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To my mind, kale is the rock star of all greens.  I integrate it into at least one meal a day and sometimes it’s as easy as simply stuffing a handful of it into our morning green smoothies.  Most times though I try and keep it intact in shape and form and celebrate its texture and flavor through both raw and cooked means.  I think it’s important to incorporate an abundance of raw foods into our diets, along with the cooked,  in order to provide the widest possible variety of nutrients so that we may not simply live but that we may thrive.    

 

Mediterranean Kale Salad

Ingredients:

1 bunch Lacinato/dinosaur kale, sliced into thin ribbons

¼ cup pine nuts [toasting optional]

¼ cup Kalamata olives, sliced

6 sundried tomatoes, rehydrated and cut into slivers

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

¼ cup olive oil [I actually use an omega 3-6-9 blend  for most raw dishes and/or salads that contains olive oil]

2 T fresh lemon juice and zest of one lemon

Freshly-cracked black pepper

Sea salt

Directions:

Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a large bowl or plastic bag and marinate at room temperature for at least 4 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.  The longer it’s allowed to marinate, the softer the texture of the kale will be.

Bring to room temperature before serving.

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This soup will play with your tongue in an amazing way.  The raw tahini [still rich in calcium because the seeds were unhulled] is an integral component that adds a luxuriant richness to the broth.  It has become one of my favorite soups to make because of  its compelling  flavors, wonderful texture and, importantly, because it’s so easy to make.  It literally takes 5 minutes to whip up this soup broth.  I know that come summer, when we’re out hiking and biking all day long, this raw soup broth will be a lifesaver when it comes to time and a meal that we’ll look forward to often.

Silken Tahini Miso Soup 

This soup broth can be kept raw if unheated and enjoyed at room temperature or cold.

[Serves 2]

Ingredients:

½ cup light miso [I use South River miso products because they’re beyond fantastic.]

¼ cup raw tahini [Artisana makes an outstanding raw tahini.]

¼ cup soaked almonds [Soak for at least 4 hours in filtered water; overnight is fine.]

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 ½ T nama shoyu

3 kaffir lime leaves

1 lemongrass stalk

½ inch piece of ginger, coarsely chopped

1 garlic clove

1 cup baby spinach leaves

½ cup zucchini, diced

½ cup carrot, diced

½ cup diced red bell pepper, diced

*sprouted wild rice, optional [Simply soak wild rice overnight in filtered water and then drain.  Place into a nut milk bag and rinse twice daily for 5 days.]

Directions:

Place the soaked almonds, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, ginger, red pepper flakes and garlic into a blender along with 4 cups of filtered water.  Blend until smooth.  Strain through a nut milk bag or fine cheesecloth into a pot large enough to accommodate the soup.

Whisk in the raw tahini, miso and nama shoyu until homogenous.

[At this point, you have a lovely raw, silken and incredibly flavorful soup.  If you dig completely raw vegetables, then simply add the diced vegetables and serve as is.  I prefer to have some of  the vegetables quickly blanched to give the carrots a slightly softer texture and to remove the raw squashy flavor of the zucchini.]

Into a pot of simmering water add the diced carrots.  Set the timer for 2 minutes.  At the one minute mark, add in the diced zucchini.  Drain and place into a bowl of ice water to quench the cooking.  You want the vegetables to maintain their crispness and not continue to cook.

Into each of two bowls, place ½ cup of spinach leaves, ½ of the diced red bell pepper and ½ of the blanched vegetables.  Pour half of the soup [warmed on the stove top or room temperature to maintain the raw state] over the vegetables and serve immediately.

As an optional ingredient, you can add in some sprouted wild rice for a nice textural contrast while still keeping it raw.

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Outside of Asian markets, I think that the daikon radish is under-appreciated as a vegetable.  This radish is fabulous!  It’s hot and spicy, wonderfully textured and drop-dead gorgeous plated out against the dark green of its own cooked tops.    I’ve found that the tops of vegetables meld really nicely with their roots when cooked together so when I’m presented with a choice, I’ll always grab the vegetable with their tops intact.  [If you do this, remember to use them very soon because the tops are still drawing nutrients out of the roots as long as they remain attached.]

 

Agave-Glazed Daikon with Walnuts

Ingredients:

4 cups daikon radish, cut into bite-sized pieces

Daikon radish tops, chopped [If you are unable to find any daikon with the tops attached, a couple cups of kale or mustard greens would substitute well.]

1 T light miso

1 T agave syrup

Coconut oil

1/3 cup raw walnuts

Directions:

[The radishes can either be sautéed in coconut oil, or in some water depending upon how you feel about added fats.  I chose to sauté them in a couple teaspoons of coconut oil in order to get some browned sides for textural and flavor reasons.]

Sauté the radish pieces over medium heat until slightly softened.  While they are cooking, mix the agave and miso together in a small bowl.  Add to the radishes along with the walnuts and toss well to coat.  Spread the radish tops around the pan evenly and cover.  Take off the heat and set aside for a few minutes to let the greens wilt. 

When you remove the lid, make sure that the condensed steam that’s collected on the lid drips back down into the pan because the greens will have given off some liquid.  Mix well and serve.

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