Since we had lots of cultured nut cheeze left over from our wonderful Christmas Tea Luncheon at Gayle's, one night for dinner we whipped up the Zucchini Pasta in Mushroom and Chive Sauce from my new Delightfully Raw book. Oh boy, it was sooooo tasty!!!
On the last evening we enjoyed the Heavenly Berry Jubilee, again from my new book; a parfait layered with warm berries, an ultra light Almond Cream with a young coconut base and a dollop of Vanilla Ice Cream in the center. Very decadent stuff!
It's actually Don's absolute favorite dessert so far (which is saying lots as Lord knows I've made a hefty amount of scrumptious raw desserts in the last 2 or 3 years!)
Potluck #1Our friend Jozzie is like an energy bunny; always up to something to spread the good word about health and raw foods in her community. Believe it or not, just since we've been here she hosted not one but two raw potlucks in the space of three days!
When we arrived at her place we barely had time to take our coats off when the doorbell started ringing and people poured in. About 25 showed up for that night's potluck to share good food and participate in an open forum with Dr. Said, a local chiropractic and naturopathic physician. We had a chance to listen to one of his lectures last time we were in Medford and were particularly impressed that in spite of his strong scientific background, Dr. Said hasn't lost sight of the magical and mysterious aspect of existence.
Part of the spread that day...
Ani's extremely yummy Pineapple Icebox Cake
I bet this would also be very good with other fruits such as berries, cherries, mango or peaches!
Dates and Almonds
The boys resting from that day's long journey.
A couple of days later Joz hosted her annual Christmas potluck. She really went out of her way to make this occasion special. You should have seen her having fun assembling an edible Living Christmas Tree with lettuce and all sorts of veggies pinned to a styrofoam cone; an ingenious idea she got from Penni Shelton's Raw Food Rehab site.
What a fabulous centerpiece! It was so beautiful and impressive that the guests hesitated to pry the veggies off it.
We served it with a delicious Creamy Peppercorn Ranch Dressing to dip the veggies in.
In keeping with the Holiday spirit Jozzie formed Ani Phyo's Wilted Spinach Salad into a wreath. This salad was sooooo good! No wonder Jozzie has made it numerous times!
Wilted Spinach Salad with Marinated Onions and Mustard Seed Dressing
From Ani Phio's Ani's Raw Food Kitchen
Makes 4 servings
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tbs Bragg Liquid Aminos or Nama Shoyu
Pinch black pepper
Mustard Seed Dressing
1 tbs soft dates or 1 tbs agave syrup, maple syrup or honey
3 tbs apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp sea salt
8 cups of spinach
2 carrots, julienned
Pinch black pepper
To marinate onions, combine onions with vinegar, Bragg's, and black pepper. Set aside to marinate while you prepare the rest of the salad.
To make the dressing, if you're using dates, soak them in 2 tbs of water for 5 min., or until soft. Mash together the dates and water until it becomes a thick syrupy paste. Pour syrup, vinegar, oil, mustard seeds, and salt in small bowl and mix well.
For salad, place spinach and julienned carrots in a large bowl. Pour in Marinated Onions, including the marinade. Toss with Mustard Seed Dressing.
To serve, top tossed salad with a pinch or two of black pepper. Set aside for 5 min. or more to allow time for wilting. Or, you can eat right away if you're impatient!
Salad mix will keep for 1 day, dressing will keep for 3 to 4 days, and Marinated Onions will keep for 1 day in the fridge when each are stored separately.
~ I don't recommend using Bragg's Liquid Aminos as it is very questionable in my opinion (it is made using hydrochloric acid and develops MSG in the course of the fermentation process). I usually replace it with organic wheat-free tamari.
~ For the dressing I used part date and part agave. It ended up being too much work to crush the date into a smooth paste so I gave up and threw everything in the blender. I also ground the mustard seeds very briefly in the coffee grinder.
~ I grated the carrots instead of julienning them. (Is that even a word? lol)
~ For a more festive look Jozzie opted to shape the salad into a wreath and to decorate it with raspberries. Be-yu-ti-ful!
The Cauliflower Curry from Delightfully Raw
Another one of Jozzie's 'to make' projects for the potluck was a Banana & Cream Trifle. She got the idea from a cooked version she saw online and was anxious to try recreating it in the raw. She found recipes for Vanilla Wafers and Banana Pudding on RawSoul.com that gave us a good place to start in our experiment. The result was really awesome; so creamy and scrumptious!
Banana Cream Trifle
Vanilla WafersPosted on RawSoul.com here
½ medium papaya or 4 cups coarsely chopped
1 cup macadamia nuts, soaked 8 hours and strained
1 cup oat flour
1½ cups agave nectar
2 cups water
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 vanilla beans
1. Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until thick.
2. Using a tablespoon form cookies onto teflex dehydrator sheet.
3. Dehydrate for 12 hours. Turn over and dehydrate until crispy.
4. Set aside.
Carmella's Note: Jozzie was a little disappointed that these didn't turn out crispy, but they still worked out really well in the trifle, especially the next day when they absorbed some of the moisture of the pudding. They were totally reminiscent of Nilla Wafers.
Adapted from the recipe posted on RawSoul.com here
5 ripe bananas
Meat from 3 young coconuts
¼ cup coconut water
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup agave nectar
1/2 tsp vanilla powder or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract)
1/4 tsp turmeric for color
4 drops Medicine Flower Banana Extract
4 drops of natural yellow food coloring*
*Ingredients: beets, carrots, cabbage, turmeric, plant glycerin, caramel and strawberry. Does not contain animal products, soy or wheat.
Blend until smooth.
1/4 c melted coconut oil
2 tsp lecithin powder
Blend again, just to incorporate.
Set in fridge for a few hours.
Set in fridge for a few hours.
1 cup cashews
1 cup + 2 tablespoons fresh coconut milk (simply blend 1 part dried coconut with 3 parts water in a high speed blender)
1/8 - 1/4 cup honey or agave
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon lecithin*
*Lecithin acts as an emulsifier. Look for soy lecithin (preferably non-GMO), in granules or powdered form, at your local HFS. If using granules, make sure to grind them up in a high speed blender of coffee grinder. You can also buy sunflower lecithin which is raw and non-GMO.
Blend all ingredients except coconut oil and lecithin until smooth. Add coconut oil and lecithin and blend until thoroughly mixed. Set in fridge for a few hours.
6 ripe bananas
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
Slice bananas and add lemon juice to prevent oxidation.
1. In a large glass bowl or trifle dish, cover the bottom of the dish with Vanilla Wafers.
2. Next form a layer with banana slices, followed by half of the Banana Pudding.
3. Cover with wafers followed by banana slices.
4. Pour about 3/4 of the Whipped Cream.
5. Form another layer of Vanilla Wafers, followed by the rest of the Banana Pudding.
6. Cover with wafers, followed by the rest of the banana slices.
7. Finish off with the last of the Whipped Cream (don't go all the way to the edge).
8. Chill for several hours or overnight.
9. Just before serving decorate with a mixture of gogi berries and dried coconut ground up in a coffee grinder and banana slices.
Carmella's Note: We assembled the Trifle at the very last minute as Jozzie was concerned that the wafers would disintegrate. In fact, it tasted even better the next day!
Putting the finishing touches.
Here's a side view so that you can see the different layers.
Marcella brought what Joz has nicknamed her 'Million Dollar Mint Truffles'.
Marcella's Mint Truffles
Soaked dried fruit - mostly raisins, figs & prunes
Raw cacao powder
Raw carob powder
Dried, shredded coconut
Blend all ingredients except for dried coconut in vita-mix or food processor.
Roll into balls, then roll in dried coconut.
Put in freezer or refrigerator until firm.
Virginia contributed a variation of Matthew Kenney's Pumpkin Pie that I've been meaning to try for ages. Oh my gosh! It was soooo delish!
Raw Pumpkin Pie with Thyme
From Matthew Kenney's Everyday Raw
You will never know that this pumpkin pie is actually made with carrot juice. I think it is my favorite of all of our pies – the filling is also great on its own, as a cold pudding or flan.
For the crust:
2 1/4 cup pecans
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon date paste
¼ sea salt
(Optional: soak pecans over night and dehydrate at 118 degrees for 24 hours.)
Place pecans in food processor, pulse into small crumbs.
Mix all ingredients together well by hand.
Press into plastic-lined 9 inch tart pan to desired thickness.
Dehydrate 48 hours.
Chill crusts in freezer for 15-30 minutes before filling.
If not using all the crust, store extra in containers in the freezer.
For the Filling:
1/2 cups cashews soaked
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup agave
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons carrot juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 vanilla bean, scraped
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1/2 tablespoon fresh Thyme, chopped
Blend all ingredients, except thyme, in Vitamix until very smooth.
Stir in thyme.
Fill candied tart crust and chill in freezer overnight.
Remove pie from metal tart shells, cut into 12 even slices and wrap in plastic wrap.
Cut the slices, running a knife under hot water and dry it with a towel between cuts.
Store in freezer.
Carmella's Notes: Virginia skipped the dehydration for the crust, omitted the thyme in the filling and topped the pie with the following whipped cream.
Sky High Whipped Topping
By Elaine Love
Posted on her Pure Joy Planet site here
1/4 cup soaked Irish moss (measure after soaking in cold water for 3+ hours)
1 cup water
1. Blend moss and water until smooth
1 ¾ more cups water
3/4 cup LAKANTO sugar free sweetener, xylitol or erythritol
3/4 cup coconut oil
3 Tbs. soy lecithin powder (non GMO)
2 cups fresh young coconut meat, 1 1/2 cups mac nuts or 1 cup coconut milk powder
¼ tsp salt
15 drops vanilla essence (Medicine flower) or 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
1. Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
2. Let set up in the refrigerator overnight if possible.
3. Drop or pipe onto pies and puddings with a piping bag as desired.
This whipped topping will last for 1 week refrigerated. May be frozen after the first day of setting up in refrigerator but for best results, do not try to freeze while it is setting up.
I could hardly wait to dig into all this yumminess!
Raw Dining Out
A vegan restaurant has opened in Ashland since our last visit. They offer some raw items on their menu so we went out to dinner there with Jozzie and Wayne one night.
Don and I shared pizzas. While the salad dressings were yummy and the homemade sauerkraut very good, I thought the pizzas themselves were so-so. The buckwheat crusts were a little too thick, the toppings didn't have much flavor and were covered with way too much walnut parmesan.
Jozzie's fare was Mexican burritos. They were quite tasty!
Alrighty, now time to hit the kitchie to prep more goodies for our upcoming Holiday appetizers class.Yay!