Sunday, December 20, 2009

December 20, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

This week, there is no day total for cost and no nutritional information at all. These aren't foods most people would eat daily and none of these foods would really be considered a meal ... but they make very good holiday and "special" dishes. So, this week we're just keeping track of cost per serving. Raw on $10 will be absent next week, but I'll be back on January 3rd with lots of new recipes, a guest recipe or two, as well as some tips on being frugally raw.

I want to wish everyone a very happy holiday season and a wonderful New Year.

Nut Nog
2 servings ~ $.63 per serving


1 cup almond milk ($.40)
1 banana ($.15)
1 date ($.50)
1 tsp vanilla extract ($.20)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch salt

This is smooth, thick, creamy ... just like the real thing.

Puree all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Garnish with a dash of cinnamon.

Cheeze ... Three Ways

This batch of nut cheeze can be used as a mac and cheese sauce, for cheeze-it crackers, or it can be formed into a cheeze ball.

Basic Cheeze Recipe
1 batch ~ $3.39 per batch


1 cup nuts (I used half Brazil Nuts and half Walnuts) ($2.00)
1 red bell pepper ($.69)
1/2 jalapeno, finely minced ($.10)
juice of one lemon ($.50)
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tbsp olive oil ($.10)
1 cup water for blending

Blend all ingredients except jalapeno in blender until pureed and creamy. Fold in the minced jalapeno and proceed with whichever recipe you desire.

4 servings ~ $.85 per serving

These are truly, jaw dropping amazing ... they are so close to the real thing.

Spread the cheeze mix thinly on plastic or teflex lined sheets in dehydrator. When top is dry enough, which takes a few hours, flip and peel from the sheets. Score into square shapes, if desired (mine turned out a bit rustic, but that didn't affect the flavor). Continue to dehydrate for several hours or overnight, until crisp and break into pieces.

Spicy Mac and Cheeze
4 servings ~ $1.35 per serving

I used a batch of the Basic Cheeze and make this spicy mac and cheese. This isn't going to fool any taste buds, unlike the Cheeze-Its. But, it's still delicious. I was craving something a little spicy and this hit the spot.

For each serving, grate one medium zucchini ($.50). I used the grating plate on my food processor (is that what that thing's called?). Put zucchini noodles in middle of plate and top with chopped bell pepper, onions and jalapenos, then the cheeze.

Cheeze Ball
4 servings ~ $.85 per serving

This time, take the Basic Cheeze recipe and scoop out onto several layers of cheese cloth. Wrap with the cheese cloth, and place inside a colander. Place the colander over a plate or bowl, put another plate on top of the wrapped cheeze, and put a weight on top (I used a can of coffee). Let this squeeze and drain overnight.

Form into one large or four smaller balls and roll in finely chopped almonds and walnuts. This would go very well with grapes or apples, or on flax crackers or onion bread.

Raw Dawg Rory's Onion Dip
4 servings ~ $.26 per serving


1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked ($.80)
4 tbsp onion powder ($.20)
1 tbsp garlic powder ($.05)
1 tsp salt
about 1 cup ice water (for blending)

Put all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth and creamy. I enjoyed this today topped with onions and served on cucumber slices.

This recipe from Raw Dawg Rory is the first contribution to Raw on $10. Rory and his family have been into raw foods for a few years and I've really enjoyed all his videos and recipes. Right now, Rory has his mother in his home as a raw food guest, and they're having some extremely inspiring results.

Rory also had some awesome advice on sticking to a raw budget ... he says:

Shop around whether online or at all your local health food and grocery'd be shocked at some of the price differences you'll come across and making friends with all the produce managers at your local grocery stores, I've received a lot of produce at a discounted price by talking with my produce managers and letting them know I was interested in picking up produce in bulk and also that I'd be interested in taking any over-ripe bananas off their hands ..sometimes I've received them for free or received a 50lb box of bananas for $6!! Those are two of my fave raw budget tips!

Sugar Cookies
10 cookies ~ $.70 per serving


1 cup nuts (I used walnuts) ($2.00)
1 cup dates ($4.00)
1 cup raisins ($1.00)
pinch salt

Process all ingredients in a food processor with a S blade until dough starts to stick together and form clumps.

Make into round cookies, about 1/4 inch thick, or use a cookie cutter. Dehydrate for a few hours, to add a touch of firmness on the outside.

This is a very basic cookie dough recipe. As is, it's a lot like a sugar cookie. If ginger and cinnamon are added, it's gingerbread ... add chocolate, you've got chocolate cookies. Well, you get the idea. The possibilities are many.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December 13, 2009

Swamp Smoothie

one serving ~ $1.20 per serving


large handful spinach ($.50)
2 bananas ($.30)
3 tbsp powdered cacao or cocoa powder ($.30)
dash salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract ($.10)
8 ice cubes
water for blending

Yes, chocolate goes with just about anything, including spinach. Straight out of the blender, it looks like bubbling swamp mud, hence the name. But it's actually quite good and I find it a good way to start the day.

Add spinach to blender and puree until as smooth as possible. Add remaining ingredients and blend.

calories: 267
fat: 0 gr
carbs: 65 gr
protein: 5 gr

Sweet Potato Pancakes

3 servings ~ $1.25 per serving


2 sweet potatoes ($.60)
1/2 cup raisins ($.50)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped ($.75)
1 apple, chopped ($.70)
1 orange ($.50)
1 tbsp olive oil ($.10)
3 tbsp agave ($.30)
salt and pepper

3 tbsp agave for topping ($.30)

This is a bit sweet for me, but I think it would hit the spot if sweet was what was needed. I start thinking about what to put in this blog on Saturday. So far, I've been able to get three meals and a dessert together and blogged within 24 hours or so, every week. Lots of times, I make things I've made before, but this was new. I thought it was going to be a failure, but everyone I tried it out on enjoyed it. I still think it's missing something, but it's definitely sweet and quite orange flavored.

Peel sweet potatoes, slice and grate. I used a food processor with a grating plate. Zest the orange, then puree it well in blender. Toss the sweet potato with chopped apples, walnuts, and raisins. Mix together the olive oil, pureed orange, orange zest, and three tablespoons agave and stir in until evenly coated.

Make into 9 patties and dehydrate for about 2 hours on each side. These won't be incredibly firm, but just a bit hardened on the outside and quite soft in the center. Salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with agave as desired.

calories: 409
fat: 15 gr
carbs: 64 gr
protein: 6 gr

Marinated Broccoli and Mushrooms

2 servings ~ $2.90 per serving


2 heads broccoli ($1.89)
8 oz mushrooms ($2.50)
1 medium onion ($.25)
sesame seeds ($.10)

3 tbsp olive oil ($.30)
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar ($.30)
3 tbsp agave ($.30)
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced ($.10)
1 tsp paprika ($.05)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

red pepper flakes to taste

This is my new favorite raw food dish. It's savory and sweet and just yummy. Marinating followed by dehydrating softens the broccoli and onions nicely, and the mushrooms are just luscious.

Whisk together the olive oil, agave, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika. Chop the broccoli into bite sized pieces, and diced the onion. In a container (I used a Glad Lock box), put the broccoli, mushrooms and onion. Pour the marinade over, shake to coat, and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.

An hour before serving, dehydrate on plastic or teflex sheets. About an hour should make these warm and slightly softened. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and, if you want a little bit of heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes.

calories: 415
fat: 22 gr
carbs: 53 gr
protein: 11 gr

And don't throw away those broccoli stalks! Peeled and salted, they become real delicacies.

2 servings ~ $1.60 per serving


1 grapefruit ($.50)
2 oranges ($1.00)
2 bananas ($.30)
4 oz mango ($.60)
1/4 cup dried coconut flakes, fine ($.30)
juice of 1 lime ($.50)
drizzle of agave, optional

I know it's almost Christmas. And it's been so cold here, down into the teens the last few days. But I was craving something tropical today and this was perfect. And simple.

Peel and section the grapefruit and orange. Slice bananas. Chop mango (I used frozen chunks, thawed). Put in bowls, juice lime over the fruit. Sprinkle with coconut, and, if desired, drizzle with a small amount of agave.

calories: 355
fat: 3 gr
carbs: 80 gr
protein: 5 gr

Total cost for the day: $6.95
total calories: 1,446
total fat: 40 gr
total carb: 262 gr
total protein: 27 gr

I love showing the things I like to eat, but I'd also like to try out what other folks are enjoying. Do you have a favorite recipe you'd like me to recreate? Just send me the recipe with ingredients and instructions and I'll do the rest. I'll give full credit for any recipes I use. I will substitute or omit any hard to find or overly expensive ingredients.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

December 6, 2009

Banana Pancakes (or Banana Nut Bread)

7 servings ~ $.65 per serving


1 cup walnuts, finely chopped ($1.60)
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped ($.80)
1 cup flax meal ($.30)
3 bananas, pureed ($.45)
1/2 cup raisins ($.40)
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

4 bananas, sliced ($.60)
4 tbsp agave ($.40)

I had a hard time deciding what to call this. Trying to fit cooked food descriptions on raw vegan foods can be fun, but trying as well. I started out with an idea for raw banana nut bread that could be a breakfast meal with some fruit added. I was in a rush and took them out of the dehydrator when they were still quite soft, which was about two hours on each side. With bananas on top and some agave, they made perfectly soft, almost fluffy pancakes. The ones I left in a bit longer, about twice as long, were excellent for banana nut bread. And, I those I left in even longer, twice as long again, were crunchy banana cookies ... crunchy on the outside, but still having a bit of softness in the middle.

Call this whatever you like, and adjust your dehydrating time to suit your preference.

For this recipe, the ingredients need to be processed separately and then folded together. First, add one cup water to the flax meal and set aside to gel. I used the food processor with the S blade to grind one cup of walnuts fairly fine and put them in a large mixing bowl. Puree three bananas and chop the remaining half cup walnuts coarsely, add to mixing bowl. Add the salt, spices, and soaked flax meal and stir. Fold in the raisins.

Place on plastic, teflex or parchment sheets in the dehydrator. Use a spoon to scoop out 14 portions and smooth out into 3" rounds. They should be about 1/4 in thick and somewhat thicker than when making flax crackers, basically the shape and size of small pancakes.

For soft pancakes, flip as soon as it's possible to handle them and then allow to dehydrate on the other side until firm on the outside, but the desired softness inside.

Top with a sliced banana and a tablespoon of agave.

calories: 440
fat: 23 gr
carbs: 58 gr
protein: 8 gr

Tomato Cucumber Salad

2 large servings ~ $2.18 per serving


2 cucumbers ($1.00)
2 tomatoes ($2.00)
2 cloves garlic, pressed ($.10)
1 large onion, minced ($.25)
4 ribs celery, chopped ($.30)

4 tbsp olive oil ($.40)
3 tbsp vinegar ($.30)
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

This is actually something my mom makes every once in a while on special occasions, so I associate it with holidays and birthdays and not necessarily "raw" foods. But it is raw and was always one of my favorites. It's also remarkably easy.

Slice cucumbers and tomatoes, chop onion and celery, and press (or very finely mince) the garlic. Layer on plates.

Mix together the dressing ingredients; the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and spices. Whisk together until emulsified, and drizzle over the top.

calories: 347
fat: 56 gr
carbs: 40 gr
protein: 10 gr

Green Salad with Cheez Crumbles

4 servings - $2.77 per serving


1/2 batch of herbed bazil nut cheez (see dessert recipe) ($2.70)
1 head romaine ($1.89)
10 oz spinach ($1.99)
2 tomatoes, chopped ($2.00)
1/2 red onion, chopped ($.40)
1 red bell pepper, chopped ($.89)

4 tbsp olive oil ($.40)
4 tbsp viengar ($.40)
4 tbsp agave ($.40)
1 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme

salt and pepper to taste

I've been entirely vegan for two years, and mostly vegan for several years before that. I've never missed any animal product at all, including dairy. But, I do like the combination of salty, fatty and savory.

The night before, take one cheez round (recipe below) and break into small pieces and dehydrate overnight.

To make the dressing, just whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, agave, and spices until emulsified.

Assemble the salad ingredients, add the cheez bits on top, and drizzle with the dressing. Salt and pepper to taste.

fat: gr
carbs: gr
protein: gr

Brazil Nut Cheez with Grapes

4 servings ~ $1.57 per serving


1 cup brazil nuts ($4.90)
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
juice of one lemon ($.50)
dried or fresh herbs for rolling

1 lb grapes ($1.39)

This "cheez" is amazing, and surprisingly simple to make. In a blender, add all the cheez ingredients. Puree for several minutes until as smooth and creamy as possible (it's a delicious alfredo sauce at this point). Pour into a jar or other glass container and cover with cheese cloth. Let sit overnight or longer to develop the desired sharp taste. As it sits, the nut "cream" will thicken up as well, making it easier to handle.

Once the flavor has developed to your liking, divide in two equal portions. Place in center of several layers of cheese cloth and form into roughly a circle shape. Wrap each in the cheese cloth and place them in a colander with a weight or weighted plate on top. Put the colander in a sink or over a plate or bowl to catch any drips. A lot of the liquid will be pressed out of the cheez this way. Let it press for several hours.

This doesn't get gooey, but it will be the consistency of cream cheese. Further pressing can make a firmer cheez.

When it has the desired consistency, remove from the cheese cloth, shape into a wheel and roll in dried or minced fresh herbs. Serve with grapes.

* To make cheez crumbles for the green salad above, take one of the wheels of cheez and break into small pieces, about the size of peas or about. Dehydrate the pieces until they're a little crunchy on the outside but just a little soft on the inside.

fat: gr
carbs: gr
protein: gr

Total cost for the day: $7.17
total calories: 1,411
total fat: 121 gr
total carb: 157 gr
total protein: 31 gr


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