Sunday, July 25, 2010

July 25, 2010


Ch-ch-chocolate Chia
serves 2 ~ $1.46 per serving

2 oz chia seeds ($1.56)
2 tablespoons cocoa or cacao powder ($.40)
2 tablespoons agave or sweetener ($.20)
dash salt
10 oz water
2 tablespoons crushed walnuts ($.25)
2 tablespoons raisins ($.10)
chocolate sauce ($.40)

I have a new favorite food. I'm currently totally enamored with chia seeds right now. They're delicious, nutritious and the recipe possibilities seems just about endless (see below for a great chia seed giveaway!). Also, it helps that they go really well with ch-ch-chocolate.

Put the chia seeds, cacao powder, sweetener and salt in a bowl and cover with the water. Let sit for 15-30 minutes until the chia seeds have gelled. Stir really well, breaking up any lumps, and top with walnuts, raisins and chocolate sauce.

The chocolate sauce is made from equal parts olive oil, agave, and cacao powder.


calories: 328
fat: 14 gr
carbs: 49 gr
protein: 7 gr

Tomato Carrot Soup
serves 2 ~ $1.10 per serving

2 ripe tomatoes ($2.00)
2 carrots ($.20)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

red pepper flake oil

This is a refreshing and very simple soup that's perfect for a hot summer day.

In a blender, puree all ingredients except red pepper flake oil until very smooth. Top with a drizzle of red pepper flake oil and chopped tomatoes and onion, if desired.

Red pepper flake oil is just a cup of olive oil with 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes and a dash of cayenne added. I blend this first and then let sit for a few days so the oil can absorb the flavors. Then, strain though a mesh strainer and keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. It's great on a lot of things.


calories: 356
fat: 28 gr
carbs: 27 gr
protein: 5 gr

Samosas with Mango Sauce
serves 4 ~ $2.05 per serving

1 head cauliflower, chopped ($1.29)
1 yam , chopped ($.50)
1 zucchini, chopped ($.80)
1/4 cup walnuts ($.50)
1/4 cup raisins ($.50)
2 dates ($.40)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 cup green peas ($.38)
juice of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoon curry powder ($.50)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, finely minced ($.05)
2 jalapeno, finely minced ($.10)

1 mango ($1.49)
3 tablespoons agave($.30)

This recipe has a few more ingredients that I usually use, but it's still quite easy to put together. It's also not going to taste exactly like a real fried samosa, but it's still spicy and yummy.

In a food processor with an "S" blade, process the cauliflower, yam, zucchini, walnuts, raisins, dates, and garlic until pureed. This is a lot and I processed this in a few batches. Mix together with the rest of the samosa ingredients.

Form into cone shapes or triangular patties and dehydrate for several hours, until the outside is a bit crispy but the inside is still soft. To make the mango sauce, simply puree a peeled and chopped mango with the agave and about a 1/2 cup water until smooth. Serve the samosas with a generous dollop of mango sauce.

calories: 415
fat: 19 gr
carbs: 64 gr
protein: 8 gr

Cherry Banana Pie
 serves 3 ~ $1.35 per serving

3/4 cup walnuts ($.75)
3/4 cup raisins ($.45)
dash salt

3 bananas ($.45)
1/2 lb cherries (1.49)

walnuts ($.30)
chopped cherries ($.40)
carob sauce ($.20)

This is basically a cherry banana ice cream pie.

In a food processor fitted with an "S" blade, process the walnuts, raisins, and salt until it starts to stick together. Press this into the bottom of pie or tart plates. I used three clear plastic tubs, which worked really well.

In the food processor again, process the bananas and cherries until smooth. Pour into the crust lined pie or tart pans. Freeze for several hours until firm. Top with some crushed walnuts, chopped cherries, and carob sauce. Carob sauce is just equal parts olive oil, agave,and carob powder mixed together well.

calories: 398
fat: 18 gr
carbs: 58 gr
protein: 7 gr

Total cost for the day: $5.99
total calories: 1,497
total fat: 79 gr
total carb: 198 gr
total protein: 27 gr

This week I'm happy to announce that we have
TWO Giveaways!

First up, we have:
Raw/Vegan Diet DVD - In the Kitchen With Debra Vol. 1
plus Recipe Book

Debbie Garner, of Vegan Family Style, is a raw and vegan chef who recently lost nearly 100 lbs on a raw and vegan diet. She's also a busy mom of seven. Watching Debbie's DVD is like sitting with her in her kitchen and having a chat. She talks about her weight loss journey and demonstrates several recipes, including wraps, hummus, crackers, and almond milk.

The 360 page recipe ebook includes contributions from me, Angela Elliott, Rene Oswald, Kristen Suzanne, Cassandra Foxley, Terri Clarke, Amanda Moxley, and Modern Manna Ministries.

and second

2 lbs Chia Seeds from Chia Seeds Direct!
The only thing Chia Seeds Direct does is sell Chia seeds. They offer the highest quality chia seeds at very low prices with free shipping on all U.S. orders. They've generously offered 2 lbs of chia seed goodness to one lucky winner.

You can also use this link to download a free 16-page booklet on chia seeds, chia seeds benefits and chia seeds recipes. 

Chia giveaway is limited to the US and Canada.

To enter both giveaways, just leave a comment below.

For extra entries (leave a comment for each):
  • follow this blog
  • tweet one or both giveaways
  • post about this giveaway on your own blog
  • visit Debbie's website and/or Chia Seeds Direct and tell me something you learned there
Deadline is 10 pm Sunday, August 1st

Sunday, July 18, 2010

July 18, 2010

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 hope everyone is enjoying their summer. Mine is just whizzing by. How about yours? I do hope you enjoy these reposts of previous recipes ...

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, coconut nectar, or maple syrup.

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

Cream of Broccoli Mushroom Soup
serves 2 ~ $2.61 per serving

1 head broccoli, chopped ($.89)
10 ounces mushrooms, sliced ($2.49)
1 medium onion, chopped ($.05)
1 tablespoon olive oil ($.10)
1 tablespoon agave ($.10)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar ($.10)
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
pinch of basil

1 avocado ($1.49)
1 1/2 cups water
red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

To make this creamy and hearty, the veggies are marinated and dehydrated just a bit before making the soup. Chop the broccoli and onions and add it, along with the sliced mushrooms, to a container. Whisk together the olive oil, agave, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, and a touch of basil. Pour over the vegetables and shake or toss to coat. Let marinate for about a half hour. Then pour into solid dehydrator sheets and dehydrate for about another hour.

To make the soup, set aside about a quarter of the marinated vegetables. Take the rest and put in the blender with the avocado and water. Puree until very smooth. Salt and pepper to taste if need, and top with the reserved marinated vegetables and a bit of red pepper flakes.


calories: 320
fat: 22 gr
carbs: 30 gr
protein: 9 gr
Mushroom Burgers
serves 2 ~ $2.40 per serving


1/2 red pepper ($.45)
1/4 cup ground flax seeds ($.10)
10 oz mushrooms ($2.49)
1/3 cup walnuts ($.50)
1/2 white onion, chopped ($.13)
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped ($.05)
1 rib celery, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)

avocado mayo

1 ripe avocado ($.78)
1 teaspoon agave ($.10)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon vinegar

This is more preparation than I usually do, but it still took less than a half hour of actual work. Mostly, it's planning ahead. To make the burgers, wash the mushrooms well. Then, to enhance the flavor slightly and remove any excess water from washing, dehydrate the mushrooms for an hour or two.

In a blender, puree the red pepper until liquefied, adding water as needed for blending. Stir together with the ground flax seeds and let the flax seeds soak in this for 15 minutes or so, until the flax seeds have become gooey. This is what will hold the burgers together.

Reserve about 1/4 of the dehydrated mushrooms and set aside. In a food processor fitted with an "S" blade, pulse the mushrooms, walnuts, jalapeno, onion, and celery until chopped finely. Stir in the red pepper and flax mixture and two tablespoons olive oil.
Form burgers and place on a teflex or plastic sheet. I spread a bit of olive oil on my sheets so the burgers will flip easily. Dehydrate for about 2 hours then flip onto a regular dehydrator screen and let finish dehydrating, which takes about another 2 hours.

The avocado mayo is simple. Just blend the avocado, agave, vinegar and spices until creamy. I used the blender and think this probably needs it to be creamy enough, although mashing with a fork would probably suffice.

Serve the burgers on a bed of lettuce leaves, with a dollop of avocado mayo, some chopped red onion, chopped jalapenos, and the slightly dehydrated mushrooms that were set aside earlier.

I was getting impatient, and hungry, and took my photos below before these were fully dehydrated. They will get a bit darker than is shown here. With the oil in the mix as well as on the sheets, they are as much like a burger as just about anything I've seen.

calories: 223
fat: 20 gr
carbs: 7 gr
protein: 6 gr

Banana Split with Chocolate Fudge

2 servings ~ $1.13 per serving

2 bananas, frozen in chunks ($.30)
2 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder ($.40)
pinch salt
water for blending

1 banana, sliced in half both ways ($.15)

fudge sauce

3 tbsp agave ($.30)
3 tbsp olive oil ($.30)
2 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder ($.20)
pinch salt

4 chopped strawberries ($.20)
2 tbsp chopped walnuts ($.20)

This chocolate sauce is like the really thick fudge found in jars. Very yummy with banana ice cream over sliced bananas.

Mix up the sauce first. It only takes a minute. Stir together the agave, olive oil, cocoa/cacao powder, and salt. Stir well until creamy and gooey and set aside. I suppose a bigger batch would last quite a while in the refrigerator, since there's really nothing in it to go bad. But I can't imagine it lasting even a day around here.

Put the frozen banana chunks in a food processor with a pinch of salt and the 3 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder (omit the cocoa and add a couple tsp of vanilla instead, if desired). Add just enough water to help process. It takes a bit of scraping down the sides, but this will churn up into smooth, creamy, soft serve ice cream.

Slice the bananas into bowls, using a half banana for each serving. Put on a few scoops of the chocolate ice cream. Top with the chocolate fudge sauce, strawberries, and walnuts.

calories: 480
fat: 26 gr
carbs: 67 gr
protein: 8 gr

Total cost for the day: $6.79
total calories: 1,463
total fat: 91 gr
total carb: 162 gr
total protein: 31 g

 Question of the Week

What is your favorite raw food book and what do you like the most about it?


Sunday, July 11, 2010

July 11, 2010

Watermelon Cooler
serves 2 ~ $.92 per serving

1/4 watermelon, chunked and frozen ($1.25)
1 lemon, juiced ($.59)

This was perfect on a hot, humid morning. And it's easy, too.

Chunk and freeze a quarter of a watermelon the night before (or freeze extra so there's always some on hand). Let barely thaw for a minute or two. Then just puree in a blender with the lemon juice.


calories: 252
fat: 2 gr
carbs: 63 gr
protein: 5 gr

Mango Cucumber Noodles
serves 1 ~ $2.28 per serving

1 mango ($.89)
1 cucumber ($.69)
1 medium onion, sliced ($.05)
1 tablespoon lime juice ($.10)
1 small jalapeno, thinly sliced ($.05)
1 tablespoon olive oil or red pepper oil ($.10)
1 tablespoon coconut nectar or agave ($.40)
salt and pepper

This menu was heavy on the fruits today. Cool and juicy just seem perfect for this time of year. I bought some coconut nectar from Natural Zing a few weeks ago and have used it here. A liquid sweetener much like agave, it has a unique flavor, but also seems to go with everything. The description says it's raw and vegan. The only downside is it's a bit more expensive than agave, coming in at $.37 per tablespoon.

To put this together, just cut the cucumber and mango into noodle sized strips. I do this by slicing lengthwise and then using a knife to slice off thin noodles, as I've shown below. Arrange on a plate and add some thinly sliced onion. In a small cup, whisk together the lime juice, coconut nectar, and olive oil. Pour over top. Add a bit of salt and pepper.

calories: 386
fat: 14 gr
carbs: 68 gr
protein: 6 gr

Raspberry Salad
serves 2 ~ $3.09 per serving

1 head romaine, chopped ($2.29)
6 ounces raspberries ($2.99)
2 stalks celery ($.10)
1 red onion ($.30)
2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
1 tablespoon agave or other sweetener ($.20)
2 tablespoons almonds ($.10)

Most everything I make here in the blog is under $3.00 per serving. This is an exception but definitely worth it.

To make the vinaigrette, puree the olive oil, agave, half the raspberries, and a quarter teaspoon of salt (or more, to taste) until smooth and creamy. This works best in a bullet type blender.

Assemble the remaining ingredients, and top with the raspberry vinaigrette.


calories: 345
fat: 21 gr
carbs: 38 gr
protein: 7 gr

N'Ice Cream Pops
serves 1 ~ $.80 per serving

2 ripe bananas, sliced and frozen ($.30)
1 cup strawberries, frozen ($.50)

These remind me of those little low calorie snacks so many companies make now. They're quite small, but still make a good snack or dessert.The number of pops will depend on the molds used. I really like these because I can keep them on hand and have one here and there during the day.

In a food processor with an "S" blade, process the banana and strawberry until smooth. Spoon into popsicle molds and freeze for a few hours until firm. Remove by dipping mold in warm water.

calories: 256
fat: 1 gr
carbs: 65 gr
protein: 4 gr

Total cost for the day: $7.09
total calories:  1,239
total fat: 38 gr
total carb: 234 gr
total protein: 22 gr

Question of the Week

My menus tend to be quite light on calories, which is easy to do on raw. Do ever you keep track of calories, and if so, how many calories do you usually consume in a day?


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