Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chocolate Orange Truffles & Pasticcio Quartz

Chocolate Orange Truffles

The super simple, five ingredient recipe is in the winter edition of Pasticcio Quartz, a small, independent art zine published quarterly by Angela Cartwright and Sarah Fishburn.

Angela and Sarah are each artists, coauthors of art books, and all around interesting women. To get a copy of Pasticcio Quartz !3, click the image below.

Monday, November 28, 2011

November 27, 2011

Deviled Avocados
serves 2 ~ $1.81 per serving

3 avocados ($3.57)
1 tablespoon mustard ($.05)
1 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon macadamia mayo*

My local store has had excellent prices on avocados over the last few months, sometimes as low as seventy-eight cents each. The prices are going up again so I thought I'd do some things with the last of the lower priced avocados. Getting to know your produce manager can help you save money ... they are who will know what's coming in season, what's going on sale, etc. Also, you can arrange bulk purchases with them for some produce items.

I used to love the mustardy taste of deviled eggs. This isn't identical, probably doesn't even qualify as a "faux food," but it's still mustardy good. Prepared mustard isn't raw ... mustard powder to taste can be used instead.

In a bowl, mash one avocado until mostly creamy but still slightly chunky. Mix in the mayo, mustard, paprika, salt and pepper. Cut the remaining avocados in half and fill with the mixture. Sprinkle with a pinch of paprika.

* macadamia mayo

1 cup macadamia nuts
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon agave
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Blend the macadamia nuts, water, and salt until smooth and creamy, which may take a minute or two. A personal or bullet type blender can be used for this. 

calories: 523
fat: 45 gr
carbs: 26 gr
protein: 4 gr
Carrot Pear Soup
serves 2 ~ $1.40 per serving

2 pears ($1.40)
6 carrots ($1.00)
1 tablespoon onions, chopped 
2 tablespoons olive oil ($.40)
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Pears are looking good right now, and are priced well, too. This is really simple and comes together in just a few minutes, with the blending taking the most time.

Peel, core, and chop the pears. Peel and chop the carrots. Process all ingredients in a blender until very smooth. This may take several minutes if using a regular blender.

calories: 297
fat: 14 gr
carbs: 45 gr
protein: 3 gr

Grapefruit Pear Salad
serves 2 - $2.50 per serving
1 grapefruit ($.50)
2 pears, sliced ($1.40)
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 head romaine, chopped ($1.90)
1/4 cup walnuts ($.50)


2 tablespoons lemon juice ($.20)
3 tablespoons olive oil ($.30)
2 tablespoons agave ($.20)
pinch nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
The pears and grapefruit made this a nice summery salad that reminded me warmer weather isn't too far away.
Cut the grapefruit by first slicing off about 1/4" off the top and bottom. Stand the grapefruit up on a cut side and slice along the outside curve of the fruit, cutting away the skin and pith. Use a sharp knife to cut each grapefruit section away from the membrane.
Slice the pears and onions, and chop the lettuce. Toss together and sprinkle the walnuts on top. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients and drizzle over the top.

calories: 304
fat: 17 gr
carbs: 40 gr
protein: 5 gr
Chocolate Orange Mousse
serves 2 ~ $.99 per serving

1 ripe avocado, chopped ($.88)
2 bananas, chopped ($.30)
3 tablespoons cocoa or cacao powder ($.60)
 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons agave ($.20)
1/2 dropper liquid stevia
1/4 teaspoon orange extract

This wasn't the most photogenic dish I've ever made, but the orange and chocolate went together so well.
Combine all ingredients in a food processor fitted with an "S" blade and process until very smooth. Add coconut oil to room temperature or warmer ingredients only, otherwise the coconut oil will harden into little lumps before it has a chance to blend. Chill for at least a half hour before serving. Top with a few orange sections and/or pieces of fruit and a pinch of orange rind, if desired.

calories: 321
fat: 16 gr
carbs: 41 gr
protein: 5 gr

Total cost for the day: $6.70
total calories: 1,445
total fat: 92 gr
total carb: 152 gr
total protein: 17 gr

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 20, 2011


Chia Crackers
serves 1 ~ $.96 per serving

4 tablespoons chia seeds ($.81)
 1 cup water
1 ripe banana ($.15)
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Chia seeds are pretty amazing. They're relatively high in protein, as well as calcium, fiber, potassium, and more. They are the highest source of omega-3s, providing even more than salmon. They're quite cost effective as well, being similar in price to hemp seeds. I've also discovered they can be used in the very same way as flax seeds.

So, in addition to different gelled porridge type dishes, chia seed can be made into crisp crackers. They can be made any flavor, too. I thought sweet would be nice for breakfast.

Grind the chia seeds in a bullet type blender or with a mortar and pestle. If you don't have those things, that's OK, just use the seeds whole.

Put the seeds in a blender and add the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth, which takes about a half minute. Let sit for about twenty minutes until the seeds have gelled and then spread about 1/8th in inch thick onto lined dehydrator trays. Chia seeds dry more quickly than flax, so flip and peel these from the sheet after about a half hour to an hour. Dry until crispy, about another three hours or overnight. These go really well with a dab of nut butter.


calories: 244
fat: 9 gr
carbs: 36 gr
protein: 6 gr
Salad with Green Garlic Dressing
serves 2 ~ $2.40 per serving

 1 head green leaf lettuce, chopped ($1.89)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved ($1.00)
1 medium onion, sliced
3 ounces sliced mushrooms, sliced ($1.00)

2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar ($.20)
2 tablespoons agave ($.20)
 small bunch parsley leaves ($.50)
2 cloves garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Can you believe it's almost fall? Honestly, I'm not ready for summer to be over! I can't postpone fall, but there is still fun to be had in the garden. In my area, this is the time to start the fall lettuces and greens. They grow really well in the cooler temperatures. Which is a good thing, because they can be used to make an endless variety of salads.

This is just a very simple green salad assembled with chopped green leaf lettuce, the last of the cherry tomatoes, onion, and mushrooms. The dressing is made by combining the olive oil, vinegar, agave, parsley, and garlic in a blender and pureeing until very smooth. A small bullet type blender can be used for the dressing. To make larger batches of dressing, just double or triple the ingredients and save any leftovers in the fridge.


calories: 269
fat: 14 gr
carbs: 34 gr
protein: 6 gr


Salad with Blackberry Dressing
serves 2 ~ $1.50 per serving

1 head romaine, chopped ($1.29)
6 leaves kale, chopped ($.50)
2 carrots, shaved or sliced ($.20)
2 ribs celery, sliced ($.20)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced

4 tablespoons blackberry sauce (see dessert recipe below) ($.50)
2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
 teaspoon apple cider vinegar ($.10)

salt and pepper to taste

I love blackberries and this is my new favorite salad dressing. And yes, this is the second salad of the day. It's not true that a raw and vegan lifestyle means living on salads, but any healthy diet includes lots of them. It's a good thing they taste so great!

This is a simple salad, assembled with chopped romaine, sliced carrots (I used a vegetable peeler), and sliced celery and onions. The dressing really makes this wonderful, even though it's also incredibly simple. Just puree the blackberry sauce, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar until smooth. This is a small batch, but can be doubled, tripled or more and stored in the fridge for up to a week.


calories: 381
fat: 16 gr
carbs: 58 gr
protein: 9 gr

Banana Ice Cream with Blackberry Sauce
serves 2 ~ $1.05 per serving

4 bananas, sliced and frozen ($.60)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup blackberries ($1.00)
4 tablespoons agave or other liquid sweetener ($.30)
2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)

 I've had no luck getting local blackberries and used frozen in this recipe. 

I know, I have banana ice cream here almost every week. The truth is, I just haven't become bored with it yet ... I've also rarely eaten the same flavor twice. It seems almost endlessly versatile. 

Make a batch of banana ice cream by pureeing the sliced and frozen bananas in a food processor fitted with an "S" blade. Add the vanilla and pulse a few times to incorporate. Yep, that's it ... although it does take a bit of time and scraping down the sides to get this to come together.

The blackberry sauce is made by pureeing the blackberries with the agave and then straining out the seeds with a mesh sieve. The sauce is perfectly smooth and sweet. Make sure to set aside some to use in the blackberry salad dressing above. Garnish with a few whole blackberries.


calories: 372
fat: 14 gr
carbs: 65 gr
protein: 3 gr

Total cost for the day: $5.91
total calories: 1,266
total fat: 53 gr
total carb: 193 gr
total protein: 24 gr

Friday, November 18, 2011

Simple Fruit and Berries

Simple Fruit and Berries 
serves 2 ~ $2.08 per serving 

 Simple, juicy, and delicious ... everything that's the best of raw plant foods ...

  • 1 peach, sliced ($.80) 
  • 1 plum, sliced ($.90) 
  • 1 apple, sliced ($1.25) 
  • 1/2 cup blueberries ($.50) 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice ($.20) 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts ($.50)

Slice the fruit, mix together, add a splash of lemon juice and chopped walnuts (a bit of nut milk would be good, too ... like a bowl of fruit cereal).

nutritional information  

calories: 137      fat: 1 gr      carbs: 33 gr      protein: 2 gr

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Portobello Marinara with Pasta ~ Raw Vegan Recipe

Portobello Marinara with Pasta
serves 2 ~ $3.70 per serving
This is a warm and hearty dish, sure to satisfy during the colder months.
  • 2 portobello mushrooms ($3.00)
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced ($.40)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar ($.10)
  • 1 tablespoon agave ($.20)
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed ($.10)
  • 1/2 teaspoon favorite herb blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
zucchini pasta
  • 2 medium zucchini ($1.00)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil ($.10)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice ($.10)
  • 1 tablespoon agave ($.10)

marinara sauce
  • 1 large tomato ($1.00)
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes ($1.00)
  • 1 tablespoon agave ($.10)
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • salt and pepper
  • Brush off the mushrooms with a soft towel. Remove the gills underneath, if desired, by rubbing them gently with a finger (they should come off fairly easily). Slice the mushrooms into 1/2 inch slices.
  • Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, agave, garlic, herb blend (I used Mrs. Dash Chipotle), and salt. Toss with the sliced mushrooms and onion to coat well. Spread out on a dehydrator sheet and dehydrate for about an hour.
  • While the mushrooms are warming, slice the zucchini into pasta noodle sized strips. I keep intending to get a spiralizer, but so far a vegetable peeler works well to make noodles. Whisk together the remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Let stand for about 45 minutes.
  • In a food processor, fitted with an "S" blade, process all marinara ingredients until very smooth.
  • Spoon out a bit of the marinara sauce and lay the mushrooms. Serve with a side of onions, and zucchini pasta.     
nutritional information
calories: 338       fat: 21 gr      carbs: 33 gr      protein: 7 gr

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Banana Mango Ice Cream ~ Raw Vegan Recipe

Banana Mango Ice Cream
serves 2 ~ $.97 per serving

I never get tired of making the banana ice creams. It's one of those rare things that seem too good to be true, but isn't. And even with making this so often, I've never had the exact same recipe twice.

I used a couple pea blossoms and vines as a garnish (only use blossoms from edible pea vines, the fragrant sweet pea blossoms are poisonous). It was almost too pretty to eat ... almost.

  • 3 ripe bananas, sliced and frozen ($.45)
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks ($1.49)
  • pinch salt
  • pea blossoms or other edible flowers (optional)
  • In a food processor with an "S" blade, process all ingredients until smooth and like soft serve ice cream. It can take just a bit of scraping and adjusting to get it to process completely. Add just a tiny bit of water if needed to help blend. 
  • Serve with an edible flower garnish if desired.
nutritional information
calories: 225      fat: 1 gr      carbs: 53 gr      protein: 3 gr

Monday, November 14, 2011

November 13, 2011

Strawberry Flax Smoothie
serves 2 ~ $1.28 per serving
Just two tablespoons of flax seeds, weighing in at 95 calories, contains over 140% of the daily value of omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids can protect against diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, and also decrease inflammation. Because the nutrients in flax seeds are better absorbed when ground ~ and a lot more palatable! ~ I've used the ground seeds in this recipe.
  • 2 bananas, frozen and sliced ($.50)
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries ($1.00)
  • 4 tablespoons flax seeds, ground ($.40)
  • 1 cup almond milk ($.45) 
  • a few almonds, chopped
  • In a blender, combine all ingredients and puree until very smooth.
  • Garnish with a few chopped almonds, if desired.
nutrition information, per serving
calories: 308      fat: 11 gr      carb: 55      protein: 7 gr     
Best Salad Dressing Ever (Really!)
serves 6 ~ $.44 per serving

I made this for an unexpected get together and ... wow. It may be the best salad dressing ever ... really! Certainly, it's the best I've had in recent memory.
Capers are the pickled berries of the caper bush. They're usually pickled in a salty brine and have a distinctive mustard flavor. They're a good source of rutin, which strengthens capillaries, and quercetin. Both are powerful antioxidants. I used a tablespoon of the caper brine in place of salt ... it adds a bit more of the yummy caper flavor. For the photo, I used the dressing on an arugula salad with olives, but it would be suitable with just about any salad.

  • 1/3 cup olive oil ($.55)
  • juice and zest of one lemon ($.60)
  • 3 tablespoons agave ($.60)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or bragg's liquid aminos ($.10)
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard ($.05)
  • 2 tablespoons capers ($.50)
  • 1 tablespoon caper brine
  • 2 tablespoons black olives ($.20)
  • 3 cloves garlic ($.05)

  • in a small bullet type blender, puree all ingredients until smooth ... about a minute
nutritional information, for dressing only

calories: 162      fat: 14 gr      carb: 8      protein: 0     
*the day's totals allow $2.00 and 150 calories for salad on which to use the dressing
Green Pea Soup
serves 2 ~ $1.70 per serving
Peas are usually associates with the spring garden, but a second fall planting can produce lots of pods ... which is exactly what happened around here. Not all peas are created equal. There are "snap peas," which have edible pods, and "shell peas," which have inedible pods and the larger peas inside are the parts used. This recipe calls for shelled peas, which can be fresh or frozen. Frozen peas will work really well, though they may not be raw.
  • 2 cups peas ($1.75)
  • 1 avocado ($1.49)
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk ($.70)
  • 1 small onion ($.15)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
  • Set aside a half cup of the peas. 
  • In a blender, puree the rest of the peas, avocado, almond milk, and salt and pepper until very smooth.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour in bowls and top with the reserved peas and minced onion.
nutritional information 

calories: 298      fat: 19 gr      carbs: 34 gr      protein: 12 gr
Simple Raw Vegan Chocolate Frosted Brownie ... for Two
serves 2 ~ $1.65 per serving
90% of Americans have at least some chocolate nearly every day, and it’s usually thought of as a guilty pleasure rather than a healthy indulgence. However, there are health benefits to be had from chocolate, especially when the unhealthy ingredients are left out.

Did you know?

Chocolate has more antioxidants than blueberries, green tea, and red wine, and nearly eight times the antioxidants found in strawberries.

Dark chocolate has been shown to lower high blood pressure and LDL cholesterol.

Cacao contains antibacterial agents that fight tooth decay.

Consuming chocolate triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s endogenous opiates and the feel good chemicals responsible for the “runner’s high.”

By weight, cocoa powder has more protein than eggs.
This is a great way to get some antioxidants and share a yummy dessert with a friend!

  • 1/2 cup cashews ($1.00)
  • 1/2 cup raisins ($.75)
  • 4 tablespoons cacao powder ($.80)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla ($.05)
  • pinch salt

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil ($.10)
  • 1 tablespoon agave ($.20)
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder ($.40)
shredded coconut for topping


  • In a food processor fitted with an "S" blade, process the cashews until finely ground and powdery (but not oily).

  • Add the raisins, cacao powder, vanilla, and salt, and process again until the mixture starts sticking together. 

  • Press the brownie mixture firmly into the mold of your choice. I used a rectangular miniature tart pan with a removable bottom. Release onto a plate.
  • For the frosting, stir together the coconut oil, agave, and cacao powder until smooth. 

  • Spread on brownie and top with coconut flakes. 

  • Find a special friend to share it with!
nutritional information

calories: 429     fat: 25 gr      carb: 55 gr     protein: 10 gr 
"There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with chocolate." 
~ Linda Grayson, "The Pickwick Papers"

Total cost for the day: $7.07
total calories: 1,347
total fat: 69 gr
total carb: 152 gr
total protein: 29 gr


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