Monday, August 25, 2014

Raw Food Recipe Menu: August 24, 2014
Chocolate Chia Smoothie
serves 1 ~ $2.15 per serving

3 tablespoons ground chia seeds ($.30)
4 tablespoons hemp protein powder ($.30)
2 bananas, frozen ($.70)
1 cup cold almond milk ($.40)
2 tablespoons cacao powder ($.40)
a few drops stevia
a few chopped pistachios ($.05)
This is a simple, creamy ~ kind of decadent ~ way to start the day, that's also packed with healthy protein and omega-3s.
In a blender, combine all ingredients except for the pistachios. Puree until very smooth. Top with a few chopped pistachios, if desired.
calories: 555
fat: 21 gr
carbs: 81 gr
protein: 26 gr

Cucumber Club
serves 1 ~ $2.08 per serving

1 cucumber ($.59)
1 small onion
1 avocado ($1.49)

This is another recipe idea from Bette. It's so simple and made a great lunch that was both light and filling.

Peel the cucumber and cut in half. Using a spoon or scoop, scrape out the seed cavity and some of the flesh so that it's a hollowed boat. Keep what has been scraped out and chop finely. To that, add one chopped avocado and one finely minced onion. Mix together and use this to fill the cucumber.

calories: 299
fat: 22 gr
carbs: 27 gr
protein: 5 gr 

 Tropical Mushrooms
serves 2 ~ $3.70
2 portabello mushrooms, sliced ($4.00)
1 green pepper, thinly sliced ($.50)
2 medium onions, thinly sliced ($.20)
1 cup pineapple, sliced or chopped ($1.50)
4 tablespoons agave ($.40)
4 tablespoons olive oil ($.40)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar ($.40)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
salt and pepper
This is one of those dishes that no one would guess is raw. It's definitely hearty and filling.
Slice the portabellos, green pepper, and onions. Also slice the pineapple. I sliced mine into fairly large rectangles, bit smaller chunks would work, too.
Put these in a lidded container. Whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over the sliced mushroom and veggie mix. This step can be done in the morning {or even the night before} and left to marinate. Just toss it into the dehydrator about an hour before you want to eat.
Pour out onto a lined dehydrator tray and dehydrate for about an hour, until warm and slightly softened. Serve with red cabbage sauerkraut, if desired {recipe coming soon}.

calories: 425
fat: 27 gr
carbs: 36 gr
protein: 5 gr 
Pizza Pie
serves 4 ~ $1.51 per serving

3/4 cup walnuts ($1.50)
3/4 cup raisins ($1.00)

1/2 cup cashews ($1.00)
1/2 cup water
 1 tablespoon agave ($.10)
1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup strawberries ($1.50)
2 tablespoons agave ($.20)
2 bananas, grated ($.30)
1 kiwi, sliced and quartered ($.45)

This is such a fun dessert! To make the crust, in a food processor fitted with an "S" blade, process the walnuts and raisins until they're ground up fairly well and start clumping together. Press into a dinner plate or pie plate (or a small pizza pan!). 

In a bullet type blender, puree the cashews, water, agave, and salt until creamy, which takes a few minutes. Once blended, pop in the freezer to chill for a few minutes. 

Again using a bullet type blender, puree the strawberries and agave until very smooth.

Using a food processor fitted with a grating blade, grate the bananas (almost unripe bananas work the best).

To assemble, spoon a layer of cashew cream on the crust, spreading almost to the edge of the crust. Spoon a layer of strawberry puree on top of the cashew cream. Sprinkle the grated bananas over the strawberry puree (the bananas will be a bit gooey, so it takes a bit of finessing). Top with the cut kiwi. Let chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before cutting into pizza shaped wedges and serving.

calories: 445
fat: 24 gr
carbs: 58 gr
protein: 9 gr

Total cost for the day: $9.44
total calories: 1,724
total fat: 94 gr
total carb: 202 gr
total protein: 45 gr

Monday, August 18, 2014

Raw Food Recipe Menu: August 17, 2014 ... and Easy Affordable Raw!

Fruit and Cream
2 servings ~ $1.19 per serving

  • 1 banana ($.20)
  • 1 mango ($.98)
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts ($.25)
  • 2 tablespoons raisins ($.15)
  • 2 cups almond milk ($.80)

Fruity Pebbles, Froot Loops, Trix ... most commercial cereals try to imitate fruit. Why not just have fruit?

Any fresh or dried fruit combination would work. For this, I've used a sliced banana, diced mango, and some walnuts and raisins topped with almond milk.

nutritional information:       calories: 345        fat: 12 gr       carbs: 62 gr       protein: 4 gr
Blood Orange Salad with Blood Orange Dressing
$2.70 per serving
  • 1 blood orange ($.90)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar ($.20)
  • 1 tablespoon agave ($.10)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 dropper stevia

  • 1 head green leaf lettuce or romaine, chopped ($1.80)
  • 1 blood orange, peeled and sectioned ($.90)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced ($.10)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios ($.40)
  • 2 tablespoons raisins or dried cranberries ($.30)
  • 1/2 cup arugula sprouts or alfalfa sprouts ($.50)
Peel and section the blood orange. Then, in a blender, puree all the dressing ingredients until very smooth.

Assemble the salad and add the dressing.

I've peeled the blood oranges and then pulled the sections apart, leaving the membranes intact. They contain nutrients and fiber that I didn't want to discard. They aren't quite as pretty or photogenic as without, and some people find the membranes bitter tasting. These can be easily cut away, if desired.

nutritional information:      calories: 245      fat: 13 gr      carb: 45 gr      protein: 4 gr  
Wilted Greens
serves 2 ~ $2.29 per serving
  •  1 large zucchini, thinly sliced ($.89)
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar ($.20)
  • 2 tablespoons agave ($.20)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • large pinch cayenne
  • 10 drops liquid smoke 

  • 1 bunch kale ($1.89)
  • 1 small bunch assorted greens ($.69)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar ($.20)
  • 1 tablespoons agave ($.10)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Wilted greens seem to be traditional in just about every culinary history. It's sometimes thought of as a German or southern specialty. I like how the wilting process softens the greens just a little. The dish is usually made with greens that are wilted by pouring hot bacon and bacon fat over them.This recipe achieves the same goal in a healthier and kinder version.
To make the "bacon," put the sliced zucchini and onions in a lidded container. Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, agave, salt, cayenne, and liquid smoke and pour over them, coating well. Put the lid on a shake a few times, for good measure. Pour onto a lined dehydrator sheet and dehydrate for about two hours at 110 degrees.
Put the kale in a lidded container. Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, agave, garlic, salt, and pepper and pour over the kale. Massage for a minute or two to evenly coat. Put the lid on and shake container every so often to recoat the kale. Let this marinate and "wilt" while the zucchini is dehydrating. Add the other greens for the last half hour, since they're far more delicate than the kale.
Put the wilted greens on a plate and spoon on the zucchini "bacon" and any drippings.

nutritional information:      calories: 371      fat: 28 gr      carbs: 29 gr      protein: 5 gr
Chocolate Raspberry Tart
serves 6 ~ $1.12 per serving

  • 1 cup walnuts ($2.00)
  • 1 cup raisins ($1.00)
  • pinch salt
  • 1 ripe avocado ($.88)
  • 2 ripe bananas ($.30)
  • 3 tablespoons agave ($.60)
  • 1/4 cup cacao or cocoa powder ($.80)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil ($.20)
  • pinch salt
  • 3 ounces raspberries ($1.00)

This is just a basic chocolate avocado/banana tart, and one of my favorites. 

In a food processor with an "S" blade, process the walnuts, raisins, and pinch salt. just until the starts sticking together a bit, which takes about a minute. Press into a tart plate and chill.

Again, in the food processor with an "S" blade, process the avocado, bananas, agave, vanilla, olive oil, and salt until very smooth. Pour into tart shell, top with raspberries, and chill until slightly more firm.

nutritional information:       calories: 284       fat: 16 gr       carbs: 35 gr       protein: 5 gr  
Total cost for the day: $7.30
total calories: 1,245
total fat: 69 gr
total carb: 171 gr
total protein: 18 gr
Easy Affordable Raw is now available from Quarry Books! It has 100+ easy recipes made with affordable ingredients that can be found in most local groceries! 
Purchase Easy Affordable Raw: How to go Raw on $10 a Day from any of these booksellers below!
- See more at:
"Easy, Affordable, Raw offers recipes with ingredients that can be found at most grocery stores. I can easily purchase almost every ingredient any where which is a major factor that sets this book apart from other raw food books."

"I most definitely recommend this for new vegans, as well as anyone venturing into more of a "foodie" lifestyle."

 "Received your book today (in UK), its great. Everyone should get a copy ... lots of great information and recipes!"

Here's a peek at some of the recipe pics ... !
Purchase Easy Affordable Raw: How to go Raw on $10 a Day from any of these booksellers below!
- See more at:
Purchase Easy Affordable Raw: How to go Raw on $10 a Day from any of these booksellers below!
- See more at:

Monday, August 11, 2014

Raw Food Recipe Menu: August 10, 2014

Very Hungry Caterpillar Fruit Salad
serves 2 ~$2.75 per serving

This is a fun and healthy fruit salad inspired by the children's book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle.
  • 1 apple ($.70)
  • 2 pears ($1.60)
  • 3 plums ($2.00)
  • 4 strawberries ($.60)
  • 5 oranges (we used five orange segments each, so about one orange) ($.60)

  • cut the fruit
  • put into bowls
  • eat until you're not hungry anymore

Here's the recipe video!

nutritional information:       calories: 198      fat: 0 gr      carb: 45 gr      protein: 4 gr      

Creamy Cucumber Soup
serves 2 ~ $.77 per serving
  • 1 cucumber ($.60)
  • 1 avocado ($.78)
  • 1/2 medium onion ($.05)
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil ($.10)
  • 1 cup water for blending
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes
  • Finely dice a 2 inch piece of cucumber and set aside for later. 
  • In a blender, puree rest of the cucumber, avocado, 1/4 of the onion, garlic, and olive oil. Chop the cucumber and avocado first to make blending easier. 
  • Add the water as needed for blending. 
  • Let this blend for a minute or two, to get really creamy. 
  • Salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Top with a bit of the reserved diced cucumber and onion. 
  • Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and add a small drizzle of olive oil, if desired. 

nutritional information:      calories: 292      fat: 29 gr      carbs: 12 gr       protein: 3 g

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

Clean the mushrooms with a soft cloth. To enhance the flavor slightly, dehydrate the mushrooms for an hour or two. This is optional. To enjoy the fresher tasting version, just skip the dehydrating step.

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.

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. Spread just a bit of olive oil on your sheets so the burgers will flip easily, if needed. 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. A blender will make this nice and creamy, but 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, and chopped jalapenos. 

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

Chocolate and Blonde Macaroons
 6 servings ~ $2.32 each

  • 1 cup almonds ($2.00)
  • 1 cups brazil nuts ($2.32)
  • 20 dates ($8.00)
  • 1 cup finely shredded coconut ($1.20)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder ($.30)
  • 1 tsp vanilla ($.20)

I have yet to come up with or run across a raw food recipe that's not fast and easy. These are no exception.

In a food processor with an S blade, process all ingredients, except the cocoa powder, until finely chopped and it all starts to clump together. This takes a minute or two.

Using a plastic rounded tablespoon or melon scooper, scoop out and press to make a half sphere. Use half the mixture to make regular coconut macaroons. Add the cocoa or cacao powder to the remaining mixture and process until well incorporated and then shape with the tablespoon or scooper.

nutritional information:       calories: 572      fat: 28 gr      carbs: 76 gr      protein: 12 gr

Total cost for the day: $8.24
total calories: 1,258
total fat: 77 gr
total carb: 140 gr
total protein: 25 gr

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Raw Roasted Pepper Pizza Recipe and Fragrant Vanilla Cake Sweet and Savory Book by Amy Lyons: Book Review

Fragrant Vanilla Cake; Sweet and Savory!

I'm a big fan of Amy Lyons' raw food blog, Fragrant Vanilla Cake and have been for a long time. So much so that I asked her to contribute a recipe to my own book, Easy Affordable Raw (Quarry Books August 2015). Amy's desserts are amazing and visually stunning. So I was excited to learn she has a new book out now ... Fragrant Vanilla Cake Sweet and Savory.

It's a beautifully done book, with beautiful full color photos for almost every recipe ...

Amy has organized her book well and the introductions to each recipe are unique and engaging.

Included are over 100 recipes for both sweet and savory dishes, such as ...

Raw Kabocha Squash and Apple Soup

Macadamia Nut Chevre

Fragrant Vanilla Cake: Sweet and Savory has over 100 recipes ... including the basics, like almond milk and almond butter, as well as more involved recipes. And, of course, there are desserts!

You can see the recipe index and buy Amy's book at Amazon HERE.

Q&A with Amy!

Q. Why the name, Fragrant Vanilla Cake?? I've always wondered!

A. I chose the name Fragrant Vanilla Cake, because to me the smell of vanilla cake being made is one of the best aromas in the world.  It reminds me of childhood, comfort and something I love.  Plus vanilla cake has always been one of my favorites.  

Q. How did you get started with raw foods and are you 100% raw?

I started out with raw food back in the summer of 2012 when a friend asked me to make him a dairy free, gluten free cake.  He ate mostly raw food, so I made a raw cake.  At the time it intimidated me, but I went for it and it was so good I decided to experiment more with raw desserts.  I started making savory items as well and loved them so I wanted to try being raw for a while.  I loved how I felt so I stuck with it.  I am not 100% raw anymore (more like 85%) but I eat a high raw diet with some cooked foods (mostly when I go out to eat once in a while).  My Body feels more balanced that way.  I still get the benefits of raw foods though even if not 100% raw, and that is what I try to tell others who are skeptical about adding raw foods into their diets and don't want to jump in completely. 

Q. And how do you feel you benefit from raw foods?

I benefit from raw foods in that they give me more energy, I sleep better, and my skin is nicer.  My stomach is happier as well.  

Q. What inspired you to write the Sweet and Savory book? 

I wrote this book because people often ask me what I eat on a daily basis or what savory items I enjoy since I have a mostly dessert blog.  I wanted to share with my readers everything I enjoy from breakfast to dinner (as well as desserts because I couldn't leave that out).  

Q. What do you do to save money on a raw or high raw diet?

I save money on a high raw diet by buying from farmer's markets in the warmer months or buying things that are in season because they tend to be cheaper.  Also I buy in bulk.  

Q. How do you come up with your amazing recipes?

I come up with my recipes by making what I am craving at the time, or using ingredients that I happen to have at the time.  I try to think of things that I haven't seen raw before, or new flavor combinations. 

Q. What do you hope for in the future for you and Fragrant Vanilla Cake?

A. I hope to inspire more people to enjoy raw foods!

Enjoy this recipe from the book!

Raw Roasted Pepper Pizza 
By Amy Lyons
at Fragrant Vanilla Cake Blog

Makes 2

  • 2 medium eggplants, diced 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 garlic clove

Macadamia Ricotta:
  • 1 ½ cups raw macadamia nuts, soaked in filtered water for at least 4 hours, drained
  • filtered water as needed
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove 
  • 1 red bell pepper

  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 of a medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp tamari
  • 1 tsp dried basil 

  • A handful fresh spinach
  • fresh basil, cut chiffonade

For the crusts, combine all ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth. Spread out onto 2 lined dehydrator sheets in circles (but not too thin) and dry for about 16 hours until crisp (flipping once).

For the macadamia ricotta, combine the macadamias, 2 Tbsp water, and lemon juice in a high speed blender or food processor and process until smooth (adding a Tbsp of water or two if needed) to create a ricotta like texture. Remove 1/3 of it and Refrigerate until ready to use (this you will scatter over the pizza). Add the garlic and red bell pepper to the rest of it, and blend until smooth. Place in the fridge until ready to use (this you will spread over the crust).

For the veggies, combine the peppers, onion, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, tamari, and herbs in a bowl, and toss to combine. Spread out onto a lined dehydrator sheet and dry for 3-4 hours until the veggies are tender and "roasted".

To assemble the pizzas, spread the red bell pepper macadamia ricotta over both the crusts, then a few spinach leaves, then top with all the veggies, and sprinkle with the reserved plain ricotta and fresh basil and serve!

Amy Lyons is the blogger and recipe writer behind Fragrant Vanilla Cake, a blog featuring raw and vegan desserts as well as a few savory dishes. She is also the author of Rawlicious Desserts published in 2013. She graduated from Bethel University in 2007 with a degree in Studio Art, and has a passion for creating beautiful things and helping others eat healthier.


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