Category Archives: raw

The Solar Salad

This salad came up after googling for a new dressing and feeling inspired by the apricot, ginger orange one. It turned out so deliciously orange that my hands unconsciously started weaving around the colors of the Sun: more orange, more red and yellow.

This is how I started peeling carrots and squash, adding some beautiful local tomatoes, cauliflower rice, red peppers and sweet corn. I balanced everything with fresh lettuce leaves and sprinkled sesame and hemp seeds.
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If you want to save the looks of this salad, keep some carrot slices away from the dressing and add it right before serving (something that I haven’t done here 🙂 Same for the lettuce! Everything gets super juicy with the apricots

list of ingredients

  • carrot & squash tagliatelle
  • cauliflower rice
  • tomatoes
  • red peppers
  • sweet corn
  • olive oil
  • orange juice
  • apricots
  • fresh ginger
  • seeds (hemp, sesame, sunflower, etc)

Vegan Raita

Is hard to hold back the temptation of posting one more Indian inspired recipe 🙂 Hope you’ll like it as much as I do! This time we have a salad, the traditional Raita which is basically a curd dish with cucumbers and tomatoes and sometimes a bit of sugar. Not this case :p

Initially I thought about making a simple tahini dressing that would soak the veggies, but then other little add-ons came in mind. And the most important one is the sweet smoked paprika flavor. So eventually I got to a recipe that looks like this:

  • small chopped tomatoes & cucumbers
  • tagliatelle style squash (or zucchini)
  • tahini based dressing with smoked paprika, ground cumin & 3 colors’ pepper
  • lemon juice & salt

optional:

  • dried yeast flakes in the dressing
  • sunflower & hemp seeds

Depending on the amount of water you use for the dressing and the juiciness of the tomatoes, you can have it soupy-ish or thicker, perhaps more suitable for a saturday night salad snack.

Mint Kohlrabi

Not many veggies can give you such a crunchy watery experience as kohlrabi does.  Because I really find it special, I’ve decided to build up to the fame of this rather unknown member of the cabbage family.

There are two ingredients that I love adding next to the kohlrabi and that is fresh mint and ground pepper. As simple as that! From now on you can start playing with colors and textures, choosing either an olive oil based dressing or a rich tahini cream to soak the entire thing. In the salad here I mixed carrots and purple cabbage while the white kohlrabi got turned into spaghetti for a more gourmet look.

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Tomatoes are also something you can consider, but careful not making it too watery. Last touch was mixing all ingredients together with a superfluid tahini dressing in which I have already incorporated the ground pepper.

Lovely salad for the summer!

list of ingredients

  • kohlrabi (white or purple)
  • carrot / tomatoes
  • cabbage (purple or white)
  • mint
  • ground pepper
  • tahini / olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • salt

 

10 minutes Deserts

When it comes to raw sweets, things can be either superfancy or superfast. It’s up to you. So unless you dream of a three layered cake that needs to stay in the freezer for a while, have a look at these deserts ideas:

– cashews are the best: they’re fat&creamy and need no more than 4hrs to soak. in the photo above they stand as the base for a cinnamon cacao desert (with star fruit on top)

– dates too! i love dates not only for their perfect sweetness, but also because of their texture – they give just about the right firmness to the composition

P1010426here i used cashews + dates + frozen berries + hibiscus & fruit tea + grated coconut + orange peel

– in case you don’t have any of these two, you can improvise with oats or other grains (it won’t be raw though). just soak them for a bit, then add honey/dried fruits, tahina, grated coconut and of course, your favorite flavors. drop any high expectations about the looks – it’s basically porridge style

IMG_8656list of ingredients

  • cashews/ any nuts
  • dates / any dried fruits
  • grated coconut (also coconut cream)
  • flavors: cinnamon, cacao, orange, etc

plan B

  • oats/ bulgur/ quinoa/ etc
  • tahina
  • honey
  • flavors

optional

  • bananas
  • dried fruits
  • sesame/ sunflower seeds

Crisp as Broccoli

No wonder there’s so much talk around and about the nutritional benefits of broccoli. This greener sister of cauliflower is not only packed with vitamins A, C, K and folic acid but carries a great deal of minerals such as chromium, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Here you can find an exhaustive explanation of its amazing health benefits.

There’s one simple way in which you can enjoy the green crispiness of broccoli without cooking it over heat, and that’s by marinating it. You can think of accompanying it with mushrooms, either by marinating them all together in a bowl, or separately, in two bowls (due to their different consistencies, you might as well consider different marinating times). Both of the veggies should be cut in slices thin enough so that the liquid is able to permeate the pulp. If you fancy garlic or thyme, now it’s the right time to make them part of the marinade.

Oblivious of all, the broccoli will turn perfectly juicy over the night, yet crispy enough to be chewed. You can now add corn/peas, spring onions and dill and garnish it with anything from tomatoes to sesame or hemp seeds. This recipe is so easy that you can literally do it in the turning of a hand.

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list of ingredients

  • broccoli
  • mushrooms
  • corn and/or peas
  • spring onions
  • dill
  • olive oil
  • soya sauce
  • lemon juice

optional

  • garlic
  • thyme
  • tomatoes/ sesame/ hemp seeds

 

Energy Drink

There’s one drink that can make your mornings resemble the kind of treat you’d get in a fancy cafe. Except it doesn’t have any caffeine or milk. Yet everybody flips out as if they were drinking cappuccino or milkshake. I think that’s why I’ve ended up calling it energy drink.

To begin with, you have to prepare the nut milk – it can be made from almonds, walnuts, cashews and so on. Use sesame seeds as one third of the whole nut quantity, so you can add up to the calcium intake for the day. After soaking the nuts, rinse them well and drop them into the blender with fresh water. When they start turning into a watery cream, strain it by pouring the entire composition through a nut milk bag. If necessary, fold in more water.  You’ll be left with the milk and the leftover pulp, suitable to use in further deserts. Why not prepare 1-1,5l of nut milk, store it in the fridge and have it at your disposal over the next few days?

Once you get the milk done, start adding into the blender one or more of the following ingredients:

  • bananas
  • dates/ raisins/ figs or honey
  • coconut cream
  • rose water / orange blossom water
  • fruits tea or masala chai
  • carob / cacao
  • ground cinnamon / vanilla/ cloves, etc
  • any kind of berries (fresh or frozen) – in this case better not mix it with banana or dried fruits
  • ground flax or hemp seeds

You’ll get a pretty thick consistency, but you can always dilute it to your taste.

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With this kind of quantity you’ll enjoy full energy until lunchtime or even later!

Pasta Delight

Zucchini is something you either love or hate. Some people may feel extremely queasy while others simply relish its rather flabby texture. When I say this, I refer to squash or zucchini tagliatelle because this is how you can make it resemble the traditional pasta. All you need is a peeler to peel off fine layers of squash until you get to the seeds.

The result should look like this

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Now think of a nice sauce to accompany the so-called pasta.

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You can play around with tahina, mustard and olive oil or simply try out one of the vegan mayonnaisesAnother equally healthy alternative is a ketchup made out of tomatoes, olive oil, dates and salt.

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Season it as you wish – garlic, basil, thyme, pepper, etc – and add some protein if needed – crushed walnuts, almonds or sunflower seeds, previously soaked and strained.

Gather a few more vegetables that keep a firm texture (pepper, red cabbage, carrots, peas, spring onions or garlic) and there you have your pasta delight!

Adding the greens (dill, rucola, parsley, etc)  or some sliced tomatoes at the very end will save them from getting completely mushed into the sauce.

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All you have left to do now is slurp, slurp!

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I prepared this dish so many times and each time it turns out a little bit different. Hope the pictures serve you well, but above all trust your imagination!

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Green Start to The Day

Everybody agrees upon the high detox power of greens. And there’s no better way to start the day than with a big mug of green smoothie. Trust me, you will feel the effects in no more than a week: more energy, lighter body, brighter eyes! It is true that you need a good blender for that, but it’s totally worth it.

There’s no real recipe for green smoothies, just two basic rules:

  • try not to mix sweet fruits (banana, dried fruits) with acid fruits (citrics, pineapple, pomegranate, tomato) *
  • try to alternate daily the types of leaves you use (read here why)

You can actually have any kind of greens you wish, even the ones that wouldn’t taste so good in salads, like radish, kohlrabi or carrot. Not to mention the incredible array of wild edible greens! If you do have access to something like this, it would make the best detox ever.

Just add the fruits and the leaves in the blender, along with a few cups of water and mix until you get the specific smoothie texture.  My usual add-ons are:

– one or two tsp of spirulina/ chlorella powder (any other green powder is welcomed)

– a handful of mint, basil or melissa leaves

– grated ginger

As much as you can, try to go with local, seasonal ingredients. If you’re a first timer, start in summer, so you can have plenty of fruits and greens to choose from.

some smoothie making snapshots

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more about food combining herehere and here – depends how far you want to go with it 🙂

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Creamy Soupy

Whenever I feel like having something warm, I go for a soup or a puree. The difference between them is only in the amount of liquid you’d add (plain water or the water in which the veggies have boiled). My favorite ingredients are red lentils, root vegetables – carrot, celeriac, parsnip, beets, etc – and pumpkin. And of course plenty of seasonings: ginger, garlic, cumin, turmeric, pepper, chilly, sumac, etc.

Even though I usually go straight to the same method of preparation as in raw food – mixing the ingredients all together – I learned that one of the main tricks of creating flavor when boiling vegetables is to add the seasonings while the process is going on. So, depending on what taste you want as dominant – sweet or spicy – bring the spices to the boil. If you have black or white cardamon seeds, cinnamon bark or bay leaves, these will definitely make the difference. Also adding some onion or garlic at this point will considerably enrich your dish flavor.

When the lentils and veggies have boiled – you can cook them together or separate – just mix everything in your food processor, add a bit of oil, salt and lemon juice and check if it allows more seasoning. Rather than adding too much oil, lemon or salt, focus on the spices 🙂

Here are a few of my favorite recipes:

Red lentils & sweet potato puree

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list of ingredients

  • red lentils
  • carrot
  • sweet potato
  • grated ginger
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground cumin
  • ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • lemon juice
  • sumac and ‘leurda’ (wild garlic) for serving

Pumpkin coconut puree

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list of ingredients

  • pumpkin
  • carrots
  • celeriac/ parsnip
  • grated coconut
  • grated ginger
  • ground cumin
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • poppy seeds/ black sesame for decoration

Red lentil cream with turmeric (photo in the post header)

list of ingredients

  • red lentils
  • pumpkin
  • parsnip
  • onion
  • cinnamon
  • grated ginger
  • ground turmeric
  • chilly powder
  • olive oil
  • salt

 

Marinated Mushrooms

Either way you take it, mushrooms are great. Some of them taste light enough to have them raw – like champignons – while others require cooking as they’re a bit heavy. Have you ever thought of saving their  natural enzymes while having the best taste? *

There’s one easy procedure to do that – it’s called marinating and it refers to the changes of taste and texture undergone by food during long hours spent in a seasoned acidic liquid. I usually use olive oil, lemon juice and soya sauce and then add dry thyme, garlic or even dates – for a sweet twist. You can think of spices such as ground turmeric, nutmeg or cumin, but just be sure you don’t get all exotic; unless you really master tastes & flavors! My new favorite seasoning for the mushroom marinade is sweet smoked paprika – it just builds up so much taste! (most probably reminiscent of bacon aroma :))

Once you start adding the composition to the mushrooms (if there’s not enough liquid, just add water) you’ll see how they turn tender and shrink.  Leave the marinade overnight in cool place or in the fridge and then add it to your favorite salad.

list of ingredients

  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • soya sauce
  • optional: dry thyme, crushed garlic, turmeric, nutmeg, cumin, dates

Here are a few ideas for some truly gourmet raw mushroom dishes:

Like any other respectable protein, the mushrooms get along very well with carrots 🙂 Feel free to experiment any dish with these two, along with your favorite greens. Lots of greens.

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And this is how the pretty forest mushrooms in the above picture turned out: a dish with shredded cauliflower & carrot, red peppers, turmeric and salvia leaves.

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A sample of the smoked paprika marinade, mixed with whole grain brown rice and served with green onions.

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And another sample of a different marinade, made out of soya sauce, dates (crushed or paste) and only a bit of lemon. This is how red onions look like after spending some time in this thick liquid.

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* special warning

if your mushrooms are picked up from the forest, be sure to check if they require to be cooked over heat. some of them might be poisonous when raw!