Friday, September 23, 2011

National Women's Health Day...with Tasty, Healthy Desserts!

If you are free next Wednesday between 11am and 2pm, head to Devon Esthetique's new location in Chadd's Ford for their National Women's Health and Fitness Day event.

They'll have free nutrition counseling, free chair massage, free blood pressure screenings, and more! PLUS, healthy refreshments...including some yummy raw desserts made by yours truly.

Here's the recipe for the Mexican Chocolate Truffles I'll be making for the easy and SO GOOD! Gluten and dairy free, unprocessed and without any added sugar...or any added guilt!

Guilt-Free Truffles

1 cup medjool dates, pitted and broken into quarters
1 cup walnuts
Pinch of seas salt
Dash of vanilla extract of ½ of a vanilla bean (optional)

Blend ingredients in a food processor until completely combined, when the mixture balls up and gets doughy. Roll teaspoons of the mixture into truffles or mold into a square and slice into bars. Store in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container.
Variations: Add a few teaspoons of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg for Gingerbread Truffles.
Try ¼ cup raw cacao or carob powder for a chocolate treat. Add a dash of cayenne and a teaspoon or two of cinnamon for a Mexican Chocolate Truffle!

Medjool Date Caramel...Gooey Prefection

Here’s a great, simple way to turn the season’s amazing apples and pears into a dessert (or anytime) treat. I served this date caramel drizzled on top of a pear and apple tart at the raw dinner/demo at Fresh Thymes last week. But it is so good just drizzled on fresh fruit slices (or even on its own – naughty!), you don’t even need to go to the effort of making a tart! Tastes just like the caramel apples I used to love to get at the fair when I was a kiddo…even better! Dip some slices and sprinkle on some crushed nuts or coconut for an extra tasty treat.

Date Caramel
Makes about ½ a cup
½ cup (packed) of medjool dates, pitted and soaked for at least an hour
1 heaping tablespoon almonds (or cashews) (soaked for a few hours is best – not the end of the world if you forget!)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
½ teaspoon vanilla (or more, to taste)
2-3 small pinches of sea salt
Several teaspoons agave nectar, to adjust sweetness (optional)

In a blender, combine almonds or cashews with 3 tablespoons of water. (You could also just use 3 tablespoons of an already-prepared nut milk or soy milk, and skip the blending.)
Blend to a milky consistency, straining out solid particles if necessary (if there are only nut tiny particles, and you aren’t picky, don’t sweat it).
Add soaked and drained dates, coconut oil and vanilla, and blend until smooth, pausing frequently to scrape down sides. (This step can also be done in a food processor.)
Add salt – a pinch at a time, so you don’t over salt – and blend again. Taste for salty/sweet balance, adding a little agave or a date or two more if you prefer a sweeter caramel.
Refrigerate in an airtight container to chill the caramel prior to using, if desired.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Beat the Heat With These Peachy Pops!

I have been loving the fresh, local peaches coming in my farm share! I had yet to use the popsicle making gadget I received for my birthday, so though a juicy peach concoction might be just the thing to try out. Of course, a good, old-fashioned popsicle stick (or spoon) in a paper cup will do just fine, as well, although there are a lot of these quick-freeze pop makers in stores right now that are kind of nifty.
Here's a quick peachy pop recipe...I bet it would be delish with mango, as well!

Flesh of two medium peaches, peeled and roughly chopped
Two tablespoons water
One tablespoon agave nectar
Two teaspoons lemon juice (Lime would be delish, as well!)

Combine ingredients in a blender until completely smooth...pour into popsicle molds, freeze, and enjoy! My recipe made three largish popsicles, but of course it depends on what you are using as a mold.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Got Veggies? Two Upcoming Events

I've been working on getting ready for a hands-on demo this Saturday at Celebrity Kitchens in Wilmington...the theme is "Organic Vegan Delicious" and I'll be teaching an Italian-themed menu of pesto kale chips, creamy tomato herb soup, zucchini fettuccine alfredo, and guilt-free chocolate mousse! Not to be missed by anyone - vegan and omnivore alike - who loves to learn new recipes. Plus, it is HANDS-ON, and will teach participants some great skills...and fill their bellies with great food!

Here are the details:
June 11
Call Celebrity Kitchens for a reservation at 302-427-2665

Celebrity Kitchens is at 1601 Concord Pike, Suite 33, in the Independence Mall Shopping Center, Wilmington, DE 19803

And if you can't make it Saturday, mark your calendar for Wednesday, June 29.
I'll be at Fresh Thymes Cafe in Wilmington, demoing a 3 course raw/vegan dinner that will be an EXPLOSION of flavors.
One the menu is savory scallion dumplings, sweet & spicy shaken, not stir-fried veggies over seasoned cauliflower rice, and tropical fruit cobbler.

That's Wednesday, June 29
Call Fresh Thymes at 302-656-2026 for a reservation.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Komatsuna with Garlic, Raisins & Pine Nuts

What looked something like collard greens in this week’s share were komatsuna, a Japanese green leafy with, I think, a fairly mild flavor. Milder than collards or kale, for sure. When I’m in doubt about what to do with something green, I usually just add garlic and lemon, salt and pepper, and a little olive oil…and its gotta taste good! I threw in some raisins and pine nuts, which I guess must make this dish sort of a Mediterranean-Asian fusion…The best part is, NO COOKING required, which means your kitchen stays cooler, there is one fewer pan to wash, and all of the nutrients in your greens, raisins and pine nuts are raring to go!

One medium bunch greens (here, komatsuna, but kale, chard, collards, and escarole are all tasty this way!)
1/3 cup raisins
¼ cup raw (untoasted) pine nuts
1 large clove of garlic
½ a lemon
Olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper

Remove the hard part of the stems/stalks from your greens, and stack them, slicing several leaves at a time into ½ inch ribbons. (Be sure to wash and dry them well either before or after slicing!) Place greens in a large bowl, with some room to toss them.
Slice/shave garlic into very very thin slices. There are special little slicers for this, or you could use a vegetable peeler.
Toss garlic, raisins and pine nuts with greens, as well as 2 teaspoons of lemon juice (or more, to taste), a tablespoon of olive oil (to coat the greens – use a little more if you have a really big bunch!), a ¼ teaspoon of salt, and a dash of black pepper. Toss really well until every thing is coated, and adjust lemon, salt and pepper to taste.
Cover, and let sit for ½ hour or so before serving, tossing a couple more times. This will server several people as a side dish, or makes a great big salad, as well!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Turnip Ravioli with Asparagus-Scallion Cheese

The CSA share included another amazing bounty this week...what to make? Today I created just about the cutest ravioli ever, and they were a lot quicker than traditional ravioli, because the shell is…turnips! The teeny harukei turnips that came in my half share this week, thinly sliced, made great ravioli shells, and I used my asparagus and scallions, blended into a cashew “cheese” as a filling – yum!

Ravioli shells:
1 small bunch turnips (beets work, too!)

Asparagus-Scallion Cheese
1 cup raw cashews
½ bunch of asparagus
1 large scallion
A medium lemon
Seas salt & black pepper, to taste

Simple Parsley Pesto
1 cup roughly chopped parsley
½ cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper, to taste

First, soak 1 cup of raw cashews in fresh water for at least an hour (if you forgot this step, don’t worry! You may just need to add more water later on).

Next, make your pesto: in a food processer (I like a small one for this job), combine parsley, oil, salt and pepper until mostly smooth. You’ll still be able to see specks of parsley. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Pour into a small bowl and set to the side.

Drain cashews. In the same food processer (don’t bother washing it, we’re going to add a little pesto, anyway!), combine cashews with 2 tablespoons lemon juice (you lemon will likely contain 3 or so, depending on its size), a teaspoon of lemon zest, half a teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of fresh black pepper. Add ¼ to ½ cup of water SLOWLY, until your mix resembles a thick but smooth ricotta cheese, pausing to scrape down sides. Add ½ of the thick, white part of the scallion, blend in, and adjust salt, pepper and lemon to taste.

Slice your asparagus crosswise into thin rounds, about 1/8 of an inch, reserving the tops. In a small bowl, combine cashew cheese mixture with 2/3 of a cup of asparagus and the remainder of the white portion of your scallion, finely chopped.

Now, slice your turnips into very thin rounds. I use a spiral slicer, which makes long, thin connected ribbons, that I break apart and piece back into circles. You could also use a mandoline, or a very sharp knife (watch your fingers!) or even a potato peeler. Try to get the slices less than 1/8 of an inch, closer to 1/16.

Arrange a dozen or so turnip slices on a dinner plate. Top each with ½ teaspoon of the cashew-asparagus mixture, and top with another turnip slice. Press down lightly – don’t worry if some cheese leaks out the sides. Repeat with remaining turnip slices and cheese (this recipe will make 4-5 dozen). Drizzle parsley pesto on ravioli (covering up any slices or holes in the turnip with a little dollop of sauce), and garnish with reserved asparagus spears. As I like to say…raw appétit!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Getting Psyched for my Next Raw Food Demo May 18!

I'm really excited for my next raw food dinner & demo at Fresh Thymes Cafe next week! Here's a picture of me working my raw food magic last was so much fun, with a great energy in the room. Plus, great food!
On May 18, I'll be demonstrating a fabulous, BBQ-worthy summer menu: Tex-Mex Lettuce Wraps, No-Grill Veggie Burgers, and a Summer Berry Tart!
For $40 per person, join me for the demo and three-course meal, and take home a recipe booklet so you can wow your friends with the flavor-packed, fresh and delicious menu...great idea if you have folks in your life who are gluten-free or have dairy allergies, or are vegetarian or vegan!

The Details:
Wednesday, May 18
6:30 pm
Fresh Thymes Cafe (1836 Lovering Ave, @ Lincoln & Lovering)
Wilmington, DE
Call 302-656-2026 for a reservation - please try to reserve by May 14!