Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Get Muscles from Brussels...Sprouts, that is!

Hello, my name is Angela, and I enjoy brussels sprouts...Add Image
Does that seem weird? I really love the little buggers. I should say - I USED to really love them, cooked, and haven't actually had them raw. Until the other day, when I saw some great-looking fresh ones at a farmers market, and decided to give it a go.
Even a girl who regularly makes - and devours - huge salads of vegetables that most people use only for garnishing was a little concerned that maybe brussels sprouts would be kind of, well, gross when they weren't sauteed with prosciutto and apple, or topped in a creamy dijon sauce, or at least steamed with a little salt and pepper.
But believe it or not, the little mini cabbage cuties were actually very tasty when just slice thin and marinated. You could just use a little salt, pepper and olive oil, and maybe a squirt of lemon...or try this concoction below as a marinade, which I based on memories of restaurant cooked brussels preparations...ground mustard seed for that hint of dijon flavor, paprika for a little smokiness, chopped date for some sweetness.
First, shred brussels sprouts like you would cabbage for a slaw...either with a knife for mandoline. I cut mine into quarter-inch ribbons. Break them all apart, and don't leave any hard bulby parts in there. I used about 3/4 of a pound of sprouts, to produce about 5 cups of ribbons. The weight will depend on how big your sprouts are, though...the bigger guys come with more unusable bulbiness.
In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together:
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4-1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2-3 medjool dates, chopped as finely as you can (it's tricky, for they are sticky!)
Salt, to taste (start with 1/4 teaspoon in the marinade, then taste and season the mixed concoction.
Toss brussels sprouts very well with dressing, until all those little strands are coated, and taste for seasoning. Adjust seasoning, and cover...let marinate for an hour at least (or less if you are in a hurry...they just won't be as soft). I liked this served at room temp, but try it chilled as may like it better that way...raw appétit!

Wedding Salad! Arugula with Cilantro-Lime Dressing and Watermelon

The food at my wedding this summer was amazing. The raw lasagna the kitchen took on the challenge to make as our veggie option was fantastic (and I'm told all the cooked dishes were great, as well).
We kicked off the meal with an arugula salad dressed with cilantro-lime dressing and topped with watermelon. I neglected to get the recipe, but here's my own. Hopefully there are a last few fresh watermelon where you are to try it out! Otherwise, keep the recipe for an elegant salad to serve next summer.
This recipe serves 2-3 as an appetizer or side salad - double or triple it depending on how may you are having!
First, you need to slice about a cup of watermelon verrrry thin. I cut mine into blocks with a surface that was about 1 inch x 3 inches, and then sliced it on the mandoline, so I got little ribbons. Matchsticks would also work, or small cubes.
In the food processor (I used my mini chopper, since it is a small quantity), blend:
2 tablespoons of lime juice (probably about 1-2 limes)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4-1/2 cup fresh cilantro (to taste)
1 teaspoon or so of agave nectar, to taste (or, 1-2 soft dates)
1/8 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
Tiny pinch of cayenne (or more, to taste)
Just before serving, toss 4-5 cups of arugula with the dressing, and briefly toss in the watermelon, or arrange with watermelon on top on the serving plate.
Raw appétit!

Overcoming My Fear of Coconuts, with Chocolate Coconut Cashew ice cream

I have been resistant to use coconut meat in recipes, both because the young coconuts you need for the recipes are a pain to hack into, and because they are expensive.
But last week, I wanted to make a decadent desert for my hubby's birthday, and decided to try chocolate ice cream with a rich coconut and cashew base. It was a special occasion, so I could justify the cost and effort...and actually, the effort didn't turn out to be horrible, and we had delicious ice cream for several days. A little more than Ben & Jerry's would run you, but better for you and deeeeeeelish.
I kind of based my recipe on how much coconut was easy to scrape out...the hubby attacked the more difficult to reach leftover coconut meat for breakfast. You could go without chocolate here if you want to make vanilla ice cream, add some fruit, whatever.
I won't begin to try to describe how I broke into the coconuts. Youtube has several instructional videos...I pretty much just hacked until I pried open a hole, drained the coconut water, and hacke until I could pry off the top of the coconut, and spoon out the meat. I didn't keep the coconut water, because it had turned a little brown, as if a little air had gotten to it, but the meat still tasted fresh, and was white like it should be.
Here's the recipe:
1 cup fresh coconut meat (1-2 coconuts, depending on their size and how much meat they contain)
1 cup cashews, soaked 2 hours (they measured 1 cup prior to soaking), then drained
1 cup water (use the coconut water if it is good)
1/2 cup raw cacao powder (more if you like a stronger cocoa flavor)
1/4 cup agave, or a little more to taste (you could also blend dates with a little water if you prefer not to use the agave)
Teaspoon of vanilla extract (if you don't object to using it) or fresh vanilla beans scraped from the pod
Blend all ingredients in a blender until completely smooth, stopping frequently to scrape down sides and making sure that the blender doesn't heat the mixture.
Pour mixture into your ice cream maker, and follow instructions from there...If you don't have an ice cream maker, you can make this as a pudding, with less water. Start with 1/4 cup or so, and see how much you need to make it pudding-y.
I made a thick chocolate syrup to top the ice cream with a mixture of 1 part cocoa:1 part coconut oil, and a little agave, to taste. You could layer that into a container with the ice cream, and refreeze, and call it fudge ripple!
This ice cream was a total hit. It was amazing and creamy and just terrific.
And, I've overcome my fear of coconuts, at long last!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Upcoming Raw Food Classes!!

It's harvest season!

What better time to make the most of nature's bounty, getting as much nutrition and energy from fresh grown produce as possible with raw and living foods? Check out these upcoming raw food me at to sign up!

Living on Live Food Level 1: Chef Certification

Are you ready to start losing weight, having more energy, and feeling positively radiant by eating the healthiest and tastiest food ever? This class is for you! You'll learn everything you need to get started on raw and living foods right now - no fancy gadgets or complicated techniques required! Just delicious, easy to make meals made of veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds. Join me to in this day-long class, designed by raw food author and restauranteur Alissa Cohen, where we'll discuss the basics of a day-to-day raw food lifestyle and make tasty dishes like "salmon" pate, angel hair pasta, fettuccine alfredo, stuffed mushrooms, collard roll-ups (a perfectly portable, take-anywhere raw meal!), broccoli soup, and of course, dessert...a delicious date nut torte, and more.
You'll leave class knowing how to set up your raw kitchen, shop for food, and prepare meals that even the kids will love! One recent participant said "...great introduction to what raw food is, and great recipes! I am excited to go home and make the recipes myself...I really enjoyed myself today..." Another called the class "very educational and eye-opening."
SAVE $15 each if you sign up with a friend!

Saturday, October 23
Wilmington, DE
$125 Includes breakfast & lunch, raw recipe booklet, and Chef Certificate from Alissa Cohen.
EMAIL ME at to register.
****Please sign up by October 15. No refunds will be issued after that date****

Delicious Treats, Naturally Free of Wheat, Gluten, Eggs, Dairy...and Guilt!

Tell the host "I'll bring a dessert!" and know there will be a scrumptious indulgence at the holiday party that won't derail your healthy eating plans.

We'll learn raw food dessert recipes that taste amazing, are actually nutritious, and are safe for a lot of the allergy sufferers out there. Plus, some quick & simple treats to whip up at home when the urge for something sweet strikes. Not a baker? No problem! You don't even have to turn on the oven for these goodies!

Come hungry for fruit pies, brownies, cookies, ice cream...and take home a few treats, too!

SAVE $5 each if you sign up with a friend!

Sunday, November 14
Wilmington, DE
$30 Includes raw recipe booklet, demos and samples, and a goody bag.
EMAIL ME at to register.
****Please sign up by November 8. No refunds will be issued after that date****

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tahini Zucchini Chips: I Munched, and Munched, and Munched

There's a weird line in Macbeth where the three witches are talking, and one says she saw a sailor's wife with chestnuts who "munched and munched and munched." The witch had asked the sailor's wife for some of her snack, and the wife told her to scram, she tells her fellow witches.
For some reason, that line has stuck on my head since high school English (and of course I think it with a creepy witch voice), maybe because it seems like such a more modern word than Shakespeare. It's not like the Bard wrote about some chick snapping onto a Slim Jim, but "munch" just seems slangy to me...anyway, as a fellow snack-o-saurus, I can identify with the sailor's wife not wanting to share.
I'm constantly trying to figure out yummy, veggie-based snacks for myself, to grab a handful of instead of grabbing fattier nuts or more calorie-dense dried fruit or something. Unfortunately, I'm not on such a high plane of rawness yet that I can just eat the veggie itself and feel totally satisfied...someday, maybe. But until then, I give you my recipe for Tahini Zucchini chips:
2 large zucchini
2 tablespoons raw tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons water
Salt & pepper to taste
Slice zucchini into 1/8 inch rounds. Mine may actually have been slightly thicker than that, and they worked just fine.
Whisk tahini, lemon juice, water, and seasonings together in a small bowl with a fork, until smooth. Add any other fresh or dried herbs or spices that you like, as well, although salt & pepper were delish enough for me.
Toss zucchini with dressing until well coated. You may want to work in batches. I just used my hands, to separate the slices and coat them well.
Place on mesh dehydrator screens, and dehydrate at 105 for probably about 8 hours, depending on the humidity where you live, and how juicy your zucchini was to start. I did mine overnight, so I'm not sure about the exact time where they seemed quite dry. Mine never got totally brittle like a potato chip, but they were quite yummy. I recommend checking partway through dehydrating time to see if the seasoning is still good, and sprinkling on a little salt, pepper, or what have you if they need a little umph.
As I said, I munched and munched and munched, so these were gone in a couple of days. I imagine they would keep for several days in an airtight container...raw appetit!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Summer Supper: Pepper-Tahini Soup

Here's a great soup I made the other night, perfect for when you find yourself in possession of a lot of bell peppers. I preferred it chilled in the fridge for a while after I made it, but my husband liked it better after it was warmish from the blender. It is smooth, but adding chucks of veggies...more peppers, fresh corn, tomatoes, you name it...would also be delicious. I threw in some chunks of avocado. If you don't like tahini, or can't find a raw version, this would still be delicious, and more like a pepper gazpacho, without it. For some non-tahini creaminess, throw a handful of raw cashews into the blender (if you want to do so, try soaking them for a couple of hours first, so they'll come out smooth). I begin with a base of carrot, onion, and shallot, sort of a riff on the mirepoix base used for many soups. It creates a savory broth base for the other ingredients.
Bell Pepper-Tahini Soup
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
Blend these ingredients until smooth. You could juice the veggies, and then add water, if you wanted to make a totally liquid broth, although the taste may be a little different.
To the base, add:
4 cups bell peppers (red, orange, yellow, or a mix), chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 packed tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2-1 tablespoon cumin
Dash of cayenne
1/4-1/2 cup tahini, to taste.
Additional salt, to taste (perhaps another 1/4-1/2 teaspoon)
Blend thoroughly until desired smoothness is reached. Adjust lime, salt, cayenne, cumin, etc. to taste. Serve at room temperature or slightly warmed from the action of the blender, or chill before serving. If serving chilled, pop back in the blender for a quick whirl or stir vigorously in case soup has separated.
As I like to say...raw appetit!