Conscious Food Choices

For the love of delicious healthy food…

Dragon Crackers

Dragon cracker image

This raw cracker recipe is an adaptation from the recipe in Roxanne Klein and Charlie Trotter’s gorgeous book Raw. In my not-so-humble opinion, Roxanne and Sarma have been the leading edge in making raw food stylish and sexy.

For Crackers:

  • 1 1/2 c golden flax
  • 2 c white sesame
  • 1/4 c black sesame
  • 2 c water
  • 1/4 c agave (dark is best) or maple syrup
  • 2 T nama shoyu (raw soy sauce)
  • 2 dried chipotle chili peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 1/2 t red chili flakes
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/4 c sesame oil (toasted is nice)

For topping:

  • 2 Tbs agave/maple syrup mixed with 1/4 c water
  • salt, or smoked salt
  • paprika, or smoked paprika for sprinkling (optional)

Mix all cracker ingredients together and soak overnight.

Blend 3 cups of the soaked mixture (make sure you get the chipotles in there) in a blender or food processor for a couple of minutes. Add 1/4 cu sesame oil and up to a cup of water as necessary to keep things moving. The idea is to break up some of the flax and sesame to make it more digestible and give a nice cracker base, but not to make it a homogenized pulp. Flecks are good.

Combine with the unblended mixture and adjust for taste. Should be slightly sweet and spicy- not too salty.

Split between 4 Teflex sheets and spread evenly. Add more water to batter if needed – it will just evaporate. Dilute agave in water and lightly spray or brush on tops of crackers. Sprinkle  lightly with salt and smoked paprika.

Dehydrate overnight or until dry enough to flip. Flip over and break into big jagged shapes and dehydrate for 1 -2 more days on screens until they are crunchy. Taste and adjust the salt/sweet hit along the way by spraying agave/sprinkling with salt.

These crackers take a long time to dry and if you use agave rather than maple syrup, they make always stay just a little bit chewy. Really nice though – everyone loves these crackers.

Flavor Trick: with crackers and snacks I always try to hit a nice sweet salt balance on the surface, so the flavor explodes on your tongue. That makes the brain happy and paves the way for all the other nuances to come out as you chew.

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January 17, 2010 Posted by | Low Carb Recipes, Raw Food Recipes, Recipes, Snacks/Crackers, Vegan Recipes | , | Leave a comment

Herbed Walnut Hemp Quackers

I call these raw crackers “Quackers” in tribute to Sarma Melngailis’ retail store One Lucky Duck. This recipe comes from a combination of two of her recipes in Raw Food Real World.

  • 5 c raw walnuts (soaked 5 hours or overnight)Soaking Nuts image
  • 5 c diced zucchini
  • 1/2 c sun-dried tomatoes, soaked 1 hour or more.
  • 1 shallot, peeled and chopped
  • big handful of fresh herbs
  • 1/4- 1/2 c water (or tomato soak water, if not too salty)
  • 1 c ground golden flax
  • 1/2 c hemp seeds
  • 2 t salt

In food processor or high-speed blender, grind walnuts to a rough powder one cup at a time. Transfer to a bowl. Blend zucchini, tomato, shallot, herbs and water and grind to a thick paste. Little flecks are good. Mix in bowl with walnuts, add remaining ingredients and adjust to taste. Add a little tomato soak water or more water to make a spreadable batter.

Spread mixture onto 4 Teflex sheets and sprinkle tops lightly with salt. Dehydrate at 115 6 – 8 hours or overnight. Flip over, cut into any cracker shape you like,  and continue drying on screens until completely crunchy and dry. Store these crackers in the refrigerator.

Flavor Trick: with crackers and snacks, I like to keep the batter lightly salted and add a little salt (and sometimes sweet) on the top so you get an immediate flavor hit when you bite in. Most whole foods release their flavor as you begin to chew, but our Western palates have been conditioned by Doritos and such to expect a flavor explosion at the first bite. So do it!

January 17, 2010 Posted by | Low Carb Recipes, Raw Food Recipes, Recipes, Snacks/Crackers, Vegan Recipes | , | Leave a comment

Kashi Porridge

I grew up in the 70’s with a hippy mom who went through great lengths to get me to eat healthy food (thanks Mom!) and I have a tortured childhood memory of staring at the pile of cooked buckwheat on my plate and wondering how I was ever going to survive… so I was really surprised at how delicious and deeply satisfying this breakfast cereal is, made entirely of buckwheat and raw sunflower seeds! You have to try it!

Serves 4

  • 1 c raw buckwheat groats
  • 1/2 c raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 t salt
  • 4 1/2 c water (or soy, or hempmilk, or apple cider!)

Blend buckwheat and sunflower seeds in a hi speed blender to a fine meal, with a little texture to it still.

Dry roast in a heavy bottomed pot, (large enough for porridge) for 4 -5 minutes, stirring contstantly, just to get a nice toasty flavor.

Add salt and water, whisking constantly (be careful when you first add the water the the hot pan – it will steam up).

Let cook 4 -5 minutes, or until buckwheat is soft and cooked through.

January 17, 2010 Posted by | Breakfast, Recipes, Vegan Recipes | , | Leave a comment

Warm Winter Carrot Soup (raw)

Raw soups in winter never sound great to me, so I wanted to do something really rich and satisfying. If you have leftover parsnip pasta from the Creamy Parsnip Fettucine recipe, just use this in place of the wine-soaked parsnips below. Yum!

Serves 4

  • Macerate 2 c shredded parsnips with 1/4 c white wine and 1/2 t salt.  Let stand overnight.
  • 1 c raw cashews or macadamia nuts, soaked 2-4 hours and drained
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 cups carrot juice
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Blend parsnips, soaked nuts, ginger and one cup of the carrot juice in a high-speed blender until its a super-smooth creamy base. Slow machine and add in remaining carrot juice until you get a rich creamy soup consistency. Whiz in coconut oil and adjust for salt and seasonings.

Warm this soup very carefully on a pot on the stove just before serving. Make sure it does not get too hot (hover over it and keep sticking your finger in the pot). Soup should not go over 115°F which is just slightly over lukewarm.

Serve in pre-warmed bowls with a few cilantro leaves as garnish.

Play with the flavors!

  • Make a Curried Carrot Soup by adding a pinch of ground cumin, coriander and turmeric!
  • Add meat and juice of one fresh young coconut, and lime for a more tropical taste

January 17, 2010 Posted by | Low Carb Recipes, Raw Food Recipes, Recipes, Soups, Vegan Recipes | , , | Leave a comment

Super Green Smoothies

It was a revelation to me that you could throw a bunch of greens in the blender and have it turn into a refreshing drink that is completely delicious and satisfying. (Really! You have to experience it to believe it.) Sarma Melngailis has dedicated a whole section to her love of greens in Living Raw Food with some fantastic green blender drink recipes which is really inspiring. The best thing is you can do all of this in a Vitamix which is much easier to clean than a juicer.

You can play with this with whatever greens you have on hand, and the base I usually start with is the grapefruit, lime and agave to sweeten.

Serves 2

  • 1 grapefruit, in chunks, with peel cut off
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 whole bunch fresh cilantro, washed well, but stems and all!
  • 1 bunch of any greens, washed well, any tough stems removed.
  • 4-5  ice cubes
  • 1 lime (or lemon) in small chunks, with peel cut off
  • 1/4 c agave, or to taste

The only trick to this is the order you put things into the blender – make sure you put the juicy stuff in first (graperfruit, cucumbers) so you get a liquid going before you start adding the greens. Then, bunch by bunch, just stuff all those greens in and blend up until its all completely smooth. Add a little water if you need to. Add ice cubes as you go to keep it nice and cool, and finish with the agave and lime. These are the key ingredients that make this all taste so good – don’t be afraid to make this fairly sweet. You will be surprised at how refreshing and addictive this is.

Play with this recipe!

  • The grapefruit can be substituted with oranges, tangerines, pineapple etc
  • The cilantro can be replaced or mixed with parsley
  • Experiment with using combination of lettuce or fresh sunflower sprouts with the greens
  • The cucumber is really refreshing but not necessary – in NY in the winter I usually don’t have these laying around so I just add more water/ice.
  • For a lower carb version, 2 pkts of stevia can be substituted, or try a combo…
  • Try fresh coconut water instead!

January 17, 2010 Posted by | Beverages, Raw Food Recipes, Recipes, Vegan Recipes | | Leave a comment

Rosemary “Cream” Sauce (Raw)

This recipe is a slight modification from the one in Sarma Melngalis’ new cookbook Living Raw Food. Get this book – its awesome.

Blend everything up in a high-speed blender until completely smooth and creamy. Use to make Parsnip Pasta with Marinated Mushrooms.

January 17, 2010 Posted by | Low Carb Recipes, Raw Food Recipes, Recipes, Sauces, Vegan Recipes | , , , | Leave a comment