Saturday, December 22, 2012

Bright and Beautiful Kale Dip

I love it's green color! :)

Oh the mighty kale.
How I worship thee.
So bountiful in nutrients,
There's no replacement for me.

Oh the lovely kale. It is so popular now with all the foodies that I had to use it, and because I love it so much... And because it's nutritionist's best friend! I used to think it was too bitter and it may take some getting used to for some but once you love it, you love it for life. It's chock full of vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, copper and manganese! My boyfriend and I love it so much that we even thought about naming our future daughter after it! (How does Kale-uh sound? LOL!) :P

Plus, it's festive green for the holidays! ;) Enjoy the green!

Bright and Beautiful Kale Dip
Yield: Approximately 1 cup (Approximately )

Ingredients:
1/2 cup blanched almonds (*see below for tip*)
1/2 cup cashews soaked in water for about 1 hour
1/2 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced white onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
Pinch cayenne powder
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups destemmed and roughly chopped kale, lightly packed

Directions:
Place the almonds and cashews in the food processor and process until it almost forms a butter. It will still be crumbly. Add the garlic, lemon juice, onion, salt, nutritional yeast flakes, cayenne, and nutmeg and process until completely creamy. Add the kale and process until completely combined and smooth. You will need to scrape the sides. Enjoy!

*Tip: 
You can make your own blanched almonds by pouring water that was just boiled over the almonds in a bowl, let sit for 15 minutes, and peeling them by slipping the skin off by pinching each almond in between your thumb and forefinger. It will slip right off. 
OR you could place the drained almonds that have soaked with the boiling water in a clean tea towel and rub them with the towel to rub the skins off.

Notes:
  • You can use almonds with their skins on but the mouth feel will not be as smooth
  • You could replace the cashews for macadamia nuts or any other creamy white nut (or if you don't have either, try with any other nut or seed; the flavor will be a little different but still yummers :)  )
  • If you don't have kale on hand, try spinach! I'm sure that would be awesome

Hehe... My boyfriend being silly with the dip and raw crackers. :P
Here is the full nutritional information and the basic nutritional information for this dip:
I hope you enjoy it and the holidays. As always, thank you for stopping by and let me know what you think! Talk to you all soon!

Love,
Rawnessa <3

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pistachio-Almond Freezer Cookies

Gotta love pistachios. :P
Hi all! I hope you're all doing well. 

I hope you won't be disappointed today because I don't have a dip recipe for you. It's not even close to a dip. It's a cookie! A raw one at that which was inspired by the famous rainbow cookies with a touch of almond essence and with a beautiful twist from the green pistachios. Oh how I love pistachios. :) Their green color is so pretty, plus they are lower in fat compared to other nuts. Woot! 

Raw cookies are one of my most favorite things to make, because they are almost foolproof and they make great little gifts! If you want to give someone a quick little treat from the heart, these are good to go. And plus, you could always keep a few on hand for you in the freezer for when your sweet tooth hits. 

If you really love almond flavored cookies, you're gonna love these. One day, I want to make a raw version of my cherished and beloved Italian rainbow cookies (aka tri-colored cookies or Italian flag cookies) that I always used to get when I was younger from a local bagel shop near me when I lived in New York . Those cookies had such a lovely almond flavor with some apricot and raspberry jam in the middle of the layers and was topped with a chocolate ganache. Oh, so good, but not so healthy. :P So, since I didn't have all the ingredients to make the raw rainbow cookie version and I really wanted to use those lovely pistachios I had on hand, I made these, which are much easier to make, have a similar flavor, and are super yummy (and much better for you than those sugar filled rainbow cookies from my favorite bagel shop). 

So, if you're in the mood for some yummy almond and pistachio goodness, you've come to the right place! If you want a new dip recipe, you're gonna have to wait for tomorrow, unfortunately. I'm sure these will make up for it though. :P


Pistachio-Almond Freezer Cookies
Yield: 19 cookies (1 tablespoon in size)

Ingredients:
½ cup shelled raw pistachios
½ cup almonds
1 cup coconut flakes
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
½ cup golden raisins

Directions:
Place pistachios in the food processor and process until they almost form into a flour. Place in a bowl. Process the almonds and coconut flakes separately in the same way and place in that same bowl. Make sure not to process the nuts and coconut so much that they turn into nut butter.

Add all the nut and coconut flours back to the processor and add the salt, coconut sugar and extracts and pulse to combine.

Add the raisins and process until the mixture can stick together when pressed between two fingers. You don’t want it to crumble away when stuck together, but you want it just firm enough to really stick together.

Firmly press the mixture into a 1 tablespoon measure and place on parchment paper to store within a container. Repeat with the rest of the mixture and place in the freezer for about ½ hour to set. Enjoy!

Note:
  • They may be placed in the fridge once they are set.
  • Instead of making individual cookie rounds, make these into bars by pressing into a square shape on parchment paper about a 1/2 inch thick, cutting into bite sized bar shapes, and freeze. Still so good but much quicker.

I couldn't stop taking pictures of these little darlings! :)

Here is the full nutritional information for these cookies and here is the basic nutritional information below from CRON-O-Meter:

Hope you enjoy these little jewels as much as I did! Thanks for stopping by and I will talk to you all soon!

Love,
Rawnessa <3


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Monday, December 17, 2012

Chickpea-Cilantro Dip

This dip is really thick, almost like a pate. It may not look too appetizing but it was good. :)

Hello all! I hope you had an awesome Monday! I know I was dipping it up as always. :D

Today I made a dip with chickpeas and cilantro (since I had a craving for chickpeas and I had some cilantro to use up) and voila! This funky colored masterpiece came out! LOL! It's not the most appetizing of colors but the flavor makes up for it, I promise. If you're one of those people who has a hate relationship with cilantro, no fret! You could totally make this with any other fresh herbs, such as basil or parsley, if that is your thing. Although, I personally have not tried this particular recipe with those different herbs, but have tried a hummus recipe with a bunch of basil, and it was oobertastic! So, I'm sure it could work here.

Although, to me, nothing compares to the lovely aroma of cilantro. It brings me back to when I was living at home and my mom's cooking. Every time I smelled the aroma of cilantro in the house, I knew mom was going to be making some fresh sofrito for some good old fashioned Puerto Rican rice and beans.Yum! I know I'm biased, but my mom has the best beans in town! I would go to any other restaurant and snub at their rendition, because I was spoiled by mom's. Thank goodness she taught me how to make those lovely beans, but now that we both are into the healthier lifestyle, I make it a little different and swap out canned tomatoes for fresh (since I prefer not to eat anything from a can becasue I try to avoid as much as possible my exposure to bisphenol A (BPA)) and changed out the Goya Adobo and Sazon seasonings for organic spices. It still doesn't come out the same, but I'm working on it! LOL! She still likes my renditions and fusions of her Puerto Rican style beans, so that makes me happy. :)

Well, here's the dippity dip!
Enjoy with avocado, tomato, and olives! Woot! :) 
Chickpea-Cilantro Dip
Yield: Approximately 2 cups (Approximately 5 servings)

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1 cup packed cilantro (coriander) leaves with tender stems 
2 cups cooked and drained chickpeas
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
7 to 8 tablespoons water, enough to get it creamy (about 1/2 cup)

Directions:
Place the pumpkin and sunflower seeds in the food processor and grind down into really tiny crumbly pieces. Add the cilantro and process again so the leaves and stems break into pieces. Add the chickpeas, garlic, salt, lemon juice, and water and blend until completely creamy. You will need to scrape the sides. Be patient! It will get there! Enjoy!

Notes:
  • You can add 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder seasoning to the dip to add a southwestern flair!
  • Change up the herbs for a different flavor (like parsley or basil)
  • If you don't have pumpkin seeds and have sunflower or vise versa, you could use all one seed and it will still turn out fine! Feel free to use what you have, it might come out even better with another seed or nut!


Here is the full nutritional information for this dip and here is the general nutritional information for this dip from CRON-O-Meter:

Talk to you all soon and thanks for stopping by! Feel free to comment, I love to hear from you.

Love,
Rawnessa <3


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Creamy Cashew Garlic Dip (or Dressing)


Hello all! I hope you're doing well and enjoying this beautiful life. I just wanted to remind you that we are all gorgeous and lovely in our own way. Remember that. I know I sometimes we all need that reassurance and I want you to always remember that it's perfectly alright to be uniquely and lovely you! We are all working on our stuff and entering my twenties, I finally realized that I am not the only one with issues and that people who I thought were "perfect" in my eyes have many issues they are going through. It's somewhat comforting to realize that I'm not the only 'crazy' one, so to speak!

Being the only plant based eater in my family has been hard and made me feel even more self conscious in my own skin, but I have learned to embrace my uniqueness within my family and appreciate that they still love me for me, no matter what food I choose to eat or what lifestyle I choose to live. I think finally understanding that and trying to shine bright in my own skin has really boosted my self confidence and acceptance of who I am as a human being. What also helps me is how my boyfriend appreciates all that I do for him, especially the food I make for him. He has been a shining light in helping me accept who I am. I am pretty lucky to have him in my life and for all his support. Have you ever felt a bit isolated or self-conscious in your own skin for your food choices or for any other reason? I would love to hear your response.

Well, anyhoo, now it's time for the dip recipe! I love this recipe to use as a cheesy sauce topping on tacos, mixed into some quinoa, massaged into an enormous kale salad, and of course, used as a dip for anything your heart desires! (Cucumbers anyone?). It's super duper yummy and lasts for a few days in the fridge (if it makes it that long! lol!).

Also, I will eventually post a dip recipe that includes beans. The raw recipes I have been making lately have turned out a lot better than the bean ones, so I will definitely get around to posting an awesome bean one that is up to par! No fret, fibrous beans are coming your way! :P

Some creamy cashew garlic dip on some quinoa and a cucumber. The dip (dressing) melted  a little once it hit the hot quinoa, but it was still oober yummy. :P


Creamy Cashew Garlic Dip
Yield: Approximately 2/3 cup

Ingredients:
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water (or 3 fluid ounces)

Directions:
In a small personal blender or in a coffee grinder, grind the cashews into a flour. If using the coffee grinder, place the ground cashews into the personal coffee grinder and add the garlic, nutritional yeast flakes, lemon juice, salt, and water. Blend until completely smooth and Enjoy!

Notes:

  • This will thicken upon storage, so you may add a little more water to thin, if desired for a more dressing consistency.
  • This may be a bit salty for some, so you can start with about 1/8 teaspoon of salt and work your way up.
I was surprised to see the amount of protein from one serving of this dip (8 grams!), the amount of copper is almost 35% of you daily value for one serving and the B-Vitamin values are pretty high too (which is from the nutritional yeast). The sodium content is pretty high so you could totally adjust the salt amounts without compromising flavor, I feel. But If you don't add any more salt to your meal, I feel you could be good to go!

Here is the link to the full nutritional info on this dip and here is the basic nutrition information from CRON-O-Meter:


Thanks so much for stopping by and I wish you all happy eating!

Love,
Rawnessa <3


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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ginger "Pumpkin Pie" Dip

Look at the beautiful color! Gotta love winter squash. 

Hello all! I hope you're enjoying your Saturday. I know I'm enjoying relaxing and spending time with the boyfriend on this wonderful rainy day. For seem reason, after leaving New York and coming to live in Arizona, I've started to really love and appreciate the rain. I loved it back home in New York, but now it's pitter patter is so much more welcoming. :)

Well, enough about the weather. I think it's definitely the season for ginger and spices. Every time Fall comes around, I want to create more dishes with ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice. They seem to warm my body for the winter and my soul. Must be nostalgia! Well, speaking of those flavors, that brings me to this inspired dip. It was made out of the need to fulfill my desire for some ginger and spices, but it was also made out of respect and dedication to a great raw chef named Sara Siso.

Chef Sara with her wheatgrass! 

I was fortunate to work under Sara in her restaurant, Chef's Sara's Raw Vegan Academy and Cafe, for a few weeks and  learn her ways of raw vegan cuisine. She is such a passionate raw chef and so knowledgeable of all the ingredients she uses. And she doesn't skimp on them either. Sara always gets top quality organic ingredients and will not compromise here or there for her customers. That is one of the things that makes me respect her so much. In addition to her food being super duper flavorful and yummy and that she healed herself from cancer using fresh raw vegan foods! She really is super passionate at what she does and it is really rare to see that.

While I was working under her, she showed me how she made her raw quiche and was I astounded at the flavor! So good! So I decided to make a rendition similar to hers but with my own twist and ingredients (plus no crust). The flavor was oobers!

Ginger "Pumpkin Pie" Dip
Yield: Approximately 2 cups (About 4 servings)
Ingredients:
3 cups peeled and chopped ambercup squash (about 1/2 inch dice)
1 1/4 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon of minced garlic
2 tablespoons coconut aminos
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
3 tablespoons softened coconut butter (not the oil!)
1/2 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Place the squash in the food processor and process until it breaks down into very tiny pieces and it is almost  creamy. Scrape the sides and add the ginger, garlic, coconut aminos, coconut sugar, coconut butter, curry powder, and salt and process until the mixture turns creamy and is completely combined.
Enjoy on top of a salad, as a spread on a wrap or bread, or anything you like!

Notes:
  • I call it "pumpkin pie" dip because it reminds me of pumpkin pie, even though it is not a dessert. However, it's one of those foods that is sweet and savory at the same time. 
  • A high speed blender would have been great to get this really creamy, but it is still pretty darn good in the food processor. If you don't mind it not being completely raw, you could steam the chopped squash for about 5 minutes to get it soft. In this way it will break down and become creamier as it processes in the food processor.
  • If you can't find ambercup squash, you could totally use butternut or kobocha squash. Be creative and put your own spin!
Here's the nutrition facts from CRON-O-Meter:

Hope you enjoy it! Talk to you all soon!


Love,
Rawnessa <3


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Friday, December 14, 2012

Zucchini Cheeze Dip

Hi all! I hope you're enjoying your day today and that you aren't too cold where you are! I know for me, it is a little too cold, which is odd because you think living in Arizona it would be warm all year right? Nope, it's a chilly 53 degrees but, I think I can handle it! It's a whole lot better than where I was living in New York during this time of year, so I really shouldn't complain. :P

Anyhoo, I have a recipe here that reminds me of cheese, which I haven't had in a while, so if you've had cheese recently, I hope this isn't a disappointment! I know I loved it! It's light, creamy, and downright yummers on a cucumber slice! I hope you try it out! This would be really nice if it was done in a high speed blender to really give that creamy consistency, but if you don't have an awesome Vitamix or Blendtec then you can totally use a food processor, which is what I did.

Zucchini Cheeze Dip
Yield: ~1 1/2 cups (4 servings)
Ingredients:
1 3/4 cup chopped zucchini (about 1/2 inch dice)
1/3 cup soaked pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup Brazil nuts (about 10 nuts)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon chickpea miso or other light miso
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (I recommend the Red Star brand)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Place the zucchini in the food processor and process to break the zucchini down into really small pieces. Place in a bowl and set aside.
Add the seeds and nuts to the processor and break sown into small pieces as well and come together as a homogeneous mixture. Add the zucchini back in, the garlic, lemon juice, miso, nutritional yeast, and salt and process until it is nice and creamy and all the ingredients are mix through. You may need to stop the machine to scrape the sides.
Enjoy with cucumber slices, crudites, on a salad, in a wrap or sandwich as a spread with veggies and sprouts, mix into a grain or bean dish, or just enjoy! Yum!

Here are the nutrient facts from CRON-O-Meter:

Talk to you all soon!

Love,
Rawnessa <3


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