Saturday, 30 June 2012

Sprout and Bean Tasting Dinner

A couple of weeks ago Mrs Bean and myself did a tasting dinner for a couple that would like us to do their wedding. The focus is share food so we did an assortment of salads, a cheese plate with dukkahs, chutney, and cheese straws, and a few other things. I only took some pictures of the salads and cheese plate but it was all rather yummy if we do say so ourselves! My only concern at the time was that when I rolled the goats cheese in some fresh chopped herbs it looked a little like compost...although tasted nothing like it (I hope). Mrs Bean made the cheese straws, and I made the dukkahs - one was a tradtional dukkah with hazelnuts, and the other was an Aussie inspired one I concocted on the spot with some macadamias and Aussie herbs and spices.

Mrs Bean's amazing chickpea quinoa salad with feta - it was just as good without the cheese, but for a vegan version I might sub almond cheese.

One of my simple faves, orange, fennel, and spinach with pepper and an orange viniagrette

Beetroot and apple salad with pine nuts and goats cheese - again, a vegan version would be good with an almond feta

Mrs Bean's winter slaw with sesame...It had a tahini dressing, and I could swim in it!

Friday, 29 June 2012

The Rawmazing Race: Raw Chilli Stack in Piedras Niegras

Back to Mexico, because I was lagging a bit and didn't know what else to have. Plus I had avocado left over to use up. I actually had some regular low salt corn chips with it because I couldn't be faffed with the dehydrator mid week, and by the time I realised I wanted this, I would have had to wait three days for my corn chips to dehydrate!

For the chilli this time I put in some sprouted quinoa and mushrooms to be the "meat," partly because I was finding the nuts too much, and secondly because I had to use up that quinoa!  I also used up some pomegranate.  Very tasty, even without the chips , I will add the quinoa to the list of items to use to bulk out raw meals.

The Rawmazing Race: Tabbouleh in Beirut

I love Lebanese food - there is a fantastic restaurant called Sahra in Parramatta that does the best vego banquet, and it can be adapted to be vegan. They have the creamiest hummus I've ever had, and  the fattoush is perfect! The only tabbouleh that has ever beaten it would be the one made by a Lebanese neighbour we had when I was in my teens -she used to bring all sorts of things over for us to try, a lovely and very hospitable lady! So I thought I'd give it a go. Ok, so I know most people think tabbouleh is raw anyway right? It is apart from the traditional cooked cracked wheat. I substituted the wheat for soaked  red quinoa which was perfect, apart from the fact I forgot how much it swells and had heaps left over - it ended up sprouting in the fridge, and I had it for lunch as well! I also put some pomegranate in it as it is currently in season and I love it! On the side I have some raw cashew hummus, carrot and celery sticks, and some fennel infused olives. It was very filling, but I think it was basically because by this point in the week I was accustomed to eating so clean and I didn't need much to fill me up. Then again, maybe it was the quinoa? 

Thursday, 7 June 2012

The Rawmazing Race: Raw No Fry in Shanghai

This was Tuesday night's dinner. I was cold, damp, missing the Beloved (he was a away for work), had a thumping headache from the detox process, and couldn't get the internet to work. I was SORELY tempted to give in, put the mushroom ragu from the freezer into the oven or alternatively eat something crumbed, battered and fried. Everyone I passed in Katoomba seemed to be drinking hot chocolate or eating hot chips. And everyone seemed to be eating lunch in the room joining my office and all I could smell was hot buttered toast, soup and the like. Did I mention we had a sales meeting and there was sampling of a new soup product? Nope, didn't have any - even though it was veg (and this is rare for tastings at work!)

Somehow, I didn't give in. I had a hot shower, drank a cup of fruit tea, and lit the fire. And then I made a no fry, and somehow curbed my cravings. I actually struggled eating all of it!

The ingredients were simple - baby bok choy, broccoli, carrot, capsicum, celery, cucumber, and cashews. The dressing was tamari, rice vinegar, chilli, coriander, and sesame oil. Once again, I didn't measure, just tasted as I went. I would like to make it again with some different veg combos.

And I wouldn't have minded being in Shanghai eating this and planning some tours of the city, visiting temples, and a boat ride down the river. Instead I was in my pj's on the couch trying to decide whether I wanted to ogle watch Hugh Jackman or Alexander Skaarsgard. The blondie won.

The Rawmazing Race: Raw Ratatouille in Nice

This was Monday night's dinner. How I wish I was actually in Nice eating this, sitting in a cafe and looking oh so chic and slim. Or perhaps I've wandered onto the set of 'Allo 'Allo and I'm in Nouvion being served by Rene Artois? (as long as it wasn't cabaret time and I had to stuff cheese in my ears so as not to hear Edith's off key warbling). Alas, the closest to being French I will get while eating this will be to sit in our Renault and to wear my beret. But don't let that stop you eating this, the fresh tomato  sauce is really tasty, and it is filling yet light. And so easy! I didn't measure, just tasted as I went. the classic ingredients are all here, just uncooked!

I used my mandolin to thinly slice eggplant, which I tossed in salt and olive oil and set aside in a colander for about 20 minutes while I did the rest. I chopped zucchini, capsicum, and diced tomato and onion, some basil and parsley, and tossed together. For the fresh tomato sauce I blended a couple of tomatoes, a sliver of fresh garlic, a slice of onion, salt and pepper, and some extra virgin olive oil. I rinsed the eggplant before tossing it in with everything else. It was even better for lunch the next day.

Bon appetit!

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Rawmazing Race: Cannelloni in Palermo

I have no idea where May went, all I know is that I planned so much and just got lost somewhere along the's been a frustrating month where everything just doesn't seem to go quite right and being wet and cold has effected my mood.  I will certainly try to get some more posts up, but June is going to also be a busy month. In any case I'm going to try and shake the winter blues with some good raw food, so I will try and post what I'm eating even if the pictures are a bit crappy. So onwards with the rawmazing race...

I could be sitting in a cafe in Palermo, so chic in my designer frock eating this healthy version of cannelloni. I'm not, but it doesn't hurt to dream. I've seen other versions of raw cannelloni but it seemed too fiddly with wrapping all those slices of zucchini, and they didn't have any sauce on top of them. This just involves coring a cucumber (or zucchini) with an apple corer and stuffing the centre - although to tell the truth I couldn't find the apple corer so used a cannoli tube and tapped that through instead :) Necessity is indeed the mother of invention! It took me about 15 minutes, maybe less to put this together, a speedy meal indeed, and so many good things going into my body. 

Canneloni "tubes" I used were two cucumbers peeled, and cored (keep the peel and cores)

For the filling
1 tablespoon raw pine nuts
big handful spinach
centre of cucumber, and peel
couple of fresh basil leaves
sliver of fresh garlic
lemon juice

Finely chopped fresh tomato (you could puree instead but I like them with a bit more texture)

For the sauce
1/2 cup almonds and cashews, soaked
juice of a lemon
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

To make the filling pulse in food processor all ingredients, and then stuff the tubes.

Chop the tomatoes finely and put on top of the tubes

Puree sauce ingredients, adding a little water at a time until a good consistency is reached, it shouldn't be too runny, but thinner than a dip. Top the tubes, and eat!