Tom Kha or Tom Yum with Spiced Coconut Dumplings

Oct 17, 2009   //   by Kelly   //   Recipes  //  1 Comment

Tom Kha

I love Thai food. The flavours are always so fresh and vegetables are often the star. Tom Yum is one of the cooked dishes I will eat if I am going out to dinner with friends and there are no raw options. It’s still all vegetables in a light spicy broth. But making a raw version of Tom Yum or Tom Kha is so easy to do at home. The main difference between the two is just the coconut which is used in Tom Kha. So if you are looking for a fat-free version just leave it out and perhaps add extra tomato for a Tom Yum version.

 

Tom Kha

Ingredients

 

Stock

1 Stalk of Lemongrass

1 Lime Leaf

1cm Piece of Ginger

1cm Piece of Galangal

2 Stalks of Celery

1 Cup Dried Coconut

2 Cups of Spring Water

1 Tomato

2 Tbsp Lemon Juice

1 Tbsp Miso Paste

1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

 

Fillings

Choose from a variety of fresh raw shredded or spiralised vegetables like cucumber or zucchini noodles, carrot, mung bean sprouts, snow pea greens, cabbage, tomatoes, turnips or anything else that you have. In the picture above I used snow pea greens and cucumber sliced into wide noodles with a vegetable peeler and a few slivers of avocado.

 

Preparation

Place the lemongrass, lime leaf, ginger, galangal, celery, coconut and water into a blender and process until well mixed. Strain through a nutmilk bag or a fine sieve. 

Pour the liquid back into the blender and add the remaining ingredients. Blend well.

You may like to gently warm the stock to a low temperature before pouring over the vegetables, but it does just fine as a cold soup as well.

Place your vegetables of choice into a bowl and pour the stock over the top.

 

Dumplings

As a way of using up the pulp left over from creating the stock, I tried making these little dumplings. Simply form hand rolled balls from the pulp. They will crumble if you sit them in the soup for too long, but you could place them on top of the vegetable of your tom kha or eat them right away. They would probably do well in the dehydrator also.

dumplings


Green Smoothies 101

Oct 14, 2009   //   by Kelly   //   Blog, Raw Food Tips  //  2 Comments

greensmoothie

So, many of you who are brand spanking new to this whole raw thing might be wondering what the big deal is with green smoothies. What’s so great about them? How many greens do I use? What kind of equipment do I need? How much do I need to make? How long will it keep for? Why can’t I just eat a salad? Or even just where to get started.  So this is a short guide that will hopefully answer many of those questions. Just a few things I have learned over the past couple of years. The good news is that it’s easy, it’s delicious and no, it won’t just taste like spinach.

What’s a Green Smoothie?

A green smoothie is a combination of tender green leaves blended with fruit and water. Pretty much any greens and any fruit you like.

Why should I drink green smoothies?

Green smoothies are very alkalising on the body, and an alkaline body is a healthy body. Disease loves an acidic environment, so the more alkalising food you can eat the better. They are full of vitamins and minerals and good types of carbohydrates. Greens are full of chlorophyll straight from the sun, which is very cleansing for the blood, making you smell nicer! Many people have cured themselves of all sorts of health problems by incorporating green smoothies into their diet. Your body is an amazing machine, if you give it the right fuel, it knows how to heal itself.

What’s the ratio of fruit to greens to water?

This is up to you really. You might want to start off with around 25% greens until you get used to it and then slowly build that up to as much as you like. Ideally if you are doing a 1 litre smoothie you should be looking at about the equivalent of 1 head of lettuce or more. The amount of water is also up to you. Some people like a thick soupy smoothie that you might even choose to eat like a pudding while other people like it thin and watery. Keep in mind though if you are going to make it a thin consistency you’ll probably want to make more overall so you can still get a good amount of fruits and greens in.

What kind of greens should I use?

You want to use any type of green leafy vegetable that is soft enough to wrap around your finger. Things like cabbage or broccoli are too starchy and don’t mix well with fruit. Spinach is a great one to start with as it has a mild flavour and blends easily. Among the many other greens to try are silverbeet, chard, many types of lettuce, romaine or cos lettuce is a great one, parsley, celery leaves, mint, coriander, beetroot tops, kale, cavolo nero, asian greens like bok choy, or wild greens like dandelions, cleavers or sorrel. You might even like to try a mixture. It is important to rotate your greens though. Don’t just stick to one kind. Greens have a very small amount of alkaloids in them so your body won’t like it if you overdose on one type of greens for an extended period of time. So try curly kale one day, spinach the next, then parsley and so on.

What kind of fruit should I use?

Whatever tastes good to you. You could stick to one type or use a few. I do suggest using what is fresh, local and in season if you can although it is nice to have a few frozen berries now and then. Bananas make an excellent base for a creamy smoothie and blend well with most other types of fruit. Then you have a whole variety of things to choose from, berries, citrus fruits, apples pears, tropicals fruits like pineapples and mangoes, you might like to add a some fresh dates for extra sweetness or throw in a few goji berries or raisins after you’ve blended for something to chew on.

Why blend? Why not just chew the greens?

Many people are not used to eating greens, especially a large amount of greens. It may make some people feel nausous due to low hydrochloric acid levels in the stomach. Blending greens with fruits makes them more palettable and easier on the stomach. Eventually the hydrochloric acid levels will normalise and you’ll be able to handle more greens. Blending allows the cell walls of the greens to be broken up, releasing more of the nutrients and breaking up the fibres a lot more. Often when we chew, we don’t really chew our food enough and it would take a long time to get through a giant bunch of kale! Of course it’s great to get in some extra greens with a salad or two, but green smoothies are just a quick easy way to eat your greens. It’s also a great way to hide them if you are trying to get your kids to eat them, or if you aren’t really into the taste of greens on their own. They are also handy if you are busy working and don’t have a lot of time to make a fancy meal.

When should I drink my green smoothie?

If you aren’t eating a full raw food diet you are going to want to drink your green smoothie before consuming heavier foods or quite a few hours after. Fruit digests very fast and if you eat it after foods that digest more slowly, like starchy foods or fats or grains or animal foods (if that’s something you are still using in your diet) then the fruit will have digested and starts to ferment on top of the other food, creating gas and digestive troubles and ultimately leave you feeling tired or cause things like candida. If you are eating foods that digest easily like other fruit, salads, steamed vegetables and so on then the timing is not as important. I like to have mine for breakfast, mid morning or as part of my lunch (before eating other food). I also like to drink them after my hot yoga class in the evening to replace the energy I’ve just used up. I don’t really like to eat anything too heavy that late in the evening, so a green smoothie is great.

How much should I drink each day?

Ideally you want to be drinking at least a litre to experience the full benefits of green smoothies. This means you are either drinking it as a whole meal or over the course of a morning or splitting it into a couple of smaller smoothies to drink during the day. If you’re not ready for that much just yet then start with as much as you can and slowly build it up. Some people go on entire green smoothie feasts where they drink only green smoothies and experience amazing and rapid results like weight loss or curing all sorts of diseases and health ailments.

What kind of blender do I need?

If you already have a blender, great, use that. Of course if you are really serious about it you’re going to want to get a high speed blender to pulverise those fruits ad greens. Look at getting something around 1000w or more. The lower quality blenders just don’t blend the greens very well and you end up with a pretty chunky smoothie. Here in New Zealand I use a Breville Icon 1000w Blender. The two most popular blenders in the raw food community seem to be the Vitamix or the Blendtec which aren’t really available here.

How long will my green smoothie keep for?

It’s definitely better to drink your smoothie fairly soon after making it, but it will keep a day or two in a jar in the fridge. It’s better to have a day old smoothie than none at all. One of my favourite containers to use is a wide mouth glass mason jar. It’s easy to carry them to work, the lids have a good seal so you don’t get green smoothie leakage in your bag and you just pop the lid off and drink it straight from the jar. I also like to keep my food in glass as plastic can leach toxins into your food.

Well that’s a few of the things I have learned over the last couple of years. I hope they are helpful. There are are great number of people more knowledgeable on the subject than I, so I have included a few resources below for further reading and viewing. I definitely recommend doing your own research. It’s your body and nobody knows it like you do.

Now get blending!

Green Smoothie Resources
Green For Life by Victoria Boutenko. She is the woman who made the green smoothie so well known in the raw food movement. Her book gets right into the details of it all and it’s a really easy read. Her FAQ’s on green smoothies are here.

Here are a few videos that demonstrate making a green smoothie it a lot better than I can explain it:

Sergei Boutenko talking about and making a green smoothie

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xW5LUkeVA6s&hl=en&fs=1&]

Victoria Boutenko talking about green smoothies

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUlJZD-RzEM&hl=en&fs=1&]

Karen Knowler demonstrating green smoothies

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFm9_6BTCHM&hl=en&fs=1&]

The Lunch Bunch: Asparagus Nori Rolls

Oct 13, 2009   //   by Kelly   //   Recipes  //  No Comments

Asparagus Nori Rolls

This was part of my delicious lunch today. I keep a packet of nori sheets in the cupboard at work so I can stuff them with whatever greens and veges I bring with me or grab from the supermarket. Sprouts make a great stuffing for nori rolls as they are nice and compact allowing you to roll it up nicely. Almost any vegetable works in a nori roll,  zucchini or cucumber, grated carrot, tomatoes, olives, herbs, the combinations are endless. Asparagus is right in season now and it’s the perfect shape for a nori roll.

Asparagus Nori Rolls

Ingredients

Untoasted Nori
Lettuce
Alfalfa Sprouts
Asparagus
Avocado
Lemon Juice
Tamari

Assembly

Lay your nori sheet flat on a board or a bamboo sushi mat and cover with the lettuce leaves first to prevent the nori getting soggy. Leave about 2cm clear on one side.

Then add your remaining fillings lengthways along the centre of the lettuce.

Squeeze a few drops of lemon juice on the fillings and on the clear edge to help it all stick together once you have rolled it up. You could also use water for this.

Now using your sushi mat or just your hands roll up from the opposite side the the clear edge. Press the roll tightly in on itself as you roll it up.

Cut in thirds or in half and use a little tamari & lemon juice as a dipping sauce if you wish. It also tastes great without it.

The Lunch Bunch: Red Cabbage Tacos

Oct 10, 2009   //   by Kelly   //   Recipes  //  3 Comments

redCabbageTaco

Red cabbage is one of my favourite leaves to use as a wrap. It looks amazing, it’s crunchy and you can fit a lot into one leaf. It’s really one of the things we raw foodies use as a bread substitute. The ingredients below are pretty much what I had in the fridge today. You could just as easily use things like cucumbers, tomatoes, sprouts or leftover salad. Whatever takes your fancy.


Red Cabbage Tacos

Makes 5

 

Ingredients

5 smallish red cabbage leaves

2 medium sized carrots

1/4 avocado

1-2 tsp lemon juice

about 8 stalks of fresh chives

Greens of your choice  (I used a mix of spinach, chard and lettuces)

Dulse flakes (Karengo Seaweed) for saltiness

 

Preparation

Finely grate the carrot. If you have a fine grater like one usually used for parmesean you will get more juicy flavour from the carrot.

Mash in the avocado, lemon juice and finely chopped chives. Add a little himalayan or sea salt if you wish.

Take a red cabbage leaf and fill with a few green leaves of your choice and top with some of the carrot avocado mixture.

Top with some dulse (karengo) and a few chopped chives.

 

The Lunch Bunch: Salad Flax Wraps

Oct 6, 2009   //   by Kelly   //   Blog, Recipes  //  2 Comments

Salad Flax Wraps
A few people have asked me to post the types of things that I take for lunch. I am fortunate enough to work in an office with a modest kitchen, so I can quite easily assemble salads and things with produce I keep in the work fridge or that I grab from the supermarket over the road. I’m not really into eating a lot of  fats anymore, I’m close to 80/10/10 but I’m not strict about it, I just try to keep it low-fat with lots of fruits and vegetables. So with these wraps I try to keep the amounts of flax seeds quite low and bulk them up with celery and psyllium instead. The amounts are very approximate so use what you have on hand and they’ll probably still turn out fine. I’ll write it down properly with the next batch.

Salad Flax Wraps

Flax Wraps

1 large zucchini

3 large stalks of celery

1 Red Pepper/Capsicum

1/2 cup ground flax seeds

1-2 tsp psyllium husk powder

About 3 cups of water

Blend everything in a high speed blender until smooth. You may want to add the water gradually. The psyllium and flax will absorb the water and make a thick gel like mixture, so you can always add more water if you think it is too thick.

Spread the mixture out into circles about 3-4mm thick on dehydrator mats. Make sure not to have any spots that are too thin.

Dehydrate for about 4 hours. Check as you go that they are not getting too dry. They should still be pliable.

Flip them over and dehydrate another 2-4 hours.

Store in a ziplock bag or container.

Tip: If you over dehydrate and end up with large thin crackers instead, you can take a spray bottle filled with water and finely mist them. Lay them between damp paper or tea towels and they will become bendy again.

Fillings

You can pretty much use anything you would normally have in a salad sandwich. For these I had lettuce, cucumber, tomato and grated carrot with a squeeze of lemon juice and a wee bit of sea salt. A small amount of avocado would go down well in the mix too. I find that grated veges are more juicy so I don’t have the need for a dressing or dip which keeps things nice and simple.

Lemon & Black Pepper Celeriac Risotto

Jul 20, 2009   //   by Kelly   //   Recipes  //  3 Comments

It’s mid-winter here in New Zealand and the organic supermarket is full of celeriac and fennel, two vegetables that go well together in a kind of rustic French way. Celeriac is one of those underrated but highly versatile vegetables that often gets shunned for it’s rather unelegant apperance. It’s not the root of celery as it’s name suggests but kind of like a cousin, similar in flavour but a little more nutty. With the fennel, lemon and celeriac, this whole dish is very high in vitamin C. Mother Nature sure knows how to look after us by providing produce that’s high in flu-fighting properties during the winter. It’s also pretty high in magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin K. Make sure to use the zest of the lemon as well as the juice to give the risotto that wonderfully fragrant flavour. Yum.

Lemon & Black Pepper Celeriac Risotto

Serves one

Ingredients

1 medium celeriac root
juice and zest of 1 small lemon
1 tbsp finely chopped celery leaves
1/2 cup finely shaved fennel bulb
1 tsp unpasteurised miso
1/4 cup soaked sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pure water
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/4  tsp sea salt

Preparation

Trim off the outer layer of the celeriac root to remove all the dirt filled crevices, dice into cubes and pulse in a high speed blender or food processor with the lemon juice until fine. It should be about the size of rice or a little smaller in order to release more of the flavoursome juices. Adding the lemon juice at this point prevents the celeriac from discolouring as it oxidises.

Set the celeriac aside and process the sunflower seeds, miso paste and water until fairly smooth but still with a little texture.

Combine the sunflower mixture with the celeriac and the remaining ingredients.

Season with extra black pepper, sea salt and a little cold pressed olive oil if desired.

Serve in a bowl garnished with chopped celery leaves and lemon zest,  scoop up with flax crackers or even wrap in romaine leaves with some fresh alfalfa sprouts and your favourite greens.

Get the facts on Nutrition Data

Ginger Mushrooms & Wilted Asian Greens

Jul 4, 2009   //   by myrakelly   //   Recipes  //  5 Comments

ginger mushrooms2

This is so like a cooked stirfry you could easily fool your cooked foodie friends. The mushrooms you need to do in advance, but you could get away with not dehydrating the greens if you let the dish sit and marinade for a half hour or so, or just eat them crunchy.

Ginger Mushrooms & Asian Greens

The Ginger Mushrooms
About 20 Button Mushrooms
1 Tsp Minced Ginger
1 Tsp Minced Garlic
1 Tbsp Tamari
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1 Tbsp Cold Pressed Oil (flax, olive, sesame or similar)

Wash and slice the mushrooms about 5mm thick.
Throw all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix with your hands until the mushrooms are well coated.
Place onto mesh dehydrator trays and dehydrate for about 6 hours.

The Wilted Asian Greens
About 4 Cups of Chopped Bok Choy or Similar Asian Greens

Place on mesh dehydrator trays and dehydrate for 1 hour

The Sauce
1 Tbsp Tamari
2 Tbsp Cold Pressed Sesame or Olive Oil
1cm Piece of Ginger
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
2 Tbsp Water

Place in a blender and blend until well combined.
Strain to remove any large chunks of ginger.

Putting It All Together
The Ginger Mushrooms
The Wilted Asian Greens
The Sauce
3 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
1-2 Cups Mung Bean Sprouts

Combine all everything in a bowl and toss to combine.

Double Dip

Jul 4, 2009   //   by myrakelly   //   Recipes  //  3 Comments

double dip

These are a couple of Turkish inspired dips that you can use with almost anything. Perfect with celery sticks, cucumber slices or flax crackers, delicious with salad stuffed into a large leaf of romaine and great on their own as a soup if you add a little extra water.

 

Zucchini & Avocado Dip

The flavour of this dip reminds me of Mucver (pronounced MOOSH-vair), the zucchini fritters often served in a mixed vegetarian kebab or as an entree in Turkish restaurants.

1 Large Zucchini

1 Medium Avocado

1 Tsp Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt

Juice of 1/2 a Lemon

1 Tsp Cumin

1 Tsp Tumeric

1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 Large Clove Garlic

Chop up the zucchini, avocado and garlic into smaller pieces.
Add with the remaining ingredients to your food processor or high speed blender and blend until smooth.
You can add a little water if the dip seems too thick.

 

Beetroot Dip

This was once a favourite of mine in vege kebabs. The traditional version sometimes has yoghurt which I have substituted here with brazil nuts although you could easily use cashews or macadamias or omit them all together if you are looking for a nut free version.

1 large beetroot

20 soaked brazil nuts

Juice of 1 Lemon

1 Large Clove Garlic

1 Tsp Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt

Chop up the beetroot and garlic into smaller pieces.
Add with the remaining ingredients to your food processor or high speed blender and blend until smooth.
You can add a little water if the dip seems too thick.

 

Both of these dips should keep for a week in an airtight container in the fridge.

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