Coconut Pad Thai

Nov 30, 2011   //   by Kelly   //   Blog, Recipes  //  No Comments

People often think that when you switch to a healthier diet you’re going to be missing out on a lot of those foods that you love. I prefer to think of all the new ways I can make the recipes that I love. Have my Pad Thai and eat it too! Pad Thai is not necesarily an unhealthy recipe. The rice noodles are gluten free which is great and there are always veges, but when you order it in a restaurant the sauce is often filled with lots of oil and sugar and as a vegan I always have to watch out for the hidden fish sauce. Now that I eat mostly raw foods that are full of fresh flavour if I’m eating out with friends and order a cooked version it usually doesn’t live up to my memories of when I used to enjoy that kind of food. It can just seem kind of dull and stodgy.

It’s really simple to make a healthier version of almost any recipe. One that is often much more vibrant and tasty. You just need to look at the flavours and use them in a slightly different way. The real flavour of Pad Thai comes from the sauce, it’s sweet, sour, salty, spicy, tangy and nutty. So I just look at how I can recreate that without all the added refined oil, sugar and fish sauce.

Young Thai coconuts make really amazing noodles and also give it that extra tropical flavour. If you can’t find them just use extra zucchini noodles. Both of these make great alternatives to wheat or white rice noodles that can sometimes make you feel heavy after a meal.
 

Ingredients

Meat from 2 young thai coconuts
2 zucchini
2 carrots
2 cups of shredded red cabbage
1/2 of a red bell pepper
1 spring onion stalk
10 almonds

 

For the Sauce

the leftover cores of the zucchini
2 pitted medjool dates
8 cherry tomatoes or 2 medium tomatoes
2cm slice of fresh ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or more to taste
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp tamari
10 almonds

 

Directions

1. Open the coconuts, save the liquid for a smoothie and remove the meat.
There are a couple of ways to open a coconut. You can chop into it with a large cleaver but I like to shave the husk off the top and twist a knife into the shell. If you’re unsure how to open a coconut check out this video. It can be hit and miss with the quality of coconuts. You want to make sure the meat and water are not purple, that means it’s gone bad. Sometimes the meat will be very thin and a bit jelly-ish, that doesn’t make for the best noodles. When you get one with thick meat on the inside that’s the best kind to make noodles with. Unfortunately you can’t tell this when you buy one. To make noodles you want to scrape the meat out in one or two pieces. Start at the top with the back of the spoon facing down and gently push it down prying the meat from the shell. Make sure to wash the meat and remove and bits of shell that may be on there. You can also use a vegetable peeler to remove any brown pieces.

2. Slice the coconut meat into long thin noodles and place in a large bowl.

3. Use a vegetable peeler to create long flat noodles from the carrots and zucchini. Just run the peeler up and down as you turn the carrots and zucchini. With the zucchini stop once you reach the seeded core. Add these to the coconut noodles.

4. Add the shredded red cabbage and sliced red bell pepper and mix everything together.

5. Finely slice or chop the almonds and the spring onions and save to use as a garnish.

 

Making the sauce

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

 

Serving Suggestions

Plate up the vegetable noodle mixture and pour the sauce over the top. Garnish with almonds and spring onions as shown.

 

Variations

The coconut noodles are a great feature of this recipe, but if you can’t find young thai coconuts the recipe will work fine without them. Just use extra zucchini noodles. The main flavours come from the sauce which could also be used as a salad dressing.

Other vegetables that could be added or substituted are mung bean sprouts, green beans, white cabbage and snow pea shoots. You could also add in broccoli and cauliflower for different textures.

Vanilla & Lucuma Almond Milk

Nov 28, 2011   //   by Kelly   //   Blog, Recipes  //  No Comments

Almonds are one of my favourite nuts to make milk from. They have a lovely soft sweetness and a very mild flavour so unlike sesame or sunflower seeds they won’t overpower the other flavours in your drink. Packages nutmilks are available to buy in the market these days and they are a great alternative to dairy milks or even soy milk which can often contain a lot of sugar. The problem with packaged nutmilks is they’ve been pasteurised, so they’ve lost a lot of valuable nutrients and life force. It’s so easy to make your own fresh nutmilk at home, it will save you money, you’ll use less packaging and ultimately, it just tastes better!

This simple recipe is just a fancier version of your standard almond milk. I’ve used Lucuma for a mellow, low GI sweetness. Lucuma is a fruit grown in Peru. It’s dried and ground into a fine powder which has a lovely caramelly maple syrup shortbread kind of flavour. I usually buy the Loving Earth brand which is available in New Zealand and Australia.

 

Ingredients

1 Cup Raw Almonds
1 Tbsp Lucuma Powder
Seeds scraped from 1 Vanilla Bean
1 Medjool Date
1 Ripe Spotty Banana

Instructions

1. Soak the almonds for around 6 hours or more in filtered water.
2. Drain and rinse the almonds then blend with 3 cups of filtered water until smooth.
3. Strain the mixture through a nutmilk bag or a fine sieve. (Save the pulp to use in crackers or cookies)
4. Return the filtered almond milk to the blender, add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

Tip: If you choose to omit the banana for a thinner milk you might want to add an extra date for a sweeter drink.

Serving Suggestions

I like to drink this as is, but it would also be great milk to pour over some buckwheat cereal or you could add some chia seeds to make a chia pudding.

Ruby Grapefruit & Avocado Salad

Nov 24, 2011   //   by Kelly   //   Blog, Recipes  //  No Comments

Sometimes when you think you don’t have anything left to make what you wanted for dinner you end up making something really delicious. Salads can be created from almost any fruits and vegetables that you have in the refrigerator, there are no set rules so just throw a few things together and see what happens. Sometimes it may not work out, but other times you might discover a combination that is unexpectedly delicious! So the other night, I had no tomatoes which is something I would often use in a savoury salad and the only fruit I has left was a big ruby grapefruit so this salad is what happend out of almost bare cupboards and it was delicious.

 

Ingredients

Shredded Cos/Romaine Lettuce
Diced Avocado
Diced Ruby Grapefruit or Regular Grapefruit
Sultanas or Raisins
Soaked Sunflower Seeds or Pumpkin Seeds
A squeeze of lemon Juice
Pinch of Himalayan or Sea Salt

 

Sunflower Dill Pate

Nov 21, 2011   //   by myrakelly   //   Blog, Recipes  //  No Comments

Nuts and seeds are great for making dips. They provide that thick creamy texture that be a great substitute for cream and cheese based dips. It’s best to use raw, unroasted nuts and seeds. Just remember to soak them in water first. This brings them to life providing more available enzymes and making them easier to digest. People who have had issues digesting nuts may find they have no troubles at all eating them once they have been soaked.

Ingredients

2 cups soaked sunflower seeds
1/2 cup chopped celery stalks
1/2 cup chopped dill leaves
1 tsp sea salt or himalayan salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried garlic powder or 1 clove fresh garlic
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
a dash of water if needed

 

Method

Simply blend all ingredients in a food processor until it reaches a thick hummus like texture.
This dip should keep for around 3-4 days in a sealed container in the fridge

 

Serving Suggestions

I like this served on vege flax crackers, scooped up with cucumber slices or celery sticks or in a vege lettuce wrap. If you’d like to use it as a raw addition to your cooked dish it would be nice on some steamed potatoes or gluten-free vegetable fritters.

 

Tahini Nori Wraps

Nov 13, 2011   //   by Kelly   //   Blog, Recipes  //  No Comments

These delicious nutritious nori rolls can be whipped up in less than 15 minutes. I made these after getting home late after my yoga class and was too hungry to make anything that would take any longer. I’ve used a homemade raw brazil nut sesame tahini in these rolls but feel free to use store bought raw tahini if you can get it or just regular tahini. You could also mix it up and use some raw brazil or almond butter instead. By using another leaf inside the nori it will prevent it from becoming soggy, so these would be a great lunch snack too. When shopping for Nori sheets check the packet, if it’s not raw it will usually say toasted somewhere. Most brands are toasted, so if you want to keep it strictly raw try a wholefoods shop or an online raw foods shop. In Australia and New Zealand I usually buy the spiral foods brand nori.

Ingredients

Nori sheets
Swiss or rainbow chard (or romaine/cos lettuce)
Carrots
Cucumbers
Tomatoes
Tahini
Himalayan or sea salt

 

Method

1. Lay the nori flat on a board

2. Remove the stalk end from a large chard leaf. The leaf should be around the same size as your nori sheet or a little narrower. Lay this on top of the nori.

3. Use a vegetable peeler to slice the carrot into long ribbons, cut the cucumber into long sticks and dice the tomato.

4. Spread some tahini along one edge of the chard following the direction of the stalk. Use as much or as little as you like. You may prefer to thinly spread it over the whole leaf or have one thick line of tahini.

5. Layer your carrot ribbons, cucumber and tomatoes lengthways next to the tahini so that the come to about 1/3 of the width across. Add salt to taste.

6. Now simply roll from the filled side over, pressing in as you do so, to form your nori roll. Wet the end of the nori with a small amount of water to help it stick together.

 

Serving suggestions

I like to just cut these in half and eat them as they are but you could also make a little dipping sauce from tamari amd lemon juice if you like.

 

Tips

Don’t limit yourself to the fillings that I have used. This was just what I had in the fridge at the time. There are so many other veges that would be great in these rolls. Try some red bell pepper, mung bean shoots, alfalfa sprouts, fresh herbs, grated beetroot, or even add some tofu. The tahini could also be substituted with avocado for a lighter tasting roll.

 

Almond & Herb Flatbread

Nov 7, 2011   //   by Kelly   //   Blog, Recipes  //  No Comments

This is another great way of using up the almond pulp leftover from making almond milk. Turn it into flatbread! Mix with ground flaxseeds for binding and delicious savoury herbs for a distinctive stuffing flavour. Feel free to add or substitute the herbs with others like rosemary, sage, oregano or basil.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups almond pulp
1 cup ground golden flaxseeds
1 tsp dried thyme or 1/4 cup fresh chopped thyme
1 tsp dried tarragon or 1/4 cup fresh chopped tarragon
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp sea salt or himalayan salt
2 medium sized tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp lemon juice
350ml water

Method

1. Blend the tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice and water together in a high speed blender

2. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl

3. Fold the blended liquid into the dry ingredients

4. Spread the mixture onto a lined dehydrator tray a little less than 1cm thick (I filled one excalibur tray with this quantity)

5. Score with a knife into the sizes you would like. I did 4×4 to create 16 squares.

6. Dehydrate 4-6 hours on 41°C/105°F, once they are dry enough to pick up with a spatula flip them over and dehydrate another 2-4 hrs or longer if you prefer them as crackers.

TIP: If you are storing these for longer than a few days then dehydrate until completely dry.

TIP: If you dehydrate the bread too much and still want a soft bread rather than a cracker place the bread between two damp teatowels and place back in the dehydrator. This will ‘steam’ the bread a bit to rehydrate them without the bread becoming soggy again.

Serving Suggestions

You can use this any way you would use a savoury bread. I like my fresh veges most of all so I like to make a salad sandwich with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and avocado to balance out the dehydrated bread. You could also use any savoury dip or pate and pair it with your favourite toppings.

 

Warm Miso and Ginger Soba Noodle Salad

Oct 31, 2011   //   by Kelly   //   Blog, Recipes  //  No Comments

I’d like to introduce my good friend and yoga teacher Jo Stewart from Garden of Yoga. Jo is a fellow vegan and raw food enthusiast and will be sharing some of the plant based meals she likes to make that are mostly raw. They are great transitional recipes for anyone just getting started with raw foods or for anyone just wanting to get more fruits and vegetables into their diet. So over to you Jo…

Warm Miso and Ginger Soba Noodle Salad

This meal is super easy to put together and feels very nurturing and nourishing, but also fresh because of all the raw vegies. You could make this gluten free by using 100% buckwheat noodles and wheat free soy sauce. Feel free to leave the noodles out entirely and use extra shredded kelp for the texture.

 

Ingredients

Leek
Ginger
Soba Noodles (Optional)
Sea Veges (eg: wakame, kombu, chicora, nori, agar agar)
Miso
Carrot
Zucchini
Capsicum (Bell Pepper)
Edamame or Raw Green Peas
Baby Bok Choi
Mushrooms
Spring Onions
Tofu (Optional)
Sesame Seeds
Soy Sauce/Tamari/Nama Shoyu
Sesame Oil

 

To make the Broth
Finely slice leek and ginger, boil in a small pot of water. When it is boiling, add your noodles (check the packet for approximate cooking time, they vary).
When your noodles are almost done add your sea vegies- i used a mix of wakame, kombu, chicorea, nori and agar agar.

Take it off the heat and let it cool slightly…
Ladle of just enough for tonights meal (i had enough for tomorrows lunch too and it is better to add the vegies fresh).
Stir in a generous dollop of miso (i used shiro), i then added spiralised carrot and zucchini, sliced capsicum, edamame (feel free to use raw green peas instead) and sliced baby bok choi. Mushrooms, spring onions, baby spinach, tofu and sesame seeds would also be great additions.

Mix it all up and serve, adding extra soy sauce and sesame oil to taste.

Mango Salsa

Oct 25, 2011   //   by myrakelly   //   Blog, Recipes  //  No Comments

Mango season is upon us! Let the celebrations begin! Mangoes are up there with bananas as a staple food for me. They make a great base for smoothies and can hang out with both the sweet and the savoury crowd. In this recipe we are replacing the tomatoes that are commonly used in salsa for delicious ripe mangoes. You can use this how you might use a traditional fruit chutney. It’s sweet and sour and tangy and goes fabulously with savoury dishes. I like to scoop it up in fresh crunchy cos leaves but you could just as easily mix it into a salad or serve with a cooked lentil curry or gluten-free vegan pie.

Measurements are very rough, just use what suits your tastebuds. Unlike baking & other cooked recipes, the flavour of raw food dishes will vary depending on the produce that you use. So always taste your food as you are preparing it!

Mango Salsa

1 mango, cubed
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1/4 cup diced red onion
finely diced red chilli to taste (seeds removed)
juice of half a lemon
tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro)
tbsp chopped fresh mint
salt & pepper to taste

Red onion can be replaced with spring onions if that’s what you have, red bell pepper would also be a nice addition.