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.

Vegetable Noodles with Currants & Mandarins

Oct 10, 2011   //   by myrakelly   //   Blog, Recipes  //  No Comments

This meal was so delicious I had it two nights in a row. Salads don’t have to be just lettuce and tomatoes. Fruits and seeds make a salad shine! So don’t be afraid to use them.

Another key to creating variety in salads is texture. It can make all the difference to a vegetable. Think of a carrot stick versus some finely grated carrot. They’re almost two different flavours. So for this dish I used one of my favourite kitchen tools, a Spiralizer. It’s a must have in the raw food kitchen. It turns any solid vegetable into long curly noodles. Which makes food so much more fun!

Just use the quantities that you feel like. Lots of noodles, with the extras as garnishing. For the sauce just play around with the quantities to have it as sweet or as spicy as you like.

red cabbage
carrot
daikon radish
zucchini
pumpkin seeds
sunflower seeds
mandarins
currants
avocado

For the dressing
lemon juice
raw honey
toasted sesame oil
cayenne pepper
sea salt

  1. Soak the seeds in water for a few hours. Drain and rinse. If you have a dehydrator you can dehydrate the seeds for a crunchy texture, but they will still work fine as is.
  2. Spiralize or grate the carrot, daikon and zucchini
  3. Use a mandoline to finely slice the red cabbage, if you don’t have a mandolin, just use a large knife.
  4. Peel the mandarins and divide into segments. Dice segments into thirds.
  5. Dice the avocado and mix with the currants and the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and drizzle over the salad. If you have time, let the dish sit for an hour or more to marinade. This will intensify the flavor and soften the vegetables.

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.

Zucchini Linguine with Basil Pesto

Mar 9, 2009   //   by myrakelly   //   Recipes  //  No Comments

zucchinilinguine1

I made this dish for a raw potluck this weekend. There are plenty of cheap organic zucchini and tomatoes at the Victoria Street farmers market in Wellington now that it’s near the end of summer.  I also picked up the basil there for the pesto. All the classic italian flavours are there which makes this a favourite for friends and family who are not raw. You can make a big batch of pesto up to keep for the week and just do the zucchini on the night.


Basil Pesto

2 Cups Tightly Packed Basil

1/2 Cup Pine Nuts

1/4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds

1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

1 Clove Garlic

1/2 Tsp Himalayan or Celtic Sea Salt

1/4 Cup Cold Pressed Olive Oil

Spring or Filtered Water

Method

Soak the pinenuts and pumpkin seeds for at least 4 hours. Drain and rinse.

Place all ingredients apart from the water into a food processor and process until almost smooth. You still want a little texture to it. Add a little water at a time if it seems too dry.

Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a week.

Zucchini Linguini

3 Large Zucchini

2 Medium Tomatoes

8-10 Dried Olives

1/2 Red Capsicum

2 Tbsp Pine Nuts

1/2 Cup Basil Pesto

Method

Use a julienne peeler to slice the zucchini lengthways into long noodles and place in a large bowl. You could also use a spiralizer.

Chop the tomatoes and capsicum, destone and chop the olives and add these with the pine nuts to the zucchini.

Add the pesto and mix thoroughly to combine.

Leave to sit for 1hour before serving if you would like the noodles to soften a bit.