Monday, 24 March 2014

ZUCCHINI SPAGHETTI with SUN-DRIED TOMATOES & BASIL


I cannot get over how amazing tomatoes are when you drizzle them with some extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and allow them to dry in the sun, dehydrator or oven. They become flavour EXPLOSIONS that are the very essence of the best pizza you've ever eaten. Trust me. But wait - don't trust me. Find out for yourself by doing it. You will not be sorry. They taste so damn delicious that all you need to do to make a meal is throw them on some noodles. Bam. You just made a mind-blowingly tasty dinner that everyone will be jealous of. If they aren't envious, then they are definitely missing their sense of sight or smell. 

Although my family's own tomatoes from our garden in the summer are - needless to say - my favourite, I eat them all long before summer is over so in the cooler months we need to rely on other sources for my tomato obsession. My mom brought home a jar of organic sun-dried tomatoes in extra virgin olive oil and spices yesterday and I opened it up this afternoon only to have my taste buds do a happy dance and my memories of our oven-dried tomatoes from summer sweep back into my mind. Ahh. Flavour explosions. I am confident I could have eaten the entire jar but I held back and did the next best thing: threw some of the tomatoes onto zuke noodles along with some basil leaves. Everyone's jealous. 

I'm gonna tear through that jar in no time, so next week I think I'll hit up the farmer's market and buy some more there. *Cannot wait* but *must wait*. Something else I can't wait for? A tentatively planned trip I want to go on this summer. Get this: I might be going to Minneapolis, Montreal and Mexico. All three places start with M. My name is Em. If ya look on a map, the layout of the trip is an M shape. I basically HAVE to go, right!? (Say yes.) My soul mate sister moved to Montreal a few years ago and that's why I wanna go there. Also, the culture in that city is off the chain from what I have heard. I'll be in Minneapolis for a family reunion. And Mexico... well. Avocados. Mangoes. Papayas. SUNSHINE. Need I say more? But actually I have made a friend there who has a vegan restaurant and hotel and has invited me to stay for free. Can life get any better? Only if I had some frozen bananas to make a chocolate mylkshake with. 


ZUCCHINI SPAGHETTI with SUN-DRIED TOMATOES & BASIL 

Noodles:
2 large zucchinis 

Sauce:
1 cup dried tomatoes in extra virgin olive oil 
Salt, pepper, lemon juice, other spices you like
1/2 cup basil leaves (whole or chopped) 

Note: the tomatoes are gonna need to taste *amazing* before you even add them to the noodles and stuff because they are the star of this recipe, so try to get organic or even better - use your own! 

To make the noodles: slice the zucchinis into noodles on a spiral slicer, mandolin or even cheese grater. Set aside in a large bowl. 

To make the sauce: blend up half the tomatoes into paste then mash up the rest of the tomatoes with the olive oil and the rest of the ingredients and mix everything into your noodles. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes and mix again. Eat. Omg. 

Friday, 21 March 2014

RAW VEGAN CARROT CAKE with CREAMY CASHEW LEMON FROSTING


Yo, you beautiful human, you. In case you haven't seen it yet, my previous carrot cake recipe is pretty much my most popular. Check it out here. Everyone loves it, and that makes me wanna do a happy dance. I'd so DO a happy dance right now but I'm listening to very calming music thus the mood just isn't right at the moment. I'll make up for it tonight though - I'm going out with friends and we are going to boogie until the sun comes up, surrounded by glistening bodies, smoke machines, house music and trippy lights. Before that: organic brown rice sushi. Yes. Friday is here, people. 

Okay can we acknowledge that I went far off course in the above paragraph, and yet it flowed so naturally? Should I feel proud? I dunno. Probably not. Moving back to the real topic: CAKE OF THE CARROT. This recipe is fairly similar to my original one, but I adapted it slightly and more importantly took new photos which I wanted to share with you in a post. This recipe isn't better or worse than my other one, it's just different. I made this for a TV interview on Global BC (watch me wear a dress here) and the hosts loved it! This seems to be one of those recipes that everybody can enjoy, no matter what their diet preferences are. I hope you do too. Keep in mind this recipe makes much less cake than my other one, so if you want to feed more people; double the amounts given here, or use the original recipe instead. 


RAW VEGAN CARROT CAKE with CREAMY CASHEW LEMON FROSTING 

Cashew lemon frosting:
1 1/2 cups cashews
Juice from 1 lemon 
2 tablespoons liquid coconut oil
2 tablespoons coconut nectar 
1 teaspoon vanilla powder
Water, as needed 

Carrot cake:
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped into small chunks 
1 1/2 cups oats 
2 cups dates
1/2 cup dried coconut 
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 

To make the frosting: blend all ingredients in your high speed blender until smooth, adding water as needed. Taste it - mmm. Put in the fridge. 

To make the cake: process the oats into flour in your food processor then throw the rest of the ingredients in the food processor and process until it all begins to stick together. 

Assembly: press half the cake mixture into a small spring form pan (mine is about 4 inches). Gently take this out and put on a plate, then put in the freezer until it's solid. Do the same to the remaining half of the cake mixture. Spread about 1/3 of the frosting onto the top of one of the cake layers. Put it in the freezer until the layer of frosting is hard. Place on the other cake layer and frost the entire thing, I let it set in the fridge overnight. 

Monday, 17 March 2014

TRAVELER'S TART with DATE CRUST, CACAO-COCO DRIZZLE, BANANA SLICES & WALNUTS: NO EQUIPMENT NEEDED


A rather long title compared to most of my other posts, but I think every word is needed. I wanted to get your attention with a clever name, a short description and the most important part of this recipe, the fact that you don’t need any fancy equipment! That means zero dishes too! Hallelujah, baby. I made this tart on my family’s recent annual vacay to Tofino on Vancouver Island. It’s the ultimate west coast experience and in the waves and trees of this wise, old landscape lies my heart. This is my home.

The whole point of this recipe is that you can make it anywhere and you don’t have to use any equipment (besides a bowl and spoon). Share it with a friend, lover or yourself. It’s a delicious snack that takes only minutes to prepare and tastes *flipping gooooood*. If you have a tart tin handy, go ahead and use that for the crust, but of course I did not; because we stay in these little cabins (no, we do not own them, tragically) that are equipped with like two forks and a colander. Okay, I’m being a little harsh – they’re fairly well outfitted, just not compared to what I am used to. But I can deal! And I did. Check it. Save money, time, and dishes without skimping on big, healthy flavour! Ehh… I feel like that was an advertisement for microwave stir-fry. Nooo don’t eat that. Eat this.

Here’s the thing. The ingredients in this recipe are no different than what I use in all my other desserts: stuff like nuts, dates, fruit and cacao. The only difference is that instead of whipping them up in high-tech equipment to form them into different shapes (like a pie crust or cream cake), I’m simply leaving the foods *totally whole* and then – like with my other recipes – layering/presenting them in a pretty way. Get it? Have I been talking about this for too long? I guess it IS kinda obvious and most of you understood without even beginning to read these paragraphs. I’ll stop now. But better safe than sorry! Okay I will really stop now.


TRAVELER'S TART with DATE CRUST, CACAO-COCO DRIZZLE, BANANA SLICES & WALNUTS: NO EQUIPMENT NEEDED 

Crust:
8 Medjool dates

Tart toppings:
1 banana
8 walnut halves 
1 teaspoon hemp seeds
1 teaspoon cacao nibs

Cacao-coco drizzle:
1 tablespoon Artisana coconut butter
1 teaspoon cacao powder

To make the crust: pit the dates and then rip them in half. Press them into a tart tin or simply into a circle on a plate. I know; almost TOO simple, right? 

To make the drizzle: melt the coconut butter in a warm oven or dehydrator then stir it together with the cacao power. Top off the crust with the toppings and drizzle with the… drizzle. 

Duuuuude, now I wanna make this again. 

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

RAW VEGAN PEANUT BUTTER & CHOCOLATE BUTTER CREAM CUPS


I know. They sound amazing. They look orgasmic. But guess what - they taste EVEN BETTER. Plus: gifs. I was having a busy afternoon in the kitchen a couple days, whipping up a raw vegan cake (which will be coming soon, don't ya worry babe), and I ended up with an extra container of raw vegan chocolate "butter cream". I don't usually like calling my recipes after their non-vegan conventional counterparts BUT in this case, this recipe ACTUALLY tastes just like chocolate butter cream... but of course it's vastly superior because it's cruelty-free and HEALTHY. So much caps lock today. What's goin' on.

Hey, guys. Back to the story, you're getting me off topic. I ended up with all this extra chocolate frosting - not the worst problem in the world (in fact, it's probably the greatest) but I still had to figure out what to do with it. I also promised my lover that I'd bring them some kind of chocolate delight when I saw them the next day. I decided to make inside-out Reeses cups. Yeah, man. It's happening. It HAPPENED.

For the filling, as I hope you already surmised, I used my *famous* chocolate butter cream recipe (it's not truly famous, but I just love it a lot so it's a celeb in my world). To make the outside of the cups, I combined tahini (sesame seed butter) with peanut butter and coconut oil. The coconut oil allows the nut/seed butter to become solid when refrigerated. Heh heh heh - I'm so clever. Not really but this is what I tell myself in order to get up every day; the sunshine and chirping birds help too. The final result is simply to-die-for. I mean I'd seriously consider sacrificing my own life so more people could get this in their mouths. The thing is: I cannot fathom in what world I would have to die so people could eat chocolate... that makes zero sense. And thank goodness! This means we can all shove these things in our faces, mouthgasm into nirvana and still LIIIVE. Yesssss.


RAW VEGAN PEANUT BUTTER & CHOCOLATE BUTTER CREAM CUPS  

Filling:
This chocolate butter cream recipe.

Outside:
3 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoon peanut butter 
3 tablespoons tahini 

Note: you can use whatever nut/seed butter(s) you want. Also: try to be patient and let the butter cream sit in the fridge overnight, it becomes exactly 1 million times more amazing.

Stir the outside layer ingredients together in a bowl over steaming water until melted and combined. Pour 1/3 of this into the bottoms of cupcake papers and try to get some around the sides. Freeze until solid. Pour a little more around the sides and freeze until solid again. Fill with the butter cream then cover with the remaining nut/seed butter mixture. Freeze for 10-30 minutes then GOBBLE. 

Monday, 10 March 2014

MARINATED ZUCCHINI & TOMATO LASAGNA with CASHEW HERB CHEESE


I get lost in my food. By that I mean almost every time I eat, I become so raptured in the flavours, colours and textures that I forgot where and who I am and when I am done my feeding frenzy (no self control)... I usually have questions such as, "What just happened!?", "How!?", "No!?", What!?", "Where am I!?", "What is this!?", "What that real!?", and so on and so forth. I love my food and I think my food loves me too. I cannot imagine NOT being stoked out of my mind every time I eat! I need to a) know that the food is good for me and b) know it's gonna taste amazing, otherwise it ain't goin' down. I see myself as being in a relationship with the food I choose to eat... since we ARE going to change each other forever, right down to the molecular level. 

Point being: the above mentioned reaction is exactly what happened when I bit into this recipe. I hope you react the same. Or else you can just think I'm a strange girl who spends all day kissing fruit and secretly wants to marry her blueberry bushes. 

Wait, can I do that? 


MARINATED ZUCCHINI & TOMATO LASAGNA with CASHEW HERB CHEESE

Lasagna:
1 zucchini
5 tomatoes
Olive oil, Himalayan salt, black pepper and coriander 
1 cup spinach leaves 

Cashew herb cheese:
1 cup cashews
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 cup water (more or less, as needed) 
Dash of turmeric, paprika and coriander 
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1 garlic clove

To marinate the zucchini and tomatoes: slice the zuke into thin strips on a mandolin, and chop the tomatoes. Rub them in oil and spices and put in the dehydrator for 1-3 hours, or in the oven at the lowest temperature. 

To make the cheese: blend everything until smooth and very thick. 

To assemble: layer slices of tomato, zucchini and spinach with cheese. Sprinkle with cilantro and coriander. Chomp. 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

CRUNCHY CHIA CHOCOLATE with MACA, LUCUMA, VANILLA & CASHEWS


YOOOOOOOOOOO I'm feelin' real thug right now because I'm jammin' to Lil Boosie. (Don't judge; I appreciate all kinds of music from Beethoven to Bjork to Black Moth Super Rainbow.) Anyways, this chocolate has got me in a great mood; it has elevated my mental state to like beyooond nirvana. Also, I ate the MOST AMAZING AVOCADO EVER a little while ago and there're two more to devour before the sun sets so I have no reason to be sad on this fine Thursday. Furthermore, I'm fairly confident I *aced* my Archaeology exam this morning and I'm going to a super interesting-looking lecture tonight with friends about how society creates superheroes! The fun don't stop! 


I know you're more into this chocolate than my personal life though, so let's talk about that. Remember those chocolate bars that had like the crispy crunchy cereal pieces in them? I don't know if I'm making this up because I just did an internet search and could not find what I'm talking about... but I hope you know what I mean. These are just like those! But better! Why? The usual reasons: this recipe is super good for you, it's cruelty-free, it keeps the planet happy, and it tastes effing delicious! Let's eat it all! No seriously, I ate almost all of this in one day. Luckily I had a moment of generosity and gave (almost) half to mon coupine. 

Since this is a chocolate recipe, obviously cacao powder is a main ingredient and lucky for us, it's a nutritional powerhouse! Full of fiber, zinc, magnesium, iron and other goodies. I also added a bunch of superfoods in like maca, lucuma and vanilla. Cashews and chia seeds are amazing for your gorgeous body too. Chia seeds are what make the "crunch" in this chocolate, and the cashews add another tasty texture. Feel free to add other stuff if you like; I bet cinnamon, cayenne, ginger and goji berries would all be phenomenal extras. 

If you love conventional chocolate (super sweet, milky, chocolate-y), then this might not be the ideal recipe for you to try. I'd suggest you make this one first. But I love experimenting with new flavours so likewise, I love this recipe. It's almost spicy because the flavours are so fresh. #sofresh





CRUNCHY CHIA CHOCOLATE with MACA, LUCUMA, VANILLA & CASHEWS 

1/3 cup cacao butter
1/4 cup cacao powder
2 tablespoons maca powder
1 teaspoon vanilla powder
1 tablespoon lucuma power
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup coconut nectar (as desired) 
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt

Melt the cacao butter, then whisk in all the other ingredients except the cashews. Taste it and adjust accordingly. Pour into a lined pan so it's about 1 cm thick (or however thick you want the chocolate to be). Sprinkle on the cashews then put in the fridge or freezer until it is solid. Chop and chomp. Thuggin'. 

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

SNEAKPEAK INTO MY COOKBOOK: RAWSOME VEGAN BAKING


Hey, all. So today is an exceptionally exceptional day because my book, Rawsome Vegan Baking, which has been in the making for a year now, is being OFFICIALLY PUBLISHED! Order your copy from here. I use the term 'officially' here because apparently some of you have already gotten yours and it's already in some bookstores... but March 4th was the pub date I was given month and months and months ago, so I'm gonna celebrate, dammit! A bunch of other exciting stuff has happened in the past few days too, which I will be sharing in this post; as well as giving you a sneakpeak into the book. But for now, let's just take a moment to freak out.

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

All my dreams are coming true and I'm a little scared because what if I'm accidentally using up all my food fortune in just a few years and the rest of my days are spent lived in terribly poor luck!? *Push that thought aside. Keep freaking out in a totally positive, over-the-moon way.* Naaaah, it's all good.

I just cannot believe that my book is going to be in all these book stores I frequently visit, and just a couple years ago, daydreamed of selling my own books in. I actually cannot think of how my situation could be improved. Unless Ellen emailed me and wanted me on her show. Vegan lesbians unite. (Although I call myself pansexual, not lesbian, but still.) I mean, Rawsome Vegan Baking is being sold pretty much everywhere; AmazonBarnes & NobleIndigoBooks-A-MillionIndie BoundThe Book Depository and wherever else books are sold! It's also going to be in a bunch of local shops that I love to visit like Eternal Abundance, Nice Shoes, Banyen Books and The Soap Dispensary

Photo: Max Wall
Okay enough of that. Some other amazing things that have happened recently? I was featured on the cover of my university's newspaper, The Peak, and had a two-page interview inside! Raw vegan food is going mainstream (kinda)! I made my first recipe video, showing you how to create raw vegan chocolate truffles (it's gotten almost 1,000 views in one day!) It's pretty amateur and I realize this, but I will be working to improve my video skillz - yes, with the 'z' - and coming up with more vids for you soon. Watch it, give it the thumbs up, go easy on me. 


I found out my book is being sold at Costco, which is sort of a huge deal because Costco is about as mainstream as you can get (except maybe Walmart). My book is on VegNews' 15 most-anticipated books of 2014. The Saveur Best Food Blogs of 2014 are being nominated right now and I would love you forever if you nominated me. Just saying. And more generally speaking: I'm getting great reviews back on the book and have been in interviews out the whazoo to promote it, which is fun for me (nevertheless, we still have not confirmed the precise definition of 'whazoo'). All in all my life is incredibly exciting right now and I am so stoked for the future. I am ALSO stoked for you beautiful people to hold my book in your hands! Now I'm going to give you some details about it that I haven't shared before... hence the "sneakpeak" aspect of the post title. Hehe. 


Below is the table of contents for Rawsome Vegan Baking. If you think this kind of food is boring, think again. From just a handful of super healthy wholesome ingredients like nuts, seeds, dried and fresh fruit and coconut; you can come up with this many recipes:

Cakes & Cupcakes
·         Cashew coffee vanilla crème cake with cinnamon chocolate crust
·         Super sexy cacao cashew cupcakes
·         Buckwheat & berry cream cake
·         Neapolitan mousse cake
·         Rawified Reeses cake
·         Black forest cake
·         Vanilla chocolate chunk cheesecake with peanut butter & coconut
·         Strawberry banana cream cake with mint
·         Nut-free creamy coconut cheesecake
·         Chocolate cheesecake with chocolate chili drizzle
·         Mini beet mousse cakes with sweet cashew cream & spiced nuts
·         Rainbow cake with fruit layers & coconut cream frosting
·         S’mores cupcakes
·         Chocolate molten lava cakes with goji berries
·         Pink cherry ice cream cake
·         Vanilla herb cheesecake with walnut crust, rosemary, orange mint & fresh fruit
·         Blueberry strawberry banana ice cream cake
·         Triple threat chocolate cake with carob buckwheat pecan cake, avocado cacao ganache & ginger chocolate sauce
·         Blueberry fields forever cake with blueberry coconut & chocolate avocado layers
·         Berry cream cakes with chia pudding
·         Deep dish chocolate peanut butter ice cream cake 
·         Triple layer ice cream cake with cashew peppermint, banana strawberry & coconut vanilla layers
·         Carrot cake with cashew cream cheese frosting
·         Double decadence chocolate silk cake with hazelnut crust
·         Peppermint chocolate molten lava cakes
·         Ginger lime berry ice cream swirl cheesecake

Bites, Bars & Cookies
·         Caramel mocha bars
·         Cranberry bliss bars
·         Creamy peanut & oat squares with raw chocolate and blueberry topping
·         Ultimate shortbread bars with layers of salted caramel & spiced chocolate
·         Orange carob bars & almond chocolate bars
·         Loco coco bars
·         Super food brownies with chili cinnamon fudge frosting
·         Chocolate energy bites with pumpkin seeds, raisins & matcha
·         Almond joy candy bars with crunchy coconut center enrobed in raw chocolate
·         Piña colada bites with pineapple, coconut & pine nuts
·         Fruit crumble with banana ice cream
·         Crazy for coconut bars
·         Superior fudge
·         Maca cacao truffles
·         Spiced orange chocolate layered with fresh kiwi, orange & dried figs
·         Chocolate banana crêpes with coconut cream & berries
·         Chocolate nut butter cups, three ways
·         Avocado towers with dark chocolate mousse & salted pistachios
·         Go-Nuts Donuts with strawberry, chocolate and coconut frostings and dried papaya, golden raisin, goji berry, coconut and cacao nib sprinkles
·         Chocolate lava cakes with mint filling
·         Avocado mint cream bars with chocolate, two ways
·         Endless energy bars with nuts, seeds, figs, raisins & sweet coconut drizzle
·         Totally tahini cups with coffee cream filling
·         Fudge bites
·         Hippie halva
·         Pecan sesame truffles with camu camu, orange & vanilla
·         Almond butter and jelly sandwiches with apple bread
·         Maca miracle pyramids with chocolate goji berry filling
·         Raw chocolate cookies sandwiching vanilla cashew cream
·         Peppermint cream sandwich cookies covered in chocolate
·         Peanut butter cookies
·         Carob comfort cookies
·         Rawdical raisin cacao cookies with oats

Pies & Tarts
·         Jungle pie with chocolate crust, bananas slices & chunky coconut topping
·         Jewel fruit tart with caramel almond filling
·         Maple pecan pie
·         Naked fruit tarts (nut-free, coconut-free, fat-free)
·         Lemon dream pie with pecans & coconut vanilla whipped cream
·         Rhubarb almond crumble with maple oregano glaze
·         Cinnamon apple pie with date caramel
·         Peaceful peach cobbler
·         Chocolate banana cream pie
·         Almond ginger rosemary tart with coconut, chia & almond caramel
·         Fresh berry tarts with whipped vanilla coconut cream
·         Banana tart with chocolate cream, jungle peanut butter & candied ginger slices
·         Chia caramel pecan pie with cinnamon chocolate sauce
·         Fresh citrus tart with coconut lemon cream & lemon zest
·         Oversized oreo tart with vanilla coconut cream & chocolate ganache
·         Harvest pumpkin pie
·         Into the wild caramel tarts with pistachios, pumpkin seeds & chocolate trees
·         Banana ice cream tarts with salted nutmeg caramel
·         Strawberries ‘n’ cream tartlets
·         Boston banana cream deep dish tarts

Pudding & Ice Cream
·         Amazing avocado chocolate pudding
·         Cacao carob vanilla towers with macadamias & chocolate walnut garnish
·         Breakfast parfaits with layers of fruit & chia seeds
·         Chia vanilla pudding with cinnamon & raisins
·         Crème brulee of cashews, banana slices & lavender with cinnamon coconut topping
·         Coffee crème mousse with chocolate pecan crust
·         Rawky road ice cream with marshmallow & chocolate chunks
·         The real banana split
·         Ice cream sandwiches with rosemary almond cookies & berry medley ice cream
·         Banana ice cream / the best thing ever
·         Chocolate & vanilla ice cream sandwiches
·         Peppermint avocado ice cream with chocolate chunks
·         Strawberry cheesecake popsicles with coconut flakes
·         Vanilla ginger ice cream popsicles with chocolate coating
·         Deconstructed creamsicles with orange and vanilla layers
·         Heavenly banana almond cinnamon shake
·         The ultimate chocolate shake with coconut whipped cream & cacao sprinkles
·         Sorbet with strawberries, agave & mint

Basic recipes
·         Raw chocolate
·         Coconut cream
·         Hot cacao


Yep. I know. The world is so good to us, it's not even funny. I'm gonna laugh anyways though because I'm just too darn happy not to. I'm having an amazing day, week, month, year - and I hope you are too. You are the reason I am where I am. All my love goes to you. 

Em

Monday, 3 March 2014

CAN YOU DO ME FAVOR, PLEASE!?

Hey, guys. This is a super short post because I have just one thing to ask. The nominations for the Saveur Best Food Blog Awards are happening right now and it would be a dream-come-true for me to be in the running. I think my best chances are probably with the "Best Special Diets Blog" but please nominate me for whatever you think I deserve! You can nominate me here.
Thank you so much! xx


this also best choice to make beef bourguignon if you are have party