Friday, April 26, 2013

Raw Asparagus Pizza with Garlic Zucchini Crust and Melted Mozzarella Cashew Cheese

Have you ever tried raw asparagus? It's nothing like the cooked one. I always thought that a raw asparagus just can't be as delicious as the cooked one, and I didn't even give it a try. When I finally tested it, I was very surprised. The crispy, almost nutty taste is very interesting and I decided to use it in some savory recipe. 

I thought that asparagus pizza could be great idea, and it turned out just great! When I hear the word Italian, I always think of basil and that is why I decided to use fresh basil and combine it with classic marinara sauce and marinated mushrooms. Sun dried tomatoes give the Italian taste to every meal, so I couldn't miss this important ingredient either.

There is one thing I mind about raw pizza recipes. The heavy nutty crust that is too high in fat and doesn't fit into any fitness diet program. Whether you are fitness enthusiast or don't care about sport at all, high fat food is just not good for you. That is why I experiment and try to bring you tasty, healthy and low calorie recipes you can enjoy anytime. So here it comes - low fat, low calorie, absolutely healthy and delicious pizza!

To keep the pizza low in fat I used zucchini as the main ingredient of the crust. If you want this pizza to be even lower in calories, just skip the cashew cheese or substitute it with avocado. I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I did!

Raw Asparagus Pizza with Garlic Zucchini Crust and Melted Mozzarella Cashew Cheese

Makes 2 medium pizzas

4 medium zucchini, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup ground flaxseed 
1 garlic clove
1/3 cup fresh basil

1 cup asparagus, chopped
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/5 cup portabello mushroom, chopped
1/5 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp tamari
squeeze of lime juice

1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced

Marinara Sauce 
2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
1 Tbsp dried pizza spice (oregano, basil, marjoram)
1 garlic clove
1 Tbsp agave syrup (or other sweetener)

Cashew Cheese
1 cup cashew nuts, soaked for 4 hours
juice of 1/5 lime
1/3 cup water

To make the crusts: Put all ingredients in the food processor and pulse until smooth. Spread the mixture onto teflex sheets, creating rounds, but not too thin. Dehydrate for 8 hours and flip. Dehydrate again for 8 hours until crispy. 

To make the topping: Combine all ingredients except the cherry tomatoes in a bowl and place in the fridge.

To make the marinara sauce: Put all ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth.

To make the cashew cheese: Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until creamy and smooth.

Assembly: Spread the marinara sauce onto pizza crusts and top with the marinated veggies. Top with sliced cherry tomatoes and spoon the cashew cheese on top. Serve and enjoy!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Raw Apple Pie with Cantaloupe and Caramel

Raw Apple pie without fatty nut crust? Yes, you read right. This sweet low fat dessert contains very little amount of nuts, holds together and taste delicious! I always loved the combinations of apples, cinnamon and caramel and since I turned to Raw Vegan diet I used to crave apple pies, strudels and similar forbidden sins. So I experimented a little and finally found out the way to make satisfying and absolutely healthy pie without adding any sweetening and without using an oven.

You can even make the pie nut free if you wish or have nut allergy, simply skip the hazel nut flour in the recipe. You can share this dessert with your family and friends, I guarantee you they will enjoy it. It doesn't matter if they are meat eaters, vegetarians or vegans. 

The secret of this dessert is simplicity. When I make my recipes I always try to simplify. To make the pie you need only couple of minutes and a few ingredients of simple character. This recipe is perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth and nourishing your body in same the time!

Raw Apple Pie with Cantaloupe an Caramel

Serves 2

Apple Pie
4 big apples, sliced thin
2 big ripe bananas
1 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon 
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins 
1/5 cup hazelnut flour
1 middle size pie form

1 cup dates
2 Tbsp water 
1 tsp vanilla powder (or 1 vanilla bean)

1 Cantaloupe melon, sliced
1 Tbsp cinnamon

To make the pie: Place the bananas, cinnamon and nutmeg in the food processor and process until smooth. Add the raisins and process until mashed. Sprinkle hazelnuts in the pie form and cover with layer of apples. Spread the cinnamon cream on the apple layer and add a new layer. Continue creating layers and finish with the cream on the top. Cover with hazelnuts and place in the fridge while you prepare the caramel. 

To make the caramel: Combine all ingredients in the food processor and pulse until smooth. 

Serve with cantaloupe melon drizzled with caramel and sprinkled with cinnamon.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Raw Vegan Spinach Pesto Manicotti

I was very excited to visit one of the raw food restaurants in Czech Republic. Me and my friends went there about a week ago and were very impressed. The food was delicious and I was very pleased with the inspiring menu. But when I examined it more carefully I realised that main substance on the menu is fat. I understand that restaurant food doesn't stop having restaurant character just because the food is raw, but I believe that raw vegan dishes can be lower in fat. I ordered spinach manicotti and since I loved the dish, I decided to remake the recipe and lower it in fat. When I tasted my manicotti I was simply in heaven!

Basil is my favourite herb. I love the smell so much that I buy it just to fill the apartment with freshness of this beautiful smell. The combination of spinach and basil sounded interesting and it didn't let me down. The spinach pesto went perfect and I can't wait to make this dish again!

Raw Vegan Spinach Pesto Manicotti

Serves: 2

1 big zucchini, sliced thin lengthwise

Spinach Pesto
1/2 zucchini
1 1/2 cup frozen peas (or fresh)
1 avocado
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 cup fresh basil
squeeze of lime juice

Swedish Salad
4 cups cabbage, cut julienne
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatos, sliced
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup spring onion, chopped
1 cup arugula
1 Tbsp oregano
squeeze of lime juice

1/2 cup arugula
5 leaves of fresh basil
1/2 Tbsp oregano

To make the Spinach Pesto: Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.

To make the salad: Mix all the ingredients in a big bowl and place in the fridge.

Assembly: Arrange zucchini slices horizontally on a cutting board, slightly overlapping one over another. Place the spinach pesto in the front of zucchinis and roll up. Cut the roll to make two or three smaller and place on a plate. Garnish with prepared salad, arugula, basil leaves and sprinkle with oregano. Enjoy!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Raw Chocolate Vanilla Cupcakes

With the decision to entirely change my lifestyle and become a raw vegan I came across one problem - I love sweets! Yes of course, there are beautiful rich fruit salads full of juicy tastes that serve me often as main dish. But I also always loved baking and making homemade desserts for special occasions. So one day me and my boyfriend decided to try to make some delicious cupcakes. This was one year ago and we still remember the tasty experience of chocolate pastry toped with vanilla creme and fresh fruits.

This recipe will always remind me of my first steps in the world of raw veganism and my path to overcome my health problems. I suffered of chronic pancreatitis probably since I was a baby. This health disorder gradually worsened and I finally decided to stop taking my medications that never really helped me, and try the power of raw food that everybody talks about.

When we were creating these cupcakes I got one of my pancreatic seizures and instead of finishing and enjoying them I spent the evening in bed with severe cramps and pain in my body. I was so disappointed and angry that I could not finish the dessert. I got often angry when I realised that my health problems have power over me.

But my loving boyfriend didn't leave the kitchen. He finished the cupcakes, decorated them, took a picture of them, placed the cupcakes in fridge and spent rest of the evening comforting me in my sickness. Next day when I felt like I could eat something, we enjoyed the delicious dessert together. It was wonderfully sweet and full of flavours!

Raw Chocolate Vanilla Cupcakes

makes about 20 cupcakes

1 cup shredded coconut meat (or pulp from coconut milk)
2 cups dates
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp pure vanilla powder (or 1/2 vanilla bean)
About 20 - 30 paper cupcake forms

Vanilla creme
1 cup ripe banana
1 cup cashew soaked overnight
1/2 tsp pure vanilla powder (or 1/2 vanilla bean)

1/2 cup chopped kiwi
1/2 cup berries (blueberries, raspberries and blackberries)

To make the dough: Place all the ingredients in the food processor and process until it becomes a sticky mass. Fill half of a paper form with the mass and place aside. Fill rest of the paper forms the same way.

To make the creme: Place all the ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth. Top the cupcakes with the creme.

Assembly: Fill half of the paper forms with the mass and top them with vanilla creme and fruits. You can keep the cupcakes in fridge for about an hour or simply serve and enjoy!