Raw Diet: Onion Bread and Red Pepper Hummus

Raisins.

Eating raw is inherently difficult for most people. People find it too difficult, too daunting, and too time consuming. I don’t eat entirely raw by any means, especially during the winter when all I want is some soup and hot chocolate, but occasionally along comes a recipe that I can’t seem to live without. This onion bread recipe has been passed down from health doctor to doctor, and somehow our family got ahold of it. It takes a dehydrator, which some people might argue is too expensive. But having one, especially if you’re interested in eating healthy, is SO useful! You can use it to make dried fruit out of fruit that might go bad if it sits around another day, or vegetables, or make your own healthy granola using raw honey and fruit! Kale chips and banana chips I know are super popular among health store shoppers, and would be so cheap to make yourself! All you have to do is slice up a banana and stick it on the sheet, and a few hours later – voila! The onion bread recipe is great because you can also leave it on the sheets for a couple more hours and make onion crackers – and then just cut into whatever shapes, sizes, etc. you want to eat!

I personally love eating the onion bread pieces with raw red pepper hummus. About a day before you make the onion bread, shove 1 cup of garbanzo beans/chickpeas in a glass jar (or if I’m at school I’ve used a tupperware container!), soak overnight, and then let sprout while your onion bread dries up (8 hours soaking, 8 hours sprouting). It’s really perfect timing if you think ahead. Typically during the summer we have this ready made every week so we can eat it up when we want something filling, nutritious and raw. I usually have onion bread, hummus, and a slice of tomato on top of each piece. If I don’t think ahead, many times I’ll buy hummus (Greek or Red pepper tends to work the best, although I’m sure it doesn’t matter) and use that instead. If I need a big meal at work, l bring these and a large salad. Now for all you haters out there, most hummus is supposed to use sprouted beans rather than canned ones. On every food show I’ve watched, Bobby Flay (or Gordon Ramsay) always lectures about it, and usually people who use cans are kicked off that episode!

So anyway, try this out! Even if you don’t have a dehydrator, you should try the hummus because that alone is amazing! If you use cold-pressed, organic olive oil, you won’t even have guilt from too much oil in your food! The bread is entirely gluten free, and grain free.

Onion Bread/Crackers

Ingredients

  • 3lb. bag sweet onions, chopped roughly
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds, ground
  • 1 cup golden (or dark) flax seeds, ground
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, cold pressed, organic
  • 3oz. Briggs Liquid Aminos, soy sauce, or Tamari sauce
  • 1 cup shredded carrots

Method

  1. For onions: chop roughly, then food process until smooth and smooshy (there should be no “pieces” of onion left)

    Peel and chop Vidalia onions and put into food processor - peeling and slicing in half this way helps you avoid the tears!

  2. For seeds: I’ve found that grinding them in our VitaMix blender or in a coffee grinder works well, but make sure your blender blades can handle this, otherwise use a grinder
  3. For carrots: you can process them or buy them shredded, or shred them yourself. I personally use our processor tool for shredding which works great.
  4. Mix all ingredients together in any order
  5. Spread evenly over dehydrator sheet, will make approx. two trays

    Spread out the dough evenly so that it's easy to cut and so all parts take the same amount of time to dry

  6. Dehydrate for 1 hour at 145 F, then lower to 115 F for 23-24 hours (check to make sure it’s the consistency you want)

Make it spread thinner for crackers. Cut with a pizza cutter.


Red Pepper Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried garbanzo beans, soaked in a jar in purified water for 8 hours, then drained. Let sprout in container for another 8 hours.
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (if you want it raw, juice from actual lemons, not from the store which is cooked)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, cold pressed
  • 3 tbsp. organic chickpea miso
  • 3 tbsp. raw tahini
  • 1 raw organic jalapeno pepper, seeded
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, chopped roughly

Method

  1. Place all ingredients in VitaMix blender (or another one that’s able to grind drier ingredients) and secure the lid.
  2. Set on lowest setting and slowly make your way to high; blend until smooth.

Vegan: Kimchi Fried Rice with Mushrooms ~ Beosot Kimchi Bokkeumbap

Most people are afraid that being a vegetarian or vegan means that you don’t get enough protein in your diet. Well, it all depends on why you choose to change your diet and avoid meat and dairy. For some, they simply eat tons of tofu and beans in order to make up for the lack of “substantial food”. But science now shows that if you have enough of a variety of fresh greens, seeds and nuts, you can bypass this entire issue. It’s not so much about being full for hours after a meal, because it’s not protein that does that – it’s the fact that meat and dairy just take forever to digest. As do beans in most cases. They are complex carbs and therefore your body has to work harder to break them down. That’s where introducing even the simple things like seeds or just a greater portion of vegetables actually makes the biggest difference. You can actually fit more into your stomach and the energy and not the food stays with you longer.

Some people see this more clearly than others. Because I have stomach issues, I am more aware of the fact that certain foods are in my stomach for up to 6 hours, while others, like when I have a green smoothie (handful of fresh greens, frozen fruit, bananas and water), it’s out of my stomach within the hour and I can eat something else, while getting 10x the nutrients that someone would get from an egg sandwich, or cereal for that matter. But…that doesn’t stop me from craving some of my favorite foods, like Korean dishes!

Not everyone likes Korean food, let alone Asian food. Sometimes it’s the spices, sometimes it’s

Gimchi, a very common side dish in Korea

just plain old unfamiliarity, but kimchi is well-known for its extremely beneficial digestive properties. It’s also quite tasty. Now on the whole, Kimchi is basically fermented spices, napa cabbage, radishes and oil. You can make your own quite easily but…I leave that for bigger and better people than myself! The downside is that kimchi is pretty spicy. Yes, you can get the mild stuff, but that’s just not the same! While I personally enjoy very spicy foods, my stomach recently with all my ulcer complications, doesn’t. So in order to be kind to both of us, I’ve found this new kimchi friend rice recipe that is quite tasty, doesn’t lose any of the flavor, but makes the spiciness more evenly spread out (although no less than the original, I assure you).

Typically, kimchi stew or fried rice is served with pork, tofu, etc. but I’m going for a more healthy approach. The great thing about adding mushrooms to the recipe is that they are extremely healthy, and have the consistency/texture of meat while being a vegetable, and at the same time better than tofu and soy products because they are fresh, organic, and NOT genetically modified as most soy is today. I found this recipe on Smoky Wok, and it is a godsend! The recipe really does make a full meal out of kimchi, that’s entirely self-sufficient and fulfilling.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1/2 cup short-grain cooked rice (day-old is preferred)
1/4 cup cabbage kimchi, drained and chopped into bite-sized pieces
4 fresh shitake mushrooms, sliced (stem removed)
1 large chilli pepper
1 stalk green onion, chopped (as garnish)
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (as garnish)
1 egg, fried separately or after in the same pan (as garnish)
1 tsp gochugaru (Korean chilli powder), I just used regular chili powder (1/4 tsp.) and it turned out fine, add more if you like it spicy
1 tsp sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsps light soy sauce or to taste

Method:

Head wok or saute pan to medium heat. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil and heat. Then add kimchi, mushrooms, chili powder, and garlic. Saute until fragrant. Stir in sesame oil. Add 1 tsp. water to make sure mushrooms are soft enough. Add rice, fry for 3 minutes on medium-high heat. After combined properly, stir in chili pepper and soy sauce. Once fragrant and combined, remove from heat and stir in to bowl. Cover to stay warm. Fry egg in the same pan with a little oil, and serve on top of rice with the chopped green onion and sesame seeds. (I skipped the egg myself to be vegan, but it is traditionally served with the egg on top).

For variation, you can skip the mushrooms and add a vegetable of your choice, meat, or a little more kimchi. You can also garnish with seaweed (nori) sheets that are flavored with sesame oil or plain.

Enjoy!

Meal: Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta Cheese, Gazpacho, Smoothie

So as you can probably tell, when I’m down, I cook. And not just mediocre things. The harder the better…and I’m working my way up. Now I was never the chef of the family growing up. In fact, I always dreaded hearing that call up the stairs – my mom saying “Dinner time!” really meant she wanted our help for salads, setting the table, emptying the dishwasher, etc. Then I realized that if I were the one actually making the dinner, then I wouldn’t be left with the horrible tasks of cleaning up, doing dishes and the like. Success! Little did I know how my perfectionist tendencies would take hold of this idea and run with it.

So although I’ve been cooking for a while, and haven’t felt the need to take pictures or discuss, I will begin now! Planning a dinner is a lot of trouble by itself. However, my family makes this even harder. My mom is a vegan (borderline raw), my brother only eats hotpockets and hasn’t had a vegetable since he was 10, and I have Celiac. My dad eats pretty much everything. So finding a compromise for everyone is part of the challenge.

Today I made: Shrimp with tomatoes and feta cheese served over GF spaghetti (also with a vegetarian option), creamy cucumber avocado gazpacho, and then for dessert I prepared a pumpkin pie smoothie and chocolate peanut butter bon bons. “That’s a lot” you say. Well…it was. I had to bring my dad in to prep the shrimp, and my brother as a sous chef for the desserts. It was great teamwork and we finally got dinner on the table about an hour later than planned.

YUM 🙂

Recipes following –

Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta Cheese:

2 lbs medium shrimps (scampi) (thawed, peeled and deveined) – omitted this in the vegetarian version
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper (seeded and finely chopped)
1 red chili (seeded and finely chopped)
2 scallions (peeled, chopped)
4 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp fresh oregano
6 to 8 large type cherry tomatoes or 2 regular tomatoes (seeded) chopped
1/2 lb feta cheese (crumbled)
3 tbsp milk – I substituted Almond milk which I assure you works just as well!

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and toss in the bell pepper, scallions and chili. Keep stirring and cook until the scallions are translucent. Add the shrimps and the tomatoes and let cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the herbs, the milk and the feta and let it cook for another 3 minutes or so until the shrimps are ready. Season with freshly ground black pepper. No need to add salt in this dish (unless you do the vegetarian version). Serve with fresh bread, or white rice.

Chilled Cucumber and Avocado Soup
Inspired by Louisa Shafia’s Lucid Food

4 large organic cucumbers (if not organic, peel)
1 ripe avocado
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, skins removed, plus more for garnish, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 – 1 lemon
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 jalapeño, seeded and ribs removed
1 shallot, chopped
1 handful fresh basil
2 1/2 cups cold water
Salt to taste

Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  Then cut into chunks.  Scoop the fruit out of the avocado.  Place all of the ingredients except the salt into a blender and blend.  You may need to do this in batches.  Pour into a bowl and season to taste with salt.  Place in the refrigerator for a few hours until well chilled.  Garnish with chopped hazelnuts before serving.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
serves 2

3/4 cup cooked pumpkin (you can use canned, but fresh is much better)
1 1/2 cups unsweetened organic vanilla almond milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely minced
2-3 Medjool dates, pits removed (soak first if they aren’t soft)
(You can add honey or maple syrup if you wish for it to be sweeter)

Add all of your ingredients to the blender. Puree until smooth and creamy.

If your pumpkin and/or almond milk isn’t cold, you could add a handful of ice. I decided not to, so it would stay as creamy as possible. You can also add a splash of water or additional almond milk if your smoothie is too thick. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and/or nutmeg.