Wednesday, July 23

Rawsome Week Number 4

When I was younger, the summer break felt like forever. It seemed like such an eternity from the ending of one school year to the beginning of the next. But, as the years go on and time passes, life manages to speed up in rather mysterious ways. So here we are, already in the fourth week of July and I ask myself 'where did the time go?'. My eight year old self would have already made numerous forts, gone on many a beach scavenger hunt, found treasure in the forest, and come up with such elaborate tales. But this so called older and wiser version hasn't done much besides some gathering of wild berries. 

For that school girl, each day was treated as if it was her last. Each day that passed meant that the inevitability of having to go back to following rules, and structure, and away from what I loved to do, was that much closer. I had to make the most of each of my dwindling days of freedom, and because of this, my days were so full. 

Note to self: Live life like your eight again.

The bounty of summer berries are best eaten in their natural state without any tinkering or messing around. Here they are combined with a simple raw nut crumble which adds a nice crunch and helps provide enough energy to keep you going. With the addition of some raw coconut cream or ice-cream, this simple breakfast can become an impressive dessert. 

Breakfast - Berry Bliss Parfait

Recipe: (Serves 2)

2 Cups Mixed Berries (Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, Tayberries, Currants, Strawberries, Mulberries)
1/2 Cup Pitted  Dates
1/2 Cup Almonds
1 tsp. Chia Seeds
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
Small Pinch of Sea Salt
Mint for Garnish

1. Pulse the dates, almonds, chia seeds, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor until coarsely ground.
2. Arrange 1/4  of the date mixture in a cup, top with 3/4 cup berries, another 1/4 of the date mixture, and the last remaining 1/4 cup of berries. Garnish with mint.


Chilled soups provide a refreshing and nurturing meal once the weather turns warm. While traditional gazpacho is usually made from stale white bread, you can make a much lighter and healthier version of the classic without compromising the flavour. 

Lunch - Garden Gazpacho

Recipe: Serves 2

1/4 Cup Onion
3 Ripe Tomatoes (about 500g or 1 lb)
2-3 Cloves Garlic
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Sherry Vinegar
1 tsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 tsp. Paprika
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
1/2 tsp. Ground Cumin
1 Stick Celery
3/4 Cup to 1 Cup Ice Water
1 Cup Peeled and Cubed Cucumber
1/2 Cup Chopped Red Pepper

1/2 Cup Chopped Cucumber
1/2 Cup Chopped Red Pepper
1/2 Avocado, Diced
Basil or Parsley

1. Combine the onion, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, sherry, balsamic vinegar, spices, salt, celery, cumber, and red pepper in a blender and puree. Slowly add the water until the desired consistency is reached.
2. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Let the soup mellow in the refrigerator for a couple of hours prior to serving. Garnish with chopped avocado, cucumber, peppers, and fresh herbs. 

These rolls are part sushi, part taco, and part spring roll, but all in all they are 100% delish! I like to have a big batch of the sunflower pate on hand so that I can whip out a roll whenever the urge hits.

Dinner - Summer Rolls with Curried Pate

Inspired By Crudessence
Recipe: (makes 8)

3/4 Cup Sunflower Seeds, soaked overnight and drained
1 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp. Liquid Sweetener
1 tsp. Curry Powder
1 tsp. Turmeric
1 Clove Garlic
1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
A Pinch of Chili Powder

8 or so Chard Leaves
1/2 Mango, cut into match sticks
1/2 Bell Pepper, cut into match sticks
1 Beet, grated
1 Carrot, cut into match sticks
1 Avocado, sliced
Handful of Sprouts (I used sunflower)

1. Begin the right before by soaking the sunflower seeds. The next day drain them and puree along with the spices, garlic, and sweetener until the mixture resembles pate.
2. Arrange a small log of pate on each chard leave and top with assorted veggies. Roll up like a burrito.  

xox Sophie 

Tuesday, July 22

Ancient Grain Market Salad

While I don't remember the first time I ever tried quinoa, I do recall that I was still living at my parents at the time, just becoming enamoured with whole foods, and like everybody else probably pronounced it kin-oh-ah. For the last ten years it has become a regular ingredient in our pantry. It makes it's way into our stews,  accompanies our dinners, and fills our breakfast bowl. A forever favourite, it's easy to prepare, versatile, and nutritious; but sometimes, like all good things, it can verge on being a little boring.

Last year I came across 'baby quinoa', or as it's actually called, kaniwa. Like quinoa (and amaranth and buckwheat), kaniwa is a grain-like substance which is actually a seed (and therefor gluten free). While the word kaniwa may sound a lot like quinoa, it is in fact an altogether different plant. About the size of amaranth, kaniwa is dark brown in colour and has a nutty, slightly earthy taste similar to quinoa. Yet, unlike quinoa which contains saponins, the bitter tasting protective coating which need to be washed off, kaniwa doesn't contain these and doesn't require rinsing prior to use. Taking about the same time to cook as quinoa, kaniwa makes a great addition to the kitchen and a nice switch-up to everyday  meals.

Like quinoa, kaniwa is very high in fibre and a good source of iron and calcium. If quiona or kaniwa isn't available in your area,  try using a mix of amaranth, buckwheat, millet, emmer, or spelt berries for the salad.
I used a mix of fresh veggies that I got from the local farmers market. While these exact veggies may not be available in your area, this salad is versatile enough to take on many different ingredients. Try swapping the carrots for yam, new potatoes, beet root, or cauliflower. The arugula can be swapped for baby spinach, baby lettuce, or young kale. In lieu of garlic scapes, try green beans, asparagus, or leeks.  

Ancient Grain Market Salad

Recipe: (Serves 4 as a main, 6 as a side)

1/2 cup uncooked Kaniwa (also called 'baby quinoa')
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 uncooked European Soilder Beans, or other white bean, soaked overnight (or 1 cup canned)
8 Unsulphered Apriocts, diced
1/4 Cup Roasted Almonds, chopped
8 large, or 10 medium Carrots
1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
1 tsp. Whole Cumin Seeds, crushed with a pestle.
A hand full Garlic Scapes, about 3/4 of a cup when chopped
A Couple Handfuls Arugula 
A Couple Spring Cilantro
Sea Salt


2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
2 Tbps. Orange Juice
2 tsp. Grated Ginger
1 1/2 tsp. Ground Corriander
3/4 tsp. Ground Cardamom
3/4 tsp. Whole Fennel Seeds
1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
2 Cloves Garlic, grated
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 tsp. Orange Zest


1.Begin by cooking the beans in about 4 cups fresh water until they are tender (30 -45 minutes or until tender). You will have to top up the water as they cook.
2. Meanwhile cook the quinoa and the kaniwa. In one small pot add the 1/2 quinoa and 1/2 cup kaniwa along with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then with the lid on, let simmer until tender and the water is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Let the mixture cool.
3. Heat the oven to 200 C (400 F). Slice the carrots into even bite sized rounds and toss them with 1/2 Tbsp. melted coconut oil, the 1 tsp cumin seeds, and a pinch of salt. Roast in the oven, stirring often, for 15-20 minutes or until tender.
4. In a large bowl combine the cooked beans, quinoa, kaniwa, chopped apricots,  almonds, and carrots (this can be prepaired ahead of time).
5. With the remaining 1/2 Tbsp. oil, toss the chopped garlic scapes in a heavy frying pan until they are tender and browned. Add to quinoa mix.
6. On a large platter arrange the greens, top with the quinoa mix and a couple sprigs of cilantro.
7. Combine all the dressing ingredients together in a small jar. Dress and toss the salad just before serving. 

xox Sophie

Wednesday, July 16

Raw Wednesdays - Week 3

Many of you know about my deep love of muffins and quick breads.  I adore the ability to eat a mini cake for breakfast, and completely legitimise it. However, I sometimes find that in summer I just don't want all that refined flour and  heaviness weighing me down. So in the midst of this current heat wave we've been having here on the coast  (heat wave a la west coast is only about 30 C), I thought it the perfect time to make a batch of no-cook, flourless, muffins. While these aren't muffins in the traditional sense - no oil, no flour, no refined sugar, no tops (sorry Elaine), they make a wonderful treat that perfectly fills the 'muffin void'. I opted for pistachio's for these, but any number of nuts and dried fruit combinations would be devine - think 1. date, raisin, and walnut, or 2. apricot, mango, macadamia, maybe even 3. fig, cranberry, and almonds! The possibilities are limited as your own imagination.

To make these muffins even more powerful, I added some maca and lacuma powder (the first of which balances hormones and the second which is anti-inflammatory), and cacao nibs. If these aren't available to you, simply add a 1/2 tsp- 1 tsp of your favourite spice such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, or fresh orange zest. In lieu of the cacao nibs add some hemp hearts, chia seeds, or ground flax.  

Breakfast - Fruit and Fibre Muffin

Recipe: (makes 5)

1/2 Cup Pitted Dates
1 Cup Unsulphered Apricots
1/2 Cup Pistachios (or nut of choice)
2 Tbsp. Cacao Nibs
1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
2 tsp. Maca Powder
1 tsp. Lacuma Powder
1/2 tsp Vanilla
Pinch Sea Salt

1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and puree until the mixture holds together.
2. Press the mixture into 5 muffin cups. Store in the Refrigerator.
3. They will last in the refrigerator for several weeks. 

I went to California once when I was 14. We were on one of those typical family road trips where you stop in at every state park in between long drives, with endless Mad Libs and BP&J sandwiches while playing with your sisters beany babies. We just dipped into the top of the state so that my dad could visit a bamboo nursery. It was enough of a visit that we were able to see the majestic Red Woods, but we never got a chance to go any further south, to see the beaches, the hills, or the California I had envisioned. Since then, I have had this romanticised idea of Californian sunshine, ocean, and endless fresh produce swimming around  in my mind. This salad is the ode to my rose coloured vision of the state of forever summer and healthy lifestyles.

Lunch - California Dreams Salad

Recipe: (Serves 2)

A Couple Hand fulls of Baby Greens
1 Cup Sliced Cucumber
1/2 Cup Sprouts (I used lentil, garbanzo, and adzuki)
1/2 Cup Berries (Blueberries, Raspberries, or Strawberries)
1/2 Avocado, Diced
1/4 Cup Walnuts or Pecans
Mango Dressing (Recipe Below)
Edible Flowers such as Marigold, Chamomile, or Pansy (Optional)

1. Make a bed of baby greens and top with the cucumber, sprouts, berries, avocado, and walnuts. Serve with Mango Dressing.

Mango Dressing

1 Mango, peeled and pitted
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Water
1 Clove Garlic
1 tsp. Grated Ginger
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 Pepper
A Pinch of Chili

1. Puree all the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. 

Cauliflower rice is a truly amazing and versitile raw food dish (see here), perfect for salads, bowl food, and even sushi. I used a white caultiflower for this recipe, but the coloured ones would make a spectacular choice too. If raw cauliflower isn't your friend (I know many folk like you), then try using all mashed avocado. 

Supper - Summer Roll Sushi

Cauliflower Rice (Recipe Below)
1/2 Avocado, Sliced
1/2 Mango, Sliced
6 or so Green Beans
A hand full Sunflower Sprouts
Black Sesame Seeds
Tamari, for dipping
Nori, or Raw Seaweed Sheets

1. Spread about 1/4 cup to 1/2 of the cauliflower rice onto the bottom 1/3 of the nori, leaving about 1/2 cm space at the very bottom of the sheet free of rice (so that it will stick together). 2. Arrange a row of veggie slices along the rice. Roll up, and slice. Like the traditonal sushi rolls, these are best eaten just after making. 

Cauliflower Rice

Adapted From Crudessence

1 Head Cauliflower (about 4 cups)
2 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tsp. Psyllium husk
A Pinch Sea Salt

1. Puree all in a food porcessor until 'rice like' consistency is acheived. Taste and adjust seasoning. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minuts prior to using.

xox Sophie