Category Archives: Soups & Stews

Zucchini Noodle “Ramen” w/Mushroom Miso Broth – Raw Vegan

raw vegan ramen - zucchini noodles in a mushroom miso broth

The weather was a bit chilly again this evening, but I’ve also been feeling that I wanted a greater amount of raw food today, so I made a flavorful warm raw vegan ramen dish with zucchini noodles and a mushroom miso broth. 

This dish was actually a happy accident. I had marinaded the mushrooms and other vegetables with the intent of using them in sandwiches, but when I tasted the liquid after everything had soaked overnight, it seemed like a very perfect soup base, so I just added the zucchini noodles and some seaweed after gently heating the broth, and everything turned out to be really delicious. The whole dish required very little work, which is my favorite kind of meal. 😉

raw zucchini noodles

Zucchini noodles, stacked in the center of the bowl, softened with some sea salt, and ready for the soup.

raw vegan ramen - zucchini noodles in a mushroom miso broth raw vegan ramen - zucchini noodles in a mushroom miso broth raw vegan ramen - zucchini noodles in a mushroom miso broth

Zucchini Noodle Ramen w/Mushroom Miso Broth
Serves 2
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Noodle Ingredients
  1. 2 zucchinis, cut into noodles with a spiral cutter or julienne peeler
  2. few pinches of sea salt
Soup Ingredients
  1. 1.25 cups very warm water (do not exceed 118 degrees)
  2. 1 TB gluten free white miso paste (or another variety of miso if you prefer)
  3. 2 TB tamari or coconut aminos
  4. 1 large portobello mushroom, chopped into 1/2" slices, and then 1/4" pieces
  5. 2-3 TB sun dried tomatoes, julienne sliced
  6. 2-3 TB sweet onion, shaved as thin as possible on a mandolin
  7. Optional: 1 TB seaweed
Instructions
  1. Prepare the broth 12-24 hours in advance. Slice the mushroom, sun dried tomatoes, and onions. Put them in a bowl and set aside. Heat the water (you can use the stove or a kettle and let it cool down to about 110 degrees) and then mix in the miso and tamari. Ensure the miso is completely dissolved into a broth. Pour the warm water over the vegetables and allow it to sit for 20-30 minutes or until room temperature. This helps to soften the vegetables and blend the flavors. Cover this bowl and let it everything marinade in the fridge 12-24 hours.
  2. When you are ready to eat this, spiral cut your zucchinis and sprinkle them with a few pinches of salt. Massage it in and let them sit on the counter to soften and release some of their liquid for about 10 minutes. As the broth has enough salt in it, rinse and drain the noodles when you feel the texture is to your desired consistency.
  3. Strain the liquid broth from the marinaded vegetables and, if a warm soup is desired, while monitoring the temperature (I use an IR thermometer), gently heat the liquid either on the stove top, or in a Vitamix blender until it is warm to the touch, not exceeding 110 degrees (to ensure you don't accidentally go over 118).
  4. Add half of the zucchini noodles to each of two bowls in a "pasta nest" (a twisted noodle tower). Arrange some of the marinaded vegetables around the edges of each bowl. Divide the warm broth and pour over each bowl. Reserve a few pieces of the sun dried tomato for garnish.
  5. If desired, add a bit of your favorite seaweed as well.
Notes
  1. This dish would probably work beautifully with other types of seasonal vegetable noodles in place of the zucchini.
  2. You can also substitute the mushroom variety if you like. I used portobellos because I used some of the marinaded pieces in a sandwich.
  3. You do not have to use white miso. It has a rich flavor that I like and I found a gluten free variety. You can use a different kind of miso if you would like.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

Advanced Raw Cuisine: Week 4

raw vegan chocolate walnut cake

Week 4 of Advanced Raw Cuisine was particularly exciting. We finished a few more pastry projects, made a few savory dishes, and got to work toward our final project, which for this class had some practical business applications. 

First, one of the final two pastry projects… raw vegan cupcakes! I always wondered if this was possible, and it sure is! They even had a nice little “bounce” from the Irish moss. We had creative freedom to make a flavor of our choosing, and since it was fall when I took the class, I made pumpkin spice with a vanilla frosting and some chocolate shavings.

Yes, I’m one of those people. Pumpkin spice all of the things! =D

raw vegan pumpkin spice cupcakes raw vegan pumpkin spice cupcakes raw vegan pumpkin spice cupcakes raw vegan pumpkin spice cupcakes raw vegan pumpkin spice cupcakes raw vegan pumpkin spice cupcakes

We also started to learn about costing out ingredients so that we could calculate prices for dishes the way restaurants do. This was a very useful lesson for those with entrepreneurial aspirations. We made this dish of cacao corn chips and guacamole, calculated the cost of all of the ingredients, then the cost of the whole dish, and finally, added on a markup to ensure we were paid for our time and resources used. This was a really beneficial exercise. The guacamole was tasty too. It’s one of my favorite foods. 🙂

raw vegan cacao corn chips and guacamole w/sunflower mole raw vegan cacao corn chips and guacamole w/sunflower mole

One of the other “big” projects this week was to put a lot of the lessons we learned together in a final pastry dish. We were given two to choose from, or the option to make both. I selected the chocolate walnut cake project. It was delicious. I had more than enough to take into work and share with my coworkers. They all enjoyed the special delivery and this dish got rave reviews!

Below are some photos of the prep work and the final plated dish. The dish is comprised of the chocolate cakes, the sous vide pears, a walnut caramel sauce, a fennel oil, candied fennel seeds, sassafras ice cream, and some fennel fronds and lavender as garnish. It was really delicious.

IMG_2233sous vide pearsIMG_2230 IMG_2165sassafras ice creamraw vegan chocolate walnut cake raw vegan chocolate walnut cake

Following all that dessert, I’m so glad there was another savory dish. This one was especially good because it had a bit of spice in it! It didn’t hurt that cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables too. I know, it’s a bit weird. So many people don’t like it, but to me, it has a subtle sweetness that makes it exquisite. 

This dish is a cauliflower and walnut harissa. I love that we branched out and used walnuts for more recipes this week. So many of the other recipes were based on almonds and cashews, which are certainly versatile nuts for their flavor and texture, but it was nice to have some more variety. There is a walnut cream sauce in the base, some harissa sauce, some marinaded and dehydrated spiced walnuts, and some cauliflower and romanesco. This dish would have been even more beautiful if I had access to some junky purple cauliflower, but my grocery store didn’t have any. I love the way we were instructed to plate this dish in a ring mold with the stems up. They are so organic looking. 

raw vegan cauliflower walnut harissa raw vegan cauliflower walnut harissa

The last real food recipe that we made before presenting out final projects was a lovely light carrot soup. This was somewhat like a gazpacho. There was a nice variety of carrot, radish, and apple chunks for texture and flavor. It was all topped with a bit of the soup, which had been foamed in the blender. The rest of the soup was poured in to make for a nice presentation. The soup was a great blend of sweet and savory with a smooth mouthfeel. It was a great lunch!

raw vegan carrot soup raw vegan carrot soup raw vegan carrot soup raw vegan carrot soup raw vegan carrot soup

For my final project, I decided to make a probiotic granola bar. I polled my social media friends to ask them what kind of product they might be interested in. The overwhelming response was for something quick and healthy that was also filling. I also asked about probiotics and what the perception of taste and texture was regarding fermented foods. People either love sauerkraut or they hate it. Personally, I love sauerkraut. I make it by the gallon, but I digress. I made these bars so that I could sneak some good bugs in without people having to fear the funky taste of fermented vegetables. 

raw vegan granola bars raw vegan granola bars raw vegan granola bars raw vegan granola bars raw vegan granola bars raw vegan granola bars

To celebrate the completion of the class, we were presented with some raw cocktail recipes. Whoo hoo! The base of both of these was also good as non-alcoholic drinks on their own. The green one is a nut milk with match powder – basically a vegan green tea latte. It is mixed with a cloudy sake to make it an adult beverage. The purple drink is a lavender and blueberry lemonade. It is also mixed with unfiltered nigori sake. Both were totally delicious. It was a nice way to celebrate. Cheers!

healthy vegan sake cocktails healthy vegan sake cocktails healthy vegan sake cocktails healthy vegan sake cocktails

 

 

I’m done!!! =D =D =D Be on the lookout for more delicious recipes and more class adventures coming your way!

advanced raw cuisine certificate of completion

Vegan Chipotle Chili Stew

vegan chipotle chili

Mmmmmmm, chili! We had a little “cold front” here in central Florida recently. It dropped down into the mid-high 40s for about 3 days in a row. It’s practically shorts and flip flops weather again, but we needed something with a little heat to warm us up. My husband hinted that it was great weather for chili, so we took out the crock put and put this fabulously spicy and smoky chipotle chili stew together! 

vegan chipotle chili

I get really excited about cold weather because it gives me excuses to experiment with various vegan chilis and stews. They’re also hearty enough that my husband will happily eat them without missing the meat, so that makes me happy. 

This chili ended up a little runnier than I was hoping because I haven’t used my crockpot in so long. I was a little rusty on which dishes need extra liquid for different cook times, etc. It turned out more like a cross between a chili and a Mexican stew, which was just fine with me! We served it over whole grain brown rice, and it turned out just wonderful! 

vegan chipotle chili

This chili has a variety of beans, bell peppers, mushrooms, and corn. I normally like to add black olives too, but I was so excited about the cold weather and the opportunity to make a batch of chili that I completely forgot. There are a lot of spices in this too for extra flavor: a few spicy peppers along with smoked paprika and chipotle, garlic etc. It has a really rich, smoky, and spicy flavor profile. If you don’t like spicy, feel free to omit the ingredients which are obviously added for extra heat, like the cayenne pepper. My mother would not go near this chili. 😉

I also wanted to make a cream sauce to go on top of it, but my husband wasn’t in the mood for sour cream, so I whipped up an onion hemp cream sauce to drizzle over the top. Most of the flavor comes from onion powder. This worked out really well since I did not have enough fresh onion to use in the actual chili. It was a nice flavor compliment to the other vegetables and the smoky flavors in the dish. 

vegan chipotle chili

 

Chipotle Chili Stew w/Onion Hemp Cream
Serves 8
Looking for something warm and smoky to warm you up this winter? This spicy chipotle chili is an easy vegan meal. Served over whole grain rice with an onion hemp cream sauce.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 hr
Total Time
5 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 hr
Total Time
5 hr 10 min
Chili Ingredients
  1. 56 oz crushed tomatoes (2-28 oz cans)
  2. 15 oz each (appx 1 can or make from dried): black, pinto, kidney, and chickpeas
  3. 10 oz fresh or frozen corn
  4. 8-10 oz chopped fresh white button mushrooms
  5. 8-10 oz fresh or frozen chopped bell peppers
  6. 2 TB dried cilantro
  7. 1 TB chili powder
  8. 1 TB cumin
  9. 1 TB chipotle chili (omit if you do not want it spicy)
  10. 1 TB smoked paprika
  11. 1-2 tsp smoked sea salt (to taste - there is no other salt in the recipe)
  12. 1 tsp cayenne pepper (omit if you do not want it spicy)
  13. 1 tsp red pepper flake (omit if you do not want it spicy)
  14. 1 tsp garlic powder
  15. 1-2 cups water (2 for a thinner "stew" and 1/2-1 for a thicker "chili")
Onion Hemp Cream Ingredients
  1. 1/4-1/2 cup water (depending upon desired thickness)
  2. 1/2 cup hemp seed
  3. 1 tsp onion powder
  4. 2 TB nutritional yeast
  5. 1/4 tsp sea salt
  6. juice of 1/2 a lemon (add to taste)
Base Grain Ingredients
  1. whole grain brown rice - 3 cups uncooked
Instructions
  1. Put all chili ingredients in a 6 qt. crockpot and mix until well combined. Set it on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-9 hours.
  2. Prepare rice as indicated on package before serving. We use a rice cooker, and it takes appx. 45-50 minutes.
  3. Blend all onion cream ingredient in a high speed blender until well combined.
  4. To assemble, place some rice in the bottom of a shallow bowl, spoon chili on top, and drizzle a little onion cream sauce on top. You can also top with some micro greens if you'd like. I really enjoyed the slight textural crunch and fresh flavor that they added.
Notes
  1. All of the ingredients for this recipe were organic. Please look for organic ingredients when possible.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

Advanced Raw Cuisine: Day 8

raw vegan vietnamese pho

Day 8 of Advanced Raw Cuisine at Matthew Kenney Culinary is completed! 

The day started by soaking some chondrus crispus, commonly known as the seaweed, Irish moss. This is a seaweed that is a natural source of carrageenan – about 55% by weight. It is also a rich source of minerals. We use it in raw cuisine because of its gelling abilities. It is also about 10% protein! To use it, we soak it in water for 3-4 hours and then blend it with some water to make a gel that can be added to our recipes. 

irish moss soaking

 As this is the week we learned about advanced equipment, today we were introduced to the smoking gun. This is a really neat gadget that allows you to “cold smoke” food and beverages. There is a chamber where you put a small amount of a combustible, usually wood chips, and then you light them until they smolder. The fan in the gun blows the smoke that is produced through the tube and by inserting it into a sealed container, the smoke becomes infused into the foods that are in that container.

For this project, we smoked the raw coconut and cashew tofu that was made yesterday. The smoked was produced so fast that I didn’t have a chance to snap a photo of it in action, but you can see it hovering above the tofu cubes The sealed container is left alone until it’s not longer cloudy from the smoke, and then you know it’s been absorbed. It adds such a rich dimension of flavor to recipes, and it’s fun to play with!

raw vegan smoked tofu raw vegan smoked tofu raw vegan smoked tofu

After smoking the tofu, it was time to assemble the pho dish. We made an intricate broth, with 16 different ingredients, but it was well worth it. It had a very complex and delicious flavor, and it went down so easy. It was both light in texture and very flavorful. We added squash and coconut noodles, some scallions, red pepper, cilantro, the smoked tofu, and a few curried cashews. The whole thing was topped off with some black sesame seeds. 

If you’d like to make this recipe at home, it is on page 92 of Matthew Kenney’s book, Everyday Raw Express: Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less.

raw vegan vietnamese pho raw vegan vietnamese pho raw vegan vietnamese pho raw vegan vietnamese pho raw vegan vietnamese pho

 

After eating this amazing dish, we reviewed and started a panna cotta recipe. There were a few different flavor options available, and I chose the one that used raw cacao butter so that I would have white chocolate panna cotta! Here they are hanging out in a couple different mold shapes about to go into the freezer so I can eat them tomorrow. 🙂

raw vegan white chocolate panna cotta raw vegan white chocolate panna cotta raw vegan white chocolate panna cotta

That concludes day 8! Looking forward to day 9!

 

Advanced Raw Cuisine: Day 2

raw vegan root vegetable gnocchi

On to day 2 of Advanced Raw Cuisine at Matthew Kenney Culinary! Today’s delectable treats included a raw vegan gnocchi and a vegetable miso soup. Not only was there was ample opportunity to continue honing my skills, every dish provided an opportunity to make culinary art and continue improving my plating skills as well. I have truly enjoyed learning new things each and every day.

The first thing I did today was to do a bit of rearranging in the dehydrator. I checked on the olive bread that I put in yesterday and removed it when I found that it was nice and crispy. In its place, I put in the eggplant that I left to marinade overnight. 

Our first lesson for today was on the second of the five raw mother sauces, the vegetable stock. That’s right! You don’t have to give up that tasty soup or your favorite recipes. We can still make flavorful raw vegetable stocks through juicing, blending, and dehydrating. It doesn’t take any more time than simmering a cooked stock would, and all of the vitamins and enzymes are kept in tact. This is especially important when you consider the heat-sensitive vitamin C and that unlike other primate and mammalian species, humans cannot manufacture their own!

Isn’t this broth beautiful?

raw vegan vegetable stock

 

 

Our next lesson was starting on a root vegetable gnocchi. I really love that we have the creative freedom to customize the flavors and ingredient choices in this class. It allows the recipe creation process to feel a lot more personal when the selected ingredients are close to your heart (and tongue!).

For the gnocchi, we were allowed to select any root vegetable that we wanted. The demo was shown using beets. Indeed, they offer many health benefits and are fantastic liver cleaners. I wanted to use a root vegetable that I hadn’t been able to work with over the duration of these courses yet and picked one of my personal favorites, sweet potato! I’ve really been into the color orange lately too. Beta carotine, FTW!

We were given the option to shape them into fancy French quenelles, or to roll them and use a fork to give them more of a “rustic” look. I chose the latter. I really love the traditional look of gnocchi with the ridges across the middle. After forming our selected shapes, into the dehydrator they went!

raw vegan root vegetable gnocchi raw vegan root vegetable gnocchi

 

While waiting a few hours for the gnocchi, there were plenty of other projects to work on, one of which was more fermented nut cheese! We made a few of these in our Level 1 class, but this time around, we’ll be using our own probiotics and aging them to build some additional character in the flavor and texture. I’m a bit of a mad scientist when it comes to fermenting things, so I had to make sure there were enough batches to experiment with. 😉

I’ve got a “control” batch of cashew with a standard probiotic powder, a brazil/pine nut combo with water kefir, a couple pistachio experiments with kimchi and sauerkraut brines, and some macadamia cheeses with fermented coconut water and rejuvelac. 

raw vegan nut cheesesraw vegan nut cheesesprobiotic fermented food

 

The second recipe we worked on while waiting for the gnocchi to dehydrate a bit more was a “new style miso soup”. This soup was a great opportunity to test out the versatility of the raw vegan vegetable broth. It was a flavorful and creative cross between a vegetable soup and a miso soup. It was also slightly creamy, but retained a lightness to it, which made for a satisfying appetizer. Working on this recipe gave me a lot of creative ideas for just how versatile our second mother sauce really is.

raw vegan vegetable miso soupraw vegan vegetable miso soup raw vegan vegetable miso soup raw vegan vegetable miso soup

At long last, after being taunted with the wonderful smells coming out of my dehydrator (don’t forget, the eggplant bacon is still in there too), something was ready to come out and be eaten. I removed the gnocchi after warming the lemon cream sauce from yesterday’s lesson a bit.

In addition to the cream sauce, we learned how to make gremolata, a parsley and lemon based condiment that adds a refreshing quality to an otherwise rich or heavy dish. The flavors and textures paired very well with the Meyer lemon cream sauce, and the textural contrasts looked beautiful on the plate as well.

The most rewarding part of all this is that the parsley came from my porch garden! Food is so much more rewarding when you’ve grown it yourself.

The whole thing was topped off with some micro-greens. I chose some baby chard here, not only for their mild tangy flavor, but also for the beautiful pop of color that the red stems added to the plating. I was really thrilled with how this all came together. It is by far the most beautiful dish I’ve ever put together, and I learned all of the skills with the help of my wonderful instructors. I am really impressed with the quality of the culinary education I’ve been receiving from an online program!

raw vegan root vegetable gnocchi raw vegan root vegetable gnocchi raw vegan root vegetable gnocchi raw vegan root vegetable gnocchi raw vegan root vegetable gnocchi

 

That wrapped up my second day! Looking forward to tomorrow’s projects! We will be putting a mezze platter together and learning about tomato sauces!

Raw Food Level 1: Day 14

raw vegan portobello sliders

Day 14 of Raw Food Level 1 at Matthew Kenney Academy is completed! Today, we checked in on our wheatgrass, dehydrated our nut cheeses to put a rind on them (not pictured), put together some last minute toppings and sauces for our sliders before plating and eating them, made sprouted buckwheat granola, made Bahian soup, and started planning for our final projects! It was a super busy, and very delicious day. I think this might be my favorite day of eating so far!

Here is my still growing and freshly harvested wheatgrass! I can’t believe I grew it myself, and it was so easy to do! All I did was soak the wheat berries overnight and then start the sprouting process. As soon as they had little tails, I sandwiched them between a layer of potting mix (to let them breathe without getting overly saturated) with a little organic fertilizer and garden lime mixed in. You don’t even need any fancy equipment for this. I did it in cheap-o aluminum lasagna pans that I found at the grocery store for about $1 each. Poke some holes in the bottom for drainage and lightly water daily, and you’re good to go!

growing wheatgrass growing wheatgrasswheat grass

 

I ran my wheatgrass through the juicer and decided to have a little fun, so I made a “wheatgrass bomb” with a juice base of apple, pear, cucumber, and lime. It was amazing. Maybe it tasted better because I grew the wheatgrass myself and had a deep appreciation for the work that went into it, or maybe the flavor of my homegrown wheatgrass actually was better than the stuff I’d been buying at Whole Foods. Hmmm…

wheatgrass juice wheatgrass bomb wheatgrass bomb wheatgrass bomb wheatgrass bomb

After marinading some portobello mushroom medallions (thanks, ring mold!), some blending to make a few sauces (smokey tomato based “BBQ” and a creamy basil ranch), and a few toppings (salsa and shallot/spinach/thyme), we had free reign to mix and match whatever we wanted on our sliders. It was time to take out that “swiss cheese” that was completed a few days ago too.

I put a bed of red lettuce on all of my sliders to act as a moisture barrier. After that, this is what went on each of them (besides the marinaded portobello):

  • swiss cheese, bbq sauce, kimchi (homemade!), caramelized onions
  • yogurt, tomato, pickle (homemade!), shallot mix (this one was my favorite)
  • swiss cheese, ranch, salsa

I can’t believe I made every single thing on this plate from scratch. I feel so accomplished. My poor husband did not get to eat any of it. I devoured it at lunch time. 😉

raw vegan portobello sliders raw vegan portobello sliders raw vegan portobello sliders raw vegan portobello sliders

We also started a batch of sprouted buckwheat granola, which will be going into a yogurt parfait tomorrow. We were given a base recipe and technique and told that we could alter it however we liked. I love assignments where I can take a creative license. I made a tropical granola with pineapple, coconut, lime, and cinnamon. There are some apple bits in there too for a little extra sweetness.

raw vegan portobello sliders raw vegan portobello sliders raw vegan portobello sliders raw vegan portobello sliders

The last recipe of the day was a Brazilian-inspired “Bahian soup”. It’s a chunky soup that is traditionally made with seafood and the texture is a result of cooking the mixture down. In the raw food world, we mimic these textures and flavors with creative blending and ingredient mixing techniques. This soup was delicious. I love that it had a hit of spice up front, and then the flavors of tomato, coconut, and lime all came in to mingle playfully together afterward. the chunkiness of the tomato, the creamy texture of the soup itself, and the pieces of avocado all blended together to make a great texture as well.

My day ended with a delicious bowl of this soup and the beginning stages of planning my final project, which is to plan a full three course raw vegan meal! The meal I am working on takes its inspiration from Arabic, Greek, Indian, and Italian dishes. It should be a lot of fun!

raw vegan bahian soup raw vegan bahian soup raw vegan bahian soup raw vegan bahian soup

 

Fundamentals of Raw Food: Day 10

raw vegan seaweed salad

I just completed day 10 of my classes teaching the fundamentals of raw food!

Today was awesome for so many reasons. In addition to the tasty things I made and ate, I took my knife skills test and aced it, both the written portion and the actual cutting portion. It was a little tedious for me, but I really did learn a lot from making a daily practice of it. My cutting skills improved dramatically, and most importantly, my hands now automatically use the correct methods for holding my knife and cutting while protecting my fingers.

There is still room for improvement, but I’m very happy with my progress, thus far. I will miss making a daily juice from the vegetables I practiced chopping. 😉

knife skills test

My raw vegan banana bread also went into the dehydrator today! This is not a recipe that I have found in any of Matthew Kenney’s books, so I am not able to provide any sources for it. I was really pleased with the final product and would definitely make this again! I’ve been enjoying it as a wonderful healthy breakfast with a big cup of fresh juice in the mornings!

raw vegan banana bread raw vegan banana bread raw vegan banana bread

The second recipe I worked on for Day 10 was a seaweed salad. This recipe appeared to be an adaption of the “Seaweed Salad” that is on page 83 of Everyday Raw by Matthew Kenney. I was very happy with the way the flavors blended together in the final product. I made extra so I could take some into work for lunch.

raw vegan seaweed salad raw vegan seaweed salad

I also checked on my wheatgrass growing project this morning. It looks very good! It is supposed to be 6-7″ tall before harvesting, so it’s not quite there yet, but it’s getting closer. Probably just a couple days left. I’m really excited to be able to grow my own so cheaply now! It’s super easy too. 

growing wheatgrass growing wheatgrass

The last project of the day was to create one of my own recipes, following a specific list of criteria designed to challenge us, and utilizing the lessons that we have learned in the class so far. I made a Bloody Mary Gazpacho! 

I was really happy with the way this turned out. It is by far one of the most flavorful and beautifully plated dishes I have come up with on my own so far. It makes me realize just how much I have learned in the last month, and I’m really only half way through the course! My husband even said the flavor was good, and he’s not a huge fan of raw food. That’s how good it was. 😉

raw vegan bloody mary gazpacho raw vegan bloody mary gazpacho raw vegan bloody mary gazpacho

Bloody Mary Gazpacho (Raw Vegan)

raw vegan bloody mary gazpacho

To finish off the 10th day of my raw food classes, we were tasked with a challenge to come up with an original recipe based on a set of given criteria (I won’t spoil the fun for anyone who wants to take the class – no cheating!). Ultimately, my strange thought process led me to create a Bloody Mary Gazpacho. 

I was really pleased with myself when I tasted the final result. The soup base does indeed taste like a fresh Bloody Mary base, and all without the need for any animal products (goodbye Worcestershire sauce!) or heat treated juices that are devoid of nutrition. This particular dish is loaded with vitamin C and vitality! 

Part of the assignment was to get fancy with the presentation, so I had a lot of fun with the plating, but if that’s not your thing, feel free to just dump your vegetables right on top. 

raw vegan bloody mary gazpacho

Bloody Mary Gazpacho
Serves 2
A savory twist on the traditional gazpacho, this dish is infused with rich Bloody Mary flavors that combine smokey, sweet, and slightly spicy. Your friends will swear they're eating cooked food!
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Prep Time
40 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
40 min
Total Time
40 min
Chopped Vegetable Ingredients
  1. cucumber, small dice - 1/2 cup (appx 1/2 large cucumber)
  2. yellow bell pepper, small dice - 1/2 cup
  3. tomato, chopped roughly to small dice - 1/2 cup
  4. green olives, rough chopped - 1/4 cup (I used Castelvetrano olives - my new favorite!)
  5. shallot, minced - 2 TB
  6. fresh parsley, finely chopped - 1 TB
  7. carrots - 1/2 carrot - cut paper thin on mandolin
Bloody Mary Gazpacho Soup Base Ingredients
  1. red sweet pepper, chopped (appx 2-3 small peppers) - 1/4 cup
  2. pearl and/or plum tomatoes, chopped - 1 cup
  3. sun dried tomato, chopped - 1/4 cup + 2 TB
  4. celery juice - 1/2 cup (juice of 4-5 stalks)
  5. lime juice - 2 TB (juice of 1-2 limes)
  6. wasabi powder (all natural - make sure there are no additives!) - 1/2 tsp
Instructions
  1. Put sun dried tomatoes (for soup base) in warm water to soak for 10-15 min while you prepare the chopped vegetables and marinade.
  2. Juice the celery and the limes.
  3. Chop the vegetables and add all of them except the carrots to a medium sized mixing bowl.
  4. Add the marinade ingredients to the chopped vegetables and mix until well coated. Let it sit while you make the sauce.
  5. Add all of the sauce ingredients to the blender on high speed until smooth and well combined. If you want to thin it out a bit, you can add a little bit of filtered water, 1 TB at a time.
  6. Divide the chopped vegetables into two portions - one for each plate.
  7. For each plate: If you want to get fancy, line a ring mold with the sliced carrots. It helps to have them in a bowl of water so they stick together better. Then, fill the ring mold with half of the chopped vegetables and pack it down. Juices will leak out and this is ok. Pour appx half of the soup mix into the bowl BEFORE removing the ring mold. Let the juices mingle and swirl them with a spoon for an even consistency. Then, carefully, remove the ring mold, and garnish with some fresh herbs.
  8. If you want a more rustic dish that looks like a traditional gazpacho, then add the soup base to the bowl first, forget the ring mold, and add the vegetables right on top. Use the shaved carrots as a garnish around the edges of the soup.
Notes
  1. If you REALLY want to, you can thin out the soup base to make it a more drinkable texture and it does make an excellent vegan Bloody Mary base.
  2. If you add some flax seed to the water that the carrots are in, they will adhere together even better.
  3. You can find ume plum vinegar at any Asian grocery story or you can order it online. I like this one: Eden Foods Selected Ume Plum Vinegar -- 10 fl oz
  4. The ume vinegar really does provide a depth of flavor, even though there is a small amount. If you can't find it, you can try substituting with ACV and then adding an extra 1/2 tsp of dulse flakes to increase the "fishy" factor.
  5. You can probably use coconut aminos in place of the tamari if you prefer.
  6. The smoked spices REALLY make the flavor pop on this. Please don't omit them. I used an applewood smoked sea salt from a local spice company, but you can use any that you like which has a strong wood-smoked infusion of taste and fragrance.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

Radish and Caraway Gazpacho + Heart Disease

Raw Vegan Gazpacho Soup

This is a difficult recipe post for me to make. I am a little behind in my recipe postings for two very good reasons:

  1. My grandfather is in the hospital dying of heart disease. He was an active man who was never overweight.
  2. I am working to complete a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition through Cornell University.

The course material is very timely for me. We have been extensively covering the role that diet plays in the development of heart disease and cancers, the two consistent top causes of death in the United States. These are diseases of affluent nations. The richer we are, the poorer our diets become, full of processed foods and animal proteins.

The Heart Disease Epidemic

According to the CDC, about 600,000 people die from heart disease in the US per year. That is 1 in every 4 deaths. This is an epidemic. Conservatively, the CDC says that about 200,000 (1/3) of heart disease deaths are preventable with diet. However, based on the lifetime work of T. Colin Campbell, PhD, author of The China StudyWhole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, and The Low-Carb Fraud, he estimates that a full 90% of heart disease is preventable with the proper diet. The more calories we take in from unrefined plant foods instead of animal proteins and processed foods, the less we die from heart disease and cancer as a species. 

Heart disease deaths vs intake of plant food

Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr, a respected surgeon who directs the cardiovascular prevention and reversal program at The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, has had great success in halting and reversing heart disease among inoperable patients. His patients, “…agreed to follow a plant-based diet with <10% of calories derived from fat. They were asked to eliminate oil [except flax seed], dairy products … , fish, fowl, and meat. They were encouraged to eat grains, legumes, lentils, vegetables, and fruit. Cholesterol-lowering medication was individualized. The only goal was to achieve and maintain a total serum cholesterol of <150 mg/dl”.

He has also written a great article about abolishing heart disease on Dr. Campbell’s Center for Nutrition Studies website. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Autopsies from soldiers in the Korean and Vietnam wars revealed an 80% rate of coronary heart disease. The median age was 20. 
  • A study of autopsies from accident, homicide, and suicide victims aged 16-34 revealed heart disease in every single one.
  • When the Nazis invaded Norway and seized all of their livestock, the people subsisted on whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. Their rates of death from heart disease and stroke plummeted, but went back up to pre-occupation rates when their livestock was returned. 
  • As Western culture has permeated into Asia, these countries have started to adopt our bad dietary habits. They are shifting away from strongly plant based diets and starting to consume more animal proteins and processed foods. Coronary artery disease is predicted to become the #1 global disease burden by 2020.

The Hearth Healthy Diet

Based on the work of these men, and many others on the forefront of this research, the ideal diet for human health is a whole foods plant based diet. We receive the right balance of macronutrients automatically when we eat whole unprocessed foods grown from the ground. Dr. Campbell’s latest book, Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, spells it out:

The ideal human diet looks like this: Consume plant-based foods in forms as close to their natural state as possible (‘whole’ foods). Eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, raw nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, and whole grains. Avoid heavily processed foods and animal products. Stay away from added salt, oil, and sugar. Aim to get 80 percent of your calories from carbohydrates, 10 percent from fat, and 10 percent from protein.

Note: Dr. Esselstyn noted that the exception to the rule for oils is flaxseed oil, as it is the only one that contains more omega-3 than omega-6 fatty acid.

I am starting to incorporate more of these practices into my own diet, as I am constantly looking for ways to continue improving my own health. Going forward, more effort will be made for my recipes to follow the protocols outlined above that science is validating are correct for our species. 

Heart Healthy Gazpacho with Radish and Caraway
Serves 2
This is a heart healthy variation of gazpacho, which incorporates radish and caraway seed for a subtle punch of flavor. It follows the low fat whole foods plant based approach for heart health as outlined by the research of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and T. Colin Campbell, PhD. The only acceptable oil to use in small quantities is flax seed oil, which contains more omega-3 than omega-6.
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cucumbers
  2. 1 red bell pepper
  3. 1/2 small red onion
  4. 6 radishes
  5. 5 medium sized vine ripened tomatoes (I grew mine!)
  6. 1 clove raw garlic (probiotic upgrade: 5-6 ACV fermented garlic cloves)
  7. 2 TB flax seed oil
  8. 1/4 tsp sea salt
  9. 1/2 tsp caraway seed
  10. 1/4 tsp cumin
Instructions
  1. Finely chop 2-4TB of each vegetable and set aside to stir into the soup.
  2. Add everything else to a high speed blender (Vitamix is my preference) and blend thoroughly until everything is smooth and well incorporated.
  3. Pour into two large bowls and sprinkle the chopped vegetables in.
Notes
  1. Makes two large meal-sized servings or 4-6 appetizer/side servings.
  2. I also tried the soup with a quick pesto recipe (basil, flax oil, sea salt, pepper, garlic, sun dried tomato, hemp seed, and some nutritional yeast), and mixed it in. Two thumbs up from my mom and sister.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

Cream of Broccoli Soup (Raw Vegan)

Raw Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup

I was very happy with the way this raw vegan cream of broccoli soup recipe turned out. I know I’ve struck recipe gold when my husband says, “Wow, this isn’t bad!” Albeit, he added rice and hot sauce to it, but as I got him to eat a vegan meal, I still consider it a success, especially considering the fact that I don’t think I’ve ever seen him eat broccoli of his own volition. 😉

Believe it or not, raw broccoli was a vegetable that I used to dislike and avoid. I always knew it was good for me, but I struggled to find ways to make it work in its uncooked form. After drinking green smoothies for so long, my tastes have changed dramatically, and I now love all of the cruciferous vegetables. 

I think this recipe works well because the soup base is made using broccoli stems, which provide a nice mellow flavor. Most people usually discard the stems, but I think they have a lot to offer, and I embrace finding ways to use them. After I finished this recipe, I spiral cut the leftover stems to use as noodles in another recipe that I will be posting later this week.

raw vegan cream of broccoli soup

What I really found to be beneficial about this recipe is that it is easily adaptable so that I can feed both myself and my husband. I follow a diet that is high in raw foods and predominantly vegan, while my husband does neither. He avoids dairy though, so he appreciates any creamy or cheesy non-dairy recipes that I prepare.

For the members of your household who may not want to eat raw or even vegan, you can cook their portions of the soup without having to make a separate meal, add rice to make it more familiar and comfortable, or add nutritional yeast to make it more “cheesy”, and they’d still be eating a completely vegan meal that is healthier than their normal fare.

Regarding the health benefits of broccoli, it is high in fiber and will sweep out those intestines while helping to lower cholesterol. It is also loaded with Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and antioxidants. It is a powerful cancer fighter. Broccoli also aids in the metabolism of Vitamin D, is anti-inflammatory, and helps to mitigate problems with allergies. 

Raw Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup
Serves 4
A healthy raw vegan cream of broccoli soup recipe that is easy to modify as a delicious vegan dish for your non-raw family members.
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Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Liquid Soup Ingredients
  1. 3 cups water
  2. 2 & 1/2 cups chopped broccoli stems
  3. 1 cup raw sunflower seeds (soak in water at least 4 hours for optimal digestion)
  4. 1/2 cup coconut oil
  5. 1/2 cup chopped pearl onions
  6. 1 TB raw apple cider vinegar
  7. 1 tsp smoked sea salt
  8. 1 tsp garlic powder
  9. 1/4 tsp white pepper
  10. 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  11. Optional: 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
Mix Ins
  1. 3 cups broccoli florets (you can adjust the amount if you'd like more or less)
Garnish
  1. Broccoli florets
  2. Fresh ground pepper
  3. Optional: Nutritional yeast
Instructions
  1. Shave the smallest florets possible off the top of the broccoli and set aside in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Chop pieces of broccoli stems first from the top and moving down. Save the large stem at the bottom to use for juicing, smoothies, vegetable noodles or slaw, etc.
  3. Add all of the liquid ingredients to a high speed blender (such as a Vitamix) and blend until smooth and creamy. If you have a Vitamix, you can also warm the soup as it blends.
  4. Add the florets and pulse to incorporate and chop a bit more.
Notes
  1. This recipe can be made as a meal or an appetizer. It will serve two as a filling meal. If used as an appetizer, it will make 4 bowls or 8 cups of soup.
  2. You will need about 3 small heads of broccoli or 2 large ones.
  3. Nutritional yeast is not raw, but it is vegan. It is a nice addition for non-raw or non-vegan members of your household, as it adds a "cheesy" flavor.
  4. I used fresh broccoli, but you could probably use frozen broccoli also. You might need to reduce the water slightly and the florets would have a softer texture.
  5. The soup can also be cooked for family members that do not want to eat it raw, and you will not have to make them a separate meal.
  6. My husband enjoyed the soup and he also made rice to add in with his, as he does not follow a raw foods diet. He also added hot sauce. =P
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/