Tag Archives: cilantro

Mushroom Taco Lettuce Wraps (Raw Vegan)

mushroom taco lettuce cups

I’m still working on the recap of the second half of my advanced raw cuisine class, but until I have all of the blog posts up, I still have to feed myself and my husband, so that leaves a lot of room for experimentation. These mushroom taco lettuce wraps are what I put together for dinner tonight, and there was enough leftover to have for lunch tomorrow too. For tomorrow’s lunch, I’ll be chopping up some romaine and taking the leftovers as a taco salad. =D

mushroom taco lettuce cups

I took a vacation immediately following the completion of my culinary classes, and returned with a strong desire to go back to my low fat lifestyle after 4 months of culinary classes and a vacation that was vegan, but contained far too much fat. I went on a cruise and although the wait staff was very good at honoring my requests that everything be vegan and gluten free, much of it was cooked and laden with oils. I was too polite to send the food back since they had worked so hard to accommodate my food allergies. I tried to eat fresh fruits for breakfast and salads for lunch, but it wasn’t enough. On a plant-based diet, just putting oil and vinegar on a salad can result in at least 30% of the day’s calories coming from fat! That doesn’t even include fats from whole food sources. 

I am a firm believer in Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s research and approach on diet, whole foods, and macronutrients. In his latest book, Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, he discusses that the ideal macronutrient ratio is 80/10/10 (carbs/protein/fats). He is not the first expert to express this opinion either. Douglas Graham’s book, The 80/10/10 Diet, goes into a lot of detail about this topic as well (I recently finished this book and hope to get a review written in the coming weeks). 

I have experimented with this very low fat way of eating before, and not only did I have more energy, I also slept much better. I had been tracking my sleep for over a year on my FitBit, looking for ways to improve my sleep, and I noticed a drastic reduction in the number of sleep disturbances after eating this way for only a couple of days. The number of disturbances remained low until I started adding more fats back into my diet again. My skin complexion also seems to be much better with less fat in my diet. Ultimately, I just feel better and have more energy.

Anyway, for this reason, I’ve been striving to keep my diet very fresh and clean since I’ve been home. My fats have been very low, and since I aim for a weekly average of 10% fat, I added a small amount of avocado oil to the mushrooms in this dish to give them a bit more texture. Despite that, my omega fatty acids for the day were still balanced and I am still within range for my macronutrient ratios for the week! There is a total of 1 TB, but it is meant to be served as an appetizer for 4 people, and if you feel very strongly about omitting oils completely from your diet, you could leave it out (or you could add more for a richer mouthfeel). 

I hope you enjoy this recipe! It’s easy to make, very healthy and fresh, and the final outcome is visually appealing as well if you might have guests coming to visit. 🙂

mushroom taco lettuce cups

Raw Vegan Mushroom Taco Lettuce Wraps
Serves 4
These raw vegan mushroom taco lettuce wraps are a satisfying and lean appetizer, full of flavor, and easy to make!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 head of Boston, Butter, or Bibb lettuce
  2. 8 oz white button mushrooms, diced
  3. 1 TB avocado oil (see notes on different oils)
  4. 2 TB of your favorite taco/fajita seasoning mix (refer to notes for one I like to use)
  5. 2 large ripe tomatoes, diced
  6. 1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
  7. 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (or more if you love it as much as I do)
  8. 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
  9. 1/4 sprouted mung beans, lentils, or a mix (optional, but makes it a bit more hearty and increases the protein)
  10. 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  11. pinch of salt (or two!)
  12. 1/2 tsp cumin
  13. 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Instructions
  1. Toss chopped mushrooms, avocado oil, and taco seasoning together until mushrooms are well coated. Put in a covered glass bowl (either with a lid or with plastic wrap - no towels - you don't want the moisture to escape) and put in a dehydrator at 145 for 1 hour. (See note about temperature.)
  2. Separate the lettuce leaves from the head, clean, dry, and set aside.
  3. The remaining ingredients are for the salsa. Mix them together in a bowl and set aside to marinade while the mushrooms are sweating.
  4. When the mushrooms are ready, place some lettuce leaves onto a plate, and spoon on the salsa and seasoned mushrooms. Top with a cilantro leaf to make it extra fancy.
Notes
  1. The taco seasoning I use is from a local shop called "Penzeys Spices". They make it for chicken, but I love it on mushrooms! https://www.penzeys.com/online-catalog/chicken-taco-seasoning/c-24/p-516/pd-s
  2. You can use a different oil than avocado if you like, but I like this one for it's truly neutral flavor. From a health perspective, I normally prefer flax oil as it's the only plant based oil with more omega 3 than 6.
  3. If you are opposed to eating oil and very strict about eating 100% whole plant foods, you could omit it. If you want a richer mouthfeel for the mushrooms to be more "meaty", you could alternatively add more.
  4. If you do not have a dehydrator, you can marinade the mushrooms overnight instead. A little extra salt will help them to release their juices.
  5. Using your dehydrator at 145 for the short period of time called for in the recipe will not result in the internal temperature of the food being heated that high. It will still be well within range to still be considered raw. When I removed the mushrooms, they were "lukewarm" to the touch. The goal is to just help them "sweat" a bit.
  6. This recipe is meant to be eaten as an appetizer for 4 (or 2 for 2 meals each). That works out to only 3/4 tsp oil per serving.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

Advanced Raw Cuisine: Day 11

raw vegan thai salad

I’m officially into my third week of Advanced Raw Cuisine via Matthew Kenney Culinary Online. Today marks the start of… wait for it… PASTRY WEEK! We’ll be making cookies, breads, and crackers, and finishing the week with some chocolate making and a cheese plate with the nut cheeses that have been patiently fermenting in the refrigerator. I really loved putting the cheese plate together in the first level fundamentals class. The recipes we worked on today were fabulous. I have no doubt the rest of the week will be a lot of fun. 🙂

It’s time to get back to the cinnamon rolls… They were setting up in the freezer, and then I sliced them. I prefer my sweets in smaller portions, so I made these rolls smaller than usual. Not a whole lot of “swirl” going on, but I think they’re cute anyway. Cutting them down to this size also allowed me to use my sushi mat to roll them, which made the whole process really easy. After slicing, they went into the dehydrator for a few hours to warm up before plating and serving them later today.

raw vegan cinnamon rolls raw vegan cinnamon rolls

The next project was to learn a method for making raw bread loaves in the dehydrator! I had seen some of these before in old raw foods books, but they relied on sprouted glutenous grains, which I am unable to eat. This method does not! We used flours from some nuts and some sprouted gluten free grains for these. The seaweed, Irish moss, was used to hold the whole thing together and give it a bit of a bouncy texture. 

Since these breads will be going on our cheese plates at the end of the week, we were given free reign to add our own seasonings and make our own shapes. The rectangular loaf has some chopped olives in it. In the profile, you’ll see I shaped it like a cute miniature loaf of bread with the little “bubble” at the top. Those high school pottery classes are finally paying off! 😉

The second rounder loaf has a big of molasses and chicory root tea added in to give it a darker color and depth of flavor, as well as some caraway seed. My intent for that one was to be like a faux-rye bread with a biscotti-like profile after it is sliced. I am so excited to see how these turn out!

raw vegan bread loaf raw vegan bread loaf raw vegan bread loaf raw vegan bread loaf

All this pastry work sure does make a girl hungry. Thank goodness there was a salad recipe planned for today. This is a “Thai salad”. We learned more about combining unique ingredients and textures, and also about styling salads. This is a great lesson for me because I absolutely love salad, and I’m always looking for ways to make them a bit prettier. There is a little bit of the spicy sesame dressing peeking out from under the greens, and some more mixed into the mix of colorful vegetables and coconut on the top.

This was an amazingly delicious salad. It’s still pretty warm here in central Florida, so it was nice to have something that was light and refreshing, but still had a lot of flavor. I would definitely make this one again!

raw vegan thai salad raw vegan thai salad raw vegan thai salad

After the salad, it was time for dessert. It’s pastry week, right? Bring on the pastries! =D

Remember that chocolate chili sauce I made on day 10? It’s going on the cinnamon rolls! This was one exotic dessert and I really loved it! The rolls are topped with some chocolate and chopped walnuts (the rolls also have walnuts in them). The drink you see paired with them is a chili-cacao herbal tea with a cashew foam to make something that is kind of a cross between a tea latte and a cappuccino. I topped it with a few slivers of thai chili pepper. Chocolate and chili are one of my favorite flavor combinations! 

This wraps up day 11. Looking forward to more pastry adventures on day 12!

raw vegan spicy chocolate butter raw vegan cinnamon rolls raw vegan cinnamon rolls

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 4

green curry kelp noodles

Day 4 of Advanced Raw Cuisine at Matthew Kenney Culinary has been completed!

Today’s creations were very exciting! We revisited the coconut wrapper technique that we learned in Level 1 and used to create the kimchi dumplings. For this variation, we added a little carrot juice to give them a brilliant orange color. They went into the dehydrator and will be used in a recipe tomorrow to create ravioli!

This is a really simple method to create flexible grain free wrappers that can be used in a variety of ways, from wraps to dumplings, to ravioli. Just blend some fresh young coconut, toss in a pinch of salt and whatever vegetable juice you’d like to color/flavor it with, and dehydrate until it holds together, but remains flexible. 

carrot coconut wrappers carrot coconut wrappers

The next project, green curry kelp noodles, was the main focal point of the day, and was used to illustrate today’s sauce lesson: plant based sauces. This is a class of raw vegan sauces that use pureed produce as a base. The green curry sauce we made today incorporated coconut milk and herbs with sweet and spicy notes.

It was plated with kelp noodles that we tenderized with warm water and baking soda. This was nothing short of amazing to me. I’ve tried kelp noodles before, and I could never completely get past the crisp texture and semi-bitter flavor until now. Simply soaking them with a little baking soda softened them up just like rice noodles and made the flavor more neutral, and they are completely raw! In this state, they are easily seasoned by any sauces and flavors that are mixed with them. We marinaded these in some chili oil and lime juice. 

The marinaded kelp noodles are topped up with a variety of vegetable noodles that include zucchini, carrot, and radish. Also in the mix are some marinaded mushrooms, fresh cilantro leaves, and some of those curried nuts we made yesterday

It was an amazingly fresh and vibrant dish, full of flavor and texture. I ate every last drop! 🙂

thai green curry kelp noodles green curry kelp noodles green curry kelp noodles green curry kelp noodles

The final task of the day was to flavor our nut cheeses that we started fermenting on day 2. Below, I have created:

  • caraway and smoked paprika (macadamia nut/ fermented coconut water)
  • honey, cinnamon, cardamom, and fig (brazil and pine nut/ water kefir)
  • parsley, onion, garlic, and turmeric (cashew/ probiotic powder)
  • dill (macadamia nut/ rejuvelac)

I can’t wait to eat these! They have a couple weeks to set up in the fridge though, as this is a lesson in aging nut cheeses. 

raw vegan fermented nut cheese raw vegan fermented nut cheese raw vegan fermented nut cheese raw vegan fermented nut cheese

Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine: Day 7

raw vegan kimchi dumplings

I made it to Day 7 of Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine! As I’m on the extended timeline, this is about half way through my third week of working on this. It’s a lot of work, but very rewarding. 

I worked on more knife skills to start off this day of course work, but you are probably getting tired of seeing the same cuts every day. Besides, today, I was told to work on getting my speed faster, so I was not allowed to measure as I went, but instead just had to cut, cut, cut, and measure afterward. Surprisingly, I didn’t do too bad. Most of my cuts were the right width or close to it, but my length was way off. Apparently, I can’t tell the difference between 2.5″ and 3.25″. This is why I am not a carpenter. 🙂

Anyway, the first thing I did today was to blend up some tostada shells and stick the into the dehydrator for a recipe that will be assembled on Day 8. After that, it was time to assemble the kimchi dumplings using the cilantro coconut wrappers that I put into the dehydrator yesterday. The filling called for tahini, so of course, I made my own. I’m going to reuse the rest for hummus later. 🙂

raw tahini

I will not lie. These wrappers were very challenging. I actually messed up the first batch, and had to re-do them. I’m not about being wasteful, especially when I had to spend hours cracking coconuts, scraping their meat out, etc. So, I took my too-thin, cracked, and dried up coconut wrapper failures, and put them in the blender with some water. I figured the dehydrator takes water out, so I’ll just put some back in. Thankfully, it worked.

I was a little wiser about spreading the mixture on the dehydrator sheets the second time, but even then, I had to keep a close eye on them. I checked every few hours and brushed on a little water if I thought an area looked like it was drying faster than another, paranoid that it would crack again. After they came out, I cut them into squares to be used for the dumpling wrappers. 

We used our homemade kimchi and some other ingredients to make a creamy/spicy filling for the wrappers. They were topped with a ginger foam (which didn’t really foam up all that well for me), and the plate was sauced with a red cabbage puree that had some of the kimchi juices in it.

To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled with my plating on this one, but we have been encouraged to be a bit bolder and more asymmetrical, to play with white space, etc., so I’ve been taking the opportunity to experiment a bit. I am getting some great feedback from my instructor, so my plating is improving each time. 

If you are interested to make these dumplings, the recipe is in Everyday Raw by Matthew Kenney on page 64. It is the recipe called “Sesame Cashew Dumplings”. The modification made for the class was to blend some homemade kimchi into the fillings.

raw vegan kimchi dumplings raw vegan kimchi dumplings raw vegan kimchi dumplings raw vegan kimchi dumplings raw vegan kimchi dumplings

The last assignment of the day was to make ice cream. OH YES! We were given a base recipe for a vanilla ice cream and some ideas for modifying it to make our own flavors. I came up with this “orange cake” ice cream, which I really loved, and I topped it off with a sage infused honey that I made with sage from my garden and a local raw orange blossom honey. The honey is really what inspired me to combine orange and sage to begin with. 

My ice cream recipe is a modification of the base vanilla ice cream recipe they provided for us, which can be found in Matthew Kenney’s book, Everyday Raw Desserts on page 138.

raw vegan orange cake ice cream raw vegan orange cake ice cream raw vegan orange cake ice cream raw vegan orange cake ice cream raw vegan orange cake ice cream raw vegan orange cake ice cream

 

Lastly, I am going to toot my own horn a little bit because I am tickled pink to have had (more of) my photos re-blogged by Matthew Kenney’s official Tumblr account. See my kimchi dumplings and my ice cream? =D

adrienne frankenfield food photos on matthew kenney tumblr adrienne frankenfield kimchi dumpling photo on matthew kenney tumblr adrienne frankenfield ice cream photo on matthew kenney tumblr

Raw Vegan Pad Thai

A light and healthy raw vegan version of pad thai

Asian-inspired recipe #2 is a raw vegan Pad Thai! I really love spicy ethnic food, especially Thai and Indian cuisines, but historically, my options have been limited because of my severe gluten intolerance (I have celiac’s disease). I started making some dishes at home with gluten free and vegan alternatives, and then as my diet became more raw, I started experimenting with additional modifications. This recipe is obviously a little different from a a traditional cooked recipe, but rest assured that it is more nutritious and cruelty free. Look at all those vibrant colors from the fresh vegetables! 🙂

A raw vegan Pad Thai recipe that is nutrient-rich, low carb, and cruelty free.

I’ll let you in on a little secret – one of the reasons that I love re-creating noodle dishes so much is because I get to play with my spiral cutter (some people call them “spiralizers”). I’ve always enjoyed playing with my food, and this little kitchen gadget lets me make extra pretty vegetable noodles. I have used it to make noodles from zucchini and other squashes, leftover broccoli stems, beets, sweet potato, jicama, apples, and a lot of other things. I have also used it to shred my cabbage for sauerkraut! It’s a really handy tool to have for raw food recipes, or even just making low carb boodle alternatives. This is a similar model to the one that I have: Spiralizer Tri-Blade Spiral Vegetable Slicer.

A light and nutritious raw vegan Pad Thai recipe.

 

Raw Vegan Pad Thai
Serves 1
This is a light and nutritious raw vegan version of Pad Thai. The recipe is loaded with colorful fresh vegetables and sprouts.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Noodle Ingredients
  1. 1 zucchini, cut into noodles with a spiral cutter or vegetable peeler
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 1 tsp sea salt
Vegetable Mix Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup shredded Napa cabbage
  2. 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  3. 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  4. 1 small handful bean sprouts
  5. 1 small handful snow pea pods
  6. 1 TB dried cilantro (sub fresh: small handful of fresh cilantro)
Sauce Ingredients
  1. 2 TB coconut aminos (I like these: Coconut Secret Raw Organic Vegan Coconut Aminos. You can also find them at Whole Foods.)
  2. 1 TB unrefined expeller or cold pressed sesame seed oil (I like this one: Spectrum Naturals Organic Sesame Oil)
  3. 1 TB raw agave nectar
  4. Juice of 1/2 lime (appx 1 TB)
  5. 1 tsp garlic powder
  6. pinch of ginger powder
  7. red pepper flakes (omit for no spice, 1/2 tsp for mild, 1 tsp for medium, 1.5 tsp for hot)
Toppings
  1. 1-2TB chopped raw peanuts (I like 2TB, some people might like less for a lower calorie option)
Noodle Directions
  1. Spiral cut the zucchini (or use a vegetable peeler to make flat ribbon noodles)
  2. Toss with sea salt for about 30 seconds in a medium sized bowl
  3. Add water to bowl and swirl around for about a minute
  4. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until they soften and have a more malleable noodle-like texture.
  5. Drain in a strainer and gently rinse the salt water off.
Vegetable Mix Directions
  1. Chop and shred all vegetables as indicated in ingredients. Toss together in medium sized bowl.
Sauce Directions
  1. Add sauce ingredients directly to the bowl with the vegetables and mix until everything is well-incorporated and the vegetables are evenly coated.
  2. Let the vegetables marinade in the sauce for at least 15 minutes to soften and absorb the flavors.
Assembly Directions
  1. Make a bed of noodles on a plate with the zucchini.
  2. Add the vegetable mixture on top.
  3. Swirl the plate a little it to let the juices make their way around the zucchini.
  4. Top with chopped raw peanuts.
Notes
  1. To serve this recipe for multiple people, simply multiple the amounts by the number you would like to serve it to.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

Yellow Tomato Salsa (Raw Vegan)

yellow tomato salsa

I love salsa. I feel really spoiled that the main ingredients are available from locally grown sources for most of the year here. We have a little farmer’s market here in town every Sunday, and there is a very nice man named Gary who sets up a booth every week and sells a great selection of produce that he grows on his own farm without any pesticides.

Yellow tomato and sweet pepper salsa

During strawberry season, I purchase a half flat from him every week, and occasionally a full flat (which happened this week!). He’s also got several varieties of tomatoes and peppers that are available on a regular basis, as well as pickling cucumbers, which I love to snack on (and pickle!). Every time I walk past all of those beautiful tomatoes and peppers, all I can think about is salsa. I get my fix with a fresh batch about once a month, altering the recipe ever so slightly based on what’s in season. I change up the colors of my tomatoes and peppers, and sometimes I get a little wild and throw some fruit in there. 😉

Yellow Tomato and Sweet Pepper Salsa

On my last weekend trip to the market, I picked up some very large yellow tomatoes and sweet peppers from Gary’s stand. Following the trend from my previous recipe, I’m all about the orange and yellow produce this week. I have some yellow beets in my refrigerator right now too. All of the produce in that color range just looked so appealing to me in the last few days, and as a result, I have a beautiful bright yellow and orange batch of salsa in my refrigerator right now.

Yellow Tomato and Sweet Pepper Salsa
A quick and easy salsa recipe so you never have to buy the processed stuff again! 🙂
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 large yellow tomatoes
  2. 3 Cubanelle sweet peppers (or other sweet pepper of similar size - appx 4" long)
  3. 1/4 large sweet white onion
  4. 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  5. Juice of 1/2 lemon
  6. 1 TB dried and powdered cumin
  7. 1 TB dried and powdered garlic
  8. 1/4 tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Chop up the tomatoes, peppers, onions, and cilantro.
  2. Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir together.
  3. Serve with your choice of sliced vegetables (me) or chips (husband modification).
Notes
  1. Recipe yields roughly 4 cups. Great for a party!
  2. This salsa recipe is also very good on a taco salad!
  3. You can eat it right away (I frequently do), but if you can stand to wait, letting the flavors mingle overnight will produce a much richer flavor and softer texture.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/