Tag Archives: hemp seed

Omega-3 Lemon Balm, Hemp, & Flax Pesto Spread – Vegan

lemon balm pesto

Winter has been very mild here in central Florida this year. My herbs still look great. After pruning back my basil and lemon balm plants, it appeared that it was time to make pesto again. Pesto is one of my favorite sauces! 🙂

I do have one problem with traditional pesto recipes – not only do they contain a lot of oil, they contain a lot of olive oil. Most people have been led to believe that olive oil is a “health food”, and that just isn’t the case. Most plant based oils have omega fatty acid ratios that favor omega-6 and lead to inflammation. As I have a history of inflammatory disease, I try to eat very little oil, but when I do need to use a little in a recipe, I opt for flaxseed oil, which is very high in omega-3 fatty acid, making it an anti-inflammatory food. Flaxseed oil is a little pricey though, so in order to reduce the total amount required in the recipe, I make a thicker pesto spread instead of a sauce. It is wonderful in sandwiches!

lemon balm hemp flax pesto spread

Another ingredient in traditional pesto, which is problematic, is pine nuts. Standard variety pine nuts have THREE HUNDRED TIMES more omega-6 than omega-3. According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, the Mediterranean variety of pine nuts is much better with a 1:30 ratio. It is significantly better (10 times to be exact), but still very high. We can do even better than that be replacing the pine nuts in traditional pesto with hemp seeds. Hemp seeds have a 1:3 ratio – 10 times better than even the Mediterranean pine nuts. They also have a nutty flavor that compliments the flaxseed oil nicely. By replacing pine nuts with hemp seeds, we have literally made the omega fatty acid ratio of the nut/seed component in recipe one hundred times better

lemon balm hemp flax pesto spread

The last ingredient that I have replaced in this recipe is the cheese. There is a lot of controversy regarding the health benefits of dairy when all factors are considered (whether or not it is from grass fed animals, whether it not it is pasteurized, etc.). Regardless of these things, I’m allergic to it, so dairy is a non-negotiable ingredient exclusion for me. Instead of cheese, I use nutritional yeast in this recipe. It is an inactive yeast that contains all essential amino acids, and multiple B-vitamins. Some brands, like Red Star Nutritional Yeast, are also fortified with B-12. 

lemon balm hemp flax pesto spread

It’s also REALLY good in sandwiches.

gluten free vegan panini sandwich

Omega-3 Lemon Balm, Hemp, and Flax Pesto
This recipe has just a hint of lemon balm, and a few other key ingredient changes that create a much healthier omega fatty acid ratio than traditional pesto.
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups basil (replace up to 1/4 cup with lemon balm, if desired)
  2. 1/4 cup flaxseed oil
  3. 1/4 cup hemp seed
  4. 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  5. 3/4 tsp sea salt
  6. 1 TB Trader Joe's "21 Seasoning Salute" (or your favorite garlic or Italian-inspired spice blend)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor until an even, but slightly chunky, consistency is achieved.
Notes
  1. I used lemon balm to replace some of the basil because I had it in my garden, but you don't have to do that for this recipe. It adds a nice hint of lemon to the recipe, but is not necessary.
  2. I experimented with the Trader Joe's seasoning mix since I had swapped out a few other ingredients, but you don't have to use it. You can use a garlic powder based seasoning blend or an Italian-inspired spice blend of your choice, and it would probably still taste great.
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

Parsley and Dill Hemp Seed Pesto (Raw Vegan)

raw vegan amuse bouche

It’s no secret that I love pesto, and I love to experiment with different varieties because of all the herbs that I’m growing. I’ve been trying to squeeze in as many uses as I can for them before the weather cools and they are no longer flourishing. This parsley and dill hemp seed pesto was created as part of a class assignment, through Matthew Kenney Culinary, to create two amuse bouche dishes.

The pesto is the base for this particular dish, atop which is stacked some red and yellow grape tomatoes, chopped cucumber, thinly sliced radishes, scallion, a few alfalfa sprouts, and some sprigs of dill. A tiny pinch of salt is sprinkled on top to tenderize and enhance the flavor of the vegetables. Every tiny mouthful allows for a little variation in which vegetables are paired with the pesto. It was really wonderful. I enjoyed both eating it and plating it.

Parsley and Dill Hemp Seed Pesto (Raw Vegan)
A delicious herbal pesto made from parsley, dill, and hemp seed. Parsley is a great source of iron and hemp seed is not only a source of good fats, but also offers a full range of essential amino acids.
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup parsley, loosely packed
  2. 1/2 cup dill, loosely packed
  3. 1 clove garlic (bonus: use fermented garlic to add some probiotics)
  4. 2 TB hemp seed
  5. 2 TB cup extra virgin olive oil or flax seed oil
  6. 1 TB nutritional yeast (optional if you feel opposed to eating it, as it is not truly raw)
  7. 1/4 tsp sea salt
  8. few twists of black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a food processor until herbs are thoroughly and finely chopped. This produces a chunky pesto. If you'd like a smoother pesto, use more olive oil.
Notes
  1. Use 1 tsp dried garlic for a milder garlic flavor.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

Advanced Raw Cuisine at Matthew Kenney Culinary: Day 1

raw vegan milk chocolate custart

Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine was such a great educational experience for me that I decided to take the second level course, Advanced Raw Cuisine, as well. I’ll be working through it over the months of September and October. 

We really hit the ground running in this class. We jumped right into recipes and some more in-depth culinary techniques. What I really like about this course so far is that the school has gone to great lengths and experimentation to really deliver us some solid and well-tested raw recipes, built on a foundational structure that is similar to a cooked food culinary course. 

Our first lesson was “mother sauces”. Obviously, raw vegan mother sauces are not the same as cooked mother sauces, but the conceptual ideas are there. We were presented with a well-thought out list of 5 raw vegan mother sauces, and during the first week of the course, we are focusing on one of them each day.

The first of the mother sauces that we learned about was the cream sauce. It is built on a foundation of soaked nuts to provide a rich and creamy texture. With these mother sauces, we can add ingredients to modify textures and flavors, which make secondary sauces. Our first recipe assignment was to create a Meyer lemon cream sauce, which will be used in a root vegetable gnocchi recipe on Day 2. I think it looks nice and creamy, don’t you? 🙂

lemon cream sauce

Our second lesson was about nut milks. We covered basic almond milk as a flavor and texture exercise on Day 3 of Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine. It helped us to learn some great lessons about flavor balancing. In this exercise, we were to select 3 different nuts and seeds, and not only compare and contrast the different flavors and textures, but to also consider what kinds of recipes they might be used for, assess how much pulp they created, whether the pulp was usable in recipes, and if so, what kind. It was a really great taste and thought exercise.

I used brazil nut, pumpkin seed, and hemp seed for my 3 selections. The brazil nut was my favorite! Almond milk is so yesterday.

nut milk tasting

 The next recipe was a delicious milk chocolate custard, with the milk being any one of the fresh milks we just created! It’s like someone out there knew how to put me in an even better mood on my first day back to school. =P Seriously, culinary school AND chocolate. I think I’ve reached nirvana.

I chose to use my brazil nut milk, of course. It was amazing. This also has some avocado and spices in it for a little something extra. I’ll definitely be making use of this technique again. 

This recipe is in Matthew Kenney’s book, Raw Chocolate, on page 72. It is listed as “Milk Chocolate Pudding”.

raw vegan milk chocolate custart raw vegan milk chocolate custart

Someone out there must be a mind reader because fermentation is right up there with chocolate on the list of food things I love. We learned how to make salt preserved lemons, which are traditionally used in North African recipes. These have to cure for 3-4 weeks and then we will be using them in a recipe during the final week of classes. I’m really excited about these because it’s something new that I’ve never tried, and I love food from Mediterranean/Middle Eastern regions.

The only part of this recipe that I didn’t like was a little detail of the preparation. We were required to cut an X into each lemon almost down to the bottom and then stuff them with salt. I then realized the eerie resemblance they had to those creepy face hugger eggs in the Alien movies. Thankfully, I’ve had no nightmares about lemons yet. 🙂

salt preserved lemons salt preserved lemons

But, wait… there’s more! I can hardly believe it myself. I feel like there is so much more packed into each day of this course, but at the same time, I am able to work much faster, thanks to the skills I learned in Level 1. While I was sneaking giant spoonfuls of chocolate custard and trying not to think about face huggers, I worked on the next project, which was to start on an olive flat bread recipe that we will be using in a mezze platter on Day 3. If the batter was any indication, this will be divine. Besides having just the right amount of olive flavor, there is a hint of orange zest that balances out the salt nicely.

raw vegan olive flat bread raw vegan olive flat bread

 The final required recipe was to start marinading a batch of eggplant crisps. The sauce was sweet, salty, spicy, and smokey all at the same time. I’ve actually made this recipe before, and I really love it. They’re great to put in a sandwich, break up into a salad, or just to snack on. They don’t even taste like eggplant by the time they’re done, which is great because let’s face it… eggplant on its own is bitter and weird. This recipe makes it all better. 

If you’d like to make this recipe for yourself, it is in the book, Everyday Raw, by Matthew Kenney. 

raw vegan eggplant bacon raw vegan eggplant bacon

 The final assignment was optional… an introduction to kombucha. Anyone who knows me personally has seen all of my crazy kombucha experiments elsewhere on social media. That’s something that can easily have its own blog entry or multiple blog entries devoted to it. So for now, here are a few snapshots of my process and some finished batches. 

making kombucha

making kombucha

making kombucha

Frozen Blueberry Banana Green Smoothie

Frozen blueberry banana green smoothie

For those who follow this blog regularly, I apologize that I have been lax in posting recipes over the last couple weeks. My normal diet includes a lot of raw food. I was preparing healthy meals for my family during my visit, but many of them were cooked meals to make them more comforting and satisfying to them. After I returned home, I was just feeling that my body needed a rest.

As we are almost 5 months into the year and I have not done any kind of fasting since the first of the year (I did a 4 day water fast), I decided now would be a good time to give my body that rest. I have been making a lot of green juices and smoothies. I find that getting the extra nutrients from juicing and giving my digestive tract a rest while not stressing about what I’m going to make for dinner really helps me to clear my head and improves my energy levels. I like to do it 3-4 times a year. 

This next series of posts will contain some of the smoothie and juice recipes that I have been making for myself. This is one that I made for breakfast the other day – a blueberry banana green smoothie. I keep my bananas in the freezer (so I never have to worry about them getting past the perfect point of ripeness for my smoothies), and because it is so hard to find organic blueberries fresh in my area, I also purchase frozen organic wild blueberries. Frozen fruit gives the smoothie a really nice texture, and you can pretend it’s dessert for breakfast! =D

frozen banana blueberry green smoothie

Here are some of the benefits of the ingredients that are blended into this smoothie (which will feed two people or one person who will have two servings during the day – me!):

  • Bananas are a great source of potassium and inulin fiber, which feeds your gut flora. I’m a big fan of anything that encourages healthy gut flora, as healing mine has done so many wonders for my health. I have not been sick in a very long time, my digestion is better, and even some of my feed allergies have improved!
  • Bananas are also a natural source of tryptophan, which your body converts into serotonin. It makes you happy and helps you sleep better. 
  • Bananas are a good source of B6, which helps your body to create white blood cells. They are good for your immune system!
  • Bananas help to stabilize blood sugar.
  • Bananas are high in potassium and low in sodium, so they help to reduce blood pressure (if yours is high, but if yours is low, you will want to focus more on sodium rich foods like celery instead).
  • Blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant levels of any fruit. They help to prevent cancer and protect the eyes. They are especially good for the nervous system and the brain. 
  • Blueberries are low on the glycemic index, though with a whole foods plant based diet, I don’t really worry about the glycemic index anymore. 
  • Blueberries contain resveratrol, the same polyphenol that red wine is touted for having. Guess what? You can get plenty from blueberries, so put down that booze!
  • Like all leafy greens, spinach is an excellent source of plant protein.
  • Spinach is also a great source of potassium – providing more than bananas (per cup of each food)!
  • Spinach is one of the best dietary sources of magnesium, which helps to relax you – both your muscles and your nervous system. If you have asthma, it helps to relax the bronchial muscles, too.
  • Spinach is rich in iron. Goodbye, anemia!
  • Spinach is also high in potassium, and helps to reduce blood pressure. 
  • I tossed in a few bonus add-ins also: hemp seed, chia seed, and flax seed oil. The hemp seed is a complete plant protein with all of the essential amino acids, but it is still higher in omega-6 than omega-3, so I added some chia seed and flax seed oil, both of which are higher in omega-3 to help offset it.

Sources:

 

Frozen Blueberry Banana Green Smoothie
Serves 2
This blueberry banana green smoothie is a delicious and nutritious frozen treat, full of phytonutrients that prevent cancer, anemia, and iron deficiencies!
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2-3 cups of water
  2. 3 large handfuls of spinach
  3. 2 frozen bananas
  4. 1 cup frozen organic wild blueberries (they have the most flavor, in my opinion!)
  5. 2 TB hemp seed (optional)
  6. 2 TB chia seed (optional)
  7. 2 TB flaxseed oil (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to blender until well combined. Water content can vary based on how thick or thin you would like the texture of the smoothie to be.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

Broccoli Slaw (Raw Vegan)

Broccoli Slaw

Remember the Cream of Broccoli Soup recipe last week, and the suggestion to save any extra broccoli stems that were available? This broccoli slaw recipe is a great way to make use of them and get some good quality plant-based protein in your diet.

It’s also super easy to make. Just run your stems through a food processor or cheese grater along with some carrots, sesame seed, and hemp seed, then mix some heart healthy flaxseed oil and raw ACV in there with a pinch of sea salt (and pepper if you like), and you’re good to go!

Broccoli Nutrition 101

  • Did you know that per calorie, broccoli provides more protein and iron than beef?
  • It also provides a plethora of micronutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants, outperforming beef in every way, except of course in fat and cholesterol. 
  • Broccoli sweeps your intestines clean like a broom and all the fiber that it contains helps to lower cholesterol and helps you feel full. 
  • Broccoli contains phytonutrients that aid in detoxing unwanted contaminants from your body. These phytonutrients support activation, neutralization, and elimination. It’s the trifecta!
  • Broccoli contains high amounts of both vitamin A and vitamin K. Together, these help to balance the metabolism of vitamin D, a nutrient most people in our society are deficient in.
  • Broccoli is a rich resource of a flavanoid called kaempferol, which gives broccoli an anti-inflammatory effect for people suffering with allergies.
  • Broccoli is also a great source of vitamin C, something humans cannot manufacture on their own. 1 cup of broccoli (appx. 156g) provides over 100% of the RDI for vitamin C. Bonus for allergy sufferers: vitamin C is also a natural anti-histamine.
  • Broccoli can protect you from heart disease. It promotes the production of enzymes that protect the blood vessels in your heart.
  • Broccoli helps to prevent osteoarthritis. One of the phytonutrients that it contains fights the inflammation mechanism that leads to cartilage destruction.
  • Broccoli protects you from many types of cancer because it is full of antioxidants. These benefits are lost when it is overcooked!
  • You can eat as much broccoli as you want and never have to worry about over-indulging or getting too many calories. When I started eating this way, I stopped counting calories, carbs, and all the other things people are afraid of and I never looked back. Nature has balanced the whole plant foods that it gives us so perfectly that if we eat a varied diet with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables, we will get everything we need.
  • Sources:

Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds provide a complete plant based source of protein, in that they provide all of the essential amino acids. They also have a delightful nutty flavor! If you don’t have any or don’t like them, that is no problem. By eating a varied whole food plant based diet, we can consume all of the amino acids that we need to stay healthy.

Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar

Raw unfiltered ACV is amazing stuff. The Gerson Institute recommends it, and I have a lot of respect for what they do. They have a high success rate healing cancers and serious diseases with their whole foods plant based nutritional protocol. Raw unfiltered ACV that still has pieces of the vinegar mother in it has a great source of digestive enzymes and probiotics that help you to digest your food and balance your gut flora (it also makes amazing ACV fermented garlic). It alkalizes the body and also helps to lower blood sugar levels and may be helpful for diabetics and those struggling to lose weight. This is my go-to vinegar. 

Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseed is in my opinion the healthiest oil there is. Almost all nuts and plant-based oils except for flaxseed oil have more omega fatty acid 6 than omega fatty acid 3. Flax seed is the exception to that rule. (Chia seed is also heavier on omega-3, but we don’t make oil from it.) It contains more omega 3 than omega 6. This is important because the ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 in the diet is in the 1:1 to 1:3 range. The standard American diet (SAD) is upwards of 1:16! Omega-6 promotes inflammation, while omega-3 reduces it. That being said, a little inflammation is needed for a healthy immune response; therefore, some omega-6 in the diet is necessary. However, most of us consume the wrong ratios. The work of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, a heart surgeon, has shown consistently that the consumption of oils and nuts with the wrong balance of omega fatty acids damage the endothelium (lining of the heart’s arteries). His work shows that the right plant based diet not only slows, but STOPS heart disease.

Broccoli Slaw with Flax Seed Vinaigrette
Serves 2
This quick broccoli slaw recipe is a great way to use up leftover stems. Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse that prevents many diseases and provides more protein per calorie than beef!
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 cups shredded broccoli stems
  2. 1 cup shredded carrots
  3. 2 TB cold pressed flax seed oil
  4. 1 TB raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ACV)
  5. 1 TB hemp seeds
  6. 1 TB sesame seeds
  7. 1/8 tsp sea salt
  8. Fresh ground pepper to taste (I used appx. 1/2 tsp)
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and toss together until well combined. Split the slaw into two portions and enjoy!
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/