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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Raw Vegan Poppyseed Pastry from Brigitte Mars's "Rawsome" Book

Raw Poppy seeds.  You don't want to pick these up from your supermarket, most likely because they don't sell them in bulk.  You need one cup just to make one recipe, so order them in bulk from somewhere!  I use Mountain Rose.

Sometimes I have a book that I know is awesome, ha ha, like Rawsome by Brigitte Mars, & I "forget" to use it for awhile.  And then I keep browsing through the pages & realize that the recipes are super easy & don't call for crazy stuff & make a list of ingredients I mean to pick up when I go to the store.  Then I lose the list, sometimes in the store.  Etc....Well,  there were SO few ingredients in this amazing dish, that I couldn't mess up too badly.  Oddly enough, I actually had a pound of poppy seeds that had gotten through Mountain Rose Herbs.  

Rawsome!: Maximizing Health, Energy, and Culinary Delight With the Raw Foods Diet

Poppy seeds remind me of childhood because one of the cakes my mom made most often was the Lemon-Poppyseed Bundt cake.  Thick, dense, with a touch of sweetness.  Perfect with a strong black tea or coffee.  Then there were the kolaches.  Bohemian flour cookies with centers of cream cheese, jams, or poppyseeds.  Of course we used the "Solo" brand of "poppyseed mixture" most times.  Filled with stuff I consider icky now.  But I haven't really been able to enjoy those desserts since I really have sworn off sugar, gluten, & "junk".  So I have been "eyeing" this "Poppyseed Pastry Recipe" for some time now.

Raisins.  Soaked.  I buy organic because Raisins are really grapes, and grapes are really sprayed.  But I buy the purple box at Whole Foods, which is marketed for kids I think!  The raisins in the "Produce" Section in the cylindrical containers are much pricier!  

A 3 ingredient crust.  This is EASIER than the Bundt cake that I remember from my childhood!

You are supposed to soak & dehydrate the walnuts.  I actually did!  It leaves this "airiness" in the middle.  It's a step though, that I often skip with raw recipes.  Sometimes I just grind the raw nuts, without having soaked them.  I guess I am just kind of an enzymatically imperfect kind of girl.

You have your soaked dates & orange rind.  I don't always buy Oranges organic, but for "Orange Rind", yes, I bought one organic oranges.  

Food Processor.  In a few seconds you have a crust.

I don't think the recipe mentioned a pie plate size, but I went with 8 inches.
There's a joke in there somewhere.

And the size was perfect.

You spread the Poppyseed/Raisin Mixture over crust (This goes in food processor also).

Honestly I was kind of "concerned" at first because the filling is ONLY poppyseeds & raisins!  And it seemed awfully "seedy" and I tried not to use the entire amount of raisins.  It seemed like it wasn't really "sticking together" properly.  But it did taste great.

Somehow I managed the discipline to put the pie in the fridge and let it "set".  

I was totally blown away by this pastry!!  It managed to "set" beautifully and it seemed the filling has transformed into something a little less strange & seedy to a filling that was held together beautifully.  The orange rind made the crust taste amazing to me.  Super fresh!  

I ate the entire recipe in 2 days!!  My hubby did get a few little bites, but he had some "junk" food of his own that he was "working on".  I don't know if other "non-raw" peeps would love this pie as much as I did!  It was still "seedy", but for me, it was perfect.  It was always the fillings in the Kolaches that made me crazy for them.  So I was in heaven eating a "poppyseed" mixture.  Just super easy to make as well.  I will definitely be making this one again!!

This video is of Brigitte preparing 6 super easy raw dishes.  Staples like almond milk, Kale Salad, Jicama Fries, Zuchinni Pasta, Flax Crackers & Cacao Nibs Dessert (these days the Agave might be replaced by something less controversial).  I love Brigitte because she is kind of a "Nature Girl" Herbalist who carries herself with such a simple elegance & grace.  She has lots of books and one that really like as well is her  "Beauty as Nature" book that has lots of homemade recipes for mouthwashes, body oils, toothpastes, etc.....You might know her daughter "Rainbeau" from her yoga videos.

Allen Ginsberg.  "Father Death Blues".

Does anyone have any "Raw Vegan Kolache" recipes??  I might try to "recreate" my favorite "Kolache", but don't know if the "walnut" base is too thick & heavy.  Buckwheat imparts kind of  a strong flavor.  Maybe a raw ground Quinoa flours??  Let me know if you have recreated my favorite Bohemian treats "Raw Style"!  My mom has perfected the "Vegan Kolache" but it has flour & sugar....I know I am a difficult daughter, as I keep making her recipe "evolve"!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

PuraVegan OPENS! and "Forks Over Knives" Hits St. Louis May 27th! JOPLIN ANIMALS need your help!!

Raw Vegan Pizza (Pi) from PuraVegan
307 Belt St., St. Louis, MO. (314-282-5834) Tues-Friday 5-8pm, Saturday 11-6, Sunday 11-3, Monday closed for classes

Finally, PuraVegan was able to get all the red tape "taped" and open their doors!  My other Post "Cosmic Eats"  talks about the peeps, atmo, and has the slideshow & more pictures.  That was a sneak peak, so I was stoked that they finally opened "for real".  I went with a veggie friend on their second day open & they had an incredible menu!  I have a feeling the menu will probably be  changing a little here & there though, according to what people like and also availability of certain foods.  PuraVegan (and my cheerful friend) certainly livened up a very dreary Sunday morning though (I feel like I live in Seattle now, but without the abundance of all the cool shops). 

A dreary day was brightened by yummy green food....

Tucked away in the DeBaliviere Neigbhorhood, just off of Pershing.
Between Union & Debaliviere.

Yes, Yoga Classes in adjoining studio in  JUNE 2011!

Great place to eat after class!
Things to know about PuraVegan.  They serve "living" or "raw" food.  That means that their food (even their crackers, pizza crusts, everything) has not been subjected to temperatures of more than 105-115 degrees.  There is major dispute about what is considered "raw" in the living foods community, from 105-115ish temps, but if you eat cooked food, you get the idea.  This stuff wasn't "cooked" in the traditional sense.  Some people (it can get crazy) also differentiate between "raw" and "living".  A sprout is still growing, so it is "living".  Coconut Sap may just be raw.  Um, here it's just uber fresh food.  

PuraVegan is Gluten Free.  But that doesn't stop them from having delicious food and using other amazing grain or grain like foods, like sprouted quinoa and buckwheat (which is a fruit), flax or hemp.  In fact, their pizza crust was partially made from zucchini.   So basically, if you are celiac, you are probably safe to eat anything on the menu.  If you are gluten intolerant, this is your place.


"Raw Vegan"
PuraVegan is Vegan.  Obvious from the title, right?  Yeah.  But some "raw" foods people eat raw milk, raw cheese, and yes, even raw meat.  AJ & Leah aren't those type of raw food people.  Aj and Leah are big time animal lovers and don't eat anything with a face.  So you don't care about the animals?  Fine.  But you may care about cholesterol and animal products are the only things that have it.  Eliminate animal products and then you are not ingesting any cholesterol. 

Raw Kale Wrap.  

They create crispy crackers, pizza crusts, and breads using a dehydrator.  Yeah, maybe you have heard it is all about the enzymes...and part of it may be (or it may not be....).  But, when you cook food you are losing nutrients & more importantly you are actually creating harmful substances like acrylamide, advanced glycoxidation end products (AGE's), heterocyclic amines (HCAs), and PAH's.  Also, if your food has pesticides on it, it's not like they have really tested what happens to the already poisonous substance when it's "cooked".   Apparently your white blood cell count increases after cooked meals.  Cooking food also raises the glycemic levels.  A raw white potato (for juice) or dehydrated white potato chips may have a very low GI, but fry or bake those babies and it's an entirely different situation.  Raw foods tend to be more alkaline as well.  Not that you shouldn't ever eat "cooked", but it is certainly a good idea to include more raw food in your diet regardless of how cooked, vegan, raw, S.A.D. you are!!  If you want to read more about real science & the raw diet, read Becoming Raw.  You will not find a more comprehensive book about the pros & cons of eating raw that this.  It even talks about Seaweeds & Heavy Metal contents!!  Stay away from Hijiki!!

This dish had sprouted Quinoa! And had avocado!

The cheezes are typically made with nuts or seeds.  Raw foodists usually use vegan probiotics or "ferment" the cheezes either with time, miso, or lemon juice.  All of these will give a "sharper" flavor.  Desserts can be simple (food processor) or more elaborate.  I am a huge fan of Raw Cheezecakes made with Coconut Oil & Cashews.  Pastas are made from using a "Spirooli" (or something similar) to create "noodles".  You can use anything, but usually Zucchini makes a good neutral base.  Beets, Celery Root, Turnips, Parsnips and Kelp Noodles are also fair game.  Cheeze Sauces from nuts (usually) as well.  Raw food is usually bursting with flavor because there isn't anything in there that isn't "real".  Grains & Beans aren't as heavily used.  But many do sprout lentils & even chickpeas to make raw hummus! Quinoa, Amaranth,  Buckwheat, and Millet make great gluten free sprouted "grains".

Raw Vegan Pi.  Crust made with Zucchini & Seeds (I think).  Nut Cheeze. Marinara. Olives & Tomatoes.  This was AWESOME!  Aj kept saying their "Raw Tacos" are awesome as well.

On the menu that day:

Raw Pad Thai (12.00)
 Zucchini, Red Bell Peppers, Nut Sauce, Onions, Sundried Tomatoes, Olives, Cilantro, Red Cabbage.

Raw Pi (12.00)
Raw Pizza Crust topped with Marinara, Ricotta, Tomato, Spinach, Olives, & Bell Peppers.
Dawgs-n-Jicama Fries 
Version of an old S.A.D. classic served with diced onions, tomato, mustard, and Raw Catsup.

Green Goddess Salad (10.00)
Green Herbal Dressing, Spinach, Kale, Cherry Tomatoes, Dandelion, Carrots, & Bell Pepper.

Spiced Root Salad (15.00)
Daikon Radish, Pineapple Ginger Dressing.

Lasagna (15.00)
Zucchini, Carrots, Spinach, Tomato, Basil, Pine Nut Ricotta, Marinara.

Raw Mexi-Tacos (12.00)
Organic Spices, Walnuts, Carrots & Tomatoes served on Purple Cabbage or Corn-Flax Wrap.

Raw Burger (13.00)
Blended Walnuts, Mushrooms, Zucchini, Carrots, Celery, Organic Herbs & Spices. Topped with Tomato, Lettuce, Red Bell Pepper, Carrots, Red Onions, Avocado Homemade Raw Cashew Cheese.

Rawfredo Pasta (12.00)
Zucchini noodles, Spinach, Red Bell Peppers, Mushrooms, Raw Alfredo Sauce.

Sunrise Pasta (12.00)
Yellow Squash Noodles, Carrots, Bell Peppers, Green Onions, Spinach, Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce.

Quinoa Kale Wrap (10.00)
Sesame Lemon Dressing, Tomato, Avocado, Green Onion, Nut Spread Wrapped in Collard Greens.

Marinated Kale Salad (10.00)
Red Bell Peppers, Red Cabbage, Green Onion, Carrots, Tomato, Sesame Lemon Dressing.

Sunlower BBQ Burger (13.00)
Made with Veggies & Sunflower Seeds.  Topped with Lettuce Onion, Tomato, Avocado.

Raw Pi.

Organic Teas (2.50)Choices: Yerba Mate, Peppermint, Chamomile, Blueberry, Pomegranate, Green.

Organic Cosmic Coffee (4.50)
Your Healthy Decaf Coffee Made with Reishi Mushrooms.

Raw Fruit Cobbler (6.00)
Mixed fruit topped with Spiced Date Nut Crumbles and Cashew Whip Cream.

Omega Banana Cookies


PuraVegan is going to have Yoga next door.  This is amazing.  Just like Jivamukti in New York, my mecca, Yoga Studio with adjoining Vegan Cafe.  PuraVegan one upped them though, they are all raw.  Think Jivamukti started all raw, but they did eventually integrate simple, wholesome cooked foods. And seriously, I think the yoga instructor (who was working in the kitchen) had on a "No Fur" shirt on.   I kid you not.  And she was adorable, without pretense. 

Raw Pi.
PuraVegan is growing a hydroponic garden in their basement.  So just when you don't know if your fresh greens have E Coli on them from a neighboring Factory Farm,  (yes, it's Meat Production that causes this nasty stuff, they can identify the origin by the type of E Coli) they just grow their own.  They are just embarking on this project but I look for some hydroponic workshops and the like to pop up eventually.
Raw Vegan "Bread"

PuraVegan will be having Raw & Vegan Cooking & UnCooking Classes.  So you are interested in trying some stuff at home, but it is all totally new to you.  God, I remember when I had NO idea what raw food was and was pretty perplexed by all of it.  It took one visit to Pure Food and Wine to forever enchant me.  That bill was steep, but I don't think I ever would have gotten what raw food can be without a visit to that place.  While Pure Food & Wine dishes tend to be more "Sex in the City" Uber Trendy, real raw food people have to make dishes that they can prepare in less than one week.  
Loved the crust!

PuraVegan is the place to get acquainted with types of raw, vegan diets and get down & dirty trying some new stuff out.  This is not a stuffy atmosphere that eschews alcohol, bananas, and people who can't complete 90 day juice fasts.  No, these are real folks, who eat.  I have to throw that in there, because there are some raw foodies that live on very little food and have throbbing 3rd chakras 24/7.  While I wish I had a throbbing chakra, I am happy eating raw pastry and I just don't think I personally will reach the Chakra Throbbing Fasting Enlightenment in this lifetime.  There is more than green juice & sprout salad at this place!  But there also is green juice & sprouts at this place as yeah, they accommodate everyone.

Raw Vegan Macaroons.

Omega Banana Cookie

Green Juice.
Oh, Yeah, I was going to start a 3 day juice feast, meaning intake lots of green juice, on Sunday.  Well I had to push the start time back to 1:30 because I had to get more than just a juice at PuraVegan.  But their food is pretty "detox" friendly anyhow.  Of course, I did dessert too!!

Smoothies & Elixirs
(Aj mentioned that they might be focusing more on "Elixirs" in the future though...these are just the offering for the day I was there!

Power Meal Replacement (15.00)
Power Meal with bananas & apples and 34 grams of protein.

Green Machine (8.50)
Organic Spirulina, Dandelions, Bananas, Spinach.

Super Maca Banana (10.00)
Maca, Banana, Walnuts.

Chocolate or Strawberry Cacao Smoothie (9.00)

Organic Hemp Boost (10.00)
Bananas, Blueberries

Super Seeds (10.00)
Flax Mango, Bananas, Super Seeds

Juices-all 16 oz.
Blood Booster (Beets, Carrots, & Fennel) 8.50
Beta Boost (Carrots) 6.00
Spinach Kale, Celery (7.00)
Apple, Carrot, Ginger (7.00)
Kale, Celery, Apple (7.00)
Beet, Carrot, Apple, Ginger (7.00)

I also want to mention the Forks Over Knives opens this Friday, May 27, 2011 at Plaza Frontenac.  This movie could save your life or the life of someone that you love.  If you already know all of this stuff, it is still an awesome movie to take your friends & family to see.  Perhaps this will open up some new doors for people and at the very least justify a more integrative approach to medical care.

Omega Rich Banana Cookies.

Also, the Animals of Joplin really need your help.  There are a lot of people helping people, and that is wonderful, but a lot of those people have fur kids and their fur kids have been displaced.  I saw a child on Anderson Cooper last night whose only concern after their family had lost their entire home in the tornado, was to locate their family dog.  They had to close the basement door before the pup would agree to go downstairs.  This makes a case of having a "plan" in the event that you actually have any time to prepare.  I just put our dog & cat kennels all in the basement and in storms we keep them in a room by the basement door, just in case we have to round them up quickly and head downstairs.  The kennels would provide at least a little bit of protection from falling debris as well.   Thankfully, that pup had a happy ending.  But there are countless animals in Joplin that need food, water, & medical care. Here are some links to help these animals.  If you guys know of others who are helping the furkids of Joplin (or other animals), please leave the info in the comment section!

Joplin Humane Society 
They have been overwhelmed with animals displaced from the deadly tornadoes.
Pet Supply Drive to Help Joplin Humane Society Facebook Page
Humane Society of United States

Video below is from previous post...the "Sneak Peak" of PuraVegan.

PuraVegan on Urbanspoon

PuraVegan on Urbanspoon

Sounds True, Inc.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Raw Vegan Saag from Ani Phyo's Raw Food Asia Book

Raw Vegan Saag (Creamed Curry Saag Spinach) from Ani Phyo's New Raw Food Asia Book.

I am a big fan of Ani Phyo.  Her dishes are usually not overly complicated and she isn't an OCD raw foodist.  She eats fats, mushrooms, and yes, even the forbidden cashews!!  And in her latest book, Raw Food Asia, she recreates favorites in a raw food form.  This book has dishes from China, India, Korea, Vietnam, Japan. and MORE!  I was delighted to find Saag in there!!  I love raw spinach dishes because the spinach remains bright green.  It doesn't get all of it's color cooked out of it!  If you are totally lazy, like me, you can buy prewashed spinach and that makes it even easier.  I buy one pound for about 6 dollars, so I don't think it is even much more expensive than the loose leaf.  I have weighed bunches of greens before, and it takes at least 2 usually, to get to a pound.  

Ani's Raw Food Asia: Easy East-West Fusion Recipes the Raw Food Way
Ani Phyo's Raw Food Asia

Cashews, Garlic, Cumin Coriander, Lemon Juice.

This book has wonderful photographs as well, like her first one!  I know people missed the photos in her  "Raw Food Essentials" book (I love that book!).  Photos from all of the Asian countries.  She also puts symbols by each recipe, so you know what tools you need without reading the whole recipe.  The Saag has a picture of a food processor and a knife.  Tools pretty much everyone has.  The book even has Bul-go-gi, Raw Tamarind Sauce, and Bi-bim-bop.  Of course she talks about a lot more than food in these chapters as well. There are even a few recipes for Non Toxic cleaners!

And the Mighty Food Processor!  You make a paste from the Cashews, Onion, Ginger, & Coconut Oil first.
You add your spinach.
And seriously, you are done.  Who says raw food has to be Woody Allen Complicated?
A few easy steps, no neurotic bullshit.  And you have Raw Vegan Saag.
Oh, it's delicious too!!  It is RICH though!!

I am such a book geek that I pre-order them as soon as there is a link!!  And this one looks awesome!!  The only pitfall for me, is that I still haven't learned a VERY safe way to open coconuts and she has several recipes that use coconut wrappers (pretty normal for raw food books).   But most of the recipes are pretty easy and looks like I will be making lots of Kimchi, Namuls, and Asian goodies this summer.

 A clip of an interview with Ani Phyo.

Sounds True, Inc.