The most violent weapon on earth is the table fork.
-Mahatma Gandhi

Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oils. Sin Infused Living: Home Accents, Jewelry, and accessories from around the world!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Raw Vegan Brownies from "Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People" by Jennifer Cornbleet

Raw Vegan Brownies From Jennifer Cornbleet's "Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People".
What do you need?  Ingredients and maybe 10 minutes!! 

I can't even remember now when I first started truly "flirting" with Raw Foods.  It was before I had ever been to Pure Food & Wine in New York, but prior to eating there, I had no idea that you could made gourmet raw food or that you could make it so incredible tasting.  Even though the place is uber trendy and dripping in a "Sex in the City" kind of hipness (without Samantha's boyfriend being a waiter), I still consider it the best "foodie" experience I've had (excluding anything my mother makes of course!  And she has been known to make a mean raw vegan carrot cake).  So the Pure Food & Wine experience was the turning point that eating a lot of raw could be very cool and of course I anxiously awaited the arrival of their cookbook at my doorstep.  

The first book with recipes from the "Pure Food & Wine" restaurant in New York. came and it is indeed a beautiful book, but it is not the best "everyday" book nor is it the least intimidating book for raw virgins.  Most recipes have slightly lengthy ingredient lists and a few different "parts" to assemble.   So...I ordered another book, slightly less romantic and no photos of the author showing you, apparently, how "sexed" out you suddenly get if you eat raw, but practical.  And for a middle aged chic who isn't throwing dinner parties for the "who's who" in the world, um, this is the book I needed to have. 

Raw Food Made Easy For 1 or 2 People
 I think this is the absolute EASIEST, most realistic raw food book I own.  No flax crackers, no 12 step recipes, and no 2 pounds of goji berries or 1 cup of olive oil for an eggplant.  Really healthy eats with basically zero work.  I am into this.  When you get old you don't feel like expending THAT much work for food.  Or you might "feel" like it, but the inertia of your butt makes you more likely to READ uncookbooks than actually USE them.

Can you say 4 ingredient brownies? 
At first I ignored it slightly, as it didn't make any promises of perfect health or overnight beauty by eating raw & it didn't include very many photographs.   But then after I actually read some of the recipes, I realized, Hey, I actually have this stuff in the house at this moment & this looks like it take 5 minutes to make.  Hence, this was probably the first book I actually discovered a few recipes that I could used on a regular basis and no dehydrating or busting open coconuts.  

I bought the Sunfood brand of Cacao because I haven't been using cacao at all but was bringing something to a friend's house.  Well, I had to buy it from Whole Foods and this was the brand they had.  However, if I am planning on using Organic Raw Cacao, then I order it online either from Mountain Rose Herbs or whoever else may have a good price.  Lots of stuff that has intimidating prices at whole foods, such as hemp seeds, chia seeds, rooibos tea, can be found much cheaper elsewhere. I can buy one pound of Rooibos from Mountain Rose for about ten bucks.   Fair trade, Organic.
No fancy tools needed for this recipe.  Food processor!

You can make the brownies whatever texture you choose.  I prefer them a little chunky.  You don't want to "overprocess" them where they get SO sticky that it is difficult to do anything with them.  I have made these brownies with regular (non raw) cocoa powder, and the texture was totally different!  They were super sticky and I had to throw in a whole lot more nuts in order to try to do anything with them.  

Then you just roll them in crushed walnuts or coconut shreds if you want.

You could flatten them more like cookies as well, but I have a really hard time making anything look visually presentable (including myself!).  So, I stick to balls.

Depending on the amount of dates you use or if you add stevia, these brownies are not overly sweet.  I love them that way.  However, if you are nursing a real sweet tooth or transitioning from a real "American Diet", then obviously, add some more sweet stuff!!  Stevia might be your answer because it won't change the texture.  If you add too much of any type of syrup (Coconut Sap) or dates, they may get too sticky.

Here is Jennifer Cornbleet telling you how to make the "Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse".  She uses agave nectar in this video, but you don't need too!!  You can use dates, date sugar, coconut sugar, stevia, whatever!!  This was before the "National Agave Controversy".

And here is my post on Jennifer Cornbleet's "Raw Vegan Hummus" made with Zucchinis.

And another post that includes Jennifer Cornbleet & Awesome Raw Vegan Chocolate/Carob Avocado Pudding!

Or if you feel like hot & spicy food packed with unbelievable amounts of protein, that is dirt cheap to make & simple!! Then check out Kala Chana (Black Chickpea Curry" from Anupy Singla's "The Indian Slow Cooker" book!

Do any readers have this book (Raw Food Made Easy)??  What are your favorites from it? 
I have tried the Marinara, the Mousse (chocolate avocado), Walnut and Sunflower Pates & more.  I really liked everything!  There are a lot of simple raw collard/kale/swiss chard types of salads in this book too!

 My auntie "Artina" recently expressed an interest in raw foods and veganish stuff (that is healthy, no white flour cake books here!).  Does anyone have any suggestions for a Raw or Vegan flirt that doesn't want to spend that much time in the kitchen and probably wants to eat a more "simple" diet?  With an emphasis on healthy??  Tell me your favorites & which books you use the most from your shelves!  Which books do you suggest she buy first??

I don't have a lot of vegan cookbooks because when I went vegan, there were only a couple!!  My favorite, most used "cook" book is "The Indian Slow Cooker" by Anupy Singla.  But this isn't the best book for my auntie Artina because she is not a spice or Indian food lover.  My most used raw books are probably Ani Phyo's, Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 people, some of Cafe Gratitude's recipes, Alisa Cohen's "Living on Live Food".  Gosh, I usually have a few recipes I gravitate towards in each book.  Oh, I do love Renee Loux Underkoffler's "Living Cuisine" and have made a lot of her cracker & snacky recipes.  This was the Raw Vegan Carrot Cake that my folks made me for my birthday one year.  It ROCKED!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Vegan Spicy Butternut Squash from Anupy Singla's "The Indian Slow Cooker"

Paitha.  Spicy Butternut Squash, Indian style from "The Indian Slow Cooker" book.

Another hit from "The Indian Slow Cooker" book by Anupy Singla.  If you are a lover of Indian food, this will be a staple for ya.  Had zero idea what to expect from this dish because I don't think I have ever eaten it anywhere, so was excited to try something new. I used Butternut & Acorn Squash that my folks had gifted me from their garden.

The Indian Slow Cooker: 50 Healthy, Easy, Authentic Recipes

 And I am just wondering, anyone on Weight Watchers out there?? Apparently they have a new plan where fruits & veggies (not slathered with oil) are "free", meaning no points or one point??  Since there is zero oil in this dish, would that mean that the dish would be Zero points? (Minus the 2 teaspoons of Coconut Sap I used)??  Because wouldn't that be crazy, insane, good (if you do the point thing)?  Nearly every dish in the book is oil free, and is made of veggies or beans.  So would that mean that you would only "count" the beans for the legume/bean dishes??  Because the rest of the ingredients are truly spices, onions, garlic, tomatoes here & there..........Of course nearly this whole book (minus the few meat recipes) would fall into the "Forks Over Knives" or "The China Study" kind of eating idea.  Plant based, low fat, no processed food.  

Onions, Cumin Seeds, Cardamom, Fenugreek, & Cinnamon.

Most of the recipes don't have any or much stovetop prep. involved.  This has a small amount.  Basically toasting the spices a bit.

Cooking the onions just a bit with the other spices.

And then put it all in the slow cooker! Turn on & leave!

Right when it's finished cooking, you add this little mixture.  I substituted Coconut Sap for the small amount of sugar that was in the recipe.

Anupy says that the Indian take on squash is "out of this world" and my hubby & I would have to concur.  Just a sweet & spicy amazing combination.  And you Chicago Peeps, Anupy is working on her second book, which is ALL VEGAN.  So "like" her facebook page  "Indian as Apple Pie"  & inquire about being a taste tester if you are in her 'hood!  Oh, and she has created a beautiful spice tiffin which will be at Williams-Sonoma soon!  It will have standard measuring spoons & is beautiful!

If you don't have her book are missing: Yes, ALL made in a Crockpot/Slow Cooker!

Aloo Gobi

Chana Dal

Vegan Keema

Palak Sin Paneer

Black Lentils with Kidney Beans

Tart Whole Pigeon Peas

Ginger Garlic Eggplant

Kala Chana (Black Chickpea Curry)

And lots more!  I put links to the posts about the recipes I have tried from her book on the right hand side of the blog.  ANYONE could make these recipes.  Usually there is a lot of room for someone who is not used to cooking to really screw up something, but this book is almost "Indian Cooking for Dummies".  (I love those Dummies books).  But it is so basic that the most work you will do is just buying the legumes since sometimes they have multiple names.  I go with the Indian name on most, because that is what will be printed on the package.  Also, don't forget if you are using a regular grade of salt, try cutting it in half first.  She uses a courser salt, so if you use a regular, more finely ground type, then it may be too salty!!  It is easy to add salt at the end.

Any Indian food lovers out there??  I think I have loved Indian Cuisine since I had my first bit, although I have no idea exactly when I had my first bite!

Do you like it super spicy?  Super spicy is fine with me.  Just call me Spicy Broad.

 Do you have this book?  What are your favorite dishes from it? Hubby loves the Black Lentil (Dal Makhani).  I concur, but I also love the Squash & eggplant & Aloo Gobi & every Chickpea dish in it.  I think I love them all.  

  Are there other Indian Cookbooks out there that like?  What was your favorite thing that you ate this weekend??  
I think the favorite thing I watched my hubby eat (drink) was some Kale/Cucumber/Beet juice which he put up with.....Loved the Spicy Butternut Squash & I made her Mustard Green dish also  (tonight) along with the Black Split Lentil  Dal.  Nice to be eating some Indian again.  It's "comfort food" in our house.

And...does a store around St. Louis carry Gluten Free Asafoetida??  I think the Frontier brand online does, but just wondering if there is some in the 'hood.  Hubby brought some home from "Seema", but it had flour in it, as does most. Bummer because now I really don't even know which dishes "out" are GF or not :(  

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ginger-Garlic Eggplant from "The Indian Slow Cooker" by Anupy Singla

The Indian Slow Cooker: 50 Healthy, Easy, Authentic Recipes
                                                     "The Indian Slow Cooker" on Amazon.

I have made over a dozen recipes from this book and have loved them all.  The actual, physical book is also great to browse.  With an awesome "lay flat" binding, lots of color photos, and ingredients that I actually have at home, it's like being in a candy store where I can buy anything.  Most books I browse, and then have to make a list, and then lose the list, and then don't have the ingredients.  Once you start using this book, you pretty know what ingredients to have on hand & the "staples" for legumes & veggies.  Of course, you will want to stock up your spice cabinet as well with the basics.  Check out all the other "Indian Slow Cooker" dishes I have made on the right hand side of the blog.  

Chop the eggplant.  I made kind of small, just to ensure that it would actually cook.  I don't think I needed to do this, but I was hungry and have not only a bean addiction, but perhaps a small eggplant one as well.  There is probably a group for that.

Ginger, Chilies, Onion, Cumin, Red Chili Powder (not Mexican chili powder!!)

Spices, Garlic & Onion.

Throw in slow cooker.  Push button.  Wait.  LOVE how easy this is.  

Super texture.  Heads up for those who are easy on the spices.  These dishes are generally not easy on the spices.  This dish, in particular, might be needed to be toned down a bit if you aren't what Anupy's dad calls a "spicy person".  I am full of spice so took it like the spicy broad I am.  But just warning you!!

So today I was just wondering what Anupy is going to teach us in her next book.  Yes, next book!!  Our Punjabi Princess is making a "Vegan Indian" book and it promises to be amazing.  I hope for more veggie stuff like broccoli, zuchinni, maybe an okra dish??  I have also been munching on the Black Chickpea Curry the last few days.  The first time I made them I was surprised by the dryness of their texture (when compared to Garbanzo Beans), but now this "Kala Chana", Black Chickpeas has won a place in my heart!

"Kala Chana" Black Chickpea Curry from "The Indian Slow Cooker" book by Anupy Singla.  And check out all the links on the right hand side of blog to other dishes I have made from this book!