October 30, 2011

Raw Buckwheat Pancakes

Friday night I put some pancakes in the dehydrator.  Yep, eight hour pancakes.  They were worth it.  Not much work involved in the batter and very few ingredients.  Waking up to the smell of apples and cinnamon was quite nice Saturday morning.  These whole grain pancakes were very filling, I only ate one, but my son enjoyed four.  They are a great source of protein and fiber.  A serving of two provides 4 g protein and 6 g fiber. Paired with some fresh fruit, it's a great way to start the day.  I took some of the strawberries I had frozen in June and warmed them with a little pure maple syrup for a nice warm fruit topping.

Raw Pancakes
     A recipe from Vegan Fusion
            The Complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Raw, pg 196

1 cup red apples, seeds removed, and chopped
8 dates, pitted, and soaked at least 30 minutes
1/4 cup date soak water
1/2 cup agave nectar (I used coconut nectar)
1 TB vanilla extract
1 tsp. lime zest
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 TB golden flax seeds, ground
Pinch sea salt
1 cup buckwheat groats, ground (I grind them in a little coffee grinder I have specifically for grinding food)
1/4 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened (optional)

1.  In a food processor fitted with an S blade, or a blender, place apples, dates, soak water, agave nectar, vanilla extract, lime zest, cinnamon, flax seeds, and salt.  Blend on high speed for 15 to 20 seconds or until a chunky batter forms.

2.  Transfer to a bowl, and combine with buckwheat and coconut until well incorporated.

3.  Scoop onto Teflex-lined deyhydrator sheets to desired sizes.  They'll flatten out a little, so make them about 1/2 inch thick to start.

4.  Dehydrate at 110ºF for 6- 8 hours.  Keep an eye on them, you don't want the outsides to be too dry.  Pushing down on them will tell you if the insides are still mushy, which is ideal.

Serve hot off the trays, topped with maple syrup or a flavored agave nectar, if you want.  Pancakes will keep in an air-tight container for 3 to 5 days.

October 29, 2011

One More Day to Vote ~ Help me win the Blendtec Blender

I wrote this blog post last month, Kitchen Tips for Raw Foods, for a blog competition.  The prize is a Blendtec Blender. It's sponsored by the Raw Food Divas and can be found at Tera Warner.  Who's Tera Waner?

From her own profile on the website:

"Tera Warner is the frisky founder of the world's largest online resource of raw food cleansing and detoxification programs for women. Through her programs and events she invites a community of over 100,000 women around the world to pick up their parsley sprigs, and march, dance, sing, jump or fly along path to vibrant living.

She's not got a string of acronyms after her name and fancy credentials, so don't bother looking for them. She's a monkey-lovin' mama doing her best to remind you that your self-worth is not measure by the size of your thighs or the width of your hips, but by the breadth of your dreams and the depth of your love."

"Tera spent most of her days in university studying monkeys, and now she's simply trying to teach the world to eat like one."

The blog was to introduce three kitchen tips aimed at helping someone new to raw foods organize their kitchen and simplify the transition to raw foods.  Before I jumped in to vegan and raw cooking, I used to take meat out to thaw for dinner, now I soak beans, nuts, and dried fruits in preparation for our meals.  Since so many of our meals depend on the dehydrator now, planning ahead is very important. There's a few things that took awhile to get the hang of.  I sure would have liked some hints when I got started.

I'm pretty exited about to making it to the top four finalists.  Now, it's left up to the readers to vote.  I sure would appreciate your vote.  There's only about 24 hours left, the voting ends on Oct. 30 at 11:59 p.m, Eastern time.  If you have a few minutes, please go to this website and cast your vote. Just follow the link below and follow the voting instructions. It's pretty simple and only takes a couple minutes after reading the blog posts. They're all awesome posts and there's some pretty great kitchen tips.  I'd love to win the Blendtec Blender so I can use it in my adventures teaching others to cook great raw and vegan food.  Thank you!

My Gram's Mac & Cheese Vegan Style

When I was a child, Sunday dinner was always an event at my grandma's house.  She roasted a chicken every Sunday and with it came her tomato base mac & cheese.  It was a simple dish, elbow macaroni, salt, pepper, tomato juice, and cheddar cheese.  Whenever I've gone to visit one of my brother's and sister, it's either on the menu or at least talked about.  I'm not sure if it's really that great a dish or the warm memories of grandma make it so special.  Probably a little of both. Tonight I veganized it and it came out pretty good.  I managed to capture the same flavors and texture without the dairy products or the canned tomato juice she used.

I took a quart of my own canned tomatoes, about a cup of filtered water, and a handful of nutritional yeast and blended into a thick juice.  I had a lot of little green peppers from our trip to the garden today so I sliced them and sautéed them with some fresh onion and garlic in a little grape seed oil.  I also took out about a half cup of the dried Shitake mushrooms and marinated them in a little Tamari and filtered water to soften. I  cooked whole wheat pasta shells mixed them with the sauce, the vegetable mixture and some Daiya cheddar cheese.  Baked it at 400º for about 35 minutes until the sauce was bubbling.

Good warm vegan comfort food on a cold fall night.

October 23, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting ~ Vegan

This was definitely a big hit at the potluck this weekend.  There wasn't much evidence that a cake had been on that platter when we were cleaning up.  It's a flavorful cake with a dash of cayenne.  I was excited to see how cayenne in a sweet cake would work out, love it! The frosting is fun and really good.  The cashew creme I usually make doesn't hold up it's shape like this one did.  This frosting allows me some time to work with it before it softens too much.  But, this frosting does have quite a bit of sugar.  I'll probably make this cake a couple of times this fall and winter.  I think I'll stick to a dusting of powdered sugar and make this frosting for special occasions  At least occasions where we'll have help eating it.

This is another great recipe from the VegNews 2011 Food Issue, the featured recipe on the cover.  I made two cakes, one a week ago to test the recipe for the potluck.  I just dusted the first one with a little organic powdered sugar and it was great.  Frosting is nice, but it isn't necessary.  This cake is moist and sweet enough by itself.

I didn't make many changes.  I used sucanot for the sugars and any non dairy milk and creamer can be substituted.  I think I used almond milk and coconut milk creamer.  I used fresh pumpkin, pecans instead of walnuts, and coconut cream whipped with a tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice instead of the vegan sour cream called for in the frosting recipe.  I did use the vegan cream cheese, margarine, and shortening.  I thought that was already overdoing it on the processed vegan ingredients, so I didn't want to add any more if I could help it.  The amount of sugar in the frosting is pretty scary too. This frosting recipe will be great for events I want an impressive looking dessert, that's for sure.

Pumpkin Spice Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
     Kathy Patasky, Healthy Happy Life

Makes one 9-inch cake

For the Cake:

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup brown sugar
 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 cup non dairy milk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons egg replacer
3 tablespoons water
2 1/4 cups shredded carrots

For the frosting:

8 ounces vegan cream cheese
1/2 cup vegan margarine, softened
1/2 cup vegan shortening, softened
1/2 cup vegan sour cream
5 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons soymilk or soy creamer
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350º, and grease two 9-inch round cake pans.  For the cake, in a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne.  Add brown sugar, sugar, pumpkin, maple syrup, soy milk, vegetable oil, vanilla, and vinegar, and mix well.

In a small bowl, combine egg replacer and water, then add to the cake batter.  Fold in carrots and walnuts, and pour batter into prepared cake pans.  Bake for 35 minutes, or until edges start to lightly brown.  Allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:  In a large bowl, combine all ingredients with a hand or counter-top mixer until smooth and creamy.  Place in refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes before frosting cake.  When cake and frosting are chilled, frost cake, garnish with freshly shredded carrots, and serve.

Thanks for sharing your recipe Kathy Patalsky!  I think I'll be making this a few times before the year is out and checking out your other recipes.

October 22, 2011

LV Community Vegan/Vegetarian Potluck October

Last night was the sixth Community Vegan/Vegetarian potluck in Longview and I think it was one of the nicest.  We had about the same amount of people, thirty or so, made some new friends and ate some great vegan and vegetarian food.  We didn't have very many vegetarian dishes this time or the last. It seems the potluck is going in a vegan direction all by itself.  There were lots of gluten free dishes including cookies, pumpkin scones, and brownies.  I made two batches of the popular vegan mac & cheese one with brown rice noodles and the other with quinoa noodles. I omitted the bread crumbs for gluten free mac & cheese.

All the cooks put on an impressive buffet.  Among the wonderful dishes we had were:  Black eyed pea salad with a homemade dressing, steamed cauliflower with onions, fresh frozen peas, and a sauce made with veganaise and mustard, French green lentil stew, Turkish garbanzo bean salad, a harvest grain salad, a fresh fruit bowl, spinach salad, tofu adobo, a cactus and black bean salad, a pitcher of fresh berry smoothie, and lots more.  The desserts were plentiful, all vegan, and most were gluten free:  Pumpkin spice carrot cake with cream "cheese" frosting, raw cashew chocolate, coconut fudge, Gluten free pumpkin scones, gluten free chocolate brownies, and Gluten free vegan pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  What fun it was trying all the different dishes.  I was thinking that it was such a joy that everyone made something wonderful themselves and it was obvious that they put care into it.  I remember hosting potlucks for another organization years ago and I was usually disappointed when the store deli fried chicken and pre-made macaroni and potato salads showed up. 
Many of our guests are new to plant based eating and it's such a treat to see the joy on someone's face when they discover the many things they "can" eat that they didn't think they could before.  The gluten free folks, for example.  I know many women who are gluten intolerant or avoid it for pain issues and didn't think they'd ever get to eat baked goods again.

Our guest speaker didn't appear, but that didn't hamper our fun at all.  It was a rainy night and there may have been bad traffic.  I was told by Jill from NW Veg when I was thinking about this potluck that sometimes that happens there is no speaker, so they've often just gone around the room and introduced themselves and talked about why they are there.  So, after a lively dinner filled with the conversations about the new and interesting foods we were eating, I talked a little bit about why I suggested we start this potluck and opened up the room for questions, comments, or success and/or failure stories. We had a great discussion.  There was some sharing from a couple people about how eating a plant based diet has changed their health for the better.  There were questions about diabetes and other diseases from people who's doctors have suggested they try a plant based diet to improve their health.  It was a warm, interesting, conversation between us all.  We all got to know each other a little bit better too.   As it turned out, no one missed our speaker at all.  I've had a couple emails and phone calls today from attendees who wanted to tell me what a good time it was and that the discussion was very good.  Each one of them told me they learned something last night.  YES!  That's why I started this potluck.  Smiles and JOY!  I am hoping we can all learn more together.

Thanks everyone for your culinary efforts and for showing up!  Our next potluck will be in January, probably around the third week on a Friday night again.  I'll let you know the date.  I think I am going to round up some equipment and show Forks Over Knives after dinner.

October 17, 2011

Chile Potato Wraps

Made some fun wraps Sunday morning.  Another of the great recipes in the VegNews food issue.  this one is by Terry Hope Romero.  She's got a nice blog called Vegan Latina. This  is an "Indian Burrito" . The blend of spices and potatoes with the hot chiles and roasted cashews had a party in my mouth.  That's how my granddaughter says it anyway.  They were a nice surprise.  It's a pretty easy recipe, but took a little more time than I liked.  I made the mashed potatoes the night before, but since I was making the wraps, or parantha, I probably should have prepped more of the vegetables the night before too.  The article says these are great made ahead of time and wrapped for lunches or snacking.  I guess I'd have to make a big batch if I did that.  I doubled this recipe and the three of us took good care of making sure there was no evidence of these meal besides the pictures we took.

 The wraps are called "parantha" which is an Indian flat bread.  I do get some kind of pleasure when I make our own tortillas or wraps.  I  giggle every time because they are so easy, yet not too many of us make our own.  I always wonder why I don't make them more often at first, but then when I'm rolling that last one out, I know why.  They do take some work.

I had most all the ingredients on hand. The vegetables all came from the garden. The only thing I was lacking was the fresh cilantro. I have some dried from the garden, but this looked like I should have the nice fresh green leaves so that was worth a quick trip to the grocery for me.  I used whole wheat pastry flour and organic unbleached whole wheat all purpose flour.

Chile Potato Wraps
        Terry Hope Romero

Makes 4 large rolls

For the parantha:

1 1/4 cup chapati (atta) flour or 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour plus 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour.
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup warm water
3    tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
       Additional flour for dusting.

For the Filling:

3 tablepoons vegetable oil, divided
2 to 3 small hot green chiles (jalapeños or serranos), deseeded and finely chopped.
1/2 cup mined red onion
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
1 pound potatoes, peeled, cubed, boiled until soft, and mashed
1/4 cup chopped roasted cashews
1 medium tomato, seeds removed and diced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1.  For the paratha, in a bowl, mix together flour and salt. Pour in warm water and mix with your fingers to form a soft dough—if too dry, dribble in extra warm water 1 tablespoon at a time; if too wet, sprinkle in a little extra flour.  Knead the dough until smooth, divide into 4 balls, and set aside.  Add a teaspoon of vegetable oil to the bow.  Return the dough balls to bowl, roll on the bottom to coat with oil, and cover with plastic wrap.  Set aside in a warm place to rest for at least 30 minutes wile you prepare the filling.

2.  For the filling, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil.  Sauté chiles and onion until soft and remove from pan onto a dish.  Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and mustard seeds, and once mustard seeds begin to pop, stir in cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne.

3.  Return onion mixture to pan and stir in potatoes, cashews, tomato, lime juice, and salt.  Reduce heat to low, and fold potatoes to completely incorporate spices, vegetables, and nuts.  Taste mixture and adjust seasonings as desired, then fold in cilantro.  Turn off heat.

4.  While the potato mixture is still warm, perpeare the paratha.  Lightly dust work surface with flour and roll a ball of dough into a very thin circle about 9 inches wide.  Brush with remaining oil.

5.  On a large cast-iron skillet over high heat, cook bread on each side until bubbles begin to form in the dough and edges appear dry.  Flip only once; dark marks on the paratha are desirable.  Wrap hot paratha in a large clean dish towel to keep soft and warm.

6.  Scoop the filling into the wrap, roll it up, and enjoy.

October 16, 2011

Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Our community potluck is coming up next Friday and I'd like to bring some seasonal goodies.  It's October and time to cook some pumpkin.  I've got two new pumpkin recipes to try:  pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and a pumpkin carrot cake. I didn't get very many pumpkins from my garden this year.  I am lucky to know some local organic farmers, Mike and Ruth from Willow Grove Gardens.  They have a very large portion of their farm dedicated to pumpkins.  They host a large part of the community every day through October.  They bring the animals out for a little petting zoo and have a pretty nice hay cart ride out to the fields where there are hundreds and hundreds of pumpkins to choose from.

I cooked up two of them today thinking I wouldn't have enough purée.  I ended up with about 5 quarts. Half made it into the freezer, the other half will be pumpkin carrot cake and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.

These cookies are from the latest Food Issue of the VegNews Magazine.  They're vegan and gluten-free.  I've been practicing with gluten free more and more since my granddaughter has been advised by her doctor to try to avoid gluten.  We have quite a few guests at the potluck who are sensitive to gluten and avoid it.  These are a light cake like cookie.   I tried a batch and I'll make another and freeze them right away.  They'll be perfect if I take them out of the freezer Friday morning and that will give me some more time to work on that pumpkin carrot cake with a vegan creme cheese frosting.

I didn't have enough almond butter, but I do have some pumpkin seed butter.  It worked out great. The recipe called for white vegan chocolate chips.  I am lucky to find regular vegan chocolate chips at our stores.  I just used dark ones and only 3/4 of a cup.  I also used cinnamon, fresh ground nutmeg, and a dash of cloves for the pumpkin pie spice.

Gluten-Free Double Chip Pumpkin Cookies
                  Beverly Lynn Bennett

1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
1 1/3 cups brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup canned pumpkin, (I used fresh pumpkin)
1/2 cup nut butter of choice
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup each vegan gluten-free white and dark chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 375º degrees.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat liners.  In a large bowl, stir together water and flax seeds and set aside for 5 minutes.  Add brown sugar, pumpkin, nut butter, sunflower oil, and vanilla, and stir well to combine.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir well to combine.  Fold in chocolate chips.

3.  Portion cookie dough using a 2-inch scoop or heaping 2 tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets, spacing 2 inches apart.  Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until very lightly brown on the bottom.  Let cool slightly before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

Using a 2-inch scoop this recipe yields three dozen cookies.  I noticed they weren't spreading out any.  I didn't want pumpkin balls. I flattened them a little with a piece of parchment paper and my hand about 6 minutes into cooking.  Then I cooked them another 8 minutes.

October 11, 2011

Winter Squash Soup with Roasted Beets

It's finally here, the rain, the can't see in front of your face while driving kind of rain.  I worked up north for a bit today.  It was a nice ride up towards Olympia.  The rain on the way up wasn't so bad.  It was raining, but with sunshine breaks.  On the way home was a different story, I was praying out loud for a few more sun breaks.  The rain was coming down hard and it was a busy time with huge trucks on either side of me the whole way.  Just as I'd pass one another would join me spraying more water than I needed on my windshield. I only had about a 45 minute drive on the freeway, but it seemed like longer today.

I didn't work my usual daily schedule. I had to get on the road north by noon so I ate a small salad around 11:30. I didn't plan my food well and didn't bring anything to snack on in the afternoon. I was very hungry on the way home as well.  I didn't want to stop though.  Even though I wanted to get out of the weather, it didn't seem like it was going to get any better waiting it out. I would be home soon and there's plenty of 'good' whole foods to eat there. I thought about the little winter squash that looked like little pumpkins I roasted Saturday.  I also remembered I roasted three large beets last night.  I bought them Saturday and didn't use them right away.  If I roast them, they were more likely to get eaten.  Oh I'm so glad I did.

I made it to the house around 6:15 p.m., changed my clothes and proceeded to the fridge where my roasted roots and squash were waiting.  I chopped a red onion and about three stalks of celery, sliced two small jalapenos from the garden, and minced a couple cloves of garlic.  I sauteed them all in a soup pot with about 1 tablespoon coconut oil.  I added sea salt and fresh thyme to the mixture. While they were sauteing, I took the skins off the squash and placed them in the blender and diced the roasted beets. I added about 2 cups organic soup stock and half the tender onions and celery and blended until smooth.  I poured the mixture in the soup pot and added about 2 more cups soup stock and the diced roasted beets. I let that all simmer together for about five minutes. I was pretty happy to see that dinner was ready and it was 7:00.  I think I made this soup in about 20 minutes or less. 

October 9, 2011

October Harvest Au Gratin ~ Vegan & Gluten Free

 Yesterday was a lovely day.  We had a sunny day and time to hang in the garden.  It was what we call a sunny day in the PNW, there were still some clouds. We're still getting lots of great produce: potatoes, tomatoes, beets, chard, a couple winter squash, lots of herbs, and even a zucchini.  There are some new eggplant coming out too.  The eggplants seem to like the moist, cool weather.  On the way out there I was thinking about what to do with the squash I had already.  I was thinking of doing some kind of zucchini/winter squash bake.  My granddaughter has been advised to avoid gluten so I want to try to make more and more dishes gluten free. I thought I'd use some brown rice flour or black bean flour and make a roux, but I ended up using par boiled potatoes instead. I came up with a kind of Au Gratin dish.  I think I put a little too much sauce, but it was creamy, warm, colorful, and comforting on a cool fall night.  My son was surprised that I made this up myself and said I should write it down.  He hasn't seen my blog, that's one of the reasons I do this, so I can go back and find dishes I've made like this and make it again sometime.

I made layers of the sliced fresh veggies: butternut squash, sweet potatoes, green and yellow zucchini, fresh beets and chard. I covered them with a sauce I made with a large red potato we dug up yesterday and baked it all until it was tender.  For the sauce I chopped the potato, a couple fresh onions, a shallot and simmered them in about 2 cups water for ten minutes.  I placed them in my Blendtec with a handful of cashews, some coconut spread, nutritional yeast, a dash of tamari, thyme, oregano, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a dash of cayenne.  This made a warm creamy sauce without any milk or flour. 

The sauce:

About 2 cups chopped potato
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 small to medium shallot chopped
2 cups water

The following ingredients are estimates, I really didn't measure, adjust to your own taste.

1/2 cup cashews
3 TB Earth Balance coconut spread or vegan margarine
2 TB Nutritional yeast
1 tsp Tamari
1 Clove garlic, minced
1 TB Thyme (dried)
1 TB Oregano (dried)
1 tsp ground sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

3/4 cup Daiya Mozzarella cheese

Place the chopped potatoes, onions, shallots, & water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil then cover and gently simmer for ten minutes.  While the potatoes are simmering place the remaining ingredients in a large blender.  When the potatoes have finished simmering let them cool a few minutes then pour the whole thing, including the water in the blender.  Blend until creamy.

Layer the veggies in a 9 x 13 baking dish with a layer of sauce between half of it and on top.  I started with chard leaves, a layer of sliced butternut squash, green and yellow zucchini slices, a couple sliced beets I had from thinning the beets, for the first layer.  The second layer I used sliced sweet potato in place of the butternut squash.

Cover and bake at 400º for about 35 minutes, remove the cover and cook another 10 to 15 minutes until the sauce is bubbling.

I also added some shredded Daiya cheese on the top of each sauce layer.  That was probably overkill, but I wanted my son to enjoy this meal with us and he is still a little leery of all my vegan delights.  It worked, he loved it.  He decided he didn't want any salad with his meal, he might try some later.  Funny, the green salad had most the same ingredients that are in the casserole, they're just raw.

October 3, 2011

"Almost Raw" Vegan Pizza

I got to spend both weekend days at home this weekend.  I did my cooking for the week this weekend and managed to squeeze in some treats to bring to work Monday.  I made a nice pot of beans from my cranberry beans I grew in the garden this year, a couple batches of raw cookies, a Rosemary Oregano noodle salad using fresh yellow zucchini for the noodles, and some great "almost raw" pizza with recipes from a one of my favorite vegan cookbooks, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Raw.

The 'almost raw' vegan pizza starts out with raw buckwheat sunflower seed crusts.  I doubled the recipe and made a dozen personal sized crusts.  I blended together some freshly picked tomatoes and herbs into a raw marinara sauce and made a batch herb cashew cheese. For a nice variety of toppings I marinated some of the Shitake mushrooms I dried last week in a little olive oil and tamari, marinated dried tomatoes in olive oil and lemon juice, roasted red bell peppers, and grilled some yellow zucchini and eggplant rounds.  I probably would have been content with the cashew cheese, but my son is very new to plant based food and I thought I should add some Daiya mozzarella cheese to the choices.  It looks more like cheese he's used to seeing for pizza. I especially like that I have the ingredients all ready to just build one this week.

There's a little bit of preparation to each part of this pizza, but once everything is prepped it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days, the crusts a week.  We can stop by the kitchen and build a little pizza for a quick lunch or dinner.

Buckwheat Sunflower Seed Pizza Crust
     The Complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Raw, page 212

1 cup buckwheat groats, soaked for at least 1 hour to overnight
1 cup sunflower weeds, soaked at least 1 hour to overnight
3 TB flax seeds, ground
2½ TB fresh herbs such as oregano, parsley, and thyme
1 TB freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 TB nama shoyu or tamari

1.  Drain buckwheat and sunflower seeds, rinse thoroughly, and drain again.

2. Place buckwheat in a food processor fitted with an S blade.  Add sunflower seeds, ground flax seeds, fresh herbs, lemon juice, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper, and shoyu.  Process on high spread for 20 to 30 seconds or until a chunky but unified batter forms.

3.  Scoop batter onto 2 Teflex-lined dehydrator trays in 8 equal portions.  Flatten with your hands or use the bottom of a slightly oiled glass or plastic container to form circles. Or form dough into 2 larger pizza crusts.  Dehydrate at 110º for 15 to 18 hours, flipping them over midway though and removing Teflex.

The Sun-Dried Tomato Sage Sauce is also from the Complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Raw.  It's on page 143. I am enjoying playing with these recipes.  I've been happy with everything I've made so far and most items have been very easy with maybe one or two directions.  It's mostly blender and dehydrator work.

The cashew cheese is just a basic cheese recipe:  2 cups raw cashews blended and placed in a large glass pitcher or mason jar with plastic wrap and placed in a warm spot in the kitchen overnight.  I chopped some herbs, garlic, and bell pepper and added a dash of sea salt and pepper, mixed it all together with the nut mixture and set it to cool for a couple hours.

Comer Bien