Berry Creme Parfait

This weekend I offer you a wonderful raw vegan dessert that will appeal to family and friends — without even having to tell them how healthy it is!

Raw cashews are a raw foods chef handy fill-in for any number of creamy sauces and puddings.  Soaked just an hour or two and blended either with lemon juice and salt or with coconut oil, vanilla and some agave or palm sugar, many people would not be able to discern the difference between “real” sour cream or vanilla pudding and the cashew creation.

A few extra touches make this parfait particularly pleasing to the eye and the palate:  Layering the cashew pudding in two colors (one plain and the other pastel-color is achieved by blending with one-third of the anti-oxidant-rich berries) makes it a more interesting; Marinating the fruit with some orange juice and cardamom adds a surprising taste twist; And the additional of a nut and dried-fruit crumble on the top gives the entire dessert more texture and variety.  I also like the fact that the topping has a pleasant crunch without having to use any grains or baked foods.

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Fall Fruits – eating locally and in season

Whenever I see the first pomegranates of the season, fond memories resurface from childhood; My mother would always buy me a few for dessert during the long dark winters in Chicago.   On “pomegranate” night my Mom would cut one  pomegranate  into manageable pieces and place them in a large bowl.   I would curl […]

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Sunday Brunch – Feta Eggs

A Vegetarian Recipe Whenever we have overnight guests I always serve this breakfast to rave reviews. Although I prefer a primarily vegan lifestyle, it is not something I impose on friends and family. Eggs are a great source of protein, however I would recommend buying organic, free range, hormone and antibiotic-free, whenever possible. If you […]

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Portobello Pesto Pizza

A Meatless Monday recipe

When I travel around the country on book tour giving workshops and doing demo’s of the deliciousness of raw foods and raw fusion, the two recipes that are the most requested are this Portobello Pesto Pizza and my Flourless Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Creme Sauce. 

Attendees are invariably astounded at how sensational this dish tastes – it has a very rich combination of textures and flavors, starting with the crust which is both sweet and savory.  You can vary the herbs in the crust, even making a “south of the border” version, swapping out the Italian herbs for cilantro, cumin and adding diced jalapeno peppers to the “rawcotta cheeze.”

A great advantage of this dish is that it does not require anything more than a food processor and a blender – in fact you can make all of it in a food processor.  I will be posting later this week on some recommendations for your raw fusion kitchen.  When I first started my raw journey I only had a tiny Cuisinart food processor and had to make the crust and cheeze in small batches (although the size was just right for the pesto.)

And here’s a word to the wise:  This is a very dense and rich dish!  A little goes a long way (same with the Flourless Chocolate Cake.  Serve it with a large green salad, perhaps with the Goldenberry Vinaigrette  dressing in a previous post, or try blending some frozen (defrosted) mango chunks with olive oil, garlic and powdered mustard.  Something fruity and refreshing combines beautifully with the richness of this amazing dish.  Leftovers still taste good on the next day or two.

Here’s some feedback on this dish from  food critic, Lynn Kessel  of the Tampa Tribune who came to one of my presentations where this was one of the dishes served:

I made your Portobello Pesto Pizza for dinner tonight.  Even my “doubting Thomas” that doesn’t think meatless can be filling OR tasty, went back for a second sliver.  Two thumbs up!

So, try this for a Meatless Monday or a company dinner and be ready for rave reviews.

Recipe here

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Nuts about Walnuts

In an article by Dr. David Katz, Director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale presents scientific data from a couple of studies that tout the therapeutic benefits of walnuts (which have come to be my new favorite nuts).  In one study, they found that “adding walnuts to the daily diet of adults with Type 2 diabetes for two months significantly improved blood vessel health, as measured by something called endothelial function.”  (Source)

A great movie to get a visual orientation on how endothelial cells function is Forks Over Knives – it was released this summer and probably available for an online download by now.  These honey-comb shaped cells play a vital role in how blood flows through our arterial systems; The faster the blood surges through your arteries, the more youthful and vibrant your organs.

Katz’ own study paralleled with the diabetes research in which he found that adding about 14 walnuts a day to the diet of individuals who display metabolic syndrome (considered to be a potential pre-diabetic state), adding roughly 14 walnuts a day to their diet, did not gain weight, but rather stabilized in weight gain and all showed improved blood pressure and endothelial function.

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