Archive of ‘raw’ category

{Recipe} Spinach-Basil Pesto

Spinach-Basil Pesto

Spinach Basil Pesto

Pesto is one of the only green in color foods I can get my kids to eat. So I especially like to hide a leafy green veggie in it! I’ll use anything from Arugula to Mizuna to a touch of baby Kale and Spinach. They have no clue. They love it and ask for it all the time. I typically make it once a week so we have it for pasta one night and on a homemade pizza another night. 

Best Pizza

Favorite Pizza

Rolled out dough, topped with halved cherry tomatoes and baked. We then throw on some raw cashew cheese on top as soon as it comes out of the oven. Its great.


Roasted Vegetable-Pesto Sandwich

Pesto and Roasted Vegetable Sandwich

I personally like to to save some for Roasted Vegetable Sandwiches. I could eat these sandwiches all summer long. 

Pesto snack before pesto pasta dinner. :) #vegan

There is also sometimes pesto eating before a pesto dinner. I get hungry while I’m cooking.

I generally always made our pesto in a food processor but, sadly, part of it broke and I still haven’t ordered the replacement part. All of our pesto is now made in our Vita Mix. The processor makes it chunky, which I prefer. The Vita Mix makes the pesto smooth, which is also ok. It just depends on what you like or which appliance is working and which isn’t! 

Traditionally pesto is made with pine nuts. I’ve given up on pine nuts since having a good ol’ case of pine mouth a few years back. It was terrible. My mouth tasted like metal for days. Right not my favorite nuts and seeds to use are: almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Seeds being my favorite since I like to keep my daughters school lunches nut free.  Feel free to experiment with any nut or seed you like. 

What’s also traditional in pesto which is a concern for vegans or those that are just dairy free is cheese. I found the best way to replace the cheese in this recipe was to use miso paste! We think it’s a perfect substitution and it’s quite healthy for you also. A good Mellow Miso is easy to find in well stocked supermarkets. 

Spinach-Basil Pesto
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  1. 2 cloves of garlic
  2. 2 cups basil
  3. 2 cups baby spinach
  4. 2 1/2 tablespoons mellow miso paste
  5. 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  6. 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, may need more
  7. 1 tablespoon agave syrup (optional)
  8. salt to taste
If making in a high speed blender
  1. Add all ingredients and blend until combined. Salt to taste. If it's thicker then you would like then drizzle in some more olive oil.
If making in a food processor
  1. Pulse seeds and garlic until finely chopped. Add basil, spinach, mellow miso paste, agave syrup and blend. While the machine is running slowly pour in the oil. Blend until combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times. Season to taste with salt.
  1. Experiment! Try different nuts and seeds! Try different leafy greens but always use basil! Enjoy!
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Cashew Cream (Recipe)


Mediterranean Pesto Seitan Wrap

Cashews are hands down one of my top 5 favorite foods. Not just favorite nut but favorite FOOD’S!  I love eating them raw, roasted and salted. I add them to stuffings, chili’s and stir-frys. Forget tofu ricotta I make cashew ricotta. My favorite morning cereal is a store bought granola with cashews in it. The big container of mixed nuts we buy is all out of cashews long before we reached the halfway mark of the container to the annoyance of many. I’m surprised I don’t make my own or even buy already made cashew milk. I might have to try that!

Whenever I feel a meal needs a creamy condiment I whip up a fast Cashew Cream. Since I use a Vita Mix I don’t need to soak my cashews first so this is often a last minute type of thing for me. The table is usually set with the dinner on it and by the time I get the other 3 people in my family at the table and ready to eat I can hop back into the kitchen and have this ready in less then 1 minute.


Seared Mushroom, Black Bean and Rice Burrito w. Cashew Cream

I use this Cashew Cream on wraps, sandwiches, soups, stews and chili’s. I even make a batch of it the night before we leave for our annual summer beach vacation to use while in our rented beach house. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Simple Cashew Cream
makes about 1 1/4 cups

1 cup raw cashews
1 clove garlic
1 lemon, juiced
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Add all of the ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Add more water a teaspoon at a time if needed.

VeganMoFo Post 11 {recipe!}

Dessert #1: almost raw chocolate coconut pudding! #vegan

Chocolate Coconut Pudding

I mentioned a month ago how my darling husband gifted me with a machete for my birthday. Just so I can open young coconuts for him and the kids. How sweet of him to be thinking of me. The whole machete thing has been working out though. Once every week or two he takes it out of the closet and hands it to me to open our latest coconut that the kids begged me to buy at Whole Foods. The thing cuts through coconuts like a dream. Drinking the coconut water from an actual coconut instead of the tetra packs of them is 10x better tasting. My problem has been what to do with the young coconut meat that is left inside. I don’t like it as is. It has to be turned into something and my first though was why not a pudding? We love pudding and most of the time I made a chocolate coconut pudding out of canned coconut milk so why not use this fresh coconut meat? I set out one night to make it and it was perfect. The second time I made it it was perfect again. The kids get so excited now at the though of this Almost Raw Chocolate Coconut Pudding. Here is our recipe!

Almost Raw Chocolate Coconut Pudding

1 cup fresh young coconut meat
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup agave syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
coconut water to blend. I start with 1/4 cup.
pinch of sea salt

Combine all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap pressing it against the pudding so it doesn’t create a skin on top. Place in the fridge for a few hours or over night until thoroughly chilled. Serve and enjoy.

Vida Vegan Con Food Day 3

Portland Vegan Breakfast Showcase. #vvc2013 #vegan #pdx

Portland Vegan Breakfast Showcase

Day 2 of Vida Vegan Con started off with the promise of a Breakfast Showcase featuring a bunch of different local restaurants, bakeries, etc. This was the conference meal I was most excited about! We made sure we got there early and lined at Portobella Vegan Trattoria’s table first. I am not sure what exactly they served. It involved potatoes, peas, edible flowers, a radish slice and a sauce. Whatever it was it didn’t disappoint!  Next I hit the A.N.D. Cafe table for a meatloaf benedict that was out of this world. I then headed over to Back to Eden and picked up a Smoked Tempeh Mozzarella Fig Scone, simply amazing.  Near Back to Eden was Diving Pie where I tried a few samples of their raw and whole foods pies. A bagel from Blackheart Bagels and a green juice from Portland Juice Press finished my first round of the showcase. After I sat at my table some of my table mates were raving about a  Broccoli Cheddar and Smoked Tempeh Quiche from Back to Eden so I paid them a visit for the second time to pick one up. I’m glad I did because it was my favorite of all the foods I tried at the showcase.

My one disappointment was that I didn’t get to sample Sizzle Pie’s breakfast pizza or the sliders offered up from White Owl Social Club. The line for them was so incredibly long!

Lunch at #vvc2013 #vegan

Portland-Style Build-a-Bowl

Lunch on Saturday was Build a Bowl meal. I loaded my bowl with greens, quinoa, Upton’s Naturals chorizo, tofu, beans, raw walnut meat, Teese, Nacheez, salsa, a super garlicky condiment that the organizers actually got up on stage to announce that it wasn’t a dressing and not to pour it all over your bowl unless you wanted to smell like garlic for days! I had to try it just because of the “warning” and it was so good that it was worth the garlic breath. Thankfully I had some gum to chew afterwards.

All Hail Kale w. Blackened Vegan Chicken at Veggie Girl w. @diannewenz #vvc2013 #vegan #pdx

All Hail Kale w. Blackened Vegan Chicken

After the conference on Saturday was the Galarama and Silent Auction for Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. We had some time kill between events so Dianne and I took our free entree gift card for Veggie Grill out of our swag bags and headed there for dinner. Feeling like we needed some greens, even though I loaded up on mesclun at lunch, we each got a salad. I had tried the All Hail Kale salad at the Veggie Grill reception the night before and loved it so I ordered it here and the lovely man behind the counter recommended I add the vegan chicken. I’m happy I did. It was one of the best restaurant salads i’ve ever ordered. I can’t wait for Veggie Grill to open some East Coast restaurants.

Vegan cheese plate! #vvc2013 #vegan


I think the best thing that has ever been served at any event I’ve ever been to happened at the Galarama. Miyoko Schinner, who wrote the book Artisan Vegan Cheese, made a ton of her artisan cheeses and put together these really amazing cheese trays. VEGAN CHEESE TRAYS! I don’t think anything can ever beat that. Every cheese I tried was my favorite. Thank you Miyoko. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Brownie Sundae! #vvc2013 #vegan #galarama

Ice Cream Sundae Bar

After eating too much of Miyoko’s cheese I headed over to the So Delicious Sundae Spectacular. It featured brownies from Capital City Bakery. Full disclosure..I ate one of the brownies san’s sundae while I was headed over to the Cheese Trays. I then ate another when I made my own sundae. There was everything you could ever want to put on a sundae there. Marshmallows, nuts, whipped cream, sprinkles..etc…

I’m pretty sure this day was one of the best food days of my life.

Best Pizza

Pesto, Cherry Tomato and Raw Cashew Cheese Pizza

I was never a fan of “real” pizza aka tomato and cheese. The cheese was always so gross and stringy. Even with the advances in vegan cheeses like Daiya and the new and improved Teese I’m still not much of a fan. I like those brands of vegan cheese but not on my pizza! My favorite all time pizza is a new one for me. It consists of homemade Basil-Miso-Walnut Pesto, some homegrown still warm from the sun cherry tomatoes and a raw cashew cheese.

The process is very simple:
Roll out dough (I like the whole grain one from Whole Foods)
Spread pesto over pizza
Thrown on some halved cherry tomatoes
Pop into the oven…400 450 degrees…whatever you fancy.
When the crust is nice and brown and the tomatoes are nice and bubbly take the pizza out and drop on the raw cashew cheese in random places.

Its basically the best pizza ever. Peter and my Maa are hooked. Reno will just eat pieces with the tomatoes and cashew cheese taken off…she’s only 3 so what does she know..right? I insist that you all make this pizza. Your taste buds will thank you.

p.s. the cashew cheese is from Ani Phyo’s new book: Raw Food Essentials. I’ll be posting a full review of her new book in a few days!

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