Special Dish for the Week: Raw Vegan Rainbow Pad Thai

A conversation with a couple new acquaintances from Authors for Indies event inspires this Special Dish for the Week, which I then make and share at a potluck with another new group of lovely acquaintances—many of whom easily on their way to becoming friends:

Raw Vegan Rainbow Pad Thai

Raw Vegan Rainbow Pad Thai

Raw Vegan Rainbow Pad Thai

I find a couple more foodies, recently, who also love Thai food. One of them eats raw vegan foods, which makes me curious: how does one make raw vegan Thai food?!

A quick Google search reveals that Pad Thai is quite a popular option, especially if there is a zucchini spiralizer on hand—which I don’t (yet!) have. I julienne some of my veggies and chop others—some by hand and some in my electric chopper (blender)—for varied texture.

I am reminded of the Rainbow Life Salad with Quinoa I made last year, also very delicious!

Raw Vegan Rainbow Pad Thai Ingredients

Raw Vegan Rainbow Pad Thai Ingredients

I prepare the dressing first, using the following ingredients:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (alternate: almond butter)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp Bragg soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds (alternate: white sesame seeds)
  • 1 inch grated ginger
  • 4 finely sliced kaffir lime leaves
  • chopped cilantro stems
Raw Vegan Rainbow Pad Thai Ingredients Combined

Raw Vegan Rainbow Pad Thai Ingredients Combined

I let the dressing stand while chopping the following veggies:

  • 2 carrots, chopped or julienned
  • 1 small red cabbage, some chopped and some thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini, julienned or spiraled
  • 1 cup frozen edamame, thawed
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds (optional)
  • sesame seeds for garnish

I pour the dressing over the chopped and sliced veggies, and mix lightly.

I let the dish sit in the fridge over night, to soften the veggies and to allow the flavours to intermingle.

I garnish with sesame seeds just before serving.

The dish turns out very delicious, nutritious and colourful—and it is a hit with the potluck guests, some of whom ask for the recipe.

Raw Vegan Rainbow Pad Thai Dish

Raw Vegan Rainbow Pad Thai Dish

Meal ideas & recipes from http://ohsheglows.com/2013/07/01/rad-rainbow-raw-pad-thai/.

Special Dish for the Week: Nut and Seed Balls

On the spur of the moment, inspired by a friend’s homemade halva recipe, I make this Special Dish for the Week to serve at my Gado Gado and Poetry to Music dinner party, where the Beet Apple Charoset serves as the appetizer:

Nut and Seed Balls

Nut and Seed Balls

Nut and Seed Balls

I make two versions of this delicious and nutritious raw dessert:

  • one version sweetened with dates and honey;
  • the other, with coconut oil and cinnamon.

Both turn out fabulous!

Nut and Seed Balls - Sweeter Version Ingredients

Nut and Seed Balls – Sweeter Version Ingredients

For the sweeter version, I use the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped nearly to butter consistency
  • 4 tsp black sesame seeds (or white sesame seeds)
  • 2 tsp milled flax seed
  • 4 dates, chopped nearly to butter consistency
  • 1 tbsp honey

I make the walnut ‘near butter’ in a small chopper and set it aside in a mixing bowl. I do the same with the dates. Next, I return all ingredients and blender them together.

If the consistency looks good to roll into small balls, I make the balls and store them in the freezer. If the consistency is too liquid, I add another teaspoon of milled flax seed, and if it is too thick, I blender the mass for a little longer.

Nut and Seed Balls - Less Sweet Version Ingredients

Nut and Seed Balls – Less Sweet Version Ingredients

For the less sweet version, I use the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped nearly to butter consistency
  • 5 tsp black sesame seeds (or white sesame seeds)
  • 3 tsp milled flax seed
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4-1 tsp cinnamon (depending on preference: I use 1/2 tsp)

As with the sweeter version, if the consistency is too liquid, I add another teaspoon of milled flax seed.

To make the balls, I place the mass in the fridge for about 30 minutes to let the coconut oil solidify a little. I mix the mass and relatively quickly shape the little balls, since the heat from the fingertips begins to liquefy the coconut oil after a little while. I also store these in the freezer.

One or two balls for each guest to enjoy is plenty as these nut and seed balls are very nutrient and calorie rich. And they’re also filled with lots of TLC.

Nut and Seed Balls Served With Love

Nut and Seed Balls Served With Love

 

 

 

Special Dish for the Week: Ancient Grain Mushroom Risotto

In preparation for another instalment in my birthday month celebrations, I prepare a day earlier as part of this week’s Special Dish for the Week:

Ancient Grain Mushroom Risotto

Ancient Grain Mushroom Risotto - Grains

Ancient Grain Mushroom Risotto – Grains

This dish is inspired in part by the recipe suggestion on the box of the ancient grain blend of 7 grains: red and white quinoa, oats, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, and kaniwa.

The buckwheat grain has by far the most intense flavour, nearly overpowering even the flavours of the mushrooms, giving the risotto an even deeper earthy flavour.

This dish once it is prepared in an oven-safe pot may be heated up in the oven in that pot again if a little more water is added to create steam as the risotto gently warms up to be served on a subsequent day.

Ancient Grain Mushroom Risotto Ingredients

Ancient Grain Mushroom Risotto Ingredients

The risotto flavouring ingredients include:

  • coconut oil, for sautéeing the onions
  • onions, coarsely chopped
  • garlic, minced
  • red Thai chili pepper
  • chicken bouillon
  • assorted mushrooms (we use shiitake, maitake, king oyster, and brown crimini)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • dry sherry, or any mystery spirit you have in your cupboard
  • cashews, for blending with water into 3 tbsp cashew cream
  • marble cheese, grated
  • broccoli flowerettes, finely chopped and added raw as garnish
  • cilantro as garnish
  • black sesame seeds as garnish
  • The risotto is easily made by sautéeing the onions and mushrooms with the herbs and spices, then adding the bouillon and grains for the last 20-30 minutes, and additional water as needed to make the risotto in a desired consistency. Towards the end of the cooking time, the sherry, cashew cream and grated cheese are added to cream the risotto further still.
Ancient Grain Mushroom Risotto with Smoked Salmon

Ancient Grain Mushroom Risotto with Smoked Salmon

I try a small portion of the risotto with a smoked salmon, and garnish the dish with chopped broccoli flowerettes and cilantro, with a sprinkling of black sesame seeds.

I serve the dish with a glass of French red wine, and enjoy it by candlelight with a pretty red gerbera for added company.

Special Dish for the Week: Creamy Carrot Soup

With a little delay in posting as a result of travelling to the Pacific Gulf Islands for my birthday week, for this extra Special Dish for the Week that is close to being in paradise, I make another “Lunch in Paris” inspired recipe:

Creamy Carrot Soup

Creamy Carrot Soup

Creamy Carrot Soup

As I plan to travel with some of the soup to share it for our meals with my travel companion and Island host, I opt for a vegetarian version of the soup, using lentils for the base, while the recipe calls for chicken broth.

The secret ingredients of this soup are TLC and one cashew nut for that extra special touch!

Creamy Carrot Soup with TLC and One Cashew Nut

Creamy Carrot Soup with TLC and One Cashew Nut

Creamy Carrot Soup Ingredients

Creamy Carrot Soup Ingredients

The other ingredients include:

  • red lentils, pre-soaked and cooked in the main soup pot (alternative to bone broth for a vegetarian version of this soup)
  • coconut oil, for sautéeing the onions
  • onions, coarsely chopped
  • garlic, minced
  • ginger, finely chopped
  • finely shredded wakame
  • carrots, diced
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • broccoli flowerettes, finely chopped and added raw as garnish
  • cilantro as garnish
  • black sesame seeds as garnish
Creamy Carrot Soup Dish

Creamy Carrot Soup Dish

I use my hand blender to purée the soup, adding extra coconut milk to obtain the desired consistency.

I try a little of the soup for my evening meal before heading out for my birthday week trip with more of the soup in a jar, packing the broccoli flowerettes, cilantro and black sesame seeds to assemble as garnish.

Naturally, I serve it with a glass of red wine and flowers!

Creamy Carrot Soup Birthday Week Feast

Creamy Carrot Soup Birthday Week Feast

The soup is delicious and hardy, and tastes even better during the week when enjoyed with my host after frolicking around in the Island outdoors—and as the first course to my birthday week feast of smoked mackerel and olive oil and balsamic vinegar dipped artisan bread.

We sip on a thimbleful of Insomnia Red Wine for the flavour and medicinal benefits of resveratrol in the skins of red grapes.

Creamy Carrot Soup in the Pacific Gulf Islands

Creamy Carrot Soup in the Pacific Gulf Islands

Meal ideas & recipes from “Lunch in Paris” book.

Special Dish for the Week: Roasted Pepper and Cauliflower Soup

Inspired by the favourite veggies of my recently visiting long-time friend, I delight in the roasted sweetness of tri-colour peppers and the intensified flavours of cauliflower in this Special Dish for the Week:

Roasted Pepper and Cauliflower Soup

Roasted Pepper and Cauliflower Soup

Roasted Pepper and Cauliflower Soup

Although I love the taste and texture of roasted and grilled vegetables, I hardly ever prepare them that way, not having a proper grill and not feeling sufficient confident—but energy conscious—to roast them in the oven. In fact, I don’t recall having ever roasted my own peppers—and they are superb, as I was reminded while assembling this soup.

I begin my soup by soaking red lentils over night, preparing chicken bone broth and roasting the vegetables a little in advance.

Roasted Pepper and Cauliflower Soup Ingredients

Roasted Pepper and Cauliflower Soup Ingredients

The ingredients include:

  • bone broth (chicken, turkey, or duck) (optional)
  • small bits of meat flaked off the bones used to make broth  (optional)
  • olive oil for roasting the veggies and sautéeing the onions
  • onion, coarsely chopped and sautéed in the olive oil remaining from roasting the veggies
  • garlic, minced
  • red, orange and green peppers, roasted, broiled, peeled and chopped coarsely
  • cauliflower, roasted, broiled and chopped coarsely
  • red lentils, pre-soaked and cooked separately in some of the bone broth
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric (optional)
  • 1 tsp cumin (optional)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • red Thai chili pepper (optional) 
  • broccoli flowerettes, finely chopped and added raw as garnish
  • spinach, coarsely chopped and added raw as garnish
  • cilantro as garnish
Roasted Pepper and Cauliflower Soup - Chunky

Roasted Pepper and Cauliflower Soup – Chunky

Though the soup is multi-stepped in its preparation, it is quite fun to make—not to mention incredibly vibrant visually with all the colours!

I manage to resist the temptation to spice up the soup with red Thai chili pepper or a spice like turmeric or cumin, although I may in a future iteration. I may also omit the bone broth in the future, being rather strong, it overpowered the subtler roasted flavours of the veggies.

I try the soup first in its chunky form, before puréeing it with my hand blender to make the soup more creamy. Both versions are delicious. With the addition of several raw garnishes, though, such as broccoli flowerettes, spinach and cilantro, the creamed version is a calmer texture experience.

Roasted Pepper and Cauliflower Soup - Pureed

Roasted Pepper and Cauliflower Soup – Pureed

 

Special Dish for the Week: Mushroom and Lentil Soup with Rosemary

I continue my streak of weekly soup, warming the body and the soul in the chill of the winter months, sharing this Special Dish for the Week with several guests throughout the week—ones from as nearby as my next door neighbours who drop by for a short visit, from a little further away but very close to the heart, and from years past but remaining true—as I serve:

Mushroom and Lentil Soup with Rosemary

Mushroom and Lentil Soup with Rosemary

Mushroom and Lentil Soup with Rosemary

I select mushrooms as the main source of nutrients for this soup for their ability to produce and deliver their own vitamin D.

I begin my soup by soaking lentils over night, and preparing chicken bone broth a little in advance.

  • green lentils, pre-soaked and cooked separately with finely shredded wakame
  • carrots, cubed and cooked with lentils
  • broccoli stems, coarsely chopped and cooked with lentils

I use my hand blender to purée the lentil base to add later to the soup as another protein source and to make the soup more creamy.

Mushroom and Lentil Soup Ingredients

Mushroom and Lentil Soup Ingredients

The star herb / spice of this soup is rosemary, where I use its powdered form. Herbs and spices are known to have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help protect the body’s cells from damage by free radicals. The ingredients of the soup include:

  • bone broth (chicken, turkey, or duck)
  • small bits of meat flaked off the bones used to make broth
  • onion, coarsely chopped
  • garlic, minced
  • shiitake mushrooms, chopped finely
  • portobello mushrooms, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp rosemary powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • broccoli flowerettes, finely chopped and added raw as garnish
  • cilantro as garnish
Mushroom and Lentil Soup Dish

Mushroom and Lentil Soup Dish

Mixing the puréed the lentil base with the seasoned mushroom bone broth, I serve the soup garnished with finely chopped broccoli flowerettes that join the chopped cilantro, a recent favourite addition for raw nutrients and added texture.

Meal ideas & recipes from “The Wahls Protocol” book.

Special Dish for the Week: Cauliflower and Lentil Soup with Cardamom

I take a brief break from bone broth in my soup and use coconut oil and lentils for the veggie broth in this Special Dish for the Week:

Cauliflower and Lentil Soup with Cardamom

Cauliflower and Lentil Soup Ingredients

Cauliflower and Lentil Soup Ingredients

The star herb / spice of this soup is cardamom, where I use its powdered form. Cardamom contains phytochemicals that help counterbalance the undesirable effects of hormones on certain cells in the body. The ingredients of the soup include:

  • coconut oil, for sautéeing the onions, herbs and spices
  • onion, coarsely chopped
  • garlic, minced
  • ginger, grated
  • red Thai chili pepper
  • red lentils, pre-soaked
  • carrots, diced
  • broccoli stems, coarsely chopped
  • cauliflower (stems and flowerettes), coarsely chopped
  • finely shredded wakame
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • broccoli flowerettes, finely chopped and added raw as garnish
  • cilantro as garnish
Cauliflower and Lentil Soup with Cardamom

Cauliflower and Lentil Soup with Cardamom

I use my hand blender to purée some of the soup, and add some whipping cream to make the soup more creamy.

I serve the soup garnished with finely chopped broccoli flowerettes that join the chopped cilantro, a recent favourite addition for raw nutrients and added texture.