Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Veggie "Crab" Cakes

I've got a delicious savory treat to share with you today. I wasn't exactly sure what to call these patties because they remind me of a few things: a combination of crab cakes and potato cakes, maybe even salmon cakes - but they contain NO crab, potatoes, or salmon. They're vegetarian, low carb, and grain free. Woo hoo! They're dense, moist, and flavorful and are perfect as an appetizer, a party food, or as part of dinner as I've been doing - they're great as a side dish to a big salad.

The secret ingredient in these healthy cakes is cauliflower which I've become a big fan of in the past year. J and I routinely made cauliflower mashed potatoes to go with a wild meat roast in the winter, I've made cauliflower pizza crusts, and you've seen my crazy mint chip ice cream recipe using cauliflower as the featured ingredient. 

I served the cakes on a bed of arugula and added a dollop of dill and spinach avocado cream on top. Basically just my avocado caesar dressing with no cashews, less water and addition of spinach and fresh dill. 

Veggie "Crab" Cakes
Paleo - Low carb - vegetarian - grain free

These are great hot, but they're just as delicious cold the next day! And remember a dollop of avocado dill cream on top. If you want to make them taste more like fish cakes, add some powdered kelp or dulse. 

1 cup packed, cooked cauliflower florets
1 egg
1/4 cup packed finely grated parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons almond flour
3 tablespoons coconut flour
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cayenne, to taste
Black pepper, to taste

Puree the cauliflower and egg in a food processor. 
Add the remaining ingredients. Pulse to combine thoroughly. 
Use an ice cream scoop or 1/4 measuring cup to scoop patties.  Flatten slightly.
Heat some coconut oil in a frying pay and shallow fry on medium high heat on each side. 

Did you catch my peanut butter crunch granola bars?  

Happy Tuesday!
Part of Allergy Free Wednesdays

Monday, April 22, 2013

Easy Raw Crackers

Last week I did a big savory dehydrator blitz.  From time to time I fill my 9 tray Excalibur dehydrator to the brim with goodies - either savory or sweet but I never mix the two. I discovered the hard way once when I my sweet things ended up tasting like garlic. Among my items were some new buckwheat crackers. I really enjoy buckwheat based raw crackers and had an idea for a very simple cracker that turned out well and next time I'll add herbs to make them even more exciting.

Remember that even though buckwheat contains the word 'wheat', it's wheat free and technically a grass! I'm not sure who came up with the name but it should be renamed, don't you think??

Raw Buckwheat Crackers

This is just a basic buckwheat cracker that is really nice crunched on top of salads and the perfect base to spread flavorful dips or avocado. Feel free to add fresh or dried herbs.

1 cup soaked buckwheat*
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup ground yellow flax seed
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/3 cup sesame seeds, soaked 4-6 hours, rinsed and drained

In a food processor, grind the buckwheat, water, oil, and salt until smooth.
Add the flax and nutritional yeast and process to incorporate.
Pulse in the sesame seeds.
Spread the batter on a teflex sheet so that it takes up 3/4 of the sheet (thin crunchy crackers).
Score into crackers shapes.
Dehydrate at 140F for 1 hour (don't worry this doesn't affect the "raw-ness" because it's a short time, we're just bringing it up to warmth for faster drying to avoid mold/bacteria). Reduce temperature to 110F and continue dehydrating for at least 12 hours, flipping over after 5-6 hours.

*Soak some buckwheat in filtered/spring water for 4-6 hours. Drain and rinse really well, until the water runs clear. Soak extra buckwheat and dehydrate it plain to use in other recipes or to sprinkle over salads or desserts for a great crunch.

Make sure to check out my recent recipes on Sweetly Raw for Carob Coconut Swirl Bark, Mango Coconut Cardamom Cheesecakes, and Mint Chip Protein Shake!

Part of Allergy Free Wednesdays, Wellness Weekend, Healthy Vegan Fridays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Best Grain-Free Brownies

This week I had to make a special treat for movie night with my friend Eryn. Since both our men are out of town right now it was the perfect opportunity to get together for girl talk, a chick flick, tea, and dessert. I always have a hard time choosing what to make because there are always so many delicious recipes and ideas to choose from. Somewhere along the way I decided that brownies would be a good choice...
Brownies with chunks of pecans and dark chocolate chips throughout, topped with a raw chocolate frosting and drizzed with peanut butter sauce. How decadent! 

You might remember this recipe. I shared it back in December, before Christmas. I've made these a few times to get them exactly to my liking and everyone I've served them to enjoy them as well. No one will know they're "healthy brownies".

The peanut butter sauce was supposed to be peanut butter mousse but my creation didn't go as planned so I turned it into a sauce instead (and will attempt the mousse idea again at another time!)

Best Healthy Brownies 

Gluten free - grain free- refined sugar free

I also made these with half butter and half coconut oil. There was a texture difference but was still great. 

1/2 cup almond flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon himalayan salt
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, melted*
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F.
In a bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
In a separate bowl beat the coconut sugar and melted butter. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk again.
Add the dry mixture to the wet and beat until combined.
Fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips.
Pour into a greased 8x8" pan. Bake for 18- 20 minutes.
Cool before adding frosting.

Chocolate Frosting

5 tablespoon maple syrup
5 tablespoons cacao powder
2 tablespoons cashew butter
3 tablespoons coconut butter
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk together the maple and cacao powder.
Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until combined. If the mixture starts to firm up before you're ready to frost, place the bowl over another bowl of hot water.
Frost cooled brownies and sprinkle with chopped walnuts or pecans (if desired).

Peanut Butter Sauce

As I mentioned above, this was supposed to be a mousse and when it didn't turn out, I changed it and thinned it into a sauce. I don't have an actual recipe but here are the ingredients.

Coconut milk
Peanut butter
Coconut nectar

Have a great weekend! We have mountains of snow here still but the sun is shining.

Part of Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Paleo Pad Thai

Years ago I posted my recipe for raw Pad Thai on Sweetly Raw. It's a dish that I make occasionally when I'm in the mood for something zingy or sometimes for dinner guests. Last weekend when I made dinner for my friend Pam (you can see the recipe for the raw mango coconut cardamom cheesecake I serverd HERE), I knew I wanted to make pad Thai... but then I was hit with a craving for peanut sauce and decided to go with that at the last minute. The sauces are almost the same - the main difference being peanut butter instead of almond butter. I've already posted the Thai noodles in peanut sauce but  I'm sharing all recipes today along with my recipe for a creamy miso ginger sauce from that same old post. All of these sauces go beautifully on zucchini noodles or kelp noodles. For our dinner I added chunks of organic cooked chicken for a truly satisfying meal.

You can make any of these sauces more or less spicy according to your taste. I'm a wimp when it comes to spice but a bit is necessary to give the dish a kick. Also feel free to add more or less tamari and miso to accommodate your salt preference. More or less ginger too!

Noodles and Veggies

For the noodles spiralize zucchini or use kelp noodles.
For veggies add shredded carrot, sliced snow peas, chopped bok choy, celery, red bell peppers, etc.
For protein add chicken, tofu, or beef, or none at all.
Garnish with: fresh basil, mint, cilantro, lime slices, and chopped cashew, peanuts, or almonds.

Pad Thai Sauce
Raw Vegan

3/4 cup coconut milk*
1/2 cup raw almond butter
4-5 teaspoons chopped ginger
1 tablespoon white miso
1 small clove garlic
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons tamari
1 drop stevia or 1/2 date
Jalapeno or red chili flakes, to taste 

*Option 1: Blend young coconut pulp with it's water, making sure it's the consistency of thick cream. If there isn't much pulp you will need more pulp to thicken it up, or less of the water.

*Option 2: Blend 1/3 cup shredded coconut with 1 cup water in a high speed blender until smooth and then strain through a nut milk bag for a smooth milk.

*Option 3: Canned full fat coconut milk.

Thai Peanut Sauce

1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1-2" chunk ginger*
1 clove garlic
4 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon white miso
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes, or to taste
*I like 3 tablespoons chopped to be the best amount. 

Here I used kelp noodles, raw pad thai sauce, herbs, red pepper, and seasoned sunflower seeds. 

Creamy Miso Ginger Sauce
Raw Vegan

Here's another yummy sauce I made recently (I didn't get a pic), also for kelp noodles. It's creamy and coconutty which I love. Serve it over zucchini or kelp noodles with veggies.

1/4 cup raw sesame oil*
8 tablespoons orange juice
3 tablespoons almond butter
3 tablespoons white miso
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
2- 3 drops stevia
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2-3" piece of ginger, peeled
1 small clove garlic
Cayenne, to taste

Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy in a blender.

*not to be confused with toasted sesame oil which has a very strong taste. The extra virgin kind has a very neutral taste.

Yum yum!! Chicken Pad Thai!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Australian Adventures Part 2

Last month I traveled to Byron Bay, Australia with my dear friend Ulyana. I wrote my first post about the trip HERE on Sweetly Raw and posted the delicious raw desserts we had in this post.

One afternoon we took a trip to the forest hills to a place called Crystal Castle.  It's an incredible place filled with gardens, a labyrinth, cyrstals large and small, sacred statues, an open air cafe, and a crystal shop. We wandered through the property in wonderment, taking in the sights and sounds of the birds.

While walking the labyrinth the rain came!

Have you ever seen such a huge crystal?! Maybe a rose quartz...?

Larger than life crystal!

We sat in the open air cafe sipping on chai tea while looking at this gorgeous view.

Cutest little "good luck" castle! Throw a coin and make a wish!

Incredible amethyst! I decided to turn it into a chair hehe.

Look at the size of this thing?! Incredible energy from these crystals.

Gorgeous crystals for sale in the shop. If only there wasn't a weight limit on suitcases!

And this huge one is especially beautiful!

World Peace Stupa - we walked it 3 times, spinning the golden canisters. 

Buddha and the lotus... magical!

Bamboo Walkway

It was a wonderful day in nature. Just what we needed!

Have you ever been to Australia? Or Byron Bay??

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Kind Food Vegan Cafe and Bakery

Right now J and I are in the Toronto area visiting his family and we've been fortunate enough to get to some great vegan/raw spots, two of which we've never eaten at before.

When we were down by the lakeshore one morning, J said he googled and found a gluten free, vegan cafe right nearby if we wanted to go for lunch. When he said Kindfood Cafe, I jumped for joy because I've heard of it before - and I've only heard good things. The bright colors on the exterior are a reflection of the colorful atmosphere, friendly service, and happy food inside.

There are fresh juices and smoothies to choose from along with salads, sandwiches, and buddha bowls. Raw desserts are also featured. Yay!

I went with a lemon grass kombucha from a company I'd never tried before. It was delish! J went with a natural root beer. It was tasty too and it reminded me of the regular root beer I liked as a child.

We both enjoyed the caesar salads with quinoa croutons and brazil nut "parmesan". Suuper garlicy but delish! And we got a piece of salted caramel cheesecake to share later on. I didn't get a photo :(

Full view of the resto. I was busy looking at my food that was just served.

If you want to make a delicious raw vegan caesar salad on your own, try my recipe! I've made this recipe countless times over the years, served it at dinner parties, as part of my catering business. Always a winner. You can add fresh dill for a nice twist!

Heathy's Caesar Dressing

2 medium avocados
1/2-1 cup water
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup lemon juice, or more
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1-2 teaspoons himalayan salt
1-2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2-3 cloves garlic
1 date, pitted

Blend all ingredients until smooth, starting with lesser amounts of salt and pepper. Add enough water to achieve desired thickness.


½ cup brazil nuts
½ c pine nuts
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1 small clove garlic, minced
¼- ½ tsp sea salt

Pulse brazils, yeast, garlic, and salt in FP until almost ground. Add pine nuts and grind until crumbly.

The waiter told us about Kelly's Bakeshop, the cafe's gluten free/vegan/nut free bakery located one street over, so naturally we had to make a stop there after lunch.

We shared a chocolate chip cookie and got a brownie to share the next day. The cookie had a bit of a crunchy outer layer and was soft on the inside - a bit cakey. The brownie was super moist, sweet, and chocolatey.

Oh and check out the cupcake fridge. How perfect if you're going to a vegan/gltuen free/nut free event!

I hope you get a chance to check out these great places if you live in the GTA!

Part of Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Wellness Weekend

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Un-Cheese Crackers

Last month when I was on my sugar free kick, I was making all sorts of crackers to snack on and crumble over salads. They're the perfect alternative to sweet snacks for me and I enjoyed experimenting with various versions. I particularly love the last cracker recipe I posted: 5 Ingredient Grain Free Crackers. Nicole from facebook made them with black sesame seeds and paired them with pesto cheese. They look so great with the black seeds!

Now it's time for a crunchy, dairy-free cracker that tastes cheesy! These are so easy to make. I recommend a double batch to keep on hand.

Un-Cheese Crackers

1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
6-7 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Scant 1/2 teaspoon himalayan salt
1 egg white

Preheat oven to 350F.
Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor until combined and dough-like. If your egg white is really big and the dough is too sticky, add a touch more flour and nutritional yeast.
Roll the dough thin between two sheets of parchment paper. Score into crackers.
Bake for 7-10 minutes. Check and flip. Bake another few minutes or until just slightly brown. The time will depend on how thin you roll them.
They will get very hard and crunchy as they cool.

I just posted the first part of my recent Australian adventure on Sweetly Raw. You can read about it HERE! The rest of the journey will be posted on this blog.

On a sweet note, be sure to check out my Strawberry Lemon Easter Cheesecake recipe on Sweetly Raw.

Shared at Allergy Free Wednesdays