I was recently introduced to someone who attended and graduated from Culinary school, a few years ago, for “fun.” The Foodie that I am, was intrigued. However, I was even more intrigued learning that his father is a big raw food enthusiast, and that he, himself, loves to dabble in “uncooking” gourmet meals.
Both Dallas transplants, with little knowledge of our surrounding area, and what to do for the holiday, I challenged him to make something raw, and vegan, that I could write about. Well… I think we managed that.
When we met at Whole Foods, he had along Ani Phyo’s Raw Food Essentials cookbook… I was impressed. Me? I just wandered aimlessly, in the mood for something Italian, but no sense of direction. We both grabbed our ingredients and checked out… made our way back to his new apartment, and spread out our goodies in his kitchen… opened a bottle of Toasted Head Chardonnay, and got creative.
Hearty Italian Ensalada
Inspired by my sun-dried tomatoes, and in the mood for something “Italian”, this “salad” slowly evolved into a hybrid of Mexican and Italian cuisine.
15 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in ½ cup warm water for 10 minutes
1 ear of fresh corn, sliced from the cob
4 baby gold beets, washed, peeled, and sliced into medallions
3 cups of mixed “braising” greens (kale, collard greens, dinosaur kale, etc.)
1 small handful of sunflower sprouts
3 tbsp fresh chopped chives
¼ cup heirloom tomato
Olive oil, (I used garlic infused olive oil, if you do not have, regular olive oil will certainly do the trick. Add chopped garlic to add flavor).
Dice mushrooms and place aside in a small bowl. In your Magic Bullet, or blender, mix the sun-dried tomatoes, with ½ cup of water, and 2-3 tsp of cold-pressed olive oil (1/2 fresh garlic clove—optional). Blend until smooth, and then add in a small handful of your freshly chopped corn. Blend until creamy and pour over your mushrooms. Let the mixture sit, so the mushrooms become saturated in your creamy, sweet, marinara.
Layout your braising greens, and top with your hearty marinara mixture. Layer on your other ingredients, as you like.
~~ This recipe is hearty, has remnants of both Italian and Mexican cuisine, and inspires taste buds with its rich, but slightly sweet sauce, hearty mushrooms, and sweet corn. This sauce would be perfect over a raw pasta dish (stay tuned). The baby gold beets were added for color, volume and crunch, but these are optional. ~~
Ani Phyo Inspired, Raw Beanless Hummus, and Creamy Collard Wraps by C. Bireley
For the hummus:
3 Red Bell Peppers, washed, deseeded, insides removed
2 Jalapeños, washed, deseeded, insides removed
1/4 cup soaked Sun Dried Tomatoes
1/2 cup Raw Tahini
1/4 Bunch Cilantro
Zest of 1 Lemon
Juice from 1.5 Lemons
2 tsp Cumin
2 tsp White Pepper
2 tsp Black Pepper
Sea salt to taste
Throw in all ingredients into your high-speed blender, adding in the trimmings from your tomatoes and cucumbers used to stuff your wrap. Blend until creamy, smooth and set aside.
Wash Collard Leaves, and cut out the thickest part of the stem, so that you are left with a flexible “wrap”
Spread your hummus lightly over the inside of your collard wraps, and then delicately arrange the inside of your collard wraps with:
A Sprinkling of fresh Spinach
Seasoned* Euro-Cucumber, peeled and sliced into thick match sticks
Seasoned* Summer Squash, peeled and sliced into thick match sticks
*(Season the cucumber and squash lightly in 1 tsp olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper).
Avocado, remaining ½, sliced
Heirloom Tomato, sliced
Roll up your wraps, and pour over a healthy helping of your hummus. Sprinkle with *seasoned sunflower sprouts, and sliced Kalamata olives.
For those of you that practice food combining, tahini and avocado do not combine well together (avocados and seeds do not mix), if you would like to leave one or the other out, you are more than welcome. I think that this hummus would taste just as delicious with 1 whole avocado, and no Tahini.
And there you have it… a raw, vegan, dinner that delights the taste buds… hearty enough to satisfy the hungry, and light enough to follow up with dessert. (All photography by C. Bireley).
What did you do over the holiday? Any special recipes to share?