Thursday, November 26, 2009

dehydrated yummies

clockwise from top:
Rainbow Flax Crackers, Herb Pizza Crusts, Raw Cheez-Its, Cumin Flatbread, and "The Best Granola in the Universe Plus One"

by diana stoevelaar of

here is the recipe halved to make 2 trays. i also needed to make a few minor changes to avoid running out to the store for ingredients. i'm sure the original recipe is great, but everyone (including myself) loved these!

makes 2 dehydrator trays

2 1/2 C. water
2 C. golden flax seed
1 1/2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/3 C. purple cabbage
1 red pepper, coarsely chopped
1 orange pepper, coarsely chopped
1/3 C. parsley
1/3 C. spinach
1/3 C. cilantro
2 T. white onion
1 clove garlic
2 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning*
1 tsp. salt

* i did not have poultry seasoning so i used a 1/2 tsp. equal parts sage, margoram, rosemary, black pepper and celery seed. i would have added thyme if i had it.)

1. presoak flax seeds in 2 1/2 cups of water for at least 1 hour or overnight. place in a large mixing bowl.

2. puree fresh tomatoes, lemon juice, garlic and seasonings in the food processor. add to the flax mixture.

3. process all the vegetables individually in the food processor until finely chopped but not pureed. add to the flax mixture.

4. stir the flax mixture until well combined.

5. using an offset spatula, spread the mixture about ¼” thick onto Teflex sheets on the dehydrating trays. score into squares or triangles with a plastic utensil so as not to damage the Teflex sheet.

6. dehydrate for at least 12 hours. the crackers easily separate from the teflex sheets without stickiness, usually after 12 hours. remove the dehydrator tray. flip the crackers by placing a mesh and another tray on top of the crackers. hold both sides of the sandwiched trays and flip them towards you so the top tray is now at the bottom. remove the new top tray and the mesh. now peel off the teflex sheet from the crackers, which are now facing downward. return the crackers to the dehydrator for approximately an additional 4 hours until completely dry.

7. let cool before storing by leaving them on the dehydrator trays outside of the dehydrator or inside of the dehydrator with the door open.

8. store crackers in an airtight container in a cool dark cupboard, fridge or freezer.

Herb Pizza Crusts
this is my variation of the recipe to fit one dehydrator tray
(9 pizza crusts)

1 1/4 C. buckwheat, soaked overnight
2/3 C. sunflower seeds, soaked overnight
5 T. ground flax seed
1 C. zucchini, chopped
1/4 C. water
1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. herbs
1 tsp. garlic
1 tsp. sea salt

1. blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

2. spread batter about 1/4 " thick on dehydrator tray covered with teflex sheet. score into 9 squares.

3. dehydrate at 125 for 2-3 hours, then flip onto mesh and turn the temperature down to 110.

4. dehydrate until dry.



(batter covers 3 teflex sheets)

1 C. sunflower seeds (soaked overnight)
1 C. almonds (soaked overnight)
1 C. brazil nuts
1 big tomato, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1/4 C. sun-dried tomatoes, soaked overnight
1/4 C. ground flax
1 garlic clove
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. taco seasoning
2 tsp. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. onion powder

blend all ingredients in food processor, then spread batter fairly thin onto teflex sheets. score into squares. dehydrate at 110° until dry, flipping cheez-its onto mesh screens after a few hours.


Cumin Flatbread
from Matthew Kenney's
Entertaining in the Raw


2/3 C. sprouted buckwheat
1/2 C. sprouted sunflower seeds
1/2 C. sprouted oats
1 C. chopped soaked almonds
1/4 C. melted coconut oil
1/4 C. maple syrup
1 T. vanilla
cinnamon to liking
sea salt to liking

mix everything together with hands. spread on teflex sheet and dehydrate at 115 for 8-12 hours.

(you can put this in the oven at a low temperature if you don’t have a dehydrator… it may not still be “raw” but it will still taste awesome and is still a pretty healthy alternative to Twinkies and Mountain Dew…=)

serve with a nut milk and dried or fresh fruit!! enjoy!

kelli's notes: i added  1/4 C. dried coconut flakes and only soaked the buckwheat overnight. the granola was pretty tasty, but i'm not sure it's the best in the universe. my granola did not stick together too well but it did make for a yummy, crunchy cereal (topped with dried cranberries or raisins and almond milk...yummity yum!=)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

raw yummies and kitchen gadgies

while the rest of my kitchen was looking a mess, this colorful nook was all clean and cute. i wish i could tell you that all the fruit in the picture was organic, but only half was. in my opinion, ORGANIC FRUIT is SOOO much TASTIER!!! who agrees?

my newest fruit obsession: organic valencia oranges. like candy, i tell ya!

if i had the moola, i would eat only organic fruits and veggies. buttt i don't, so i've been shopping around for the best produce prices while doing my best not to compromise quality. as my friends don and carmella point out that if you have to choose between the two, it's better to eat non-organic raw rather than the alternatives.

if you are wondering why more and more people, including myself, are striving to eat RAW, or live foods, you can read the Details and Benefits of a High Raw Diet.

john and i have been doing a pretty good job eating healthy lately, and in return, have been feeling GREAT! we can vouch for all the energy we have, the mental clarity, and *knock on wood* the fact that we've been avoiding all the yucky illnesses that come with the changing of the seasons.

i believe Hippocrates was dead-on when he said, "let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." (and so was john, when he said, "sleeping and eating - that's all you need to keep a healthy immune system." two great minds, if ya ask me =).


zucchini pasta is a quick and tasty raw dish we make at least once a week. it's really simple and yummy! we make the pasta in our spiral slicer we purchased for $25 (there are nicer, more expensive models out there, but this one does the trick).


this time we topped our pasta with Carmella's Basil Pesto, sliced avocado, cashews, and a nice seasonings mix from Tastefully Simple.

Basil Pesto
4 cups fresh basil and spinach, packed (I like to use 1/2 of each)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice

blend basil and spinach until finely chopped. then add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.

kelli's notes:  i use less lemon juice (about 2 tsp) and less olive oil (about 1 1/2 T plus a few splashes water).


my magic bullet is perfect for making a smooth pesto and other sauces. i dream of owning a vita-mix someday, but for now make due with my mb. it works wonderfully for wet and especially dry, high-speed blending. i make flax meal, almond milk, chocolate sauce, dressings and marinades, and lots more in this handy dandy little gadgie. =)

magic bullet's sell for around 50 smackaroos, but i purchased a used one via craigslist for only 25 bucks. one really nice feature of the magic bullet is that it comes with a bunch of containers and lids so you can conveniently make your sauce and store it in the very same container!


we finally put our $20 ice cream maker to work with a strawberry ice cream recipe that - get this - i came up with! well, i purchased heathy's Just Desserts e-book to use her chocolate sauce recipe and an ice cream recipe. since none of her "n'ice" cream recipes consisted of ingredients i already had, i cleverly used them as a guide to make my own - and it was a keeper! (blended cashews, coconut, and strawberries? could it not be tasty?!)

kelli's stRAWberri ice cream
(serves 2)

3/4 C cashews
1/2 C young coconut meat
1/2 C young coconut water
1 C strawberries (frozen or fresh)
2 T + 1 1/2 tsp agave
2 T melted coconut oil
3/4  tsp vanilla extract
pinch sea salt

blend all ingredients until very smooth (my regular ol' blender did the trick). process according to ice cream maker directions, or freeze in ice cube trays.

kelli's notes: the original plan was to double the recipe, but after opening our young coconut we saw that we only had 1/2 cup coconut meat. next time i will get two young coconuts and try to double or even triple the recipe!

Whipped Cream
(this is a third of Carmi's Recipe)

1/3 C cashews
1/3 C coconut milk (blend 1 part dried coconut flakes to 3 parts water)
1 T agave
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 T+2 tsp coconut butter/ melted
1 tsp non-gmo soy lecithin*

*lecithin is derived from soybeans and acts as an emulsifier. look for lecithin (preferably non-GMO), in granules or powdered form, at your local health food store. if using granules, make sure to grind them up in a high speed blender or coffee grinder.

blend all ingredients except lecithin until smooth. add lecithin and blend until thoroughly mixed. set in fridge for about 1 hr.


i got my hands on a $10 multi-slicer to slice zucchini for carmi's lasagna magnifica. this lasagna is sooo good and fun to make!!! the recipe is in her e-book The Best of the Sunny Raw Kitchen.  

my $10 slicer didn't slice as thin as i needed it to (you get what you pay for!), so i added "padding" with cut pieces of rubber band to lift the ramp thingie closer to the blade. with the extra padding, the slicer worked pretty well and did a nice job slicing the zucchini noodles. i've also used the slicer to make sweet potato chips. a quality multi-slicer would be nice, but my $10 one will do for now.

the spiral slicer, magic bullet, and multi-slicer are a few tools that make eating healthy and raw much easier. carmella has a very useful Ulimate Guide to Equipping Your Raw Kitchen.  if you are new to raw food, please don't let the list overwhelm you. i'm finding there are ways to eat healthy without buying expensive, new equipment.

i have been getting by with borrowing, buying cheaper models and just making do with what i have. (that does not mean i don't want to get the nice kitchie gadgies somewhere down the line!)

good news is you don't need any appliances to eat a juicy pear or organic valencia orange!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dr. Oz Turns Meat-Eating Cowboy Vegan

i came across this clip from Dr. Oz at we like it raw.

"let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."

Monday, November 16, 2009

animal-friendly raw-venture: part three

so how was your weekend?

yesterday felt like spring around here!  i finally cleaned up the garden and turned the compost bin. i can't believe how many wormies are living in there! it's time we start planning for next year's gardens.

but first things first.


as i mentioned in part two, we started dinner with a raw soup each night. carmi wasn't sure which soup from her arsenal she wanted to make this particular night, so i said, "let's create a new one!" we did!

(i did my best photoshopping the sudsies. i feel like a 3 y/o trying to work that program!)

john named it Creamy Italian Soup. it had a really smooth texture and a nice basil flavor. (gotta get that vita mix so i can make soups like this!)

to make:
1 C. packed spinach
1 3/4 C. chopped zucchini
1 C. chopped fennel
1/2 C. packed basil
3 Tbsp irish moss gel
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp miso
2 cloves garlic
1 avocado
1/4 tsp onion powder
water to taste

blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth. add warm water to reach desired thinness. 

-add wakame or torn nori sheet pieces for a really nice flavor!

screw Papa John's Pizza...try Raw Mama's Pizza! =)


oh how i wish i could get pizza like this delivered to my doorstep!

don said these were the best yet (and that man's eaten a lot of raw pizza)! carmi and i created them together, so she named them Raw Mama's Pizza =). i also liked Karmelli's Pizza (carmella and kelli combined), but no one else seemed to be feeling it :p.

i created the pizza crusts a few weeks ago using carmi's Herb Pizza Crusts recipe as a guide (minus zucchini because i didn't have them, plus pumpkin seeds because i did have them, and some other tweaks i forget. next time i will not be lazy and write the recipe down!)

first we cut and marinated some veggies (red and yellow bell pepper, shroomies, spinach, fennel) in equal parts olive oil and tamari, plus some crushed garlic.

we assembled the pizza with a layer of Sunflower Garlic Spread we used earlier for the nori snacks, then tomato sauce and pesto leftover from carmi's Lasagna Magnifica. topped with veggies, and served with a side salad smothered in carmi's new Ceasar Dressing!



so this is the Chocolate Orange Cake i had been dying to make since i came across the picture below on carmi's blog a few months back.


isn't it a beaut?! and it tastes just as good as it looks!


for our cake we used a wider pan. it's much prettier in a smaller spring form pan where the layers are thicker.
(add that list to my ever-growing list of wanted kitchen gadgets!=)


don and carmi set out for the next step of their journey in D.C., but not without one last raw delight - Oh My This is Tuna Salad.


whoever created this "tuna" salad is a genius. really, it's so much like the "real" thing, but without the unpleasant fishiness of canned tuna or the slaughter of innocent sea creatures.


i was feeling a bit sad after we said our goodbyes, so i consoled myself with a "tuna" salad sandwich, marinated kale and a bubbie pickle.
yummy food always makes me feel better!

'til next time!;)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

animal-friendly raw-venture: part two

ok, where were we? ah yes...

lasagna day! i'd been looking forward to this since carmi mentioned last time that we'd make it during this stay. her Lasagna Magnifica is out of this world! i think i was dancing in my seat while i ate it. john's not a lasagna fan (i know, an italian who doesn't love lasagna?!?) but he looooved this! 

walnut meat, cashew cheez, pesto, and marinated spinach between layers of thinly sliced zucchini - i'm not sure it gets any better than that!


it was fun to watch carmi so carefully and lovingly assemble the lasagna. raw food art at its finest!


we had my friend and former vegan cooking class instructor, carol, over for dindin. (two of my food mentors at one table!=) she made a yummy "tuna" salad that went nicely with our salad of greens.

oh yeah, i forgot to mention every dinner started with a delicious,warm raw soup made by carmi and salad made by don. my camera just didn't do the soups justice so i left those pics out, but the recipes can be found on carmi's blog (here's some good ones) and her two wonderful e-books.


dessert was a luscious Lemon Meringue Pie topped with Coconut Meringue, both recipes from Sweet Gratitude. this all-natural version put all other lemon meringue pies i've ever eaten to shame!

carmi taught me how to use irish moss, a key ingredient in the lemon filling. she laid my fears of working with the moss to rest!


monday was d-day. look at us go!
(d as in dehydration)


carmella and don stocked up on some snacks. they made Just Like Ritz Crackers, Cheez-Its (very similar to my version), and Rainbow Flax Crackers. we had every space in the kitch covered, so don resorted to the chair for batter-spreading!


these were the veggies for the rainbow crackers. so pretty!


and the batter before it went in the d. i love how colorful raw food can be!


all the chopping and spreading got us hungry, so we stopped for a quick lunch of crackers and dips. we used the rest of carol's tuna and made carmi's Guacomole Supreme. mmm!


monday morning carmi showed me how to make almond milk. then she taught me how to use the almond milk to make a simple yet delightful chia pudding with maple sugar and raisins. we had coconut meringue and chocolate sauce leftover (and don came home that morning with strawberries), so that raw genius carmi said, "let's make parfaits!" we did!

while we were enjoying our parfaits i said, "i bet it would taste really good if we added bananas" we did! the parfait was perfect with and without the nanners!

ok, back to work. we had more d-work to do plus dinner and dessert to prepare!

here, carmi and i are cutting the nori snacks. these addictive little treats are made with carmi's tasty Sunflower Garlic Spread between layers of nori sheets. super yummy!!! (i'm munching on some as i write this =)

i still have monday night's dinner and dessert (as well as tuesday's lunch) to show you, but i promised john we'd watch Modern Family on hulu and eat another banana split with leftover strawberry ice cream and chocolate sauce =).

part three, coming soon!

have a lovely weekend!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

animal-friendly raw-venture: part one

as promised, i took lots of pics (and jacked some of carmi's) of our raw week with Carmella and Don from the Raw Freedom Community and The Sunny Raw Kitchen

this juice is just one of the delighful, energizing treats we woke up to every day during their stay.

it was non-stop delicious, healthy, colorful raw food.
take a lookie at some of the yummies!


 Raw Vegetable Miso Soup

Broccoli in Hoisini Sauce with Parsnip Rice

i found this recipe on the Raw Freedom Community forum. i had lots of broccoli and parsnips in the fridge so i decided to prepare it for don and carmella's arrival. although dehdrating broccoli does not smell too pleasant, this meal was scrum-diddly-umptious. will definitely make again!


i'm not much of a hostess and didn't have any dessert for my guests, but that wasn't a problem with the raw genius carmi in the house! she quickly whipped up a chocolate berry mouse with an avocado base. mmm mmm mmm was it good! and gorgeous to boot!



we went shopping and scored some young coconuts at an asian market for just $1.29 each! don demonstrated how to open them and get the goodies out.


i had my first taste of fresh coconut water - i'm hooked!



marinating the veggies in the dehydrator makes them seem as though they are cooked, but with much more flavor and crispiness. i can honestly say this was the best fajita i've ever had, and i've eaten in mexico and southern california quite a few times! 


the wrap was so tasty and pliable. to make, carmi followed this recipe.


dessert was a delectable Banana Split with Heathy's Strawberry Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce. as they say in the raw food world, it was to LIVE for!


Asian Style Veggies with Rice Vermicelli and Zucchini Pasta

Yum Yum YUM!!!
this was the first time i've had rice vermicelli, and definitely not the last!

Coconut Cream Pie from the lovely Sweet Gratitude dessert book.

i haven't been much of a sweets person, but raw desserts has sure changed that!

well, it's time for nighties, but there's more to show you

so stay tuned for part two of our yummy adventure!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

halloween weekend

this is a bit late, but i hope everyone had a fun weekend! i sure did! the raw class was great. carmella and don's visit was short but exciting. they made us yummy smoothies and had us try an unfamiliar, delicious fruit i still can't pronounce! we tried their goodies and i served them my version of carmi's raw pizzas that they both really enjoyed (yay me! =) and it turns out we have lots more to talk about than raw food! carmi and don will be back this weekend with lots more un-cooking, and i promise to have pics and recipes for next time.

here is my 2 year-old niece alaina in the costume my creative sister krista made from scratch or whatever you call it when a pattern isn't used. isn't she talented?!

alaina wasn't too sure about this costume. it was strange and itchy and made all the adults around her gush and take lots of pictures.

since she's a trooper, she wore it. but the gloves were pushing it.

aunt krista was up til 2am the night before working on those gloves and wasn't about to give up without a fight! :p

of course alaina won. in the pic below she's saying, "the gloves were just ridiculous, but these frilly socks and skirt are pretty cute, don't ya think?"


i love this guy's expression! that's how i get when i look at her too!


here, she's got the hang of the whole "walk up to a house and get candy in my princess bucket while my family encourages me and takes pictures" thing! 

my friend bonnie made her kiddie's ham sandwich and pickle costumes both on her own!
how cute are they?!
(the costumes AND the little peanuts!)

JT aka the bubbman and evolet

homemade kid costumes are too cute!
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