Pesto perfecto: Kale and Walnut Pesto

I won’t claim credit.

This is a raw pesto dish hubby made for me one evening.

Served on a bed of raw zucchini noodles, it was one of the best homemade dinners I’ve had in a while.

Kale & Walnut Pesto

leaves from 1 bunch kale
1/4 cup walnuts
1 clove of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon – juiced and zested
sea salt and pepper

Blitz all ingredients in a food processor.  Taste and adjust seasonings.

If you want a runnier pesto, add more olive oil.  If you like it thick, it could also serve as a dip for vegetable crudites.

Quirky fact:  Did you know walnuts have been revered since ancient times as a symbol of intelligence.  It is attributed to the similarity of their kernels to that of the human brain.  Enriched with health-benefiting nutrients, especially omega-3 fatty acids (a 25g serving provides a whopping 90% RDI), it’s an apt correlation.

It could also be called the ‘beauty’ nut, containing about 21g of Vitamin E per 100g (that’s 140% of your daily required levels!)  

P.S.  Walnut and kale is used here, as this is what was in our fridge.  I don’t see why these ingredients couldn’t be substituted for similar items.  Cashew and spinach pesto, anyone?

pretty pesto

pretty pesto

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Buckwheat Baller: Raw coconut lemon

I did a previous post on buckwheat and its nutritional benefits.  The recipe within was inspired by Coco Pops (in the US I believe they’re called Cocoa Krispies) breakfasts of years gone by.

Now turns out I sprouted a liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiittle bit too much.  What do do with an oversupply of sprouted buckwheat groats?  I already scattered a few handfuls over lunchtime salads to give them an extra crunchy protein boost.  Then my sweet tooth beckoned – without fail – around 3pm.

So after much rummaging around in the pantry, I decided to make buckwheat balls mixed with two tried and tested flavours: lemon and coconut.

coconut + lemon buckwheat balls

coconut + lemon buckwheat balls

Raw Coconut Lemon Sprouted Buckwheat Balls

1 1/2 cups sprouted buckwheat groats
1/4 cup oat pulp
zest and juice of 3 large lemons
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbs coconut oil
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup chopped and soaked dates (reserve soaking water)

Now, these measurements are estimates.  Use your judgement and check the texture and taste as you go.

Place soaked chopped dates, coconut oil, vanilla essence, zest and lemon juice in the food processor.  Whizz until combined.

Add the rest of the ingredients and process again.  If you find the mixture isn’t coming together, add coconut oil – this acts as a binding agent.  Taste-test to see if it needs more sweet date water.  If it’s too wet, add more shredded coconut or oats.  If it’s too dry add either date water, lemon juice or coconut oil.

Scoop one tablespoon at a time and roll into balls.  Store in the fridge.

The lemon zest makes me feel like I’m taking a breath of fresh mountain air every time I pop one in my mouth.  At least… that’s what I tell myself!

Enjoy!

P.S.  I had leftover oat pulp from making oat milk.  I’m sure rolled oats will work just as well.

Rice-a-RAWma III: Cauliflower Lime Rice Stuffed Capsicums

Hubby is of predominantly Mexican blood.  As a way for me to partake in one of his culture’s traditional dishes, he attempted to ‘uncook’ it.  And did very well, I might add.

I’ve included the recipe as part of the raw rice series.  The previous posts were raw vegan versions of  sushi and faux fried rice. 

Refreshing, light and easy, it can be served as a main with a side of black beans or you can use the cauliflower rice as a filling in a burrito or taco.

For dinner I had two capsicum shells filled to the brim and added liberal toppings of salsa and hot sauce.  Ole!

Lime-infused Cauliflower Rice

1/2 head cauliflower
sea salt and black pepper
juice and zest of 2 large limes
fresh coriander (to taste)
chili flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp granulated onion

Blitz ingredients in the food processor.  I also use a fine multi-pronged veg peeler to rake off strips of peel.  Taste and adjust seasonings.

Capsicum Shells 

2-3 capsicums, halved and deseeded
1 large avocado, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cob corn, kernels sliced off
cucumber slices
lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper

Mix the last 5 ingredients together.

Scoop some cauliflower rice and avo mixture into each capsicum half.

Serve with salsa, strips of sundried tomato, hot sauce and corn chips.  Sprinkle with nutritional yeast if desired, for a cheesy taste!

cauliflower lime rice

cauliflower lime rice

Rice-a-RAWma II: “Fried” cauliflower rice

I grew up on rice.  Rice of all sorts.  Rice pudding, rice porridge, glutinous rice dumplings, rice flour rolls and of course… fried rice.

This rice dish attempts to mimic fried rice – hold the calories!  So when hubby said “it really does taste like fried rice!” I thought I’d share it with you all.

I prefer it served cold, a la salad.  Warmed up gently on the stove, it’s a good raw substitute for the unhealthy fried version.

“Fried” Cauliflower Rice

1 head of cauliflower
handful of peas
1/2 diced small onion
2 tsp each: ginger and garlic (you can use fresh or powders)
¼ cup parsley
2 tbs sesame oil
tamari, soy sauce or kecap manis (to taste)
sesame seeds

Pulse all ingredients except sesame seeds in the food processor until it resembles ‘rice’.  Careful not to over-process.  Taste and adjust seasonings.

Empty into a bowl and top with sprinkles of sesame seeds.

Try adding your own toppings such as corn kernels or chopped mushrooms. Serve as is or warm on a low heat.

Bon apetit!

raw cauliflower rice

raw cauliflower rice

DIY no-bake oat bars

It’s Friday.  Thank goodness.  These ‘have anytime’ treats take next to no time to make.

Whipped these up the other day.  My guinea pig (aka hubby) nearly scoffed them down before I could take a pic!

Great for breakfast, as a healthy snack between meals, or even as dessert (melt some chocolate to drip on top or crumble a bar and add some vegan icecream).

nuts + coconut + seeds

nuts + coconut + seeds

Raw Coconut Oat Bars

1 cup of almonds (or any nuts of your choice)
½ cup of shredded coconut
½ cup of rolled oats
¼ cup seeds of your choice: chia seeds, pumpkin seeds
¼ cup of melted coconut oil
¼ cup agave / stevia
handful chopped prunes
1 tsp sea salt
lemon zest (as much as you want – I used one whole lemon)

Blitz almonds in food processor quickly until they resemble crumbs.

Transfer to bowl and mix in coconut, oats and seeds.

In food processor again, blitz together the coconut oil, sweetener, prunes, sea salt and lemon zest until it forms a paste.  For those without a food processor, ensure you mix together very well in a mixing bowl.

Combine the nut/oat/seed mixture with the sticky paste.

Press the now combined mixture firmly into a baking tin and put in freezer for an hour.

When hardened, cut into bars and transfer to container.  Keep in the fridge.

TIP: The almonds can be substituted for almond meal – I had some leftover from making almond milk.  Ditto for the rolled oats too.  I used leftover oat pulp from oat milk!

Waste not… want not.

Prunes are another favourite of mine.  Not many would call this a ‘superfood’.  Read on for its health benefits.

Naturally rich in hydroxycinnamic acids and anthocyanins

A university study in Boston  ranked prunes as the #1 food in terms of antioxidant capacity. Its ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbency Capacity) levels are more than twice the antioxidant capacity of other high ranking foods such as blueberries and raisins.

Antioxidants protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, which are caused by normal cell metabolism, smoking, pollution and UV rays.  These are the causes of pre-mature aging, certain cancers, cardiovascular disease and the dreaded wrinkles!

Full of fibre and natural laxatives

It’s been a remedy for constipation for as long as I can remember.  Even 100 grams of prunes contains approximately 6.1g of fibre. Plant food fibres cannot be digest and that is therefore not absorbed into the bloodstream.  Therefore fibre absorbs water and softens stools in the colon.  Sorbitol is a naturally mild colonic stimulant.  Prunes also contain neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acids which assist constipation sufferers.

Osteoporosis and osteopenia protection

Florida State University researchers suggest prunes may reverse osteoporosis in post-menopausal women.  Women who consumed 100g of dried plums per day had improved bone formation markers after only three months (comparatively to the control group). This can be attributed to the high boron concentrations which is purported to assist in the fight against osteoporosis and osteopenia.  One single serving of prunes fulfils the RDI for boron.  The potassium found in prunes also supports bone health.