Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Pudding

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Recipe from: me

This is one of my all-time favorite recipes. It makes a decadent breakfast or a refreshing afternoon pick-me-up, and it’s easy. It tastes creamy and luxurious and indulgent, and yet… it’s actually healthy for you as well as low-glycemic.

There is one little catch though, and that’s the secret ingredient. I wish I could make you taste it before I unveil this ingredient to avoid bias. See, the first time I made this I was doing it as a favor for my mom, and I was certain it would be absolutely nasty. But I tasted a little bite, and the rest is history.

So what is this mystery ingredient? Avocado. Seriously, just try it.

Ingredients: (all measurements approximate)

  • 1 just-ripe avocado, chilled in the refrigerator for several hours (you don’t want it firm, but if you wait until it is too soft the flavor tends to be more potent)
  • 1/2 c. coconut milk, chilled (for 100% raw, make your own by blending coconut meat and coconut water in a high-power blender)
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1/4 c. coconut sugar (can use agave nectar instead, or xylitol for the yeast cleanse diet)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • fresh berries for garnish

Directions:

Slice the avocado in half and carefully remove the pit. Scoop out the flesh into a blender. Add a little of the coconut milk– just enough to cover the blade of the blender. Puree the avocado until smooth and creamy with no lumps (this will take longer the less ripe the avocado). Add additional coconut milk as needed to help the blender run smoothly. However, adding too much at once can make it much more difficult for the blender to catch all the lumps in the avocado.

Now, spoon in the cocoa powder and coconut sugar, the vanilla, and the remainder of the coconut milk. (I sometimes add more coconut milk to make the consistency more milkshake-like instead of pudding-like. I recommend doing this the first time if you’re squeamish about the avocado, since the flavor of the coconut helps to conceal the flavor of the avocado.)

Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust cocoa powder and sweetner to desired chocolateyness and sweetness. Spoon into a glass or bowl and chill for 1/2 hour to an hour. (I skip that step, teehee)

I like to garnish mine with fresh berries and mint leaves if I have them. Bon appetite!

Butternut and Caulflower Soup

Butternut Squash Soup 2

Recipe from: me

This soup is so buttery and smooth, yet extremely low in fat. A rare find indeed! I loved it exactly as it came out, yet I still intend to play around with it and find other tasty versions. I’d like to omit the rosemary (which I overuse with squash and sweet potato recipes) and try some other things. Leeks? Red pepper flakes? Thyme? Sage? Oregano? Curry powder? Coriander seeds? And maybe add some more veggies in addition to the cauliflower, like peas or chunks of zucchini or other squash or parsnips or turnips. I love messing around with things.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1/2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp. Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute
  • 2 1/2 cups water, more or less

Directions:

Rinse, cut, and steam cauliflower. Set aside.

Saute the onion in a small saucepan. When it starts to become translucent, squeeze the garlic through a press and cook for one additional minute. Add the onion and garlic along with 1/2 cup water to a blender and puree. Return the the saucepan. Add the butternut squash and seasonings, along with water until the desired thickness is obtained. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and add the cauliflower. Taste to check seasonings; refine if necessary. Simmer for several minutes or as long as is convenient.

Serve and enjoy.

Vegan Alfredo

Recipe from: Cupcakes and Kale, courtesy my friend Aria

I love alfredo sauce. Love it. But I’m trying to drastically reduce my dairy intake, so I was delighted when my friend Aria told me about this yummy recipe she tried. While it doesn’t quite measure up to the perfection of regular alfredo, it is still quite tasty in its own right. It’s also luxuriously creamy.

So what was the secret? Creamed cauliflower and white beans! Who knew? Olive oil gives it a yummy taste, too. It also has sundried tomatoes and kale.

I, personally, didn’t enjoy the little bites of bitterness from the kale, so next time I think I would substitute cooked spinach instead. Other than that, it was great.

Serve over rice pasta to make it gluten free.

Raw for Mother’s Day

#1 -banana crepes with coconut cream and fresh strawberries

#2 -tacos with golden flax corn tortillas, seasoned sunflower seed “meat” and fresh guacamole

#3 -cocoa-coconut ice cream

Recipe from: Rawmazing.com

Pureed ripe bananas and lemon juice are dehydrated and cute with large biscuit cutters to make crepes. Cream is made by creaming fresh coconut meat with some of the coconut water, agave nectar, and freshly scraped vanilla bean. Sliced strawberries complete the ensemble.

Recipe from: Raw Food, Real World

Tortillas are made by pureeing golden flax seeds, raw frozen corn, a red bell pepper, fresh lime juice, salt, a limited spices. “Meat” is made by soaking sunflower seeds, sundrying tomatoes, and processing them with scallions, cilantro, agave nectar, and the usual assortment of taco seasonings–cumin, chili powder, cayenne, garlic powder, coriander, etc. Guacamole is made with ripe avocados, lime juice, diced tomato, garlic paste, cumin, chili powder, and salt and pepper. Stir in a little cilantro, frozen corn, jalapeno, and diced tomato.

Serve with shredded lettuce and diced tomato.

Recipe from: unknown

The meat of numerous coconuts is creamed with several cups of almond milk, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, and freshly scraped vanilla bean. Pour into an ice cream maker and out comes luscious, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth ice cream.

Key Lime Pie

Recipe from: Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine, altered by me

Beautiful, refreshing, and carb-free. What more can you ask?

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pecan meal (made by grinding pecans in a small food processor or blender)
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. extra virgin coconut oil
  • (optional) 1 tbsp. coconut sugar
  • 2-3 ripe avocados, chilled in the refrigerator
  • the meat of two young coconuts (can be substituted with coconut milk from a carton)
  • 1 cup coconut water (see above)
  • 6 tbsp. lime juice
  • 6 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract in glycerin (We buy ours from Trader Joe’s. Skip the vanilla if you only have an alcohol-based variety)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • stevia to taste

Directions:

To make the crust, process in a blender or food processor the previously-measured pecan meal, nutmeg, pepper, salt, coconut sugar (if using), and 1/4 tsp. coconut oil. If you don’t have coconut oil on hand, use a neutral-flavored cooking oil (no olive oil). The mixture should be just slightly moist enough to press into a pie dish and hold its shape. Add a smidgeon more oil if necessary. Then, firmly press the mixture into a pie dish or several small tart pans. Freeze for one hour.

Meanwhile, if you’re feeling adventurous, crack open two young coconuts, drain the water, and scrape out the coconut meat. If you’re not feeling so adventurous, or, if you don’t have a high-speed blender such as a vita mix, measure one cup coconut milk from a carton. Scoop out the flesh of your avocados (two if using small tart pans, three if making a traditional-sized pie). Blend the avocados, coconut meat + water/or measured coconut milk, lime juice, lemon juice, vanilla, and stevia. Start with a good ten drops of the stevia, then sample and contuing adding more drops until you reach your desired sweetness. Everyone’s taste seems to be different when it comes to stevia.

When the mixture is light and creamy with no remaining avocado or coconut chunks, pour it into the frozen pie crust. Place the pie in the refrigerator for half an hour to let it set, then its ready to garnish with lime slices or serve as is.

Note: The filling will have the consistency of pudding and will not retain its shape when served, which is why mini tart pans are nice. The full-sized pie is a big mass of scrumptious mess.

Snowflake Millet

Recipe from: me

When my friend Bek took me to a tea house for my birthday last year, I bought some special tea that I’d tried and mailed it to my sister. She still has half a bag, and we savor it. The name of it is “Snowflake tea”, and it is flavored with coconut, almond, and cinnamon. With that as my inspiration, I created this recipe for warm breakfast cereal, which, serendipitously, is also perfectly acceptable for me to have when I’m trying to cleanse my body of yeast. The coconut flakes give this a nice texture, and the almonds add a delectable crunch. Yum.

Ingredients (rough estimate–I don’t measure things):

  • 1 cup millet
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • stevia to taste (can use any other sweetener you like)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup almond slivers
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Directions:

Put the millet in a sauce pan with 1 1/2 cups water and simmer until the water evaporates and the millet is tender. Add coconut milk, stevia, almond extract, and vanilla extract, and simmer until the desired consistency is reached. Meanwhile, toast the almond slivers in a small frying pan until light brown. Add the almond slivers, shredded coconut, and cinnamon and stir until combined. Sprinkle with a light dusting of cinnamon and serve.

Idea for next time: coconut extract, for extra coconut flavor.

Zucchini Fettucine with Pine Nut Pesto

Recipe from: me

Creaminess and butteryness brightened with lemonyness makes this zucchini a light and tastey lunch, which also happens to be carb free. I’m really happy with the recipe. That and I just love pine nuts. Oh, the smell of them toasting!

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsps. garlic paste
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Toast the pine nuts over medium-low heat, stirring almost constantly in order to avoid burning them. Set aside.

Using a mandolin, slice your zucchini lengthwise into long, tissue-thin slices. Lay these slices out on a clean dish towel, then place another one on top and press down firmly all over to squeeze out the excess moisture. You want them to feel as dry to the touch as you can get them. Slice these zucchini strips into thirds. (Stacking them first reduces your time, but make sure to separate them with your fingers afterward.) Using just a tiny bit of oil (about 1/2 tsp) sautee the zucchini strips over medium-high heat. Leave uncovered.

Meanwhile, using a mini food processor or blender, combine the rest of the ingredients. You can dip your finger in it to check for the right saltiness, but I think I used about 1/4 tsp or a little less. Combine until you reach your desired consistency, whether chunkier or creamier.

When the zucchini is tender turn off your stove and add the pesto, sort of spattering it evenly across the zucchini in order to help it combine with the zucchini more quickly when you toss it. Toss lightly to coat. Bon appetite!