I had quite a wild weekend of food preparation and fun. Actually things started rocking for me on Friday when I drove down to Ormond Beach, FL for an Art Army meetup event at Julian’s Landmark Restaurant. Let me say first off, a big thank you to Keith for driving down with me and being my “most humble assistant”… best assistant ever! For those of you that have been to Julian’s you’ll understand what I mean when I say that the place is a surreal experience. Julian’s exists in a wormhole that keeps it suspended in the Tiki Bar Rat Pack Era. The decor of Julian’s is authentic, it’s gotta be because who in their right mind would replicate it. Don’t get me wrong, kitsch is cool, the panoramic 30 foot wide Hawaiian Luau mural is priceless. The mural alone was worth the drive.
Our task, Keith and I, was to rock out a raw buffet for the Art Army event that kicked off at 8pm that evening. The menu that was planned was Pad Thai noodles made from zucchini, yellow squash and carrot topped with an yummy-liscious almond miso sauce. We also prepared walnut pecan pesto stuffed bell peppers, mixed green salad and a mack’in bowl of avocado chocolate mousse.
I’ll be posting video from the festivities, but first I’d like to share an avo-chocolate mousse video I recorded this summer. Enjoy!
They say the secrets in the sauce, which is true. But the magic is in the marinade. The trick to making raw foods that really knock the socks off of skeptics and lovers alike is dialing in a boot shootin marinade. Good news kids, most marinades are raw and vegan already. The basic ingredients are an acid, an oil, a sweetener, salt and spices. Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar or citrus juice is your acid. You can choose from any number of organic cold pressed oils. Use agave, palm sugar or yacon syrup if your hardcore raw vegan. And if you’re not so strict use raw honey or maple syrup for sweeteners. Use a healthy sun dried sea salt or Himalayan salt. Spices… take your pick of chemical free options.
The recipe below is a BBQ style sauce/marinade which I used to marinade eggplant and crimini mushrooms. I marinaded these guys over night and then warmed up the mixture in the dehydrator for a couple hours. The results were delicious fabulous goodness.
This recipe is featured in my soon to be released recipe book entitled “The Live Food Experience”. Subscribe to my blog and be the first kid on your block to have your very own “Live Food Experience”.
Recently I prepared an in home dinner for 4 in Jacksonville, Florida. I have to say this is one of my favorite ways of introducing people to the magic of living foods. I’ve done a few these dinners in the past they all have been a great success. Most of the time there is a skeptic in the bunch or at least someone who doubts they will enjoy or feel satisfied with the meal. So far I’ve been able to leave everyone satiated, satisfied and smiling. Now there’s no telling whether or not they throw a pot pie in the microwave or thaw out a pizza once I’m out the door.
The menu from the other evening began with Thai style miso soup. Here’s the basic procedure:
Start by warming 3 Cups filtered water on the stove, not boiling just hot to touch.
Transfer the water to a blender. I had brought my Vitamix but any blender will do.
Add 3 T of unpasteurized miso. I used my favorite chick pea miso from South River Miso to make the broth. Add 1/2 an avocado, 1/2 or a full bell pepper (yellow preferred), 1 T of Thai Curry Spice from Mountain Rose Herbs,1-2 cloves of garlic, 2 t lime juice and 1-2 t of fresh ginger..
Blend for for 30 seconds.
Cut up some fresh basil add to blender and blend for 5 seconds.
Pour into cups and add fresh cucumber batons, shredded carrot and bell pepper chunks.
Garnish with a fresh basil leaf.
Next on the menu was a veggie medley Pad Thai creation. I used kelp noodles from Sea Tangle Noodle Co., spiralized zucchini and carrots and diced jicama to make the noodles. The sauce consisted of:
I’m a big fan of this sauce. To me it’s good enough to drink straight. After I blend up a batch I swish water in the bottom of the blender and drink what’s left. Nothing goes to waste in the live food kitchen.
Dessert was the next order of business. I like to keep things delicious and easy at these dinner parties. I chose to make a mango banana sorbet. The sorbet is a easy 1, 2 recipe… 1. cut up and freeze fruit 2. pass frozen fruit through a masticating juicer with the blank plate… done.
I did make a special sauce to top the sorbet with. It was an agave cinnamon sauce. It consisted of:
I blended this mixture and put it in a squirt bottle. The agave came across very sweet to me and in the future I’d probably make this again with soaked dates or palm sugar instead of agave… regardless, it was still delicious! Schedule a Dinner Experience in your home today.
For those out there that are chocolatiers, you are familiar with the intoxicating smell of cacao butter melting in the dehydrator and also with the way cacao powder seems to gravitate towards all things white. I spent last night in the kitchen preparing chocolate for a promotional holiday party. Free raw chocolate is a great way to promote your business. What’s my business these days? Good question. As usual I’m playing “the Jack” as in “Jack of all Trades”. The Jack is cool and all. It’s royalty, but it ain’t The King or even The Ace. So I’m selling super foods, teaching classes, consulting, hosting dinners and preparing packaged foods… oh yeah and occasionally making videos, posting blogs and working on a recipe book. Wow, when I look it like that I feel like I’m spreading myself thin. Don’t get me wrong it’s not like I’m doing all of those things everyday, some of them I’ll only do once a month. Believe me I find time in there for surfing and other forms of recreation.
So where was I? Making free chocolate for a promotional event, ah yes. That’s the whole dynamic of “you’ve got to spend money to make money”, but whose in it for money? My motto is “you gotta do what you love to love what your doing”, which I can affirm. So playing The Jack(fruit) and occasionally The Joker is cool with me…
Here’s a sampling of what I made last night:
Candied Pecans dipped in chocolate, I made little sandwiches by dipping the flat half of the pecan and then placing another flat half
on top of the other. This way you can pick up the choccie pecan sandwich without it melting in your fingers.
Chocolate Caramel Squares: I busted out the casserole dish, layed down some wax paper and poured a layer of chocolate for this creation. I set the chocolate in the fridge, made a caramel, poured that over set chocolate and spread it within a quarter inch of the edges of the chocolate, back in the freezer to set and the caramel layer with a layer of chocolate that went to the edges. At this point I should have set it in the fridge because I eventually had to cut it into squares. A casserole sized chocolate caramel bar is a little excessive. Trying to cut it directly out of the freezer caused some of the chocolate to crack… little patients and thawing allowed me to make clean cuts.
Chocolate Hearts with Goji and Coconunt: this is a Valentines Day classic that never fails to please. I sprinkled the goji and coconut into the molds before I poured the chocolate in. This heart molds are super easy to use. I scored them at Target in the bargain bin just after Valentines last year… Score!
So that was it for free chocolate schwag. I’m hoping that I’ll have some left overs to share with family and friends. Myself I’m choco’d-out. Making chocolate takes its toll on me with all the sampling you have to do. By the end of the night I feel like flying and I this funny sensation in my chest like my heart is radiating out of my chest: raw chocolate is a true heart opener. So I’ve come down of the cacao cloud. I tend to burn out quick on cacao powder and that’s why I stick to the nibs.
Here’s the basic chocolate recipe I used:
Cacao Butter – 10 oz. about 1 1/2 C melted
Agave – 1/4 C
Palm Sugar – 1/2 C
Lucuma – 1/4 C
Cacao Powder – 8 oz about 1 3/4 C
pinch of Himalayan salt
I melted the cacao butter in the dehydrator in a metal bowl with a fork laying in the bowl. I do this to draw heat into the center of the melting cacao. The metal bowl conducts heat better than glass or pyrex which are actually an insulators. I then moved to my double boiler set up which is a crock pot filled enough to float the metal bowl. I check the water temp. with a small thermometer and turn the crock off and on accordingly. Next I mix in the agave, salt and palm sugar with the melted butter. I do this in the bowl using a blending wand. These things are cheap and very useful for blending directly inside of bowls and even wide mouthed jars. It’s good to have a second set of hands at this point but it can be done alone… Once the cacao butter, agave and palm sugar is blended I start adding the cacao butter and mixing. You can sift the cacao powder into the mixture as well which makes things easier. With the hand blender there is the danger of spraying chocolate all over the place. I like to live on the edge. I only had minor splatters from this undertaking.
A couple tips for using the hand blender.
Make sure your bowl is wide and deep enough to prevent from slinging your mix everywhere.
Lift the mixing wand up out of the mixer to create a vortex of chocolate spray. Do this carefully because this the “wall splatter”danger zone. Tilting the wand on an angle will also pull floating ingredients down into the blending vortex.