blog, Recipe

Best raw stuffing? Best raw gravy? You tell me.

raw pumpkin pie

Hi all,

Here’s a quick post featuring 2 recipes I recently put together for a Raw Vegan Thanksgiving Potluck at Camp Rawnora. We had a wonderful turnout with raw dishes that were delish and beautiful. Some of the simplest dishes are the best like a corn chip and guacamole combo that one guest brought. Being the host I had to step up my game and turn out some dishes that were beyond delicious… I prepared a variation of Cafe Gratitude’s Pumpkin Pie recipe from their amazing recipe book I Am Grateful, also found in their dessert recipe book Sweet Gratitude. These books are the foundation for most of the raw food chef’s that are emerging each day. Master the recipes in these 2 books and you don’t need a chef training course… though it’s nice to get some instruction from a seasoned chef.

raw stuffing

Stuffing (aka: dressing) and Gravy were my 2 other menu items. Both of which I had a vague idea of how I’d reverse engineer them. For the stuffing I was looking for some way to keep it light and avoid making a nut gut bomb. A combo of almonds, walnuts and marinated portabello mushrooms was my solution. The way I did this recipe may be prohibitive for those wanting to do something quick and easy because I had stockpiled dried marinated portabella mushrooms which most people don’t have on hand. Here’s the trick… get dried mushrooms for the recipe and just add the ingredients that are in the marinade to the recipe like so…

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If anyone has taken a class or worked with me in the kitchen you know how I love to “sweat” veggies and use the juice that is removed in other recipes like soups and sauces. With the dressing/stuffing we’re sweating the veggies and using the juice in the gravy recipe. This keeps our stuffing from being soggy and this also adds flavor to our gravy.

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raw_mushroom_gravy
raw gravy on cauliflower parsnip taters

With the recipes out of the way, now it’s time for shameless self-promotion… If you liked these recipes you’re going to love the 13 recipes featured in the Raw 2012 Calendar from Camp Rawnora. Full color pictures and some amazing raw recipes to get you through the year… $10 to start with discounts for multiple orders.

Raw 2012 Calendar

Start off 2012 with a health retreat in Jamaica. Join me (Chef Adam Graham) and Chef John Rasmussen in Jamaica for a 8 day 7 night retreat (January 7-14th).

Jamaica Raw Retreat
Sun and raw food fun!
blog, Raw Food Adventures, Recipe

Fig Harvest is on!

unripe figs

After traveling all over Europe this summer and being teased by the unripe fig bounty in Spain and Italy my dreams have come true, the figs have ripened! Yes it’s fig time in Florida. The funny thing is most people don’t have a clue what to do with a fresh fig. I came across a highly visible fig tree in the neighborhood and introduced myself to the homeowner. The nice old man told me to help myself which I did and have been doing. As I have been picking figs I’ve gotten strange looks from people passing by. Many times I call out, “wanna try a fresh fig?” Most people have hesitated at first but overcome there fears when they see me chomp down on a plump ripe fig. They can hardly believe how good a fresh fig tastes and that it’s just growing there in plain sight.

Figs, which are in the mulberry family, are one of the best fruits to consume fresh or dry. They are a great source of calcium, B6, folic acid, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous and potassium. They contain mucin which has a mild laxative effect, the sulfur compound ficin which anti-inflamatory and benzaldehyde which has been shown in studies to shrink tumors. Figs are known to be antiparasitic and antibacterial and a neutralizer of toxins. They are known to deter cravings for sugar, alcohol and drugs. – Referenced from “Rawsome” by Brigitte Mars. I actually ate that whole bowl of figs in the picture and have to say the laxative effect never showed up. Keep in mind I’m a raw fooder and I’m eating fresh fruits and veggies all day and everyday. Be aware that everyone’s reactions to foods are individualized according to there health and level of toxicity. Another side effect of eating all those fresh figs is a raw feeling on my lips and a fuzzy sensation on my tongue which I attribute to the tiny hairs that are on unwashed fresh figs.

Harvest figs that are plump, are dark in color and are bending at the stem. Firm greenish figs need more time on the tree. A ready fig will give a bit when squeezed similar to a hacky sack. The outside of a ripe fig will show vertical cracks and wrinkles as well. When really ripe the figs will fall from the tree and dry on the ground. If you’re brave you can harvest ground figs. Ground figs are super sweet and gooey like jam. There are a variety of bugs that like to get into the figs both on the tree and on the ground. One in particular is worth mentioning, the fig wasp.  Fig wasps live symbiotically with the fig tree. They pollinate the tree and lay eggs in some of the figs. I always check suspicious figs to see if there may be buggies inside. I’ve come across trees where I’ve found no bugs in the figs and I’ve also found trees that have critters inside the very ripe figs. I think it has to do with the type of fig tree. Regardless I often check the figs before eating them by splitting them in half starting at the small hole in the bottom. Some folks have extreme bug-o-phobia. Just check your figs first and you’ll be able to enjoy the blessings of fresh figs.

A ripe and ready fig may be likened to another common sack and I’m not talk about the hacky variety this time. It’s funny how the exterior appearance of this fruit is likened to a part of the male anatomy while a cross section of the fruit may be likened to the female anatomy. A beautiful merging of the yin and yang in a delicious package.

I have one more interesting thing regarding the fig I’d like to share. Having studied Spanish in college and also being exposed to Italian on my mother’s side of the family I have often taken creative liberties in forming Spanish and Italian words by adapting them from English words. Doing that with the word “fig” has some interesting results. Using my logic I figured fig in Italian would be “figa”. Not the case… “figa” has several meanings, one is a slang reference to the female genitals, another is slang for a pretty girl and there’s also a variation that means “fanny”. Fig in Italian is “fico”. Keep that in mind when searching for figs in an Italian market. A slip of the tongue may get you slapped or get you a date.

Here’s a super simple fig vinaigrette recipe to keep you skinny and grinning:

1 C dried figs – soaked or 1 1/2 C fresh unsoaked

1/4 C apple cider vinegar

3/4 C water

1 C olive oil

1 t Himalayan or sea salt

Blend all ingredients smooth. Salt to taste. *apricots can be substituted for figs.

Salud, enjoy and Keep it Live!

blog, How To, Raw Food Adventures, Recipe

The Live Food Experience… In your very own kitchen!

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.

Thai Miso Soup

The menu from the other evening began with Thai style miso soup. Here’s the basic procedure:

  1. Start by warming 3 Cups filtered water on the stove, not boiling just hot to touch.
  2. Transfer the water to a blender. I had brought my Vitamix but any blender will do.
  3. 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..
  4. Blend for for 30 seconds.
  5. Cut up some fresh basil add to blender and blend for 5 seconds.
  6. Pour into cups and add fresh cucumber batons, shredded carrot and bell pepper chunks.
  7. 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:

  • almond butter
  • water
  • unpasteurized miso
  • tamari
  • lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • palm sugar
  • ginger
  • hot pepper
Pad Thai with Almond Miso Sauce

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:

  • agave
  • maple syrup
  • almond butter
  • agave powder
  • cinnamon
  • salt

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.

Making Sorbet
Mango Banana Sorbet