As usual, I'm behind in blogging, but better late than never, right? I hope you had a fabulous Christmas... I sure did, and it's still going! The past few weeks have been full of time with friends who are home for the holidays, great food, outdoor activities, new pressies to play with... most importantly though, I've had a special visitor from far away. Adam is enjoying his first trip to Canada from the heat of Florida. He is having a hoot playing in the snow (which we have a lot of!) and is eager to build fires in the wood stove, shovel the deck, go snowmobiling, hike across the frozen lake, go sledding, and throw snow balls at me!
On Christmas Eve we enjoyed a simple yet delicious dinner of soup, salad, crackers and cheddar nut cheeze.
Tomato Basil Soup
A quick throw together - no measurements, just a "taste as you go" kinda soup. Can't go wrong here with these great ingredients. The fresh basil is key... and I use avocado to thicken and cream the soup, but you could use olive oil, thick nut milk, or cashews/hemp seeds.
Red bell pepper
Just Like Ritz Zucchini Crackers
2 1/2 cups walnuts
2 1/2 cups cubed zucchini, peeled
1/2 cup ground golden flax
1/4 cup hemp seed
2 tsp sea salt
Grind zucchini down to small bits - do NOT process into a puree, keep texture. Add to walnuts. Stir in theIn a food processor, grind walnuts into small bits. Transfer to bowl.
remaining ingredients, adding a bit of water, if needed for spreading.
Evenly spread on a teflex, score and dehydrate until crisp, flipping after a few hours.
Cheddar Cheeze Dip
1/2 large red bell pepper
¼ cup water
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1 T tahini
2 T nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 clove garlic
2 T lemon juice
Blend all ingredients until smooth
Naturally, dinner was followed by dessert. Adam made a great Ginger Apple Parfait consisting of a Ginger Lemon Mousse, Cacao Nut Crumbs, and Sliced Apples with Raisins.
The mousse was a blend: cashews, fresh ginger, lemon juice/zest, irish moss, agave, dates, and water. The cacao crumbs were simply walnuts, almonds, dates, and cacao powder zapped in the food processor.
A little something choccie is always in order for me, so we enjoyed these Chocolate Nut Cups: Chewy Lucuma Maple Nut Filling in Dark Chocolate... one of those things I'll have to try and re-create in order to share a recipe because but they were so good!
Christmas morning began with the opening of pressies and then a breakfast of frosty Coconut Nog.
I used ice, but you could turn this into a warm nog by blending the ingredients with hot water and garnish it with a cinnamon stick.
This drink is a blend of:
1 young coconut (water and pulp)
1 frozen banana
pure maple syrup
For dessert on Christmas day, I whipped up Snowdrop's infamous raw fruitcake that I've made for the past 2 years. While the recipe appears to contain a lot of steps, I've found a way to simplify it.
3/4 cup packed dates
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 orange, juiced
1 tbs lemon zest
1 tbs orange zest
2 tsp almond extract
1 " ginger, minced
2 Tbs agave
Combine ingredients in a bowl and set aside for 1-2 hours to allow the flavours to mingle.
Once soaked, blend all ingredients in a food processor.
1 cup almonds
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup cashews
Grind ingredients in a food processor. Set aside.
3/4 cup dried fruit
1/4-1/2 cup fresh fruit juice
Allow the fruit to sit in the juice 1 hour or a bit longer.
Candied Nuts: Optional. I've made the cake before using the nuts without candying them.
2/3 cup nuts (walnuts/pecans)
2 tbs maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Toss ingredients together. Dehydrate for a few hours. Set aside a few nuts for garnish and roughly chop the rest.
Once everything is soaked, combine the wet and dry mixtures in the food processor. Fold in the soaked, dried fruits and nuts.
Press the cake into any mold of your choice. I used a 7" spring form pan with a cup in the middle to create a hole. Chill.
As for the frosting, I did the Cafe Gratitude's coconut meringue, but a similar topping would be Carmi's Whipped Cream.
For dinner (I just realized I wrote about dessert first - you can see where my priorities lie!), we enjoyed Veggie Stuffed Squash with Mushroom Gravy, and Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette. For the veggies, we used a combo of red pepper, eggplant, carrot, celery, fresh basil, garlic, salt, lemon juice, and olive oil - marinated and dehydrated to soften and warm. The mixture was piled into baked kabocha squash and drizzled with a gravy of: soaked, dried porchini mushrooms, dried chantrelle mushrooms, button mushrooms, walnuts, lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast, tamari, and the mushy soak water.
What a fabulous day - I hope yours was great too, and I wish you a Happy New Year! I'm celebrating like I've never done before... more on that soon!