Friday, November 30, 2012

Raw Mexican Dark Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake



This week was the birthday of someone who is very near and dear to my heart, my boyfriend Eric.  I am so grateful to have him as a part of my life, and ever since the day we met, I have been happier than ever.  He is sweet, caring, thoughtful, funny...the list goes on. 

 
Because he means the world to me, I wanted him to feel appriciated on his birthday.  Although I bought him a present as well, I thought I needed to make him a Birthday cake.  Afterall, I am always sharing my raw treats with him, so it just wouldn't be right for me to not make him something for his birthday!

 
I asked him if he would like to pick something, but he said to surprise him.  I have to admit I was quite excited about coming up with something that fit him.  The first thing that came to mind was mexican chocolate.  He loves the combination of heat with chocolate. Afterall, the recent recipes on this blog for Raw Dark Chocolate Chipotle Pecan Chunk Ice Cream and Chipotle Caramel Dark Chocolates were both his idea.  So, I thought why not a Raw Mexican Dark Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake!


For the filling I used my standard raw cheesecake base laced with cacao and heat in the form of chipotle, and a little hint of cinnamon.  It was quite delicious as is, and although I could have simply poured it into the crust as it was and topped it with caramel and chocolate, I decided to be a bit more decadent.  This was a special occasion afterall!  So I chopped up some raw pecan pie dark chocolates and pecans and scattered them over the crust and swirled plenty of caramel throughout the filling.  The top of the cheesecake needed some chocolate and pecans as well...and if I do say so it was a pretty sight.

 
The best part however, was being able to share the cake with him! We didn't put 26 candles, on the cake, but we had to have some! 
 
 
Afterall, what is a Birthday without being able to make a wish? He enjoyed the flavors of the cake, and so did I. I was so happy to be able to spend his special day with him. Eric, I hope your 26th year is the best ever! 


Eric's Birthday Cheesecake
(Raw Mexican Dark Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake)
Makes one 6 inch cake

Crust:
3/4 cup pecans, soaked and dried
3/4 cup sprouted buckwheat, dried in the dehydrator (or additional pecans)
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
10-12 soft medjool dates, pitted and chopped

 
Filling:
3 cups raw cashews (preferably soaked overnight and drained)
1/2 cup coconut water (or filtered water)
1/2 cup  raw agave nectar or honey
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp coconut oil (warmed to liquid)
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract and seeds from half a vanilla bean (other half reserved for topping)

Caramel:
10 medjool dates, pitted
1 Tbsp almond butter
2 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp water

1 cup chopped Raw Pecan Pie Dark Chocolates (or other chopped raw chocolate)
1 cup chopped raw pecans

Lightly coat a 6 inch spring form removable bottom pans with coconut oil. To prepare the crust, process pecans, buckwheat and sea salt in a food processor until the pecans are fine crumbs, then add the dates and process until the mixture holds together when squeezed between your fingers (if not holding together, add more dates). Firmly press crust into the bottom of the prepared pan, and set aside.
To make the filling, drain the cashews and combine them with coconut water, agave nectar, raw cacao powder, chipotle powder, sea salt and vanilla in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. With the processor running, add the coconut oil, and process for a minute until blended.  Set aside while you prepare caramel.

To make the caramel, combine all ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth, then press through a fine meshed strainer to remove any date bits (optional, but makes for a smoother caramel).

To assemble cheesecake, scatter about 2/3 of the chopped chocolates and pecans over the crust.  Pour in half the chocolate filling, then drop some of the caramel by the tsp over the filling.  Pour the remaining chocolate filling over then drop more caramel on the top.  Swirl the filling with a knife, and tap on the counter to level.  Place in the freezer to set for about 4-6 hours.  Once set, decorate the edges of the top of the cake with the remaining chocolates and pecans.  Serve! Store remaining cheesecake in the fridge.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Raw Pumpkin Caramel Bars


 
I was flattered and excited when Cara of Cara's Cravings asked me to do a guest post on her blog! Her blog is always full of the most delicious looking, drool worthy food!  She is having a cocktail party! http://www.carascravings.com/clean-eating-cocktail-party-2012






Since she has invited me to participate in an autumn party, I decided to make a dessert worthy of such an occasion which is easy to share!  I thought pumpkin would be perfect this time of the year, and why not make it raw pumpkin cheesecake in the form of bars, topped off with caramel and "cream cheese"frosting?! 

 
If I am making you drool describing these bars, you better head over to Cara's blog and check out my guest post!  Here is the link: http://www.carascravings.com/?p=6307

 
 
 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mini Raw Sweet Potato Caramel Pecan Pies


 
Sweet potato pie may be a common thing down south, but I admit that before last weekend I had never in my life had a bite of it.  I was chopping a large amount of sweet potatoes last week at work, and I started thinking about it for some reason.  I was curious as to how different it would be from pumpkin so I decided that I needed to try making some.  A raw version of course!

 
I was pleasantly surprised by how much sweeter the raw sweet potatoes were than raw squash...I knew this was going to be good!  For the filling I added some richness in the form of coconut and coconut oil.  It tasted amazing even before I poured it into the crust.


I wanted the crust to be crunchy and nutty so a combination of pecans and dried sprouted buckwheat laced with sweet dates did the trick!  The pie could have been topped with some coconut cashew cream which would have been more traditional, but I decided instead that it needed some caramel and pecans!


The caramel and pecans were the right choice, I knew from my first bite!  It was delicious, like a sweeter pumpkin pie...actually better than any pumpkin pie I have ever tasted.  I may just be making sweet potato pie instead of pumpkin for Thanksgiving next year.


Mini Raw Sweet Potato Caramel Pecan Pies
Makes 2

Crust:
1/2 cups pecans

1 cup finely shredded, dried coconut
1 1/2 cups sprouted, dehydrated buckwheat (or additional pecans)
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
12 soft medjool dates, pitted and chopped


Filling:
2 cups raw sweet potatoes or yams, cubed
1/2 cup young coconut meat or soaked cashews (drained)
2 Tbsp coconut butter
1/4 cup coconut water (or filtered water)
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp raw coconut nectar, or raw agave nectar or raw local honey
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract and seeds from half a vanilla bean (other half reserved for topping)
1 inch piece fresh ginger
1 tsp cardamom
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup raw coconut oil (warmed to liquid)

Caramel:
10 medjool dates, pitted
1 Tbsp raw pecan or almond  butter
2 Tbsp raw coconut nectar, raw agave nectar or raw local honey
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp water

1 cup raw pecan halves

Spray two 4 inch pie or tart pans, lined with plastic wrap to make removal easier. To prepare the crust, process pecans, coconut, buckwheat and sea salt in a food processor until the pecans are fine crumbs, then add the dates and process until the mixture holds together when squeezed between your fingers. Firmly press crust into the bottoms of the pans, and set aside in the freezer to firm up.

To make the filling, combine the sweet potatoes, coconut meat, coconut water, nectar, spices, sea salt, vanilla and blend until smooth and creamy. Add the coconut oil with the processor running to evenly distribute it, and process for about a minute. If desired, press the filling mixture through a fine meshed strainer to remove any sweet potato bits (you can skip this but the filling may not be as smooth.) Pour the filling into four the four prepared crusts. Place in the freezer until it is set,about 2 hours.
 
To make the caramel, combine all ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth, then press through a fine meshed strainer to remove any date bits (optional, but makes for a smoother caramel).

Once pies have set, arrange the pecans decoratively on top of the pies.  Place caramel in a pastry bag and pipe over the top in a criss cross fashion.  Serve!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Raw Cranberry Orange Macaroons




Now that Thanksgiving is over, as far as I am concerned it is Christmas cookie season.  I have been dreaming about Christmas cookies afterall, since the beginning of November.  Just the cookies, not the cold and snow that comes with this time of year, that can wait.  Although I have quite a few ideas for cookies, I thought I would start with some macaroons.

 
So I cranked up some dancing music after work Friday, and got to work creating them! I was not going to make plain coconut macaroons, I thought I would jazz them up with some bright orange flavor and beautiful red cranberries!


The "dough" if you can call it that was pretty delicious.  I have to admit, there were a few less macaroons by the time they made it into the dehydrator.  They smelled amazing, like sweet coconut and orange. 


I decided to dip them in dark chocolate as well, no explaination needed there...I am sure you agree!  They were amazing with the chocolate!  I shared some with my Mother, who told me that I could just give them all to her.  I have a feeling I will be making more.

 
Raw Cranberry Orange Macaroons
Makes a dozen

Macaroons:
3/4 cup almond flour
1 Tbsp orange zest
a pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup raw agave nectar
2 cups finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup dried cranberries

Chocolate:
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup raw coconut oil
2 Tbsp raw agave nectar
a pinch of sea salt

Place almond flour, orange zest, sea salt in the food processor and process until well combined. Add the agave nectar and pulse until the mixture holds together. Place the mixture in a bowl, and knead in the coconut and cranberries. Form the mixture into 12 balls, and place on a dehydrator sheet. Dehydrate for about 12 hours, or until they are dried, but not so much so that they are not a little chewy in the middle.
To make chocolate, whisk all ingredients together until smooth in a bowl and let sit until it thickens a little (about 15-20 min).  Lay out a sheet of foil on a sheet pan.  Dip each macaroon into the chocolate and place on the foil.  Once all dipped, put in the freezer to set.  Once chocolate has hardened, enjoy!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Raw Spiced Pear Granola



I was out for a run on Thanksgiving morning, and I saw the cutest older couple out for a walk.  They must have been at least 80 years old, and they looked so happy. He was helping her along, holding her hand and back as they enjoyed the fresh air.  I said "hello"as I passed them, and couldn't help but smile.  I have seen them out before, because they must live near me, and every time I cannot help but think how sweet they are. I always wish that one day when I am elderly I have someone to share my walks with, that would be wonderful.  I may only be 27, but I think about the future sometimes. 


When I arrived home from that run, I opened the door and a heavenly aroma greeted me.  No, not turkey...I know it was Thanksgiving, but I had actually put some raw granola in the dehydrator the night before and it was finally ready! 


This time I decided to make spiced pear, due to a large amount of pears that I had dried. I also threw in some pecans, walnuts and cranberries, and it was even more delicious than it smelled! 


Raw Spiced Pear Granola
Makes about 8 cups

2 cups raw buckwheat
1 1/2 cups dried large coconut flakes
1 cups raw pecans, soaked for 6 hours and drained
1 cups raw walnuts, soaked for 6 hours and drained
1/4 cup raw agave nectar or honey
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp maple extract
1 Tbsp filtered water
2 Tbsp raw coconut oil, liquified
2 cups dried pears
2 cups dried cranberries

Soak buckwheat for 8 hours, rinse very well (as it has a slimy coating that needs to be removed) and drain. Place in a large jar and set in a well lit area (natural light, but not in direct sunlight). Let sit for a couple days, or until little sprouts begin to emerge from the buckwheat, rinsing 2 times a day. Once sprouted, drain well, and place in a large bowl, along with the coconut, pecans and walnuts. In a small bowl, whisk together the agave nectar (or honey), cinnamon,cardamom, nutmeg, sea salt, vanilla, maple, water, and coconut oil. Pour the mixture over the granola, and mix well with your hands. Spread out on 2 dehydrator sheets lined with teflex, and dry for about 12 hours or until crispy. Pour into a bowl, and mix in pears and crasins, enjoy! Can be stored in an airtight container for a few weeks at room temperature.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Raw Persimmon Pistachio Crumble with Rosewater Ice Cream


 
I was biting into a perfectly ripe persimmon last week.  It was jammy, it was sweet and marshmallowy and it was juicy.  It was amazing on its own, but I started imagining pairing it with pistachios, coconut and rosewater.  Not being one to just imagine and not act, I got to work creating a dessert.I thought about making a tart or a pie, but then decided instead on a persimmon pistachio crumble.  Extra crumbly goodness is always a good thing in my mind, especially when paired with fruit. 


I combined the pistachios with coconut and dates for an addictive crumbly topping, and the persimmons themselves didn't need much sweetening.  I knew I made the right choice in pairing the persimmons with the pistachios, the colors were lovely together!  You may be wondering where the rosewater fits in?  Well, I made some rosewater ice cream to go alongside, as I am not one to serve a crumble without something creamy alongside.  The combination was absolutely heavenly, I happily drifted off to my happy place.


Raw Persimmon Pistachio Crumble with Rosewater Ice Cream
Makes 2

Crumble:
1 cup pistachios
1 cup finely shredded dried coconut
8 soft pitted dates
1/8 tsp sea salt or to taste
1 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
3/4 cup coursely chopped pistachios

Persimmons:
4 large organic just ripe fuyu persimmons sliced
2 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
a pinch of sea salt

Raw Vanilla Rosewater Ice Cream:
(recipe follows)

In a food processor, combine 1 cup pistachios, coconut, dates and sea salt and process until finely ground. Place in a bowl and mix in agave nectar and chopped pistachios with hands until it holds together a little when squeezed. Set aside.
 In a large bowl, combine persimmons, agave nectar, vanilla and sea salt and mix well. Set aside to macerate for at least 15 minutes.
 To assemble, place a 4 inch round ring mold on each of two plates (or I used the top part of my 4 inch springform pan. You can also use a 4 inch wide can with the bottom cut out.) place 1/3 of the nut mixture into the bottom of each (dividing between the two). Then, 1/2 of the persimmon mixture (dividing between the two molds), arranging the persimmons so they are flat and pretty.  Top with half the remaining crumble mixture, then the other half of the persimmon mixture then the remaining crumble mixture. Carefully remove the molds, and serve with Raw Vanilla Rosewater Ice Cream!

Raw Vanilla Rosewater Ice Cream
Makes about 3 cups

1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained
1 cup young coconut meat, chopped
1/2 cup young coconut water
1/4 cup agave nectar or honey
a large pinch of sea salt
seeds of one vanilla bean
1 tsp rosewater
1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid

In a food processor, combine the cashews, coconut, coconut water, agave nectar, sea salt, vanilla and rosewater and process until smooth. With the processor running, pour in the coconut oil and process until well incorporated, about a minute. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to directions. Once processed, pour into a freezer safe container with a lid, and let harden until scoopable consistency, about 4 hours, or overnight. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Raw Pecan Pie and Raw Caramel Apple Pie Dark Chocolates


I know a lot of people have their favorite dish of the Thanksgiving meal.  For some it is the turkey, some the stuffing and some the mashed potatoes. But for me it has always been the desserts.  My Mother used to make the best caramel apple pie, and that was always the pie I had the biggest piece of (because I also had to have some of the apple and pecan).  In recent years however, my Mother has requested that I make caramelized nut tarts or something of the sort for Thanksgiving, since pecan pie was always her favorite.
 

This year though, I was pretty busy so I went about a different route and decided to please us both and make truffles.  How does a truffle replace pie?  Well easy, I made pecan pie and caramel apple pie truffles!


 
Afterall, what could be better than our favorite pies enclosed in decadent dark chocolate?!  You may be thinking these would be a way to portion control, but in reality they are so addictive you do not end up eating just a couple. 


My Mother enjoyed them as well and told me she actually preferred them to pieces of pie. Guess you can not go wrong when dark chocolate is involved!  Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!  I know I have a lot to be thankful for this year, I hope you are feeling the same!


Raw Caramel Apple Pie Dark Chocolates
Makes about 30
Caramel:
10 medjool dates
2 Tbsp raw coconut butter or macadamia butter (raw almond butter will also work)
3 Tbsp raw agave nectar or honey
1 tsp maple extract
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp fleur de sel

1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup filtered water (or more if too thick, add an additional Tbsp at a time)
 
1/2 cup finely chopped dried apples


Chocolate:
3/4 cup raw cacao powder
3/4 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp raw agave nectar
a pinch of sea salt

2 15 hole chocolate mold (I used silicone)

To make the caramel, combine all ingredients (except apples) in a food processor and process until smooth. Press the mixture thorough a fine meshed strainer to remove any date bits. Stir in apple pieces. Place mixture into a pastry bag and pipe small 1/2 tsp mounds onto a piece of foil. Place in the freezer until hardened slightly.
When caramel is frozen, to make the chocolate, combine all ingredients and whisk together until smooth. Take your chocolate mold and fill holes half full with chocolate. Take your caramel and spoon one mound into each hole on top of the chocolate. Top with remaining chocolate in the holes so it is even with the top of the mold. Place in the freezer to harden, then pop out of the molds and enjoy!


Raw Pecan Pie Dark Chocolates
Makes about 30
Caramel:
10 medjool dates
2 Tbsp raw coconut butter or macadamia butter (raw almond butter will also work)
3 Tbsp raw agave nectar or honey
1 tsp maple extract
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp fleur de sel

1/4 cup filtered water (or more if too thick, add an additional Tbsp at a time)
1/2 cup finely chopped raw pecans

Chocolate:
3/4 cup raw cacao powder
3/4 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp raw agave nectar
a pinch of sea salt

2 15 hole chocolate mold (I used silicone)

To make the caramel, combine all ingredients (except pecans) in a food processor and process until smooth. Press the mixture thorough a fine meshed strainer to remove any date bits. Stir in pecans. Place mixture into a pastry bag and pipe small 1/2 tsp mounds onto a piece of foil. Place in the freezer until hardened slightly.
When caramel is frozen, to make the chocolate, combine all ingredients and whisk together until smooth. Take your chocolate mold and fill holes half full with chocolate. Take your caramel and spoon one mound into each hole on top of the chocolate. Top with remaining chocolate in the holes so it is even with the top of the mold. Place in the freezer to harden, then pop out of the molds and enjoy!







Monday, November 19, 2012

Raw Banana Caramel Cake



Do you ever wish that everything in life was at your leisure, and there was no such thing as rushing?  I certainly do.  During the week sometimes I feel that I never get a chance to simply enjoy the things I need to slowly. I wake up to an alarm, rush to get my workout in and get my butt out the door to work.  Where I rush to get things done, rush to get home and make dinner, rush to go out, then it is time for bed and starting over the process.  It would be nice if everything was simply done at the pace I felt like.  My meals were savored, not wolfed down, my body woke up when it wanted to and I was never worried about being late.  Which is exactly why I value my weekends so much!  There is nothing better than being able to simply enjoy the things you are doing and not have to worry about time! 


This weekend, in my free time, I decided that I needed to make a banana cake.  Making cake is one of my favorite things to do when I am not in a rush, and I had a big pile of ripe bananas on my counter. 

 
I decided that it needed to be a layer cake, then that it needed to have delicious caramel in between the layers along with fresh banana slices.


Also, a creamy frosting was essential, so I went with a creamy coconut vanilla bean laced frosting. Although the parts of the cake were delicious on their own, once combined they were heavenly! 


The sweet banana cake layers, gooey caramel and creamy frosting together were something that I got lost in as I enjoyed every last bite.  Leisure time at its best, indulging in something wonderful!


Raw Banana Caramel Cake
Serves 4

Cake:
1 cup soaked walnuts, dehydrated
1 cup sprouted, dehydrated buckwheat groats (or additional almonds if you don't care to make them)
1 3/4 cups dried shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 tsp sea salt
2  tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp maple extract
20  medjool dates, pitted
3 medium organic bananas, mashed

Frosting:
3/4 cup raw cashew pieces (preferably soaked overnight)
1/4 cup coconut water

2 tsp cider vinegar
1 cup fresh young coconut meat (or additional soaked cashews if not available)
1/4 cup raw agave nectar or raw honey
1 teaspoons vanilla and seeds of half a vanilla bean

1 tsp maple extract
1/4 cup coconut oil (warmed to liquid)

Caramel:
10 medjool dates, pitted
1 Tbsp almond butter
2 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp water


one large banana, sliced

To make the cake, combine buckwheat, coconut and walnuts in the food processor and process until finely ground. Add the sea salt, vanilla, and dates and process until well blended and starting to hold together. Add the bananas, and process until well combined. Place the mixture onto a teflex lined dehydrator sheet, and shape into a square, about 2 inches thick. Dehydrate for 6 hours, then flip over and let dehydrate another 2-4 (until dry but not too dry, still a little moist in the middle). Remove from the dehydratorset aside while you prepare the frosting and caramel.

For the frosting, combine all ingredients except coconut oil and process until smooth. With the processor running, add the coconut oil, and process a minute more until well blended. Place the frosting in the freezer for about 1/2 an hour or until frosting consistency. 

To make the caramel, combine all ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth, then press through a fine meshed strainer to remove any date bits (optional, but makes for a smoother caramel).

To assemble the cake, cut off the ragged edges so you have a nice square, then cut in half. Spread half the caramel over one half, then top with banana slices and some of the frosting.  Top with the other half of the cake, spread with remaining frosting over the top and down the sides of the cake.  Place the remaining caramel in a pastry bag and pipe over the cake in a criss cross diagonal fashion (or however you like!  Pipe around the bottom of the cake too if desired.  Place in the fridge for about an hour to set and serve!
 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dark Chocolate Chipotle Pecan Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream



As we walk along the path, the sun is sinking below the horizon and the air starts to get chilly.  If I were walking alone I may start to grow conscious of the cold, but with his hand in mine, I feel very warm.  The sky fades from pink to purple to twinkling stars.  It is a beautiful night, despite the chill, and the company makes it all the more beautiful.  The stresses of the work day no longer matter, simply the here and now. I am wishing every minute of the day could be like this.  So thankful to have someone in my life to create moments like this with. 


I am talking about my boyfriend Eric.  He has made me nothing but happy lately, and I have to admit, he gives me a lot of great recipe ideas.  Which is how the ice cream in this post came to be.  It is freaking amazing, and I have to give him at least half the credit for it because we came up with it together. 


I decided that I needed to make ice cream last week and I asked him which flavor sounded the best out of four I was thinking of. Two of the options were Dark Chocolate Chipotle and Pecan.  He answered back, Dark Chocolate Chipotle with pecans mixed in and chunks of caramel chipotle dark chocolates mixed in (I made them last week, and he was a fan).  I was thinking something a little more simple, but what the heck, it sounded wonderful so I made it! 


I am glad I did, it was some of the best ice cream I have made!  Of course I shared some with Eric as well, and he thought it was delicious too.  I have a feeling I will be asking his opinion often in the future!


Dark Chocolate Chipotle Pecan Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream:
Makes 5 cups delicious ice cream

1/2 cup coconut water
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
1 cup young coconut meat, chopped
1/4 cup raw agave nectar or raw honey
seeds of one vanilla bean
a pinch of sea salt
1 tsp chipotle powder
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid

1 cup chopped raw chipotle caramel chocolates or raw chocolate chunks
1 cup chopped raw pecans

 Add coconut water to a food processor, along with cashews, coconut meat, agave nectar, vanilla, sea salt, chipotle powder, and cacao powder. Process until smooth, then with the processor running, add the coconut oil slowly and process until well incorporated, about a minute. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to directions. Remove from ice cream maker, stir in chocolate chunks and pecans pour into a freezer safe container. Let chill in the freezer for a few hours until a little more firm before scooping.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Beet Carpaccio with Cumin Scented Walnut Crumble and Tahini Lemon Sauce

 
 
I tend to get stuck in ruts when it comes to my dinner choices.  I have been having Mexican food almost every night lately, and i decided that I needed to branch out last week.  I had a bag of beets in my fridge just calling my name and so I decided that they would make a delicious dinner.  I wasn't sure what to make, I thought about raw beet ravoili, but decided to make something a little more simple.  Beet carpaccio.  Afterall, they would look lovely all laid out on a plate.


 
 
I thought about doing a simple mediterranean carpaccio, but then thought one with middle eastern flavors would be more interesting.  I made a cumin scented walnut crumble, some lemon tahini sauce, and added some avocadoes for richness, spinach for color and shallots for flavor. It was far more delicious than I could have imagined.  I didn't mind saving the ravoili for another time, thinking outside the box was far more fun!

 
 
Beet Carpaccio with Cumin Scented Walnut Crumble and Tahini Lemon Sauce
Serves 2

Beets:
2 organic raw golden beets, peeled and sliced paper thin
2 organic raw red beets, peeled and sliced paper thin
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
sea salt

Walnut Crumble:
1 cup raw walnuts, soaked and dried
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground chipotle
1 garlic clove
sea salt to taste
2-3 Tbsp filtered water

Tahini Lemon Sauce:
2 Tbsp raw tahini
2 Tbsp filtered water (or as needed)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
sea salt to taste

1 just ripe avocado, sliced
1 shallot, sliced
baby spinach

Place red beets in a bowl and gold beets in another bowl. Drizzle each with 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp lemon juice as well as a pinch of sea salt.  Toss to coat, and set aside.
To make walnut crumble, combine all ingredients in a food processor except water.  Pulse until combined and finely chopped.  Add filtered water 1 Tbsp at a time until mixture starts to clump together, set aside.
To make tahini sauce, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. 
To assemble, on two plates, arrange beet slices in a circle starting at the outside of the plate, alternating red and golden, filling the plate.  Top with avocado, shallot slices, and a little baby spinach.  Drizzle with tahini sauce, and top off with walnut crumle.  Serve!