Saturday, November 29, 2008

What I Made for Thanksgiving Dinner

This year, I am sharing everything I made for Thanksgiving, both cooked and raw. This is such a stressful time for the person cooking. I bought all the ingredients the day before on Wednesday. I literally didn't know what I was making until that day.

Everyone who reads this blog is on different continuum scale on his/her raw journey. This is for those who want cooked vegan holiday recipes as well as raw, and for those who do Internet searches for vegan Thanksgiving recipes.

I didn't feel like I had the chops to do an all-raw Thanksgiving. I am working my way toward it, however. Here is everything I made:

Apple Crisp

Vegan Apple Crisp
--adapted and veganized from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook
Kick butt cobbler. The best in the world.

5 cups peeled and sliced apples
1/3 cup of water
¾ cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 stick margarine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut up apples and put them in a 1 ½ quart baking dish ( I use a square 8 inch baking pan), and sprinkle the water on top. Combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl, and rub the margarine in with your fingers until it resembles coarse crumbs. Spread evenly over the apples. Bake about 30-35 minutes or until crust is browned.

Macaroni and Cheese

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese
Adapted from Soul Vegetarian. I changed the amount of noodles to use.

1 box macaroni elbows
1 1/8 cup nutritional yeast (or more to taste)
1 heaping tablespoon Spike seasoning
3 cups soymilk
1 large clove garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
paprika (optional)

-preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Cook the macaroni elbows according to package directions
-Rinse in cold water in a colander when they are finished cooking
-Place all other ingredients (except canola oil and paprika) in a blender
-Slowly pour oil in blender while it's running
-The "cheese sauce" should be creamy
-Put the macaroni noodles in a 9x12 baking pan, making sure they are level
-Pour "cheese sauce" evenly over macaroni
-(Optional) Sprinkle paprika over the macaroni and cheese
-Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown on edges or top
-Take out, serve, and amaze your family!

I've had more than one person think I used real cheese! It's a wonderful dish. I always make this for guests, and get requests for it all the time. This is the one you make for omnivores.

Kale Salad

Kale Salad
Adapted from The Joy of Living Live by Zakhah

The winner of winners. Your salad will disappear at every potluck.

1 bunch of kale greens
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons liquid aminos or 4 tablespoons soy sauce (not raw)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil

Wash the greens. Put them in a tupperware bowl that has a top. Sprinkle the nutritional yeast on top the kale first. Add the garlic cloves, aminos or soy sauce, lemon juice squeezed straight from the lemon (watch those seeds), and olive oil. Put the top on your tupperware bowl. Shake like crazy. The success of this dish comes in all of the kale being coated evenly. Sometimes the yeast gets gloopy. So shake, do not stir or mix. Shake. Adjust the seasonings to your liking.

Cashew Garden Burgers and Instead of Mashed Potatoes

Cashew Garden Burgers
--from Fresh by Sergei and Vayla Boutenko
2 cups cashews
1 cup dried tomatoes – soaked for 10 minutes
¼ bunch cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt

Blend in a food processor. Add soaked tomato water if needed. In the book, they call for dehydration for 10-12 hours at 110 degrees. Flip and dry another 5-8 hours. I do not dehydrate this any longer. It's a great pate. I put it in a collard green leaf. I brushed the leaf with olive oil, then put it a warm oven (already turned off) and left the door open for 2 minutes to soften the leaf. Then I added the pate, tomatoes, and lettuce. It was delicious.

Instead of Mashed Potatoes
--from Fresh by Sergei and Vayla Boutenko
2 large avocados
½ head cauliflower
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup sweet onion powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
Blend everything in a food processor until smooth.

This was just okay. I started to make the pecan gravy from the book to go along with it, but I was on a budget. I already had the Divine Cashew Gravy, but I should have made the pecan gravy. I will do that next time.

Apple Cobbler

Vegan Apple Cobbler
--adapted and veganized from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook
The crust is WONDERFUL. This is ridiculously good. This is more involved than the apple crisp. But it is worth it.

First, I use gelled flax seed instead of the 1 egg the original recipe calls for. To make this, you can purchase loose flax seeds and grind them in your blender, dry. No water, no nothing. Just grind them. Or you can purchase milled flax seed or flax seed meal. Add equal parts ground flax seed and water into a blender. Blend until the mixture looks like Jello or thick pudding. Make more than you need. One and one half tablespoons of the gelled flax equals one egg in any baked recipe. Flax seed doesn't change the taste, and has worked wonderfully in all my baked recipes. You may have to bake something longer than the original recipe calls for.

12 tablespoons margarine, melted (Melt 4 tablespoons and 8 tablespoons separately)
3 cups peeled and diced apples
½ teaspoon sea salt
2/3 cup brown sugar
½ cup soy, rice, or almond milk
1 ½ tablespoons gelled flax seed
1 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pour 4 tablespoons margarine into an 8x8 square pan. Arrange the apples evenly over it. Mix ¼ teaspoon of salt with ¼ cup of sugar and sprinkle evenly over apples. Set aside. Pour remaining 8 tablespoons of the margarine into a bowl, add the milk and flax seed and beat with a whisk. Mix the flour, baking powder, the remaining 6 tablespoons of brown sugar, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon of sea salt into another bowl. Stir in the milk mixture and beat until smooth. Plop the mixture by the tablespoon full on top of the apples. Bake about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Turk'y Roast and Divine Mushroom Cashew Gravy
Quorn Turk'y Roast
This was a compromise between me and my husband. He asked me if I wanted to roast a turkey. I said "no." I know how, but I have no interest in ever cooking an animal product again in life. I have never made a raw/faux “meat” centerpiece for Thanksgiving or Christmas. I didn't think today was the day to experiment. I will practice on a recipe I do have between now and Christmas.

We were going to get a Tofurky but the Internet comments about it were horrible. The Quorn comments were better, so we got this one. It worked out fine. Both he and my oldest son liked it. If you do get this, roast it in a roasting bag and baste it with olive oil and spices, according to the directions on the box. It did taste like turkey. If we didn't tell someone, they'd probably think it was a turkey breast.

Divine Mushroom Cashew Gravy
--from Incredibly Delicious, the singlehandedly, absolute best vegan cookbook on the planet. Mostly cooked stuff, but has a lovely raw section too. I tell anyone who listens to purchase this. Everything in the book is, well....incredibly delicious. :-)

3 cloves garlic, minced
2 small onions, diced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 cups water
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
3 ½ tablespoons cashew butter
(this is expensive. To make your own, blend cashews and olive oil in a food processor until the mixture is smooth.)
2 tablespoons tamari
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder

Saute the garlic and onions in a little bit of oil, about 2 tablespoons. Add mushrooms and simmer until veggies are soft. Blend the other remaining ingredients in a blender. Pour this mixture into the pot with the veggies. Stir often until the arrowroot thickens the gravy. Do not boil.

This gravy was spectacular. This was only the second time I've made gravy from scratch. It delivered, big time.

So except for the raw mashed potatoes, everything turned out great. I am still working my way toward an all-raw holiday, so if anyone has tried and true alive and raw holiday recipes, please pass them my way.



Thursday, November 27, 2008

Have a Gratitude Party!

Beta Child, Nilajah, and Anu

I hosted my first ever Gratitude Party last Saturday, and it was great! What is a Gratitude Party, you ask? Well, it's something I made up. I invited three people, cooked dinner for them, and we all talked about the things and people we are grateful for. It grew more festive when Vaneta and Shanna got there, so I made a point of telling them that I appreciate them and love them. That's really the gist of it.

I'm keeping them small because of the size of my house, but you can invite as many people as you want. You can have one big one, or lots of little parties. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Just make sure you focus on appreciating each other, and keep the vibe positive. No complaining or venting. This is for positive folks. And the kids love it too! When we asked four-year-old Anu what she's grateful for, she said, "The Earth." Isn't that cool?

Alpha Child, Anu, Nilajah, Shanna, Vaneta, and Rom

We had SUCH a good time. Nilajah said it was the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon. My husband showed them a million pictures. The kids played with each, without incident (that's always good.) And I had so much fun watching everybody eat. I kept it vegan. I made macaroni and "cheese", barbecue tofu and brown rice, apple crisp, biscuits, and a kale salad. If you host any parties, you can always make it a potluck. I think I'll do that next time.

Life is too short, and no day is guaranteed to us. A mutual friend of myself and Nilajah was killed last week by her husband, and she'd died the Thursday before I had this party. Her death heightened my feelings about the importance of telling loved ones how you feel about them while they are alive.

Beta Child was hiding in the toy chest!

Anytime is a good time to have a Gratitude Party. Today is Thanksgiving, a day dedicated to giving thanks. But you can do that everyday. Start now.

Next time, I'll have pictures and recipes of everything I made for Thanksgiving.



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Raw Mocha Angel's First Anniversary!!

Today is my blog's one year anniversary! Whoo Hoo! Blogging has become one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have met many of my lovely readers via their comments and emails. I am so pleased that people get something positive from my blog, but trust me, I get so much from you all too. The love and positive energy that you all send my way fills my heart and is incredibly gratifying. Thank you so much for reading and sharing with me!


Tomato-Cilantro Soup

Today, I share two easy recipes: Tomato Cilantro Soup and Homemade Tahini.

This soup is an Althea original. I have a bunch of small tomatoes and wondered what to do with them. I have a tomato soup recipe from the class I took with Lynda Carter of Alive and Raw, but I didn't have basil and oregano, nor did I have dates nor lime, but I did have cilantro, honey, and lemon. Here is my recipe:

3 small tomatoes
4 sundried tomatoes – soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
1 teaspoon honey
1 garlic clove, minced
7 sprigs cilantro
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoon olive oil
pinch cayenne pepper or red pepper chili flakes

Put all of the ingredients in a blender. Add just enough water to cover the ingredients. Blend.
Pour into a bowl. I added chunks of avocado. Whoo hoooooo this is good!

Homemade Tahini Prep
I was craving tahini. What else can I say?
Homemade Tahini
2 ½ cups sesame seeds
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
Put both ingredients in a food processor. Blend until smooth yet thick. You don't want it too thin. This tastes just like store bought tahini, but a little richer because of the olive oil. I was determined to find a way to make this. The version I found on calls for roasting the seeds at 350 degrees. That defeats the purpose of raw. This version works just fine.
This made about 1 1/2 cups of tahini.

You want it like a puree, not thin like soup. Thick is better than thin and watery.

Alpha child drinking a tahini milkshake :-)

I made a milkshake after making the tahini. I didn't really measure, but here is what I did:
In a blender, put:
2 bananas
honey or agave
carob or chocolate powder
1-2 tablespoons tahini
1 cup of water
It was wonderful. I'm drinking another one right now :-).

Thanks for reading, ya'll.



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Gift of Good Health!

Already thinking about the holidays? I said to my mom this morning that all I want for Christmas is the gift of good health. I have yet ANOTHER upper respiratory infection. I've been doing some soul searching, and my next post, which I'm calling The Courage to be Raw, I will address some of my issues. But for today....let's talk great gifts!

The Complete Idiots Guide to Eating Raw is on my wish list. All of the reviews have been awesome. The book was written by the folks behind Blossoming Lotus café on Kauai Island in Hawaii and Portland, Oregon. Make sure you go to the Blossoming Lotus website to get amazing free vegan recipes directly from the restaurant!
My favorite bloggers, Heidi and JS Ohlander, of Raw Food Right Now! have a terrific Thanksgiving e-book of raw recipes. I've had this for a few years and it does not disappoint. My favorite is their eggless-egg spread. Yow-za, it is superb. Everything in is good. So if you are wondering what to do for Thanksgiving, here is your answer!

Want to be raw during the holidays, but need lots of support? Go to the social network, Raw Fu!, and sign up for the holiday mini-challenge.
Raw Fu! founder Bunny Berry has loads of fun energy. I decided to join, so let's all go have a good time!
Know what I REALLY want for Christmas? A nine-tray Excalibur dehydrator. I have a round one, which is not the best. It works, but you know...I'm grateful, don't get me wrong. And I use it, but a square dehydrator works the best! I have so many recipes I want to do that I simply cannot make in my round one. I look forward to showing off my new gadget on December 25th!

These last two gift ideas are inspiring. If you know anyone who has diabetes, get them Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days. From the website:

Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days is an independent documentary film that chronicles six Americans with 'incurable' diabetes switching their diet and getting off insulin.

The film follows each participant's remarkable journey and captures the medical, physical, and emotional transformations brought on by this radical diet and lifestyle change. We witness moments of struggle, support, and hope as what is revealed, with startling clarity, is that diet can reverse disease and change lives.

Additional wisdom is provided by Morgan Spurlock, Woody Harrelson, Anthony Robbins, Rev. Michael Beckwith, and Doctors Fred Bisci, Joel Furman, and Gabriel Cousens.
And finally, there is Raw For Life, "a 2 disc DVD set with 30 experts explaining the benefits of a raw lifestyle." It's from the same people who brought you Simply Raw. Both are available at
From the website:
This two-disc DVD inspires people with the Raw Food philosophy, the wisdom of eating a raw food diet, important medical facts and nutritional information.

We have combined the expertise of Doctors and Nutritionists with testimonials from celebrities, athletes, and chefs who live the Raw Food Lifestyle. Our goal was to create a product that would empower people to take control of their health and happiness. In "Raw For Life", you will find everything you need to transition to a healthier state of being.

This DVD is perfect for Vegetarians, Vegans, and Raw Food Vegans looking for new recipes and resources; someone coping with diabetes, heart disease, or excess weight, those seeking to reverse their aging process; athletes looking to improve their performance; actors, dancers, and other performers looking for a healthy way to maintain their weight and image; anyone looking to live longer, be stronger, perform at their best, and get their nutrition on the right track!



Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Did!

Obama Family

It has taken superhuman strength for me NOT to discuss the election on my blog. I committed to talking about raw food and a few other things to keep it's focus. But in my daily life, I could talk politics all day. I have an Associates Degree in Political Science and used to be really into it. I lost interest over the years, until Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were locked in their primary battle. Suddenly politics got interesting again.

To say I am excited, thrilled, elated is an understatement. This is the Aquarian Age finally coming into undeniable fruition. A lot of folks will scare you into believing that the world will end in 2012. Not so. What is dying is a way of thinking, a way of being. Industries are dying. Secrets are being revealed. The middle man is going away. Old paradigms are dying. Let me give you all some examples:

-The investment bank. Gone.
-The music industry. Anyone can have a #1 hit without going through a record company because of the Internet.
-The newspaper industry. Dying off because of the Internet.
-Manufacturing jobs/the industrial age/construction- gone or leaving the country
-9/11- what happens across the ocean absolutely affects the rest of the world. There is no more “over there.” We are all One.
-Catholic Church molestation scandals – I remember a time when adults who claimed they were molested by a priest as children were looked at as lunatics. Not anymore. This is key element of the Aquarian Age: transparency. What was in the dark will be revealed. Which takes me to the biggest thing that is now transparent:
-Race relations: how folks really felt about each other bubbled up during the primaries. Racism reared it's ugly head, sometimes blatantly, sometimes in code:
“We don't know him.”
“He palls around with terrorists.”
“He is a terrorist.”
“This is the REAL America.”
Give me a break to each and every one of those statements.

Obama's election is all about the NEW. A new way of governing; ushering in the new American industry: Energy Technology aka Green Collar Jobs; service; letting go of stuff that doesn't work. I do not claim we will all hold hands and sing. But be open to the new. Ride the wave. It's a new collective consciousness.

The best thing about this is that my sons, who are the same sandy-brown shade as Obama, can grow up to be president. They really can be anything they want to be. Things are going to rapidly change, in all arenas. I look forward to the first woman president, the first Latino/a president, the first Native American president, the first Asian president. I am so proud right now.
Guacamole on a Portabello Mushroom

This might not look like much, but it was GREAT! I made guacamole, and put it on a marinated portabello mushroom.

I put a mix of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic on the mushroom and dehydrated the mushroom for an hour. The guacamole is this:
-1 avocado, mashed
-1 clove of garlic, minced
-1/4 cup fresh cilantro
-1/2 tomato
-lime or lemon juice to taste
-sea salt/nama shoyu/soy sauce to taste
Mix well and eat with veggies, crackers, or put it on a mushroom like I did! I ate it with a salad. It was really, really good.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

2 Simple Drinks

Apple Juice

Make this to your taste.
Juice the following:
-3 apples
-kale, however many leaves you want
-lemon, to cut the bitter taste

This is the!

Write Love and Gratitude on your favorite cup to constantly remind yourself to remain in that state. I drink out of this glass all the time, so I am reminded to feel those feelings of appreciation daily.
Vanilla Shake

-2 frozen bananas
-honey or agave, to taste
-vanilla non-dairy milk of your choice: almond, soy, or rice,
about 2 cups
If it's a plain “milk” add vanilla extract.

I buy very ripe bananas and put them in the freezer. I run them under hot water until I can peel them. Then I break them in half, with my hands, and put them into the blender. Another easy way to freeze bananas is to slice them and put them in storage bags in the freezer.

No one would know this shake didn't have ice cream in it. My dad was impressed with the chocolate version (add chocolate or cacao powder, to your taste). It's an easy and simple drink.

And yes, if you buy the non-dairy milks, rather than making them yourself, then you've entered the processed food arena, making this drink not-raw. It's still vegan, but not raw. And that is okay. Be grateful, rather than stressed, about the positive changes you are making in your diet.




Related Posts with Thumbnails