Category Archives: in the kitchen

Let’s Eat: Cacao Buckwheatie Brittle!

Buckwheaties are dehydrated raw, sprouted buckwheat groats. You can eat them like cereal or grind them up and use as flour in raw recipes. OR you can make brittle!

Several months ago I bought a little bag of buckwheat groats at this tiny local health food store with the intention of making raw cereal. Last week I finally started the process. I looked online for some guidance and found all kinds of conflicting info. Soak them overnight. Don’t oversoak or they won’t sprout. I was confused but decided to wing it a bit and soak them overnight and see what happened.

First I measured out a cup of groats and rinsed them well in a fine mesh sieve. Then I covered them in four cups of water and let them soak overnight in a bowl. In the morning I drained and rinsed them and let them sit in the bowl covered with a tea towel all day. That evening I gave them another rinse and drain and let them sit overnight covered again. The next morning they had sprouted tiny green tails! So cute! (If groats can be cute. Which they can because almost anything can be cute with a tiny tail!)

At that point the groats could have been eaten for a truly raw experience. Or I could have continued to let them sprout and then added them to salads. But I continued my quest for raw cereal. I spread the sprouted groats out on dehydrator sheets and put them in the machine at 115 degrees F. I let them go for about 8 hours. They seemed dry and ‘done’. When I squeezed them between my fingers they crushed easily so I figured they were dry enough.

deydrated groats- buckwheaties!

The next morning (this is, like, four days later from starting the process!) I poured them into a bowl and was about to pour some soymilk over them for breakfast when I decided to give them a taste first. They tasted like I figured they would. Planty. Sprouty. Groaty. They would have been good with some berries and agave or stevia. But it was Sunday morning and I wanted something heartier. And more Sunday brunchish. So I made pancakes.

I decided to follow the advice of one of the blogs I came across and flavor them and give them another spin in the dehydrator. So I made a coating using raw agave and raw cacoa nibs. I mixed the groats with the coating and spread it out of parchment paper (I don’t have those special sheets for my dehydrator). I dehydrated overnight. The next morning I flipped it over and dehydrated another eight hours or so.

groats mixed with agave and cacao nibs ready for dehydration

When I finally felt like it was done I started to break up the big piece to store and realized that not only did I have cereal if I wanted it, but even better I had made buckwheatie brittle!! I decided to enjoy it as a snack. I took a piece to my raw-enthusiast co-worker too. When I received an email from her entitled: “Brittle is the Bomb” I knew I had reached success! And it only took a week! ;)

raw buckwheatie brittle!

Budget Juicing!

One of the things that keeps me from juicing on a daily or at least several times a week basis is the cost. It takes sooo much produce to make juice and quality, organic produce ain’t cheap. (the other thing that keeps me from juicing all the time is the mess…) Anyway…

I went to the 99 cent store on my lunch break recently because I remembered they have lots of produce now and I wanted to check it out. (I can also get local french bread, soy milk, and other goodies there)

I was so excited to find some good stuff! First off I got two big bunches of very ripe bananas. I won’t be juicing these. I’ll be freezing them in halves and using them in smoothies and raw banana soft serve! I can’t wait to have a freezer full of bananas!

And then I found local celery and carrots. And ORGANIC BLUEBERRIES!!!! Beautiful organic blueberries! I got three pints, but there’s only two in the picture because I inhaled one of the pints at my desk after I bought them… And then there were cucumbers. And these were actually two for 99 cents! Now, they aren’t organic, but I will peel them before I juice them and they will be almost as good as the organic cucumbers I pay $3 a piece for normally.

Check out this beautiful bounty that only cost me $12.00!

Pancakes and Chocolate Mousse!

I started the morning with a perfect batch of “Perfect Pancakes” from Vegan Brunch. These are truly perfect. They are fluffy and classic tasting. I make them a lot, but today was the most perfect they’ve ever been. I halved the recipe so I don’t know if this had anything to do with it. All I know is they hit the spot this morning drizzled with agave syrup and served with some pumpkin spice coffee.

And while I enjoyed the pancake breakfast, I read the weekend’s section of Vegan’s Daily Companion. The recipe was for chocolate mousse. A very simple recipe that I happened to have all the ingredients for. I whipped it up later in the evening. I had a hard time getting the melted chocolate to incorporate completely into the mousse. I used my food processor and I think it might have been smoother if I’d made it in the Blendtec. But it still tasted delicious. It is very rich and the half cup serving size is plenty! The recipe makes six servings.

Let’s Eat: Raw Nachos!

These raw nachos were three days in the making! But they were totally worth it! I was inspired by my friend Ty over at Camera Phone Vegan.  She’s been eating high raw lately and we both love nachos. So when she made raw vegan nachos with a cashew queso sauce, I HAD to try it!

I started out by making juice pulp crackers a couple days ago. I always save the pulp when I juice veggies in a bag in the freezer. I’ve tried a few recipes but the one I used this time is by far my favorite. I used this recipe and the only thing I changed was that I used a half teaspoon of granulated garlic instead of fresh garlic, and I made them in my dehydrator instead of in the oven. I dehydrated them for about 12 hours at 115 degrees F- flipping once after a few hours. They looked like this when I took them out:

I cut the crackers into wedges and then broke them in half for the ‘chips’ in my nachos. When I was ready to make the nachos I arranged them on a plate and topped with chopped romaine and red bell pepper.

Then I made the queso sauce! Holy Moly! This stuff is awesome. I kept eating it out of the blender with a spoon. I used Ty’s recipe found here. The only things I did different were to use a red bell pepper instead of yellow, I added a clove of garlic, and I added a 1/4 teaspoon cumin. I liberally drizzled the sauce over my nachos and it was beautiful!

look at that sauce!

I thoroughly enjoyed these raw nachos and I plan to make them again and again! I have leftover sauce that I think I’ll use as a dip for veggies or a salad dressing later this week. YUM!

Let’s Eat! Spicy Split Pea Soup

The other night I decided I needed to use up the last of some split peas I’d had around for a while. I ad-libbed a spicy soup recipe and was super happy with the outcome. I like when I just throw stuff together and it turns out great! I had a good feeling about this one so I actually wrote down what I did so I could make it again- and share the recipe!

I had some onion leftover from another recipe, a near-the-compost-bin-bound carrot, some beautiful bok choy from a friend and a bit of soyrizo leftover so this is what I came up with:

Spicy Split Pea Soup- 3-4 servings

1 Tbsp olive oil

half large onion- chopped

2 cloves garlic- minced

1 large carrot peeled and rough chopped- smallish

2 small bunches bok choy- rough chopped- smallish

pinch of black pepper

dash of celery salt

3 cups veg broth (I made mine using Better Than Bouillon)

1 cup split peas soaked overnight- then drained and rinsed

1/4 tsp marjoram

bay leaf

half package soyrizo

In a three quart pot sautee the onion in oil for a few minutes till softened. Add garlic and cook another minute, stirring often.  Add the carrot and cook a few more minutes. Add the bok choy and cook another minute. Add a pinch of pepper and a dash of celery salt (I love celery salt and try to find ways to use it, but if you don’t have it, I’m sure regular salt would be fine. Or you could even use Mrs. Dash or something like that if you are watching sodium).

veggies cooking

Now add the broth and peas and stir. Add the marjoram, bay leaf and soyrizo and stir well. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for 1-2 hours or till peas are tender (depending on how old the peas are or how long you soaked them- just keep an eye on them). Test for seasoning and voila! (be sure to find the bay leaf and remove it before serving) I ate mine with some crusty french bread, but I also think it would be great with a quesadilla or grilled cheese sandwich or cornbread!

ssspppiiicccyyyyy