Adventures in Raw Food

1:1:1:1 Dressing

Summary: This dressing is so delicious on a salad or veggies! In fact, it's so good that I can eat a big bowl of nothing but lettuce with this dressing and love it! And it's so easy to make!

This dressing is so delicious on a salad or veggies! In fact, it’s so good that I can eat a big bowl of nothing but lettuce with this dressing and love it!

And it’s so easy to make, and so good for you!

For enough dressing to lightly dress a small-to-medium salad:

1 Tablespoon raw tahini
1 Tablespoon Udo’s oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespon Nama Shoyu

(Now you see why I call it 1:1:1:1 dressing!)

Mix very well (I use one of those salad dressing shakers), and pour onto salad and toss.

Note that a little of this dressing goes a long way, and it’s thick. So you will need to scrape down the sides of your shaker or bowl, and scrape it all onto your salad. Then toss, or even better, massage your salad until everything is all evenly coated with a thin layer of yummy dressing goodness.

Yum!

Bay Leaf Cafe, Palo Alto

Summary: The BayLeaf Cafe in Palo Alto comes highly recommended. (Note that they spell it "BayLeaf Cafe", rather than "Bay Leaf Cafe".)

The BayLeaf Cafe in Palo Alto came highly recommended by Nora over at Country Sun Natural Food, also in Palo Alto. (Note that they spell it “BayLeaf Cafe”, rather than “Bay Leaf Cafe”.)

So for about two weeks following that recommendation, we tried to get in to the BayLeaf Cafe for a meal. Any meal - dinner, lunch, midnight snack, mid-afternoon snack. It didn’t matter. It seemed that every time we went, the BayLeaf Cafe was closed.

It turns out that they have a rather … interesting … schedule, particularly during the mid-week, but it’s worth accommodating their schedule and going when it’s open. Because the food is very, very good.

According to their website, “The BayLeaf cafe was founded in Palo Alto downtown in November 2002. The goal of the cafe is to provide tasty and healthy food using organic ingredients, contribute its share in creating a sustainable earth for all.”

The food at the BayLeaf cafe is entirely vegan, and predominantly organic, although it is not primarily raw.

It is, however, extremely yummy. And the portions are generous. Particularly by trendy Palo Alto, California standards.

Today I had the Avocado Sushi Roll appetizer (avocado, cucumber, black and white sesame, ande sushi rice rolled in roasted seaweed, and topped with some sort of yummy crunchy flakes), and the chick pea curry, which was fragrant, flavourful, and altogether lovely.

I also got to taste their “Creamy Avocado” sandwich (avocados layered with tomatoes and soy cream cheese). The bread was fabulous and crusty although, again, obviously, not raw.

If you are 100% raw, the pickings are slim, but it is entirely possible to eat 100% raw at the BayLeaf Cafe. Their salad, for example, consists of “assorted baby lettuce leaves, frisee, spinach, arugula, red chard, mizuna, radicchio, tat soi, mustard and tomatoes”, and is only $4.00! Ask for a side of avocado and such, and you have quite a decent meal.

And their focus, raw or not, is far more in line with at least my philosophy of our role vis the earth and the animals with which we share it than most other restaurants.

And then there are the desserts. Oooh la la, the desserts. The most yummy, decadant, entirely vegan ice cream sundaes I have ever seen!

So despite the slim raw pickings, this all-vegan restaurant gets two thumbs up.

And the waitress, Cory, is a sweetie.

BayLeaf Cafe
520 Ramona Street
Palo Alto, California
650-321-7466

Here are their eclectic hours:

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 11:30am-2:30pm; and 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Wednesday: 11:30am-2:30pm; and 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Thursday: 11:30am-9:00pm
Friday: 11:30am-9:00pm
Saturday: 11:30am-9:00pm
Sunday: 11:30am-6:00pm

Angel Hair Zucchini with Macadamia-Cashew Cream and Cherry Tomatoes

Summary: Tonight for dinner we had angel hair zucchini with macadamia-cashew cream and cherry tomatoes. It was delicious!!

Tonight for dinner we had angel hair zucchini with macadamia-cashew cream and cherry tomatoes. It was delicious!!

And it was incredibly easy to make.

I started with a couple of yellow zucchinis. I didn’t even know that there was such a thing as yellow zucchinis, but, well, there you have it. They are very tasty!

I spiral sliced them with the finest blade using my Benriner spiral slicer.

Now, before I tell you the rest, I have to tell you about this company called Living Tree Community. They are based out of Berkeley, California (although they ship nationwide), and their raw and living products are amazing. No, really, amazing.

And one of those amazing products is their Milk of Paradise Organic Macadamia Cashew Spread. I can’t even begin to describe how delicious this nut butter is!

So, I took a couple of tablespoons of this ambrosial macadamia cashew butter, and I added just enough filtered water - mixing very well - to make it the consistency of a nice alfredo cream sauce. I tossed this with the zucchini.

Then I added a couple of grinds of pepper and some sea salt.

Then I quartered about a dozen cherry tomatoes, and tossed them in.

And that was that.

And it was VERY good.

And I even have a picture (the other two items on the plate are kale dressed with my 1:1:1:1 dressing, and sunflower pate):

Check out Living Tree Community here.

Mole Mole Sauce

Summary: This is a recipe for raw mole sauce which I created when one day I was wondering what I might do with my new bag of raw cacao nibs (ohmygosh, they are divine), and I suddenly had a hankering for mole!

This is a recipe for raw mole sauce which I created when one day I was wondering what I might do with my new bag of raw cacao nibs (ohmygosh, they are divine), and I suddenly had a hankering for mole!

This should absolutely be tweaked and adjusted for your own taste and whatever ingredients you have on hand:

3 T raw tahini
3 T raw almond butter
3 t raw cacao nibs
3 t ground raw cacao powder

Place the above in a strong blender or a food processor and blend together until relatively smooth.

Then add:

1 large tomato
1 small avocado
1/2 small onion
1 handful of raw pumpkin seeds
1 handful of raisins
1 t minced garlic
1 t Udo’s oil or olive oil
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1/2 t black peppercorns
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t ground cloves
salt to taste

Blend well. Use immediately or store in fridge and let the flavours blend together a bit.

We serve it over mushrooms (mushroom mole), although there may be something over which it would be even better!

What to Do with Raw Cacao Nibs or Cocoa Nibs (a/k/a Chocolate Nibs)

Summary: Raw cacao nibs or raw cocoa nibs (some even call them "chocolate nibs") are absolutely, amazingly delicious, and extremely good for you. Whether you prefer to call them cacao nibs, cocoa nibs, or chocolate nibs, the bottom line is that they are chocolate at its most pure.

Raw cacao nibs (or raw cocoa nibs) are absolutely, amazingly delicious. Whether you prefer to call them cacao nibs or cocoa nibs, the bottom line is that they are chocolate at its most pure.

(According to Ghirardelli, “historically, “cacaoâ€? and “cocoaâ€? were used interchangeably since “cocoaâ€? is easier to understand. However, technically, “cocoaâ€? should be used in reference to powder products, while “cacaoâ€? should be used when referring to the bean”.)

And they are so good for you!

The Yale-New Haven hospital says that “Over 300 naturally occurring chemicals are found in chocolate. In a study conducted by Andrew Waterhouse, chocolate was found to have potent antioxidants,” and USA Today explains that medical research has revealed that “chocolate is rich in cell-protecting antioxidants”, that the antioxidants in chocolate “help block chemical changes in bad LDL cholesterol that lead to clogged arteries,” and “act like aspirin to reduce blood platelet stickiness and thus the clotting that triggers heart attacks and strokes

In any event, raw cacao nibs (or cocoa nibs) are an absolute treat. Crunchy, chocolatey, and not at all bitter like baking chocolate (although not sweet either - they are just perfect!) they can be eaten plain, mixed into recipes, sprinkled over fruit or ice cream, or just eaten with nuts and dried fruits by the handful!

You can mix them into pretty much any sweet (or indeed some savory!) recipes. Leave them ‘whole’ for some crunch, or mix them in with other ingredients in your food processor or Vitamix to grind them up.

They are wonderful added in to smoothies and nut-based drinks, and divine mixed into homemade ice creams.

For a great drink, try our Orange Chocolate Dream! Or our Banana Split in a Glass!

And my own Mole Mole sauce uses them!

One site recommends cutting up squares of raw honeycomb, sprinkling them with the cacao nibs, and serving. Yum!

Raw cacao nibs can be ordered many places online, including Amazon!

For more information, and to order raw cacao nibs, click on the picture:

Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Cacao Nibs, 16-Ounce Pouch

Orange Chocolate Dream

Summary: This drink, made from raw cacao nibs and oranges, is so incredibly delicious!

This drink, made from raw cacao nibs and oranges, is so incredibly delicious!

2 oranges, peeled and quartered, seeds removed
1 Tablespoon raw cacao nibs
1/2 cup water
Handful of ice cubes (about 6)
1-2 teaspoons agave nectar or honey (optional)

Place the oranges, water, and cacao nibs in the blender, and blend until liquified. Add ice cubes and process on high for about 20 seconds, or until the cacao nibs are reduced to just tiny specks or smaller.

This is DELICIOUS!!!

New Forum Group!

Summary: I'm pleased to announce the addition of a new forum group in our forums, "Places to Eat Raw in..."

I’m pleased to announce the addition of a new forum group in our forums, “Places to Eat Raw in…”

Please add any great finds you have found for place to eat raw in..anywhere! Any part of the country, any part of the world!

Also post requests for pointers for places to eat raw!

Enjoy!

Banana Split in a Glass

Summary: This raw food drink is delicious, and sweet, and yummy, and so good for you! And it's a great way to use raw cacao nibs!

This raw food drink is delicious, and sweet, and yummy, and so good for you!

1 banana
1-2 Tablespoons raw almond butter
1 tablespoon raw cacao nibs
1/2 to 1 cup filtered water
3 ice cubes

Combine the banana, the raw almond butter, the raw cacao nibs and the water in a blender and process until smooth. Add the ice cubes and process another 20 seconds until smooth.

Use more or less almond butter, and water, according to taste.

Click on picture for more information:
Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Cacao Nibs, 16-Ounce Pouch

Click on picture for more information:
Almond Butter, Raw, Creamy, No Salt, 16 oz.

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