December 29, 2012

Awesome Raw Energy Bars with Chocolate Fig Filling (Raw-Vegan)

Raw Chocolate Fig Filling:

Raw Cocoa powder - 1/4 cup
Dried Calimyrna Figs - 8
Himalayan Salt - a pinch

Blend everything together in a high speed blender to make a coarse paste that really binds together. Refrigerate till ready to make the layers.

Raw Energy Bars:

Almonds - 1/4 cup
Pumpkin seeds - 1/4 cup
Sunflower seeds - 1/4 cup
Buckwheat - 1/4 cup
Medjool Dates - 6
Himalayan salt - a pinch
Coconut oil - 1 Tbsn

Blend everything in a high speed blender or food processor to a fine powder. They will all start to bind together. Transfer to a bowl and divide into 2 halves. Press one half of the mixture into a shallow glass dish. Spread the filling layer and then press the other half on top. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. Slice into bars. Very good before workout or as a quick evening energy snack.

Hearty Kale Soup with Yam & Chickpeas

Here is a hearty soup inspired by couple of recipes from ForksOverKnives. It can be made by adding less yams and chickpeas to make it a starter soup. This one is made as a meal on its own and was served with a batch of freshly baked whole wheat dinner rolls.

Chickpeas - 1/2 cup (soaked for 12 hours)
Yam - 1 small
Organic Dino Kale - 1 small bunch (4-5 stems)
Tomato - 2 small
Cilantro - 1 small bunch
Red pearl onions - 3-4
Green chilly - 1
Sea Salt - as per taste
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tspn
EV Olive Oil - 1 tbsn

Cook Chickpeas with about 2 cups of water.
Meanwhile, chop pearl onions, peel and dice yams, and dice tomatoes
Separate kale from the stems and chop.
Separate cilantro from stems chop stems and leaves.
Heat oil and saute chopped pearl onions for a minute. Add tomatos, green chilly, cilantro stems, yam and cooked chickpeas along with the water. Add turmeric powder and bring to boil. (While it is still boiling, you can fish out the cilantro stems, green chilly and few tomato pieces and puree them and return to the pan - this will enhance the flavors) Reduce heat and simmer till yams are cooked enough. Add the chopped kale and continue till it is cooked just enough (for about a minute or so). Remove from flame, add salt adjust taste and garnish with chopped cilantro leaves. Serve hot.

Freshly baked whole wheat dinner rolls:

Whole wheat powder  - 1 1/2 cups
Luke-warm water - 1/2 cup and 2 Tbsn
Virgin Coconut oil - 1 Tbsn
Sea salt - 3/4 tspn
Raw sugar - 1 Tbsn
Yeast - 1/2 tspn

Knead everything to a dough (I use bread machine with dough setting to do this)
Divide into desired size and shape and spread on a baking sheet for about 2 hours to rise.
Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Quick Almond Oats Crackers

These quick'n'easy crackers are sweet with dates, spicy from peppers, and with all goodness from goji berries, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and almonds.

Rolled Oats - 1/2 cup
Almonds - 1/2 cup
Handful of goji berries
Handful of pumpkin seeds
Medjool dates -3
Black Pepper - 1 -2 tspn
Cumin seeds - 1 Tbsn
Sea Salt - 1/2 tspn
Chia seeds - 2 Tbsn
EV Olive oil - 2 Tbsn
Baking soda - 1/2 tspn

Grind everything except olive oil into a powder (as fine as possible - I use VitaMix dry grinder and work in batches)
Transfer to a bowl, add olive oil and couple of tablespoons of water to bind everything together to a dough. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Keep the dough between 2 layers of parchment paper and roll into 1/4 inch thick sheet and cut into desired shapes.
Spread in a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for about 10-12 minutes.
Cool completely on wire racks and store in air tight containers.

December 17, 2012

Bulgur Salad with Sprouted Lentils

I had recently learnt that its easier to sprout split lentils than to sprout whole lentils. I have been trying it for some time now. This recipe is a marriage between bulgur Tabbouleh and Sprouts Sundal :-)

Split lentils - 1/2 cup
Bulgur wheat - 1/2 cup
Spinach - 2 cups
Tomato - 2
Raisins - 1/2 cup
Green chilly - 1-2
Cilantro - 4-5 stems
Lemon juice - from half lemon about 2 tbsn
EV Olive oil - 1 tbsn
Sea salt as per taste

To sprout split lentils I soak them for about 12 + hours changing water every 4-5 hours. You will start to see the sprouting in the first 4-5 hours. Drain when ready to use.
Soak the bulgur wheat and raisins overnight with one cup of water. Bulgur will expand, soaking up all the water. Then it is ready to go into the salad, with no need of any cooking.
Dice the tomatoes, and chop spinach, green chillies and cilantro. Toss them with soaked bulgur and sprouts.
Mix the olive oil, lemon juice and salt together and add it to the salad and mix well.

You can also pop 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds and a pinch of asephoetida in a tspn of olive oil to season the salad. This will enhance all the flavors.

Ginger Spiced Date Almond Snack Balls (Raw-Vegan)

I have been making a lot of different variations of my Date-Almond snack balls lately. Who doesn't like variations? The most recent one had an addition of ginger, of course ginger is a sure win with Jyo:-)

Almonds - 3/4 cup
Walnuts & Cashew nuts - 1/4 cup
Medjool Dates - 4 (remove pits)
Fresh Ginger - 1 inch piece (sliced)
Cardamom - 2-3 (remove peel)
Sea Salt - a pinch

Start pulsing the nuts, ginger, cardamom and sea salt in a food processor or blender.
In about 1-2 minutes you should have a coarse ground almond ginger mixture.
Add pitted dates and continue pulsing for a minute or so. Dates will blend in and start to bind everything together.
Transfer everything to a bowl and make walnut sized balls. This makes about 8 balls.


If using a different type of dates, play around with the quantity a little bit to be able to bind them together,  and to get the right amount of sweetness.

You could substitute dates with about 1/3 cup of raisins.

If you need a more chunky texture, add cashews and walnuts towards the end.

December 16, 2012

Multigrain Cauliflower'n'Celery Chowder

This is a quick Friday night meal to finish off your veggies from the week.


  • Multi-grains - 1/2 cup
  • Cauliflower - 1/4 of a medium head -chopped fine
  • Celery  - 4-5 stems - chopped fine
  • Onion - 1 small - chopped fine
  • Garlic - 2-3 cloves - minced
  • Oregano - 1 tspn
  • Cashew nuts - handful
  • Sea salt - as per taste
  • Black pepper corns - 1 tspn
  • EV olive oil - 1 tbsn


  • Cook multi-grains with 1 cup of water (I use pressure cooker)
  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil a deep pan, add onion, garlic and oregano and sauté for a minute.
  • Add cauliflower and celery and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  • Leave about a cup of veggies in the pan.
  • Transfer the rest to the VitaMix jar along with 1 1/2 - 2 cups of water, cashew nuts, black pepper and blend at high speed for 3-4 minutes to purée well.
  • Add the pureed soup back to the pan, add the cooked multi-grains and mix everything well. Adjust taste as you wish.
  • Serve warm.

December 15, 2012

Creamy Avocado Fruit Salad (Raw-Vegan)

This one got Akku drooling and offering to finish any leftovers,even though there were hardly any. With raspberries and mangoes, the colors were so inviting, and they tasted so well together. I guess I'll probably be making this more often, and with a wider variety of fruits.

Ripe Mango - 1
Avocado  - 1/2
Fresh Raspberries - 1 cup
Organic Raisin - 1/2 cup
Organic Honey - 1 Tbsn

Soak raisins in coconut water or filtered water.
Peel and dice mango into 1/2 inch cubes.
Keep the mango cubes in freezer for 30 minutes, while raisins are soaking.
Take out meat from the half - avocado. You can use the other half for something else. Maybe you might want to make this again tomorrow :-)
Mix half of the mango cubes, raspberries and drained raisins together.
Blend remaining mango cubes, avocado meat and honey to make the avocado cream.
Mix the fruits and cream and serve immediately, or refrigerate serve chilled.

December 11, 2012

Brussel Sprouts with Lentil Crumble

I get long stems of brussel sprouts every fall, from our local vegetable stand. I have tried everything with them - steaming, grilling, roasting .. but this is one dish all of us really enjoy. This recipe is an adaptation of Parippu Usili that my Tamil friends make. My old neighbor and close friend Abi is the one who taught me the original parippu usili and her's is a classic!!

Toor Dal - 1/2 cup
Split Peas - 1/2 cup
Asafoetida powder - a pinch
Red chilly - 2-3
Sea Salt - as per taste

Brussel sprouts - 8-10
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tspn
coconut oil - 2 tspn
Sea salt - as per taste

Soak the lentils for about 6 hours or overnight.
Drain and grind along with remaining ingredients into a coarse mixture.
Place on a steamer and steam for about 10 minutes. Let it cool.
Crumble with hands or using a food processor for a more uniform crumble.
Chop brussel sprouts very fine - I use VitaMix at speed 4 for most of my fine chopping.
Heat coconut oil on medium heat, add the chopped brussel sprouts and turmeric powder and cook covered for 2-3 minutes. Add the lentil crumble, mix well, adjust taste and remove from flame. Enjoy !!

December 10, 2012

Vegan Chili with Nut Meat Balls

Last week Akku was upset that his school lunch had beef chili and he wished that they made a vegetarian version. There are a lot of vegan and vegetarian versions of chili all over the web. If I see a quick recipe which only uses wholesome ingredients, and is inspiring, then that is something I try to recreate.

This is an adaptation of Ani Phyo's Tomato Chili with Taco Nut Meat. Of course her's is completely raw. Mine is partially raw :-)

Vegan Chili :

2 big tomatoes, chopped fine
1 red bell pepper, chopped fine
3 stems of celery, chopped fine
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup frozen shiitake mushroom, chopped fine
1/2 cup frozen green peas
1 clove garlic minced
1 tspn red chilly powder 
1/4 tspn turmeric powder
1 tspn cumin, powder
1 tspn oregano, dry
sea salt, to taste

Saute Onion and minced garlic in EV Olive oil till the raw smell goes away, for about a minute. Add the Mushroom and green peas for 3-4 minutes. Remove from flame. 
Add all remaining ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Transfer half of this into VitaMix and puree at high speed for 2-3 minutes to make a silky smooth soup base. Add this along with the other half to the sautéed veggies. Warm and adjust taste before serving.

Nut Meat Balls:

1 cup walnut
1 Tbsn EV olive oil
1 Tbsn cumin powder
2 tspn coriander powder
1/4 tspn sea salt

Add everything into food processor or dry blender and process into a chunky mixture. Make small meat balls.

Warm soup and serve into bowls topped with mini-meat-balls and chopped cilantro.

December 9, 2012

Grilled Eggplant Sandwich on Rosemary Flatbread

Today I had made something new for breakfast and Akku didn't really enjoy it. Lunch, I have to admit was not so great for both of us, but he tried to cheer me up saying the sauce is not so bad :-)
For dinner, I decided that I have to make something that he really enjoys. I thought of making Pizza initially, but then I thought I will make eggplant sandwich. Eventually, I decided to combine them all together. No doubt, Akku enjoyed every bite of his sandwich !!'

Rosemary Flatbread:

Whole wheat flour - 1 cup
Organic cane sugar - 1 1/2 tspn
Sea salt - 1/2 tspn
Dried rosemary - 1 tspn.
Virgin coconut oil - 1 1/2 tspn
Water - 1/3 cup and 4 tspn
Yeast - 1/3 tsp

Knead everything together to make pizza dough consistency. Keep aside for about 45 minutes to rise. (I used my bread machine with dough setting). 
Divide the dough into 4 balls. Roll them into 4 inch circles. You could sprinkle more rosemary while rolling. 
Heat a griddle and make Flatbreads. (Just like making rotis) 

Grilled Eggplant:

1 medium Eggplant
Sea Salt, Red chilly powder - as per taste
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tspn
Dried basil - 1 Tbsn

Make 4 big slices from the eggplant for the sandwich and slice the remaining into big chunks (these are for the spread) 
Mix all the spices and apply on the eggplant slices and grill them. I also stuck some garlic cloves to the eggplant slices while grilling.

Eggplant-Basil Spread:

Grilled Eggplant 
Handful of fresh basil leaves

Grind them together into a chunky spread.  Spread it on inside of the flatbreads and make sandwiches. Press in the grill to make hot panini sandwiches

Quick Bulgur Wheat & Split Peas Idli

Organic Bulgur wheat - 1/2 Cup
Organic Split peas - 1/4 cup
Homemade Yogurt - 1 cup
Sea Salt - as per taste
Baking soda - 1/4 tsp

Grind bulgur and split peas to a coarse powder.
Dry roast the powder for about 5 minutes on medium heat, till nice aroma comes. Add it to a bowl and let it cool.
Add salt and baking soda. Add yogurt and mix well and keep aside for about 15-20 minutes. (Add 1/4 of water if the mix is too thick.
Make idlis in idli steamer (you can also pour batter on a greased plate and steam over a pasta boiler)
Serve with coconut or coriander chutney.

December 8, 2012

Multigrain Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash & Avocado Dressing

Multigrain (mix of Farro, wheat, rice, oats and barley) - 1/2 cup
Pressure cook with 1 cup of water and let it cool.

For Roasting:
Butternut Squash - 1 cup (peeled and sliced into strips)
Red Onion - 1 medium
Garlic - 3-4 cloves
Green Chilly - 2
Sea Salt - as per taste
Chilly powder - as per taste
EV Olive oil - to spray for roasting about a Tbsn

Roasting Squash:
Slice the Butternut Squash, chop the onion, Garlic and green chilly.
Mix with Sea Salt and chilly powder.
Spread everything on a baking sheet and spray EV Olive oil and into toaster overn at broil -450 deg for about 12 minutes.

Raw Veggies:
English Cucumber - 1/2
Baby Spinach - 1 cup
Raw Mango - 1/2 cup (Peeled and sliced thin)
Before you are ready to serve, slice the cucumber and mango mix in with the roasted veggies.

Dressing - Avocado
Lemon Juice - 1 tbsn
Sea Salt  - as per taste
Take out the avocado meat. Add lemon juice and salt and may be a  green chilly (optional) and blend it well to make the dressing.

Put it all together on a bed of spinach and enjoy !!

December 6, 2012

Raspberry Lassi

Lassi is a popular and traditional yogurt-based drink which originates in the Punjab regions of India and Pakistan. It is made by blending yogurt with water and Indian spices. Traditional lassi is a savory drink sometimes flavored with ground roasted cumin while sweet lassi on the other hand is blended with sugar or fruits instead of spices. Read more ...

Raspberry lassi is Akku's favorite drink at Thali too, a vegetarian restaurant near our place. This is our home made version.

Homemade Plain Yogurt *  - 2 1/2 cups
Raspberry (Fresh or Frozen) - 1/3 cup
Honey - 2 Tbsp (more or less according to your sweetness level)
Himalayan salt - a pinch

Add everything to VitaMix or regular blender jar and blend well to make silky smooth Raspberry lassi.
Serve immediately.

Makes 3 servings

* I usually make my yogurt at home using organic milk: warm milk to just above room temperature, mix with a little bit of existing yogurt (as a starter) and keep aside in a warm place for about 6-8 hours. I usually keep inside my oven (might need the 'Serve warm' setting in winter)

December 5, 2012

Raw Gingersnaps

People are talking about holiday baking and gingerbread and ginger snap cookies all over the web. I thought I should try something with ginger too since that is a never fail spice with Jyo and me. Akku loves it too though he won't admit it ;-) I will give him these cookies without mentioning the ginger part of it and I am sure he will love it.

Organic Brown Rice puffs - 1 cup
Almonds - 1/2 cup
Medjool Dates - 3-4
Fresh ginger - 1 inch piece
Sea salt - a pinch

Process all ingredients in a food processor till it is fine enough to bind them together, but coarse enough to be little chunky.
Make into about 8 balls and press into a cookie shape.
Can be kept freezer for 10-15 minutes to make them extra firm.

December 4, 2012

Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta with Roasted Eggplant and Tomato-Basil Sauce

When I opened the fridge today, I saw eggplants, tomatoes, mini sweet peppers, basil.. everything leading me to make roasted eggplant pasta - a big favorite in our family. I checked my pantry and sure enough, there was no pasta (store bought that is). Usually, if I decide to make something, I make it -- come what may. I thought of giving homemade pasta a try this time. I was quite satisfied with what I ended up making in the next one hour.

Whole Wheat Pasta:

Whole wheat flour - 1 1/2 cups
Sea Salt - 1/2 tspn
Water - 1/2 cup and 2 tbsn

Knead everything together to make dough. I used my bread machine with dough setting to do this job.
Since I do not have a pasta press, I had to use my Idiappam press with a wider blade to make my pasta :-) I have to admit, it was pretty hard to press the dough out. After I was half way thru the dough, I decided to roll the dough out really thin and cut them into strips instead.
I spread them out for about 15 minutes, to sort of air dry them (a tip I got from one of the pasta makers) so that they don't stick together when you cook.

Roasted Eggplant:

Eggplant - 3 small-medium
Chilly powder - 1 tspn (this is a law heat version)
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tspn (it is a habit to add turmeric to almost anything I cook :-) )
Oregano - 1 tspn
Rosemary - 1/2 tspn
Sea salt - 1/2 tspn

While pasta is being air dried, slice the eggplant into strips, mix with all the spices and spread in a baking sheet with EV olive oil sprayed and into my toaster oven at broil - 450 deg for 12 -15 minutes.

Tomato-basil Sauce:

Roma tomatoes - 2
Mini Sweet peppers - 6-7
Basil - small bunch
Garlic - 2 cloves
Green chilly - 1 (optional)
Sea salt - as per taste

Add the tomatoes, 2 sweet peppers, half of the basil, garlic & salt into VitaMix and run at high speed for couple of minutes. Reduce to low speed and add the remaining sweet peppers one by one to make a chunky sauce.

Cook Pasta:
Boil water in pasta boiler (any deep pan would do) add pasta strips and cook for about 3-4 minutes.

Put everything together:
Simmer the sauce for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Add the drained pasta and adjust for taste, add the roasted eggplant and enjoy hot !!

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