Category Archives: recipes

My First Raw Dessert!!

So awhile ago(at least 3 months…ahem….) when I first got my dehydrator I made some raw-nola(raw granola) and part of the recipe involved soaking dates and processing them into a gooey sweet coating….well I tasted that coating and thought it tasted remarkably like the inside of a pecan pie

source

Immediately my mind started thinking…hey maybe I can make a raw pecan pie tart with this as the filling!!  Of course, months went by and I never go around to it, but then finally this past week I forged ahead and made my first from scratch, from my own brain raw dessert recipe!!

It’s a very simple recipe with only a few ingredients: dates, almonds, pecans, agave, lemon, vanilla…that’s it.  And your food processor.  SCORE!  No dehydrator needed.

Get together your ingredients for the crust:

I used a total of 15 dates.  Take 12 dates and put them in a bowl with enough water to cover them and set aside.  They’ll soak for about an hour.

Add 1 cup of raw almonds(you can use roasted but obviously then the dessert won’t be completely raw) to your food processor and process till fine.  Also, don’t put the lid on quiiiiite right so you spray nut pieces all over the kitchen and give your dogs a nice snack!!*

*this part is completely optional

Once you have a nice consistency add in your three dates and spin till it forms into a kind of sticky ball:

Now you’re going to want to press your crust into your desired shape.  In an ideal world I would have had little tartlet pans to make perfectly beautiful little tarts….but here in the real world we work with what we have….so I put foil cupcake liners into little glass bowls and used that to press my crust into.  It takes about 1.5 heaping tbs per crust in a cupcake liner sized tart.

*This part is sticky and you may want to dampen your fingers or coat them in a little coconut oil*   Put your crusts in the freezer while you make the filling.  I made seven crusts out of this, but then forgot one in the freezer so ended up with only 6 actual  tarts.

Once you’re dates have been soaking for an hour or so, drain off the water, but reserve some of it…you may need it!!

Add your dates to your processor(I used the same one I did the crust in and didn’t even wash it…I’m classy like that) with about 1-2 t of agave, the juice from half a lemon and about 1/2 t of vanilla extract.  Whirl away adding the date water as needed to make it the consistency of pie filling.  Once you get to where you like the taste and the consistency, get your crusts out of the freezer divide your filling equally among the tarts(I used about 1-2T per tart).  Next arrange your pecans on top in whatever design you want.

Freeze for about an hour and remove from your shaping container of choice or eat immediately. These will store in the fridge for at least a week if not longer considering there’s no dairy or animal products to go bad.

Ta-Da:

Here’s me holding one so you get an idea of the size(ps I have super-small hands…I wear a size 4.5 ring)

My folks and the hubby were the guinea pigs on this one and they all loved them!  Said they tasted JUST like pecan pie.

And they’re super-healthy, no corn syrup(sorry Monsanto….NOT), no butter, just all natural plant foods and in their raw state which retains all the enzymes that are so good for our bodies!

Here is is in recipe form:

Raw Pecan Pie Tarts

Makes 6-7 cupcake tin sized tarts

12 merjool dates

1 c. almonds

1/2 lemon

1-3 t agave

1/2 t. vanilla

1/4 c or so pecans

Take 12 dates and cover with water to soak for 1 hour.

Add almonds to food processor and grind to a small powder.  Add 3 dates and grind until incorporated.  Wet hands and press into desired container.  Put in freezer.

Drain remaining 12 dates, reserving some water.  Add to food processor with the juice from 1/2 lemon, 1/2 t vanilla and 1-3 t agave(based on your taste).  Process to combine adding date water as necessary.

Scoop 1-2 T of filling into each tart then decorate with pecans. Freeze for 1 hour then remove from container.  Store in fridge for 1-2 weeks.

ENJOY!!

-Tamara

“Why walk when you can fly?”….Mary Chapin Carpenter

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Life Stuff

So I totally dropped the ball on Monday and didn’t do a weekend update!  Life, as they say, got in the way…So to get you up to speed…

Friday-supposed to go to the gym with mom after work….got a flat tire on my way home from work; couldn’t get in touch with anyone, luckily a nice man stopped and helped me change it(for the record, I know HOW to change a tire; it’s just that is was dark and he volunteered so why not!)…so no gym….

Saturday was spent at a woman’s conference listening to Liz Curtis Higgs speak…very funny….very enlightening….very recommended….then home for about an hour before we had to go BACK to church for worship.  Great sermon as usual and then we went out for Mom’s b-day.

We had planned on Thai and my mouth was watering all week just thinking of it but then the restaurant was really busy and wouldn’t even take our name just told us to “check back later” and then while we were waiting to “check back” we saw several parties as large or larger than our’s(5 people) go in and get seated…hmm…..

So we ended up at a steak house(!)….There was NOTHING on the menu for me….I asked the waiter if the chef could come up with a vegan dish for me(for the record, I am not vegan…I will on occasion eat eggs(and sometimes goat cheese) and honey and baked goods that contain butter/eggs….but I do not eat dairy as a whole so I ask for vegan meals at restaurants otherwise I’m brought a dish covered in cheese).   Anyhow, the waiter came back and said the chef would make a veggie risotto pasta thing and hubby said it sounded so good he ordered it too….OMG…it was incredible….best dish I’ve had in a long time….creamy(without cream), spicy, lots of veggies….mmmmmm….I’ll try to recreate it and get the recipe up here

Sunday was big breakfast then shopping with my sister and mom, then a disappointing pedicure…..then my sister left to head back to SC….but SHE got a flat tire(she had a blowout actually) and my dad had to go get her and bring her and her tires(one was blown the other was about to) to get new ones on Monday.  I made the vegan chocolate ganache cake…but it did not turn out the way I wanted so I will NOT be posting the recipe..at least not for now.

So this week has been…ehhh….could be a lot worse though!  Aspen was seemingly much better but has had a few bad days this week so we’re keeping an eye on her….the more pressing concern is now Gracie.  She has what I believe to be a corneal abrasion and possibly bacterial conjunctivitis.  We may have to take her to a veterinary ophthalmologist soon.  I have her on an anti-biotic drop but she is in a lot of pain and can’t even open the eye so we’ll see(no pun intended….).  I will be bringing home some diagnostic equipment tonight to better take a look and make a clinical decision from there…..

Dad and I are not going to be doing the mud run on Saturday.  Dad just didn’t feel that he was ready and says we’ll do it next year….BUT…we are doing the TRICK or TROT which is a halloween race including COSTUMES!!!!  Are costumes are going to be AWESOME and HILARIOUS……

here’s a hint….there will be a coconut involved…if you know dad and I that gives it(that’s another clue!)all away…….

Pictures to be forthcoming post-race…..

-Tamara

“I repent of the way I believe that I’m living right, but trading sins for others that are easier to hide”…..Derek Webb

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Weekend Update #4

Happy Monday!!!

That can only mean one thing….time for the weekend update(and the crowd goes wild!)

We are currently back living with parents due to a mold infestation in our new house!  When the cabinets were hung, the air conditioner drain pipe was hit and mold has slowly been festering behind our cabinets in the kitchen.  They finally came this week and ripped out the cabinets and the nasty dry wall but that stirred up the mold all around the house!  And so we had to move out until it’s taken care of(which is taking an extremely long time)….so therefore, we are at mom and dad’s for the time-being.  Moving on…..

It was a fairly exciting weekend, but I bet you can guess what we did Friday night….that’s right dinner out at Atlanta Bread Company(only the restaurants change….not the activity!).  Hubby was working late so we brought him some food….I crashed early as I had to be up early to get a GA driver’s license….or so I thought!

Up before dawn, driving in the pitch black fog to the DMV(called DDS here in Chatham county…thanks a lot Chatham….Steve(gps) couldn’t find it!) and got to the entrance…I was the first person there!  Sweet! Maybe this would be a quick visit after all……….

Then I saw the sign, “This and all other GA government offices are closed today in observance of the Columbus day holiday”….FAIL

Went to Kroger at 6-something in the morning with nice hair and make-up on…got home what seems like HOURS before anyone else got up and made pumpkin spice cookies(1 spice cake mix +1 can pumpkin…mix, bake at 350 for 12-18 minutes…done).

After a late breakfast(for me at least!) we headed over to do some painting.  Today was trim day for me so I had to be precise.  Somehow I still ended up looking like I wrestled with the paint brush…and lost…..

Afternoon was spent running errands and looking at guns…gah…hubby has this idea that I should be carrying a gun while running(not really a fan; we’ll see how this plays out).

Then church and dinner at Fudruckers….awwww memories of my childhood!  My grandma used to always take me to Fudruckers in Columbia when we would visit her.  I get all nostalgic just going in(course now I order the veggie burger, which amazingly is STILL as big as my face)

Sunday morning dad and I woke up early to go on a looooong run(at least long for us in the shape we’re in now) of 5.5 miles(with a couple of walk breaks thrown in there…ahem…), groceries(again..didn’t get everything I needed on Saturday); some cleaning; some relaxing; going to the house to get clothes for this week(and wow was the house very stink city…and both hubby and I were coughing and feeling so crappy being around that mold!); football watching then early to bed!

The biggest news of the weekend was that my sister got ENGAGED!  So excited to start helping her plan!

My mom’s birthday is coming up and I making her my famous chocolate ganache cake(it’s vegan too!)….so stay tuned for that recipe(if you’re good!).

-Tamara

 

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I’m Still Here….

I promise….I even have several good posts awaiting in my arsenal, but alas they are very picture heavy and with the limited/intermittent internet signal I get at work, I cannot post pictures and hardly can get a word only post on here so alas and alack until I have internet access at home(FRIDAY!) you will have to wait on my fun and amazing posts, which include but are not limited to:

-A recipe for kitchen sink lentil and white bean soup!
-A recipe for vegan baked eggplant parm(with homemade cashew cheese…I know right!)
-TWO(count them TWO) recipes for home-made LARA bars; pb&j AND a new flavor I’d like to call peaches n’ cream.

Are you drooling yet? Cause I know I am!

Stay tuned for these deliciouso recipes!

-Tamara

“I swore on the Bible to not tell a lie, but I’ve lied and lied. And I crossed my heart and hoped to die and I’ve died and died…” Andrew peterson

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Black Bean Potato Burgers on Oatmeal Pitas

A couple of months ago my parents took me out to Toucan’s for my birthday. It’s a really cool local Caribbean style restaurant in Savannah.  It’s like a very nice Bahama Breeze.  They even have a separate vegetarian menu.  This is what I got:

Black bean burger on a pita with cabbage, cilantro and honey mustard.  It was delish!

I’ve been thinking about that meal and wanting to re-create it on my own…from scratch….using only ingredients I already had!

Here’s my version:

The pita’s are home-made as are the burgers…I topped it with some of my frozen, thawed avocado and honey mustard(there’s also spinach in there…I would change it to spring salad and maybe add some chopped cilantro and tomatoes if I had them!)….MMMMM!!! I HIGHLY recommend this meal!

Now I bet you want to be able to create this delicious meal yourself :

Black-bean baked potato Burgers:

-1.5 cups cooked black beans(I used dry)

-1 baked potato chopped

-1 onion chopped

-1 tomato chopped

-1/2 c. sunflower seeds

-2 T ground flax seeds

-1/4 c. nutritional yeast

-4 Basil leaves

-2 cloves garlic chopped

-2 t salt

-3/4 t. pepper

-2 T olive oil

-1/2 c. water

-1 c. flour

Put all ingredients in food processor except water and flour. Gradually add water as you process everything till smooth.  Mix in flour, adding extra if necessary till you have a “hamburger” like consistency.  Shape into patties and cook at 400F for 20-30 minutes until firm and slightly crispy on the outside.

You could probably add in some red pepper for a little kick too! I think I made about 15 burgers and I bet they’d be amazing grilled.

Oatmeal Pitas:

-2. 5 c. flour divided

-1 c. oats

-1 T. brown sugar

-2 t. yeast

-2 T olive oil

-1 c. warm water

Mix together 1 c. flour, salt, sugar and yeast:

Make a well in the center and add the water and oil:

Mix until smooth, then slowly add in the rest of the flour and the oats, mixing well.  Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 3-4 minutes.

Split dough into 8 sections.  This can be done by half-ing the main dough, then repeating that twice till you have 8 equal small balls:

Cover with a damp cloth and let sit for 30 minutes. Meanwhile prep 8 pieces of aluminum foil that you’re going to be baking these babies on and also pre-heat the oven to 500F.

Roll out each ball into about a 6 inch diameter circle and place each one on a piece of foil.  Place foil with dough on top, directly on the oven rack(mind was in the middle of the oven) and cook for 5 minutes.  They’ll puff up while cooking:

YUM!!  Sooooo easy.

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