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Salads are Not Just Lettuce!

I get really frustrated when I go to a restaurant and order a salad — knowing it will be gluten free and vegan — and the waitress comes back with a plate full of lettuce and maybe a carrot or cucumber on the side!  That is NOT a salad!!  How come no one tells them that Salads are Not Just Lettuce??

I am the Salad Queen — I love salads!!  I’ve incorporated dozens of ways to make a salad with LOTS of different ingredients.  Check out some of my salad recipes here:

Salads can be made with lots of different ingredients that most people just don’t think of using.  Most of my salads are a meal within themselves!  Just by adding a few ‘extras’ you can have a satisfying meal too!  Check out the following tips to round out your salads:

  • Add beans:  My favorite is black beans, but you can use chickpeas or any of your favorite beans.  I have even added a can of Amy’s Black Bean Chili to my salads for a Mexi-Tex flavor.
  • Add grains:  My Quinoa Tabouli Salad is a perfect example of a grain salad — but you can also use rice or any whole grain in your salad.
  • Add starches:  White potatoes come to mind  — you can also try sweet potatoes, yellow potatoes, and red potatoes.
  • Add fruit:  I frequently add raisins to my salads, but craisins, apples, pears, grapes …. or your favorite fruit will work well.
  • Add pasta:  Gluten free pasta is a good filler for any salad. Just makes sure you have plenty of veggies so the pasta does not overpower the veggies.

Last, but not least, your salad dressing can make a big different in the tastes of your salad.  I am pretty plain, myself, as use one basic dressing — but there are a number of good salad dressings and dressing recipes out there to chose from.  Here are my two favorites: Gluten Free Vegan Salad Dressings

What ‘secret’ ingredient to you use in your salads??  Share with us!!



Coconut Cream Chocolate Gateau for Mother’s Day!

Looking for a wonderful Mother’s Day dessert! How about Coconut Cream Chocolate Gateau? (In case you are not familiar with the word Gateau, it is German word for a rich or fancy cake.)

You probably will not believe me when I tell you that not only is this cake makes from all raw ingredients, it is also a cakes full of healthy ingredients.

The original recipe is from Pamela Vinten’s and is included in her “Amazing Gluten-Free Chocolate” ebook.

Coconut Cream Chocolate Gateau

Coconut Cream Chocolate Gateau


    Chocolate Fudge Ingredients
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 ¼ cup pitted and soaked dates
  • ¼ cup cacao powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • Coconut Cream Ingredients
  • 3 cups desiccated (fine) coconut
  • ½ cups coconut oil – melted
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1/8 cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup agave
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Frosting Ingredients
  • 1 ½ avocadoes
  • ½ cup pitted and soaked dates
  • ¼ cup cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon agave
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil


    Fudge Instructions:
  1. Process nuts to a fine texture.
  2. Add cacao powder, vanilla and dates and process until the mixture comes together
  3. Line a 15cm (6in) diameter tin with cling wrap. Press 1/3 mixture into base
  4. Coconut Cream Instructions:
  5. Combine coconut with the water.
  6. Add rest of ingredients and mix well
  7. Spread ½ on top of chocolate fudge layer
  8. Take ½ of remaining chocolate fudge and form into a round the same diameter as the tin. Carefully place on top of coconut cream and pat down
  9. Spread with remaining coconut cream
  10. Form another round with the remaining chocolate fudge and again carefully place on top of coconut cream layer
  11. Place in fridge overnight to set
  12. Frosting Instructions
  13. Process all ingredients except oil to a creamy mousse like consistency
  14. Add oil and process to combine. Adjust sweetness if necessary
  15. Frost sides and top of cake, reserving some frosting for decoration
  16. Store in an airtight container in the fridge

If you like this recipe, you will love  Pamela Vinten’s “Amazing Gluten-Free Chocolate” ebook.  Not only are ALL her recipes Gluten Free and (mostly) vegan, they are also raw and healthy!!

Here are some of the wonderful features you will find in her ebook:

–Pam’s recipes do nAmazing-Gluten-Free-Chocolateot contain any grains at all .. . They are all totally gluten free

–None of Pam’s recipes use processed foods…. In fact they only use natural whole foods as mother nature intended

–None of the recipes include Milk, so avoids the problem of lactose or casein intolerance often associated with celiac disease.

–The recipes are high in anti-oxidants to support good health

–The raw chocolate in each recipe is sweetened with agave or maple syrup. (Or you can use coconut nectar)

–Many recipes use coconut oil which has earned the title “the healthiest oil on the planet” and it is also “fat burning”

Check out the “Amazing Gluten Free Chocolate ebook (and enjoy guilt free desserts)!!



What About Raw Food?

Since I am a big salad eater, I have lots of Raw Food in my diet.  But lately, I have become more interested in Raw Food especially due to some new found friends on facebook:  Raw Food Wild Diet.

So …… What About Raw Food?  Let me tell you what I have found ….

Raw FoodRaw Food is food that is uncooked and unprocessed — “live” or “living” food — plant food.  Eating your food raw preserves the naturally occurring enzymes that aid in digestion, but once the food is cooked (over 118ºF or 48ºC), these enzymes are destroyed.

When I asked for help on the subject of Raw Food, I was referred to an article on WikiHow.  Following is their 9 tips …

  1. Become informed about the raw food diet. Understanding the purpose and philosophy behind the raw food diet is an essential part of becoming an advocate for and ensuring that you are enjoying it, as well as benefiting from it…
  2. Find community. … Online forums provide a great resource to meet fellow raw foodists, exchange recipes and have questions answered…
  3. Try it. If you’re concerned that you don’t necessarily agree with the rationale for eating raw food all the time, the best advice is to give it a good shot….
  4. Acquire the appropriate kitchen equipment. Quality kitchen equipment makes following a raw food diet much easier and less time-consuming.
  5. Consider the source of your food. When switching to a raw food diet, the source of your food is important. Organic food is unburdened by the chemicals used for conventional crops…
  6. Know which foods form part of a raw food diet. There is a wide range of food available to the raw foodist, … At least 75 percent of food consumed should not be heated over 118ºF or 48ºC….
  7. Know how to store foods properly. Raw foods are more susceptible to spoilage and will not keep anywhere near as long as processed foods….
  8. Transition. Introduce raw foods slowly into your current diet….
  9. Exercise and relax. Optimal health is about being healthy in a well-rounded way.

Since I have new found friends sharing recipes for raw foods, with their permission, I will share some of them here — also, feel free to join the group:  Raw Food Wild Diet.

As you know, I believe in moderation, so although my diet is high in raw foods, it is not 100% raw!  Each person needs to decide what is best for their body and if raw agrees with you, go for it!



Raw Blueberry Chocolate Cake

Remember last week when we talked about the Raw Food Movement?  Well, I have found another excellent recipe for Raw Blueberry Chocolate Cake (actually, it looks more like pie!) from one of the referenced sites:  Raw Power Australia

Notice the way many of the items are processed — still keeping the “raw” distinction.

Here is the recipe she sent me from her email list:

Raw Blueberry Chocolate Cake

Recipe Type: Desset
Author: Michelle Ovens, Raw Power Australia
Serves: 8 generous portions
  • Pastry: 1 cup oat grouts
  • 1 cup almonds (dry)
  • 1 cup dried apricots, soaked in water for 4 hours
  • Filling: 2 cups cashews dry
  • 2 -3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons raw dark agave nectar
  • 3 tablespoons raw chocolate powder made from crushed cacao beans or nibs
  1. To make the pastry: Grind the almonds and oat grouts into a fine flour using a coffee mill or a Vita Mix or Vitacrush dry jug.
  2. Transfer to a food processor saving about 1 tablespoon for rolling out the pastry. Switch on the processor and drop the apricots down the chute. As the apricots become blended, a dough like consistency should form. If it doesn’t, add some soaked apricot water. Once the mixture forms a ball, switch the machine off and remove the dough.
  3. Place some of the saved flour onto a chopping board. Put the dough on this and then add more flour onto the dough. Start to flatten and roll the pastry as you would any other pastry. Make it wide enough to add to an eight inch (20cm) tart dish. One rolled, line your tart dish with cling film (though I prefer to use baking paper) and place the pastry on top of that. Press the pastry into the dish and cut the edges off.
  4. Place the tart in a dehydrator for 2 hours. The pastry will harden slightly. Carefully remove the pastry from the dish by turning it upside down. Remove the cling film/baking paper. Put the formed shell back on a dehydrator tray and dehydrate for 2 more hours. Removing it from the dish like this enables more warm air to reach the underside of the pastry and crisps it up.
  5. When the pastry shell is ready, remove it from the dehydrator and put it to one side.
  6. To make the filling: Remove the remaining ingredients, except one cup of blueberries to a Vita Mix or high powdered blender. Blend all the ingredients until the cashews are completely broken down and the mixture is smooth.
  7. Pour this mix into your pastry and spread it to the edges. Place the remaining blueberries on top. Put this into a freezer for at least one hour before serving.
  8. This keeps for many weeks in a freezer: just defrost it for half an hour before cutting and serving.


Sounds incredibly yummy!  Of course, living near the Rocky Mountains, I would use huckleberries rather than blueberries — but then you could probably use all kinds of different fruits or berries to make this dessert.

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Recipe for Kale Salad

Kale is really good for you, so I have included a Recipe for Kale Salad today.  Joanna’s recipe includes a wonderful avocado based salad dressing.

I think if I made this salad, I would add mixed greens in with the Kale.  Kale can be a bit bitter and the greens will mix the flavors.

Creamy Curried Kale Salad: A Raw Food Recipe by Joanna Steven

Recipe for Kale Salad

1 large avocado, ripe
1 t – 1 T lemon juice
1 T curry powder (I used Simply Organic)
1 bunch kale (about 4-6 ounces), de-ribbed and leaves coarsly chopped
1/2 t salt (I used Herbamare)
1 T olive oil
5 large cherry tomatoes, quartered


By the way, this is a great website it you like raw foods or want ideas and recipes using raw foods.

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More on Raw Food

If my last post on Raw Food perked your interest, here is another article on the benefits of Raw and Living Food.  Alissa Cohen, who is interviewed in this article, is a cookbook author and has opened a gourmet raw food restaurant in Boston.  Her Grezzo (which means raw in Italian) Restaurant features 100 percent raw, organic vegan dishes.

Will raw food help you feel better?

Cohen has followed the raw food diet for more than 20 years. “People do it to lose weight and then realize how amazing they feel,” Cohen said.

Many are interested in the lifestyle and diet because of weight loss claims and other health benefits.

Cohen, 40, who has written “Living On Raw Food” and created a DVD on the topic, said many people have the wrong idea of what the diet entails, thinking raw foodists eat raw meat and cold food. But the diet includes unprocessed and uncooked plant foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, sprouts, seeds, nuts, grains, beans, nuts and dried fruit.

“I’m not eating things cold out of the refrigerator,” Cohen said. “I make almost every food that I eat, before but it is just not cooked.”

Cohen’s Web site includes a few sample recipes. The living pizza is said to be “better than the real thing.”


If you are interested in obtaining a copy of Cohen’s book, click the link below:


Raw Vegan Cherry Crisp

This recipe looks too good to be true! Make sure to use gluten free oats ….

Sometimes there are no words. This was so simple and so delicious I just had to share. Soft, moist and juicy, so close to the real thing. I haven’t made a “crisp     2 cups walnuts
1 cup almonds
2 cup flaked, raw oats
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted, chopped
1/2 cup agave nectar


Personally, I would use coconut nectar rather than agave nectar.  I have heard too many negatives reports on the way agave is processed!

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