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My Name Is Spice

Roast Sweet Potato stuffed with chickpeas and cashew sour cream

Imogen Taylor - Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Sometimes when I've been eating out alot (like when on holiday), I long for wholesome home cooking made with love and extra care; anticipating those who will share in the meal, and the pleasure this will bring.

      
I have roasted some sweet potatoes while preparing the burghul wheat (cooked in vegetable stock), sautéeing the leeks and garlic, cooking the chickpeas and toasting the pumpkin seeds. I made the sour cream a couple of days ago (always good to have this vegan dairy-free cheese in the fridge).

It's a little fiddly but if you love cooking; it's like therapy really!!

What are you having for dinner?
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Vindaloo Curry cooked in Clay Pot

Imogen Taylor - Friday, August 25, 2017
I wanted to try cooking this vegan curry in a clay pot; to keep all the vegetables intact, enhance the flavour, and so I wouldn't have to stir it!!!

     

This is a Vindaloo curry in nature, with cauliflower, carrots, courgettes, eggplant, chillis, onion, garlic, ginger, and a generous whack of Vindaloo paste; plus fresh tomatoes and a tin of coconut cream.

    

Serve with whole grain rice and a lemon or lime wedge. Super yummmmy!
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Sweet potato patties with nectarine salsa

Imogen Taylor - Thursday, February 02, 2017
                 
I have made these patties with cooked millet, roasted kumera (sweet potato), spices plus cooked chickpeas. Blitz till well combines in a food processor.

They are vegan; the millet is very binding so no need for egg! The salsa incorporates nectarine, cucumber, apricot, cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs and is the perfect accompaniment to the delicious millet patties.


Comfort food at its best!

      
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Raw Four Layer Cake. Or Dairy free Torte

Imogen Taylor - Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Once you get the hang of working with these raw ingredients; it is easy to improvise, and to interchange one idea with another.

This 4 layer cake comprises a nut and date base; a caramel layer, a jaffa mousse layer, and then a dark chocolate ganache.

Recently, I made individual desserts of similar composition; only instead of the caramel layer, I did a carrot/coconut layer. You can make it up as you go along...

This dessert was a labour of love; made for a close friend who enjoys sweet treats. Left to my own devices, I would probably never go to such lengths!
But I loved the process. And am always keen to explore new techniques.
To follow are my findings...

   

Ingredients
for the base
1 cup cashew nuts, soaked
1 tbsp whole linseed
1 tbsp ground almonds
1 cup dates soaked
1 heaped tbsp coconut oil
Blitz all ingredients in a food processor and pour into a springform pan with removable base. Put in the fridge to set while you make your next layers.

CARAMEL
1 cup dates
1 ½ tbsp almond butter
1/3 cup pure organic maple syrup (or to personal taste)    
1 cup raw cashews (covered and soaked in water for an hour and then drained)
½ cup coconut oil, melted

Melt the coconut oil in a bowl over hot water; let it cool before adding to the other blitzed ingredients otherwise the mixture will split. Put into the fridge to set.

Jaffa Layer
2/3 cup raw cashew nuts, soaked overnight then drained
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp orange rind
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup cacao powder
100g coconut oil, melted

Put the cashew nuts,orange juice and rind, maple syrup and pure cocoa powder in a food processor and blitz thoroughly. Wait for the melted coconut oil to cool a little, then add to the other ingredients and blend till smooth. Pour on top of the caramel layer

Chocolate Ganache

Use good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa content); melted into a small quantity of coconut oil. Once you have gently stirred these together, pour over the jaffa layer which has set in the fridge.

Voila!


 

ALTERNATIVE IDEAS:
Cashew Nut Caramel layer
Option 1. (using tahini). This has a slightly bitter flavour which not everyone is going to love! If you are doubtful, I would skip this and go to the Cashew Caramel layer (see option 2)
    
½ cup tahini
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
a pinch Himalayan salt

Option 2. this is a standard raw cashew caramel recipe.

12 fresh dates, pitted
half cup almond butter
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt (use a mineral rich salt if you please)?
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Raw crackers with cashew butter and sprouted lentils

Imogen Taylor - Wednesday, January 25, 2017

These crackers are made with the same recipe as the raw pizzas i make; just a different format. The ingredients I use are activated buckwheat, sundried tomatoes, red peppers (capsicum), red onion, ground flaxseed and ground almonds.

Spread them into the shape you want - whether it be for a pizza (round), or crackers in which case i spread the mixture into a flat "sheet".

Then into the dehydrator they go. (or you could use an oven on a low heat).                   

           

The topping is a mango/cashew butter i had made a few days earlier. The mango lends a wonderful silkiness to the cashew butter. 

Give it a whirl!!

      

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Meet the Fockers

Imogen Taylor - Saturday, January 14, 2017

       

I like my food to have Big Personality! These were great fun to make; I have roasted the fennel in the oven while pan-frying the felafels.

For the base we have herbed polenta. And on top of the felafel layer is cucumber, then shitake mushrooms, then fresh fennel.

Drizzle with a tasty dressing and you're all set! (Don't they look like little characters)?!

      

This second dish uses the exact same ingredients; but i have assembled them differently (the following day).

This assemblage would be lovely with a subtle but rich vegetable stock poured into the bowl just prior to serving. Eh oui?

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Raw individual cheesecakes with a mixed berry syrup topping

Imogen Taylor - Thursday, January 12, 2017

                     

Cashew-based raw cheesecake with boysenberry/raspberry topping. The world of RAW is no longer the poor cousin!

A plant-based diet is full of joy. And believe it or not - full of flavour..

With dried fruit and nuts you can make a tasty "biscuit" base; (I like to add some whole linseed and coconut or ground almonds).

The most successful ingredient for re-creating the creamy, cheesy layer is the cashew nut; soaked then blended with lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and coconut oil or coconut butter. Miso paste is another effective ingredient for creating the sour "tang" required in a good cheesecake.

For the top layer; frozen berries blended with chia seeds (take it easy on the chia) and a non-refined sugar syrup such as agave or maple, makes an effective "jam" syrup to finish the cheesecake off.

 

I served this with a chrysanthemum and goji berry tea, hence the garnish..

 

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Because it's Summer

Imogen Taylor - Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Healthy, happy and lively dinner vibe created with garden-fresh vegetables; I have blanched the broccoli and added it to the raw spinach; chickpeas cooked in a vegetable stock, red onion, shredded cucumber, finely shaved pear, along with toasted almonds, pumpkin and sesame seeds.

Dress with an avocado dressing;

1 ripe avocado

juice of 1 large lemon (or 2 smaller lemons)

1 clove garlic

1 generous tsp honey

1 drop cider vinegar (use sparingly so it doesn't dominate)

salt and freshly grated pepper

Blitz in a blender then add some extra virgin olive oil till you have the desired consistency.

Too good!

    

 

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Raw Vegan Christmas Tarts

Imogen Taylor - Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Everything is possible on a raw food diet; I have made the tart cases with nuts, dates, linseed, a pinch of mineral-rich pink salt, and some coconut oil.

For filling; half the tarts have a mashed banana filling (which has a surprisingly good effect); and the other half a fruit mince filling - add a splash of alcohol if you choose.

On top I have added a chocolate ganache; melt coconut oil with cocoa powder and some maple syrup (you can melt some dark chocolate as well but then it's no longer "raw").

Garnish with red Xmas fruits et voila!

           

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Zoodle salad with cashew sauce and raw parmesan crisps

Imogen Taylor - Thursday, December 22, 2016

            

The raw food diet is just so exciting; and the benefits to our health go without saying.

Can you imagine how the body must appreciate food that is still "living"?! (has a pulse? lol)

And if the ingredients are organic; your chances of a rich vitamin/mineral intake are splendid!

This Zoodle salad comprises raw zucchini noodles, a cashew-based sauce, rocket, activated almonds, and basil-pinenut "parmesan" crisps.

All vegan; all raw; all plant-based.

What's not to love?

                   

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