moi, coddling an avocado truffle
avocado truffle wedges; look like eggies.
First, a quick review of a class I taught at the St. Catharines location towards the end of June. This class featured recipes I shared in a previous post here. A smaller crowd, this group was just so much fun. Everyone really enjoyed the avocado truffles, bean salad, and fruit salad:
a smaller crowd, but just as much fun!
Next up, I'd like to give a review of some of the delicious recipes we had the chance to make (and taste) over the last two weeks (I taught the same recipes for two separate classes at different locations). For these classes, I was inspired to come up with some recipes that used local produce and ingredients. Here is an excerpt from the in-class recipe handout: "these recipes use fresh cherries as well as different ingredients such as quinoa and agave syrup, proving that you can combine local and global ingredients in a wonderful evening meal."
The first recipe was a Moroccan Quinoa and Cherry-Carrot Salad. While the quinoa is not technically raw, you can easily omit the quinoa and prepare this as a raw cherry-carrot salad. You can also use dried or fresh cherries, depending on your preference (we used dried - yum, so sweet!):
Moroccan Quinoa and Cherry Carrot Salad
This is a great cold salad recipe combining Moroccan spices with carrots and quinoa. More of a seed than a grain, quinoa is high in protein, and has a delightful fluffy texture. Serve as a side salad or main dish with greens and sliced avocado at a summer evening get-together.
1 cup white or red quinoa, rinsed in a colander
¼ cup shelled pistachios
6-7 large carrots, peeled
¼ - ½ cup dried or halved, fresh cherries
3 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
2 garlic cloves, mashed to a paste
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 avocado, to garnish
Rinse 1 cup of quinoa in a colander to remove saponin (bitter resin-like coating). Bring 3 cups of water to a boil, add quinoa and cook for 20-30 minutes (until the quinoa has expanded and become fluffy in taste and texture). Can cook quinoa in a rice steamer as well. Set aside to cool.
Process carrots in a food processor with either an ‘s’ blade or grater blade. Set contents aside in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice, garlic, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, and cayenne; season with salt and pepper. Slowly add olive oil.
Add pistachios, cherries, and cilantro to carrots. Toss with dressing to combine. Serve with sliced avocado atop a bed of mixed greens. Salad will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge.
This salad proved to be a huge hit with both classes, so much so that a friend of mine, Keri, made the salad at home and took a delightful photo of the results (as well as posted the recipe on her wonderful blog, Diary of a Dandelion Diva - love the title!). I was so pleased she enjoyed the recipe - see Keri's creation below:
Now, we couldn't have recipes calling for cherries without some sort of raw dessert! A simple introduction to some of the basics of raw food desserts, these Delectable Cherry Vanilla Tarts demonstrates a basic raw and vegan nut crust and a whipped cream filling. Although there are a few steps to this recipe, it is incredibly straightforward, fun, and creative. These tarts combine the refreshing taste of raw food desserts with simple, flavorful ingredients. Makes for a delightful after-dinner dessert. Enjoy!
Delectable Cherry Vanilla Tarts
2 cups nuts (I used almonds)
1 cups dates, pitted
1 tbsp cold water
Whipped Cream Filling:
1 cup cashews
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup agave syrup (or maple syrup)
1 tbsp water
a few pitted cherries (optional - for a pink cream filling!)
1 cup fresh cherries with stems intact (or 6-12, depending on number of tarts)
fresh mint leaves
Line either a small muffin tin or tartlet tins with plastic wrap and set aside. Grind the nuts and dates together in a food processor, adding water to thicken. Press 1-2 tablespoons worth of the mixture in each of the tart forms to make an even crust. Put the tart forms in the fridge or freezer to harden for at least 30 minutes.
Place cashews in a blender, adding water, sweetener, cherries, and vanilla extract and blend to a smooth consistency. Put aside in a bowl. Remove the tart forms from the freezer, take them carefully out of the tart form and remove the plastic wrap.
Fill each of the tarts with some of the cashew cream and set in the refrigerator to chill and harden. Arrange the cherries on top of each of the tarts. Use a few fresh mint leaves as garnish. Will keep 2 days in the fridge.
the Grimsby class
the St. Catharines class
These classes were so much fun, and a few close friends of mine even attended, which was wonderful and supportive. For those of you in the area, my next class is at the St. Catharines location on August 10th; anyone is welcome to attend!
Hope you all enjoy the rest of your day, and remember to enter Heathy's Raw Parfait Challenge - 3 days left!