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Rawkin’ & rollin’ August leftovers

September 9, 2010

I was still on a roll with rawness in August. One weekend, I made something from Ani’s Raw Food Essentials that fascinated me from the moment I saw it—raw biscuits and gravy! CRAZY! The overnight-dehydrated biscuits were composed predominantly of buckwheat and flax, and the gravy was a creamy cashew-nutritional yeast concoction.

But, à la Emeril, I wanted to kick things up a notch. I’ve made taco nut meat a few times recently, so I springboarded off that idea and created a spinoff—sausage nut meat! I took the same seasonings I’ve put in tempeh sausage, pulsed them into soaked, dehydrated, ground walnuts, and stirred the mixture into the gravy. Eureka! Matt wasn’t a huge fan of this dish, but I liked it, and I have to say, I thought my sausage nut meat was the highlight.

I made a ginormous double batch of misir watt for Matt and myself one night, but since I only had about 2/3 of a pound of red lentils, I improvised. To round out the 2 lbs. total that I needed, I added 2/3 lb. of brown lentils and 2/3 lb. of parboiled yellow split peas. And it turned out GREAT! The red lentils dissolved into near-oblivion, the brown lentils cooked to tender perfection, and the yellow split peas peppered their toothsome texture throughout. I’m definitely going to make it this way again.

Matt’s a big fan of breakfast smoothies, and though I usually make them fruit-based, one morning he requested something chocolatey. Since I have a whole bag of raw cacao beans (and I don’t plan on undertaking another epic raw chocolate dessert just yet!), I decided to include those. A fistful of cacao beans went into the Vitababy along with a frozen banana, a big glop of peanut butter, a couple glugs of almond milk, a small scoop of vanilla protein powder, and a handful of ice. Et voilà—a sippable PB-nanner-choco breakfast.

Speaking of breakfast…inspired by Diana’s decadent overnight oatmeal creations, I threw together a bowl of my own one evening. I combined 1/3 cup of old-fashioned rolled oats with 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, added just enough almond milk to cover, and put it in the fridge overnight. The next morning, I topped the cold oatmeal with sliced bananas and strawberries, drizzled it with coconut milk yogurt, dotted it all over with cinnamon peanut butter, and feasted. YUM!

I made another Ani Phyo recipe, the raw donut holes from Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen. Since I didn’t have the full amount of dried pineapple called for, I used the last of my MegaFruit dried mangosteen to make up for it. Que exotique, no? These nut-based, coconut-rolled treats were pretty tasty.

Matt expressed jealousy of the wine nights I have with my friend Rachel, so he and I held one of our own! We already had a bottle of Cupcake sparkling pinot noir on hand, and Matt picked up a Beaujolais-Villages to supplement.

As is customary, since Matt brought the wine, I made the hummus. Nothing special; just a classic tahini- and lemon-kissed blend of chickpea goodness. It was a fun night! (We may or may not have watched “Bed Intruder” a few too many times, but that’s neither here nor there…)

I’ll conclude with another raw food creation of which I am particularly proud—homemade raw pizza! Look how purty!

I’d premade two large raw pizza crusts out of mostly celery, buckwheat, and flax, and I spread a thick layer of marinara sauce on each. Matt and I both used the same toppings, though in different ratios: minced green pepper and mushrooms, Italian sausage nut meat (another new variation! See the beginning of this post for details), small chunks of cashew mozzarella (made with the help of my TofuXpress), and some ground oregano and crushed red pepper.

After assembling, I stuck the pizzas back in the dehydrator for about 20 minutes to warm up, then sliced and served them just like “real” pizza. SO GOOD! I loved it, Matt loved it, and I can’t wait to make it again.

How about you? Have you ever made a dish that you weren’t confident about initially, but that you wound up inexorably proud of and thrilled with?

If you like this, you might also like…
Restaurant July leftovers
Homemade July leftovers
June leftovers

27 Comments leave one →
  1. September 9, 2010 2:46 pm

    The smoothie, raw donut holes and pizza look yummy. What improvisation on all your dishes what with your substitutes, etc…

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 10, 2010 2:33 pm

      Everything tastes better personalized!

  2. September 9, 2010 3:40 pm

    Those raw donut holes look very tasty! That pizza…oh my, that just looks delish! You are making some mighty good looking dishes!

    I was thinking earlier today that I wanted a chocolate based smoothie in the morning..sorta getting tired of the fruit ones this week. Chocolate, peanut butter, and banana….you can never go wrong with that. :o)

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 10, 2010 2:34 pm

      Why thank you!

      I don’t often feel like chocolate first thing in the morning, but every now and then, it can really hit the spot. :]

  3. September 9, 2010 4:52 pm

    Can I come and see you and you cook for me? Your blog should read ALMOST RAW VEGAN. You have been a cooking monster have you not? I picked up the 1st RAW FOOD books by MK and Sarma (sp?) and already drooling on recipes I want to make. There is so little time in the day don’t ya know?

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 10, 2010 2:45 pm

      If you’re ever around the lower Midwest, you should totally drop by! 😛

      Haha, you know, I’ve wondered to myself if I’ll need to rename this blog Almost Raw someday…

      Raw Food/Real World is fantasmic. You have GOT to try the refried “beans” recipe…if you don’t dehydrate it (which it really doesn’t need), it’s downright speedy compared to some of the others!

  4. September 9, 2010 8:29 pm

    You are getting quite creative in the kitchen!! And I’ve wanted to taste those donut holes since I read her recipe months ago…must make those soon!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 10, 2010 2:47 pm

      Hehe, thanks!

      The donut holes are super-quick and easy to make…and even though they don’t taste at all like their namesake (to me), they make a great snack!

  5. September 9, 2010 9:01 pm

    Mangosteen donuts? Just how awesome are you, really? Also loving the look of the pizza and biscuit with gracy, even though as “normal” dishes they don’t interest me at all. Well done with all your raw adventuring lately 🙂

    P.S. Thank you for the email, and I’ll try to reply soon, but I’ve got a super busy weekend and it deserves a quality response. But thank you for everything you wrote, and *hugs*, and I’m thinking of you.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 10, 2010 2:52 pm

      Haha, when I think about it, the idea of mangosteen donuts is pretty out-there…still, I bet somebody’s googled it before 😛

      Oh, please don’t worry your pretty self too much about replying to my email! I already feel a little bit terrible for venting so lengthily =[ The simple fact that you read through that whole mindspew already means a lot to me! Thanks for “listening” 😀

      • September 10, 2010 7:17 pm

        What are friends for? 🙂 I absolutely will write back, though. Don’t worry about that!

  6. September 9, 2010 9:15 pm

    Those biscuits and gravy look so realistic… not that they’re not real… you know what I mean! I would like to steal those donut holes… maybe I could distract you with chips and salsa while I run off with the goods! 😀

    And your pizza is so purrrdy! I love the idea of an Italian sausage nut meat. Enjoy your almond butter and agave! 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 10, 2010 2:56 pm

      Haha, I know exactly what you mean…and I take it as a compliment!

      Ohh, there’s no need to distract me; I’d surrender the donut holes at the mere sight of chips & salsa 😛

      And thank ya re: the pizza! I was ecstatic about how it, and the nut meat component, turned out :]

  7. September 9, 2010 11:41 pm

    Wow! You’re on a raw roll!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 10, 2010 2:57 pm

      Indeed! Hehe. Hope I can keep it going once it turns chilly outside…

  8. September 10, 2010 7:21 am

    YUM! Everything looks delicious!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 10, 2010 2:57 pm

      Thank you! 😀

  9. September 10, 2010 4:58 pm

    Oh man, that is the most heavenly looking, creamy hummus I’ve ever seen! Do you have a recipe for it?

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 13, 2010 11:40 am

      Aw, thank you! Recipe, hmm…normally I just wing it, but I know roughly how much of what I use. It depends on if I make it plain (like this) or Indian-spiced (my other favorite preparation). For plain, though, I use 1 drained can of chickpeas, about ¼ cup tahini, about 3 Tbsp lemon juice, about 2 Tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp each ground cumin and sea salt, and anywhere from ¼ to ½ cup water. Like I said, though, I do vary it pretty wildly. I should probably figure out exact measurements and post my basic hummus recipe sometime, huh? Actually, I’ll actually be posting another exotic-spiced hummus within the next week or two, so watch for that!

  10. September 11, 2010 2:11 pm

    Hehe thanks for the shout-out. I would love to try my oats with chia seeds, but all those “dots” freak me out!
    The pizza looks SO GOOD. I’m loving all your raw recipes thus far 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 13, 2010 11:43 am

      Haha, I know exactly what you mean about the freaky black dots! Their appearance is a little disconcerting.

      I’m so glad you’re digging the rawness! 😀

  11. Matt permalink
    September 12, 2010 1:38 pm

    Don’t get me wrong, the biscuits and gravy looked totally edible. But as a connoisseur of comfort foods, I was predictably disappointed that they were lukewarm (at best). Some things don’t seem to translate the same in raw form. That said, Amber worked hard on this and I applaud her effort. Thanks honey!

    Now, the pizza? That was super! It did translate well (probably because cold pizza is still good pizza). To steal a line from Little C, “Pizza Pizza!”

    The coinkidink of this post is that I am sitting here having just finished a choco-peanut-buttery-banana smoothie while looking at its long lost cousin. Mmmmm, makes me want a full glass again.

    ASF made August august.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 13, 2010 11:46 am

      Heh, you are always so thorough 😛 Yeah yeah, the b&g weren’t hot. Sorry again you didn’t like them. But I’m happy the pizza was a hit with both of us! And I love that you’re my smoothies’ biggest fan. :]

  12. September 13, 2010 1:39 pm

    Oh my! That breakfast smoothie sounded fantastic!
    How was the Cupcake Pinot?
    Hm..something I was not sure of when cooking? SEVERAL things! 😉 But they usually came out pretty good!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 13, 2010 1:42 pm

      Thanks! :]
      The Cupcake pinot was pretty good. If I remember right, it was a little on the dry side (I think I usually prefer my sparkling wine/champagnes a bit sweeter), but I liked it.

      Experimenting in the kitchen can be disappointing sometimes, BUT it can also lead to delicious discoveries!

  13. September 14, 2010 11:37 am

    jealous of pizza!! so jealous 😀

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 14, 2010 1:58 pm

      Hehe! Raw pizza: proof that a little planning can yield big rewards. :]

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