A huge amount has happened since I last had chance to write a blog. I know it is already the end of January and this is pretty belated, but I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year.
We’ve finally had a bit more time for experimenting in the Raw Kitchen – something that I know had been missing or lacking in recent blogs. The next section is pretty picture-heavy!
New Year Truffles – I wanted to do a special meal for us over New Year. Ian was working until late, so we didn’t have chance to go out and do anything. I completely forgot to take any pictures of the main course, but these are our ‘midnight celebration’ truffles. I hadn’t made truffles before and they were amazing! They were a coconut oil and cacao powder based filling, rolled in lucuma or beetroot powder.
Avocado-Kale Salad – I thought this deserved to be shown, simply because it was so full of flavour and texture. Inspired by The Nectar Cafe in Norwich (more on them later), it is made from dressed kale, iceberg lettuce, carrot, onion, celery, peppers, tomatoes, avocado, sultanas and red cabbage.
Burrito – Mmm. A burrito. Actually, I’d never had a burrito before, so I can’t tell you for sure if this is what one should taste like or not. I did share one with Ian and he seemed to think it was pretty close, so I’ll take that as a complement! The wrap is made from carrots, spread out into a sheet and dehydrated until pliable. The filling is mixed sprouted seeds, tomatoes, spices and nutritional yeast… all rolled up together and dehydrated for a little longer. Yum.
Lasagne with dried courgette pasta – The first ever raw dish I made was a lasagne, but this one is a little different. Instead of using very thin courgette for the pasta, I made it into a wrap (like the burrito) and cut it into sheets. The whole thing held together perfectly when it was cut up and all of the layers were visible – tomato, courgette pasta and nutless cheesy sauce.
Agar Jelly – I’ve had a lot of fun playing with agar. I’ve made various flavours of jelly, using a lot of different methods and flavours. This one was berry flavour.
Mushroom Curry (Recipe to follow… but I thought a quick picture was in order!)
Creamy Tagliatelle (It tasted amazing) – madee from courgette, mushroom, cauliflower, pepper and tomato with a creamy cashew sauce. I know it looks a little… er… gross, but the taste more than made up for its looks!
Cauli-Cauli, Dressed Kale, Veggies, Mushroom Slices & Haricot Bean Hummus – I can’t tell you how good the cauli-cauli was! I did write the recipe down somewhere so I can definitely make it again, yay! I know the haricot bean hummus wasn’t raw, but it was completely home made. The mushroom slices were a mixture of dehydrated mushrooms and seeds, I’d usually make them into burgers but the mixture was too soft so I made slices instead.
Vegan Yogurt – I know that the ‘standard’ raw way to make yogurt is using young coconuts… but there is one problem with this. I can only find them in boxes of 12 by mail order, and as much as I like yogurt (and the few other things I can do with them), I just don’t need 12 of them. So, I’ve found a work-around using gluten-free Xanthan Gum as a thickener instead. Strawberry, mango and vanilla are my favourites so far and I have made a lot of them in the last few weeks!
On Sundays, I always try to do a special meal for us. As we work around the clock, Sunday evenings are about our only option for a sit-down meal at a normal-ish time. Mine wasn’t raw this week, but still vegan and very tasty. Pie, Veggies and Cheesy Cauliflower Mash. I think the mash would also work raw, but I haven’t tried it yet. Made from steamed cauliflower, nutritional yeast, black pepper and salt, it really was good.
This next link is not safe for work! You may well have heard of Naked Vegan Cooking. It is a blog promoting veganism and positive body image. Well, I decided to submit a recipe for my courgette lasagne. Different to the one pictured above, this one uses courgette strips, pesto and a lovely tomato sauce. If you wish to view the recipe, you can find it here – but as warned, it contains nudity!
42° Raw is a little cafe situated in an art gallery (I think that is correct), close to Oxford Street in London. As with most raw things, the majority of their dishes contain nuts, so Ian was limited with what he could have. He opted for an avocado and tomato salad (of which I stole a little) and it was amazing. I had a lasagne, and although on the small side, it was very well made and presented. Of course, I also had to try dessert so a chocolate-orange torte was called for. It was the first cake I’d eaten for a while and it hit all the right spots. I was a little too busy stuffing my face to take many photos, but I did remember before I polished off all of the dessert…
The Nectar Cafe is a lovely baby cafe just off Unthank Road in Norwich. We hadn’t been into there before, but had tried some of their food. (Skip back to December when I had a birthday. I didn’t want to make all my own birthday food, but still wanted to stay raw, so collected a supply of raw-dee meals from them. Dressed salads, crackers, nut cheese, nut roast, cheesecake, flapjack, chocolates and I’m sure something is missing from that list! Everything was fantastic and I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday lunch, dinner and sweet treats!) We had a kitchen accident a few weeks ago (more below) and after a few hours of cleaning, I just had to get out of the house. Finally, we were both free on a day that the cafe was open, so we set off for Norwich. Parking was a little awkward, but I’m sure the idea would be to park in the city and walk out to the cafe… or just look a little harder for spaces! The food was unbelievable and the atmosphere was very personal – just what I like. The cafe is very small; a little breakfast bar and two tables to sit four or 6 people on each. There are a few cooked options, raw options and a variety of drinks to choose from. We both started with decaf coffee, Ian’s with cows milk and mine with almond milk. The main course was a sandwich on artisan bread for Ian and a quinoa-base with a salad of kale, grated root veg, falafels, flax crackers and home made hummus for me. Big yum! To take away, I had a lovely piece of fruit cake and Ian had a smoothie. I didn’t take a single picture, so of course I will go back and take some whilst stuffing my face. It would be rude not to really!
So, onto the kitchen incident. We were awoken rather rudely one morning to a huge bang. I immediately looked out of the window, expecting to see a car accident, but all was okay. Ian went to have a look downstairs and my raw stock shelf had… er… fallen down a little. Okay, a lot. Kilo upon kilo of ingredients were all over the floor amongst a lot of broken glass. Kilos of powders (cacao, lucuma, carob, vanilla, beetroot, maca, wheatgrass, spirulina, strawberry to name a few) were everywhere and you could taste the cacao at the back of your throat as you breathed in. To top it off, there was a good 5+ litres of agave and sweet freedom on the floor too. I’m not sure I have ever seen such a mess in a kitchen, and such an expensive one too. I’m sure that when you see the picture below, you can see why we tidied up and went out for lunch.
At the beginning of December, we met up with Keith from Keith Mindham Photography in Thetford to have some pictures taken of our products. We had a four hour session, and have lovely, crystal-clear photos of all the goodies we had in stock at the time. You may have noticed these replacing older, poor quality photos in our shop. We do still have some more to take, and will eventually meet Keith again once we have had time to make all of the missing nibbles.
Our yummy bread:
And a tasty raw chocolate bar:
We have added a number of new yummies to our shop in the last few months. We now have an ingredients section; with cacao powder, cacao butter and lucuma powder. We have raw chocolate & hazelnut spread!
We also have a sale section too. And, if you’re on the hunt for some cheap organic cacao butter, then this could be the place to be. £10 for 1kg; reduced as it needs to be used by May this year. We also have a few chocolatey bits appearing here every now and again, so it is one to keep checking.
And finally, our recipe for this blog. Mushroom curry.
(The recipe only shows when you view this exact entry. We are looking at how to fix this, but for now, please click on http://blog.rawnibbles.co.uk/?p=162 to be taken to the full entry. The recipe is hiding at the bottom.)