Jicama Perogies

This is another recipe from RAWvolution. It’s pretty simple and really delicious. It’s as easy as slicing jicama very thin on a mandolin slicer and mixing up a batch of cashew cheese in a food processor! A dollop of cheese is placed in the center of a slice, and then another slice of jicama is placed on top. Voila! Raw Perogies!

Jicama is a root vegetable that is used a lot in Mexican and Asian cooking. It has a crisp texture that resembles a raw potato or a pear. It is sweet and starchy, reminiscent of apples or raw green beans. It is usually eaten raw and is often paired with chilis and lime juice. Jicama is high in dietary fiber, potassium, folic acid, B vitamins and vitamin C. It’s also low in calories and fat free.

Nori Wraps

This recipe is from RAWvolution. It’s a raw nori sheet, with a collard leaf placed over it to keep the nori from getting wet from the veggies. Then shredded carrots, daikon radishes, red peppers, cabbage, cucumbers, avocados, scallions and sprouts are piled on top and the whole thing is rolled up tightly. I used a little bit of sunflower seed cheese as “glue” to hold it all together. I used nama shoyu as a dipping sauce and served the rolls with kale chips. Nori wraps are super simple to make and you can use whatever veggies you have on hand to fill them with. They’re the perfect meal for a warm summer afternoon!

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Mac and Cheese

The weather has been so erratic here in New Jersey. Yesterday it was about 60 degrees and rainy, so I was in the mood for something warm and comforting. So I decided I need a little mac and cheese.

This is very, very similar to the chickpea helper I made in January. I did use the same cheese sauce made with nutritional yeast, but I didn’t cook the chickpeas and pasta together they way they are made in chickpea helper. This was really delicious and really warmed me up on the cold and dreary day.

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Zucchini Pappardelle with White Bean Alfredo

Like I said yesterday, I’m eating mainly raw food this summer, and I had to try this great semi-raw recipe from HKitchen. The noodles are made with zucchini, but the Alfredo sauce is made with cooked navy beans. The sauce was so nice and creamy that no one would have ever known that it was made with beans, and not dairy cream. The recipe called for tahini, but I had just used the last of mine on a batch of kale chips, so I used raw sesame seeds instead, which worked really well because my Vitamix was able to blend them. I omitted the walnuts and sprinkled the dish with nutritional yeast. Instead of cutting the zucchini with a mandolin slicer, I used my spiralizer to turn them into noodles. This dish was really delicious, and I will definitely make it again!
Beans a great way to add high-quality, plant-based protein to your diet. In addition to protein, they are high in iron, B vitamins and fiber. And they are so versatile that you may never tire of them!

Ayurveda, Summer and Raw Food

I’ve been interested in Ayurveda for quite some time. I bought a book from the bargain table at Barnes and Nobel a few years ago, but I couldn’t quite figure it out. It wasn’t until I saw John Douillard speak last year that I was able to understand it. He has sort of “westernized” Ayurveda for Americans, and I recommend his book The Three Season Diet. He’s also a great speaker, so if you ever get a chance to hear him speak, go for it!

After taking his quiz (which can be found here), I discovered that I am a Pitta/Vata type. Pittas tend to be pale with light coloring, have average sized body frames and have an aversion to hot weather, which are traits I do have. They can also can be competitive and have short tempers, which isn’t me at all. My temperament is that of a Vata: restless, prone to anxiety and artistic. But it’s the Pitta characteristics that I really take heed to, especially around this time of the year, because I really don’t do well in the heat at all. I realize it makes me seem extremely uncool (figuratively and literally), but summer is my least favorite season. (There, I admitted it.) I can’t think straight, I feel sluggish, I’m always drenched in sweat and I’m usually completely miserable. Autumn is my favorite season, and I always feel my best then. I don’t even really mind cold winters, as long as I don’t have to drive in the snow!

So in order to stay balanced this summer, I’ve been eating a lot more raw food, as you may have already noticed. Raw food helps me keep cool since it’s not cooked, and it keeps my house cool since I don’t have to turn the oven on, so it’s perfect! Lately I’ve been having a smoothie with greens and fruit for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and then something creative from one of my cookbooks for dinner. I’ve also been snacking on kale chips. Lots and lots of kale chips. I have been eating some cooked food here and there, but I haven’t really wanted anything cooked lately.

A raw food diet can increase your energy, improve the appearance of your skin, give you better digestion, help you lose weight and reduce your risk for chronic disease. If you’re interested in learning more about raw food, I recommend the book Becoming Raw by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina and the film Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days. This is the perfect time of year to start experimenting with raw, even if it means just eating more salad and fruit!

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Sunflower Burger

Summertime’s all about burgers and barbecues, right? Well, I thought it was time to give a raw burger a try. The recipe is another one from Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen. The burgers are made with sunflower seeds, flax, celery, peppers and onion, and they’re dehydrated for about three hours. I served them on Ani’s Sunflower Sesame Bread with raw cashew cheddar, lettuce and tomato. They were quite delicious, and Dennis was really happy to try something new and tasty. I think this is probably the perfect summer burger, because it doesn’t require turning the oven on or heating up the grill – both of which would overheat me!

Raw Burritos and Stuffed Peppers

This “burrito” is kind of a mixture of things from different recipes, but it’s based on a recipe from Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen. I made taco filling from sunflower seeds, sun-dried tomatoes and some spices. I made Ani’s salsa, which uses corn, tomatoes, peppers, cilantro and hot peppers. Also on the burrito was raw cashew cheddar. The wrap is supposed to be a cabbage leave, and it’s filled with spinach before all of the other goodies are added to it. I wasn’t able to get full leaves off of the head of cabbage though, and what I was able to get off was too thick to use as a wrap. (Perhaps I should have bought a different kind of cabbage!) The cabbage leaves did hold up nicely to the fillings and they ended being more like tacos.

Gluten-Free Pizza at Rutherford Pancake House

The Rutherford Pancake House in Rutherford NJ has quite a nice selection of vegan items on their menu. They recently added gluten-free vegan pizzas to the list. Several of my friends have tried them and Dennis goes there often for lunch during his work day, so I figured it was time for me taste one for myself.
I’m sure if I hadn’t already had amazing gluten-free vegan pizza at Pala Pizza in NYC, I would have liked this more. But Pala is a tough act to follow. The crust at Rutherford Pancake House was premade and a little soggy. They used Daiya cheese, which always tastes good and topped the pie off with spinach, mushrooms and peppers.
I also ordered a salad to go with my pizza, primarily because I’ve been eating so much raw food lately, and I felt I needed to get a little raw into my otherwise cooked meal. Interestingly, I fell asleep as soon as I got home. Was it the pizza? Or the hot weather? Maybe I should have another pizza on a cool day and see what happens!

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Red Pepper and Squash Samosas

This is another recipe from The Art of Raw Living Food. The wraps were the same wraps that were used in the Garden Tahini Rolls I made earlier in the week. The are stuffed with tahini sauce and raw marinated vegetables. They fell apart pretty easily, so I used what was left of the crispy dehydrated mushrooms to garnish them and cover the messy parts. I served them with red pepper purée sauce. They were delicious!
I had enough wraps, veggies and tahini left over to make another batch of samosas, so I had them for lunch. I also made some collard wraps to go with them.

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Raw Sandwich with Coleslaw

Yes, it’s another raw sandwich! These are quickly becoming my favorite warm weather meal! The bread is Sunflower Sesame bread from Ani’s Raw Kitchen. It’s then topped with Sunflower Seed Cheese from RAWvolution and the pesto that was leftover from the stuffed mushrooms I had yesterday. I also added olives, avocado, fresh tomatoes and crispy tomatoes – also left over from yesterday’s meal. With the exception of the fresh produce, all of the ingredients used to make this sandwich were leftovers from other meals that I had in my fridge. Preparing raw food can sometimes take a little longer than cooking would, but I like to make things in large batches and store them in my fridge for meals later on. That way prep time over the course of the week evens out!

I served the sandwich with a side of coleslaw. I bought a bag of prepackaged organic coleslaw mix at Whole Foods, and then I made mayonaise from RAWvolution. The mayo is made with cashews, mustard, coconut water, garlic and lemon juice. It was nice and creamy and went well with the coleslaw mix!

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Dr. Fuhrman