Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cinco de Mayo Gone Raw!!

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone and happy May!  I'm elated at the moment because this weekend Washington's coast has seen temperatures that feel like home back in Southern California!  I'm also very happy because my boyfriend bought me these beautiful flowers which he assembled all by himself!  Half impressed and half delighted, these were a great gift to kick off May and some fun in the sun!
To celebrate the sunshine, I went with my boyfriend to his brothers house an hour and a half away in the mountains.  Nestled between gorgeous evergreen peaks was a stunning, sparkling, and oh so inviting Lake Cushman. 

The drive up was beautiful and close to the farm he took me to last October to go picking for pumpkins!  The length of the trip was along the beach and I had this pretty view to gaze at while we chatted and listened to some Kayne West and stopped to take photos.

We spent the day with  his family at the lake working on our tans and watching the kids jump in that beautiful but icy water! 
Matt's family is not vegan, same goes with most of Washington state.  I've learned that when you are going to be in a social situation where food such as picnics or bbq's will be involved, it is a must to either bring a dish to share or bring food for yourself.  I opted to make myself a Killer Kale Salad to relieve the stress of what to feed the vegan girlfriend.  As an offering, I brought blueberries and dates to share.  One tip for vegans who are trying to maintain the "vegans are cool and totally sociable" vibe: help out with the food even if you aren't eating it.  Typical bbq fare is burgers and since I didn't get a chance to bring veggie burgers this time, I made sure I helped out in the kitchen by slicing tomato, avocado, and pickles for everyone's burgers.  Personally, I think the food snobbery that can be associated with being vegan (y'know, the "I'm not eating what you guys are eating because I have a special diet") can easily be broken down if you don't make a big deal over what others eat.  If you help out, that will be remembered over the fact that you didn't eat what everyone else did.  Give it a try, it works every time.  We had a day and no one seemed to notice that I didn't eat the burgers.  Only problem was, everyone wanted some of my kale salad!  I'll have to bring more next time! 
Since today is Cinco de Mayo and I am a San Diego native, I'm going to share with you my recipes for Awesome Guacamole, Raw Sunflower Chorizo, Cashew Sour Cream, and Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette.  Wrapped up, they make my Raw Burritos!  Check it out and I hope these recipes get you all in the mood for sun, healthy eats, and family fun!

Pictured are the ingredients for my Raw Burritos!  Awesome Guacamole, Raw Sunflower Chorizo, Cashew Sour Cream, Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette, shredded zucchini, chopped cucumber, corn, and tender greens all get wrapped up in a giant and beautiful collard green leaf to make this a mouth watering raw experience!

Awesome Guacamole
2 large, ripe, Avocados, chopped
2 tablespoons cherry tomato, chopped
1 teaspoon lime juice, fresh
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste
Optional: 1 small glove of garlic, minced or a dash of garlic salt to taste
Optional for Spicy: Add sriracha, cayenne powder, or freshly minced jalapeno

To remove the flesh of an avocado, cut the fruit in half length ways.  Use a spoon to sun around the edges of the skin to remove the flesh.  To remove the pit, use one of two ways.  Either scoop out with a spoon or gently whack the pit with a carving knife and then pull it out.  I find that it is difficult to remove the knife from the pit once it is out so I always scoop it out with a spoon.

In a medium sized bowl, add your chopped avocado and mash with a fork to desired consistency.  Add the chopped tomato, lime juice, and salt and pepper.  Give it a stir and taste, add more salt and pepper if desired.  That's it!  This is a fantastic, basic guacamole recipe that is simple and quick and always a crowd pleaser!

Cashew Sour Cream
1 cup raw cashews
1 1/2 cups water
1 small lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt, or salt to taste

Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.  Will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.  Leftover sour cream makes a great base for salad dressing like my Herbed Goddess Salad Dressing!

Raw Sunflower Chorizo
When I made this batch of chorizo, I had a huge amount of sprouted lentils so I used sprouted lentils and sunflowers seeds this time and it was incredible.  You can swap the walnuts for sprouted lentils to make a nut free version.

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds*
1 cup raw walnuts
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup yellow or white onion, diced (you could even use red onion for more kick)
1 teaspoon, extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
pinch of cayenne (optional)

Add all ingredients to food processor fitted with the S blade and process until the texture is meaty and still a bit chunky - do not process until smooth or you will have a pate.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
This is a fantastic salad dressing as is optional for this recipe but I am sort of obsessed with cilantro so I really put it on everything!
1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro
1/3 cup red onion, chopped (red really works best to add kick)
3 limes, juiced
2 lemons, juiced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grapeseed oil (great because grapeseed oil is relatively flavorless and good for dressings)
2 Tablespoons of brown rice syrup
2 Tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon corriander
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons sea salt

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

To make the burrito, shave the stem of collard greed so that it is flat.  Place your leaf shiny side down and fill just like a tortilla.  Place a small amount of all your fixins' in the middle of the leaf, tuck in the edges, and roll.  I served mine with some roasted potato and carrot and it was a perfect and filling dinner!

For dessert, I surrendered to my sweet tooth and made a batch of my Spicy Mexican Fudge
Well, I hope that you have enjoyed these recipes and I hope everyone has a fantastic and fun Cinco de Mayo!  If you enjoyed these recipes, please share them with friends and family who are seeking to more Earth food recipes for a healthy planet and a healthy body.  Thank you!

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