Tag Archive: raw


Raw chia pudding

Hello everyone,

I am on a roll and here is another of my recipes.

I have much got into chia seeds now, given that we do amazing ones at work and I have not had it too much yet. Being at home and bringing with me a pack a chia seeds I would never find time to use up whilst in London, now was my chance to spread the love of chia seeds given that I actually had to prepare myself breakfast. I do like chia puddings 🙂

Ingredients:

100 g blueberries
250 g raw plant milk (I made fresh hemp milk, 100 g hemp seeds with 1 l of water, blended, strained through muslin cloth or nut milk bag)
50 g dates
1 banana
pinch of salt

50 g chia seeds

Blend all ingredients together except the chia seeds. Once smooth, mix in the seeds by hand. Let is stand for some 15 minutes to see whether the consistency is what you want. Change by adding milk or chia seeds. Leave it for at least 30 min further so the seeds could rehydrate, best left for 2 hours to overnight. So easy to do in the evening and then serve in the morning.

For decoration use anything you fancy, I did desiccated coconut, more blueberries, goji berries, agave syrup/honey from your ethically producing relative. Yum!

Enjoy!

Eli x

Raw buckwheat porridge

Hello dearest all,

Significant amount of time has passed once more as my life took my skills and area of expertise to a new plant based start-up called Rawligion. Never before have I worked so many hours, but neither can I recall a time I have been so happy to go to work in the (very early) morning. Anyway, this was to say I have been utterly busy and only now finding time to share another delicious recipe with yous.

Ever since I was a kid, buckwheat has been a big part of my diet. That is only in the form of kasha though, the toasted buckwheat groats. We used to do porridge with that, and by porridge I mean very similar to rice – boil with about double the amount of water until soft and fluffy; then free hands to use in risottos, salads, or as appropriate for a kid – eat with ketchup and veggies on the side. It is also great with vegan cheese layered in between freshly cooked buckwheat, then left to stand for 5 minutes so the cheese melts perfectly. Anyway, I love buckwheat.

My affection to buckwheat was strengthened with my thesis, when we compared buckwheat with a number of other high protein plant foods to meat regarding their satiating properties. As buckwheat came out as a winner in the acute study I had the most data for when writing the thesis, I began to advocate it even more when people were telling me that they find it difficult to feel full or to feel full for as long on plant based diet compared with one including meat.

Raw buckwheat came to my horizon a few years ago as I was experimenting with a fully raw diet, when I used the raw groats in patties, rehydrated and then dehydrated them to have as part of my morning cereal bowl, or even did these raw ‘cornflakes’, if you must, again for breakfast purposes. However, the porridge aspect has enthralled me for a while but I had not the courage to experiment with it, given that at that time, I tried a very simple version and it tasted horrible. I think I may also have tried cooking raw buckwheat and that was the worst mistake ever.

But lots of time has passed and here I am, spreading the recipe of how to do amazing raw buckwheat porridge for breakfast with my mum, with my siblings, and to be added to the menu at work for winter. I had been scanning a few different recipes, especially given as I had promised to include that in my cookery demo at the next London Vegfest in October, and was utterly happy when my first trial turned out so well that it was deemed good enough for work.

So here goes a recipe I have been spreading with my folks:

100 g raw buckwheat groats – soak for about 2 hours until the starch is all released and it is easy to mash between fingers
15 g chia seeds
100 g plant based milk (I have used almond, or hemp milk, good with any!)
60 g dates (I subbed with 4 tsp honey I get from my uncle – guaranteed ethically produced!, as I had no dates at home, or agave would do as well potentially)
40 g blueberries (in frozen form my mum had in abundance in the freezer, may have used more; can also sub for other berries)
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Once the buckwheat is soft and starch released, berries defrosted if using frozen ones, put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, chia seeds broken apart and the texture thick but somewhat runny. You can adjust it with more milk, or more dates if you want it thicker or runnier.

For presentation I like layers. I would add in a glass 2 tbsp of porridge, 2 tbsp desiccated coconut, 2 tbsp porridge, 2 tbsp ground almonds (or more coconut to keep nut free), 2 tbsp porridge, 2 tbsp more berries, 2 tbsp porridge, and garnish on top with more berries, coconut, goji berries, whatever you feel like. I also made blueberry jam by blending blueberries with a bit of chia and dates for an extra layer of different textures.

Hope you enjoy as much as I have and will!

Eli x

 

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First of all – all credit to the name goes to Samuel Lee, my comi at bhuti.

It has again been a massively long and tiring week, and once cancelled pop up dinner was rescheduled for the last day of June, Thursday the 30th. My initial plans to go with a specific cuisine did not happen as I decided to go with something simple for me to prep, but good, and thus thought that as raw lasagna had been a winner at my last pop up dinner, people should have the chance to also try the raw pizza. As I had another event to do canapes for the same evening, it was non-stop indeed until it was 7.30pm – the estimated time for commencing the dinner service.

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There were very few people present, but most had booked days in advance, and only an addition of two came on the day making my life easier. Also everyone was able to have a chat with all the people present. Welcoming nibbles included battered vegetables, raw courgette hummus, and a beetroot-carrot-orange-lemon-ginger juice.

The first course was courgette rolls, two kinds, both filled with pesto, one with a cherry tomato, the other with carrot, pepper and sprouts. Pesto really works so well with courgette, it is a match made in heaven. And a little canape of candy and purple beetroot layered with cranberry cheese sauce and topped with sprouts. And SUMAC! I love sumac.

The second course was the raw pizza. I made a tomato-oregano raw base with base ingredients such as carrots, red onion, sunflower seeds and flax. The toppings included hand-pitted olives, sweetcorn, red peppers, walnut mince (tamari, agave, smoked paprika flavoured), crispy aubergine (marinated in tamari, EVO, lemon juice, paprika, cumin, chilli -> dehydrated), layered on top of sundried tomato marinara sauce, and topped with basic cashew cheese sauce and some oregano and sprouts. This is way more filling than one might perceive from its looks.

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Third course was a selection of desserts. I did a coconut-carob-chocolate tarts, essentially coconut butter with some coconut milk (from the canned coconut) and some coconut sugar for the base, a slice of banana, and topped with carob chocolate – coconut oil, maple syrup, and carob powder. I got this pack of carob at work which was of such a superior quality I digged the flavour so much I could not stop myself from making the carob chocolate. And also carob truffles. They are also the ‘bhuti balls’ at the time, truffles the tea room sells at all times with changing the recipe with each batch, this time containing sunflower seeds, coconut, cashews, carob, hemp seeds, hemp protein, and dates. I think this is the exhaustive list of ingredients… And the last pieces were fruit roll-ups. The rolls were something in between fruit leather and raw wraps, basically a fruit smoothie with very little of flax blended in, as it looked too liquidy for my liking, and then dehydrated. For the filling I did coconut cream (tinned coconut milk with agave and vanilla) and sliced strawberries. After it had stayed in the fridge for an hour, the ‘leather’ soaked in some of the moisture and yum with the intertwined and infused flavours! And then topped it with a chocolate swirl and edible flowers.

Fourth course, and may I add – respect for the guests to have made it so far – was cultured cream cheese – basic cashew cheese recipe with added probiotics, left to culture for a day in a warm place. I separated the yield in half and chopped a heck of a lot of chives and parsley in one. It was served with raw bread, which was a mixture of carrots, courgette, spinach, onion, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and flax, and herbs/spices. All this accompanied by a handful of grapes and pineapple.

Similar to last time, I decided to serve a hot drink to top it off, this time our Golden Elixir from the menu, which is essentially a spiced turmeric drink including cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg and cardamom. Together with that I had a spur-of-the-moment idea and did some chocolate covered strawberries to put the cherry on top of the evening.

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From the feedback received, everyone seemed to enjoy all parts of the dinner, and it quite likely beat the option of fish and chips. I think the only part I still need to master is the amounts, for four courses, be as small as the nibbles are, is still rather filling. Me and Andrea, the newest chef addition at bhuti helping me out that evening, had a pizza for our dinner, and only that filled us up to the brim. Thank god for take-away options!

All in all, my ride at bhuti has been an educative one. I do not think I would have had the chance to start as a head chef so soon had it not been for a new startup such as this. And thanks to the steep learning curve I now can value my time and area of expertise much more, and am content with moving on from there to new challenges, and new chance to help up another start-up, this time just around the corner from where I am currently based. I would not have survived as long as I did without my dearest kitchen crew, and all the other colleagues who have lent me a shoulder to cry on and reasons to laugh until my eyes water.

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Kitchen’s angels. My kitchen team of Andrea, Sam, myself, and Junko there in our minds.

Thank you bhuti for offering me all the chances I had to improve myself and the business; and welcome to Rawligion, my new head chef challenge in the raw vegan world.

PS, last chance to catch me at bhuti next week Mon-Fri! After that you will find me on 3 Tottenham Street!

Gracefully yours,

Eli xx

Raw apple pie

Hello everyone!

The spring is in the air and even more the reason to get ‘cookin’ on the raw cakes! This one is a very simple recipe, full of raw apple goodness and date sweetness. Ready in about half an hour if you got a mandolin, food processor, and a blender handy. 🙂

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cashews
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dates

~ 10 apples
2 cups of dates
2 bananas/3 apples
1 tbsp vanilla
1 lemon (juice)
1 tbsp cinnamon
(chocolate)
(dried apple pieces)

Method:

For the base, chuck the cashews, coconut, sunflower seeds and dates in a food processor and process until chunky but sticky. If it does not seem to get sticky enough, add a piece of apple and that should help with the binding.
Press to the base of a cake tin (I use one that is 8-9″ in diameter I think).

Mandolin the apples quite thinly (as thin as you can without making the slices break) and put them in water with 1/2 lemon squeezed in it (helps with maintaining the colour). Meanwhile do the caramel.
Blend the dates with vanilla, rest of the lemon juice, cinnamon and bananas/apples and any extra apple pieces you may have left over, for example the broken pieces or slices that were too thick or thin for using. It should come out like a proper sweet caramel. Tweak the flavour if you want with some nutmeg and ginger.

Cover the base with some of the caramel and arrange the apple slices to cover it all. Cover them with more caramel and repeat that until you run out of the caramel (which should be the topmost layer).

Dust some more cinnamon over it, or melt some 30g of chocolate in hot water bath and put it in a piping bag to do funky chocolate works on top. I was doing another cake at the same time and thus had chocolate handy, but did a very plain topping.
It is way easier to cut into it once it has set for a few hours in the fridge. Otherwise it may become a very messy task and the layers will slide easily. Still delish though!

Now this cake is quite sweet as you can tell from the amount of dates, so if you are not such a fan, just use less of the dates. The caramel will still be fine, and the base as well, just add more fruit to bind it. I would serve it with some dehydrated apple slices, but some coconut cream would be nice as well, to balance the sweetness somewhat. A drizzle of agave adds nice reflective features, and more cinnamon and fanned fruit makes it look fancy. 🙂

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Yum! Enjoy!

Eli x

 

Hello my dear readers and followers,

It has been a disgraceful few months since I last posted anything. In case you have not noticed – I am now also on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/nutrinformed) as well as twitter (https://twitter.com/Nutrinformed) with more frequent updates than here (as this is more recipe- and experiment-based).

So, I thought my big move to London deserves a new post! Also because I think my new job place deserves to be known a lot more than it is – to reach more and more vegans and people interested in such food. I actually moved already two weeks ago, but the first week has been really busy. Now I have internet on my laptop as well (yay!) and so can actually enjoy my new home and write this post 🙂

In a nutshell – I have managed to get my dream job for this decade of my life in a vegan kitchen as a chef (de partie). (I know I technically can’t be a chef, but hey, if the chef calls me chef, that’s chef enough for me). Together with three other vegans, the restaurant RAW at La Suite West hotel (https://www.facebook.com/LaSuiteWestHotel?fref=ts) offers a truly amazing vegan experience. We serve vegan afternoon tea, lunchtime buffet with salads and quiche, and a dinner menu with vegan and raw vegan options available. Changes are happening in the next few days so even if you’ve been there before – expect to see many new things upon your return.

I have to say – besides being utterly astonished and blown away I actually got the job – that the food is mindbogglingly amazing. I’ve had two friends come to the restaurant so far and they have not been disappointed, at all. My best friend in London has been there a few times and she has been thoroughly pleased with it each time. So, what I’m saying is – when in London, make your way to Bayswater and you will be fed, and fed extraordinary food. Not the kind of vegan chips and burger and muffin you can get from nearly every other vegan place, but a true vegan experiment. Don’t get me wrong – we do have some simple and common vegan foods there as well, like scones and a mushroom burger (currently, to be changed the beginning week), but also stuff you’ve possibly not tried out before (I surely hadn’t!) like cauliflower with kimchi mayo, or aubergine with sweet miso sauce. Lots of seaweed (get that iodine!) and funky Japanese foods. DELICIOUS!
We had a photoshoot for the new menus a week ago, but they’re still not made public, so you can check out the previous food photos from the webpage (http://www.lasuitewest.com/dining.html). All this praise is possible only thanks to the amazing head chef there – Nik Heartland (https://twitter.com/vegan_heartland), who has put his mind, heart, and life (near literally) in to making this place as great as it is. Besides having an awesome taste in music, a sarcastic sense of humour and proficiency in Brazilian Portuguese (yes, it’s important for me to mention it all), he has a very experimental mind with food and keeps the menus in the changing to make sure we’re on the move and never stagnating, keeping it always fresh 🙂

From a personal point of view, I literally could not be happier with where I ended up working at here in London. To be in a vegan kitchen with vegans as the other chefs with the ambition to lead the movement and get us out there, I feel right at home. Well, nearly, still a lot to learn, but that’s natural. Improvement in progress 🙂 You know that feeling in the morning when you wake up and look forward to getting ready to go to work? Well, I sure know this feeling, and I am utterly pleased I have it. I do acknowledge it’s only the end of my second week of living and working here, but I know this is what I want to do, this is where my passion and heart is, and I’m glad I have such great colleagues who share it with me. 🙂

Thus, as a conclusion, I would like to invite you all to come and have a taster of a magnificently different (raw) vegan food at RAW, to be convinced yourself of its uniqueness and amazing quality of food. I guarantee I will not have anyone leave the premises disappointed.

That’d be all from me just now. I will hopefully get on track with things and develop a food cupboard here so I can experiment at home as well and post some amazing recipes soon. ❤

Until then,

Eli x

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Raw breakfast ideas

Happy new year my dear followers!

It has been an immensely long time since my last post, but the idea of this specific one I have had for a while already as people keep on asking me, besides what do I eat in general, what do I usually have for breakfast.

So this is a post about my usual breakfasts 🙂

1. A melon. It’s that simple. I try to vary, have honeydew one morning, cantaloupe another, galia on another one. Just half it and start spooning the delicious juicy flesh, or cut it into slices 🙂

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2. A pineapple. I love pineapple. And usually have no difficulty in having a whole one for a meal. Usually breakfast. Just spend that 5 minutes peeling and cutting it and enjoy!

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3. A smoothie. I am quite fond of smoothies as they can be very varied and require little effort. Just blend 3-5 bananas with dates/berries/greens, add some superfoods like spirulina/chlorella/chia seeds/maca and you’ve created yourself an amazingly nutritious and filling breakfast! 🙂 One of my favourite combinations is banana-spinach-blueberry with some parsley. YUMMEEE!

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4. A glass of juice. It’s incredibly healthy to start your day with a nourishing glass of freshly made juice. For example carrot-ginger-orange. Or spinach-apple-cucumber-ginger-lime 🙂 Or just have it as an addition to any of the other breakfast items!

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5. Raw porridge. There are a couple of ways to make raw porridge. I have once before tried just soaking oats overnight with raisins and other ingredients and then eating it in the morning cold. Close enough to actual porridge but I found out that most oats are heat-treated to make them into oat flakes which means it would not be exactly raw.
Thus I have tried to use raw buckwheat instead! And it’s pretty amazing! Just soak the buckwheat overnight so it’s nice and soft by morning, and blend it with some soaked dates, and then add raisins or anything else on the top, or blend it with bananas (and dates)! I also added a handful of goji berries and raisins on the top, as well as buckhorn syrup, which is not raw, but it’s healthy, and sweetens it as well. Not necessary in any way to add though 🙂 Amazing!

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6. Raw muesli/cereal. It is very easy to make and tastes amazing! And I think is quite cheap as well, depending on what you like to have in it of course. I have made my muesli base by soaking and dehydrating raw buckwheat groats. And then adding raisins, goji berries, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, desiccated coconut, chopped almonds/cashews/brazils… Whatever you desire basically! On another occasion I actually made sort of cinnamon cereal. I soaked buckwheat and blended it with some vanilla, agave and cinnamon and then spreading it on a dehydrator sheet and dehydrating it, half-way dry I drove lines inside there to make it better to be broken into pieces afterwards. And then I add all the good stuff again 🙂 And you can serve both of them with water or juice or freshly made nut-mylk! (just soak a cup of nuts for 4 cups of water which you will blend and separate the pulp from – remaining the liquid of the milk!)

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8. Something nice and sweet. Sometimes I like to have a self-indulgent sweet breakfast. For example make some toffee and have it with apples (or make them into sandwiches). Or I remember having done this quite amazing mango-delight – base and top was a mixture of dates, raisins, cashews and coconut, I reckon to process it roughly together, and in between have sliced mango. I do remember eating it, pretty amazing indeed.

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So that’s my raw vegan breakfast guide 🙂 Very easy, quick and nutritious, the way it’s supposed to be! I hope it gave you some ideas or motivation to have your breakfast raw 😉

Enjoy!

Eli x