This is not your mama’s mac and cheese. I tried. I scoured my raw recipe books and googled raw recipes for mac and cheese, and nothing I made met my standards of tasting like a good quality version of the traditional cooked mac and cheese.
It’s just not so easy to replicate the texture of soft macaroni noodles and there are many flavor preferences when it comes to the cheese sauce (are you a boxed Mac n Cheese lover or baked Mac n Cheese and how tangy should the cheese sauce be?).
The good news is, I’ve now got a couple of versions of raw cheese pasta to offer that taste pretty darn yummy.
If you love mac n cheese, you might like this raw cheesy pasta as an upgrade option, just don’t expect it to taste exactly like the traditional cooked version. This raw recipe is of course way better for you.
Here are a couple of options for how to make it the way you like it:
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Raw Pad Thai
I love pad thai, so I’ve been searching for a good raw version of this favorite comfort food. I found lots of versions, but none of them seemed to completely match my taste cravings, so I decided to combine my favorite parts into my own raw pad thai recipe.
Pad thai is all about having the right balance of sweet, salty, tangy and spicy. So I went back to the cooked version recipes to see what the basic ingredients are in order to start my raw version with good proportions. Here’s what I’ve come up with:
Pad Thai Sauce
1/2 Cup Coconut Milk (or water)
1.5 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (or you can use rice vinegar or the original flavor of Tamarind though the latter takes more work since you have to soak the tamarind paste)
3 Tbsp Nama Shoyu (the raw version of soy sauce)
1/8 tsp cayenne (or 1 fresh red chili pepper minced … though I’d add this to taste)
4 Tbsp raw sweetener … I used Maple syrup, but dates or agave would work well
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp Fiesta Mole powder (for garlic and other spicy thai seasonings)
6 sun dried tomatoes (gives it even more tangy taste and a thicker consistency)
1/4 Cup cashews (for a creamier, thicker sauce)
Blend all of the above in your Vitamix until smooth. Then spiralize your favorite noodles – I really like jicama and/or zuccini for this. Put some sauce on your plate, put the noodles on top, then top with more veggies – like pea pods, julienned red bell pepper, julienned carrots, sliced mushrooms and bean sprouts. Top with more sauce.
For extra garnish I like ground up cashews (1/2 Cup) mixed with sesame oil (1 Tbsp) and sun fire salt (1/2 tsp) … it tastes like the traditional peanuts on top of the pad thai. You could also garnish with cilantro, basil and lime wedges. Though I have to say, I often skip the garnish and go right for the pad thai it’s so darn yummy!
Oh, and the sauce recipe above should make enough for 4 servings of Pad Thai unless you like it really saucy. I suggest you try it with this smaller amount of sauce though because part of the pleasure of eating raw is that you get to taste the freshness of all the ingredients … don’t drown your food.