Raw Vegan Pesto Pizza

Raw Vegan Pesto

Raw Vegan Pesto

A few weeks ago, I enjoyed some delicious raw vegan food at this awesome vegan restaurant in Columbia, South Carolina called “THE GOOD LIFE CAFE”  and they served up some amazing raw vegan meals!  We ordered raw stuffed mushrooms, raw pizza, raw cinnamon  rolls, raw noodles, raw parfait, and raw tacos.  After that visit, I have come to the conclusion that The Good Life Cafe is now one of my most favorite restaurants.  Everything was so delicious and flavorful!

The Good Life Cafe

The Good Life Cafe

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The Good Life Cafe

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Raw vegan tacos with salad

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Asian Noodle salad (kelp and squash noodles)

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Raw vegan pizza with fruit salad

 

I have been thinking so much about their food so last night I decided I was going to make some raw vegan pizzas!

 

Pizza crust:

(Click here for pizza crust directions)

Pesto Sauce:

  • 1.5 cups of fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup of chopped zucchini
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of pine nuts
  • salt to taste

Directions:  Blend/process all pesto sauce ingredients together and set aside.

 

Raw Parmesan:

  • 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup of raw cashews
  • salt to taste

Directions: Process together and set aside.

Raw Parm

Raw Parm

Mushroom topping:

  • 7 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of liquid aminos
  • 3 tablespoons of cold pressed olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 2 large shiitake mushrooms

Directions:

  1. Dust mushrooms off.
  2. Thinly slice mushrooms.
  3. Mix apple cider vinegar, liquid aminos, garlic powder, and olive oil together.
  4. Pour over the sliced mushrooms.
  5. Marinate the mushrooms for 15 minutes.
  6. Dehydrate for about 30 to 45 minutes.

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Okay, now you are ready to build your pizza!

  1. Prepare veggies (slice tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, etc.)
  2. Spread pesto sauce on your crust.
  3. Layer your toppings.
  4. Sprinkle parmesan on top.
  5. Enjoy!

 

Raw Vegan Pesto Pizza

Raw Vegan Pesto Pizza

I really enjoyed this pesto pizza.  I love pesto and it went great with the crust, veggies, and the tangy mushrooms!

Raw Vegan Ice Cream Sandwiches

Raw Vegan Ice Cream SandwichesI made some raw-vegan “cookies” the other day and I thought it would be fun to make some raw-vegan “ice cream” sandwiches with them.

I have a few “ice cream” recipes, but for these “sandwiches” I kept it really simple.

Ingredients:

  • 2 peeled and frozen bananas
  • 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla

Directions:

  1. Blend the ingredients your Vitamix or food processor.
  2. Make “ice cream” sandwiches.
  3. Enjoy!

 

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake with Vanilla-Walnut Frosting

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake with Vanilla-Walnut Frosting

Raw vegan carrot cake patties with vanilla-walnut frosting dip.

I love “juicing” but “juicing” comes with a lot of pulp.  I hate to waste food, so when I’m not composting the  pulp, I like to make treats for us.  I have made dog treats for my furry babies, raw-vegan “cookies“, soups, etc.  Today I felt like having carrot cake.  So I googled some recipes and I found this raw vegan carrot cake cookie recipe (click on the link below). I used the recipe from rawglow.com to make my “cake” but added a few things: Please click here to learn how to make the “batter”.  http://rawglow.com/blog/2010/01/12/no-nut-carrot-pulp-raw-food-dehydrated-cookies/ Note:  I added 1/4 cup of blended fresh pineapple and a couple of pinches of nutmeg.  I also used ground flax seeds instead of chia seeds.  I also didn’t make “cookies”.  Instead, I molded them into thick patties (about 3/4 of an inch thick).  I also dehydrated them for about 11 hours. 

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake with Vanilla-Walnut Frosting

Raw vegan carrot cake patty with vanilla-walnut frosting and shredded coconut.

Frosting ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • 1/3 cup of shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 10 medjool dates
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • pinch of salt

Directions:  Blend all of the frosting ingredients together and refrigerate.   Raw Vegan Carrot Cake with Vanilla-Walnut FrostingMy daughter and I enjoy these very much.  I can have carrot cake anytime and as much as I want without any guilt!

Raw Vegan “milk and super cookies”

 

Raw vegan goji berry/cacao "cookie".

 

I usually don’t like buying cookies from the store because they are usually pretty unhealthy.    So, I like to make this version of “milk and cookies” to give to my family.  They are healthy, filling, and yummy!

Here is what you will need:

For Cookies:

  • A dehydrator
  • 1 cup of raw almonds (soaked over night)
  • 10 medjool dates (soaked over night)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 3 tablespoons of raw cacao
  • 1/4 cup of goji Berries
  • 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup sesame Seeds
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of old-pressed coconut oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of raw agave or maple syrup

 

Raw vegan goji berry/cacao "cookie"

 

Directions for “cookie”:

  1. Drain the water out of your soaking dates and almonds.
  2. Throw dates, almonds, banana, vanilla, cacao, coconut oil, ground flax, salt, and agave (optional) in a food processor.  Blend all together until it is a paste.  Note, if your mixture is still too dry, you can add a few tablespoons of water and blend it some more.
  3. Shape into cookies (less than a half of an inch thick) and dip in sesame seeds.
  4. Place in the dehydrator and dehydrate for 12 hours.
  5. Enjoy!

 

Raw vegan goji berry/cacao "cookie".

That is my daughter’s hand. She loves these cookies!

For Hemp “milk”

  • 2 cups of water
  • 2.5 to 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds
  • 3 dates
  • 1 drop of vanilla

Directions for “milk”:

  1. Place hemp seeds, dates, and water in your Vitamix or other high-powered blender.
  2. Blend for a minute or two until it is really smooth.  Note:  you can strain the hemp seed pulp if you would like, but mine is usually really smooth and I am too lazy to strain it out.
  3. Enjoy with cookies!
Raw Vegan Hemp Milk

Raw Vegan Hemp Milk

Today’s lunch: Buffalo Tempeh “wings”, Avocado “fries”, and Potato Wedges served with Cashew Ranch

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I felt like having “finger foods” today, so this is what we had for lunch: tempeh Buffalo “wings”, Avocado “fries”, and potato wedges served up with cashew “ranch” sauce.

You will find the recipe for the “Buffalo Tempeh” and cashew “ranch” here.

Avocado “fries” ingredients:

  • 2 avocados (pitted, peeled, and sliced into strips)
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of non-dairy milk (today I used rice milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder (optional)
  • 1 cup of raw wheat germ or panko bread crumbs (today I used raw wheat germ)
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil spray

Directions for avocado “fries”:

  1. Preheat oven to 385 degrees
  2. Spray cookie sheet with olive oil.
  3. Mix garlic and onion powder into the non-dairy milk (optional).
  4. Dip avocado strip into milk.
  5. Roll the strip into flour.
  6. Dip avocado strip into milk again.
  7. Roll the strip into wheat germ or bread crumbs.
  8. Place on cookie sheet.
  9. Repeat for all the avocado strips.
  10. Bake for 8 minute on each side.
  11. Sprinkle salt and pepper on them before serving.
  12. Enjoy!

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Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse

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For my friend Vivian.  :)

I haven’t made this in a while and today I was really craving for some chocolate.  So, I had some mousse for dessert!

Ingredients:

  • 2 pitted ripe avocados
  • 9 pitted medjool dates
  • 3 tablespoons of raw agave
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons of raw cacao
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil

Directions:

Throw all ingredients in your Vitamix or food processor and blend until smooth.  Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.

You an also use this recipe as “frosting” for a raw vegan “un-bake” cake.  See below.

 

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Raw Vegan “CHEESY” Noodles

 

Raw Vegan CHEESY noodles

 

Last year we went to a restaurant in Playa Del Carmen called “La Senda“.  I had some delicious “cheesy” noodles made out of camote (sweet potatoes).  It was very filling and healthy.  Lately, I have been craving it.  So, I decided to experiment and try to replicate their “cheesy” noodles.  It turned out pretty good!  Both my daughter and I stuffed our faces!  :)

Note:  you will need a spiralizer for this one.  

Ingredients for “noodles”:

  • 2 medium-sized peeled and spiralized raw sweet potatoes

Ingredients for “cheesy” sauce:

  • 1 cup of raw cashews
  • 2/3 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 6 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • salt to taste

Directions for sauce:  throw all of the sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Note: I added some cilantro from my garden to top it off.  You can also use raw basil or just leave it plain.

Enjoy!

 

Benefits of sweet potatoes: vitamin B6, Vitamin C, iron, Vitamin D, magnesium, potassium, fiber, and more.

Benefits of this “cheesy” sauce: 50-60 grams of protein, lots of b12, calcium, and more.

 

 

Being Vegan in the Riviera Maya

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Chichen Itza

In October, my husband, child and I flew down to Mexico to spend a little time in a wonderful little city called Playa del Carmen.  I have to say that this trip was one of the best trips ever!  As soon as we landed, we were greeted by some very friendly people to drive us from Cancun to the condo in Playa del Carmen.   When we arrived at our condo, my daughter and I looked up at the sky and saw a beautiful shooting star.  We looked at each other in excitement and smiled.  I knew it was going to be an awesome trip!

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Beautiful sunset after dinner.

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Early morning.

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<3 Playa Del Carmen.  Playtime before dinner.

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Husband kite boarding with Playa Board Sports.

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My daughter and her daddy.

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Cancun

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After our home school sessions, we would either swim at the condo or go to the beach club.

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Enjoying the view!

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My child and husband kayaking.

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Taking a walk after dinner.

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My husband and child playing.

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Art class.

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Beach club

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Paddle boarding

It is easy being vegan in Playa Del Carmen!

Here are some of the dishes I made during our vacation:

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Almond-crusted tofu with brown rice pilaf.

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Raw-vegan brownies

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Amaranth pancakes

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Beans, guacamole, seitan, and rice.

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Creamy (nut-based cream) pasta with oyster mushrooms.

It wasn’t difficult to find places that carried specialty items and served vegan-friendly food.  I wanted to share these places with you so, if  ever you are in the area, you know where to go!  :)

Grocery Shopping:

1.  BIO NATURAL

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2.  We shopped at Mega (the Mexican Walmart is what people reffered to it) when we needed tools, kitchen utensils, toiletries, local fruits and veggies, etc.

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3.  DAQ FRUTERIA:  I don’t have a photo of their store, but it is about 60 steps away from MEGA.  They have everything from vegan “carne” asada, pasta, beans, quinoa, organic/local fruits and veggies to soaps and shampoos.  And, there is a restaurant right next to them that serve yummy lentil burgers and awesome smoothies.

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lentil burgers from La Cieba (next to DAQ)

Here are some of the restaurants we went to:

1. 100% Natural

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100% Natural on 5th St

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Delicious mushroom ceviche at 100% Natural

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Vegan burger at 100% Natural

2.  BIO NATURAL:  We loved their falafel pita sandwiches and bbq tofu.
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3.  AH CACAO:  I love their hot chocolate!  And t even says VEGAN hot chocolate on their menu.

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VEGAN HOT CHOCOLATE at Ah Cacao.

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Vegan chocolate from Ah Cacao eaten with some delicious organic Goji Berries you can get at La Senda or Bio Natural.

 

4.  LA SENDA

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Eating some raw-vegan camote “cheesy” noodles.

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Raw-vegan berry banana ice-cream at La Senda.

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5.  MOYO on 5th Street

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They serve delicious soy yogurt!
I contacted MOYO to make sure they were vegan.

6.    CURRY OMM

Vegan food at Curry Omm

Vegan food at Curry Omm

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vegan dessert at Curry Omm
Delicious!

7.  LA FRUTA MADRE

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FRUSHI at La Fruta Madre

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8.  One of my favorite restaurants EVER (not in Playa del Carmen, but in Cancun), is VEGAN PLANET (please refer to my “raw vegan pizza” post).  They had awesome raw vegan dishes, desserts, candies, kombucha, clothing, nuts, and more!

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9.  We would also eat at random restaurants that would have meat-less beans, hot sauce, guacamole, tortillas and chips.

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At the beach club:
Chips, guacamole, beans, and carrot/habanero hot sauce (yellow dip in the middle).

TOURS:

Here are some pictures of the places we visited:

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COBA ruins

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TULUM ruins

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Chichen Itza

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Akumal

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Turtle in Akumal beach

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Ray in Akumal beach

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My daughter snorkeling in Akumal.

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Amazing Cenotes near Akumal

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My husband and child exploring.DSCF0496

Playa Paraiso

Playa Paraiso

Another cenote.

Another cenote.

On top of Coba

On top of Coba

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Cenote near Chichenitza

Cenote near Chichen Itza

I also want to add, one can never be too careful when using their ATM cards.   Someone had “skimmed” our card and stole $3,000 within just a couple of days.  Luckily, we got it all back through our bank.

Also, I wish tourists would watch THE COVE before going to the Riviera Mayas.  There seems to be a few dolphin shows out there.

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One of the last days before we went back to the U.S.
(walk after dinner)

Luckily, our trip was not dampened despite the whole “ATM card skimming” situation. 

We left in December but are planning to return very soon!  I can’t wait to go back!  I am in love with Mexico.  And, I am especially in love with Playa Del Carmen.

For more information on VEGAN-FRIENDLY places, you can also check out:  http://www.happycow.net/north_america/mexico/playa_del_carmen/