View Full Version : Italian Christmas Dinner
12-14-2007, 06:21 AM
My mother is on a raw food diet, and finds it hard at Christmas so I wanted to make the best raw christmas dinner I could for her. She wants the traditional kind on Christmas Day (stuffing, veg etc) but none of the traditional foods I've made for her have been a hit so far (except for stuffing and onion bread). So I thought I'd make another Christmas Dinner early, with foods she *does* love.
So we had an Italian Christmas Dinner. There were 8 courses but tiny portions.
It went a bit wrong - the ravioli marinara sauce tasted far too sweet and nothing like last time I made it so I didn't like it at all. (Last time I adored it) I dehydrated the eggplant pizzas for far too long and the almond bread tasted funny. But apart from that it was a big success. My mum loved everything.
I'd recommend these recipes for sad-eaters because she is as hard to please as its possible to be. Next time though I'd do less courses as they're all very rich. And my tummy is poor.
Italian Christmas Dinner
drink : strawberry-grape punch
1 pesto stuffed mushroom (one mushroom cut in half per person)
1 eggplant pizza
spaghetti with pistachio pesto (only a spoonful of each per person)
tomato soup with almond bread (1/2 cup of soup per person)
neapolitan icecream with sliced strawberries and raspberry sauce
12-14-2007, 06:22 AM
The recipes are pasted below. The comments are by the chefs not me. Except the words in pink.
Slice a punnet of strawberries into quarters and place in glass jug. Fill with red grape juice and leave to marinate.
Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms by Alissa Cohen as posted on her website
Served warm out of the dehydrator, these are heavenly! These taste like a soft, breaded, cooked, stuffed mushroom.
14 + button mushrooms, washed and stemmed
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups basil
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1. Place mushroom caps top side down on a plate.
2. Blend all stuffing ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
3. Scoop a small amount of stuffing into each mushroom cap.
4. Dehydrate at 105 degrees for 5-6 hours or until soft.
Manicotti Bites makes 20
1 cup soaked macademia nuts
1 cup water
1 tablespoon braggs liquid aminos
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
3-5 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons thyme
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup minced fresh spinach
1 large zucchini
Process the macademias in food processor. Add water, braggs, oregano, onion powder, garlic, thyme, and salt
and process until smooth. Pulse in the spinach.
Slice the zucchini into paper thin strips. Spoon a tablespoonful of mixture onto each strip and roll it up. Serve on top of a spoonful of marinara from the pizzas.
Raw Ravioli by Alissa Cohen as posted on her website
(I quartered the recipe, it takes forever to make 4 turnips worth!)
This is one of my favorite raw recipes. I often make these at seminars and events and people go wild over them! There is always one person who continues to ask me through the whole event, "What kind of pasta is this made from?" Even after I tell them numerous times that it's turnip, not pasta. It's hard to believe these are raw!
Peal the turnips. Slice the turnips into very thin slices by cutting them in half and then using a spiral slicer, mandolin or other vegetable slicer to make thin round disks.
These will be used as the wrapper which would normally be the pasta dough.
1 cup pine nuts
1 cup macadamia nuts
1 cup walnuts
6 t Braggs or Nama Shoyu
8 t lemon juice
2 cloves garlic gh
1 cup parsley
Blend the pine nuts, macadamia nuts and walnuts in a food processor until ground. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend well, until creamy.
2 large tomatoes
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 clove garlic
dash of olive oil (optional)
Soak the sun dried tomatoes until soft. Blend in food processor: the tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, basil and garlic until well blended. Add the dates and olive oil and blend until smooth. This sauce should be thick.
Directions for assembling the ravioli:
Remove a single turnip slice from the batch. Place a teaspoon full of cheese filling in the turnip slice and fold the turnip over until all the sides meet. Squeeze the edges together. Some of the filling will ooze out; but this is what will hold the edges together. Just put the excess back into the bowl to reuse. If you don't have enough filling in them they will not stick together. Place them in a single layer on a large plate and drizzle the tomato sauce on top; allow to sit for a few hours. The turnip will become soft from the tomato sauce. Use a spatula to scoop the raviolis up and serve.
Spaghetti with Pesto
I used the spiralizer to make spaghetti out of the leftover turnip from the ravioli, added leftover pesto from the lasagna, and loosely forked them together.
Marinara (makes 2 cups)
1 cup sundried tomatoes soaked in 1 cup of water until soft (about 30 minutes) with their water
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped carrot
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
2 tablespoons braggs liquid aminos
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 - 2 cloves garlic
Blend in a blender until smooth
Marinated Mushroom Mixture
1 large portabella mushroom
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon braggs liquid aminos
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Mince the portabella mushroom. Combine the onion powder, olive oil, braggs, water and thyme in a bowl. Add the mushroom and allow to marinate.
sundried olives, cut in half and pitted (2 per pizza)
1/4 cup white onion slivers
minced fresh oregano
marinated mushroom mixture
1/4 cup red pepper slivers
Peel eggplant and slice into very thin rounds.
Sprinkle with seasalt. Place in the dehydrator at 105 degrees for 30 minutes.
Spoon Marinara sauce over each eggplant slice. Top with olives, onion, oregano, and the marinated mushroom. Dust with seasalt and onion powder. Accent with pepper strips. Dehydrate for 3 to 4 hours.
Not Campbell's Cream of Tomato Soup (is much better!!) from the goneraw website.
(This recipe is supposed to serve 4. I made a quarter of the quantity and it made 2 cups.)
Cream of tomato soup just like you get in a can!
8 carrots, juiced
2 sticks celery, juiced
1 lemon, juiced
½ cup pine nuts
2 cups tomatoes
some fresh oregano, just a bit to taste
½ tablespoon dried basil (or maybe 1 cup fresh basil)
1 tablespoon salt
4 Dates. Large whole freah.
1 medium onion
1 large english cucumber, juiced
Juice the first 3 ingredients and the cucumber, then put everything into a blender and blend until warm and smooth. Lap it up!!
Almond Bread by Russel James
I love making this bread as it’s so satisfying to create and eat. You can make a batch of this on Sunday and be set up for some fantastic lunchtime sarnies for the week, instead of just taking the salad option! I like to make a sandwich with avocado, lambs lettuce, tomato and cashew mayonnaise. If you like mushrooms then some chunky slices of portabello mushrooms marinated in Nama Shoyu or Tamari make an excellent addition too.
So here’s the recipe…
Mediterranean Almond Bread
Makes 18 ’slices’
1/2c olive oil
1c sun dried tomatoes, loosely packed
3c almond flour*
1c flax meal
3 medium courgettes (zucchini), peeled & roughly chopped
2 apples, cored and roughly chopped
3T lemon juice
3T Herbs De Provence or herbs of your choice
2T marjoram or herbs of your choice
*You can make almond flour a number of ways. My favourite is to save the pulp from any almond milk I make and dehydrate it so I can keep it in a glass jar until needed. You could also use the almond pulp wet. Another way would be just to grind some almonds into flour in a high powered blender or coffee mill.
- Process the olive oil, sun dried toms, courgette, apple, lemon juice, salt and dried herbs until thoroughly mixed.
- Add the almond flour and process again until a batter is formed.
- In a bowl mix the batter with the flax meal by hand. The reason you do this separately (not in the processor) is that you are likely to have too much mixture for the size if the processor at this point, and when you add the flax meal it will become quite heavy and sticky and overwork your machine.
- When mixed, process the whole batter in the machine again in small batches to achieve a light fluffy texture.
- Divide the mixture in 2 and place on Paraflexx sheets, on dehydrator trays.
- Use an offset spatula (aka offset palette knife or cranked palette knife) to spread the mixture evenly to all 4 sides and corners of the Paraflexx sheet. If mixture is too sticky you can wet the spatula to make things easier. With a knife score the whole thing into 9 squares.
- Dehydrate for 2 hours and then remove the Paraflexx sheets by placing another dehydrator tray and mesh on top and invert so that your original sheet of bread is upside down. That will allow you to peel the Paralexx sheet off and continue to dehydrate the underside of the bread.
- Dehydrate for approx 8 hours more (do this overnight so you’re not tempted to eat it before it’s ready) or until bread feels light in your hand. If the pieces don’t fully come apart where you scored, use a knife to cut them.
So there you have it. Once you have this bread, the only limit you have is your imagination. I have made bread before and used lasagna leftovers to create ‘cheese and tomato’ sarnies, one of my all-time childhood faves!
Let me know your favorite fillings!!! :-)
12-14-2007, 06:25 AM
Zucchini-and-Green-Zebra-Tomato Lasagne with Basil-Pistachio Pesto
The Chef: Matthew Kenney of Pure Food and Wine
Servings 6 (I always make half the quantity and it serves 4. This time I only served 1/6 per person)
2 cups raw pignoli nuts, soaked in water for at least 1 hour
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional; available in health food stores) (I never use this as its not raw, I add 1/3 red/orange/yellow pepper)
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups good-quality sun-dried tomatoes (dry-packed), soaked in water for at least 2 hours
1 medium ripe tomato, diced
1⁄4 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons maple syrup (I use agave)
2 teaspoons sea salt
Pinch hot-pepper flakes
2 cups packed basil leaves
1⁄2 cup raw pistachios
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
3 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
3 medium green-zebra tomatoes (or other heirloom variety)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Garnish: whole basil leaves
Place the pignoli, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt in a food processor, and pulse a few times, until thoroughly combined. Gradually add 6 tablespoons water, and pulse until the texture becomes fluffy, like ricotta. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside.
Place all ingredients in a blender, and process until smooth.
Place all ingredients in a blender, and process until smooth.
Using a mandoline or vegetable peeler, shave zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices, then cut in half crosswise. Cut the tomatoes in half, and each half into thin slices. Line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with two layers of zucchini slices. Brush the zucchini lightly with olive oil, spread 1⁄3 of the tomato sauce over it, and top with small dollops of “ricotta” and pesto, using 1⁄3 of each. Layer on 1⁄3 of the tomato slices, and sprinkle with 1⁄3 of the oregano and thyme. Add another double layer of zucchini and repeat twice more with the tomato sauce, pesto, ricotta, tomato slices, and herbs. Serve immediately, or cover with plastic and let sit at room temperature for a few hours. Garnish with basil.
6 frozen bananas
150g frozen blueberries
punnet of frozen redcurrants
1/2 - 1 cup mint
1 tbs honey
Blend 2 bananas with mint and honey. Place into small rectangular container - fill a third.
Blend 2 bananas with redcurrants. Fill the next third.
Blend 2 bananas with blueberries. Fill the last third.
Put back in freezer.
Raspberry Sauce :
blend punnet of fresh raspberries with honey.
To serve, place a tri-colour slice in a bowl, top with some of the strawberries that have been soaking in grape juice, drizzle with raspberry sauce.
12-14-2007, 09:04 AM
Congrats at a raw success with your Italian family. My family is Portuguese and they love BIG meals and not the healthiest either lol. I could never do raw with them. Good job! :D
12-15-2007, 11:25 AM
We're not Italian but Italian-raw seems to be the most successful with sad-eaters.
I've no idea what traditional Portugese food is like, I'm going to go and google it.
We've just had the same meal for the third day running, I made too much.
And for breakfast I had zucchini-spaghetti with the liquid that drained off the lasagna.
12-15-2007, 05:39 PM
Everything sounds just wonderful, good for your making such a successful holiday dinner!
12-15-2007, 05:49 PM
Thank you for taking the time to post all those recipes ! I am going to make that tomato soup right now for dinner . It sounds awesome !
12-16-2007, 07:51 AM
Ooh good, yes it is lovely.
I've never eaten campbells tomato soup so I can't compare them, but I do love this raw soup.
12-16-2007, 09:48 AM
Yes, thanks for sharing and the time spent to do same.
I think in addition a fabulous mince pie would be great for any occasion. I think we have some here, but one recently I would love to share, by Russell James, that Karen Knowler put in last weeks newsletter:
Raw Mince Pies
Makes 15 pies
For the pastry
* 1 cup almonds
* 1 cup walnuts
* 1 cup pecans
* 1 cup raw jumbo rolled oats
* 20 dried soft apricots
For the filling
* 7 soft dates
* juice of 1 orange
* 1 teaspoon orange zest
* 1 apple
* ½ teaspoon mixed spice
* 1 cup raisins
For the cream
* 1 cup courgette (zucchini), peeled and chopped
* ¼ cup agave nectar
* 1 cup cashews, soaked 2 hours
* 1 teaspoon psyllium husk powder
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1) Soak nuts overnight and fully dry them in a dehydrator.
2) To make the pastry, first process the nuts and oats in a Vita-Mix dry jug or coffee mill so that you end up with a fine 'flour'.
3) Transfer the mixture to a food processor with an 'S' blade. Add apricots one at a time until the whole mixture becomes sticky. If you are using apricots that have been soaked, you may find that you already have a dough-like consistency. If the mixture isn't forming a ball in the processor at this point then add some water (soak water if you soaked the apricots) a few tablespoons at a time until it does.
4) Roll out the mixture on a flat surface so that it is about twice the thickness of a pound coin. If mixture sticks to the rolling pin, mill some more oats to dust the rolling pin with. Alternatively you can wet the rolling pin; either works well.
5) Using a pastry cutter that will cut a base to the required size for your baking tray, cut the 'bases' from the rolled out dough. Place these in a muffin baking tray that has been lined with cling film. You will need to re-form and re-roll the dough to get the most from it. Use any left over dough to build extra pies!!!
6) Remove stones and flowers from dates and place in food processor. Add the orange juice, zest and mixed spice. Process and add water as needed to produce a creamy consistency. Mixture will need to occasionally be scraped from the sides of the processor using a spatula.
7) Chop apple into small pieces and add to mixture. Process for a further 15 seconds. Add raisins to mixture and stir in with a wooden spoon/spatula.
8) Remove bases after the 3 hours and fill with raisin mixture.
9) To warm the pies, return them to the dehydrator on mesh sheets for as long as you can keep your hands off 'em!!! They should be ready after an hour.
10) Whilst they are warming, process the courgette (zucchini), agave and vanilla in a blender until smooth. Add the cashews and process again until mixture becomes smooth again. Add the psyllium and blend a final time. When fully blended leave the mixture to firm up for 5 minutes. Transfer this mixture to a piping bag and pipe onto the warmed pies. You are now ready to enjoy raw mince pies with whipped cream!
He's an amazing chef and several recipes at his site. http://www.therawchefblog.com
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