Category Archives: recipes

Raw Tuesday recipes: shepherd’s pie and strawberry cream pie

This week’s raw vegan recipes might be slightly less detailed than usual (which is already not that detailed), as they involved a lot of improvisation. That’s the beauty of raw food, after all– you can play around with ingredients to suit your taste, without much risk of messing up the recipe. The shepherd’s pie is not terribly photogenic, either, but I promise, it tastes delicious.

Raw vegan shepherd's pie filling

Shepherd’s pie (serves 4)

Filling ingredients:

8 baby marrows (courgettes/ zucchini), peeled if not organic

8 small carrots, peeled if not organic

1 small onion (optional)

8 baby portabello mushrooms (or other medium-sized mushrooms)

1 red bell pepper

8 plum tomatoes

1/2 head of cauliflower

handful of fresh parsley, chopped

olive oil

lemon juice


herbs and spices: pinch of rosemary, sage, thyme

Filling instructions:

Dice all of the vegetables, toss with olive oil, lemon juice and tamari, and let marinate overnight. If you wish, you can dehydrate the vegetables for about an hour to soften them a bit more. Add chopped parsley and herbs after marinating overnight, and toss to combine.

Topping ingredients:

8 small parsnips, peeled

1/2 head cauliflower

1 cup cashews

salt and pepper to taste

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1-2 Tbsp olive oil

Topping instructions: process all ingredients in food processor or blender until they form the consistency of mashed potatoes. Feel free to add additional herbs and spices if you like.

Assembly: Place vegetable filling into 4 serving dishes. Top with “mashed potato” topping to cover. Garnish with a sprig of parsley or fresh rosemary.

Raw vegan shepherd's pie with topping

Raw vegan strawberry cream pie

crust ingredients

1 cup nuts (almonds or brazil nuts are great), soaked overnight

1/2 cup pitted dates

1/4 cup shredded coconut

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

Crust instructions: process all ingredients until a dough forms. Press into a pie tin, or individual tart/muffin tins. Place tins in freezer to set.

Raw vegan strawberry cream pie, with a little bit of puree topping

Filling ingredients:

1 cup strawberries, chopped

1 cup cashews, soaked at least 4 hours

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 cup agave (or to taste, depending on sweetness of berries)

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

Filling instructions: process berries and cashews in food processor until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth, adding a little water if needed. Add coconut oil last and blend until smooth. Pour filling into crust and place in freezer to set.

Topping ingredients:

1 cup strawberries

approx 4 Tbsp washed and soaked irish moss

approx 6 Tbsp water

2 Tbsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp agave (or more to taste)

2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

Topping instructions: Place Irish moss and water in the blender and blend until a gelatinous paste forms. This may take a couple of minutes. Add lemon juice and agave and blend until combined. Add strawberries and blend until pureed. Add coconut oil and blend until mixed.

Spread topping over filling and return pies to the freezer to set. They can be stored in the freezer and defrosted before eating, or stored in the refrigerator.

Raw vegan strawberry cream pie

The strawberry cream pie is truly delicious! If another fruit is in season, you could substitute it. Mango would be delicious, or passion fruit (granadilla, which would need to be strained for the filling), or even kiwi if you don’t mind a green pie.


Raw Tuesday recipes: Indian saag with biryani and pear crisp

This week’s raw vegan take-away was an amalgamation and adaptation of a few different recipes. One of the great things about working with raw food is that you can feel free to mess around with recipes. It’s not like baking a cake, where the ingredients need to be just right or the chemical reaction won’t work. With raw meals, you can’t really mess up. Whatever you do, it will be fine.

Raw vegan curried spinach with carrot & cauliflower "rice"

Raw vegan saag (curried spinach puree)

I got this recipe from a lovely little raw recipe book by Jonsi and Alex. It’s a free download. I highly recommend it. So far, everything I’ve made from their book is delicious.I modified their recipe slightly, but not much. It’s tomato, avocado, garlic, ginger, curry and other spices, and spinach, all mixed in the food processor or blender. Then you can sprinkle chopped veggies on top– onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, etc. Even sprouted lentils.

Carrot & cauliflower biryani

This one comes from the recent “Hot Raw Chef” competition hosted by Living Light Culinary Arts Institute, a raw food culinary school in California. A bunch of people entered the competition with a wide range of raw vegan recipes– some simple, some complicated. I’ve tried a few and they’ve generally been ok. While I usually like making my rice from parsnips, I thought it would be good to try something different. Normally I find cauliflower rice to bitter, but the combination of equal parts cauliflower and carrot, with shredded coconut and spices, is sweeter. I add raisins to mine for a little extra sweetness. You can watch the video for the recipe at the Hot Raw Chef site. For the recipe booklet, I think you need to sign up on their mailing list.

Raw vegan pear crisp

Raw vegan pear crisp recipe

This recipe was inspired by a lovely apple pie by Heathy Pace. I was going to share the “play by play” photos of preparation, assembly, etc but they were too dark. Sorry.


1 cup almonds, soaked overnight

1/2 cup dates, pitted

pinch of salt

pinch of vanilla

4 pears

juice of 1/2 lemon

pinch of nutmeg

1 Tbsp agave syrup

Instructions: To make the crust, process nuts in food processor until ground. Add dates, vanilla and salt and process until crumbly.

Press half of the crust mixture into the bottom of muffin or tart pans.

To make the filling, peel and core 2 pears, slice them and put them in food processor or blender with lemon juice, nutmeg and agave. Process until smooth. Peel and core the other two pears and chop them finely (small dice). Mix the diced pears into the pear puree. Pour this over the crust in the muffin pans, then sprinkle the rest of crumbly mixture on top. Set at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.

The filling for the pear crisp

Raw Tuesday recipes: Tacos and pineapple cream cake

This week’s recipes were borrowed and adapted from some of the world’s top raw chefs. So I can’t really claim the credit for these.

raw vegan tacos

Raw Tacos

1 batch of Raw Chef Russel James’ quesadilla filling- I can’t reprint the recipe without permission, but it’s based on pumpkin seeds, mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes, with some spices and other good stuff thrown in.

guacamole (see recipe here)

fresh salsa (see recipe here)

shredded vegetables (e.g. carrots, bell peppers, red cabbage)

Cos/ romaine lettuce for wraps

Instructions: Place cos lettuce leaf on a plate. Fill with shredded veggies, then taco meat, then guacamole and salsa on top.

Pineapple cream cake

This was based on Ani Phyo’s recipe, with a few modifications. I decided not to put the crust on top of the filling, just underneath it. I used agave, not honey, of course. And I put a layer of fresh pineapple on top of the crust, before putting the creamy filling in.

I didn’t manage to snap a picture of the cakes when they were whole and pretty, but here’s one with a few bites out of it, just to give you an idea.

Raw vegan pineapple cream cake, minus a few bites

Delicious! Though if you’ve got hours and hours of time to make a cake, I’d actually recommend this pineapple cake. It’s amazing!

Raw Tuesday recipes: vegan chili and chocolate orange bars

The only thing wrong with this week’s take-away meal was that I didn’t have food left over for myself. I love this chili– it’s the furthest thing from the measly carrots or celery sticks that people imagine raw food to be. It’s hearty and filling, with complex flavours. And the dessert…delicious!

raw vegan chili

Raw vegan chili recipe

This recipe is adapted from a recipe in Juliano’s Raw: the uncook book.

Tomato base

1 1/2 to 2 cups tomato, chopped

1/2 cup sun-dried tomato, soaked at least 10 minutes and drained

1 clove garlic

small piece (1 tsp) fresh ginger

small piece of a jalapeño (or other chili, to taste)

small piece (approx 2 Tbsp) onion, chopped

1/2 cup pitted dates (soaked if dry)

small handful of fresh basil leaves

pinch of salt, black pepper

Instructions: Process all ingredients in food processor or blender until you have a chunky sauce.

Vegetables: (you can feel free to substitute anything you want here….these are just suggestions)

1 1/2 cups sprouted lentils

1/2 cup baby marrows/ courgettes/ zucchini, diced

1/2 cup red pepper, diced

kernels from one ear of corn/mealie (approx 1/2 to 2/3 cup)

1/2 cup tomato, chopped (or 4-6 cherry tomatoes, halved)

4 white or brown mushrooms, chopped

1/4 cup each beetroot (beet) juice and carrot juice, as needed

spices: cayenne, paprika, salt and pepper

1/2 avocado, chopped (for garnish)

Instructions: Put all the chopped vegetables into a bowl, and stir together with the tomato base (from recipe above). Add beet and carrot juice as needed to achieve a slightly thinner mix (you are not making soup!).

If you want your chili warm, put it in the dehydrator at 42 degrees C for about 45 minutes. Top with diced avocado before serving.

Raw vegan chocolate (chocolate chip) orange bars

Raw vegan chocolate orange bars (makes a 9 x 9 inch squre pan, 9 bars)

These are adapted from Ani Phyo’s lemon bars. The variations are endless.


1 cup almonds, soaked

3/4 cup dates, pitted

1 tsp vanilla

pinch of salt

zest of 1/2 orange

juice of 1 orange

1 cup shredded coconut

handful of cacao nibs

chocolate topping (see below)

Instructions: Grind almonds in a food processor or blender. Add dates and process until a dough forms. Add orange zest, vanilla, salt, coconut and orange juice and process to combine. Add cacao nibs last and pulse, just enough to mix them in.

Press the dough into a 9 x 9 inch square pan. If you put a little shredded coconut in the pan first it helps prevent sticking. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour to set, and if desired, top with chocolate topping (recipe below).

Chocolate topping

1/4 cup cacao butter, melted

1/4 cup cacao powder

2-3 Tbsp agave (to taste)

Instructions: Mix cacao powder and agave into the melted cacao butter to form a smooth dark chocolate. Pour over the chilled orange bars and spread evenly with a knife – do this quickly before the chocolate hardens.

Raw Tuesday take-away recipes: sesame noodles and chocolates

It’s nice to be back. Somehow the old routine of Monday madness to get ready for Tuesday take-aways felt more reassuring than stressful. I guess we really are creatures of habit. This week’s main course has become a bit of a staple for me. The sesame sauce is based on a recipe from Choosing Raw (as I said before, one of my favourite sites). It’s really rich and delicious, especially if you’re a fan of tahini. For dessert, chocolates. I made a medley of flavours– hazelnut, orange, and cinnamon with cayenne. Yum.

Raw vegan sesame noodles

Sesame noodles

6 baby marrows (zucchini/ courgette) or 1 large one

red cabbage, shredded

carrot, julienne

bell pepper, julienne

mange tout (or other peas), sliced

mung bean sprouts

fresh coriander/ cilantro (leaves only)

sesame seeds

tamari-sesame sauce (recipe below)


Make the baby marrows into noodles, either using a spiraliser, a mandoline, a food processor, or just with a vegetable peeler and a knife. Put the noodles in a bowl.

Top the noodles with the rest of the vegetables. Pour a few tablespoons of sauce over the noodles and stir to combine.

Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and enjoy.

Sesame sauce

4 Tbsp tahini

3 Tbsp tamari or braggs aminos

1 tsp fresh ginger

1 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil

4 Tbsp water

Instructions: Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Test for saltiness, and add water as needed to thin.  You can also add a little lemon or lime juice (or rice wine vinegar, which is technically not raw but very tasty) if you want to add a little zing to it.

Raw vegan chocolates, 3 flavours

Raw vegan chocolate

These are so easy they don’t even require a recipe, but here it is anyway.


1/2 cup raw cacao butter

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

1/4 cup agave syrup

flavours/fillings- ground raw hazelnuts, orange zest, cayenne and cinnamon

Instructions: Melt the cacao butter, either in your dehydrator or in a glass/ceramic container, placed in a bowl of hot water (sort of an improvised double boiler). Once it’s melted, add the cacao powder and agave and stir until well combined.

Spoon some chocolate into your mold/ wrapper. Add some fillings, then spoon some more chocolate over the fillings. Place in refrigerator or freezer to set.

Recipe of the week: massaged kale salad

Kale is a staple of raw foodies. It provides more nutritional value for fewer calories than almost any other food. It’s rich in vitamins K, A, C and lots of other nutrients.


Kale is a curly, leafy green, a little tougher than spinach or even swiss chard when you have it raw. So to enjoy it, you need to massage your dressing into the leaves a bit to soften them up. That’s why it’s a massaged kale salad.

Kale is not that common in Johannesburg, but lately they have it at my fruit and veg seller. So I decided to make a massaged kale salad. I based my salad on this one, from one of my favourite blogs, Choosing Raw.  Her salad is an adaptation of one at a restaurant in New York– I haven’t tasted the original, but my adaptation of her adaptation was quite tasty. You really do have to massage the kale well, to soften it, and if you can let it sit for a while to absorb all the flavour, it’s even better.

Raw kale salad (serves 2)

1/2 a bunch of kale

1/2 tomato, sliced

1/2 baby bell pepper, sliced

1/2 avocado, sliced

shredded carrot (small handful)

pumpkin seeds (small handful)


2-3 Tbsp tahini

1/2 clove garlic

small piece fresh ginger (approx 1 tsp)

1-2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp braggs aminos or tamari

freshly ground pepper

Instructions: Blend all dressing ingredients until smooth. Wash kale, de-stem and cut into small pieces. Put the kale into a bowl, pour the dressing over it and massage the dressing into the leaves. This will take a couple of minutes, so go ahead and get your hands dirty.

Once the kale leaves have softened, add the rest of the salad ingredients and toss to combine. If you can leave the salad to sit for a little, it tastes better. This salad is so healthy you can almost taste the nutrients as you eat them!

Raw massaged kale salad

Recipe of the week: broccoli with raw pineapple teriyaki sauce

You can eat this 100% raw or slightly cooked. I find that if you either a) soak raw broccoli in hot water for a couple of minutes or b) lightly steam the broccoli, it’s easier to digest and still keeps most of its nutrients. Since this winter seems to be particularly chilly in Johannesburg, I opted for steamed broccoli.

The pineapple teriyaki sauce is something I’ve had on my mind for a while. I started to come up with a recipe and then discovered a very good one in The Raw Revolution Diet. The sauce is a delicious combination of flavours- sweet, tart, salty and spicy all at once from the pineapple, tamari, agave, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, chili. You can make a batch and keep it for up to a week, though you are likely to eat it all before then.

You can see the teriyaki sauce recipe on google books, here.

Lightly steamed broccoli with raw pineapple teriyaki sauce