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 take-aways: Menu for August 10th

Monday is a holiday–Happy Women’s Day– but we’ll still have raw vegan take-aways on Tuesday. This way you can feel like you’re on holiday for yet another day by getting delicious healthy food prepared for you on Tuesday.

This week’s menu:

Main course: Creamy curried spinach with a carrot & cauliflower biryani R 50

Dessert: Pear crumble R 20

How it works:

Please email joziuncooked[at]gmail.com to place your order. Let us know how many main courses and desserts you want. We will send payment details. Once your payment is received, your order is confirmed. All orders must be in by Monday, the 9th of August at 12:00 (remember it’s a holiday this week).

Pick-up is on Tuesday the 10th, in Observatory (from 12:00 to 15:00) or Melville (17:00-19:00). Alternative arrangements also available upon request. Please inform us of any food allergies or special dietary needs.

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!

Next raw vegan potluck in Johannesburg: 12 August

You’ve seen the pictures, you’ve read the descriptions, now come experience Joburg’s own raw potluck for yourself. Bring a raw vegan dish to share, meet other people who eat raw food and enjoy a delicious feast. You don’t have to be a long-time, die-hard raw foodist to come. Everyone is welcome!

It’s on 12 August at the Regent Hotel, 21 West Road South in Sandton. Dinner is laid out from 6:00, eating begins at 7:00 sharp. There’s a fee of R10 (for the venue) and you have to bring a raw vegan dish (with a label and a copy of the recipe, please).

If you have any questions, check the facebook group (the raw luck club), or email me (joziuncooked [at] gmail.com) or Heidi (liveheidi [at] liveheidi.com).

See you there!

The table at the last potluck

Raw vegan dairy alternatives workshop, Sunday 15 August

This is the first in a series of specialised raw vegan workshops from Jozi Uncooked. You will learn how to make nut and seed based milks and cheeses, as well as delicious non-dairy desserts such as coconut cream, mousse and cheesecake.

We will:
-make and sample lots of delicious dairy alternatives,
-discuss kitchen techniques for raw food preparation,
-talk about the health benefits of a raw vegan diet,
-learn about different flavour combinations to turn the raw vegan dairy alternatives into delicious meals.

The cost is R 250, including all workshop materials. To book, or for more information, email joziunocoked [at] gmail.com. Your place is confirmed once payment is received. The workshop will be held from 13:30 to 16:30 in Observatory, Johannesburg.

Here are a few pics of raw vegan dairy alternatives, to make your mouth water. They are not necessarily the exact same things we’ll make at the workshop:

Raw vegan almond feta, served on a flax cracker

Raw coconut mango smoothie

raw vegan lime cheesecake

Raw Tuesday take-aways: Menu for August 3rd

August already! Where does the time go? This week’s raw vegan take-away is (as usual) a delicious and healthy meal. And hopefully, it will be one of the last ones distributed only in Observatory and Melville. I have been looking into sites in the Northern suburbs of Johannesburg and I may have found one, so keep an eye on this blog for an announcement in the near future. The menu:

Main course: Raw tacos– a rich, meaty filling made from mushrooms and pumpkin seeds, served in a lettuce leaf wrapper topped with fresh salsa and guacamole. R 50

Dessert: Pineapple cream cake– a decadent, creamy fresh pineapple filling in a light nut crust. R 20

How it works:

Please email joziuncooked[at]gmail.com to place your order. Let us know how many main courses and desserts you want. We will send payment details. Once your payment is received, your order is confirmed. All orders must be in by Monday, the 2nd of August at 12:00.

Pick-up is on Tuesday the 3rd, in Observatory (from 12:00 to 15:00) or Melville (17:00-19:00). Alternative arrangements also available upon request. Please inform us of any food allergies or special dietary needs.

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.