Kale Salad – a delightful surpise and classic in our kitchen

Here is a staple salad that can be made all year round – given you grow the kale yourself. As any hardy vegetable (see Cabbage Cranberry Salad), kale becomes soft and palatable when massaged with a bit of natural salt, lemon juice and oil. This will make an instant dressing. For a more creamy version just massage the avocado with the kale from the start.

Kale salad, ready to serve

The more colourful ingredients you can use the more alive your final salad will look. Fresh corn, orange bell peppers, sprouts, olives, heritage tomatoes, red radishes, etc.

And here is the basic recipe:

  • 1 big bunch kale, stems removed
  • ½ tsp natural sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 avocado seeded, peeled and diced
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, finely diced – as confetti
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • ½ bunch curly parsley, chopped
  • 1T sun dried tomato powder*
  1. Destem the kale.  Cut the kale into thin strips (chiffonade).
  2. Neglecting the avocado cubes, tomatoes and parsley, put all the other ingredients into a big mixing bowl and massage well by using your hands in order to soften the kale.
  3. Add the avocado cubes and parsley and toss well with your hands.
  4. Fill a bowl with an abundant amount of massaged kale and form a little mold in the centre. Place 2 T diced tomato in the centre mold and sprinkle yellow bell pepper confetti around it.
  5. Serve with crackers or focaccio bread.

*Sundried Tomato Powder can be made by dehydrating organic (the dark ones, without sulphites) sundried tomatoes and then grind them in a high speed blender. Keep the powder in a jar in your pantry as a savoury condiment for other salads.

Variations: Play with whatever is in season. You can virtually vary any of the other ingredients. Just remember, to soften kale or hardy vegetables by massaging you will need some natural salt. Acid (from citrus or vinegar) and fat will help to soften the vegetables and distribute the flavours.

Love it up!

Gala 'loving it up'.

Interesting combinations for kale can be created with orange juice, cucumbers, raisins, pine nuts etc. Edible wildflowers make great garnish!

Eat the salad either from a bowl or roll a portion into a lettuce leave or quarter sushi Nori sheet.

Enjoy!

René

🙂

Wildflower Salad

Super Hero Bliss Balls – Superfoods kicking butt

These ones were the hit at the Prana New Year Festival 2012 ‘Chocolate Bar’ at the Barn. Having arrived here you might have been looking around on the web for a decent Bliss Ball recipe that didn’t just sport some nuts and dates rolled into a ball. I’ve been in your position and couldn’t find any either that deserved the ‘Bliss’ with the Balls.

So here is a proven recipe that has some serious ‘Bliss Potential’. They are a great treat, last a while in the fridge and can be altered to have a different dusting (try Mesquite or Lucuma), the goji berries replaced with Acai, etc. Just make a few batches of this recipe and then start playing. I would love to hear from you. And while you are on it, please take a few pictures, as I haven’t any good ones of these yet 🙂

Super Hero Bliss Balls with Müsli Slice

Super Heroes as supporting act to Müsli slices

Super Hero Bliss Balls

A lunchbox treat for Super Heroes!

Makes a few

  • 2c dried shredded coconut
  • 2c Cashews, dry, ground into flour
  • 2T Chia seeds
  • 1/2c Goji berries, soaked
  • 1/3 c date paste (dates blended into a paste with just enough water)
  • 1T Maca powder
  • 3T raw cacao powder
  • ½ t Vanilla extract
  • 2T raw cacao nibs
  •  1-2 T raw cacao powder for dusting
  1. Combine the coconut, cashew flour, chia seeds, maca powder, 3 T of raw cacao powder and the cacao nibs in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a food processor pulse the goji berries then add to the date paste. Now add the moist ingredients, incl. Vanilla extract, to the dry mix in the bowl. With your hands mix everything well.
  3. With a 1 T measuring spoon scoop even amounts of bliss ball mix into your hand and roll into evenly round balls.
  4. Dust each ball individually by loosely rolling it in raw cacao powder in a separate bowl. Let it gently roll around in your hand to apply the cacao powder firmly to it and to shake off any excess powder.
  5. Refrigerate for 1 hour then place on a platter and serve – or hide in the Super Hero’s lunch box.

Enjoy, and try keeping up with the demand!

Rene

🙂

Superfoods 101 – an introductory class to exotic ingredients

Here comes a brilliant opportunity for you to figure out what all these weird named packages are: Superfoods!

A live food demonstration at the Wise Cicada, February 22, 2012, 6.30pm.

Wildharvested in the Pacific North West

  • What’s in them?
  • What are they good for?
  • How do they taste?
  • How can I use them to my best benefit and greatest taste?

Have you ever wondered how to use: Camu, Yacon, Macqui, Acai, Maca, Sancha Inchi, Chia (apart from Babak’s Chia Drink), Goji berries, Cat Claw, Stevia, Lucuma, Turmeric, Nopal, Noni, Cacao, Mangosteen, Mesquite, Beepollen, Yum, Spirulina, Hemp, Coconut oil, Barberries, Chlorella, Golden Berries, Mulberries, CMD, Pomegranate, and a few more…

I’ll have Ross J Sims from Living Foods Lifestyle assisting me with this class.

Let me introduce

Ross and his wife Michele La Chante are running a Superfoods focused business and are also the New Zealand representatives of Navitas – THE Superfoods company. Many of the Superfoods on the Wise Cicada‘s shelves are imported by Michele and Ross. Ross will be there to talk about the superfoods we present to you in this class and will also answer your questions about them.

I myself will be introducing some delicious ways of using the featured products in your daily nutritional routine and meals. Without giving too much away I can already promise you some ice cream, a few great tasting smoothie ideas, raw chocolate and a few others.

Super SmoothieYou will take a recipe booklet home and get to sample the superfoods we feature that night as well as everything I demo in front of the class.
All of this for an investment of NZD60.- only.

Due to the nature of this class and the amount of samples we will be giving out the space is limited to 20 students only.

Please book early by contacting us here or by ringing René directly on 0275551622. Alternatively you can book your place at the Wise Cicada.

We’ll see you on February 22, 2012 from 6.30pm – 9pm at the Wise Cicada Café in Newmarket – on a natural HIGH!

René

🙂

PS: As you can see above, the list of so-called superfoods is long, so expect more superfoods classes to follow this ‘101’ edition!

Chocolate body paintings available upon request only 😉

Raw Chococlate Body Painting

Raw Cheese Cakes de-mystified – a Master Class

Catering the raw desserts for the One World Café at the Prana New Year 2012 festival has given us plenty of practice and opportunity to fine tune our recipes. We are now announcing our first Raw Cheese Cake Master Class.

Dark BeautyWhere: Wise Cicada Café, 23 Crowhurst Street, Newmarket, Auckland

When: Wednesday, February 1st, 2012, 6.30-8.30pm

How much: $55.-/person

This class will be run as an interactive food demonstration. René will be preparing several raw cheese cakes right in front of you. You will have the chance to taste the finished products and ask all your questions. We will provide you with copies of the recipes to all  demonstrated cakes and will, as always, offer you many many ideas – so bring a pen!

René will basically demonstrate two kinds of raw vegan “cheese” cakes – the cashew-based kind, as served at the Wise Cicada Café and Prana and the young coconut meat version as served at Lydia’s and René’s wedding 🙂

Strawberry Coconut Cream Cake, cutThe latter to provide you with ideas on how to use the delicious young coconut meat from the drinking coconuts available now.

ALSO: René will put special focus on the art of making ‘perfect’ raw crusts and their use for different occasions like cakes, pies as well as small tartlets, perfect for catering.

Divine dessertsAll our recipes are vegan, gluten-free and raw. You will graduate from this class with the confidence to prepare stunning raw cheese cakes on your own. We will also be there for you to help you pick the right ingredients and equipment. Any questions later on – just contact us here, by phone, e-mail or at the Café in Newmarket.

The spaces for this class are limited to 20 students so please reserve your place early. We have already taken several bookings.

Send us an e-mail from our contact page or ring René on 0275551622.

Alternatively register at the Wise Cicada shop counter.

We are looking forward to seeing you shortly.

🙂

Swirly CCCC

Chocolate Haystacks – a quick and easy crowd pleaser for the holidays

This recipe was inspired by our dear friend Elaina Love of Pure Joy Planet.

It’s one of those things you make once and then just keep doing until they become so familiar that you don’t even require the recipe. After a while you replace the thread coconut with soaked, dehydrated and coarsely ground pecans, add some cocoa nibs and cinnamon to the mixture… you know how it goes 😉

At the Wise Cicada Café we produce them in big batches on over-sized baking trays, pressed firmly, chilled…

Chocolate haystacks/-sticks before cutting…and then cut into 128 individual pieces. Our guests just love them with their coffee or tea. What you see here is only half a tray (cutting board too small :-))

the final result: chocolate "biscotti"And here we go:

Chocolate Haystacks

Makes about 30 piece

  • 3 c or 250g thread coconut (or soaked, dehydrated and then coarsely ground pecan nuts)
  • ¾ c organic virgin coconut oil, liquefied
  • ½ c organic cocoa powder (Equagold is offering great stuff too – non-organic though)
  • ¾ c Rapadura® dehydrated cane juice or organic raw sugar
    or ½ c agave nectar/maple syrup (the latter goes well with pecans!)
  • Zest from 1 organic orange or a few drops of high-quality organic essential citrus oil
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • ¼ t lemon juice
  • 2 T Cocoa nibs, optional
  • 1/2 t organic cinnamon, ground, optional
Method
  1. If you are using organic raw sugar or Rapadura, blend it in a dry blender jar into a powder.
  2. In a bowl whisk all the ingredients except the thread coconut together until the batter emulsifies.
  3. Now, with a spatula or your hand, mix the batter in with the shredded coconut.
  4. With a teaspoon and the fingers of your other hand shape into small haystacks and place on a tray.
  5. Place the tray in the refrigerator or freezer to cool down and solidify the haystacks. They will become soft at temperatures over 26°C so serve them cold!

a true crowd pleaserVoila! Enjoy and happy holidays!

Lydia and I will be in the Cocomandel – ah Coromandel 🙂 catering the raw dessert side of the Prana Festival. We might see you there!

René

🙂

 

Juicy raw apple cake fresh from Santa’s kitchen

Here is a treat you might want to spoil your loved ones with on Christmas. The recipe – originally inspired by my dear friend Chad Sarno – tolerates a lot of alteration, as long as you keep the amounts the same. You can substitute the cranberries with dried apples or dried pineapple pieces. Should you have run out of organic currants use sultanas. The raisin paste can happily turn into date paste. Oh! Before I forget it, you can replace the apples completely or just in part with grated carrots.

Remember though, what holds this cake together is the proper balance between wet and dry ingredients, so stick to the ratios and make sure you let the cake rest for at least two hours before serving – overnight is even better.

The topping/icing of the cake can either be cashew cream – see below – or a bit more liquid coconut cream (less coconut oil) as used in our wedding cake (see there).

Enjoy the bake-free preparation and the happily fed family! Careful, this cake is very filling!

Sample of Raw Apple CakeRaw Apple Cake

Serves 6

¨        2 c apple, grated, fresh (approx. 4 small apples)

¨        1 ½ c organic dried cranberries

¨        2 c pecans or walnuts, soaked, dehydrated and ground into flour. .

¨        ¼ c currants

¨        1 c raisins, soaked 2-4 hours and blended into a paste

¨        1 T cinnamon

¨        ½ T orange zest, grated (optional)

¨        2 T carob powder or mesquite flour

¨        pinch of nutmeg

¨        1-2cm grated ginger (optional)

Method

  1. Place all ingredients into mixing bowl and handmix gently, yet thoroughly, set aside.
  2. Using a 6-inch spring form pan, line the bottom with plastic wrap. If you happen to use a pie dish, line the whole dish with plastic wrap (see picture)
    filled cake form before turning it over
  3. Press ’cake’ into pan firmly.
  4. Turn over on a serving platter and remove spring form pan and plastic wrap. Cut into individual pieces now, if you prefer to serve as such.
  5. Frost or garnish with cashew cream.
  6. Chill before serving.

Note with extra cake, form into bars and dehydrate for 10-12 hours for a great snack on the trail.

Cashew Cream

Makes 2 cups

  • 2 ½ c cashews, soaked over night
  • enough filtered water to just cover the cashews in blender jar
  • 1 T organic maple juice
  • 1 t lime juice
  • ½ t vanilla extract
  1. Blend all ingredients in high speed blender into a smooth cream.
  2. Fill into garnishing bag and garnish cake or use as icing.

individual raw apple cake bitesHappy Holidays!

René

🙂

Prana New Year Festival 2012 – see you over New Year on the Coromandel!

Yes, take your darling and the kids and join us at the Prana New Year Festival 2012 from December 30th, 2011 to January 3rd, 2012!

Just go to: http://prana.co.nz and check it out!

We will be part of the residential kitchen crew at “The Barn” and René will be the chef in charge of the daily dessert selection and raw chocolate creations. Should you have missed us at the 2006 Fresh Festival in the UK – here is your chance to enjoy some seriously yummy raw festival desserts right near you (if you live in NZ).

Divine dessertsTo top it all off you camp in one of New Zealand’s most scenic areas, have some top notch artists and entertainers perform and an amazing beach just steps away. Only a few weeks ago we happened to be on the Coromandel and stopped by to say ‘Hello!’ to Maya and Dan at Prana. We were blown away by the setting of the festival land – an old-grown coastal pine forest right behind the most serene beach. Heaven!

All right, at the festival we will share that beach with about 1500 other attendants – trusting they won’t show up all at the same time when we go swimming 😉

Here is a little teaser from Cathedral Cove, further North on the Peninsula.

Cathredal Cove BeachSo we are looking forward to seeing you at Prana over New Year!

René
🙂

Psst! René’s cakes and desserts are available for sale at the Wise Cicada Café in Newmarket too.

Moroccan Spiced Carrots

Here is a beautiful alternative to the good old carrot, apple, lemon juice and raisin salad, ok ok, beetroot is cool too 🙂

You might have been lucky to see me sampling this salad at Remuera New World this afternoon. If not, here is the recipe. Needless to say that organic is best! New season’s organic carrots are on the shelves now. Go get’em!

Moroccan Spiced CarrotsCarrots with Moroccan Spices

Serves 4

  • 4 carrots, very thinly sliced or grated
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  •  ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  •  ¼ cup sultanas
  •  2 Tbsp lemon juice
  •  1 Tbsp olive oil
  •  ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  •  dash ground cumin
  •  dash cayenne pepper
  •  dash cinnamon
  •  ¼ tsp natural sea salt or to taste
  •  fresh ground pepper to taste
  1. Combine the carrots with the lemon and orange juice, olive oil, and sea salt
  2. Massage or toss well.
  3. Add the other ingredients and toss well to combine.

Note: Alternatively to using the individual spices Cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cumin and black pepper I like to use 1/2 tsp of a brilliant North African ‘Ras El Hanout’ spice blend by chef Greg Malouf. His blend contains also cardamom seeds, turmeric, coriander and many others. It just gives this salad an even more exotic and rounded flavour. You can buy this specific spice blend form New World Remuera. The salad is available there too – at the deli counter. Yes I will restock tomorrow – beside doing a Sauerkraut food demo! See you in the afternoon!

'Mandolined' carrots

A good workout on the mandolin

Have fun playing and watch your fingers!

René

🙂

Orgasmic Blueberry Pie – a raw revelation

And here is another all-time favourite of mine. A raw pie that works with all kind of fruit. Any frozen berry will do, although I prefer organic strawberries or blueberries because of their small seeds. Ripe pears with ginger work well, persimmons are great, so is kiwifruit. Just make sure you add enough lime or lemon juice to counter balance the fruit sugar and the sweetness of the crust.

The proper ratio for the psyllium husk powder is 1 Tbsp per 2 cups of mixture. Add last and blend well. Then quickly pour the filling. It will solidify in less than 5min. After about 30min the pie will hold up nicely when you lift it out of the pie form. If you can’t get psyllium husk powder just buy normal psyllium husks and grind them into a fine powder in your blender. It will jelly into a more homogenous texture than the whole psyllium husks.

Once you get the hang of this pie 15 min preparation time + 30 min resting time in the refrigerator should be the norm. The best thing about raw pies and cakes: they never burn! 🙂

Orgasmic Blueberry PieOrgasmic Blueberry Pie

Serves 8

Crust¨

  • 200g shredded coconut
  • 200g raw cashews
  • 2 Tbsp light honey or raw agave nectar
  • ¼ tsp lemon juice

Filling

  • 750g frozen organic blueberries, defrosted
  • 6 organic Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp Psyllium husk powder (1Tbsp per 2 cups of liquid)
  • ½ mango or pineapple, finely diced for garnish
  1. To make the crust, in a food processor grind the coconut into a fine powder. Add the cashews and continue processing till they are broken down finely. Add the honey/agave nectar and lemon juice and process till the mixture sticks together.
  2. Press into a pie form with removable bottom.
  3. To make filling blend the defrosted blueberries with the dates, vanilla extract and lime juice to a smooth liquid consistency. Add the Psyllium husk powder and blend shortly to distribute evenly throughout the mixture.
  4. Pour filling onto crust. Tap pie form a few times to let air bubbles escape and to distribute filling evenly. Smooth surface with a little spatula.
  5. Refrigerate before serving and garnish with mango or pineapple.

Enjoy!

René

🙂

Surprising alternative to cole slaw – Cabbage Cranberry Salad

Here is a delicious winter recipe with a surprisingly easy preparation and brilliant flavour combination. The cranberries add a lovely sweet and bitter contrast to the salad.

You might have seen me demonstrating and sampling this salad at New World in Remuera, Auckland. Stay tuned, there is more good stuff to come!

Cabbage SaladCabbage Cranberry Salad
Serves 6

¨        1 head of green cabbage, finely chopped, center removed

¨        ½ tsp natural sea salt (to taste)

¨        2 Tbsp grape seed oil

¨        1 avocado, seeded and peeled – optional for a creamier dressing

¨        ½ lemon, juiced or 1Tbsp organic apple cider vinegar

¨        ½ cup dried cranberries

  1. Combine all ingredients in a big mixing bowl and massage well by using your hands in order to soften the cabbage.
  2. Pause and let the salad rest for 5 min before massaging it to final softness. The cabbage should start to release liquid. Together with the finely distributed avocado this will make your dressing and also soften the dried cranberries.

Variations: Play with other vegetables from the cabbage family! Broccoli and kale work well. You can also add carrots and beetroot.

Substitute the cranberries with sultanas or dried and minced apricot. To soften cabbage and other hardy vegetables by massaging you will need natural salt. Acid and oil will help to soften the vegetables too and to distribute the flavours.

Happy massaging!

René

🙂