This is going to be a monster post, but I just have to do these recipes together — it just makes sense. I’m a personal chef and have been preparing food almost weekly for a raw vegan client for six months. I’m happy to say for three straight months she was able to be 100 percent raw with my help and feels great! The rest of the time, when traveling or on vacation, she eats vegan, but has noticed a big difference in her energy levels and how she feels when she falls off of the raw wagon.
As with most of the food I make for clients, I try to taste everything I make. Not only have I gotten into eating raw when I can (i.e. make the effort), but I’ve started eating at some great area raw restaurants (like Red Pepper Deli in Northville, Cacao Tree Cafe in Royal Oak and The Raw Cafe in Detroit).
A favorite of my client are these spicy walnut burgers and onion bread, so I decided to make them at the recent (Un)Cooking Club night with a raw theme. Everything the ladies made was DELICIOUS and included raw cheeze dip, kale salad with miso dressing, fall fall harvest soup, avocado coconut soup, and chocolate truffles. I’d like to say the burgers were a hit! They definitely were with me. My squeeze ate the leftover burgers the next day and I promptly made us another batch. I had an undisclosed number of them (more than 3, less than 5) for dinner tonight, wrapped in lettuce since a batch of the onion bread still is in the dehydrator.
I’ll say now too that I’m not exactly sure where I got any of these recipes. I’m constantly scouring websites, cookbooks and whatever I can get my hands on for new things, especially raw recipes. I then often tweak and adapt them to my or my clients’ tastes. I’ll be sure and give credit where credit is due if and when I come across them again.
Obviously, making things like this pretty much requires a dehydrator. If you don’t have one, you could try lining a sheet pan with unbleached parchment paper and keeping an eye on things in the oven. Considering things usually dehydrate for hours and hours, it would be quite a waste of energy to put the oven on its lowest setting and let things sit in there for a few hours, but you can do it. They say putting ovens on the lowest setting (ideally 175) and propping it open with a fork or a chopstick keeps it around 115 degrees — approximately the highest temperature at which things should be dehydrated to be considered raw/living. Above 118 degrees, food’s enzymes start breaking down and therefore they are no longer living. However, if you’re interested in trying these for flavor and health, and not their rawness, you can bake them in the oven at a low temperature (250? just a guess) and keep an eye on them.
On to the recipes.
Spicy Raw Walnut Burgers
You could leave the hot peppers out completely and it will still be delicious. Or, if you like things crazy hot like my client, throw in 2-3 habaneros or ghost peppers. I have been using 1 jalapeno or serrano and it’s been perfect for me.
• 1 c. walnuts, soaked in filtered water for 2-4 hours
• 1/4 c. sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in filtered water for 30+ min.
(Reserve soaking water)
• 1 hot pepper or more to taste
• 1/2 onion (This is up to your interpretation. I usually use half of a good-sized sweet onion)
• 1 Tbsp. nama shoyu OR Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce, tamari, etc., which aren’t technically raw)
• 1 tsp. salt-free meat seasoning (or a seasoning with salt and pepper and disregard the next two ingredients)
• 1/2 tsp. black pepper
• 1 tsp. sea salt
1. Process (drained) walnuts, (drained) sun-dried tomatoes, and 1/8 c. tomato soaking water in food processor, and process until it reaches a “meaty” consistency.
Here you can either remove from processor and combine with rest of ingredients in a bowl OR do what I do, and add rest of ingredients to the food processor and process until it reaches your desired smoothness or chunkiness, depending on what you like.
2. Turn dehydrator to 115 degrees and pull out trays, lined with with ParaFlexx sheets (or use parchment paper if you have a different kind of dehydrator). Form mixture into patties (be sure to use gloves if you’re using super spicy peppers. I learned this the hard way once…). I find the smaller the patties are the better because they dehydrate faster and they are a good size to either eat with the raw bread or wrap in a piece of lettuce like a burrito.
3. Put patties on trays (I made a double batch today and it made about 20 small burgers on 2 1/2 trays — I remove whatever trays I’m not using). Dehydrate for 1 hour.
4. Flip onto screen, removing the ParaFlexx sheet. You can either do this with a spatula or place an empty mesh-lined tray on top of a tray of burgers, flip it then carefully peel back the sheet. Dehydrate for an additional 1-2 hours until they are dehydrated to your liking.
Raw Onion Bread
I know I found this on a raw community forum. I remember it was referred to as “The Famous” onion bread. I LOVE the flavor of this bread. It also was delicious with the raw cashew “cheeze” that A made at cooking club.
• 2 1/2 pounds sweet onions (Any sweet onion will do — just make sure it’s some kind of sweet onion, like vidalia or walla walla, etc. If you can’t weight it, usually 3 medium to large onions hits around 2 1/2 pounds.)
• 1 c. ground sunflower seeds
• 1 c. ground flax seeds
• 3 oz. (1 1/2 Tbsp.) Nama Shoyu (or again, Bragg’s, etc.)
• 1 avocado, overripe*
• 1/4 c. olive oil
* Original recipes calls for 1/2 c. olive oil. I decided to substitute half of it with an avocado. At some point, I want to try to eliminate the oil altogether.
1. If you don’t have already ground flax or sunflower seeds, pulse in food processor until finely ground, then place in a medium sized mixing bowl.
2. Process roughly chopped onions in food processor until finely chopped but not total mush. Don’t worry, the seeds will soak up that extra liquid.
3. Place onions and rest of ingredients in with seeds and mix thoroughly. If your avocado isn’t super ripe, maybe leave some of the onions behind and process with the avocado to get it mushy, then add it to the rest.
4. Spread on ParaFlexx sheets about 1/2 inch thick. This recipe usually spreads to cover three trays. I usually “cut” it at this point with a pizza cutter or a dull/butter knife (carefully and lightly) into 9 squares each sheet. Although it doesn’t seem like it would do much, as it dehydrates it will separate more and make it easier to cut/break into pieces in the end.
5. Dehydrate at 115 for 4-5 hours. Then use the flipping trick mentioned above (if you can think of a better one, go for it. I felt like a genius the night I figured this out!) and dehydrate another 4-5 hours until it seems dehydrated to your liking. I actually usually flip, then go to bed, so it ends up dehydrating for 6 to 8 hours in the end and its just fine. It might not be as spongy or “bread-like” but it also doesn’t over-dehydrate it to a cracker state, so I’ve continued to do it this way.
6. Cut or break off pieces and place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 7-10 days. Use for sandwiches or however you like!
This is quick and easy and very tasty!
• 1 c. diced tomato, any variety
• 2 tsp. cider vinegar
• 1 tsp. agave
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/4 c. sun-dried tomato
Place everything but the sun-dried tomatoes in a high-speed blender until smooth. Then add sun-dried tomatoes and blend until thick and smooth.
Throw this on a burger with the bread and a crispy piece of Romaine lettuce and enjoy! I don’t have this particular bread or ketchup photographed, but you can see the burgers and other raw foods that I’ve made on my Facebook page for my business HERE.