Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Raw Celeriac Pasta with Black Garlic Pesto

One of the great joys of cooking is the freedom to experiment with ingredients. For a raw chef this can mean entering a completely undiscovered "regions." What goes well with cooked dishes may go south with raw food. But the world belongs to the brave and unless you open your mind fully to new possibilities, you will end up eating the same food over and over again.


Years ago I discovered the black garlic in Hong Kong. You might have seen it in fine grocery stores, or at least heard of it. I became a sort of fad with sophisticated European or American chefs and many gourmets experiment with it in their kitchens.

I have been using it for years and it became a secret ingredients in many of my signature dishes. Black garlic pesto is one of them.


Black garlic has been valued by the Chinese and by the Koreans since the ancient times. It was believed to prolong life. Modern research confirmed its health benefits: Black garlic contains twice as many antioxidants as raw garlic. It is rich in a compound known as S-allyl-cysteine or SAC. Research shows that SAC has a strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuro-protective activity. It helps strengthen the immune system, reduce bad cholesterol, and may even have the capacity to prevent types of certain cancer.  

Black garlic is produced in a fermentation process that takes something between thirty and ninety days. Garlic that has been fermented for a longer time is considered to be superior, but it also is more expensive.  

Black garlic has a wonderful molasses-like sweetness with a slight touch of garlic flavor, but it does not have the pungency of raw garlic.  It can be used in savory dishes and in desserts. Give it a try!


Ingredients:

for the pasta
  • 1 medium large celeriac (celery root)
  • 1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt 
  • 1 Tbsp freshly pressed lemon juice

for the pesto
  • 1/4 cup black garlic cloves
  • 1 small fresh garlic clove
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup virgin olive oil
  • freshly pressed juice of 1 small lemon (I used the sweeter and fruitier Meyer lemon)
  • 1/3 tsp Celtic sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw cedar nuts (use pine nuts if cedar nuts are hard to come by)
  •  1/3 tsp freshly ground black pepper (add more if you prefer)


Method:
  • Peel the celeriac and make noodles using spiralizer or a vegetable peeler. In a bowl gently mix the noodles with salt and lemon juice. Set aside to tenderize. 
  • Using a food processor pulse the pine or cedar nuts. You want your nuts slightly coarse. Stop processing when you have the desired coarseness. Set aside.
  • Process all the other pesto ingredients until you are satisfied with the consistency. Pesto should be creamy but not too runny. 
  • Transfer pesto into a bow. Add crushed nuts and mix again. The pesto should have refreshingly sweet and nutty taste. Add more salt or pepper if needed. 
  • Portion out the celeriac pasta. Add a scoop of pesto. Garnish with fresh basil and enjoy in good company!


Tip: If you do not have celeriac, try this pesto on raw parsnip pasta. I did not add any cheese, but if you have a chunk of aged nut cheese you may want add some to this recipe. If you are not a strict vegan, you may want to add some raw milk pecorino or a good parmigiano-reggiano. Use this pesto to make salad dressings and dips. And if you eat cooked food, add it to your tagliatelle or tortellini pasta, or to a cream of celeriac or a creamy potato soup. Experiment. It really is fun!

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

Dominique Allmon©2015

         

*Information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Super-Sexy St. Valentine's Day Smoothie

Here comes a recipe that will stir your senses. Healthy, happy people do not normally have problems with their libido, but even the healthiest and happiest people may want to experience the power of natural aphrodisiacs. 


The ingredients I used in this smoothie are well known for their libido-enhancing activity:
  • almond milk - rich in Vitamin E, zinc and selenium;
  • raw cacao - rich in antioxidants, contains compound known as phenylethylamine (PEA) that  helps you increase the production of endorphins. It stimulates the sense of arousal and well being;
  • strawberries - strawberries are great source of Vitamin C and other antioxidants that help improve blood flow
  • maca - is a well known aphrodisiac used for ages in the Andes to increase strength, stamina, energy, fertility and libido;
  • bananas - rich in B Vitamins, potassium and tryptophan, help you relax, balance sex hormones and  increase sense of well being;
  • cardamom - In many cultures it is considered to be a powerful aphrodisiac;
  • cinnamon - increases blood circulation;  
  • vanilla - this sensual spice helps reduce stress and anxiety;
  • hot peppers - increase blood flow in the body and the release of endorphins;
  • raw honey -  since antiquity honey was associated with love and sexuality. It was mentioned in the Bible and in the Kamasutra. To this day a bridegroom in India is offered honey to increase energy and stamina. 
No matter what aphrodisiacs you decide to use in your food, always remember that the ambiance is just as important as the food you serve. Candle light, red roses, sensual scent and romantic music will help you relax and make your St. Valentine's Day unforgettable. Celebrate love!


    Ingredients:
    • 2 1/2 cups strawberries (fresh or frozen)
    • 2 cups freshly made almond milk
    • 2 ripe bananas
    • 1 small red hot pepper (seeds removed)
    • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
    • 1/4 cup maca powder
    • 4 Tbsp raw honey
    • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
    • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

    Method:
    • Blend all the ingredients in a blender until velvety smooth. Adjust the taste into your personal liking. Add more honey if you prefer you smoothie to be really sweet. Sweet foods are considered comfort foods for a reason.
    • Pour smoothie into chilled glasses and enjoy in good company!
    Wishing everyone a very happy and sensual St. Valentine's Day - in radiant health, passionately raw - Dominique


     Dominique Allmon©2015

             

    Monday, February 9, 2015

    Kale Salad with Sea Vegetables, Green Onions and Sesame Seeds

    One of the main concerns for some people on raw food is the "goitrogenic" activity of kale. Common belief is that certain nutrients in kale may interfere with the thyroid function.

    Kale Salad with Sea Vegetable, Green Onions and Sesame Seeds

    If you are a healthy individual you do not need to worry that you will develop goiter when you eat kale. To be on a safe side, however, you can start adding Celtic sea salt and sea vegetables to your kale recipes. The iodine-rich foods offer support to your thyroid, but you have to be careful not to overdose on iodine as well. Balance is everything. Rotate your greens and other ingredients. In this way you will not only make sure that your food is varied, but most importantly, that you do not deprive yourself of nutrients or develop sensitivity to food.

    And one more thing, buy organic produce whenever you can, especially the sea vegetable. Ocean pollution is a growing problem. You definitely do not want to consume any poisonous food.

    Sea Lettuce, Green Onions and Kale

    Ingredients: 

    for the salad
    • 2 kale leaves
    • 1 cup dried sea vegetables (use sea lettuce, or wakame)
    • 2-3 green onions
    • 1 Tbsp white sesame 
    • 1 Tbsp dulse flakes

    for the dressing
    • 3 Tbsp cold pressed sesame oil
    • 2 Tbsp virgin olive oil
    • 3 Tbsp freshly pressed lemon juice
    • 1 Tbsp tamari
    • 1 tsp ground Japanese pepper (sanshō)
    • 1/3 tsp crushed red chili flakes

     Kale Salad with Sea Vegetables, Green Onions and Sesame Seeds

    Method: 
    • Rinse the seaweed and place it in a bowl with purified water. Allow to soak until fully re-hydrated. Drain the re-hydrated seaweed and chop it with a sharp knife.
    • Wash kale and remove the hard stalks. Cut kale into thin stripes and massage it with pinch of Celtic sea salt and a few drops of olive oil.
    • In a bowl mix kale and seaweed. Add thinly chopped green onions and mix well.
    • Whisk salad dressing using all the dressing ingredients.
    • Pour dressing over the salad and mix well. 
    • Add dulse flakes and sesame seeds. Mix again. You may want to chill your salad in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. This will allow the flavors to mingle and improve the taste.
    • Serve as a side salad with sushi or sashimi. Enjoy in good company!
    Tip: Use Japanese rice vinegar for the dressing if you want your salad to taste even more oriental.

    In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique


    Dominique Allmon©2014

              

    Wednesday, February 4, 2015

    Fennel and Mixed Citrus Fruit Salad

    This is a wonderfully refreshing winter salad. Mild, crispy fennel meets juicy fruitiness of ripe citrus fruit. For this salad I have chosen sour and slightly sweet Meyer lemon, sweet and slightly sour Mandarin orange, and sweet and slightly bitter pomelo.


    Ingredients:
    • 1 fennel bulb with greens
    • 1 Meyer lemon
    • 1 Mandarin orange
    • 1/2 pomelo
    • pinch of pink Himalaya salt
    • 1 Tbsp Meyer lemon juice
    • 1 Tbsp Mandarin orange juice
    • 2 Tbsp pomelo juice
    • 1/4 cup virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 tsp Celtic sea salt
    • pinch ground fennel seeds
    • freshly ground black pepper


    Method:
    • Wash and trim the fennel. Chop the greens. Save some larger twigs for garnish.
    • Cut fennel in half. Cut each half into very thin slices. Set aside.
    • Supreme Meyer lemon, Mandarin orange and pomelo. If you do not know how to supreme citrus follow the step-by-step instruction in my tutorial.
    • In a large enough bowl gently mix sliced fennel, citrus supremes and chopped fennel greens.
    • Whisk a vinaigrette using citrus juice, olive oil, ground fennel and salt.
    • Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and mix well.
    • Arrange salad on salad platters. Garnish with fennel greens. Add freshly ground black pepper and enjoy it in good company!


    In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

    Dominique Allmon©2015

          

    Sunday, February 1, 2015

    A Winter Beauty Juice

    If you feel that your skin needs a little boost from inside out, you may want to try my beauty juice. I find that a large dose of nutrients that include antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, minerals such as zinc and copper, vitamin C, and beta-carotene help me bring back the glow to my skin that seems to naturally fade during the cold winter months. To decrease inflammation in the body and to better absorb all the beta-carotene I added cold pressed flax oil.


    Ingredients:
    • 2-3 beets
    • 2-3 large carrots
    • 1 large sweet potato
    • 3-4 large oranges
    • 1 inch ginger root
    • 1 Tbsp cold pressed flax oil


    Method:
    • Pass all ingredients (except the oil) through a juicer. Add flax oil and mix well.
    • Pour juice into chilled glasses and enjoy it in good company!

    In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

    Dominique Allmon©2015

             


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