Oh my gosh…I must admit, it is good to be back. I haven’t posted to Rawmazing for over a month. It’s the longest I have gone since starting the site over 6 years ago! And what a month it has been. We moved, I finished my Professional Plant Based Certification through Rouxbe (more about that later), and we are living in a house that is over 90% under construction.
I don’t know which is /was the biggest challenge.
Our move turned out to be exhausting. I ridiculously thought that we could pack and move ourselves (except for the big stuff). Our new house, which we are doing a complete renovation on has been under construction since May. Since I kept hearing things like, “Your office will be done this weekend”, long before our move out date, I thought the move could be done in stages. That didn’t happen.
Turns out that nothing was done until the very last minute. The builders put up a gallant charge so we would actually have at least 2 small rooms mostly done. We went into panic mode and made U Haul very happy with our purchase of hundreds of boxes, which we will free cycle when all is said and done. Working until midnight, and with the help of friends, somehow we got packed up and moved out in time. Note: 3 weeks later, almost all of those boxes are still packed as we have no where to put anything!
Our house is a beautiful place even with the walls torn open and construction debris everywhere. The views are insane, the yard has over an acre and a half for the dogs to run and it is private. Even though we only have 2 rooms mostly finished, a downstairs office that is being used as our bedroom and the upstairs office that is being used for everything else, I am falling asleep to the sound of crickets and lovely darkness. It is heaven. I do, however wake to the sound of compressors firing up almost every morning at 7:30am.
I was hoping to keep posting to the blog through the move but it became impossible. Something had to give and unfortunately it was the blog. I had a huge class deadline looming, and that wasn’t going to go away. I have been working on my Professional Plant Based Certification since February and I still had the final exam and the final project left! Somehow I managed to move and complete the course.
The Rouxbe class was fantastic. It completely changed my approach to plant based cooking. I will be sharing a lot more about that in the coming weeks including a wonderful give-away. If you are interested in checking it out, use the link on the right sidebar or click here: Rouxbe
Our final project was to prepare a plant-based “shindig”. That word still cracks me up. So much so I had to look it up. All I could think was, “What the heck is a shindig” anyway? Turns out it comes from the word “shindy” which could refer to a brawl (my favorite), a dance (shins up) or as used today, a noisy party, dance or gathering.
Starting top left: Watermelon “Sushi” on a Seaweed Cracker with Chive “Creme Fraiche” and Marinated Seaweed, Cracked Pepper Dried Cherry Crackers with a Peach Salad and Pistachio Dust (recipe at the end of the post), Cucumber Mango Onion Dice with Mint and a Red Pepper Jam, Cold Roasted Heritage Tomato and Fennel Soup with a Corn Salsa and finally, my Molecular Strawberry Ginger Spheres with Sugar Coated Fried Balsamic Garnish. As you can see, these are a combination of raw food and cooked food, but all plant based.
Today I am sharing the recipe for one of the favorites at the shindig, the Dried Cherry Pepper Crackers with Pine Nut Pepper “Cheese”, Dressed Arugula, Fresh White Nectarines, Fresh Cherries and a Pistachio Dust.
Dried Cherry Pepper Crackers with Pine Nut Pepper Cheese, Dressed Arugula, Fresh White Nectarines, Fresh Cherries and a Pistachio Dust
- 1 cup dried cherries, chopped
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups almonds, soaked rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup ground flax seed
- 2 tablespoons pepper corns, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon himalayan salt
1. Place dried cherries and water in blender. Pulse until cherries are chopped.
2. Place almonds in food processor and process until finely chopped.
3. Add remaining ingredients (including cherries and water) and pulse until combined.
4. Roll out mixture on a non-stick dehydrator sheet 1/8 – inch thick. You can cut rounds if you like.
5. Dehydrate at 115 for 4 hours, flip sheets, peel off dehydrator sheet, place dried side up on dehydrator screens and continue to dehydrate for 4 more hours or until dry.
Pine Nut Pepper “Cheese”
- 1 cup pine nuts, soaked until soft, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked until soft, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 lemon, juice from
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1-2 tablespoons coarse ground pepper
1. Process pine nuts, cashews, water, garlic, nutritional yeast and lemon juice in blender until smooth.
2. Pulse in ground pepper until just blended.
Salad and Assembly
- 2 cups arugula
- 1/2 lemon, juice from
- 1 tablespoon cold pressed olive oil
- pinch of himalayan salt and fresh ground pepper
- 2 white nectarines, sliced
- 1 cup cherries, pitted and quartered
- 1/2 cup raw pistachios, ground fine
1. Place arugula, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Massage and set aside. You want to break down the leaves a bit so the pieces are a manageable size.
2. Spread cracker with pepper cheese. Top with arugula, nectarines and cherries. Dust with pistachio crumbs.