One of the joys of raw food is the amazing variety of patés and sauces you can create using nuts, seeds, vegetables and herbs. It is truly astounding. This wide variety of fillings and sauces can make something as ordinary as stuffed peppers (or stuffed tomatoes, stuffed mushrooms, stuffed cucumbers….) into something exciting and different.
I have a few favourite fillings for peppers. For hot little jalapeño peppers, I like to use mole (the heat of the peppers goes perfectly with the cacao. Check out this mole recipe from raw Guru Sarma). For baby bell peppers, I like raw taco filling, a hearty Mexican spiced filling made of walnuts and sun-dried tomatoes. For full-sized peppers, I like “not-tuna” salad, a sunflower seed based paté with a slight taste of the sea.
This week, thanks to the folks from Monaghan farms (they have an organic farm stall at Market on Main, where Jozi Uncooked also has a stall selling raw and vegan food), I had lots of organic local produce to use in the take-away. They had the most adorable little baby red peppers, and beautiful fresh spinach.
Stuffed red peppers
My stuffing this week was based on one of the enchilada fillings in the delicious raw classic, I Am Grateful (SA link) which features the recipes of the restaurant, Cafe Gratitude. This small chain of raw cafes is based on its own business model that promotes the overall wellness of the employees, customers and community (and planet), rather than simply profits.
I won’t give away the recipe, but it’s made of pumpkin seeds, sundried tomatoes, spring onions and fresh chillies, amongst other things. Delicious and somehow both light and filling at the same time. I added some fresh spinach, chopped tomatoes, and shredded carrot to complete the dish.
For dessert, lemon squares. The recipe for these delicious morsels is based on one of the recipes from Living Light’s Hot Raw Chef contest earlier this year. Living Light is one of two major raw chef training academies in the US– the other is the 105 Degrees Academy. Living Light had a contest for budding raw chefs to send short videos for Valentines Day, and these lemon squares were one of the entries (though they were called Lemon Love Notes and were made in a heart shape in the contest).
The base of the lemon squares is coconut, cashews and lemon, while the frosting is lemon, coconut oil and agave. They are gorgeous! The tartness of the lemon is offset just the right amount by the sweet agave. These are easy and delicious- a definite winner in my book, even if they didn’t win the contest.