Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Loaded raw chilly chili

No time to chat, peeps; I’ve got a lot to show you today. As I’ve been saying lately, I’m working off a 1-2 month blogging backlog, so you haven’t seen much of what I’ve been eating more recently. I’ve actually been experimenting a lot with raw foods, and my Memorial Day weekend trip to Dallas (which you’ll see more about soon) funneled the last of my interest into true excitement. I’m not going all-raw or anything, don’t worry, but I do expect to be featuring more raw-ness on this blog than ever before. I want to get the raw food posts going as soon as possible so you can take full advantage of them in this summer’s heat.

The magnificent Ani Phyo gets credit for this dish. The chili recipe is from her new book, Ani’s Raw Food Essentials, while the taco nut meat, squash "rice," cashew cheeze, and red pepper-corn salsa are variations on recipes from Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen. I won’t kid you; this meal is a ton of work. I did it all in one night (two and a half hours!), but feel free to prep one or two components at a time over the course of a day or two (or just leave a couple of them out) to make it more manageable. Put the work in, though, and you’ll be richly rewarded in the end.

For the taco nut meat:
1/2 cup raw almonds, dry
1/2 cup raw walnuts, dry
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp Braggs Liquid Aminos, Nama Shoyu, or soy sauce

In a food processor, pulse the almonds and walnuts into a powder.

Transfer the ground nuts to a mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients.

Mix well and set aside. The nut meat alone will keep for 4 days in the fridge.

Yield: 8 servings. Per serving (2 Tbsp): 147 calories, 14.8g fat (2g sat), 2.5g carbs, 2g fiber, 2.6g protein.

For the Mexican squash "rice":
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
Splash of fresh lime juice

Place the squash cubes in the bowl of a food processor.

Pulse into small, rice-sized pieces and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients.

Mix well and set aside. The "rice" alone will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge.

Yield: 6 servings. Per serving (1/4 cup): 25 calories, .1g fat (trace sat), 6.2g carbs, 1g fiber, .7g protein.

For the cashew cheeze:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup water, as needed

In a food processor, blend all ingredients. Add only enough water to process into a thick cream texture. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. The cheeze alone will keep for a week in the fridge.

Yield: 8 servings. Per serving (2 Tbsp): 100 calories, 7.8g fat (1g sat), 5.9g carbs, 1g fiber, 3.3g protein.

For the red pepper-corn salsa:
2/3 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/3 cup fresh corn kernels
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 small jalapeño, minced
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp sea salt

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and set aside. The salsa alone will keep for a week in the fridge.

Yield: 6 servings. Per serving (1/4 cup): 18 calories, .2g fat (trace sat), 4g carbs, 1g fiber, .7g protein.

For the raw chili:
3 cups chopped tomatoes
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup fresh corn kernels
1/3 cup chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 small jalapeño, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp sea salt (or to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Mix well. Transfer half the mixture to a food processor or blender.

Purée until smooth.

Transfer the purée back into the bowl with the veggie mixture and mix well.

Yield: 4 servings. Per serving (1 cup): 63 calories, .8g fat (trace sat), 13.2g carbs, 4g fiber, 2.7g protein.

WHEW! Serve the chili topped with spoonfuls of taco nut meat, "rice," and salsa and a dollop of the cheeze and you’ve not only earned a helluva pat on the back , but you’ve made the ultimate warm-weather meal—loaded raw chilly chili! Throw on some sliced green onions, diced avocado, or guacamole if you have any on hand. If you like gazpacho, you'll love this soup. It’s a little sweet, a little spicy, very filling, and wonderfully refreshing. Summer in a bowl!

Per serving (1 cup chili, 2 Tbsp nut meat, 1/4 cup squash "rice," 2 Tbsp cashew cheeze, and 1/4 cup red pepper-corn salsa):
352 calories, 23.7g fat (3g sat), 31.8g carbs, 8g fiber, 10g protein.

If you like this, you might also like...
Kidney bean–brown rice chili
Watermelon agua fresca
Three-bean vegan chili

* * * UPDATE * * *
Saturday, 6/26... :]

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  1. Perfect, I've been looking for more raw meals because I tend to crave raw things when the weather gets warm, and I still have a butternut squash that needs to get eaten, but I haven't felt like cooked butternut.
    And I finally finished that Silk Almond Milk, so I should be making a fresh batch either tonight or tomorrow! I can't wait to try my new bag!

  2. Holy moly. HOLY MOLY. This is amazing! I had no idea you can eat butternuts raw (though sadly, I don't think my food processor is up to that. *Ahem*, Amber, my vitamix? :D). Seriously applaud-worthy. You amaze me. Holy moly.

  3. While I can't say that the "chili" appeals to my taste buds, I think the squash "rice" looks simply amazing. I think I found a new side dish for fish taco night!!

  4. Now that's dedication! Seems like a lot of work for a bowl of chili, but I don't doubt that it's utterly delicious. Sure looks good!

  5. this looks amazing! i love how much protein it has too :)

  6. Definitely an interesting recipe. I like the red pepper/corn salsa a lot. Might have to try that out.

  7. wow Amber, you've got my attention here! We are expecting a lot of heat and a lot of houseguests this coming summer here in Lebanon and I would love to try this dish on them (they are all health nuts, from England and Denmark)
    I will keep you posted !

  8. ani should use this as a testamonial..holy crap girl. it all looks amazing

    i make my own raw taco nut meat and have made cashew cheeze before (actually i start with that to make cheezcake, different seasoning blends though, clearly!) but then the salsa and the rice. yes, a ton of work but it does look amazing!


  9. McKella—It’s so much easier to eat light in the summer, don’t you think? Can’t wait to see your almond milk!

    Aussie-Hannah—Aww, you and your flattery! You never fail to put a smile on my face :D

    Hillary—If you like gazpacho, I think you’d like the chilly chili. But let me know if you try the "rice"!

    Bittersweet-Hannah—Labor of love, what can I say? :]

  10. Fit&40—Yeah! It does have great protein content for a raw meal, proving once again that nuts = awesome :P

    Eric—The salsa was actually my favorite part, I think; nice ‘n crunchy.

    tasteofbeirut—This dish is particularly great in the heat. I can’t wait to hear if you try it, and if the Northern European health nuts enjoy it!

    Averie—Aw, thank you! How awesome would that be if Ani linked to me? Hehe. Speaking of Ani and raw cheezecake, I made one of hers recently (also cashew-based) and will be posting it soon :]

  11. I'm making the rice tomorrow! Hardly a raw, vegan, or vegetarian meal because it's going to be a side for steak tacos....but the kids and I are pretty excited about it!

  12. Hillary—Haha, I'm always a fan of irony, so that's great! Lemme know how it turns out.

  13. It turned out great! I added some red onion and green chilis, and tweaked a few other things to accomodate my kiddos' taste buds, but it made a fantastic, refreshing side for the tacos. It's posted on my blog :D

  14. Yay! So happy to hear it was a success. I bet the arugula-cilantro mix was tasty indeed, and the green chiles are a nice touch too.