Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Kickstart with Orange - Carrot & Maca Juice

Juicing is what really go me into vegetarian cooking and raw food and I still make juice like a madman every day. This juice has a dose of Maca root in it. The Maca root grows in the Andes of Peru and Bolivia and is not commonly called "Nature's Viagra" (mostly because of the high dose of the amino-acid L-Arginine) but it also enhances the hormone balance and energy. Maca is rich with B-, C- and E-Vitamin, Iron and Calcium (skip the dairy folks!).

This juice is quick but you need a juicer to make it as blending carrots will create a Carrot smoothie, which I don't recommend.


  1. 4-5 Medium sized Organic Carrots

  2. 2 Oranges

  3. 1 tablespoon of Maca Powder

Mix everything and drink SLOWLY on an EMPTY stomach. As I travel a lot in my job which is often associated with business dinners, wine I always come home and feel 200kgs heavier than when I left, so I go on a fast / detox for a week after I come home. Juicing is perfect and I combine it with nuts and seeds to provide me with the fiber I need.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Creamy Roasted Vegetable Soup

I'm usually not a big fan of soup, but today I've had soup both for lunch and dinner. I had a Carrot & Apple Soup for lunch and my wife made me this awesome soup made of roasted vegetables for dinner and this recipe is too good not to share. It takes about an hour to make.

  • 3 Parsnips, peeled and diced
  • 3 Carrotts, peeled and diced
  • 4 Red onion, minced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 4 Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of Renee Voltaires vegetable broth
  • 1/5 dl Red Wine
  • 1 dl Cashew Cream (Here's how you make Cashew Cream)
  • 1 table spoon Sambal Olek (or less if you don't like the soup too spicy)

Here's how it's done:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees
  2. Put all vegetables except the Garlic on an oven tray.
  3. Drizzle Olive Oil over the vegetables, add salt and mix.
  4. Roast for 35-40 minutes
  5. Fry garlic in olive oil in a casserole
  6. Add the vegetables to the casserole
  7. Cover with water
  8. Add the vegetable broth, red wine and Sambal Olek.
  9. Boil on medium heat for 15 minutes until the vegetables are softened.
  10. Move to a blender and mix until smooth or use a hand blender directly in the casserole.
  11. Add the Cashew Cream and bring to a boil. if the soup is too thick add more water but not too much as you want it creamy. add salt and pepper and some more broth if you like.

As I'm advising not to use Soy products more than you absolutely need to, I use Cashew Cream. However, you can use Soy Cream if you like.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dumpling Lemongrass Soup

I'm usually a Sunday pizza guy but I had pizza last night and I still feel full so I needed something lighter and raw food is boring on a Sunday night. This Dumpling soup is awesome and as I'm lazy today I made this with pre-made Dumplings from the local Asian store.
All you need is some time to prepare the Consommé for the Dumplings and these are the ingredients for 2 servings.

  1. 8 Vegetable Dumplings
  2. 1 l of Renee Voltaires Vegetable Broth.
  3. 1Celery stalk (diced)
  4. 2 Garlic cloves (crushed)
  5. Ginger (fresh, about 2 cm, diced)
  6. Lemongrass, 2 stalks
  7. Leek (1/2), diced
  8. 1 Kaffir Lime Leaf
  9. 1 Dried Red Chili
  10. 1 Shallot (diced)
  11. 1/2 tsp Black Peppercorns (whole)
  12. Sugar
  13. Olive Oil and Salt
This is how it's done.
  1. Heat the Olive Oil and Salt but don't let it smoke.
  2. Add everything except the Sugar and Broth.
  3. Sauté for about 3-5 minutes on medium heat.
  4. Add the Broth and Sugar
  5. Let is simmer for 45 minutes
  6. While you wait, steam the Dumplings, but not too much so they break.
  7. Pour the Consommé through a sieve and discard the vegetables.
  8. Add the dumplings and heat up.
  9. Serve immediately.
I love Asian food and this is a perfect, light dish and it smells terrific. You can experiment with this a lot and add more

Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve

Think and Grow Rich is a book my Napoleon Hill written back in 1937 during the Great Depression. It is such an awesome book and what the writer Mr Hill means by 'rich' is not rich in money per se, but in terms of living a rich life. Some yuppie picked it up and made Napoleon Hill to the Wall Street house-God, but he's completely missed the point.

This was probably the first self-help book ever written and it's been used to inspire millions from the day it was published. I found out about it as I saw an interview with the front-man of one of my favorite bands of all time - H.R. of the Bad Brains. Bad Brains have always been a band that I can listen to whenever I feel down and they will instantly pick me up and get me back on my feet. They've got the PMA - the Positive Mental Attitude and so can you.

PMA doesn't mean that you have to be the smiling idiot standing on the deck of the Titanic as it sinks and scream "everything will be fine", but it does mean thinking positively and look for positive outcomes of every situation. I've gone through corporate bankrupcy, being broke, legal disputes and overall dealing with parasites and psychic vampires and something I learned back in 2001 when things were rough as hell was thinking positive and ALWAYS put your family first. Money, job.. don't mean shit when it comes to taking care of your family and also your closest friends.

So what does this have to do with a plant-based diet you ask? Since I started reducing and later on removing animal products from my diet, my stress tolerance have gone up and I maintain a strong positive mental attitude (PMA). Yes, I know this sounds a little funky, but it works for me so maybe it works for you too?

I can go on forever on this topic. Check this YouTube clip out. It's Napoleon Hill talking about having a positive mindset.

Friday, March 25, 2011

"Chicken" scaloppini with crispy Udon noodle cake

I found this recipe in Chef Tal Ronnen's awesome cookbook "The Conscious Cook" (available on Amazon) and I had to make a variation of it as Gardein, Earth Balance and Faux Chicken Stock is not available in Sweden (yet).

This excellent main course is based on Udon Noodles (precooked), Redwood's Wheat Protein "Chicken" (Soy- and GMO free), Pea Shoots and Saké sauteed Shiitake mushrooms. Tal Ronnen used Faux Chicken Broth and I've seen a few recipes where you can make your own, but until I bring some back with me on my next trip to the US, I'll use Renee Voltaire's Vegetable Stock.

Here's what you need.

Udon Noodle Cakes
  1. 4 packs of precooked Udon noodles (not pre-dried). If you can't find them in your local supermarket you can find them in Asian stores, such as HS Asien Livs in Söderhallarna, Stockholm.
  2. Olive Oil, Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.
Pea Shoots
  1. 5 dl of packed Pea Shoots
  2. 0,6 dl Vegetable Stock
  3. 1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
  4. 2 minced Garlic cloves
  5. Sea salt
  1. 4 Redwood "Chicken"
  2. 1.25 dl unbleached all-purpose flour (optional in this version).
  3. 4 tablespoons Olive Oil
  4. 450g Shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and cut into 0,5mm slices.
  5. 2.5 dl Dry Saké
  6. 1.25 dl Renee Voltaire vegetable stock
  7. 1.25 dl Carlshamn Vegetable Butter
  8. 1 tablespoon of minced fresh Chives
Here's how it's done.

Udon Noodle Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 95 degrees C.
  2. Make the Udon noodle cakes by frying them in Olive Oil and salt for about 3 minutes on each side (until browned and crisp)
  3. Remove to a paper-towel linded baking sheet and put the noodle cake in the oven.
  1. Cut the Redwood "Chicken" in two halves, which makes it easier when you assemble the dish. An option is to scrape off the coating and dredge the "Chicken" in unbleached flour.
  2. Cook the "Chicken" until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.
  3. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Shiitake Mushrooms
  1. Add Olive oil to the pan and add the mushrooms.
  2. Cook for 3 - 4 minutes until softened.
  3. Add the Saké and cook until reduced by half.
  4. Add the vegetable stock and cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Remove from the stove and whisk in the Vegetable Butter one tablespoon at the time, whisking constantly so the sauce don't separate.
  6. Return the "Chicken" to the sauce and coat it with sauce.
  7. Cover to keep it warm.
Pea Shoots
  1. Sprinkle the bottom of your sauté pan with sea salt over medium heat.
  2. Add the Sesame oil and heat for 30 seconds. Do not let it smoke.
  3. Add the minced Garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the stock and the Pea Shoots and sauté for 3 - 5 minutes. Drain the excess liquid.
Assemble the dish
  1. Place the Udon noodle cake in the center of each plate.
  2. Top each cake with some of the Pea Shoots.
  3. Top the Pea Shoots with the "Chicken" halves.
  4. Spoon a little of the sauce over the "Chicken" and add the mushrooms.
  5. Garnish with greens and serve immediately.

This recipe is one of my absolute favorites and I can warmly recommend the Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen and try this out.


Gardein (Garden + Protein) is a healthy protein-rich option from a company in Canada called Garden Protein International and is an absolutely awesome product instead of fish, chicken and meat. I found out about Gardein by a coincidence as I scanned the internet in a desperate need to find a substitute for meat. As I got Chef Tal Ronnen's book "The Conscious Cook" I got one of my many eye-openers as I read the recipes using Gardein.

Gardein is partly Soy-based, partly Wheat-Gluten based and is just an excellent meal - plain and simple. The downside is that unless you travel as much as I do, it's hard to find as it's not available in Europe yet.

Their range of products can be found on the Gardein website and as we wait for Garden Protein International to launch in Sweden and the rest of Europe, throw out the souvenir t-shirts and pack your bags with Gardein as you visit the US or Canada.

There are MANY plant-based protein resources and Gardein is a great option.

Good health makes a lot of sense, but it doesn't make a lot of $$$

We call it the sickness industry, because you know what? Big pharmaceutical companies makes more money off you sick than healthy - plain and simple. Makes sense doesn't it? Diabetes, (Gl)Obesity and Cancer is one of the best factors to a booming economy. Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D. says in the movie "One quarter of what you eat keeps you alive. Three quarters of what you eat keeps your doctor alive." While this might not be the case here in Sweden, it's a very disturbing thought (or fact).

I watched the documentary Foodmatters about a year ago and it super-interesting and thought provoking that I'd like to call it a must-see for everyone regardless what or how you eat. Here's the trailer for this awesome documentary.

Cashew Cream - The Days of Dairy are gone. Soy next?

I wrote earlier about the downsides of cows milk. Unless you are allergic to nuts, this healthy alternative is by far better than milk or cream. Also, Cashew nuts makes you happier. True story! One handful of Cashew nuts, has similar effects as those of Prozac (according to Andrew W Saul, Ph.D).

As a master Googler Level 6 I have scanned the internet for various vegan recipes and most of them wants you to use Soy milk, cream or other Soy products. While I believe this is better than dairy, be careful how much Soy products you consume. Brendan Brazier wrote in his book "Thrive" that some experts call Soy the new Gluten as it's being used as a filler in so many products that we risk developing an intolerance to it. I never feed my kids Soy products. Use Cashew Milk or Cream instead, unless you are allergic.

Always, always buy ORGANIC Soy products. Soy production is being once of the big threats to the environment and also one of the crops being genetically modified by Monsanto - PURE effin' evil, my friends.

Cashew Milk and Cream is super easy to make, but you need a little planning as the Cashews needs to be soaked for at least eight hours. All you need is natural Cashews (I started writing natural nuts, but then I thought about soaking nuts and things got weird in my head) and some water.

  1. Soak the Cashews in enough water to cover them and about 2 cm (or 1") over.
  2. Leave them in the fridge or in a cool, dark place over night.
  3. Pour the nuts and water in your blender and mix until smooth.
  4. Depending on if you want a milky or creamy texture add water. You can't add Cashews afterwards so make up your mind before you start blending.
The Cashew milk or cream should be stored in clean glass bottle and will last in the fridge for a day or two.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Books for recipes and education

I obviously didn't learn everything I know in such a short time just by doing. I've read almost every vegan and vegetarian cookbook there is and almost every lifestyle "guide" on this topic. I've also read books about why you should eat meat and compared the two as I've been an extreme meat consumer for over 30 years.

These are my favorites and the arrangement does not reflect my opinion about each (it's more who kept still without falling down as I took the picture), but I have a few favorites. The authors of the books in the picture have been on a plant-based diet for a far longer time than I have an without their shared knowledge, I wouldn't be able to live how I live these days.

From left to right:

Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook by Kim Barnouin, The Candle Cafe Cookbook by Joy Pierson, Bart Potenza and Barbara Scott-Goodman, The Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn, Meat is for Pussies by John Joseph, The Great American Detox Diet by Alexandra Jamieson, Peace, Love and Food by Renee Voltaire (In Swedish only), The Conscious Cook by Chef Tal Ronnen, The Thrive Diet by Brendan Brazier, The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone, Skinny Bitch/Skinny Bastard by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, Superfoods by David Wolfe (not really a cookbook) and last Raw Food på Svenska (in Swedish) by Erica Palmcrantz.

Almost all these books are available through websites like Amazon, Bokus or just by looking up their various publishers.

Kale and Broccoli Green Juice

Are you one of those who believe cows milk is the resource for Calcium, we'll it's not. In fact, the Calcium absorbability in Kale is no less than 50% and Broccoli 52% compared to cows milk which has an absorbability of 2%. Add fat, cholesterol and the excessive amounts of antibiotics included in cows milk (less in organic of course) and you have a cocktail that you should avoid.

Anyways, this juice is great to serve as drink with your lunch, as a snack or to dinner i.e. whenever you feel like it. You do need a juicer to make this, but they come very cheap at almost any Supermarket that sells kitchen supplies.

Here's what you need:
  1. 1 medium crown of Broccoli
  2. 4-5 leaves of Kale
  3. 2 stalks of Celery
  4. 1 apple
  5. 1 kiwi
  6. 1 tablespoon of Wheat or Barley Grass (or both)
Juice everything and stir in the Wheat or Barley grass until solved completely. As the juice might separate, have a spoon handy to mix before you drink it.

Raw Cashew Fruit Yoghurt

Do you love yoghurt, but want to kick the dairy from your diet? Raw yoghurt is healthier, fresher and more nutritious than any dairy yoghurt. This particular yoghurt requires a little bit of preparation in advance as I use Cashew Cream as a base.

Cashew Cream
Soak 1 dl of Cashew nuts (obviously natural, not roasted or salted - but you knew that already) in water. Add water so it covers the Cashews and about 2 cm above them. Store them in your fridge over night.

Pour out some of the water and blend the Cashews to a cream-like fluid.

Raw Cashew Fruit Yoghurt
1 Apple, cut in very small pieces
1 Banana
2 dl of Cashew Cream
1 tablespoon of Pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons of Flaxseeds (Linfrön in Swedish)
1 tablespoon of Sunflower seeds
  1. Mix the apple pieces with about 1 dl of the Cashew Cream. Mix to a smooth cream.
  2. Add the Pumpkin-, Flax- and Sunflower seeds and mix. If the mix gets too thick, add more of the Cashew Cream.
  3. Add the banana and mix until smooth and yoghurt-like.
  4. Serve with some seeds and Cashews on top.
Note: Never peel Apples. A lot of nutrition gets lost by peeling Apples, but make sure you buy organic Apples (or use your own) as Apples are often victims of heavy pesticides and pesticides are pure poison to your body.

Maca Mango Orange Banana Smoothie

I couldn't come up with a better name so I chose the more self-explainatory name. This is easy and you can use frozen Mango or fresh. Maca powder is awesome so this will ensure a positive feeling as you leave for work, school or whatever you're up to today.
Here we go.

1 Mango or 2 dl frozen cubed Mango
2 Oranges
1 Banana
1 Kiwi
1 tablespoon of Maca powder

Add some ice-cubes if you like it cold.

Mix and drink SLOWLY on an EMPTY stomach. This particular morning I didn't follow my own rule...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Grilled Beetroot "Steak Tartare"

I love steak Tartare, but you know that recipe already so here's a plant-based version of this meat classic. The "steaks" are based on Buckwheat and obviously Beetroots. I add some classics to serve with, but you can serve this with fries with a good conscience.

So this is what you need for five portion size "steaks".

  • 3 dl Buckwheat
  • 2 large Beetroots
  • 1 1/2 - 2 dl Fine grinded Hazelnuts
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard (Grey Poupon is Gluten-Free in case you are allergic)
  • 1/2 Red onion (minced)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sides (a must)
  • Capers (I always use the large canned ones without stems)
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Red onion (minced)
  • Pointed Headed Cabbage (Spetskål in Swedish) shredded but not too small pieces.

  • Cook the Buckwheat according to instructions and let it cool off for a bit.
  • Grate the Beetroots as fine as you can.
  • Use a blender to mix the Buckwheat and Beetroots until smooth.
  • Add the mustard and the red onion. Blend again.
  • Add about 1 dl of the Hazelnut (powder) and blend until the Buckwheat/Beetroot mix is firm enough to make patties (you remember the days when you still made hamburgers right?). If they are too soft, blend again with some more of the Hazelnuts. If they stick to your palms (yes, you have to get dirty) wet your palms with cold water.

While the patties are resting a little bit, make the side dishes.
  • Fry the shredded Cabbage in olive oil with some vinegar and Agave Nectar.
  • The rest is easy but it's all about presentation so less is more. Just make small side portions of Dijon Mustard, minced Red Onion and Capers.
Fry the patties in olive oil on medium-high heat about three minutes per side until they have a golden-red surface. Serve directly!

You can serve this with a rich wine such as a Zinfandel or Malbec.

Gracias Madre - San Francisco

Nice Vegan restaurants are hard to find here in Sweden. San Francisco have been blessed with two of the best ones on the planet; Millenium and Gracias Madre.

I recently went to Gracias Madre and had an AWESOME Mole Enchilada along with a bunch of different dishes - all equally awesome.

The weather was great so we could sit outside which was a refreshing feeling compared to cold Sweden in March, but the inside of the restaurant is open with a large kitchen where you can see the chefs doing their magic.

Regardless if you're on a plant-based diet or not, this restaurant is worth checking out. It's located in the Mission District of San Francisco.

As I mentioned above, restaurants with a plant-based menu are hard to find in Sweden and when you do they aren't very good. We have a few here in Stockholm; Hermans which I like but it's quite expensive considering the buffet menu and the fact that they rarely add something new on the menu as far as I know. I have hosted parties at my house and catered food from Hermans which is always awesome.
Chutney is another one with some decent food, but the whole place breathes negativity and the staff always look like over-cooked stringbeans (term found in "Meat is for Pussies" by John Joseph). I obviously support animal rights and the struggle these organizations do, but as you walk into a restaurant you don't want a skinned baby-seal thrown in your face. It's not good for appetite, regardless how important the fight to stop the hunting is. There's nothing more uninspiring than judgmental people that has such a need to call themselves 'vegans' but has missed the point of keeping the PMA and aim for unlimited energy. The third one is a favorite and it's called Lao Wai, which is an asian restaurant downtown Stockholm. It's small so go for take-out.

I wish I could open a restaurant one day with a very diverse menu with everything from pizza and Seitan steaks to Raw food and salads. We'll see...

Afternoon Papaya & Superfood Smoothie

I love juice and smoothies, but most of all I love Superfoods. I always get funny remarks from people that I eat and drink weird stuff, but until you've tried it you have no idea what these Superfoods does to your body and ENERGY. This particular smoothie includes Maca (a Peruvian root that enhances your strength and stamina (also have a reputation to work as an Aphrodisiac), Mesquite (helps a constant blood-sugar level for a sustained period of time) and finally Camu-Camu (contains more vitamin C than any other plant in the world - from 30 to 60 times more than an Orange).

This smoothie is simple and you don't need a juicer to make it.

1/4 large Papaya (save the rest for your Papaya Carpaccio)
2 oranges
1 banana
1 tablespoon Maca
1/2 tablespoon Camu-Camu
1/2 tablespoon Mesquite

Mix it to a smoothie and enjoy SLOWLY and on an EMPTY STOMACH, unless you like burping, then just flush it down.

Vega Sequel - The best kept secret of the US and Canada

I discovered Vega as I read Brendan Braziers book Thrive. Now, I'm not an athlete in any way, but Vega Whole Foods Optimizer is a great supplement regardless if you're an athlete or not. I always add Vega Whole Foods Optimizer to my breakfast which is always 100% raw (including fruit, nuts and seeds).

Just to explain what Vega Whole Foods Optimizer is. This is as the packaging reads an all-in-one, natural plant-based formula which is rich in protein, fibre, Omega-3, antioxidants and much more. It is also Gluten-free.

Now, as I live in Sweden this is not available here and it's hard to find, but I did find it on a store which shipped it to Sweden. It was EXPENSIVE (as the shipping costs a fortune), but it is worth it. It is an investment in my health and in my life and it keeps me energized throughout the day.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spicy Jerusalem Artichoke noodle Stir-Fry

I'm a big fan of stir-fry dishes. With a vegetable cutter such as the Spirali vegetable cutter (I bought mine from Raw Food Shop and it's cheap and you WILL use it often) one can make noodles and pasta from all kinds of vegetables. In this recipe I use Jerusalem Artichoke to make the noodles. This recipe is a variation of one found in Renee Voltaires cookbook Peace, Love and Food.

  • 10-15 Jerusalem Artichokes (Jordärtskocka in Swedish)
  • 4-5 Pak-Choi
  • 10 Sugarsnaps
  • 10 small Shitaake mushrooms
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 lime
  • 2 tsp Sambal Olek
  • Canola oil for frying
  • Tamari
  • Hemp seeds

1) Make thin noodles of the Jerusalem Artichoke
2) Wash all vegetables thoroughly
3) Wok all vegetables in Canola oil
4) Add the Sambal Olek and Tamari
5) Top with the hemp seeds