I get a little anxious when people are coming to town to stay with me. Will my kids behave? Will Jasper share his toys without knocking someone's tooth out? Will my toilets backup? Will I get enough sleep? It's all irrational, really, because as soon as the taxi arrived, depositing my sister and her family at my doorstep, the butterflies dissipated and was I flooded with calm joy. I love my people.
A little angst ahead of time is good as I fret over pleasing them, so I get busy cleaning, setting up beds, laying out towels and other useful things - and I prepare food. Never in my life have I been so happy to prepare food until now that I've been making so many delicious raw vegan dishes. I know I have something beautiful to share, guilt-free and pleasure rich.
This tart was made from a combination of two recipes, the strawberry mousse from Matthew Kenney's, Everyday Raw, and the coconut macadamia crust from Jennifer Cornbleet's, Raw Food Made Easy. I think of Jennifer as my new best friend because "easy" is essential to me. Although her book is my most recent purchase, it is also the most abused with its spine already bent and pages stained with olive oil, strawberries, or whatever. She's a little light on photos which was a turnoff at first, but each recipe that I've tried has been such a simple success. Kenney has amazingly delicious recipes, but some get a little fussy and the ingredient list isn't always easy to obtain. If that's your first raw book, you may get a bit discouraged. Don't be. He works magic in the kitchen, so when you're ready, do it.
1 1/2 cups unsweetened, dried coconut
1 1/2 cups raw macadamia nuts
1/2 tsp salt (next time I'll use less, this seemed a bit too salty for me)
1/2 cup pitted medjool dates (I know I used a lot more to make it pliable - probably a cup - have extra on hand)
Process the coconuts, nuts and salt in a food processor. Add dates and process until crumbs start to stick together. This is where I added my 1/2 cup of dates and then continued adding them 1 or 2 at a time until I was satisfied. The crust turned out a little too sweet, so maybe next time I'll add a little coconut oil instead of extra dates to get it all to stick.
Press into a pie tin or tart pan. I had extra and threw it into the freezer in a plastic bag. When my little nephew was cruising the kitchen for food (sorry, Janna, I totally spoiled his appetite for dinner), I gave him some of the pie crumbs and he LOVED them. So I tried them, too. Oh no, too good. This is my new cookie fix.
3 cups soaked cashews
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup agave
1/2 cup strawberries
3/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp nutritional yeast (I left this out. If you like a cheesy taste like a cheese cake filling this might help. To me, it doesn't help enough and I'm left with a weird after taste.)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 vanilla bean, scraped (you could make do with a little extra extract if necessary)
Sliced strawberries to decorate
Blend everything in a Vita Mix or high speed blender until smooth.
Pour 1/2 into pie crust. Add layer of fresh strawberries and rest of filling (I forgot this step, hmmm, so what). Decorate with sliced strawberries. Freeze to set, or refrigerate overnight.
PS: I learned a little about cashews from making this. Generally I store open bags of nuts in the fridge so they'll last a little longer without going rancid. This bag I didn't. The nuts looked and smelled fine until I soaked them. Some turned a little purplish and tasted slightly of mildew. It was pretty easy to pick them out. But I've often questioned the storage of raw nuts vs pasteurized. Anyone else have experience with this? Send me an email or link. I hate wasting expensive ingredients.
|I realized I should have pressed the crust up the sides. Next time.|
This is incredibly rich and I've been slow to calculate the calories per serving. With all these nuts, oil, dates and agave, I'm not sure I want to know. To me, though, just a little bit is enough - not like Girl Scout cookies that I can eat an entire box without slowing down. There is something about eating whole foods, rich satisfying foods, that creates a sense of satisfaction without the desire to eat the entire pie, fridge and cupboards. If you're struggling with weight, you know what I mean. If you're directly related to my husband, you don't.