Sunday, February 28, 2016

Recipe: Spiced Raw Vegan Wraps with Sweet Onion Dressing

I'm really excited to announce a new feature of this Blog with guest blogger and recipe creator, Kayleigh Walsh.  She is a talented and artistic young chef who enjoys experimenting with vegan foods and will be here sharing some of her delicious creations with you lucky readers.  Today she will be treating us to an amazing spiced raw wrap with a savory filling.  Enjoy!

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Hi everyone! My name is Kayleigh Walsh and I am a raw vegan from West Hartford, Connecticut. I am passionate about fresh fruits and vegetables that keep my body energetic and thriving. Mary has asked me to write for her blog, so I will be posting recipes and health tips regularly. I am eager to share my creative recipes and vegan advice with you all! 

This week, I am sharing my Spiced Raw Vegan Wraps with a Sweet Onion Dressing. This is one of my favorite raw dishes because it is quite reminiscent of a traditional sandwich. Its hearty combination of flavors and textures provide a satisfying burst of flavor in every bite. This is the perfect choice if you are looking for a healthy raw vegan meal that isn’t as daunting as a gigantic salad. It’s also a great alternative for anyone in search of a gluten-free or dairy-free wrap. Hope you enjoy these tasty sandwiches! 

Spiced Wrap Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

12 Medjool dates, pitted 
1/3 cup white chia seeds
3 tbsp. milled flax seeds
3 cups water
1⁄2 tsp cinnamon
1⁄4 tsp cumin
 1⁄2 tsp ground cayenne pepper

This wrap may seem like it would turn out super sweet due to its base of Medjool dates, but surprisingly, the spices give it more of a warming savory flavor. Mix all the ingredients in a high speed blender. Pour into the center of four parchment paper sheets or Teflex sheets that have been laid over your dehydrator trays. After pouring, tilt the dehydrator trays in circular motions until you reach the desired thickness. These wraps do not shrink much, so no need to worry about making them super thick or large. 

Dehydrate at 110°F for about eight hours. The dehydration time will vary based on the size of your wraps and the humidity of your house. The wraps are done when the centers are completely dry and wont stick to sheet when peeled off. No flipping is necessary.  

When ready, gently peel back each wrap from the sheets. Use immediately or store in a Ziploc plastic bag, making sure to release any excess air.

Sweet Onion Dressing Ingredients

 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
 1/3 cup golden raisins
 1 1⁄2 cups celery (use mostly light parts near base)
 1⁄2 tbsp. Italian blend spices (I used Frontier All-Purpose Seasoning Blend)
 3 tbsp. raw hulled hemp seeds
 1⁄4 cup Vidalia onions, chopped
 2 tbsp. water

Mix all ingredients in a high speed blender. I recommend the NutriBullet for sauces and dressings like this one. Optional: Top with scallions and more dried spices. This dressing can be used inside your wraps and/or as a dipping sauce.

Next, add any toppings of your choice inside your wraps. I used kale, tomatoes, carrots, and sprouts. 

Finally, tuck one edge of your wrap over the toppings, and roll up the rest. Cut through the center at an angle. Aaaaand thats a wrap! (Too cheesy? Lol) 

I hope you enjoy these filling wraps. They are awesome for lunch or dinner. Make sure to share this recipe with your friends and family. Have a wonderful day!

(This wrap was inspired by TannyRaw. Check out her YouTube channel at for more delicious recipes.) 

Intro to a WFPB Diet Class

Today I'll be hosting an Introduction to a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet class at Well on Wheels.  It's the perfect first step toward making the transition to a healthy lifestyle for you, the animals, and the planet.  The class will teach the basics of a whole foods plant based diet including how to achieve maximum vegan nutrition, food substitutions, stocking your pantry, and the principles of creating culinary balance through color, taste and texture. 

Handouts with nutrition guidelines, sample meal plan, recipes and a resource list plus lunch made with superfoods will be provided.  The all-inclusive price for this class is a mere $25!
  • Pomegranate, Banana, Coconut and Pineapple Superfoods Smoothie
  • Chipotle Smoked Lentils with Cashew Sour Cream and Fresh Herbs
  • Date Nut Truffles with Hemp Seeds, Goji Berries and Cacao Dust

Stevie Wonder on Being Vegan

Going vegan isn't just good for you; it will heal the planet, too.
"I've been a vegan for two years, so that's helped my already good-looking self," joked Stevie Wonder. "I think that eating healthy is important. We have to be about making our planet more greener, the urban areas more sustainable for the children. We can't just talk about it, we have to be about it."

Friday, February 26, 2016

Speaking up for animals

Last night I attended a hearing by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection allowing the public to submit testimony regarding proposed legislation that would expand hunting in the state.  If you missed the hearing, you can still submit your comments to the official record until March 10th. There were several pro hunting & trapping people at the hearing, so it's important to voice your opposition to these rule changes.

Here is what I said:
I'm an avid hiker and nature enthusiast.  I believe in the motto, "Take only photographs; leave only footprints," whenever I am in state and national parks and nature preserves, and I extend that to wild animals who exist for their own purposes, not for the sake of humans. I'm opposed to unnecessary violence and believe expanding hunting, particularly to young children, only increases violence in our society.  Yes, "No child left inside" is a laudable goal, and I agree with it, but appreciating nature does NOT need to include the killing of animals. It isn't a sport when the animals is not a willing participant.

Monday, February 22, 2016

The importance of language

"Ethical omnivore" is an oxymoron. If you are educated, informed, and have the culinary expertise and financial means to eat whatever you want and you choose to eat an animal who didn't want to die, there is nothing ethical about that decision.