Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lovely Veggie Chili and Onion Bread

Good Wednesday lunch break, my friends! How is your week? Hopefully going by quickly and happily!

It has turned cold again - yuck! It was actually SNOWING this morning when I left for work - and I see it falling now! So, that's always a good time to figure out warmer comfort foods - but still healthy! While I sometimes crave the cheesy pizza or fat-and-cream-laden soups, I have been having fun trying to find healthier ways to cope!

A few days ago, I posed the tropical salad - and as wonderful as that is, I know it's not warming! (But sure makes me smile and think back to Saipan.)

Over the weekend, I tried my hand at making a "raw" Onion Bread and Chili. And I was very happy with the results!

So first, the onion bread, which I found on at posted by Kandace here. (It's the first recipe posted on the site, over 4 years ago! I figure I'll just start there, and work my way forward to the present!) ;-)

Based on a recipe by Matt Amsden in RAWVolution.

3 yellow onions, large
1 cup flax seeds (golden, brown or a combo), ground
1 cup raw sunflower seeds, ground in a food processor
½ cup Braggs Liquid Aminos or Nama Shoyu
¼ cup cold pressed olive oil

1.Peel and half the onions. Slice in a food processor (with slicing disc) or by hand
2.Place onions in large bowl and mix with rest of ingredients until thoroughly combined.
3.Spread mix over a Teflex sheet and repeat until all of mixture is used (I usually end up using 2 sheets).
4.Dehydrate at 100°F for 24 hours. Flip and return to dehydrator for 12 hours.
5.Cut into 9 equal pieces (2 cuts horizontally, 2 cuts vertically). Usually makes 18 pieces

I'm not sure if I did the recipe correctly, because I only used half the onion amount - I just couldn't get more onion to mix in! I also decreased the Braggs Aminos to 1/4 cup because that stuff is salty! Then I added a little more water to make up the fluid difference. I think I over-processed the seeds, because it was more a paste than a grainy texture. But the flavor was still good!

So that big bowl was then spread out on my dehydrator sheet, on parchment paper. Again, not sure if I did something wrong, because I only got 1 sheet out of it instead of 2. Maybe she makes hers thinner? Or perhaps that extra onion would carry it further.
And after quite a long dry time, it comes out a deep caramel brown!

The benefits of this bread: (I hope you're sitting! This is a doozie!)

Onion is not often the first food that comes to mind when I picture healthy foods. I often think of it simply as a condiment to other foods - and it does go great with many items! But it also carries many health benefits of its own. (And I loooooove the taste!) Onions can help reduce the risk of various cancers, such as colorectal, laryngeal, and ovarian cancer if eaten regularly (study showed 1-7 times weekly reduced risk). Onions also help increase bone density - something good for all of us, especially for menopausal-aged women who often have some density loss! They also have a good dose of chromium, which helps maintain healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Flaxseeds are one of my favorite forms for getting my Omegas (I also love chia seeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts! And of course, pretty much all leafy greens have some omega fats in them - just in small amounts.) But these lovely little seeds are also a rich source of fiber and manganese. They are also anti-inflammatory, help keep bones healthy, protect against cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension! And one small study found that it helped reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes.

Sunflower seeds are a rich source of magnesium, which can help calm nerves and muscles, and sometimes even help with migraines! They also contain selenium - one of thsoe beautifying minerals! But it is also is a helpful component of the powerful enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which your liver uses to detoxify a range of potentially harmful molecules.

Braggs Liquid Aminos (what I used) is similar to soy sauce. It's got that same salty, savory flavor, but it contains 16 different amino acids (that make up proteins.) Plus it's organic, non-GMO. (Which I am a BIG fan of avoiding!! I try not to buy anything with non-organic soy or corn. But that topic is best left for a different post some day.)

Olive oil has been all over the news as being healthy. And it is! But it is liquid fat, so keep that in mind if you're a calorie counter! Usually 14g of fat per Tablespoon - but at least it's mostly monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) which are some of the healthier types! In limited amounts, olive oil will provide some wonderful things! When used INSTEAD OF (not IN ADDITION TO) animal fats and butters or other bad fats, olive oil has been found to help protect against degenerative diseases like atherosclerosis, diabetes, asthma, colon cancer, and arthritis, as well as protecting against heart disease. And more? It's got some good antioxidants phenolic compounds to help with other protective effects! When picking out an oilive oi, try to get Cold Pressed Virgin, as this will help maintain the flavor and health value of the oils better than the more refined forms.

* * * * * * * * * *

So back to the meal... Once the bread is done, I put in on the side with some chili from my Live Food Cuisine book. The base is a delectable blend of sun dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, spices - and avocado to make it nice and creamy! Then it's got some good chunky veggie bits in it for good hardy noms! Then I let it sit in the dehydrator for a little to warm it up some (but not so hot as to cook out all my lovely nutrients and enzymes!)

The "sour cream" is a blend of macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, and some lemon and salt. I wouldn't say it tasted much like sour cream (and I should have added extra water to get the consistency different) but it was good! And it helped complement and tame the extra cayenne I'd accidentally put in the chili!

So with the spicy chili and the zesty onion bread crackers, a nice side of cool cucumber was the perfect companion to this dinner!

My new dishes!! I had to buy this set because it was so colorful and just made me happy!

I am sad that my chili is now gone, since I can look outside and see snow still falling. Plus, even Dave liked this one! (Ok, so, the first time he tried it, he was actually spreading it on a slice of cheese pizza... but I suppose that's better than nothing!) Now he wants to learn how to make this on his own, so he can have it more often!

I hope you all have a warm and hearty day! Stay warm, stay dry, stay smiley ^.^

Warm Wishes!
That is one hearty bread I think I'll be making in bigger batches in the future! They also made good crackers when I cut them smaller and let them dehydrate a little longer :) (Plus, onions, flax, and sunflower seeds are all pretty cheap! It's just the Braggs that gets a little pricier - but perhaps I can find some substitute of just using water and my Celtic sea salt.)


  1. honestly I'm too lazy to read this right now, but whatever you made looked like squid. You totally shoulda eaten the turkey chili. It's way tasty. But I'm sure it tastes good to your raw tastebuds. give some to brii. hahah

  2. *snicker* I was thinkin worms... but I guess if I added some sea veggies to give it that sea taste, then I could CLAIM it was squid...

    If I make a big batch sometime, I should save some for you to give Brii! If she likes onions, she'd probably like this. I thought about adding garlic, too, since you know me and my love for garlic!