Considering making a vegan or partly plant-based Thanksgiving menu at home and even going raw for your health and to keep your weight down? We recently met vivacious chef Diana Stobo and we were incredibly impressed with all of her absolutely delicious raw vegan finger food as well as her two books, Get Naked Fast! and Naked Bliss. Not only a chef, Stobo owns a luxurious all-inclusive boutique hotel in Costa Rica, The Retreat in Costa Rica, which serves up Diana’s famously delectable organic raw vegan meals, smoothies and even sweet treats.
For the holidays, Stobo’s pleasingly simple plant-based recipes include fall’s comfort foods of soups, stews, casseroles and baked treats. Stobo says her new “fall classics” are all vegan and about 80 percent raw including curly kale casserole, pumpkin pie, cheesy kale chowder, coconut curried pumpkin soup, a pumpkin-spiced “party mix” and a holiday-spiced “nog” drink.
Diana Stobo’s Pumpkin Cheesecake
One bite of this special dessert and you’ll say, “No way is this dairy free! No way is this free of processed sugar and gluten and wheat! And it’s good for me?” Yes, it is! It’s full of “good” fats that can actually lower your cholesterol and help your body burn fat. (Check out “Everything You Need to Know About Coconut Oil” for more information.) Plus you’re getting all the nutrients of raw pumpkin, raw nuts, and carrot juice. It’s a super-delicious super-dessert!
3 cups raw pecans
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Process all ingredients until they start to stick together. Pour ingredients into a 10-inch non-stick springform pan. Spread evenly and press down slightly with hand until gently packed.
3 cups raw cashews, soaked for 1–2 hours, drained, and rinsed
2 cups pumpkin, cubed
1½ cups carrot juice
½ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 cup agave nectar
1 cup coconut oil, melted in hot bath
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ teaspoon sea salt
Blend all ingredients in high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Pour mixture into pan on top of crust. Using spatula gently spread toward edges of pan until even. Place in freezer while making next layer or for 1–2 hours.
1 cup raw cashews, soaked
1½ cups coconut milk (1 young coconut)
¼ cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ tablespoons lecithin
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
Pinch sea salt
Blend all ingredients in high-speed blender until light and fluffy. Carefully spread on top of cheesecake filling. This should be at the very top of the pan. Place in refrigerator for 4–6 hours until completely set. Use thin knife to scrape around edges of pan before removing cake from pan. Cut into slices and enjoy!
Diana Stobo’s No Bake “Naked” Pumpkin Pie
I love pumpkin pie. It’s one of my favorite traditional holiday foods. So I wanted to find a way to still have it without the dairy, wheat, and processed sugar. This delicious pie fits the bill perfectly.
2 cups raw walnuts
1 cup raw cane sugar or coconut cane sugar
1 cup raisins
1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt
Place all ingredients in a food processor fitted with an s-blade. Process until mixture is finely ground and begins to stick together. Do not over-process. Transfer crust mixture into a 9-inch round tart or quiche pan. Spread evenly and press down with hands to compact and bring the crust up the sides.
2 cups raw or gently steamed pumpkin (or butternut squash or acorn squash), diced small
11⁄2 cups raw cashews
1 cup coconut milk
1⁄2 cup maple syrup
1⁄4 cup Medjool dates, pitted and packed
1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice (or combine 2 teaspoons vanilla powder, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves)
1⁄8 teaspoon turmeric powder (optional—adds color)
1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄2 cup coconut oil, melted by putting jar in hot bath
Blend pumpkin, cashews, coconut milk, and maple syrup in high-speed blender until creamy. Add dates and spices and continue blending until smooth. Add coconut oil and blend until completely incorporated. Pour mixture over crust. Using a spatula, spread evenly. Cover lightly and place in refrigerator on a flat surface overnight. This pie is easier to slice when very cold, so I suggest you place it in the freezer 1 hour before slicing.
Diana Stobo’s Curly Kale Casserole
1 tablespoon ghee (substitute vegan “butter”)
1 cup thinly sliced leeks
2 cups sliced fresh crimini or shitake mushrooms
2 bunches Curly Kale chopped
1 ½ teaspoons SPIKE gourmet natural seasoning
2 teaspoons Tamari wheat free soy sauce
¼ cup cashew butter
½ cup water
1 tablespoon freshly lemon juice freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 cups thinly sliced leeks (about two)
2 teaspoons olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the Ghee in a large skillet. Saute Leeks and mushrooms with seasoning and tamari, add kale and cover, let steam on low for 5 minutes. In a high speed blender, mix: cashew butter, water, lemon salt and nutritional yeast until incorporated add to skillet and toss. Turn off heat and transfer to a 9 X 9 B\baking dish. Top with crispy leeks and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Toss leeks in olive oil and sea salt, lay on baking sheet, spread evenly and thinly. Bake for 10 minutes, toss and bake an additional 5 minutes until almost completely browned. The leeks will continue to brown on top of casserole.
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours
¼ teaspoon vanilla powder or ½ a vanilla bean, scraped
½ cup Medjool dates, pitted
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
3 cups purified water
Rinse and drain cashews. Place in blender with remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. If a smoother consistency is desired, sift the mixture through a nut-milk bag. Top with a sprinkle of nutmeg, if desired.