Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Not the Same Old Wrap: Collard Wraps with Avocado-Cauliflower Filling

This is a healthy raw vegan way to eliminate the extra carbs found in flour tortillas and bread by using fresh large collard leaves for your veggie wrapper. This recipe is extremely easy to make and the crunch of the fresh vegetables and collard leaves will satisfy any appetite.  Most people think the only way you can eat collards is cooked to death with a lot of fat and salt, but they are delicious raw as a wrapper for vegetables and your favorite hummus or spread.


3-4 Collard Greens
1 small cauliflower head, raw or steamed
1 large avocado
3 limes, juice
2 large carrots, julienned
1 cup jicama, julienned
1 small zucchini, julienned
1 tsp. dried Italian herb mix (oregano, rosemary, thyme..)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 medium slice red onion


Place cilantro, cauliflower, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 tsp. dried herbs, juice from 1 lime and red onion in food processor until you have a creamy puree. Spread over collard greens and top with jicama, zucchini and carrot slices. Roll and close.

For the sauce, blend 1/2 avocado, 2 limes (juice), 1/2 tsp. dried herbs and more cilantro until creamy. You can more lime juice if necessary or a tiny bit of water.

Serve wraps with dipping sauce and bring anywhere you go. This will take around 20-30 min to prepare.

You can also add your favorite goat cheese, hummus, tahini, pesto, sundried tomato sauce...you get the idea.

Follow me on Twitter @piscochef and get the latest on my life of food.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Raw Zucchini Lasagna with Tomato and Pesto Sauce

Ok, this is about one of the best things I have ever put into my mouth. Delicious and fresh, intense basil and tomato flavor. By far the best lasagna that I have ever eaten. Easy to make and great for a hot summer day, no cooking required! I made this for dinner tonight.

You can make the sun dried tomato sauce and basil pesto ahead of time, then just slice your zucchini and assemble right before serving. A drizzle of premium olive oil finished off this amazing dish.

Once you have all the components of the lasagna ready it is as easy as stacking the different layers. You can use your imagination with this recipe as well.

Here is the great recipe and instructions for this delicious Raw Zucchini Lasagna,

Raw Zucchini Lasagna with Tomato and Pesto Sauce


Lasagna is one of those foods that is actually better raw than cooked! This is because you still get that rich blend of sauces and savory spices combined with a soft texture of the zucchini but everything tastes so much fresher, richer, and more vibrant! The fresh herbs explode on the palette, and this is a healthy alternative to the original high calorie pasta dish.


Lasagna Zucchini Sheets:
3-4 large zucchinis (depending on size and amount of seeds)
6 large tomatoes

Raw Tomato Sauce:
2 cups sundried tomatoes
1 cup chopped tomatoes (2 medium tomatoes)
1/4 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. fresh garlic
3/4 tsp. sea or Kosher salt
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Basil Pesto:
5 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp sea or Kosher salt
2 Tbsp. lemon zest
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
6 Tbsp. garlic
2 Tbsp. Pine Nuts (optional)

Macadamia Ricotta: You can also use low fat Ricotta Cheese instead
2 cups raw macadamias soaked (this is optional)
3/4 cup - 1 cup filtered water for desired consistency
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro / coriander
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp finely chopped serrano chilli (more or less depending on the heat of your chilli)
1 Tbsp finely minced fresh garlic
2 tsp yellow mustard powder
1/2 tsp sea or Kosher salt


Lasagna Zucchini Sheets
1) For raw lasagna "sheets" shave thin strips with a large vegetable peeler. Hold each zucchini on the bench and peel off large thin strips. You will not use the first few narrow cuts. Use this for garnish. 
2) Now cut the tomatoes into 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch thick slices depending on your preference.
3) Set aside on layers of paper towel to get any excess liquid out while you make your sauces.

Raw Tomato Sauce:
1) Throw all the ingredients in your food processor and pulse until well combined.
2) Season to taste. You want this sauce to be mild in order to blend with the pesto and the ricotta.

Basil Pesto:
1) Throw all of your ingredients into the food processor and pulse until well combined.
2) Season and tweak flavor balance to taste.

Macadamia Ricotta:
1) Throw all of the ingredients except the cilantro into your food processor and pulse until well combined and fluffy.
2) Season and tweak flavors to taste.
3) Now stir through the chopped cilantro.
Assemble the Lasagna:
1) Lay 6 large plates out.
2) Lay 3 slices of zucchini side by side to make a wide rectangle lasagna sheet base.
3) Now use a small spatula to spread some red sauce on top of each base.
4) Lay 3 slices of zucchini on top of the sauce and spread some of the ricotta cheese on top of the zucchini.
5) Place two tomato slices on top of the ricotta.
6) Now place 3 more pieces of zucchini to make another sheet of pasta.
7) Spread a layer of green pesto and top with two more pieces of tomato.
8) Garnish with large fresh basil leaves and drizzle the whole plate with a bit of olive oil.
6 Servings.

Pineapple Mango Habanero Preserves

Since my weight loss I have a craving for hot and spicy foods. Not just a little hot and spicy, but really hot with a kick of spice. Jalapeno peppers just were not filling the bill so I graduated to the fiery Habanero pepper. I just hope I don’t have to move up to the ghost chili to get it hot enough for my taste.

Lately I have been perfecting my recipes for fruit and pepper combination preserves/jams and have developed a rather tasty Pineapple Mango Habanero Preserve that is just fantastic on about everything. I love it on a peanut butter sandwich, it is great on brie, goat, and cream cheese; it is also fantastic on grilled meats such as chicken, lamb, beef and pork, as well as, roasted vegetables. The other night I mixed it in with oven roasted Brussels sprouts and roasted garlic and it was fantastic.

I am waiting for cherries to be in season so I can make cherry scotch bonnet pepper preserves.

I will be selling these great preserves at local farmers markets and have a selection of Jams and preserves including: Fresh Blueberry Jam (not hot), Fresh Peach Jam (not hot), Pineapple Mango Habanero Preserves (really hot), Strawberry Habanero Preserves, and Habanero Pepper Jelly.

The markets I will be participating in will be: Jasper Farmers Market, Lee Newton Park (Saturday mornings from 7:30 – 12:00), River Church Farmers Market, 2335 Sixes Road (Tuesday afternoons from 2:00 – 7:00), Waleska Farmers Market, North Cherokee Church, Hwy. 140 and Hwy. 108 (Thursday Afternoons from 4:30 – 7:30). I will post the markets I will be at the beginning of each week so check back to see my market schedule and menu.

You can also order my jams and preserves by emailing me at: chef@pisconeri.com and just tell me what you would like and I will arrange to get it to you. I am in the process of creating an online order form that will be easy to use. I also have great freshly baked muffins, tea breads, rustic Italian bread specialties and more.

Follow me on Twitter @piscochef and receive a 10% discount on my Jellies, Jams, and preserves through the month of June.

Monday, May 20, 2013

I will be at the River Church Farmers Market Tuesday May 21st from 2:00 until 7:00. The market is located at 2335 Sixes Road, Canton GA 30114.

I will be at the River Church Farmers Market Tuesday May 21st from 2:00 until 7:00. The market is located at 2335 Sixes Road, Canton GA 30114.

Menu for Tuesday's Market

Rustic Manchego Cheese Bread $4.00

Focaccia with Garlic, Parmesan and Garden Herbs $4.00

Pizzette with Tomato, Parmesan and Garden Herbs $3.00

Chocolate Fruit and Nut Biscotti $3.00

Carrot Cake Tea Bread $2.00 each

Lemon Tea Bread $2.00 each

Organic Vegetable Seed Chips $5.00

Pineapple Habanero Jam $4.50

I will have a limited supply of these items so come early to make sure that you get what you like. Hope to see you there.  Chef Tony

Monday, May 6, 2013

Rustic Italian Cooking Week at the John C Campbell Folk School

Candace Brandt, one of my students in the Rustic Italian Cooking class at JCCFS took these fantastic photos throughout the week. I hope you enjoy seeing the great food that this class created.