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January 14, 2010

Raw Mediterranean Almond Bread and Unroasted Eggplant Sandwich

YUmmmm! Using Mediterranean Almond Bread,  I created a scrumptious sandwich. Try Shari Viger's Veggie Mac Cheese Spread topped  with  Boston bibb lettuce, red onion, "Unroasted" eggplant, and tomatoes. On a bed of romaine, I placed some additional "UnRoasted" eggplant, marinated mushrooms, olives, and artichoke hearts. For guests I cut these into bite sized treats and served them as appetizers. I didn't tell my guests they were raw until they said.."Yumm, these are great, what's in them?"

Unroasted Eggplant  (I used Indian eggplant which is very tender).  Slice eggplant lengthwise in thin pieces and  massage each slice in seasoned olive oil. Let sit or place in dehydrator for 30 - 60 minutes.Garnish eggplant with a small dollop of Veggie Mac Cheese, diced red onion and chopped tomatoes.

The bread is delicious, full-bodied with a great texture. You really feel like you are biting into a healthy piece of bread. The cheese is very creamy and fluffy,  and somewhere in between cream cheese and ricotta cheese. You can adjust the seasonings for both the bread and the cheese depending upon your preferences.

My mind is already wandering about the different variations that can be applied to this bread recipe. Maybe eliminate the spices and add some dates and coarsely chopped nuts....a little raw honey? I wonder if I could make a sweet version of the mac cheese and create a date and nut bread with cream cheese affect? Hmmmmm! Getting hungry thinking about that one!

Mediterranean Almond Bread by Russell James

Makes 18 'slices'


1/2c
olive oil
1c
sun dried tomatoes, loosely packed
3c
almond flour*
1c
flax meal
3
medium courgettes (zucchini), peeled & roughly chopped
2
apples, cored and roughly chopped
3T lemon juice
1t salt
3T
Herbs De Provence or herbs of your choice
2T
marjoram or herbs of your choice

*You can make almond flour a number of ways.  My favorite is to save the pulp from any almond milk I make and dehydrate it so I can keep it in a glass jar until needed.  You could also use the almond pulp wet.  Another way would be just to grind some almonds into flour in a high powered blender or coffee mill.

- Process the olive oil, sun dried toms, courgette, apple, lemon juice, salt and dried herbs until thoroughly mixed.

- Add the almond flour and process again until a batter is formed.

- In a bowl mix the batter with the flax meal by hand.  The reason you do this separately (not in the processor) is that you are likely to have too much mixture for the size if the processor at this point, and when you add the flax meal it will become quite heavy and sticky and overwork your machine.
- When mixed, process the whole batter in the machine again in small batches to achieve a light fluffy texture.

- Divide the mixture in 2 and place on Paraflexx sheets, on dehydrator trays.

- Use an offset spatula (aka offset palette knife or cranked palette knife) to spread the mixture evenly to all 4 sides and corners of the Paraflexx sheet.  If mixture is too sticky you can wet the spatula to make things easier.  With a knife score the whole thing into 9 squares.

- Dehydrate for 2 hours and then remove the Paraflexx sheets by placing another dehydrator tray and mesh on top and invert so that your original sheet of bread is upside down.  That will allow you to peel the Paraflexx sheet off and continue to dehydrate the underside of the bread.

- Dehydrate for approx 8 hours more (do this overnight so you're not tempted to eat it before it's ready) or until bread feels light in your hand.  If the pieces don't fully come apart where you scored, use a knife to cut them.

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