"Good chefs, like artists, are visionaries. You have to have a vision of the taste, the look, the smell of your masterpiece; you hold it in your mind and make it materialize."

Onid Jatteri

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cauli Colorbox

A tasty way to use up those last beautiful cauliflower from the Farmer's Market.
Courtesty of KellyMyra on GoneRaw.

This is a really easy and versatile curry. You can have it on it’s own, with crackers or so many other ways and all the spices are really warming so it’s great if you’re feeling the cold.


2 Cups Chopped
1 Medium Carrot, Chopped
6 Soaked Sundried Tomatoes
1/2 Avocado
1/2 Onion, Chopped
1 cm Piece of Ginger
1 Tsp
2 Tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 Tsp
Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Cup Dried unsweetened
1 Tbsp Flaxseed
1 Cup Rejuvelac or Water
Serving options: Cucumber, alfalfa sprouts or rice paper (not raw)
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until it is finely chopped and well combined.
Serve in a bowl topped with alfalfa sprouts, on cucumber rounds. If you are not 100% raw try it wrapped in rice paper with alfalfa. It would also work well rolled in a large leafy green with other vegetables or on flax crackers. It’s up to you.
Would also do well as patties in the dehydrator.

I loved using the colored cauliflower - a happy, warming recipe to enjoy during our variable fall weather.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Weight loss or Health gain?

My primary reason for moving towards a higher raw eating protocol has always been to improve my health and derail further medical issues. I was interested while browsing various "raw" sites to note that many people had discarded weight along the path to improved health. Most of the time I'm happy to maintain where I'm at, but my closet would appreciate having a few less pounds to deal with. So weight management via eating raw is definately in the background of my choices.

The following quote really rang my bell. The entire article is on the link, and a good read.

"I have noticed lately that there are a lot of websites popping up promising weight loss with the “new raw food diet.” Honestly, this saddens me. Raw food for me is not just about weight loss, it is about health gain. It is about learning how to make better choices about the food we eat. It is about how our choices nourish our bodies. If we make good choices, we can have better health, bad choices can lead us to chronic disease, low energy, weight gain and poor health.
I abhor the word diet. The minute you say, “I need to lose weight”, you diminish yourself. You say, I am not what I should be."

Thank you Susan, this sort of article is one of the reasons Rawmazing is on my browse list.
Incidentally, ten pounds have dropped away while I've been enjoying eating whatever I want the past few months.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Onion Bread

Staying away from yeast breads is important for my health. Mostly because I love them SOOOO much that I totally lose focus at the first bite of buttered yeasty chewy yum, and will easily go through half a loaf of fresh-out-of-the oven bread. And to make it even more difficult, I LOVE to BAKE BREAD!!

While browsing through various raw recipe sites, I kept seeing references to an Onion Bread that most contributors seemed to think was the bee's knee's, the best thing in the raw bread world. So I finally threw the ingredients in the processor, waited patiently for it do it's thing in the dehydrator, and took a bite.

Whoa nelly. This is GOOD STUFF!

Here's my version of a super lunch - tomato, avocado, and alfalfa sprouts in an onion bread sandwich spread with a bit of almondaise, some curried cauliflower, a spoonful raw kraut salad, some marinated/dehydrated mushrooms - and apple walnut cookies to snack on a bit later.
I did a few tweaks, after taking notes on various versions. Here's my
In processor, finely dice 1 large sweet onion - about 1 1/4c.
Put in a bowl with: 1 c. flax seed, ground (measure BEFORE grinding)
1 c. raw sunflower seeds, ground ( " ")
1/4 c. fermented soy sauce, ie Kikomans
1/4 c. water
1/8 c. -1/4 c. olive oil (too much oil makes it crumbly)
1/2 large sweet onion, THINLY sliced
Mix thoroughly. Spread on teflex sheets (it made two sheets for my round dehydrator) about 1/4" thin. Helps to wet your hands as you spread and pat it out. Dry about 8 hours at 115 degrees (overnight works). Flip off the teflex sheets onto dehydrator racks, dry additional 3-4 hours, or until it suits the texture you like.
These are pliable but mostly dry; they can be dried totally crisp, if desired.
I cut them into wedges with kitchen scissors while still warm.
The only problem I ran into with them - I kept eating samples while testing for dryness. REALLY good flavor, and while still warm - devine!
I like this bread way too much, so I packaged wedges wrapped in pairs, for sandwiches, and tucked them into a ziplock bag in the fridge. I understand they freeze well, too. I'll try that if I still have some left at the end of the week....

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunny Patties

I've been looking at "burger patty" recipes, planning on adding a little variety to the menu plus another "grab 'n go" food. This one, from "Dining in the Raw", was an inexpensive starter. Plus, I had everything on hand - that counts - a LOT!

("Sunburgers" in the recipe book - I don't like the "burger" label when it isn't real meat - call me eccentric)

In food processor with"S" blade:
1 cup sunflower seeds (soak a couple hours and shake dry)
1/2 c. carrot chunks
1/2 c. celery chunks
1/2 bunch green onions, sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1/4 c. fresh basil
1/4 c. fresh parsley
fermented soy sauce to taste

Process to very fine dice. Form patties, place gently on fine mesh screen on dehydrator trays. Don't squash onto mesh, they'll stick. I dried them for about 6 hours, at 118 degrees, to get the texture I like. They can be dried completely crisp, if desired. Store airtight in fridge.

Chewy, tasty, very satisfying!

I ate the first one warm from the dryer, with a dollop of fresh marinara.

These are going on the "make again" list!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sweet 'n Zippy Lentil Soup

Warmer soups are on the calender now - it's freezing at night, and barely in the 4os during the day. Getting a nice warm soup together quickly can be a life-saver after getting chilled to the bone.

Prepping the veggies and other ingredients properly can make a big difference in time and nutrition. The food processor becomes my good friend, by quickly turning chunks of hard veggies into fine dice - and they don't have to be done singly, just pitch them all in together and blitz! They will cook through with little heat, a priority for my preferred way of eating.

By using a low-heat method, the vegetables, even though in small pieces, don't turn to mush, as can be seen in the photo below. Low-heat just means bringing the pot barely to a boil, then turning off the heat. The remaining heat finishes the cooking process, the veggies maintain their shape and color. Beautiful!

A soup doesn't have to be cooked for hours, to warm you up, as this one proves. One of my favorite pre-raw soups has always been Sweet and Sour, and this is a good stand-in until I re-work my S & S recipe...

About noon the day before you want the soup, start by soaking a cup of brown lentils for about 8 hours. Then, drain and rinse, and let them set until the next afternoon, about 4 PM. They will have started to sprout, which is what we want. Sprouted grains and seeds need less heat to become soft, thereby preserving nutrients and enzymes, plus putting the phytates out of commission.

Using your processor, blitz to small dice:
1 large carrot
1 parsnip
1 onion
Put into a 2 quart pot. Add:
1 diced, seeded jalapeno pepper
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chili powder
the sprouted lentils
Cover about 2" with water. Bring just barely to a boil, then immediately turn off heat and put the lid on the pot. Let set until the veggies and lentils are tender, about 5 minutes or so.

Stir in:
1/2 chopped red bell pepper
2 T. chopped cilantro
1 - 2 T. pure maple syrup (or agave or honey)
1- 2 T. tamari or fermented soy sauce (ie Kikomans)
Adjust the seasonings to your taste - more or less sweet, more or less salty, more or less heat from the jalapeno and chili powder.

Soups are very forgiving.

And delectably beautiful! See those litte pieces of green jalapeno, the red peppers, the orange carrots...this method of low-heat cooking allows the veggies to keep not only their nutrients, but their inviting colors, too.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Killer Garlic

(NOTE: call me lazy, but I think this remedy is important enough to post it on all three of my blogsites today...)

At the first sign of a sneaking-up-on-me cold (sniffles, scratchy throat, sneezing, itchy or runny eyes...), I reach for my mug and the bulb of garlic that is usually in the countertop basket of fruits and veggies I use daily.
Garlic is one of the more popular home cures for colds. Many cultures have a home remedy for the cold using garlic, whether it’s chicken soup with lots of garlic, a drink made with raw crushed garlic, or it may just involve eating cloves raw garlic.

Here's a simple Garlic Tea, that does the job: crush anywhere from one to six fat cloves of garlic, put in the bottom of a mug. Set the timer for 10 minutes, the amount of time it seems auspicious for the "good stuff" to be activated. Then fill the mug with boiling water, add some honey and fresh lemon juice to taste, and sip away. When you get to the bottom, where the garlic resides, get a spoon and scoop those jewels of health up, and EAT THEM!! Yeah, you'll have some garlic breath for a bit, but no worse than with a garlic-laden spaghetti sauce. Brush your teeth and gargle, if it really bothers you.

I'm a believer - and I don't mind garlicky breath for a few days if it means not dealing with cold symptoms. Take your choice...

FYI: here's a fast and efficient way to peel and mash a clove of garlic in one fell swoop (or is that swell foop...): with the garlic on your cutting board, lay the flat side of your chef knife on the clove...
and give it a smack with your hand. It loosens the clove right out of the papery skin, and effectively crushes it too! Doncha just love kitchen tips...
And for your further edification:

"The cold-fighting compound in garlic is thought to be allicin, which has demonstrated antibacterial and antifungal properties. Allicin is what gives garlic its distinctive hot flavor. To maximize the amount of allicin, fresh garlic should be chopped or crushed and it should be raw.

In a study involving 146 people, participants received either a garlic supplement or a placebo for 12 weeks between November and February. People who took garlic reduced the risk of catching a cold by more than half. The study also found that garlic reduced the recovery time in people who caught a cold. More research is needed to corroborate these results.n is what gives garlic its distinctive hot flavor.

Garlic does have some possible side effects and safety concerns. Bad breath and body odor are perhaps the most common side effects, however, dizziness, sweating, headache, fever, chills and runny nose have also been reported. Large amounts may irritate the mouth or result in indigestion. Garlic supplements should avoided by people with bleeding disorders, two weeks before or after surgery, or by those taking "blood-thinning" medications such as warfarin (Coumadin) or supplements believed to affect blood clotting such as vitamin E, garlic or ginkgo. "
Personally, I've never had a reaction to garlic, other than some heat on the tongue from a big clove. But I don't eat the cloves all at once, I spread them out over a period of time, just grabbing one up in passing and munching it as I go about whatever I'm doing.

Go forth and find garlic. Better yet, get some planted in your garden - it's almost past time. You'll have garlic for next season!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hippocrates Sauerkraut Nouveau

Remember the red cabbage that went into the pickling jar? Well, here it is, in a tasty salad! You could make this with green kraut, too, but the red is extra nutritious - and pretty! This will not taste as good, or be as good for you, if made with canned kraut; the whole point of doing the fermenting jar process is to keep the enzymes alive, to do their good work.

2 cups of raw sauerkraut
1 stalk celery, minced
1/2 red onion, minced
1/8 tsp. cayenne

Raw sauerkraut aids in the digestion of any meal. It is a good source of vitamin C and B-comples. It introduces friendly bacteria into the intestinal tract and helps satisfy cravings. Raw kraut is also an aid in the control of yeast overgrowth in your system (i.e. candida). A simple, historic vegetable dish that should be introduced to any household.

Raw kraut can be purchased in a few health food stores, but is very expensive.

So, learn to make your own - RAW SAUERKRAUT! There are lots of flavor variations, depending on what vegetables and herbs you might choose to include in the fermenting process.


Monday, October 12, 2009

FALL-ing into flavor

A quick spin through the garden gate on a quest for greens that the last few nights of hard frost hadn't damaged yielded some jewels. I grabbed some parsley, and almost stepped on the last of the carrots (Danvers Half-longs) in one of the Square-foot Garden squares. I keep a hand trowel stuck in the dirt in one corner of the raised bed, ready for just such a chore. A few deft plunges into the dirt around the carrots, and they were loosened enough to pull easily.
This time of year, the carrots are crisp and juicy, sweeter than ever. Often an attempt to pull them results in the tops popping right off the carrot, and then it's a dirty-fingernail job to retrieve the carrot. Thus the trowel technique.
Right next to the carrot square were the last of the Chiogga beets, sporting nice bushy tops that the frost hadn't damaged. So out they came, joining the carrots and parsley headed for the kitchen.
Some of the carrots were smallish - I dread any peeling attempts on these little characters - too many "peeled" knuckles over the years. Then I remembered this recipe, from Carol Alt's "The Raw 50" - problem solved.

I just scrubbed the little ones, gave them a rough chop, and they were ready to be transmogrified into:

Blend smooth in the Vita-Mix:
2 large carrots, rough chopped (or equivalent small ones)
1 or 2 celery stalks, rough chopped
2 T. raw apple cider vinegar
1 T. minced fresh gingerroot, or more to taste
2 tsp. freshly grated horseradish, or more to taste
water enough to make a dressing consistency
After a taste test, I also added:
1 T. agave
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. sunflower seed oil (avocado, or walnut, or olive oil would be good)

I ran this for several minutes to get the dressing really smooth, adding water a tablespoon at a time to get the consistency I wanted. Probably about 2/3 c. altogether - depends on the amount and juiciness of carrots.

Arrange baby spinach leaves on salad plate, top with slices of apple (I used Welties). Just for fun and because it was right there on the cutting board, I also added some very thin slices of Chiogga beet - so sweet! They added an extra earthy note and tender crunch to this colorful fall-garden salad. A sprinkle of protein laden hemp seeds, and lunch was fork ready!

Taste notes: crisp - sweet - colorful - crunchy- earthy - zippy; velvety dressing wrapping the toothsome raw veggies.

The garden may be on it's last hoorah, but it still feeds my body and soul.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Between A and Z...

...are many veggies that are perfect just as they are. Maybe just a little more nekked.

Raw food doesn't get any better than a punk and his prize!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Five-minute soup...

There is no "soup season" in my kitchen - I adore soups, crave them more than chocolate (yes, it's true!), and consume them year round with much appreciation for whomever first dropped a hot rock into a bark-cauldron of water and weeds.
A friend recently queried, with eating mostly raw now how was I going to enjoy hot soup this fall and winter? I had been asking myself the same question, and doing some recipe browsing. No worries, I figure between me and my trusty Vita-Mix we will manage just fine.
Today, when a hunger twinge niggled at the appropriate time, my first thought was, what do I have to make some soup?
There was a lonesome yam in the basket, I had some cashews already soaked and waiting in the frig for inspiration, and a few last fresh sage leaves were needing used. AHA! A fall soup I had made in my not-so-raw life popped into memory, and I proceeded to wing it from taste-bud memory.

Into a Vita-Mix:
1/4 c. soaked raw cashews
1/2 c. warm water
Blitz almost smooth. Add:
about 1/2 - 3/4 c. grated raw yam or sweet potato or winter squash
sage - one 3"-fresh leaf, or 1/2 tsp. dried
1 T. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. sea salt
cayenne - depending on your heat tolerance, anything from a dash up to a whole Thai red pepper!
1/2 tsp. onion powder or 2 T. fresh chopped onion
1 - 2 c. very warm water
Blend 2-3 minutes until very smooth and warmed. Serve with sprinkle of chopped hemp seed.

NOTE: this can probably be done in a regular blender, by soaking the grated squash/yam in the hot water for at least 10 minutes, to soften and make it easier to blend. Definately worth a try, if you don't yet have your Vita-Mix!

A velvety, creamy, luscious blend of lively taste and warmth.
A soup doesn't have to be steaming, to warm the cockles of your heart - or your taste buds!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Vitamin Smoothie

This photo is courtesy of Bulk Herb Store. The product is called "Stress Less Herba Smoothie". Click the link, read the information - you'll be glad you did.

I've been very impressed with this company. Take some time to explore all the information available in the sidebar links, a good education with quality and caring.
Using the herbs in a smoothie format, essentially concocting a custom vitamin supplement that will be easily absorbed and used by your body - what could be better!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Rhythm of Raw Food Prep

The following anecdote points out the need to educate one's self in order to enjoy and benefit from eating a raw lifestyle.

"Three years earlier, I had been aimlessly wandering around the kitchen, wondering, What is there to eat? The fridge was packed with perfectly good food, the counters displayed bowls of beautiful, ripening fruits. Nuts and seeds filled many a cupboard.

But we didn't yet understand the rhythms of raw food preparation—soaking, sprouting, dehydrating (on occasion), or warming the food. We were still accustomed to, and comforted by, sauteing, baking, steaming, stir-frying, and the smells and sounds of cooking.

It took time to understand the nuances of preparing raw food cuisine.

Soon the chopping, blending, juicing, grating, and dehydrating began to replace the way we'd worked in the kitchen, and after several months these practices became joyful and natural.

Perhaps you are wondering, like we did, What is there to eat on this strange new diet? As we moved more into conscious eating, there were questions we asked ourselves: Did a meal leave us tired, or energized? Did it bring a sense of well being, and digest well? Was there rationalization during the preparation—or a clear knowing that whatever we were choosing to eat, in our heart of hearts, was the very best? Our intuition acted like light beams that cut through the fog of uncertainty.

So listen, act, and evolve with ease into greater levels of health and harmony. The beauty of the intuitive approach is that the unfoldment process never stops, nor will it ever need to, because the law of life compels us toward steady growth that is in perfect accord with our true potential!"

An excellent "getting started without confusion" is Alissa Cohen's 3 hour, instructional DVD, Living on Live Food, in which she makes twenty recipes—it may save months of uncertainty in the kitchen.

"It was through Alissa's DVD that we first learned about making anglehair pasta from zucchini with the handiest little gadget—a Saladacco—and how to make raw marinara sauce. Suddenly, we felt liberated to be able to have pasta again, without any of the problems of wheat!"

The photo illustrates part of the rhythm I have come to enjoy. The recipe, from Carol Alt's "The Raw 50", titled Thyme Bread, makes a great flexible cracker type of bread. Loaded with nut pate or hummus and topped with avocado and veggies, they make for quick meals.

1 c. dark flax seeds, ground finely (coffee or spice grinder). Soak in:
1 c. purified water for 1 hour; water should be absorbed. Combine in food processor with:
1 c. soaked walnuts (at least one hour)
1/4 c. fresh chopped thyme
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
Spread mixture thinly on teflex sheets on dryer trays, dehydrate at 115 degrees for about 6 hours, until the tops are dry to touch. Peel off teflex sheets and continue drying on trays for another 3 hours or so. Cut into desired shapes (mine are triangular, due to circular dryer!). Dry longer if you want crisper "bread". Keeps well in ziplock bags in frig.

The point being, planning ahead for the soaking/sprouting/drying routine.
It is indeed a comforting rhythm, working with living foods that bring such joy and life to my body and soul.

(numbers report: at clinic today, BP was 116/68, blood oxygen 99%. I think it's time to talk with the doc about reducing/eliminating the BP meds I've been on...)