"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, December 14, 2010

Potato Bug...

OK. So it's a CARROT bug.

But he's after those potatoes.

It's so fun to go out to the raised beds and pull carrots in the middle of winter. Sweet, tender, crispy.

And sometimes kinda funky.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup with Garlic Creme

With Christmas hard on the heels of Thanksgiving, this colorful, velvety soup is a great candidate for holiday dining. I took it to the family Thanksgiving potluck, and plan on a repeat performance at Christmas. It is delish! Easy and cheap, seasonal and satisfying. The Garlic Creme can turn it from Really Good to GRREEEEAT with a five-second garnish trick.l

Ingredients: medium butternut squash, carrots, apples, fresh herbs, and some seasoning.

Butternut Squash Soup with Garlic Creme (4 servings)
In processor (not blender) fine chop:
4 c. peeled, cubed butternut squash (one smallish squash; peel with veg peeler, split in two, scoop seeds and cube squash meat)
3 med. carrots
Transfer to highspeed blender (VitaMix) for smoothest soup. Or continue in processor. Add:
2 med. chopped apples, cored, UNPEELED
1 T. miso (0pt)
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, mashed
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. fresh rosemary (1 tsp. dry)
1 tsp. fresh thyme (1/2 tsp. dry)
1 tsp. fresh sage (1/2 tsp. dry OR use poultry seasoning)
Blend smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste.
If you want warmed soup, pour into a quart jar with screw-on lid; submerge jar in very warm water until soup is warm to touch. Can also be gently warmed in pot over low heat, or in double boiler; just don't overheat.
Garlic Creme
Blend smooth:
1 c. soaked raw cashews (soak at least 30 min., drain)
2 med. cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 c. water
Transfer into squeeze bottle.
To serve:
Pour soup into wide bowls (warm bowls first if desired). Squeeze Garlic Creme from bottle in 2 or 3 concentric circles on surface of soup. Using a toothpick or chopstick, draw lines from center of circles through rings to edge of bowl, forming a "webbed" pattern.
Sprinkle with a few pumpkin seeds.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Watermelon Salad

I know, watermelon season is about over.

I've had an organic Hermiston melon lounging in the spare refridgerator for a couple of weeks, and finally decided it was time to use it. Savoring that last sweet taste of summer. So I brought it in to continue it's lounge, on the counter for a full day to warm up and release it's goodness. While we typically think of melons as served icy cold, that doesn't always do them justice. So here is a room-temp recipe as an experiment.


Combine in a small bowl and allow to marinate for 10 minutes:

3/4 c. thinly sliced red onion

1 T. fresh lime juice

In large bowl, gently combine:

1 1/2 qts cubed watermelon

3/4 c. feta

2 T. olive oil

1/2 c. sliced black or kalamata olives

1 c. chopped fresh mint

Add the onion/lime, toss gently again. Let set for 10 - 15 minutes to allow flavors to marry. It may also be chilled if you prefer.

This is a surprising flavor combo. When my sister first read the recipe, her comment was, "GAG ME!" She was sure this was a loser.

Here's the deal. The saltiness of the olives and feta are the perfect foil to the sweet melon, and along with the mint, flavor notes are sparked that compels you going back for another bite and another bite - just one more - to evaluate and enjoy.

I personally found it delightful, a dish I will make again.

It's worth a search through the produce department for a lingering melon!

(The mound of hummus is a wonderful sprouted garbanzo recipe - I gave it a couple of grinds of mixed peppercorns just for fun. The cucs are from the garden, they are hanging in there, along with lettuce and kale!)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Oats 'n Groats

Nope, it's not breakfast - yet!

So what do you do with whole oats and buckwheat groats, raw almonds, some juicy gloriously ripe peaches and real live maple syrup?

First, you sprout the oats and buckwheat. Just put a cup of each in jars (or together in one jar if you aren't planning on using them for anything else but breakfast), cover with at least twice as much water, and let soak overnight. Now they are germinated, ALIVE! In the morning, drain and rinse really really well in a sieve, pour into a wide shallow bowl, set it back somewhere on the counter and let them sprout. Then you rinse and drain them again that evening, put back into the wide bowl and let them keep sprouting overnight. Rinse again in the morning, and they should be ready to eat. They can go for one more sprouting day (rinse and drain morning and evening) if you want a softer chew texture.

See those itty bitty sprouts on the buckwheat?

Now don't go buy some almond milk. You want to make it yourself. Of course you do! Since we don't all have maple trees in the back yard, you CAN go fetch that from the store. It's technically not "raw", having been cooked down to syrup, but it IS pure. Pure goodness!

Here are raw almonds, spouted on left, unsprouted on the right. Nuts don't show sprouts, by the way. So you can just called them "soaked", it's OK.

Put the almonds in a container, cover with twice as much water, let set overnight, and they are ready. They need to be rinsed, then they can be stored in the refrigerator, covered with water. But first make some almond milk. Dump about 1/3 c. of almonds in the blender, add about one and a half cups cold water, and blend until you have "milk". Some folks strain it in a nut milk bag, but I love it right out of the blender. A little bit grainy, but delish! Store the milk in a lidded jar in the fridge.

OK, now we're ready for breakfast! Scoop some of the sprouted grain into a bowl, peel those sunny peaches and cut them over the top. Drizzle with maple syrup, pour on the almond milk, and get ready to faint!

If you really want to gild the lily, sprinkle on a couple dashes of quality cinnamon. Whoa nelly.
THIS is what I call breakfast!

It's hard to stop with one bowl. But it is filling, and soooooo much better than cooked rolled oats. I just can't tell you. You have to experience it....

And be sure to do it SOON, because those glorious fresh peaches will be gone before you can say "fall is here"!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mono meal

One of the lovely things I've learned while on this raw journey, is that a meal that is perfect for me can be quite different from a "traditional" meal. In other words, I don't need a variety of foods to be satisfied and nourished.

A "mono meal" - one item. Rather monotonous? Not at all. Especially if the bowl is full of fruit. It could be just ONE type of fruit. Today I felt a craving for a mixed bowl of sweet and tart, juicy and crisp - but first I went blackberry picking!

After loading a bowl with jewels, I slipped a banana from it's skin and into the Vita-mix, added a heaping spoon of sin (that's raw cashew butter), a good dash of cinnamon, and blitzed it into a creamy topping. A nudge from somewhere in my head made me reach for the sesame seeds, and in they went. Next time I might grind them first, the creamy was a bit "seedy". But the extra helping of calcium seemed to be what I was needing. I "listen" to my body a lot when deciding what to eat...

After the picture was taken, I poured on about another 1/2 cup of that luscious cream!

I've had mono meals of just a couple of bananas for lunch. Or several cucumbers. A apple is usually in one of my bags, snack on the run.

Raw life doesn't get much easier - or tastier.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Great Balls o' Fire!

OK, so the song title dates me...but I couldn't resist, 'cuz these balls are so full of ENERGY!

If you've ever indulged in LaraBars, you will appreciate this "recipe". I use the word lightly, because it's more a matter of ratio.

RECIPE: 1 part "wet", to 3 parts "dry".

It was fun to check out a couple of LaraBars and come up with similar flavors. The Lemon bar and the Apple Pie bar looked like a good place to start.

This was a project for the most recent Raw101 Uncooking class I've been teaching monthly over the summer. The topic for this class was "Sweeties". Dividing the students into three groups with three different bags of ingredients/recipes to choose from has been a fun way to do a sort of Raw Iron Chef! The group that got the red bag made Truffles, and these great energy balls.

Each ball recipe began with 1cup of dates pulsed to a paste. Then the 3 cups of dry ingredients are worked in by hand, to form a nutty glob. Bits are pinched off, rolled into balls, then rolled in sesame seeds if desired. Expect to have really sticky gooey hands, but you get to nibble off the bits and pieces that stick to your hands - yum!

In the small balls we used some Young Living Lemon Essential Oil for the lemon flavor along with some microplaned lemon peel. TASTY!! The nuts used were cashews, macadamias and almonds.

The larger balls used a different combination for the 3 c. of dry ingredients: pumpkin seeds, raw sunnies, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamia, almonds, walnuts, hemp seeds, sesame seeds,
diced dried apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a dash of vanilla.

These are great treats, handy for hikers (wrap individually to keep in pockets), great for mid-day pick-me-up, lunch on the go, or whatever excuse you can think of to enjoy a healthy, delish bit of crunch and sweetness!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pizza with Pazazz!

The more I eat "raw", the more I crave raw living foods - I'm finding I really do not miss some of my former favorites, like pizza. Here's one reason why:

Now does that not look like the "real thing"? That's because it IS the REAL THING! Real food, that is.

With a side of quacamole and some fruit with lime juice squeezed over it and sprinkled with a bit of chili powder, this was a dinner that satisfied in every way. High in flavor, texture, color...

a joy to savor!..

to the last bite!

And so easy!
I used a 4" Portobello mushroom cap, snapping off the stem and using a spoon to scrape out the dark gills. Then a little squeeze of lemon juice on the prepared underside, and spread some nut butter right over that. I had raw tahini on hand, so that's what I used. Then a few thin slices of ripe tomato, sprinkled with chopped onion, and diced marinated Portobello mushroom "steaks" I also had in the fridge. A few fresh basil leaves, tightly rolled length-wise then sliced thinly for a chiffonade, and finally a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.
Hallellujah, pizza is back on the menu!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Secret of the Young Coconut

"Once upon a time, there was a young Thai coconut...."

There are some very SECRET methods to getting from the box, above....
and the heart of the matter. The coconut heart, that is. At our last Raw Potluck, Lilly volunteered to show us one of those secret methods. It involved a very ancient Asian cleaver (at least 10 years old, at LEAST...), a grip that only WE were taught, and then the biggest secret of all...

HERE IT IS: The hand-behind-the-back. SHHHHHHHHH. It's a secret, remember. I'm only sharing with YOU because I KNOW you won't tell. ANYONE. Right?
And now, we come to the meat of the matter. First you pour the coconut water...
into a pitcher. Then get a nice rounded spoon, and start sliding it under the soft meat, between the meat and the hard inner shell. It will come out pretty easily.

Then. THEN. If you've had your coconut refrigerated, you get to sip the most refreshing, icy cold nectar, and indulge in nibbles of creamy, slightly chewy, moist COCONUT!

Thank you, Lilly!! (She also brought three cases of Young Thai coconuts to share, at only $2.50 each. A real deal!)

And don't tell a SOUL where you learned the Secret of the Young Thai Coconut...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Strawberry Macaroons!!

Browsing the web for raw recipes can get to be overwhelming - there is so much info out there now, and a plethora of recipes and concepts of raw. But there a few sites I can count on.

One is Raw-mazing, with Susan Powers. Her concepts are sane, her recipes delicious - ranging from simple to elegant - and I always come away from her site feeling good! What more could a raw foodie ask?

I choose her CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRY MACAROONS to share at our last Raw Potluck. They were a definate hit, not a crumb left. Easy to make, too!


Dice: fresh strawberries to measure 1 c. - set aside.

Mix in bowl: 1 c. almond flour/meal
1/4 c. raw maple syrup
1/4 c. agave
1/4 c. coconut butter, softened
pinch sea salt
2 c. dried unsweetened coconut, fine shred

Stir in berries. Shape cookies with teaspoon onto fine mesh screen. Dehydrate at 140 degrees 30 minutes then at 116 degrees for 3 - 5 hours. I like chewy macaroons, so I just did about 3 hours. They firm up as they cool, too, so take that into account. While warm from drying, dip in chocolate. Place on waxed paper on try, chill until chocolate sets. Serve on platter sprinkled with more shredded coconut, keeps chocolate from sticking.


Whisk together: 1/2 c. raw cacao powder (or carob, or mixture of both; carob tames the
intense cacao)
1/2 c. agave
1/4 c. cacao butter, melted

Make the chocolate just before ready to dip cookies - if it is made ahead, it can stiffen. Warm gently, or add a bit more agave. (Do NOT add water, it sets up chocolate.)

This recipe made two platters the size as seen in the photo. I left some undipped for those who don't care for chocolate. Philistines.

These are worthy of any fancy dinner or afternoon ladies tea!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Easy meals = raw success

One thing I've learned, is that if I have a number of prepared options in the fridge, I can not only have quick, satisfying meals, I am less likely to grab a food item that later I may wish I hadn't.

So I try to keep a couple of nut/seed pate' choices made up, always have greens such as romaine and lettuces washed and tucked in with damp paper towels in baggies, cut up colorful sweet red and yellow peppers, some cucumbers and small zuchinni in the veg crisper, sprouts either in the fridge or at some growing stage on the window sill, at least one salad such as a cabbage/carrot slaw made up, maybe a few special treats such as marinated mushrooms or walnut taco "meat" available, and handy grab-'n-go fruits such as bananas and apples in the fruit basket on the counter.

Along with Green Smoothies, I think one of my fav meals are the quick wraps I can make with whatever is available in the fridge. One big romaine leaf filled with some pate' and veggies can make a scrumptious, long lasting lunch. Including some healthy fats from the nuts and avocados (love those little 3" babies; they are ideal, with no left-overs to turn dark!) insures that this meal will be satisfying for many hours. The key is "small or moderate" amounts of the fats. Even good fats can cause problems if over-eaten. Another time the wrap might only be a light layer of sunflower seed pate', piled with sliced, diced and shredded veggies!
Another thing I find keeps me eager to continue on my raw journey, is making sure I have a colorful, garnished, nicely-presented meal, on a fun plate. The artist in my soul rejoices in the vibrant veggie world and in the opportunity to be creative. My plate becomes my palatte!

Just as important as having nourishing raw living foods on hand, is that I keep my mind focused. Not so much on the food, but on my health. If I am eating in such a way that my body is satisfied, taking in optimum nutrition so that I'm not overeating, my health is visibly affected.
So here's to HEALTHY eating. Achieving that goal with RAW and LIVING food is the bonus!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Raw Potluck II

We were graced with another sunset evening on the bay for the April Raw-some Potluck held at Art Space in Bay City, Oregon. 27 folks were delighted to walk through the door and add their dish to the beautiful serving table.

Here's a recap - I have to warn you,though, that this visual feast may cause drooling...

Savory Veggie Curry and toppings, Hippocrates Raw Kraut salad, a variety of crackers/flatbreads with nut cheese spread...

tiny cups of rich Chocolate "moose" with cashew cream and berry garnish...

"I AM PERFECT Pecan Pie"...

Spring onion sunflower seed cheese stuffed Mushroom Caps Carnival...

Jicama Mash (with avocados and garlic - wipe that drool off your chin, please)...

Colorbox Kale and Cabbage salad...

Atarashi Maki Rolls with Ume Ponzu dipping sauce...

Jicama Mango with dusted with chipotle powder...

Sassy green salad... which was next to a tingly fresh Cabbage slaw dressed with lime/honey...

Berry salad...

Winter fruit salad...

crackers and flatbreads fresh from the dehydrator, with nut schmear-kase (cheese!)...

crowd-pleasing Falafel...

and a few sides I didnt' get photos of. A feast, indeed! Everyone brought their recipe, so we could spread the wealth.
The doorprize calander from Delicious Magazine - the winner will be bringing the surprise doorprize for the next potluck!

Visiting before and after the meal is a favorite actitity. Sharing ideas, experiences, storys, resources, other connections - we're a family, for sure! Getting everyone seated for the blessing is always a challenge, too much to talk about...

But once that line starts around the table, no time is wasted in picking and choosing palate-pleasers. The intentness and smiles tell the story...

One thing I did notice...the plates people are bringing are getting larger :)

It's so encouraging to see our youngsters come with their family. And they clean their plates right up!

Good conversation is the final spice to outstanding raw dishes. Don't you wish you were there?!

We asked Linda to bring her spiralizer to show us how she had made a colorful salad for the previous potluck. A really fun demonstration, everyone who wanted to take a turn got to see first hand how the gadget worked. World Cuisine, at Amazon for less than $30! Paderna was the brand name.

The Coast Raw-view Newsletter featured the potluck. Next Raw-some Potluck: May 22.
Come on over and join the feast and fun!