"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

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!