"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

Saturday, January 1, 2011


What better way to start off a brand new year than to challenge yourself to 30 Days Raw?!

One of my rawbie buddies and I have dedicated this sparkling fresh month to really tuning in and tuning up our raw foods lifestyle. New recipes, old favs, local foods (doesn't get much more local than my veggie garden!), sharing our passion for healthiest eating and nourishing the spirit as well as the body.

Day one:
Breakfast is easy - green smoothie, of course (banana, apple, spinach, kale, parsley, celery).
Midday - a big 'ol mixed green salad (arugula, kale, sweet red/yellow bell peppers, scallions, tomatoes, sunflower and sesame seeds, with a tangy dressing of EVOO, lemon juice, miso, fresh ginger, garlic and turmeric - super!
Dinner - a new soup recipe - Borscht. I adapted this from "Dining in the Raw", one of my well-used volumes.

Get ready for a real dazzler - nothing like beets to put some bright pink in your bowl!


This is the original recipe - I'll note what I changed.

1 lb. beets, peeled and chopped (I used 2 med. beets fresh from the garden)

1 c. fresh carrot juice (I didn't want to get the juicer out, so I just used two fresh carrots, about 5" long)

1 c. almonds (since I was cutting down the recipe, I used about 2/3 c.)

4 scallions, minced (I used 2, coarsely whacked)

1/4 c. fresh dill (no dill in the garden - I used 1 tsp. dried dill weed)

1 cucumber, peeled and diced (I used about a half)

dash cayenne

Braggs to taste

The original recipe said to make almond nut milk and strain it. I just dumped the almonds and all the rest (except cucs) in the VitaMix along with about 1 1/2 c. very warm water, and blended it all up smooth. It tasted grand!

I poured half of the batch of soup into my bowl, stirred in most of the diced cucumber, used a spoonful to garnish, along with a sprig of parsley just for fun.

This was a thicker soup than the original recipe - I do like thick soups in the winter, just seems more satisfying. I also liked it warmish, rather than the traditional chilled Borscht. I'll use the original version for a summer soup!

What a blessing, to trundle out to the back yard raised bed garden and pull some beets and carrots, nip some verdant crisp kale leaves and fluffy parsley. I'm so fortunate to live in a climate where winter veggies can hold in the ground for several months, even through frost and freezes. On the coast, we usually don't have very long bouts of freezing temps in the winter.

Kale loves it here! I grew three kinds this year. The big leaf with pinkish-purple vein/stem is called Peacock. The darker longish leaves are Lancinato (sometimes called dinosaur kale), a sweet variety that has been my fav for years. The curly-edged leaves are Winterbor, a sturdy plant that will hold up for several years. There are 4-year old plants at Don's Waterfall Nursery, still going strong in the organic beds tended by Don and Janet - good folks to know!

The kale starred in the lunch salad, well-chopped to make chewing and digestion easier. Saved a few leaves for tomorrow's green smoothie. I feel rich!
My tummy is happy, my body feels light, we're off to a tasty beginning of 30 DAYS RAW!

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