Till next time . . . To eat well; eat raw!
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Till next time . . . To eat well; eat raw!
Friday, September 28, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
When I read Heidi's post, along with her dramatic shot of the finished dish (nothing like the one above), I knew it was the perfect vehicle for the package of red Himalayan rice loitering in my staples cupboard. It's such a simple preparation, with common ingredients, that it was a delight to whip together. Heidi cautions to make this when you're not pressed for time as there is some chopping involved, but the chopping isn't that big an endeavor and I found I had the veggies and sauce ingredients ready for the pot in no time at all.
I'm not going to list all of the ingredients, as Heidi has done such a super job of that and her website has the added benefit of allowing you to switch to a print version of the recipe. I strongly urge you to subscribe to her postings as the images alone are magic. But beyond that, Heidi has wonderful treatments for whole foods that really tweak our imaginations when it comes to food prep and she offers simple procedures with good explanations for cooks at all levels.
This recipe calls for soy sauce. I used tamari instead of soy and as I added it to the sauté pan with the coconut milk and molasses, I chuckled to see the bright orange and green of the carrots and beans quickly turn to a very blah shade of brown. It brought to mind the constant moaning and groaning from the food designer in Nevada Verde Barr's fun novel, Last Bite. He seemed to constantly be faced with the challenge of making brown food look good for the TV cameras.
The myriad of flavors and textures in this dish makes it a surefire palate pleaser. Mine has a little extra kick, besides the hot chili pepper, I added the remnants of a little red curry paste that was lingering in the freezer - a scant teaspoon full. It added just the right amount of kick to assure there is nothing blah tasting about this red rice salad.
Till next time . . . keep on cooking.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I didn't know that red mixed with green would give me this odd shade of brown. . . not the most appealing color, is it? This is a riff on V-8 juice - or gazpacho in a glass. Fortunately, it tastes much better than it looks.I started with a thick, chunky gazpacho. Then blended a couple of cups with a little water and lots of romaine lettuce, and added a dash of Tabasco to the finished veggie drink. This simple Gazpacho mix makes a great chunky tomato sauce to serve with sliced veggies. It's a great cold soup as is, or blended with greens as I did above, it makes a great meal in a glass. The addition of softened sun-dried tomatoes adds a depth of flavor along with a rich mouth feel.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Okay, that's a term that dates me and many of you have probably never heard anyone say, "peachy keen". But that was the first thing that came to mind when I took the first sip of this morning's smoothie. Everyday is both a new experience and a new experiment as I choose what to toss in the blender for breakfast.
I'm so impressed with the many benefits of drinking fresh coconut water despite the challenge of opening a young coconut. Read about my first efforts here. But then how boring would life be without a few little challenges? If opening a coconut is the extent of the trouble I encounter in life, I'm certainly not going to complain.
Today, with a base of coconut water, I added a handful of frozen mango chunks, a frozen banana, a cut up fresh peach and a handful of goji berries,then gave the old blender a whirl. It took a few seconds with the blender on low to get things going, but as the frozen fruit pieces started breaking down in the coconut water, I slowly increased the speed until a nice whirlpool developed and voila! A peachy keen glass of vibrant nutrition that tastes like an elixir for the gods...or as I imagine an elixir for the gods should taste.
Making a nutritious smoothie is a fun exercise in using what's on hand and a little imagination. Each day I use a different mix of fruit, greens and superfoods to assure a balance for the body and an interesting journey for the taste buds.
Till next time . . . to eat well; eat raw.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
What's a girl to do but improvise when confronted with these results? Instead of posting about my new green smoothie, I called it confetti to account for the little specks of green and red floating throughout. A VitaMix is at the top of my wish list. Meanwhile, I make do with an old Krups workhorse of a blender. It does have some difficulty getting the last bits of green completely disintegrated, or the red, for that matter. But that doesn't affect the taste!
The result is a subtly sweet, light green, rich smoothie, with the delicate pear flavor dominating.
Using a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables offers a wider selection of nutrients for our bodies to use in maintaining our health. Branch out, be adventurous, have some fun!
Till next time . . . to eat well; eat raw!
Looking for a good book? These entertained me last month.
Edna Buchanan . . . . . . . . . . Love Kills
Art Corriveau . . . . . . . . Housewrights
Patricia Volk . . . . . . . . . To My Dearest Friends
Maeve Binchy . . . . . . . . Scarlet Feathers
Michael Palmer . . . . . . . . The Fifth Vial
Jacqueline Mitchard . . . . . . . Still Summer
Laura Lippman . . . . . . . . Baltimore Blues
Faye Kellerman . . . . . . . . Burnt House
Monday, September 10, 2007
Here's a quick and easy vegan stir-fry with a healthy helping of quinoa and a piquant tahini dressing with a hidden surprise, a generous dash of ground chipotle.
This is particularly quick and easy with a little advance prep, yet it's a snap to prep the veggies and whisk up the dressing while the quinoa cooks. (30 minutes).
Wash and prep the veggies while the grain cooks. To serve two: half a large sweet onion, sliced; half a large red bell pepper; 2 small yellow squash, sliced; 2 small zucchini, sliced; a generous handful of snow peas. (Double to serve 4, etc). This is a very flexible dish. Sauté veggies in a little olive oil. Start with the onions and red pepper. Sauté for a couple of minutes, lightly salt and pepper, add zucchini and yellow squash, stir fry for 3 - 4 minutes, add a splash of tamari and continue turning and cooking for another 2 minutes, add snow peas and continue stir-frying for a two or three minutes. Veggies should be crisp tender, not soggy and overdone. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add some minced fresh herbs. Basil is nice, but cilantro, oregano or thyme would be just as nice. Or be adventurous and make an herb blend.
In a small bowl whisk up a little tahini dressing: 1/4 cup organic raw tahini; 1/4 cup warm water; 2 TBS fresh lemon juice; 1 clove minced garlic, salt to taste and a generous pinch of cayenne or ground chipotle. (This makes ample dressing for 2 servings - double up on the quantities to serve more).
The amazing queen of grains — quinoa. One cup, rinsed and added to 1 1/2 cups of boiling water with a pinch of salt. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until water is absorbed and little tails emerge from each grain. Approximately 25 - 30 minutes.
To serve, place a generous helping of quinoa in center of dish, surround with a few large spoonsful of crisp, tender veggies, add a dollop of dressing and a little minced fresh basil. Pass additional dressing at the table. Enjoy a simple, yet delicious and nutritious one dish meal.
A fresh green salad for a starter, a lively little merlot to accompany, and this meal is a staple to add to the 'meals in a hurry' file.
Till next time . . . keep on cooking!
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Papaya and Spinach
Heaps of green with vibrant color from fresh fruits and vegetables makes for a wonderful lunch or dinner salad. With a spirit of adventure, I've been enjoying a myriad of flavors and textures in my salad bowl by randomly choosing a wide variety of fresh, raw food.
Ten Ingredients In A Bowl
What are all those dark flecks? Sea Seasonings! Most of us have grown accustomed to a salty flavoring on our food. Seaweeds provide both the iodine we need and the salty taste we desire, without much sodium. Sprinkle on the nutritional benefits of sea vegetables, skip the table salt and enjoy another layer of flavor.
This is a tasty blend of organic dulse, laver and sea lettuce, harvested from the ocean off the coast of Maine. Read more about these sea vegetables and the folks who bring this great product to you.
Okay, so what's in those salads? The top one is a great bowl filled with green leaf lettuce, baby spinach, papaya, vidalia onions, cucumber, red bell pepper, raisins, sunflower seeds, and snack sprouts. It's dressed with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a splash of apple cider vinegar.
The bottom salad contains, green leaf lettuce, broccoli, fresh basil leaves, cuke, sweet onion, avocado, mango, peppadew peppers*, sunflower seeds and a generous sprinkling of the Maine Coast Triple Blend Flakes described above. There is no dressing on this salad except for the juice that I could wring out from the flesh surrounding the mango pit. Allowing the salad to sit and wilt a bit, provided a nice juicy meal without added dressing. A light dressing with a citrus note would be a lovely addition, though.
* I cheated. The Peppadews are not fresh, they're processed with sugar and vinegar, and came in a jar! But there's flexibility in the raw food lifestyle — certainly in my version of it!
Till next time . . . To Eat Well, Eat Raw!
Monday, September 03, 2007
The raw food lifestyle isn't just about green smoothies. This morning I blended a fabulous combination that I immediately knew I wanted to share, as it has such great nutritional value but is a super taste treat as well.
I bought a young Thai coconut for the first time. Getting it open was quite a challenge. Without the aid of a cleaver, hatchet or machete, I found myself whacking away at it with my 8" chef's knife. Scary proposition. I worried I'd slip and amputate a digit or two or worse yet, harm my favorite knife!
I was trying to follow the directions for opening a white coconut from Markus Rothkranz's site, I just didn't have the right tool.
Nonetheless, determination prevailed! I did get the top off, poured the coconut water into the blender and then when I couldn't get to the meat by cleaving the coconut in two, I resorted to a hammer! You know the old adage, "where there's a will, there's a way".
I was eager to get to the coconut water and use that as a base for my morning smoothie. According to the information on Markus' website, coconut water is identical to human blood plasma. It has strong anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-yeast and anti-fungal properties. Along with the coconut water, I scooped out the small amount of soft white flesh and tossed that into the blender, too. I decided on a simple blend of banana, peaches, and frozen raspberries. Delicious!
Peach Melba Smoothie
Blend until smooth:
8 oz fresh coconut water (and coconut meat)
1 frozen banana
2 ripe freestone peaches
1 cup frozen raspberries
Till next time . . . To eat well, eat raw.
Saturday, September 01, 2007
Just saying . . .