Monday, June 01, 2009

Live Food Adventures

These aren't your same old same old (so-so) salads.

Eating a diet consisting primarily of live foods can be quite an adventure. Unfortunately, most folks think celery and carrot sticks, with lots of lettuce tossed in, when they hear raw food. On the contrary, with so many professionally trained chefs entering the raw food scene, there are countless fine recipe guides for preparing gourmet raw foods, many mimicking the cooked foods we've grown both accustomed to and addicted to.

Many of the gourmet recipes require quite a bit of prep work, many hours of soaking, dehydrating, etc. and are perhaps best kept for weekends or special occasions. But there are still opportunities to feast on fresh, uncooked ingredients that can be prepared in minutes without resorting to carrot and celery sticks.

I enjoy a big bowl of interesting salad at lunch time most days. Combining an unusual mix based on what's in the fridge. I'll admit, when I shop, and I do shop 2 or 3 times during the week, greens are at the top of my list. Not only do I use dark, leafy greens in a smoothie each morning, but I make green juices 4 to 6 times a week and then I include a variety of different greens in my salad bowl.

Here are a couple of interesting combinations that are quick and easy, inexpensive and nourishing. Not to mention, delicious and thoroughly satisfying.

Cabbage and Green Beans

New green cabbage was in at the produce market and I had some blanched green beans in the fridge. I minced a couple of cauliflower florets, sliced a bit of Vidalia onion and then for added zip I minced up two or three slices of pickled jalepeño pepper. I tossed this all with a generous dollop of Angela Elliot's Satay Sauce from her great little book, Alive in 5.

Cucumber and Arame

adapted from Renegade Health via Donna Gates at Body Ecology
Incorporating sea vegetables into everyday meals isn't something I grew up with. But after reading about this rich source of minerals, I've been experimenting. This salad is a snap to make and a nice side dish, if eating only a big salad isn't your cup of tea.
I pared down the quantities listed to accommodate one person. The full recipe, listed below, will serve 3 to 4 as a side dish.
1.5 oz of Arame
4 cucumbers, peeled and very thinly sliced (I used a mandoline)
2 tsp sea salt
1 red pepper, diced
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (raw with the mother)
2 TBS cold-pressed oil - I used olive oil. Hemp or flax oil would be fine, too.
pinch of black pepper

Soak arame for 15 minutes in enough water to cover. Sprinkle sea salt on cucumbers and let set for several minutes to release juices. Discard soaking water from arame. Chop arame and add to cucumbers. Add all other ingredients and toss.
Big thanks to Kevin and AnneMarie Gianni at Renegade Health for showing me how via video, with a salute to Donna Gates at Body Ecology for developing this easy sea vegetable salad.

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