Thursday, February 28, 2013

In the RAW - Days 2 & 3

Man Oh Man!  I cannot even tell you how excited I was before I started this and I have to the end of Day 1 I was craving salt so badly I ended up almost cheating.  Instead, I ended up with cucumber slices with miniature mountains of salt.  Day 2 came and went and by Day 3 I had caved.  One dish was not even vegetarian, (substitutes provided for strict veg) or entirely raw but it was damn good and definitely satiated my craving for salty and sweet stuff at the same time!  While I did not cook any food, I did use several 'not raw' ingredients, but I don't feel bad about it at all!  While 99% raw and all but one dish vegan, I have been enjoying some REALLY good food!

Worst part about this whole experience so far:  'cooking' raw food makes the biggest damn mess in the kitchen!  I cannot keep up with the insane amount of dishes for mixing, grinding, spiralizing, pulsing, blending....over and over again.  Before, while I did eat a ton of raw veggies, I was guilty of grabbing my mock meats out of the freezer and popping them in the toaster over for lunch.  Fake chicken nuggets = slightly crumby toaster oven tray that easily wipes off and a plate which gets shoved into the dishwasher.  Not now!  Now I need to use my blender 8x a day, my food processor 14x a day and my juicer 3x a day...there is no dish washing when you need the same damn appliance over and over again!  Not gonna's been a pain in the ass keeping up with the dishes.

Another downfall is that while many raw soups may be easy and quick to make, raw food preparation can take days....for ONE meal!  It is very time consuming.  I have learned planning ahead is key.  I have also learned to keep nuts, fruits and dried fruits (especially figs!  yumm!) on hand for quick snacking, since nothing else is quick.

I also had prepared my Cheezy Chipotle Kale Chips and the Portobello Jerky the day before for more snack options.

So what did I eat in the time I didn't spend munching on figs or creating the Andes mountains out of salt on top of cucumber?  I made my favorite Raw Pad Thai, a recipe I created a while back.  I happened to have kelp noodles on hand so it worked perfectly.

Playing with raw food really does get your creativity going.  I had fun experimenting with recipes.  The ones that failed, failed miserably because it meant I was eating figs again for my next meal.

I made are raw hummus, which is a basic raw bean and nut free hummus.  I took pictures and accidentally deleted them so find the recipe below minus the image of end result.  Then my friend brought me a green papaya off her tree so what was I to make?  Papaya Salad!  She had saved the day because I ADORE papaya salad.  The last time I had it, and it was delicious...I found out after several heart palpitations later, contains, probably copious amounts of MSG.  My goal: to create the same great taste without the use of added bullshit.  This recipe is not all raw and not even vegetarian.  I used fish sauce.  Tamari or Shoyu can be used in its place, but lets face it: I like it authentic and I was not about to eat another damn fig. In addition, to keep with authenticity and to satisfy my craving, I topped it with roasted peanuts.  Not raw, but it really completes the salad and it just wouldn't be the same without them.

The last recipe I made when I was dying for something super healthy and filling for my post workout.  I started throwing some stuff in a blender and the end result was PERFECT....and sugar free!  No agave, no honey, etc. Just a few drops of stevia and this came out so good my daughter were almost fighting over it.  ;)

Plus....Brazil nuts, a very rich source of Selenium, offer a plethora of good stuff for your bod!!!

Basic Raw Hummus
1 small-medium zucchini
1 clove garlic
1/4 c raw tahini
1.2 lemon, juiced
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
small squirt agave nectar
salt & pepper to taste

In a food processor, pulse zucchini and garlic.  Scrape sides down and pulse until very small.  Add the remaining ingredients and turn on until smooth.  Serve with your favorite raw chips or crudites.

Green Papaya Salad
1 green papaya
1 tomato, diced
2 green onions, sliced on the vertical, white and green parts
2-3 sprigs basil, leaves chiffonaded (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 limes, juiced
2 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce (or 2 Tbsp tamari or shoyu for vegetarians/vegans, and omit salt)
2 1/2 Tbsp agave nectar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 small thai chili peppers, sliced fine (the really tiny peppers that pack a lot of heat!.  Or just slice a regular red chili)
1/3 c unsalted peanuts

Peel , cut in half and seed and then shred your papaya.  (I get  in trouble by my Thai friends for using a food processor....but I do anyways.  Authentic papaya salad is hand shredded) Put into a bowl of ice water to firm it up for a few minutes and then into a strainer while you finish up.

Toss the diced tomato, green onions and basil together in with the papaya in the strainer.

In a bowl, whisk together minced garlic, lime juice, fish sauce (or tamari), agave, salt and pepper.  Toss in your sliced chilies and whisk some more.

Put the papaya mix into a large bowl and pour your sauce over it, tossing it all together.  Let it marinate while you make your peanut topping.  Throw the peanuts into a dry pan on med-high heat to roast.  When they become very fragrant and some may blacken, remove from pan immediately to stop cooking before they burn.  Crush then with a mortar and pestle (or pulse in a food processor or toss into a bag and crush with a rolling pin).

Keep peanuts separate.  Serve papaya salad and top with peanuts.

Banilla Brazil Milk
1/3 c Brazil nuts
1 small banana
1 tsp coconut butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 drops liquid stevia
1 c coconut water

Throw all into a high speed blender and blend on high until smooth.  You can use filtered water if you don't have coconut water on hand but the coconut water contains loads of electrolytes which is why its perfect for a post workout drink.


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