Golden Beet ‘Fries’ With Spinach, Portobello Stacks & Veg Puree

Golden Beet 'Fries' With Spinach

Golden Beet 'Fries' With Spinach

This is a simple dish and a simple variation on a dish I have made earlier with cooked red beets in their own tender greens, but this one is to me nicer and has the virtue of being raw.

GOLDEN BEET FRIES WITH SPINACH

I peeled the golden beets and sliced thinly, then stacked a few at a time and sliced down the stack to produce what are either thick matchsticks or skinny ‘fries’. (With the delicate golden colour of the beets they look more like fries, so that’s what we call them at home.) I then chopped up a couple of handfuls of baby spinach and tossed it with the beets. For the dressing I used a mix of condiments – which should be mixed to your taste.

(NOTE: Not all my condiments are raw as yet, so please substitute your own ingredients accordingly if you prefer.)

The Dressing:

Raw cider vinegar
Small amount Dijon mustard or similar
Plain horseradish (from a jar), to taste
1/2 to 1 tsp Raw agave nectar

Mix just enough of this to lightly coat the beets and the spinach but be carefully not to drown the dish in it.

Pour the dressing onto the vegetables, toss thoroughly and serve at room temperature or chilled.

PortobelloStackSauced4

PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM STACKS WITH VEGETABLE PUREE

I adore portobello mushrooms – and the firm texture is part of that. We had one each as part of our lunch today, topped with brandywine heirloom tomato slices, onion slivers, green zebra heirloom tomato slices, and finally topped with a vegetable puree (see below).

But first I sprinkled a little Braggs Aminos (soy liquid) and lemon juice over them and turned them in the juice to coat on both sides. I left them for a while to take in some of the flavour on the outside – after all, they’re pretty thick mushrooms. It would take a while to marinate thoroughly and we were hungry. Besides, we like them firm ๐Ÿ™‚ I did pop them into a very very slightly warmed over to help the process a bit, but not for long.

Slice the tomatoes, onion, etc., and when ready to eat pile them onto the portobellos. Meanwhile, prepare the puree for the top.

For the puree, I mixed a number of vegetables and seasonings together (and please continue to bear in mind that all my seasonings/condiments are not yet raw):

VEGETABLE PUREE

half a small to medium carrot
a chunk of zucchini
chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
half a celery stalk
a small slice of onion
1 tomato
1/4 cup raw cashews
two or three Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes or to taste
1 or 2 Tbsp flaxseed meal
ground cayenne pepper to taste
lemon juice to taste

– and/or whatever else suits your fancy.

Puree the lot in a blender, adding just enough water to let it blend properly (because you want it thicker rather than thinner) and add to the top of the
vegetables on the portobellos just before serving. Eat immediately.

We declared this to be a keeper!

Dessert? Some lovely fresh strawberries!

Oh we are so very much enjoying eating all this lovely fresh produce. What a lovely time of year it is!

Stuffed Avocado, Raw Tomato Soup

Stuffed Avocad

Stuffed Avocado

Today was mostly fruit and salads (yeah, of course!) and very good they were too. I did, however, do a little (very little) preparation for a couple of dishes. The above Stuffed Avocado is one. This dish has been with me a while, over a year, since the first time I tried a Raw Food Diet (note those capital letters, my friends – it signifies how important I think this project is!). I saw the original recipe in Kate Wood’s Eat Right Eat Raw (and posted it with a photo on my Bean Vegan blog on Blogspot right HERE but of course, being me, changed it a bit right from the start, mostly by adding lime zest and lime juice. After that I started to do variations on the adaptation (as you see HERE).ย  The recipe lends itself to lots of experimentation and is not only simple but very forgiving.

STUFFED AVOCADO

For each avocado:
1 Tbsp raw sunflower seeds
1 medium carrot, chopped
4 sundried tomatoes, rehydrated
1 tsp miso
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1 slice onion
1/4 thai chili or ground cayenne to taste (you might want to adjust this down a bit – we like it hot!)
a shake or two of dried basil (or use fresh – I didn’t have any)
juice of half a lime or according to taste (or use lemon)
Garnish: handful of alfalfa sprouts, slice or quarter of lime, few strands of lime zest, whatever

Puree all ingredients except for the avocado and the alfalfa sprouts. halve the avocado, remove seed. Fill the hollow in each half with the mixture and then spread it across the avocado. Garnish with the alfalfa sprouts, top with the lime zest and add the lime to the plate for squeezing.

NOTE: You may have some of the stuffing left over – just refrigerate and use it for dip or sandwich spread or whatever in the next day. Delish.

VARIATION: Add a little Bragg’s Liquid Aminos/All-Purpose Liquid Soy Seasoning, skip the dried tomatoes, and/or use ginger as well as the chili. You can substitute an herb or herb mix of your choice for the basil – whatever. Just have fun with it – we do.

Raw Tomato Soup

Raw Tomato Soup

Now this Raw Tomato Soup is sinfully quick and easy – like making a smoothie. I got the orignal recipe from the same source, Kate Wood, and can only tell you that the soup is excellent. The only thing is that either she counted on very very large bowls to hold the soup or I had extraordinarily large tomatoes. (Well, I did have large tomatoes – humongous, in fact – but I could only use three of them instead of the twelve she asked for or I’d have soon run out of room in the blender. Best to guesstimate for yourself how many you need. I do wish she’d indicated by weight – or even cupfuls of chopped tomatoes. I shall weight how much is needed next time. I did make some slight changes to suit our taste and omitted the optional avocado (which Ms Wood said would make for a creamy texture). I didn’t think it or we needed the extra calories ๐Ÿ˜‰

RAW TOMATO SOUP

12 tomatoes (but see note above re how many or how much really needed)
1 stick celery
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp raw agave nectar
3 Tbsp fresh basil leaves
2 or 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1 or 2 dashes ground cayenne
2 Tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos/All-Purpose Liquid Soy Seasoning
8 fl oz water (or as little or much as you need to bring it to the right consistency)

Chop the vegetables and put everything into the blender and blend it until it’s smooth.

This soup was very very good – and we did finish the lot, despite it being twice as much as even these soup fiends would normally have at a sitting. I shall be working on the recipe to get it to our particular taste, but for this first time I made it reasonably close to the original (well, I upped the seasonings a tad) and would have been delighted to have it anywhere and anytime!

And now for my next meal . . . I have some portobellos in the fridge begging for something interesting to happen to them. I wouldn’t like to disappoint ๐Ÿ™‚

Miso Ginger Mushrooms, Sesame Beans & Sweet Red Peppers

Miso Ginger Mushrooms

Miso Ginger Mushrooms

Today we thought we’d keep lunch (our main meal each day) simple, but somehow we ended up with four salads rather than the single one we’d planned ๐Ÿ™‚ Not a bad thing!

In the photo above is my Miso Ginger Mushroom Salad which is mixed with a little Italian flat-leaf parsley, green onions, lemon zestย  and grated ginger. At the last minute (so the mushrooms would stay crisp this time) I added a dressing made of dark miso, tamari (not raw, I know, but bear with me while I make the change to raw, okay?), lemon juice, a little rice vinegar, onion granules, garlic granules, salt and pepper – just enough to moisten the mushrooms without leaving dressing in the bottom of the bowl. Sadly, I didn’t keep track of the exact amounts used here, so will have to do that next time. The effect of the miso on the mushrooms was excellent, as was the fresh taste of lemon. It made a great accompaniment to the rest of the meal, including . . .

Sesame Beans & Sweet Red Pepper

Sesame Beans & Sweet Red Pepper

. . . this Sesame Beans & Sweet Red Pepper dish which turned out very blurry in the photo (sorry!) but was clean and fresh to the taste with a nice nutty under taste because of the sesame. I sliced the skinny green beans in about one-quarter inch pieces, diced some red bell pepper to about the same size and made a dressing to go over the lot. This was rice vinegar, a few drops of sesame oil, tamari , a dash or two of cayenne powder (some like it hot!), onion granules, garlic granules, and a little sea salt, etc.ย  I topped it with a sprinkle or two of garam masala and a teaspoon of sesame seeds, and the whole had a slightly south-east asian feel to it without upsetting the balance of the rest of the meal.ย  My husband pronounced it excellent, and I’ll be buying more green beans to perfect this recipe on Tuesday.

To accompany these we had a fresh Spinach Salad with Celery and Apple . . .

Spinach Salad With Celery And Apple

Spinach Salad With Celery And Apple

. . . dressed with just a little vinegar. And we had sliced Tomatoes & Basill to go with it – there are so many tomatoes out there this time of year that we have them at nearly every meal.

Tomatoes & Basil

Tomatoes & Basil

This salad was dressed simply – a little of this and that in the way of salt and pepper, a little crushed dried chilies, lemon juice and basil. The heirloom tomatoes have such wonderful flavour that we are going to feel devastataed when the season ends and we have to make do with ‘ordinary’ tomatoes from far far away.

At the end we more than satisfied, but we had saved a little space for some strawberries and blueberries – a lovely combination with a little cointreau to perk up their flavour.

Yesterday we did a re-run of the previous menu – the Terriyaki Zucchini Noodles and the Spinach and Thyme Soup and agreed, yet again, that Kristen Suzanne’s recipes are exceptional.

Here’s the noodle dish again, which had the red wine she recommends incorporated in the sauce plus the sweet red bell pepper of her recipe. This recipe rocks!

TeriyakiNoodlesPlated

And the previous day we ate the usual salads and marinated mushrooms etc. that I posted last time plus meals of fruit only. It suits us. But we do indeed intend to branch out a little (especially when all this lovely fresh produce isn’t so easily available). Preparing for that, I have ordered a couple of Kristen Suzanne’s books from Amazon.ca. What anticipation!

Tonight? Not quite sure. It’s that time and I think it will be a whole wheat tortilla wrap (not raw of course) with a filling of greens and maybe something else not raw (I still have some soy ham and cheese in the fridge). Baby steps!

First Recipes For This Raw Adventure

Raw Zucchini Teriyaki Noodles

Raw Zucchini Teriyaki Noodles

What better example to give of a recipe we enjoyed thoroughly is this excellent Teriyaki Noodle Dish from Kristen Suzanne (see her raw food blog Kristen’s Raw at http://kristensraw.blogspot.com/. This recipe was a winner in the VegNews search for readers’ best raw recipes, published October 2008. Since then it has also been published on Supa Soul Sista (and probably a few other places. Check it out!

What this recipe does is use a spiral slicer to make long zucchini ‘noodles’ which are then tossed in a delightful homemade teriyaki sauce with some finely minced bell peppers. The original called for red peppers, but I had to substitute green (and added a tiny big of finely chopped tomato to give contrast).

By the way, without a spiral slicer (I have one on order from our favourite kitchen shop), I made do with a gadget by Swiss Made (nope, I haven’t used their stuff before and nope I am not connected to them in any way), costing a mere $5.99 Canadian. This looks like a vegetable peeler, but has sharp, deeply serrated teeth for making julienne vegetables. It worked just fine on a longish zucchini. Otherwise, fine strips cut with a regular vegetable peeler could work.

Gadget For Julienned Vegetables

We’ll be making this recipe again and again. Excellent!

The next item is also by Kristen, also a prize-winner with VegNews, and is equally simple – or even simpler.

All you have to do is chunk up a little zucchini, throw in the spinach and seasonings and blend until smooth. This recipe also appears on someone’s blog: Lu’sย  Gone Raw.

Spinach-Thyme Soup

All you have to do is chunk up a little zucchini, throw in the spinach and seasonings and blend until smooth.

I confess thought that the taste would be same-old same-old (even though I love both spinach and zucchini), but it was flavoured just right to perk up the appetite and was elegant enough to please the pickiest dinner guest. Just don’t tell them how easy and quick the recipe is!

Mostly, however, in this first ten days of working towards raw, we have been eating salads and fruit. This is not to say they weren’t good! Following are a few of the dishes we have enjoyed – my own recipes this time.

(Please note: As I am just starting out on this adventure, my condiments are not as yet all raw. I do use raw agave nectar, raw cider vinegar, etc., but you may need to substitute your own choice of more raw ingredients.)

Beet and Red Cabbage Sooup

Beet and Red Cabbage Sooup

I make this from beets and red cabbage, as indicated. Various seasonings enliven it (including a dash of cayenne, a little cider vinegar, agave nectar, etc. etc. – it varies). This soup is excellent chilled but equally good at room temperature.

Asian-Flavoured Marinated Mushrooms

Asian-Flavoured Marinated Mushrooms

The mushrooms above are marinated in lemon juice, tamari, crushed red chilies, a little garlic, mirin, etc. (it changes from time to time). Stirred from time to time and left until they have shrunk in the bowl by about half, they are so easy to do. They go very well as a side dish or, if you prefer to chop them small rather than quartering or slicing them, they make a nice topping for other vegetables. Below you will see them on my plate alongside a little spinach and pear salad and some vegetable (zucchini and carrot) ‘noodles’.

Raw Zucchini Noodles with Tomato Sauce (and side dishes)

Raw Zucchini Noodles with Tomato Sauce (and side dishes)

For this dish, I pureed some heirloom tomatoes (pink brandywines in this case) with a little carrot, onion, garlic and various seasoning, then mixed them into some raw ‘noodles’ made from zucchini and a little carrot for colour and flavour contrast. Sometimes I don’t puree the sauce completely but leave it a little chunky for added texture.

Cabbage, Apple & Dulse Salad

Cabbage, Apple & Dulse Salad

This is a favourite of ours, and can be made with either white, green or red (purple) cabbage. In this case I used a little red onion, red cabbage, red-skinned apples, dried cayenne flakes and, keeping to the theme, dulse flakes. We love dulse and it is wildly important in calcium, if that is of concern to anyone. The dark red colour is pretty exciting too! This one was dressed pretty simply with some raw cider vinegar, a little raw agave nectar, pepper and a small pinch of salt.

Finally, since tomatoes are everywhere in the farmers’ market these days, we have been eating a lot of tomato salads.

Marinated Red and Green Tomatoes

Marinated Red and Green Tomatoes

The tomatoes were heirloom brandywines and green zebras – absolutely fabulous. I layered them in a bowl with slivers of onion, a little salt, crushed chilies (just a little, not to overwhelm the tomatoes), purple basil (although I usually use green basil), and squeezes of lemon juice, and then left them to sit while the rest of the dishes were being prepared. (Marinating them softens the tomatoes nicely, but if you prefer them crisp then serve them as soon as they are layered in the dish.)

And there you have it. I’m new on wordpress, so I will have made all kinds of mistakes on this blog, but I hope it’ll be comprehensible. I’ll learn ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll be back with more soonest. Isn’t raw a buzz!

cabbage, seaweed, dulse, tomatoes, beets, soup Read the rest of this entry »

Just Starting Out

This blog is to record one woman’s adventure in discovering raw food – after a few days of partially raw. Come with me, if you will, to find out how well it works for me, the problems of purchasing and preparing raw food (if any) and decisions about just how raw I want to be. I’ll add recipes, food and product descriptions and anything else that strikes me as important to this adventure along the way.

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