Curried Spinach, Tomato & Onion Salad, Green Breakfast Smoothie

CurriedSpinach2

Curried Spinach

The idea of a Spinach Curry (raw, of course) won’t be a surprise to anyone who has been following my other blog – Bean Vegan. My love of spinach is well known, although I don’t attribute as much power to it as Popeye. With me, it’s simply the lovely flavour of this vegetable that encourages me to eat it in more than many other greens. And spices, especially Indian spices, have for some years been included on a daily basis in our household. This continues now that I am trying out the raw way of eating.

There’s really no recipe for the dish above. What to say? I took about a bag and a half of fresh spinach (around 12 ounces in weight) and turned it into a puree along with garlic and onion powder, cayenne, cummin, coriander and garam masala.

Tomato and Onion Salad

Tomato and Onion Salad

To go with that we had – you guessed it – a chopped Tomato and Onion Salad in lemon juice and seasoned with a little cayenne and a good sprinkle of cardamon. Other combinations of spices would no doubt work very well too – I must work on this.

Afterwards we enjoyed a wedge of cantaloup. Excellent.

But while I’m on the subject of spinach, it’s time to ‘fess up to the smoothie we have most mornings here.

Morning Smoothie - Spinach, Banana, Blueberry

Green Smoothie

Call us unimaginative, but we enjoy this version of a Green Smoothie and find it kickstarts our day like no other. We use one banana, a cup of blueberries (frozen works just fine), a couple of handfuls of spinach, 2 cups of water, two tablespoons of flaxseed meal, two tablespoons of spirulina, a little stevia liquid (others might like to use raw agave nectar), and a few drops of coconut flavouring.

As you see, the combination strong of colours in the ingredients turns this smoothie into something that looks out of this world.

What’s on the agenda this evening? Our evening meal tends to be light unless we are dining out. Tonight, therefore, it looks like more Tomato Soup along with a salad either on its own or with a slice of something not-raw. Oh and some fruit. Always the fruit.

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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’s  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 🙂

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

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