Monday, May 30, 2011

Skip the Barbecue: I'm going Raw, Ma!

My family isn't happy I'm skipping the Memorial Day Chiavetta's Chicken barbecue... and it's not because my (deceased) father was a WWII vet, either.

But trying to eat healthier, and work ever more raw food into my diet, has left me with not as much patience for being served a perfunctory pasta salad (that I probably have to bring) or corn on the cob for dinner while most of the rest have a six course feast. My family is one third vegetarian, too, so we're pretty good about those BIG dinners... I feel for ya if you're having a harder time of it. That's why it's natural for us to hang together, or with "friend" families on holidays. With the people that want to share what you are, all the way down. Maybe even explore your serious interests.

So I'll make my own feast! Or just Sloppy Lentils on wheat buns with a chopped salad. It's close enough to barbecue for me, today. And I can always marinate tofu, Boca burgers or pepper strips in Chiavetta's marinade and griddle them. That stuff makes grilled onions like heaven. A beer, and some shade under the tree in the backyard... who needs the smell of chicken charring?

What was that about eating more raw food???, you're asking? It's a transition. Frankly I don't see us going %100 for good, in Buffalo. Even with Renee Underkoffler's tips about heating soup bowls to make a warming meal without heating the food enough to kill the nutrients/enzymes. I hope to get up to half raw, at least, and I'm hopeful that doing so will improve my health by more than half. If you are full raw, great. I don't see how having more raw than I used to can hurt me. Planning on firing up the dehydrator this week, and looking forward to the Kenmore Village Farmer's Market starting up soon.

I will say, I'm feeling like simpler is better for me-- trying raw cheeses made from nuts, fermented or not, and drying breads for 12 hours in the dehydrator is an experimental phase. In the end, I'll probably be eating just more fresh raw food mixed with smaller amounts of non-raw, non-vegetable (but always veghead) food. Let's keep an open mind, though. I might love starting meal prep 3 days in advance. Might. If you do, tell me; and about how you manage it.

Oh, quick note if you've ever read the first couple of posts; I have tried Ani Phyo's Rawmesan Cheeze, which is made with cashews.

Here's my take: The book notes that all nuts should be soaked before using, but mentions it almost in passing. Later, in a separate section, there are soaking times. There's not a word about soaking times or nuts being soaked in the recipe section, so I tried the recipe HERE, in several ways.

First I made it with soaked cashews, then unsoaked. then I blended even amounts of the two types, and that had the best flavor and texture by my taste. Make of it what you will. It won't stand in in a Caesar, I'm afraid, but we'll see. Since a good Caesar (sans 'chovies) is my favorite thing to eat in the world, and something I crave all summer, I am determined to find a perfect vegan and raw substitute.

Here's to starting the week off right, with sunshine! And speaking of starters, this is the recipe we've been eating for most of our breakfasts-- raw and an energy booster that kicks! From Renee, above; nabbed from a log ago issue of Vegetarian Times. Enjoy!

LIVING OATMEAL (4 servings)

2 C oats groats (steel-cut oats, often called Irish oats-- such as McCann's)
soaked 8-12 hours in cool water, rinsed and drained

1 1/2 C raisins, soaked 1 hour in water to cover, save soak water

2 C chopped fresh fruit such as bananas, apples papayas

1 tsp ground cinnamon

In food processor, combine oats, raisins and their soak water, and process until almost smooth. Add 1 c chopped fruit and cinnamon. Pulse 30 seconds to blend.
Transfer to individual bowls, top with the remaining fresh fruit and extra cinnamon if desired.

***Mari's notes-- we love this! It needs no sweeteners or milk. Our favorite mixture ( we make half the amount above) is half a banana and half an apple blended in, the rest on top with the addition of strawberries or peaches. You can also add some raw almonds that have been soaked overnight like the oats, then rinsed and drained, though I like them best soaked for a half hour. Pumpkin pie spice on top is good, also.

This recipe originally appeared in Vegetarian Times, June 1998; the author is Renee Underkoffler.

Look at these beautiful peppers from last year's market!

1 comment:

  1. Marek did raw for a while and it just got to be too much for him. I'm not a vegetarian, but we do our best with low cal/low fat meals. Good luck!