Thursday, January 22, 2009

Days Seventeen, Eighteen, Nineteen, Twenty, and Twenty-One

I've been mostly raw for three weeks now. The more I do this, the less cooked food appeals to me. Today, for example, I had lunch at Macaroni Grill with my husband and daughter (the name of that place makes no sense: they don't serve macaroni, and if they did, would they grill it??). When I began this regimen, I told myself I'd have some meals be vegan but not raw. I did this for two reasons:

  • I feared if I didn't allow myself some wiggle room I'd be too tempted and fail utterly
  • I wanted to make it easy to socialize with friends

Today at the restaurant I had whole wheat pasta with veggies and pine nuts in a tomato basil sauce and it tasted fine, but it did not compare with my fabulous raw pizza:

Flax/sesame/buckwheat/sunflower crust, italian herb "cheese" spread, marinara from Everyday Raw, chopped organic basil and organic yellow bell peppers

The flavors and colors of raw food are just so vibrant! They're, well, alive.

The cheese experiment inspired by this blog post at the Sunny Raw Kitchen turned out rather well. I started with her recipe for the base cheese, substituting 1/2 tsp. of probiotic powder for each probiotic capsule and using water instead of Rejuvelac. I then cultured it for 24 hours. I divided the batch in half and seasoned as follows:

Italian Herb "Cheese" Spread

Mix together:
  • 1/2 batch cheese base
  • 1 tsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. parsley flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. celtic sea salt

Dust 4" springform pan with more parsley flakes, fill with cheese mixture and chill until firm.

Cheddar "Cheese" Spread

Mix together:
  • 1/2 batch cheese base
  • 1/4 c. nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. raw tahini
  • pinch of turmeric and paprika
  • sea salt to taste (about 1-2 tsp.)

Fill 4" springform pan with cheese mixture and chill until firm.

The Italian herb cheese turned out great, and the cheddar wasn't bad but still needs tweaking. The foretaste was a bit too yeasty, but the aftertaste had just the right cheddary bite. I think I may play with the proportion of nutritional yeast to tahini next time.

The crust for the pizza also made crackers for the cheddar:

Flax/Sesame/Buckwheat/Sunflower Crackers

Grind into a flour (I use a coffee grinder for this):
  • 2/3 c. flax seeds

Mix flax seed meal with:
  • 1 1/3c. water

Process with S blade in food processor:
  • 1 c. sunflower seeds, soaked and drained
  • 1 c. buckwheat, soaked and drained
  • 1/4 c. sesame seeds, soaked and drained

Mix flax mixture with sunflower/buckwheat/sesame mixture and:
  • 1/2 tsp. unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Spike seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. parsley flakes

Spread mixture onto teflex sheets, score into squares or triangles, and dehydrate at 105 degrees. When top is dry, flip onto dehydrator tray and remove teflex sheet. Dehydrate until crackers are crisp. Note: if you plan on eating these plain, you may want to sprinkle them with salt before dehydrating.

In the past few days I also tried a recipe for Creamy Carob Mousse from Carol Alt's book Eating in the Raw. I made a few modifications as I went, reducing the raw carob powder from 1 cup to 2/3 cup, substituting 1 tbsp. agave for each date, and adding a bit of almond milk. The base of the mousse is actually avocados, and I know that sounds gross, but believe it or not it tastes really good -- the only complaint I have about it is that the carob is a bit grainy.

Alt's book is a bit different from most raw books in that she's not vegan or even vegetarian: she eats raw dairy products and even raw or lightly seared meat and fish. There's also some ingredients in the recipes, like sprouted bread and rolled oats, that aren't raw. The book isn't the best that's out there by any means, but I'd recommend it for people who aren't vegetarians who are looking for suggestions on how to eat healthier. I just wouldn't recommend it to someone serious about becoming a raw vegan.

Here's what I've been eating for the last several days:

Day Seventeen:
  • 2 pm (I did eat before 2, but the rest of my day is in an earlier post): Lunch at Walter's Restaurant in Claremont with Sporksforall and Teresa (black beans, rice, salata, bread, water)
  • 4:30 pm: homegrown tangerine (from Sporks and Teresa's tree)
  • 6:15 pm: homegrown tangerine, Everyday Raw vegan macaroni and cheese
  • 7 pm: Eating in the Raw Carob Mousse

Day Eighteen:

Day Nineteen:
  • 9 am: Green smoothie (2 bags of organic spinach, juice of 3 homegrown tangerines, 1 banana, Spirulina, water)
  • 10:30 am: 2 FSBS Crackers with Cheddar "Cheese" spread
  • 12:30 pm: 2 open faced sandwiches (raw raisin bread, 1 sliced pear, almond butter)
  • 4 pm: Salad (1 organic romaine heart, avocado, organic plum tomatoes,1/4 red bell pepper, a few organic broccoli florets, and homemade sesame dressing
  • 7 pm: Earth Cafe Pumpkin Spice of Life Pie (yummmmmmmmmm)
  • 10 pm: Pecans and raisins

Day Twenty:

Day Twenty-One:
  • 9:45 am: Green smoothie (juice of 1 homegrown lemon, banana, organic pear, 3/4 bag of spinach, 2 Tbsp. hemp powder, 2 tsp. maca, 1 tsp. spirulina, water)
  • noon: Lunch at Macaroni Grill with family (whole wheat penne with tomato-basil sauce, asparagus, pine nuts and spinach; water)
  • 2:30 pm: 1/2 mango, organic kiwi, couple of sections of homegrown oranges (from a neighbor)
  • 4 pm: almonds
  • 5:15 pm: 2 slices of raw pizza, 1 cracker with cheddar cheese spread, lemon sparkling water
  • 6 pm: Eating in the Raw Carob Mousse

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