Saturday, January 17, 2009

Days Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen and into Sixteen

I'm racing the clock to finish this entry this morning. My husband is out of town so I'm taking care of our daughter alone. I'm writing this while she sleeps.

Yesterday after dropping my husband off at the airport, I swung by Borders to get us a treat. I tried to steer my daughter toward a really cool non-Disney Cinderella pop-up book, but she chose a My Little Pony puzzle book instead. At least it was half the price of the other book. For myself I chose Matthew Kenney's Everyday Raw.

The clincher was that while I was flipping through it I spied a recipe for raw vegan macaroni and cheese. This was my first attempt at "pasta" made from sliced squash. I don't have a spiralizer, so I used a regular ol' vegetable peeler. I think the wider "noodles" were more appropriate for mac and cheese anyway. Still, I don't think veggie "pasta" will ever successfully emulate real pasta (I've also tried take-out meals from Leaf Cuisine that substituted squash for pasta). The mac and cheese sauce, however, was utterly amazing. I would never, ever guess that this didn't have cheese or dairy in it. Somehow this recipe captured just the right balance of pureed cashews, nutritional yeast and other seasonings. This recipe, and some of the most interesting in the book are credited to one of his restaurant chefs, Kristen Reyes. I hope she comes out with a book of her own.

The book itself is gorgeous: filled with full-color photos and bright colors that make the food look irresistible. My main complaint about it is that it doesn't live up to its promise about being "Everyday Raw." In the intro, Kenney states that "The type of raw food that is best at home is unfussy and is made up of very satisfying ingredients, with far fewer components and fewer steps; and it's easier to prepare in a shorter amount of time." Very little of that rings true for these recipes. Still, I'd recommend it because it includes techniques for things I'd never think you could do raw, like wonton wrappers (called coconut wrappers in the book) and chocolate chips.

One of my favorite online sources for recipes is People share their personal experiments and recipes, post photos of the results, and the comments others leave often provide useful modifications and suggestions. The other day I tried this recipe for cinnamon rolls and it turned out really well -- my daughter scarfs them down. Because I didn't have almond meal, I took a commenter's suggestion and substituted the pulp leftover from making nut milk. Next time I would double the amount of filling -- not only to make the dish itself a bit sweeter but also because it wasn't quite enough volume to make my Vitamix run efficiently. To approximate a cream cheese frosting, I mixed together some of my raw vegan sour cream (which tastes somewhere between sour cream, cream cheese and yogurt and can thus be tweaked with flavoring in a variety of directions) with a couple of heaping tablespoons of coconut butter and some agave.

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

Day Thirteen:
  • 11:30 am: 2 Autumn Squash Cookies and a green smoothie (1/2 banana, 1/2 bag organic spinach, 1/2 head romaine, juice of 1 homegrown lemon, homegrown satsuma, organic apple, squirt of agave, water)
  • 3 pm: Salad (avocado, 1/2 organic tomato, cilantro dressing leftover from Kale chips), a banana, mashed potatoes, sparkling mineral water
  • 7 pm: Green smoothie (1/2 bag organic spinach, banana, mango, water)
  • 8 pm: Couple of bites of cinnamon roll (shared with husband and daughter)

Day Fourteen:
  • 7:30 am: 2 Autumn Squash Cookies
  • 9:30 am: Larabar Apple Pie Flavor
  • 10:30 am: Green smoothie (1/2 5 oz. box organic spinach, banana, juice of 1 homegrown lemon, tsp. spirulina, some wheatgrass, water)
  • 1 pm: Larabar Apple Pie Flavor
  • 2:15 pm: Salad (1/2 bag organic mixed greens, 1/3 red bell pepper, avocado, sunflower seeds, almonds) with homemade sesame dressing (equal parts apple cider vinegar and organic cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, a little sesame oil - probably not raw, squirt of agave). Lemon sparkling water.
  • 4 pm: Shared a cinnamon roll with daughter
  • 9 pm: Shared a green smoothie with daughter(1/2 box organic spinach, wheat grass, 2 bananas, juice of 1 homegrown lemon, 2 stalks of celery, 1 organic apple, tsp. spirulina, water)
  • 1 am: Raw snack mix

Day Fifteen:
  • 9 am: bite of daughter's banana
  • 9:30 am: Raw granola with almond milk
  • 11:30 am: Shared an open-faced sandwich (raw raisin bread, bananas, raw almond butter)with my daughter. Lemon sparkling water.
  • 1 pm: Shared a green smoothie with my daughter (5 oz. box of organic spinach, wheatgrass, spirulina, wter, juice of 1 lemon, organic apple, banana)
  • 4 pm: Raw vegan macaroni and cheese and an open faced sandwich (raw raisin bread, bananas, raw almond butter). Lemon sparkling water.
  • 9:30 pm: Mango
  • 11 pm: Shared a cinnamon roll with my daughter
  • 1:30 am: Salted peanuts (not raw)

Day Sixteen:
  • 10 am: Green smoothie (6 oz. bag organic spinach, banana, juice of 1 lemon, wheatgrass, spirulina, water) and raw granola with almond milk.

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