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The Raw Feast!

Week 4 the final frontier. To boldly go where we have not gone… Dinner guests!

Even though for the last 3 weeks we have chopped, sliced, mixed, blended and dehydrated to our hearts content we were a little nervous. None of our guests were “Plant Basers” and what both Lucia found is that our taste buds had changed. our craving for sugar, salt, cream and other former crutches has drastically been reduced. Would our friends find our food tasty?

Up until now Lucia and I has stuck to rawking it solo. Sure we had offered curious friends a dessert or snack but this time was different, we were going to have to dial it up a notch. We were about to embark on our first Raw feast, a small dinner party of 6, 3 couples to end out our month rawking out in style!

We decided on a “simple” 4 course meal. First Thai Curry Coconut Soup, then both Ceasar salad and Fava bean salad soaked with olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Next would come Raw Vegan Chicago Deep Dish pizza and finally our now famous chocolate mouse with fresh fruit and cashew whipped cream.

Getting the dinner ready was surprising easy. Much of what we were making was already prepared and being saved in our fridge. The pizza took some planning and the desserts were made just as we were about to eat them.

Round 1 went off perfect the Thai Curry Soup was an instant success! We scored perfect 10’s. We followed that up with our salads and scored a high 9. Lucia and I were riding a Iron chef high…. until the pizza. Something had gone drastically wrong! It was nothing like the first time I made it and was morphing into a pizza soup on my plate! Scott and Jen claimed politely they liked it but we received a more somber critique from John our resident realist . John was right and I emptied my plate quickly….. in the trash!

It was all down to dessert. It was imparative to send our guests home with a winning impression. We strategically inserted a pause in our feast in a hope to wipe away the bad taste of the pizza! Lucky for us the first two courses were so filling that the pizza fiasco was not such a big deal. The break in dinner allowed me to spend a little extra time on our finale.

First, we maticulously arranged all the fruit into art. If it wasnt going to to taste good it would at least look good! Next the chocolate mouse was then laid on top with cashew whipped cream ever so nicely and dusted with cinnamon just like they do in the fine restaurants.

Lucia and I served the food and while I wish I could say that we waited, we dug right in because it looked so good! As the first bite touched my taste buds a smile crept over my face. We nailed it! It was the best version we had created to date. I sat back and basked confidently as we accepted praises around the table, accept for one, John. Like a contestant on X Factor waiting for Simon, we watched as he took his sweet time to announce his score. A high 8! This would eventually become a strong 9 by the time John finished his plate.

As we said goodbye to our guests Lucia revelled in our great evening. It was indeed possible to make great food for “normal” people while still being completely raw vegan and healthy. The Raw feast was a great way to end our month and rawk out in style!

Keep on Rawkin it!

Jer

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Salads Baby Salads!

“You don’t win friends with Salad”

– Homer J. Simpson circa 1995

 

 After 2 weeks of trying to create the Raw Vegan forms of our favorite foods, Lucia and I tired of all blending, food processing, mixing, and dehydrating.   We were taking it back to basics.  Salads baby, Salads Baby! Despite what the immortal Homer J declared in that memorable conga line, we were determined to prove him wrong!

The idea was simple, we would prepare giant salads for our big meal of the day. In Cancun Mexico where we live, the family meal is usually between 2pm and 4pm. We would flank our salads with Smoothies for breakfast and Super Soups for dinners, so basically liquid salads!    We were hoping to increase our energy, which quite frankly was being dragged after we ate all our Raw Regan Gourmet goodies.

The results were great!  Not only were we full after our Mega Salads that tastes were spectacular.

Winners:

1.  The Edible Hulk!

I have never been one for long breakfasts, especially when I am out the door by 7 am.  So for breakfast we stuck to a smoothie that Lucia and I have spent the last 5 years perfecting. The Edible Hulk consists of 1 grapefruit, 1 cucumber, 1 avocado, 4 spinach leaves, 2 stalks of celery; 6 tablespoons of flex seeds (keeps the pipes running smooth!) ,a pinch of raw green stevia plant, a small piece of ginger and 2 cups of water.  This green bad boy is gamma radiation to fuel the start of your day!

Easy:   10

Taste:  10

Health:  12 +

Cleanup: 10

 

 

2.   Hail Healthy Caesar!

While we did use a little time in the food processor for this delicious salad dressing, it was less than a few minutes so I won’t count it.  So easy tasty and incredible!  Lucia even found a way to make raw vegan Parmesan cheese that lasts for days! (Salad dressing and parmesan recipes from Miguel Bautista http://www.veganplanet.com)

Easy:   10

Taste:  10

Health:  10

Cleanup: 10

 

 

 

3. The Kitchen Sink Ranch Salad!

As the name implies this salad had a little of everything that I found in my fridge, from grapes and sundried tomatoes to leftover dehydrated falafels.  We made enough salad dressing to store for a few days so that when we were hungry we could use the dressing for snacks and other salads. (Recipe from Joanne Gero www.vibealive.ca)

Easy:   10

Taste:  10

Health:  10

Cleanup: 10

 

 

 

 

Losers:

Cauliflower popcorn:

This is sort of misleading as I am sure it would have come out pretty tasty except I forgot to take it out of the dehydrator and my popcorn turned back to pop seeds!  I will be attempting this again for a lot less time in the dehydrator! (Recipe at http://goneraw.com/recipe/raw-popcorn)

Easy:   10

Taste:  5

Health:  10

Cleanup: 10

As we entered or final week of our 30 days of Rawness, we have found simplifying has been both liberating and energizing. Next week we putting Homers words  to the test on as my self professed “Only meat eating, vegetable hating,  junk food loving  friend attends for lunch and tries out our Raw Vegan food!

Until then,

Rawk on!

Jer

Rawking out while Out… and Pizza!

As we entered our second week of our month long quest to Rawk it, we encountered our first real hurdle, our 6 anniversary.  Like most people we wanted to do something special to celebrate and that involved going out for dinner.   When you are raw this presents a bit of a challenge.  Luckily Cancun where we live has a restaurant called Vegan Planet.  (www.veganplanet.com) We called ahead and asked our good friend Chef Miguel Bautista if he could do something special for us.  My expectations were not set real high thinking that our choices were limited, but Miguel knocked us out!

 Round 1, Raw Tapas:

Black olive and sun dry tomato tapenade,

Raw lentil hummus with marinade cucumber,

Spicy sprouted raw almonds, and tomato capresse.

Round 2, Main Course

RoRaw curry,

Sprouted garbanzo, cauliflower,broccoli coconut and turmeric milk.

Round 3, Dessert:

Raw banana crepe,

Strawberries, mango, apples, and raw whipped cream.

Having successfully stayed the raw course and dazzling our taste buds the next day I decided to mount up the courage and go for the gusto. Chicago Deep Dish Raw Vegan Pizza.  I know as many of you read this each of the words seem to be the antithesis of each other!

I thought the same and then my 3 day journey began and as if straight from Harry Potters wand…. PIZZA!  It actually tasted as good or better than the real thing!   It was absolutely mouth watering delicious.  Worth all the mixing, marinating, blending refrigerating and dehydrating. This was my Mona Lisa, my Great Wall if you will!  (Recipe http://vegvivaciously.blogspot.mx/2011/10/recipe-of-week-raw-vegan-pizza.html)

As we ended the second week our confidence was running on a gourmet high.  We had mastered several mouth-watering meals, snacks and desserts.  But as they say what goes up must come down!

Enter the great deflator,

the Mexican Raw Vegan Burrito!   We thought with Mexican Independence Day coming up and having a guest from Texas at our house for lunch, this would be the perfect meal to cap the week.  Boy were we off!   We prepped, sautéed, chopped, blended and processed for a whole Saturday morning. Unfortunately to our dismay the taste came up bland.  Luckily Lucia took the “Sunflower seed bean filling” and added some sundried tomatoes to make it into an enjoyable pate the next day.  Raw leftovers!

As we approached “50 yard line” of our Raw Month, we looked back and decided that while the food we had made was delicious we have be trying to copy the food that we eat in our regular diet. While the food might be technically healthy it has not been leaving us full of energy.

Much of the replacement ingredients for cheese and meats is made by nuts and seeds and often begins to feel heavy.  We made a decision, for next week we would take it back to basics we would try and keep it too big salads, soups and fresh fruit and see how we feel.

Stay tuned to see how we did that and getting back to our exercise programs.

See you next blog,

Rawk on,

Jer

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