By Christine Crosby, Editorial Director, GRAND Magazine
What’s on your menu for those big holiday feasts this year? How would you like to try something new and take a walk on the raw side?
Our dear friends from Sarasota recently arrived at our home with all the fixings (including the Vita Mixer, of course) for a lovely Thanksgiving dinner. They enthusiastically demonstrated and proudly shared their knowledge about the amazing health benefits of eating “living food”. Most of the recipes came from the book, The Art of Raw Living Food – Heal Yourself and the Planet with Eco-delicious Cuisine by Doreen Virtue and Jenny Ross.
Not only was the menu exotic in nature and taste, it was beautiful to look at, and no kidding, tasted wonderful and was quite filling and satisfying. Here is the menu with recipes. Give it a try and take a walk on the raw and healthy side.
To start the meal off on an empty stomach, we suggest the Hippocrates Health Institute inspired:
1 oz. – 2 oz. Wheat grass juice – Serving Suggestion: Use a lovely demi-cup or cordial glass (Source: GotSprouts – West Palm Beach, FL)
8 oz. Green Juice – Serving Suggestion: Use a lovely glass to add that touch of class and elegance (Source: GotSprouts – large handful each of buckwheat, pea, and sunflower sprouts, 1 cucumber, 2 ribs celery – can add garlic clove, ginger, droppers of tonics, etc.)
- Nibbles/ garnish – Nasturtiums, Really Fresh Pea, Sunflower and Buckwheat Sprouts,
- Crimini mushroom caps stuffed with Basil Pesto
- Crispy sweet onions
- Warm Butternut Squash Soup with Cashew Cream drizzle
- Pan Roasted Beets ‘n Sweets
- Mejadra – Middle-Eastern green lentils garnished with Redwood Hill Farm plain goat milk yogurt and Crispy sweet onions
- Chocolate/cherry “ice cream”
The following recipes may seem a bit daunting at first, but remember, talking a walk on the raw side is much more than fixing a meal; it’s an experience. Start your fun adventure with a trip to the local organic market to select your ingredients.
CRIMINI MUSHROOM CAPS STUFFED WITH BASIL PESTO (Source: Raw Foods Bible, Page 141)
22 button mushrooms , washed and stemmed
1 cup walnuts, soaked several hours and rinsed
½ cup pine nuts or cashews soaked 1 hour
2 cups fresh basil
½ cup cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic
½ tsp unprocessed sea salt
1. Place mushroom caps top side down on a plate
2. Blend all stuffing ingredients (everything except the mushrooms) in a food processor or blender until smooth
3. Scoop a small amount of stuffing into each mushroom cap
4. Dehydrate at 105 F. degrees for 5-6 hours, or until soft
Served warm out of the dehydrator, these are heavenly! They taste like a soft, breaded, cooked. stuffed mushrooms,
CRISPY ONIONS – Dehydrated (Source: Jerusalem – a Cookbook, Page 120 and Excaliber Preserve It Naturally Dehydrator, 3rd Ed., Page 181-2)
5 lbs sweet oinions – sliced into 1/4 –inch rings
2-3 gallons water – including ½ cup for batter
1 cup celtic sea salt
¼ cup lemon juice
1 ½ cup orange juice
½ cup sesame seeds
1 date pitted
Pinch celtic sea salt
½ cup water reserved to thin batter as needed
In a large (8 qt.) bowl separate onions into individual rings and cover with water. Add salt and lemon juice to the water and keep the onions immersed for 1 to 2 hours to soften and remove any strong onion juice. After soaking, drain and squeeze gently. Rinse onions with fresh water and drain again.
Combine the orange juice, sesame seeds, (using reserved ½ C. water as needed to thin batter), dates, and salt in a blender and blend until mixture forms a thick batter. Pour the batter over the onions in a bowl, 1/3 of batch at time, toss, and place onions evenly on dehydrator trays lined with Paraflexx sheet, using about 2 C. of battered onions on each tray.
Dry at 105 F. degrees/41 C. for 6 to 8 hours. Turn the onions over and continue dehydrating until completely crisp, about 12 to 18 hours more. Allow to cool thoroughly before putting in airtight container. Can be stored in pantry several weeks, in refrigerator for 3 or more months.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH CASHEW CREAM DRIZZLE (Source: The Art of Raw Living Food Page 74)
1 large butternut squash, diced (approx. 2 ½ cups)
¼ cup cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup pine nuts
1 sprig fresh rosemary
½ Roma tomato
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp. agave nectar
2 cup warm (110 degree) water
1 tsp. sea salt
Blend all soup ingredients in high powered blender until well combined. Enjoy fresh from blender with Chips (or Crispy Onion Rings) or save in refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Hint: to warm, place soup in dehydrator at 115 F. degrees for 20 minutes or lightly warm on stove-top briefly, testing by touch or thermometer (should be like bathwater temp.)
Makes 4 -6 servings.
½ cup raw cashews soaked at least 1 to 4 hours, washed, rinsed
½ cup water
Use small Nutribullet jar for cashew cream. Put cashews and 1/3 cup of water to start. Blend until creamy. Remove, stir, and blend again, carefully adding water as needed to desired thickness as cream or sauce. This is bland palate to which a variety of things can be added to create a creamy thin to thick sauce.
ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES (Source: Worden Farm website. Worden Farm CSA grew all root vegetables organically.)
Select organic beets, sweet potatos, carrots, and onions
To roast, first peel and cut vegetables into cubes, French fry shape, or slices. Then put in ziplock bag and toss the vegetables with olive oil, salt, pepper and dried herbs. Let this marinate for an hour or two, and then roast at 425 degrees until tender. The timing will depend on how thickly the vegetables were cut. We used convection oven setting and roasted for 30 minutes until edges turn crispy or chewy brown and inside is soft.
1 1/4 cup brown lentils
4 medium onions
3 tls All purpose flower
1 cup sunflower oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 tbls coriander seeds
1 cup basmati rice
2 tsps olive oil
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the lentils in small saucepan, cover with water, cover and bring to a boil, and cook 12 to 15 minutes, until the lentils have softened but still have a little bite. Drain and set aside.
Peel the onions and slice thinkly. Place on a large flat plate, sprinkle witht eflour and 2 tsp salt, and mikx well with your hands. Heat the sunflower oil in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan placed over high heat. Make sure the oil is hot by throwing in a small piece of onion; it should sizzle vigorously. Reduce the heat to medium-high and carefully (it may spit!) add one-third of the sliced onion. Fry for 5 – 7 minutes stirring occassionally with a slotted spoon, until the onion takes on a nice golden brown color and turns crispy (adjust the temperature so the onion doesn’t fry too quickly and burn). Use the spoon to transfer the onion to a colander lined with paper towels and sprinkle with a little more dslt. Do the same with the other two batches of ionion; add a little extra oeded.
Wipe the saucepan in which you fried the onion clean and put in the cumin and coriander seeds. Place over heat and toast the seeds for a minute or two. Add the rice, olive oil, turmeric, allspice, cinnamon, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and plenty of black pepper. Stir to coat the rice with oil and then add the cooked lentils and the water. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, and simmer over very low heat for 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat, lift off the lid, and quickly, cover the pan with a clean tea towel. Seal tightly with the lid and set aside for 10 minutes.
Finally, add half the fried onion to the rice and lentils and stir gently with a fork. Pile the mixture in a shallow serving bowl and top with the rest of the onion.
CHOCOLATE CHERRY “ICE CREAM” (Source – Deliciously Raw – Easy Recipes for the Omni Blender, Page 78.
1 cup raw cashews soaked overnight
½ cup water
1 Medjool date
1/8 to 1/4 cup raw agave
¼ cup Raw Cacao Powder
½ cup whole frozen cherries
Blend until very smooth. When ½ frozen, add frozen whole cherries chopped to mixture for chunky texture. Blend cashews with water in gradual increments so as to minimize need for additional water.