Sunday, April 26, 2009

raw! mocha chia pudding, green soup, and tahini

It's taken me enough time, but I think I might pursue some serious explorations into raw food this summer.  It's probably because of this festival in the woods that my friends organize each year... this year I'm a part of the kitchen crew, and that means providing raw options on top of the fully vegan menu.  Which I'm actually pretty excited about!  The way it's set up we each get about one full day of leading the kitchen, and I have no clue what I'm going to make... but I am collecting ideas, and I figure I should start practicing my skills now.

I took out a book from the library - Nettie Cronish's New Vegetarian Basics - and figured I would actually cook something from it instead of just flip pages.  Well... it's a mint and tahini sauce up there and it seems like it would be great on paper (and I'm not exactly sure how one messes up tahini sauce!) but there was like, no flavour in it whatsoever, so I had to double the tahini and add some ume vinegar and then it was pretty good.  (I should mention that I like how she uses a lot of pumpkin seeds and seaweeds in creative ways in her book, though!)

To ease into Rawville I approached my blender with a lot of vigor and an open mind (and about 3 open recipe books!).  I think I did okay for a try... I would never ever EVER call those thin bits of celery "pasta", but the tomato sauce was a sort of marinara and actually quite delicious!  I used both red wine and balsamic vinegar with some fresh basil and it definitely wasn't salad-y, in fact surprisingly sweet and piquant and actually went pretty well with crispy celery.  The soup was hella fun!!  It involved.... (I wrote this down)..... 

a full stalk of broccoli

3" of zucchini

1/2 cup of corn

1 kale leaf ---- THE CULPRIT!!

knob of ginger

3 cloves garlic

lemon juice

apple c vinegar

olive oil

flax oil

juice of 2 grapes


regular soy sauce

sunflower seeds

1/2 a green apple

cumin, coriander, cayenne, paprika, salt, pepper

whole corn niblets

Good and good for you... but I read only afterwards that adding leafy greens to raw soups make them characteristically bitter, and this definitely needed those two grapes to balance things out.  I felt really energized afterwards, but next time I think I'll keep my kale on the side.  I do love making food like this, though - I feel like a scientist, cutting off bits and bobs of things to create a harmonious liquid whole. 

Last and the sweetest!  Mocha chia pudding, as per Swell Vegan's recipe, made with some probably unraw ingredients (cocoa, instant coffee certainly isn't), but in principle sure.  Really quite good!  Like tapioca pudding with the texture of strawberry seeds and the flavour of chocolate, and intriguingly... gloopy.  In a good way!  Like you can stir it up and much as you like and it will reconstitute back together immediately, which I think is a huge bonus, not liking runny pudding all that much.  Plus this fills you up, so I hear, being hydroscopic and thus able to soak up all your drinking water... so it's the dessert that could save your life in a desert, aha!  


Theresa said...

Cool! I've never been super interested in going raw, but the dishes you've "cooked" look good regardless!

nora said...

Awesome! I never plan on going raw, but I think raw food is pretty delicious and fun to prepare...and a nice change from the ordinary! Good luck!

Katy said...

I find raw food fascinating and yours looks yummy!

Jes said...

Good luck with the experiments--I know I could definitely go for a bowl of the chia pudding!

Cyn said...

Mint and tahini sauce sounds so good! So sad that it wasn't amazing. Everything else looks fantastic, especially the chia pudding.

aTxVegn said...

Your raw food creations look so beautiful! Spring is the perfect time to enjoy raw goodies.

I made my first chia seed pudding tonight and I loved it!

Sal said...

that pudding sounds very interesting indeed and the salad looks delicious. I keep meaning to try a day of raw food!

Hannah said...

I'm so tempted to do more raw foods, but it seems kind of impractical for my budget and schedule most of the time... Maybe this will be the summer though! It always looks so fresh and delicious, and your dishes here follow suit as well.