Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Raw Food Tuesday

Each month, I do a one-day raw food cleanse. It's kind of a quick detox from processed crap, coffee, and alcohol, and it's also a way for me to experiment with raw recipes. I usually do my cleanse on the first Monday of each month, but because I didn't realize flax crackers take eons to make in the dehydrator, I had to push it back one day this month.

For breakfast, I had a Purple Smoothie:

It's made with 1/4 cup hemp seed, 1 cup water, 2 tsp. agave nectar (not raw ... I can't find the raw kind around here), 1 frozen banana, 3-4 frozen strawberries, a handful of frozen blackberries, and 1/4 cup raw oats. Tasty, cute (cuz it's purple), and it kept me full until around 11 a.m.

At 11-ish, I snacked on celery sticks. Then at lunch, I had a Raw Sunny Burger with Baby Spinach and Tomato Slices sprinkled with Parma (raw Parmesan that my dad ordered from Cosmos Vegan Shoppe):

I adapted this from a recipe in an old vintage vegan cookbook called The Cookbook for People Who Love Animals by Michael Klaper. My mom's friend found it recently at a thrift store in a tiny Arkansas town. Totally lucky find!

Anyway, I think the book was intended for hippie commune use cause all the recipes make a crapload. The Sunny Burger recipe made 40 BURGERS! Using the ingredient list as a guide, I cut the recipe down like a million times to make 2 patties. And I changed some ingredients around based on availability.

Raw Sunny Burgers
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 carrot, grated
1/2 beet, grated
1 stick celery, chopped
Nutritional Yeast
Sesame Seeds
Soy Sauce (also not raw, but if you can find Namo Shoyu, buy it!)

Grind the veggies and seeds in a food processor. Add a splash of soy sauce and enough tahini to make the mixture pasty but not liquid-y. Blend again. Add 1/4 cup or so of nooch and blend again. Shape mixture into two patties and roll in sesame seeds. Note: If mixture is too liquid-y to shape into patties, add more nooch. If too hard, add more tahini.

Of course, I was actually starving again by 2 p.m., so I snacked on more celery at my desk. Before hitting up my boxing class at the gym at 5:30 p.m., I munched on a Pistachio Larabar. Unfortunately, I got a little dizzy-headed in my gym class even though I'd been snacking all day. Has anyone else had this problem when eating raw and doing extreme physical activity?

I rushed home after the gym because I was famished. I tore into this plate of Curried Carrot Raisin Salad, Crudite with Satay Sauce, and Jalapeno Flax Crackers:

The carrot salad is pretty simple — 3 carrots, one handful of raisins, 1 tablespoon safflower oil, a squirt of agave nectar, a good sprinklin' of curry powder, and a pinch of Himalayan salt.

For the Satay Sauce, I referred to a recipe in Alive in 5: Raw Gourmet Meals in Five Minutes by Angela Elliot. It's basically miso, nooch, agave, and tahini. Good stuff for veggie dippin'.

Finally, the highlight of my entire day were these crunchy flax crackers. I can't stay out of them! But that's partly because I can't stay full on this crazy dietary regimen.

Anyway, I borrowed my parents' dehydrator a few weeks ago to make these. Here's the recipe

Jalapeno Flax Crackers
1 cup flax seed
8 sundried tomatoes
1 jalapeno, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Handful of fresh basil
2 tsp. fresh oregano
Salt to taste

Soak the flax seed and tomatoes overnight. The next day, drain excess water off flax and tomato mixture. Then add veggies and herbs. Process mixture in the food processor for a moment, just until veggies are well-minced. Make sure most flax seeds stay intact. Spoon onto small squares cut from a waxed paper roll and place on dehydrator sheets. Dehydrate for 12 hours or until crisp. Carefully peel crackers from wax paper.

Note: Some of the paper stuck to the bottom of a few of these, but I ate it anyway...probably not the best thing to do, but you can't taste it. I hear they make special dehydrator non-stick sheets though.


The Voracious Vegan said...

Your meals definitly look tasty, but I think I'd be feeling famished too. I try to eat a lot of raw veggies and fruits, but when I centre too many of my meals around them I get really run down and shaky weak. It's hard to get enough calories when focusing exclusively on raw food, because raw foods fill you up so much more quickly than cooked food. Sometimes at lunch I'll have just a big bowl of raw veggies and after just a few bites I struggle to go on since I'm full already.

Anonymous said...

I love raw food but a one day totally raw thing would be about right for me. I don't think I could go more. I just try to do 30 percent raw every day and that seems to work well. I wish i had the temerity to do raw even more because I love raw food so much.

Anonymous said...

Rock on Raw Tuesdays! (I've been doing raw-only Tuesdays two weeks in a row, haven't posted on it yet...). I'm pretty active (I run 40+ miles/week, yoga, etc.). I run in the morning (early) so I'm ok with the hunger/dizzy thing because I just have a glass of juice or almond milk and go, then eat when I come home. Since you were getting sweaty at the end of the day, though, I'd say to have a more substantial mini-meal about an hour before your workout- like maybe dippin' that celery in some raw nut butter?
That cookbook find sounds too groovy! At least you'll be able to cook for us all if we show up at your place!

VeggieGirl said...

Mmm, look at that smoothie - divine. And those burgers and flax crackers are gorgeous as well!!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Yum! It all looks good, though I imagine, I too would have a hard time staying full on the "raw diet", perhaps a day a month isn't a bad idea.

Those flax crackers look and sounds awesome!

Green Eyes, Green Heart said...

Everything looks tasty!
What brand of dehydrator did you use? I'm in the market for one, and the Excaliburs are expensive (although I'm sure they're worth every penny).

Anonymous said...

Yay for raw food! I still haven't tried a raw day yet (I'm scared!), but your food is inspiring me! Maybe after we watch the raw food video at Vaughan's I'll go for it.

Are you going to Safari on Saturday? I'm really looking forward to it!

Anonymous said...

Those burgers look delicious. That's hilarious that it was a recipe meant to serve about 40 people. I think the math needed to cut the recipe down would have made my head spin. I love your flax crackers. My friend is going to let me babysit her dehydrator when she goes on vacation in a week or so. I'll put your flax cracker recipe on my list of things to dehydrate!

Alice (in Veganland) said...

Raw food is nice from time to time, but I cannot stand the perpetual hunger! I need to snack all the time, hehe.

Kristen's Raw said...

Looks great!

You can substitute soy sauce with wheat-free tamari (usually easier to find than namo shoyu) and it's living, like namo.

Kristen's Raw

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I tend to get bored easily, so I thought I'd change my blog around a bit. I also changed my blog list from just links to the new option of an actual 'blog list' - it automatically moves the most recently updated blogs to the top! You even have an option to include the title of the most recent post, and/or a snippet, but I was afraid it would make the list W-A-Y too long.

The sweetened condensed milk recipe I used is on Vegan Explosion with the avocado pie recipe, here: http://www.veganexplosion.com/avocado-pie-2.0 - it is so. damn. good.

The Vegan Snorkeler said...

I love your Raw Food Tuesday idea! I've been trying to be raw at breakfast and lunch, which is usually simple if all I eat is a fruit smoothie and a huge salad for lunch.

Erin said...

Looks like a very nice raw day. That's funny about the burgers making 40! Who needs 40 of anything unless you're feeding a football team?

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Purple purple purple! *Does a happy dance*

Bianca, thank you so much for your kind words on my blog the other day. I am so so glad that I "know" you, because you rock!!!

Theresa said...

Your raw burgers sound so good!

jessy said...

i hear ya on still being hungry all day! i used to do raw until dinner for about a month and i found myself wanting more food about every couple of hours as well. i'm fairly active, too (i lift weights and do 45 minutes of cardio 6-7 days a week) and i think my metabolism was just running through the fruits & veggies like mad!

your raw foods look colorful & fantastical! i want to try them all! that carrot & raisin salad is beautiful! flax crackers - yes please! i would like them for my face!

LK said...

All the raw foods look so tasty. Especially the burgers and crackers! I love shredded beets and/or carrots in veggie burgers.

carrol said...

Great site with all kinds of organic agave in raw, amber and light. WholeAndNatural.com. Lots of sizes including bulk gallon and 5 gallon.

flax seed said...

I'm not really into raw food. But the photos you've posted here makes me think otherwise, especially that flax seed crackers are made part of the ingredients. I supplement daily with flax seed sprinkles and the recipes here surely would serve as an additional treat for me. Thanks!