Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Raw Food Made Easy

It seems like just yesterday that I was doing my once-a-month raw food cleanse, but that's only because last month's cleanse was pushed back a week from the usual first Tuesday of the month. Last time, I spent TWO HOURS in the kitchen prepping nut cheezes, spreads, and sauces. But this time, I wanted to make things easier on myself. So I started with this lovely and simple Green Smoothie:

I say it was simple, but now that I think about it, this smoothie was a pain in butt. I got the bright idea to add coconut water and fresh coconut meat to my usual fruit and kale smoothie. That meant hammering and prying at a coconut last night (I could only find the kind with the hard shell at my local Asian market, but next time, I'll drive to Whole Foods for a young coconut with the shell already removed). The meat was so hard to cut out that I abandoned the task halfway through. I didn't get much reward from all that work.

But this morning, the smoothie was easy as pie (although is pie really that easy?) to throw together in the blender. I used the coconut water and meat, banana, strawberries, pineapple, mango, kale, and a bit of flax seed.

I was starving by 10 a.m., but luckily I packed some carrot sticks and Rosemary Guacamole from Ani's Raw Food Kitchen:

The recipe calls for fresh rosemary, which is a pretty interesting addition to traditional guac. It complemented the avocado quite well, but I'll probably stick to traditional guac from now on. I omitted the olive oil in Ani's recipe because, um, who puts olive oil in guacamole?

Lunch was this Dolmas Salad from One Week Raw:

It did require a little prep but not too much. Dolmas are those lemony rice-stuffed grape leaves, and this dolmas paté — made with a parsnip and nut base — actually tasted a lot like the real thing. One Week Raw is a free raw cookzine that you can download here.

Since I'm hungry every two hours on raw day, I snacked on more guac and carrots, as well as a ruby red grapefruit and a Key Lime Pie Larabar (great flavor!). The Larabar kept me satisfied throughout my spinning class at the gym.

But afterward, I was famished. So I dove into this Pine Nut Pesto Over Zucchini Fettucine:

I recently saw this over on Breedale's blog Perpetually Changing. She used Ani's Pistachio Pesto recipe as a guideline, but subbed pine nuts for pistachios. So did I, since I couldn't find raw pistachios anywhere. I also added nooch because I think that's the secret ingredient to an awesome vegan pesto.

Here's a bonus picture of my kitty Polaris, about to steal a bite of my raw pasta:

Now it's nearly bedtime and I'm kinda hungry again. I may snack on a fresh peach and drink some herbal tea. But I'm really yearning for tomorrow's breakfast — a big bowl of Barbara's Bakery Cinnamon Crunch Shredded Oats with hemp milk. If nothing else, raw food day makes me appreciate cooked food and grains so much more!

27 comments:

bitt said...

i think your food looks lovely. you can add smoothies as a breakfast for everyday of the week instead of just on a raw food day. and yes, young coconuts are waaay easier to open.

Mihl said...

Fresh rosemary is definitely one of my favourite herbs. Adding it to guacamole sounds indeed fantastic.
When we were kids we used to open these coconuts with a big hammer.It was lots of fun, but of course the coconut water was spilled all over the floor...

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

We keep thinking about doing a raw week. Good to know there's some easy options!

Gina said...

Rosemary in guacamole...interesting!

I can't resist making a raw dessert on a raw food day, its probably the best part IMHO, haha.

I've yet to approach any kind of coconut, young or otherwise, so kudos for trying!

VeggieGirl said...

Still looks great to me!! As does all of your food, raw or cooked :-)

Breedale said...

Great job! Everything looks great. FYI, I was on Twitter this morning and I follow Raw Food Guru because everyday he links to cool raw food finds. So, this morning he had send out a link to your blog. I thought that was super cool. You are gaining more and more recognition! You are becoming quite a supa' star in both the vegan and raw food worlds. Thanks for the props too! Really though my culinary skills could not touch yours. You rock!

miss v said...

olive oil in guac? no thanks. but i did make fat-freeish guac with asparagus recently and it was actually alright. not guac, but a decent sub, i thought.

i know what you mean about pain in the butt smoothies. i finally gave up and just make them with one or two fruits and some greens. :)

shelby said...

You do such a great job with raw food...such an inspiration.

I think it's hard for me to do a raw day because I love carbs so much haha. It's my body's main source of fuel so without them, I feel so tired.

Latayy said...

The older coconut is not the best to use for this shake as the water tends to get racid or nonexistant. I had no idea wholefoods sold young coconuts. See you do not have to come to the caribbean anymore it comes to u.

VeganCowGirl said...

It all looks really really yummy. I plan on having a big cleanseasaurous as soon as baby-vegan is born. Will have to check out that guac....interesting.

Sal said...

that smoothie is so pretty and green, it's gorgeous!!

you've made me crave guacamole. I think I'm gonna have to make something with guac for dinner!!

Mary said...

Your smoothie and pesto photos are really pretty.

pixiepine said...

I haven't tried that recipe from One Week Raw- it sounds good. I can't wait to get moved into our new house so I can get back to making some good food. My fresh juice every morning is tiding me over though.

sweetkaroline said...

once a month raw food day sounds like a really cool idea! I would love to do the same once I have a few raw recipes under my belt. thanks for the post :)

tahinitoo said...

Gorgeous, colorful photos Bianca! Your green smoothie sounds delicious; I have yet to add greens to my smoothies for fear that they will taste bitter. Perhaps I will take that step tomorrow morning...

Vegan On Stage said...

i love that dolmas salad! i made it a while back but it was definitely yumy!

pinkhairedcyn said...

That looks so delicious! Also, oil in guacamole is CRAZY. Avocados are already so full of creamy goodness.

aTxVegn said...

I've never cracked a coconut and I don't think I'm missing anything! Your raw food days are always so inspiring. I like the traditional guac too - it's perfect as is.

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nora said...

yeah, ani overdoes the oil in EVERYTHING. it's insane! is the guacamole worth trying you think or should i just stick to reg?

HayMarket8 said...

Yum! Green Smoothies! Yum!

jessy said...

– i’m really dig’n the easy raw eatz, Bianca! that’s one thing that kinda holds me back from going nuts with the raw food yummies – all that prep time. but it looks like you made the most rock’n eats without spending hours in the kitchen! think i’ll be having a green smoothie for my breakfast tomorrow! mmmmmmmmm! i keep forgetting about the One Week Raw recipes – totally need to print those out – the dolma salad looks so darn delicious, and i love the zucchini fettuccine, too! wow! i just recently took a spinning class & it kicked my booty – i was ravenous when i got home – so crazy! Polaris = the cutest! hooray for kitteh pictures!

Gena (Choosing Raw) said...

Sorry I'm late on commenting! this looks like an awesome day of raw eats -- of course, the guac has my mouth watering!

A said...

Looks like even your kitty likes to eat good food! :)
-A

Katrina said...

NO, pie is not easy... unless it's store bought! :-)

Cooking With J & J said...

Love your site! I know this post was from over a year ago, but I have just found you! I have a friend who was born in Samoa and he showed me the easiest way to open a mature coconut. It's actually as easy as hacking away at the young coconut once you get the hang of it.
First, take something long and thin to poke through the soft eye on the coconut. Maybe a screwdriver. I once used my car key in a store in order to illustrate how easy it was to an employee. :)
There are three spots on the coconut - that kind of remind me of a seal face - just find the soft one by poking around. When you find it, it will pierce easily. Pierce and twist, then drain your coconut, or drink it right from that spot. Then, take it outside. Find an edge or corner of a concrete sidewalk or something like it, and smash the coconut directly on those spots. Be careful not to pinch your hands in the process. I kind of drop-smash it a couple of times. You'll develop your own technique. Then, once it is broken into enough separate pieces, take it inside and use a small sharp knife to cut little pieces out by slicing and lifting up. Kind of wedge/pop it out with the edge of your knive (your hand motion is that of turning a key in the ignition). You can eat the brown skin that will come off on your little chunks. Hope that helps! I bet you can probably find a youtube video on this.
Happy cookin!
-Jaime (cookingwithjandj.blogspot.com)

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