Vegan, Jane Austen student, Minimalist, Reader, Librarian

Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer in the Raw

Last week, we got a fennel bulb in our CSA; I have never tried one but have seen them in farmers' markets over the years. I think of it as a spice so I was excited to have an excuse to find a recipe to use this in.

In Mimi Kirks' Live Raw: Raw Food Recipes for Good Health and Timeless Beauty, there is a recipe for a Fennel Salad. This very easy recipe is one that I adapted from hers (I adjusted amounts of both the vegetables as well as the oil/lemon juice ratio--more vegetables & less oil/lemon juice):

1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced (2 C)
1 sweet red pepper, thinly sliced 
2 C spinach (tear into small pieces if leaves are large)

1/4 C olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
sea salt & pepper to taste

Mix dressing separately then pour over the vegetables. That's it! I thought that the taste of the fennel would be very strong but, with the dressing, it wasn't! It was mild and reminded me of anise; delicious! The fennel looks like onion in my picture above. I have since read that fennel has several health benefits but, then again, it IS a plant so this doesn't surprise me.

Other great recipes I've tried include this cold cucumber soup (aka gazpacho) from Going Raw: Everything You Need to Know to Start Your Own Raw Food Diet and Lifestyle Revolution at Home by Judita Wignall:
Work lunch & reading
4 C cucumber, chopped (about 2 medium cucumbers); leave skins on
2 stalks celery, chopped (1 C)
1 C onion, chopped (I used red for color)
4 Roma tomatoes (about 2 C), diced
1/2 of an avocado
2 C water
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 C fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh dill (if you don't have it, that's okay, it will still taste good)
pepper to taste

Combine all but the avocado, onion, & tomatoes and blend in a blender until smooth. Add the avocado and blend again. Pour into a covered container and add tomatoes and onion; stir to combine. Chill at least an hour to allow flavors to blend. This gazpacho is wonderful on a hot summer day!

And yet another great salad from Live Raw (on the left; that's my tempeh salad on the right along with some fresh beets from the CSA):

This salad is super crunchy and raw and delicious.

Chop Chop Salad (I adapted it from hers again as I didn't have all the ingredients and she did not list amounts):
1 zucchini
1 yellow summer squash
1/2 of a red cabbage
2 carrots
fresh herbs for garnish

Chop all into small bite-sized pieces.

1/4 C olive oil
1/4 C tahini
2 tbsp fresh parsley
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp cashews
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp tamari
sea salt
1 tbsp brown rice syrup (or sweetener of your choice)
water to blend for desired consistency

Combine all in a blender until smooth. Pour over vegetables. So fresh and so good.

Since my last post, when I talked about wanting to eat more raw, it is what I've been craving. I still do eat cooked grains and bread, just not as much as I used to. I just don't want to eat anything heavy and raw foods are calling to me. For example, this is just some of the fruit J. and I will eat this week: (we also have a pineapple, a watermelon, and about 6 pints of blueberries!):

Also, I've seen a noticeable improvement in my skin. Right now, my face seems to be shedding toxins by peeling and forcing out long dormant blackheads on my nose, temples, chin, and forehead. I have had no painful blemishes since May 31 (a huge improvement), when I started just washing my face, not putting anything on it (even makeup), and leaving it alone to breathe and heal and started eating more raw foods. 

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