Category Archives: ARCHIVES

SOMEBODY BEAT ME TO THE PUNCH!

For years, I’ve been grumbling and saying that I should write a book with recipes which require no fancier equipment than a food processor, and, maybe a blender. I had collected numbers of raw vegan books, and annotated them as to what equipment was required, so that I could avoid the things that I believe can be done without. (Don’t get me wrong: in the past I have had all of the exciting stuff: I scrimped and saved to get the $450 for a Vitamix which came with a 7-year warranty, and gave up the ghost about 3 weeks after the warranty was up. I also had a dehydrator, however, in my situation, it is not convenient to use it, so it is peacefully resting in storage.) That leaves me with a low-end food processor, and a Nutri-Bullet that my mother gave me,

I became a raw vegan when I was in college (like, maybe, 47 years ago). Back then, things were all simple: slice this up, chop this up: have food.

So, what am I talking about? I recently found this book Raw & Simple by Judita Wignall, and I am mad as a hornet that I did not put my book out when I first thought about it. This is a very nice book, and I am as pleased as can be that someone has done what I have failed to get around to doing,

This book has lots of interesting and tasty recipes, and none of them require anything more complicated than a food processor.

So, if you want “kind of” fancy, but you don’t have a lot of equipment, this is definitely for you. (If you already have all the fancy equipment anyone could dream of, this will still be a welcome addition to your recipe-book library.

RED SAUERKRAUT!

Last Saturday, I went out to get a cabbage to start a new batch of sauerkraut.  Unfortunately, there were no regular, green cabbages in either of the two supermarkets in my neighborhood.  There was a nice big red cabbage, though, so I bought it.  I mean, It’s cabbage, right?  So, anyhow, I’ve got two jars of deep red/purple beet colored sauerkraut going since Sunday night.  I’m counting on it being good, but …… it sure is a funny color.  I guess I’ll have to work on developing my adventurous side some. I’ll have an opinion on it in a few days.

Meanwhile, I have an adventurous sauerkraut at 3 weeks right now!  I’ll have to open it soon, I figure.

MY WONDERFUL KALE/SAUERKRAUT DINNER

So, I got a bag of organic kale from Trader Joe’s.  Once home, I grabbed an onion, a red bell pepper, a head of garlic, Trader Joe’s 21 Season Salute, a jalapeno pepper and a box of Calamata olives I’ve been waiting to use.

My first mistake was buying a bag of torn kale. (After this, I will go to stores where you can get whole kale, because it is so much easier to remove the center stem and then chiffonade (and chop down further if you like).  Trying to chop up the kale pieces and remove the big stem pieces is tiring! Never mind! I got it done!

 I chopped up half of the kale and tossed in a big bowl.  I then  de-seeded the Calamata olives, chopped them up, and added them to the kale, for salt and also flavor.

You need salt or something salty to make massaged kale! I learned to make massaged kale at Raw Soul, a place we used to have in Harlem, and they showed us how to make it with the salty Kalamata olives, so that is my usual go-to (you also get this interesting flavor in your salad.

So, I have this big bowl, and I filled it up with the kale I’d chopped and I threw in the minced olives, and I went to work mashing around.  You mash and mash and mush and mush for a good bit, to get the kale to go juicy.  It is not like you’re going to have water, like when you’re making sauerkraut, but the kale is going to reduce in volume to about a third of what it looked like when you started.

Then I added my finely-chopped  red bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, and some minced onion and garlic.  Mashed around some more. Then, ) and I added about 1 capful of apple cider vinegar, 2 caps of olive oil, and mashed around some more.  Toward the end, I tasted it and decided it needed a little bit more something, so I added about a tablespoon of Trader Joe’s 21 Season Salute.  It was all good at that point, but I still had about a half-cup of the jalapeno pepper sauerkraut, so I mixed that in.  AMAZING!

I think that the next time, I would add in sliced or minced mushrooms towards the end of the massaging.

 

REVISITING OLD RAW RECIPE BOOKS

I’ve just dug out my copy of Mattye Lee Thompson’s Frugal Raw (Raw on the Cheap at it’s Finest!), and, yes, I made a good purchase.  (the only complaint I have about this book is that there is no index, so I have to remember where I found this and such, or else annotate each page)

This is an older book, from 2008, but it is apparently so popular that hard copies are going for $40 or so.  Fortunately, there is now a Kindle edition, so, if you want to see a really good collection of raw vegan recipes, you can get it on your phone.

The only drawback I see in this book is that she has recipes that require a dehydrator, and dehydrators are notoriously expensive.

Still and all, the author has a lot of good takes on how to integrate a raw food lifestyle into a family setting (where some may not want to go raw), as well as a number of really good recipes.

(I do want to mention that I am telling you all this out of the goodness of my heart.  I am not affiliated with amazon or any other seller, which is why you don’t find any click-throughs.  If you find something you like in my post, please do your own search on Amazon)

SCORED SOME CORN ON THE COB AT TRADER JOE’S TODAY!!!

April 30, 2020

I’ve been “on a “food diet” as punishment!  Last week I went to Trader Joe’s and bought everything that appealed to me.  The only thing is, I was never hungry enough in the week to eat all of the food, so I put myself on restriction, meaning, I could only eat food which was already in house (okay, sauerkraut, red bell peppers, and nuts.  Okay, I added in a raw protein shake, with bananas and oranges that I had.

So, today I broke the grocery-shopping fast, sort of.  I went to Trader Joe’s to get some LaraBars, because I know I will eat *them*. Then I wanted kale (and I have some kalamata olives, so it’s not like I don’t have the ingredients to do a massaged kale salad.) then, I got some corn! I mean, real ears of corn that you have to peel the leaves off of!  I’m a little nervous, because I know I have to de-kernel the corn, and I am famous for attempting finger amputations when I do such things.  Never mind! I will survive!  I want a corn salad.  I got some red bell peppers (since I am not going to cook with them, I go with the folk info that red bell peppers destined for salads should have “three bumps” on the bottom.)

I will make a raw massaged kale dish tomorrow morning, with kale, kalamata olives, raw garlic, onion, red bell pepper slivers, and whatever else occurs to me when I open the refrigerator. I might end up throwing some Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning in there at the end, but I kind of think not, because, in the end, I will add olive oil, and vinegar, and I’ll already have added kalamata olives and garlic.

After all is said and done, I may likely add in a couple of spoonfuls of the last of my sauerkraut batch.

I am rather excited that I will finally be using up what’s left over from the last shopping trip.

 

SUCCESS: SAUERKRAUT!

I took a picture and it came out really well (only I’m not tech savvy enough to get it here on this post tonight!)

The sauerkraut came out beautifully! (I’d been reading other people’s sauerkraut recipes for four days, and they always say, “don’t feel bad if your sauerkraut goes moldy and you have to throw it out.”  That is what people told me from the moment I started my first sauerkraut batch.. Fortunately, my sauerkraut has always turned out.

This time, I was a little concerned, because, normally, I hear a lot of hissing from my jars of sauerkraut.  This time, I didn’t hear anything… Yesterday, I did look at both jars, and it looked like one had a bent lid (not a bad thing: it just means that the sauerkraut has expanded inside the jar). Then I notice what sort of looked like drool marks across the window sill and down the wall!  Aha! It worked, (I mean, usually I put a sauerkraut jar in a bowl, to catch whatever seeps from the jar, but I didn’t this time)  but the sauerkraut  just didn’t talk to me while it was working.

So!  I opened the jar of jalapeno sauerkraut.  I tasted it: YUMM!  Then I decided that I really needed to make a salad with it.

I added @ 1/2 C lentil sprouts

1/2 C sauerkraut

1/4 red bell pepper, diced

1/8 onion, diced

1/4 avocado, skin removed, cut into @ 8 pieces

I tossed everything, and, then, when I took the first bite, I realized I did not need to add anything for flavor.  The red bell pepper, the sprouts, the sauerkraut, and the onion all worked together.  There was no need for a salad dressing!

Yumm!!!

NEW BOOKS and SAUERKRAUT

I have been kind of busy lately.  I’ve had to put off a bunch of things I want to do, like finish up my Raw Vegan Nutritionist Centre of Excellence online course (hope they’ll give me some extra time on account of the virus or some other excuse – I really do want to finish the thing up. More about that later.)

My job went from brick-and-mortar English school to on-line virtual English school over one weekend.  We got about 5 minutes of training,  and then they handed me a computer and said, basically ‘go home and do the job’.  So I’m learning how to do that.

Meanwhile, I’m self-isolated in my building. So, what to do.  I accidentally found some raw vegan books when I answered a dumb question on Quora (have you ever done that?)… So, anyway, someone recommended this book, The Health Seekers’ Yearbook:  a Revolutionist’s Handbook for Getting Well and Staying Well Without the Medicine Men, and it’s by Victoria Bidwell, an author I had never heard of before.   This goes on my “early books shelf” – published in 1990 – how did I miss it?  Anyhow it is really seriously about food combining, nutrition, and lifestyle.  It’s kind of strict, but that’s not so bad.   There are some recipes, but not too many… it’s more about managing a very healthy lifestyle with exercise, positive thoughts, and la la la.  Once I’d found that one, I found another one which is pretty much an encyclopedia  (like 2 or 3 inches thick), again talking seriously about nutrition and raw vegan natural hygiene (food combining).

I’m looking forward to having time to sit down seriously and read through these books (I’ve just looked at the index and, yes, they are influenced by T.C. Fry’s work, among others.)

Then, too, I found Cherie Soria’s book Raw Food for Dummies.  How come I didn’t know about that?  Probably because I’ve been working my way to a minimalist approach toward raw veganism, where you don’t need an arsenal of expensive equipment to be raw vegan. (I’m back to my knife, and my cutting board. Okay, I do have a food processor and a spiralizer.  And a nut grinder.  I’ve always followed Soria, and liked her recipes.  Now I have a book full of them, plus lots of instructions for stuff I had forgotten about. This book was published in 2013.  I think that, by then, I had decided that all the great books had already been written.  Nope!  This is a fun romp, with lots of recipes I’ll be willing to make when I get some time (i.e., not everything is made using a dehydrator or a juicer costing hundreds of dollars and requiring gobs of space)

My other news is my new sauerkraut batch.  When I went in the supermarket and saw a head of cabbage for 59cents, I knew it was time.   So, the day before yesterday, I went into the kitchen, chopped up the head of cabbage, chopped like 4 jalapeno peppers, mixed it all with salt, probiotics, and water, and I am eagerly expecting some delish sauerkraut the day after tomorrow.

Oh, yes! I forgot to mention that I have been sprouting lentils like nobody’s business!  They’re so easy, so fast, so gratifying, and so tasty!  It only takes about 3 days to get a nice quart of lentil sprouts, and they’ll last in the refrigerator for 5-6 days!  Yum!  Now, I am a window farmer!

Now, off to teach another class.

OH! LENTIL SPROUTS!

Although I have loved lentil sprouts since forever, I hadn’t grown any lentil sprouts in a while.  Then, with all this scary stuff going on, and long lines just to get *into* the supermarket, only to find nothing fresh and yummy looking there, I raided my favorite organic market and got 2 lbs of …… lentils!  Then I had to figure out where to get those sprouting lids for mason jars (no idea where my nice plastic one went off to), and it took a week to get some stainless ones from Amazon Prime!  Finally they came, and the project came together.  I’d forgotten how fast lentils sprout and grow!

I put them to soak on Monday night, and, in the morning, they already had little bitty tails!  Rinse, drain, and set the jar in a bowl, so, if they wanted to drain some more, they could. On Wednesday morning, they had grown quite a bit, but I rinsed and drained again. On Thursday, oh wow!  The sprouts were almost an inch long!

Wraps!  I cut the “bone” out of romaine lettuce leaf and spread a little sundried tomato hummus on the two pieces. I  finely chopped some red bell pepper and onion, and sliced 1/4 of an avocado. Then I piled the lentil sprouts on the leaf slices, sprinkled the bell pepper and onion on top, laid out the pieces of avocado, then folded up the leaf and chowed down!  MM! MM! Good!!!!  I’m going to do a repeat performance tonight!

 

 

 

Sort-of Southern Barbecue & Cole Slaw – It’s almost close enough!

In the last post, I said I was going to make a Southern style barbecue with a mushroom, and I did.  Here’s what happened:

I laid out my ingredients:

For the cole slaw:

  • Cabbage
  • Onion (that’s how I like my cole slaw)
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Apple cider vinegar

For the “pulled mushroom barbecue”:

  • A maitake mushroom
  • Eastern North Carolina barbecue sauce (ACV, black pepper, red pepper flakes, hot pepper sauce)

Then I sat in front of the TV and pulled strands of maitake mushroom forever. (Honestly, there must be an easier way!)  At last, I pulled the last strand, and put the mushroom bits in a large plastic bag to marinate with some barbecue sauce.  Set that aside.

I cut half of the head of cabbage and half of the onion, and put them in the food processor (I like my cole slaw in little bits – so much easier and neater to chew!)

Then I mixed up the cabbage with black pepper and just enough oil and vinegar to dampen it but not drown it.

By this time, I was wavering between starving and bereft of appetite for having worked so hard on that maitake.  I decided I was starving, so I ate a delicious bowl of cole slaw.

Then I decided that the maitake really did not need to be so very marinated, and I took some out of the bag, put it in a bowl, put some cole slaw on top, and…… well, it was tasty and filling, and different from my usual fare, and sort of almost like barbecue.  Good enough at that point in time. (in the lead-up to this momentous project, I always known that I would probably need a couple of tries to get it right, but this definitely was better than no barbecue. I mean, it was good enough that I am looking forward to eating the rest of it just as soon as I finish this post.)

YOU STILL HAVE TO EAT

Yesterday, I scored a nice maitake mushroom, 2 lbs of lentils (for sprouts!),  a zucchini, a nice big cabbage, and 2 tomatoes. I think the zucchini and the tomatoes can wait until tomorrow, but I really do want to try to make a pulled mushroom “barbecue” dish, replete with cole slaw tonight. I have a traditional vinegar/spices (no sugar) barbecue sauce to play with.

Meanwhile, I can’t find my sprouter lid for my mason jars, so I’m off to check out a couple of healthy food markets down the avenue.  Somebody should have them, right?