Raw Deal: Summer 2008

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Many years ago I thought about opening a small cafe that featured mostly raw foods. There was an empty spot in Woodstock, NY, where our friends the Gurians lived, and the town of Woodstock was cozy. Instead, my first husband and I opened a sprouting operation, and that was the end of the cafe caper. But raw foods have always been important to me since becoming a vegetarian. I love almost all fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and of course, sprouts. I plan to have an article about the importance of raw foods in our diets in a future posting, because uncooked foods contain important enzymes to help the body digest what you eat.

In the meantime, here are some recipes that do not require “fire” or “heat,” so you can enjoy them whether the temperature is 70, 80, or 90 degrees without working up a sweat. (I hate to sweat; that’s why I like to swim!)

Rainbow Fruit Ambrosia

Utensils: Knife, bowl, cutting board, strainer
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: NONE!

Ingredients (any or all)
Note: (I use organic fruit almost always, except when there is a think skin, as in pineapple. I also started using a fruit and vegetable wash. (See my posting this month in Products & Services)

2 cups fresh pineapple chunks (This takes the longest time to cut, unless you buy pre-cut pieces)
2 kiwi, rinsed, peeled, and cut into small pieces
one mango, peeled and diced (An art in itself; feel free to use a papaya instead)
10-12 grapes, red and/or green, washed and stems removed
6-8 strawberries, washed, stems removed, and sliced (or/and raspberries, blackberries, blueberries)
2 apricots, washed and diced or 1/2 papaya, peeled and diced
*Korean fruit (optional) See note below
slivered almonds and/or dried, unsweetened coconut
fruit juice to moisten

1. Wash and cut or slice all the fruit into bite-sized pieces.
2. Place in a bowl and pour on a little of your favorite juice to moisten the fruit.
3. Sprinkle with slivered almonds and/or dried coconut.
4. Serve chilled, but not cold, so that the flavors will be more pronounced.


Calico Coleslaw

(This is the colesalw before adding mayonnaise. I wanted to display the colors without any dressing.)

Utensils: Cutting board, knife, food processor, large bowl
Prep. Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: NONE!

1/4 red cabbage
1/2 white cabbage
one yellow squash (optional)
one zucchini squash (optional)
two carrots
mayonnaise (your choice)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Put chunks of cabbage in food processor on shredding blade, shred completely & place in bowl.
2. Put carrot pieces into processor and shred. Remove to bowl.
3. Finally, shred the yellow squash and zucchini, if using, and place in bowl.
4. Add mayonnaise to bowl and toss gently. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Variations: Add one-two teaspoons mustard or horseradish to the mayo. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Asian Slaw: Add some Asian veggies, such as water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, and snow peas cut into thirds. Toss with dressing below:

1/2 cup toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup plum vinegar or rice vinegar
dash of soy sauce or Bragg’s Aminos
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger or 1 tsp. dried ginger powder
pinch of wasabi (similar to horseradish) and/or mustard powder
Whisk well and add to slaw a little at a time until all is moistened. Save extra dressing for another dish.

Note: You can split the coleslaw into two bowls and make half traditionally, with mayonnaise, and the other half as an Asian slaw.

Bright Side Salad

Utensils: Cutting board, sharp knife, bowls
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: NONE!

one pkg. organic grape tomatoes
1/4 cup pitted olives, rinsed well and sliced
1/2 avocado, peeled and diced
Wine vingear or Balsamic Vinegar or Lemon Juice

1. Wash and slice tomatoes in half and place ina bowl.
2. Rinse olives and slice thinly. Add to bowl.
3. Wash and peel 1/2 avocado. Remove pit and dice flesh. Add to bowl.
4. Gently toss all ingredients with a small amount of vinegar or lemon juice.
5. Place in small bowls and serve with the main meal.

Variation: Add feta cheese or diced hard cheese of choice.

Fruit Soup

Note: This recipe is very flexible. You can use almost any fleshy summer fruit, any juice, and any kind of topping. It is naturally sweet enough (without adding sugar) to be used as a dessert or for breakfast.

Utensils: Cutting board, knife, food processor, bowl
Prep. Time About 5 -7 minutes
Cook. Time None!

3 pieces of organic very ripe fruit (I used nectarines and apricots)
4-5 organic berries (I used blackberries for contrast)
vanilla extract
Juice of 1/2 lemon
juice and/or water (I used orange juice and water)

1. Wash and cut fruit into chunks and place in food processor.
2. Add a dash of vanilla extract, juice of lemon, and about 1/2 cup fruit juice or water and puree until smooth.
3. Add more fruit juice or water (I used 1/2 juice and 1/2 water) to desired consistency. (The soup should be thicker than a smoothie.)
4. Pour into a bowl and top with yogurt (dairy or non-dairy) and sprinkle with cinnamon or all spice. Enjoy chilled. (2 cups)

Variations: Use almond extract and sprinkle soup with sliced almonds.

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