Food, food and more food. I think I ate my way through the weekend. It was all (mostly) healthy.
Healthy Foods Potluck:
The weekend started by me waking up in the kitchen. Well, not really. Have you ever had one of those days where you’re in the kitchen before the sun comes up and you’re just going at it for what seems like hours and then you realize you’re hungry and it’s like 10 a.m.?! Yeah, that was me Saturday. I was at the grocery store while the night stockers (not stalkers) were still doing their thing. I love it when the “cashier” is really one of the stock boys and has no clue what’s in the produce bags that come down the belt. I guess a few years ago I wouldn’t know kale from a beet from a kabocha squash either. It gave me a giggle, though, as nearly every bag earned a “what the…?” as it came to him. Anyway… why was I in the kitchen so early? I was hosting a healthy foods potluck lunch at my house. I had a busy weekend and was clearly ill prepared for entertaining. I pulled it off, however. A small group of healthy foodists gathered and we feasted on Black Eyed Pea Chili from Fat Free Vegan, Dr. Fuhrman’s Golden Austrian Cauliflower Soup, a delicious Vegetable Quinoa salad from The Garden Grazer, a tossed salad with one of my favorite Dr. Fuhrman dressing recipes, Dijon Date. We also tasted “better burgers” made with mushrooms, walnuts & oats. For dessert we indulged in baked apples stuffed with a tasty apricot walnut cream, Carrie on Vegan‘s Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie, and a little taste of banana walnut Nice Cream. Can you believe I was so distracted with chatting and eating and doing stuff that I forgot to take even just one picture? I will post a couple of the recipes that I made soon.
Non-cooking Cooking Class:
But I also want to share with you the other food related thing I did this weekend. I attending a “cooking” demonstration at a raw restaurant. Now you know why the word “cooking” is in quotes. No need to cook if you’re eating raw, right? But what else would you call it? The theme of the demo was sauces and was the main reason I went. One of the most important things as a plant-based eater is flavor, right? We basically eat the same foods over and over and the way you change it up is by changing the seasonings and flavor. Sauces and spreads are HUGE in our world. So off I went for a quick hands-on demo. We put different ingredients into blenders, whizzed them up and came away an hour later with five samples of different sauces. Plus, the 30 of us in attendance bombarded Francisco, the chef at AmeRAWcan Bistro, with questions ranging from how long to soak your nuts (no giggling, now) to the key ingredients in their top-selling entrees. He happily obliged and shared and said he is willing to share the recipe for anything on his menu except for the enchilada sauce and tortillas. Somebody had already squealed the recipe for the enchilada sauce and I secretly wrote it down. Buwahahaha! I’ll share that one later.
So what did we end up with? Well, how about the recipe for a versatile almond cheese? A sampling of alfredo sauce to top your spiralized zucchini noodles? A very tasty Caesar dressing that gets its fishy flavor from nori & kelp rather than anchovies? How about a raw marinara sauce that was oh, so yummy — and mix it with the alfredo for something a little different and you’re in heaven. The falafel dressing wasn’t my favorite and I’d have to substitute the 3/4 cup of OIL out with avocado to make it fit my dietstyle. The Ginger Miso dressing would be perfect on an Asian-inspired salad.
All in all it was an informative hour. Francisco even spilled the beans on how he makes his Parmesan “cheese” out of macadamia nuts. It was intriguing and probably not something I would try to make. So much of raw food preparation requires a dehydrator — something I don’t have. And dehydrating takes a lot of patience — another thing I don’t have. This class wasn’t too informative on the raw eating style, a perfect balance, really, so I was pleased with the information that was shared by the chef and his two assistants who are obviously well-versed in the subject. I did learn, however, that a true raw foodist wouldn’t eat nuts sold conventionally as nuts are pasteurized, therefore, heated above 118 degrees which is the magic cut off for what is considered raw. But as Francisco says, “They’re healthy right? I eat them cuz they’re healthy.” I agree.
AmeRAWcan Bistro will host a class each month. In November we will be making cheesecake. Obviously, there is no cheese in their desserts, but are cashew based and naturally sweetened. I learned all about coconut nectar and am excited to try it (sparingly) in some recipes coming up. I’m really looking forward to attending in November and will definitely keep you posted. Just in time for the holidays. Who couldn’t do with a decadent pumpkin cheesecake or maybe even raspberry? Hmmmm… I can hardly wait!
Well, check back here on Friday & see what I’ve whipped up in the kitchen throughout the week.