A chilly winter night is just as good for a tasty raw slaw as any other, in my opinion. Especially when I have this snazzy new julienne peeler to use. I've been using it like mad! I think I've had something julienned at every meal since I got this thing on Friday. One thing is for sure, it is inspiring me to eat more raw vegetables.
Speaking of raw, I had a fun day of uncooking with A-K of the fabulous blog Swell Vegan over the weekend. We had joined forces a few months back and made slightly less-than-fabulous gluten free pumpkin scones (oh well). Not letting our lack of stellar baking success hinder us, we decided to get together once again and make a raw feast! As it turns out, we are both one of the only people we each know that is really open to the idea of making totally raw meals, so it is a good match. Plus, we are nearly neighbors - we live only blocks apart - so it was the perfect way to spend a Sunday. The internet really does bring people together!
I brought a big bag of stuff along to help in the project, random vegetables, seeds, and other favorites like vitamin C crystals, azuki and chickpea miso, and umeboshi plum vinegar. A-K had an impressively stocked pantry and refrigerator, and we had a ton of stuff to work with. That was a good thing, because we also had a lot of restrictions to work with. You see, I have a whole lot of dietary restrictions compared to A-K, and many of her commonly used ingredients are off limits to me, especially those use in raw cuisine! We knew this would be a fun adventure in creative cooking.
After chatting and looking through cookbooks, we decided we wanted burgers and fries with soup. We made a modified version of the Lower East Side Patties from the book Living Cuisine, a mix of sunflower and pumpkin seeds, broccoli, and onion. For the soup, we decided on a sweet and minty carrot soup, made with coconut water. Yes, it's true: A-K introduced me the wonders of young coconut. I was equally impressed with her large cleaver and coconut slaughtering skills. The soup was a winner, a lovely mix of carrot, zucchini, coconut water, mint, and a pinch of coriander.
In keeping with the burger theme, we thought some fries were in order. A-K totally rocked my world with her take on jicama fries: thinly sliced jicama, sprinkled with paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, Herbamare, a little olive oil, and those trusty vitamin C crystals. They were awesome! Jicama fries will be a regular addition to my life from now on. My boring old unseasoned jicama is a thing of the past.
We knew we needed some kind of sauce to eat with our burger, so I whipped up a tasty avocado "mayo" with avocado, Thai basil, and a pinch of vitamin C crystals for tartness. Yowzas, it was good. As a last minute addition for the fries, we invented a red pepper "ketchup", blending red pepper, azuki miso, stevia, and allspice. It provided a sweet and spicy twist, and was delicious with the burger too. We served our burgers up on red lettuce leaves garnished with cucumber, and a dollop of the avocado basil mayo. It was so incredible. The mayo had us both drooling; we ended up eating it all, spooned on leftover lettuce leaves. Yum.
Doesn't that food just look amazing?! A-K's apartment has beautiful light, and her eye and camera work wonders. I wish I could eat that entire meal again right now. I have to admit, it was a LOT of raw food, and my antibiotic-compromised digestive system had a bit of a struggle working through it all. And I willingly broke my mild allergic avoidance of avocado, because I wanted it so bad. But dang, that meal was vibrant and awesomely delicious. Big thumbs up. And A-K was a lovely hostess. She even let me try some of her maca powder (weird).
Inspired by the wonderful rawness of that meal, here is a simple slaw recipe, raw and wonderful. It has a great crunch, and a light and complex flavor. And it was a great excuse to use my julienne peeler. Seriously, go get one. Cheap. Love it.
Really Raw Slaw (gluten free, vegan, raw, ACD)
2 large carrots
1 medium cucumber
1 medium zucchini
2-3 Tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped
2-3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
pinch ground coriander
1 tsp umeboshi plum vinegar
freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or other raw nut/seed
Wash vegetables well. Peel carrot, then slice into long strips using the julienne peeler. Using julienne peeler, create long strips of zucchini and cucumber, peeling until you hit the seedy, spongy core, then stop. Cut your long veggie strips into shorter 3" pieces, and place in a bowl. Coarsely chop fresh parsley and mint leaves, and place in bowl with vegetable strips. Add a splash of ume vinegar, a pinch of coriander, and a few cranks of freshly ground pepper, and toss to mix. Let sit for 10 minutes - the ume will soften the vegetables and the flavors will intensify. Sprinkle with seeds/nuts before serving. Yum!