Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Raw Fatigue and Mock Tuna with Hemp Mayo

After being high-to-100% raw for four over months, last week I hit a wall.  Raw veganism was starting to seem dull and was no longer appealing, attractive, or fun.  I started munching on roasted peanuts, cooked vegetarian Indian food, telling myself, "at least it's not KFC or GMO corn chips."  A new repertoire of easy fall recipes is in order, one that uses the produce that arrives in the CSA each week. 

Of course with the cooked food the inflammation returned, and with it the achy joints and fatigue, and it seemed like I started to gain a lb a day.  I still weigh considerably less than when we started this, but lost a little ground.

I feel fine about it emotionally.  Not like a failure, or a loser or anything bad like that.  Rather than giving up, I just took a little detour.  Even while eating this wonderful fresh authentic Indian food, I was thinking how much better it would be if it were raw.

I'm back on track now.  Recently, we did make some really awesome meals, like a pumpkin pesto and a cauliflower "couscous."  The pumpkin pesto was made by using a vegetable peeler to make long pieces pf pumpkin "pasta," and using the raw seeds and stringy bits with basil, pine nuts, olive oil and nutritional yeast to make a pesto.  Not only was the pesto excellent, but we had leftovers, and on the second day they had somehow thickened into a savory pate.  Sorry I can't provide an exact recipe, but if you know how to make raw squash noodles and raw pesto, you are halfway there.  Next time I might soften the pumpkin pasta a bit by tossing it in a smidgeon of olive oil and sea salt, and putting it the dehydrator for a while.  Raw pumpkin can be a bit crunchy.

The couscous was made by processing a head of cauliflower in the food processor until it was broken down into pieces the size of cooked couscous.  The same was done with a head of broccoli. The recipe link is at the bottom of this paragraph, but I didn't follow it religiously.  I just used what I had on hand, ommitting the mushrooms, corn and fava beans, and adding broccoli and chopped red pepper.

I don't normally care for fishy flavors, so I'm not a big fan of most seaweed.  But I'd like to get seaweed in our diet at least once a week, for the iodine.  Yesterday I filled large tomatoes with raw mock tuna salad, and it turned out terrific.  I'll try to recreate the recipe down below.  It's one of those you really can't mess up.

A note on ingredients:  This time I used roasted seaweed and prepared mustard, because it was on hand.  A person who is 100% raw would probably skip these or find 100% raw replacements.  We are "high raw," meaning we strive for at least 75% raw overall, and I find that using some non-raw condiments and flavorings helps to prevent cravings for familiar cooked comfort foods.  Besides, if someone wants me to give up my smoked paprika, they'll have to pry it from my cold, dead fingers!

Mock Tuna

This made a HUGE bowl of mock tuna salad. 

2 cups raw sunflower seeds, soaked 2 hours, rinsed and drained
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, soaked 2 hours, rinsed and drained
1 .23 oz package roasted seaweed (raw dried seaweed would have been better)
3 cups fresh raw carrot juice pulp
1/4 cup fresh raw beet juice pulp (for color)
1 red onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, slice thinly
1/2 English cucumber, chopped finely
dulce flakes to taste
1 tsp prepared mustard (mustard powder would be better)
1 tsp smoked paprika
hemp mayonnaise, (recipe below)

Pulse the seeds in one cup batches, until they start to resemble the texture of flaked tuna. Place in a large bowl.  Pulse the carrot and beet pulp with the roasted seaweed, and combine with the seeds.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir.

 Hemp Mayonaise

1 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup young Thai coconut water and flesh, blended
juice of one lemon
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey or to taste
1 cup olive oil
sea salt to tast

I didn't include the salt when I made this, because in the mock tuna recipe there is salt in the seaweed.  Start by grinding the hemp seeds in the coconut water.  If you don't have a young coconut, you could substitute with coconut milk, coconut water, or plain water.  When the hemp is smooth, add the remaining ingredients except the olive oil, and blend until smooth.  Last, add the olive oil in a thin stream, while running the blender.
On Saturday, we put in some plants from the nursery:  some arugula and chard, and one each of dill, sage, purple basil, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, peas, peppers, and a producing tomato.  All this went into some self-watering planters and a smallish planter box.  Yes, it's October, but winters tend to be mild here, and the hope is that we'll have a bit of fresh produce until January.  Unfortunately, the chard is already fading, but everything else is holding up okay.  We are learning about square foot gardening, edible landscaping and companion planting.

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So what do you think? Have you tried raw vegan food?