In keeping with our raw vegan holiday celebrations, my local holiday crew and I decided to enjoy another delicious feast. In keeping with my Lazy Raw Foodist moniker, I found myself weighing the lazier of two options: walk 1.5 miles each way to the co-op to procure lazy feast ingredients, or use whatever I had on hand to make potentially more complicated offerings. After dancing for half an hour on the rebounder, I decided I’d opt for a little more prep, minus the 3 miles of travel, half of it lugging home ingredients.
That left me with some interesting choices. As with painting doors, I find food prep limitations enhance my creativity. I had some raw staples, half a container of arugula, half a bunch of kale, apples, and some fermenting tahini kefir. What to do, what to do? Thinking of my Christmas Eve sausages from Raw Fusion Living, I synchronously popped over to the Raw Fusion Living blog, where I found a recipe for a curried kale, apple and cucumber salad with dried cranberries. I had no cuke, but I did have a container of fresh cranberries that I froze around Thanksgiving. I quickly popped those out of their container, rinsed under warm water and stuck them in the dehydrator.
No, they didn’t look like craisins by the time I left for our meal, but the flavor intensified and they did dry out a bit.
Next, I decided that with minimal ingredients on hand, I could make an easier to digest meal — fermented tahini milk in a dessert drink could help digest a tahini based curry dressing. Apple cider vinegar instead of my non-existent lime juice could help digest the salad’s apples. My half batch of arugula would need to supplement my half bunch of kale, since I didn’t have enough of either for the full recipe. I dropped tahini, curry powder, water, soaked dates and some soak water, a splash of tamari, olive oil, ACV, and some leftover white onion into the Vitamix. Holy freakin’ yum! I had to stop myself from “testing” the recipe, or I would have just eaten it straight out of the jar.
I set the dressing aside in the fridge and chopped some needed-to-be-used-today celery to add to the greens. Then I went on a shorter walk, took a shower and decided the kefir had had almost adequate fermentation time (22 of the usual 24 hours).
I strained off the “grains” and dropped them in some coconut water to keep them going. Then I added the tahini kefir to the Vitamix with raw cacao powder, maca, 3 soaked dates + soak water, and a splash of vanilla stevia. The result? Ho-hum. I’ve often made a Mexican Chocolate drink with cayenne and cinnamon, which seriously rocks, but after adding the cayenne, I remembered we were out of cinnamon. Hmmmmm, what kind of chocolate flavor goes with curried cranberry apple greens? I dug around in the cupboard until my fingers landed upon some Sweet Orange essential oil. Three drops transformed the entire quart into something complex and exquisite, if I do say so myself. Total yum!
By then, my cranberries were as dehydrated as they were gonna get on such short notice, so I popped them and some chopped Lady Alice apples into the kale-arugula-celery mix, coating it all with the tahini curry dressing.
Another yum! This one’s so pretty and tasty, it could easily grace a winter holiday table, even for omnivores. I especially like the bright reds and greens.
As usual, without any planning on our part, the combined feast entrees complemented each other well. We had cauliflower-cashew “mashed potatoes,” a chipotle spread, seaweed-sunflower dip, a green soup appetizer, homegrown herbs and freshly harvested collard greens. Madison has been so warm already that my friends with the sunny backyards already have collards growing! Their three-year-old daughter loves gardening, and she picked the collards, mint, parsley, garlic greens and tulips right before I arrived.
Of course, no holiday meal would be complete without dessert. How about homemade chocolates? Sure, those sound great, but sandwiching them between fresh mint leaves took them way over the top.
My chocolate tahini drink provided just the right backdrop to these little goodies. Once we’d finished our feast, as if on cue, one of their housemates arrived, just “needing” to pour off some homemade kombucha so he could start another batch. We happily provided glasses and sipped on booch for the rest of our visit. All in all, a delightful day!
Sure, my recipes required fermentation and a dehydrator, but they still count as Lazy Raw Foodist fare, since they required very little activity on my part. The dehydrator and kefir grains do their own thing for hours while I do mine. I feel so blessed to have such a lovely raw food community in Madison and so many dear friends. Fabulous food makes my heart sing, but it’s doubly nice when coupled with playful, vibrant children, high vibe conversations and synchronous gifts. Wishing everyone a beautiful day and beyond! Much Love, Laura