Saturday, February 9, 2008
Celebrating another new year
As I said in my last post, this week's Thursday Night Raw was all about celebrating the Chinese New Year. After receiving countless e-mail reminders about fixing food for this particular holiday (from Vegetarian Times, Rachael Ray, etc.), I decided I needed to create a menu to recognize the day.
This may seem like an easy task for some, but not when it comes to feeding my hubby. Matthew has very particular tastes, and when I asked him for a little input, all he could come up with was fortune cookies. Okay, so I needed to figure out how I was going to pull off that one (looks like I did).
But, what about the rest of the meal? When we order Chinese food, he only eats the fried rice and the butterfly shrimp with bacon. Now, he did say he had absolutely no interest in trying either sprouted rice or a mock version made from a combo of cauliflower, parsnips and/or butternut squash. As for the other dish, I felt a little demented even thinking about "rawifying" it.
So, there I was, back at square one with nothing but fortune cookies planned for our meal. I went straight to work on them that evening (it was the night before; I'm always leaving these things to the last minute).
While spreading out thin circles of dough for the cookies, I asked Matthew again for some guidance as to what to make. His response foreshadowed the outcome of our meal. "Make whatever you want, and I'll try it," he said (he forgot to add that he didn't mean he would like it).
My first instinct was to make a raw green tea n'ice cream (my term for nondairy ice cream) since he has enjoyed my other frozen desserts. It was always my favorite non-raw flavor, and it would go well with the cookies. This would be plan B, if plan A didn't pan out.
As for plan A, I actually went to bed without one. I even made it to the grocery store clueless as to what I'd be making with the items on my list: broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, sugar snap peas, carrots, mushrooms, red bell pepper, pineapple, etc. (foods I thought my husband might eat).
When I got home from the store, he had sent me an e-mail; "what's for dinner?," it said. Since I was already on the computer, I did a little research and found this recipe, which contained ingredients I knew he liked. Although not raw, I tweaked it a bit (I added some Umeboshi plum vinegar, changed the oil, eliminated the rice and swapped the wok for my dehydrator), so it would be.
I thought it was really good, but Matthew would beg to differ. He only ate a couple bites. Although I selected the right ingredients, the combination of them together did not appeal to him.
Moving on to my next dish, I had leftover pineapple (his favorite), which automatically made me think of sweet and sour sauce. I combined the juice with various other ingredients to make to make the sauce and tossed it with cauliflower (another veggie my hubby enjoys; I had it on hand in case he'd change his mind about the "rice"), broccoli, shredded carrot, red bell pepper and more pineapple chunks. Then, I "cooked" it in the dehydrator, along with the previous dish.
Unfortunately, he didn't even touch this one, stating that he doesn't like sweet and sour anything. But, he hasn't tried it in years; things could change, right? At least I liked it (just like I remembered the real deal).
Lastly, I made a raw peanut sauce (although mine did not contain peanuts) that I hoped to put on some raw "noodles" (thinly sliced zucchini). But, to make sure my husband had something to eat, I decided to put it out as a dipping sauce for raw veggies instead.
On second thought, I saved a little to toss with "noodles," mung bean sprouts, sugar snap peas, mushrooms and scallions to create this last minute dish (you have to have a noodle dish to celebrate the new year; I mean, you didn't expect me to eat a whole fish as tradition). I ate it myself, while Matthew just ate the raw veggies.
So, I guess a plan B was in order. I could make it into a smoothie, since we usually drink green tea with our Chinese meal.
Smoothie? Did I just say smoothie? Yes, I did. Suddenly reminded of the green smoothie he drank last week, my husband asked for yet another one, chocolate-flavored, of course.
He finished a whole glass, while I had what was left in the blender (no wonder I was so full). Then, after sampling a couple fortune cookies, he helped himself to some leftover thin mints from the freezer. At least he kept it raw, as promised.
Next week is Valentine's Day, so I'll give him his usual cooked meal. Maybe he'll be open to starting with a salad and ending with a raw dessert.