Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Veggie Summer Times

Now, I'm sure this fluffy friend eats his veggies. My son, Jacob, snapped this photo today of the bunny who's been visiting us off and on throughout the past year (or at least we think it is the same one). He's probably doubled in size since last summer when we first started leaving him carrots in our yard. That's a reason for any kid to start giving fresh produce a chance.

I am so excited about the new farmer's market set up at the beach, where I live. I hope to check it out this Friday evening after work. I'll let you know if I do.

Speaking of the beach, Jacob, Paw Paw (my father-in-law) and I really enjoyed watching the geese at the boardwalk this weekend. There was a net along the swimming area border, where half of the flock got stuck on one side and the other half tried to help them escape.

The geese would follow the net up to the shoreline, but before reaching its end, they would turn back the other direction. They just kept going back and forth until one of them finally jumped over a dip in the net. The others couldn't figure it out, so they continued to go back and forth. It was amazing how long it took for all of them to make it to the other side. I guess that explains the expression "silly goose."

Oh how I love summer ... the beach, farmer's markets, the food. It's the perfect time to make raw dishes. Even Vegetarian Times is starting to get into the act.

I was delighted to find a section on raw foods in the July/August 2008 issue, which arrived at my house yesterday. Although the majority of the recipes in the magazine are cooked (many including eggs and/or dairy), I've been very impressed with the growing number of vegan options and now raw (yeah, We Like It that way).

Of course, the three recipes in the raw article included some of the basics, like a nori roll, cheesecake and a pureed soup. These were not new to me, but I was still happy to see another publication getting the word out.

So, instead of making one of the highlighted raw recipes, I tweaked a few others in the mag (something I do with the majority of the dishes featured in past issues).

To start, I made the Tomato-Peach Spritzer. Now that raw tomatoes are okay to eat again, I was curious to sample this clever combination. I blended half a tomato and a whole peach in my Blendtec, along with a pinch of sea salt, some fresh ginger and agave. Then, I poured this mixture over ice and topped the glass off with some sparkling water.

The original recipe called for ginger ale, which is why I added agave to the mix. I also used a little extra ginger in the puree.

I garnished my refreshment with a slice of tomato and a sprig of mint. I know there isn't any mint in the drink, but it looked pretty, smelled nice and I already had it on hand for this next dish.

For dinner, I recreated the Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Lemon-Mint Vinaigrette, which called for the peas to be cooked in boiling water for two minutes before assembling the salad. I opted to keep them raw and add a few loose peas for fun. I also swapped the pistachios for pumpkin seeds and the sugar for agave.

Otherwise, I left the majority of the recipe the same. The dressing was a made out of fresh lemon juice, EVOO, minced shallots, chopped fresh mint, a touch of mustard and agave (instead of the sugar). After tossing it all together, I added a bit more color with some lemon zest (make sure your lemons are organic if you plan on using the zest).

For dessert, I kept with something simple from the kabob feature. I made a raw version of the Banana Skewers with Chocolate-and-Pistachio Stuffed Dates; I just skipped the grilling step.

Well, actually I had a few more modifications. Instead of stuffing the dates with chocolate chips and pistachios, I filled them with chocolate truffle butter and crushed raw hazelnuts. I also blended the fresh orange juice with a little agave, vanilla and cocoa powder, and drizzled it over the top of the kabobs (the original recipe combined the o.j. with walnut oil, which was then added to the chocolate chips prior to stuffing the dates). I sprinkled the finished dessert with more hazelnut pieces and orange zest (again, I'd advise you use organic).

I didn't make a raw yogurt dipping sauce, but here are some ideas you can try: Yummy Yogurt, Cashew Yogurt, Cocoyurt and Chocolate Chai Yogurt. Enjoy!


Shirley said...

I'm just curious to what youtube video you have linked to in your 'reason' for any child to give fresh produce a chance because I get a message saying "This video is not available in your country"! (I'm in Europe.)

Dhrumil said...

Oh ya! You know we like it raw!

Love the last photo.

Great post S

p.s. You might want to think about changing your blog comments to disqus.com - Anthony recently did it on rawmodel.com and it looks great on blogger. I can help if ya need it : )

shannonmarie said...

Shirley, sorry about the delay. The link is to a Hoobastank video for their song "The Reason."

Unfortunately, it's not really "the reason" kids should give fresh produce a chance. I just have a habit of linking words to either something that relates to the content of my blog post or something that just goes along with the word. I like to mix it up a bit.

Hey Dhru. Thanks for stopping by and e-mailing me some reasons to make the switch to disqus. I'm still thinking about it. You'll have to wait and see what I decide :-)