Monday, September 8, 2008

Soup for the sole

No, that's not a typo. I meant "sole," as in my foot, not "Chicken Soup for the Soul," the books.

Now, I've been reading a lot lately, but not that particular title. I have, however, perused through various cook and uncookbooks, dreaming of whipping up some scrumptious raw/rawified meals. (I'm really missing the ability to do my own food shopping and more complex food preparation).

On a good note, it's nice to have time to see what recipes I have and actually try some of the more basic ones (the ones that usually get overlooked due to their simplicity; I mostly consult my books for the recipes that have more of a "wow" factor. Otherwise, I toss something together myself). It's been fun trying to find one that suits my tastes/cravings at the moment, contains ingredients I have on hand (I can't get too picky when others are shopping for me; I'm so grateful to have anything fresh and raw right now) and/or can be modified based on what's currently in my kitchen.

Wanting to nurse my foot back to health (any ideas to speed up the healing process?), I opted for an old-fashioned homemade remedy, but this time in the raw: Natalia Rose's Raw Old-Fashioned Homemade Soup from her "The Raw Food Detox Diet" book. Out of the ingredient list, I had the avocado, corn, red bell pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, shallot, garlic, Bragg's Liquid Aminos (although hers called for Nama Shoyu), curry powder, sea salt, pepper and dates. All I was missing was the okra, which I substituted with fresh mini zucchini rounds from my mom's garden (thanks mom).

It's funny; I never really cared for okra before going raw. I hated the way it would make gooey mucus-like gel in my mom's stew (which was pretty tasty before this addition; sometimes I would sneak a bowl before the okra made it into the pot).

But to my surprise, I actually liked it at the NaturalZing potluck I went to last month. If I remember correctly, it was picked fresh from Jeff and Helen's backyard, where they grow various other tasty vittles (check out their dome; as you can see in my pics, my friends had been sneaking a bite here and there). And, since it was not cooked, it didn't have its usual unappealing booger effect.

On the sweeter side, we also enjoyed some of Jeff's desserts, which I've mentioned in previous posts. The last I heard, he was planning on serving up some raw pie at the Raw Spirit Festival, so I recommend heading over to the NaturalZing booth to give it a try. If for some reason he does not end up having slices for sale, you can always purchase some of his raw ingredients and pick his brain a bit as to how to make one yourself (oh yeah, and tell him shannonmarie, a.k.a. Rawdorable, says, "hi").

Speaking of sweet, I did end up putting some of my Gone Nuts maple walnuts (along with some goji berries) in a glass of kombucha, like I talked about in my last post. The bubbles caused the nuts and berries to rise to the top and the sweetness to permeate throughout the drink. Yum!

I served it in a small glass that once belonged to my late grandmother. She used to pour my sisters and I "tickle my nose" in this fancy mini stemware, which made us feel so grown up.

So, what's "tickle my nose," you might ask? Well, it was what we called ginger ale, because the bubbles did just that; they would tickle our noses (just like in the kombucha).

My mom would have me drink it, whenever I had an upset stomach, and like magic, it helped. Could it have been the ginger?

Maybe. There was a man featured on Food Network yesterday who makes sauces and chutneys, all containing ginger. He swears by its health benefits, revealing that he gave it to his wife all throughout her pregnancy and she never once got sick to her stomach. Now, that's powerful stuff.

Kombucha, which can be purchased in a Gingerade flavor, is also known for its digestive properties, as well as a whole bunch of other claims, including improving both metabolic and immune functions. I joked with Matthew yesterday about possibly soaking my foot in a small tub of kombucha to aid in the healing process. Ha ha, I laughed, although part of me wonders if it would work :-)