Thursday, May 12, 2011

Comfort food

Not too long ago, I mentioned the fact that I do, on occasion, eat some cooked food, especially in the cooler months. Now that it is warm again, it seems that my love affair with raw is back and going strong (not that it ever fully went away; the amount only dropped a tiny bit).

But, that doesn't mean I'm not eating "warming" comfort foods. I'm just not cooking them, like this raw mac n cheese, I'll get to in a moment.

The other day I told you about the book my hubby and kids got me for Mother's Day ("Raw Food, A Complete Guide for Every Meal of the Day"), as well as the one Matthew surprised me with for my birthday (Kimberly Snyder's "The Beauty Detox Solution"). I've actually made some of the recipes from Kimberly's book and have plans to try more than a few from the other book, which shocked my husband.

Although I tend to read health-related books from cover to cover and enjoy drooling over the pics in my raw cookbooks, I rarely follow the recipes in them. I'm too busy creating my own recipes, until now.

Since cutting back on the whole blogging thing, I no longer felt the pressure to come up with recipes on my own. For a while, I just kept things simple, sticking to the basics (salads, smoothies, fresh fruits and veggies in their natural state). The majority of the time, this is how I eat, but when I want to mix things up a bit, maybe I should sample what other raw "uncooks" have to offer.

In this case, I considered a raw chef. Can you believe I've had Matthew Kenney's "Everyday Raw" for a year or two and I finally got around to making a recipe from it? The smoothie I tossed together yesterday is very similar to one in his book, which may be why I thought to pull it off my shelf.

After seeing his "Baked Macaroni and Cheese" recipe on Joanna's site (oops, that was a Russell James recipe, but she recently posted about eating Matthew Kenney's mac n cheese. Her baby is so cute!), I've thought about trying it myself, but for some reason, never did. It reminds me of the raw mac n cheese I've made in the past (thank goodness my photography skills have improved since then), although I used Italian seasonings and tomatoes to mimic my mom's cooked version.

Matthew Kenney's raw mac n cheese has a pretty standard "cheese" sauce base, like mine, that he amps up the heat with some chili powder, cayenne, paprika, etc. He also tops his with some crumbled walnut "bread crumbs" before "baking" it in the dehydrator for an hour or so.

The main tip I got from this recipe was how to make the "noodles." In the past (I haven't made mine in ages), I would cut my "macaroni" by hand, which takes forever. Instead, he recommends running the zucchini through a spiral slicer first, and then cutting the spirals into the desired shape. Very cool, especially now that I have one of these gadgets (I didn't when I used to make raw mac n cheese).

You could be in the running for one of these nifty tools, too, as well as a nutmilk/sprouter bag and some glass straws, by entering my blogging friend Robyn's giveaway on her site, Girl On Raw (she attended Matthew Kenney's 105 Degrees Academy ... she has a cute baby, too!). You'll need to make it quick; her contest (not mine; just making sure you're reading this right) ends this Sunday, May 15. Good luck to any and all of you who enter.

But back to this yummy mac n cheese. I'm so glad I have leftovers. I know what I'm having for dinner tonight. So comforting :-)