Monday, November 21, 2011

Keeping it simple for Thanksgiving

As promised, I'm reminding you about that yummy raw nutmilk cheese I posted a while back. Remember the raw macadamia-based herb cheese Hayden and I used to recreate this Punk Rawk Lab recipe/video (as well as adding it to our twist on a vampire bite cupcake)?

At the time, the "cheese" was not yet available for sale, as it is a seasonal product (best to ship when it's cold outside; they are also shipped in insulating packaging with ice packs). But, now that the holidays are coming and the temps are dropping, you, too, can purchase the same raw nutmilk cheese from and/or the other flavors (it also comes in plain and smoked).

Yes, I know that we could all make our own raw dairy-free cheese (check out Alissa of Punk Rawk Labs video that shows you how), but this time of year, it is so much easier and more special to have it sent to you instead. So, that's what I did.

In preparation for Thanksgiving, I ordered a 4-pack of the cheeses in a mix of flavors (you can select all of the same flavor, but I wanted to try them all) to share. Rather than spending my holiday prepping food for our feast, I decided to take a more simple approach, allowing me to have more time with those that mean so much to me (I'm so thankful for my family).

In the past, I've made raw versions of all the usual sides (check out Natural Zing's blog for some traditional recipes or my Thanksgiving take on lasagna from last year - it's so much fun to put a spin on the traditional holiday ingredients, like in Chef Chloe's Thanksgiving Pizza; I want to "rawify" it one day), but the longer I've eaten this way, the more I prefer to just keep it simple. I might go as far as to toss together my favorite "Thanksgiving Leftover Salad," which also works for the day of the event. Then, I like to have some raw veggies (I've convinced my hubby's side of the family to include crudites for appetizers), alongside scrumptious nutmilk cheeses (my contribution to the meal; although it's raw, it tends to go over well, even with the nonraw guests at the table).

When attending Thanksgiving at a nonraw household, it's nice to be able to contribute something other guests may enjoy sampling that's also a raw indulgence for you. For example, in addition to the nutmilk cheese, I might bring along some of the decadent raw chocolates I purchased from OpenSky recently for dessert (I'll probably mention more about it in an upcoming post), instead of the usual pie.

I think Matthew's uncle (who actually makes the majority of the meal) is getting used to my unique food preferences. He's been making sure to keep some fresh green beans to the side for me before cooking the rest, and is kind enough to just bake the sweet potatoes in their skins (nothing is added; yes, I do eat some cooked, and it's usually baked sweet potatoes).

In the end, I might not be partaking in some elaborate spread for Thanksgiving, but my tummy just might thank me in the end (the probiotics in these raw nutmilk cheeses should keep my belly happy, too). Too many "gourmet" raw dishes can do a number on your insides, and I want to feel my best to do my Black Friday shopping with my mom and sister the next day.

If you are still looking for a special raw recipe for the holidays, you should try making Alissa's rustic holiday bread, which is a-mazing! She sent me some from a recent batch with my order. This recipe should be the focus of her next video (okay, so maybe her recipe won't be posted in time to make for Thanksgiving, but definitely keep it in mind for your Christmas or Hanukkah menu).

I must apologize for the less than spectacular photo, as it is not taken in natural light (food and just about everything else photographs better in natural light). I spontaneously decided to have some of the flatbread with one of the nutmilk cheeses (I selected the smoked, since I had two of them; the pepper on the outside makes it so flavorful) for dinner the evening my order arrived. Thank goodness I at least remembered to take a pic before it was gone. Yum! That raw flatbread really does taste like the holidays. Thanks Alissa :-)

And, in case you missed what I've posted over the past four raw Thanksgivings (this blog recently turned 4 years old; I've been meaning to celebrate at some point), here are some pics with links:

A Turkfruity

Happy Thanksgiving!