Saturday, January 19, 2008

Soup, salad and more donuts

Did you miss me yesterday? No, I didn't lose my Internet, as I told you I might. I just took a break from blogging to spend the evening with the boys.

Jacob had decided to pitch a tent in the living room to sleep in and requested that Matthew and I crash next to him on the couch. It wasn't the best rest ever, but definitely needed (my head was killing me yesterday; another reason I didn't post).

Now, for a recap of the end of the week. We enjoyed our second "Raw Thursday" dinner (for those of you who are out of the loop, that's when my nonraw husband has agreed to eat a weekly all-raw meal to fulfill a new year's resolution). It wasn't as blog-worthy as the n'ice cream bar, but it was a good starter meal for my picky man.

Salad is more fun when you neatly display all the options and allow participants to pick and chose what they want in their bowl of greens. For my hubby's sake, I stuck with mostly the basics. We had mixed salad greens, of course, alongside tomatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms, baby carrots (mainly for munching while I set out the rest of the toppings), avocado chunks (I was hoping he would try a piece, but he didn't), yellow squash, zucchini, red onion (why don't they call it purple onion? It would make more sense), radishes (boy, did he love them, to my surprise), chopped green beans, shredded carrot, dried cherries, sunflower seeds and sliced raw almonds.

For the dressings, I put out some salsa (because I knew he at least liked that), a raw Ranch (which he piled up on both his first and second servings, and even used it to dip his baby carrots) and a raspberry vinaigrette.

The Ranch was easy, just a cashew cream base with lemon juice, sea salt, pepper, garlic, fresh chives and parsley. The vinaigrette was also a simple recipe of raspberries, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, sea salt, pepper and EVOO. However, it ended up being quite messy to make.

It had nothing to do with the recipe itself, but with my own stupidity. Since it was such a small batch, I decided to make it in my Magic Bullet (this is great to take with you on trips). Unfortunately, I guess I didn't have it screwed on tight enough.

Usually, you just turn it slightly to remove it from the base, which automatically stops the blending. This didn't happen this time. Instead, the container came unscrewed, leaving me with the cup in my hand, the lid/blade (still spinning) on the base, raspberry-colored dressing everywhere, and this silly story to share.

Lucky for me, I was able to salvage quite a bit of it. Most of it amazingly stayed in the cup. That was a close one.

I ended up swirling both the Ranch and the raspberry on the top of my salad (an unlikely combination, but I like it), which consisted of everything I put out on the bar (my stove-top, again). Matthew, on the other hand, stuck with his usual tomatoes, cucumber, shredded carrot, green beans and radishes, tossed in heavy globs of raw Ranch.

Since there was snow outside, I also opted to serve a soup, a raw version of the classic Campbell's Tomato. I used both sun-dried and fresh grape tomatoes, pureed with soaked cashews (in place of the milk), agave (for sweetness; there's corn syrup in the real deal), sea salt and pepper. I left it as is for my hubby (who still eats the canned stuff, but finished a whole bowl of the raw) and sprinkled a little basil on top of mine.

I also made some crackers out of my leftover almond pulp from the "milk" I made for my cereal. Matthew never eats tomato soup without either grilled cheese or crackers.

For dessert, I surprised him with a pineapple, probably his favorite fruit. I think he ate about half of it himself. It was a delicious ending to another successful raw meal.

Then, I whipped up some more donut holes for Friday morning's breakfast (the one day of the week I do not start of the day with a green smoothie). I made these out of almonds, dates, golden raisins, lucuma, mesquite, vanilla and sea salt, and covered them in a maple syrup and coconut butter glaze (maple donuts were always my fav).

Next time I make them, I'll use the glaze to coat the inside of my Russian Raw Cakes, much more like a traditional donut, in my opinion.

Carmella, from the Sunny Raw Kitchen, made both the Russian Raw Cakes, a.k.a. Mexican Wedding Cookies, and donut holes in a recent post. I felt so honored to be mentioned in her blog. If you haven't read it yourself (who hasn't seen her blog?), you have to check it out.

I think the donut holes were a little much for me yesterday. I probably would have felt better if I had drank a green smoothie instead. I had such a bad headache, most likely due to dehydration and lack of sleep.

I wasn't the only one at work with a headache, so it was a good thing that my boss brought in a crate of clementines to perk us up a bit. They were sweet and delicious.

Thanks to Jess Michael, I just learned that clementines are also known as Christmas oranges. You can watch her make this maca-charged smoothie with them on her blog. It's yummy. Try it for yourself. I have, but it was green, of course :-)


Jenny said...

i'm quite in love with the super powders, like maca and of course cacao, and yacon. . . i haven't tried mesquite or lucuma yet. . . but just placed an order from navitas naturals for them (once again great minds thinking alike!!)
Do you love them? One more than the other?

Splurge Sisters said...

Can you post the recipe to those raw donuts with that gooey type of honey on top? It looks fantastic and something I'm craving.

April said...

Love your salad dressings. I am always trying to figure out what to put on top of my salads besides guacamole.

shannonmarie said...

Jenny, I guess you can say I do. Lucuma reminds me of powdered sugar, but not exactly the same. Mesquite tastes almost maple-like. I use them both for different reasons.

Splurge sisters, the donuts were a variation of Ani Phyo's donut holes in a previous post. I just used all almonds, kept the dates, substituted golden raisins for the bananas (although her original version calls for dried pineapple), and added lucuma, mesquite and vanilla.

They are covered in a 1:1 mixture of Grade B maple syrup and Artisana coconut butter with a touch of vanilla.

I really enjoyed the coating, but I think they would have been more like donuts if I had used my Russian Raw Cakes recipe in my "Ask and You Shall Receive" post. They aren't as chewy and sweet.

April, I'm glad to have given you some more salad topping ideas. In a pinch, I also like drizzling a little olive oil with a squeeze of citrus (lemon, lime, orange and/or grapefruit), some sea salt and pepper, and whatever herbs I have on-hand. Herbs give salads such a heightened boast of flavor.

O-Town Aerial Botany Chic said...

What an interesting recipe for those donut holes! I've never heard of making raw food with mesquite before, and I've never heard of lucuma before now! Thanks for opening my eyes a bit wider! Your salad looks and sounds fabulous as well!

shannonmarie said...

No problem Kombuchachic. I buy my lucuma and mesquite from NaturalZing (that is if you don't know where you can pick it up already). Try it; you'll like it :-)