Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Raw Fu No. 1 or take No. 2 ... you decide

Which of these two pics do you like best? Since we were about 50/50 as to which was the group favorite, I opted to post them both. Now you, my loyal readers, can vote for the photo you prefer.

So, what happens after the winning entry is revealed? Will I delete the loser, so it no longer has to share the spotlight? Yeah right. But, we'll all have a lot of fun taking part in the selection process.

And, what does Raw Fu have to do with all of this?

Well, first of all, Raw Fu is Bunny Berry's (If you're reading this, you rawk! Have you ever thought of a career in raw stand up?) rawsome website, which challenges it's members to go raw for 100 days with the support of its safe and fun community. I'm embarrassed to say I have yet to join myself, but some of its participants have made me an honorary member or at least for these pics.

My good buddy old pal Rawbin, who does Raw Fu, has been posing for these themed pics at many of the raw gatherings she has attended since joining. Lucky for me, she has included me in not one, but now two of these photo shoots. Check out my first time in this past post.

These particular pics are from the Java Green Give It To Me Raw meet-up in D.C. this past weekend. If you missed it, you can read more about it in my last blog post (click on this link or just pan down the page to the next entry).

But before you leave this post, don't forget to vote for a pic by leaving a comment. By the way, thanks to all of you who voted in the Veggie Awards. I can't wait to find out the results.

Now, you are practiced up for the real elections. Don't forget to get out to those polls when the time comes. We all have opinions and a right to be heard.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Together at last

All I have to say is, "it's about time." So why do I suddenly have so much to tell you? Well, although that statement sums up everything nicely, the details of my first face-to-face meeting with the male members of the We Like It Raw Squad (it's true; contrary to popular belief, I've never actually met them in person) are just too fun to keep to myself.

Lucky for you, I decided to share the experience today. Heads up; it gets a little wordy (like most of my conversations; I can really talk your ear off, or in this case, type), so I'll understand if you're just here to view the photography, scattered almost randomly throughout this post.

For those of you continuing with my exhausting text, I'll start you out from the beginning of this tale at my house (feel free to skip down to the actual meet-up). Can you believe I woke up at 4 a.m. due to the anticipation of this monumental event? Okay, so maybe I exaggerated a bit; my tummy was growling, and I can't sleep when I'm hungry. This foodie always has food on the brain.

To my surprise, the hours leading up to my departure went fairly quickly. Jacob (my son, for those of you who don't normally read this blog) got up early and decided to draw Godzilla pics with me. He wanted help making copies of his book (a collection of magic marker drawings he's been making during the past few days), so he made sure I drew my pages to his specifications. Even my hubby Matthew got into the act. Check out all of our interpretations (Can you guess who drew which one?).

Anyway, my point is that the morning was over in the blink of an eye. Before I knew it, my good buddy Rawbin was calling to tell me she was on her way, although running a little late (she was on Rawbin time, which always leaves me with a couple extra minutes to ensure I'm really ready when she arrives.)

Rawbin showed up without her horse (it always cracks me up when other bloggers she's met use that line), instead chaffeuring me in her daughters truck, complete with the plastic skull hanging from the rear-view mirror. What can I say? We were riding in style. Ha ha.

The two of us always have a great time together with tons of stories to tell. The best ones are always the embarrassing kind that make you blush at first, then leave you in uncontrollable laughter when you try to tell someone later. By the time you get the words out, it's not so hilarious to the recipient. I guess you just have to be there.

However, I'll still tell you some of these snippets throughout this post, starting with when she pulled up in front of my house. Immediately, the sky opened up with a downpour of precipitation. This wouldn't have been such a big deal if I hadn't been on crutches (I almost typed "crunches" again, probably due to all the ab work I've been doing since my injury. I miss my usual unmodified workouts); it's a bit difficult to run through the rain with a sprained/broken foot.

Rawbin suggested we wait on my front porch a bit until it died down, but it just rained harder. So, being the stubborn Taurus that I am (she's one, too), I draped a trash bag over my head and went for it. Rawbin did her best to help hold it in place, but it didn't do much good. I still got wet (I know; a little water never hurts, but we had photos to take and a first impression to make).

The ride into D.C. didn't go as smoothly either as we ran into a couple road closures and other construction areas. Even the nearby parking garages we closed, which leads me to our next red faced event.

Both of us had to be blushing as onlookers watched Rawbin try to parallel park on the left side of the road. Don't worry; we were on a one-way street, so it was legal. The funny part was when we got stuck with one side of the truck up on the curb, not knowing how we were going to get down, much less out of the spot at all.

Luckily, a man in the car next to us, who was still stopped at the now green light, gave us some pointers before the honking horns urged him forward. Then, a pedestrian finished the lesson from the sidewalk, pointing out exactly how much space we had between the back of the truck and the front of the car behind us. The car fell into place, and we could finally breath again (don't tell me I'm the only one who has ever held her breath when trying to squeeze into a tight space).

The parking space was surprisingly close to our destination, where we thought we were arriving fashionably late. I guess we didn't get the memo since the rest of the entourage (Dhru, Philip, Anthony, Amy and Dawn) were still on their way.

In the meantime, Rawbin and I were in search of the restroom, hidden in an office complex behind the golden door. I'm so glad she needed to go, too, because I never would've found it alone; I would've been lost forever.

Seriously, I'm not kidding. We had to pass through Java Green's gold-colored door, which lead to an office lobby. There, we took an elevator down to the lower lobby, where we had many options as to where to go (that darn mirror didn't help matters). After a couple miss turns, we finally found it.

Now, you would think retracing our steps would've been a breeze until we stepped out of the elevator again. Can you believe there was more than one gold door? It was like something out of Alice and Wonderland (sidenote: I just loved Bueller's recent post with the Alice reference). Good thing the first door we tried was the right one.

Back to the event, people were showing up and making themselves comfy outside beneath the squared off umbrellas, which fit together nicely like a tent, sheltering us from the sprinkles. I quickly claimed a spot to sit with Rawbin, Joe Kennedy (who's pictured with Rawbin earlier in this post) and our new friend, Lisa, who had just heard about the event that day.

She was such a sweetheart, and so photogenic (she's closest to the camera in the photo above) unlike yours truly (Lisa, if you're reading this, it was nice meeting you. I'll be in touch soon).

It was funny, since the first people we met were Lisa, another Lisa (who is in the pic with the first Lisa) and two Danas. Rawbin did multiple introductions in hopes of remembering who was a Lisa and who was a Dana. I think she just left me more confused at that moment, but I got it all straightened out eventually.

I got a big hug from D.J. (Dhru's friend and owner of Java Green) right away, who always makes sure to pose for a pic. It's tradition :-)

Then, you may remember Nic from NaturalZing, who was there to help in the raw kitchen (her fudge brownie with more chocolate fudge and strawberries was to die for), as well as give a food demo (like I was going to do one with a broken foot. Maybe when I heal, I might consider doing one at a future event).

I tried to get her pic in the kitch, but she moved too quick. I only got her hand in that shot; however, I did get a photo of her and the other Lisa (she's like my Rawbin) demonstrating how to make an apple dessert with chia pudding, as well as tasting some of the other raw cuisine.

Now, I'm getting ahead of myself. She didn't step up to the plate (in other words, take her turn speaking), until after Philip and Anthony said their inspiring words. But first, they had to get there.

The raw entourage, as I called them before, rolled up out front fashionably late and always in style. Everyone stopped what they were doing to pause and take a peek. Sitting in my chair with my foot propped up, I felt like the stalkarazzi trying to get these pics.

Guests got up to greet them, and they eventually made their way to may table, where I received the warmest hugs from Dhru and Philip. Anthony, on the other hand, didn't recognize me without my pigtails and my Wonderwoman tank from my We Like It Raw pic (It became the running joke of the evening; "What was your name again?" Ha ha. I guess I look a tad different). Maybe I should've brought one of my raw dessert recipes, which are much better known than my own persona.

Actually, my desserts would've been lost in the slew of food available at this feast. There were samples from Healthy Green Grub (I just love the name and the kid-friendly presentation, inspired by the "snack visionary's" kids), High Vibe Health, Matyah Coconut Oil (I got a lesson in what's really heated and what's not) and Elements for Life (I now have a thing for golden Inca berries and discovered Gold Rush Colloidal Gold sort of tastes like pure rain water, perfect with the weather we were having).

You could also order off Java Green's new raw menu sampling, which included pizza, burgers, salads, pancakes, brownies, pudding and more. Unable to decide, I let D.J. select the kelp noodles for me, and I'm so glad I did. Although I had a little trouble twirling them all around my fork, the flavor was worth the struggle (it was fun, too). I washed it down with a strawbana smoothie, made with strawberries, banana, agave and avocado, a menu fave of mine.

Later, Dhru invited me over to his table, where we all ate family style, trying a taste from each and every plate. Nic's brownies were a huge hit, as well as the chunks of Gnosis Chocolate that Blaq Berry (you've probably seen me mention her before on this blog. Don't worry sweetie; I'll send you some pics) and her hubby were willing to share. I think it was a little spicy for their tastes, but the Cayenne King (Philip) and myself rather enjoyed the heat.

Also at the table was Amy, who was sweet enough to put up with the chatty Cathy across from her (I'm talking about me). I probably bored her with my family stories, pics of my son and ridiculous foot injury talk. Philip perked up when I mentioned the John Mayer signed crutch that I used on my first doctor's visit. It was way too big and missing it's match, but at least I had something to hobble on to my initial appointment. I wonder what other people seeking treatment for their first foot or leg injury do?

But back to Amy. I'm so happy to have met her. Whether she had a true interest in all my topics or not, she did an excellent job of making me feel comfortable and more a part of the group. I hope to run into her again soon.

I'd also like to keep in touch with Dawn, who I didn't get the pleasure of speaking to until the end of the evening. She looked so familiar, and then I realized she was already one of my Give It To Me Raw friends. See if you can find her in the group shots.

As you can see, we had to do a photo shoot before I turned into a pumpkin. I had told my hubby I'd be home at a reasonable time to snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie or something together, but due to the starting delay, it was already a couple hours past our scheduled departure time.

Now I felt like I was posing for the paparazzi as the lights flashed from the various cameras snapping shots of the We Like It Raw Squad (pictured at the top of this post, minus the lovely Sarma; you can understand why I consider myself the Mary Ann of the bunch). I also had my pic taken with Dhru (see further up in the post), as well as Anthony and Philip.

Anthony thought he might make the hubs jealous by leaving a small peck on my cheek, but stopped when Rawbin advised him not to. Rebellious Philip missed the memo this time. I'll keep that one to myself.

You can't blame my husband for being a little concerned. We would've met sooner if it wasn't for the message Dhru left of my answering machine back in January. In his hypnotic voice (listen to one of his audio or videos, and you'll hear what I'm talking about), he said something like, "this is Dhru, Philip and Anthony. Sorry we missed you, but we'll try back again."

The plan was to hopefully meet up that weekend when Philip and Anthony were both visiting Dhru. Now let me think (with sarcasm); why would any man have a problem with his wife and mother of his child just running off to meet three guys she doesn't know, somewhere she's never been, all by herself?

To top it all off, Dhru had just been nominated as one of the sexiest raw foodies on Give It To Me Raw, Philip was in the running, too, and Anthony might as well have had his own fan club (we joked that he should have pillow cases printed with his likeness in black and white with bright blue eyes; my mom once had one of Paul Newman, who, on a more serious note, passed away this weekend).

Of course my man was worried, which means he thought I might have a chance with these guys. I guess that means I'm a hot ticket, at least in his mind. He must still have a thing for me (don't tell him, but I still have a crush on him, too), which I think is kind of cute.

Therefore, I was happy to be back in his arms after our crazy trip home (Rawbin needed gas, and we ended up pulling in to three different gas stations to find a pump the worked. It's weird because one of them was in front of my father's old office building, a place I hadn't seen in years). Now, I can tell him all about it ... or I guess he can just read this post :-)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pattypan, pattypan ...

... this unbaker
is not a man,

a squash,
as fast as she can,

Scoop it,
and blend it,
and season it
to a tee,

And fill it up high
for me to eat"

If you haven't caught on yet, those lines were meant to go to the tune of a childhood nursery rhyme. You know, "Pattycake, Pattycake."

Anyway, it was the first thing that came to mind after making this dish, especially since I served it in a pattypan squash. I once mistakenly called it a pattycake squash, which made me think of this rhyme.

My good buddy Rawbin had given me two of them from her CSA bounty, so I thought I should dress them up right. Now I could've given them this basic pizza treatment, similar to when I use zucchini as a French bread-style version, but instead opted to do something a little more festive.

In the past, I've seen pattypans used as serving bowls for soup, as well as filled with creamed spinach, something I've always loved. However, it seemed like such a waste of perfectly good cream-colored squash flesh to stuff these little gems with something other than squash.

So, I used the inside of mine to create a not only dairy-free, but also nut and seed-free version of this classic dish. Check it out:

Pattypan Spinach

Large handfuls
of fresh baby spinach
2 patty pan squash
1 Tbsp. EVOO,
plus extra for drizzling
Few squeezes of lemon juice
1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 small clove of garlic
Dash of cayenne
Freshly grated nutmeg
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper

Run a knife through some fresh baby spinach and add it to a bowl (keep in mind that the amount you put in the bowl will reduce substantially in the next step). Drizzle it with a little EVOO, a squeeze of lemon and some salt and pepper. Scrunch it with your hands and set aside to "cook" while you prepare the squash.

Slice the tops off of both squash as you would a pumpkin when making a jack-o-lantern. Then, with a melon-baller, scoop out the insides and add it to a high-speed blender, along with 1 Tbsp. EVOO, some lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic, cayenne, nutmeg, sea salt and pepper, to taste. Blend until smooth.

By hand, mix in the wilted/"cooked" spinach. Fill the hollowed squash with this mixture and top with some more fresh ground pepper and nutmeg.

This makes a beautiful presentation for the creamed spinach or for the "cream" by itself, which would be a lovely soup at a dinner party (you would have to make more than two, of course). As always, enjoy!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's peanut butter jelly time!

I know that craze is over, but that song still makes me happy. I love seeing my son dance around the house to that silly tune.

He also has been singing the old "Peanut, Peanut Butter ... and Jelly" song from my childhood. You know you remember it, too.

Peanut, peanut butter
... and jelly

Peanut, peanut butter
... and jelly

First you take the peanuts and you crunch 'em, crunch 'em

Peanut, peanut butter
... and jelly

Peanut, peanut butter
... and jelly

Then you take the grapes and you squish 'em, squish 'em

Peanut, peanut butter ... and jelly
Peanut, peanut butter ... and jelly

Then you take the bread and you spread it, spread it

Peanut, peanut butter ... and jelly
Peanut, peanut butter ... and jelly

Then you take the sandwich and you eat it, eat it

Peanut, peanut butter ... and jelly
Peanut, peanut butter ... and jelly

But enough about singing, why am I suddenly posting about this lunchbox treat? Well, it's because it inspired me to make something even sweeter with the concord grapes I purchased from the farmers market last week.

So, what did I make? Did I "rawify" peanut butter muffins with jelly filling and iced with more peanutty goodness? Did I make peanut butter n'ice cream with a grape jelly swirl? Those all sound good (maybe I'll make them in the near future), but if you paid any attention to the photos in this post, you already know that I opted for a "peanut" butter and concord jelly tart. Mmmm :-)

It made perfect sense; when I think of concord grapes, the classic pb & j comes to mind, as well as concord grape pie (yup, there is such a thing). I combined both on a smaller scale and ended up with two yummy tarts (I guess this means I have to share).

Now since I have yet to try raw peanuts (I've heard mixed reviews; kind of reminds me of the durian reactions), I used my better than raw peanut butter components from my Rawgalong recipe to construct the crust and bottom filling layer of the tarts. I just cut the cookie and filling recipes in half (oh yeah, and I also eliminated the cashews from the crust, adjusting the almond to sesame ratio to compensate).

For the jelly, I removed the seeds from about 1 1/2 cups of fresh concord grapes, yielding about a cup of seeded grapes. After blending them in my Blendtec with a touch of agave and a sprinkling of sea salt, I ended up with about 3/4 cups of grape puree, to which I added 2 Tbsp. of chia seeds (stir to combine).

After allowing the jelly to gel for about 15 minutes, I divided the mixture equally atop both tarts and chilled them in the fridge to set. I left mine in there for about an hour before diving into the first one. Oh yeah, it's gone. Do I still need to share the second one?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rawbin and Rachael to the rescue

My friend Rawbin is a lifesaver; she's always willing to lend a helping hand. For instance, when we met Dea for lunch at Java Green, Rawbin offered to take her to Whole Foods and then back to where she was staying, toting along some odds and ends to make her visit more comfortable.

She was also there for me this weekend, when my cabin fever had gotten the best of me. Knowing how bummed I was about missing the past couple Friday night farmers markets near my house, she made sure to swing by and get me on her way there.

I am so grateful that she drove me down to the boardwalk, where I picked up some local pears, concord grapes and kale. Rawbin, her daughter Willow and I also made our way to the end of the pier, enjoying the crisp fall preview air and the crimson-touched sky (the sun was just beginning to set when we left. Rawbin took some pics; I hope she sends some my way).

She also came baring gifts in the form of samples and a healing body scrub from her trip to the Raw Spirit Festival, as well as some produce from her CSA. She brought eggplant, pattypan squash, green beans and tomatoes; all the ingredients for a hearty cooler weather meal.

The next day, my hubby took me on a trip to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, so I could pick up some extras to round out the menu. We were going to be celebrating his brother's birthday at his parent's house, and I needed something to bring (they all eat cooked, so I usually make my own raw dish).

I had some help from Rachael Ray in deciding what to make (one of these days her producers will see my posts and do a raw segment; Martha Stewart and Oprah have already addressed this lifestyle, so I have my fingers crossed).

It was perfect timing; Rawbin's eggplant was the main ingredient I needed to "rawify" (a word I made up in reference to modifying a cooked recipe to be enjoyed raw) Ms. Ray's Eggplant Stew with Honey and Golden Raisin Polenta, a 30-Minute Meal I'd seen her make on Food Network earlier in the week. It would've taken me only half an hour to whip it together, too, if it wasn't for the crutches and the photo shoot at the end (I had to snap a pic for you). The mix of heat (the spicy marinated stew) and sweet (the creamy raw polenta on top) was definitely worth the wait. Yum-O! Thanks R & R :-)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things

I grew up watching "The Sound of Music" on T.V. every year with my mom, so naturally, I'm a fan of that particular song. I like it even better when Angela Stokes puts her raw spin on it.

Speaking of favorite things, my friend Kristen just posted a list of hers and invited readers to provide theirs, as well. So in the spirit of sharing, here are some of my responses:

Kitchen Appliances: BlendTec Blender and a good knife
Movies: changes all the time, but I prefer Indie films. I've always loved "Before Sunrise."
Music Groups: can't narrow that down either. Lately, I've been listening to whatever is on the radio at the time. Oh yeah, and I still like Madonna after all these years.
Magazines: VegNews and Plenty
Blogs: You know I love all of you :-)
Animals: Elephants
Fruits: figs, peaches, strawberries, cherries; I haven't found a fruit I didn't like, except for durian, but I'm willing to try it again.
Veggies: lots and lots of greens
Nuts/Seeds: hazelnuts and hemp
Beverages: H2O (love it), fresh unpasteurized juice, smoothies, kombucha
Desserts: raw n'ice cream, any flavor will do
TV Shows: "Project Runway," "So You Think You Can Dance," various shows on the Planet Green channel
Books: I just finished "The Secret Life of Bees" and "Comfort Food," and I'm currently listening to "At Home in Mitford" on tape. I've also been known to check in with "Harry Potter," snag something from the Best Seller List or whatever catches my attention at the time.
Spectator Sports: Haven't been into sports lately, but I used watch soccer and hockey
Colors: Pink and Orange
Restaurants: Java Green; I'm going to the GITMR meet-up on Saturday. Hope to see some of you there.
Tech Toys: I'm not that technologically savvy, so I don't have a fave.
Travel Spots: the beach
Non-Raw Foods: I have a soft spot for the rolls at Bertucci's, which is sentimental; luckily, I've only been there once in the past several years
Kitchen Gadgets: Spiral slicer
Makeup: Mascara and lip gloss
Musical Instruments: I used to play piano and flute, but I prefer guitar. I also think it would be cool to learn to play the harp.

So, now you know some of the things I like. You can add some of yours in the comments, or keep the chain going on your site. I can't wait to learn more about you :-)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

What am I making?

That is the question. With these three main ingredients, as well as a little bit of this and a little bit of that, what am I about to make?

Now you see, it came to me, while healing from my injury (hey, that rhymes). It's been a tad more difficult to maneuver around my kitchen, so I've been taking it easy with simpler recipes. (Well, actually I typed this one up a couple weeks ago. Now that I'm back to work, thus having less time to post, I thought I'd share it with you today. I just hope you guys still have access to some good quality local tomatoes).

This recipe was inspired by a package of Lydia's Organics Sunflower Seed Bread, although you could use your favorite raw "bread" recipe or one of these: Mild Olive Rosemary Bread, Zoe's Bread, Better Than Sliced Bread or Sun Bread (all featured on the Gone Raw website). I just happened to have some of this pre-made product on hand, which made this meal so easy; I decided to call it, "Easy Peasy Raw Panzanella."

What is panzanella? Well, it's a basic Italian bread salad, made out of day-old bread, vine-ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. It doesn't get any easier than that. And, with the help of a convenience product (we could all use a helping hand every once and a while), I can make it as fast or faster than this 30-minute meal (hey, that's my bowl).

To make it even easier, I didn't measure anything. So, be brave; you can do it, too. Make as much or as little as you want, and season it to suit your tastes. I've pretty much given you all the guidance you need, but if you still need a recipe, here you go:

Easy Peasy Raw Panzanella
Prepared raw "bread," broken into bite-size pieces
Fresh tomatoes, sliced into chunks
Handfuls of fresh basil leaves
Drizzle of red wine vinegar
Heavier drizzle of olive oil
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Place the tomatoes and basil leaves in a bowl. Drizzle with some red wine vinegar, and a heavier drizzle of EVOO. Then, season with sea salt and pepper.

Add the "bread" pieces, and toss to coat. Taste, and adjust the flavors to your liking. The "bread" should absorb some of the liquid and soften. Now, it's ready to serve.

*This is just a basic recipe, but feel free to make your own adjustments. Red onion, cucumbers and bell peppers are common additions, and you can even make a dessert version, similar to this cooked one (I just wouldn't advise using a savory "bread).

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Strawberries & zucchini

Sounds like that Chocolate & Zucchini blog (I wonder if that was part of my inspiration?) Talk about a crazy combination. I have some weird taste buds.

Now before I go any further, I just want to warn you that not everyone will find this recipe as scrumptious as I did. I guess that's because we are all individuals; it's our personal likes and dislikes that make us who we are (In other words, I'll understand if you comment with "yuck," "huh," etc.).

With that in mind, here's what I had for dinner tonight: a pile of zucchetti (my term for zucchini spiralized into spaghetti. Is "spiralized" a real word or did I just make that up, too?) topped with a strawberry marinara (yes, I did type "strawberry" rather than the traditional "tomato"), thinly sliced zucchini rounds and more strawberry hearts (I adore their shape when cut this way; how romantic).

I don't know why, but I sometimes like to substitute strawberries for tomatoes in this everyday Italian dish. Maybe it's because of my fondness for strawberries and basil (I had originally planned on a strawberry cream sauce, like the strawberry basil cream cheese I used to love, but I never got around to soaking any cashews or mac nuts. Oops; my bad), or perhaps it's due to their similar red hue. Whatever the reasoning, here's how to make it:

Zucchetti with Strawberries
Large zucchini, cut or spiralized into noodles
1/2 a much smaller zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
Couple handfuls of strawberries, thinly sliced to look like "hearts"
About 1 cup strawberries
Drizzle of EVOO
Splash of balsamic vinegar
Touch of agave
Basil to taste (I wish I had some fresh on hand, but dry will do)
Dash of sea salt
Few grinds of fresh black pepper
1 Tbsp. chia seeds

Prep zucchini noodles, rounds and strawberry slices, and set to the side.

In a mini food processor or blender (I used a food processor), add the cup of berries, EVOO, balsamic, agave, basil, sea salt, pepper and chia seeds. Process/blend until combined, but still slightly chunky. Let stand for a couple minutes to thicken (the chia seeds add some density to the sauce and help it stick to the "noodles").

Pour the sauce on top of "noodles," and sprinkle with zucchini rounds and strawberry hearts. Toss to coat, twirl the saucy zucchetti around your fork and savor every last bite :-)