Whew, what a weekend! Where to start?!?! The weather was cold and gloomy all weekend, I have not seen sunlight in over a week now and I’m really starting to miss it. I’m going hiking as soon as we get a sunny weekend! But our weather was a cake walk compared to the rest of the country, my old area in Central Florida got sleet and snow flurries along with temps in the 20s over the weekend, super rare and crazy! Considering the snow battering the northeast is getting, I can’t complain about a little fog, but should rather be thankful. I got my new Excalibur Dehydrator all set up and did a test run over the weekend with pulp crackers and pineapple. It’s a little more noisy than my last dehydrator, but way more versatile and I’m looking forward to drying and warming with it. Because my work schedule is so busy, I will probably be doing a majority of my drying over the weekend for the week. I have passed my old dehydrator on to my sister who’ll be using it for her own raw adventures and making healthy snacks for her kids until she’s ready for and can justify the cost of an Excalibur. I also passed on the Ronco Rotisserie freeing up more space in my pantry. I still have a ways to go in house decluttering as we tackle little areas here are there, but it feels so much better making progress and having a more manageable space. I have another donation pickup this week clearing clothes and shoes I no longer where, cook books I don’t use and kitchen tools like old plastic pitchers and containers.
I went to another raw food prep class over the weekend taught at a Living Light trained instructor’s house. I’ve been to a few of her classes and have really enjoyed them. I love talking about appliances and kitchen gadgets with her – she’s 100% raw and has 2 Vita-Mix and 2 Blendtec blenders that she uses regularly (prefers Vita-Mix texture over Blendtec), 3 different Cuisinart food processors (including the new 16-cup model), the same Excalibur dehydrator I’m now the proud owner of and a Breville juicer. I was happy to see her Breville was similar to my JE900, but a few models up and she does not use the added features. She had a Greenstar juicer prior, but dumped it because it was much trickier to clean. Really interesting seeing a long-term, heavier dedicated raw foodie at work and what tools she recommends after plenty of usage and experimenting. I have a long Amazon wishlist of little gadgets and books I want in the future, such as Kyocera ceramic knifes and small ceramic mandolin, and that list always grows with gadgets and books after one of her classes. She also recommended DVD’s from RaveDiet.com which I may look into down the road.
Anyway, I got tons of info from the class that I’ll be posting about through this week once I sort out my chicken-scratched notes and research a little more. I also got tons of new recipes to try and modify like jicama rice, pineapple chutney and macaroons. Many of the recipes were very elaborate being a combination of a couple of recipes for wraps, layered cakes, etc. Not sure I’m ready to do recipes like that regularly, but I love taking the smaller sub-recipes and serving them differently.
I am looking forward to doing my own nut milks and using the pulp in dehydrator bread and crust recipes, but most recipes call for 2+ cups of pulp which I won’t make at once. And almond pulp only lasts 2-3 days in the fridge. But, I learned last night that you can freeze it for months until you’re ready to use it, a valuable tidbit that I will be using. The large cake she did used 5 cups of nut pulp and I’ll only be producing about 1 cup a week with my current nut milk usage.
I went mostly raw for the weekend, despite the cold, icky weather and spent some time experimenting with Vita-Mix dressings that I’m still perfecting and tinkering with more recipes from Cafe Gratitude’s I Am Grateful book such as this marinaded vegetable dish that I ended up modifying a bit, adding celery to the pureed marinade to thicken it. So far it seems to be a good recipe to make batches of and store in the fridge for 2-3 days.
For dinner tonight, I tried a modified cauliflower soup recipe:
- 1 cup plain almond milk
- 1/2 medium cauliflower head, chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper (stem and seeds included)
- 1/4 avocado
- juice of half lemon
- 1 tbsp. nama shoyu
- 1 tbsp. miso paste
- 1/4 jalapeno pepper
- 1 clove garlic
Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.
I also did a marinated, warmed up veggie dish that I got to warm up in my new dehydrator :-)
- 1/4 cup nama shoyu
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 2 packets of stevia
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp. onion powder
- 1 tbsp. fresh ginger
- 1/4 tsp. toasted sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic
Blend ingredients in blender.
Veggies (feel free to swap and use a mixture of your preference)
- 1 red pepper, julienned
- 1/2 cup Asian sprouts
- 1 cup broccoli, chopped
- 1 cup celery, sliced
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 1 cup or fresh pineapple chunks
Mix in a bowl with marinade, place in dehydrator for 30-60 minutes at 115 degrees.
The combination was good and the veggie marinade was probably my favorite part with a strong ginger, sesame flavor. It would also make a great dressing, which is what I used the leftover marinade for on hubby’s salad for lunch tomorrow. This was also probably my favorite cauliflower soup so far, it had more of a kick and did not seem as heavy as previous recipes.