Some raw recipes make me laugh because they are so complex, requiring so many sub-recipes, to mimic a non-raw recipe. The Fully Loaded Pizza w/ a Cheesy Crust recipe in the current issue of Get Fresh! is just one of those recipes with 8 sub recipes and 13 steps!?! Look at this multipage madness:
I’m pretty sure it’s recipes like this that can turn some people away from raw! This takes me back to the days of my mother cursing in the kitchen while trying to be the perfect Martha Stewart clone. She later gave up and handed the cookbooks down to me, which sat in my pantry for longer than I care to admit before I donated them … to those that have hours to spend in a sprawling kitchen. Anyway, I sampled a few raw pizzas in past classes and was not impressed enough to do anything like this. The crusts were too dry and crunchy while the nut cheeses were overly seasoned, it did not take me back to the gooey slices at Pizza and Pipes as a kid, but more of a glorified topped cracker cut in a triangle. Plus, I’m not a huge dry snack eater, except for occasional dry crackers or cookies, I like more of the fresh and moist recipes, or ingredients closer to their natural form. In fact, that’s one of my favorite aspects of the raw diet, the simplicity and appreciation of whole foods and fresh flavors.
I might dabble with some of these sub-recipes for a salad topping, like the macadamia cheese spread or marinaded mushrooms, but certainly not the whole mess. Which is what I did for another recipe for dinner when I decided to try the Jicama rice recipe I got from the raw class a couple of weeks ago topped with pineapple salsa. The original recipe was the jicama rice, pineapple salsa, sauce and a veggie marinade wrapped in marinaded green leaves, elaborate, but much too complex, time-consuming and pricey for me. It was also terribly messy to eat! Each sub recipe required different marinade and/or dry times and temps, the instructor later confessed that she spent 2 days prior to the class just preparing the foods to sample – not realistic for the average working stiff like myself and certainly not for most parents juggling so much more. My favorite parts were the pineapple salsa and rice, why not just serve them together?
Only I did not have all the ingredients or time, so I improvised a bit. It called for coconut vinegar, something that seems seldom used in other raw recipes and would collect dust in my pantry after paying a premium for one use I’m sure. So I went with apple cider vinegar and used stevia packets instead of agave nectar since I’m out of agave nectar and figured the pineapple salsa would add plenty of sweetness. Also the instructions called for drying the jicama rice longer in the dehydrator after straining with a nut milk bag, but I decided to get more realistic on a busy week night, throwing the rice in a bowl in the dehydrator to warm up only, I didn’t mind a little moisture. Plus I over processed the jicama more into a mash and was able to squeeze out most of the liquid.
- 3 cups fresh chopped pineapple
- 1 medium red onion diced
- juice of one lemon
- 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and store in fridge covered. The pineapple salsa can be prepared earlier and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days and kept to top other recipes, salads, etc.
- 2-3 medium jicama roots, peeled and chopped
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 2 tsp. pink salt
- 2 packets stevia
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Blend jicama and pine nuts in a food processor. Place mixture into a nut milk bag and mash liquids out into a bowl. Save the liquids for a smoothie if you like, it has a sweet, woody flavor. Put mixture in a bowl and mix with salt, stevia and vinegar. Place bowl in dehydrator for 30 – 60 minutes at 115 degrees to warm up. Serve topped with salsa. Makes 3 – 4 servings.
Overall, this made a great dish that’s doable in 30 minutes and can hold in the fridge for meals throughout the week. Keep the salsa and mash separate until served, that way the mash leftovers could be served with a different topping the next night and the leftover pineapple salsa on a salads throughout the week to mix things up a bit.