April 21, 2001Greetings,
Happy Earth Day to all of my fellow vegans, the environmentally conscious, and those dedicated to living a more compassionate lifestyle! Earth Day is April 22nd, it is observed throughout the world as a way of raising social consciousness for our actions on the Earth and draws together many different factions of the environmental, political, and animal rights communities. It was started as a way of showing love and respect for the planet in which we live and to bring awareness of how we can make it a better place for all of the creatures that inhabit it. To find out more about Earth Day and what may be going on in your area, check out www.earthday.net or search the web for many other informative websites.
April 22nd is also my partner Ray's birthday, so we have a dual celebration at our house. Ray and I have been vegetarian, and then vegan, for over 13 years. During the past couple of years we have become more and more aware of the health benefits and logic behind eating an all/or partially raw food diet. We recently made a conscious effort to have all of our meals consist of 50% or more raw foods. Eating raw foods are better for our health on so many different nutritional levels, from the enhanced retention of vitamins and essential amino acids to the better utilization of proteins and fiber. And we feel so completely energized after eating a raw meal!
If you think about it, we are the only species to cook our food. It's illogical that we humans think we need to cook our food in order to eat it, when all of the other creatures on the planet eat their foods raw. Cooking food destroys all kinds of beneficial nutrients, so why not eat them the way nature intended- fresh from the stem or vine!
In this installment honoring Earth Day, I wanted all of the featured recipes to be raw, since this way of eating is better for us and the welfare of this planet. I am constantly researching and learning more and more on the subject of health and nutrition, but I don't claim to know everything. I am trying to learn more about the aspects of what does and does not constitute "an all raw diet," so for those of you visitors who are true raw foodists, I hope you will forgive my ignorance if one of the ingredients in the recipes doesn't quite fit the rules. Feel free to e-mail me to straighten me out or enlighten me about something I may have overlooked.
Raw food is living food, and thus we receive energy and vitalization from it! I hope that all of you will try preparing many of these recipes, and that they will encourage you to create more of your own and to include more raw foods in your daily diet. As always, be good to one another, and remember... eat your veggies! :-)
1 1/2 lbs. carrots, washed well
Begin by trimming the ends off the carrots and then cut them into 4-inch pieces that will fit through your juicer. Next, core the apples, discarding the seeds, and cut the apples into pieces that will fit through your juicer. Remove some of the peel from the piece of ginger. Turn on your juicer, and juice in the following order: half of the carrots, the piece of ginger, all of the apple, and then the remaining half of the carrots. This will allow the flavors to blend while juicing. Serve immediately to retain as many of the nutrients as possible. If necessary, store the juice in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and use within 2 days.
Yield: 2 Cups
2-3 T. seeds (such as mustard, radish, broccoli, cress, etc.)
Sort and rinse the seeds. Transfer the seeds to a bowl, cover them with 1 1/2 cups water, and leave them to soak at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight. Discard any floating seeds, then drain the soaked seeds in a fine mesh colander, and gently rinse them with cold water. Place the colander over a bowl and leave the seeds to drain. Place the colander in a dark place, such as a kitchen cabinet, to encourage sprouting. Repeat the "rinsing/leaving to drain/returning to a dark place" procedure twice a day or more, for 3-5 days, or until the seeds sprout a tail that is an 1-inch or more long. Place the sprouted seeds in indirect sunlight for several hours, to create chlorophyll and to turn the sprouted tails green before using.
Or, if you have a sprouter jar, use that to soak and sprout the seeds in, invert it at an angle in a bowl to drain, and also place the jar in a dark place to encourage sprouting. One can easily be made with a large, wide mouthed jar by covering the top with cheesecloth or a mesh screen, and securing it with a rubber band or jar ring.
Store the sprouted seeds in the refrigerator and use within 3 days. Carefully rinse the sprouted seeds in a colander to remove any of the loose hulls- the hulls should sink to the bottom of the colander as you rinse- then transfer the sprouted seeds to a bowl and discard the loosened hulls. Use to add flavor and crunch to salads, sandwiches, and grain dishes.
*Note: Do not attempt to sprout potato or tomato seeds as they are poisonous. Also, note that seeds may fail to sprout for many reasons such as: being too old or improperly stored, improper rinsing and draining, not enough or too much moisture, and insufficient air circulation. If this happens, discard, and start again.
Yield: 4 Cups or more
1/4 cup dry beans of choice (such as lentils, soybeans, red beans, black beans, etc.)
Sort and rinse the beans. Transfer the beans to a bowl, cover them with 2 cups water, and leave them to soak at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight. Drain the soaked beans in a colander and gently rinse them with cold water. Place the colander over a bowl and leave the beans to drain. Place the colander in a dark place, such as a kitchen cabinet, to encourage sprouting. Repeat the "rinsing/leaving to drain/returning to a dark place" procedure twice a day or more, for 3-5 days, or until the beans sprout a tail that is an 1-inch or more long. Place the sprouted beans in indirect sunlight for several hours, to create chlorophyll and to turn the sprouted tails green before using.
Or, if you have a sprouter jar, use it to soak and sprout the beans in. Invert it at an angle in a bowl to drain, and place in a dark place to encourage sprouting. One can easily be made with a large, wide mouthed jar, covering the top with cheesecloth or a mesh screen, and securing it with a rubber band or jar ring. Store the sprouted beans in the refrigerator and use within 3 days. Carefully rinse the sprouted beans in a colander to remove any of the loose hulls- the hulls should sink to the bottom of the colander as you rinse- then transfer the sprouted beans to a bowl and discard the loosened hulls. Use to add flavor and crunch to salads, sandwiches, and grain dishes.
*Note: Do not attempt to sprout potato or tomato seeds as they are poisonous. Also note that seeds may fail to sprout for many reasons such as: being too old or improperly stored, improper rinsing and draining, not enough or too much moisture, and insufficient air circulation. If this happens, discard, and start again.
Yield: 4 Cups or more
3 cups tomatoes, deseeded, and diced
In a large glass bowl, place all of the ingredients except the tomato juice and vinegar, and toss gently to combine. Add the tomato juice and vinegar and stir gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate for several hours to allow the flavors to blend. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed, before serving.
1 T. rye berries
Begin by soaking the rye berries, wheat berries, and sunflower seeds for 12 hours, as described in the Sprouted Seeds and Grasses recipe (see above). Then, sprout each one separately, as also described in the recipe, for 2-3 days or until they have a "tail" of 1/4-1/2-inches long. Transfer the sprouted rye berries, wheat berries, and sunflowers seeds to a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and puree until smooth. Transfer the pureed dough mixture to a solid food dehydrator sheet (like the ones used to make fruit leather or rolls) and form it into a loaf that is 3 inches wide and 6 inches long. Place it in the dehydrator and dehydrate for 12-16 hours, the loaf should be crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. Slice as you would baked bread and use as a base for sandwiches and spreads. Slices of the essene bread can be dehydrated further to create a toasted-like texture.
Yield: One 3 x 6-inch loaf
1 loaf Essene Bread (see recipe above), sliced
On a large cutting board or work surface, place the slices of Essene Bread, and spread mustard to taste on each slice. For each sandwich: on one piece of Essene Bread, layer the vegetables in order, using approximately 1/4 cups of each vegetable per sandwich, place a slice of Essene Bread on top, and carefully slice the sandwich in half. Serve one whole sandwich per person.
1/4 cup dry lentils
Begin by soaking and sprouting the lentils according to the instructions in the recipe for Sprouted Beans (see recipe above), it should take 3-5 days for the lentils to sprout 1-2-inch long tails. Then place the sprouted lentils in indirect sunlight for several hours to create chlorophyll and to turn the sprouted tails green before using. Using 1/4 cups dry lentils should yield 4 cups sprouted lentils. Carefully rinse the sprouted lentils in a colander to remove any of the loose hulls- the hulls should sink to the bottom of the colander as you rinse- then transfer the sprouted lentils to a bowl and discard the loosened hulls.
Add the chopped vegetables to the bowl and lightly toss them with the sprouted lentils. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Drizzle the dressing over the vegetable mixture and toss gently again. Allow the flavors to blend for 20-30 minutes before serving. This crunchy salad also makes an excellent sandwich or roll up filling. Loosely cover any leftover salad and store in the refrigerator.
Yield: 7 Cups
3 cups basil leaves, destemmed, and packed tightly
In a food processor, place the basil, parsley, and pine nuts, and pulse a few times to roughly chop. Add the vinegar, water, and nutritional yeast flakes, and process for 30 seconds to combine. While the machine is running, add the olive oil and continue to process until smooth. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Use to flavor soups, salads, grains, side or main dishes, as a dip or spread for veggies or bread, or as the base for salad dressings or other sauces.
Yield: 2 1/2 cups
1 cup bulgur, rinsed
In a large bowl, place the bulgur, pour the water, olive oil, and shoyu over the top, and stir well to combine. Set the bulgur mixture aside for 1-1 1/2 hours or until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the bulgur is tender. Add the Basil-Parsley Pesto Sauce and stir well to combine. Peel the stems of the asparagus and then thinly slice the asparagus on the diagonal. Add the asparagus, cucumber, red pepper, radishes, and green onions to the bulgur mixture, and toss gently to combine. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Divide the chopped lettuce between 6 plates and then place the salad mixture on top of the bed of lettuce, dividing it evenly among the plates. The bulgur and spring vegetable salad mixture can also be used as a sandwich or roll up filling.
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, cut into small pieces
In a small bowl, place the sundried tomatoes, cover with warm water, and set aside for 20-30 minutes to rehydrate. Drain off any remaining water from the sundried tomatoes (saving it for use in another dish) and set aside. To make "noodles" from vegetables, use a spiral vegetable slicer to cut the zucchini and summer squash into "noodles" or long ribbons. Or, slice the zucchini and summer squash in half lengthwise, make a "v" shaped cut to remove most of the seed section, and cut the seed section into long thin strips. Then, using a vegetable peeler, shave long strips down the entire length of the zucchini and summer squash halves, repeating the process for all of the zucchini and summer squash halves, and then pack the "noodles" into a measuring cup to measure. Transfer the zucchini and summer squash "noodles" to a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients, and toss gently to combine. Season the mixture to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
20 dried figs
In a food processor, place the figs, pecans, raisins, and cinnamon, and process for 1 minute to combine. Add the peanut butter and pulse a few times to combine. Using your hands, roll the mixture into 1-inch balls, and then roll the balls in the finely chopped peanuts. Store in an airtight container.
Yield: 2 Dozen
For Pie Crust:1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
For Berry Filling:2 1/2 cups blueberries
Begin by preparing the pie crust. In a food processor, place the almonds and sunflower seeds, and process for 2-3 minutes to form a fine meal. Add the remaining pie crust ingredients, and process for 5-7 additional minutes or until the mixture comes together. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch pie pan. Using your hands, press the mixture evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan. Place in the refrigerator and allow to chill for 20-30 minutes or until firm.
Wipe out the food processor for use in preparing the filling. Place all of the filling ingredients in the food processor and process for 1-2 minutes to form a smooth puree. Pour the filling into the chilled pie crust. Place the pie in the refrigerator and chill for 30-45 minutes or until filling is set and slightly firm. Score the top of the pie into 8 pieces and decorate each piece of pie with a few fresh berries and sliced almonds.
Yield: One 9-inch pie or 8 pieces
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