Yesterday’s mushroom dish was based on Kristen Suzanne’s “Cajun Portabellas With Wild Rice” recipe from her Easy Raw Entrees. Although I usually like to make a recipe according to the original the first time around, except perhaps for making a smaller quantity for just the two of us, but in this case I nervously cut way way down on the amount of oil required for the recipe – and ran into a bit of a problem. I corrected it another way, but neglected to write down the exact amounts of ingredients, changes in procedure, etc. (I’m naming the dish slightly differently since I took liberties with the recipe.)
A small problem with raw recipes is that most raw chefs use a lot of oil and/or nuts and seeds, and as you know I don't usually do that. I have tried the recipes at first with a little of the oil, to get the 'right' taste, but generally find away around that afterwards for successive 'repeats' of the dish. I just don't see the need for all that fat as well as all those calories - but that's just me.
Anyway, here goes:
CAJUN-SPICED PORTABELLAS (Raw - but don't run away!)
Okay, here’s a rough idea of what this dish was about:
Portabella mushrooms cut into strips, salted and left to marinate in olive oil for a while. Chopped tomatoes. A mix of spices, onion powder, garlic powder, and various herbs. After tossing the drained mushrooms with the spice mixture, they were placed on dehydrator sheets for about an hour and a half, at which time I deviated yet again from the recipe and added the tomatoes, mixing them in with the mushroom slices, and dehydrated for about another half hour. A squeeze of lime finished it off. I doubt that they are like what Ms Suzanne intended, but they were very very good and I will make these again and write down exactly how I did it for this blog.
With the Cajun-Spiced Portabellas we had some old faves: Avocado and Strawberry Salad plus a side dish of thinly sliced (raw) green beans with red bell peppers and a little green onion - all very tender and delish. We finished up with berries - strawberry and blueberry. I can never get enough berries.
I have been neglecting this blog while sending all kinds of results of my raw adventures to my Rawly Vegan blog on Wordpress - and I'm sorry. Perhaps I should publish some of the results here, but I'd now have to go back quite a way to catch up on that :( But you can click into the title of the photo above for its recipe if you like and of course I can offer you more and more raw recipes, if anyone's interested, in future. (Previous recipes are, as I say, on my Rawly Vegan blog.
The thing is, I hadn't expected to be keeping on with this rawfood lark. I thought that I'd like it for a while - as an excuse, perhaps, to eat lots and lots of lovely fresh fruit while it was in season, but that I'd quickly tire of eating raw instead of the delicious cooked meals I used to concoct each day. I do so like to cook! Well, I still 'cook' or, I should day, prepare food, and I am absolutely loving it. There are some great recipes out there, including some wonderful recipe books (I have only a handful), and I'm just not prepared to stop eating raw for a while yet!
Now I don't mean that I'm 100 per cent raw. We still choose to eat non-raw food for around 10 to 15 per cent of our daily calories on the occasional day, and my condiments, herbs and spices are not yet all raw. But the experiment, as I used to call it, has worked out find and for the time being, at least, I have no intention of going back to the way I used to eat - nor, I should add, has my husband, who delights in preparing some of our dishes himself (and this after his thinking, like myself, that it would be boring old salads all the time).
Some raw dishes are worth knowing about whether you're raw or not: Some raw soups are much better than their cooked counterparts if they even have cooked counterparts and can be served to anyone at any time that, say, a chilled soup would be appropriate. They're so very quick to make that it makes me wonder why I ever fussed with soup pots etc. And raw crackers? Fantastic. I have a (new) dehydrator, and if anyone has access to one raw Flax Crackers, Hummus Crackers, and Dulse Crackers are all easy to make and soooooo delicious. I keep a couple of containers full of them all the time now.
So prowl through my other blog, if you will, and see if there is anything there to tempt you. Not all the photos have recipes attached, but that's fairly easily remedied, since I'm developing my own variations on other people's recipes all the time now. Such fun!
And did I say how bright and alert and energized I feel since eating high raw? Fantastic pay off! Now that absolutely stunned me!
Okay, back again later with more - and some recipes. Cheers, everyone.
This blog is for my adventures outside my own kitchen - when I feel the need to comment on good meals in usual or unusual places - and also holidays (which often centre around restaurants!) here and overseas, complete with pics. Have a look! (That's River Rambles - okay?
And my other blog is my notes with pics on my new adventure into raw food, Rawly Vegan Some of you might be interested in that too.
I should mention, however, that it is not at this time my intent to turn 100 per cent raw foodist. But I am aiming for highly raw - and in my book that means somewhere around 20 per cent of calories or less of non-raw food. As for eating out and holidays, well, one does what one can but there's no way I plan to travel on an apple and a handful of leaves, no matter what the diehards do LOL I love you all, but that's just not quite for me - yet! Nevertheless, having promised myself 'baby steps' in this endeavour (and so far it's working brilliantly for around 2 weeks now, maybe more), I intend to make this a long-range project which will bring me to a comfortable lifestyle for me. That's Rawly Vegan
Therefore, now and then (each week at least) I shall be actually cooking a dish or two and, to keep things lively around our dining table I shall be experimenting with new recipes and adapting old ones, either mine or someone else's. Those will be posted here!
Thanks for your understanding and patience - and do, please, visit my other blogs. They could stand the scrutiny!
(Above: Bell Pepper, Mushroom and Faux Chicken 'Stir-fry')
For all kinds of reasons (don't ask!) this has been a lost summer, more or less. As a result, I've been shockingly lazy when it comes to developing new recipes or even trying other people's recipes (but see the seitan dishes below). Mostly, it has been comfort food of the kind you have seen on this blog time and again, or it has been something fast made with the help of faux meats from the local supermarket (I know, I know!). Between that and being away (see my other Blogspot blog at http://river-rambles.blogspot.com, which is where I ramble on about trips away from home, mostly, and post photos for family and friends. You're welcome to look!) . . . So you see above one of the many stir-fry (read 'stir-steamed') dishes which came in handy.
Then there were the inevitable curry-style dishes, because they are easy to make if you cheat a little and add some commercial curry paste to the array of spices to the whole and because we love all these hot and spicy dishes. Yes, even in summer.
The Thai Coconut Curry with Root Vegetables, Zucchini and Eggplant above used coconut milk in the original, but I cheated and used non-dairy milk and a little coconut extract in order to cut back on the fat calories a bit. It tasted fine - handy to remember if you run out of coconut milk.
There were the usual salads, soups (both hot and chilled), and quick pasta dishes - as I say, it was a lost kind of summer. I did however work on something else.
EXPERIMENTS WITH SEITAN
I did a little experimenting with my seitan fish recipe (see previous post) and I think I nearly have it right. I shall try again soon and give you the measurements. What I did in effect was to halve the recipe but to keep the seasonings etc. as is (or even to add a little extra, except for salt). I also put the cooking liquid (you know, seaweed, dried mushrooms, etc.) in a pan and let it simmer ahead of time and then cooled a little of it off to replace the water to be added to the gluten flour to make the seitan. (I replaced the 'stolen' cooking liquid with the same amount of water so that there's be plenty to cover the seitan on the stovetop.) That addition of cooking liquid got flavour into the seitan from the start. You might have to experiment a bit yourself, and much depends on how strong you like this kind of dish to be in 'taste of the sea'.
Having made this dish a few times, I have tried in in three or more ways:
(Above: Home-made Seitan Fish in Panko Crumbs)
I lightly sprayed the pan with canola oil and then browned the seitan on both sides. In this case I simply served with a squeeze of lemon and served with vegetables in the western manner. Lovely.
Not to be boring the next time I served it, I cut it in small pieces and made a Southeast Asian-style sauce with peanuts, soysauce, ketjap manis and sambal oelek.
(Above: Stir-'fried'Home-made Seitan Fish with Indonesian-style Peanut-Chilie Sauce.)
This was stronger in flavour and went superbly with rice and other appropriate accompaniments - your choice.
And finally, the inevitable 'finishing up what's in the fridge' dish - Rice with Vegetables, Home-made Seitan Fish and Commercial Faux Chicken Pieces. . .
. . . seasoned Asian Style with chilies thrown in for good measure. This kind of thing is one of our favourite kinds of meals ;-)
And no, we didn't eat all these in the same week! Although my dh assured me that he wouldn't mind a bit. It was good seitan.
Fortunately now that September is here I have no further excuse, and I shall be posting on a regular basis both on this blog and on my blog.