Sunday, July 17, 2011

Well hello there!

It's a scorcher outside today!  I just went to get a tea from Tim's and it was already meltingly hot.  It was already 29C/85F and it was only 10am.  For those who are under the impression that here in Canada it's cold all the time (as I heard once in Florida, from a man who said it "must be mighty cold up there this time of year" was July...) it's most vehemently not cold! lol  It's more of a dry heat today thank goodness, 'cause if it were humid I'd DIE!

Fortunately, I'm leaving very soon for a raw picnic!  I didn't even know there were raw foodists around here.  I'll have to ask them if they maintain their raw-ism during the winter, and how they go about it.  If people are partly raw, that's one thing, but to be 100% raw here when there isn't a year-round growing season, would be difficult I'm sure.  There's not a lot of variety, especially if you also want to buy as local as you can.  The only local produce available in the winter is from greenhouses.  Fortunately at the market I frequent there are vendors who grow fresh herbs year round, which is totally lovely.  And kale apparently grows outside under the snow until about February!  Who knew?! 

Anyway, I knew that people would be making salad for sure, and probably specifically kale salad, so I planned to make something different.   Turns out I was right--the first person to sign up is bringing it! lol

I made mini tostadas.  I had heard of them before, but had no idea what they were--Americans would know right away I'm sure, but we don't as a people (or from my impression anyway) get a lot of exposure to Mexican food here, so though I have heard of things like empenadas, and tostadas, I'd never actually seen them, even when I was in Mexico! 

The potluck picnic was great!  I'd never met them before, but everyone was so incredibly friendly that I completely forgot that they were virtual strangers!

And what a spread!  Only 2 or 3 salads, which all tasted wonderful, and the rest were all kinds of things.  My favourite were these little felafel things that I believe our host had made.  Just as good as the original, and a LOT healthier!  That's my first plate on the right.  You can see the felafel thing to the left and slightly above the beg piece of watermelon--the small brown thingy with the red pepper on it.  REALLY tasty! 
And dessert!  Cheesecake, chocolate cake, carrot cake...  HELLO!!  Raw foodists eat only salad and carrot sticks?  I don't think so!

Everyone really liked my tostadas.  I was concerned that I'd have to take some home with me (I loathe raw tomatoes so the raw salsa would be totally wasted on me) but there was NOTHING left of anything.  Even the corn tortillas were gone, and I made a LOT of them.  Everyone kept asking who made the tostadas, and I was more than happy to tell them it was ME!! lol  Though it's not my recipe, since I'm so new at this that I didn't want to take the chance of making something inedible and bringing it to the potluck! lol  So here's the recipe, from LIVE RAW by Mimi Kirk:

Mini Tostadas

6-8 ears corn, kernels cut off the cob (I used raw, organic frozen corn, as corn isn't in season here for about another month)
1/2 cup ground golden flax seed
1/3 cup yellow onion
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp combined Mexican seasonings, cumin, oregano, and garlic powder (Mexican chili blend for the Mexican seasonings)

Mix corn, onion and salt in the food processor until on the smooth side.  Add ground flax and pulse to blend. 

Drop a tablespoonful at a time onto nonstick dehydrator sheet and smooth into 3" rounds.

Dehydrate for 8 hours at 110 degrees.  Flip directly onto mesh dehydrator screen and dehydrate another 7-8 hours until crispy.

The rest I made without a recipe:

Guacamole:  Blend together with a fork--1 ripe avocado, lemon and lime juice, fresh garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  I like to do it by hand rather than in a processor because I like it to be more authentic.  Normally I would chop up a hot pepper too,  but as there would be kids at the picnic, I wanted it to be kid-friendly.

Salsa:  In a food processor, blend a bunch of fresh cilantro, then a clove of fresh garlic, then a small onion, then tomatoes, chunked, then add ground cumin and some lime juice to taste.  I also added a tiny bit of sea salt, to kick up the flavour a bit.

I wish sometimes that I lived somewhere that there was a year-round growing season.  It would be so gosh darned easy to eat almost entirely raw year-round if that were the case.  Sigh...  We must deal with what we have.  Maybe I can winter in Costa Rica?