[As always, gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined-sugar-free!]
Eating raw doesn’t just mean snacking on baby carrots. Living on raw foods is a commitment focusing on fruits and vegetables, sprouted nuts, grains, and seeds, smoothies and cold-pressed juices.
In raw-food theory, cooking is thought to de-nature the enzymes present in food, meaning that the enzymes that help us digest and absorb nutrients are diminished. Raw foodists believe that then our bodies struggle to produce more enzymes, which could create digestive problems, nutritional deficiencies, and weight gain.
“The Raw Food Diet” has certainly become one of those fad ways of eating–people going cold turkey on the cooked foods (pun intended). For me, I am simply inspired by the diversity of options and the incredible feeling raw food inspires. I have discovered that eating only 50- 70% raw makes me feel the best. Not only do I still enjoy cooked foods, but preparing healthy raw food is a serious commitment. With a dynamic life, I have found that eating solely raw is too difficult.
On the west coast, I was re-inspired for my love of raw cooking. I tried such things as raw bagels with cashew cream cheese, raw curries and tamales, and desserts I didn’t even fathom cooked.
This weekend, I looked far and wide for fresh, colorful produce to create a raw pad thai. If you’re not into the raw thing, this assortment of vegetables could also be fantastic over brown rice. No matter what, include this sauce–it’s AH-mazing! The creaminess of the cashews mixed with the spicy chili, turmeric, and coriander would be an excellent addition to anything!
[Note: I encourage you to explore this way of eating. You may decide that it works for you 100% or you may decide that it doesn't make you feel well. Be honest with yourself--there is no "right" way. The best way is to feel extraordinary. Strive for simply that.]
- 1 serving marinated mushrooms (see below)
- Raw Pad Thai Sauce (see below)
- 1 package kelp noodles (12 oz./340 g)
- ½ head purple cabbage
- 2 carrots
- 1 zucchini
- 1 each red and yellow bell pepper
- a few handfuls mung bean sprouts or pea shoots
- 1 bunch cilantro (reserve a little for garnish)
- 1 avocado
- 1 handful of basil leaves
- black sesame seeds (or almonds, pumpkin seeds, cashews etc.)
- lime wedges for serving
- Start by soaking the cashews for the sauce and marinating the mushrooms (see below). After leaving those overnight, everything else is easy breezy.
- The next day, begin by preparing the sauce.
- Remove kelp noodles from package and rinse very well under cold running water. Set aside and let drain.
- Prepare all the vegetables. Slice the cabbage as thinly as possible (a mandoline is helpful). Using a vegetable peeler, slice the carrots into ribbons. Julienne the zucchini, or use a mandoline or spiralizer to obtain long, noodle-like strips. Slice the bell peppers, basil leaves, and chop the avocado and cilantro, including the stems. Add sprouts if desired. Add marinated mushrooms. Toss all together in a very large bowl.
- Just before serving, pour the dressing over and fold to coat. Garnish with sesame seeds (or any nut/seed you like), extra cilantro and lime wedges.
- 1 lb mushrooms of your choice (I used baby bellas and shiitakes)
- ¼ cup tamari
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp. cold-pressed olive oil
- Whisk all liquid ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Roughly chop mushrooms and add them to the marinade. Fold to coat.
- Let marinate for at least 4 hours, overnight is best. Stir occasionally while marinating.
raw pad thai sauce
- 1 ½ cup cashews, soaked
- 1 inch ginger root, peeled
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ red chili pepper, seeds removed
- 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 ½ Tbsp. tamari
- juice of 2 limes
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric
- 10 coriander seeds
- 1 Tbsp. cold-pressed olive oil
- 2 cups water (or as needed)
- Soak cashews for at least 4 hours, overnight is best. Drain and rinse cashews well. Place in a blender. Add all other ingredients and only 1 cup water.
- Add the remaining cup of water as needed until desired consistency is reached. The sauce should be thin enough to pour, but thick enough to coat the vegetables and kelp noodles. Season to taste. Store leftovers in the fridge.
[adapted from mynewroots.blogspot.com]
Eat fresh and explore what makes you feel extraordinary.