A *Chilly* Raw Thursday

Holy climate change Batman! Generally, September – especially the first two weeks – is still considered a summer month here in France. Once upon a time it was very warm during these final days bridging the lazy days of summer and the hustle of new classes, vacations ending, and the crispness of new paper and freshly-sharpened pencils.

Not this year.

As I’ve mentioned, the mornings have been down right cold (ok, everything is relative, but I think 6c is cold!), and the past two days it hasn’t heated up past 13c. Of course last weekend it was positively beautiful, warm, sunny…I was in bed with a sinus infection, but whatevah.

So why am I crying in my collards about the weather? Well, this was my first totally Raw day in such cold conditions. I must admit, when I got up and began turning on the lights before waking the rest of the clan (because it’s dark until like 7:45am now!) I went to make myself a hot tea – arrr, wait – I said to meself, there’ll be none of that today! (I do talk like a pirate sometimes. Usually after drinking wine. Which I didn’t do today, just for the record.) I found it was a slight hinderance all this coldness, and it would probably have been worse had I gone for my usual run (which I didn’t because of the sinus thing…freaking cold humidity). I felt this nesting-type of instinct to bake bread and casseroles and things that would warm up hearth and belly…but I fought those evil thoughts off with a (carrot) stick – it’s Raw Tuesday, cold or not! (We also caved and turned the heat on…)

So, without further complaining, I give you my Raw Thursday :

Today’s edition of Raw Thursday has been vastly dedicated to using recipes from Jennifer – one tasteful picture on the cover – Cornbleet’s Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People. I’ve blogged about this book before, and it was in fact my first Raw food book. I this this is an excellent book for the following reasons : 1) I don’t think you need a dehydrator for ANY of the recipes (for one or two they are optional); 2) As per the title of the book, the recipes don’t feed the masses! While I enjoy my Raw leftovers for next-day lunches or knoshes or meals, many Raw dishes don’t keep for more than 4 or 5 days, meaning that there is sometimes waste, which is frustrating and expensive. Tossing out left-overs won’t be a problem with the recipes from this book, rest assured. I think my only complaint about Raw Food Made Easy is the lack of pictures (there are a few full-color glossy pics in the centre of the book). I like to see what the food is supposed to look like, that’s just the way I am. That is a rather minor problem, though, and I think I can say that this is my favorite Raw Foods book, and I would definitely suggest it to someone who is Raw-Curious, and not sure where to start.

I’d like to start out of order (I’m crazy like that) and share with you the most delicious Raw discovery yet. This “Apple Crisp” is the most phenomenal raw dessert I’ve ever made, so much so that I will classify it as just being a “dessert” in my mind. I’ve made the “Blackberry Crip” from this book before, but since the first apple crops have hit the marché I opted for the pomme. As I was putting it together, I couldn’t help but think that something was missing…like, it just needed a little something more. Frosting! Actually, it’s just raw almond butter and some fresh apple juice. It made all the difference in the world! It took this dessert from “oh hi, I’m a raw dessert, I bet you’re hungry and want something to eat.” to “Hey, how you doin’ sexy thing?” As per my usual Raw Dayness, I snack on the dessert I make when feeling hungry between lunch and dinner…

I just can’t convey how good this is…especially because I’m trying to hurry & shoot so I can eat! :) Here, let me try again :

Lunch was just delicious – Tomatoes stuffed with “Sunflower Herb Paté” and served with “Carrots with Moroccan Spices”. Super yum! I know I recently made a sunflower-based paté, but this one is much lighter and different enough that I didn’t feel like I was eating the same thing. M. Fish, who was home at lunch, tasted the Paté and thought it was so good he changed lunch plans and spread it all over half of a boulangerie-fresh baguette. It was lovely with the tomatoes, and the carrots were a great accompaniment. I intentionally prepared them a full hour before lunch, which gave them time to properly soak up the spices they were tossed with.

For dinner I had one last stuffed tomato, finished up the Moroccan Carrots, but added some “Mock Rice Pilaf” and a “Jerusalem Salad”. The pilaf is grated zucchini, pine nuts, raisins, and normally a bit of marinara sauce, but I just made a tahini dressing instead. The “Jerusalem Salad” was a very simple salad, similar to what you’re served in a Middle Eastern restaurant here in France – in place of the chips and salsa you get in a Mexican restaurant state-side. It’s just some cucumber, tomato, parsley, red onion, etc. Light, fresh, and delicious!

I’m so sorry about the horrible photography…now that it’s dark at 7pm, I have no light in my kitchen when we’re getting ready to eat dinner! I need to start working around that again…long live Winter Solstice when we start gaining daylight again!

Oh, and I totally forgot about breakfast! I actually had a piece of the Coconut Snow Cake from last Thursday! It made 10 servings, and according to the cookbook is ok in the fridge for 10 days… I intentionally saved a piece for my breakfast today and it was just as delicious this morning as it’s been all week!