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Going Green

I have been a vegetarian now for 20 something years. I have gone through several stages of adding and eliminating fish, alcohol, tofu, seitan and tempeh. Before my introduction to Raw Foods back in 1996 I pursued what I now call the “Meatless Diet”. Vegetation was scarce in my daily food intake. As is for most vegetarians the concept was as follows: don’t eat anything that is or contain animal products and seek out things that simulate meat or fish based meals or even more correctly, stimulate me in the same way as meat or fish focused meals do. It wasn't until I was introduced to Raw Foods did I consider meals comprised of primarily vegetable and if I did it was heavy filler “meat substitutes” like potato, carrots, beats, rice and beans… heavy filler, filling, balky satiating foods. What I didn't realize was that all I really filled up on was starch, starch, starch and more starch. bread, pasta, hummus, falafel, pizza, mock this, mock that, served with the above list. WOW, how healthy can that be? NOT! I wasn’t eating meat but I wasn’t eating food ether. I would have been better off having a steak. AND guess what folks. Vegetarians and non vegetarians alike fill their stomachs primarily with starch. This tip is not about starch so I won’t go into how starch is processed in the body and what is dose to our well being but let’s just say it’s not what you’re looking for in a food source. Upon my discovery of the Raw Food diet (not the consciousness just yet) I found a new replacement i.e. nuts and seeds.

Cool!!!!! I can eliminate the starch which by now I know is not good and still have heavy satisfying foods like nut loaf, pate, pie, snack bars…

It was not until the three or four year mark into raw foods did I find that I still was not eating enough vegetable. Vegetarian in its most literal term refers to sustaining ones self on vegetation. This soon became one of my most favorite raw foods to make because I love Asian food. I cannot tell a lie, I get better vegetarian food at a Thai or Japanese restaurant than what any vegetarian restaurant could dream of. In fact some of the worst food I have ever forced down my throat has been at a vegetarian restaurant. It is no wonder people get turned off by vegetarian food. Then aside from all that:

THERE ARE NO VEGETABLES.

It’s all rice, beans, tofu, seitan, (wheat gluten) pasta, (glass noodles if you’re lucky). That scattered ever so sparingly with potato, and Carrots. Once in a great while there will be a little kale thrown in. Whoopee! 

It baffles me to this day why vegetarian “Chefs” can’t figure out how to use things like fresh herbs, spices, flavored oils, lemon, lime, sea salt utilizing the plethora of vegetables from around the world.


Veggies and Shitake in Thai Garlic and Basil

“Excuse me ser, would you tell the chef a little flavor would be nice and could he please try it with some vegetables? Thank You! I’ve had enough gluten this week to kill a guerrilla” A so called vegetarian in the US today gets meat and potatoes without the meat.

 

For me going vegetarian was not just about the not killing of animals but about eating to be a healthier happier human being. Enter the greens. I have over the year created some of the most amazing raw food dishes featuring greens that follow the flavors and styles of some of my favorite cooked foods. We as Raw Foodies need to add more greens to our diet. Greens are alkalizing to our body, making us feel better by balancing hormones, stimulating cleansing, and can be assimilated easily. As a result, we feel more grounded, happier and more spiritually connected. Green soups are a powerhouse of nutrients and fiber that can be easily digested; juices are very cleansing and packed with nutrients; salads are refreshing with endless varieties of greens, toppings and dressings. But, if you want a more refined dish that is not too difficult to prepare, even if you want it raw, marinating, topping with Asian styles sauces, topping with nut cheese cream, tossed with herbs & oil and throw in the dehydrator for an hour or so. I have many tasty dishes from green veggies like Watercress, Spinach, Kale Buk Choy, Chard, Broccoli Asparagus and many more. Here are some of my favorites from the recipes available on this site.

Cardamom Sugarsnap Peas
Stuffed Tomatoes
BBQ Marinated Veggies
Italian Marinated Zucchini with Sun Dried Tomato
Asparagus Spinach Roll
Chinese Broccoli in Garlic Soy Sauce
Broccoli Cheddar Cannelloni
Spinach Saag 
Thai Veggies
Veggies and Shitake in Thai Garlic and Basil

Summer is here and the greens are at their full, bright and juicy best.
So go green and feel the difference!

Till next week
Raw Chef Dan

 

 



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