Saturday, February 24, 2007

Le Nozze Di Carlo Salad

Inspired by the the idyllic weather and the vibrant produce at the farmer’s market this morning, I came home and made a beautiful salad. I took this picture of it before it jumped into my mouth:

By the way, those aren’t sticks of dynamite—they’re French Breakfast radishes. When you stand them up, with their long tails resembling wicks, they make good stand-ins for birthday cake candles.

Serving suggestion: While eating this salad, why not listen to a lovely CD by a NYC band named Le Nozze di Carlo, the current band of Bob Goldberg, who was my former band-mate in the 1980s. This CD (same name as the band) is the perfect thing to listen to on a day when you’re feeling happy. And if you’re not feeling happy, its celebratory music might just change your mood. Listening to it is like being on a European vacation. I’m naming this salad after the band, because I created (and ate) this recipe while listening to their album.

Le Nozze di Carlo Salad

By Judy Pokras

French Breakfast radishes
Broccoli microgreens
Fresh dill

You could also throw in grape tomatoes and clover sprouts.
Hell, feel free to throw in anything you like, because recipes are like that; they’re not autocratic!

Vinaigrette Dressing

Freshly squeezed lime juice
First-cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil (from a dark glass bottle)
Celtic salt

Toss and serve.

I photographed the salad on a plate for aesthetic reasons, but then I dumped it all into a large stainless steel bowl, which is how I prefer to eat my salads. Jay Leno says he won’t eat anything in a bowl because he doesn’t like ingredients to touch each other. Well, in that case, my salad is an orgy. But really, it’s much easier to eat salad from a bowl. With a plate, the ingredients can go zooming off onto the table or your lap.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Raw Food Diet Heals Diabetes

Here's a low glycemic breakfast cereal recipe from a great article by Aimee Perrin, Why One Woman Stopped Cooking: The Raw Story, about how a raw foods diet helps people overcome diabetes:

Low Glycemic Breakfast Cereal
1 T flax oil
1 T flax seeds
1 T hemp seeds
1 tsp maca powder
2 tsp shredded coconut, unsweetened
1 tsp raw cacao nibs
Salt & sweeten with stevia to taste, then mix thoroughly in bowl.
Protein 6 g; Carb 10.2 g; Fat 28.9 g; Calories 325

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Seattle Guy's Organicize Me

Seattle Weekly reporter Michael A. Stusser took an assignment to eat 100 percent organic for a month, and to write about it. The piece he wrote has some excellent information in it, such as this:

For plenty of families, buying organic produce is less of a priority than simply putting fresh food on the table. For those who must pick and choose, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has established a "dirty dozen": produce that, due to high pesticide residue, absolutely should be purchased organic. Apples and nectarines top the list, followed by cherries, peaches, pears, raspberries, imported grapes, strawberries, bell peppers, celery, potatoes, and spinach. If you can't go 100 percent organic, certain fruits and vegetables—due to how they're grown and ease of cleaning—are less likely to be contaminated, including bananas, mangos, pineapples, corn, onions, avocados, peas, and cauliflower.

The surprise is the conclusion he comes to at the article's end, to eat only raw food!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Freeze-Dried Durian, Anyone?

If you've ever eaten the exotic fruit called durian, you'll know it's got some mighty strong cons, namely that the sweet taste is cancelled out for many people by the unpleasant fragrance. Fresh durian is said to be worlds better than the defrosted stuff that's shipped frozen, but most people can't find or afford it.

So I was delighted to come across the following posting by a Seattle woman named Nora to the yahoo e-group called RawSchool:

Hi everyone,I discovered something new today. While I was waiting for a fresh case of durian to be brought out from the freezer at a store in the International District of Seattle, I noticed something on the shelf called "freeze dried durian". I noted that it said on the package it was "all natural" with no additives or preservatives, so I decided to buy a small package. Wow, what a taste treat. It reminded me so much of candy (it's like a malted milk ball without the chocolate coating) that I basically just ate it and waited for the pain! But it was surprisingly easy to digest, or at least there were no negative effects as of about 2 hours after I ate it, when I ate some frozen durian. Frozen durian always gives me a bit of a hangover the next day, so if I feel badly tomorrow it will be hard to tell if it was the frozen or dried durian.I googled 'freeze drying' because I was curious about it and found the description below. According to this info, there is less cellular damage than what happens during dehydration. Very interesting! I probably won't make this a staple or even eat it frequently but I think it would be a fabulous way for someone to experience durian for the first time because the taste is very similar to fresh durian (even more similar than frozen) and there is no smell, no mess, and no wondering how to pick one out or defrost it, etc. Plus I'm sure it can be ordered on line by people in rural areas who don't have access to durian in any other form. In fact, I found this link, although the prices look quite a bit higher than I paid today ($3.45 for a 30g pkg, which I paid $2.09 for, same label).

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Raw Food As Mating Signal

From Saveur Magazine:

In certain parts of Italy, male suitors wear basil in their hair to signal the seriousness of their intentions.

I hope this catches on in the US!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Raw Foods Family's on Tonight's TV Show Wife Swap

A few months ago, an e-mail was circulating in which a TV reality show producer was seeking a raw foods family to be on their show. The participating family would be paid $20,000. There was a lot of talk in the raw foods community suggesting that it wasn't a good idea to participate, because the show would force rawies to eat cooked foods and would make fun of the raw foods lifestyle.

On tonight's episode of the reality show Wife Swap (which airs on ABC), one of the families is into raw foods, but they're not raw vegans. Still it should be interesting to watch this episode, to see how the fashion-forward other wife tries to get the raw family to eat cooked food. Here's an excerpt from a review of the episode:

In the second week of the swap, when the wives change the rules and turn the tables, Barbara tries to turn the Hess-Webbs on to a raw food diet and licks the kitchen floor to teach the family that germs are not to be feared. In an effort to show Robert that he's too attached to appearances, she tries to box up and throw away his prized collection of designer duds, and he throws out her raw foods in retaliation. Meanwhile Kim makes the Haigwoods eat cooked food and takes them all to a doctor, but her plan backfires when he pronounces the family healthy.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Howard Stern, the Radio Guy, Eats Raw Food

According to New York Magazine's excerpt from Sarma Melngailis's blog, the Howard Stern of radio fame (not the Howard K. Stern who was involved with Anna Nicole Smith) eats raw food in her NYC restaurant, Pure Food and Wine.

It's tres cool to know that someone with as many diehard fans as radio-Howard eats raw food. But because I'm into high concept recipes, my favorite part of what Sarma wrote in that post is her description of certain things on her restaurant's menu for Valentine's Day:

"Rose petals in mache salad with candied pine nuts; shaved pineapple with mint, ginseng, and ginger; asparagus, winter truffle, and wild mushrooms en Papillote with creamed celeriac, endive, and wine-soaked black figs."

But as a purist, I'd chuck the wine and use freshly squeezed grape juice instead.