What the hell was in that sushi you gave me?

January 27, 2011

Walnuts.  Yeah.  I can’t believe it either!  I soaked (2 hrs.) and drained some raw walnuts, put them in a food processor with shallots, carrots, parsley, my home made curry powder and a little sea salt (black truffle salt is even better!) and then rolled it up in nori with some matchstick-cut jicama.  Ridick delish, right?

Walnut sushi

Walnut sushi

Note: this combination was my own take on raw “sushi” rolls that I got from The Juice Press, which is a wonderful raw food and juice takeaway in the East Village.  I had to make them for myself because they put peppers in their version and I am allergic to peppers.  If you’re not used to making raw food at home, I’m just warning you, it can be a real pain in the ass, what with the nut soaking and food processing and all.  So, if you’re interested in this kind of food and not into the work it takes, stop by The Juice Press and just pick some up.  While you are there, try the chia pudding, raw pies and raw cakes.  You won’t be sorry.  Believe me.


How did you make that delicious lentil stew?

January 25, 2011

It all started with my regular, weekly trip to Dickson’s Farm Stand.  They had some nice looking smoked bacon ends, so I bought them.  On the way home, I realized I had some lentils I wanted to use up, and bam!  Menu magic!

I cut the huge slabs of fat off the bacon ends and chopped them into 1/2 inch or so pieces and put them in a hot, thick-bottomed soup pot over medium heat until somewhat browned (not all the way browned).

Bacon ends browning in a glass pot

Bacon ends browning in a glass pot

Then I added some chopped onions and let them brown with the bacon and the resulting bacon grease.

Onions and bacon ends browning in a glass pot

Onions and bacon ends browning in a glass pot

Add diced carrots, celery and sweet potato and some garlic put through a press.  Stir it all up  (but add the next step before the garlic browns).

This is what it looks like like before the lentils and stock go in

This is what it looks like like before the lentils and stock go in

Put in lentils (I think I used about a cup of french lentils), some herbs (I used lemon thyme and a bit of oregano — both fresh) and a few cups of stock or water (I used a half and half combo of both, but reserve a cup or so for the end).  The stock I used was left over strained kombu stock I had made a few days before that was made with onions, carrots, celery, kombu, wakame, hijiki, ginger, garlic, shitake mushrooms, sage and thyme.  But I think you can use any kind of stock – chicken stock, beef stock, water, whatever.

After I stirred in the stock and all these ingredients, I placed a huge piece of kombu over the top (I took it out before serving) to mineralize and reduce the overall gassiness of the stew (which worked, BTW).  It looked like this when it was cooking:

Lentil stew cooking with huge piece of kombu

Lentil stew cooking with huge piece of kombu

I let it cook for a few hours over low heat until most of  the broth had cooked down.    I then removed the kombu, any stems of thyme and oregano I could find, added in the stock I reserved for the end and shut off the heat and stirred it up.

Alert: Union Square Souen is closed again! June 2011 update: it’s open.

January 5, 2011

A water main broke either last night or early today and Souen’s entire newly-renovated kitchen has been destroyed!  No word on when it will re-open, but it will take at least a month or two, according to the construction-type person inside the restaurant today.

June 2011 update: it’s open again.

Raw vegan food in Palm Beach, FL?

January 1, 2011

UPDATE:   Sadly, this place is closed. RIP Raw Kitchen.

My family and I spent the 2010 holidays in Palm Beach, Florida.  We tried a new restaurant called The Raw Kitchen in West Palm Beach.  We went there twice during our stay in the area and I highly recommend it.  It’s a small, casual place close to the city center and their food is fresh and delicious, the service is friendly and they were helpful in suggesting dishes that do not have nightshades (tomatoes, peppers and eggplant), which are fairly well-represented on the menu.

I had The Perfect Marriage ($13) a large salad of sunflower shoots, sprouts and other greens as well as the Nori Wrap ($14) which was a roll of coconut, teff, sesame seeds and veggies in nori with a sesame ginger sauce.  The nori was very chewy, so biting into it made everything kind of come out the other side, but it was tasty, though I preferred the salad.  My father-in-law, who is not someone who would seek out raw (or healthy) food shared the Pad Thai ($19) with my husband and they both really enjoyed it.  The noodles are thinly sliced zucchini coupled with julienned vegetables (and I think some coconut meat, too) in a “savory-sweet almond sauce with a touch of Serrano pepper.”  I also had the Chocolate Coconut Parfait ($11 – also has nuts, dried coconut, goji berries and vanilla “cream”) and it was very good.  It was the kind of dessert where you ask yourself if maybe it’s unhealthy (it’s not) because it’s so rich and decadent.  I wish it was a little more minimalist, though.  The goji berries confused the taste and the nuts and dried coconut confused the texture (which is otherwise PERFECT).  I wish it was just the chocolate pudding/mousse with a big layer of coconut/vanilla “cream” on top.

The second time I went to the restaurant, I had the “Pasta Primavera” ($16), which was incredibly delicious and satisfying.  Again, the “pasta” was thin, spiral-sliced zucchini with olive oil and garlic (not too much, just the right amount), vegetables (mostly broccoli) and basil.  I asked for it to be made without nightshades, which they tried to do, but there were some pepper seeds and a bit of pepper flake in it.  There was so little of that, that I believe it was just picked up from a cutting board or something.  I was able to pick it out, amidst all the green.  On both of my visits, Christine was my waitress (and she was very nice) and I had The Aerator ($8), which is their green juice blend.  I saw a person at the bar who was eating the spinach pizza ($16 -sprouted buckwheat crust, house made nut cheese, fresh garlic, spinach and sliced mushrooms) and it looked delicious.  I made a mental note to try that and the house-made almond milk on my next visit.

The Raw Kitchen, Lunch Mon – Sun 11:30 – 4 p.m.  Wed – Sat dinner 5:00 – 10 p.m.
509 Clematis Street, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

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