Improvise!


Sometimes I look in my fridge and try to figure out what to make based on what I have hanging about.  Today was no different.

I held the young coconut in my hand and said “OK, you are dinner.  What next….”

I googled ‘young coconut’ and ‘coconut noodle’ and other things, but always found I didn’t have some key ingredients for the recipes I found.  So today was ‘improvise’ day!

Sometimes “Improvise Day” turns out well, and other times I realize I shouldn’t quit my day job (which has more to do with computers than with food preparation).

Today was a good day.

I pulled the water and meat out of the young coconut, rinsed the meat, and cut into thin noodles.  Next, I shredded a carrot, and julienned about 1/4 of an orange sweet pepper.  After that, I meandered into the garden and brought in 5 large kale leaves, washed them and set them aside.

Next I scratched my head over the dressing.  Hmmmmm…….

Here was my base and, as you can tell by the measurements, this was also improvised:

Into the blender went…..

1/4 cup of the water from the coconut (the rest will go in my smoothie tomorrow morning! Yum!)

I had a dried red chili from last summer – I emptied it of seeds and threw it in

A handful of raw peanuts – probably about 1/4 cup

1 Tablespoon of coconut sugar (or whatever you prefer to use)

a clove of garlic

a little sea salt

1 Tblsp Miso

1 Tblsp Tamari

1 tsp of turmeric

1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

about 1/4 inch piece of ginger

about 1 Tblsp coconut oil

I blended this up, gave it a taste, decided it wasn’t sweet enough, so added maybe 2 tablespoons of agave, which mellowed it out nicely.

Next, I put the kale (leafy greens only, no stems), coconut noodles, carrots, and orange pepper into the food processor and pulsed a few times until the kale was minced and the mixture resembled a larger chunked tabouli.

Like this…

Pulsed kale, coconut, carrot and sweet orange pepper.

Pulsed kale, coconut, carrot and sweet orange pepper.

Then I stirred in enough dressing to lightly coat and ate dinner!

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

Healthy, filling, and convenient, with ingredients I had on hand, or growing in the back yard.  The flavour would be complemented by orange sections (if you don’t have a young coconut laying about) and also, after a couple of bites, realize it would also be delicious with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.  I had enough left over to refrigerate a second helping, so we’ll see how well this keeps for a day.

Happy health to you all!

 

 

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You put the dates in the coconut, and eat them all up….


First off, HELLO to the United States and Australia!  I see I have readers from this far away and I find it exciting!  My Canadian city just got its first snow of the season today.  It’s going to be impossible to find local produce for the next few months.

Oh man, did I ever have fun in the kitchen this evening!  Just two quick experiments to bide some time while my nuts were soaking, both a success and scrumpdillyicious (it’s a word because I say it’s a word)…..

Before I get to the food, I have to post in big bold letters that ALL of the staff at Kardish in Orleans are incredibly friendly and helpful, but I want to send an ultra-loud shout-out to Yvonne, who has answered every question, helped me find what I’m looking for, makes suggestions, and is a wealth of information about everything in the store, and then some…. THANK YOU Yvonne!

First, I was tempted by the sentence “when you are craving sweet stuff…” in Carol Alt’s recipe book.  Just so happens, I DO crave sweet stuff from time-to-time.  Go figure.  So I made coconut date rolls.

So easy, too!  I halved the recipe, so took 2 cups of medjool dates (approximately 13), halved them and pitted them, and soaked them for an hour.  Then I put them in my blender with a food processing blade (although I think  a regular blade would also work), put in half a cup of non-sweetened shredded coconut, and pulsed the blender, frequently having to stop it to push the mixture down, until it was of a thick paste consistency.  Then I rolled into 2 inch logs, rolled those in some more of the coconut, and VOILA!  Done.  These can be frozen, but I had to eat one immediately…..a few expletives escaped my mouth, most of them conjuring several deities whom I thanked for the simple, but most amazing, date.

Coconut date rolls, destined for the freezer. Kicks the butt of any commercial chocolate bar out there.

Next in the kitchen was an intentional experiment:  Zucchini noodles.  I thought it was high-time I tried my spiral slicer, and I want to get an idea of how long a ‘noodled’ soft vegetable will keep (to my standards.  I read about people doing all their meal prep for the week on a Sunday.  I cannot imagine eating something on a Friday that I cooked 5 days previous (and I am certain most of these folks aren’t freezing their concoctions).  I turn green and up-chuck at the thought.  I blame a serious bought of food poisoning for my hyper-picky opinions in this regard).  So I want to see how long these noodles will keep…

I used this….

Spiral slicer with the small noodle blade installed….

To turn this….

Yellow zucchini ensconced on the slicer.

Into this!

Yellow zucchini noodles!

I’m pretty sure I yelled out loud “OMG, that was SO FUN!”  Just on their own, they taste really great.  But to be tested, I can’t eat them all, I have to store them.  I separated them into two containers.  I put an olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar dressing on one, and left the other one naked, and put them in the fridge.  I’ll now check them out  over the next couple days to see how long it takes (sauced and naked) before they are too soft or slimy for me to consume.  The reason why this is all so important is because I’m trying to figure out what I’ll be able to take for lunches,  when I have to do prep, etc.  In short, it’ll help me plan and succeed in the new year when I make my concerted effort to be 80% raw.

Now.  I would love some suggestions.  Tell me what you think would be an amazing raw meal:  a breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Please post here….