We had a great raw food class this last Saturday highlighting healthy alternatives to holiday favorites. I'll probably post a couple of times on this class. I first wanted to say thanks to my two sweet helpers. Not only did they help with preparations (Elizabeth made all the table decorations, set the table and provided us with prettily folded autumn napkins) but they both contributed recipes and actually demonstrated them (Mom's not a "pastry chef"). Elizabeth's contribution to the meal was a yummy sweet potato casserole topped with dried cranberries and honey pecans. Laura made the most scrumptious desserts - apple pie, pecan pie, and chocolate torte. What can I say but -- WOW!
We joined a challenge sponsored by Urban Hennery this week called the Dark Days Eat Local Challenge It runs from Nov 15 - Mar 15. The object is to eat a meal that's derived from completely local ingredients each week during the "dark days" of winter. Well, here in Texas, our winter days aren't so dark, and our garden produces year round. But we thought it would be fun to join in and see what others are doing. In fact our family is coming close to trying this challenge for an entire year - and every meal not just one a week. It's still in the planning stages, but our discussions have been really exciting so far.So.... here's our local dinner for the week of Nov 15.
It was almost too easy for us, as we chose to make this local meal the evening our local box from Greenling.com was delivered to our door. Between the box and our garden, it was pretty much a no brainer, but really fun. Again, not much raw as we decided this last minute. I'll work on making each meal more raw in the future.
We started with a salad of baby greens and dill from Greenlings and added chives from our garden. The dressing was made from a meyer lemon from our local box and Texas olive oil that we also bought from Greenlings.
We harvested chard from our garden, lightly sauteed it and topped it with little dollops of chevre from Pure Luck Dairy in Dripping Springs.
The red potatoes also came in our local box. I thinly sliced them and layered them in a dish, alternating potatoes with a drizzle of the Texas Olive Ranch olive oil and a dusting of local raw milk parmesan I ordered from Greenlings. So light and so good. (I don't normally eat cheese, but again, is was in the spirit of the evening)
The eggplant was also from our local box and was roasted in the oven with the Texas olive oil.The absolutely only non-local ingredients used were our celtic sea salt and freshly ground pepper from Frontier. Can't do without that!
We drove to Dripping Springs recently to pick up some goat cheese from Pure Luck Dairy and decided to continue to Austin for lunch at a place I had been wanting to try. We weren't disappointed. It's called Casa de Luz - a restaurant that specializes in macrobiotics. While I'm not big on macrobiotics because of the emphasis on grains, this was a great meal. 98% of their ingredients are organic and they try to get as many items locally as possible.
The menu is set daily, and you can either partake in the whole meal or break it down to something like grain and bean, or soup and salad. We chose the entire meal. Each day is the same framework -- all you can drink tea, and all you can eat salad and soup. Then a plate with that day's bean, grain, veggie, greens with topping and "pickle" is brought to you. And you may ask for seconds on that plate also.
Our meal that day was wonderful. The soup was creamy cauliflower and corn. (Everything served is vegan) The salad was delicious and included sprouts and a platter loaded with raw veggies including beets, carrots, etc. The grain of the day was a mixture of millet and butternut squash and was topped with an onion gravy. We also enjoyed pinto beans and a veggie mixture of turnip, carrot and snap peas. The fermented "pickle" item was purple sauerkraut. Each one of us really enjoyed this meal. So much so that my daughters decided to make a "Casa de Luz" meal each week.
These are pictures of last week's spread. We started with a salad topped with sunflower sprouts and apples. Elizabeth made our soup which was basically a carrot broth with fresh parsley from our garden. Our grain of the day was quinoa, and we topped it with the same onion gravy (we purchased their cookbook). Laura made our veggies with butternut squash and zucchini from our Greenling's box and carrots. Our green was chard from our garden, coupled with pintos with cilantro. We sort of cheated on our fermented item and just dished out a spoonful of Bubbies pickle relish. No this meal wasn't wholly raw, but the girls worked hard and it was really delicious!
What a delicious soup! I just put all the ingredients in the Vita Mix and blended. Spinach, zucchini, basil, tomato, celery, garlic, salt and a tad of water. I then added half an avocado and blended some more. Garnish was another tomato and avocado chunks. Wow! Sort of a goodbye to summer soup.
This recipe came from Jennifer Cornbleet from Raw Rood Made Easy DVD