Our idea of what constitutes "food" in American culture has become so skewed that it is almost unrecognizable. Our supermarkets are packed with products whose ingredients include unpronounceable chemicals, dyes, bacteria, and growth hormones. They are irradiated without our consent and contain GMOs.It's time to bring back FOOD. Pure unadulterated organic RAW food.This blog is a documentation of my continuing journey on a plant-based lifestyle.

Friday, December 4, 2009

J'adore

For the past two years I have been a die-hard raw foodist. I have dilgently purchased my raw food un-cookbooks, studied them, re-studied them, prepared food that was supposed to be amazingly delicious. I have spent countless hours in bookstores pouring over raw food transformation stories and stockpiling recipes. I've put in my time. But lately, I find myself returning to those who originally inspired me in the first place; taking their very un-vegan recipes and making them raw. People like Alice Waters, of the slow food movement and culinary masterminds like Anthony Bourdain, Thomas Keller, Julia Child, and Gordon Ramsay; all [with the exception of A.B.] who promote sustainable, organic, local foods. 

Say what?! You're a raw food chef. You're supposed to stick with your kind -- the rawies, the vegans. Benedict Rawnold!! (oh, lord that was cheezy) Part of me feels that I am betraying my kind. And another part of me just feels that I am looking at the world more realisticly. In my dream world, everyone would be a happy raw vegan. They would understand the deterimental effects cooked food has on the body. That we were not made to consume flesh -- that our bodies appreciate it more when we give it fresh, fruits and veggies and farm to plate is the most ideal way to eat. However, I do not live in raw food lala land and the state of agriculture in the United States is only getting worse. I believe it is more important to promote organic sustainable agriculture that is affordable and readily available to all than it is to harp on people for cooking their vegetables; in all honestly, cooked food is the least of their worries when they are consuming conventionally processed meat and dairy and refined sugars/ carbs, and fast food. We need to begin there. Americans are lazy and our palettes destroyed by junk we put into our bodies. Unfortunately, most need to start from scratch and that means re-learning what fruits and vegetables that haven't been sitting in the can soaking up the aluminum compounds really taste like.
Did you know that food that is microwaved loses 100% of it's nutritional value? What are you really eating then? In the Standard American kitchen food so easily becomes "food stuff".

Ultimately, I have found that with the exception of a few raw chefs I am not too inspired and I cannot seem to figure out why that is. Maybe because raw food gourmet is so new that no one has really been able to establish themselves like Julia or Gordon. Bourdain says that cooking is not in the blood but in the ingredients and the heart you put into the food that you are preparing. I believe that. Food IS love if done in the right way with the best intentions.

I think, and not to be a negative nancy, but I get annoyed with the raw food movement.  With people who think the world is just this blissed out place of raw utopia and everything and everyone is beautiful. I think positivity is fantastic and I am all for it, but there HAS to be some sort of balance. Like a salt to pepper ratio. You would never put as much pepper into a recipe as you would salt because pepper is very overpowering, but then again you NEED that pepper to balence out the salt. Understand what I am saying? You need to be able to see the negative in the world in order to appreciate the positive. And well, that's the end of my rant today.

In other news, I have still been experimenting with my mashed-cauliflower recipe and I think I have perfected it to the point of extreme-all-hail-themashedcauliflower- goodness. And, just the way I like it - NO NUTS. I do use a little bit of tahini, but any "mashed potato" I have ever had has been loaded with cashews and tastes of absurd amounts of garlic. I like garlic, but when it is raw it often becomes far too overpowering and then I can taste garlic for days.

Speaking of garlic, I watched Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations Paris trip the other night. Kevin and I always said that we would need to explore other places before going back to France, but part of me feels like we are destined to go back there again sooner rather than later. Say what you want about the French, but I adore France. And no matter what I do I always seem to be drawn back to their culture and food. As we all know, French food is pretty much most unfriendly vegan and raw foods you can find. The eggs, the ham, the game, the pommes frittes, steak au poive. These are the foods of my yesteryear. My goal, and perhaps, as the panel of The Next Food Network Star would say, that my "culinary view point" is to make French food accessible to the raw food lifestyle. Naturally, is my job, per cheffing, i've been experimenting. First, Dill & Garlic encrusted Salmon w/ Hollendaise Sauce. First attempt: Better than any of my previous Salmon steak attempts for sure. The holldendaise needed a little more acid as it was a bit to rich and creamy for my liking. Strange how I haven't eaten hollendaise in it's real form in YEARS yet I can still remember how it is supposed to taste. Je t'aime French food!

Well, au revoir my fellow foodies. I hope you have a delightful weekend and whip up some yums in the kitchen. I shall be posting pictures of the food I made for my class as well as the salmon steaks.

P.S. If anyone from my Holidays Gone Raw class has been checking the blog fear not, the recipes from the class will be emailed out and into your mailboxes by Monday! Once again, thank you all for coming - you were a lovely group!

*Photos from google images