Especially in the beginning of my adventures with raw food, I ended up making things a lot harder than necessary with my food preparations. I mean after all, I had invested so much into all the gadgetry that is so wonderful to have like a dehydrator, high speed blender and a food processor. I felt like I needed to create something gourmet most nights and I eventually burnt myself out. Don't get me wrong, I still LOVE a complex raw food dinner on occasion and I enjoy wowing my husband with something creative and beautiful, but nowadays, I do best and actually eat a lot more raw food when I keep things simple.
The following recipes are taken from The 30 Minute Vegan
by Mark Reinfeld and Jennifer Murray. In this cookbook, the co-authors prove that raw cuisine can be fast, fresh, easy and delicious year round. These two aren't exclusively raw but I like what they have to say about it, "You don't HAVE to make a radical change in your diet to feel the benefits of eating raw foods," says Reinfield. "Our suggestion is to take it easy as you are transitioning. Eat most of your meal raw or at least a lot of it - we still make cooked whole grain pasta, but then we top it with a savory raw marinara sauce, for example."
Fresh Spring Rolls with Ginger Lime Dipping Sauce
These are really awesome to take for a party or to serve to your family buffet style with all of the ingredients and wrappers laid out so everyone can build and roll their own.
For the dipping sauce:
3/4 cup raw tahini
2 Tbsp raw agave or honey
4 tsp Nama Shoyu or wheat free tamari
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup pure water
Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
For the rolls:
8 Swiss Chard, Collard or large lettuce leaves, tough stems removed
1/2 cup grated or julienned carrots
1/2 cup grated or julienned beets
1/2 medium red bell pepper, seeded & thinly sliced
1/2 cup mung bean or sunflower sprouts
1/4 cup hemp seeds (sesame seeds are nice too)
8 large basil leaves
4 sprigs fresh mint
Fill each leaf with a pinch of carrots, beets, bell pepper, and sprouts. Top with the hemp seeds, mint & basil leaves. Roll the leaf around the filling, tucking in the edges. Serve with the dipping sauce.
Live Hot & Sour Soup
This is a delicious soup that can be heated slightly if you like. In the warmer months, I like it at room temperature.
1/2 cup mung bean sprouts
3 Tbsp Nama Shoyu or Wheat Free Tamari
5 dried apricots
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup scallions (green onions)
2 Tbsp organic raw apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
1/2 cup diced cucumber or zucchini
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded & minced (about 2 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp raw agave nectar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
Stir together the sprouts, Nama Shoyu and let that marinate while you prepare the soup. Soak apricots in a bowl of warm water for at least 5 minutes, drain. Place the apricots, tomatoes, green onions, vinegar, ginger and 3 cups water in a blender or food processor, blending until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl and add in the cucumber, jalapeño, lime juice, cilantro, agave nectar, cayenne and sprout mixture.