◊ Yuck

That. is. so. gross.

When an email with a picture attachment and subject line of “foam residue from first boil” popped into my inbox, I was expecting  tofu-made-from-scratch or berries boiled down to a reduction.

And then I opened it. A picture of a naked chicken in its foam residue. Really?


Jump To Recipe

When I envisioned this blog, I saw our recipe index full of fresh veggie ideas and weird but healthy concoctions. Chicken soup? Not so much. And just why is it so necessary for a vegetarian to know how to make this? In my opinion, a matzoh ball in diluted salty powder stuff beats greasy foamy chicken broth any day.

I guess I’m just surprised by your recipe choice because it is so off my radar. For the past two months, I’ve been playing with the raw diet. For July, Aug and Sept, my lunch coop rules are “raw + beans.”

I know I’ve told you about my lunch coop before, but it’s become more than just 5 coworkers who are each responsible for bringing lunch one day of the week. It is the focal point of my week and a test to my creativity.

How can I outdo my coworkers this week?

Can I guess all the ingredients they use?

How many farmers markets can I go to to boast the most diverse selection of tomatoes?

Are people getting seconds… thirds?

Lunch coop meals must be full –   with  protein and greens mostly local and organic.  Our “rules” change from season to season. Right now, our raw + beans rule means that none of the food we serve can be heated above 115 degrees except for beans. Yesterday I ate raw burgers (walnuts, onion, hemp seed, chia, flax seed and spices) in a lettuce wrap with raw ketchup (sundried tomatoes and dates), avocado, tomatoes and pickles. Today I ate a salad-palooza with five different kinda of tomatoes, basil and squash; a spicy cantaloupe and avocado salad; and a white bean dip with crunchy veggies. Yes, we’ve recorded plenty of soundbites in the lunch room to capture our crunch crunch crunch.

We’re proud crunchers.

Chicken soup is the last thing I’m thinking about right now.

Last week, I hit a homerun with a raw tomato and spinach tart, avocado salad, and homemade pickled carrots. Let me tell you about it.

I went to three separate farmers markets over the weekend to collect a diverse arrangement of tomatoes. I dehydrated them to sweet, tangy perfection. There is nothing better than the concentrated sweet, lemony tartness of dehydrated heirloom tomatoes. I layered the tomatoes with spinach in a comforting tart served alongside a creamy avocado salad and spicy pickled carrots. The avocado salad included red lettuce, avocado, pickled grapes (they taste like charozet!), slivered almonds and a honey-tahini vinaigrette.  The plate of spicy, creamy, tartness won the crowd. And I love to win.

Raw Tomato Tart

Tart Filling:

  • 5 c raw spinach
  • Plenty of tomatoes (of different colors and sizes)
  • Basil
  • Lemon
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Cut tomatoes in thin slices and coat with lemon, olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh basil. Dehydrate in an oven at 100 degrees. I turned my oven on at the “warm” setting, put the tomatoes in for 30 minutes, and then turned the oven off and let the tomatoes sit in the remaining warmth overnight. In the morning, I turned the oven to the “warm” setting again and let the tomatoes warm for 15 minutes.

Layer raw spinach onto tart crust and top with warm tomatoes. It will seem like a lot of spinach, but the leaves will shrink down once the warm tomatoes are layered on top.

Tart Crust:

  • 1/2 c flax meal
  • 1 c fresh corn
  • 3/4 c raw oats
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 3 leaves kale
  • 1 tbs water
  • salt
  • cayanne pepper
  • fresh or dry herbs (I used fresh sage and thyme and dry oregano)

Combine all ingredients in food processor until it reaches a smooth, pasty consistency. Coat a tart dish with coconut oil and spread the mixture evenly into the dish. Put in “warm” oven overnight with tomatoes.

Spicy Pickled Carrots:

  • Carrots
  • white vinegar
  • cloves
  • pepper
  • star anise
  • fennel seeds
  • cayenne pepper

Peel and cut carrots to desired size. Mix vinegar with spices in a pickling jar such as a Mason or old jam jar. Blanch carrots (drop in almost boiling water for less than a minute) before soaking them in pickling mixture. The longer they sit, they better – shortest soaking time should be overnight.

Pickled “Charozet” Grapes:

  • Grapes
  • Mustard Seeds
  • white vinegar
  • cloves
  • pepper

Add fresh grapes to pickling mixture and let sit. These make a great, zesty surprise in salads!

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