Sunday, August 18, 2019

Raw Food Thanksgiving

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As our Raw Thanksgiving approaches, Justin and I have been thinking about our Thanksgivings in the past. The recipes have been similar, but each family has it’s own unique dishes that become a tradition. This list contains most of the many dishes our family placed on the Thanksgiving table.

Traditional Thanksgiving Menu

First, the stuff that is important to most people. The Meat:

  • Turkey and Dressing – Turkey from your grocer’s freezer; dressing from a box or bag
  • Ham – I never understood ham. Bacon, at one time in my life, I could understand. But not ham. It’s like pinkish purplish salt disguised as meat.

Then, the are the side dishes:

  • Salad (vegetable or fruit) – Oh my goodness! Raw Food on Thanksgiving! Salad means a lot of things. Vegetable salads usually means iceberg lettuce smothered in dressing. Usually the dressings on these side dishes are so very NOT raw. And then there is fruit salad with mayonnaise. Mmmm……?
  • Mashed potatoes – sometimes from raw potatoes boiled in water for what seems like 4 days, then mashed with pounds of butter and cups of sour cream. Delish.
  • Sweet potatoes with marshmallows – My mom’s specialty. She makes it so sweet some people would probably go into a diabetic coma.
  • Frozen corn – Almost raw. Almost.
  • Hot rolls with lots of butter – this used to be Justin’s favorite part of Thanksgiving. Not anymore!

Condiments!

  • Olives (green) – from a jar or can, pimentos optional.
  • Miniature pickles – from a jar or can. Many varieties available, but tiny gherkins are most popular.
  • Watermelon pickles – my mom’s favorite. Someday I will create a raw version of watermelon pickles.
  • Candied apple slices – I used to love this stuff! It comes in a jar, and it is colored to look like beets, with a sweet tangy flavor spiced with cloves. A raw version is in my future.
  • Cranberry sauce -usually from a can, kept in that beautiful “cranberry sauce in a can” shape.
  • Gravy – sometimes from a can, sometimes made with corn starch and other mysterious ingredients.
  • Butter – Butter. What a strange archaic invention. Truly a pilgrim staple – they had such a rough first year in America, and most survived because of butter. I feel very thankful to be living in the 21st Century, living without butter.
  • Ketchup – It is a staple on my dad’s side of the family, but not every Thanksgiving table has ketchup on the table. Mainly it’s my uncle who consumes the ketchup. For him, it’s a food group.

Beverages?

  • Tea – If you don’t drink coffee, you drink tea after dinner, in pretty tea cups that are only used twice a year. Those two days are Thanksgiving, and your December holiday of choice.
  • Coffee – My grandma brews her coffee in a percolator, and the Heidi’s brew Thanksgiving coffee in a French press.
  • Milk – I guess this is a common beverage, but I never understood why people drink it with meals, as it always would give me a stomachache. Then I learned about food combining, and it all made sense.
  • Wine – Red, white or blush, these wines are usually full of sulfites and pesticides. Yum!

And for Dessert:

  • Pumpkin Pie – This “home made” pie is usually made from a can, or usually picked up from the local pie restaurants which make the pie from concentrate in a very big can
  • Apple Pie – The all American favorite. Like pumpkin pie, it is also usually made from a can of pie filling, or perhaps home made pies take fresh raw juicy apples and bake them in an oven until they no longer resemble fresh raw juicy apples. Go figure.
  • French Silk Pie – this is a Heidi tradition, when pumpkin or apple pies are not around (meaning the other pies were sold out). Usually purchased from the pie restaurant down the street. This pie is so rich and sweet most people can’t have a whole piece, but eat a whole piece anyways.

So yeah, this is definitely OLD school Thanksgiving.

This year, instead of all that cooked food, we have created our own raw menu.

Raw Thanksgiving 2018 Menu:

  • Raw Walnut Pecan Stuffing – kind of a 1-2 combo of “meat” and stuffing. Justin loves stuffing. I hope to make his taste buds happy.
  • Raw Mashed Potatoes, from Matt Amsden’s RAWvolution. It looks soooo good!
  • Raw Gravy, from Matt Amsden’s RAWvolution. I am excited to see how this gravy recipe turns out, as I have never been a fan of gravy. (I think it’s the whole “meat juice” thing.)
  • Raw Cranberry relish infused with orange juice and ginger – a Heidi recipe experiment. I LOVE cranberry relish, so I think I am going to have fun making my own favorite sweet and tangy cranberry relish.
  • Raw deviled Egg-less “Eggs” – a Heidi recipe experiment. This recipe could be a disaster, but I am going to take some hints from Matt Amsden’s RAWvolution from his recipe for Egg-less Egg Salad and make a deviled egg version. We’ll see if this experiment is a culinary success or a total disgusting failure.
  • Raw Waldorf Salad – a Heidi recipe experiment. Haven’t found a raw Waldorf salad that I really like, so I’m making my own recipe. This one will be interesting.
  • Raw Pumpkin Pie – a combination of recipes from multiple sources, including Raw Food, Real World. I had planned on making the pumpkin tart from RF,RW but I realized there is dehydrating involved in the recipe, which we have chosen to live without right now as we haven’t really needed a dehydrator at the moment. Someday I will make that pumpkin tart, and it is going to be a future raw Thanksgiving staple.

The uncooking will begin on Wednesday, November 15th, and uncooking will continue until our feast on Thursday, November 16th. Depending on how these recipes turn out, we will be re-making some of these dishes next week at our many family Thanksgiving gatherings. What makes this so exciting is that despite the fact we have been raw together for over two years, we have never been “out” to our extended families about being raw. This Thanksgiving is our “coming out” party to all the aunts and uncles and cousins…and even a few grandmas!

For those of you living in the UK, Australia and every other country besides America, I know Thanksgiving isn’t your holiday, but I hope you will enjoy the blog posts for the next few days. Keep in mind that some of these recipes may interest you for a dish to bring to all those holiday parties and perhaps give you some suggestions for a raw Christmas!

Raw Thanksgiving Dishes

Raw Cranberries photo by Heidi

I did it! I created a full Raw Thanksgiving Menu! And oh, my, everything is delicious!
Justin and I have been munching on my tasty creations all day!!!

If you are just tuning in, here is the Raw Thanksgiving 2018 menu

  • Raw Walnut Pecan Stuffing
  • Raw Mashed Potatoes
  • Raw Gravy
  • Raw Cranberry Relish
  • Raw deviled Egg-less “Eggs”
  • Raw Waldorf Salad
  • Raw Pumpkin Pie

The Main Event: Raw Stuffing

A Nutty Trio: Raw Walnuts, Almonds, and Pecans. Chopped.

After much searching, I found a recipe for stuffing that sounded pretty good. As I started to follow the recipe, I realized that all the measurements were unbalanced. With the original recipe as my guide, I blazed my own trail, and I ended up creating my own raw stuffing recipe!

The stuffing was the most labor intensive raw food recipe I have ever worked on, only because there were so many ingredients that needed to be chopped, and then mixed together. I knew texture is extremely important for a stuffing recipe, and indeed, it was my careful food processing skills that helped make this recipe a success.

In the end, it was totally worth all the effort, because I made Justin fall in love with me all over again. He likes the stuffing! He really likes it.

I think it beats classic stuffing or even vegan stuffing. I’ll never have the other stuff again.

Justin can’t stop talking about how my stuffing tastes like regular fluffy Stove Top or home made stuffing, ONLY BETTER. Take it from Justin, the stuffing connoisseur. This recipe is a complete success!

Raw Mashed Potatoes:

Raw Mashed Potatoes, Fresh Inside the Food Processor

I got all the ingredients to make the RAWvolution version of raw mashed potatoes, and I followed the recipe exactly. Right out of the food processor, it tasted pretty good.

This version of “mashed potatoes” are pretty good, and certainly much better than the macrobiotic “mashed potatoes” I made with cauliflower once. (That’s a story for another time.)

FYI, the flavors in the mashed potatoes did not stay as tasty over time. We tasted the potatoes this morning, and the flavor wasn’t the same. Still kinda good, but not “perfectly-awesome-
I-want-to-eat-all-of-this-right-now” kind of good.

If you are going to follow Matt Amsden’s recipe in RAWvolution, I would make the recipe right before you serve people. And perhaps add a bit more macadamia nuts.

Raw Gravy:

Ingredients About to be Pulverized into Raw Gravy
(The Mushrooms Are Hiding Below the Onions and Celery)

I am posting this photo of the onion and celery because the vegetables were crying out to me: “Hey! We’re pretty! Take a picture of us!”

Ingredients About to Become Raw Gravy in the Blender

Notice the stove top in the background…I don’t remember when was the last time I used the stove top.

I am happy to say that no oven or stove top was used in the making of this Thanksgiving!

Did I mention that I usually don’t like gravy? And I avoid making food with mushrooms? It’s true. But after making this recipe, I have had a change in heart. I think I will be making a few recipes with mushrooms after all. I might even attempt the Raw Food, Real World’s recipe for the Lobster Mushroom and Fava Bean tart!

Anyways, back to the gravy. Matt Amsden’s recipe is a pretty good recipe for raw gravy. Almost perfect. I had to tweak it, and I’ll talk about that in a later post. If you are going to make his version of raw gravy, just make sure to have more mushrooms on hand, in case you want more of a gravy flavor. (I’m so happy I bought those extra mushrooms after all!)

The Extra Mushrooms.

Otherwise, very tasty.

Raw Cranberry Relish:

Raw Cranberries, fresh from a romp in the Food Processor

I never did find a raw cranberry relish recipe that looked prefect. So I created my own!

I found a few recipes that I used as a guide, and went with my uncooking intuition until it tasted sweet and tangy. It was trial and error. Cranberries are so funny, because they can be so tart and tangy, and absorb all the sweetness, and still be tart!

The food processor was perfect for creating just the right cranberry texture, as you can see in the photo.

I think this recipe was definitely worth the little extra time, because this is something that I am going to make again next week for all three Thanksgiving dinners!

Raw Cranberry Relish, All Mixed Up and Ready to Go!

Raw Deviled Eggs:

Deviled Egg Spread Oh My Goodness…Sooooo Good!

I have been a vegetarian for almost half of my life, and I have been in love with deviled eggs for about 5 years. In the past I have made versions with tofu, but sometimes I would break down for the original, and pretend what I am eating doesn’t have eggs. I remember even last year when Justin and I were high raw, I had two deviled eggs. And they were delicious.

But now, after making this spread for the first time today, I will never need to have the original deviled eggs, nor the tofu eggs again.

Nope. This recipe is perfect.

In fact, it is so good, that I had to stop myself from eating the whole batch. I almost ate it all, even before I took a photo! I managed to save some…but this stuff will be gone really soon!

Justin can rave about the raw stuffing, but this recipe is the one I am really proud of.

All I can say is….. YUM. (OMG I want some right now….)

Raw Waldorf Salad:

This recipe is unfinished until tonight.

I didn’t mix all the ingredients and try the salad, because I wanted to cut all the ingredients and eat it while it is fresh. If I made this salad ahead of time, I fear the apples would get mushy and the grapes would get limp. No one likes limp fruit salad. Ew.

Sorry, I didn’t take a photo of the Waldorf dressing. Just imagine something creamy, looking almost like mayonaise, but better. In Raw Thanksgiving Post Part Two I’ll post a photo of the raw Waldorf salad when it is all mixed together.

Raw Pumpkin Pie:

This Crust Aspires To Be A Pumpkin Pie!

The pumpkin pie….

The final moment to a full Thanksgiving meal full of raw food culinary perfection.

And at the moment, the pumpkin pie is still unfinished. After two days of literally creating a full Thanksgiving menu with all new recipes, I feel a little overwhelmed by making the final dish.

The pumpkin pie crust was the first thing I made two days ago.

So I’m being honest here; the pumpkin pie is not done….yet.

When I get home tonight I am going to finish it up, because I know there are some of you out there who really want to see the pumpkin pie in all it’s glory! And you will! Soon!

Doesn’t the pie crust look pretty? I think the photo really captured the beauty of the crust.

Thoughts from Chef Heidi:

If I were to give an acceptance speech for this raw Thanksgiving, I would have to say thank you to my dearly beloved food processor, Foodie. (I just named my food processor. Whoa.)

Seriously, if you are going to try to make these recipes, you are going to need a food processor. Target is selling a very nice Kitchen-Aid 7 cup food processor for about 80 dollars. Go get yourself a “Foodie”! If you don’t have one, after you see all my yummy creations, you are going to want one!

This next section shows photos of our raw Thanksgiving table, as we are going to feast on raw food tonight! We will post some more photos of each dish, and try to capture how beautiful everything looks; if only you were here to taste how good everything tastes!

This Pumpkin Became a Pie – photo by Heidi

Welcome back! If you are just tuning in, here are the previous posts on the Raw Thanksgiving 2018.

Let’s talk about our the recipe you have all been waiting for… the raw pumpkin pie!

We came home, and I set the table, and brought out all the food goodies (the stuffing, potatoes, and gravy) to warm up in the room temperature, and I went into my art studio (otherwise known as the kitchen), and started work on the raw pumpkin pie.

I had already made the pie crust…shown here…

Raw Pumpkin Pie Crust featuring Almonds and Dates

I took the fresh small pumpkin and chopped it up into about 1″ cubes. I had a juicy fresh plump avocado waiting to be turned into pumpkin pie, so I put that in too.

Next I placed the pumpkin and the avocado in the food processor and made “Foodie” get to work. I let it run for a few minutes, with chop and “on”.

I moved the chunky mixture from the food processor to the high speed blender and make the Vita-Mix work!

Pumpkin Party in the Blender

If you plan on making this pie, you will most likely need a high speed blender as well as a food processor. They work together really well. I used the plunger on the Vita-Mix until it seemed mixed enough, and then put it back in the food processor for a final run.

Finally, the filling seemed creamy, and slightly warm (Not hot, just warmer than cold).
It was ready!

Pumpkin Filling and Pumpkin Crust About to be Joined in Culinary Harmony

I took out the pumpkin pie crust, and started to place the pumpkin pie filling on top of the crust. I had fun making the filling look as “Martha Stewart” as possible.

Huh; I’d like Martha Stewart to make some raw food. Now wouldn’t that be interesting?

Raw Pumpkin Pie
What do you think? Do you think Martha would approve of the pie?

And here is a piece of pie, just for you.

Can you taste the cinnamon? I hope you like it!

Raw Mashed Potatoes Fresh Inside the Food Processor – Photo by Heidi

I want to thank those of you who emailed me with questions regarding the raw Thanksgiving recipes. I am so excited to hear that many of you will be making at least one raw food holiday dish for this weeks festivities! And some of you will be making these recipes in time for another party or raw food potluck, or just because!

I have gotten emails from multiple people asking if all the recipes I have made are vegan. Yes, to answer your question, all of the recipes for this Thanksgiving are not only raw vegan, they are also gluten free, as most raw food is!

A few of you have told me that you have purchased Matt Amsden’s RAWvolution book and are excited about the Mashed Potatoes recipe. I just wanted to share with you some tips that Matt didn’t mention in his book.

I made Matt’s version exactly, and then I ended up changing the amounts and ended up creating my own mashed potato recipe.

If you are going to make his recipe, please keep these tips in mind:

1. This recipe makes a small amount of mashed potatoes. If you are going to bring this dish to your family as a side dish at the big Thanksgiving, you will need to double this recipe. However, if you are making this dish for just two people, one batch of this recipe will be the perfect size!

2. Buy more macadamia nuts than what Matt recommended. A little bit more macadamia nutty flavor can really bring this dish from good to WOW! (After all, I know you are going to double the recipe!)

3. Someone asked if you really need the macadamia nuts. I actually made the dish two ways; with macadamia nuts, and with cashews. The macadamia nut recipe turned out to have more of an authentic “potato” flavor, where the cashews gave it a slightly sweet flavor. If you are on a budget, cashews would be the next appropriate nut substitute. If I had to pick, I would choose the macadamia nut version. It’s worth it.

4. No matter if you use the cashews or the macadamia nuts, make sure to have a little more sea salt, cloves of garlic and black pepper on hand. You will need to adjust the recipe to bring out the mashed potato flavor. One small clove of garlic (as called for in the recipe) was not enough, so make sure you have some extra garlic on hand.

5. An ice cream scoop is a great tool to have as you plate this side dish. The photo inside RAWvolution makes the mashed potatoes look almost like ice cream with black pepper on top, but don’t worry, in person the mashed potatoes look like real mashed potatoes!

6. And most importantly, Justin and I do not believe this dish refrigerates well. We had the mashed potatoes fresh out of the food processor, and the flavor was divine. Then I put it into the fridge, and Justin ate it the next day, but he did so begrudgingly, as the flavors fell flat. And the smell? I don’t even want to talk about it.

So please. Take it from me: if you are going to make this dish, do so right before you are about to serve guests, or right before you are about to leave for your holiday party. This dish does not refrigerate overnight, and it does not make leftovers. The stuffing, however, has been delicious since I made it, and keeps great in the fridge!

Mashed Potatoes on the Thanksgiving Table

All the photos I took of the mashed potatoes were blurry.
I guess the mashed potatoes are a bit shy. ;o)

1 COMMENT

  1. jules

    Every years millions of turkey’s are killed needlessly and brutally for the sake of ‘tradition’. Turkey’s are beautiful animals and this year you can help one out!

    Farm Sanctuary has a wonderful “Adopt a Turkey” program. Please consider adopting a turkey this Thanksgiving, and start a tradition that is cruelty free!

Heidi
My name is Heidi, and I have been eating a raw food diet since 2004. Before I found raw food, I have tried all sorts of different ways of eating including: standard vegetarian, fare, vegan, food, macrobiotic, Marilu Henner's programs, food combining, slow food, and more, I followed along on social and did everything I could. I understood the idea of Raw Food since I first learned of it in 2000, but it wasn't until 2004 that I started making raw food a daily part of my life.

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