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September 4, 2012

Sunflower Seeds and Shoots...and Putting it All Together...

When you start exploring the world of Living Food, it can seem a little intimidating. It's been over 2 years now, and as I sit here with a happy tummy and a glow of accomplishment, I have to tell you some of my thoughts... and also share my meal with you. It took me about 30 minutes to put this gorgeous meal together. Yes, some things were prepared in advance, and when you learn how and when to do this, it makes the joy of preparing a successful raw living meal, immeasurable. All of the steps that I've learned up until now are coming together, like musical notes for each instrument in a symphony. The gratification I'm feeling is immense. How can I put these feelings into words and accurately convey to you, just how fulfilling and worthwhile this can be?  The commitment to invest a bit of  your time and energy, and learn about living food is required. I like to play... and I love to experiment, in fact, to me they are one and the same. I never imagined I'd be where I am now...chopping greens out of my garden, photographing them, and then writing about it. Have a few moments to spare? I'd love to show you what I prepared for dinner tonight...

When I explored sprouting, I thought I was really stepping out of my comfort zone. Wow! It opened up so many doors for me. With sprouted oats, Quinoa and Kamut, I was able to create pizza crusts, crackers and the most amazing  Jewish "Rye" Bread. The recipe for this bread can be found in the Raw Recipe Boutique.

I've also sprouted broccoli, alfalfa, mung beans and other lovelies used to garnish salads and wraps. This week, for the first time, I planted sunflower seeds to grow shoots. Within 5 days I had these amazing greens right on my back patio. Aren't they gorgeous?

The amazing thing is, I also used sunflower seeds (and almonds) to whip together the most delicious Sunflower Seed Pate (aka - "Toona-less Salad"). Thank you sunflower seeds! I make this recipe different every single time. (Throw in some raisins and chopped apples or pears). Don't be afraid to create something totally new. This dish is amazing, and can be made in minutes. Cut up some fresh veggies, avocado slices, tomatoes, and you have a lovely lunch or dinner. I served this to a bunch of young children at an event I volunteered at, and the kids LOVED it! A ten year old boy came up and asked me if he could have the recipe to give to his mom. (Be still my heart!).

While preparing the Sunflower Seed Pate, I pulled a few slices of "Rye" Bread from the freezer and popped them in the dehydrator to warm. Kitchen sheers in hand, I marched out to the porch,and chopped off a few handfuls of sunflower seed shoots. I actually had to go back outside in the middle of dinner, and get more because we gobbled them up so quickly. W LOVED them! Try mixing the Sunflower Seed Pate, sprouted sunflower shoots, and Russian Dressing into a bowl, mixed with celery, onion, tomato, etc...and you have an amazing, and very filling salad dish.

So, tonight...the pate was done, the "Rye" bread was warming in the dehydrator, and I decided I wanted to create a "Russian" Dressing. Without even thinking about it much, I threw these ingredients in the blender. I didn't really measure anything, so this is definitely approximate.

Russian Dressing
1 small tomato
2 -3 Tablespoons water, as needed
1/4 cup cashews (maybe less)
2 Tablespoons red onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
pinch chipotle powder (optional)
2 Tablespoons Bubbie's Sauerkraut ( or fermented veggies)
2 Tablespoons Bubbie's Sauerkraut juice (or 1 tsp vinegar)

Blend it all together until creamy. It's heaven and really compliments the pate.

And this was dinner! Isn't it beautiful? You could EASILY do this (and I have) without the "Rye" Bread...and even without the Sunflower Shoots, but these are the little steps you can take, to enhance your lifestyle, increase variety, and learn new things, and before you know it, you are quickly combining recipes and techniques, and creating an amazing meal you can be proud of.

Oh, wait!!! I've also been making Kefir Water for the very first time ever this week, and because this dish reminded me so much of something we'd get at a Jewish Deli, I grabbed the plain Kefir Water that I had in the refrigerator, poured it into a glass for W, and added ONE DROP of Medicine Flower Vanilla extract (or 1/3 tsp of your favorite vanilla). If you know anything about Kefir, you know it has a light fizz like soda, or champagne. It tasted totally reminiscent of cream soda. (If you are Jewish, or grew up around Deli's, you'll surely remember Dr. Brown's Cream Soda). This tasted like that, only better. It was perfect. So, sprouting grains and greens, and learning how to make Kefir Water...enabled me to put together this amazing meal. I hope you enjoyed this and that it inspires you. Blessings!

Here's another great salad. Sunflower Seed Shoots, tomatoes, raisins, fresh sierra figs, and a light vinaigrette  Fabulous!

And then comes BRAZEN - our backyard squirrel and totally destroys my beautiful sunflower time, a barricade to stop Brazen!


Elizabeth said...

Too funny about the squirrel! I keep mine on an upper patio screened in so so far I have only had to battle some ants.
Your sunflower greens are lovely. I grow them daily as they are a staple in my diet.
Your meal looks so beautiful.
Peace and Raw Health,

Russell James - Weekday RAW Mini Course



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