Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thai "peanut" sauce with raw veggies

Thai peanut sauce veggies dehydrating. Copyright (c) 2011 Wendee Holtcamp

So I didn't make any new recipes today (day 3 as a vegan), but I do have a post - as promised - about the third recipe I made last night. This sauce was absolutely divine. Freaking delicious. I got this recipe out of the Crazy Sexy Diet book and she credits the recipe to Chad Sarno of The Raw Chef. The ingredients are:

1/2 cup almond butter (technically you are supposed to use "raw" almond butter but I didn't)
1 Tbsp ginger, chopped
1+1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp dates, raisins or prunes (I used dates)
2-3 cloves garlic
1+ 1/2 Tbsp sea salt
1 tsp serrano pepper (optional - I did use this, and it made it great - I can't imagine it without some spice to it)
1/2 cup water
2 zucchini, sliced in half moons
2 carrots, julienned
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup snow peas

Veggies and some of the ingredients. You can substitute soy sauce, tamari, or Bragg's amino acid for shoyu. Shoyu is just high quality soy sauce.
Blend almond butter, ginger, lemon juice, date/raisin/prune, garlic, salt, pepper and water till smooth - I did this in my Cuisinart food processor rather than a blender. OK yea it looks kinda grody like this but it's really.... delicious! (and no comments on how THIS one looks - it's peanut sauce for criminy sake. Well, almond technically but whatevs). Toss sauce with veggies. Then dehydrate on Teflex sheets at 105 degrees for 2-3 hours to soften.

OK I have to confess: I have no clue what a Teflex sheet is (though Google does come in handy for such mysteries). I just placed the stuff directly on the trays in my dehydrator. This is my first use of it - a gift I got for my birthday in July - and I have to say, some sort of sheet would have come in handy because the sauce did drip down all over the place. I will also say that I ended up a bit disappointed by the dehydration process. Here's why: I LOVED the raw veggies in the sauce. It was scrump-deli-icious! I could have eaten the whole bowl. (OK not the BOWL but the stuff IN the bowl). When stuff is dehydrated at low temp, it's still considered raw, but I don't know, for some reason I just preferred it really full-on raw rather than even slightly dehydrated (You don't totally dehydrate for this recipe to where it's crunchy or totally dry - just a tiny bit of time to 'soften'). I think maybe I didn't like it as much because it also dehydrated the sauce. I loved the sauce. I was dipping and drenching the broccoli (my fave of the different veggies here) in the sauce. And when dehydrated, it took a bit of the oomph out of the sauce, since well it was less... saucy.

I actually stuck the veggies on the dehydrator for a very short time - like an hour? They were barely dehydrated, and I did this on purpose because I liked the veggies + sauce raw so much. But even after just an hour, the sauce was already drying up/off. So I put the veggies in the fridge, cleaned my dehydrator, and today I decided I'd dehydrate more and see what happened. All it did was shrink the veggies more and I still prefer it totally raw. I really just like the sauce saucy!

So there ya go. I think I will try some other dehydration recipes, but this one I will definitely make again but next time will reserve more of the sauce just to use with the dehydrated veggies, and/or just not dehydrate them. Tomorrow I think I'll try Kale chips - I've been super excited about that recipe for months, ever since Eileen held a raw food picnic at her house!

Though I've been vegan for 3 days now, I'm still in the pre-cleanse part because I'm imbibing large quantities of coffee (I have a lot of work to do, what can I say), and I'm snacking on raw balls from the freezer whenever I'm craving something sweet (these are vegan, so it's ok, but I'm also planning on trying to cut down on sweets). I think the trick for me will be to have a lot of ready-made snacks around the house that I can have when I'm having a weak moment.

Today this is what I ate. Breakfast - had an organic apple, and some coffee with soy creamer (mmmmm my staple). Then around lunchtime I had a grapefruit, then about 30 minutes later I had some of my leftover toasted quinoa with a couple tablespoons of hummus, and a big salad from my "bowl of health" mixed with the remainder of the Mediterranean salad. Then I had a couple raw balls. Um maybe four. Yes I know that is more than a couple! For dinner I had the leftover mustard greens I sauteed the other day with leftover rosemary red potatoes (a recipe my aunt made at Christmas and it was soooo good but mine turned out very dry - not sure what I did wrong). Then I had like, um, three or four more raw balls... and a Jamba juice bar (not good when I start the actual cleanse but it is vegan and only 70 calories!). For snacks here and there, I had some plantain chips and hummus, plus a piece of rosemary toast with hummus (I rarely eat bread, but this was the last piece, and it's not something I can have on the cleanse so I was indulging...). Did you notice a theme here - hummus, hummus and more hummus! And raw balls. Wonder if I should try them together? Ha.


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