After a very short, hot/dry stint, the weather has returned to a state of heavy rain, thunder storms,and humidity. NOT cool in my books, but what can a person do, other than make the best of it? I was in such need of some outdoor exercise yesterday that my friend Lauren and I walked in the pouring rain. Despite wearing our rain jackets, we returned to the house completely soaked from head to toe, but I must say it was refreshing!
While I'm not a big socialite, I really enjoy it when friends return home for summer visits - and I always love a gathering that allows me to bring food! I recently made this 5 layer mexi dip for a get-together. It requires a bit of time, but worth the effort, especially when proving to non-raw friends just how delicious raw food can be.
Layer 1 - Refried sunbeans - soaked sunflower seeds, sundried tomatoes, onion, olive oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic, and lemon juice, mixed into a thick pate in the food processor.
Layer 2- Sour cream - young coconut pulp, cashews, lemon juice, sea salt, apple cider vinegar blended until smooth and creamy.
Layer 3- Romaine lettuce - shredded
Layer 4- Salsa - tomato, red pepper, green pepper, cilantro, lemon juice, sea salt, done in the food processor
Layer 5- Guacamole - avocado, lime juice, lemon juice, jalapeno pepper (wee bit for me!)
Served with a variety of raw crackers... now who can resist that?!
The other week I had friends over for a bon fire (which got rained out, about midnight - no surprise) to catch up, have drinks, and feed them raw goodies. For the savory, I whipped up a batch of the most delicious nacho dip to go with veggies and tortilla chips - I cannot say enough good things about this dip! I make a few mods by subbing all cashews for the hemp seeds, or using half cashew/half hemp, and I always use half the cayenne, since I don't like spicy food. Since I had sweets coming out the ying yang, I served up some of the banana chocolate cheesecake and lemon strawberry cakes that would also be on the wedding menu , dark chocolate cherry mini cakes, and italian chocolate almond zucotto. I don't think my friends could manage another bite by the end of the night!
Enjoying a bon fire beside the lake
We're having a hoot dancing around the fire!
My friend Elisa and I tried to recreate this photo of us together at the age of six. The photo has been on my fridge since last summer when I forgot to bring it to her wedding for old times sake. I think we came close to recapturing our moment of glee from 20 years ago - Fortunately my front teeth grew in!
The next day, I was out in the garden while the hummingbird was busily collecting flower nectar. Luckily I managed to run and grab my camera in time to catch this great shot! Can you find the bird? Isn't he/she beautiful? The pic at the top of the post is the same hummingbird at another set of flowers.
Cold Asian noodle salad was on last night's dinner menu. It was the perfect way to incorporate fresh sugar snap peas from our garden. This dish is simply kelp noodles (which I find are much tastier after being marinated for at least a few hours) and veggies, in a flavorful sauce. Always remember to rinse the noodles really well and then let them sit covered in water with the juice of half a lemon before using in your recipe. No worries if you don't have access to kelp - zucchini noodles are a great substitute!
Asian Noodle Salad
1 bag kelp noodles
generous splash of tamari
squeeze of lime juice
drizzle of sesame oil
Mix the noodles with tamari and oil. Marinate for 4-8 hours.
Note- If you're out of time, you can skip the marinade, but I feel the end result is worth this extra little step.
Veggies (thinly sliced):
Red bell pepper
Sugar snap peas
Bean sprouts and bok choy would make a nice addition.
2 Tbs lime juice
2 Tbs tamari
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs sesame oil (I used toasted for extra flavor, but you could use extra virgin)
1-2 Tbs chopped cilantro
1 1/2 Tbs minced ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp agave or honey
Whisk all ingredients together. Pour over the salad. Garnish with sesame seeds.
If you have any great summer recipes please let me know - particularly anything with peas because we have soooo many in the garden this year and I'm at a loss for ideas, other than eat them "au natural" (which I do love, but there comes a time when you want to enjoy them in other ways), and salads. I'm planning on making a pea soup within the coming days, but have never done it before, so if you've got a recipe, bring it on!
Well, that's it for now, but stay tuned for this delicious, summery mango raspberry tart in my next post...
...and if the sun is shining in your neck of the woods, pleeease send some my way! Much appreciated! :)