Jul 19, 2010

raw collard wraps

Monday Night is Raw Night

It seems my children have gotten used to the idea of Raw Night. I didn't say they've gotten to like it - just that they now remember to moan...'oh, yeah. It's Raw Night,' sigh and walk away.
No matter! Onward we go!

Tonight's culinary delights involved a marinated collard wrap, encasing a puree of fresh-shelled peas and kohlrabi. The puree is mixed with walnut pieces, slivered spinach, bean sprouts and minced Fresno peppers. Accompanying the wraps are a cucumber salad, marinated shiitake and nama shoyu vinaigrette.

I found the meal well-balanced, the flavors, textures and colors all complementing each other. David thought it wasn't bad. Kate liked it. Mikel and Cat humored me tasting the wraps. Mikel told me making raw taste good is hard. After I gave him a Mom-look, he amended that to getting him to like raw is difficult.

When dinner was almost ready, Cat sprang on me that it is her Half-Birthday. Great! So? Well, we have some dear friends who do celebrate all five of their children's half birthdays, and since I was just jumping out of my skin that my daughter was doing math of any kind, I immediately set to work to produce some dessert in celebration. ...a raw dessert.
Mudslide Pie.

No fear, blog readers, desserts of any kind - raw or otherwise- are always welcome at our house! Desserts are not collards, after all.

By the way, this pie has three fillings - almond butter, chocolate and vanilla. My blender needed to be cleaned thrice. And the food processor once. This is a gluten free, albeit not soy free dessert - the thickener is soy lecithin.

Cost Breakdown:
1/2 collard bunch: $1.50
filling: $4
mushroom: $3
1/2 cuke: $.50
nama shoyu, limes, pepper, oils: $2
Total to feed 3 people:


  1. Since adding raw dishes to your diet, have you notice any difference? Maybe how you feel after your meal? The whole raw idea has been intriguing me lately

  2. LOL at the kids comments! I can just hear mine saying the same thing.

  3. Seems amazing ... raw is awesome! :D


  4. Jacklyn, while incorporating raw into your diet is a really great idea, one meal a week is not enough. Not for me, anyway. What I DO notice about eating raw, is that it fills you up fast. I didn't have more than 2 of those small (each is half of a large collard leaf) wraps, 1/4 c of cuke salad and an 1/8 c of mushrooms (just eye-balling the quantities). I was done! Very filling. I like that. I was satisfied and felt satiated.

    I love eating raw - it is the family that is more opposed. And you know the mind-set can defeat you even before you begin. If I had it my way, we'd be eating raw once a day - to begin with. I will pay more attention to how I feel after the meal next week and report back to you!

    Gourmet - yes, the kids are a hoot. They have resigned themselves to Mom's eccentricities on Monday Nights. You can bring them to the plate, but you can only get them to taste.

    Thanks, Sheesh Kebab. It is raw-some :) Is that a cookbook title?

  5. I don't know about the kids but the collard rolls look pretty good to me! The only iffy ingredient for me would be the kolrabi. I'd think it's texture would be fiberous when not cooked but then again.. I don't know. I've never eaten pureed raw kolarabi.

    I do raw detoxes every now and again where I will eat nothing but raw foods and juices for a week or whatever. I must admit that I DO feel good but...it's a workout for the brain to come up with a decent variety of raw foods that satisfies me.

    One of my favorites is Zucchini Linguine with Raw Marinara though and even my husband (who is a raging, teeth-gnashing carnivore) agrees that this is "pretty good for sticks and grass".

    I have a juilienne blade for my mandolin that makes long thin strips. I not even peel the zucchini. Just run it across the blades lenghtwise and it makes long noodle-like pieces. They'll still be a bit stiff but once you marinate them in a bit of lime or lemon juice and a small pinch of kosher salt for a few hours...they look and behave like a cooked noodle. You can twirl them around a fork etc.

    The marinara is super simple...tomatoes, garlic, shallot, basil, a touch of lemon juice, about 2 tsp of raw agave, salt and pepper to taste. You can either pour it over the zucchini linguini or toss all the "noodles" in the marinara and then twirl them around a large serving fork and make nice neat "nests" on the plate. Pass around extra sauce. I garnish with fresh basil chiffonade. You can use nutritonal yeast as your "parmesan" cheese to sprinkle on top.

    I even do raw garlic bread sometimes if I have time. A mixture of nut paste, ground sprouts, sunflower seeds, garlic and herbs..spread thin and dehydrated overnight.

    A raw dessert your kids might enjoy is stuffed fresh medjool dates. I make a paste of dried cherries, raw cocoa nibs and cashew butter and put a spoonful inside the pitted date, pinch the sticky date together to seal. You can gently warm these (less than 100 degrees) in the oven in a foil packet or..even easier, fill them, wrap in foil and put the packet outside on the patio table in the sun for about an hour or just until they are warmed. They are insanely good!

    I do not eat soy products and try desperately to avoid hidden soy in anything. I realize that can be very challenging for a Vegan. I ate exclusively Vegan for over 3 years without soy though. In my personal chef work, I had several Vegan clients who were breast cancer survivors who had been ordered to avoid soy like the plague. That was NOT only by conventional Allopathic doctors but also by the Homeopaths at the Hippocrates Center. They do NOT claim that soy CAUSES cancer...only that substantial research exists that shows it accelerates the growth and multiplicity of tumors in patients who already have cancer.

    All that being said, there is a HUGE list of typical vegan fare that is not suitable for soy-phobes such as myself...LOL I am extremely intrigued by your homemade Seitan and would like to try making some without any soy products. I don't know how well it would work but one of these days when I'm feeling adventurous, Im going to try it.

  6. Ok,,,I posted a LONG comment and it WAS here before and now it is not! Frustrating...

  7. Well, that is certainly a mouthful! Excuse the pun. You've covered a few things in this comment, so let me begin:

    1) The collards were tasty and the kohlrabi was not fibrous. If you use a small, young one, and peel it appropriately, paying attention to the thickness at the bottom of it where it is the thickest, you can even eat them as raw chips. They are delicious. It is the older, bigger ones that are more fibrous.

    2) Thank you for sharing your Zucchini recipe. It sounds like the Primavera I made last week, just using tomatoes instead of a creamy-nut sauce. It sounds delicious. For those that do not have a nifty mandolin or a spiral slicer, a knife works just as well. Marinating the noodles and even dehydrating them a bit (even in the oven), do make them nice and pliable.

    3) Thanks for the dessert idea; my little one loves stuffed dates :)

    4) The soy is a touchy and quite a controversial subject. The cancer deal sounds like the estrogen in the soy might be at least one reason your clients were told to avoid it. Other than that, it would be nice to hear some substantial reasons to do so. Since Asians have been using soy for centuries - certainly longer than Americans - and their incidence of cancer is - or was, now that they are on the Western Diet - minuscule comparatively, it is difficult to point the finger solely at the soybean.

    There are many reasons why soy (or wheat or nuts or high fructose corn syrup, for that matter), can be allergy inducing as well as elicit fear in some people or institutions: soy is mostly genetically modified now, it is in practically everything - especially processed foods, the body can be overwhelmed with all the processed junk and then adding a constant supply of GMOs would send any sane member of our society to duck for cover.

    The bottom line, however, is that I am not a biologist or a chemist or a nutritionist studying this stuff. I do respect anyone's needs or wants to avoid certain ingredients in their diet - as a personal or medical choice - and can understand your preference. I have a close friend who is vegan AND is avoiding gluten and soy. Difficult but not impossible fro the determined. Again, a personal choice.

    5) The seitan can most certainly be made without soy - there is only one that has it as a main ingredient and that one is made with tofu. The tamari (soy sauce) can be replaced with salt and water. If you use a bread maker there is nothing to it and it is not as daunting as it might at first appear.

    Thank you for commenting, JillyAn. It is good to have some food for thought. This time the pun WAS intentional.

  8. The comments are moderated, JillyAn. Sometimes it can take me a little while to get to. I mainly moderate them so I can be sure to respond to them - otherwise they can slip past me.

  9. Regarding soy, here is a link to a Vegetarian Resource group article (second question down)that covers some soy related questions. It is well researched and cited.


  10. Both dishes look delicious! That dessert--wow! I'm anxious to give both a try.

  11. Thanks for the reply...most bloggers never bother to answer their comments. I agree...the Asian diet is or was at least a good arguement FOR soy but their cancer rates are rivaling those of other countries now. That I'm sure has more to do with the genetic modification of foods AND McDonalds taking over the world than anything else. Soy, Corn and Wheat are the three most genetically modified crops in the world. I've heard some alarming statistics about just how bad it is. They say that there are basically no unmodified strains of some crops left.

  12. My pleasure, JillyAn. I think it is important to tackle some hard subjects and for a vegan, the soy-debate is most certainly up there. The case for soy does still stand up very well, though, especially since Asia is now experiencing the same afflictions we are, whereas before they weren't.

    Unfortunately, Asia, too, is now being consumed by the Western Diet, complete with processed foods, fast foods and GMOs. You've heard the GMO statistics correctly; a few of those crops are corn (even in the remote regions of Mexico, there are GMO strains, through no fault of the people there) and canola. Scary.

  13. Epicurean, you know I am not ignoring you, I hope :)

    Which recipe would you like, if not both?

  14. oooh...the canola hype is one of my soapboxes. I get so frustrated when I hear so called "healthy" tv chefs advocating the use of "heart healthy canola oil". Im not sure where these people got their info but rape seed...which is what canola is made from is POISONOUS until it is HIGHLY processed into canola oil. Canolas rancidity point is like 95 or96 degrees. Hellooooo "healthy" tv chefs...the body temp is enough to turn canola into a trans fat and that's before its even COOKED. In the bottle, it may be "stable" but once consumed...sorry folks...its a BAD FAT!!

  15. Wish I had some of that raw mudslide pie for breakfast right now.

  16. Sorry I haven't posted the recipe, Gigi. We had a tornado warning and all my kids were up till 1 AM. I'll post by tonight. Do you have soy lecithin and coconut butter?


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