Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

I love Father's Day. Perhaps it's because I am fortunate enough to still have my wonderful father in my life. Also to have such a dear husband, who is not only a father to his two grown daughters, but also the primary father figure to Taylor, his granddaughter, as well as an amazing step father to my daughter, Gabrielle. Then there is my daughter's biological father, John, who is also still very much involved in all of our lives. So, on this day, we honored the important role of fatherhood by inviting our special & blended family and fathers to a celebration and cookout.

Planning a menu for a cookout, when one is raw, is both a challenge and a creative opportunity. Even though I am from a family of traditional meat eating, gourmet foodies, I do enjoy having healthy alternatives available for those who are interested or curious. When I first discovered the benefits of the raw diet, I was very much a charismatic zealot about spreading the message. But as the months went by, I started to yo-yo, like so many others do, and I ended up giving up my raw crusade, eating what the rest of everyone ate during social events. That led to more and more slipping with my diet and soon I started eating a higher percentage of cooked or processed foods again. Within no time, I found that I had gained weight, saw the return of my old symptoms and ultimately felt depressed. So from much dietary trial and error, I finally decided that I simply needed to plan to make my own diet a success for myself, not being concerned about what everyone else was doing or eating. Juice feasting for 90 plus days really gave me the added edge on this. You sort of get over the whole social connection of food equaling fun and you realize that you can truly enjoy social settings without hogging down a big plate of barbecued ribs, baked beans and potato salad. Besides the physical cleansing and healing aspects, this was probably the most important emotional lesson extended juicing taught me.

So, what was on the Father's Day menu? Since this is a raw food blog, I'll just share that portion of the menu and we won't focus on what was cooked by my husband, the grill master. Here is what you're really interested in......
  • "Roasted" Red Bell Pepper hummus w/ flax-nut crackers and veggies.
  • Pineapple-Jalapeño Coleslaw
  • Marinated Portobello Mushroom burgers w/ heirloom tomato & macadamia feta
  • Mixed Berry Compote w/ hazelnut creme
Everyone who tried the hummus commented on how much they liked it. I've really gotten into tossing red bell pepper slices w/ a bit of olive oil and sea salt and dehydrating them for several hours. Much like roasting, it brings out a richness to the flavor and they are exceptional blended into recipes like hummus or pates. I used cashews as the base in this recipe, but zucchini would have worked equally as well.

On the mushrooms, I blended together some olive oil, Nama Shoyu, crushed garlic, agave and cracked pepper. I then brushed the portobellos with the mixture and placed them into the dehydrator for about two hours. Because I didn't plan ahead to make bread, I simply used the portobellos as the bun and filled them up with typical burger garnishes.....tomato, butter lettuce, onion, pickles, nut cheese, etc. I also made a chipotle ketchup which totally brought all of the flavors together with an interesting southwestern flair.

And while everyone else noshed on mixed berry crisp & vanilla ice cream, I opted for a fresher version, mixing together local blackberries, blueberries, and peaches, topping it with a hazelnut vanilla creme. I got much of my inspiration from Matthew Kenney's latest book, Everyday Raw, except for the recipe below, which was modified from an old clipping I'd saved from Cooking Light. Everyone raved about this one:

Pineapple-Jalapeño Coleslaw


1/4 cup fresh pineapple juice
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar (or substitute apple cider vinegar)
3 tablespoons chopped jalapeño pepper
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 1/2 tablespoons flax or olive oil
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt salt
6 cups thinly sliced napa (Chinese) cabbage
2 cups grated peeled jicama
1 cup grated peeled carrot
3/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint


Combine first 7 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.

Combine cabbage and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.


loulou said...

I love coleslaw. It's so easy to make and there's always plenty left over for lunch the next day. And that recipe is definitely a winner. I'll be making it as soon as I can get to Whole Foods for a jicama (they're rare in this part of the world!) xxx

HiHoRosie said...

Yu-huh-uh-meee! That's a great bbq menu. I attempted a "bbq" feast of sorts but came up short. It was okay, just not great. Your coleslaw recipe sounds super good. Thanks for that.

Sounds like a wonderful Father's Day weekend!

LolaBloom said...

Yeah, that coleslaw recipe sounds right up my alley. I've been living on a daily changing variation of Ani Phyo's phad thai...

I'm all for any salad/dish that's a bunch of yummy flavors chopped and/or sliced and all mixed together so I know this will end up as another of my staples!!

Lisa (Pixywinks) said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog. Those recipes look great!
Pixy Lisa

MARYYX said...

Hey Penni
As usual, you have great sounding recipes on your site! Don't have time to do any reading right now - but I'm going to come back later int he day and check out what you've been up to.

I am back to juicing, and it feels very refreshing.

Love ya!

deaintheraw said...

Hey Penni,
sounds like the dishes you prepared for farther's day were amazing.
September is around the corner, so excited to spend time with all of you! Yippee, love to you always Dea xo

Kristen's Raw said...

As I was reading your post, I thought to myself, oh that coleslaw sounds right up my alley...if only she had the recipe posted...maybe I can email her for it...I kept reading and VOILA! There it was! YAY!

Thanks! I can't wait to make it :)

OH MY! I was just about to post this and I saw that Lola bloom wrote "right up my alley" too! HAHAHAHA