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Raw Southwestern cuisine.

WHEN WE MOVED to the Southwest 10 years ago, I was amazed at how differently we ate when the warm weather arrived. The thought of standing near a hot stove was unbearable, and popsicles aren't the best choice for dinner every night. It was obvious I needed a new plan.

Now, as soon as spring arrives, baked casseroles and hearty soups are removed from the menu, and I try to serve more raw meals focusing on fresh ingredients. Every recipe here is uncooked, and most of the recipes are completely raw. They are perfect for those days when the thermostat is high and your energy is lagging.
CREAMY AVOCADO AND CORN SOUP
(Serves 4)

This is a rich soup, so I often serve
smaller amounts, usually a 1/4 cup,
in ramekins (small dishes used for
baking and serving). Then, I top the
soup with a variety of garnishes--more
shaved corn, some chipotle
powder, diced scallions, and/or thin
slices of lime.

2 largo avocados
1 ear corn on the cob, shaved
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup water

Place all ingredients into a blender
and blend until mixture is smooth
and foamy. Pour soup into ramekins
and cover.

Chill for 30 minutes before
serving.

Total calories per serving: 181
Carbohydrates: 12 grams
Sodium: 305 milligrams
Fat: 16 grams
Protein: 3 grams
Fiber: 7 grams

SPICY JICAMA STICKS
(Serves 6)

Jicama is a starchy vegetable that is
quite refreshing in hot climates.

1 medium jicama (approximately
  1 1/2 pounds)
Juice of half a lime
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon axe-virgin olive oil

Peel and cut jicama into thin
French fry-sized sticks. In a large
serving bowl, mix jicama with
other ingredients until thoroughly
blended. Allow to sit for 1 hour
before serving.

Total calories per serving: 66
Carbohydrates: 11 grams
Sodium: 114 milligrams
Fat: 3 grams
Protein: 1 gram
Fiber: 6 grams

SUNFLOWER SEED TACOS
(Serves 6)

* Pictured on the cover. Serve these
tacos with small bowls of the usual
accompaniments: olives, chopped
onions, avocados, pickled jalapenos,
chopped tomatoes, and sprouts.

Because taco seasoning mixes can
vary in sodium, add only part of
the amount stated in the recipe
and taste before you add more.

1 cup sunflower seeds
6 sun-dried tomato halves
1 1/2 Tablespoons taco seasoning mix,
  or to taste
6 largo lettuce leaves (You can use loaf
  lettuce, Romaine, or collard greens.)

Cover the seeds and tomatoes with
warm water and soak for 2 hours.

Drain well and place the mixture
and the seasonings in a food
processor. Puree until sunflower
seeds are well-ground and all of
the tomatoes are chopped up.

For each taco, fill one lettuce
leaf with a 1/4 cup sunflower mix.
If you like, drizzle on some Food
Processor Salsa and Blender Jalapeno
'Cheese' Sauce before serving.

Total calories per serving: 184
Carbohydrates: 15 grams
Sodium: 546 milligrams
Fat: 12 grams
Protein: 7 grams
Fiber: 4 grams

FOOD PROCESSOR SALSA
(Makes 1 1/2 cups or twelve 2-Tablespoon servings)

I love using the food processor for
a smooth salsa. It is much faster
than chopping the ingredients by
hand, and I don't have to worry
about too-big chunks of tomatoes
falling off the tortilla chips. This
salsa is perfect for ladling over the
Sunflower Seed Tacos.

Because jalapenos can vary so
greatly in heat, I always taste each
jalapeno as I'm cutting it to determine
exactly how much I need
for each dish.

4 Roma tomatoes, cored and halved
1 jalapeno pepper, or peppers, to taste
1 clove garlic
1/4  teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
A quarter of a small red onion (approximately
an ounce)

Puree all ingredients in food
processor until smooth.

Note: This salsa can be made a
day ahead of time and stored,
covered, in the refrigerator.

Total calories per serving: 5
Carbohydrates: 1 gram
Sodium: 50 milligrams
Fat: <1 gram
Protein: <1 gram
Fiber: <1 gram

BLENDER JALAPENO 'CHEESE' SAUCE
(Makes 1 cup of sauce or eight 2-Tablespoon servings)

* Pictured on the cover. This sauce
makes a terrific dip for raw veggies.

1 cup chopped red peppers (4 ounces)
3 Tablespoons water
1/4 cup cashew butter or other nut butter
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1 clove garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped,
or peppers, seeded and chopped, to tom
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3 scallions, chopped

Process all ingredients until smooth.

Note: This sauce can be made
a day ahead of time and stored,
covered, in the refrigerator.

Total calories per serving: 64
Carbohydrates: 5 grams
Sodium: 149 milligrams
Fat: 4 grams
Protein: 3 grams
Fiber: 1 gram

RED COLESLAW
(Serves 4-6)

* Pictured on the cover. This vibrant
slaw gets it spiciness from the hot
sauce.

2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
1 bunch of radishes, washed, trimmed,
and thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons thinly sliced red onions
2 Tablespoons non-dairy mayonnaise,
such as Nayonnaise
2 teaspoons Mexican hot sauce, such as
Valentina, or to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a
serving dish.

Note: This dish can be made a day
ahead of time and stored, covered,
in the refrigerator.

Total calories per serving: 31
Carbohydrates: 4 grams
Sodium: 102 milligrams
Fat: 2 grams
Protein: 1 gram
Fiber: 1 gram

EASY MEXICAN CHOCOLATE SAUCE
(Makes 1 scant cup of sauce or eight
2-Tablespoon servings)

I was recently at a fiery foods trade
show, and I loved tasting all the
combinations of chocolate and
chiles. The addition of cayenne
pepper in this recipe really gives
the chocolate a richness and depth.
I like to serve this with fresh strawberries
for dipping.

1/2 cup cashew butter
1/4 cup raw agave nectar
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup water or amount necessary to achieve a thick sauce

Mix all ingredients together in
blender. Process until mixture
forms a thick and creamy sauce.

Note: This sauce can be made
a day ahead and stored, covered,
in the refrigerator.

Total calories per serving: 128
Carbohydrates: 13 grams
Sodium: 3 milligrams
Fat: 8 grams
Protein: 3 grams
Fiber: 1 gram


Nanette Blanchard enjoys feasting her way through hot New Mexican summers. She is the author of 'Tis the Season: A Vegetarian Christmas Cookbook and also sells her colorful knitting patterns and technique booklets online.
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Author:Blanchard, Nanette
Publication:Vegetarian Journal
Article Type:Recipe
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2009
Words:1074
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