A lot of people assume that I force-feed my husband raw vegan dinners every night.
Guys in particular will look at the way I eat and throw him a sympathetic look, give him a pat on the back, and probably buy roses on their way home for their omnivore wives who have a bloody rare steak and baked potato slathered in butter waiting on the dinner table.
While sometimes he will eat a 100% raw vegan meal, it’s always because he wants to, and generally because he’s had chicken and waffles or a meatball sandwich for lunch and his body is craving veggies (or alternatively, if he’s in the doghouse and thinks eating raw vegan will get him out).
Luckily for us, he’s not a huge meat eater who needs a piece of meat at every meal, so by the time he comes home from being out eating who knows what (we have a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy at home), he’s usually game for whatever raw vegan dish I’ve made for dinner that day.
More often than not, I’ll make him a separate dinner that’s like a less extreme version of my dinner. And since I love to cook and he does the cleaning, I don’t have to deal with the aftermath of making two dinners. Win-win.
Take tonight as an example. Here’s what was on the menu for dinner at our place:
Hers: Massaged kale salad with red cabbage, carrots, red onions, avocado, lemon juice and flaxseed oil. Side of heirloom tomatoes, grilled artichoke hearts, and raw sauerkraut.
His*: Savory quinoa pancakes, fried eggs, and tomato sauce. Side of kale salad and heirloom tomatoes.
*If you’re looking for an easy way to transition into a raw vegan lifestyle (I love how people call it a “lifestyle” versus a diet. Sounds so much more glamorous) or if you just think raw vegan is too damn depressing, the “His” option may be the way to go.
Massaged Kale Salad:
They only sell this salad at the “hot bar” at Whole Foods in the San Francisco SOMA location. It’s ridiculously good – trust me on this one. Apparently, it’s their top-selling item and they’re usually sold out of it by a little past noon (I always wonder then why they don’t make more so that they don’t sell out until, say, 2 P.M.?).
When I’m feeling too lazy to cook (but not too lazy to drive — it’s a problem when I’m feeling lazy in general, in which case I just eat protein balls for lunch), I’ll drive 20 minutes to the SOMA Whole Foods, despite the fact that I have a Whole Foods three blocks away from my house. It’s kind of silly given that this salad is pretty easy to make.
Here’s what you do:
Step 1: Prepare the kale
Curly kale works best for this salad. You can buy one bunch of curly kale or if you’re utterly lazy like me, you can look for something like this at your grocery store:
If you bought a bunch of kale, rinse it well and chop into bite-sized pieces. For the thick part of the stalk, you can cut them into thinner pieces but I like to set them aside for juicing. Pat the kale dry but leave some moisture.
If you bought the packaged, pre-washed kale like I did, add a few drops of water to the kale and lightly toss. Some moisture is needed to break down the kale in Step 2.
Step 2: Salt and massage the kale
Sprinkle salt (I like to use Celtic Sea salt but any good salt will do. Try to stay away from table salt) over the chopped kale and lightly toss. For a big bowl of chopped kale (one bunch), I generally use about five “shakes” of the salt shaker.*
*Sorry, I rarely measure things like salt and oil and just go with my gut. I’ll be better in future posts about documenting how much I use for those of you who prefer precise measurements. You need a light dusting of salt in order to break down the kale but be careful not to add too much or you’ll end up with a salty salad!
Once you’ve added the salt and lightly tossed the kale, start to massage the kale with your hands. Think about how toned your fingers will be after this.
As you’re massaging it, you’ll notice that the kale will turn a darker shade of green and become softer, almost as if it were lightly blanched.
Step 3: Add flaxseed oil and lemon juice
Add about a tablespoon or so of the flaxseed oil and the juice of 1/4 a lemon. Mix well with your (clean) hands.
Step 4: Add avocado and onions.
Add half of an extra large and ripe avocado (or a whole one if it’s on the small side). I’m of the opinion that you can never have too much avocado in this salad, so feel free to add as much as you like!
I also like adding half of a large red onion cut into slivers for a nice bite and crisp to the salad.
Step 5: Add PARMA!
I am obsessed with this stuff. I go through at least a bottle a week.
What is it? It’s a raw vegan “Parmesan” made with walnuts, nutritional yeast, and Celtic Sea Salt. Nutritional yeast, while it may sound like an STD, is actually pretty damn tasty. Sort of nutty, sort of cheesy, with a good boost of B12. It’s odd how I hate cheese but fake cheese makes me drool. I generally add a third of this bottle to my salad like so:
You’ll notice that I added a bit of an heirloom tomato to the salad above. Our puppies enjoyed a slice as well:
Enjoy with some nice raw sauerkraut!
For the quinoa pancakes, I got the idea from Gina here. Check out her tasty recipe using hummus and greens. YUM. These pancakes (or pitas, as she calls them) are super easy to make and full of protein, good fiber and amino acids. Serve them up with some good organic or even better, pasture-raised eggs* like these:
*If you’ve never had pasture-raised eggs before, you’ve never really tasted an egg. The first time I had one, I ended up licking the yolk clean off the plate. Yes, the raw vegan was licking yolk off the plate (*Disclaimer: Remember, I’m about 95% raw vegan.). That’s how good they are. The yolks are bright yellow-orange and remind me of sunshine and grassy fields, happy hens and frolicking little chicks. The accompanying price tag is a bit insane (usually $8 a dozen) but think about how much cheaper that is per serving than a piece of meat ($1.30 for two eggs). Also, isn’t it worth it to know that the hens are happy? (They’re also lower in cholesterol and healthier for you since the hens eat a varied diet of organic feed, veggies and grass).
I’m going to end this insanely long post and go eat some raw chocolate. Goodnight!