Tami's Kitchen: Recipes and ideas for local food in season
My favorite food season! There is just so much growing right now, so many tasty treats sprouting up all over the place. If you are not aware of where to get local produce, be sure to check out Local Harvest. Just plug in your zip code and you will be provided with a comprehensive list of all of your local farmers markets, farm stands, and CSA's (though it's usually too late to register for those at this time of the year).
Buying local helps everyone. It helps our local farmers, who we need, to keep thriving and providing us with quality food. It helps you because the food is fresher, tastes better, and lasts longer! When you buy farm direct, you skip the travel time that your food goes through when you buy at a grocery store. Sometimes your grocery store bought veggies were picked two weeks before they got to your table. No wonder they aren't very flavorful and go bad the day after you buy them! Go to your farmers market and load up on goodies.
Our favorite summer lunches and dinners are MEGASALADS. This is an ever evolving creation, based on what we have on hand. We take our biggest dinner bowls and load in the greens, whatever cooked beans we have on hand, sometimes a bit of fish, some fresh herbs, and then pile on all of the other veggies that we can get our hands on. Sometimes it takes us an hour to get through eating them. It's worth the time. My daughter loves artichoke hearts and black beans in hers. I love garbanzos and avocado. Don't let yourself get caught in a trap of boring old salads. Make a MEGASALAD! If you come up with a great creation, tell me about it! I'll put your creation out to the mailing list next month if you like and then everyone can see how awesome you are!
Why do you want to eat your food raw? Many people find that raw foods are of a higher quality and will fulfill your nutritional needs much more effectively than cooked and or processed foods. Your food intake may be less and will be more truly in balance with what your body needs. This will help if you have a weight loss/healthy weight maintenance goal.
Eating a raw diet for most people makes for healthy digestion. Healthy digestion can prevent many long term and chronic illnesses.
Raw food is more easily digested because the natural digestive enzymes in them are not cooked out or altered by the heat involved in cooking.
There is a lot of energy in raw foods. Most people on a full or partial raw food diet experience clarity, high energy levels, relief from chronic pain and illness, and a new love for food.
If you're thinking about trying a raw diet, remember that like everything else you do with food, it doesn't have to be all or nothing. Just like not eating whole foods 100% of the time, and shooting for 80-90% of the time, you may not want to raw all of the time either. Eat as much as feels good to you- maybe start at 30%, 50%, and see how your own unique body reacts to it! If your body wants more raw, it will tell you in leaps and bounds. If it's not right for you, you'll know because you just won't feel right.
You still need to make sure you're getting your fats and proteins in there, so don't try to go raw by just eating salads all day and night! It's a commitment! Make sure you embrace sprouting nuts, seeds, and beans. Eat some Avocados, and have fun with it!
Raw Pad Thai
• 2 zucchinis, sliced into strips with a vegetable peeler or food processor
• 2 large handfuls of bean sprouts, approx 2 cups
• 3/4 cup chopped nuts- your choice of kind.
• 1 red or yellow bell pepper, sliced very thin
• 4 green onions, diced
• 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
• 2tbs lime juice
• 1 tablespoon raw olive oil
• 1/4 tsp sea salt
The zucchini is a replacement for your rice noodles you would traditionally find in Pad Thai, so you'll want to slice them to that size and thickness. Chop all of the veggies nice and small and set aside in a bowl. In another small bowl, mix lime juice, olive oil, sea salt, cilantro, and honey.
Pour over veggies and toss to blend well. Enjoy!
Spicy Thai Cucumber Salad
• 6 cucumbers, peeled, deseeded, halved and sliced about 1/4 inch thick
• ¼ cup scallions, green tops only; finely chopped
• ½ small handful of basil, (green or purple) coarsely chopped
• 1 lime, juiced
• ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1 teaspoon raw agave nectar
• ¼ cup shredded raw coconut
Toss it all together have a great time!
amara Flanders is a Holistic Health Counselor and graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Her health coaching practice, Your Body Awake, is located in Rexford, NY. Learn more at her website www.yourbodyawake.com