Thursday, October 8, 2009

Raw for Lunch

Some of you may know that I've started to incorporate more raw foods into my diet in an effort to a) lose some weight and b) control my blood sugar readings. This started with the Tree of Life website and led to various cookbooks, websites and videos that have brought not only a loss of 6 pounds in the last 6 weeks, but also a whole new menu of tasty food possibilities! I am so enjoying this so much more than I thought I would.

Today's lunch featured a new recipe that I thought I'd share with you. It's slightly adapted from the Creme Tomat recipe in Alive in 5: Raw Gourmet Meals in Five Minutes. It's especially nice right now since there were so many nice tomatoes at the Farmer's market last weekend. I used the basil we've been growing from the CSA seedling we got earlier this year and I made the almond milk by whirling 1 c. soaked raw almonds in 1 c. water and then straining it through cheese cloth. It took about 5 minutes total to make this lovely fresh, thick "milk."

Creamy Tomato Soup
1 c. fresh tomatoes
10 nice-sized leaves of fresh basil
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 c. fresh almond milk

Blend all the ingredients in the food processor until smooth and creamy. So easy to make!

At lunch I had the soup with the Everybody's Favorite Crackers I made this past weekend. Those are little work and are more hmmmm... shall we say "delicate" than the crackers I usually make, but they are nutty and satisfying to eat.

On another note, yesterday I had lunch with two lovely co-workers at La Fuente Restaurant on Oracle between Drachman and Grant. None of us had been there before and I was curious because I've heard both good and bad about it. The good has been ok, those who didn't like it really hated it! On entering I was disappointed not to smell the normal Mexican aromas of onions, peppers, spices or even searing carne asada, nope, folks this place smells strongly of Lysol! Not very appetizing. We checked out the "lunch buffet" which we all decided looked cold and old, so we ordered from the menu. I was disappointed to find that all the salads on the menu featured meat pretty prominently, so I decided to forgo the raw food for lunch and order something else. While we waited for our order to be taken we finished off the chips and roasted tomato salsa they had brought and we were attentively brought more. One of our party thought the salsa could have used more kick. We asked for a hotter salsa, but there wasn't any. I thought it was tasty without being too fiery as to burn my taste buds. We ended up getting  side of jalepenos to satisfy her need for heat.

I had the vegetarian platter which consisted of a chili rellano, a green corn tamale, and a Sonoran enchilada  with white rice with peas and carrots. The corn tamale was way sweeter than I would have liked. It felt like I was eating sugar, but then again, I don;t get much of that these days. I thought the enchilada was a little tough, but I liked the sauce. And there's little you can do to a chili rellano that I won't like! One of our party had the beef flutas which she thought were pretty good. The other ordered the Sonoran enchiladas (and if you've never had one of these, my east coast friends, you haven't lived!). She thought the sauce could have been zestier, but they were "pretty good." Overall, I thought the food and the service was pretty good, but even at  the end of the meal, I was still put off by the Lysol smell.

So what's a Sonoaran enchilada you ask? It's a flat, deep-fried masa (corn meal) patty smothered in enchilada sauce, served with shredded lettuce and sometimes a fried egg on top. They are chewy, satisfying and not at all like the enchiladas at other Tex-Mex places. Sonoran enchiladas are also known as the "original" gordita.  Apparently though gorditas are usually stuffed with meat or other fillings while the enchiladas are just masa patties with sauce and cheese on top. here's an interesting discussion of gorditas or "little fatties" on Chowhound. The difference between La Fuente's gordita and its Sonoran enchiladas is similar to this discussion in that the gorditas are filled with meat and are served with lettuce, cheese and tomatoes (taco toppings) instead of enchilada sauce. I tried to Google a good image of an Sonoran enchilada, but not one of the images labeled Sonoran enchilada looked even remotely right! I'll leave Googling "gordita" up to you!

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