Dealing with all the exigencies of the anti candida diet (ACD) can really be a challenge. After more than a year without sugars (sniff, boo hoo), most fruits (miss ya, mangoes!), gluten (you were overrated anyway), yeasts (nooch! nooch!), fungi (bye, bye, portobello steaks) or anything else fermented (thank God you can get black olives cured in oil), I’ve often found that turning to raw foods is a fairly easy way to ensure compliance.
Apart from raw desserts (which tend to rely on dates and other fruits), it’s pretty simple to stick to the ACD guidelines by choosing from the living foods menu, as it already eliminates most sweeteners and most grains or grain products (and, let’s face it, most of us on the ACD probably got there by overdoing it on the sweets and grains).
Like its predecessors, this newest volume is brimming with useful and often fascinating information, covering virtually every detail you’ll need to know if you’re contemplating a switch to a raw, plant-based diet. In her review, Alisa called the book (at 376 pages) a “dense read.” And while it does, indeed, offer a plethora of statistics, charts, tables, definitions and other details, I must admit that this is just the kind of extensive and comprehensive information–all backed by solid scientific research–that I enjoy reading (and which fans have come to expect from this duo of nutritionists). As a reference book, Becoming Raw provides a sturdy basis on which to transition to a raw vegan diet.
The introductory chapter, “Becoming Raw for Life,” addresses some of the typical questions and concerns associated with embracing a raw foods diet. For instance, can one obtain enough protein on a raw regime? What about cooked foods? Right from the outset, the authors’ approach to the topic is open minded and eschews any too-rigid stance (they argue that cooked foods are not necessarily a bad thing, even though an entirely raw diet may be perfectly healthy for some people).
They also offer a comprehensive history of the raw foods movement from the pioneers to the current icons, including the many illnesses that see improvement on a raw diet. From rheumatoid arthritis to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and many more, a raw food diet appears to offer benefits in preventing and treating these conditions. The authors also present abundant information about plant chemicals and compounds (such as antioxidants) that can benefit health, as well as some of the problems with cooked food (such as acrylamide, a byproduct of heating most starchy foods).
The subsequent chapters about macronutrients (proteins, carbs and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) could easily rival those in texts I studied while in nutrition school for their breadth and detailed explanations of how these nutrients function in the body, why we need them, and how much to ingest for optimal health.
The chapter on carbohydrates, for instance, provides a thorough definition of the glycemic index (GI), glycemic load, and an explanation of why some foods with a higher GI may nevertheless be a better choice for their ultimate effect on blood sugar levels (crucial for someone like moi who follows an ACD). They point out, “watermelon has a glycemic index of 72, which is very high (higher than white bread or white sugar).” On the other hand, “a 3.5 ounce (100 gram) serving of watermelon provides only 8 grams of carbohydrate. In order to get the blood glucose results predicted by the glycemic index, a person would need to eat about 6.25 servings, or 22 ounces (625 grams) of watermelon.” Does this suggest, I wondered, that raw fruits would actually be acceptable on the ACD, even if they’re sweet? For now, I’m sticking with the original diet, but this fact is definitely intriguing.
Finally, the authors devote an entire chapter to “The Great Enzyme Controversy,” addressing theories and research about whether or not enzymes in raw foods are essential and account for the health-promoting benefits of these foods. (I won’t reveal their final conclusion, but will let you read the ultimate results on your own.)
Concluding true to its subtitle as an “essential guide,” the book wraps up with suggested menus and enough recipes in each category (juices, breakfast foods, soups, salads, main dishes, desserts) to get you started on your own raw regimen. The two recipes I sampled (Green Giant Juice and Zucchini Linguine with Bolognese Sauce) were superb. For more recipes from the book, check Alisa’s review and Lisa’s series about the book, which begins here.
Becoming Raw is an excellent resource that clarifies and demystifes the raw vegan diet. As with their previous best selling books, Davis and Melina can help to direct you on a path toward a plant-based, raw lifestyle in a way that’s informed, intelligent, and health-promoting.
Celeriac (or Zucchini) Linguine with Bolognese Sauce and Hemp Parmesan (plus myACD-friendly version)
While the list of ingredients may seem daunting, you can prepare the seed mix and hemp parmesan in advance, and the dish can later be assembled very quickly. Incredibly satisfying and every bit as filling as meat-based pasta, this multi-layered dish provides an impressive 21 grams of protein, 17 g of dietary fiber, and 277 mg of calcium per serving. I used zucchini as my grocer was out of celeriac, but I’m sure the celery root would be equally delectable. My ACD-based changes follow.
Tomato Sauce (makes about 4 cups/1 liter):
20 sundried tomato halves or pieces, soaked for 6-24 hours in 1-2/3 cups (414 ml) water
5 pitted medjool dates, or 10 pitted regular dates, soaked for 6-24 hours in 1/3 cup (80 ml) water
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 Tbsp (15 ml) dried oregano
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup (250 ml) grated carrots
Seed Mix (makes about 2 cups/500 ml):
1/2 cup (125 ml) shredded carrot
1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup (125 ml) sunflower seeds, soaked for 1 hour, drained and rinsed
2-4 Tbsp (30-60 ml) Nama shoyu or tamari (soy sauce)
2 Tbsp (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp (15 ml) miso
1/4 cup (60 ml) sesame seeds, soaked for 1 hour, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup (60 ml) hempseeds
Celeriac Linguine (makes 8 cups/2 liters):
8 cups (2 liters) shredded celeriac or zucchini (spiralized, julienned witha mandolin, or grated)
2 Tbsp (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
Hemp Parmesan (makes 1/4 cup/60 ml):
2 Tbsp (30 ml) hempseeds
2 Tbsp (30 ml) nutritional yeast flakes
1/8 tsp (3/4 ml) salt
To make the tomato sauce, put the sundried tomaotes and their soaking water in a food processor or blender. Add the dates and their soaking water. Then add the onion, oregano, and garlic. Process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in the fresh tomatoes and carrots.
To make the Seed Mix, put the carrot, parsley, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, Nama Shoyu, lemon juice, and miso in a food processor. Process until smooth. Add the sesame seeds and hempseeds. Pulse until evenly mixed. Stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator, the Seed Mix will keep for 3 days.
Alternately, spread the Seed Mix on a dehydrator tray with a nonstick sheet. Dehydrate at 115 degrees F (46 C) for 3 hours. Crumble with your fingers. Serve warm or store in the refrigerator.
To make the Celeriac Linguine, combine allt he ingredients in a large bowl. Toss until evenly mixed. Cover and refrigerate until serving time, up to 4 hours.
Tip: To keep the shredded celeriac moist while preparing the remainder of the recipe, sprinkle it with a little water so it does not dry out.
To make the Hemp Parmesan, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir until evenly mixed. Stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator, Hemp Parmesan will keep for 1 month.
Assemble lthe finished dish just before serving. For each serving, arrange 2 cups (500 ml) of hte Celeriac Linguine on a plate. Combine the Tomato Sauce and the Seed Mix to create the Bolognese Sauce and stir gently[I folded gently so that the seed mix retained some of its own texture scattered throughout the sauce] . Top each serving with about 1-1/2 cups (375 ml) of the Bolognese Sauce. Sprinkle with about 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of the Hemp Parmesan. Makes 4 hearty servings.
ACD-Friendly Variation (Phase I and beyond):
I followed the original recipe as written, except for these changes:
For the Tomato Sauce: use 2 pints (about 500 ml) grape tomatoes instead of the sundried tomatoes. Remove 1 cup/240 ml (20-30 tomatoes) and cut in half; reserve for later. Preheat oven to 325F (170C) and place the remainder of the tomatoes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Bake until the tomatoes begin to dry out and wrinkle a bit, 40-50 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. Use the baked tomatoes in place of the sundried tomatoes, and the reserved (chopped) tomatoes in place of the 2 chopped tomatoes in the original recipe; do not add any extra water (as in the original recipe), unless necessary to achieve a sauce-like texture.
Omit the dates and use 10-20 drops of stevia instead (adjust to your taste, and based on how sweet your baked tomatoes are). Do not add extra water, as in the original recipe. I also added 2 tsp (10 ml) dried basil to the sauce.
For the Hemp Parmesan: Omit the nutritional yeast and use 2 Tbsp (30 ml) pine nuts instead.
*Or, ACD-Friendly Fast Food. Or, Intercultural Lasagna. Or, What to Do with those Nearly-Stale Nacho Chips.
Even though these days it takes me almost 15 minutes before I can stand up fully erect after first rolling out of bed (in which I sleep on my back, with 2 pillows under my knees so my spine can retain its proper curvature) in the morning; even though driving at night has become more and more an exercise in blinking and squinting than a convenient means to return home after a dinner out; even though I sometimes do a double take when walking by a mirror after thinking, “What the heck is my mother doing in there??”; even though my students perceive me more as a Nanny McPhee than a Sheba Hart–even though all these things are true, I still can’t help but feel as if, internally, I’m the same person I was in my 20s.
Getting older can really be a shock to the system, let me tell you. One of my class projects in nutrition school was to assess how sensory perception changes over time. Boy, was that ever a wakeup call! (Then again, it would have to be a much louder wakeup call if I were in my 80s). You see, for every year you age past, oh, about 18, each of your five senses diminishes. And the older you get, the more quickly and more dramatically they do so. (Are you depressed yet? Don’t worry, you will be–that’s more common when you’re older, too).
So, while we all may realize that sight and hearing fade with age (a 70 year old needs three times the light of a 20 year-old to see accurately–no wonder septuagenarians shouldn’t be driving!), most of us don’t really think about how our sense of taste diminishes as we grow older.
Well, the HH and I must be bordering on superannuation. (Okay, actually, it’s just the HH, but I didn’t want to make him to feel bad. That is, if he can still feel anything at his age).
I’ve noticed lately that the HH has started pronouncing my cooking ”not spicy enough” or “too bland” or “not flavorful enough” even when it seems fine to me (or is something that isn’t supposed to be spicy, like mock tuna or stroganoff. A recent exception was the vegan pasta carbonara, which he scarfed down anyway). Could it be that his taste buds are feeling a little exhausted after 50+ years of operation? Not sure. But I do know that what we eat has become more and more piquant over the years.
True, I’ve always enjoyed spicy eats, but my tolerance–and desire–for ramping up the heat has definitely increased of late. I’ll never forget a dinner party to which I was invited by my office mate when I first began teaching at the college; she had just come back from seven years living in Mexico and promised us an authentic feast.
While the rest of us guzzled cold drinks between tiny nibbles of fiery-hot mole appetizers, our hostess calmly plucked an entire jalapeno from a plate and, hoisting it by the stem, popped it in her mouth. Then she continued to relay her anecdote while chewing contemplatively, never even breaking a sweat. I was truly amazed by her seemingly asbestos-lined palate at the time; little did I know I’d be eating whole jalapenos myself (at least I stuff mine with goat “cheese” first) two decades later.
One evening last week, I had dinner plans with friends and wanted to leave something for the HH to enjoy at home. After viewing at least a dozen enchiladacasseroles on otherblogs as a result of the Daring Cooks event last month (plus Celine’s Mucho Macho Nachos and Angela’s Time Crunch Vegan Enchiladas) I was craving Mexican food. We had all the ingredients on hand, so I thought I would whip up some of the HH’s favorite nachos. Of course, I knew that jalapenos were non-negotiable. Not to mention super-spicy salsa (arriba!). Plus, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to make just a single platter versus the two we usually make: his, with ground beef and melted cheese; mine, with crumbled tempeh or tofu and cheesy sauce.
I grabbed all the ingredients and began prepping. Only one problem: the already-opened bag of nacho chips had been sitting too long, and the chips had lost their snap, bordering on stale. What to do?
Of course, I could have thrown them away. But that would have traumatized my inner frugalista. I could have given them to The Girls with their supper (“We vote for that choice, Mum!”), but that wouldn’t help with my dinner needs. What if I simply tossed all the ingredients into a casserole dish, and let them bake up? I envisioned a super quick, nacho-meets-enchilada dish. And so, the new, fast-food, ACD-friendly, Mexican nacholada casserole was born.
I mixed everything up and left it on the counter with a simple note:
Here’s a casserole for dinner. Heat at 350 for about 25 minutes, then take as much as you’d like. Have fun with The Girls!
xoxoxoxo kiss kiss kiss
Upon my return that night, I casually inquired, “Um, so how was the casserole?”
It’s true, the dish was so fiery hot it may have finally triggered the HH’s antiquated taste buds (in fact, you may wish to tone down the jalapeno screaming a few decibels in your own dish). True, I didn’t disclose in advance that this casserole was simply a new, unfamiliar twist on his oft-rejected vegan nachos. True, the HH was on his own that night, and would probably prefer to eat rose petals dipped in sand than have to whip up something of his own. Whatever the reason, the dish was a huge hit.
“That stuff was delicious!” he exclaimed. ”I loved it. You can definitely make that again.” (Hee hee). Even after I revealed that it contained tempeh and cheesy sauce, he was still enthusiastic. “Well, I don’t know why, but this time it tasted great,” he insisted (of course he forgot there hadn’t been a “last time,” since he’s always refused to try it in the past). Triumph!
I’m hoping this is the end of separate nacho platters from now on in the DDD household.
As is so often the case, the HH’s initial skepticism was overruled by the transformative deliciousness of my plant-based meal. And luckily, despite his natural penchant for meat, he’s happy to embrace a vegan meal “if it tastes good.” I guess that’s just one more reason why I’ve decided to stick around as we grow old(er) together.
* No, I didn’t really write, “HH” or “Ricki” on my note–I used our usual pet names for each other. But the HH would never speak to me again if I published them on the blog!
Layered Mexican Casserole
I call this “fast food” because it’s one of the few dishes I don’t make entirely from scratch. Jarred salsa is fine on the ACD if you find an organic brand with no added sweetener, vinegar, or other taboo ingredients. This casserole is a great way to use up less-than-fresh nacho chips (the chips absorb the moisture from salsa and cheese to become soft inside and crunchy on the edges of the casserole dish), but if your chips still crispy, feel free to assemble these ingredients in regular nacho fashion.
About 4 cups (1 L) nacho chips (or enough for 2 layers of overlapping chips in a 10-inch/25 cm casserole dish)–I used tri-color ones by Que Pasa
1 jar (about 2 cups/500 ml) medium or hot salsa of your choice (I used Neal Brothers)
** For ACD Stage I, use brazil nuts or macadamia nuts instead of cashews; use 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) powdered mustard.
Quick tempeh crumbles: In a large sauce pan, crumble one package (12 ounces or 350 g) tempeh. Add 1 cup (240 ml) vegetable broth or stock; 1-2 Tbsp (15-30 ml) Braggs liquid aminos, tamari or soy sauce; 5-10 drops liquid smoke or 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) smoked paprika; and 2-5 drops liquid stevia. Bring to boil over medium heat, then cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid is absorbed and the tempeh just begins to brown. Use in this casserole, in pasta sauces, sprinkled on salads, or in sandwiches.
Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Spray a 10-inch (25 cm) casserole dish with nonstick spray or lightly grease with oil.
Place a single layer of nacho chips in the bottom of the casserole dish, taking care to overlap so that little, if any, of the bottom of the dish is visible. Dollop about half the salsa randomly over the chips. Sprinkle with half each of the tempeh, beans, red or green pepper, jalapeno and olives; then drizzle half the cheese sauce over all. For the top layer, repeat the process, setting aside the peppers and olives; once the cheese sauce has been added, sprinkle the top with peppers and olives.
Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, until the casserole is hot throughout and the top of the cheese begins to brown slightly. Remove from oven and allow to sit 10 minutes before scooping out onto plates. Garnish with chopped cilantro, if desired. Makes 4-6 large servings. May be frozen.
[I thought it would be fun to run a little series over here at DDD: I'll profile one one of my favorite foods, or a food that I've recently discovered and enjoyed, over several days. The series is presented on an occasional (and entirely arbitrary) basis, before I move on to the next lucky comestible. This is the fourth entry on apples.]
After reading all your comments about the Apple and Red Wine Soup the other day, I began to wonder if perhaps I’d been a tad hasty in my panegyric to the soup. Was I too effusive in my praise? I mean, it’s just soup, right? And soup is just food. So what if it has caramelized onions in it? Onions, soft and browing at the edges, infusing the room with their sweet, enticing aroma. And apples, sautéed to golden, yielding perfection, tart and tender and melding with those onions. Oh, and let’s not forget the added piquancy of red wine–a good, hearty, robust wine that would be great on its own, but added to the soup, it creates a rich, thick, beguiling first course—heck, forget that apology! I LOVE THAT SOUP.
Okay. I am now done with the soup. Promise.
But before I move to the main course, I wanted to say “THANKS” for an award from Ashley at Eat Me, Delicious–I’ve been so focused on apples that I forgot to mention it last time! Thanks so much, Ashley, for the “One Lovely Blog Award”! It is much appreciated (and you know I’d love to cook meals for you–come visit!) I’m supposed to pass this along, but there are so many blogs I love to read that I really can’t choose. I mean, that would be like choosing between Elsie and Chaser. And isn’t “demure, gentle and sweet” just as appealing as “wacky, hilarious and in-your-face”? Each has its own charms. And so, you are all Lovely Blogs!
I know, you’re thinking, “Okay, so now can we eat that main course?!” Mais, oui, bien sur!
To be honest, this dish was originally intended as an appetizer or side dish, but the “real” main course I attempted a few nights ago was, shall we say, never going to earn a star on the Culinary Wok of Fame. I’ve got a new one in the works, and if it’s a success, we’ll relegate today’s recipe to the back of the table and I’ll post about a new main. Otherwise, it’s time to dig in to terrine!
Whenever I take to whining and whinging about the frigid winters here in Toronto, some smart aleck inevitably pipes up, “But you’re from Montreal! How can you not like winter?!” Well, take it from me, bud, just because you’re born somewhere doesn’t guarantee that you love the climate. (Do you think the polar bears at the Florida Zoo feel like sunbathing?)
And it’s not just the weather (though for the life of me, I will never understand the appeal of minus 30C, snow up to your waist, icicles dangling from your scarf, or having to wear those metal cleats on the bottom of your boots to prevent falling flat on your derrière when you walk two dogs every afternoon). No, it’s also the unrelenting gloom (today’s forecast: gray. Tomorrow: dark gray. After that: whitish gray. Next day: deep gray–etc.), the ridiculous quantity of layers required to prevent frostbite of the extremities; the woolen toques that flatten your hair in thin, swirly wisps that adhere to your forehead; the traffic at a near-standstill every time it snows; the ever-shorter window of daylight, when darkness slams down in a matter of seconds, like a guillotine.
So it’s not an exaggeration to say that I seriously dislike cold. Which works out pretty poorly for me every year between, say, mid-October and the beginning of May. But it worked out extremely well, on the other hand, for this potato terrine.
A while back I spied a recipe for a layered potato terrine with apple and camembert cheese and decided to create my own version, with potato, apple and my favorite goat “cheese” (since, as you may have guessed by now, I’m a little bit obsessed with that cheese). So far, so good.
While the process was fairly involved, it wasn’t difficult, and I had no trouble assembling all the ingredients, layering them in the pan, allowing them “settle” overnight or unmolding the terrine the next day. I was pleased with the fairly compact slices, even without the inclusion of melty camembert to bind them together.
The HH and I sat down, ready and eager to dig in to our (cold) first course. A tentative first bite, and then. . . I pushed the plate away. It wasn’t awful; just nondescript: white on white on off-white on beige (well, it did sort of resemble snow that way. . . ). Curses!
But then it occurred to me–maybe it was those cold potatoes? Great in a salad, but in a terrine. . . well, not so much. I grabbed the plates and popped them in the oven to heat through. Ten minutes later, the HH and I were digging in to a wonderfully warm medley of sweet and salty, with tender spuds offering a perfect base for rich cheese and tart apple. Warmed up, this dish really excelled, appealing to the palate in a way that was entirely lacking in the cold version.
The terrine could serve as a delicious main course alongside a crisp side salad (maybe something like the first one in this post), or some bright, barely steamed broccoli or green beans to add color and textural interest.
And while I know the dish was really intended to be served chilled, I much prefer my version. Like everything else at this time of year, I simply couldn’t abide the cold.
To all my American readers and friends, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
“Um, Mum, what did you mean by ‘in-your-face’? That sounds annoying to me, Mum. As if I keep badgering you when I want to play ball, or as if I whine a lot when I want to play frisbee, or as if I howl at you when you sit at your desk trying to blog because I want you to toss my pull-toy, or as if I nip Elsie’s face and ears when I want her to play with me, which is pretty much all of the–”
While it does require a bit of advance preparation, this is a lovely dish to wow the guests. Unmold the whole terrine on a platter, then slice in thick pieces at the table.
1 recipe Cashew Goat Cheese (or your favorite cheese–one that melts would, in fact, be even better in this recipe)
about 2 pounds (1 kg) new potatoes, peeled
3 granny smith apples
2-4 Tbsp (30-60 ml) coconut oil or other light-tasting oil, preferably organic
2 Tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh parsley
freshly ground pepper
Line an 8″ (20 cm) loaf pan with waxed paper and set aside.
Boil the potatoes in a large pot of salted water until just soft, about 15 minutes. Drain and cool.
Once the potatoes are cool, cut them into thick disks about 1/2″ (1 cm) thick. Heat about 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of the oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat; cook the potatoes until just golden, then turn and cook the other side, adding more oil as necessary. Remove to a plate that has been lined with paper towels to drain.
Core and slice the apples into 1/4″ (5 mm) thick rounds. Heat another 1 Tbsp (15 ml) coconut oil in the pan and cook the apple until golden but not mushy. Drain on paper towel.
Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Arrange a layer of the potatoes in the pan, then top with a layer of apples and a layer of cheese (you can try to spread the cheese over the apples, or just place dollops of it evenly across the surface). Sprinkle with half the parsley. Repeat the layers, then finish with a final layer of potatoes.
Cover the pan with foil, sealing well. Bake in preheated oven until heated through, 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
Place a piece of cardboard on top of the foil covering the pan, and put weights over the cardboard (I used cans of tomatoes) to compress the layers. Refrigerate overnight. Unmold and slice into thick slices to serve cold. To serve warm, remove cans, cardboard, and foil; reheat in 350F (180C) oven for about 20 minutes, until warmed through before slicing. Makes 4-6 servings as a main course, or 6-8 as a side dish. Best eaten within 2 days.