I just neeeeeed something savoury. I am so distracted by it I couldn’t even decide on my title.
I don’t want juice or smoothies or chocolate or ice cream or anything other than something mouth-wateringly savoury!
So that is salty, deeply flavoured, oily, maybe a hint of sweet to push those flavours even deeper.
I’m thinking Indian takeaway, Cantonese sizzling beef with all those bits and sweet and sour prawns, BBQ spare ribs, full English breakfast…
So what do I do about that then? Not only do I not want to have those because I am being ‘good’ and even if I wasn’t I never feel good after eating any of those things so I rarely do. Also I am in the middle of very rural France and the nearest place to find anything near something on that list is not local (lucky for us and one of the reasons why it is the perfect place for a retreat, no temptation!).
After a fast fridge rummage here’s what I have done about it –
I sliced up a couple of mushrooms and tossed them around in a mixture of olive oil, coconut amos, smoked paprika and maple syrup with some finely chopped rosemary (not sure that will add anything or not, it was a token green leaf though).
I had one mushroom left, which isn’t much use alone, so sliced and tossed that with oil, balsamic vinegar and fleur de sel for a good old salt and vinegar crisp flavour with a grown up twist.
After a while of tossing and leaving and tossing again I put them all in the dehydrater (if you don’t have one it doesn’t matter, see below) which is where they are now. I did eat a few on the way and they are so what I needed. It is amazing what will cut through a craving.
The sucre/salé flavour (the first marinade) was so divine I made some more and am waiting for sliced aubergines to absorb some of it whilst I write. Lets face it, I am really writing to keep me occupied so I don’t keep pinching the warm mushrooms from the dehydrator!
I need to address something here. If you don’t have the ingredients or equipment that are used in a raw food recipe it is usually easy to adapt to what you do have. It is very different from making a cake which needs three eggs and you only have one, that wouldn’t work (I know, I’ve tried it).
Also, if you are wanting to be healthy and clean you do not have to be raw! No, you don’t. You can be and you can eat a lot of raw foods and you can eat things cooked or prepared in the best way you have available to you. I do not eat an all raw diet all the time by any means. I do have blips into all raw (and have spent a lot of time being all raw for reasons I’ll one day share). Mainly we eat a lot of raw foods, high vegetarian, little dairy (love cheese, you should see the cheese stall at our local market, drool) unprocessed and using the best ingredients I can find and afford to use.
Here are some tips on adaptation using the recipes above as an example:
If you don’t have coconut amos, it is the first time I have actually – I only discovered them last time I was in the UK, you could use Brags liquid amos, or light soy sauce, or plain old soy sauce.
No Maple syrup? Use Agave or date syrup or blend up some dates or dried figs would work. Really not a good idea to use general sugar or golden syrup obviously (I think that’s obvious given what we are doing here, if not let me know below ;). I think at a push you could blend some sweet fruit, I’ll give it a go and report back on that one.
Smoked paprika is quite yummy for giving that deeply savoury almost barbequed flavour. If you don’t have it try a bit of chili, mustard would probably give a good result, something a bit punchy. Garlic would be great.
And of course, the dehydrator… so yesterday was very hot and I put some soaked almonds and some fresh lemon balm out to dry in the sun. My Man has been promising for years to make me a hanging cage with shelves that I can dehydrate things in outside but he keeps having to do stuff like re-point the back wall, mow the field, design a product, help a client etc and so it continues to be on the list. The point being that you could dehydrate outside if the weather was being helpful. You could also put the oven on low and leave the door open though somehow, when ever I hear that theory, I just shudder at how expensive it is to leave your oven on and the door open.
Anyway the other option, and probably what I would do in real life, is just put them in the oven on low with the door shut. They would be ‘a bit’ cooked, yes, but they will still be very good nutritionaly, healthwise and taste amazing! You could just heat them until they have softened and warmed. There would be a difference in that the juices would run a bit which isn’t a problem, it is just a difference.
So remember if you don’t have something in one of my recipes, adapt. Then it is not a problem it is merely a difference and we all like to be different don’t we?
I can’t think of anything else useful to say, I am just going to check out those mushrooms in the dehydrator…