I'm not very good at uncooking. I really like eating raw vegan food at restaurants, but when I try to make it at home it rarely turns out right. You know how when you order a salad at a restaurant and it's really good, so you try and replicate it at home and even though you have all the exact same ingredients, it never tastes right? The lettuce is soggy, the carrot isn't shredded quite right and the tomatoes leak all over everything? That's pretty much the story of my experimentation with raw uncooking.
I haven't been able to put my finger on what exactly I'm doing wrong, but it has been pretty discouraging in the past. I think the main problem is that the recipes I'm trying are too advanced for someone who doesn't know what they are doing. "Attend a raw cooking class" is on my agenda somewhere; I just need an alternative in the meantime.
Because I've never been big on the taste of most raw vegetables, a couple months ago I decided that my best course of action would be to ease into uncooking by incorporating raw components into non-raw meals. At least until I get used to the taste of raw vegetables and have a chance to work on my uncooking skills. So, instead of roasting or stir-frying veggies to go with a grain, I've tried throwing them in completely raw, or at the very least, lightly steamed.
Kind of lame of me to be so timid about this, I know. But it's a step in the right direction, no?
It seems like I might not be the only one slowly wading into the raw uncooking pool, because this recipe from VeganYumYum is exactly what I'm talking about. Cooked whole grain spaghetti noodles and a super spicy tahini-based sauce, and then big bowl of raw vegetables requiring no more prep than washing and chopping.
Paul got me the cookbook for Christmas and there is so much that I'm excited to try. I've been a huge fan of Lauren's blog of years (seriously, if you haven't tried her alfredo sauce you need to stop everything you are doing and pull out your blender right this instant) and am excited to see what the cookbook has to offer. I chose this recipe to try first because of its nod to the whole-foods approach to eating and because it's January and we're all resolving to take better care of ourselves in the new year.
I chose well, because the recipe is really delicious. It's not something I would normally make and being that I'm not usually big on cold noodles or raw vegetables I was surprised at just how much I liked it. The tahini sauce is especially delicious - spicy but creamy, it packs a nutritional punch thanks to its sesame seed base (calcium and B vitamins galore - learn more about sesame seeds and tahini and their role in preventing osteoperosis, certain cancers and other diseases here). I loved this meal so much. Even with cabbage in it! So much, in fact, that I ate it for three meals!
The only problem with it is that it's winter. It's cold out. And eating cold noodles and vegetables isn't as appealing right now as it will be in July. Not to mention that the raw vegetable selection in January in Canada is pretty abysmal. I'll continue making this one, for sure, but I think it will be even better in the summer. It would make a great side dish at a summertime cookout!
If you don't have a copy of the book, you can find the recipe here on the VeganYumYum blog.