The ability to cook healthy, nutritious meals for other people on a daily basis gives me great pleasure. The additional bonus is that I get paid to create my meals. Initially I felt exhausted when I returned home from a cook date. As I got used to the job and developed more stamina, the exertion required has gotten easier. However, I am not as in shape or eating as well as I was before this occupation began. This month has been my time to ease back into a more healthy way of eating and gaining strength in the gym. Now that I have more upper body strength, it is time to focus on my eating habits. Many hours a week are productively spent wondering around Whole Foods market, I harass the fruit and veg department on a daily basis when they don’t have my key ingredient for a recipe I have planned for that day. 9 out of 10 times they will find the errant produce in their food kitchens. I feel a sense of power being able to command that attention in the store. I have happily settled into being a part of the Venice Whole Foods community.
I have completely gone off track, but felt I needed to give you a sense of my life in Whole Foods. Anyway, meandering around yesterday, on a non working visit, I noticed the Eat Right America pamphlets scattered throughout the store. Curious to know more, I picked up and read about Dr. Fuhrman’s nutrional plan to change your eating habit and addictions within 28 days. I rushed home and signed up online for the 60 day plan. Filling in my information I found out that I needed to throw out all the white foods in my home. No more flour, milk, sugar, pancake mix etc. According to his plan I need to eat an excess of green foods both raw and cooked into soups. Included in this food group are plenty of fruit, some nuts and seeds, no added salt and no foods that weren’t around 100 years ago. I must say I am excited at this prospect and look forward to my daily motivational and informational emails. I will update my progress.
In recognition of my ability to change my eating habits, I am going to add a recipe from vegan chef Tal Ronnen’s book – “The Conscious Cook”. Unfortunately most of his recipes aren’t Eat Right America friendly because he uses lashings of earth balance and some recipes have soy products. Mine and a client favorite is his Tomato Bisque recipe. Note, to make the cashew cream, I put raw cashews in a pot of water, bring to a boil, turn it off and leave for 1 hour. Then I rinse the cashews and add them with some fresh water to a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy in texture. Not runny though.
4 tablespoons Earth Balance
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 (28oz) can whole fire roasted tomatoes, juice included
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
Leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
5 cups faux chicken stock
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups regular Cashew Cream
Parsley for garnish
1. Place a large stockpot over medium heat. Sprinkle the bottom with a pinch of salt and heat for 1 minute. Add the Earth Balance adn stir until melted, being careful not to let it burn. This will create a nonstick effect. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and continue cooking and stirring for 2 minutes.
2. Add the stock, tomatoes with juice, parsley, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then add the Cashew Cream. Continue to simmer (do not boil) for 10 minutes.
3. Remove the bay leaf. Working in batches, pour the soup into a blender, cover the lid with a towel (the hot liquid tends to erupt), and blend on high for several minutes, until very smooth. Pour the soup through a fine-mesh sieve. Ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley.