Last night, I dreamed of cheese.
It was fresh mozzarella. It was sliced into perfect little disks and put on top of a pizza. And as the pizza cooked, the cheese melted into gooey puddles of awesomeness that oozed over the crust and stayed melted even when the pizza was cool enough to eat. I was just about to take my first bite of a perfect, bubbly, warm piece, which had strings of mozzarella still attaching it to the rest of the pie . . .
. . . when I woke up to discover that it was Day 3 of being a raw vegan.
I’m not going to lie; Day 3 was pretty tough.
But I was determined to soldier on, so I pushed the gooey mozzarella to the back of my head and made myself a morning smoothie.
Since I was feeling a little bit sorry for myself, I went for the Chocolate Berry Protein Smoothie (from This Rawesome Vegan Life). My daughter and I both agreed that this was the best-tasting smoothie yet. It’s a mixture of kale, blueberries, a banana, and a scoop of chocolate vegan protein powder. I’m pretty picky about my protein powder, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really liked this kind:
My morning snack was a blueberry granola bar from Two Moms in the Raw. I was excited to try this, since the check-out clerk at Whole Foods told me that it was her favorite thing in the entire store, and she buys a case of them whenever they go on sale.
But I have to admit I didn’t like these very much. The texture was weird. I found the bar very hard to chew, which was weird because it was very moist. I blame the cheese-dream. I just wasn’t in the mood for these.
Lunch helped. I had the Sweet and Hot Sunset Salad (from RAWESOMELY VEGAN):
It was a very refreshing salad, with pineapple and red bell pepper. The dressing was raw, diced jalapeños in pineapple juice and apple cider vinegar. I went easy on the jalapeño, putting in only about half of what the recipe called for. But if I make this salad again, I’ll definitely use the full amount to make the dressing a tad hotter. But it was a very nice middle-of-the-day meal.
For my afternoon snack, I entered the world of vegan hummus.
When I first considered doing this little experiment, I distinctly remember thinking; no problem! I could totally be a raw vegan for a week. I’ll just eat a lot of hummus! The chickpea is basically the reason I have been able to stay a vegetarian for twenty years. I eat a lot of chickpeas in salads, I eat them ground up in hummus, and I even sneak them into chocolate chip cookies so that my protein-phobic daughter will eat them and be none the wiser. So boy was I disappointed to find out that canned chickpeas are not a raw food! (They have been cooked! Who knew?).
It IS possible to eat chickpeas on a raw vegan diet, but in order to do that you have start with raw chickpeas and sprout them. And as I mentioned in my first blog post on this topic, I am not ready to take the step of sprouting my own food. I find the process weird.
So there will be no chickpeas for me this week.
There is no shortage of raw vegan hummus recipes, so I decided to try two of them.
Both were basically a mixture of zucchini and raw tahini (ground-up sesame seeds). The one of the left also contained olive oil (1/3 of a cup, which I thought was a lot for such a small portion size), lime juice and salt (also raw garlic, which I omitted). It was practically liquid when it came out of the food processor and although the flavor was okay, it was hard to make it really stick to any of the dipping vegetables. The second recipe recommended that you shred the zucchini and squeeze the water out before processing (like when you make latkes). This created a slightly denser texture, but it still was nothing close to the denseness of traditional, chickpea hummus. I was pretty disappointed by both of these hummus recipes, to be honest. I think that calling them “hummus” sets them up for failure; if they had been called “zucchini veggie dip” I might have happily eaten the one on the right. But since I had an image of chickpea hummus in my head, they just weren’t able to measure up.
Dinner was Lasagna With Cashew Cheese and Broccoli Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (from This Rawesome Vegan Life), and it is definitely the coolest-looking thing I have made yet:
If I had made this on the first day, I think I would have eaten it enthusiastically and exclaimed over it. But since this was Day 3, and I have been dreaming about cheese, I was much more excited to look at this than I was to eat it. Which is not to say it wasn’t tasty – it was. It just didn’t do it for me today.
But it is really pretty, isn’t it?
Dessert tonight Chocolate Covered Bananas (from This Rawesome Vegan Life). They were a HUGE hit with the munchkin; I could barely get her hands out of the mixing bowl long enough to actually get the chocolate onto the bananas:
The “chocolate” is actually just agave nectar, cacao powder and coconut oil. And it was really delicious. Kiddo-approved and everything! We added some chopped walnuts and goji berries to the bananas and froze them.
So despite it’s bummer of a beginning, the day ended on a very sweet note. And tomorrow, I am excited to venture into the exciting world of dining out, raw vegan style! Let’s just hope I can steer clear of all things dairy in my dreams tonight . . .