The Odd Things a Raw Diet will Make you Do…Day 5

Well not only will it make you do odd things, but in the moment, you’ll think it’s beyond normal.  Like there’s nothing more natural that you could possibly do, than the obviously odd thing that you’re doing.  I mean, at the risk of sounding totally judgmental, don’t raw foodists kind of…feel odd?  Like, if it’s not the dreads when the rest of us are off to our next color appointment, then it’s the constant smiling, even on rainy days (like today) when the rest of us are rushing for shelter.  Or maybe it’s the hemp.  Clothes, of course.  Anyway, they are a quite curious bunch.  And if the “they” is “you”, take this all as a compliment, for you have somehow circumvented the conventional grumpy human experience, to take part in an otherwise…happy one.  In fact, I wonder if in my two week Raw Food experiment, I too will enter into the land of odd.

Today, actually, I took a great leap toward that eventual, or perhaps inevitable reality.  For dinner tonight, I decided to make Chili.  A homestyle chili, including everything a hot chili would have, except of course the heat.  I was skeptical.  Converting classics into Raw meals seems risky at best, but I had all the ingredients, so I went for it.  One of the ingredients was one of my greatest moments of pride; no, not the almonds (although those count!), but the barley.  I sprouted barley!  And I needed to put it to good use.  Anyway, as I was preparing the chili–chopping, dicing, combining, blending, peeling, rinsing, soaking, reserving (…sigh)–I caught myself doing things I would have never imagined myself to do (..another ‘imagine my surprise!’ moment).  I cut corn from the cob, then started cleaning the rest of the raw cob–nawing down each sweet, raw row, not even stopping to think I was eating RAW corn off the RAW cob.  I was alternating throwing some zucchini in the bowl, and dipping the rest into the (zucchini based!) hummus I’d made a couple days ago.  Raw zucchini!  I was licking spoons, and reserving tops of carrots for juices.  I don’t know maybe none of this is a big deal, but what it symbolized to me was that as much as I have loved food, I have never been as connected to it as I am now.  Everything is fair game, and anything goes.  To boot, it’s all delicious!  And in my kitchen, by myself, I found myself smiling a little bit as I sampled, ate, chopped and blended.  Go figure!  Here’s to being odd!

Jinji’s Odd Homestyle Chili, adopted from Judita Wignall’s Going Raw & Rhio’s Hooked on Raw


  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1/2 cup soaked (overnight) walnuts
  • corn off of one cob
  • some carrots
  • some zucchini
  • a couple tomatoes, diced–seeds and all
  • some sweet onion
  • lots of chili powder
  • a couple shakes of cumin
  • a couple shakes of cinnamon
  • some oregano
  • some chopped parsley
  • lots of cilantro
  • a few soaked prunes, a few soaked apricots–chopped

Chili’s Sauce

  • soaked sundried tomatoes, keep the water–about 3/4 cups of each
  • a couple tomatoes, seeded
  • a little bit of agave nectar
  • a lot of chili powder
  • a small onion
  • several shakes of salt
  • a bunch of oregano
  • some cumin
  • cayenne pepper

Put all the ingredients for the sauce in the blender, blend until smooth.  Put all the ingredients for chili together–pulse the barley and walnuts together briefly before combining with the rest…it will look a little like cooked ground turkey.  Combine everything, and enjoy the best chili ever!  Garnish with avocado slices and cilantro.  Smile!


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