Tag Archives: baltimore food

For the love of Collard Greens…Raw Diet Day 2.5

I have had the fortune of being raised by a mother from Down South.  Tuskeegee, Alabama to be exact, where people love fish fries, collard greens and hoppin johns as much as they love the baby jesus.  Where honey suckles are dripping from their branches, and there’s as many blackberry bushes and cherry trees as there are bible’s on Sunday.  I digress.  My point is, I grew up with a lot of Southern food love.  Since then, I’ve modernized some of the recipes like the hoppin john’s and specific to this post–the collard greens.  Collards have actually become one of my favorite veggies–a little coconut oil, lemon juice and bragg’s and I’m in business!

So I was excited to try them in yet another way on this Day Two of my Raw Diet adventure.  I was all ready with my guacamole, which I knew was super yummy because I made and tasted last night.  But then I had my collard leaves.  Lunch du jour was going to be guacamole stuffed collard leaves.  In retrospect, what an odd combination, but at the time, it seemed brilliant.  At the time.  So first, I take out my container with my de-stemmed, rolled collard leaves.  Un-roll a collard leaf to scoop in some guacamole.  First of all, collard leaves are HUGE.  What did I look like at my desk, in my cubicle at my corporate job unraveling this enormous, raw leaf.  I giggled at myself and went on.  So huge leaf, now scooping in spoonfuls of guacamole.  Still excited about the guacamole, but now it’s hidden in this leaf.  I’m mad at the leaf.  But I take a bite anyway.  Seriously?  Raw collards?  WHO in their right mind EVER thought a raw collard leaf was a good idea?  Sick!  I was offended and appalled, and felt all the sudden like an idiot for manipulating the Tuskeegee collard and hamhock tradition.  Well that feeling didn’t last long, but with the bitterness still in my mouth, I promptly without even missing a beat googled: “How to freeze collard greens”.  I decided I would pretend like this never even happened, I would go home, slice the rest up and freeze for post-raw.  I ate the rest of the guacamole with carrots and a surprised look on my face as I thought about how collard greens could go so wrong!

On my way home, the surprise of my afternoon collards were overshadowed only by my sheer excitement about what I knew was waiting for me at home.  24 more hours had passed, and my almonds were finished sprouting.  I knew I had one successful sprouted almond, but now I imagined the entire bowl full of beautifully plump almonds, each with its own little sprout.  So I get home, still brimming with excitement–I could see the whole thing, removing my papertowel from the bowl and seeing all my almonds.  I raised them afterall with patience and attention for two whole days, I had a right to be excited!  There they were, and they were as beautiful as I’d imagined.  I went about popping each one out of their shells, revealing their white flesh and sprouted tops.  And boy were they sweet!!  Gave a whole new definition to the hoppin john!

Jinji’s Guacamole, adopted from Hooked on Raw by Rhio

  • An avocado
  • Small dice of red onion
  • Small dice of seeded tomato
  • A bunch of cilantro
  • Salt
  • 1 Lime or lemon
  • A date, pitted and chopped
  • A couple shakes of cumin
  • A shake of cinnamon
  • A shake of paprika
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I’m new…And so is my Raw Diet!

I should start by saying I’m not a raw foodist.  I don’t want to give the wrong impression here, as I am a lover of all things food, even though I admittedly do avoid much of it.  In fact, learned a new word in the past few months that pretty accurately describes what I’ve been for the past year and a half: Pesquetarian.  How is that even spelled?  I’m too annoyed by the pretentiousness of it to actually look it up.  But anyway, I’m that word that describes people who are mainly vegetarian, except “we” eat fish too.  But actually, come to think of it, I’ve been staying away from dairy as well as of late.  Yet, it’s rare I have a plate of food without an egg on top of it.  Even my oatmeal.  More on that later. Don’t frown–it’s delicious!

So, back to the Raw Diet.  Today, the Spring Solstice, marks Day one of this latest food adventure of mine.  Two weeks, 100% raw.  As I’ll reveal in the coming days, weeks and months, I’m always on to something new when it comes to food.  I count ingredients, not calories, and I’m a sucker for a new line of chips (Way Good brand…buy some.  Trust me).  Never really in the interest of weight management, more so, and very literally because I love healthy food, and I love to experiment with it (that’s how my pesqu…started!).

I thought it’d be easy.  Somewhere during my initial grocery shopping that became laughable.  And somewhere elbow high in dishes, veggie & fruit shavings, dirty blenders and buried counter tops, it became straight hilarious.  I know it’s only Day One, but this is HARD!  Not for the weak at heart, or mind…or elbow grease!  Not only has it been all consuming, in both time, space, and money, imagine my shock in realizing in order to eat “normally” on Thursday, I had to plan YESTERDAY! But…imagine my delight at my already heightened energy.  My ability to stand the annoying and obnoxious without complete exhaustion.  And my total joy at growing my first almond sprout.  Yep…almonds sprout.  And I sprouted one.

I looked pretty endlessly for sample meal plans for the beginning/experimenting Rawist, and couldn’t find anything easy enough or conclusive enough.  So I’ll start making one here, in case anyone who stumbles upon the blog happens to be looking for a way to get started.  All I’m trying to do is not break the rules and not get hungry.  I’m just a Baltimore girl trying something new!  And as the picture shows, it’s not the prettiest, but so far, it’s damn good.  Oh! And look around too.  These days health foodie stores have lots of easy shortcuts to making this adventure a little more manageable…
Breakfast (7:15): Smoothie: Frozen mango, frozen pineapple, banana, water, 2 prunes; 2 slices of Manna bread (not technically Raw, but practically Raw…reducing my 2 week commitment to hmmmm…90%?  I’m okay with that.)
Snack (9:30): Mini Raw Bar (one of those health foodie shortcuts!)
Snack (11:00) STARVING: 2 dates stuffed with raw walnuts (MIRACLE…dates are like the most energizing things there are! Totally fine after this.)
Lunch (1:30): Green Smoothie: Kale, Spinach (can’t really taste either), blueberries, banana, 2 dates, apple; 2 flax crackers (shortcut) with Nut Pate spread (I’ll include recipes later)
Snack (3:00): Carrots with Zucchini Hummus (mmmm!) & Ants on a log (you know!)
I had an apple on the way home from work, then had an amazing (again, not the prettiest) Eggplant in a spicy thai marinade.  That was actually easy to make, and while it hung out for an hour getting happy, I made lunch for tomorrow.  So, so far so good.  I’m not hungry, and I haven’t broken the rules (completely) yet!
Stay tuned for recipes and photos!  Til tomorrow…laugh and enjoy^^

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