Happy Monday! Well maybe kind of? Yeah, my weekend flew by too fast also. And I probably ate too much, but it was all raw! We went to a family Superbowl party at my sister’s house packed with nieces and nephews, tons of noisy chaos and a lot of food, but great fun. I’m not really a football fan, I always hated it as a kid when my dad hogged the only TV in the house for hours to watch football. But the big game is a great excuse to get together with family and try new recipes and watch extreme commercials.
The food theme was burgers and fries, my father brought many pounds of his specialty pork and beef ground meat mixture to throw on the grill and I countered with Gena’s Conservation Burgers, raw jicama fries, Kristen Suzanne’s Cheezy Nacho Hemp Sauce and a tahini-based mayo to kick them up. This was a daring stunt in my family because most of they guys are traditional meat-with-a-side-of-fried-food-and-alcohol-hold-the-salad types.
I doubled Gena’s recipe and used half shredded carrots and half beet/red cabbage juicer pulp giving them a beautiful pink color, kind of like raw meat :-P I added basil, oregano and sun-dried tomatoes for the seasoning and processed all the ingredients in my food processor until they were a well blended pulp. I ended up with 9 patties because I varied sizes, making some large and some smaller for those trying one and a traditional burger.
Because I used moister shredded carrots, I dried for 3 hours on one side and 2 on the other, which seemed to work well, the patties held together well, but stayed moist inside. I also did Gena’s ketchup to serve with and have as an option to the traditional, store bought ketchup for those eating meat burgers and I served with Trader Joe’s Artisan green and purple lettuce leaves to use as buns.
It was very interesting to see everyone’s reaction and what they picked when everything was set up at the buffet station. My dad’s partial health-nut wife picked at raw burger with a low-carb thin bread bun and tried all my home-made raw condiments to go with it, she opted not to go back for a meat burger stating the vegan burger really filled her up. I noticed that too and could not finish my jicama fries because something about the dried pulp combo in the burgers that expanded heavily in my stomach – not a bad thing that such a small patty could be so filling, a great thing actually leaving me too full to be even tempted by the very non-raw Marie Callendar pies served for dessert. The tomato basil flavoring was very good and with the elaborate sauces, the burgers had a lot of flavor and seemed very moist.
My mom and sisters all tried a raw burger a long with a meat burger, but insisted they liked the raw version and appreciated the variety. In total, 7 of the 9 patties disappeared, there were more leftover meat burgers – not bad at all and I had leftovers of lunch today.
The homemade ketchup was popular once I pointed it out to everyone, the container did not make it easily recognizable as ketchup or as easily accessible as traditional store-bought ketchup in squeeze bottles. It definitely tasted better with a strong, tangy tomato flavor and sweet finish – kind of the adults version of ketchup. I will try other raw ketchup recipes, but I’m really enjoying making my own fresh condiments and being able to tweak, enhance the flavor. It also emphasizes how flavorless prepackaged, processed condiments are to target a larger population.
Kristen’s Nacho Hemp sauce was a big hit on burgers and as a chip and veggie dip, most did not think it was dairy free. I upped the garlic in it giving it an even more spicy kick and will be enjoying the leftover jar of it in my fridge.
However, the jicama fries were not so much of a hit compared to the hot, baked sweet potato fries. Pretty much everyone except me opted for those, only sampling the jicama versions. The recipe I followed did not have the spice or flavor, maybe I should have done baked carrot fries. The 2 and 4-year-olds would not touch them, lol. However, they were also very filling.
I was proud that I stayed 100% raw vegan at the party despite all the temptations around, that probably would not have been the case just a couple of months ago. As I research nutritional ramifications of excessive animal products and processed foods and discover equally or better tasting raw vegan recipes, it’s getting much easier and empowering to continue. I’ve also noticed the longer I go completely raw, the better I feel – not as stressed and in a better mood generally. I like to think that’s because I’m eating foods that are agreeing with and working for me more efficiently. I got so many questions last night on how I can stand the smell of cooked burgers and fries and not indulge to which I got to explain it gets easier over time and knowing how the foods will affect you and what the animals the foods came from went through.
This week I’m focusing on more simplistic raw meals because I’m a bit burned out on complex recipes requiring lots of kitchen cleaning after. I’ve been having a lot of fun trying all these recipes and have enjoyed letting my on-the-fence raw-eating family try them, but I think I’ll take it easy and focus on lite, quick recipes that maybe use just one or two appliances and less then 30-minutes. Granted, I’ll probably be eating my words when I come across a temping recipe :-P