Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Anybody Want A Date?

Before you all run screaming in the other direction...I don't mean THAT kind of date!  I speak of course of the luscious, sweet little morsels of goodness...the Medjool Date.  Nature's candy.  I had quite the full schedule today so I only got three dishes made but three is better than none right?

For some strange reason, my eyelids went up like a roll shade at 5 am this morning and I couldn't go back to sleep.  If I were not already perfectly gorgeous I'd be concerned about the lack of beauty sleep!  My pledge to stick to raw juices and raw foods is going well but as an aside, I've always had trouble sleeping before the witching hour (usually long past).  Despite that, I generally wake up before 7 am.  Maybe its all this raw juce.  I feel like Jack LaLane...full of vitality.  Maybe I am evolving to a point where sleep is not necessary to my species?

In any event, here I sat at my desk pecking away at recipes while it was pitch black outside.  My husband's snores carrying from the other room sounded like a gorilla giving birth in the morning stillness.  Clearly, the carnivore has no issues with sleep! 

So, I started my day with just some straight orange juice from two huge navel oranges making a trip through my juicer.  There is NOTHING like it.  By the way, always cut off the colored rind before juicing citrus.  It's full of very stringent, bitter oils and will ruin the flavor of your juice.  Don't however, remove the pith.  I know that's weird because when you zest an orange or lemon you try to AVOID the pith but when you juice it, it makes the juice thick and creamy and there is not bitterness whatsoever.

About 10 am I popped the top on a tetra pack of coconut water and then juiced up some carrot, apple and Kale.  A friend of mine made the comment that her kids love it when she juices carrot and apple...they call it CRAPPLE.  I was wondering what you get when you add Kale to Crapple?  Maybe some questions are best left unanswered.

I had an appointment at 12:30 and I knew I'd be ravenous by the time I got home so I opened the vegetable bin and basically ran one of everything in there through the juicer.  Wow...the color of red bell pepper juice is so red that no matter what else you throw in there, the drink is still red.  I kind of made my own V-8...oops I guess I can't say that.  I'll call it my own Eight Veg cocktail;  red pepper, celery, cuke, parsley, carrot, kale, green beans and something else that I've forgotten...with a couple of slices of peeled lemon.  It was delicious.

I got home from my appointment around 2 and went to work straight away.  First, was my delicious and alkalizing Avocado, Cucumber and Parsley Soup.

This soup is served chilled and the texture is just melts on your tongue.
It is so simple to make.  Juice one huge handful of parsley with half an organic english cucumber (peel on) and a couple of slices of peeled lemon.  If you don't have a cup of juice add enough purified water to equal 1 cup.  Pour this mixture into the blender and add one ripe pitted and peeled Haas avocado.  Puree until smooth.  Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.  I garnish mine with some diced seeded Roma Tomato.  It's fab!

From there I moved on to an arugula salad with tomatoes and onion, dressed simply with some homemade lemon tahini dressing.  I decided that I needed a little dessert and a pantry raid yielded dates, dried cranberries, dehydrated unsweetened coconut and raw chocolate nibs.  In the freezer I found almond meal, raw almonds.  This all went into my food processor and was ground until completely chopped and mixture was sticky enough to form into balls. 

You would use:

8-10 pitted medjool dates
1/2 cup dried organic cranberries
1/3 cup dried organic unsweetened coconut flakes
1/3 cup raw cacoa nibs (raw chocolate)
1/4 cup raw almond meal
1/4 cup raw almonds

Process until thoroughly blended.  Form into 18 (tablespoon sized) balls and store in fridge if you don't eat them all first!

Nature's own candy!

You can add flax meal or chia seeds to these to boost the protein and add more nutrients.

Lastly, I needed to finish my Wheatberry Pate' which I was reluctant to do since I know that I could easily eat the entire batch.  I started to talk about that a little yesterday but didn't give you the amounts.

Soak 1/2 cup of hard winter wheat berries overnight in purified water.  In the morning, drain the water and rinse the wheat.  Place it in a covered 1 quart sauce pot and cover with more fresh water.  Bring to a boil and simmer covered for about 1 1/2-2 hours for this amount of wheat.  Drain and cool.

To make the Wheatberry Pate:

Add the cooked wheat to the food processor with 6-8 pitted Medjool dates, 1/2 cup dried cherries, 1 cup of raw walnuts and a generous grating of fresh nutmeg.  Process until mixture becomes a thick paste.  Transfer to a container and refrigerate until ready to serve.  We have ours with apple or pear slices but you can eat this just as it is. 

I know it looks like a blob of goo...but its just ridiculously delicious and HARD to back away from once you get started.

These are crisp organic Fuji apples and they taste like ambrosia!

Now, its time for me to think about what I'm juicing for dinner.  The carnivore is at his weekly ritual of male bonding and blantant display of gross manliness (dart tournament) so I don't have to roast some poor slain animal tonight. 

Just a little sump'n sump'n to make you smile (at least it did me), I came across a Far Side quote that I loved the other day.  This was written by the Far Side humorist, Gary Larson. 

"When their numbers had diminished from 50 to 8...the other dwarves began to suspect HUNGRY...."

What can I say...I'm slightly bent!

(c) copyright Jill Anderson
The Homegrown Gourmet


  1. I struggle to eat healthy too. Today I went out for sushi with some friends. Then we had fondu. Then some ice cream. And some pie. I decided to have cashews for dinner to balance it out.

    This pate is intriguing.

  2. No way now how...not in this lifetime will Jillyann Anderson ever eat a piece of sushi if it's made with ANY fish or seaweed (I'm deathly allergic to anything that comes out of the ocean and it's repulisve to me even if I wasn't). Fondu, ice cream and pie...sounds like dairy overload to me...LOL My husband is the same way. He will basically eat anything that doesn't eat him first. I'm MUCH more judicious about food than he is! As to the pate' might not be everyone's cup of tea but I absolutely adore it. You can make it more or less sweet by the number of dates you add. The cherries give it a nice tart contrast to the super sweet dates. The cooked wheat is kind of chewy/creamy when processed like that and the nuts give it a delicious flavor. probably isn't sweet enough for you! :)

  3. Hey Jilly, isn't it a bother when you make something so good that words cant describe (in this case, your soup's texture-that always bugs me). I want to make those little candies by the way. Dates are one of my favorite foods hands down. I think I'm going to have to make a list of your stuff that I want to make (flax seeds in water for egg white, date candies, almond milk (started!)...

  4. Hi Stella! Thanks...that's a compliment coming from you because your stuff always looks so wonderful too! I love dates also...and those little "candies" are outrageous. The bad thing is that I want to eat more than I should!

    To say that soup is velvety doesn't quite convey the texture. It IS velvety but it has a very light airiness to it as well. Like something that's whipped. Since it's raw...I had that for lunch yesterday. I'm doing a raw food/juice detox for a couple of weeks!

    My head is spinning right now with ideas for gluten free biscotti...thanks to you! Im not sure I can do gf AND vegan. They probably need the eggs but we'll see.

  5. Hi Jill, I actually think this looks really quite good. Reminds me of oatmeal - though I guess with a bit more liquid this would be "wheatmeal"? :) I could even imagine this as a refrigerator cookie...mmm

  6. I suppose you could take the cold pate and heat it with almond milk (or cow's milk if you use it) and turn it into a hot cereal. It's much chewier and nuttier tasting than oats. You might be able to turn it into a refrigerator cookie by adding some flour (not muchh), baking powder and possibly an egg. Form into logs, wrap and refigerate. Then slice and bake..just until set...kind of like you would do for shortbread. I don't know if it would work but I might give it a try. If you try it...let me know how it works. Thanks for the comment!

  7. Hi JillyAn,

    Thanks for putting my blog on your blog list! I love your site and the name of your blog.

    Your wheatberry pate sounds an awful lot like koljivo or zito, but with fruit 'n' stuff added. Any connection to that traditional Serbian dish?

  8. That is exactly what it is Vesna. My ex husband was Serbian and his mother made zito for Slava all the time. I LOVE zito and could eat it till I POP but I don't want to eat all that processed powdered sugar. So I fiddled with the recipe and added the dried fruits for sweetness. It definately IS a connection to the traditional Serbian dish though.

  9. Brilliant! My next zito will be made with dates! :)

  10. Here's my own post on zito, BTW.

    I would love to hear your take on my description, as they are based on the secondhand knowledge of a first-generation child of diaspora parents who left Yugo mid-20th century. I don't where your husband and his family grew up, but perhaps their connection to the culture is more recent.

  11. OMG that did NOT just happen! Vesna...I just spent the last HOUR writing an answer to your post and when I went to send I got an error message! Oh I am SO mad...LOL

    I will re write it to get some work done right now. But I do want to tell you their story because I know it will interest you. You are so right about some of these recipes and tradtions being nearly lost...they are. But I'm so thankful that I had the MIL that I had who taught me these amazing dishes and told me her amazing, inspiring life story. Sadly, her own son (my ex) and daughter (his late sister) were not interested in her stories but I was. She passed away in 2000 and is buried in the Serbian Cemetary in Libertyville, IL (Regina Katarina Djordjevic). I could'nt divorce her son while she was still alive because it would have broken her heart. After she died, I felt like it was okay for me to move on. Twenty years is a LONG time to live with someone because you love his mother though. I'm so happy that I have her stories and her recipes to pass on to my daughters though. I will rewrite my big narrative a little later... having read extensivley on your blogs..I KNOW you will enjoy it!

  12. BTW...Gibanica is one of the best foods in the entire world! IMHO..LOL

  13. JillyAn,

    I'm glad we've connected. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to reading more. (I hate losing text to computer glitches -- a heartbreak!!!)



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Fort Myers, Florida, United States