A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

What I Had for Lunch Today: Love on a Plate

I usually have a salad for lunch, and I don't vary the salad much. Romaine always, maybe a little tomato, red pepper or celery, a simple dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. On top, a sprinkle of chopped nuts, fried tofu, chickpeas or some such. I'm happy to report I'm out of my salad rut with the arrival of this interesting new book, Love on a Plate.

Love on a Plate is an "uncookbook"--all the food is raw. That means no ingredient is ever processed at over 118 degrees Fahrenheit. A blender--preferably a powerful VitaMix--and a food dehydrator are frequently called into service. However, nothing more than a cutting board, a sharp knife, and that old Hamilton Beach blender you got for a wedding present in 1986 will get you pretty far along if you're not quite ready to commit to the raw vegan lifestyle full-time.

 The authors, Cara Brotman and Markus Rothkranz, look like they've sprung fully-dressed from somewhere on Rodeo Drive: tanned, blond, healthy, white and gold outfits glittering in the Southern California sun. Cara is a longtime vegan raw foodie, chef and restaurateur. Markus is a movie special effects guy turned health guru. Together they make living a healthy life simple, attractive and fun.

ALL of the food in this book is extremely easy to prepare. Some of the ingredients need a few hours in the dehydrator, but not counting that drying-out time, a recipe might take three minutes to whip up. Today I made a cheese, date pineapple salad with kale, and it was pretty yummy. I love kale, but I never use it raw in salad. I stuck to the recipe, though, mixing it with cut-up pineapple, dates, scallions, cashews and the non-dairy almond cheese. The dressing is olive oil, cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast (that's the pale yellow powder with the cheesy flavor, not the stuff you use for baking). Again, I'm not a big fan of vinegar, balsamic or otherwise, but I stuck to the recipe. And it was great! All the flavors and textures mixed together perfectly: sweet, sour, salty...creamy, chewy, crunchy: perfection. I even licked the plate.

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