Saturday, June 27, 2009

Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Fresh from the Garden - A Totally Raw Picnic

(raw vegan picnic spread)

I am so excited to have been selected to participate in's 24, 24, 24 this month! My proposal was to create an entirely raw vegan menu using fresh, seasonal produce sourced from local farm markets and gardens. As a member of the Chapel Seed Community Garden in New Haven, I was able to use the picnic area under their beautiful grape arbor as the location of this feast.

(me making opening remarks at Chapel Seed Community Garden)

The menu was created with vegetables, flowers and fruit from my little 6' x 10' plot and the larger community plot at Chapel Seed, as well as from a lovely CSA in North Haven called Nature's Mirror (who will also be at the Spring Glen Farmer's Market in Hamden).

(Kim and Mike Melillo who run Nature's Mirror)

Though it's early in the growing season, the produce is already plentiful. . . delicious romaine lettuce (thanks Walter!!), Swiss chard, dinosaur kale, mustard greens, cabbage, snow peas, snap peas (thanks David!!), radishes,
cilantro, basil, carrots, strawberries and raspberries.

(lovely rainbow chard and dinosaur kale)

I am grateful for the beautiful weather that perfectly complemented the occasion. I think this was the first sunny day for the entire month of June! I know it made the plants happy, too.

We feasted on a menu of:

Nasturtium Cannolis Filled with Macadamia Cheese

Crudites with Creamy Avocado and Macadamia Dip)

"Sea"sar Salad with Avocado and Pear

Mediterranean Kale and Swiss Chard Salad

Shredded Cabbage Pad Thai

Curried Cashew Mock Chicken Salad

Fresh Berry Tart with Date Nut Crust

Thank you to all who came out for this fun event: members of the community garden, New Haven Land Trust, friends, family (especially mom and dad - I don't know how I could do this without you!!). I'll be looking forward to hosting more events like this in the future. Leave me a Comment here or send me an Email!

(enjoying the spread)

(mom dishing it out)

(chatting with friends)

(mmmm. . . so good. . .)

(thanks, Dianna, for the gorgeous food photos!)


iRaw said...

Awesome - the food looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

The garden was a true paradise, filled with incredible vegatation and amazing food. It truly was an experience.

Mary Lawrence said...

Aww... how sweet! Yes, it's an urban oasis, and I'm glad you enjoyed the food!

Dianna said...

although i never question mary's talents as a chef, i had no idea raw dining could be so magical. the entire event was uplifting, the food was scrumptious and the gardens were gorgeous. thanks again mary!!

Anonymous said...

Everything was delish but the Nasturtium Cannolis blew me away! yummm :)

Mary Lawrence said...

You're all very welcome. It was a pleasure to share this picnic feast with you!

stephchows said...

Totally creative great job with your 24 24 24!!

The Duo Dishes said...

Seasar salad and berry tart! Both look so good. Great 24 post.

Linda said...

Thanks for a wonderful raw food dining experience. I always enjoy a good pad thai recipe and yours was to die for. I was also happy to try your other specialties like the mock romaine salad and the mock chicken salad. It was a perfect day. Congrats!!!

Nurit "1 family. friendly. food." said...

I love Nasturtium as a flower, but Nasturtium Cannolis? Do you really eat the leaves? What do they taste like?
I love the idea of adding dates to the pie crust. I always feel the crust's potentail is wasted in most recipes where they don't add anything to it. You had a great idea. Love the dates!
Everything looks beautiful in your feast.

Mary Lawrence said...

Yes, indeed, the leaves - and flowers - of the nasturtium plant are edible. They have a fresh "green" flavor and are slightly pepper. This made for a perfect contrast with the creamy ricotta-like macadamia nut "cheese" filling. If you can't get nasturtiums (they happen to be taking over my garden, which is also why I used them) you can substitute a mild lettuce like Bibb or Boston, or even young Swiss chard.

DJ Karma (VegSpinz) said...

Everything looked so fresh and delicious! Congratulations on a great raw vegan feast!

Anonymous said...

Whoa!! All those things look so good.