Monday, July 16, 2012

Raw Summer Party Menu

This weekend I had the honor of creating a raw tasting menu and doing a raw food demonstration for the Active Wellness 3rd anniversary celebration.  The theme was health and wellness, and I wanted to incorporate seasonal flavors such as basil, parsley, and tomatoes for familiarity, but with a raw twist that would surprise guests.

Guests arrived to a table of finger food:  Dilled Sunflower Seed Pate with Cajun Spice, Cucumber Wedges, and Endive Boats; Portobello Cocktail "Meatballas" in a Cashew Bechamel Sauce; Tomato Carpaccio with Sea Salt, Basil Chiffonade and Parsley Oil.  The flowers are in bloom at my community garden, and they made for a lovely centerpiece, including some particularly intoxicating butterfly bush blossoms.

The demonstration involved the assembly of Flaxbread Mini Pizzas using flax crackers as I base which I had made earlier in the dehydrator.  They were topped with Sundried Tomato Marinara, Kalamata Olives and Cashew Cheese Sauce.

I discovered later that the meatballs also made a delicious topping on the mini pizzas!

The biggest surprise of the evening was the sunflower seed pate.  As guests arrived at the table, several asked what kind of hummus this was.  I had to explain to them not only was it not hummus, but that it was made with sunflower seeds instead of chickpeas.  Another surprise was the Bechamel sauce.  It's smooth, rich, and creamy, but there isn't a drop of milk, cream, or cheese in it.  It's simply the magic of soaked cashews plus a Vita-Mix blender!

The evening ending with a discussion of superfoods and a decadent dessert, hand rolled Coconut Manna and Hempseed Cacao Truffles with Fresh Local Blueberries.  This dessert would appease even the most ardent vegan skeptics.  I enjoyed sharing this gourmet raw menu and introducing people to the incredible taste adventure that uncooked foods can be.

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