Raw(ish) Stew

Has that title turned you right off? I don't blame you but I challenge you to read on. I'm having a raw moment. I've just finished reading the Crazy Sexy Diet and I'm soooooo pumped (give me a woohoo!) about my birthday present - a raw cookery class at Saf in London. You think I'm bad now? Wait until I've been tutored by the experts and then I'll be unbearable. Unbearably raw!

I know it sounds daunting and I'm sure a few of you even feel a little queasy at the thought of raw food not to mention a whole lotta freaked out. It all sounds a bit nuts right? And you would be right because there are a heck of a lot of nuts involved in raw cooking - all sorts of nuts, but in particular cashews, almonds, macadamias, walnuts, oh and more cashews.

Still not convinced? Still wondering what the deal is with raw food? I know, I get it, I really do. Let me tell a few things though before you go running off to another blog with cooked food. Raw food is good for you. Now there's a brainwave says you. What else can I say - cooking food does take many of the nutrients out of the food(boohoo but truehoo). All those beautiful lovely nutrients that keep our bodies happy and our souls elevated.

Secondly, raw food tastes good. You know that it does because I know you crunch on carrots, munch on cucumber and chew on peppers. Am I right? AM I RIGHT? So it's not such a leap to the next level -  a dish comprising of all or mostly all raw ingredients. I'm not quite there yet - baby steps - so you could totally join me on this little journey and inch your way towards an entirely raw meal.

I know I could never eat raw all the time, that would be very difficult for me, very difficult indeed. However, I'm desperate to incorporate more raw meals into our weekly menu. Longterm I'm hoping for a 60/40 weekly ratio - the 60% being cooked vegan (I ain't that hardcore....yet!).

I was stunned at how gorgeous this dish was and very pleased with myself (verging on smug) especially as my Husband took some for lunch and also gave it a massive two thumbs up (this man tells it as it is so his opinion means a lot to me).

Now, I did serve it with millet (cooked) and I also included sweetcorn from a tin (don't hate me, it was organic) so this isn't as rawly virtuous as it could be but like I said baby steps!

raw(ish) stew

1 large carrot

1 small tin organic sweetcorn

1/2 large red pepper

small red onion

pesto dressing

large handful of basil

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup walnuts

juice 1/2 lemon

1 clove garlic

olive oil (a good glug and dependent on how thick/thin you want it)

salt and pepper

Grate the carrot, chop the pepper into small chunks and finely dice the red onion. Drain the sweetcorn.

In a large bowl combine the carrot, pepper, red onion and sweetcorn.

Put the basil, pine nuts, walnuts, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and seasoning into a blender, food processor or hand blender. Blitz until completely smooth and pour over the vegetables. Mix thoroughly.

Serve with millet, couscous, quinoa or any grain of your choice.

My preferred method for cooking millet is one part millet to two parts water, clamp on lid, bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer. Once all the water has been absorbed (about 10mins) take it off the heat, remove lid and fluff with a fork.

veganAine Carlin