So then this happened:
The motor’s slightly injured, too.
Seriously? Don’t ask me how I managed to destroy several parts of an appliance that is, for all intents and purposes, indestructible. I’m just good like that. Or, I’m sleep deprived. Le sigh.
While I wait for my new Vita-parts to arrive, I’m brought back to the year 2007, when I was a new high raw foodist, flushed with first love, and without any of the fancy appliances that raw veterans call their own. Many of my readers tell me that they find it hard to be raw because they don’t have dehydrators, and they don’t have Vita-Mixes. I totally understand, but I like to remind them that I was high raw for over a year before I had a high speed blender, and over two before I got my dehydrator (which I rarely use). I ate a lot of salads, a lot of nut pates, a lot of soups that would turn out nicely in a normal blender, and a lot of fruit smoothies that didn’t require high speed blending.
And you know what? I felt terrific.
While I count the minutes till the Vita is up and running again, I’m actually feeling sort of grateful for this reminder of what raw foods have always meant to be: simplicity. Basics. A return to food in its most stripped down form. I love raw foodism for giving me the capacity to appreciate food for what it is, and not only for how I can improve it. As a cook, I do love to experience the creativity of the cooking process, and I believe that learning how to enhance the taste of food is one of our biggest civilized achievements. But eating raw has always been a lovely reminder that, even without our artistry, food is beautiful.
The following was one of my first raw “entrees,” and I did it without a Vitamix or a spiralizer. I used a $15 dollar mandolin to cut my zucchini into matchsticks, and I made the pesto in my food processor (OK, full confession: while I can definitely survive life without a Vita-Mix when I have to, I’d be fairly lost without the food processor. I use it almost every day, and have for years). It was love at first bite, and tonight, as I celebrated the early stirrings of summer flavors, I was transported back to those first few months of raw infatuation.
Raw Zucchini Pasta with Pistachio Pesto (serves 1)
For the pasta:
2 small zucchini, spiralized or sliced into matchsticks
4 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
For the pesto: (makes 3/4 cup, or 4 servings)
1 cup shelled pistachio nuts
2 cups tightly packed basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt (or more to taste)
Black pepper to taste
1) Grind pistachios in a food processor for about thirty seconds, using the S blade. Add basil and pulse to combine.
2) Run the motor and drizzle the olive oil in in a thin stream. Next, drizzle in the lemon.
3) Check consistency; I love my pesto super thick, but if you like it more traditionally runny, add a bit more oil.
4) Add salt and pepper to taste.
5) To assemble the pasta, rub about 3 tbsp of the pesto into your zucchini. Toss in the tomatoes, and serve topped with nooch if you like.
No matter how long we’ve been eating raw, vegan, or any other special way, it’s great to have moments that remind us why we fell in love with our eating style in the first place. I’m sorry I butchered my Vita (sorry, Vita), but I’m not so sorry to re-connect with my raw food roots again.
Readers, rest assured that a beautiful raw supper can await you without a $500 appliance. Earth gives us taste and pleasure in abundance, and our own creative flair can do nearly all the rest (she says as she pats her food processor lovingly.)
See you back here tomorrow!