Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Raw Vegan 4th of July!

I've been on one hundred diets in my life, give or take, and many of them have crossed paths with a holiday. I almost never, ever deny myself a chance to be gluttenous at holiday parties, however. I am a baker at heart and that's when my best stuff gets created, after all.  But, this time was different. I am doing a "legit" diet study and wanted to show that I could in fact get through a holiday without going off my rocker. (or needing to wear the fat pants!)

So, off to a 4th of July party I went with my watermelon cake and caesar salad.  Wait.  Did I just say cake and casesar salad?  Those aren't raw or vegan, are they?  Well, my versions were!  Let's start with the cake.

I got the inspiration for this cake from Raw Food Rehab on Facebook. They had posted a similar watermelon cake and it was the perfect idea for me.  Like I said, I love LOVE to bake, and am usually the person who brings the dessert, so this could not have been a better choice.

Before making it, I googled "how to make a watermelon cake." Big mistake.  All the links lead to real cakes made to look like a watermelon. So, I got more detailed: "How to make a cake out of watermelon."  That did the trick.  I found a youtube video demonstrating how to assemble one.  She busted out a ruler, and a sharpie, and some special saw and I just laughed to myself,  "That's taking it a bit far, don't ya think?"  

So, I headed to my kitchen, got out my normal chef's knife, started slicing the watermelon and promptly realized why she went all Type A on that melon.  Watermelon is tricky to cut in perfect circles, yo.  My slices were all kinds of wonky.  And then trying to get flat slices was like when you cut your bangs yourself, and you're all "I'm just going to even this side up a bit.  Now this other side needs tweaked just a bit." And next thing you know you're bald.  Yeah. Like that.  I started with a ten inch thick slice and next thing I know it's too small and I had to cut another one.  

I was also planning on covering up any rough edges with a whipped coconut cream, but that was a big FAIL too. It never got firm enough to whip. I don't know if it was the brand, or if I didn't leave it in the refrigerator long enough, but I was bummed.  It's pretty typical for something to go wrong every time I make a cake.  The cake is too crumbly, or part of it breaks off when it to a plate...but at least with "real" cakes I know that I can use my trusty buttercream to cover up any errors.  So when the coconut cream failed too, I started to get nervous.  But, toothpicks saved the day.  There were a gazillion toothpicks holding all that fruit on, but at least it looked good!  I saved the coconut cream and we just spooned it over the melon slices.  A perfect combo and no one knew the difference. 

I do not, however, recommend travelling long distances while transporting this cake. Not that I was crazy enough to do that or anything.

Yummy Veggies! Not pictured: 3 huge slices of
tomato and a gigantic dollop of fresh guacamole!
And then I made Mimi Kirk's Raw Vegan Caesar Salad. I was super skeptical at first. I'm not sure why. Maybe, I don't know....the lack of cheese and anchovies?  Just a guess.  Sorry for doubting you, Mimi!  This was a huge hit! And it was a very simple recipe. I had almost all of the ingredients on hand, except capers, but luckily my husband doesn't mind running all over town for me and my random, last minute recipes.

Her recipe can be found here. I can't wait to make this again!  The cashew parmesan cheese was the best part, and it makes plenty so you have left overs for things like raw spaghetti, or just to sprinkle on a salad.

At the party, my friend, the hostess, had prepared a few special raw foods for me, so I had plenty to eat!  My plate, pictured right, was full of lovely veggies and I didn't feel overly full for the first time at a holiday party.  I also was not jealous or resentful of not being able to eat the rest of the foods.  All of mine were so tasty that it really didn't even cross my mind.

So many options exist for vegetable preparation. I hope my Raw journey, at the very least, inspires you all to try eating more veggies!  


  1. The coconut milk (full fat) has to be in the fridge for a while - a good 24 plus hours. Thai Kitchen seems to be the best brand for developing cream on top. But I've had luck w/ other brands - even straight from the pantry. Oh ya, don't shake the can! You'll have to start all over :-( Use the left-over milk for coffee creamer (if you're doing coffee - try a cold brew - Google it) or use it to make chi tea (cold brew that too). Mmmm...Don't give up on the coconut cream! It's awesome. Kinda like nut parm ;-)

  2. 3 Researches REVEAL How Coconut Oil Kills Fat.

    This means that you actually burn fat by eating Coconut Fat (also coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 researches from big medicinal journals are sure to turn the traditional nutrition world upside down!