Friday, May 1, 2009

Inspiration: Golden Canneloni and Carrot-Butternut Soup

Inspired raw dinner!

I have been doubly inspired lately. First, by the glorious wisdom of nature, bestowing me with a garden and farmer's market full of beautiful, seasonal fruits and vegetables. And second, by the creative genius of all the wonderful raw chefs around the world who share their creations so graciously via the web! This desire to give, this sense of abundance at the very heart of the raw food movement is exactly what I love about it. The more we eat natural foods prepared with love, the more we appreciate the gift of such foods, the more energetic and grateful we feel, and the more we want to share our passion and creativity with others. It's a big cycle that I am so happy to be a part of.

So today's inspiration comes, firstly, from golden zucchinis and pumpkins in the garden. I've had lots of fun playing with both of these gorgeous fruits this autumn, but I'll admit I was starting to feel a little bit bored of them. Then I saw Matthew Kenney's drool-worthy Golden and Green Canneloni over at G Living and, viola, I was suddenly excited about golden zucchini again! What a miracle to have such special fruit growing in my own backyard! I didn't really follow Matthew's recipe, just kind of took his general idea and ran with it, using whatever I had on hand to make my own version. This was a pinch-dash-handful-drizzle kind of recipe, no measurements as such: a few slices of mandolined golden zucchini for the canneloni shell, layered with thick slices of luscious farmer's market tomatoes, a simple pesto of basil and rocket from the garden pulsed with a handful of walnuts, a bit of garlic, pinch of salt and drizzle of walnut oil, and an impromptu cheese made with cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, a pinch of salt and a dash of water. Here's the result, which was oohed and aahed over and then gobbled up hungrily by J and myself:

Golden Canneloni: inspiration from the garden and Matthew Kenney

With the canneloni we also enjoyed a nice big green salad with rocket and ruby chard from the garden, a bottle of quite drinkable but ultimately immemorable red (I think it was Shiraz Grenache Viognier?) from Organic Vignerons Australia, and a couple of little mugs of my spiced-up version of Pumpkin Pie in a Bowl from Gina at Choosing Raw. Gina's recipe combines carrot juice, butternut, avocado, stevia, cinnamon and nutmeg for a sweet, creamy bowl of yumminess. I prefer my soup a bit more savory so I added some turmeric, a bit more himalayan salt, and a nice big pinch of cayenne (and then another pinch of cayenne). It was pretty spicy, and very orange. Definitely a big beta carotene kick!

Sweet and Spicy Carrot-Butternut Soup

So happy to be inspired again! C'mon nature and raw chefs of the world, what are you gonna throw at me next?

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