Tag Archives: raw pesto

Raw pesto is besto

15 Aug

 

enjoy your raw pesto with your other raw favourites

enjoy your raw pesto with your other raw favourites

Being a BIG fan of cheese of any flavour, smell, size and shape, and a fan of basil, olive oil, pine nuts and garlic, you can imagine that there is a special place in my heart for pesto. I also distinctly remember the life-changing moment when my old friend Beezie taught me the basic recipe. On discovering how easy it was to create those big yummy spoonfuls of heaven, I think I ate it every day for a year.

Now more inclined to enjoy the raw equivalent of anything, I’ve finally let go of the fact that pesto is ONLY pesto with parmesan in the recipe. While Genoan chefs will be turning in their graves at the thought of a raw recipe version, I’ve gone a step further and decided that anything with nuts, leaves and oil is a pesto. If it was a Sicilian recipe I wouldn’t dare fiddle with it…

TRADITIONAL RAW PESTO
1 big bunch of fresh Italian basil
3 generous dollops of olive oil
1 cup of pine nuts
Sea salt for seasoning
½ garlic clove (or less – it will be very strong)

FRESH SUMMER PESTO
½ bunch fresh Italian basil
¼ bag of baby spinach leaves
2 sticks of celery
1 cup of cashew or macadamia nuts
½ cup of pine nuts
Juice of a juicy lemon
Zest of one lemon
Generous dollops of olive oil
Dash of sea salt

ASIAN PESTO
½ bag of baby spinach
½ bunch of coriander (cilantro)
1 big dash of sesame oil
1 swig of sunflower oil
1 cup of cashew or macadamia nuts
1 finely chopped and seeded red chilli
Juice of a juicy lemon
¼ clove of garlic
Dash of cracked black pepper

How to make it
Blend in a blender

Fasting for hypocrites

15 Jun

I figured that if I’m going to go without food for over a week, then I want it to be in paradise. However it would have to be a budget kind of paradise. Hence I found myself at Spa Samui, a detox spa on Koh Samui, the sadly slightly overdeveloped island in the bay of Thailand. Not exactly paradise, but with lovely beaches, hot sunny days and a raw food restaurant they claim as the world’s best, I can’t complain.

Many religions, from Buddhism, Islam, Judaism and Hinduism include fasting periods in their religious calendars and all for different reasons. Muslims believe that fasting from food also prevents false speech and lustful thoughts and promotes brotherhood as everyone, rich or poor, experiences the same feelings of hunger and need. Jewish people fast as a form of atonement for wrongdoing, for commemorative mourning or commemorative show of gratitude and importantly, also to highlight ‘our’ dependence on God to provide for ‘us’.

I fast to give my poor body a break from the sheer quantity of food it has to process throughout the year never mind the quality I put in. Even though my diet is pretty healthy, I do, as you know, ‘slip up’ all the time and all that bread, meat, wine and cheese are still fighting their way through my liver and digestive system a year later. Fasting also forces me to stop doing anything other than reading, sun tanning, sleeping, turning up for massages and drinking copious amounts of water. It gives every organ in my body the chance to detoxify and heal. It also sets a healthy stage for a raw food diet.

So what was my last meal before fasting?

raw pizza to give pizza hut a run for its money

raw pizza to give pizza hut a run for its money

After scrutinising the menu for a desperate length of time, I was forced to make a decision just to avoid the wrath of my Buddhist waiter.  I chose the raw pizza; a delicious pesto spread covered with chopped courgette, diced red peppers and the most delicious, creamy, mayo-like cashew nut sauce on a dehydrated nut pizza base.  Phew it was the right choice. For dessert, I ordered fresh frozen mango creamed into an icecreamy sorbet-like texture and topped with a super sweet honey and cinnamon sauce.  Yum.

What food did I think about during the fast?

Weirdly, I fantasised constantly about a rare chunk of steak and chips dripping in bearnaise sauce.  I haven’t eaten steak and chips like that for over ten years so it was disturbing to my raw core and didn’t make sense. 

And what was my first meal after the fast? 

raw pesto pasta - my post fast first meal of choice

raw pesto pasta - my post fast first meal of choice

At lunchtime on day ten, I broke the fast and sprinted (weakly) to the restaurant. After ten days pawing, licking and ogling the menu, I had memorised it and knew exactly what I wanted without even looking.

I chose the raw courgette pesto pasta.  Fine spirulised strips of courgette, topped with a rich pesto sauce and served on a bed of lovely lettuce.  It doesn’t sound filling but it was. It was so filling, my poor shrunken stomach ached for hours.  I did also practically inhale it. 

The main thing is I am now free to eat whatever I want.  And right now I can’t stop thinking about avocado.