The first official Raw Recipe Night hosted by Living Raw By Grace kicked off on Saturday, June 12th and the second was on the 21st. They both featured Raw Dips/Spreads/Dressings. I loved choosing dips as the first class, because you don't have to be raw in any aspect whatsoever to enjoy a dip. You can even eat them with crackers and chips, but it's a wonderfully healthy addition to your lifestyle. It's also a very simple raw meal...you grab some carrots, broccoli, celery, and/or cucumber and your dip of choice, and voila...you've had a raw meal! They were all either nut, seed, or bean based, which is your protein and complex carb (for those who like that full feeling) in their natural state, which also included all the vitamins and minerals that you usually cook right out and end up in the boiling water. Featured was a cashew "cheese" sauce, a garbanzo bean hummus, and a sunflower seed garlic spread, all with less than ten ingredients and taking less than five minutes to make. No cooking/baking/grilling = no waiting! I usually keep 2-3 dips in my fridge at all times as a quick meal or snack. I have at least ten more dip recipes, so I may do another dip class in a few months. This was by far the easiest raw dish class. The next will be a bit more involved, but still very easy. We'll be making pies next weekend, and I cannot wait. Raw desserts are by far my favorite to make and share, since they don't taste "healthy" at all. :) We'll be making a Lemon Meringue, a Chocolate Mousse (it was an apple pie I decided to replace), and a peach cobbler. Since the first class is during Independence Day weekend, I believe I'll make my lemon meringue pie into a flag. :) Can you tell I'm excited?!
I was hoping to post pictures when I told everyone about the class, but I haven't gotten them downloaded yet...I need to bring my own camera to the next one...or someone should come take pictures for a free spot! ;) ;) Speaking of spots, there are only around ten spots per class (to keep it cozy and the costs down), so if you are interested, make sure you prepay to save your spot! The second pie class is almost full!
During each class you get a cutting board and knife, (oh yeah, I put you to work! - no really, when you take part of the creation, it's more 'yours') a recipe sheet and pen (to take lavish notes), and a sample of the dish while we make it and some to take home (either bring your own reusable container or buy one at the class). You can ask any and every question you can think of...and I'll try to pay attention to what I make while I talk. I still haven't mastered that yet, and every so often I slip and lick my utensils. ;)
Feel free to visit the Calendar for a list of upcoming classes and you can register directly on the website through Google Checkout.
Local, organic CSA
Horny Toad Farms supplies the produce at the farmer's market that I attend every Thursday night in Peoria, AZ and I have gotten to talk to the farmer, Stella, quite frequently about personalizing the produce she brings. I use greens like most people drink soda, so I'm always interested in organic greens. She usually supplies me with chard and lettuces, for ridiculously cheap prices for organic produce. This past week she mentioned her CSA, which is simply a prearranged, prepaid basket of produce that she delivers weekly. It's 8-10 different items in varying quantities that will change every week, depending on what is in season and what she harvests. I love that her farm is in Phoenix, and you can't get more local than that! The price of the basket is $20, which is cheaper than any CSA in the area (believe me, I've looked), and it's delivered to the Farmer's Market that is ten minutes from my house. Well, I'm sold! In fact, I have to share this with everyone! Stella tends to run at least 5-10 different farmer's markets in the valley, which keeps her plenty busy, you know...besides running her farm. So, I decided to help her out (I love the idea of helping a local farmer!!!) and organize the CSA at this farmer's market. I already have three that have prepaid and can't wait to see her face when a dozen people show up for her CSA this Thursday.
Yes, this Thursday we are starting it up. :) We will prepay for the first three weeks, so $60. You can pay by check or cash when you arrive on Thursday to pick up, or I can make a button on my CSA info page on my website to pay through, just let me know. You can choose from two different baskets: a raw basket which contains mostly vegetables and fruit that you can eat raw, or the regular basket which contains things like potatoes, onions, eggplant and other things that you would use very sparingly, if at all, in raw dishes. Each week you will receive the pick of the pick regarding produce (the leftovers will be sold at the farmer's market). After the first week, I am planning on holding a quick little class on what raw dishes you can make with the produce in your basket. Something simple, and possibly some recipes to try out on your own with the produce you get. Also...if you cannot make some week, or Thursday nights are difficult for you to commit to, I can always take your produce home and meet you somewhere (or you can come to my place) to pick up in the next few days. Just realize that I have VERY limited fridge space...so it will have to wait out for you in my laundry room (dark and cool...hopefully will help your produce keep). :)
LRBG is BUSY these days. If you are interested in the CSA, please contact me as soon as possible. If you miss this week's deadline, I'll let you know and get you signed up for next week's. You can always email me at LivingRawByGrace@mail.com, or contact me through my website, or visit my facebook page whether you want to sign up for a Raw Recipe Night or the CSA.
For those who are not in Phoenix, CSAs are everywhere and the organic produce is usually much cheaper (not to mention healthier) than what you find in stores. Check it out!