The joys of raw cooking

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MEXICAN CORN CHOWDER
Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • Kernels of 8 ears fresh corn (about 6 cups)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 medium bell pepper (not green), chopped (about 2 cup)
  • 1 to 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves (about 1/2 cup), plus more for garnishing
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Hot water for heating
Process:
  1. Set aside 1/2 cup corn kernels for garnishing. Put the remaining corn kernels and all the other ingredients except the hot water in a blender. Blend until smooth with some chunky bits, adding water as needed. If you like it chunkier, lightly blend the mixture, then remove a third of it to a small bowl. Blend the remaining two-thirds until smooth, then add in the chunky portion and blend just to mix.

  2. Before serving, heat the soup by stirring in very hot water in a 1 to 1 ratio of hot water to soup. Garnish with extra corn kernels and cilantro.
Variation:
Kids' Corn Chowder
To make a milder version for kids, leave out the onion, garlic, and cayenne.

HALE KALE SALAD
Serves 1 to 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch kale leaves
  • 1 medium avocado
  • Juice of 1 medium lemon (about 1/2 cup)
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Process:
  1. To prepare the kale leaves: Holding a kale leaf by the stem with one hand, wrap your other hand around the leaf up near the stem with your thumbnail exerting a slight pressure on the stem. Glide your thumbnail down the stem, separating the leaf from the stem; once you get the technique, it's a snap. Using this technique, deleaf one bunch of kale leaves into a large bowl.

  2. Now, reach in and grab a handful of kale leaves and rip them into pieces. Continue this motion repeatedly until you have ripped all the leaves into small bite-sized pieces (you don't want the pieces to be too big because they could catch in the throat while you are swallowing or may just be unappetizing).

  3. Cut the avocado in half lengthwise and remove the pit. With a spoon, scoop out each avocado half onto the kale leaves. Add the lemon juice, cayenne, and salt to taste.

  4. Okay, now comes the fun part. Remember how I talked before about having a relationship with your food? Well, here is a chance to develop a very tactile and immediate bond! I want you to get down and dirty. Reach into that bowl and start mashing the mixture with your hands. Squeeze the avocado between your fingers. Mash it all up until you have all the kale bits coated in a lovely creamy sauce. (If no one is looking you might even go ahead and lick that tasty dressing off your hands when you're done.)
You can of course add other ingredients (unless you want them to be mashed in, add them after you have completed the basic recipe). Some favorite additions are sprouted wild rice, tomatoes, seaweed, mung bean sprouts, and tahini.

TIPS ON HEALTHY FOODS FOR KIDS

  1. Rule #1: Don't tell the kids its healthy. Focus rather on how delicious, fresh and fun they are. You can, however, tell them why things like soda pop, chips etc are not good for them.

  2. Start Young: Feed them well from an early age and especially avoid allowing them to become addicted to refined sugars and highly processed foods. An early start makes it so much easier.

  3. Get them involved:
    >> Start any sized garden even if it is a window box of herbs. Get your kids involved in where the food comes from and they will feel personally invested and interested.

    >> Encourage them to help in food preparation. There are many parts of preparing a healthy meal that kids can help with. Even if they only do it once, they will hold an affection for that dish once they have helped with it.

    >> Take them to Farmer's Markets to buy the food. Involve them in choosing the best and freshest.

  4. Appeal to their environmental sensibilities. Most kids these days are very environmentally sensitive. By explaining how their food choices affect the planet and other animals, you can motivate them.

  5. Set a good example: Yeah, its the best teacher. When the parents exhibit healthy eating habits the kids will often follow.

  6. Don't keep junk food in the house. Always have plenty of healthy fresh food available.

  7. Don't use junk food as rewards. This creates a high value in the child's mind.

  8. Present the healthy food in fun and colorful ways.
>> About Rod Rotondi
>> About the book: "RAW FOOD FOR REAL PEOPLE"

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