Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Joys of Being a High Raw Pescatarian and Paradise Found Thai Red Curry, Tomato & Mushroom Bisque

I like to describe my diet as High Raw Pescatarian, a term I humbly admit I coined myself. The term "pescatarian" is defined as "vegetarian plus fish," with vegetarian meaning plant foods, dairy foods & eggs but no corpses (mammal, insect, fish or bird).

In short, being High Raw Pescatarian means I eat primarily Raw Plant Foods and some Cooked Plant Foods plus a few Raw (and sometimes Cooked) Animal Foods. The main animal foods I enjoy are raw cheeses made with goat or sheep milk. (I feel so fortunate to live in the Pioneer Valley where local dairies like Hillman Farm, Blue Ledge Farm, Consider Bardwell Farm and Vermont Shepherd are creating the most delicious gourmet artisinal goat and sheep cheeses on the planet.) In addition to raw goat and sheep cheese, from time to time I may also partake of fresh sushi, cooked seafood and free-range/organic eggs.

These are the basic ingredients of the High Raw Pescatarian diet. And then there are the "extras," also known as the spice of life–from Himalayan Pink Salt to freshly ground black pepper and beyond. Some of these extras are raw and some are not but for me, all are essential. I know anything is possible... but what natural food chef would choose to be without miso (a living, probiotic-rich fermented food)? Not to mention countless other tasty condiments such as Dijon mustard, curry paste, organic powdered soup broth and Spike, Gayelord Hauser's famed vegetable salt blend that’s been around for decades. (Hauser, nutritionist to Hollywood screen stars of the 1930's and '40's, was one of the first Health Nuts of the modern era.) These treasures are part of my stealth flavor arsenal and, when called upon to serve, add marvelous complexity to the taste of my otherwise simple food.

The pleasure of pure, natural tastes and the excitement of complex flavorings coexist joyfully on my path of progress towards a clean-celled body humming with life force energy. Sometimes, all I crave is the creamy sweetness of plain, unadorned avocado, eaten right out of the shell, like a melon. Other times, I must take my mouth for a ride by sprinkling the avocado halves with Spike or Herbamare before digging in with my spoon. Truly, I find that a little pinch of condimental surprise makes the raw journey so much fun that my kitchen almonst feels like an adventure playground!

Well, last night when I entered the playground, inspiration struck. It all started with a package of organic white button mushrooms. I had planned to serve these pillowy orbs thickly sliced on a bed of watercress and mixed greens, dressed perhaps with a lemon-basil vinaigrette. That would have been good. But I’ve been experimenting a lot with making raw blended soups for supper, and suppertime it was. The mushroom salad was not to be.

Often when making raw blended vegetable soups, I’ll add about a quarter cup of raw cashews for creaminess. However, depending on how much density I’m in the mood for or what else I am having with respect to food combining, I may not want to use nuts. Other thickening options include avocado, chia seeds and chia gel (my upcoming book on this fabulous superfood supplies plenty of chia details and recipes–stay tuned for updates on the release date).

Finding myself fresh out of chia gel, it was to my trusty avocado I turned last night when concocting (no doubt with the assistance of divine forces) the thick, nut-free curried tomato and mushroom bisque you’ll find below. I must share it with you. You must try it. You will thank me. I promise.

Paradise Found Thai Red Curry, Tomato & Mushroom Bisque

This soup is indescribably delicious. Just one spoonful will send your taste buds into paroxysms of euphoria. I’m not kidding. Prepare to be transfixed. Warning: If you generally prefer sitting down to eat, get settled at table before tasting or you may never make it! I finished my bowl standing up, it was that good.

Makes 2 Bowls

1 8-ounce package white mushrooms
1 cup cherry tomatoes (or roughly chopped fresh tomato)
½ cup roughly chopped red onion
½ avocado
¼ cup minced cilantro, set aside
1 Tablespoon lemon juice or lime juice
1 Tablespoon raw coconut oil
1 teaspoon minced ginger or galangal root
1 teaspoon red curry paste (I use Mae Ploy brand)
1 Tablespoon nama shoyu or wheat free tamari
1 Tablespoon fish sauce (optional; replace with 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast or 1 teaspoon Marmite if vegetarian)
1 cup warm water (<118˚ F)
chopped fresh basil or cilantro leaves, for garnish

Set aside 2 large mushrooms, minced cilantro and garnish. Add everything else to blender and blend until smooth. Finely chop reserved mushrooms and stir into bisque, along with minced cilantro. If desired, warm gently to about 105˚ on stovetop, using a thermometer and stirring constantly with a wooden spoon till desired temperature reached. Pour bisque into two bowls, garnish with a sprinkle of chopped basil or cilantro and serve.


Mandy said...

Hi Diana, I just found your blog on "Gone Raw" and really love the recipe. I actually used to love the Mae Ploy curry paste so much, but now that I don't want to eat shrimp I have been searching for a substitute. Tried making red curry the other night with red peppers for the color and just curry powder for the curry...not the same, but still yummy (had a coconut meat base). Hope all is well, and look forward to more posts!

Diana Allen, MS, CNS Holisitic Clinical Nutritionist said...

Hi Mandy & thanks for stopping by Eat to Evolve! I had forgotten about the shrimp paste in Mae Ploy. There's another brand that comes in a tin (Maesri) and is shrimp-free but contains sugar...not ideal but if you're ok trading the pitfalls of a pinch of sugar for that authentic Thai taste from time to time, might work for you. Your coconut curry sounds very tasty! Diana :)

Anderburf said...

This looks really good! I just got some organic pepper and Himalayan sea salt from Sustainable Sourcing and I think I'll try them both out in this recipe over the weekend. Thanks for sharing!