Monday, December 27, 2010

Blizzard Plate Special Salad with Parsley-Macadamia Nut-Pumpkin Seed Paté & Sprouted Seed Crackers

The first snowstorm of the season is blowing outside, windy, white and cold. When it comes to lunch, this means only one thing: a hearty salad plate.

My salads always start with a big, fluffy bed of greens. In this case, I used a blend of 50% chopped romaine, my favorite winter lettuce, and 50% baby mesclun greens. Chopped avocado, tomato and red (Bermuda) onion are added next, with a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice on top for the brightest and simplest of dressings.

On the side, you'll see a scoop of my delicious Parsley-Macadamia Nut-Pumpkin Seed Paté (recipe to follow) surrounded by two flavors of Sprouted Seed Crackers. I made these in the dehydrator with a dough formed from soaked and sprouted buckwheat, flax and sunflower seeds that I ground and combined with assorted seasonings. The exact recipe is top secret, but you can come close with my Rainy Day Crackers.

Even though it is cold outside, our bodies still crave fresh living foods. Use good strong greens, warming onions or garlic, and a topping of healthy fats and proteins (in this case from avocados and nuts/seeds... but you could also consider black beans or chickpeas, kalamata olives, sardines, etc) to make nourishing winter salads that both satisfy and appeal. Bon appetit!

Parsley-Macadamia Nut-Pumpkin Seed Paté

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, soaked 2-4 hours and drained
1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 lemon's juice (about 1/4 cup)
3 Tbs cold-pressed raw olive oil
1 tsp raw coconut oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (about 3 stalks)
black pepper to taste
about 1/4 cup water, more or less as needed

In a food processor, process pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts and sea salt into a fine meal. Add lemon juice and oils and begin processing again, drizzling in water until the mass gets rolling. Continue processing for a few minutes, stopping as needed to spatula down the sides, and allow it to keep going until very creamy. At that point, add fresh black pepper and chopped parsley and pulse process for about half a minute or until well blended. Store paté in a covered glass jar or container in the refrigerator. Makes 2 cups (one pint) and keeps for up to a week. Or, divide into portions and freeze what you won't use in a week. This paté freezes really well by keeping its consistency after thawing, making it quite handy to grab and bring to a raw food pot luck in a pinch. (True story.)

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