Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tastes & Textures


Oops... Time slipped by last night and I forgot to post. I'm hoping that posting early enough will make that go unnoticed. One of the things I love to figure out when preparing foods, whether raw or not, is aspiring to combine tastes and textures in creative and tasty new ways. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes pretty simple to know which ingredient will go nicely with another, how to mix sweet and salty, crunchy and soft, foods with a bite with foods that are 'thicker', etc.


However, one of the challenges with raw foods is how to actually make things edible. Obviously I don't mean how to make them tasty, that's definitely not the hard part, but how to actually make one able to pick up the food you they're served without making a mess. Some foods were by definition not meant to be eaten in a non-messy fashion, think burritos or burgers or nachos or something, but some things were, like most desserts. While it can be a challenge to make a wrap stuffed with veggies stay together without dribbling sauce down your shirt or having your sandwich upend in your lap, I think desserts should--for the most part--be more refined.

Exhibit A: I really wanted to make a tropical dessert a couple night ago and wanted to use some of the precious organic dried guava that we acquired at High Vibe, in NY. I also had some fresh papaya that needed to be eaten. I decided... guava crepes with papaya sauce!

1.I blended papaya with a little bit of dried apricot paste and a teaspoon of agave and just the slightest pinch of salt.
2. I chopped up brazil nuts and diced dried mango into tiny pieces and mixed 3/4 of that into the papaya sauce and kept some for garnish.
3. I layered one round of guava with the mix, and repeated this three times, garnishing the top with more brazil nuts and coconut shreds.

It made a very pretty dessert... but guava is impossibly resilient, and there was no way Andrew could eat this without all of the papaya sauce mushing out of my crepes... hrm. I then had to go back into the kitchen and (with some difficulty) quartered the crepes to turn them into bite sized pieces (yes, this required significant reconstruction once the sauce had poured all over my cutting board). Though the result was quite tasty, the construction and textures... not so much.

Not really sure how I would fix this one in the future. Making the little quarters did seem to work and it made cute looking slices. Perhaps just rolling them up into tiny flutes might also work, but I still think you would have a gushing sauce problem... Lesson of the day: before you make up a really yummy treat, try to figure out if you'll be able to eat it and serve it first!

Workout of the Day (adapted from the Fitnessista's Winter Shape Up Week 1 to make it a shoulders, chest, and tricep day)
5 minute warmup on stationary bike
*Dumbbell frontal raise x12
Squats x12
Oblique crunch x10 (each side)
Sprint (1 minute on stationary bike or treadmill)
'Wall chair' (45 seconds)
Dumbbell chest flyes x 10
Bent-over dumbbell tricep extensions x10
Bent knee leg raises x12
Dumbbell Chest Press x12
Dumbbell Upright Row x 10
Spring (1 minute on stationary bike or treadmill)*
Repeat the cycle in ** 2 more times
5 minute Stretch

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