Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Soup and a Very Expensive Salad


I've always been the kind of person who wishes they drank more soup. I don't know why. I really love 'em, but I never get around to making them myself. Whenever I go out to eat, I am often really excited by the prospect of being able to have soup, which everyone else just finds kind of boring. I can't really have soup when I go out anymore, unless I decide to go for a cooked one (which I have done on occasion), or unless we go to a full-on raw restaurant. So I've decided to make up for it by make some myself. I've both scoured the internet for good raw soup recipes and have come up with a lot of my own concoctions. These include a spinach basil soup, a gazpacho, a pepper soup, a miso soup, a carrot ginger soup (my favourite), and now a cream of mushroom soup (which may require a little work still and was yesterday's dinner) and a cucumber dill soup (which was lunch today).

While many other raw bloggers have some awesome raw soup ideas, I often find that they are often too high in fat whether in the form of nuts, avocados, EVOO, or coconut oil. I do know the benefits of healthy fats, but more than that, I'm more on the "everything in moderation" camp and that usually requires less oils and avocados than for others. Instead, I come up with a healthy (but often still creamy) and lower fat version of raw soups, and can save my healthy fat intake on things like macaroons or raw granola. A better trade-off, no?

Finally, dinner today was something I've been wanting to try for a while. I've never had a Waldorf Salad in my life, but for some reason making a raw version has really appealed to me. I always laughed at the Waldorf Salad because I think it's the perfect example of a nouveau-riche dish. If you think of the time period when the Waldorf-Astoria was built, it was probably frequented first and the foremost by the nouveau riche, by those chock full of new money but with less "class" than your usual aristocrat. Enter the Waldorf Salad.

According to the American Century Cookbook, the first Waldorf Salad was served in 1893. The original recipe was very simple: skinned red apples, celery, and mayonnaise. They later added all sorts of crazy things like grapes and walnuts (yes, I am being sarcastic). When you think about it, I mean really, mayonnaise? Does that sound like 5 star gourmet material to you? Apparently it did to someone, and to this day, you can still go to the hotel restaurant, Peacock Alley, and get yourself a snooty $16 Waldorf Salad, except now it's currently being served with black truffle vinaigrette.

Mine had all the ingredients of your traditional Waldorf, except I had to trade in the red grapes for organic raisins because I didn't have time to find any organic grapes today. I also made a cashew mayo which worked quite well. It worked so well I could imagine myself in a room with tuxedoed men and cigarillo-smoking women under a giant chandelier. There may have even been a crooning voice coming from the piano bar, but I was enjoying my salad too much. You think I would have noticed considering that I've long planned on being a piano bar lounge singer in my next life.

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