First things first. Saturday I completed my first 5k run of 2013.  This is part of a virtual race series hosted by Mommy Run Fast

It turned out to be a beautiful day. Cold, of course, but the sun was shinning! My body felt tired.  Not my best 5k time, but I’m happy with it considering I actually walked a bit. And considering a good pace for me is anything less than 12 mins per mile. 

First 5K of 2013 and thinking about raw food virtual race vegan running red pepper recipe raw food food dips cashews 5by5th

As promised, here is the recipe for that Red Pepper Spread I made last week. I recently picked up Easy, Sexy, Raw by Carol Alt. I like the idea of getting more raw foods into my diet, but “going raw” is definitely not my thing. When I think of raw food I think of salads, cold or even not-cooked but warm soups, fresh juices, smoothies, raw veggies and fruit. But my experience with raw food has been very different. My experience is limited to raw food events where I know the chef’s goal is to tempt everyone with decadent raw food, so I normally find it heavy, dense and very rich.

Raw food has too many rules. Far more than I can deal with. So this dip is as raw as you want it to be. Is is perfectly raw? – depends on your miso, vinegar and olive oil.

Miso must be unpasteurized. Vinegar must be “raw.” Only apple cider vinegar is raw.  Oils must be cold pressed. Some of this I totally get. But it gets more complicated. Did you know most almonds sold as raw aren’t? I had no idea. Most are pasteurized. But they can still be called raw because they are not roasted. Most pickles aren’t raw. Are olives raw? What makes an olive raw? That is what I would like to know. I used plain old olives, from a jar,  in this recipe.  Raw? I’m really not sure.

Okay – being raw is not one of my goals. But I would hate to call a recipe raw when it wasn’t, you know?

This cookbook has some great recipes and many I am definitely going to try over the next several weeks (or months). Still, many involve a dehydrator (I don’t have one) and still many rely heavily on nuts and coconut (which I will probably pass on). But what I have found is some great salad dressings and dips that I can use with fresh raw veggies.  As well as some salads and a few blender concoctions that are sure give my new Blendtec a workout.

This red pepper dip has amazing flavour.  I altered a bit as I went along based on what I had in the kitchen. The recipe also called for soaked cashews. I didn’t have time, so I didn’t bother with soaking.  Not soaking didn’t seem to impact the texture at all when using a high-speed blender. I’ve used this on salad as a dressing (I thinned it with a bit of water first) and with raw veggies as a dip. But my favourite way to use it was here with chickpeas. I tossed 1.5 cups of chickpeas, some fresh, chopped red pepper and parsley with about 1/4 cup of the red pepper dip for a nice, quick little side dish. Or you can throw this on top of a bed of leafy greens for a main.  Makes 2-3 servings. Of course the chickpeas are not raw… so I don’t know what you want to do with that.

First 5K of 2013 and thinking about raw food virtual race vegan running red pepper recipe raw food food dips cashews 5by5th

The recipe as I made it….

Creamy Red Pepper Dip

based on a recipe from Easy, Sexy, Raw by Carole Alt
  • 1 small red pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup green olives
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and run through a press
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white, mild miso paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced

Throw all ingredients, except the parsley, into a blender and purée until smooth. Stop and scrape the sides and blend again as needed. Add the parsley and pulse the blender for 1 to 2 seconds until just incorporated.

Dip is ready to serve. Cover and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week. Dip will thicken as it cools, but will loosen up again when it reaches room temp.

It really is lovely on a salad.

First 5K of 2013 and thinking about raw food virtual race vegan running red pepper recipe raw food food dips cashews 5by5th