A simple, semi-raw vegan dish perfect for raw food transitioning or satisfying carbo-cooked cravings.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when you’re new to a raw food lifestyle is that it’s not about perfection. It’s very easy to become overwhelmed or even overzealous, and inadvertently create a recipe for failure and disappointment.
We’re only human. I don’t know of a single person who began life with a perfectly pure diet. Most of us grew up to a realization or health crisis, and then to an awareness providing the desire to take control of our health and make real changes for life. Once the decision is made to clean things up, the transformation simply doesn’t happen overnight. There’s generally a lot of years’ worth of programming (and junk in the trunk) that we have to revisit, release, revise, and re-educate. It’s a process built upon only by continual learning, patience, commitment, and small steps.
Acknowledging, not denying, inevitable cravings for our favorite cooked foods is a healthy practice that isn’t going to compromise all the beneficial changes you’ve been making. There are ways of working with cravings rather than treating them like the enemy, which will only ultimately allow them to bite you harder. An “all or nothing” approach to your raw food diet, believing you’ve ruined everything by giving in to a craving, just doesn’t need be the case. The key is recognizing cravings as they occur, and process them consciously and with creativity instead of reacting impulsively. Don’t fear the cravings.
Personally, I crave pasta and noodles of all kinds. Linguini, ravioli, lo mein, soba – from the Italian classics to exotic asian varieties, I love them all! My cravings for a noodle dish tend to emerge in the evenings, after a bout with tummy troubles, or after a hard work-out when my body’s demand for carbs skyrockets.
Udon noodles with spinach, shitakes, and sweet sake broth is one of my favorite and easiest semi-raw meals. This method can really be applied to any type of noodle or pasta and combining it with any of your preferred veggies. The general idea is that the pasta is the only cooked component while the rest of the ingredients stay raw. Visual appeal and layering flavors is also very important (the warm noodles activate flavors of aromatics like ginger and garlic, and the small bit of warm water completes the sweet sake broth). The end result? It’s a win-win in satisfying the craving with a modest portion of the culprit, yet keeping with living foods as main ingredients.
Noodles and veggies:
2 to 3 oz organic udon noodles (such as Hakubuku)
shitake mushroom caps, very thinly sliced
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
small bunch sunflower sprouts
knob of ginger root
1 garlic clove
a piece of dulse, cut into strips
black and white sesame seeds
Sweet sake mixture:
1 tbs. hemp seed oil
1 tbs. nama shoyu
1 tbs. dry sake
1 tsp. agave
Cook udon noodles according to package instructions. They’re typically more delicate than other pastas and take only 4 minutes to cook. Remember to liberally salt the water!
Meanwhile as udon are boiling, place desired amount of baby spinach in a large bowl. Add shitakes, then with a microplane, grate in desired amount of garlic and ginger. When udon is ready, ladle the noodles directly into the bowl. Allow some water to accompany noodles as they come out of the pot, do not thoroughly drain. Evenly cover spinach and other ingredients. Allow to sit 2 to 3 minutes.
Sprinkle over spring onions, dulse, and sunflower sprouts. Whisk together sweet sake mixture and pour over top. Toss, and garnish with sesame seeds.