My morning tastes buds vary from day to day, week to week. It all depends on how much sleep I’ve had, how much exercise I’ve been doing, how much work/stress I’ve got on ect, as to what I end up fancying for my breakfast. I go through huge morning smoothie phases, but then I start to miss sitting down with a bowl and spoon and having a simple bowl of ‘cereal’. This morning, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to ‘spoon’ or ‘drink’ my breakfast, so I decided to go somewhere in between – the result being this sumptuous Vanilla Bean & Papaya Custard topped with Blueberries, Fresh Ginger & drizzled with Honey. What initially started off as a smoothie, then turned into this wonderful breakfast-come-dessert type dish, which was so tasty it almost felt like an indulgent start to the day. That’s what I love most about raw food; you know what’s gone into it, you know how beneficial each and everyone of the ingredients are, you know just how healthy it is for you, but because it tastes so very good, you can’t help thinking “this must be bad…”.
Well, luckily for us, this dish is most certainly not bad for you, quite the opposite in fact; papaya is rich in B vitamins, potassium, magnesium and fiber – it also contains the A-list digestive enzyme papain. This custard also contains a generous amount of maca – my all time favourite super food. Maca is a fantastic energy booster without putting any stress on the adrenal glands. It helps with stamina and is also labelled the ‘peruvian viagra’ (weyheyyyyyy!). Women tend to be big fans of maca as it is a wonderful hormone balancer (and in turn men also become big fans…). It has a malty taste which works really well in deserts; if you are new to maca, start using a smaller amount if you’re not too sure on the taste, until you become addicted like me and end up pouring the whole packet on whatever you may be eating – sweet or savoury.
As you know, I don’t have a vita-mix (yes, I’m still sulking about this), but if you do you could add 1/2 cup of soaked cashews to make it extra creamy. If I put cashews in my 1970’s Kenwood Kitchenette Blender, the custard would look like it has rubble in. Not attractive.
So here is the recipe for you, enjoy for breakfast, as light dessert or an afternoon sweet treat.
So after one of the best months of my entire life, we have finally wrapped on Whoops! If you want a little glimpse as to what I’ve been getting up to on set these last 4 weeks, here are a couple of behind the scenes videos: one of them is of me introducing my character, Rose Clements and the other is of me rolling around in the mud at four o’clock in the morning. Ahem. I don’t think I could have had more fun on this job, even when standing under a freezing cold rain machine, and I feel so incredibly lucky that I was able to be part of this movie. Here are a few little snaps from the shoot (Raw Spanish Paella Recipe at the bottom, too!)…
So now that Rose Clement’s killer heels have been take off for the last time, I can now put my energies back into Get Rawcous! I am aware I have neglected my poor little site this last month, but there really weren’t enough hours in the day. Plus we did a hellish amount of night shoots and when you finish work as 5am, the last thing you want to do is start writing. Your brain is on shut down and all you want to do is sleep. For three days. Talking of the night shoots, this was probably the most difficult part when it came to staying raw. I found it nearly impossible to listen to what my body wanted (probably it wanted nothing) as it was totally removed from my normal routine. I really struggled to know what foods to pack to take with me to set. Sometimes I took nothing, thinking that I would do a bit of a fast as my digestive system will be sleepy too, but then it would get to 03:30 and I’d be starving and end up having a bowl of veggie chilli with a jacket potato with the rest of the crew. It was hard to plan ahead. I found that when I was shooting outside in the cold, the last thing I really wanted was a spring green wrap or a salad. So when I did make something, it was often steamed vegetables and quinoa. I found this to nice and sustaining. I would sprinkle a tbsp of maca on as well to keep me going through the night. When you are working 12 hour days and irregular hours, a raw diet isn’t the easiest thing to keep to. I found my raw intake would be mainly in the form of juices, nut milks, smoothies and fruit on the go. So when I got back home yesterday after leaving York, I couldn’t wait to get in my kitchen and make myself a proper slap up raw main meal. I decided to go for a recipe out of my new favourite book ‘Practically Raw’ by Amber Shea Crawley. It’s called Spanish Garden Paella in the book, but I changed the title so on first glance you could see what the base of a raw paella would consist of if you were just flicking through. It was probably one of the nicest, wholesome and filling raw dishes I have ever made, and you can also turn it into a fancy looking paella stack – perfect for dinner parties. I changed the recipe slightly as I don’t have my dehydrator with me at the moment, so the cherry tomatoes are fresh rather than dehydrated over night as Amber does. It’s important to note that this recipe calls for Simple Season Mushrooms, which you will need to make an hour before you are ready to serve the rice, or 15 mins before if you have a dehydrator. They are ridiculously easy to make: simply take one pack of shiitake or button mushrooms (around 2 cups), clean and slice them. Then in a bowl whisk 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce. Tip in the mushrooms, mix and leave to marinade. They will be come wonderfully soft and taste divine!
Raw Spanish Paella with Butternut Squash, Cauliflower and Saffron 'Rice'.
This delicious Spanish inspired dish was co-created by Amber Shea Crawley and Matthew Kenney at the 105º Culinary School. Change the vegetables to suit you and the season, and the saffron is a lovely but not essential ingredient - so don't worry if you have non in.
: Amber Shea Crawley
For the "rice"
2 tbsp hot filtered water
¼ - ½ tsp saffron threads
1 large head of caulilflower, broken into florets
½ small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 cup dry almonds
1 clover garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp onion powder
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp agave nectar or honey
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp tumeric
For the vegetables
1½ cups cherry toms, halved
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 batch Simple Seasoned Mushrooms (pack of shiitake or button mushrooms, sliced and soaked in 2 tbsp tamari and 2 tsbp olive oil for an hour)
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh green beens, sliced or fresh garden peas
1 cup trimmed asparagus, thinly sliced diagonally
¾ cup black olives
6 sun-dried tomatoes, shredded.
In a small bowl, mix the hot water and saffron; set aside.
In a food processor, combine the cauliflower and squash. Pulse in rice-sized bits and transfer to a large bowl.
In the food processor, pulse the almonds, garlic, salt and onion powder until coarsely ground, the transfer to the bowl with the rice mixture.
Add the olive oil, lemon juice, agave or honey, paprika, turmeric, and the reserved saffron water to the rice and toss to combine.
Before serving, mix in the shallots, mushrooms, red pepper, green beans, and asparagus, olives and sun-dried tomatoes into the rice mixture.
Divide between six shallow serving dishes and top with the tomatoes. Or you can get creative and arrange the rice and vegetables how ever you think would look good to you!