*** My very lovely friend Zsuzsika came for dinner on Friday night. That was hell of a challenge mostly because she was doing a no sugar RAW vegan diet – so technically i was not able to cook anything really. Well basic rule is not heating up anything above 48degrees – to maintain the most nutrition content. Was difficult – but i love challenges right? Also i had to prepare myself something else – cause my diet is all about cooking everything to make it easy to digest. Hahaha so we had pretty much opposite dietary requirements for that special night. I might cheated a tiny bit but i was pretty proud of the dishes. (glutenfree, dairyfree, raw, vegan, sugarfree)
We had ‘4 courses’
- gingerbug fermented gooseberries for start
- lacto-raspberry marinated beef tomato steak with sprouted buckwheat, courgette and sunflower ‘seedotto’ dressed with tomato water
- pre dessert– asparagus with woodruff gelato and almonds
- dessert– avocado and nettle tofu mousse with pistachio and cacao oats
The starter was just a couple of bites – i wanted something sharp to bring more apetite but also had not much time to prep anything huge… so just stabbed some gooseberries before pop them into my gingerbug juice. They stayed there for 3 days. Got a bit of a sparkling vibe – stayed nice and sharp with a touch of sweetness and spiciness from the ginger.
I think i spent more time brainstorming on this dish than in any other plates of food in my life. LOL. Was massively happy with it. I think Zsuzsika also. :) So i made tomato water 2 days ahead and i soaked the sunflower seeds in that water to get the right texture. I wanted it soft but with a crunch. 2 days is just perfect amount of time. I started to sprout buckwheat a week ahead. Because i wanted to make not only a pretty and delicious dish but real food: which full of nutritions, complex carbs, proteins and good fats – everything what the body needs. Vegans best friends usually the grains with high protein and carb values – but following a RAW DIET means you pretty much out from the ‘grain game’ as u cant cook them… but u can sprout them! And by now we all know that sprouts are pretty much superfood. Buckwheat sprouts are great – glutenfree and taste very earthy with a touch or sourness. I grated the courgettes freshly and mixed with the rest of the seedotto – dressed with the tomato water (i thickened up a bit with some natural gelling agent) and extra virgin olive oil. Deco is a pretty Nasturtium flower i picked from a park the day before. VOILA.
If you think its too much of a hassle and u would rather put a nice big piece of carrot on a plate… just look at my friend: face of excitement. Worth every single second working on this meal.
After that… the pre-dessert. Im gonna be honest. I call this the pre-dessert but it was just as ‘main’ as the other. I had this crazy flavour combo in my mind for weeks using asparagus as a dessert – ready to try. Also was working on the other mousse as well for a couple of days already so basically i had 2 desserts done by the dinner night. So why not? :)
I believe this is the second best pudding i have ever made in my life (first is the black olive preserved kumquat). The flavours are there and working with perfection. I had issues with the outcome – mainly because of the ‘raw no-sugar diet’. I was working on a vegan woodruff icecream – i ve got the flavour done right – using my new favourite ingredient – ERYTHRITOL. Its an alcohol sugar but not a sugar. Basically giving me sweetness but no calories and no effect on blood sugar level plus safe, plant based. Great stuff. So i had a gorgeous hemp milk based woodruff ‘cream’ (being very careful to infuse it under 48 degrees) but i could not use my icecream stabilizer because i could not heat up the mix to boil. Only thing i was trying to use is some xanthan gum and metil. Well. I had to take into consideration also that the erythritol doesnt have the same anti-freezing effect than normal sugar or glucose. Basically i had to work 3 hours on that quenelle of icecream for the photo’s sake. LOL.
This was one of the reasons i plated up this in a pretty little jar on the dinner night. The asparagus was macerated in erythritol and a pinch of citric acid. Served with toasted almonds. Woodruff actually has a very almond-like flavour. Very very nice stuff.
And the last but never the least… my sugarfree vegan avocado and nettle mousse. Using my good old tofu cream recipe with bit of modifications. I season this lightly also with erythritol and citric acid to keep this gorgeous green color.
Has got great nutrition values thanks to my foraged nettles and amazing creamy texture because of the avocado and some virgin raw coconut oil. Once it set in the fridge – its easy to quenelle out. Was served with the earthiest flavours – cacao nibs, GFoats and matcha pistachio. Great combination. Hmmmmmm…. i could step this dish up to my best ones as well \(purely vegan) – i just feel this ‘too safe for that’ . But its definitely spot on.