Raw Vegan Dinner

I’m living with a vegan friend in a vegan flat. When I tell my meat and dairy eating friends it draws reactions from “That is food fascism!” to “Yuk!” and just boggle eyed slack jawed expressions, however it has revealed a new range of ways to treat, prepare and eat food. The general assumption is that as a vegan all you can eat is crudites (raw veg and olive oil is actually a typical Tuscan starter – yummy and a good work out for your jaw especially when tackling raw artichoke) but this definitely does not represent the range of what a vegan can eat. Vegan food can be very imaginative indeed. Apart from using ingredients in unusual ways there are even pieces of equipment that I hadn’t heard of that are used as I discovered when I went to a raw vegan pop-up restaurant in Denmark Hill, South London. We ate a five course dinner consisting of an elixir of beetroot, apple and ginger, Ceasar Salad, live pasta, lasagne and mocha cheesecake. Several of the names allude to well known meaty dishes but are recreated to be animal product free and raw. The raw part of the diet means that the food is not cooked above 48 degrees so the enzymes in the food are not altered in order to retain as many of the nutrients as possible. The “pasta” of zucchini was made by using a spiralizer which is a contraption that you clamp a vegetable in and turn a handle which rotates the vegetable creating strands of different widths so you can make “spaghetti” or “tagliatelle”. The “lasagne” was made with layers of aubergine slices with an al dente texture. The mocha “cheesecake” was a smooth slice of cashews soaked in water and blended on a cocoa and walnut crust. Sometimes ingredients are dehydrated such as kale which we had as kale “chips” on our Caesar Salad. It was all delicious and intriguing. If  I showed photos of the courses to friends without mentioning that the food was raw and vegan I bet some kale chips the reactions would be “Yum!” rather than “Yuk!”

when I tell
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