Sunday, January 23, 2011

eat; raw butternut pumpkin pappardelle

I decided to go on a raw diet this last week (well, I still had my espresso!!!) and will be posting the yumminess I discovered and 'cooked' up over the next few posts. My decision to go raw was to discover how to create great tasting meals that were more than simply tossing a salad. It was more challenging than I imagined and I used ingredients in ways I had never used before. I had some disasters but mainly successes. I don't have a dehydrator and the food processor in my share house is a little kids toy compared to the beast I have at home in Melbourne. I tried dehydrating using the oven, keeping the temperature as low as I could and the door of the oven ajar with a wooden spoon. It worked but I had to be home for at least 6 hours as I was not confident leaving the oven on. This was a problem.

There is an element of raw 'cooking' that is heavy and too flavourful for me.; things like a raw lasagna where more than one layer is a combination of too many flavours. I like the coupling of intense flavours and uncomplicated freshness, so I will attempt a raw lasagna at some stage using only one complicated layer and the rest using vegies in their raw state . 

I have decided to keep going with my raw adventures, keeping my diet at 80% raw which would mean I only have 4 cooked meals a week, or 8 meals at 80% raw. I imagine creating meals with cooked brown rice adding small chopped raw vegies or meals using beans and the rest of the ingredients raw. I will consume fully cooked meals but will keep them at a minimum or plan it that my night out with friends, will be my cooked meal. This will be an interesting adventure but I think will be a good way to cut out the 'I'm starving! I'm just going to shovel in something before I die!' action, which for most vegetarians, is normally carbohydrate rich foods.

Day 1 of my raw week was this amazing Butternut Pumpkin Pappardelle. Yes, I can hear you all...'WTF?!?!?! RAW PASTA?!?!?!' Especially as I AM THE PASTA QUEEN!!!!

But let me tell you, this recipe by one of my favourite raw chiefs, Russell James, is pretty fun to eat and has amazing flavours that will surprise any skeptic. Give it a go and see for yourself!!!!

This recipe serves 4.

What you need;
1/2 butternut pumpkin (squash). Try to
get one that is as straight as can be
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbs olive oil
Cream sauce
1/2 cup raw chashews
1/4 cup raw pine nuts
1/2 cup water
1/2 clove of garlic
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast
4 basil leaves
2 cups rocket (arugula)
3 Tbs shallots, sliced paper thin
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/4 tsp salt

Start by soaking the cashew and pine nuts in filtered water for 2-4 hours. Once the time is up, drain and rinse, then put on a kitchen towel and dry by rolling a little.

If you have time, place the tomatoes into a very slow oven for 8 hours on a tray with a little oil.  Keep the door ajar with a wooden spoon. If you have a dehydrator, thats even better! Otherwise, fresh is fine.

I've taken pictures of the steps to cutting and preparing the pumpkin for shaving into pappardelle shaped pasta. 

Start by cutting the pumpkin in half, length wise.

 Turn the pumpkin on its cut side and slice length ways about 1 1/2cm.
Remove the skin with a potato peeler and cut out the seeded section.

 I've added this photo to show you how to 'shave' the pumpkin into strips. 
Try and slice all the way along in one big steady but slow action. 
You will have bits left over that are too hard to peel. 
 Save in a container for use with another recipe within a few days.
(I'll be posting a recipe within the next few weeks where I used the left over bits and the other half of pumpkin)

Vola! Your pasta is ready!!!! Add the lemon juice, olive oil and salt and toss so each piece is covered. Set aside.

For the cream sauce, simply add all the sauce ingredients into the food processor, except the basil leaves, and wizz away until smooth!!!! You may need to add more water until you get the consistency like a sauce. Add basil leaves towards the end and pulse to chop it up.

Back to the pappardelle.; add the rocket (arugula), shallots, salt, (leaving out the tomatoes until later) and mix well by hand. Add a handful onto each plate and pour a good amount of sauce onto each serving. This is simply for aesthetics as I think this looks better than serving it with the sauce mixed in. Now add the tomatoes onto each plate and serve.


Buon Apettito!

pink; for the love of god

Damian Hirsts For The Love Of God  isn't exactly a candidate for contemporary works in pink but I  was reminded of this work in an email newsletter from e-flux stating this work will be on show at Palazzo Vecchio in Florence for only the third time since Hirst made it in 2007. It is a platinum cast of a human skull encrusted with 8,601 flawless diamonds, including a pear-shaped pink diamond located in the forehead. I figured a work with a pink diamond in it is surely allowed to find its way into this section of my blog...don't you think?!?!?!

Hirst spent $16 to $20 million to make this work and it sold for $99 million. This makes the work the  most expensive art work ever made. I think it had to be. Making this work with fake diamonds would not have allowed it to be so poignant. It needed to be an exorbitant expression through wealth to have the impact it does. It becomes a tongue-in-cheek execution of the idea it is trying to convey.

Hirsts works deal with death carrying on a tradition of artists who created in the genre memento mori. The diamond encrusted skull reminds us of our mortality.  We may try to defy aging or improve our physical appearance, but in the end, we cannot defeat death. This skull stands as a shining death star staring back at us with a victorious grin, knowing in the end, it will win our fight. We are living creatures after all, and yes, we have things we want to achieve, to create for ourselves and others, but our final destination, goal, or point in life is death, to become this skull (well, not exactly encrusted in diamonds, but you get my point).

We use the term 'for the love of God' towards someone in a situation when we want them to be aware of their irrational behaviour at that moment. We even end it with exclamation marks!!!! Hirsts use of the saying in the title of this work is his way of telling us to wake up and see the bigger picture, to be aware of how we are spending our days, our years, our lives. For the love of God, realise that one day, no matter how much riches you have accumulated or how much 'success' you have had, you will die. Simple. Make the most of now! (Don't you worry, I'm listening too!!!!)

Ahhhhh, la vita bella! Enjoy every step as if it were your last :0)

love; 10 things I love this week
1. Perfume! I love a spray as I head out the door. My favourite is good old Paris by Yves Saint Laurent.  It was launched by the design house in 1983 and has a flowery fragrance. It is a blend of mimosa, orange flower, rose, moss, sandalwood, and amber. I first got a bottle as a gift for my 21st in 1991 and have always had a bottle, while others have come and gone. LOVE!!!!!
2. A gold handbag!?!?! My housemate came home the other day with a gold bag stating that what you put your money in is a reflection of how you feel about it. By putting your money into a gold bag surely must instigate more money!!!! Will be shopping for one as soon as spare money comes my way!!!! LOVE!!!!
3. White tights with black spots! Well of course I do! Look at the design of my blog! LOVE!

 4. White sunglasses! I do love them and have owned a pair on and off forever! Even as a kid, I loved 'em. LOVE!

 5. Drinking 1.5 Liters of water a day. Yep, been doing this forever as well! I don't ever buy bottled water as the plastic thing aint good for me or my environment. I re-use my Laken water bottle, carrying it wherever I go, and YES it is pink!!!! LOVE!

6. Mice. I know, what the hell are vermin doing in my list of 10 things I love this week?!?!?! Well, I've begun to appreciate these cute little creatures (look at him!) for what they are doing in our compost. Yes, I know they are creepy and freak you out when they scurry along, but I do love the hard work they do and how they contribute to my recycling! LOVE!

7. I went out to enjoy my green smoothie in this mornings winter sun and came across this only patch of water outside. It was the shape of a heart! How amazing is this?!?!?! Is the universe trying to tell me something after finding the paper heart last week in the gutter and this water stain this morning?!?!?! LOVE!!!!!!
8. I watched this last night and LOVED IT!!!!! If you haven't had a chance to see it, make some time this week to see Balck Swan. It is powerful, nerve-racking and extremely thoughtful. I still can't think straight after seeing it last night! LOVE!

9. "A life lived in fear is a life half lived". LOVE!!!!!

10. Having girly nights with my housemates!!! Tonight we are doing our nails and putting a mask on. I think I'll be off now to create a home made mix and treat the girls...LOVE!!!!!!