Sunday, November 11, 2012

Going Gorilla can tame too much turkey

As the family gathers for the holidays, everyone’s asking for their favorites: grainless tabouli, hemp seed nogurt and ryce. Not at your house? Meet Aaron Ash of Vancouver, who has shared inspiration from his restaurant in the book Gorilla Food: Living and Eating Organic, Vegan and Raw.
This could be the best season for slipping some super foods into your weekly menu to balance out the typical overindulgence that leaves one bloated and drained. Your party mix could feature sesame and walnut pesto crackers or tomato ginger crax. Thai Wrap Pate make colorful party appetizers.
J Rawk’s Xmas Spaghetti features zucchini  “new”dles and pine nuts and gets red and green with cayenne and hemp seed basil pesto.
I feel more healthy just reading these recipes packed full of  good stuff like cacao nibs, ginger, almonds, daikon and mango.
Raw food takes some planning, as many nuts and such gets soaked overnight and run through a food processor. Many ingredients get time in a dehydrator. It’s a commitment to health and for many, a step toward a cleaner environment.
It’s not as weird of a movement as it might seem at first glance, and any skeptics would probably shut their mouth, or open it, for the dishes pictured in this book.
Here’s a really simple one that sounds dreamy. The author says it’s a go-to, super delish and creamy:
Avocado Frosting:
4 dates, pitted
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/3 teaspoon vanilla powder
1 ½ avocado
½ cup cacao powder
In a food processor with an s-blade, process dates and coconut oil to a smooth toffee-like consistency.
Add all other ingredients and process until creamy and smooth.
Makes 1 cup.

Torridly hot and hibiscus
Want a peek at 2013 flavor trends? I can’t wait to try some of what Michael Whiteman of Baum+Whiteman International Food+ Restaurant Consultants forecasts. They’ve worked with Windows on the World, Rainbow Room and Equinox in Singapore.
Here’s what Whiteman calls buzzwords of 2013 he shared with Hospitality Net:
“Menu shuffling aimed at flexitarians. Asian flavorings: togarashi, yuzukoshi, gochujang (you can look them up). More chicken (often upscaled), less beef. Fermented everything. Donuts getting bizarre upscaling (foie gras jelly donuts, hamburgers between two griddled donuts, kimchee donuts). Overused kimchee gets doneskee in 2013. Bar-made and small-batch tonics and quinine syrups. Lillet, Dubonnet, Chartreuse, Benedictine and other golden oldies. Craft bourbon, small-batch rye, local gins. Zip-code honeys. Spice trends: Torridly hot, smoked, warm and aromatic, fruity. Too much smoking going on. Too many tasting menus. Food halls. Weirder and weirder desserts. White strawberries. Green tomatoes. Geranium leaves. Hibiscus. Shiso. Charred octopus tentacles. A good year for hard cider. Lobster rolls (while wholesale prices are cheap). Charcuterie boards.”

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