Well, it is getting to be that time of year again...the dreaded holidays. I have to admit, that I still enter them with a bit of trepidation, but only because we have been so ingrained to believe that any meal, and especially Thanksgiving cannot continue without a slab of dead flesh. I am here to prove those folks wrong.
I recently volunteered at a local high school and talked to them about vegetarianism and told them some startling numbers about meat-eaters and cancer. I also told them their parents would say that I was a whack job. But that they did not have to believe me, do the research. And that is my new motto now. If you don't believe me, go see for yourself. For most of these numbers are form our own AMA or ACA, so I don't need to make this stuff up.
So as I was talking to these kids, the one big question was,'What 'DO' you eat?', and my tried and true answer was,'Everything you don't.', which always gets them thinking. For like many people out there, most folks do not have a varied diet, and if they would make a food diary, they would see that. So, I used Thanksgiving as an example. I asked them to think about the Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving portrait, but they all looked at me like I was Medusa, meaning that not one student knew who Normal Rockwell was...Google him.
With that said, I told them to envision a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but, we were going to take away the turkey. Now, tell me what is left on the table. Well these little dynamos were able to rattle off names of food in a matter of seconds a minimum of a half a dozen dishes that were meat free and that all of those dishes could not possibly fit on my plate all at once, so, 'I' was going to have to go back for seconds, possibly thirds, and that was only because I stopped them from naming 'side dishes'. I showed them that their side dishes became my main dishes. And then it hit them that anyone, not just me, could easily survive at Thanksgiving and never eat a dead animal. Eureka!!
Now, on to this brilliant dish that one of my bosses gave me. We will be using this at my job for our upcoming Customer Appreciation Day where we will be serving organic turkeys and a plethora of side dishes that yours truly will be making. So any and all side dishes will be vegetarian if nothing else. And this little gem is for the raw foodists out there. This is to die for and it will most definitely be on my Thanksgiving table for sure.
1 container of cranberries (8-16 ounces)(frozen is all right if fresh is not available)
2 navel oranges, peeled and roughly chopped
1-2 red delicious apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
Raw honey or agave to taste (start with 1 tablespoon and work your way up)
Make sure you have washed all fruits and dump them into your food processor. If your honey is hardened, then you can easily melt it in a double broiler type set up as not to bring above 118 degrees. Once your sweetener is ready, add to processor and hit your pulse button...if you have one. If you do not, then do not turn on your processor and walk away, you want this salad to have some consistency, but small enough that is not quite minced, but pretty darned close.
Play with the size of chunks you are willing to eat and let it be done. This is better if done the day before, for the sugar will draw out some of the water and make it a bit soupier. I may never cook a cranberry ever again.