(Raw) Green Goddess Dressing, and More Thoughts on Meal Delivery

by Gena on August 30, 2009

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Hi all!

Hope you’re enjoying a great weekend.

One of my very favorite challenges as a counselor is helping my clients to find healthy alternatives to some of their less-than-healthy favorites. This is not only rewarding for obvious reasons (helping a client to make healthy upgrades in his or her life) but also because it’s incentive for me to challenge myself in the kitchen! More often than not, helping a client find a healthy “upgrade” means coming up with a fun recipe. And I love the challenge.

A few weeks ago, one of my lovely clients made a special request: a raw version of Annie’s Goddess Dressing (her store-bought favorite) to make her salads a little more enticing. I was excited about this request for several reasons. The first is obvious: I love giving anyone an incentive to eat more greens!! The second is personal: I love coming up with raw dressings, as I consider them a versatile staple of a raw diet. A great dressing, as we all know, can make or break a salad. And dressings can also serve as dips, sauces, zucchini pasta dressing, and more. Finally, I was excited to make my client happy: it was obviously by the way that she spoke about the popular Annie’s dressing that it’s a tremendous favorite of hers, and that she misses it.

To be clear, I have no issue with Annie’s dressings. As far as processed foods go, the Annie’s products tend to have a great deal of integrity. They and Harriet’s Organic dressings are the two that I recommend to clients when they need a great dressing in a pinch. This particular client, though, is very far along in her raw journey – she eats mostly raw and vegan, and she is beginning to love making raw foods from scratch. So she’s seeking out  all raw and homemade alternatives to her old faves.

And this is where I come in. I decided I’d give my client a hybrid: a mix of the Goddess dressing (which, as you all probably know, has hints of sesame and garlic) and the Green Goddess dressing, which tastes mildly of dill. The result? Awesome. I confess, I was never such a fan of the original dressing, but I am a huge fan of this one!

Whenever I formulate dressings for clients, I begin by mixing all ingredients without garlic and onion, reserve a portion of the garlic-free dressing for myself, and add garlic at the end, to taste for my theoretical “audience.” So bear in mind that the garlic and onion in this recipe is totally optional, though it will certainly taste more like the Annie’s original if you add them both. Enjoy!

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Gena’s Green Goddess Dressing

Ingredients:

¼ cup tahini
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp + 1 tsp nama shoyu
1 tsp mellow white miso
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp toasted sesame oil (not 100% raw, but…)
2 tbsp raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar, such as Bragg’s or Eden Organic
1 cup parsley, tightly packed
½ cup dill, tightly packed
½ cup water
1 clove garlic (optional)
1-2 green onions, chopped (optional)

Procedure:

Blend all ingredients on high in a food processor, magic bullet, or blender (if using a food processor, you might want to chop the garlic first).

Dress your salads, dress up raw romaine wraps, or even feel free to use this in lieu of mayonnaise on sandwiches for a fresh taste. Or, do what I did, and dress up some veggie crudités for a raw snack!

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Speaking of snacks, I have another review of Pure Market Express meals for you! This snack (slightly more elaborate than my own humble one above) was the chili lime crackers and jalapeno cheese. The verdict? Delicious! Most raw crackers tend to have thick textures: flaxseed or nut based, they’re typically on the grainy side. These crackers, though, are delicate, thin, and crispy: they reminded my quite a bit of your typical blue corn chips (if you’re curious, I don’t have a raw recipe for those, but I do really like the Guiltless Gourmet brand and recommend it to clients). And the cheese was great, too. Tangy and flavorful, it’s heavy on the acid (which I like). A winner!

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Speaking of my fridge full of catered goodies, I want to draw attention to a great comment left to me on Friday by Willie. In response to my thoughts on raw delivery services, he wrote:

Dear Gena,

I really appreciated reading your polite criticism of raw delivery services. Don’t get me wrong, you did a great job of detailing all the great things about Pure Market Express, too! Yet it was your awareness and honesty about the possible downsides of such a service that I found really insightful.

For me, one of the things I like most about the raw food lifestyle is that it, by its very nature, gets one’s diet away from processed foods and towards whole foods. And as you point out, this change does not necessarily mean a commitment of several extra hours in the kitchen every day; it can be accomplished simply by making more conscious food choices and planning. But as I see more and more raw snacks and bars filling store aisles, and now raw food delivery services popping up, I am worried that the raw food lifestyle is, like so many other things, being co-opted by the food industry, for its own ends.

Now I think you’re right to point out that such raw delivery services provide good “gateway” raw meals for newcomers, as well as good last minute meals for raw foodists who suddenly find themselves without much time. And I think you’re right that the founders of Pure Market Express started their company with only the best and raw-positive intentions. And it’s true that delivery service raw food is much better than ordering pizza or going out to Applebee’s, in the same way that buying organic cereal is better than buying conventional, sugary cereals. But at the same time, I like to believe that both the organic and the raw food lifestyle are about more than just changing the direction of our consumerism; they are, rather, about making profound changes in the ways in which we consume.

I guess I’m writing just to hear your opinions on these issues. I know raw food means a lot of different things to different people, but what do you see as the core principles of the raw food lifestyle, and do you think they are compatible with the traditional workings of the food industry?

Thanks so much,

Willie

What a terrific comment, Willie. Thanks. And you can probably predict my response here. To me, the fundamental principles of a raw lifestyle are these: creating simple meals from plants, nuts and seeds, fruits, and grains. Eating food in plain combinations. Thinking about eating not as a primarily social rite, but as self-nourishment. And yes, Willie, I believe that it’s in keeping with the raw lifestyle to avoid consumerism and product sampling as much as possible.

This is a funny time for you to be raising this issue, because it’s only in the last month or two that I’ve remembered to request a few product samples from various raw companies for my blog. Naturally, I am (and will continue to be) grateful to those who’ve obliged me, not only for the food I’ll be eating, but for their work in giving consumers healthier versions of many packaged foods on the market. Even so, you’ll see that the products I review are as minimally processed as possible: nut butters, seaweeds, dried fruits. You won’t see a ton of raw analogs of conventional fast foods (crackers, cookies, and so on).

Certainly, I believe that raw versions of cooked favorites serve a function: these foods and meals can be the turning point for many people who discover the raw lifestyle. And as long as they show consumers that raw foods are delicious and satisfying, I’m glad that they’re in the world. But of course, I’m even gladder when my clients (or anyone who’s showing an interest in raw cuisine) begins to appreciate simple food; when he or she begins to savor a minimally dressed salad, or a simple soup, rather than craving raw versions of traditional “comfort food.”

I once had an amusing conversation with a friend. He’d asked me what my five favorite foods were, and I’d responded with my answer:

Avocados
Kale
Sweet potatoes
Tomatoes
Fuji Apples

He noted that virtually everyone else he’d asked had responded with something akin to his own list:

Bacon cheeseburger
Cupcake
Marinara Pasta
Pot Stickers
Creamed Spinach

In other words, they’d responded with dishes, rather than foods – end products, rather than building blocks.

This is, of course, an extreme example: I like to a particularly simple set of foods, while my friend likes exceptionally traditional kinds of comfort food. Most people, I’m guessing, would respond with a mix of simple, plant-based foods and more elaborate favorite dishes. But you guys get the idea: I think of food in terms of the raw materials, rather than the end products, while my friend thinks conversely.

It’s my most sincere hope that this blog helps you all to re-connect with the building blocks. And maybe along the way you’ll start to rethink the very notion of what a “meal” or a “dish” means.

Naturally, raw lasagna and cheesecake don’t help to battle our consumerist tendencies or help to redefine what “food” (meal vs. building block) is. But they help to build a very vital bridge between the paradigm in which most of us were raised, and the very simple lifestyle that eating raw can offer us. For that reason, they have my support and endorsement—especially since the recipes I tend to offer you guys are so simple! I give you raw dressing + sugar snap peas; Pure Market Express offers you cheese and crackers. Depending on your tastes and what you’re hoping to experience with raw foods, one of these two may appeal more than the other. But I’m grateful for both—to one for reminding me that a perfect snack can mean a bowl of simply dressed, seasonal veggies, and to the other for reminding me that even the simplest building blocks can yield foods that are innovative and comforting.

Thanks for contributing to a great conversation, Willie! Please check out the comments section of my last post to see some of the other remarkable comments that were offered.

I’m off to the Jersey Shore for what unfortunately looks like a rainy Sunday! Have a good one.

xo

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah Cooley August 30, 2009 at 6:45 am

I totally agree that going raw is very much about changing our american ideals of consumerism. When I went raw it was very hard for me to realize that I couldn’t just go through a drive through when I was in a rush, or grab a slice of pizza.
This caused me to actually think about what I was eating and be conscious and plan ahead. (something I had never done before) I think that was half the battle.

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Valerie LaMonica August 30, 2009 at 6:51 am

This dressing looks amazing Gena!! I was never a bit fan of Green Goddess dressing either, but I think I may have to give this one a shot!

Also, an idea for a future post perhaps: the negative side effects of incorporating more raw foods into your diet? As you know I have been giving this a shot, and while there were many positive changes in my life, there were also some negatives (stomach issues for example)…. and how long these negative side effects can last?

From talking to others I know that this is often a common thing to occur during the beginning phases but often will decrease over time. However, I just haven’t had the guts (no pun intended) to stick with discomfort so unfortunately I’ve found myself slacking off in the raw department. But, if I knew it was just a short-term plateau I would certainly go back to the high-raw lifestyle.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this! :)

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Gena August 31, 2009 at 7:10 am

Hey Val,

Sure, would love to respond! I’ve got a post coming up VERY soon about how you don’t have to eat all or mostly raw to be eating what is ideal for you; but beyond that, I’d be happy to address some pitfalls. Email me your examples from personal experience and I’ll get to thinking about it.

G

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VeggieGirl August 30, 2009 at 6:57 am

So glad that the chips were tasty!! I bet your stellar new dressing recipe would work well with them as well :-D

Thank you for addressing Willie’s question and for your wise words, as always.

Sending you sunshine vibes for the Jersey Shore trip!!

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Emily (A Nutritionist Eats) August 30, 2009 at 7:35 am

The dressing sounds great! (I already have your Raw Ranch ready for lunch tomorrow though so maybe next week!)
I think one of the biggest things that I take from this blog is that eating raw doesn’t require fancy restaurants and intricate meals – sometimes simpler is better and I think that is really important when adding raw foods into your diet. In the past I’ve thought that I need to create these amazing meals to “eat raw” when that is really not the case at all. So Thanks! :)

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) August 30, 2009 at 7:39 am

Wow that was quite a post for a Sunday morning…a little “light reading”. Just kidding! You’re so inspiring Gena, you really get me thinking and pondering, but most of all you help to reinforce what I already know. Raw, healthy, simple, yet satisfying and nourishing. That’s what works for me and I always love your prose for reinforcing that.

Your dressing looks great. And thank you for NOT using garlic and onions. Blech. I find them overpowering, they linger on me, and I just don’t like the way I feel after I eat them. I know others find cooking with garlic and onions indispensable but I am always so thrilled when I find someone else who doesn’t cook, or un-cook, with them regularly.

Enjoy your day at the Shore!

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Gena August 31, 2009 at 7:11 am

I am so with you, Averie! Nothing is grosser to me than something I’ll continue to taste hours and hours after I eat it. Blech :-(

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Maria (Tough Cookie) August 30, 2009 at 8:30 am

Most of my diet is fruit, veggies, homemade juices, nuts, and seeds, but I buy the raw options you are talking about when I need a little something different. I think we tend to have an all or nothing way of thinking, but when I am PMSing, just a bowl of berries isn’t going to cut it (men can’t appreciate that). I want a raw chocolate something or other! Or sometimes, I eat a processed vegan cookie! A gourmet raw treat here and there is necessary, but that doesn’t mean if I buy it once a month, my entire diet consists of similar goods, you know?

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Gena August 31, 2009 at 7:13 am

Of course I know, Maria! For instance, the raw chocolate truffles I had for dessert last night, or the Alternative Baking Company vegan cookies, which I think are really good. These things serve a VERY necessary function: of course raspberries don’t always cut it :)

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Maria (Tough Cookie) August 30, 2009 at 8:33 am

I live in Monmouth County, NJ, on the shore, and the sun is beaming!!!! Looks like you will have a great day afterall! As for me, PMS plus my pain leaves me snuggling with my pup holding a fist full of chocolate :-) Not a bad thing. Enjoy!

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Willie Costello August 30, 2009 at 8:39 am

Gena,

Thanks so much for your in-depth and intelligent response. I really like the meal vs. building block distinction you drew, and I will keep that in mind as I continue to consider my own food choices. I think your blog has definitely done an amazing job at helping me “reconnect with the building blocks” and discover the joys of simple, whole foods. Thanks again!

Willie

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EarthMother - In The Raw August 30, 2009 at 9:43 am

You’re actually taking a day off to relax and play at the Shore? Woo Hoo! Carpe diem! (please, tell me you’re not taking any work along with you) Sending sunshine and blue skies your way.

I once asked my readers if they could eat only 5 foods for the rest of their life, what would they be? Surprising the number of responses like your friend — dishes, rather than foods. A year ago, my list wouldn’t have been too different from his. Now, however, I tend to think along the same lines as you: “raw materials.” Amazing really, as I used to be the Queen of the drive-thru windows and microwavable meals!

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Gena August 31, 2009 at 7:14 am

I did actually relax, EM! Can you believe it?? Got some sun, too :-)

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Rose-Anne August 30, 2009 at 11:32 am

I think it’s important to remember that even when we’re buying or growing raw ingredients, we’re still consumers. Consumerism is a spectrum, not an all-or-nothing proposition. I think the spectrum concept can help us to strive for our best without beating ourselves up to much when circumstances beyond our control limit our choices. (Hello, travel!)

That being said, I am loving the conversations that are happening on this blog. Gena, you are an exceptionally thoughtful writer. Just for fun, I wanted to share my favorite building blocks. I love this idea:

* Green leaf lettuce
* Kale
* Bananas
* Chickpeas (not raw but please forgive me!)
* Tomatoes
* Almonds

Interestingly, I use the building block concept a lot when cooking meals at home. As much as I love recipes, I do lots of cooking using the bits and bobs that are hanging around my kitchen. Building blocks give you freedom from recipe tyranny and allow you to consider what tastes good together or what works well, nutritionally speaking. That, I believe, is how we learn to cook (or, uh, un-cook!). ;-)

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Gena August 31, 2009 at 7:15 am

I agree, Rose-Anne — that’s a great point. My friend Kristen likes to use the term “pro-sumer,” which I think is a great way of thinking about our role in the market.

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Shelby August 30, 2009 at 11:37 am

Mmm, I was just looking for a new dressing! I made a salad today but topped it with your guac recipe. Still delicious.

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Maggie August 30, 2009 at 1:06 pm

I miss the Jersey shore. I grew up in Princeton and went to the shore every summer!

That’s my favorite snack of late – the snap peas. But I dip them in liquid gold elixir… must try this :)

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Lainie August 30, 2009 at 1:22 pm

That Green Goddess dressing looks incredible! Annie’s version is one of my all time favorites, too, so I look forward to trying this!

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Eira August 30, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Completely agree with you Maria! At certain times of the month (too much information, I know) I crave my raw chocolate/vegan chocolate and my vegan chips and humous. Men are lucky enough not to know how that feels :)

Maria (Tough Cookie) says:
August 30, 2009 at 8:30 am
Most of my diet is fruit, veggies, homemade juices, nuts, and seeds, but I buy the raw options you are talking about when I need a little something different. I think we tend to have an all or nothing way of thinking, but when I am PMSing, just a bowl of berries isn’t going to cut it (men can’t appreciate that). I want a raw chocolate something or other! Or sometimes, I eat a processed vegan cookie! A gourmet raw treat here and there is necessary, but that doesn’t mean if I buy it once a month, my entire diet consists of similar goods, you know?

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Paige@ RunningAroundNormal August 30, 2009 at 5:29 pm

Nice job on the dressing! You’re so creative!! I hope she likes it :)

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melissa August 30, 2009 at 5:37 pm

As usual a well-balanced, fair response. Way to stay objective.

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Diana (Soap & Chocolate) August 30, 2009 at 6:25 pm

Nice job with the dressing, G-dawg! I’m a fan of Annie’s Goddess dressing myself.

So glad you responded to Willie’s comment–I had read it too and was hoping you’d share your thoughts. You make a good point about building blocks vs. dishes. You can rest assured that you’ve at least helped me reconnect with my favorite whole foods–I’m sure I would have been among the people who named “pizza” as a favorite food a few months back, but I do agree that there is a distinction worth making here.

However, I think I am allowed to include “banana soft serve” among my favorite foods now, since it’s just bananas. HA! LOOPHOLE!

;)

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Gena August 31, 2009 at 7:15 am

Ahhh, so happy you’re on the banana band wagon 8-)

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emily August 30, 2009 at 7:46 pm

I loooooooved your thoughts in this post! My answer to that question is – baby carrots, roasted brussels sprouts, Diet Cherry Coke, Pad See Eiw, and Greek yogurt; so I guess I’m halfway there!

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Caroline August 30, 2009 at 8:41 pm

Annie’s Goddess dressing is one of my favorite salad toppers, so I am anxious to give your raw version a try–it sounds delicious.
While I admit that one of my favorite foods is a “dish” (hummus), most are “building blocks” as you mentioned. My other four are probably avocado, pumpkin, almonds, and spinach. Oh, and Fuji apples are definitely the way to go!

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Laura August 30, 2009 at 11:12 pm

To continue the trend-

whole foods:
watermelon
plums
avocado
sweet potato
garlic

dishes:
pizza, especially made in Italy (or 2 Amys in DC!)
avocado salad
phad thai
banana-nut-chocolate smoothie
pie

Funny how strongly people differ in taste. Garlic is one of my favorite foods. But dill… blech! ;)

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CoconutGal August 31, 2009 at 8:58 am

Balance is key. If these “processed” raw foods help someone stay on track, I say go for it. Heck, after 3 years of not tasting a single bite of chocolate, you better believe when I came across a date-sweetened, no soy, raw chocolate bar at my co-op that I bought it! I think these things can help people stay sane and that is totally worth it. As long as you are coming from a foundation of real foods, or working towards it, it’s all good!
Your 5 fav’s made me laugh, I had this question the other day too! I was looked upon with wide eyes and and silence because I didn’t name a single “dish.” “What about pizza? Or cupcakes? …You eat kale?” I was like– yeah, avocados are definitely better than cupcakes!
:-) Hope you got to relax yesterday!

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Michal August 31, 2009 at 4:03 pm

This looks amazing – i love annies goddess dressing, i cant wait to try this out!

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Meredith (Pursuing Balance) August 31, 2009 at 6:16 pm

I love that dressing, but it can be kind of pricey so I’m glad you came up with a recipe for us! Whole Foods makes a sesame dressing that’s a little less expensive than Annie’s but tastes just as good :)

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Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) August 31, 2009 at 6:52 pm

Gena – so excited about the Green Goddess recipe as that is CD’s favorite salad dressing. Thank you!

I have you to thank for helping me realize that sometimes those simple building blocks make the perfect meal all on their own. :)

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Chandelle August 31, 2009 at 7:46 pm

I love your comment about building blocks vs. dishes! That’s something I’ve noticed in myself. As a kid I would have said my favorite “foods” were meals, for sure, and really nasty ones, like beef stroganoff, Kraft mac & cheese, fluorescent sausage…okay, I’m making myself sick. Now, it would be hard to pinpoint just a few foods, because I love so many, and they’re actually foods! Hm…garlic, butternut squash, and brown jasmine rice, no doubt. Also cucumbers and watermelon. And collard greens. And hemp seeds. And almonds. And garbanzo beans, spinach, and coconut-anything. And…oh, did you say just five?

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Alex September 1, 2009 at 7:42 am

Hi Gena,

I used to love Annie’s dressing as a kid but I’ve now adopted a strict homemade-only rule for salad dressings, so easy and so much cheaper.

I can’t wait to make this! How long do you think this would keep in the fridge? (Note: I’ll probably be using soaked dry herbs rather than fresh)

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elise September 1, 2009 at 7:51 am

hey girly!! just playing cacth up here. as usual you are frank in your reviews and present both sides wonderfully. so great to read without worrying about a bias.

ok, so since you gave me the ex-nay on the food processor (until i go for the $$$ real deal), should i go with a hand immersion blender in the meantime? or maybe a magic bullet? i want a cheaper option to tide me over! i need to make all these glorious recipes you are giving out!

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Susan September 1, 2009 at 8:04 am

Hey Gena! Great commentary on Pure Market Express. They are only miles from me and while I do wish them the best of luck, my concerns about encouraging people to eat local, carbon footprints, etc., are things to consider. I also believe that you can have fun, gourmet raw food, made at home without putting in a lot of effort. That is what I am all about! Keep up the great work!

Susan

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Justine September 1, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Yum, I’m excited to try this soon! I just have to say that Natalia Rose’s books & this blog have been such a huge inspiration for me to go increasingly raw this year. I definitely do still eat cooked foods, but not much. A bit of soy, a bit of grains, but those are pretty much the only ‘offensive’ foods in my diet anymore – though I’m gradually decreasing the amounts I consume. And I’m happy to say that although fall is fast approaching, I’m really determined to stay mostly raw for the winter as well. It’s amazing how much easier it was than I thought it would be, too.

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Erin September 1, 2009 at 8:34 pm

What a lovely discussion Miss Gena. It makes me wonder what I would list as my top five…I think cherries would definitely make the list :)
I think it’s cool how all the fancy raw foods are half intended to hook people into a raw/healthier lifestyle; def serves a good purpose.

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Shannon September 2, 2009 at 4:58 am

Wow, great topic, and there’s always so much to consider! i think you’ve done a wonderful job highlighting all aspects–positive and negative.

sounds like a great dressing. i’ve never had annie’s, but i’ll definitely give this a try :)

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Вячеслав Сенников October 18, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Кстати это все придумали ориентировочно лет 10 назад , а то и больше.:

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Alexa January 20, 2012 at 7:31 pm

this dressing is too die for! awesome with a kale, persian cucumber and quoin salad!

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lena August 10, 2013 at 7:29 pm

I just want to say this is the best raw recipe blog I’ve seen. EVERYTHING on here tastes absolutely delicious…no duds! You definitely have a talent for creating amazing tastes. This dressing as usual was AMAZING!

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