salad-4

Tonight’s dinner was inspired by Tuesday’s lunch. On Tuesday, in unseasonably sweltering heat, I met my lovely friend Alina—a fellow raw foods coach—at Caravan of Dreams, which is a vegan lunch spot tucked away on 6th street.

caravan

I like Caravan because it has equally extensive raw and cooked menus; it’s all tasty, and it’s easy for me to bring friends or family who are ready to try vegan foods, but not quite prepared to dive into raw dining.

Alina and I quenched our thirst on young coconuts:

coconuts

… and agreed that we barely had appetites for anything else in the heat. But I know my workday appetite well enough to know that I needed food! I ordered the Thai avocado salad (“a mixture of avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers, nori pieces, and carrots served over fresh onganic seasonal greens tossed in Thai spicy citrus dressing“). Of course, I forgot to take a photo (oops!). But fear not: I liked it so much that I decided to re-interpret it tonight.

The meal began with dressing. I played around and came up with the following, and it was absolutely delicious! Sweet, spicy, and infused with basil and cilantro, this dressing is thick enough to serve as a vegetable dip, and rich enough for a dinner salad. Best of all, it’s full of healthy fats and vitamin E.

Spicy Thai Dressing (yields almost two cups)

Ingredients:

1 Avocado
1 cup water
¼ cup cilantro
¼ cup basil
¼ tsp salt (or more)
2 dates, or 1 packet stevia
Sprinkle of cayenne pepper (I must have used 1/8 tsp) and 3/4 inch ginger for heat

Blend all ingredients on high and adjust seasoning to taste. Here’s what you get:

dressing

Then I assembled my salad. I started with a green base of spinach, cilantro, and basil. I piled it high with spirals of carrots, cucumber, red peppers, red cabbage, and pea shoots, and I garnished the whole thing with half of a sliced avocado. Here’s the final creation, pre-dressing:

salad-2

And with the dressing:

salad-6

salad-5

It was absolutely delicious! Alongside some baked sweet potato (which I forgot to photograph), it made for a great meal. This one will definitely be a keeper for summer.

So are you wondering how I got the carrot and cucmber to look so lovely? The answer, my friends, is this:

spiralizer

A new spiralizer!!! The lovely people at Paderno World Cuisine were kind enough to send me two of their wonderful Spirooli spiralizers! I’m delighted. While my Joyce Chen spiralizer (a great value at less than $30) has served me very well, I must admit that it’s not quite as useful as this one will be: the Spirooli makes three different shapes (wide ribbons, thin spirals, and thick spirals) and it’s much easier to use, especially for hard veggies, like carrots and beets (which is great, since beet pasta with cashew alfredo is a personal favorite of mine).

So what do you think I’m doing with the other model? Giving it to one of you, of course!!! I’ve been overwhelmed by your collective enthusiasm for veggie pasta, and I’m thrilled to offer one of you a chance to start making it at home. So here we are: my very first giveaway!!

Here’s the deal. To enter, you have to:

1)    Respond to this post with a comment naming the raw dish you’re most eager to try at homewith or without the Spirooli!

AND

2)    Announce the giveaway on your blog, and send me an email at [email protected] with a link to the post in which you do it.

If you don’t have a blog, simply send me an email saying so, and as a special bonus question, tell me what your favorite traditional pasta dish is, and you think you might be able to recreate it with the Spirooli.

I’ll announce the winner on May 11th. I hope many of you will participate, and I’m wishing you luck!

That’s it for now, all – have a great night :)

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