On this, the afternoon of day 4, I can state happily that my caffeine withdrawal seems to be in check. I don't think I've quite re-acquired my previous coffee-infused laserbeam-like focus, but things are looking up.

Last night, we made another recipe from The Complete Book of Raw Food: Mexican Stuffed Peppers.

We've been trying to experiment with a variety of types and ethnicities of cuisine. Having done Thai and Italian, and with Middle Eastern on the way, Mexican seemed like an obvious choice. The taco-y nut-based filling was pretty good, but a little soft/runny. I like raw peppers in small doses, but an entire raw pepper, or even half, started to feel like a little much (in fairness, these were supposed to be dehydrated for 2 hours). The fruity and spicy salsa, however, was pretty amazing--something we'll certainly revisit in the future.

Despite all of yesterday's meticulous planning and abundance of preparation, I really kind of dropped the ball on these. Many of the recipes specify soaking times for the nuts, but this one merely included a tiny, innocuous "soaked," which I carelessly glossed over. I tried to make up for this by running all of the nuts through the juicer (Omega 8005) with the blank screen to produce a suitable nut paste. Then I just added a bit of water to the pate recipe. This worked pretty well, though I'm sure the proper, pre-soaked, way would have been better.

Additionally, our dehydrator is pretty simple (a cheap-o Nesco) and doesn't have all the room that an Excalibur does, so we weren't able to properly dehydrate these guys. As a workaround, I popped them in the oven on preheat, on the lowest setting and turned it off about halfway, then left them in the oven for about 30 minutes. We definitely didn't cross over into the land of cooked--as they were still pretty raw when we popped them out.

In any case, we give you Mexican Stuffed Peppers

Taco-y Pate

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, soaked for 8 hours
  • 1/2 cup almonds, soaked for 8 hours
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, soaked for 8 hours
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
  • 1/2 onion, quartered
  • 1 batch of taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt
  • (1 tbsp yellow miso--I totally missed this in our batch)
  • (1/4 cup water--if, like us, you forgot the water)

Sweet and Spicy Salsa

  • 3 tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 mangoes, skinned and removed from pit
  • 2 avocados, shelled and pitted
  • (1/2 red bell pepper--there was a lot of pepper in the recipe, so we ditched this, but it might be nice with other recipes)
  • 1/2 cup papaya, peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 1/4 jalapeno
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 green onions, snipped
  • 1/4 tsp Celtic sea salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder

If you've been following along the last few days, you probably have a pretty good guess on how this will go. For the pate, blend all of the ingredients together in a food processor, until mixed thoroughly and there aren't any large pieces (but it doesn't have to be smooth). For the salsa, also blend everything in the food processor, but coarsely--it should be somewhere between a salsa and a pico de gallo.

We had never used a papaya before--it's pretty much a tropical melon...who knew?--this is what it looks like:

As a strange aside, Amy and I were hunched over our computers, working, all day. Later that night, we were hanging out with my mom and sitting propped semi-comfortably against the fireplace. That night we both had a terrible pain in our lower backs and legs, we had to go to this web-site to find out about the best options to kill the pain. While on its face, it would seem obvious that the pain was from sitting like chumps all day. But we sit and work this way frequently, so the variable in the equation would seem to be our diet. Is it possible that we've been running our bodies through the proverbial wringer, with the effects somehow mitigated by our diet (the coffee perhaps)? And, having cleaned things out a bit, we're getting the real feel for what we're doing? Has anyone else doing raw or quitting coffee had this issue?

Stay tuned for what I think will be our best rawventure yet--falafel!