By Gina Marinelli, Gourmet Cook & Contributing Writer
I'm a fruit not a vegetable!
Yesterday afternoon the weather was miserable, cold, wet and windy. I had just returned from a two week vacation in Florida, (where I consumed more raw eggs, avocados, raw cheese, bananas and oranges than I have ever eaten in my life!) and jet lag set in. I fell asleep reading We Want To Live by the unique raw food nutritionist Aajounus Vanderplanitz. The last thing I remember reading was Fat for great health.
As I was coming to from my dreamy state a giant avocado appeared glistening green and split in half. It looked so real that I felt myself reaching out to take a bite out of it. A strange vision, that persisted until Michael showed up for our weekly conversation about refrigerator healthcare. “Still boiling onions?” ,he asked peering into the boiling pot on the stove. “Don't tell me your still on an onion craze!” “No”, I smiled. “What’s it gonna be this week, Gina? Tell me what’s your food fascination now?”, he rattled off as though he was a baseball announcer waiting for the winning pitch. I met his zeal, “Avocados! Avocados?” Why avocados? It came to me in a dream! He looked at me quizzically and moved the conversation onward, I'm famished, I brought some steak and cheese. What are you gonna make with it? I turned and began rummaging through the veggie bin. Lets see, I have some red cabbage, carrot, kale, .....onion, i sang......and avocado!
Avocados are beautiful as a single nourishing treat and an incredibly versatile addition to many foods! They grow year round. They never ripen unless picked from the tree( they are a fruit). They are quite simply easy to digest, assimilate and utilize, a perfect fat to cleanse, fuel, lubricate and protect the body. Avocados contain oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat. Olive oil, oils of almonds, pecans, cashews and peanuts also contain monounsaturated fats.
Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. They also act as a "nutrient booster" by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein, in foods that are eaten with the fruit. According to Sally Fallon in her book ‘Nourishing Traditions’ "fats from animal and vegetable sources provide a concentrated source of energy in the diet; they also provide the building blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone-like substances. Fats as part of a meal slow down nutrient absorption so that we can go longer without feeling hungry."
According to Vonderplanitz: "Avocados also assist in removing toxins from the body when eaten with raw eggs and they are extremely helpful to cleanse and strengthen the liver. I eat at least one avocado per day, everyday."
Add a squeeze of lemon or lime, a bit of sea salt maybe some green onions and I'm in heaven! They also serve me well when I am unable to find raw butter. I toast a slice of bread and spread the avocado, add a sprinkle of sunflower seeds or other nuts and a tablespoon of raw honey and delicious "buttered" toast it is!! I hear the avocado makes a great raw pudding and excellent binding ingredient in cakes and other desserts (will give it a try for next weeks recipe). Unlimited possibilities. Healthy, delicious, readily available and able to adapt to many delights; its no wonder I am fascinated! And you eat them RAW! The best way to bring on the value to your health!
There are numerous varieties of avocados the most common types are: Bacon, Fuerte, Gwen, Hass, Pinkerton, Reed, and Zutano. Every chef has their preferences and mine are the Hass and Fuerte.
Most avocados are grown in tropical climates Mexico being the leading producer serving the world, California the number one producer in the United States, they also grow in Hawaii, and Florida( thank goodness).
A Work In Progress.
This one is for you Michael!
Any meat will do in this roll and it needn't be raw, everything else will be.
serves 1 hungry man or 2 that are not famished
1 bunch dinosaur kale
1 or 2 carrots grated
1 cup red cabbage sliced for sprinkling
half of yellow onion diced green onion top and bottom can be used in place of or as an extra flavor component
a quarter of a pound of beef,chicken, fish or pork thinly sliced and marinated in olive oil, sesame oil or peanut oil
check that the oils that you are using are cold pressed and organic non GMO ,oils should be processed below 96 degrees to maintain their nutritional integrity
1 avocado thinly sliced
you can tell an avocado is ripe when you push and a little dent is made in the skin
cut the avocado in half around the pit turn to release the two sides with edge of knife or tip remove the pit slice the avo with the skin and then peel off
sunflower seeds or any nut that you have on hand i think pumpkin seeds would taste great with this or sunflower sprouts or even sesame seeds! as always be inspired try new combinations and above all express yourself!
sea salt or mineral salt
red pepper flakes
squeeze of lemon or lime
paprika or a smoked cayenne would be nice as well
fresh ground peppercorns to taste
slice meat and put aside in bowl with a few teaspoons of oil to coat you can add soy sauce if you prefer over salt or both
add any spice that you desire to the meat if using red pepper flakes and a small squeeze of citrus add these to the marinate if using fish(raw or cooked ) zest lemon as an extra garnish in the roll let meat rest as you prepare other ingredients
when all ingredients are prepped begin to assemble kale rolls
On the inside of the kale add the sliced meat topped with onion carrot cabbage sunflower seeds and thinly sliced avocado
roll up from the leafy edge. I haven't figured out a way to hold the roll together without a toothpick, i thought about tying it with a chive or other fibrous thin green but none were handy. Luckily I could just hand them to Michael as they were finished! He ate them with moans and groans of appreciation. We tried a bit of honey drizzled over a few. His response: “very interesting”. I'll have to try it myself only with chicken or fish. Whatever left over vegetables that you have can be made into a slaw like salad mix them all together and add a drizzle of raw cream or sour cream and salt. To finish off this meal Michael peeled two tangerines drizzled them with raw honey a shake of cinnamon and some vanilla. It was a tasty concoction that I thought would taste great with a drizzle of raw cream. Eating fats from animal, vegetable and the avocado is such a valuable investment in your bodies energetic output. Fats are needed more than any other single nutrient to maintain your brain, your immune system and the rebuilding and rejuvenating of nerves, tissue and cells. Don't take my word for it, ask the expert!
Bon Appetit mes cheres!
and Happy Holidays!