This is a salad with ingredients that can be assembled in their raw state (as shown in the photo), or lightly steamed and served as a transitional dish. When we were in California for two weeks, we made the transitional version for my father, who said it was delicious and unique. He ate every bite with gusto. Normally he rarely eats anything that isn't cooked, and prefers only warm food, so this was a light and refreshing dinner for him. It's also easy to keep a portion of the asparagus and tomatoes raw, and then steam the rest up for family members who don't wish to eat raw foods.
Serve with almond burgers, or pumpkin seed patties for a delicious and filling meal. (Leftovers are great for this.)
Ingredients: serves 2
3 cups baby spinach
1 cup asparagus, sliced diagonally
1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
1 small avocado
2 tablespoons green onions
2 tablespoons cashews
1 tablespoon favorite oil
1 tablespoon miso (South River Azuki or your favorite)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 clove garlic, peeled and pressed
Directions for Salad
To prepare asparagus, hold on to the tip and bottom of spear with both hands.
Bend asparagus: it will break just where the tender part begins. (Use tough section for juice.)
For raw version: put asparagus, tomatoes, green onions, cashews, oil, miso, lemon juice and garlic into bowl and mix well.
For cooked version: put asparagus, green onions, cashews, oil, into pan with lid.
Heat over medium flame. Stir.
Add 2-3 tablespoons water, cover, and steam until tender.
Add tomatoes at the last minute to lightly cook.
Remove from heat, add miso and lemon juice, mixing well.
Put baby spinach on plates or bowls, spoon asparagus on top. (The cooked version will lightly wilt the spinach.)
Garnish with avocado slices, sesame seeds, and a little of your favorite salad dressing, or a sprinkle of Himalayan salt and fresh ground pepper if desired.
The Little Story: Cooked or Raw?
For us, evolving can be a daily process. Once in a while it seems okay to eat a little cooked food, and other times intuition tells Rex and me that raw is definitely the better choice. When we don't listen we get ourselves into trouble. (The last two vacations we had some heavier cooked foods, and then came down with horrendous three week colds.) We are the only ones who know in our heart of hearts what is the most appropriate way to eat on any given day.
Jinjee Talifero from The Garden Diet sends out The Daily Raw Inspiration, and it's free to everyone. For years we've been reaping the benefits of her wisdom, and in the early days of going raw her words were a source of constant comfort. In her most recent blog, she writes about how she creatively works with food addictions.
This message came a few days ago from The Daily Raw Inspiration, and I've been given permission from her to share it with you, because it mirrors so beautifully the philosophy of The Healing Feast.
"There is always something more you can do for your health. Wellness is an Infinite path. So there's no sense kicking ourselves for where we are at on our path. That would be focusing on the negative, which is even more unhealthy than whatever food we might be kicking ourselves for eating. It is a matter of balance, of harmony, of integrity, yet at the same time a matter of patience, of moderation, and of mystery. We can only do so much under our own power, and then we must surrender to the Eternal. At this point, the path to health becomes a spiritual journey, a journey of becoming a part of the unfolding reality that is bringing about the greatest good for all beings."
I love how Jinjee tells her story with utter honesty, and about "wellness as an Infinite path", and her process of evolving where food has been a pivotal part of her awakening, much like our own experiences. May we all evolve together into a world of greater potential and possibilities, clearly seeing the shining avenues for health and healing.