It's November and the sudden chill has brought a desire for warming foods and drinks. Teas such as potent Heal All and Lung Tea from God's Herbs are now daily staples. This week I responded to a craving that had gone on for days, for delicata squash. It was served with warmed kale, tomatoes, and zucchini, seasoned with amazing tastes from West Indies Rub and Grilling Herbs, both from Mountain Rose Herbs. The end result was delicious, and my body felt nourished, sated, warm, and happy.
The rich colors of this dish look festive and seasonal, providing a feast for the eyes. (Our photo shows the veggies before going into the dehydrator.) Being a lovely transitional meal, it's something to consider when company comes for dinner, when an all raw food menu doesn't fit. For a 100% raw dinner, delete the squash, and serve with a salad, or one of our raw breads.
Warming kale in the dehydrator makes the kale much softer and easier to chew, and the flavors in the tomatoes intensify. Many ovens have a convection setting, so if you don't have a dehydrator, check this out. If you don't have either, massage the kale for several minutes with a little oil and a pinch of salt to soften, and proceed with the recipe.
Ingredients: Serves 4
1 delicata squash (about 6 inches in length), sliced into 1 inch rounds, seeds removed
4-6 cups kale (press into measuring cup), stems removed, chopped into large bite size pieces
2 cups tomatoes sliced, and cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup zucchini, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sweet olive, or Spectrum Walnut oil
1 teaspoon Grilling Herbs
1 teaspoon West Indies Rub
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan Salt
Hot peppers for garnish. If you're going to eat them, be very careful when handling. Don't get oils from peppers into the eyes! Some people wear gloves when preparing. Slice in half, and remove seeds. Cut to desired size for eating. A little goes a long way!
Prepare kale and transfer to a bowl.
Add 1 tablespoon oil, salt, and spices.
Massage for several minutes. Transfer to a baking dish.
Tip: I prefer to use a rectangular glass baking dish with a very low lip (a glass pizza plate would also work), because the tomatoes release a lot of juice which drips too much for a Teflex sheet. Casserole dishes keep the warm air from reaching the veggies as quickly, so it takes longer to prepare the meal. Gauge accordingly.
Put tomatoes, zucchini, green onions, and garlic into bowl with 1 tablespoon oil and mix. Spread evenly over kale, and sprinkle with a little extra Grilling Herbs. Place in dehydrator with temperature set to 115 degrees for about 90 minutes.
Note: If you wish to keep the kale nice and soft, dehydrate for 15 minutes on a separate tray after the other ingredients have been in the dehydrator for an hour. Otherwise the kale will become crispy where it's close to the edges of the baking dish, and soft in places more towards the middle.
15 minutes before serving, prepare squash, and steam until tender, about 7 minutes. Serve immediately. Feast on the colors, aromas, textures, and tastes!
A Little Story: Color!
Rex and I are soaking up the gorgeous fall color this year. After nine years on the island where there wasn't much seasonal color, our new home in Fairhaven has become the source for colors that transport me into realms of visual heaven. We're reminded of the many years we lived in Connecticut, where huge, 200 year old maple trees thrived outside our living room windows and showered us with golden, orange, and red radiations for weeks in September and October. These colors go right into my heart, and feed me in spiritual ways.
I'm also becoming intensely aware that I'm drawn first to colors in foods when looking for something to eat. The colors just pull me right in. And it makes me wonder if it's the color I need, perhaps even more than the food itself. The body is fed by many levels of nutrition: music, imagery, poetry, and the beauty of food, to name just a few.
With a dehydrator, or electric skillet, warm foods can be made quite simply. We've spotlighted the book, Warming Up to Living Foods before, which is dedicated to taking the chill out of raw food. Once the seasons change, I am drawn to the principle in this book and appreciate Elysa Markowitz's wisdom and message.
Without color, I'm adrift. As I wrote in Temple Food, "Chop the fruits and vegetables with a grateful hand and savor the gifts of their giving. Pulsing energy is passing between our skins, penetrating energy fields that are touching each other, shimmering with life essence!" The foods are here so that we may live, and for this, Rex and I are profoundly grateful.