Raw Food: The Good and the Bleh

It's raw food day again! This time, my uncooked meals ranged from "so-so" to "over-the-top amazing." I'll start with the "so-so." I began today's monthly one-day raw food cleanse with this Galactic Green Smoothie from 30 Minute Vegan:

Dates, fresh apple juice, banana, papaya, and kale — sounds like a great combo, huh? Well, only if you like papaya, which I apparently do not. When I cut into the papaya last night, it smelled like butt and it tasted icky. I vaguely remember trying papaya before and not liking it. But at the time, I assumed I'd gotten a bad one. Guess I just don't like it. But I drank this smoothie down anyway ... can't let those greens go to waste.

Around 11 a.m., I snacked on some carrot sticks, bell pepper strips, and cauliflower at my desk. And then at noon, I gorged on this Giant Garden Salad with Brazil Nut Cheese:

The salad — romaine, radishes, fresh corn, tomato, cucumber, and cauliflower — was just a salad. But this nut cheese was really something special. It's made by Journey to Bliss, a local raw food company in Smryna, Tennessee. They sell their products — delicious nut cheeses and raw desserts — at Whole Foods stores in Memphis, Nashville, and a few other regional locales.

Ya'll, this is definitely THE best raw cheese I've ever had. It's flecked with onion and garlic, and the taste reminds me of that French onion dip in the plastic tub that I loved as a kid. It wasn't cheap at $12.99 a package, and I was hesitant to shell out the big bucks for it. But it is soooo worth it. I'll be buying this again.

Dinner was equally amazing! I made this Live Un-Stirfry with Cauliflower Rice and Spicy Cashews from 30 Minute Vegan:

The authors of 30 Minute Vegan — Mark Reinfeld and Jennifer Murray — sponsored a recipe contest last year, and this un-stirfry was the winner. Its creator, Felix Schoener of Germany, won a trip to Kaua'i, Hawaii for his winning contribution.

Spicy sesame-flavored naba cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, and shitake mushrooms rest atop a fluffy bed of garlicky cauliflower "rice." The dish is sprinkled with a few raw sesame-chili cashews. Wow! I know I always say "this was the best dish ever!" But um, this may have been the best dish ever. This recipe prep took me far longer than the 30 minutes advertised in the book's title, but it was worth every minute.