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11 August 2012

Sandwich



Thoughts from lunch break.  The sandwich opposed mindfulness in its first use.  The Earl of Sandwich wanted to do two things at once—eat and play cards, as the story goes.  “What Sandwich is having” facilitates speed of consumption.  Granted, combinations of food aren’t inherently unmindful, and one can eat a sandwich mindfully, focusing all five senses on the object.  Howeer, the sandwich is oft associated—as is the wrap and the Western sushi roll—with grab ‘n’ go fare, meant to be consumed while doing something else (driving, checking email, playing cards).  One’s attention is thus divided and weakened towards both tasks.  One does not appreciate the ingredients of the sandwich as individuals or in harmony when eating and doing something else.




Harsh words for meat on bread, but lunch makes me sad, sometimes, when break from work is only a break for food.  Or when work and food are combined.  When I was six or seven, I began consciously eating our typical Italian-American after-the-main-dish salad at supper in a particular order: Romaine lettuce or spinach (ever present), tomatoes (if present), cucumbers (if present), carrots (usually present), olives (special occasions).  I call this deconstructionist eating, which has little relation to the school of criticism.  Taking apart and consuming sandwiches, salad, stir-fries, and anything with separable parts both prolongs mealtime and creates an opportunity for reflecting on whence the meal came (and where it is going).  I’ve been reading Jessica Porter’s The Hip Chick’s Guide to Macrobiotics and have begun trying to chew more, avoid nightshade vegetables, and create yin-yang balanced meals. 

Enough talk, that’s not what you’re here for—ooh, why am I assuming I know what you’re thinking?  I dislike it when others do that to me or “people out there” or whomever.  I don’t know what you’re here to read.  I hope you find something that you like.


I made my Vitamix quit on me today since I decided to use it like a food processor.  It—besides not having a name yet—doesn’t like to do all the work.  I should’ve Vitamixed the sticky rice first, dumped it into a bowl, then Vitamixed the almonds and raisins.  Instead of combining the almond-raisin goo with the rice flour in the Vitamix, I should’ve mixed it by hand.  This was crust for chocolate pumpkin mousse pie that I decided to make again.  Aw, heck, I’m just going to post the entire recipe here.



Pumpkin-Cocoa Mousse Pie
Crust my own, filling modified from Whole Foods: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/2903


Crust:
1 cup sticky rice or GF oats
1/3 cup raisins, soaked 4 hours or overnight
1 cup sliced almonds, soaked 4 hours or overnight (soak the raisins and almonds together)

Filling:
3/4 cup cashews, pecans, or almonds, or a combination, soaked 4 hours or overnight
1 cup dates, soaked 4 hours or overnight (make your life easier and soak these with the nuts for the filling)
16 ounces pureed pumpkin or other sweetish squash
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used black cocoa)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup soaking liquid

Topping:
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut

Baking the crust is optional, but if you like it a bit crispy, go for it.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease a 9-inch pie plate.  In a blender or food processor, process the sticky rice or oats until they’re finely powdered.  You may need to do this in batches depending on the strength of your machine.  Pour rice or oat flour into a bowl.  Puree the soaked nuts and fruit for the crust until mostly smooth (or very smooth, depending on your preference).  Pour nut-and-fruit goo onto the rice or oat flour and mix until it sticks together.  Press crust into the pie plate.  Bake for 10 minutes or not.  Remove from the oven and set aside until ready to fill.

In the same blender or food processor, process the soaked nuts and dates to break them down a little bit before adding everything else for the filling.  Add the rest of the ingredients and enough soaking liquid to make it go.  Process until smooth.  Pour into the piecrust and top with the coconut.  Tent the pie with foil or place in a pie-saver, and chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight before serving.


I figured as we’re nearing late summer that it’s seasonally appropriate to eat some pumpkin, but I wasn’t feeling up to a heavy baked dessert.  Not that my food is heavy in the sense of high refined fat and sugar content, but energetically, baked goods are contractive.  Correct me if I have that wrong; I’m learning this macrobiotic, yin-yang concept one mouthful of well-chewed rice at a time.