using raw veggies

Sometime last week I discovered that I had let a bundle of parsley start to wilt.  I had wanted to make pasta dish that night, so I decided to make a pesto.  Puréed parsley with a little olive oil was too strong on the parsley flavor, so I added carrots and a few mushrooms to the food processor to smooth it out.  I spiced it to taste and tossed it with thin spaghetti and it was a success with leftovers to spare.  Greens saved from wasting and dinner served.

Then on Sunday, we had the LDS missionaries over and I made dinner for them: arugula salad, black bean soup, and stuffed acorn squash.  The stuffing was a quinoa-wild rice pilaf with cooked onions, shredded carrots and zucchini, and halved grape tomatoes.  One of the missionaries paid me a complement when he said "I just realized what I'm eating.  You know those magazines with the food that looks really good and is good for you?  That's what I'm eating."

The common thread between the two dinners was that they both used a fair amount of raw vegetables in the main dish.  I'm familiar with various raw-foods diets and am far from that myself, but I think it would be a good thing to incorporate more raw food into my meal preparations.  Cooked food is nutrient-dense and allows us to eat good food inexpensively--rice, beans, potatoes, bread--but adding raw foods will increase the diversity of our diets.  Briefly looking at raw-food recipes online, it seems that apple, avocado, carrots, coconut, and nuts are fairly popular, but of course any veggies or fruits can work.  I've been intrigued with apples in savory dishes for a while, so perhaps I can try a raw twist to that.  It'll be a fun vein to explore.

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