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Home » Food

Raw Food: family grazing and most excellent tomato sauce by Sarah Lea

Submitted by on June 11, 2012 – 2:48 pm
Carved Watermelon

I used to love playing with my food. I still do! Keeping in mind my parents ‘rules at the table’, as long as the food stays within the perimeters of our bountiful spread, I allow a looser rein and sit back and enjoy the entertainment that is flung at me. Table is used loosely here I may add. I recently became the proud owner of a ’70’s picnic hamper. Packed with raw, gaudy plastic tableware, it enables us to create a colourful dining experience in any celebrated location we find ourselves in. Opening the drab cardboard suitcase permits the illuminated radiance of the plates, cups and bowls to shine their gorgeousness and dazzle passerbys with their brilliance. It also inspires my three year old to eat at a meal time! No fete de table is complete without our ritual of gratitude. No matter where we find ourselves, be it at the beach, bush, playground or library, we sit huddled together and thank our food for nourishing us. My eldest gifted the family with this simplest of ceremonies at the elevated age of three, and we bless our food, family and lives. Whoever may find themselves at our table will be asked what they’re thank-full for as half the meal is taken up with delight-full discussions. “I’m thankful for Mama Earth feeding us…what did we eat on the last planet we lived on?” and “What do cows eat? Cowcow (cacao) beans!” We eat in a gaggle of giggles.

At the homestead, our table becomes adventurous. Distracting my three year olds needs to be filling her belly full of food in between societies choice of eating three meals a day (I personally graze my way between 12 and 4pm), we find ourselves dining in decadance in increasingly exciting places. Underneath the trampoline, in the treehouse, in dens, picking our way through the veggie garden. The simplest are often the best however, and a blanket on the floor or grass and dressing for dinner in theatrical costumes all help the medicine go down. Recently we shared an eco-teddybears eco-picnic with friends, furry and human. No celebration should be without loyal friends.

Getting children excited about health-full foods leads to magical mealtimes. Once they’ve helped prepare silly plates or cut sprouts from hairy animals made from tights, foraged in their own veggie gardens for favourite greens or just chosen their healthy choices from market, it’s up to their imaginations where they choose to eat. We’ve fished dried fruit and soaked nuts from the bath and devoured dinner in dens draped with pink silks. Under the dining table, in the pantry and sitting on upturned coffee tables and cardboard boxes allow for ecstatic eating experiences.

Nothing wrong with the girls eating between meals may I add. But, to keep me out of the kitchen I like to dazzle them with an array of dishes, that if not eaten at a set time, will mysteriously vanish throughout the day. Tempting nutrient-dense puddings for breakfast, cakes at lunch and icecreams for dinner tempt even those with iron-clad determination. I’ve also implemented a self-service counter in the pantry. Colourful bowls and baskets filled with healthy choices teaches them to trust their intuition without including me in the preparation of the feast. Keep half an eye on them though. With armfuls of delectables been squirelled away in bags, boxes and mouths, you’ll soon be wishing for a lull in apetite!

Tomato Sauce

20 sun-dried tomato halves,(save soak water)

1/2 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped

1/3 cup cold pressed olive oil

2 tbsp vegan pesto

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 chilli pepper

1 tbsp dark miso

2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp raw agave nectar

1 cup tomato soak water

1/ Pop all the ingredients into the blender and whizz ’til a smooth sauce.

2/ Add extra water if needed for smoother consistency.

Pour over spiralised pumpkin or butternut squash, kelp noodles, gluten free pasta or use as a dip for crudites. Spread over raw pizza bases, crackers or breads or for fits of giggles, use as body paint and lick straight from your body!

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