Contributing Monkie Sarma Melngailis
Published on July 22, 2012
On our menu it’s actually called the Pumpkinseed and Herb Salad, but otherwise referred to by me as my favorite breakfast salad. I wake up craving this salad. And yes, it’s meant to fix me. I started eating this specific green mix because I was told that I probably need more of the sexy mineral zinc in my system, among other things. I haven’t been feeling well (at all) so this salad is part of my healing plan. My books are all about how raw food makes you feel amazing. I used to feel amazing. Why do I now feel like shit? And how can I admit that? (Doing it now). More on the healing plan as soon as I can find more time to write about it. Back to zinc. Pumpkinseeds happen to be very high in zinc. And so my love affair with pumpkinseeds has been rekindled.
Years ago in another (not raw) restaurant, I put a pumpkinseed salad on the menu: lolo rosso and red oak lettuces, shaved bosc pear, shaved pecorino, toasted salted pumpkinseeds and pumpkinseed lemon dressing. While I love delicate fluffy greens like lolo rosso and red oak, what I really can’t get enough of are kale and herbs. I could eat bathtubs of kale.
So, I started making myself this salad at the restaurant. Kale plus a bunch of parsley leaves, cilantro leaves, and torn mint leaves. Add hempseeds (full of omega-3’s… good for so many reasons!). Then toss the whole thing in a dressing made of pumpkinseed oil and lemon juice, and plenty of salt (ideally Himalayan crystal salt). You can also use a mix of olive (or other) oil with the pumpkinseed oil since the flavor is strong, and good quality raw organic pumpkinseed oil happens to be super expensive. (ours comes from Austria, raw and organic). I love maxium pumpkinseed flavor so I use just that oil and lemon (and salt). Top this green pile with a handful of pumpkinseed macadamia parmesan.
How and where do you get pumpkinseed macadamia parmesan? Or make it? In Raw Food Real World (page 285) there’s a recipe for pine nut parmesan, and we make it (or a version of it) at the restaurant. It’s really easy, but you need a dehydrator. The recipe in the book , as titled, calls for pine nuts, but since those recently became more expensive than gold, we’ve had to tweak this recipe, as well as a few others that previously featured golden pine nuts. Including the pine nut ricotta in our lasagna. After trying a few different variations, we found that mixing pumpkinseeds and macadamia nuts makes the best substitute. Using all of one or the other is okay, but a mix of the two we liked best. If you want to make your own parmesan, soak raw pumpkinseeds and macadamia nuts for a few hours. Add to a food processor with some water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt. Dehydrate till dry and crisp. YUM. If you’re too lazy or busy or otherwise unprepared to make the parmesan, you can toss plain raw pumpkinseeds in a bit of pumpkinseed oil, salt, and a generous sprinkle of nutritional yeast. This will give you a similar flavor. Nutritional yeast is an amazing vegan source of B-12, by the way. Another reason I like it in my healing salad. Yes, this post is full of links.
Now… if you order this salad at the restaurant, it comes with a mix of greens and kale, since most people find straight kale kind of harsh and prefer a mix. The lovely photo here was taken by the even lovelier Erica Graff, who writes discoveringraw.com where she posts lots of One Lucky Duck dessert porn. Or, “eye candy” as she more tactfully calls it.
Why do I need a salad to heal me? It’s just part of the process. After asking me 1,001 questions via phone from the UK, my friend Elwin of lionheartherbs gave me loads of good advice as well as a shipment of tonic herbs with which to make tea. I’ve been drinking it daily. To Elwin, I could admit anything, and he understood… understands. Finally. He understood that if he told me to take a vacation, start doing yoga, or meditating, I would have hung up, and climbed back in bed. Not that I shouldn’t do all of those things, but… he understands what it’s like being caught in the spiral of sleep-deprivation. Even with the best organic raw food available to me, it seems that I got myself into a place such that no matter what I do, most of the time I’m tired. Various bad habits which I’ll come clean about later, plus too much stress. I’m smart enough to know stress is hurting. Just need help in sorting it out within the currently stressful context in which I got myself into. Thank you Elwin. Thank you Anastasia for harmonyum healing. Thank you Rodrigo for bombarding me with helpful words/books. Thank you Kurt for being my favorite asshat. Thank you Annie for EFT. Thank you to my amazing boyfriend for eucalyptus hot water foot baths followed by coconut butter foot rubs. And lots of patience. And more. And thank you to everyone at the restaurant and duck for taking care of business. And while I’m at it, eternally grateful to the world of twitter and facebook people, who feed me with support and encouragement (and gave me loads of advice and heart warming sweet sympathy when my kitty cat love of my life decided to get sick and then leave this dimension). Now this sounds like an oscar acceptance speech and the music has started to play over me. Thank you and goodnight!
P.S. I know I should take a vacation, more “me time”, spa time, yoga, etc… but I promise, when I’m able to, I will do it. In the meantime, I’m just eating lots of breakfast salads, trying to figure it all out (will share when I do), and charging (crawling?) onward. XOXO :)