My diet is based almost completely on inspiration. Even when I went vegan exactly 6 years ago, it wasn’t an animal documentary or health concerns that made me switch, I just felt inspired. I woke up one day and said “hey, I think I’m a vegetarian now” and it was one of the most positive changes I’ve ever made.
Lately my inspiration has been leading me to eat more raw food. I don’t plan on becoming a 100% raw foodist or anything like that, but I have been incorporating more raw meals into my diet. The living enzymes and nutrients from a completely raw meal give you a kind of energy that you simply cannot obtain with cooked food (I’ve even found I need about one hour less sleep if I eat just one raw meal per day). The difference between eating cooked vs. raw has been very noticeable for me and it’s definitely something I want to continue exploring.
Most of the raw meals I’ve been eating are super simple things like a kale salad with raw cashew dressing and other fresh veggies. But the other day I got a little more creative and ended up with this incredible coconut curry that has all the traditional flavors of a Thai green curry – lemongrass, cilantro, basil, coconut, and lime – but it’s completely raw and totally delicious.
This ingredient list might look intimidating, but don’t let it scare you away (like it did to the guy behind me in the grocery store who thought my young coconut was a giant block of cheese!). Everything here is easy to find and the process is really simple. Once you have some sprouted lentils, explained below, there’s really only two steps: blend half the ingredients and then throw in the other half. In fact, that’s one of the best parts about raw foods: you don’t even have to cook anything. 🙂
Makes 2 bowls
- 1 young coconut (flesh + water)
- 2 handfuls cilantro leaves
- 4 basil large leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemongrass
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon each: cumin, coriander, black pepper, sea salt
- 1 cup sprouted lentils (below)
- 1 thai or Serrano chili
- 2 green onions
- lime wedges, for garnish
Step Zero: Sprouted Lentils
I’ve been experimenting with sprouted lentils a lot lately. Sprouting greatly improves the nutritional value of legumes, makes them easier to digest, and removes “anti-nutrients” like phytic acid that are otherwise present. Plus, sprouted lentils are a great form of raw protein and they add a nice crunch to this dish.
Rather than detailing the process here, there’s a great 2 minute video from Eat Life Whole that shows the process. It basically involves soaking the lentils for 12 hours, then allowing them to sit at room temperature for 2-3 days, rinsing every 12 hours, until they form tails:
[Now, I understand that sprouting your own legumes is getting a little hardcore, so if this is out of the question, you have two options: completely leave out the lentils or use cooked ones for a non-raw version of this recipe. I won’t hate you forever if you choose to do either.]
Butcher your young coconut. Young coconuts are the white ones that are shaped like cones on top. They have a ton of coconut water and their flesh is soft and jelly-like, which is exactly what we need here. Puncture holes to drain the water, then carefully use something sharp to cut off the top and scrape out the flesh. Add both of these (the flesh and the water) to a blender and blend. Voila – raw coconut milk.
With the coconut milk still in the blender, add 2 small handfuls of cilantro leaves, a few large basil leaves, 1 tablespoon fresh lemongrass, the juice of 1 lime, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, and all the listed spices (which may not be raw, but whatever). Then, blend until completely smooth. It will likely be very thick at this point, so blend in as much filtered water as needed to thin out the mixture to your desired consistency.
Pour the soup into two bowls. Add about half a cup of lentils into each bowl and stir. Then, garnish with diced chilis, green onions, and a lime wedge.