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.
16 CommentsLeave a Reply
Hi Andrew, this looks fantastic, so I’ll be making this very soon! Just a curious question… as someone who cooks/eats as healthy as you do, did you manage to cut out sugar and sweets (more or less) completely? I mean, I *love* cooking One Ingredient Chef style, but I’m also eating way too many non-one ingredient thingies on the side. Anyways, any insights or recepis that would offer an alternative would be most welcome.
All the best,
Thanks, Hens! That’s a good question and for me, I don’t really have much of a sweet tooth. I do enjoy chocolate way too much and typically have a small piece almost every day, which isn’t exactly “one ingredient” but most sweets aren’t super tempting to me. Perhaps look through the dessert section of this site for ideas on how to satisfy your sweet cravings in healthier ways? Using dates or other fruit as a sweetener, for example, can be a healthier alternative.
Thanks Andrew, that’s good advise!
Ooo I love all the flavors in this recipe. And I also feel better when I have more raw in my diet as well.
Wow, this looks so original, healthy and clean! I live the use of a fresh coconut. This dish will be perfect for the hot summer days and nights in Aus at the moment. I am definitely inspired! Good job 🙂
Thanks, Amanda! It’s funny, I’m horrible at making recipes for the right seasons. Case in point – I’m making raw soup in the dead of winter here. But I guess I can just say it was designed for my Aussie friends, right? 😉 I hope you enjoy it!
Hmm…make that ^love the use of a fresh coconut!
This is a neat recipe, Andrew! I’m especially looking forward to making raw coconut milk & using lemongrass (both for the first time)! I love consuming things with lemongrass & esp. loved it in a sweet potato soup! Now, I have to remember to make that, too! I have new food ideas all the time, &my physical energy can never keep up with my brain! Not to mention I’m also pretty terrible at time management! Also, I’ll see how sprouting lentils for the first time goes… Those I haven’t even eaten, though, I love cooked ones! Btw, I hope you don’t mind me pointing out a typo. You accidentally put only 2 scallions, when of course you meant 2,000 ;0)! You forgot to mention the avocado, too :0). (But maybe avocado with coconut broth would make it too rich? I’ll have to find out!) Thank you! Keep creating!
Thank you, Abbi! It was actually my first time cooking with lemongrass as well. It’s such a fragrant ingredient, I can’t wait to think of other ways to use it.
Hahaha, I can’t believe I forgot those three important 0’s 🙂 (I love scallions too). I didn’t think of adding avocado, not sure how well they’ll play together, but it’s worth a shot! 🙂
What a great idea…and I am going to make today. Don’t know why t his never occurred to me…but my head is now spinning with ideas! Thank you for that.
I buy raw organic chickpeas, and “green” when I can find them. I sprout them for a couple of days, then make hummus. The taste difference is phenomenal!
Off I go to find my lentils…
Hi Dawna! I hope you enjoy this recipe and I love your suggestion about sprouted hummus – I’ve got to try that!
Wow, this is really uber delicious! When I made it, I thought that was a bit “hard core raw”, but then it’s totally yummy once everything is combined. The only thing I changed was the coconut, cause I could only find a “mature” one. So I’ll make it again when I have more time to hunt for a young coconut. Thanks for sharing! Another fantastic raw recipe to re-use that just tastes HEALTHY.
Cool! “Hard core raw” haha, I kind of know what you mean, but these flavors don’t taste like a “raw” soup at all, just a super fresh one. So glad you liked it!!
Fancy! I love curries but they can be so heavy and pack the calories – this is such a light version but sure must be delicious! Must give it a try…
Whenever I get fresh coconut I just feel so bad using it in any dish (in case it doesn’t work out 🙂 so I always just eat it as is lol..
Thanks, Matea! 🙂
It’s true… coconuts are so good by themselves, there’s hardly ever a reason to put them in a recipe. This is a good exception thought 😉
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