The other night Hub and I were invited to eat comida viva at this amazing house in Alto da Boa Vista, a neighborhood hidden in the Tijuca forest on top of mountain. Our friend Daniela, whom we met at La Casita Shelter in Buenos Aires, boasted about the chef Joan and his creative concoctions from raw vegan foods. We were super excited and it had been ages since my only raw vegan experience at Pure Food and Wine.
When we arrived to the house, I asked Daniela if I could pop into the kitchen and have a quick peak at the chef at work. Joan is slim, calm and gentle...and he was running a bit behind on dinner. It was perfect timing because he asked me if I wanted to help him out and I was super keen to see raw "cookin'" in action and also to practice my Portuguese.
Joan was not always a raw foodie. He used to be an overweight scientist and being unhappy with his health was the catalyst for change. He decided to start eating vegan, left his job and began a new life journey. He says he never looked back and no longer craves cooked food. He also doesn't get sick anymore and after years of good health, he cancelled his health insurance. A little radical I know, but I was still inspired.
|spicy sweet potato sushi rolls|
|Avocado cream and linseed pate|
|"Cheddar Cheese" made from coconut and malanga root|
|Grated taro root plus...|
|Green orange equals...|
And then there was dessert. Joan mashed up a mix of raw nuts and dried fruits in a food processor then hand molded his base. He added a layer of mashed ripe banana and then a layer of grated apple with cinnamon. He topped his pie off with a puree of papaya and passion fruit and more dried fruit and nuts.
It was a magical fruit pie and I ate three slices, however, not the wisest thing to do in my prediabetic state. Although it was completely all natural and no sugar or butter in sight, it was very sweet due to the combination of ripe tropical fruits and dried fruit. It woke up my inner sugar junkie and like any good addict I convinced myself it was okay. It's raw vegan!
We finished our meals with herbal teas and a full belly. It was a fantastic and unique meal and and I learned so much. I now know that all vegetables can be eaten raw and potato and coconut go well together. I'm also very inspired by his dessert and would like to create my own recipe with a lower glycemic load. Stay tuned.