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Food Combinations and Menu Ideas For Entertaining Raw

Aug 21, 2008
This interview is an excerpt from Kevin Gianni's Renegade Roundtable, which can be found at http://www.RenegadeRoundtable.com. In this excerpt, Joel Odhner shares on food combinations and menu ideas for entertaining raw.

Renegade Water Secrets with Joel Odhner, restaurant owner, chef, and raw food chef with clients from Delaware to New York.

Kevin: So let's move into food combining. What are some raw foods that go together like peas in a pod and what are some that shouldn't be putting in your
meals.

Joel:Okay, well, one of the obvious ones some people don't think about is, if you are going to eat a melon, only eat melons. So just oftentimes, in fact, often I'll just have a whole melon for lunch. I'll just eat the entire watermelon or cantaloupe or whatever it is and nothing else. I consider melons kind of like jet fuel. It goes through you much quicker than anything else does and digests much quicker. So sort of the worst thing you can do is to eat like some nut- based or that kind of thing, a pate or something like that and then follow it up with some melon because it will move through faster than you wish it did. I'll just put it to you that way.

Kevin: Right, right.

Joel:And then the sort of the big no-no, there's a lot of talk about mixing fruits with vegetables, other kind of fruits. And it really in my own privileged brain it all depends on you. Everyone's digestion system is just a little different, a little more sensitive. Personally, I'm not real sensitive to stuff. I know that, I mean I love avocados and yet I know I don't digest them really well. So I have to be careful and about eating those on top of a lot of other things, as much as I love them. So I try not to actually mix them like with a tomato, sort of like an avocado, tomato, onion kind of mix. Just kind of like chopped up, salsa kind of thing. This is a great case. You really got to listen to your own body and see what works for you and just kind of use yourself as your own test. In general, the heavier nuts and beans and things like that, sprouted beans and any of those based items remember that they are the heavier food, so if you have those and then follow it up with much lighter food it tends to kind of stop up your
system a little bit. So try to eat them at separate meals or I would eat those, actually eat the lighter foods first and the other ones on top.

Kevin: Got you. And you mentioned sprouts. Do you use a lot of sprouts when you're preparing meals or not?

Joel:Sprouts, as in like sunflower sprouts and that kind of thing, yes. Not a lot per se, but I do. Sprouted, I don't really use many sprouted peas, beans or lentils. They're great. I love them. I don't happen to personally use them. It's not for any particular reason other than I just make a lot of other dishes. Speaking of that, sprouting something like a group or like a thing of peas, beans and lentils, it's really simple and you just put it in the glass jar, maybe put a quarter cup of each one in one jar all mixed together, cover it with water, leave it overnight, drain the water off, and, you know, do that twice a day and within like three to five days, you'll have sprouts. You'll have sprouted peas and lentils which is great on top of a salad. It's a great protein source. It's excellent and it literally costs pennies.

Kevin: Yeah.

Joel:And at this time of year you stick it in the windowsill and you grow a little sprout and you're all set. So anybody who's up for that, it's quite simple to do. You don't need to go to the store and buy it that way.

Kevin: Do you think that's one of the cheapest ways. I know a lot of people were asking how do you keep it into a budget? I know sprouts is definitely one of them. What are some of the other ways?

Joel:Sprouts is definitely the way to go, you know, from a cheap standpoint and getting your protein. I don't think, it's like I said before, try as much as possible to buy in bulk. And if you can share with another family or two, that's really great. I think going out and buying daily is a real hassle. Although it's funny, I did notice someone said that they live in New York and I thought they said New York City and didn't like shopping every day. Well, it's funny. I would take the opposite of all places. I would think that was the easiest place to shop every day because so many places to pick from.

Kevin: Yeah.

Joel:But from a time essence, hopefully you should be able to buy, depending on how many people you're buying for, twice a week. I mean the key is you're just going to load your fridge up with produce versus other than that, whatever else you might have, used to have in there and it's funny. Speaking of cost I have one client who I have who actually eats meat, as well as other things, too. Compared to my other clients, she actually spends close to one and a half to two times as much.

Kevin: Are you kidding me?

Joel:I'm not kidding you.

Kevin: Wow.

Joel:So it's a big misnomer. Everybody thinks that eating vegetarian or being vegan is more expensive, but it's actually less expensive. The funny thing is she does eat some vegetables, but not many. So she is basically buying just meat. She's spending close to one and a half to two times as much as the clients I buy all vegetables for.

Kevin: Wow.

Joel:So I'm buying this stuff from the exact same stores, so it's not like it's a cheap store and an expensive store. In fact, the store I buy from happens to be kind of expensive all across the board and yet she's still spending more than the vegetarian group. So it's really if you think about it, you're just sort of shifting rather than spending in the past if people were spending money on meat, cheese, and dairy you're now just going to take those dollars and it's probably going to end up being less and spend it on fruits and vegetables. Because you really can't from a quantity standpoint, how much can you eat? People used to eat a fair amount of meat, but now, you're not going to eat three pounds of vegetables at lunchtime. You're just not going to unless you're juicing.

Kevin: I've tried it and it doesn't work.

Joel:Yeah, exactly. If you're going to eat an entire head of celery, an entire cucumber, four carrots and a whole thing of romaine, you're to eat a little bit of that.

Kevin: Right.

Joel:No, I was going to say as people start eating more and more raw, you are going to notice that you are actually going to eat less in volume. When I first started doing raw eight, nine years ago I did. I had like the mixing bowl that's the size that's probably a foot and a half across and I'd eat these monstrous salads and within a very short amount of time I was down to pretty much of a normal size salad and that was it because you're starting to get so much more of the vitamins and minerals from the quality of the food that you're eating. You don't need near the volume you used to. I'm a six-one, 200 pound guy. It's not like and I don't eat massive amounts of food. And I eat and I exercise. I mean I'm like you. I'm always out doing something.

Kevin: Yep. And you mentioned juicing. Now, how are you preserving your juices as you're driving around? Do you have any sort of technique?

Joel:Certainly, keep them in glass.

Kevin: Yeah.

Joel:And when you do put them in glass you want to fill them up to the absolute top so that there's no air getting into it because air is what is going to start breaking it down. And then I have a little cooler that I keep a little freezer pack in. I keep it cold, which will help preserve it as much as possible. Pretty much I carry what I'm going to do for the day. I'm not going to carry more than that.

Kevin: Here is a great question here that I got that I really like and the person asked, I'm having guests over, they're none raw, they don't really eat raw, but she wants us to prepare them something raw that they'll really like. So what are one or two things that you found are great cross-over type meals. That people are just like, wait a minute, this is raw?

Joel:Well, kale salad's a great one.

Kevin: Yeah.

Joel:I mean if you want to do something different than a typical salad.

Kevin: Right.

Joel:I would often use, like I said before, stuffed portabello mushroom, stuff it with a burger because a lot of people are into mushrooms and it's a great thing, especially if you can marinate the mushroom a little bit it makes it a little bit softer.

Kevin: Okay.

Joel:Along with your burger. And depending on the time of the year, certainly there are some great soups. Like a gazpacho soup or that kind of thing or you can even make a chili which is good. Another thing is I will often make a burrito. A burrito I make is a walnut-based and it's like your quote unquote meat. You just add some chili powder and some cumin and cilantro diced up, onion and tomato and you can roll that up, like I said before, like a wrap, like a sprouted wrap. And so you're having it, you know, 99-percent raw basically the insides are.

And in fact, I will tell you a funny story I made that one time and one buddy of mine, he swore he would never -- he has to have meat and so I made that burrito and put it in a little tortilla
wrap and I wrapped it up tin foil like it looked like I had bought it from a store and I brought it in and I said, I stopped a while ago it's probably kind of cold, but it will be fine. He opens it up and inhales it and he's like, it was great. And I said, by the way, there wasn't one animal product in there. He said yes, it was. So I mean it's a great item. Those are some easy, and those are all literally 15 minutes of prep time.

Kevin: Right. Imagine that, the person who is putting on the dinner party, 15 minutes of prep time. Imagine what else you can do. You can actually sit with your guests. How cool is that?

Joel:Here's the great part. You can make all this food in advance and it doesn't go bad, it doesn't wilt. It's like it's ready to go.

Kevin: Right.

Joel:You can make these things and be all set, exactly. So you can actually spend more time with your guests and hold on I got to get it up to temperature and I'll be right there.
About the Author
To read the rest of this transcript as well as access The Renegade Roundtable experts just like Joel Odhner please click here! Kevin Gianni is an internationally recognized health advocate, author & film consultant. He has helped thousands of people take control of their own health naturally. For more information visit raw food diets and holistic nutrition.
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