Tuesday, April 14, 2009

$3.33 a day: NHPR Feature, Recipes and Interview

I have some fun news to share today! First off, I am so proud of my son Andrew. The Portsmouth High School's Percussion Ensemble is off to the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS tomorrow! This is a huge thing obviously and the entire ensemble has worked very very hard for months practicing under the the amazing leadership of Mr. Cirillo!! Good luck to all of you! I wish I could be there to see it! (it is in Ohio)

I have a busy day coming up tomorrow. I'm going to be interviewed on New Hampshire public radio tomorrow morning around 9:30 on the program, The Exchange.

And finally, I have a job interview at Grezzo in Boston! I am super excited about that as I'm sure you can imagine! Not only is it pretty much my dream job, I get to meet Alissa Cohen. That will be super cool.

OK.. onto the food.. I'm sorry I've been slacking on blogging. On my last post I asked if any of you had a recipe you wanted me to makeover. Macie asked for some recipes or ways to prepare zucchini besides frying, baking and sir fries.. I came up with this simple soup. There are a lot of ingredients, but most of them are in your pantry and you can switch up the spices if you desire.

Herbed Zucchini Soup

2-4 T evoo (plus ½ t for garnishing each bowl)

1 large onion, diced

8 cloves garlic, minced (this is for the sauté)

1 T thyme

1 t oregano

1 t tarragon

2 T basil

Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

¼ t rosemary

¼ t fennel seed

¼ t cumin

½ t crushed red pepper flakes

Pinch salt/pepper

3 zucchinis, chopped (4 cups)

1 T vinegar

2 C cooked soybeans or white beans

2 c small diced red or yellow potatoes

4.5 c water and bouillon or broth

Handful baby spinach

1 T umeboshi vinegar or 1 T lemon juice and 1 T soy sauce

6 T nutritional yeast

4 cloves garlic (this is for finishing the soup)

½ cup fresh basil or parsley (Basil is best)

Croutons for garnish

Freshly grated nutmeg

Lemon zest

Salt/pepper to taste (I used around 2 t salt)


In a soup pot over medium flame heat add the oil, onion, garlic, spices and a pinch of salt/pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes or so or until the onions are translucent. You don’t want them to get brown. Now add the zukes, beans and water/broth (and bouillon cube). Bring to a boil for a several minutes then turn the heat down to medium low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes. Take off heat and add the spinach, umeboshi vinegar, yeast and garlic. Blend in batches (or with an immersion blender) until silky smooth. Taste and adjust for salt/pepper. Top each bowl with a drizzle of evoo, fresh herbs, croutons and a grate or two of fresh nutmeg.

You can use the leftovers as pasta sauce if you wish! It also freezes well.

I love using zucchini in place of pasta. Raw is delicious. If you have a dehydrator, you can dry the noodles a bit. You can even saute the noodles. 2 oz of angel hair and a whole zucchini spiralized makes a huge portion and is so much better for you than eating a huge bowl of pasta!

I made a soy ricotta topping out of whole soybeans. Since tofu is more expensive than soybeans, I've been playing around with using whole soy. It worked out PERFECTLY!

Zucchini Pepperoni

This is another favorite way to enjoy the lovely zuke! You can use it in raw pizzas, wraps, salads or even to top traditional pizza.

2 medium zukes, sliced super thin

½ t salt

1 t oregano

½ t red pepper flakes

3 cloves garlic, pressed

¼ t fennel seed, crushed

1 t olive oil

Black pepper to taste

Splash vinegar


Slice the zukes super thin by hand or on a mandolin. Toss them with the rest of the ingredients and allow to sit in the fridge for an hour. Drain the liquid and use like you would pepperoni. You can eat it raw or cook it on pizza. You can also dehydrate these into zucchini chips.

I had more ideas, but ran out of zukes. They're on sale this week for $.89 so I will get a bunch!

OK...so Courtney asked me to make a fat free nut free raw cheese sauce. HUH???

That was a tough call.. and to do it with what I had on hand, but I came up with two recipes. The first is more a spread. It contains flax meal and on its own, after sitting overnight, I could taste the flax and it wasn't great, but when I put it in a wrap with a bunch of other veggies (and in a cooked quesadilla) it was delicious.. but keep that in mind if you make this and taste it and think it's gross!(and I know that some raw foodist eat rolled oats and some don't, so this is more of a high raw sauce)

Raw Lowfat Cheese Spread

½ c rolled oats

1/3 c water

½ red bell pepper

1 clove garlic

1 t paprika

2 T nutritional yeast

½ t salt

1 t onion powder

1 T apple cider vinegar

1 t yellow mustard

1 T golden flax meal

1/8 t freshly grated nutmeg

2 t umeboshi vinegar or 2 t miso (or 1 t lemon juice and 1 t soy sauce)

Freshly ground black pepper to taste


Soak oats in the water for several hours then add the rest of the ingredients to a blender and blend until totally smooth.

This was the fat free sauce... and as you can see it is umm.. saucier?

Silky Fat Free Raw Cheese Sauce

3 soaked sun dried tomatoes

1/3 c nutritional yeast

1 t onion powder

¼ t garlic powder

¼ - ½ t salt

½ t paprika (can used smoked for a smoky sauce or chipotle powder for a spicy sauce)

¼ t yellow mustard

Several grates fresh nutmeg

2/3 c water

½ t psyllium powder

Optional: 1 t umeboshi vinegar (add this before adding any additional salt)


Place the soaked tomatoes in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until everything is nice and silky. Taste and adjust salt level if needed. Yield around ¾ cup.

Next on the recipe agenda are Low Fat Pakoras! I plan on making them on Thursday!

I'd love all the good vibes I can get for my son's competition, my radio interview and finally, my interview at Grezzo!

excuse the horrible formatting, blogger is acting up and it's not allowing me to edit this for some reason.


  1. Congratulations to your son, and to you on the upcoming interview!! :-)

  2. YUMMY RECIPES!!! I just printed them off and really want to try the raw lowfat cheese spread!! Thanks so much :)

  3. Congratulations to you and your son! Will your npr interview be online so I can listen to it when I get home from work? It is pretty much my dream to be npr's pet vegan, so I'm kind of jealous.

    Best of luck in your job interview! You're so knowledgeable and creative, they'd be crazy not to hire you!

  4. Congrats - what great news on the interview. Do you get to see a video of your son, at least?

    Love the photos! The raw food makes my mouth water!

  5. Good luck at your interview! The food at Grezzo is delicious, and if you are working there, it can only get better :o) Good luck to your son, also--that is a big accomplishment!

    Thank you for the nut-free sauces--I cannot wait to try them! Question--how do you shred/spiralize your zucchini? Do you actually have a spiralizer? It looks so perfect and noodle-like, and I can never get mine to look that way!


  6. Lots of good vibes!! As I said on RawFu, I am so excited and I am praying you get that job!! :) Hugs!

  7. good luck with your job! i'm a major fan of zucchini noodles... i never make pasta after may (until my zucchini crop dies out in late september). i also make pasta sauce from my leftover juicer pulp. yum!

  8. I just love reading your blog. For someone as special and awesome as you for trying to keep your budget, your meals look better then so many other things I see. I admire your talent! And congrats to your son too, the whole family is talented!

  9. Whooo-hooo! Grezzo would be lucky to have you working there--and I'm sure they're going to know that. (I'm sure they know that already if they've looked at your blog. Are you reading this, Alissa Cohen? This woman is a raw culinary genius!)

    Good things are coming, Melody, I can feel it!

  10. Good luck at your job interview! I was at Grezzo in August and I absolutely loved it.

  11. Great job Andrew! I was a color guard girl and we were close w/ the drummers.

  12. just notice the grezzo interview!! AWESOME!! ask alissa where she goes shopping when she's in her hometown and where i ought to go :D

  13. I've only recently discovered your blog, and I absolutely love it! I'm not vegan, but I love seeing the healthy and incredibly delicious looking meals you are able to put together on a budget. :-)

  14. Congratulations to Andrew! Be sure to let us know how they do.

    The zucchini pepperoni looks especially nice!

  15. Forgot to send good vibes for your radio AND job interviews!

  16. Best of luck on the job interview- I have my fingers crossed for you! :)

  17. My goodness, this all looks phenomenal!

  18. Congrats to you and your son! Good luck with the interview, it sounds exiting.
    Thanks for all the recipes, I have some zucchini in my fridge. And I bought some psyllium husks last week, so I'll definitely try that cheese sauce recipe.

  19. I'm loving all this delicious looking and sounding food! Wish I could come over for dinner :D Best of luck on the interview!

  20. WOW! That all looks amazing, thank you so much! I have four enormous zukes in the fridge right now, I'm going to try each recipe.

    Congrats to your son! That is so impressive! I know that sort of thing requires a lot of patience, skill, discipline, so you must've raised a good kid :) And good luck on your job interview! I agree with everyone else, they'd be insane not to hire you - I've never met someone more creative! Good luck! *crosses fingers*

  21. Your recipes look so beautiful and delicious. You definitely are a talented young lady and I hope you land your dream job with ease.

    Gosh, I've never seen green foods look so lively as they appear in your blogs Melody--you rock.

  22. Anonymous10:21 AM


    You have spoken before about spiralizing veggies. Please remind me where to get that implement or how to do it. Thanks, I really enjoy your blog

  23. http://www.amazon.com/Joyce-Chen-Saladacco-Spiral-Slicer/dp/B0000DDVYE/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1239805499&sr=8-3

    I use the Joyce Chen Spiralizer.

    You can also get a julienne peeler:


  24. Everything looks fabulous--I can't wait to try some of those zuke recipes! (And love the word, "zuke"!) ;)

    CONGRATS on your radio appearance, the job interview (sounds dreamy!) and to your son. Best of luck at the interview (restaurant one, that is)! :)

  25. vincent12:17 PM


    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it - great recipes YUM!!! YUM!!!.
    We would like to add it to the Petitchef.com.

    We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
    enjoy your recipes.

    Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
    and benefit from their exposure on Petitchef.com.

    To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use http://en.petitchef.com/?obj=front&action=site_ajout_form or just go to Petitchef.com and click on "Add your site"

    Best regards,


  26. what awesomeness for Andrew! wahoooooo! congrats, congrats! and i hope your interview goes well! fingers crossed! yay!

  27. Those recipes look delicious!! You weren't at Grezzo around 3:15 today (weds) were you??? I interviewed for the waitress position and as I was about to talk to Alissa, Leah came out to interview someone named Melody, I think. I was going to ask after the interview, but you/she had already left. Well best of luck to you, I really hope you get the job-I love eating at Grezzo and would love to try some of your meals!!!

  28. Congrats to your son, how proud you must be! Also, good luck on your interview how exciting! All your recipes look delicious as usual.

  29. That cheese sauce looks killer!

    Congrats on both the radio and job interviews! Woo hoo.

    Would you be moving or commuting to Boston? They'd be fools not to hire you.

  30. All those recipes look great. Good luck with your interview!!

  31. Mel!!

    First of all, that is HUGE about your son! I am so excited for him/you and will be sending lots of love.

    Second: Grezzo?! Amazing! That is really great. They could certainly use your remarkable talents there. Alissa is great and I'm glad you've got a chance to work there. I will have fingers and toes crossed.

    Finally, love the creative cheese sauces, my dear!!


  32. YAY!!! How exciting! I can't wait to hear how your interview goes :) Tell Andrew I said Congratulations!

  33. best vibes are sent you guys' way, most definitely. keep us posted!

  34. That is so awesome about your son going to the championship. I think Arthur will grow up to be a percussionist. He loves his set of bongos.

    And congrats to you on the radio interview. Best of luck on the job interview.

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  35. Anonymous12:08 PM

    everything looks delicious.. and good luck at your interview!!!
    ~Maryanne (from OD)

  36. Melody
    This was a comment left on my blog today.

    "Its kool that you guy dont eat meat at all or anything that come from an animal because i eat plenty of it. Last weak i found this place that is a buffet where they bring you delicious meet on a sword that has been roasting over a open flame. that day i ate lam, chicken, beef, shrimps, octopus, fish, turkey, quail, gornish(game hen), alligator, goat, pork, and snake. I thank good for those wonderful creatures because they are so tasty."

    Come on people. At least use proper grammar.

  37. How awesome Melody! Congrats!!
    Good luck with the job interview.

  38. Congrats! Congrats! And good luck! Oh and the zucchini noodles look amazing, must try...

  39. Congratulations to both you and your son!

    I can't wait to try that 2nd raw cheese sauce, YUM!

    And don't worry about the whacky font, I have numerous posts with whacky font. Usually when I've cut and pasted. Blogger seems to hate that!

  40. Wow! How have I not happened upon your blog sooner?? (We read many of the same blogs -- even CSL, too!)

    Your blog is fantastic and the food is amazing!

    I can't wait to hunker down with a cup of tea tonight and read some more... and I've added you to my Google reader so I don't miss any new posts.


  41. looks amazing.

  42. Hope it works out at Grezzo. They'd be lucky to have you. I'll be eating there in the near future so I could come say hi. :-)

  43. Great sounding recipes. But most important, congratulations to you and your son! And I really hope you land that job. They'd be nuts not to grab you. I'm sending good vibes your way.

  44. Lorri6:03 PM

    Melody you are so generous to give us these wonderful recipes, especially when you are working on an ecookbook. But woman I am sure I am not the only one that is DYING to hear how your interview went. Did you talk to Alissa herself? I know both you and she would benefit so much from working together. You are so creative. Sending you lots of good vibes.

  45. Yes, the tofu using raw cashews had Irish Moss and young coconut meat as the thickener. I'm goign to a potluck of 15 people tomorrow. I'm the only 100% raw one....but I think it's all vegans at least! :)

  46. Lovely green post! Lots of Good luck to you and your son!

  47. I told my parents to listen to you on NHPR as they live in NH. They are interested in your blog although don't know how to follow recipes very well.

  48. Do you know where I can buy some raw low fat cheese? Thanks, Irene

  49. Thanks once again putting in the context its opportunity gain through an user if you find a jobs in india to post your CV you got a dream job.
    openings job in india

  50. Anonymous10:38 AM

    Genial post and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you as your information.

  51. Anonymous3:22 AM

    Easily I to but I about the list inform should secure more info then it has.