Monday, February 20, 2012

Apple Coleslaw and Raw Food Diets

A Guest Post by Finn the Cooking Assistant (aka the dog picker)

February means cabbage season and fresh cabbage means coleslaw, which the Lady makes and it's always delicious as is everything I eat. I found a recipe in this cookbook and it's now one of my all-time favorites.

True confession: one of my favorite ways to enjoy raw cabbage is by planting myself underneath the cutting board in the kitchen and eagerly starring up. I entertain the Lady as I catch the little pieces of the cabbage core she tosses to me. The Lady often laughs when I catch them. "Good boy!" she sometimes cries. I hate it when the Lady abruptly ends our game saying, "It's time to get out now."

Often the Lady tells me "Raw vegetables are good for dogs, Finn," but she also says, "No way would I ever give another dog of mine one of those raw food diets." This puzzled and worried me that my raw vegetable parade would stop, but just a few weeks ago this newspaper arrived with an article that said we were meant to eat like our ancestors. After the Lady read it, she shook her head and said, "No way, not in this house!" Then she handed me a carrot a few minutes later. Humans, who can figure them out?

Then one day, the Lady left this old City Dog magazine out and I learned what "raw food diet" meant as I read Hunter's story.

Hunter's Story

I'd mentioned in my last post about Hunter--the basset bitch born with such perfect looks and quiet demeanor that everyone who saw her thought she was the perfect dog. Without going to obedience school, Hunter walked on a leash right beside the Lady and she stopped whenever the Lady stopped. People would exclaim, "Oh so obedient!" Near the water bowl, I'd heard "Hunter's gears" turned a lot slower than other dogs. Humans are so impressed when canines follow them like wind-up toys.

When Hunter posed for pictures, she worked the camera like she was born to be a professional model. The overwhelming photos in this house were of Hunter--wearing hats, sunglasses, looking at food and just looking coy.

I pawed through stacks. Here are a few that I found:

She had that "camera ready" look perfected, and I'm not saying she slept her way to the top of the pack, but she scandalously slept with everyone in the house, even puppies and stuffed animals, and no one had a bad word to say about her.

Also it appeared that when when was my age, she was quite the party animal and yet she was still a great sport for early morning photo shoots.

I digress, but I never get tired of digging up dirt on Hunter. She was way too perfect when young, but the City Dog magazine article featured Hunter as an old dog. By the time she was old, she was a white faced tired old hound. Then and on the recommendation from a naturpathic vet, Management fed Hunter a raw meat diet. It was a prepared frozen hunk of meat and not really all raw vegetables like I'd thought, but raw meat. It was supposed to be just like a canine's original diet. The vet had said this diet would perk Hunter up, give her the energy she lacked, but just the opposite happened.

Hunters energy drained drained away. She slept 23 hours a day, yet still woke up for the farmers' market. One winter day at the Market when the Lady and Hunter moved slowly from booth to booth in the drizzling rain, a voice said, "I think I can help your dog."

A man under and over-sized umbrella said he thought Hunter was missing minerals. The man was a medical researcher and he said a hair analysis could reveal which minerals Hunter didn't have. He said that the minerals and toxic metals in the body are deposited in the hair and laid down like tree rings and that the hair analysis can reveal many things about health.

Here is how they do this hair analysis: a little hair is clipped, placed carefully an envelope and mailed off to a place in Texas. At a mysterious place called a "lab" someone burns the hair and another person reads the minerals and toxic elements like lead, mercury or arsenic from the hair remains. Sounds way too much like witchcraft to me.

Apparently minerals run practically everything in the body. Your heart can't beat without sufficient magnesium and calcium, which relax and stimulate muscles including the heart. And as we age, minerals become depleted, creating imbalances. Some humans think minerals imbalances can be corrected by diet, but the researcher said, " To raise a low potassium level it would take something like 500 pounds of bananas." He added, "I'm all for relying on Mother Nature but when she's crippled, give her a cane."

Hunter's hair analysis revealed she was deficient in 18 of the 30 minerals tested. "Give her calcium and magnesium, immediately," the researcher had said.

From that moment on, the Lady frowned whenever someone mentioned "raw food" or paleolithic diet.

The researcher wrote a mineral formula based on Hunter's hair analysis and day by day the geezer basset swallowed home made mineral supplements and became more active for nearly two more years.

I mentioned that a few days after I'd arrived here, Hunter passed away. My mentor Abe howled (in a beautiful way) and hung his head. He shuffled around and stayed close to the Lady for days, refusing to leave her side, even for street food, which is anther story, I'll save for next time. (to be continued)

In the meantime check out this salad.

Apple-Rutabaga Coleslaw with Dried Sour Cherries
(Serves 4)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon white miso
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon chopped fresh lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
1 rutabaga or golden turnips, grated
1 apple (any variety) grated
1/4 cup dried sour cherries
1/4 cup grated carrots (for garnish)

1. Combine mayonnaise, honey and lemon zest in a small bowl.

2. Blend cabbage, rutabaga, apple and cherries in a medium-size salad bowl. Gently toss in the dressing. Garnish with grated carrots.


Miz Helen said...

Hi Debra,
You and Finn are just having to much fun with all that beautiful Cabbage. I just love that photo of all the colors of the cabbage, I can almost smell it, so fresh.
Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a great week end and come back soon!
Miz Helen

Carole said...

Good post. You might be interested in a spicy and cruncy cole slaw I made