Sixteen and half years ago, I was pregnant with my first child, Gus. I read voraciously about natural childbirth. One of my favorite books then and now is Pam England’s Birthing From Within. It is a wonderful guidebook to navigating the emotions and logistics of natural birth through journaling, art and exercises. In the food chapter, there’s a beautiful art journal drawing with the words “Eating the Universe” inscribed on the top. She talks about eating a rainbow and going for maximum nourishment vs. counting calories and succumbing to the infamous cravings of pregnancy. Since that time, I have always thought that Eat the Universe would be a great name for a restaurant.
Now, pregnant with my fifth child (yes, crazy), in my last trimester, my biggest craving has been for a big, bright, beautiful salad. I’m not super hungry, I don’t have any specific taste cravings, although this baby is not too into anything even semi-spicy, but I feel a little lost if I don’t have salad in each day. Luckily, it’s spring, veggies are abundant and I am pleased with just about every one I make, which is good, because the only restaurants I can think of that serve such a salad are in Santa Cruz, and maybe don’t exist anymore, and that’s a bit far to go for dinner.
I’d like to share some of my salad inspirations with you, and maybe you’ll share too. The other night we were having burgers on the grill, and Lucy suggested coleslaw. We had maybe a quarter of a purple cabbage in the fridge so I had to improvise and this is what I came up with:
Rainbow Universe Slaw
1-2 cups cabbage (purple or green), shredded
2 cucumbers (I like Persian or Asian, never bitter), halved lengthwise and chopped
2 carrots (multi colored if you like), shredded
1/2 cup red, yellow and/or orange peppers, julienned
1/2 cup green pepper, julienned,
1 cup jicama, shredded
1/2 cup clinatro, chopped
4 scallions sliced thin,
1/2 cup snow peas, chopped
1/2 cup toasted, slivered almonds (or sesame seeds, or sunflower seeds)
Combine everything in a big bowl and toss with
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons tamari or shoyu
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon hot pepper oil (optional, especially if your baby doesn’t care for it!)
It tasted even better when I added it to my lunch salad the next day!
Enjoy eating the universe!