Borrowed from Atlanta Rawks

Even the best of cooks draw inspiration from other lovers of cuisine. Personally, I am perpetually in need of a food muse. Oftentimes, food itself arouses my creativity, getting my juices flowing when their, erm, juices start flowing.

One of my favorite, newfound sources of influence is an Atlanta-based group of vegan and raw food enthusiasts who organize weekly potlucks. These dinners provide true “soul food”; they invite you to push yourself to find the purest ingredients and draw out the foods’ natural flavors. It’s exciting to try new foods when you know that they were created with a genuine sense of integrity and open-minded exploration, utilizing unconventional means, innovative techniques and sometimes ancient methods.

Blogger (and all-around groovy chick) Sarah Ku posted this entry about our adventure a couple weekends ago. She graciously linked to my recipe for Raw Asparagus Quinoa that I whipped up (read: spent several hours creating) special for the event. It was the first fully raw vegan dish I had ever created with the intent of making a nutritious, raw, vegan main course. Sure, I’ve made fruit salads before or regular veggie salads and those would certainly abide by the spirit of the gatherings, but I really wanted to get outside my comfort zone, stretch my ever-expanding abilities and really present the group something I was proud to share. It was received enthusiastically and has given me a much-needed boost of confidence.

Not to mention a solid helping of inspiration!

*This post has been entered into the category of Confessions for two reasons: 1) it was one of the only ones that made sense to put it in and 2) it’s challenging to remain conscious enough to acknowledge your source material and, as such, revealing the source of my inspiration is a “confession” of sorts.