I have released four recipe books so far:

The Best of the Sunny Raw Kitchen
The Best of Raw Freedom Community
Delightfully Raw and
Deliciously Raw

These feature some of the most delectable creations to have come out of my raw kitchen and will appeal to anyone interested in a healthier diet, regardless of their level of knowledge and experience. From easy one-step everyday fare to more elaborate and involved gourmet dishes and layered cakes, they offer something for everyone and every occasion. Incredibly tasty smoothies, creamy and comforting warm soups, sexy salads, delicious nut cheezes, satisfying entrees and scrumptious guilt-free desserts...

Healthy food never tasted so good!

To learn more about my recipe books, click here!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

In Sandy's Sunny Kitchen - Part 4

So here it was! The end of our Rawkin' Revel was almost upon us. After the previous day's blitz, we decided we deserved to take it a little easy. Sandy and I leisurely took some time relaxing by the fireplace. Then, while Sandy prepared me some juice, I got going with crepes for the evening's dessert.

I blended 5 or 6 ripe bananas with a few tablespoons of carob in the food processor. Then I spread the batter thinly and evenly on teflex sheets. I fired up the Excalibur and in they went.

I let the pureed bananas dehydrate at 105 until they were no longer sticky to the touch and I could easily peel them off. I then cut into rectangles with scissors, but you could also use a knife or a pizza cutter . (You're basically making fruit leather, only you'll be filling these up later and rolling them into delightful crepes. Mmmmmmmmmm!)

In fact, most of our uncooking for that day was to be devoted to sweet treats. (Yay!) Sandy was particularly excited about making raw cookies, as her DH, Bruce, takes the SAD kind every day for his lunch.

Have Your Cookie and Eat it Too!
In the last few years, the more raw foods I've been including in my diet, the less I've felt like eating heavy stuff such as cookies, muffins, breads and the like. Every now and then, on a cold winter morning, I'd wake up with an urge to do some baking. I'd get out my baking gear and have fun for a while in the kitchen. Sure, I'd enjoy the decadent smells coming out of the oven and be anxious to taste my latest creations. But once the initial excitement wore off, I'd find myself less than thrilled at the prospect of eating the rest of the batch. Don would invariably end up having to eat the whole thing by himself. Poor thing! (Yeah, right!)

With our recent discovery of the dehydrator and all the incredible possibilities it opens up, I've not only enjoyed preparing all sorts of 'unbaked' goodies but I get to happily eat them too! LOL

Maraw: the Cookie Queen!
Don and I just LOVE raw cookies. They make such a perfect snack and a no-brainer quick dessert. We usually like to have a few kinds around the house, for variety. I load up the dehydrator with 2 or 3 different batches and freeze whatever we won't be eating that week. In this way, we always have some readily available with minimal work.

I'm constantly on the look-out for new cookie recipes. (If you have any good ones to share, please please please do send them to me!) So far, on our 'Top 5 Favorite Cookie List', 3 are actually the creations of Maraw from The Raw Table. What can I say? Our taste buds are very similar plus, let's face it: she's a genius when it comes to creating raw food! It goes without saying that I wanted to share a few of her delightful recipes with Sandy and her family and now, I get to do the same here with you!

First, we made a batch of her famous chewies. As you'll notice, the main ingredients to her Lemon and Chocolate Chewies are basically the same. I usually like to mix up the 'plain' batter in the food processor, then I split it roughly in two. I set one half aside in a bowl while I go to work on the other one. Once that's done and the cookies are all nice and cozy on the mesh, I move on to the next recipe.

Lemon Chewies
From TheRawTable.com

These are packed with a wonderfully rich and tart lemon flavor. If you like lemon meringue pie, you'll really enjoy these.

2 C cashews, soaked in water for about 4 hours
Zest from 3-4 lemons
Juice from 4 lemons
1/2 ripe banana
1/4 C raw honey
1/3 C agave nectar
2 C dried shredded coconut
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Drain and rinse cashews. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Spoon out (about 1 1/2 T. each) onto mesh dehydrator sheets. I use an icing piping gun to make the shapes of little 'stars' but you can use a simple spoon.

Dehydrate at 115 degrees for 8-10 hours or until the texture you desire is reached.

Makes about 30

Chocolate Chewies
From TheRawTable.com

These are just like the lemon chewies, only this recipe is designed for the chocolate lover - me! These are a huge hit every time I make them - even non-raw skeptics like these.

2 C cashews, soaked in water for about 4 hours
3/4 C raisins
1/4-1/2 C agave nectar
1/4 C raw honey
2 C dried shredded coconut (unsweeted and unpreserved)
1/4 tsp. vanilla
3 T. raw cacao powder or carob powder
dash of cinnamon
dash of sea salt

Drain and rinse cashews. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Spoon out (about 1 1/2 T. each) onto mesh dehydrator sheets. I use an icing piping gun to make the shapes of little 'stars' but you can use a simple spoon.

Dehydrate at 115 degrees for 8-10 hours or until the texture you desire is reached.

Makes about 4 dozen

Carmella’s notes: These are THE absolute BEST cookies we’ve tried so far! For both chewies recipes, I normally use half almond pulp and half cashews, and it works like a dream.

Oh, and sorry, no photo of the Chocolate Chewies! Somehow they didn't look as good as they tasted.

Here's another great favorite in our house...

Nut Crumble Cookies
From TheRawTable.com

These are a nice crunch and crumble cookie. My kids absolutely love them.

1 small tart green apple, peeled and cored
1 C almonds, chopped
1 C pecans, chopped
1/4 C dried shredded coconut (unsweetened and unpreserved)
1/2 C dates, pitted and soaked in water for about 2 hours
1/2 C sulphite-free raisins, soaked in water for about 2 hours
1/2 C dark agave nectar
2 T. raw almond butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cardamom
dash of sea salt

Drain the dates and raisins. Place all ingredients, save the nuts and coconut, in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Combine with nuts and stir until well combined.

Spoon out into cookie shapes on a mesh dehydrator screen. Dehydrate at 115 degrees for 16 hours or until the texture and crunch you desire is reached.

Makes about 32

Next, we made the Caramel Coconut Cookies from Renee Loux Underkoffler's "Living Cuisine". These are so simple yet soooooooo good! If you used to enjoy macaroons, you'll almost certainly love these!

Last on the day's 'unbaking' list were scones. I have a vague memory of trying the SAD version way back when I lived on British soil, but I'd never attempted to make their raw counterpart. Sandy was interested in learning how to make these so we opted for the Berry Good Scones from Brigitte Mars' "Rawsome!"

As it was a bit of a last minute thing, remembering something I read on Raw Food Talk Forum, I soaked the buckwheat for 4 hours or so. Apparently, it is then ready to be used in recipes. On a similar note, when a recipe calls for sprouted buckwheat, I rinse it several times so as to get rid of as much gooey stuff as possible. Then I just fill the jar with fresh water, let the buckwheat soak overnight and use it the next day. That's it!

This helps prevent fermentation as buckwheat is known for going off easily, particularly when combined with sugars. I've learned this the hard way, having had to toss an entire batch of buckwheat cookies in the past!

Berry Good Scones looking berry good indeed...

Bliss-Full Break
It was a little cloudy that morning, but by the time we were finished putting everything away in the dehydrator and our green smoothie was ready, the sun was shining! Yay!

Ahhhhhh... Bliss! What better way to relax after all this uncooking!

In fact, the weather was so gorgeous (thanks to the famous Chinook winds), we decided to go for a walk in one of Calgary's parks. The Chinook winds are known for bringing radically warmer temperatures during the winter months in Calgary. According to Wikipedia, "One of the most dramatic examples of the Chinook winds occurred on January 15, 1972, in Loma, Montana. The temperature rose from −47°C (−54°F) to 9°C (49°F); the greatest temperature change ever recorded during a 24-hour period."

But back to Sandy's Sunny Kitchen...

As you can imagine, Sandy's house smelled divine when we got home! We took a quick look to see how our goodies were doing and to flip some of them onto the mesh to speed up dehydration.

Nut crumbles (top), Scones (middle) and Caramel Coconut Cookies, all coming along nicely!

The Art of Feasting in the Raw - Day 4

Sandy and Bruce had already made arrangements to go to a SAD dinner party. Although Sandy wasn't too thrilled about it (as she had become deeply involved and was enjoying our raw adventure), she felt she couldn't renege on her previous commitment.

So it was just us girls (Jaime and me). At last we were getting an opportunity to spend more time together, one on one. She had been pretty busy working, only joining us in the kitchen after her day's work.

We had a beautiful, genuine connection as we slowly prepared and savored that night's Asian feast. Again, she took tons of awesome pics. Jaime is a talented photographer and has a real eye for presentation. It's thanks to her if I was able to share such beautiful photos of our raw creations with you.

Here is our complete Asian feast:

As you can guess by now, we started off with a soup: the delicious Thai Coconut Soup from the Raw Food Holiday Celebration Guide. We made a slight modification and replaced the mature coconut it was calling for with fresh coconut. Yum! (Pun intended! he he)

Jicama and Zucchini Pad Thai:

Jaime prepared some jicama and zucchini noodles, using the largest blades on the Cook Help spiral slicer. She then put the noodles in a colander (allowing for the excess liquid to drip into a bowl), and left the whole thing in the dehydrator, covered, while we were getting the rest of the meal ready.

In the meantime, I prepared my Pad Thai Sauce.

Carmella's Pad Thai Sauce
Inspired by the creations of Frederic Patenaude and Elaina Love

1 heaping Tbs tahini
1 Tbs almond butter
A few cashews
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, soaked
dates, soaked
1/2 lime, juiced
1-2 garlic cloves (we love garlic!)
1 Tbs grated fresh ginger
tamari, to taste
Curry powder, to taste
Water or tomato soaking water (if unsalted!)

Blend in food processor with some water until you reach the desired consistency. (We like ours on the thick side!)

Top with diced red or yellow peppers and marinated Portobellos.

Marinated Portobellos
1 Portobello mushroom
1 part apple cider vinegar
1 part tamari or Nama Shoyu
2 parts olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp agave nectar or honey

Cut the mushroom into bite sized pieces. Put them in a bowl with other ingredients and mix well. Spread the Portobello pieces on a teflex sheet and dehydrated them for a couple of hours. You can also serve the mushrooms non-dehydrated for an equally delicious treat!

Serves 2

Sunny Sushi Maki(ng)
Last summer, I learned a fantastic technique for making raw sushi from a Raw Chef friend of mine, Chantale Roy, of Cuisine Plenitude. Most sushi recipes have a nut pate base of some sort, making the sushi fairly heavy.

However, Chantale uses sprouts as the base, a simple, ingenious trick that makes all the difference!

I first put a nice layer of sprouts, covering nearly half of the nori sheet:

On top of the sprouts, I spread a little pate, roughly the size of a cigar. I used the Pate du Soleil, as we had some left over from making the Zucchini Roll-ups, but you can use your favorite pate or whatever you have handy.

Here is the Pate du Soleil recipe, in case you haven't seen it in my previous post, courtesy of Nomi Shannon, author of "The Raw Gourmet" , and Sheryl Duruz of Raw Pleasure Australia.

Pate Du Soleil
Raw Food Holiday Celebration Guide

Makes 8 cups

3 cups hulled sunflower seeds, soaked 8-12 hours, sprouted 2-4 hours
1 cup lemon juice
2 red capsicums/peppers, roughly chopped
4 scallions (green onions), roughly chopped
½ small onion roughly chopped
½ cup raw tahini
2 tablespoons nama shoyu or other salty product
8 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley
2-3 medium cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. Soak sunflower seeds overnight. Drain.

2. Allow to sit out on counter for 2-4 hours (but no longer, if you are not ready to continue with recipe, rinse, drain and refrigerate to slow the sprouting process).

3. Rinse and drain.

4. If you have a large enough food processor just put all the ingredients in it, and run until pate is quite smooth.

5. Taste, adjust seasonings. The garlic flavor will develop and become stronger in a few hours.

This pate can be made with nuts or a combination of seeds and nuts; when you make it with all sunflower seeds it will keep for a week or more in the refrigerator.

I then add some finely julienned red and yellow peppers (I just love the vibrant colors!), daikon radish and carrots. Sometimes I also like to put julienned zucchini or cucumber, if I'm in the mood. I top it up with some thinly sliced avocado and normally finish off with a few sunflower sprouts (although we couldn't find any...)

Then I'm ready to rack 'n roll, babe!

Sunny Sushi posing...

Chantale was telling me how cutting the sushi is the part she likes most. She was right! It can be really fun, provided you have a nice, sharp knife. Just make sure you cut with a gentle see-saw motion...

... and voila!

You can enjoy the sushi as is, or dip it in a tamari-based sauce. Here's one of my favorites:

Boutenko's Thai Sauce
From "Eating without Heating"

¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup tamari
3 cloves garlic
¼ cup chopped ginger
1 tbsp honey

Blend until smooth and creamy.

I intended to make the Boutenkos' lovely Thai Salad as well but we ran out of steam. There was some left-over Cucumber Sauce that we used earlier for the falafels so we had that on a simple spring mixed salad.

Here is the recipe anyway, the perfect complement to an Asian meal:

Thai Salad
From "Eating without Heating" by the Boutenko kids

4 cucumbers
Juice of 1½ lemon
1 bunch dill
1 bunch cilantro
1 medium sized onion diced
3 tsp hot curry powder
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
3 tbs honey
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup soaked sunflower seeds

Peel and slice the cucumbers into thin circles and transfer to a bowl. Next finely chop the cilantro and dill and mix with the cucumbers. Add the onion, lemon juice, and the olive
oil. Finish by adding the rest of the ingredients and mixing well.

Makes 5-8 servings

And last, but not least, my ChocoNut Bliss Crepes.

I filled a few banana-carob crepes, freshly out of the dehydrator, with the coconut Whipped Cream from the Tropical Cheesecake. We topped them off with left-over sauce from Maraw's Truffles and set them aside for a few hours in order to soften up.

Heavenly! The perfect way to wrap up our raw venture of the last few days.

Whipped Cream
From Alex Malinsky's Strawberry Cheesecake recipe that he posted on Sunfood Nutrition Raw Food Lifestyle Forum

1 cup young coconut meat (chopped up)
3 tbs raw cashews or mac nuts (soaked for 8-10 hrs)
5 dates or 1 tbs honey (or more if you like it sweeter)
3 tbs coconut water or almond milk
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
drop of vanilla extract

Blend until smooth.

I spent the rest of the evening packing up since we were leaving early the next morning.

The scones weren't quite ready by the time we went to bed so I slept lightly, not wanting them to turn into stones rather than scones... LOL I got up in the middle of the night to check on them, and put them away in ziploc baggies.

Scones in the wee hours of the morning...

Epilogue - Gotta Get Back!

Next thing you knew, it was time to get up and gather all my stuff together. (And boy, did I have lots! I must have wiped out the local store's supply of young coconuts! LOL) All I could hope for was that Livina, my ride, was gonna have enough room in her car!

While I was preparing my smoothie for that day's journey, Sandy told me: "Already leaving us!" Yep! It had all gone by so incredibly fast! Although it was a short stay, we sure made the most of it!

Thankfully, the trip home went super smooth. The sun was shining and the roads were clear. I was happy at the prospect of seeing the Rockies properly, as it was dark when we went through them a few days before.

Here they are, approaching fast, in the beautiful morning sun!

As it turned out, I was so tired that it was hard to keep my eyes open! I did end up taking a long nap, but not before taking a few photos first.

Thus ended my trip to Calgary and our extraordinary Rawkin Revel! However much I enjoyed Sandy and her family's company (not to mention the food!), I was glad to get back and have a rest after such an intense stay.

Coming Up Next in The Sunny Raw Kitchen...
What do Fairygirl, Raw Goddess Heathy and Heather Pace have in common? They all refer to one and the same: a gifted young Canadian Raw Chef who has been blessing the Raw Food Talk Forum with her latest mouth-watering creations.

In my upcoming interview with her, find out more about her own raw journey and the fascinating way she comes up with her delicious recipes.

1 comment:

  1. Carmella,
    Another writing masterpiece! And you made me hungry again! The photos are fabulous and I'm going to make that Pad Thai sauce today- substituting raisins for dates( don't have) so I hope it tastes OK.

    Talk to you soon.

    love, Sandy