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!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Rosemary-Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Eureka! My quest for yummy raw taters is finally over!

I've tried my share of 'mashed potato' renditions in the last couple of years, but haven't had much success. The recipes ranged from being just 'OK' to ending up in our dog Kylo's bowl. While most versions call for either cauliflower or parsnip (or a mixture of both), someone on RFC recently drew my attention to Matthew Kenney's recipe using jicama.

Also known as Mexican Potato and Mexican Turnip, the versatility of this root veggie never ceases to amaze me. In fact, just yesterday I was enjoying jicama in Joz's outstanding Lemon Poppy Seed Cake!

Here's my slightly modified version of Matthew's delicious Rosemary-Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

Rosemary-Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Adapted from Matthew Kenney's Everyday Raw

Serves 4-6

4 cups chopped jicama
1 1/2 cups cashews
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (or dried)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
Black pepper, to taste

In food processor, process jicama. Press out excess liquid with a cheesecloth or through a sieve.

Place in high-speed blend with the rest of the ingredients.

Blend till combined. Serve immediately or warm up in dehydrator before serving.

Carmella's Notes:
~ I used a little less cashews than he calls for as I prefer a lighter mixture.

~ I served the potatoes with Cafe Gratitude's Sun burgers, mushroom gravy and a mixed green salad.

If you too are interested to play with jicama a little, check out the other tasty recipes posted here.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Raw Cheeze Itz

As you've probably noticed, things have slowed down a bit lately in my sunny raw kitchen as it was being relocated. Takes a while to get adjusted to a different environment, but the good news is that I'm starting to feel comfortable in my new working area. I'm also almost ready to 'give birth' to my second ebook, The Best of Raw Freedom Community. (Yay!) I was playing with the cover page over the weekend and must say that it's getting increasingly difficult to contain my excitement!

With all that going on, poor 'Mr. D' was beginning to feel neglected, but I sure took good care of that last Thursday. For my first 'D Day' at Ashinah, I managed to fill up both my 9 tray AND Niomi's 5 tray! lol It all went super smooth, though, as I had some help from a friend who wanted to learn more about raw food prep. Between the two of us, we had everything in there in just a few hours.

We made Herbed Pizza Crusts (a new recipe I was also testing for the ebook), 3 batches of Ani's Black Sesame Sunflower Bread, 3 batches of Flandria's Pajon Bread and 2 batches of Flandria's Flax Bread. We also tried the following Raw Cheeze Itz that has been getting raves lately on RFC. Not sure what the SAD version was supposed to taste like, but this is goooooood stuff!

Raw Cheeze Itz
Posted by rawererin on Raw Freedom Community

The original recipe is from goneraw.com, I added a few things to it... and after a few hours in the dehydrator, I scored them into little squares with a fondant cutter I found at Hobby Lobby.

1 C Sunflower seeds (soaked 4 hrs and dehydrated)
1 C Brazil nuts (soaked and dehydrated)
1 C Almonds (soaked and dehydrated)
1 big tomato
1 cup red pepper, diced
1/4 C ground flax
1 pinch cumin or to taste
2 teaspoons salt or a bit less to taste

Process all ingredients and spread on teflex or parchment paper as thin as you like, after a few hours score with a pizza cutter and leave until dry on top then flip and leave until crispy (all day!) then eat eat eat!!!

Rawererin's Mods:
I used a whole red pepper. I omitted the flax seeds. I used about 1 tsp Cumin and at least 2 tsp salt.

I added 1 Tbsp taco seasoning, 1 tsp onion powder and 1 tsp garlic powder.

Heathy's Mods:
I used soaked sunflower seeds and almonds - I never bothered to dehydrate.
I used brazil nuts, without soaking them.
I added 1/4 cup soaked, sundried tomatoes.
I used ground yellow flax (the recipe never specified which kind).
I added 1 small clove of garlic, minced .
I added onion powder, to taste.

Carmella's Notes:
I followed in Fairygirl's footsteps with her changes and the Cheeze Itz turned out GREAT! I brought a platter to Ashinah's community kitchen and they were a hit. Surprise, surprise!

Now the question is, "where am I going to find room to store all these goodies?" Any takers?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Thai Vege Soup

Don and I just returned from a trip to Calgary where we stayed at his sister Sandy's for a few days. No big uncooking marathon this time around, but I did whip up a raw meal one evening. On the menu was some of my favorites: Cream of Zucchini Soup, Spinach & Cream Pasta Casserole and Strawberry Shortcake. In spite of the short notice, Diana Stoevelaar and Manu managed to join us for the feast. Once again, we had an amazing connection and the evening zoomed right by.

On our return, a strawbale workshop had started at Ashinah and continued over the weekend. The participants got a hands-on experience, working on an addition to one of the already existing buildings.
Between the bunch of them, they had the bale wall up in about 11 hours.

Rysiek proudly showing his crew's handiwork.

Here they're almost finished applying the first coat of adobe. I even got a chance to help out a little too!

It promises to be yet another beauty. I'll make sure to show you the finished building in my upcoming Ashinah post.

But back to food... We did take the opportunity in Calgary to stock up on things we can't easily get locally, such as seaweed, jicama and young coconuts. This has allowed me to make special treats like Raw Food Real World's outstanding Spicy Peanut Coconut Noodles. A definite must try!

Staying with the Thai theme, I also prepared Ocean's Thai Vege Soup which she recently posted on RFC. Sooooooo good! Even Amber - who is visiting right now - enjoyed it and that's saying a lot, as she's generally no big fan of raw soups.

Thai Vege Soup
Posted by Ocean on Raw Freedom Community

1 Orange Pepper
1/2 Tbs. Sea Salt
3 Carrots
3/4 Cup Cashews
4 Radishes
2 Cups warm water
1 Tbs. Curry Powder
3/4 Cup Almond Milk
1 Tbs. Nama shoyu
1 Tbs. Agave
1/2 Tbs. Jalapeño pepper
1/8 cup green onions

Add everything to a Vita Mix Blender and blend until blended.

Carmella's Notes: I didn't have cashews so I used part young coconut and macadamia nuts. I also replaced the jalapeño with cayenne, and topped the soup with fresh chives and cilantro. Yummy!

Yet another busy week! I'm hoping to crank up the D sometime in the next few days. I'll keep you posted. ;-)

Have a fabulous one!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Lemon Coconut Bars

Don and I are finally somewhat settled down at Ashinah. (Yay!) Such beauty everywhere we look! It seems like new flowers are blooming every day. Hang on, let me show you a few pics I took over the weekend.

Here's the view when you first walk into Ashinah. You can see the community kitchen to the left and our new home in the background.

You can have a better look here.

Our strawbale home again, hidden by a field of flowers...

Actually, I think I may have to do a post on Ashinah as it's truly an amazing and special place, especially at this time of year. But back to the yummies I created...

Someone was having a raw dessert potluck last night at one of the nearby properties, so I prepared a bunch of treats, just in case we decided to attend. I made a couple of variations of Mysticat's wonderful Chocolate Chip Cookies: Oatmeal Raisin and Double Chocolate Cookies. They both turned out great and will be featured in my upcoming 'Best of Raw Freedom Community' ebook. By the way, it's coming along great and promises to be totally rawesome, with close to 90 recipes and lots of gorgeous photos. But not to worry, I'll be keeping you posted!

I also made Ani Phyo's Lemon Coconut Bars. I tweaked the recipe just a touch, mostly cutting down on salt and processing the dough in the food processor rather than by hand. These are soooooo good and super easy to boot!

Lemon Coconut Bars
Adapted from Ani Phyo's recipe

Makes 12 bars

1 cup almonds
1 1/2 cups pitted dates (Medjool, khadrawhi, or other semi-soft date)
Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup dried shredded coconut

In your food processor, chop almonds into small pieces. Use some of this nut powder to “flour” the bottom of a 9 inch square baking pan.

Add remaining ingredients and process some more until well mixed.

Press into baking pan.

To serve, chill for a couple hours until firm. Then cut into squares.

Will keep for six days in the fridge.

As it turned out, we ended up not going to the potluck after all. Instead, we quietly enjoyed dessert in the garden with Kreel who lives in the structure next to ours. Ah well... At least now we're stocked up in sweet treats for a while. ;-)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sorry guys! I'm running a little late with my Recipe of the Week post... We finally brought the last load over to Ashinah last night, so I've been busy unpacking, trying to find a place for it all. At this point, I still have my doubts, but we'll see. lol

I thought I'd at least take a short break in order to share with you some amazing cookies I made earlier this week. Actually, this is a recipe I've been meaning to try for more than a year. Oh My Goodness!!!!! It is everything everyone has always said it was! These Chocolate Chip Cookies are absolutely in-cre-di-ble! And you know what's the best part? They don't even need dehydration so you can whip 'em up whenever the craving for a sweet treat hits you.

Man, is there an end to all those scrumptious creations? I sure hope not!

Mysticat’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
Posted by Mysticat on RFT

Cookie Batter
1 3/4 cups cashew "flour"
3/4 cup ground oat groats (or use all cashew flour for a much sweeter dough)
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Chocolate Chips
Blend 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1/2 cup carob, 1/2 cup cacao. Put mixture in freezer, then chop into chunks.

In a large bowl, mix Cookie Batter ingredients by hand.

Fold in Chocolate Chips.

Form into balls, roll in cashew "flour" and refrigerate.

JustMe’s Notes:
mysticat.....GENIUS---PURE GENIUS with the chocolate chip cookies!!!!! They are out of this world!!!!! the cashew flour is what really made the cookies!

a few modifications that i did---i used all cashew flour, used all cocoa and added agave to the choco chip mixture until it was "bittersweet". I think i will use less oil next time and it was a little bit oily for my liking.....BUT HOLY SMOKES WERE THESE GOOD!!!! i couldn't stop snacking on the batter and then i had to put in the freezer to let the choco harden up a bit so i can form them into balls!

Rawkinlocs’ Notes:
I made the chocolate chip cookies and they are AWESOME! I didn't roll them in cashew flour and I ended up putting them in the dehydrator...they were warm, soft and chewy and the chocolate chips were so close to the SAD ones it was scary!

Carmella's Notes:
~ I used both oat and cashew flour and 1/4 cup coconut oil instead of 1/2 cup.

~ I used chocolate pieces I had sitting in the freezer, made with cacao paste and agave.

~ I just dropped the batter by the spoonful on a parchment paper. I'm all for simple!

Enjoy with almond milk or Eva's yummy Cacao Mylkshake!

Cookies anyone?