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!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Wild Harvest

We may not be blessed with a veggie garden here on the land, but you know what? We've found something even better! It's abundant, it's free and doesn't require any effort on our part! Well, other than harvesting...

You'll have guessed it, I'm talking about Nature's very own wild garden!

It's a Wild, Wild World
Funny how seemingly small and insignificant events can trigger a domino effect. For me, it all started earlier this spring when I purchased some wild Salmon Seal shoots at our community's awesome little whole food store.

I was so thrilled at the prospect of trying my first wild greens, I was barely out of there before I was already munching on my new find. The shoots were tender and their taste reminiscent of asparagus. Delish!

Seeing my interest, John told me about a woman living around here, Shanoon, who is very knowledgeable in local edible and medicinal plants. In fact, she even conducts herb walks in the Crown land surrounding the Retreat Center, as it is such a wild treasure chest!

That's it! I was hooked! Suddenly I felt like Alice, on the verge of discovering a whole new world I was vaguely aware of, but had never dared exploring before. Sure, I'd heard that you could harvest wild edibles, but my knowledge pretty much ended at berries and good ol' dandelion.

I called Shanoon as soon as I got home and lured her into giving me a little private wilderness tour with the promise of a raw feast. (Always a nice card to play! he he)

Take a Walk on the Wild Side
Armed with my camera and notebook, I finally entered the fascinating world of wild plants, with Shanoon guiding the way. The woman is a walking encyclopedia! I was enthralled by the information she was revealing to me and was reminded, once again, of Life's endless mysteries.

"There is always more to learn!", she told me with sparkling eyes. Her passion for Nature and its secrets just jumps at you and, what more, it is totally contagious!

Meet Nature's Incr'edible' Weeds
During our short walk, she pointed out some 30 different plants along the way! But for the purpose of this post, I thought I'd focus on the edible varieties.

Let's begin with one you are most likely familiar with already...

The young leaves of plantain are edible raw and very rich in vitamin B1 and riboflavin. This herb is famous for bringing relief in cases of insect stings and burns, and to help stop the bleeding of minor wounds.

Self-Heal aka Prunella Vulgaris

As its name suggests, this 'weed' is better known for its many healing properties. However, the leaves of the self-heal plant are edible and can be enjoyed in smoothies, salads, soups, etc.


I'm in loooove with these little heart shaped leaves! Shanoon told me that 2 of these contain the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C! Violets are also high in vitamin A. They are delicate and make a perfect addition to salads. Both the violet leaves and flowers are edible, can be used as thickeners, or made into tea.

False Salmon Seal, aka Suzy Cue or Wild Spinach

These are quite a ways from the tender shoots we had just last month, but still make awesome edibles. Another new favorite! The leaves are a bit too tough and stringy to be enjoyed in salads, so we've been adding them to our soups, green smoothies and even quiches! Pretty much anywhere that calls for spinach, really.

The fruit of Solomon Seal is also edible raw and is a good source of vitamin C. In the old days, it was used to prevent scurvy. As I was mentioning earlier, the young shoots can be picked in the spring and make an excellent substitute for asparagus.

Additionally, Solomon Seal can be used as a poultice in cases of strains, wounds or to reduce swelling.

Twisted-Stalk aka Wild Cucumber

As its name indicates, the leaves of Twisted-Stalk taste a little like cucumber. These aren't as tough and fibrous as Solomon Seal, and can be eaten in salads as well as all the other usual ways.

Oxeye Daisy

Recognize these little guys? Sorta look naked without their flower, I must say. Let me give you a hint: "She loves me, she loves me not..." Got it? The leaves of the Oxeye Daisy have a very interesting, yet not unpleasant taste. Another delicious addition to salads!

And finally, the beautiful Tiger Lilies aka Woodland Lilies

Besides being a pleasure to behold, the Tiger Lily flowers are truly delectable. We've been decorating our salads with them, as you can see...

Not pictured here are Clovers, but I figured you already know what these look like. Both leaves and young flowering heads of red and white clover are edible. The young leaves are harvested before the plant comes into flower, and are used in smoothies, salads, soups, etc

Oh, and let's not forget dandelion! According to Alternative- Healthzine.com, dandelion "is a source of potassium, sodium, calcium, phosphorus and iron. The leaves are a richer source of Vitamin A than carrots and contain some amounts of Vitamins B, C and D."

Other common edible 'weeds' include:
  • Borage leaves and flowers
  • Chicory greens and flowers
  • Chickweed
  • Fiddlehead ferns
  • Lambsquarters
  • Malva
  • Miner’s lettuce
  • Purslane
  • Sorrel
  • Stinging nettles

A'right, let's recap and see what all goodies I've been gathering lately...

Why Eat Wild?
In a previous post on greens, I was telling you how green vegetables are essential for optimal health. It is also important to consume a variety of them in order to get a wide range of nutrients.

In her article "How To Go More Green In YOUR Diet", Karen Knowler points out that "it's vital for all of us to eat wild greens. These greens are (for the most part) as natural and potent as you’re going to get because they're (typically) untouched by man and have not been treated in any way... AND you really feel the difference when you eat wild foods - they're electric!"

Not surprisingly, the Boutenko family is also into eating wild edibles. According to Victoria, these "often contain more vitamins and minerals than commercially marketed plants."

Why is that you ask? "Weeds have not been “spoiled” with farmers’ care in contrast to the “good” plants of the garden," she explains in the article "Are There Enough Greens in Our Stores?". "In order to survive in spite of constant weeding, pulling, and spraying, weeds had to develop strong survival properties. For example, in order to stay alive without being watered, most weeds have developed unbelievably long roots... As a result, all wild plants possess more nutrients than commercially grown plants."

The Wild Table
The art of preparing food with wild edibles is known as 'wild-crafting'. As I've been suggesting, 'weeds' can be used pretty much in the same manner as store-bought greens: in smoothies, soups, salads, or other savory dishes.

Here are a few recipes that can be prepared with wild plants...

It is said that Lambsquarters is a close cousin of spinach, only it contains a lot more goodies. You can therefore use it in any recipe that calls for spinach, including this next one.

Greek Salad
Adapted from mariquita.com

This salad is hearty and delicious!!! Super-nutritious too!

2 cups Lambsquarters greens
2 Cucumbers
2 Tomatoes
2 green onions or 2 heaping Tbsp red onion, minced
4 oz feta cheese (see recipes below)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup olives, chopped
2 tsp oregano (fresh if possible!)

Try to use the young, tender Lambsquarter leaves from plants about 1 foot tall or so for this salad.

1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp fresh herbs or 1 Tbsp dried (your choice, try dill, parsley, or oregano)
1/4 tsp coarse ground black pepper

Blend dressing ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Coat the salad just before serving.

No worries, ingenius raw chefs have also managed to come up with awesome vegan renditions of feta cheese. Take your pick!

Almond Feta Cheese
By Karen Parker

1 1/2 cups almonds, soaked for 12 hours
1 cup cashews, soaked for 12 hours
1/4 cup light miso (such as chickpea or 'golden' miso)
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
1/4 cup basil
3 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced
4 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced
3 tablespoons fresh white sage, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon white pepper
2 teaspoons Celtic sea salt
1/4 cup leeks, minced

Homogenize almonds in Green Life or Champion juicer (if you don't have a juicer, mix 2 cups water with almonds in high-speed blender until creamy. Then strain through fine-mesh bag. Keep almond pulp in mesh bag.

In blender, combine miso, water, herbs, oil, salt, white pepper and leeks until very creamy. It should taste too salty. Pour miso mixture into mesh bag, catching all liquid that comes out. Continue to squeeze liquid out of bag until no more will come out.

Spoon almond pulp onto a Paraflexx sheet on a dehydrator tray. Keep pulp in crumbled form; do not break chunks up. Dehydrate at 90 degrees for 8 hours or until completely dry. Keeps in sealed glass jar in cooler for up to 4 weeks.

By Melissa Davison

1 cup almond pulp from almond milk
4 Tbsp thyme chopped fine
Pinch of celtic sea salt
1 Tbsp lime or lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 clove garlic, finely minced
2 tsp sundried tomato powder

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, fluff with a fork. Better if left to marinate a few minutes. Add to favorite salad. Refrigerate in a sealed container up to one week.

The entire edition of the Raw Family June 2006 Newsletter was dedicated to Lambsquarters. Included was the following recipe:

Lambsquarters and Tomato Salad
By The Raw Family

This delicious salad has a unique taste and is only available in the summer.

Blend well:
4 cups lambsquarters
2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 bunch dill weed, chopped
I lemon juiced
1 avocado, mashed
Add sea salt if desired

Serves: 2-3

Raw Family's June Newsletter only just came out and talks about the benefit of Stinging Nettle. Sergei is particularly into wild edibles. In fact, he has been conducting hikes in the Oregon woods, teaching people about Nature's 'superfoods'. To find out more about what he's been up to, visit his website:

In the meantime, here is one of Sergei's wild-crafted recipe:

Stinging Nettle Pesto
By Sergei at www.rawfamily.com

½ cup of stinging nettle leaves
½ cup of pine nuts
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup of sun dried tomatoes (optional)

Blend nettles in blender to destroy spines. Add remaining ingredients and blend thoroughly. Add more oil or lemon juice if necessary. Serve like regular pesto on crackers, bread, pasta, etc.

Serves 3

You can sign up for their awesome newsletter on Raw Family's site.

Here are some of the ways we've been enjoying our wild harvest...

Wild Gogi Green Smoothie
1/2 avocado
2 oranges
3 bananas
3 cups spinach
1 cup Salmon Seal
1/4 cup soaked gogi berries (about 1/8 cup dry)
1 mango
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
2 cups apple juice
2 cups water

Blend until smooth.

Yields 7 to 8 cups

This next recipe may not be the prettiest (sorta looks like 'swamp goo' as my friend Fairygirl would say), but don't be fooled! It is nutritious, filling, and yes, yummy too!

Blended Salad Gone Wild
1 cup tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 cup yellow or red peppers, roughly chopped
1 cup cucumber, peeled and diced
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 cup lettuce
1 cup spinach
1 cup wild greens of choice
2 small green onions
1/4 cup parsley
3 stalks of celery
1 small avocado
1 teaspoon agave nectar (optional)
1 sheet of nori, shredded
2 tablespoons dulse flakes or wakame
1 tablespoon paprika (optional)
Water (as needed)

Blend the tomato, pepper and cucumber first, until they turn liquid. Then add in the lemon juice, greens, avocado, and broken up nori, pushing with the celery stalks, until the entire mixture is blended. Add some water if you find the mixture too thick or difficult to blend. Flavor with dulse flakes and/or paprika, if desired.

Serves 2-3

Carmella's Note: Blended salads are meant to be on the thick side.

Cultivated Beauty

OK, I'm gonna go off topic for a minute here to share these little gems...

As you can guess, I didn't find these two during one of my wild excursions; they were cozily nested in our small flower garden. Aren't they just gorgeous? And their aroma is unbelievable! According to Don, this first one smells what the color 'purple' should smell like! Sounds strange, but actually, I'd have to agree! he he

Hum... I wonder if we could eat these too!?! (Oh, oh... I think I've become obsessed about eating anything that grows! lol)

When I look at the surrounding wilderness, I now see a whole new world, waiting to be explored and enjoyed; a 'wild produce' section right outside my door! How cool is that!?!

No need to tell you I cannot wait for berry season to hit! We have lovely thimbleberries, blackberries and saskatoons. And, if we're lucky, the bears might just leave us a few huckleberries too!

What about you? What wild harvest is growing in your backyard?

For more information on wild edibles, here are two excellent websites:

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

To The Desert And Back

Did you know that we grow bananas in Canada?

Yep, that's right! But that's not all; Canada even has its very own desert! (Now, how about that, eh?)

Osoyoos is the capital city of the South Okanagan, aka the 'fruit basket' of Canada. It is renowned for having the only hot desert in the country. Its dry, sunny climate, irrigation and long growing season makes it ideal to grow cherries, plums, apricots, peaches, apples, grapes... and yes, bananas too!

Sounds like a raw foodie's dream? Probably... but that's not why Don and I drove out there yesterday. We were taking our good friend, John, to meet up with his wife. From there, they headed to Vancouver where he is to get an angeogram and then, possibly heart surgery. He's been trying alternative therapies for the last year or so, with little result (at least, in a physical, calculable kind of way), and now the White Coats are saying his time is running out...

The Raw Kitchen Hits The Road
It was our first time traveling together, Don and I, since we left Vancouver Island almost 5 years ago. A bit of an eventfor us. You should have seen all the food we brought along! Well, you know, with 3 mouths to feed and all... ;-)

Here's what we packed:

- 2 huge containers of green smoothie
- Lots of water
- Veggie sticks
- Some rye bread and onion bread
- Cheese sauce (to use as dip and spread)
- A big container of salad
- Sprouts
- Tomatoes, cubed
- Avocado
- Don's Creamy Citrus-Herb Dressing
- Garlicky toasts
- Seasoned seeds
- Trail mix
- Chocolate chip cookie

Oh yeah, and I got a little fancy and threw in a few of Maraw's Banana Nut Pancakes and some Coconut Vanilla Custard to go on top. (Raw gourmet food while on the move, why not!?!)

I thought we were probably bringing way too much stuff (you know how it can be!), but in fact, it ended up being the perfect amount! We came back with a little left-over trail mix, and that's pretty much it!

Cruising Along
The whole trip couldn't have gone any smoother. We left early, as John needed to pop by the hospital in Nelson first. The weather was just right, even once we hit the desert, and the scenery was beyond spectacular. We were surrounded by orchards in the Okanagan, and the view, as we approached Osoyoos, was breathtaking!

It gave us a welcomed opportunity to connect with John, as he is about to enter this challenging phase of his healing journey. It was also neat to retrace our steps after all these years. We couldn't help but revisit the circumstances around our move. Quite an adventure that was too, I tell ya!

Magic Picnic
After dropping John off, we decided to give ourselves a special treat on the way back, and had a picnic at one of our favorite camping spots, just outside Grand Forks.

To say that it was magical would be an understatement!

We saw at once why we love that place so much! So peaceful and quiet, with the sound of the river gurgling and wild flowers in bloom everywhere we looked.

Aren't these just gorgeous!?!

We had our picnic by the river and were serenaded by birds as we ate. The entire sky was covered in clouds, but somehow, a steady stream of sunlight was shining right on us the entire time. Pure bliss! Talk about the unexpected!

Here's the view from where we were sitting...

Don stretching out the car kinks!

Gotta head back already... Time to put everything away! (Sigh)

We were pretty wiped when we got home, but were totally stoked about our little road trip. Such a nice break of continuity!

Our only regret is that it was too early in the season, so we couldn't load up on fruit. Ah well... perhaps in 5 years, when we take our next trip! ;-)

Photo Credits
Osoyoos from http://www.osoyoos.ca/

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Walk 'n Talk 'n Rawkin'

Been meaning to post about Jaime's (Don's niece) visit earlier this month, but haven't got around to it until now... Too many balls in the air! It sorta feels like not-so-new news anymore, but I thought I'd at least share a few of the highlights and beautiful photos taken that week. (You know, so that you don't feel left 'out-of-the-loop'!) Plus, the food we had was so unbelievably yummy and gorgeous, I just had to give you a little visual piece! ;-)

Walk 'n Talk
The weather totally cooperated while Jaime was here, so we spent most of our time outside, having engaging conversations in the sun and enjoying nice, long walks. We took Jaime to the 'Look Out', a few minutes hike away from the lodge. Such a power spot, with a breathtaking view of the Slocan Valley mountains. It is said that, in the old days, the Native people came to the valley to do vision quests; a fact which is certainly not hard to believe...

We feel so blessed here, in our little corner of paradise (quite literally!) Not only do we live on Paradise Valley Road, but just across from the Valhalla Provincial Park (the word 'Valhalla' referring to the Vikings' heaven.)
Here's Don pointing out the Valhalla mountains to Jaime.

Rawkin' In The Kitchen
As was to be expected, Jaime and I uncooked up a storm: lasagna, cannellonis, egg salad on rye bread, garlicky toasts... And so many scrumptious desserts! Turtles, Lemon Poppy Seed Cake, Banana Nut Pancakes, Cinnamon Rolls and puddings. Jaime is so artistic and has such an eye for presentation! Once again, it was a real pleasure to be rawkin' away with her.

She had brought along our brand new Vitamix 5000 (Yay!) which Don and I are utterly in love with. Now we're wondering how we could do without it for so long! We can't get over how quickly and effectively it blends everything! Talk about smooooth smoothies and soups!

But 'nuff said, let's leave the images to speak for themselves.

How about starting with dessert first for a change?

Turtles Revisited

Joz's Lemon Poppy Seed Cake (Jaime did the lovely artwork!)

Anna-Maraw's fabulous Banana Nut Pancakes

Chocolate Pudding

And Chocolate Tarts

We also enjoyed my famous Indian Feast on our last evening together. An epicurean hit every single time!

My Curry Soup, Samosas, Ginger Rice, Marinated Indian Kale Salad and Curry Sauce

Photos Galore
Jaime's timing couldn't have been better! She felt she needed a little vacation to recharge before her new adventure. (She's going to art school in New-Zealand this summer.) She was also able to shoot some photos for my upcoming ebook. (Yay!)

We took the opportunity to have some more up-to-date shots of the furry family as well.

DaPuss (Isn't she a cutie!?!)

Angel (who usually never shows up with our little camera, as she is so dark...)

I guess that pretty much covers it all. But wait a minute... What about Kylo? He's got a thing against cameras, so no can do this time.

Ahhhhh, that feels better! So nice to have caught up on the backlog! ;-)

Coming Up Soon...
Do you know what these are?

Join me later this week on a tour of wild edibles and find out!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Raw is... Purely Delicious!

In one of my very first posts, I was telling you about how, once in a while, you stumble upon someone who's taste buds are perfectly aligned with yours. This is the case for me with Anna Tipps, owner of TheRawTable.com,
which happens to be one of my absolute favorite raw sites too.

I have yet to make one of her recipes that does not hit the mark for me BIG TIME. Just try her Chocolate or Lemon Chewies, her Creamy Avo Curry Soup, her Mock "Chicken" Salad or her Yummy Apple Cobbler and you'll see what I mean! But besides being an amazing raw chef, a raw and living food instructor and a mama of four, Anna (aka Maraw) is also the editor and publisher of the beautiful new raw magazine, Purely Delicious.

With the summer issue of Purely Delicious coming out later this month, I went snooping behind the scenes to ask Anna a few questions. She generously took some time to answer them in spite of her busy schedule.

Carmella: Anna, can you tell me a little about your new publication, Purely Delicious?

Anna: Purely Delicious is a celebration of the beauty, tastes, and textures of raw and living foods. We include information on organic gardening, family health issues, nutritional tidbits, book and restaurant reviews, and recipes – lots of purely delicious, purely raw recipes! This coming issue (June), even features an article on raw food nutrition for companion animals!

C: How did a magazine like PD get started?

A: Out of my own frustration, really. I have been enjoying a raw food diet for a few years now – creating recipes and sharing them through my web site, TheRawTable.com, and other places on the web, and even in local “cooking” classes I teach. Over the past year or so, I developed an interest in writing a recipe book. After producing the 2007 raw food calendar, it seemed like a good idea – there was a lot of excitement about that calendar. So my next task was to try and focus my mind on a book – but I was having trouble settling on a specific direction for the book. A quarterly magazine allows for a great deal of flexibility and mobility. It can grow and change with each issue. My goals and objectives are still the same though – developing a mainstream, family-friendly, magazine that provides guidance and information on how to GO RAW!

C: How often does PD come out?

A: Purely Delicious prints quarterly: in March, June, September and December. We are also working on a raw food restaurant guide for later in the year, as well as the 2008 wall calendar! Busy, busy, busy!

C: Just one more question then, as I know you have lots on your plate (pun intended!) Where can one get a copy of PD?

A: The magazine is distributed all over the U.S. (about 40 states now), and we also have subscribers in 8 other countries. Most of the U.S. distribution points are raw food restaurants and health food stores.

Wow! With all of these balls in the air, it's a wonder how Anna manages to get any sleep! lol Oh, and did I mention she's also working on a new site, Radiant H.O.U.N.D. , about dogs gone raw?

Although Purely Delicious can be found in many healthy lifestyle businesses across the U.S., individual subscriptions may also be purchased for $25 per year and delivered right to your mailbox.

Interested in getting your own copy? Just click on the link below!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Get Your Chopsticks Out! Part II

Sorry for leaving your chopsticks hanging in mid-air for a while like that... Don's niece, Jaime, (remember her from my trip to Calgary?) was staying with us all of last week. Wow! What a truly incredible time we had! I may have been away from my computer, but certainly not from the kitchen counter. Wait 'til you see all the gorgeous foods we prepared! But let's get back to today's post first...

Now where were we? Ah yes, Asian entrees 'in the Raw'!

Spring Rolling
I just looooooove coconut wrappers! They have such a delicate flavor and can make a delicious, light snack in a few minutes! As Vanessa points out, you can use whatever veggies you have on hand as filling for these. For our part, we like to put a little lettuce or arugula, add a few scoops of Chop Suey, roll up and munch away. Mmmmmmmmmm

Vietnamese Spring Rolls with spicy citrus dipping sauce
By Vanessa Sherwood
Posted on GLiving GreenChefs

If you don’t feel like making the coconut ‘rice’ wrappers, you can either use the lettuce as a wrapper, or just use regular store bought rice wrappers that you’ll find in the Asian section of most grocery stores.

Coconut ‘rice’ Wrappers
1 Cup Young Coconut Meat
1/2 Cup Coconut Water
1/4 Cup Flax Meal (Optional)
Pinch of Salt

Butter Lettuce
Cucumber, thinly sliced
Scallions, thinly sliced lengthwise
Bean Sprouts
Star Fruit, thinly sliced
Mint Leaves

Nuoc Cham (spicy citrus dipping sauce):
Lime, Juiced
1 1/2 Tablespoon Nama Shoyu
3 Tablespoons Water
1 Serrano Chili, minced
1-2 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Teaspoons Agave
1/4 Teaspoon Salt

For the Coconut ‘rice’ Wrappers:
In a Vita Mix or high speed blender, blend everything until completely smooth. Now comes the tricky bit. You should be able to make four wrappers on each teflex lined tray of your dehydrator, unless you want to make one huge wrapper on each tray- it’s your choice. Pour out 2-4 tablespoons of the coconut custard and spread out thin with a spoon or spreader/spatula. Dehydrate at 105- 110 degrees until completely dry, 6-12 hours. When they are done, you will be able to peel them off of the teflex sheet.

For the Filling:
There are no rules here. You can put whatever you want in the wrappers.

Fill the coconut wrappers with the veggies. If you are using the coconut wrappers, be warned that they will get soggy quite quickly. It’s best to roll them as you are eating them. If you are using the lettuce as your wrapper, it won’t be an issue.

For the Nuoc Cham (spicy citrus dipping sauce):
Whisk all the ingredients together. This is your dipping sauce.

Where's the Wok?
If you haven't experimented with marinating yet, here's a perfect opportunity! The marinating process really works magic! Not only does it give veggies a wonderful flavor, it changes their texture as well. The following recipes are a variation on a theme; similar veggies, different marinades. Pop these in the dehydrator for a few hours to get an authentic 'just out of the wok' look!

Chop Suey
We may not have been very adventurous food wise in my family's household, but the one 'exotic' dish my mom used to make regularly was Chop Suey. (Go figure!?!) When I first tried a raw version, I just couldn't believe how much it resembled its SAD counterpart. Here are a couple of Chop Suey versions I've made recently. Once you get the general idea, you'll soon be coming up with countless variations of your own.

Easy Chop Suey
By Carmella Soleil


Baby Bok Choi, sliced
Broccoli florets and chopped stems
Carrots, julienned
Celery, sliced diagonally
Green onions, sliced diagonally
Mung bean sprouts, washed and drained
Mushrooms, sliced
Red or yellow peppers, sliced or chopped
Snow peas, sliced diagonally
Zucchini, julienned or cubed

Marinade Variation I:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tamari or Nama Shoyu
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 orange, juiced
1 or 2 garlic cloves
1 ” chunk of ginger, grated
Dash of cayenne
1 tablespoon tahini

Marinade Variation II:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons tamari or Nama Shoyu
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 orange, juiced
1 or 2 garlic cloves
1 ” chunk of ginger, grated
2-4 soft dates, to taste

Finely chop or julienne veggies of choice.

Blend marinade ingredients until smooth.

In a large bowl, toss veggies in marinade of choice. Cover and put in dehydrator for 2 hours at 105-110.

Alternatively, you can skip the last step, but leave the veggies to marinate for at least 3 hours on the counter for flavors to blend.

Serve topped with sesame seeds and/or cashew pieces.

Vegetable Teriyaki
Adapted from Wyjoz's recipe, posted on Raw Food Talk

2 tbs Nama Shoyu (or tamari)
2 tbs honey
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 " piece of ginger root, grated
2 tablespoons lemon juice (or you could use part apple cider vinegar too)
1/4 cup orange juice

Broccoli florets and chopped stems
Green onion or leek.
Baby Bok Choy sliced (the taste is much milder than mature Bok Choi)
Red Pepper sliced
Celery, sliced diagonally
Mushrooms, sliced

Toss veggies with the marinade in a bowl. Then pop it, covered, in the dehydrator for a couple of hours. Alternatively, you can skip the D; just marinate the veggies for a little longer.

Serve with rice of choice and top with a few cashews.

Stir Dry
And last, but not least, a colorful 'Stir Dry' with an exotic twist. This recipe was inspired by The Raw Gourmet's lovely Asian dressing.

Veggies of Choice:
Baby Bok Choi, sliced
Broccoli florets and chopped stems
Celery, sliced diagonally
Green onions, sliced diagonally
Mung bean sprouts, washed and drained
Mushrooms, sliced
Red or yellow peppers, sliced or chopped
Snow peas, sliced diagonally
Zucchini, julienned or cubed

Asian Dressing
By Nomi Shannon

6 Tbl Tahini
1 c. water
3/4 c. Nama Shoyu
3/4 c. scallions
3 Tbl flaxseed oil
3-4 Tbl honey
3 Tbl grated ginger root
3-4 cloves garlic
3/4 tsp Chinese 5-spice (I use less as I find this can easily overwhelm the other flavors)
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp ground cumin

Toss all ingredients into blender and blend!

Put the veggies in a large bowl and coat with dressing. Cover with a plate and pop in the dehydrator for a couple of hours at 110 degrees.

Asian Platter: Ginger Un-Steamed 'Rice'(Yet again! What can I say, it is THAT good!), Marinated Bok Choi and Stir Dry:

I guess I've pretty much covered it all: soups, salads, side dishes, entrees...

Hey, hang on a second! I was about to forget something! No post on Asian cuisine 'in the Raw' would be complete without sushi!

Raw Sushi
This is a different version of sushi than the one I've previously posted, using 'rice' instead of pate. For a detailed description of the sushi making technique, complete with photos, see this post.

Ginger Un-Steamed 'Rice'
1 1/2 - 2 cups cauliflower
1 1/2 cups parsnip
Salt, to taste
2 heaping tbs of almond butter or tahini (I used both)
1 T grated fresh ginger
A little lemon juice

Process cauliflower and parsnip in food processor until rice-size.

Mix other ingredients by hand.

Carrot, julienned
Red and/or yellow bell pepper, julienned
Green onion, julienned
Cucumber, julienned
Avocado, sliced

Alfalfa sprouts
Sunflower or Radish sprouts (opt)

First, put a nice layer of alfalfa sprouts, covering nearly half of the nori sheet.

Spread 4-5 tbs. of the rice mixture along the edge, on top of the sprouts.

Make a little indent in the rice and put veggies on top.

Top that with a few pieces of avocado.

Finish off with a some sunflower or radish sprouts. (opt)

Roll it up! You can roll the sushi with a sushi mat or use your fingers. I like to use my fingers. Use your thumbs and fingers and roll it up, tightening the roll as you go.

Wet the top part of the nori sheet with a little water so as to seal the sushi.

Let the roll sit for 5 minutes before cutting.

Using a sharp knife, cut the nori roll into 5-6 equal parts. Use a see-saw motion to make it a perfect smooth cut.


Serve with dipping sauce of your choice. One of my favorite is the Boutenko's posted here.

OK, NOW we're done! Woops, no, dessert is missing...

Hey, how about some scrumptious Mango Pudding with a nice big dollop of coconut vanilla cream? Yummo! But that recipe will be in my ebook, coming out later this month. 'Til then, here's something to fill your dreams...;-)