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, November 29, 2007

Two Raw Divas, One Kitchen - The Adventures - Part I

A'right! Back on blogging duty! ;-)
I was telling you a few posts back that I was expecting the visit of my dear online friend and raw chef, Heathy/Fairygirl. As some of you may know, I've been so fascinated by Heathy's culinary gifts that I even did a post on her back in February, featuring some of her amazing creations.

Her visit all came together very unexpectedly, and to say I was thrilled that we'd finally get to meet and uncook together would be a gross understatement. In fact, I could hardly sleep at the prospect!

Change of Plans
They say that if you want to make God laugh, make plans. Well, things indeed took an unforeseen turn on the morning Heathy was scheduled to arrive at the local airport. We were almost out the door in order to pick her up when the phone rang. Although we had never spoken before, I just knew that the voice at the other end could only be Heathy's. She told me she was stranded in Calgary due to fog. (Actually, I later found out that the Castlegar airport has been nicknamed 'Cancelgar' due to the high rate of flight cancellations in winter time. he he)

Remember my Calgary Rawkin Revel earlier this year? I spent a few days with Don's sister Sandy and her family, uncooking up a storm. Anyhoo, we managed to get hold of her, and she was more than happy to have Heathy stay with them while waiting for the next flight. Sandy and Heathy had arranged to meet in Australia last spring, but it fell through, so this couldn't have been more perfect!

The Raw Divas Meet
Thankfully, we woke up to a glorious sunny morning the next day, so off we went to the airport to pick up our gal.

It kinda felt like we were going on a sort of blind date. hehe I knew that Heathy was a little nervous, wondering if we'd get along as well in 'real life' as we do in the virtual world, but we both knew that our deep sense of kinship and common passion for raw food prep was as real as it gets.

The final moments before Heathy/Fairygirl and I got to meet 'in physical form'... As you can see, we made sure she couldn't miss us! ;-)

Here we are... The Raw Divas united at last! It took a while to sink in that this was really happening.

As you can imagine, I had prepared a raw feast to celebrate Heathy's arrival. On the menu was Cream of Tomato Soup, a mixed green salad with my House Dressing, and the Lasagna Magnifica (all three from my 'Best of the Sunny Raw Kitchen' ebook.) I actually had the jitters a bit as I was working on dinner. "What if the lasagna didn't turn out right?" Never mind the fact that I'd made it countless times before, and it has always been phenomenal. Ahhhhh, the mind!

Lasagna Magnifica

I was particularly intimidated to prepare dessert for the one I've nicknamed 'The Ultimate Raw Dessert Queen'. She'd told me she wanted to try my Banana Chocolate Cream Cake so I thought I'd make a variation of it.

Here's Heathy putting the finishing touches to my Strawberry Chocolate Cream Cake.

Boy, does she know how to make something look good or what!?!

A work of art... and oh so yummy too!

We were all exhausted from this eventful day, and hit the sack early so as to be fresh and ready to begin our uncook-a-thon in earnest the next morning.

Kitchen Here We Come! - Day 2
Although we could hardly wait to get going in the kitchen, we started off with some exercises. (What discipline, eh!?! lol) I showed Heathy the Tibetan Rites - a series of movements somewhat similar to yoga. In the meantime, Don, the ever-devoted 'Juiceman', had prepared our usual morning brew: apple, carrot, beet, celery and ginger juice.

Yep, our juicer isn't the quietest! hehe

Heathy so loved its color she just had to take a pic!

As we slowly sipped our ambrosia, we came up with a plan of attack. Man oh man! So much to make and so little time! We decided that we'd make the most of our time together by focusing mainly on our own creations. Heathy is in the final phase of working on her raw dessert ebook and still had a few recipes to test. We've also been talking about collaborating on a joint recipe book for some time, so this was the perfect opportunity.

At last, we were ready to get going. Woo-Hoo!

The Raw Divas doing the happy dance at the sound of the Vitamix...
Ahhhh! What sweet music to our ears! lol

The More Mouths The Merrier
If you've been hanging around The Sunny Raw Kitchen a while, then you've probably heard about our neighbors and friends, John and Livina. Although they don't follow a raw diet per se, they're always open and game to try some of the stuff we make, especially the desserts. (Gee, I wonder why that is!?! lol)

Anyhoo, as Livina was away and knowing that John isn't too big on food prep, we invited him to join us for the evening meals. Lucky him! ;-)

On the menu that evening was Cream of Zucchini Soup, Mixed green salad with my House Dressing, Spinach & Mushroom Quiches, and Cheezy Tortellinis in Rose Sauce.

The idea for the quiches came to me a while back when I had more mushrooms in the fridge than I knew what do do with. Actually, I had mentioned the fact to Fairygirl during one of our chats, and she suggested I make mushroom quiches. I've already posted my first attempt here, but I also wanted to play some more along the lines of a savory cheesecake. What better occasion to do so than with Fairygirl being in the kitchen with me?

Spinach & Mushroom Quiches

As soon as I found out about Heathy's visit, I started scouring my brain in search of dishes we could try turning into raw. I remembered the tortellinis I used to serve in my SAD days with a simple sauce consisting of tomato paste and fresh cream. We came up with the following:

Cheezy Tortellinis in Rose Sauce

And of course, the best part was dessert! I gave Heathy a hand in making her Chocolate Orange Cream Cake. OMG!!! I can't even begin to tell you how yummy this was! After drooling over so many of her scrumptious creations online, it was hard to believe I could finally partake in the bliss. Woo-Hoo! (Ooops, sorry guys! Don't mean to be rubbing it in! lol)

In fact, I'm munching on the last of it as I'm typing this... Mmmmmmmm

On that sweet note, I'll stop here for now and catch a breather. We got lots more decadent looking pics and even some video footage coming up, so stay tuned for the rest of our Raw Diva Extravaganza!

Photos by Carmella and Heathy
Unless otherwise stated, the raw dishes mentioned in this series will be available in upcoming ebooks.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Recipe of the Week: Sesame Nuggets in Sweet and Sour Sauce

Just before Heathy/Fairygirl's visit, Snowdrop posted the following on Raw Freedom Community, so we just HAD to make it during our time together. She has done it again; this recipe is absolutely IN-CRE-DI-BLE!!!

The nuggets have a delicious, unique flavor unlike any other raw nut-based 'meat' I've ever tried. I could just keep popping 'em in! Add to that the Sweet & Sour Sauce which you can use as a dip for the nuggets or for marinating veggies, and that's it! You're up for one exotic and yummylicious ride!

Snowdrop’s Sesame Chicken
Posted on Raw Freedom Community

2 c walnuts soaked 4-6 hrs or overnite
2 c sunflower seeds soaked 4-6 hrs or overnite
1 c sunflower seeds, soaked 4-6 hrs or overnite and then dehydrated
1 c sundried tomatoes soaked 4-6 hrs or overnite in:
1 c orange juice
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
¼ yellow pepper (or red)
10 fresh sage leaves or 1 T dried herb
1 t cumin
½ t turmeric
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1 T dark miso
1 T braggs or soy sauce
1 T liquid lecithin* (to be stirred into batter by hand at the end)
Sesame seeds (to sprinkle on top of the nuggets)

* Liquid lecithin can be found at your local health food store

Food processor the tomatoes in their liquid and blend until a paste.
Add onion & garlic, blend.
Add herbs spices blend.
Add nuts, process till smooth (I did it in 2 batches).
Put into a bowl & stir in the lecithin.
With a coffee grinder, powder the dehydrated sunflower seeds.
Stir into batter till blended.
Spoon onto teflex sheets (I used 3 trays) by the tablespoon.
Dehydrate 6-8 hr at 105-115 degrees.
Flip half way thru drying time.
Make sweet & sour sauce (see below).
Dip your chicken nuggets into the sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds and continue to dehydrate another 4-6 hrs.

Carmella's Note: I forgot to soak and dehydrate the 1 cup of sunseeds so I used them dry.

Sweet & Sour Sesame Sauce
¾ c nama shoyu
¾ c honey (or agave)
2 cloves garlic
1 pc ginger as big as your thumb (equal to the amount of garlic approx)
2 T sesame seeds
2 T coconut oil
1 t sesame oil
2 t red pepper flakes

Chop the garlic & ginger so it doesn’t jam under your blades, and put all into the food processor and blend till the veggies are well pureed. The seeds will float up with the oils when left standing, that’s ok, just stir when using.

In a glass pie plate: Take a nice head of broccoli and make bite sized pieces. Slice up 4-5 mushrooms. Sliver up ½ red pepper. Toss these in some of the sweet & sour sesame sauce and put into D till broccoli is tendered up some.

Snowdrop's Notes:
~ I made more than the sauce recipe called for because I will be using this on lots more veggies the next couple of days, as it is mind blowing good.

~ The nuggets were a nice change from what I had been eating, but… The veggies + sauce was the finest thing I have put in my mouth in months!

I will be making that even when I don’t have any nuggets to serve them with, just a dash of sesame seeds on top. mmm

Carmella's Notes:
~ Was she not kidding or what!!! This sauce is to LIVE for!
~ I replace some of the soy sauce called for in the Sweet & Sour Sauce with water as I prefer it to be not as salty.

I've also served the Sweet & Sour veggies (broccoli, mushrooms, bok choi, red pepper) on top of a modified version of my Ginger Un-Steamed 'Rice'. Yummo!

Ginger Squash 'Rice'
1 ½ - 2 cups cauliflower
1 ½ cups butternut squash
2 tablespoons of almond butter or tahini (I used both)
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
A little lemon juice
Salt, to taste

Process cauliflower and squash in food processor until rice-size. Mix other ingredients by hand.


Photo Credits
Sesame Chicken with Sweet & Sour Veggies by Snowdrop

Monday, November 19, 2007

Recipe of the Week: Pumpkin Spice Muffins

I've just perfected this Pumpkin Spice Muffin recipe and am totally pleased with how it turned out. These are super yummy and would make awesome finger food for the upcoming Thanksgiving/Holidays. A special treat for all of you Pumpkin Pie lovers out there! They sure were a big hit at my and Fairygirl's potluck today.

The secret to the muffins' smooth texture is using butternut squash pulp.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins
2 cups of butternut squash pulp (left over from juicer)
1 1/3 cup walnuts
1/3 cup pecans
1⁄ 8 cup water
3 tbs honey or agave
1.5 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/2 tps allspice or ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Blend all of the ingredients in a food processor. Form into mini-muffins using about 1 1/2 tsp of dough at a time. Top with a pecan and dehydrate for 15 hours at 110 degrees.

Variation: This would also be delicious non-dehydrated, as a pudding or filling for a pie.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Recipe of the Week: Pasta Primavera

This week, I'm sharing with you one of Heathy's savory creations. I know this may come as a surprise, but she doesn't do only desserts. (lol)

In fact, this dish is my current favorite; we've been enjoying it almost weekly for the last little while. I love how easy it is to prepare, and that it requires no dehydration. Perfect for those times when it's nearly lunch or dinner and you still haven't got a 'plan'.

Pasta Primavera
By Fairygirl Heathy

So simple and really yummy!

Wide zucchini noodles (just use the veg peeler)
Fresh garden peas
Chopped red pepper
Small chopped carrot
Baby tomatoes, halved
Fresh shredded basil
Fresh chopped parsley
Lemon zest

Your favorite dressing (you might want to try Carmella's House Dressing or Snowdrops' wonderful and creamy Ranch Dressing featured here) or any alfredo type sauce.

Alfredo Sauce
Adapted from Rawvolution’s recipe

¾ cup water
½ tsp honey
1 clove garlic
¼-1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt
1 ¼ cup cashews

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Heathy's Notes:
~ I found this to have a really fresh flavour, and the noodles seemed to sorta melt into the sauce.

~ I'd like to add marinated mushrooms and asparagus too, next time!

Carmella's Notes:
~ We didn't have fresh sweet peas so I used frozen, and I added a thinly sliced green onion in there.

~ I always just eye the ingredients when I make it. Sometimes it turns out more pasta like, or if I don't have a lot of noodles, closer to a salad. Delish any way you have it!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Two Raw Divas, One Kitchen

What happens when 2 Raw Divas hang out together in a kitchen?

Hum, I dunno, but we'll soon find out! lol

If you're a regular of The Sunny Raw Kitchen, then you probably already know about my dear friend Heathy, aka Fairygirl. Heathy is a fantastic raw chef who has a home-based raw catering business in Ontario. (Lucky customers, I tell ya!)

We met almost a year ago on Raw Food Talk, over a thread about Russell James' fabulous Almond Bread. As you know, it takes one to know one, so we hit it off right away. Before long, Heathy and I were emailing each other and found out that we had a lot more in common than our passion for raw foods.

When she returned last summer from her adventures 'Down Under', we discovered 'chatting' (Man, you gotta love technology!) which took things to a whole new level; from helping us collaborate on my Best Of The Sunny Raw Kitchen" ebook, to exchanging uncooking tips and ideas, to discussing what's on the menu that day.

Anyhoo, you wouldn't believe the number of times we've talked about how we wished we could uncook together someday. A few days ago, Heathy suddenly decided she was coming to pay us a little visit. As you can imagine, I nearly fell off my chair at the news!

After all these months, I am still blown away by Heathy's talent and creativity, drooling over the creations that she's been sharing on Raw Freedom Community and via her blog. To think that the Raw Goddess herself will be moving about our kitchen for 9 days is beyond thrilling! To tell you the truth, I've been hardly sleeping ever since, imagining all the things we are gonna be able to prepare, and all the possibilities that this meeting holds.

Well, Heathy is just about packed, and things are going a hundred miles an hour here as we're preparing for her arrival on Monday.

Our plan? To uncook like fiends, eat like 'raw-yalty', drop by Chantale's raw deli in Nelson and host a potluck on Sunday the 18th. Oh, and of course, have a blast in the process! Maybe even do some inner work together too.

As always, it's hard to know for sure how things will unfold, but it is our intention to do some recipe testing for Heathy's upcoming (and much awaited!) dessert book, and to play around with new ideas for another joint recipe book project. We are so excited to see what the combination of our creative energies will bring about!

Just thought I'd share this fabulous news with you and, above all, let you know that you can expect to get a detailed account of our time together, with plenty of luscious pics!

In the meantime, here are a few creations by the one I've nicknamed 'The Raw Dessert Queen" to tempt you a little...

Chocolate Strawberry Crunch Cake

Chocolate and Vanilla Birthday Cake with Strawberry Frosting

See now why I can hardly wait!?! ;-)

I'll be keeping you posted, I promise!

All photos courtesy of Fairygirl/Heathy

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Recipe of the Week: Gimme More Pizza!

I've got a thing for raw pizza even though I wasn't that big a fan of the SAD stuff. Sure, I ate my share in my student days, but pizza had lost most of its attraction by the time I became a vegan, back in the late 1990s.

I'll spare you all the details of my new love affair, since I've already dedicated an entire post to pizza here. Suffice to say that months later, it remains one of my absolute favorite raw meals.

I came up with the following combination last week, and it was so darn yummy, I just HAD to make it 2 days in a row! (For me, that's saying a lot! lol)

Gimme More Pizza!

For this recipe you'll need:
Pizza Crust or bread slices of choice (I used the Veggie Herb Pizza Crust and Almond Bread)
Basil Pesto
Spinach Leaves
Marinated Fennel
Marinated Portobello
Pine Nut Parmesan

Veggie Herb Pizza Crust
By Erica of School Of Rawk

2 cups Sprouted buckwheat
2 zucchinis (2 cups)
onion powder
1-2 cloves garlic
Braggs or salt to taste
1 teaspoon herbs de provence
1/2 ground flax
1 tablespoon oil

Process until a dough-like consistency is reached. (Add more flax if needed). Form into pizza crusts onto teflex sheets and dehydrate for a few hours at 110 degrees. Then flip onto the mesh and continue dehydrating until completely dry.

Carmella's Note: You can freeze any left over crusts by double bagging them into ziplock bags.

Basil Pesto
4 cups fresh basil and spinach, packed (I like to use 1/2 of each)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Blend basil and spinach until finely chopped. Then add the rest of the ingredients and
blend until smooth.

Marinated Fennel
1 cup fennel sliced thinly on a mandoline or V-slicer
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs Nama Shoyu
1 Tbs agave or honey

Toss fennel with the rest of the ingredients and let marinate for at least 1 hr.

Marinated Portobello
1 Portobello mushroom, chopped
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs tamari or nama shoyu
2 tsp tarragon
1 garlic clove, crushed

Toss Portobello pieces with the rest of the ingredients and let marinate for at least 1 hr.

Pine Nut Parmesan
1/2 cup macadamias
1/2 cup cashews
2 Tbs pine nuts
1 Tbs lemon juice
1Tbs flax meal
1 clove crushed garlic
1Tbs nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp salt

First process macadamias and cashews until ground. Then add the rest of the ingredients and process until well mixed. You don’t want to over-process the pine nuts as they release a lot of oil.

On a pizza crust or slice of bread, spread a generous layer of basil pesto followed by a double layer of fresh spinach leaves. Then put some marinated fennel, Portobello pieces, and finish off by crumbling pine nut parmesan on top. Dehydrate for 1 hour at 110 degrees.

Then dare any cooked pizza joint to come up with something as tasty and delicious! Enjoy!