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!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Two Raw Divas, One Kitchen - Take III

As the end of the year is pretty much upon us, I thought I ought to bring it to a proper closure by getting you up to speed on Raw Goddess Heathy's most recent visit earlier this month.

If you're regulars of my Sunny Raw Kitchen, then you know that Heathy and I 'met' online a couple of years ago. We've been inseparable ever since, writing back and forth about our latest raw food experiments and discoveries (among other things, of course!) We have also been blessed to get together a number of times in the last 13 months.

Heathy's first visit was in the fall of 2007 and turned into a veritable uncooking marathon. Wowsers! It's a wonder we managed to accomplish so much in terms of food prep! We were in the kitchen from morning to evening nearly every day, somehow also finding the time to update our online friends on what all we'd been doing on a daily basis.

Heathy came for her second visit last September, when we were living in our tiny hobbit house at Ashinah. Even though the kitchen was minuscule, we did whip up a few wicked feasts (including several recipes from Russell James' Thai ebook) and pumped out luscious desserts faster than we could eat them. What can we say? There was lots of last minute recipe testing that needed to be done for her ebook. Tough life, eh?

We had gorgeous Indian summer weather for the most part of her stay, and got to spend a lot of time outside sunbathing, doing stretches and walking on the nearby logging roads. We even spent an afternoon at a natural hotsprings in Nakusp. I had every intention to post about our time together, but as soon as Heathy left, I got caught up working on her ebook and our move to another location. Plus, she did a fab job recounting her Adventures to The Sunny Raw Kitchen on her blog, so I figured I could get away with letting her be the spokesperson. lol

As is always the case, each visit has its own distinct flavor. This time around, with the release of Heathy's Just Desserts (the very first thing we did when she got here!), we didn't have anything specific to work on. It was nice to take it easy and not be 'on a schedule'. It gave us the opportunity to play to our hearts' content with the new recipe books I'd recently purchased: Matthew Kenney's Everyday Raw, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Raw by Mark Reinfeld and Cafe Gratitude's Sweet Gratitude.

As we were in the prime of persimmon season, I served the Orange Persimmon Cheesecake from Sweet Gratitude on the day Heathy arrived. Super creamy smooth along with a burst of sweetness from the persimmon slices!

Now onto the sweet treats we prepared together ...

After such a promising start, we were both excited to put to the test more creations from the Cafe Gratitude's book; one truly after our own hearts... completely dedicated to desserts! The first one on our wish list was the Pecan Turtle Cheesecake. As you can see, we were happy to be side by side in the kitchen again!

This cheesecake is to live for!
Absolutely stunning looking and with an a-ma-zing flavor and texture!

I'll still have to work on that marble effect as the cake ended up with gigantic blobs of chocolate filling throughout. But you know what they say... "Practice makes perfect" and I intend to practice a LOT! lol

On a lighter note, we prepared the Raspberry Tart as our freezer was still full of berries that I picked last summer. We made this one with a mixture of saskatoons and black and red raspberries. The Irish moss glaze is so cool; makes it look just like SAD fruit tarts!

I was intrigued by the Spiced Chai Orange Cake. Although I haven't drank chai in years, I used to really enjoy this exotic blend of spices. At first, both Heathy and I thought the orange filling was a bit plain, but once assembled it did complement beautifully the delicate Chai Cake layer. This stuff totally grows on you!

But we didn't limit our dessert making to Sweet Gratitude (although I admit that it was very tempting!) Before I move on though, if you'd like more detailed feedbacks and photos about Cafe Gratitude's dessert book, you might want to pop by this thread.

We also prepared some of my original sweet creations. To think that I'd tried my hand at raw cake making only a couple of times before Heathy's first visit. Look at me now! Can't stop cranking those out! lol It does prove the point that I got to train with the very best, hey girlie!

Heathy had been planning to make my version of Chocolate Orange Cake, but didn't get around to it before she left. Since some folks on Raw Freedom Community had arranged to simultaneously make it in the course of another Project RAW, we hopped along for the fun!

It was the perfect occasion to tackle my Chocolate 'N Cream Charlotte as an extra pair of hands is welcome for this more intricate dessert. We had dehydrated the ladyfingers a couple of days earlier and were all set to go. I thought it would be a good idea to let Heathy assemble the Charlotte, just to see if she'd come at it differently. As a matter of fact, we did stumble upon a slightly different effect; the Whipped Cream must have been less firm than when I assembled mine, as it spread behind the ladyfingers. We added a final touch to the Charlotte by decorating the sides with pieces of dark chocolate.

It was served with a drizzle of Heathy's Chocolate Sauce and a scoop of Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream from Matthew Kenney's latest book.

On a less extravagant note, we also had a Sundae night. Simple but soooooooo yummy! We made brownies - somewhat based on Matthew Kenney's recipe - that we warmed up in the D for an hour or so. We then chopped the brownies into smaller pieces and served them along with Vanilla Ice Cream, Heathy's Caramel and Chocolate Sauces and banana slices.


And lastly, we recipe tested one of Heathy's new creations that will be included in her next Just Desserts ebook: Peanut Butter Chocolate Caramel Tart. Pontifex said that of everything we whipped up, this was his favorite dessert! Must be a guy thing as it also especially hit the spot with Darwin, Heathy's hunny.

From the look of it, you'd think we had nothing BUT desserts, but believe me, we did have a bit of savory here and there. Somehow it just wasn't in the flow to take many pictures of main courses. *shrug* Amongst other things, we enjoyed my Cheddar & Smoked Veggies Pizza, Spinach & Mushroom as well as Greek pockets, Matthew's Silken Tofu, Russell James' Falafel and Hummus Wrap, his Spinach & Wild Mushroom Quiches which we served with Elaina Love's Mashed No-tatoes and his Vegetable Samosas with Cucumber & Mint Raita. (Guess we also had a bit of a Russell theme going on too, eh? lol)

I did manage to get a pic of the Samosas before we wolfed them down...
Definitely an interesting combination of flavors, but I gotta warn you: hold back on the garam masala!!! He calls for 2 tbs in the filling which completely overpowered everything else!

Oh, and we had zucchini pasta topped with an Alfredo Sauce and marinated mushrooms for dinner one evening.

Not sure what happened (Mosaica probably put a really good 80s song on Utube!), but Heathy and I dumped our respective projects and threw a little dancing fit in the kitchie.

The girls also found another vocation besides Raw Kitchen Divas. Heathy showed Mosaica and I how to French braid, so we also got to play hairdresser!

Meet the Braidy Bunch!

We kept the braids overnight and ended up with wavy hair the next day; an extremely rare occasion for yours truly. I mean, my hair is soooooo straight that when I tried to perm it in the past, it wouldn't even take! lol

Showing off our be-yu-ti-ful curls!

That just about sums up our time together!

Wishing you all a growth-full, health-full and fun-full New Year 2009!

See you next year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Herbed Almonnaise

Hope you all had a fun and easy-going Christmas! It was extremely low key in my household as none of us really celebrate it. We may not have had 'Christmas' festivities per se, but it's been most certainly white! And it's still coming down!!! Gee, I don't remember seeing so much snow since my childhood days!

Thankfully, we've been blessed with sunshine here and there, in between the snow storms. Oh, one fun activity we did a few days ago was dig the toboggans out of the garage and slide down the driveway. We've also gone for walks on the nearby railroad track that's been turned into a popular walking trail. Phfew! It sure gave us a good work out!

I usually welcome the excuse to play with holiday flavors and dishes, but not this year; I was barely in the kitchen long enough to whip up a raw soup or a dressing. My old nemesis, Seasonal Affective Disorder, has been slowly creeping back in, robbing me of my creative juices and leaving me mostly disinterested in food. But enough of that... It's my cross to bear and I don't want to spoil what's meant to be a joy-full time.

One thing I did manage to make, however, is Snowdrop's Blonde Fruitcake. It so perfectly embodies what Christmas was like for me as a child (my mom used to buy one of those store-bought fruitcakes), only a thousand times yummier! As is often the case, I fired up the computer to look at the recipe and found out that Heathy had just made it too! I topped mine with a young coconut whipped cream, candied walnuts, dried raisins and cranberries. Mosaica absolutely loved it! Man, is it ever good! I'm with Heathy; this fruitcake will definitely be part of our Holiday tradition fron now on.

I thought I would have to skip this week's recipe until I stumbled upon an old gem in my recipe files. Even though I used to regularly whip up a batch of almond-based mayonnaise when I first made the jump to 100% raw, it must have been almost a couple of years since we last enjoyed it. Hum, come to think of it, I have shared the recipe with you in one of my first posts, but it was somewhat buried amongst a whole bunch of others. Funny how you can get so swamped with new recipes that you forget the old tried-and-trues. *shrugs*

Anyhoo, I sure am glad it has resurfaced now, as it makes a fantastic dip for veggies, condiment for sammies (try it on a piece of onion bread with a slice of tomato and some sprouts!) or even dressing. The following is a new and improved version of this old favorite.

Herbed Almonnaise
1/2 cup almonds
1/2-3/4 cup water (put 2 ice cubes in the water)
2 tsp lecithin powder (optional)
1 tsp nutritional yeast
2 cloves garlic
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp herbal seasoning of choice (I like unsalted Spike)
1/8 tsp yellow mustard powder
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/2 tbs raw honey (agave)
1 - 1 1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Grind almonds to a fine powder in coffee grinder or high-speed blender. In blender, blend first 10 ingredients into a smooth cream.

With blender on low, remove insert in top and drizzle in the oil in a thin stream until mixture is thick.

Keep blender running and add lemon juice and vinegar. Blend on low for one more minute, to allow mixture to thicken. For a plain almonnaise, stop here.

For a Herbed Almonnaise, now add:
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp dried dill
1 small green onion, minced

Blend only until well mixed.

Refrigerate tightly sealed. Keeps 10 days to 2 weeks in fridge.

Carmella's Notes:
~ I bet this recipe would also work well with sprouted almonds, although I've never tried it. Just make sure that the almonds are broken down to a fine cream before adding the oil.

~ If you feel up for it, you can soak the almonds and slip off the skins for a 'whiter' almonnaise.

~ The purpose of the ice cubes is to help thicken the mixture. If the almonnaise seems runny after adding the oil, add in an ice cube or two to help thicken it up again. Bear in mind that it will also thicken once refrigerated.

~ You can make your own herb blend by using your favorite dried or fresh herbs.

What's with the psychedelic colors, you ask? The short story is that I recently purchased some gorgeous locally made tie dye pants from Wildflower Tie Dye and they graciously threw in a free handkerchief with the order. Now fast forward to this afternoon... As I was getting ready to take a few shots of the almonnaise on the (comparatively) very boring brown table, Pontifex grabbed the cloth and urged me to use it as a background. Actually, I've gotta admit that it wasn't a bad idea at all; it sorta makes up for the rather esthetically not-so-exciting nature of the almonnaise.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Almost Nutless Alfredo Sauce

After all the talk about Irish moss, I was curious to play around with this 'miracle food' and see for myself. The first time I used it, I didn't realize how much the moss expands once soaked and ended up with a gigantic amount. But no worries; Heathy and I did manage to use it in all sorts of recipes: chocolate mousse, Creme Caramel, Tiramisu and even some savory dishes such as the Silken Tofu from Matthew Kenney's Everyday Raw and Elaina Love's Mashed No-tatoes. However, I learned the hard way that Irish moss is very finicky. Rinse it in too warm water or soak it for too long and it looses some of its gelatinous quality. As a result, the texture of the dishes wasn't quite right. Ah well... Guess it will take some practice. Lesson learned; I sure will be more careful to soak a small amount at a time in the future, just in case I don't do it right.

That being said, something positive did come out of this mishap. The too-runny mashed potatoes gave me the idea to create the following pasta sauce. Unlike most raw sauce recipes which are primarily nut-based, it calls for only 1/4 cup of cashews or macadamias. Light and cheezy!

Almost Nutless Alfredo Sauce

Serves 4-6

1 cup jicama, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup macadamia nuts or cashews
2 tbs Irish moss gel (see recipe below)
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs light miso
1 tbs nutritional yeast
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Dash nutmeg
Water (optional)

Blend all ingredients into high speed blender. If necessary, add water until desired consistency is reached.

Serve on a bed of zucchini pasta.

To make Irish Moss GEL
As described by Elaina Love

¼ cup soaked, packed Irish Moss (moss should be soaked about 3 hours at room
temperature or in the refrigerator then rinsed well).
1 cup filtered water

1. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. No lumps!
2. Store the paste in the refrigerator in a glass jar for up to 10 days and use in ice creams,
gravy, veggie loaf, potatoes and more.

I made the dish into a casserole, topping the pasta and sauce with marinated mushrooms and popping it in the D for an hour or so.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Vote for Best of RAW 2008!

Looks like we're getting our share of fun in raw cyberspace this month! We've had awesome Holiday Draws and Giveaways, and today I just found out about Best of RAW 2008!

Giselle Tarres, Laura Fox of Raw Inspirations Radio and Visionary Culture, Dhrumil of Give It To Me Raw, Steve Prussack of Raw Vegan Radio, Revvell of Rawkin’ Radio, Eric Csoka of Quest.tv, and Paul Mamakos of The Raw Games have come together for their first collaborative Raw Media venture. Best of RAW 2008 is a publicly nominated Raw Vegan Celebration, honoring movers and shakers in the raw vegan movement. 296 community members have nominated hundreds of raw vegan leaders in 14 categories!

Join us for the fun and cast your votes for your favorite raw vegan educator, chef, restaurant, website, book, snack and more. Oh and let's not forget the Sexiest Raw Vegan Woman and Man of 2008 categories! ;-)

To my great surprise (and excitement!) I am nominated in four categories:

Best Raw Vegan Educator: Carmella Soleil

Best Raw Vegan Chef: Carmella Soleil

Best Raw Vegan Media: The Sunny Raw Kitchen Blog

Best Raw Vegan Website: Raw Freedom Community and The Sunny Raw Kitchen

Carmella's Note: After some initial confusion, I'm delighted to confirm that The Best of Raw Freedom Community E-Book is also nominated in the Best Raw Book category.

You have until noon on New Year's Eve to cast your votes. The nominees who get the most votes will be announced as winners live from Los Angeles on Raw Inspirations Radio at 7pm New Year's Eve.

So don't forget to pop by the Best of Raw 2008 website and vote for your faves by clicking on the Durian below!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Winners of RFC's Second Holiday Draw

I couldn't have hoped for a more perfect winter day to put on my Mama Claus hat! The sun was out and the cold temperatures of the last week have left the snow mostly intact in the trees. Just gorgeous!

In spite of my looking around, there weren't any elves to be found (guess they're all busy working for the Big Guy further up North!), but I still managed to get a little help in picking the winning tickets.

So without further ado, here are the winners of this year's Raw Freedom Community Holiday Draw:

Christiane B.
Tracey B.
Leanne L.
Jennifer H.

Congratulations everyone! Keep an eye on your inbox; I'll be sending you an email shortly with the list of prizes to choose from.

I would like to extend a special 'Thank you!' to those who so generously contributed to this Holiday Draw and to all who participated!

Wishing you and your loved ones a joy-full and blessed Holiday Season!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Butterscotch Shake

Sorry for skipping last week's recipe... I was way over my head in the kitchie with the Raw Goddess 'in the flesh'. Plus, I figured many of you already had your hands already tied, trying some of the yummy creations from her Just Desserts ebook.

After all the hard work and testing for Just Desserts, we were both happy to relax a little and try recipes from the different raw books I recently purchased.

One area we did get creative with, though, is in the beverage department. For some strange reason, my body has decided it doesn't really want fruit or green smoothies at the moment. (Go figure!) This provided the perfect excuse to experiment with almond milk and young coconut based drinks.

Heathy accidentally came upon the following combination yesterday morning. I couldn't get over how much it tasted like butterscotch! And to think of all the dessert possibilities awaiting...

Butterscotch Shake

Serves 2 or 3

3 med. frozen bananas
2 cups almond milk
1/3 cup young coconut meat
2 Medjhool dates
1 tbs lucuma
1 tsp maca
1 tsp vanilla powder (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
1/2 cup coconut water, regular water or almond milk

Blend in high-speed blender until smooth.

Carmella's Note: If the shake is too thick, simply add a little water until desired consistency is reached.

It's not everyday that we get the opportunity to hang out together with online friends. Meet the three raw divas: Heathy, Mosaica and me.

Welcome to Canadian Winter Wonderland!
This was taken just a week later. Look at all that snow!

Here's the view from the top floor's window. Be-yu-ti-ful!

But as always, all good things must come to an end. We're taking Heathy back to the airport tomorrow so that she can spend the Holidays with her family and hunny. I promise to fill you in on what we've been up to as soon as I get the chance. ;-)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

RFC is Having its Second Holiday Draw!

I love giving things away; be it clothes that I no longer wear or bringing a piece of my latest raw dessert creation for the neighbors to enjoy. As much as it's fun to be at the receiving end, the sheer pleasure of putting a smile on someone's face, well, feels so darn good!

And now 'tis the season to do just that!

With the Holidays quickly approaching, my forum, Raw Freedom Community, is holding its second Holiday Draw. The perfect excuse to have some fun and play Santa. Yay!

You could get the chance to win one of the following amazing prizes:

~ 1 Lexen Healthy Juicer - An easy and effective manual juicer that does a particularly fabulous job with wheatgrass and leafy greens, courtesy of 877MyJuicer.com*

~ 3 x $25 gift certificates from one of the following:
  • Amazon
~ 6 copies of Carmella's The Best of The Sunny Raw Kitchen ebook

~ 4 copies of The Best of Raw Freedom Community ebook, including some of the best recipes from my and Heathy's Two Raw Divas, One Kitchen Adventures

~ 4 copies of Heathy's brand new 'Just Desserts' recipe ebook, courtesy of Heathy

~ A one-year subscription to Purely Delicious magazine*

~ A copy of 12 Steps to Raw by Victoria Boutenko, courtesy of Jozzie

~ A copy of Tonya Kay and Joanna Steven's new ebook RAW NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS II - SPRING ATHLETE’S DIET , courtesy of Velvet

* for US residents only

OK. Here's how it's gonna work...

The Tickets
Tickets are available at the cost of 99 cents each or 5 for $3 until December 18th at midnight, PST.

You can pay via Paypal. If you don't already have an account, you can set one up here. It's easy and it's free!

All proceeds will go towards the maintenance and improvement of RFC's site.

The Draw
Starting December 19th, we'll be drawing tickets, then emailing the winners with the updated list of prizes to choose from. We'll keep doing that until all prizes are accounted for.

Results will be announced in RFC's Forum Announcement section and this blog.

A'right! Sounds good? Then let's do it!

Number of Tickets

IMPORTANT! When purchasing your tickets, please specify your RFC or Blogger username in the appropriate box as it is the name that will be posted in the announcement.

A special thanks to all of our generous contributors and Happy Holidays to you all!


Monday, December 1, 2008

Raw Goddess Heathy's Just Desserts Ebook Now Available!

I am extremely thrilled to announce the release of Raw Goddess Heathy's much awaited first ebook, "Just Desserts: Nutritious, Delicious Raw Delights". If you've seen some of Heathy's recipes posted around raw cyberspace, then you can understand my excitement; she is hands down the most talented and passionate raw chef I know.

'Just Desserts' has something for everyone; from simple and basic treats that can be whipped up in no time to more elaborate desserts that are sure to impress both you and your guests.

If you're new to raw foods or have been feeling too intimidated to tackle raw desserts, not a problem! Heathy walks you step by step through the process, and gives you helpful and ingenious tips so that you, too, can create beautifully decadent raw desserts with minimal fuss.

In a nutshell, here's what you will find in Just Desserts:
  • A list of ingredients and equipment frequently used in raw dessert making
  • A detailed table of contents for easy navigation
  • Helpful hints and tips
  • Gorgeous mouth-watering photos for nearly every recipe
  • A text-only version for easy printing

Whether you're looking for nutritious snacks to take along to work, visually stunning desserts for entertaining, or recipe ideas to satisfy your sweet cravings in the healthiest possible way, "Just Desserts" has it all... and more!

How about a visual teaser of what Heathy's "Just Desserts" ebook has in store for you:

Vanilla Cake with Pink Frosting

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Maple Ginger Ice Cream

Chocolate Hemp Ravioli

Strawberry Lime Mousse Cake

Peppermint Chocolate Squares

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Lemon Raspberry Tarte

Chocolate Orange Cake

Double Strawberry Macadamia Nut Ice Cream

Super Granola Bars

I've had the privilege of tasting most of these treats and can assure you - if you can believe it - that they are even yummier than they look!

This incredible recipe collection features 15 basic recipes that provide a good foundation for creating delicious desserts, as well as 32 of Heathy's most scrumptious sweet creations, including:

Marble Cheesecake
Mango Cake with Lime Cream
Quick N Easy Moist Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Blueberry Cheesecake
Double Chocolate Maca Cake
Beautiful Chocolate Berry Pie
Caramel Macadamia Pie
Maple Pear Tarts
Chocolate Coconut Tarte
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Double Chocolate Energy Bar
Raspberry Ice Cream
Peppermint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
Cardamom Vanilla Ice Cream
Pomegranate Cranberry Ice Cream
Chocolate Lucanilla Ice Cream
Fruit N Chocolate Parfait
Fruit Spring Rolls
Banana Phyllo Triangles
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Dessert Sushi

Wow your family and friends this coming Holiday season with nutritious, delicious raw delights!

Buy Now

After your purchase is completed, you should receive an email with download instructions within the next few minutes. (If you don't see it in your inbox, you might want to make sure it hasn't been sent to your SPAM or junk folder!)

Having trouble downloading the ebook?

Contact Heathy at heather@sweetlyraw.com