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, April 27, 2008

What's Uncookin' Good Lookin'? - Episode IV

At last, it's starting to look like Spring around here. Mind you, we got a few inches of snow during the week, but the sun has also been showing up long enough for us to dare a little sun-worshipping, and even a picnic or two. As the warmer weather is gradually settling in, our diet has naturally begun to lighten up some: rolls, wraps, pasta... You know, stuff that can be easily assembled and doesn't require dehydration.

Here are some of the food that was placed on our raw table lately...

We've been beginning our late afternoon meals with a few staples, such as Cream of Zucchini Soup, Cream of Spinach and Cream of Leek. (Guess we had a bit of a cream theme going on, eh?) We also got around to making Manu's Sauerkraut Soup again, but he forgot to pay attention to the measurements. (Bad, bad Manu! That means more dessert for us! lol) However, I did manage to re-test his Creamy Arugula Soup which I shared with you some time ago. Since I had no sesame milk on hand, I used almond milk instead. It didn't occur to me as I was making it that almonds have a higher fat content than sesame seeds (duh!), so the result was very rich. I'll make a mental note to skip the olive oil called for in the recipe if I go the almond milk way again.

On the salad front, I have kept to some of my tried and true favorites: my House Dressing and Dill-icious Dressing which is a variation of the first. For something a little different, I came up with the following cucumber and tomato salad. So light and refreshing! We'll be making this one in the summer months for sure.

Dilled Cucumber Tomato Salad

Serves 2 or 3

2 cups cucumber, chopped
1 cup tomato, chopped
2 tbs green onion, chopped
1/4 cup arugula, chopped
1/4 cup dill, finely chopped

2 1 /2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp raw tahini
1 tbs lemon juice
Splash of apple cider vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced
Sea salt or tamari, to taste

1 avocado, cubed
A couple of tbs hemp hearts

Put salad ingredients in a bowl.

Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl with a spoon. Transfer to salad bowl and toss well.

Serve on a bed of fresh sprouts.

As I was just saying, for the most part, our entrees have been light and quick to prepare. I've already shared the yummy Nori Rolls with Ginger Sunflower Pate shown on the left as my Recipe of the Week.

After some initial reservation, Don and I are really getting into using collard leaves as wraps. We cut these along the edge of the spine so as to obtain 2 pieces. Since the collard greens we find around here are gigantic, we also usually cut each piece in half. We find that the key is to cover these in warm salt water and let them soak for an hour or so, in order to soften them up. You can then fill the leaves with whatever spread and veggies you have on hand.

Matt Amsden's Tuna Salad caught my eye as I was flipping through his Rawvolution book, so I decided to give it a try. I was a little disappointed when I first sampled the result. Then I realized that I've come to associate 'tuna salad' with Ocean's recipe, which is unbelievably good. Kinda hard to beat such a gem! In the end, after much tweaking, I did come up with something to my liking. (My taste buds are turning me into a picky little brat! lol)

Rawvolution's Tuna Salad wrapped in collard greens

Asparagus is starting to hit the shelves of my local HFS - yay! - a sure sign that summer is really on its way. I was gonna make one of the droolsome pasta sauces posted here, but ended up doing a little impro with what we had around the kitchen. I tossed zucchini linguinis in basil and spinach pesto I still had in the freezer, and added some finely chopped arugula, marinated mushrooms and pine nut parmesan. Wow, it turned out fantastic! I was too hungry and skipped the photo shoot, though. (My turn to be bad!)

We also had a hot dog dinner one evening after a long and tiring day in town. I was looking for something that could be easily whipped up, so that perfectly fit the bill. All I had to do was dig some of Snowdrops' raw vegan hot dog wieners out of the freezer, pop 'em in the D for a half hour or so, and voila! I served them in a soft veggie wrap, with a generous squirt of home made honey mustard, button mushies marinated in olive oil, tamari, crushed garlic, and lettuce. Yummy stuff!!! Manu was totally impressed. Sorry, no pic again. The thought came to me as I was opening my mouth wide to take my first bite, but I didn't have the courage to put my loot down and fetch the camera.

Last entree for this time around: Sudo-Burmese Salad. Portobello mushrooms marinated in an almond butter dressing, then tossed with sprouts, arugula, cilantro, green onion, avocado and tomato. On Libby's suggestion, I decided to serve this deliciously exotic dish on a bed of zucchini noodles. Excellent!

Sudo-Burmese Salad
Posted by Libby on Raw Freedom Community

Serves 2

Mushrooms and Dressing:
1 portobello mushroom
1 tbsp raw almond butter
1 tbsp nama shoyu
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tea. water
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 inch ginger, peeled and minced (save peels for tea, if you like)
Sprinkle of sprouted sesame seeds that have been dehydrated again for crunch (optional)

1/4 cup sunflower sprouts
1/4 cup bean sprouts
1/4 cup finely chopped arugula
1/4 cilantro
1/4 cup of green onions
1/4 cup matchstick chopped zucchini
1 whole avocado
2 tomatoes, diced

1/4 cup peanuts, sprouted and dehydrated, then chopped

Combine all wet ingredients for dressing into bowl and stir vigorously to incorporate the almond butter. Slice the mushroom lengthwise and lay pieces down into mixture. Marinate in fridge for a few hours.

Combine all greens, zucchini, avocado, and tomato in large bowl. Toss with hands. Then retrieve bowl of mushrooms. Slice the mushrooms to achieve smaller pieces. Toss mushrooms and marinade with the greens.

Top salad with crunchy, dehydrated peanuts.

Libby's Notes:
My suggestion is to add half the dressing and toss. Then add the second half slowly, as you may find that the whole amount is a little much. It is a matter of taste.

Another variation on this might be to use a zucchini "noodle" as a base.

I adapted this recipe from a website by adding a few ingredients (like the cilantro, tomatoes, avocado, zucchini)... but I cannot recall which. Sorry!

I have a hunch that turmeric powder would be outstanding in the dressing... I'll have to give it a try a report.

Carmella's Notes:
~ I used more like 1/2 cup of bean sprouts.

~ As I served this salad on zucchini noodles, I omitted the zucchini called for in the recipe.

~ I topped the dish with chopped cashews instead of the peanuts.

And finally, desserts. Come to think of it, the tendency to lighten up is reflected in that department as well. We've been mostly enjoying a few cookies with raw vegan ice cream. I made Vanessa Sherwood's Chocolate Ice Cream which had been getting raving reviews. Although it tastes fabulous, Don and I weren't thrilled about the texture. It's got that ice crystal consistency rather than being creamy and smooth. Might be due to the fact that we don't have an ice cream maker. I guess I'll have to try processing it a bit more in the Vitamix, see if it helps. I'm thinking I'll experiment with a version using cashews and macs instead of the young coconut.

I also whipped up a batch of Cherie Soria's Maple Walnut Ice Cream. Sooooo darn yummy! Actually, I'd say it's one of my favorite ice cream recipe thus far. A must try! Totally decadent with warmed up chocolate cookies.

Maple Walnut Ice Cream
By Cherie Soria of Living Light Institute
Posted on Vegetarians in Paradise

Serves 8

* 2 cups walnuts, soaked 8 to 12 hours
* 1 cup cashews
* 2 1/4 cups water
* 1 cup pure maple syrup
* 1/4 teaspoon maple extract
* pinch solar-dried sea salt
* 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, soaked for 8 to 12 hours, then dehydrated (optional)

1. Drain and rinse the walnuts.

2. Put the soaked walnuts, cashews, and all remaining ingredients, except the chopped walnuts, into a blender and blend until completely smooth and creamy. The mixture should resemble the consistency of a thick milkshake.

3. Pour the walnut cream into ice cube trays and freeze until hard.

4. Put cubes through a Green Life or Champion Juicer outfitted with the homogenizing plate.

5. Stir in the chopped walnuts and return to the freezer for a couple of hours. Serve immediately or store in the freezer until ready to use. Keeps in the freezer, in a sealed container, for 1 to 2 months.

If you have an Italian ice cream maker, simply follow the directions to make your ice cream, then fold in the chopped walnuts when the process is completed or before returning the ice cream to the freezer.

Carmella's Note:
~ I didn't have the maple extract so I omitted it. Insanely good anyhow!

~ I put the cubes in the Vitamix instead of a juicer.

After seeing the scrumptious parfaits Heathy has been serving to her dinner parties, I decided to play with the concept a little. In spite of my looking and looking through the cupboards, I couldn't find any Martini glasses, so I settled for whatever I could lay my hands on. My first experiment was a Caramel and White Chocolate Trifle made up of brownie, white chocolate, cheesecake and caramel layers.

Now, before you get all excited, I have to tell you that this recipe needs further tweaking. Since the caramel consists mostly of dates and maple syrup, it lent the final dessert an over-sweet taste. Lots of potential though; it would just be a matter of adjusting the amount of sweetener in the other filling mixtures.

Here's the Trifle again, cake style...

Once I've perfected the recipe, you'll be the first to know, I promise! ;-)

I also came up with the following variation of the lovely Chocolate Mousse Cakes I shared with you last week.

Chocolate & Cream Parfait

Brownie Crumbs
1 cup walnuts (dry)
1/4 cup raw cacao or carob powder (I like to use both)
3/4 cup soft dates (pitted and unsoaked)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Mousse

2 medium ripe avocados
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup + 2 tbs water
1/4 cup cacao powder
1 tablespoon carob powder
1/2 cup raw honey or agave nectar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 whole vanilla bean
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

Whipped Cream
1 cup cashews
1 cup + 2 tablespoons fresh coconut milk (simply blend 1 part dried coconut with 3 parts water in high speed blender)
3 tablespoons raw honey or agave nectar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon lecithin powder*

*Lecithin acts as an emulsifier. Look for soy lecithin (preferably non-GMO), in granules or powdered form. If using granules, make sure to grind them up in a high speed blender of coffee grinder. You can also find sunflower lecithin which is raw and non-GMO.

If you don't have access to lecithin, you can replace it with 1 tbs + 1 tsp psyllium flakes (less if you're using powder). Please note that the consistency won't be as fluffy and hold its shape as well at room temperature.

To make the Brownie Crumbs:
Place walnuts, cacao or carob in food processor, and blend until you obtain the nuts are chopped small. Add dates and vanilla extract and process until crumbly.

To make the Chocolate Mousse:
Blend all ingredients in high speed blender until smooth.

To make the Whipped Cream:
Blend all ingredients except coconut oil and lecithin until smooth. Add coconut oil and lecithin and blend until thoroughly mixed. Pour into a container and set aside in fridge or at room temperature until ready to assemble.

Sprinkle some Brownie Crumbs at the bottom of a small glass or bowl. Then put a few spoonfuls of Chocolate Mousse, followed by a layer of Whipped Cream. If desired, repeat these three layers.

Carmella's Note: Even though I thought the glasses shown in the pictures were quite small, I could hardly finish mine. Next time I might go with more Mousse and a single layer of Whipped Cream on top.

That about wraps it up for now. I've got a few exciting ideas floating around my head, namely something along the lines of a hazelnut chocolate dessert. Mmmmm... I'm drooling just at the thought of it!

'Til next time!


  1. As usual, I'm salivating over the desserts! :-D

  2. Those parfaits look absolutely divine.

    Yum yum.

  3. The hot dogs are absolutely amazing! So much like the real thing that it impressed my non-raw friends.

    What kind of raw hot dog bun would make a good match for these hot dogs?

  4. Melissa,

    So glad you enjoyed the hot dogs!

    Actually, I've been wondering about the same thing. The only way I've served them is with soft veggie wraps (see recipe index). Not very traditional and definitely not like a bun, but at least you get to stuff them with lettuce, nut mayo or mustard. ;-)