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!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Chili And Corn Bread

Although we've had the most amazingly sunny October, there's no denying it: winter is definitely on its way. With the weather cooling off, we've been naturally drawn towards heavier and more comforting foods. After looking at different raw chili recipes for ideas, this is what I came up. Guaranteed to warm you up!

'Warm Me Up' Chili

Serves 6

4 portobello mushrooms, cubed
1/4 cup leek, minced

Toss mushies and leek in a little oil, tamari and lemon or lime juice to soften up. Set aside while assembling the rest.

1 medium carrot, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1/3 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup purple bell pepper (you could sub with any other pepper)

Place chopped veggies in a large bowl and set aside.

1 3/4 cups tomatoes
1 cup carrot
1 cup corn
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, soaked for a few hours
1 1/2 tbs chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 garlic clove
Optional - jalapeno pepper, to taste

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings. If desired, add jalapeno pepper, depending on how hot you like it.

Carmella's Note: As my taste buds can't handle very spicy food, I found that it was plenty hot enough with the dried spices.

Pour sauce over chopped veggies. Add strained mushrooms and leek. Mix well.

Place bowl, covered, in the dehydrator at 110F for 4 hours. Then take cover off and leave for another hour.

We served this with Mosaica's Corn Bread. Yummo!

Corn Bread

1 1/2 cups corn (frozen)
1 small red bell pepper
1 small yellow bell pepper
1 tsp celtic sea salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Blend all ingredients in the food processor and spread it on a Teflex sheet. Dehydrate for 3 hours, flip onto mesh and dehydrate for 3 or more hours, depending how crispy you want your bread.

Carmella's Notes:
~ We doubled the recipe as it doesn't quite fill up one Excalibur tray.

~ The corn bread wasn't quite ready by the time we went to bed so we left it there. However, I woke up a little late to take it out so it ended up more like corn crackers. Ah well... It was still delish!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

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

Wow! It feels like it's been ages since I've filled you in on what I've been up to here in my kitchen. Now that I'm finally settled in our new home, the energy to play with food has returned. Yay!

Mosaica/Suzana came up to me one day with a list of recipes she'd been meaning to try, so we've been slowly working our way through it, especially those from the soup department! lol Some of the soups we've made lately include: Red Pepper Curry Soup from Carol Alt's "The Raw 50", the Cheezy Corn Chowder I posted last week, and my Curry Soup. I've also been whipping up some old favorites such as Don's Pilgrim's Soup, Cream of Zucchini Soup, Cream of Leek, the Tomato & Herb Soup from my Best Of The Sunny Raw Kitchen" ebook, as well as Rawvolution's delicious Scarborough Fair Veggie Soup, which is too good not to share.

Scarborough Fair Vegetable Soup

From Matt Amsden's RAWvolution

Serves 2 to 3

3/4 cup Thai coconut water
3/4 cup pure water
2 stalks celery
1/4 yellow onion
1 cucumber, peeled
1 carrot, peeled
1/4 red bell pepper, seeded
5 to 6 fresh sage leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
Chopped parsley, to taste
Minced rosemary leaves, to taste
Minced thyme, to taste

In high-speed blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into a serving bowl.

If desired, top with garnishes: chopped carrots, celery and yellow onion.

Carmella's Notes:
~ I sub the yellow onion with green onion or leek.

~ If I don't have any fresh herbs on hand, I blend some dried herbs along with the rest of the ingredients.

~ It's delicious lightly warmed up on the stove, especially on a cold, rainy day.

As Mosaica and Pontifex were driving through the Okanagan for the big move, they managed to lay their hands on a 40 lb case of roma tomatoes. Besides enjoying them in soups and dehydrating a whole bunch, we've also been making lots of tomato-based dressings, such as Ingrid's fabulous Tomato Dressing and the Red Rogue Dressing from 'Vibrant Living’. Other yummy dressings that have adorned our daily salads include the Creamy Italian Dressing from The Complete Book of Raw Food, my Dill-icious Dressing and Kristen Suzanne's outstanding Herbin' Ranch Dip, which Pontifex has declared his favorite so far.

Herbin' Ranch Dip
By Kristen Suzanne
Published in her June 2008 Newsletter

Yield 1 1/2 cups

This is the one of the most nutritious, delicious ways to have ranch dip, but without guilt. I love serving this dip at summer picnics with vegetable crudite or as a dressing on your favorite greens*.

1/2 cup raw cashews, unsoaked
1/2 cup raw pinenuts, unsoaked
1 zucchini, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon tarragon
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil, not packed
1/4 cup fresh dill, not packed

Blend all of the ingredients, except the fresh basil and dill, until creamy and smooth. Pulse in the basil and dill. This will stay fresh for 4-5 days when stored in an airtight container (mason jar works great) in the refrigerator. This dip also freezes well.

* To make this as a dressing, simply add more water until you reach the desired consistency.

Carmella's Note: I used all cashews as I didn't have pine nuts.

Although, crackers and spreads are still a standard fare these days, we have also dined on pizza, zucchini pasta, and Russell James' Pad Thai from his recent Thai recipe ebook. We served the latter along with his Broccoli & Spinach Salad, which we had tried once before during Heathy's visit. Both were absolutely delicious!

Mosaica and I also had our first major D day over the weekend. Yippee! We were planning to fill up my Excalibur 9 tray, but ended up filling her 5 tray as well. We were on a rawll! lol

The two of us had a blast preparing food while listening to old 80's favorites on utube. (The little iMac is on the kitchen counter, so I can browse through my stash of online recipes and ebooks. Ahhh! You gotta love technology!)

We made Snow's sesame chicken (which I hadn't made in ages!), Savoury Nori Snacks, Chewy Crunchy Garlicky Toasts, Mosaica's Corn Bread and RawVee's Badabing Bruschetta Bread. We also prepared the Herb Stuffed Mushrooms from Purely Delicious magazine which we devoured for dinner that day. These were really very good, and would be perfect for the holidays with their little specks of red and green.

Herb Stuffed Mushrooms
Featured in Purely Delicious

1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup soaked sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup chopped mushroom stems
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 red pepper
2 green onions
1 tsp Herbs de Provence
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tbs lemon juice
3 sundried tomatoes, rehydrated
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 packages button mushrooms
Olive oil for brushing mushrooms

De-stem and clean mushrooms. Brush with olive oil. Set aside.

Process nuts and coconut together until light and almost fluffy. Do not over process.

Add remaining ingredients and pulse chop until well blended. Stuff mushroom caps. Eat or dehydrate for 2-4 hours at 115F.

We've been enjoying discovering Rossland; the sort of 'Whistler of the Kootenays'. What a change to be a mere 15 minute walk away from downtown. There's some really great stores and services for such a small population (1500 people or so), including an awesome kitchen specialty store with toys to make food lovers smile. I found cute little tart shells with removable bottoms and a wooden tamper which I used to make onion bread crusts for mini quiches. I wasn't sure if the tamper was just one of those gadgets that don't really work, but since it was only $3.99, I figured it was worth a try. Amazingly, it does really make that slow and painstaking step a LOT easier.

And on a sweet note, earlier this week we picked up a case of young coconuts that we special ordered from the local grocery store. I could hardly contain my excitement (not to mention my surprise) that after years of having to buy young coconuts in the big city, such a small outfit can bring them in for us. Woo Hoooooooo! Needless to say we've been treating ourselves to all sorts of yummy coconut-full delicacies such as Heathy's Chocolate Decadence smoothie, Cafe Gratitude's wonderful Coconut Cream Pie and Heathy's Blueberry Cardamom Ice Cream, in which I subbed part of the macadamias for coconut.

Hum, I guess that pretty much brings you up to date in terms of what all we've been up to in our (lately very!) sunny raw kitchen.

Our savory yummies weren't even out of the dehydrator that Mosaica was already working on her wish list for a sweet D day. ;-)

Hope you're having as much fun in your kitchens as we've been!

'Til next time...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Nutless Strawberry Chocolate Pie

Amazingly, we managed to find some organic strawberries at the store the other day, although no doubt that we're seriously approaching the end of the season. My guess is that this may be the last batch we'll get to enjoy for a while. *sigh*

I used some of them to make the following pie; delicious, light, and nutless to boot!

Nutless Strawberry Chocolate Pie

Banana slices, tossed in a little lemon juice

Chocolate Filling
I used Heathy's Nutless Chocolate Creme which will be in her upcoming 'Just Desserts' ebook.* However any avo-based chocolate cream/mousse recipe would do, such as the following from Anna of Purely Delicious's Chocolate Mousse Tarts.

2 small ripe avocados, peeled and seeds removed
1/2-3/4 C raw agave nectar
1/4 C raw cacao powder
1 T. coconut butter or oil
1 T alcohol-free vanilla
Dash of sea salt and cinnamon (optional)

Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender and process until smooth and creamy. Chill until ready to assemble.

Strawberry Filling
This filling was inspired by a pudding Heathy once posted here.

1/2 lb strawberries
1 small banana
3 Medjhool dates
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
Agave or honey, to taste (I added about 1 tsp)
2 tbs melted coconut butter or oil
1 tbs lecithin powder

Blend all but the last 2 ingredients in high-speed blender until smooth. Add coconut oil and lecithin and blend some more.

Line the bottom and sides of a 9" pie plate with a layer of banana slices.

Pour the Chocolate Filling, followed by the Strawberry Filling.

Set in the fridge.

If desired, serve with fresh strawberry slices and your favorite chocolate sauce. (I used some left-over chocolate coating for my Caramel Turtles.)

Carmella's Note: You could easily replace the bananas with your favorite nut crust.


* Both Heathy and I have received a number of inquiries as to when her Just Desserts ebook will be available. I can't give you an exact date at this point as I'm still in the process of formatting/editing the ebook, but it should definitely be before the end of the year. If you've enjoyed her recipes so far, then you will be blown away by the some 65 dessert recipes featured in her upcoming book.

Keep an eye here or on Heathy's blog to find out when it's ready to hit the virtual shelves!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Cheezy Corn Chowder

Even though we didn't really celebrate Thanksgiving per se this year (remember that us Canucks are a bit ahead of our American neighbors), we certainly had lots to be thankful for today. We woke up to yet another gorgeous sunny 'Indian Summer' morning. Later on, we all went for a walk on the trail below our new home to take in the fresh autumn air, fragrant with fallen leaves, and catch some of that precious sunshine.

On our return, we got busy whipping up a feast: mixed green salad with Tomato-Tahini Dressing, carrot, parsnip and zucchini pasta served with Sprouted Almond Sauce and marinated Portobellos, and the following Corn Chowder which is to live for. Sooo creamy and delicious!

Cheezy Corn Chowder
Posted by Snowdrop on Raw Freedom Community

Serves 2-3

1 c corn kernels
1 clove garlic
1 T onion
1/4 c cashews
2 T nutritional yeast
4 baby carrots (or 1 regular one)
1/4" ring of red pepper
2 T olive oil
1/2 - 1 t psyllium (depending how thick you wish chowder to get)
1 t cumin
1/8 t nutmeg
1 T parsley
1/2 t salt
Ground pepper to taste
2 c water

Blend in hi speed blender till very creamy.

Add :
1/4 c more corn kernels
1 T parsley

Warm up on stove till warm enough to eat.

Bowl up and garnish with additional minced parsley & fresh ground pepper.

Snowdrop's Note: You can use fresh or frozen corn -I used frozen today because it is winter and there is no fresh corn available. I didn't use miso, but a light miso would easily replace the salt & add a deeper dimension of flavor.

Carmella's Note: I didn't change a thing to the recipe and it turned out fabulously!


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Cheddar Cheeze Spread or Dip

OK, I'm finally back! Sorry for going MIA on you like this, but I haven't experienced such an intense, event-full month in a long time. Ahhhhh... When the 'Virtual Life' can't keep up with the 'Real One', eh? I've got quite the backlog in terms of photos to upload and recipes to share. I'm also hoping to write about Heathy's visit in the coming days, but in the meantime, you can check out the first part of her account here.

Hard to believe that almost 2 weeks have gone by since dropping her off at the airport. Wowsers! It's been go-go-go ever since. As we were scheduled to move only a few days later, we picked up cardboard boxes on the way back, then got straight to work. Heaps of fun... You know the drill: packing, cleaning, moving... then unpacking and settling in at the other end. Phfew! Hopefully we'll be staying here for more than just a few months, as I'm already getting fed up with hauling my stuff around. (Gawd, do we ever accumulate!)

Here's the new dig that we're sharing with Mosaica and Pontifex whom we've met through Raw Freedom Community.
Pretty funky, as you can see...

The first room that we organized was the kitchen. (Now, why would that be I wonder?) After the teeny one at Ashinah, this kitchen is paradise! Lots of light and counter space, plenty of room for all our raw food appliances and even a dish washer - a luxury I've never had in my 17 years of cooking/uncooking!

As is usually the case under such time and energy demanding situations, we've been keeping the meals simple: mostly soups, salads, crackers and spreads (although we did enjoy Joz's Fajitas one day since they're super easy to assemble.) With all that hard work, we deserved something special. (Me like treats!) I decided to start the dessert making with a bang with Heathy's absolutely decadent Chocolate Orange Cake, which I'd been dreaming of ever since her first visit last fall. You see, one of the good things about being the Raw Goddess' editor is that I get a sneak preview of her recipe creations before everybody else. Lucky me! ;-)

Come to think of it, this recipe alone would make her upcoming 'Just Desserts' ebook worth purchasing. (And I kid you not!)

I think I'll be making this one at least once a week for a while;
it's yummy beyond words!

While Heathy was here, we came upon the 'Vibrant Living’ book by James Levin & Natalie Cederquist on the shelves of Ashinah's community kitchen. It was published some 15 years ago (!!!) and has lots of awesome looking recipes, not to mention amazingly beautiful and creative artwork. Anyhoo, Heathy pointed out how their Cheezy Cashew Sauce is strikingly similar to the Rich Cheddar Sauce we have all come to love, and ought to be the recipe that inspired it. So out of curiosity, I started out with the Vibrant Living recipe, then added the bell pepper and tahini a la Cheddar Sauce. The result was slightly different due to the amount of seasonings and the addition of the oats as thickener, but every bit as delicious. A new favorite in our house!

Try it and see what you think!

Cheddar Cheeze Spread or Dip
Adapted from 'Vibrant Living’ by James Levin & Natalie Cederquist

1 cup red or orange bell pepper
3/4 cup cashews and/or almonds, soaked
1/2 cup water
2 - 3 tbs rolled oats
2 tbs nutritional yeast
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs tahini
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Add more water or oats until desired consistency is reached.

Enjoy on your favorite crackers/breads, zucchini pasta, pizza or with veggie sticks!