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, March 18, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

This week, I was nominated for the Kreativ Blogger Award by Liz of the Raw Vegan Foodie blog. (Thanks Liz!)

How it works?

a- I must share with you seven things that I love
b- I have to nominate seven other bloggers for the Award

Here we go...

7 Things That I Love

1. Sunworshipping (laying in the sun) - I spent the first 30 years of my life hiding in the shade and now, you can hardly get me out of the sun! And yes, I feel it is symbolic of the huge transformation I've undertaken since 2000. ;-)

2. Cuddling with my furry friends - Animals are such a blessing; directly hooked up to Life or 'The Mystery' as we like to call it... When Kylo and DaPuss come lie down against me, I take it as an honor. They're so pure and sensitive, they wouldn't do so unless they felt safe and resonated with my energy at that particular moment.

3. Preparing food ... and of course eating the result - Huh, guess this one doesn't come as a big surprise, eh?

4. Taking a walk when big fat snowflakes are slowly coming down - Yet another opportunity to revel in Life's magic.

5. Picking wild berries and edibles - So meditative! It also gives me such a sense of Nature's beauty and abundance.

6. Hummingbirds - To me, these are a perfect embodiement of how magical existence is! I can't help but be in awe whenever I am blessed with their presence.
And last but perhaps not least...

7. Dancing - As a result of the 'internal phase' I was in until recently I haven't had the chance to dance much in the last few years, but whenever I do I LOVE it! For me, dancing is poetry in motion...

OK, now I get to pass the award along to 7 fellow bloggers and shine the spotlight on their kreativity!

Heathy of Raw Goddess Heathy
I know she's already been nominated, but I simply couldn't NOT mention her as she's one of the most inspiring and kreative person I know!

Joyce of Beautiful Living Food in Vermont
Joyce has only recently started blogging, but boy, is she ever full of creativity and enthusiam for raw food prep! During this not-so-kreativ phase of mine, Joyce's blog has become one of my favorite hang outs!

Ingrid of Raw Epicurean
I still can't believe how much Ingrid has accomplished in such little time! You rawk girl!

Heather of Kombucha Chic
Just hop over to her last post and you'll see what I mean... She has also recently launched a free collaborative work: One Week Raw.

Tofu666 of What The Hell Does a Vegan Eat Anyway? and his Raw Food Wednesday
Who hasn't marvelled at Tofu's food art?

Russell James' The Raw Chef blogRussell has been spoiling us with his amazing raw gourmet creations on his blog and has recently started publishing recipe ebooks. A must 'drop by' spot for all food lovers!
Nightheron of Swell Vegan
This gal's got the eye! Absolutely gorgeous food photography!

Over to you, beautiful kreative people! Tell us about what you love...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Persimmon Shortcake

Hey, aren't we less than a week away from Spring? *scratching her head* Well, it looks like someone is getting confused up there, as it's been snowing pretty much non-stop for two days! At this rate, we won't be able to get the moving van down the driveway at the end of the month! lol

Thankfully, after hanging in limbo for a while, things are slowly starting to fall into place in terms of our next step. Don and I just received the good news that there will be a home waiting for us in Winlaw, the small community where we spent 6 years prior to moving to Rossland. Although we were prepared to go anywhere, I must admit I'm glad to return to the Slocan Valley. It's so pristine and really laid back, plus we'll have easier access to some great health food stores and organic produce. As for our friends, Pontifex and Mosaica, they'll be heading to Kelowna where Ponti just got a new job.

You know how it is around here... we welcome any excuse to whip up something yummy, so this definitely called for a celebration! And what better way than with a decadent sweet treat!

As we're trying to empty the freezer for our upcoming move, we found some lovely persimmons that were begging to be used. First we thought of making a simple parfait, but then it occurred to me that my shortcake recipe would also beautifully highlight the persimmons' delicate flavor.

I was right! This was so light and delicious!

Persimmon Shortcake

This recipe is for a 7" spring form pan

3/4 cup well packed soft dates, chopped
1 cup loosely packed leftover pulp from making milk or ground almonds
1 cup dried coconut
1/2 cup cashews, ground
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch sea salt

Place dates in food processor and process until a smooth paste forms. You may need to add a little water and scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times.

Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth.

Carmella’s Note: If using ground almonds instead of wet almond pulp, you might want to add a couple of teaspoons of water for moisture.

Persimmon Layers
2 cups persimmon flesh

Whipped Cream
Adapted from a recipe by Café Gratitude

1 cup cashews
1 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut milk*
3 tablespoons raw honey or agave nectar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch sea salt
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon lecithin powder

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

*To make coconut milk, blend 1 part dried coconut with 3 parts water in high-speed blender.

Form an even layer on the bottom of a 7” spring form pan with half of the cake mixture.

Top with 1/2 of the persimmons, followed by half of the whipped cream. Put in fridge or freezer to set.

When firm, form another cake layer. Then top with the rest of the persimmons.

Finish off with whipped cream and set in fridge/freezer.

When firm, gently remove cake from the pan and place on serving plate.

Decorate with a mixture of:
2 tbs dried coconut
1 dried mango slice, ground
1 tsp lucuma

Carmella's Notes:
~ In order for each layer to retain its distinctive shape, it's key to let the whipped cream layer set in the fridge (or freezer) before patting down the cake layer. Yah, yah, I know it's just for visual purposes, but hey! Remember that we taste with our eyes first.

~ For a simpler version of this, put a cake layer, followed by persimmon. Top with whipped cream and let set in the fridge. Decorate and serve. Perhaps not as impressive but definitely still as delicious!


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Kelp Noodles in Peanut Sauce (And a Very Special Sale You Won't Wanna Miss!)

In the last week, the key words around here have been "letting go".

We knew a move was in the foreseeable future, but what we didn't know was that we'd have to leave at the end of this month. Eeeek! Talk about shifting gears! So here we are once again, packing our stuff and hunting for a new home. I'm trying to lighten up as much as I can, especially since moving seems now to have become a regular thing. It's work to sort through everything and decide what stays and what goes, but man, does it ever feel good! I love that feeling of getting rid of stagnant energy and shedding layers! Must have something to do with Spring being just around the corner. Even if new things usually start coming into the picture soon enough to replace the old, at least there's a sense of renewal, of change...

I finally decided to take the plunge and ordered kelp noodles... and LOTS of 'em!!! After reading rave reviews about the latter, I finally got around to trying them recently. Wow, now I can see what the rage is about! They have a very mild, neutral flavor that will go well with virtually any type of sauce. Soooooo many possibilities to play with!

Noodle Talk  
The first thing you'll notice upon opening the package of kelp noodles is the strange smell, but no worries, there's no dodgy chemical preservatives in there. Giving the noodles a good rinse will mostly take care of it. You'll also notice that they're kinda crunchy. Depending on what you're preparing (for instance a salad), this may not be an issue. On the other hand, if you're looking for a pasta effect, you'll want to soften them up. I soaked mine in water for several hours and while they seemed to enlarge in size, they still remained crunchy. *scratching my head* After some research, I found out that the key is to let the noodles sit in something acidic (such as lemon juice or vinegar) for a few minutes in order for them to get soft. Don't ask me why, but it DOES work! 

In the following recipe, the Peanut Sauce contains some lime juice so you can toss the noodles directly in the sauce and it does the trick. Addictive stuff!
  Kelp Noodles & Veggies in Peanut Sauce  

Serves 4 or 5  

1 package kelp noodles 

'Peanut' Sauce  

3 tbs almond butter 
2 tbs tahini  
2 garlic cloves  
2 1/2 tbs lime juice  
1 tbs tamari  
1 tbs raw sesame or coconut oil  
1 tbs olive oil  
1/2 tbs grated fresh ginger root  
1/4 - 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (depending on how hot you like it)  
1/2 tsp salt  
1 1/2 Medjhool dates  
1/4 cup water (or more, to taste) 
Blend until smooth. If necessary, add more water until desired consistency is reached. 

3 cups sliced baby bok choi  
1 cup grated carrot  
1 cup grated daikon  
1/2 cup chopped red pepper  
2 green onions, sliced 

Place rinsed noodles and veggies in a large bowl. Toss with desired amount of Peanut Sauce. Let sit on the counter or in the D for 30 minutes before serving. 

Optional: Top with sliced mushrooms marinated in a little olive oil and tamari.  

Carmella's Notes:  
~ When I first made this, I left the dish for an hour on the counter, then popped it in the D for an extra hour. Not a good idea! The noodles had that 'overcooked' texture to them. (If you've left pasta cook for too long before, then you know what I mean!) Most recipes I've come upon suggest to let the noodles soak up the marinade or sauce for about 30 minutes before serving.  

~ For a simpler variation of this, you could skip the veggies and just toss the noodles in the sauce. 
~ For more info on kelp noodles and lots of other great recipe ideas, have a look at this site! O.K. Gotta get back to packing... ;-)