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, May 24, 2009

Loving That Lovage

I gotta admit it; it's been a rather crappy May, with lots of rain and not much warmth. People have been saying that we're about a month behind. But now that it's gorgeous and sunny, well, this doesn't seem to have been such a bad thing after all, as everything is so green and lush! What a welcomed sight after the bleak winter months.

For many a green thumb (or not so green, like mine! lol), Spring means it's time to grab your tools and start playing in the garden. I've been yearning for one of my own ever since I got into raw in 2001, but the circumstances were never quite right: the soil wasn't very fertile, not enough sun, or the time/energy just plain wasn't there. This is the first time I'm being presented with an earnest opportunity to garden; there's lots of beds already in place, an amazing southern exposure, and our landlord Nicolo has pretty much given me the green light to plant whatever I want. Hee-hah

There's only one hitch... We don't know how long we'll be able to stay here! Ah well, that still didn't stop me from planting a few things anyways; mostly greens (lettuce, mesclun, spinach, arugula, chard and kale) and some peas. There were a bunch of lettuces already happening in one of the beds (along with tons of weeds) so Don and I uprooted the whole thing one afternoon and replanted the good stuff.

Coming along, coming along...

I also picked up a few cherry tomatoes, basil and zucchini plants at the farmer's market, which we replanted into bigger pots. I've been waiting for the temperature to warm up a little before putting them in.

See the teeny zucchini growing on this one?

In the 12 years that Nicolo's had the property, he has planted lots of fruit trees; mostly apple, but also pear and even kiwi!

There's several varieties of berries, and medicinal plants and herbs growing around: comfrey, mint, thyme, oregano, rosemary, chives, dill, 2 types of parsley, mullein, nettle, and many more which I don't know the names of. Some parsley seeds have actually traveled all the way next to the porch, so I just have to walk out the door to pick fresh parsley! (If you look closely, you can sorta see it to the left in the zucchini picture above.)

And there's of course plenty of lovage!

I remember seeing it listed as one of the ingredients in herbal seasonings, but had never actually tried it on its own. It has a flavor very reminiscent of celery and the best part is that it's perennial and grows like weed! Someone who uses it a lot told me that it can be frozen in ziplock bags to be used all winter long, as with most herbs.

One of the two gigantic lovage bushes on the land.

And here's a close up so you can see what it looks like.

I haven't had a chance to experiment much with lovage yet, but have been enjoying it lately in this delicious variation of one of my all time favorite soups. Absolutely lovely! (No pun intended, of course!)

Creamy Zucchini and Lovage Soup

Serves 2

1/2 avocado
1 1/2 cups zucchini, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup cucumber (or roughly a 2" piece)
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup parsley
1 tbs packed fresh lovage
1 tsp miso
Salt to taste
2 cups water (or until desired consistency is reached)

Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy in high-speed blender.

Serve topped with freshly ground black pepper.

Carmella's Notes:
~ Don and I don't like cold soups so we used to warm them up gently on the stove, stirring constantly until lukewarm. However, since our days at Ashinah where there was no stove, we've taken to using hot water instead. It requires a bit of getting used to (I sometimes need to add a bit of cold water as well) as you don't want to cook those precious enzymes, but once you get the hang of it, it's so much quicker!

~ Dunno if I've mentioned it before, but as a rule, we prefer to add dried seaweed to our soup bowls at the end, rather than use salt. That's what's sorta peaking through the crushed pepper in the photos.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Winners of RFC's Anniversary Giveaway

First off, I want to say I am blown away by the amazing response I got to RFC's Second Anniversary Ebook Giveaway! I've received close to 40 entries altogether on RFC's thread and this blog! THANK YOU ALL for sharing so openly your raw stories with us; you gave me goose bumps! ;-)

Congratulations to Aimee, Ani and Luckitri! You will each receive an ebook package as soon as you contact me with your email address! You can do so by leaving me a comment here (no worries, I won't publish it!) or sending me an email to: sunnyrawkitchen@gmail.com

Here's how raw foods have had a positive impact on their health and their lives in general:

"Raw foods have helped me in a lot of ways. One of the most obvious was the increased energy. Especially after I eat superfoods and green juices. This is very helpful for me because I have epstein-barr (chronic fatigue).

Another way raw foods has helped me is in my digestion. It is never sluggish if I eat raw foods. I lost 30 pounds and feel lighter and happier. My skin also is rid of psoriasis (which I had for 18 years) and glows.

How about that?

Love your blog too!"

"Although i have been eating well and fairly high raw for many years i have definitely increased that in the past 2 years, discovering raw crackers, breads and such and discovering real recipes and other people who are interested, committed and creative in their journeys. The biggest shift i notice, even going from nutritious, plenty raw to higher raw is a sense of peace in my body, my self. Cravings and emotions are calmed and i have more energy, a more restful sleep, and therefore: patience. I have 2 young kids, and I feel really good about serving them healthy, life-supporting foods that they really ENJOY! It is a good feeling knowing that i am supporting their health when i feed them, and that they are learning good eating habits. I know this movement is spreading like wildfire, and I love learning how to create a new dish and share and inspire people! The feeling of making some Nourishing food that makes people have a little spark of joy, or pleasure is so wonderful! Knowing this food is healing and infused with energy and life makes it even better! What we eat is a choice many of us are lucky enough to have, and can be a concrete first step in healing and rejuvenating our lives: it can be the kick start to a more wholesome life.

Blessings to all and bushels of gratitude too!"

"Well long-time readers know I have been very ill for a long time - disablingly ill. It is a very complex situation and for quite awhile I was too ill to eat raw. A simple trip to the store would so exhaust me that my spinach would be wilted before I could wash it 3 days later. Even if I got up my legs ached so much that standing in the kitchen was not something I could sustain for more than a few minutes.

Well I am getting better - slowly, but I am I am!

Funny thing is that when I was closest to 100% I refused to eat any nuts. At work I really suffered and had to gorge myself every break. Well, now that I have equipment and have incorporated nuts I can really see going 100% much more easily. I made a corn-nut soup yesterday for lunch and it was so filling that my husband forgot about his SAD dinner! Our son is going on a month long vacation (his first) next week and so I will have one month to ply my husband with raw foods without my son insisting on teen foods - maybe convert hubby a little more?

In my case it seems that every time I conquer one health problem another serious one pops up so I think that the underlying cause might be enzyme deficiency and inflammation so I did want to have a garden this year but maybe I just need to concentrate on learning this new cuisine, my new equipment and how to store and organize the recipes in the computer that I still don't know how to use. (I did plant some stuff out front but digging the backyard is out of our reach physically.)

I am hoping to get physically well enough to possibly follow in Joz's footsteps or become a raw food chef locally or pioneer some raw fast food concepts for a chain eatery that is adapted to fresh and local. (So complex!) So I will have to find some way to prove that raw has made me well in order to qualify for financial aid if I do the fast raw eatery chain cuz this disability thing really shot my credit! It would be really nice to get lean and have muscle enhancement like I did first time raw - and I don't care if I'm over 50 - I want my Michelle Obama arms back! Ha ha!

Oh P.S. People like me really do need some leading. I first heard of raw foods back in 1980 when Dr. Gabriel Cousens moved to Arizona. But I knew no-one actually doing it so I just tried it by myself - all I ate was raw fruits and vegetables - it did not go well and I had to give it up."

Once again, thanks to everyone who participated!

Raw blessings,

Sunday, May 10, 2009

RFC's Second Anniversary and Ebook Giveaway

Our virtual baby, Raw Freedom Community, is getting ready to celebrate its second anniversary on May 20th (which also happens to be Don's birthday!)

Last year, I marked this special event by shining the spotlight on the forum's many talented recipe creators with the release of The Best of Raw Freedom Community. This ebook is a collective work featuring 99 recipes contributed by myself and 20 other RFC members.

With all that's been going on in our lives in the last little while, I don't foresee another ebook coming out any time soon, but that's not to say we can't go wild and party! ;-)

In addition to selling The Best Of The Sunny Raw Kitchen and The Best of Raw Freedom Community separately, I've decided to also offer them together as one convenient package. You can now purchase these two best sellers with a single click!

The package will be available for a sliding scale starting at $19.98, but for this special anniversary occasion, from now until the 20th, you can purchase if for only $15.99!

To order the RFC Anniversary ebook package, simply click on the link below and make your donation via Paypal.

Add to CartView Cart

The downloading instructions for the ebooks will be sent to your inbox shortly after you've completed your payment. (If you don't receive it, you might want to make sure it hasn't been sent to your SPAM or junk folder!)

If you haven't had a chance to pop over to Raw Freedom Community yet or for those of you who are in the process of getting familiar with the forum's nooks and crannies, here are a few of the things you can do while visiting our site:

- Find out what RFC is about by looking at the FAQs (under 'Quick Start Guide')

- Meet our members and tell us a little about yourself (under 'Introduce Yourself')

- Drool over mouth-watering recipe photos in the 'Photo Only Thread'

- Browse through our ever-growing virtual recipe book, or post your favorites raw recipes

- Set up your homepage, start a blog, or build your network via our awesome new Zoints Local feature.

- Share what it's like 'Living in the Raw' (under The Sunny Raw Lifestyle)

- Talk about all-things-kids in our Raw Freedom Kids section

- Browse through RFC's 'Library' of links and resources

- Just 'Hang Out' and talk about whatever...

- Read some great tips to improve your navigation of RFC's site

- Find out how you can customize RFC's look by choosing from 14 different templates while surfing RFC!

- Check out Some Rawesome RFC Threads

And last but not least, I simply can't miss this opportunity to make a few people happy! In the spirit of celebration, I'm giving away 3 recipe ebook packages. In order to enter the contest, you just need to leave a comment telling us how including more raw foods in your diet has had a positive impact on your health and your life in general.

The winners will be announced on the evening of May 20th.

A special thanks to all the wonderful members of our dear "fammunity" - as we've come to affectionately call it. It wouldn't be the warm and inspiring place that it is if it wasn't for you!

Happy Bird-Day RFC!