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 3, 2010

SRK Tour Adventures: Arizona Part III

How about I finish my account of our time in Arizona with a bang? You guys are up for a visual treat, I tell ya! ;-)

Let's begin on a sweet note with the decadent desserts that we enjoyed at Linda and Roger's home.

Dessert Galore!
As they say, the way to a man's heart is through his belly. Well, raw sure made its way to Roger thanks to desserts! He would enthusiastically inquire every night as to what sweet treat we'd be having and then nod approvingly as he'd savor the goodies. lol

Linda had made Maple Pecan Ice Cream on the day we arrived so I just had HAD to quickly whip up Heathy's Chocolate Sauce to drizzle on top. It's always such a perfect finishing touch!

Maple Pecan Ice Cream
Posted on TheRawTable.com

Rich and creamy - you're going to love this!

Serves 6-8
3 ripe bananas
1/2 C raw almond butter
1/2 C raw tahini (sesame butter)
3/4 C dark agave nectar
1/4 C honey
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 T. ground cinnamon
1 C pecans, chopped (optional)
Place all ingredients, save the pecans, into a food processor and blend until perfectly smooth. Remove from processor and stir in pecans. Freeze in an air-tight container for 6 hours or overnight.
Carmella's Note: This was really good but I'd recommend not putting quite as much agave as it calls for.

As I was working on this post I realized that we had a serious chocolate theme going on. Ooops! Sure didn't hear anyone complaining though. ;-)

Chocolate Mousse with Coconut Meringue from Sweet Gratitude

Heathy's famous Chocolate Orange Cake from her Just Desserts ebook

Roger and Linda had gotten heaps of pears in their Coop organic basket so we found a way to use some of them. I came up with this simple recipe and yes, it is also with choccie! ;-)

Pear Chocolate Tarts

Makes 4

2 cups pecans and walnuts
1/2 cup dates
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch salt

Process in food processor until crumbly.

Press in small tart pans with removable bottoms.

1 1/2 cups pears, peeled and cored
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp grated ginger
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp agave nectar
2 tbs melted coconut oil
2 cups pears, peeled and cored, sliced

Blend briefly first seven ingredients in food processor. Transfer to a bowl.

Gently fold in sliced pears.

Pour mixture onto crusts. Allow to set in the fridge.

If desired, serve drizzled with Chocolate Sauce.

Carmella's Note: I originally made the filling with 2 cups of pears and the result was a little wet. It was still delicious though! I've cut down the amount to 1 1/2 cup; hopefully it will do the trick!

It was such a pleasure to work in Linda's kitchen as she had most of the equipment and the specialty raw products. I inaugurated her cute tart pans with my Super Caramel Chocolate Tarts. It was also a scrumptious way to use some of the superfoods she had in her cupboards.

We did whip up at least one non-chocolatey dessert. Roger loved it so much that he made another pie by himself (with just a teeny bit of help from yours truly) for the girls at his work. He did a fab job; in fact they didn't even believe he'd made it so he had to bring the recipe as proof the next day. hehe

We finished our Raw Dessert Extravaganza on a festive note... Cafe Gratitude's Tiramisu!

This is actually the first dessert I ever made using Irish moss. I wasn't used to working with this ingredient back then and had oversoaked it. As a result the chocolate mousse layer wasn't firm enough. Boo hoo Wouldn't you know it, although I've made plenty of desserts with moss since then, the mousse didn't have the right texture again! Ah well... A good reminder of how delicate this ingredient is and to always test a small portion of Irish moss based fillings so as to make sure that it has the right consistency. Simply pour a small amount of the mixture in a bowl or glass and allow to set in fridge for 20 mins or so. If you can make a clean cut with a knife and the filling holds nicely, you're good to go. If not, return the test portion to the blender along with the rest of the mixture, add an extra 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and blend well. This should probably do the trick but you could retest it again if you want to make really sure the consistency is right.

I didn't have enough almond pulp on hand for the cake layer so I halved the recipe and also added a mixture of almonds, pecans, and walnuts. Yummy is all I can say!
In spite of the cake not keeping its shape as well as it should have the flavor was still out of this world!!! I used a coffee substitute instead of real coffee as I really can't tolerate caffeine, and it worked really really well. Yay!
The Fake Coffee Experiment
Speaking of cereal coffee, Linda and Roger went to Mexico for a couple of days while we were staying with them and brought us back a container of it, as they know how much we like the stuff. (It's particularly good with any chocolate desserts. Mmmmm) It was a Mexican brand and as none of us could understand Spanish we had to guess how to go about making it. The boys first tried the coffee maker but weren't happy with the result, so they switched to a little individual cup filter.

It turned out into quite a project, as you can see! lol
Come on now! You sure this is working?

Let's Fire Up the D!

In the middle of all this feasting we even managed to squeeze in a D Day! It was a great opportunity for us to stock up on some goodies for the road but also to show Linda and Roger how many possibilities the dehydrator opens up. Looks like it worked cuz we could hear them talk about adding an Excalibur 9 tray to their raw kitchen. The amazing thing is that they actually found a used one on Craig's List on the day we left! Yay!

Linda, Don and I had everything nice and comfy in the D by 11am! What a team, eh? (Although I must admit we had cheated a little and prepped some of the batters the previous afternoon so as to have a head start.) We made Heathy's Chocolate Chip Granola Bars, Nori Snacks, Garlic Toasts, Pizza Crusts and Flax Crackers.

We also made a flax cracker variation I hadn't tried yet by Chef Steph at Excalibur. Really very good!

Mediterranean Flax Crackers
By Chef Steph at Excalibur
Posted here

36 Crackers (3 -15 X 15 “ Excalibur Dehydrator trays)

* 2 C Golden flax, (soak flax for 12-24 hrs in 1 qt water)
* ¼ C Raw Olives, Sliced
* ¼ White Onion, Minced
* 2 Cloves Garlic, Crushed
* 1 T Fresh basil, Minced
* 1 tsp dried Herbs de Provence
* Appx. 1 ½-1 ¾ C Shredded Carrot
* 1 tsp sea salt
* 1T Lemon Juice
* ½ Oz Excalibur Dehydrated Tomato’s, Powdered OR ¾ C sun dried tomato slices soaked until soft
* 3 T Caraway Seeds (optional)

Combine all ingredients in large bowl, Stir well.

Note: To make Tomato Powder placed non-oiled dehydrated tomato’s into a high speed blender or coffee grinder pulse until it becomes fine powder

Using an offset spatula Spread mixture ¼ “ thick onto Paraflexx Premium sheets. Using a knife carefully score crackers into cracker shapes.

Set your Excalibur Dehydrator @105 degrees & dehydrate appx. 4 hrs. Or until it is no longer tacky.

Next: Gently turn Crackers over onto mesh Polyscreen’s, Peel off Paraflexx Premium sheets & continue dehydrating on MESH sheet until they become dry & crispy. This could take 12-24 hrs depends on water content of Raw fresh ingredients.

Separate crackers & store in airtight container

Carmella's Notes:
~ I skipped the olives as I didn't have any on hand.

~ I used soaked sundried toms, a red onion in place of the white onion and carrot pulp instead of shredded carrot.

~ I separated the batter in two. In one I added Penzey's Greek Seasonings, in the other Penzey's Italian Seasonings with a tsp of fresh rosemary, chopped.

~ I dehydrated at 125 F for 2 hours, flipped onto mesh and turned the D down to 110.

~ The crackers were ready in about 10 hours.

Walking in Beauty
During our time in Arizona we have been blessed not only with pleasures of the taste buds but also of the eyes and soul...

Although we would have loved to go to the Grand Canyon, being the wintertime really complicated things, especially as we're camping. And so we went for the next best thing: a day trip to Sedona which was only an hour and a half drive away. We'd heard a lot about the beauty and magic of this area and were thrilled that we'd experience it for ourselves.

Our first glimpses of the 'Red Rock Country'.

Roger had lent us an awesome book about Sedona hikes which I browsed through on the way. There are more than 100 hikes to be enjoyed around town! Wow, a hiker's dream! Since we were only going to be there for a few hours I selected 2 or 3 short ones.

The first hike we did was called Fay Canyon. In hindsight I could see that we were totally guided there. It caught my attention as the authors had marked it as one of their favorites and it was just the right length (about one hour there and back). But also while doing my usual internet check that morning a photo of our friend Ian Fay (who hosted us in DC) on my blog's facebook fan box caught my eye. The fan pics are continually changing so it was interesting (to say the least!) that his 'happened' to be showing that very day. I'm thinking it was Life sending us a little hint. ;-)

Once again words are way too limited to convey the stunning beauty that we witnessed as we walked along Fay Canyon. For me it was a 'religious experience'; I felt such reverence and awe and soooooo blessed that Life had led us there that I had tears streaming down my face. Don and I walked in silence, stopping every few steps in order to better take it all in. As Linda so well put it later, surrounded by such amazing beauty "makes you feel so close to Him".

When we reached the end of the trail, I climbed up a few meters in order to get a view of the whole canyon.

These next ones we took on the way back...

Don spotted this heart shaped cactus. So fitting, eh?

In the hiking guide it mentioned several different spots which are renowned for being 'vortexes'. We were curious about these and would have liked to check these specific places out but it wasn't in the flow. But you know what? It would be hard NOT to be in altered states and in complete awe while walking among such landscape. ;-)

From Fay Canyon we drove through Sedona and continued to Cibola Pass for our second hike of the day. It was also breathtakingly beautiful!

We met a woman from Edmonton, Lorraine, on the trail and had a great talk about different topics including raw foods. (Surprise, surprise! lol) When we returned to the car we saw that she'd left us a note on the windshield thanking us. She said she felt our conversation was going to help her to take it to the next level in terms of her diet. I could sense this was another 'meant to be' connection, as our paths wouldn't have crossed if we'd hiked in the other direction. Isn't Life amazing, eh?

Cibola Pass looped up with Jordan Trail but we missed the turn and kept going in the 'wrong direction'. In fact we bumped into a bunch of other fellow hikers who had done the same thing. I was still grateful for our 'mistake' as it allowed us to admire yet more wonderful scenery.

Making our way back on Jordan Trail.

By the time we reached the parking lot we were tired and famished. After checking out a raw cafe (the menu was alright but nothing really jumped at us), we decided to go to D'Lish - a cute little vegan deli that offers a few raw dishes. I ordered their Rawsome Raw Platter which was ginormous! OK, OK, I did take the large size and the server did warn me that it was a lot of food but I was soooooo hungry and we were going to share it. There was grated carrots and beets, sprouts, sliced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, wakame (what a fab idea to soak sea veggies and serve them as 'lettuce'!), coleslaw, a huge pile of guacamole (it must have contained a whole avocado!), a real yummy almond pate, falafels and crackers on a big bed of mixed greens. Oh and a delicious lime cilantro dressing.

You can also see Don's fare in the background: a home made Quinoa and Portobello Burger on a sprouted Ezekiel bun.

I better give you a different angle as that thing was so BIG!

The best part was that it was super reasonable too (less than $13!) It came to me to wrap up the dehydrated stuff and take it with us, as there was no way we could eat all of that food!

One last look at the beautiful red rock formations before leaving Sedona.

Wow, what an amazing day we had!!! I hope we can return at some point and explore more of Sedona's jewels.

More Magical Mystery Dust
I've shared many neat little anecdotes that have happened to us on our journey, and I got another mind blowing one for you.

The day before we went to Sedona I received an email from Patrici who is the organizer of one of the local raw meet up groups. She had stumbled upon my Chocolate 'N Cream Charlotte recipe that very morning while searching for a way to use up left over pulp from making coconut milk. Anyhoo when she read that we were planning to come to Phoenix she dropped me a line saying that she'd love for us to do a class for her group. We were considering heading out that weekend but when we found that there was a potluck already planned that Saturday we just couldn't deny that Life was up to something. And so we decided to stay an extra couple of days in order to attend the gathering and teach a last minute class on Sunday.

Several people showed up in spite of the rain (it was an outdoor event) and we had an awesome feast: salads, Nori Rolls, Mac 'n Cheese made with kelp noodles, ice cream, fruit, chocolate mousse and even freeze dried durian someone had just brought back from Thailand. (Oh my! Sooooo good!)

Kale Salad

Nori Rolls

I contributed my Spinach & Cream Casserole.

Linda had a cabbage that was taking too much room in her fridge so she made Matt Amsden's Thai Coleslaw.

A man named Roger had made three different cracker creations which were fantastic! He was tired of throwing away all the pulp after juicing and found a wonderful way to make use of it.

Green Lemonade Crackers
By Roger

2 cups golden flax
1- 1 1/2 cups water
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt or to taste
Left over pulp from making the Green Lemonade (see recipe below)

Mix well first five ingredients and let soak for 2 hours.

Process the Green Lemonade pulp in food processor in order to remove any veggie chunks. Fold in flax mixture.

Spread on 2 teflex sheets ½ to ¾ inch thick and dehydrate at 105.

Green Lemonade
The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose
Posted here

Makes 1 serving

1 head romaine or celery
5 or 6 stalks kale (any type)
1 to 2 apples (as needed for sweetness--Natalia recommends organic Fuji)
1 whole organic lemon (you don't have to peel it)
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh ginger (optional)

Process the vegetables through the juicer by admitting one vegetable at a time through the mouth of the juicer. The fiber will shoot out of the juicer into one container while the spout will eject the fresh juice into another container. Pour into a large glass and drink! Notice how the lemon really cuts out the 'green' taste that most people try to avoid.

Spicy Salsa Crackers
By Roger

I call them my “Spicy Salsa”, just throw any veggie in it!

2 cups brown flax
1- 1 1/2 cups water
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt or to taste
1 cup dried tomatoes, chopped fine (not soaked)
1 medium to large sweet onion (whatever is handy!)
5-6 big cloves of garlic (I like garlic!)
Left over pulp from making The Oxygenator (see recipe below)
Cilantro and parsley (optional but yummy!)

Mix well first four ingredients and let soak for 2 hours.

Process sundried toms, onion and garlic in food processor. Add The Oxygenator pulp and the fresh herbs (if using) and process some more. Transfer to a bowl and fold in flax mixture.

Spread on 2 teflex sheets ½ to ¾ inch thick and dehydrate at 105.

The Oxygenator
1 pound carrots
1 medium sized beet
1 cucumber
1 tbs fresh ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne

Process the vegetables through the juicer.

Dreamcicle Crackers
By Roger

1 cup sunflower seeds, ground
1 cup golden flax seeds, ground
3 cups water
Pulp from juicing 12 carrots and 2 oranges
2 cups dried coconut flakes
1-2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
1-2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Soak ground sunflower and flax in water for 30 mins. to one hour.

Process carrot and orange pulp in food processor in order to remove any chunks.

Fold in pulp and remaining ingredients into sunflower/flax mixture and mix well.

Spread on 2 teflex sheets ½ to ¾ inch thick and dehydrate at 105.

Roger's Notes:
~ These are my favorite juices. After juicing, I just throw the pulp in the freezer, then pull everything out the night before I want to use it, leaving it in the refrigerator to thaw. I find I fill 6 dehydrator trays with these 3 recipes, I slop it on thick ½ to ¾ inch gives it a better “cracker” feel, I actually go for more of a “bar” consistency but people understand “crackers” so...

~ I do not throw the flax seeds in the food processor, probably should, I will have to play with it, I just throw the pulp in cause when it comes out of the juicer there are usually chunks of stuff, I like the consistency of well processed pulp with the grainy flax seed.

~ I just leave everything in the dehydrator for several days after turning them the morning after.

Roger had also brought along the best hummus variation I've tried so far!

2 cloves garlic
1 zucchini, peeled and chopped
2 cups sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt or to taste

Process until creamy in food processor with the S blade.

But the star of the raw table was Patrici's beautiful charlotte! She really did a fantastic job; in fact her lady fingers turned out even better than when I originally created the recipe. ;-)

I thought it was such a special circumstance... There she was, planning to make one of my recipes for the potluck and I happen to show up! lol Life is so full of surprises! I LOVE it! Patrici brought me a great big piece! I'm getting blessings by the bucketful I tell ya!

Isn't she radiant?

A few vendors had taken along some of their products to sample including Chakra 4 Herb & Tea House. I tried their refreshing kombucha blends and a piece of this decadent looking Pina Colada Cashew Pie.

We had a table with my two recipe ebooks for people to browse through. At some point a man and his girlfriend came to sit with us and we got talking. Towards the very end, I discovered that Mark is one of the creators of the movie Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days and organizers of The Raw Summits. You just never know who you're going to bump into along the way, eh?

The next afternoon Linda and Roger kindly opened their home for a last minute 'Raw in a Flash' class. Phfew! What an intense weekend!

Getting some rest before the participants' arrival...

It was a really awesome group and the class was soooo much fun! It seems to be getting easier and easier for me to feel comfortable in front of an audience and share my passion for raw food prep. Who would have thunk that I'd be stepping away from the computer screen and teach in 'real life' one day, eh?

On the menu was a Chia Fruit Smoothie, my House Dressing, Corn Chowder, Cheddar Cheeze, Asian Style Veggies on Zucchini Pasta and my Fruit & Nut Chocolate.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the food. Yippee!

Ahhhhh! I feel so very blessed! What an incredible adventure this is turning out to be!

Our next stop... California! More details here!


  1. Wow! This is a tremendous post! I love it! Those pictures are great! I love the dog...and the guy with the beard! ;)

  2. Hey, that was a great post! You were right about a visual treat! I am now inspired to get in the kitchen this morning! Awesome! Thanks :)

  3. Such beautiful photos and what an adventure you are on! you both rawk!

    Gosh Carmi, you ought to open a raw bakery.....amazing!

    Be safe and well!


    Pansy (Pam)

  4. I feel blessed just reading all this. I was almost in tears myself just reading along. I'm sure the blessings will continue to flow, as you so generously share your experiences with all of us. Thanks for those flax cracker recipes. I just started my first ever juice fast on Monday. I've been bringing all my pulp to a friend for compost for her garden, but I'd like to be able to use some of it also for food! I love flax crackers. The fast is hosted by one of your fellow Canadians in Montreal, Natasha St Michael of Raw Radian Health. I think I will point others on our small, private forum to your blog for the extra juice recipes, and the bonus cracker ones. Plus, they need to read it anyway, it's so great. I'll say it again, I hope you eventually compile all your adventures into a separate ebook. I know I would enjoy reading it again and again and being inspired!

  5. Super adventure Carmella! And what "coincidences", eh? I wish I could be the mouse in your bag to travel with you guys and see all that wonderful scenery! Those mountains were just breathtaking!
    Continue on, love, continue on!
    Sheryl-Anne xx (to all the merry band!)

  6. Awesome! Those pics of the canyons were breathtaking! Thanks so much for continuing to share your adventures with us. Food and company look great.

  7. Here's a copy of what I posted on Natasha's 10 Day Juice Fasting Forum about your blog. Already have people emailing me thanks and planning to check you out:

    The Sunny Raw Kitchen blog, more inspiration from one of Natasha's fellow Canadians!
    Posted by Mindy on March 4, 2010
    One of my very favorite blogs is the Sunny Raw Kitchen by Carmella from Quebec. Right now she is traveling through the US with her partner Don and their dog Kyly and cat Puss, camping in a tent and sometimes staying with folks along the way. She's calling this phase the SRK Tour Adventures. So many things to recommend this. She writes well and takes fabulous photos of both scenery and food. She is an amazing, phenomenal raw food chef. Each post is usually full of recipes also, both hers and others. Also, she inspires so much by preparing all this raw food on the road, and I'm not talking just lettuce wraps! In one post you see photos of her preparing raw chocolate truffles in a tent! Never can I complain and treat my small, cramped kitchen as an obstacle.

    What got me thinking of wanting to let ya'll know about this :near the end of her most recent post, she speaks of a raw potluck they went to, and shares about a guy who prepared and brought 3 different types of flax crackers he made from his juice pulp Of course she includes a photo of the crackers. The recipes are named after the juice the pulp came from: Green Lemonade Crackers, Spicy Salsa Crackers, Dreamsicle Crackers - you see recipes for the juice and the crackers. FUN. I've been bringing all my pulp to my best friend for her garden, but I'm going to start freezing some now for making crackers.

    Also included in the most recent post are many fabulous photos of the area around Sedona, AZ where they did some hiking. Unbelievably beautiful.

    I so highly recommend this blog. It's like a travel adventure log all rolled up with a raw food show, and so inspiring! Check it out! http://thesunnyrawkitchen.blogspot.com/

  8. Wow, I'm really impressed and inspired by your fabulous trip, pictures and amazing foods.
    Your world raw and roll.

  9. Love your blog! The recipes make me want to eat raw just for the sake of the delicious food.
    You would love some areas in Southern Utah, Calf Creek Falls, Hell's Backbone, and Snow Canyon being some of them. Of course it's too cold for camping there until about April or May.

  10. hi carmella and don~ hope your trip is wonderful and your furries are happy. looking forward to hearing about more adventures as you continue. i just moved to sedona (yay!!) 6 weeks ago and am feeling so blessed. it is wonderful to read this post as it mirrors some of the amazing experiences i have had too. in fact, my first hike upon arrival was...fay canyon!!! so beautiful. i went to d'lish to pick up a stash of goodies (their collard thai chips are amazing!) and told the owner about your post about them and about your magnificent raw freedom community. he seemed really happy and said he was definitely going to check it out. you are still bringing joy, even in the wake of your visit. sending love and light to you :)

  11. You are really inspiring! I check your blog every day to see if there is something new and when there is: like getting a bag of candy :-)

    I wish you both a great day!

  12. I'm sure those desserts are to die for! Thank you for the recipes too. I too love to hike in Sedona, Arizona. Will love to hear more from your adventures.

  13. I don't know about their taste but they look very good. I'm afraid if I try to make some of them I'll mess something up