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!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holiday Appetizers and Party Nibbles

I thought I'd share with y'all some of the yummies we enjoyed during the Raw Holiday and Party Nibbles class we had at Jozzie's.

I would have liked to take some photos, but we had soooo much on our plate that day that I could hardly catch my breath between each recipe!

Jozzie wanted to pass on a healthy sparkly alternative to alcoholic beverages... you know, something that you could enjoy in a fancy glass and would taste delicious. We used rejuvelac as the base, and while the flavor was really quite good the fizz disappeared during the chilling process. My personal beverage of choice would still definitely be a glass of home brewed raspberry ginger kombucha.

Orange Julius Rejuvelac
1 cup quinoa
1 tbs raisins (optional)
Liquid cane sugar or agave nectar
Vanilla medicinal extract or regular extract
Orange medicinal extract or regular extract

Rinse the quinoa under running water. Soak overnight in a 2-quart mason jar. Drain and rinse well.

Sprout for 24 hours, then rinse and drain well.

Fill the jar about 3/4 full with fresh filtered or spring water.

Add 1 tbs raisins if using.

Cover the jar with a cheesecloth secured with an elastic band.

Ferment for 2 to 3 days, shaking the jar gently once each day.

Strain the rejuvelac into mason jars or glass bottles.

To flavor the rejuvelac, add the following per 1 cup:
1 tbs + 1 tsp liquid cane sugar or agave nectar
4 drops vanilla medicinal extract
4 drops orange medicinal extract

Serve chilled.

~ You can reuse the sprouted quinoa to make a second batch of rejuvelac. This one will only take 24 hours of fermentation.

~ If using regular vanilla and orange extracts, you will need to use more as the medicinal extracts are very concentrated.

Now onto our savory nibbles...

Stuffed Tomatoes with Asian Veggies

Whatever you like such as:
Mushrooms, bell peppers, baby bok choy, shredded cabbage of your choice, green onions, snowpeas, grated carrot

Ginger Marinade or Dipping Sauce
¼ cup raw sesame or cold pressed olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
2 tablespoons tamari or Nama Shoyu
2 tablespoons grated ginger
¾ -1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 Medjhool (or 2 small soft dates)
1 garlic clove

Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.

Toss veggies with the Ginger Marinade (you may not need to use all of it) and let sit for at least one hour at room temperature or in the dehydrator. 

Small size tomatoes (not cherry tomatoes!)

Slice the top of the tomatoes off and scoop out the inside.

Place one or two spoonfuls of marinated veggies in each tomato.

Decorate with fresh sprouts of your choice or finely chopped cilantro.

Carmella's Note: You could also simply toss your veggies in equal parts olive oil and tamari and 1 or 2 garlic cloves, crushed.

Next, a house favorite...

Oh-My-This-Is-A-Tuna Salad
Contributed by Ocean on Raw Freedom Community here

1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked 4 – 8 hours
1 cup raw walnuts, soaked 4 – 8 hours
3 tablespoons Bubbies pickle juice
1/8 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Ume Plum vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kelp flakes (or 1 sheet of nori torn into small pieces and 1/4 teaspoon kelp)
1 or 2 tablespoons tamari
1 teaspoon salt-free vegetable seasoning
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/8 cup parsley, chopped
1 medium sized pickle chopped (Bubbies pickles are best!)
1 tablespoon fresh dill weed, chopped

In food processor, blend first set of ingredients. Transfer to a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients.

Stir until mixed.

Serve on a small piece of lettuce leaf or cracker.

Carmella's Note: Bubbies are pickles that are unpasteurized; look for them at your local HFS. They really make this recipe!

We had cucumber slices and little snap pea boats with Zucchini Hummus. While the boats were a cool idea and tasted good, they didn't really stand up properly on the plate. ; (

I used this hummus recipe, but I think next time I'd like to give Elaina Love's version a try. It's very similar except that it calls for tahini along with the sesame seeds.

Zucchini Hummus
By Elaina Love
Posted on Pure Joy Planet here

2 medium zucchini, chopped
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. high mineral sea salt such as Himalayan or Real Salt
1/4 tsp. Cayenne powder
1 1/2 tsp. Paprika powder
3/4 cup brown sesame seeds soaked 2-4 hours then rinsed
3/4 cup raw tahini (sesame butter)

1. Blend everything except the sesame seeds and tahini until smooth.

2. Add the sesame seeds and tahini and blend again until smooth.

3. Store in a glass jar for up to 7 days.

4. Eat with buckwheat pita chips, cucumber slices or celery sticks.

We also served Nacho Cheeze with veggie sticks. Simple but very tasty!

Nacho Cheeze
Adapted from Kristen Suzanne's Cheezy Nacho Sauce in her Easy Raw Entrees ebook

1 1/4 cup cashews, soaked
1/2 cup yellow bell pepper
1/4 cup red bell pepper
1/4 cup water
1 medium carrot
2 garlic cloves
2 tbs nutritional yeast
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tsp lime juice
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp chipotle powder or cayenne (use less if you prefer it not too spicy)
2 tsp taco seasoning (I threw in a bit of onion powder, chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, and chili flakes)

Blend all ingredients in high speed blender until smooth.

Serve with veggie sticks or on crackers.

Next was Cafe Gratitude's Bruschetta, which is sooo good! It's one of Jozzie's favorites and was a big hit at the class!

From Café Gratitude in San Francisco
Posted on Raw Freedom Community here

1/2 lb crimini mushrooms sliced thinly (small mushrooms work best!)
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
4 tbs olive oil
1 tbs capers, diced
1/2 tbs mixed herbs
1/4 tsp sea salt

Mix with Love and let marinate for at least one hour.

Serve on a cracker topped with ''cream cheese''.

THE famous Onion bread
Adapted from a recipe by Pansy posted on Raw Freedom Community here

2 1/2 lbs sweet onions, peeled
1 cup ground sunflower seeds
1 cup ground golden flax seeds
1/3 cup olive oil
3 or 4 tbs Nama Shoyu or tamari
Water, as needed

Put onions in food processor with 's' blade and process until pieces are small (but not mush). Put in mixing bowl with the other ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add some water if the mixture seems too dry and for easier spreading.

Smooth onto non-stick sheets about 1/4" thick and place in dehydrator at 115 degrees for 3 hours or so.

Flip onto mesh screen, turn the dial down to 110, and dehydrate for another 5 hours or longer until dry and crispy.

Score with a knife before placing in the dehydrator or break into pieces or cut with a pizza cutter once it's dry.

Store in refrigerator in an airtight container or in a double layer of Ziploc bags in the freezer.

We used my Garlic & Dill Cheeze for the Bruschetta, but for other delicious cheeze variations have a look at this post.

Garlic & Dill Cheeze
1 cup Cashew Cheeze (See recipe below)
1 generous teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced chives
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill

Combine Cashew Cheeze, chives, garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and salt in a bowl. Stir until well mixed. Add fresh herbs and stir until well distributed. Taste and adjust salt, if desired.

Transfer the mixture into a container and store in fridge (allow at least 24 hours for the flavors to blend.)

Will keep refrigerated for up to one week.

Basic Cashew Cheeze
3 cups cashews, soaked 12-14 hours
3 capsules probiotics
2/3 cup fresh rejuvelac (see instructions in Orange Julius Rejuvelac recipe above) or filtered water

In high speed blender, blend the soaked cashews with probiotics and rejuvelac until smooth.

Line a sieve with a double thickness of cheesecloth and place over a bowl. Transfer the mixture to the sieve, drape the cheesecloth over the top, cover with a towel and leave in a warm place to ripen for 14-16 hours (it will take closer to 24 hours if you use water instead of rejuvelac.)

Season according to your favorite recipes.

Store in fridge in airtight container for up to one week.

Carmella's Notes:
~ For best results in terms of texture, it is key to use as little liquid as possible.

~ You could substitute the probiotics with miso; the idea is to give the culture a kick-start.

~ I once forgot to soak cashews ahead of time and simply ground them up finely in the Vitamix first. The mixture didn’t blend as easily as with soaked cashews, so I ended up using more liquid than in the original recipe.

~ If you feel this recipe yields more cheeze than you can eat in a week, simply freeze a portion of it in an airtight container, before or after it’s been seasoned.

And last but not least *wiping the sweet off her brow*, we served mini BBQ Meatless Balls (with toothpicks). These are very good, but we found Tina Jo's original recipe extremely salty. I've adjusted the amount of tamari/Nama Shoyu accordingly in the following recipe.

BBQ Meat(less) Balls
Adapted from a recipe by Tina Jo Stephens posted here

1 ½ cups zucchini pulp (from juicing)
1 ½ cups walnuts, soaked 6 hours, drained, rinsed
1 ½ cups almonds, soaked 6 hours, drained, rinsed
1 Tbsp fresh garlic, minced
¼ cup fresh cilantro, minced
¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, minced
½ cup celery, finely chopped
1 cup red pepper, finely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, minced or 2 tsp dried
1 Tbsp fresh oregano, minced or 1 tsp dried
2 tsp cumin powder
3 tsp chili powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp ginger, finely grated
½ cup sweet yellow onion, minced
2 Tbsp sun dried tomato powder

Marinated Mushrooms
1 large Portobello mushroom or about 1 ½ cups criminis, chopped small
2/3 cup (or less!) nama shoyu or tamari
¼ cup olive oil
⅛ tsp black pepper freshly ground

BBQ Sauce
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
1 cup sun‐dried tomatoes, soak 2 hours to soften, drain and then chop
3 Tbsp nama shoyu or tamari
½ cup sweet yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
5 whole dates, chopped
½ to 1 small jalapeno, red or green, minced (depending on how spicy you like your food)
½ cup olive oil
½ cup flax oil (or use more olive oil)
1 Tbsp sun‐dried tomato powder
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1. Chop mushrooms and make the Marinade for Mushrooms. Place mushrooms and marinade in a bowl and set aside while preparing other ingredients.

2. Cut and chop all your fresh ingredients for the 'meatballs.' Then place them, along with the zucchini pulp, into a large mixing bowl.

3. Add dry ingredients to same bowl.

4. Drain and rinse the nuts. Then place them into a food processor. Drain the marinade from the mushrooms and add it to the nuts that you just placed into the food processor. Process the mixture until it takes on a doughy consistency.

5. Remove the nut mixture from the processor and add it to your chopped and dry ingredients bowl.

6. Add the mushrooms to the mixture bowl and hand blend well.

7. Shape the mixture into 2 ‐ 3 inch meatballs (a small cookie scoop works well for this). Place on a dehydrator sheet and dehydrate for 2 hours at 105 degrees.

8. Prepare BBQ sauce by combining all sauce ingredients in blender. Blend until creamy and smooth.

9. Remove the meatballs from the tray and place in glass baking dish (9 X 13 works great!) Pour some of the barbecue sauce over the meatballs and cover with plastic wrap and continue to dehydrate for 4‐5 more hours.

10. The remaining BBQ sauce can be served on the side with your 'meatballs.' Sauce keeps for 5‐7 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Any remaining meatballs should be stored the same way.

On The Sweet Side
We also demoed a few desserts: the Cheesecake with Berry Sauce and the Hazelnut Truffles from my new Delightfully Raw book, as well as Snowdrop's Blonde Fruitcake, which has become a bit of a tradition for our Holidays. Joz had the cutest little brownie pans which worked perfectly for the latter. We topped the fruitcakes with a simple Coconut Frosting.

Snowdrop's Blonde Fruitcake
Posted on Raw Freedom Community here

Soak for 1 hr:
¾ c dates (packed)
½ lemon juiced
½ orange juiced
2 tsp almond extract
Pinch sea salt

Grind, sift, & set aside in bowl:
1 c almonds
1 c dry coconut shreds
½ c cashews

Fruit Filling 1
Combine in any ratio to equal ¾ cup total of your choice of the following dry fruits: raisins, cherries apricots, pineapple, cranberry, currants in similar size cuts.

Soak in ¼ c of fruit juice of your choice (or brandy, rum…) in the dehydrator for 1 hr.

Fruit Filling 2
1” finely grated fresh ginger root
1 tbs lemon zest
1 tbs orange zest
2 tbs agave

Put in a bowl and place in dehydrator for 1 hr.

Candied Nuts
1/3 c walnut halves
1/3 c pecan halves
2 tbs maple syrup
½ tsp cinnamon
Pinch sea salt

Toss in a small bowl. Spread on teflex sheet and dehydrate for 1 hr.


After the hour of soaking, take the ginger bowl and just drain the juices into the dates. (Set ginger citrus zest aside.)

Take the date mixture and blend into a smooth puree.

Pour into the ground nut mixture and stir lightly till combined. Set cake batter aside.

Fruits & Nuts:
Drain the dried fruits and put into the cake ‘batter’, also add the ginger citrus zest.

Set aside the nicest dozen pecan halves for the garnish and break up the rest of the nuts for the cake batter into small enough pieces. (Remember, if the nut pieces are too big the knife will have trouble slicing the cake neatly.)

Stir in the additions lightly until combined, then press into a 5-6” cake mold. (Use plastic wrap lining to make sure you can get it back out again.) For a ring, simply place a glass in the middle of the pan.

Carmella's Simple Coconut Frosting
Meat of 1 young coconut
Agave or honey, to taste
Vanilla extract
Young coconut water, as needed

Blend ingredients in a high-speed blender. Adjust sweetener and vanilla to taste. Depending on the firmness of your coconut meat you may need to add some coconut water in order for the mixture to blend smoothly.

To Serve
Place your cake on a serving plate.

Frost with Coconut Frosting or frosting of your choice.

Decorate with Candied Nuts.

Our friend Sathya drove down from Mount Shasta to join us for that day's uncooking feast. Yay! 

Showing off our funky socks.

I must say that I really went overboard with this class; it was nearly twice the number of recipes that I normally demo. Eeek! After two full days of food prep we were all exhausted and pretty much ready to go to bed by 8!

Post class 'Crashed Dodo'

Hopefully this post will have given you some more ideas as to how to wow your friends and relatives these upcoming holidays!

Have fun in your raw kitchens!

1 comment:

  1. That drink sounds very interesting. I am really liking the idea of it. Thank you for that. :)