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, August 28, 2012

Raw in a Flash Video: Basil Pesto

August is such a magical month here, especially when you have a garden. Regard- less of how long it might have taken for summer to arrive, by this time the weather is wonderfully sunny and warm. And of course everything is just bursting out and growing like crazy!

This is the first year that I've started my own garden pretty much from scratch, deciding what to plant and where. Before that I only got a chance to get involved later in the season once things were already in the ground.

This task proved to be both exciting and intimidating at the same time! I opted to start small and keep it simple, growing just a few no-brainer things. Among them were several basil plants. To me there is nothing quite like fresh tomatoes and basil to embody the summer's bounty.

Here's an awesome Pesto recipe that is easy, light, versatile and utterly delicious. I like to make it with both basil and spinach but you could use only basil if you prefer.

And now for the recipe...

Basil Pesto
4 cups fresh basil and spinach, packed (I like to use 1/2 of each but you could also use only basil)
2 large garlic cloves
1/4 cup walnuts, soaked for 4 hours
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place all the ingredients in a high-power blender and process until smooth. (You may need to use a tamper to keep things moving.)

Store in an airtight container in a fridge or in the freezer.

Enjoy on your favorite crackers with a nice juicy slice of tomato, on raw Pizza or Zucchini Noodles, or in a scrumptious Lasagna such as this one.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Raw in a Flash Video: Pad Thai


I was on the look out for a yummy sauce to feature in my Raw in a Flash series and I settled on a lovely Pad Thai dish. Perhaps not your obvious choice when you think of making something quick, but, really, you'd be surprised! Once you whiz up the sauce in the blender - which should take 10 mins max - then you can adjust the dish according to how much time and energy you've got. For a super simple version, just toss your favorite raw noodles in the sauce, or if you're up for something a little more elaborate, follow the entire recipe.

I've already shared with you another variation of Pad Thai some years back, but this new recipe is slightly different. It calls for almond butter only (rather than a combo of almond butter, tahini and cashews) and skips the sundried tomatoes. Actually, I must admit that I like the result a lot more. It's totally deeeeee-lish!

I'm using red pepper flakes for heat as Don and I aren't big fans of really hot spicy food, but feel free to replace these with fresh jalapeno peppers.

Oh and the best part is that it keeps well, making it an awesome lunch to take along with you!

And now for the recipe...

Raw Vegan Pad Thai

Serves 3-4

1/4 cup + 1 tbs raw almond butter
2 1/2 tbs lime juice 
2 tbs melted coconut oil 
1 tbs tamari  
1/2 tbs grated fresh ginger root 
1/2 tsp salt  
1/4 - 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or fresh jalapeno if you like it hot!)
1 1/2 Medjhool dates or 3 small soft dates 
1/3 cup water
2 garlic cloves
Blend until smooth in a high power blender.

1 medium zucchini, spiralized 
1 medium daikon, spiralized 
1 medium carrot, julienned 
1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 cup snow peas or snap peas, sliced
1 green onion, sliced 
1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade (cut into fine strips)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chiffonade

Place all veggies in a large bowl. (You may want to roughly cut the Zucchini and Daikon Noodles for easier handling.)

Toss with desired amount of Sauce. 

Let sit on the counter or in the dehydrator for 15 minutes before serving to allow the veggies to soften up a bit.

Serve topped with roughly chopped almonds. 

Carmella's Notes:  
~ In the video I say that the dish takes about 20 minutes to assemble but I failed to take into account that I had an assistant helping me with the chopping. ;-) It might take closer to a half hour.

~ For a simpler version, omit the veggies and just toss your favorite noodles (zucchini, daikon or kelp) in the Sauce. If using kelp noodles just make sure to let the dish sit for at least 30 mins to allow the noodles to soften up.

~ For extra decadence add thin strips of young coconut meat. Heavenly!

~ This dish will keep well for a couple of days, stored in an airtight container in the fridge. 


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Raw in a Flash Video: Vegan Tarragon & Mustard Cheeze


And the Great Vegan Cheeze kick continues... ;-)

What can I say? I just can't get enough of this delicious super quick and versatile vegan cheeze that lends itself to umpteen variations. This time I let myself be inspired by the delicate fragrant aroma of fresh tarragon from our garden, and with a hint of Dijon mustard for yet another tasty combination. Mmmmm...

Raw in a Flash Video Extravaganza
Today marks the official launch of my friend Thomas Fox's Omni Blender Video Contest which I just told you more about in this post. Of course, I couldn't resist jumping early into the fun! ;-)

Just in a nutshell... Starting today I'll be posting a new Raw in a Flash video featuring a recipe made with the Omni blender every few days for the coming weeks. I'll be demoing some of my favorite super-simple-yet-scrumptious recipes and sharing all kinds of helpful tips in the process. 

So it is my hope that you'll find a few minutes each week to sit down and watch these videos. I've made a point to select especially yummy recipes that can be prepared 'in a flash' and that can be easily included into your daily routine. Hopefully you'll be tempted to recreate some of these recipes at home and maybe even learn a thing or two from the ton of information that I pass on during these short demos.

And now for the recipe...

Tarragon & Mustard Vegan Cheeze
Inspired by Jo Stepaniak's awesome Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook

1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 tbs agar powder
1/2 cup almonds, soaked for 8 - 12 hrs
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbs hemp seeds
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tbs onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dry mustard
3/4 tsp salt
1 garlic clove
1 1/2 tbs finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves (or 2 or 3 tsp dry)

Set aside a 2 cup plastic storage container.

In a blender add the almonds, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, hemp seeds, onion and garlic powders, dry and Dijon mustard, salt and garlic clove.

Combine water and agar in a small pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often with a whisk, until completely dissolved, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Add mixture to the other ingredients in the blender and process until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender jar as necessary. 

Add chopped tarragon and process briefly on low speed, just to incorporate.

Pour into container and cool uncovered in the refrigerator.

When completely cool, cover and chill several hours.  (I usually serve it after 1 hour or so).

To serve, turn out of the container and slice.

Store covered in refrigerator.  Will keep 5 to 7 days.

Carmella's Note: I usually put my cheeze in the freezer for 30 mins or so then transfer it to the fridge. That way it's ready to be served even sooner! Yay!


Will You Help Me Win The Contest?

Today my friend Thomas Fox of 3blenders.com is officially launching an Omni Video Contest. He has invited his affiliates to make videos featuring the Omni and upload these on You Tube. Thinking that this was a brilliant idea, Don and I enthusiastically jumped into this project and managed to create a grand total of 9 short vids (Yah, I know! Like I said we were pretty enthusiastic! lol) in which I demo all kinds of scrumptious raw recipes that can be prepared quickly with the help of, you'll have guessed it, a blender. Starting today I'll be posting a new Raw in a Flash video every few days on my blog for the next coming weeks.

"How can you help," you ask?
The winners will be determined by the number of visitors a participant's video(s) receive between August 15 and November 15, 2012. These are cumulative, so in other words, it's the total visitors to all of my videos combined that matters.

So it would be really awesome if you could take a few minutes each week to sit down and watch my Omni Contest videos. It is my hope that you'll find these a valuable use of your time, as I've made a point to select especially yummy recipes that are super simple to prepare and that you can easily include in your daily routine. Hopefully you'll be tempted to recreate some of these at home and maybe even learn a trick or two from the ton of information and tips that I share during these short demos.

Vegan Tarragon & Mustard Cheeze
"Where can you find the videos?"
They will be featured prominently on my blog between now and November 15th. I'll be posting my second one of the series - a Vegan Tarragon & Mustard Cheeze - shortly after I publish this post. (I've already shared the first vid - Strawberry Banana Shake - a few weeks back.) You can also visit my YouTube Channel directly here. Even better, if you haven't already, you can subscribe to my Sunny Raw Kitchen Channel and be the first to know when a new video is up!

And don't forget to share the videos' links with friends and family if you think that they might be of interest to them!

My Other Omni Contest Videos


A Little About The Omni
I guess it's no big secret that I'm thrilled that there's a solid high power blender alternative to the more common Vitamix and Blendtec's Total Blender. Not because these don't do a fine job, but because they leave a great big gaping hole in your budget.

At $279 (including free US shipping), the Omni 3 HP blender costs significantly less than similar machines and yet yields a comparable performance.

Some Omni facts:
  • Electronic like the Blendtec but much simpler to use
  • Substantially quieter at 85 db
  • Somewhat slower RPM means thorough emulsification requires a bit more time than the competition, and for that the motor should experience less stress/longer life
  • Comes standard with the 64 fl oz square container and a food tamper
  • Has a six blade system
  • Comes with a 7 year warranty on parts and labor for the motor/base and 1 year on the drive socket, container and blade assembly
As Don points out in his Kitchen Blender Value Review, "clearly the Omniblend V is the substantial Value King as it is about equal to the competition in functionality and expected durability for a much lower cost."

Finally the Omni also comes with a free copy of a raw recipe book that I've written especially for it: Deliciously Raw. (That's how impressed I am with its performance!)

Thanks in advance guys for your help with this! You all rawck!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Raw Radiance Retreat - September 2012

I've got some mighty exciting news to share with you guys! In September I will be teaming up with Ulla Devine of Devine Health, a local practicing Colon Hydrotherapist, for an inspiring three day retreat in south central British Columbia, Canada.

For years Ulla has been holding the vision of offering an opportunity for local people to experience the benefits of a detox retreat without having to pay an exorbitant price and go to an exotic destination. Together we'll be bringing this dream to fruition at the 'Raw Radiance Retreat' which will take place from Thursday Sept 20 to Sunday Sept 23, 2012.

Here are all of the juicy details...

Raw Radiance Retreat
September 20th – 23rd, 2012

Experience the power of raw and living foods to achieve vibrant health!

Join Ulla Devine, certified Colon Hydrotherapist, and Carmella Soleil of the award winning Sunny Raw Kitchen blog for an inspiring three day detox retreat in the heart of the magical Slocan Valley in British Columbia, Canada.

Detoxification is a key element in attaining a healthy and disease free body. The informed proper use of detoxification methods combined with nutrient rich living foods give the body a chance to detoxify and heal itself naturally. 

Our intention for the Raw Radiance Retreat is twofold:
  • We wish to give you a focused opportunity to actually experience the power of raw and living foods to restore health and clean the body.
  • We want to provide you with a number of simple and effective tools that you can take home with you and easily incorporate into your daily routine, so that you can continuously progress on your health journey.

In the course of these 3 days you will learn how to:
  • Make energizing juices, tasty and nutritious smoothies, sexy salads, creamy comforting raw soups and nourishing yet simple entrees without the fuss
  • Successfully transition to and maintain a mostly raw vegan diet
  • Build simple daily food prep routines to keep going at home
  • Exercise efficiently in a matter of minutes every day
  • Make easy relaxation practices a regular part of each day
  • Quickly remove toxins from your body

About the Location
The Raw Radiance Retreat will take place from Thursday Sept 20 to Sunday Sept 23, 2012 at the beautiful rustic Lemon Creek Lodge in the heart of the magical Slocan Valley.
Easily accessible, Lemon Creek Lodge is located off Hwy 6, 7680 Kennedy Road, in the Slocan Valley, South-Eastern British Columbia, Canada. It’s just a 3.5 hour drive North of Spokane, Washington, or if you are driving from Calgary or Vancouver, an eight hour drive from either city. Guest flying into Castlegar Airport or arriving at Nelson or Castlegar by Greyhound bus, can be met (by prior arrangement) and transported to the Lodge.

About the Meals
Guests will enjoy raw vegan, gluten-free and mostly organic meals prepared by experienced raw chef Carmella Soleil and her partner Don. Participants are encouraged to give a hand with preparation and/or cleanup of some of the meals at the retreat. Signup sheets will be available upon arrival.

Learn to Uncook with Carmella
Included in the activities will be a raw food prep workshop in which Carmella will demonstrate how to create some simple yet tasty recipes that can be created in a short time with a minimum of equipment.

About Your Hosts  
Ulla Devine is a practicing Colon Hydrotherapist living and working near Nelson, B.C. She is certified by the Natural Health Outreach School in Penticton, B.C. and is a member of the International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy (I-ACT) and the Academy of Naturopaths and Naturotherapists (A.N.N.).

Ulla has worked as a teacher/counselor in B.C. schools for many years. Her passion for health and wellness has led to extensive research of and personally experiencing various fasting methods, cleanses and detoxification programs.

She is a graduate of the Ann Wigmore Living Foods Institute in Puerto Rico. Ulla combines her counseling skills and interest in nutrition and wellness to support others on their path to optimal health. 

Ulla lives with her husband on a farm in the Kootenay region, enjoying the maintenance and produce of a large vegetable garden and fruit orchard.

Carmella Soleil is an internationally known raw food chef and instructor. She is the author of the popular Sunny Raw Kitchen blog, voted «Best Raw Website» and «Best Raw Media» of 2008, and co-founder of Raw Freedom Community forum, a resourceful interactive site.

She has published 4 recipe books, The Best of The Sunny Raw Kitchen, The Best of Raw Freedom Community, Delightfully Raw and Deliciously Raw. These days, Carmella, Don and their furry friend, DaPuss, are nomads, sharing their passion for health, raw foods and personal growth along the way.

Sliding Scale: $470 - $ 510 CDN*
Includes accommodation, raw vegan meals, presentations, raw food prep workshop and recipe hand out

*Based on double occupancy. There are a few single rooms available for an additional $30/day. If you wish to have your own room please let us know! 

Refund Policy
Retreat admission price minus a $50 administration fee is refundable up to Sept 13th.

To secure your place please contact Carmella
before September 13th!

Looking forward to spending time with you! ;-)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Devine Garden Tour

Don and I recently met a really neat couple, Ulla and Mike Devine. They live on a beautiful farm in the Kootenay area and our friends Mosaica and Pontifex did some wwoofing for them last year. Their time spent with the Devines led to Ulla purchasing my Delightfully Raw book and eventually contacting me. (Don't you just love how people are brought into our lives in all kinds of intricate and magical ways?)

They're both retired teachers and Ulla now practices as a Colon Hydrotherapist. Her passion for health and wellness has led her to extensive research of and personally experiencing various fasting methods, cleanses and detoxification programs. Not surprisingly, at some point along the way Ulla discovered the healing power of raw and attended the Ann Wigmore Living Foods Institute in Puerto Rico.

Anyhoo we finally managed to get together with Mike and Ulla for the first time a few weeks ago and we hit it off right away. For years Ulla has been holding the vision of offering an opportunity for local people to experience the benefits of a detox retreat without having to pay an exorbitant price and go to an exotic destination. Together we'll be bringing this dream to fruition at the three day Raw Radiance Retreat which will take place this September here in the heart of the Slocan Valley in BC, Canada. There seems to be a wonderful complementarity between the two of us and so far everything is falling into place effortlessly, which is a mighty good sign. I'll be telling you all about the retreat in my next post, so stay tuned for all the details!

We visited Ulla and Mike at their lovely home near Nelson last week to bounce off ideas about the retreat and take some shots of Ulla for the event's poster. Mike also gave us a tour of their amazing vegetable garden and fruit orchard. Their property lies in an East-West valley which means they get lots of sun; a perfect haven for growing produce.

I was startled to discover this little plaque depicting St Francis at the garden's entrance, as it echoes almost word for word the intention that I voice every morning when I wake up: "May I be a pure instrument for Peace, Light and Harmony on Earth."

I could hardly believe the bounty already in evidence, especially since I planted my own garden quite late this year, what with the deluge we've experienced this spring and early summer. Everything was absolutely thriving!






We'd never EVER seen such gigantic and happy tomato plants! They were even taller than Don! lol


Mike plants more lettuce every 2 weeks so that they have an ongoing supply.

I picked up all sorts of helpful techniques and tricks just by walking around the garden. For instance every year Mike sets aside about 1/4 of his garden fallow so as to replenish the soil. He also designates certain plants for the purpose of harvesting their seeds - hence the red tape in the next picture.

A lettuce tree! ;-)

There's also a large number of fruit trees, berry bushes and grapevines around the property; certainly our idea of heaven! ;-)



Gooseberries (I think!)

The blueberries were almost as big as grapes!

They sent us home with a few containers full of raspberries. Yippee! Such a delightful treat!

Red raspberries

We'd never had yellow raspberries before and just fell in love with their delicate flavor, not quite as tart as their more common red cousins.


Mike was shaking his head in amazement at the sheer amount of blackberries this year. "This is crazy," he said,"I've never seen anything like it!" They're not ready yet but boy, once they ripen it will be Blackberry Fest! ;-)

And of course there's a variety of gorgeous, often edible, flowers to be found around the garden.

Speaking of which, Ulla picked these nasturtiums for me, thinking that their color perfectly matched my dress.

But 'nough talk about gardens, I better get going in order to play in our own! Again this year we have the privilege of having a few beds on a friend's property not too far from where we are camped. We're not growing a lot of veggies, mostly beets, carrots, potatoes, snow peas and snap peas, lettuce, chard, summer squash, tomato and basil. I'm such a novice when it comes to gardening but I'm slowly learning. And nothing can beat the thrill of watching plants grow into delicious veggies, a reminder of the true miracle that Life is!

What about you? What have you got growing in your garden?