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, February 19, 2008

Time to Fetch Those Chopsticks Again

I know I've already dedicated two posts to Asian food with a raw twist (see this and this), but with the arrival of the Chinese New Year on February 7th, I decided to hop on board for the celebrations.

It is said that the Year of the Rat is a time of activity and renewal. Well, there's certainly been some major changes and action going on in the Sunny Raw Kitchen lately. For one thing, I now have a new assistant, Manu, who you've already met. He lives next door but likes to hang around our kitchen for some interesting conversations, and of course, awesome raw food.

And so we've marked the beginning of the New Year and this new friendship/collaboration by putting an array of Chinese dishes on our raw table.

As you know, I have a thing for soup and so I took the opportunity to play with some interesting new flavors. For this variation of carrot soup, I replaced the peanuts, usually called for in Szechuan food, with a mixture of almond butter and tahini. Sure did the trick! This one got a big thumb up from everyone.

Szechuan Carrot Soup

Serves 4

1 cup coconut water or regular water
3/4 cup coconut  milk*
1/4 cup cashews, soaked in water for at least 1 hour
1/2 avocado
1/4 cup young coconut meat
1/4 cup carrot pulp
2 small garlic cloves
1 inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
1 1/2 tablespoon raw tahini
1 1/2 tablespoon raw almond butter
1 1/2 tablespoon Nama Shoyu or tamari
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons agave nectar
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
dash of lemon pepper
4 cups carrots juice

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

Blend all ingredients except carrot juice in a VitaMix or high-powered blender and process until smooth. Add juice by hand. Gently warm up on the stove, stirring constantly until lukewarm. If desired, top with a light cashew cream and serve.

We've tried the following soup posted on GoneRaw. A definite reminder that I should put daikon more often in the shopping cart. The carrot we used was apparently a LOT bigger than the one in the original recipe but delicious nonetheless.

Daikon Dumpling in Miso Broth
Posted by TheDailyRaw on GoneRaw.com

The lemon makes the dish pop wonderful flavors in your mouth. Very, very delicious!

* 1 tablespoon yellow miso
* ½ carrot, shredded
* 1 cup warm water
* ¼ cup diced scallions
* 1 dried seaweed, broke into tiny pieces
* ½ lemon

* ½ daikon radish, cleaned
* sea salt

* 4 cups mushrooms, finely chopped
* ½ cup rice wine vinegar, (not a raw ingredient)
* ¼ cup agave nectar
* ¼ cup Nama Shoyu
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Miso Broth: Put miso, scallions, carrot and seaweed in a bowl with the warm water. Stir to dissolve the miso. Set aside.

Daikon Dumpling: Use a mandolin to slice daikon in paper thin rounds (1/8-inch or less). Sprinkle rounds with sea salt and let set for an hour to soften. Under running water, rinse thoroughly to remove salt.

Asian Mushroom Filling: Put ingredients in quart bag and shake until coated well.

Assemble: Add one teaspoon of the Asian to the center of rinsed daikon round. Fold over and pinch the ends to close.

Place dumpling into a small bowl, add 1/2 cup of miso broth. Squeeze lemon on top. Serve immediately.

Carmella's Note: We used less vinegar, tamari and sweetener for the mushrooms.

I also was curious to try one of Flandria's recent creations posted on Raw Freedom Community. Exquisitely exotic!

"Canh Chua" Vietnamese Sweet and Sour Soup
2 cups coconut water
1 stalk of celery
2 teaspoons carrot juice
1 cup tomatoes, no skin
2 tablespoons lemongrass, zested, using a zester
1 cup cilantro
1 lime
1 teaspoon agave nectar
2 teaspoons nama soyu
2 teaspoons Himalayan salt
1 cup fresh pineapple
1 teaspoon jalapeno with seeds, more for a spicier soup
1 tablespoon saffron
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Himalayan salt

Soak the saffron in olive oil and salt. Set aside.

Blend all the other ingredients. Prepare a nut bag or cheese cloth to strain the soup. Pour the soup into the nut bag or cheese cloth then squeeze liquid.

You can put the soup in the dehydrator to warm before service.

Serve with the saffron oil made earlier. Strain the saffron oil and top the soup. You can add cilantro and mung bean sprouts, too! Enjoy

Variation: Add cilantro and mung beans sprouts, along with the saffron oil on top.

Carmella's Note: I had to omit the lemongrass and saffron as I didn't have them on hand.

On a different note, this cucumber salad was inspired by a recipe found on a conventional SAD diet site. Always a good source of inspiration, specially when it comes to international cuisine.

Asian Cucumber Salad

Serves 4

2 large cucumbers, peeled and seeded*
1 1/2 tbs salt
1 tbs rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 tsp raw sesame oil
1 tsp red chili flakes

* To de-seed cucumbers, slice cucumber in half and remove seeds with a spoon.

Slice cucumber thinly with a mandoline. Toss in salt and let sit for a couple of hours. Drain the liquid off.

Add the rest of the ingredients.

Let sit for a half hour to allow flavors to blend before serving.

Next is a broccoli salad that my friend Joz has made countless times. Yet another great new way to eat this veggie in the raw.

Chinese Broccoli with Peanuts
From TopRawMen.net

In a salad bowl, add:
3 cups broccoli tops, chopped
1/4 cup raw Spanish peanuts

In a blender, add:
1 Habañero pepper
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 avocado
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt

Blend until creamy, pour over broccoli and peanuts. Let marinate for 45 minutes in the refrigerator.

Carmella's Notes:
~ I used chopped almonds instead of peanuts.
~ I replaced the Habañero with a small slice of jalapeño as I don't care much for heat.

And of course, the 'plats de resistances'. Here's a couple of noodle based entrees that turned out particularly yummy.

Spicy Noodles in Szechuan 'Peanut' Sauce

Serves 4

3 or 4 zucchini (depending on size), peeled and made into angel hair with a spiral slicer. (You want roughly 1 1/2 cup pasta per person.)

Sprinkle salt over zucchini pasta and place in a colander to allow excess water to drain.

1/2 large yellow bell pepper, julienned
1/2 large red bell pepper, julienned
2 1/2 cups mung bean sprouts
3 cups baby bok choi, sliced
2 green onions, sliced thinly
2 cups button mushrooms, sliced and marinated in:
1 tbs tamari
1/2 tbs sesame oil
2 tsp lime juice

'Peanut' Sauce
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup raw almond butter
2 garlic cloves
1 tbs fresh ginger root, grated
2 tbs Nama Shoyu or tamari
1 tbs raw sesame oil
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1/2 tbs honey
Dash cayenne

Blend all ingredients in high-speed blender until smooth. Add water until desired consistency is reached.

In a large bowl, toss veggies except marinated mushrooms in some peanut sauce, cover and allow flavors to blend in the dehydrator at 110 degrees for at least an hour. (Longer if not using the D.)

Just before serving, add zucchini noodles and drained marinated mushrooms to the veggies.

Divide into 4 servings. Top with more Peanut Sauce and decorate with black sesame seeds.

Hum, still not sure what to call this next dish... I'll go with Stir-dried Veggies and Pasta in Ginger Orange Sauce. The orange zest and mint gives this dish a surprising and fresh flavor. "Brilliant" according to Manu.

Stir-dried Veggies and Pasta in Ginger Orange Sauce

3 zucchinis, peeled and spiralized with the largest (fettuccine) setting
1/2 tablespoon salt

Toss zucchinis in salt and let sit in a colander for a few minutes to allow the excess liquid to drain.

1 cup snowpeas, finely julienned
1 cup carrots, sliced diagonally
1 cup red pepper, julienned
1 cup nappa cabbage, sliced finely
1 cup small broccoli florets
1/4 cup green onion, sliced

Ginger Orange Sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon raw sesame oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons Nama Shoyu or tamari
2 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons fresh ginger root, grated
3/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh mint (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced

Blend all but cilantro in high speed blender until smooth.

In a large bowl, toss veggies in sauce. Cover with a plate and 'stir-dry' in the dehydrator for a couple of hours.

Just before serving, add pasta and mix well.

Variation: For a different texture, you can also toss the pasta along with the veggies and sauce prior to putting in the D. It will give the noodles a slightly cooked look, as shown above.

We diverged a little to play with the Land of Smile's exotic flavors too. Not very authentic but hey. *shrug*

On the menu was the Creamy Thai Coconut Soup that I've just featured as Recipe of the Week along with Raw Food Real World's Spicy Thai Wraps, which I've been meaning to try for some time, especially since Heathy keeps raving about how wonderful they are. These were outstanding. We served them with a dipping sauce that Manu made with mango, banana and a bunch of yummy spices.

But back to our Chinese theme...

Finding Chinese desserts to turn into raw wasn't the easiest thing in the world, as there just isn't that much to choose from. There is of course the famous Fortune Cookies that shannonmarie of Rawdorable has done a great job at re-creating here. I opted for a simple but lovely pudding.

Mango Coconut Pudding

Serves 4

1 cup cashews
1 cup mango, fresh or frozen (thawed)
3/4 cup water
3 tbs dried coconut
3 tbs honey or agave nectar
1 tsp lemon zest
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbs lecithin powder

Blend all ingredients except lecithin in high speed blender until smooth. Add lecithin and blend for a few more seconds.

Set in the fridge or freezer.

Serve with orange and grapefruit fillets.

And lastly, we made Cafe Gratitude's outstanding Lime Pie that we topped with a cream made with young coconut and cashews. Perhaps not the most traditional either, but we thought the lime fitted right in with our Asian theme. Anna of the RawTable.com also has a lovely Key Lime Pie recipe posted here.

Phfew! I'm not used to preparing so much gourmet food in such a short period. Time to get back to eating crackers and spread for a little while... ;-)


  1. i heart cafe gratitude! looks like you made some amazing foods!

  2. It's said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I don't know that this instance would qualify as imitation or just plain copying but you can go here: http://reallyrawfood.com/forum/index.php?topic=1010.0 and decide for yourself. If you would like for me to remove it, let me know. I don't want any of my members to infringe by using your material without credit.

    BTW, the pictures are beautiful!

  3. Hey Dearie!

    Mmmm, it all looks fabulous! So great that you got around to trying the thai wraps. I figured you'd like them.

    I think I'll make a version of one of your dishes tonight for dinner with whatever ingredients I have on hand. :) Will keep ya posted!

    love you!

  4. We haven't tried the thai wraps yet. What spices did Manu use in the mango/banana puree?

    Looks delish!