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!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Sunny Raw Kitchen Tour Adventures - The Carolinas

So many interesting anecdotes about how our trip is shaping up! The fact that we don’t have a fixed itinerary is leaving the door open for awesome possibilities. It reminds me of the year I went backpacking in Europe when I was 19; free to respond to whatever invitation Life is presenting, able to make last minute changes that an otherwise tighter plan wouldn’t allow.

Our stop in North Carolina is a great example of this…

One morning, while doing my usual email checking routine, I had a message in my inbox from my friend Vee in Raleigh saying that something had come up and she couldn’t host us. As I kept scrolling down, there was also one from Kevin called “Invite to Tobaccoville”. My initial thought was that it was just a funny reference to how much tobacco is grown in the area, but Tobaccoville is really the name of a town near Winston-Salem. lol In his message, Kevin pointed out that he knew that it was sorta off our route, but he thought he’d put it out anyways. Since our other stop had fallen through and their invite felt so genuine, how could we resist? ;-) It felt strange to be back in North Carolina after 16 years. See, as a teenager, I did an exchange program, living with a family and going to high school in Wilson. This is actually when I became fluent in English. (In case you've missed the occasional spelling mistakes and bad phrasing, nope, English isn't my mother tongue - French is. ;-))

Meet Kevin & Holly...

... and their absolutely gorgeous feline friend named Petra.

She was a bit disturbed to have other humans (not to mention other furries!) moving around the house, but gradually warmed up to us. I even got to rub Petra on her belly which I'm told is quite a privilege.

Forget Tobacco, Grow Veggies!
Kevin and Holly recently acquired a piece of land this past summer which they've started to turn into an organic farm. They intend to plant a variety of vegetables as well as some blueberry bushes and fruit trees. Most of the harvest from Harmony Ridge Farm will then be distributed to local folks who have purchased shares, the rest will be sold at markets. Mmmmm... Wish we were sticking around long enough to partake in the abundance!

During our stay, there were trucks working on leveling out the field behind the house (a pretty big job!) so that they can then build a barn and a green house.

Look at the color of that dirt!!!

In Holly's Sunny Kitchen
Kevin is the one who was initially drawn to raw foods and we were told he went wild at first, experimenting in the kitchen. Holly is also amazingly gifted and creative, and since she loves preparing food, we were up for a treat! On the day of our arrival, Holly had made some raw paté and cauliflower rice which she then assembled into the best nori rolls I've ever had! We had some fresh mustard greens that we'd bought in Silver Spring which beautifully complemented the rest of the fillings.

Holly used an adaptation of the Cauliflower Casserole from Elysa Markowitz's Warming Up to Living Foods, but I bet they would also be fantastic with any type of 'rice' such as Ginger Un-Steamed Rice, or a simple rice made with chopped cauliflower, parsnip or jicama, or even without!

Sooooooo good!

Nori Rolls

For this recipe you will need:
  • 8 Nori Sheets
  • Wasabi Sunseed Pate
  • Mustard greens or greens of choice (optional)
  • 3 ripe thinly sliced Avocados
  • 2 thinly sliced Bell Peppers
  • 3 shredded Carrots
  • 1 serving of your favorite 'Rice' (optional)

Wasabi Sunseed Pate
1/2 cup walnuts , soaked 6 hours
2 cups sunflower seeds , soaked 6 hours
1/2 bundle, parsley including stems
2 tsp white unpasterized miso
1/2 tsp nama shoyu
1 Tbs hemp oil
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 lemons, juiced (or to taste!)
1 tsp sweet curry powder
1/8 tsp to 1/4 tsp wasabi powder

Carmella's Note: I've made this since, using about 1 tbs of lemon juice. Yummo!

Day Before or in the morning:
-Soak walnuts and sunflower seeds

Day of:
-Shred carrots using the shredder blade of food processor. Place in bowl, set aside.

-Fit food processor with S-blade. Add all pate ingredients (the first 10 ingredients) and process until smooth.

- Lay down nori sheet. Spread pate over entire sheet, then the 'rice' (if using).

- Next, place some mustard greens over the entire sheet (if using).

- Now make a row at one end of the sheet with carrots, avocado, and bell pepper. Roll tightly, starting at end that has vegetables.

- Repeat with the rest of the nori sheets.

- After all of them have been rolled, cut carefully into 8 pieces. (I use a very sharp tomato knife for this.)

Kevin and Holly invited some of their friends to join us for a raw dinner one night. Boy, what a feast! The menu consisted of ...

A variation of Ocean's Tuna Salad made with almond pulp (not quite as good as the original methought.)

Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers (from their garden). Mighty mighty hot!!!

Salad with Cafe Gratitude's Fig Dressing

And Holly's scrumptious Lasagna! Absolutely to live for! A must try!

Holly's Lasagna

For this recipe you will need:
  • 3 zucchini, thinly sliced using mandoline slicer
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • Mozanutta 1 serving
  • Riconutta 1 serving
  • Marinated Mushrooms 1 serving
  • Marinara Sauce 1 serving

Mozzonutta Cheese:
1 cup cashews, soaked, 8hours
1 tbs nutritional yeast
½ tsp him salt
½ lemon, juiced
¼ cup fresh water
1 tbs unpasteurized white miso

Place all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Place in glass dish and put in dehydrator for 16 hours, stirring every few hours. Or you may want to leave it in a warm place on the counter overnight, again, stirring every few hours.

For a harder cheese that you may slice: Pour through a nut milk bag. Place contents in cheese cloth, shape to size, and place in mesh strainer (though I use my salad spinner for this as it can drain easily into outer bowl. Let sit in warm place for 16 hours.

If you don't want fermented cheese, omit miso.

Riconutta Cheese:
1/2 cup pine nuts, soaked, 6 hours
1 cup almonds, soaked, 12 hours, peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 lemon, juiced
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup fresh water

After almonds have soaked for 8 to 12 hours, drain.Bring some water to a boil. Cool water for a few seconds and then add to almonds. Let almonds sit in hot water for 30 seconds. Drain. Peel almonds by pushing between thumb and first finger into bowl or other hand. Watch for flying almonds! This takes time but is worth it when you taste the ricotta. Without peeling, the consistency and flavor is not authentic but still good.

Now place all ingredients into food processor fitted with s-blade and pulse until ricotta consistency.

Marinated Mushrooms:
1 large Portobello Mushroom thinly sliced, thinly sliced
1 Tbs Nama shoyu
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp herbs de Provence
1/2 lemon, juiced

Peel top skin off of mushrooms. Slice thinly.

Place all other ingredients in bowl and whisk together until blended. Add mushrooms, making sure they are coated. Cover and let marinade in refrigerator for up to 8 hours for a more 'cooked' taste.

Marinara Sauce:
1/4 Red Onion, chopped
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, soaked 4 hours
Pinch sambhar powder*
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried sage
5 pitted dates
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp hemp oil, optional
Himalayan salt, to taste
Pinch cayenne pepper, optional
1/4 cup fresh water

Blend all ingredients until smooth in food processor with S-blade or blender.

* Sambhar powder is a South Asian blend of spices. This site offers a home made recipe that consists of red chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds.

Day before Lasagna Assembly:
- Soak Cashews or macadamia nuts (1 cup) for 6 to 8 hours
- Soak Almonds (12-24 hours)
- Make Mozanutta cheese
- Peel almonds and make Riconutta
- Marinate mushrooms

Day of Lasagna Assembly:
- Make Marinara sauce
- Slice Zucchini into thick noodles using mandoline slicer (or in a pinch, peel in thicker slices with potato peeler)

Assemble in this order (if you so wish):
In glass 2 quart rectangular pan, spread very thin layer of Sauce.

Then cover with:
- Zucchini noodles
- Marinara Sauce
- Riconutta
- Handful of spinach and/or Mushroom

Repeat layers until you run out of ingredients (about 4 layers).

Top Layer:
- Marinara Sauce
- Mozanutta Cheese, either drop generously until lasagna is covered or if you made the harder cheese, slice and layer.

Drizzle with honey using fork (optional but mighty tasty!)

Place in dehydrator at 105 degrees for 5 to 6 hours. You may eat it with the dehydration but the flavors will not have the same composition.

As they had lots of young coconuts in the fridge (yay!), dessert was Cafe Gratitude's Coconut Cream Pie. Always a hit!

The lucky munchers!

Among them was Vic aka The Raw Shaman. His quest for optimal health has eventually led him to work with the power of superfoods. Vic is a bit of an alchemist; combining various ingredients such as superfoods, green powders and medicinal mushrooms. He makes a pudding that is said to be utterly addictive. As Holly was telling me about him, I immediately thought of Daniel Vitalis and his elixirs. Turns out, the two
of them are buddies; Daniel actually came just a couple of months ago in order to give a workshop.

Where To Now?
For the first time since the beginning of our journey, the details surrounding our next step weren’t made obvious. We’d heard that a raw meet up was scheduled a few days later near Raleigh, which we considered attending, but things weren’t coming together smoothly. We had arranged to stay with a friend of Sarah’s in Silver Spring, and although we were having a hard time touching base with her to coordinate our arrival, we decided to head towards there anyways. We made a stop in Chapel Hill along the way in order to connect with someone, but once again, Life had a different idea. Long story short, we ended up staying at a hotel that evening, still unclear as to where to next. As they say, “night brings council”; the following morning we agreed that things weren’t flowing smoothly and decided to simply continue our journey south.

For the next two days, we pretty much just drove on the I-95, a pretty stressful experience to say the least. So many trucks and hectic drivers, or a combination of both! One truck actually started to change lanes when we were right next to him! Sure gave us a good scare! We thought perhaps the driver was on his cell phone or something, but he was staring straight at the road and never noticed a thing! Thankfully, the further we got south, the more laid back the drivers seemed to get.

While the 95 does get you to where you want to go fast, the landscape is rather non-descript; you could hardly tell the difference between North and South Carolina or even Georgia. We stopped at a campground in Canadys, SC for one night so at least we got to see a teeny bit of the local color. I just fell in love with the gigantic live oak trees covered in moss, which I later discovered is a feature of the southern states.

Furry Tales
For the most part, the furries have been real good with the traveling. (They sure got some practice last summer when we drove across Canada.) As I was saying in my last post, Puss is not a happy camper comes time to get back on the road, but once she's in the van, she usually chills, as long as she's next to Kylo. These pics were taken on a particularly good day.

See Puss all relaxed and sorta hanging onto the back seat? lol

Hum, I think I better pause here before getting into our Florida adventures. Be back soon!


  1. It was an absolute joy having you and Don visit. Your presence instigated an elevated awareness and a heightened degree of creativity in our house. You're always welcome in Tobaccoville! Thank you. - Kevin

  2. Nori Rolls! Yum! Oh...and nice dirt? ;)

  3. I made the Nori Rolls yesterday with the Ginger Un-steamed Rice. The rice was delicious and the Wasabi Sunseed Pate is a keeper, although the pate recipe was way too generous for the rolls recipe - I used only about a fourth of it. If you use the rice in the rolls you only need one carrot and one pepper (maybe only a half of each) because the rolls would come out way too thick - and I only used one large avocado. This meal was a bit heavy for two, but we enjoyed it and managed to finish off the platter throughout the evening. If you are going to use the Ginger Un-Steamed Rice, as I did, I suggest you place a collard leaf between the pate and the rice to prevent the moisture from the rice from seeping into the nori sheet. Since I have so much of the pate, I plan to make the rolls again tomorrow and I will dehydrate the rice for a couple of hours first and that may solve the moisture problem. I'm very new to raw cooking, and I found this recipe to be quite easy and fun to make. I I think it would make a lovely plate of hor d' oeurvres. Thank you