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!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Spicy BBQ Kale Chips (and Russell James' Extended Homestudy DVD Sale)

I thinned a kale bed at the garden this week and so got to come home with bagfuls of it. Yay! Now, I must say that kale isn't Don's favorite green veggie in the world. Over the years we've tried marinated salads and smoothies but no; he can still detect its strong flavor. *sigh* Actually a funny anecdote from our tour... we were served kale many times by our hosts. lol I figured it was The Mystery winking at Don, forcing him to work on his dislike. he he

I remembered that when I made Chrissy's Goddess (Kale) Chips some time back they generated more positive interest in him. I mean, what's not to like about Kale Chips, right? Crunchy yet soft at the same time and the possibilities of seasoning are endless! Not to mention that it's a super nutritious treat!

Growing up, I was a BBQ Chips kinda gal, so imagine my excitement when I discovered that one of the raw chefs I admire the most, Russell James, recently applied his culinary expertise to this popular snack. (Make sure to watch his video here!)

Their flavor is so wonderfully complex; a perfect balance of salty, sweet, sour and spicy. Oh-so-yummy! A non-raw friend who normally doesn't get very enthusiastic about food couldn't hide his surprise. "These are incredible! I bet you could market them!" he goes to me. That and the fact that Don loves them you can believe is saying a lot about how amazing these Spicy BBQ Kale Chips are! ;-)

Spicy BBQ Kale Chips
By Russell James
Posted on his blog

1 head organic kale, torn
2 chipotle chilis, soaked (seeds removed)
1/2 cup soaking water from chipotle chilis
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons nama shoyu/tamari
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch cayenne
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked
1 cup soft dates

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

- Thoroughly combine the kale a sauce in a bowl until all the kale is coated.

- Evenly scatter the kale on a non-stick dehydrator sheet in a way that will allow the air to circulate around it.

- Dehydrate at 105 degrees F for around 10 hours. Remove from the non-stick sheet, transferring to a mesh sheet and continue dehydrating until the kale is completely dried out.

Carmella's Notes:
~ I doubled the recipe as I had so much kale.

~ I made a couple of slight modifications: I used only half the amount of chipotle pepper and soak water and 3/4 cup dates (or 1 1/2 cups total for 2 recipes).

~ I wanted all the chips to fit onto 2 trays so the kale pieces ended up being pretty tightly spread without much air flow which partly explains why they look so flat.


Russell James' Homestudy DVD Sale
I was just about to push the "Publish Post" button when I got an email from Russell announcing that he's having another super deal on his DVD Homestudy series. He recently had a sale and ended up ordering 30 too many, over and above what he normally keeps in stock, so he's offering these at the same $150 off discount!

If you're interested in getting this bargain and picking up one of those discounted sets, just follow these simple instructions:

Your Own Raw Chef1. Visit this page.

2. Take a look at the DVD set and see if it's something that will help you.

3. Click 'Add To Cart'

4. When checking out enter the coupon code WAKE28

5. Click 'Apply'

6. Ensure the $150 discount has been applied.

7. Checkout with your information.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Amazing Raw Chocolate Shake

Hi guys! How was your week?

Well, mine was wonderful and blessed! For one thing, our dear friend Mr. Sun has been keeping us company. Yay! After last year's pretty much non-existent summer, we are making the most of it!

On a hot summer day what better way to refresh oneself than hanging out by a nice cool river, eh? I went tubing with a couple of friends (my first ever!) and had such a fabulous time! There is something really meditative and magical about letting oneself be carried along by the current, leisurely taking in all the surrounding beauty. And oh what fun when we hit rapids! Woo hoo! I had a huge grin plastered on my face most of the afternoon. ;-)

I'm a gardener at heart but was never given the right circumstances to really get into it. This week, however, I found a garden to play with and an absolutely ginormous one at that! I swear I've never seen such an abundance of veggies: various greens, beets, carrots, beans, peas, tomatoes, basil, potatoes, squashes... And as if that wasn't enough, the setting is be-yu-ti-ful! It's amazing how good it feels to spend a few hours in the company of plants!

I helped thinning lettuce beds one day; I swear that some of the heads were at least 1 1/2 feet in diameter! Have you ever heard of the lettuce diet? hehe We've been throwing some in our smoothies, soups and of course, enjoyng huge salads.

Nature's mandala

 Oh and there's also some lovely flowers!

One happy gardener!

On a different note, I realized that I haven't been giving much news about the furries for a while. Well rest assured that they, too, are thoroughly enjoying their summer. One thing's for sure; they are getting plenty of rest! Neither of them venture too far away from our 'home on wheels', especially Puss who hangs out in the van almost around the clock.

Her favorite spots are the front seats...

... but she occasionally goes for a little stroll (or in this case nap) in the woods.

Kyky's fave spot is a comfy hole that he's dug out next to the van.

Smiling woo'fie

With all this going on I've been too busy to spend much time prepping food, but I do have a yummilicious shake recipe to share!

I recently got an email from a lady named Karen who pointed out her website, Nature's Garden Health Center, to me. I was totally blown away by what she and her family have managed to accomplish! With the help of their 10 children (yes, you've read right!) they are sharing their passion for healthy living and helping spread the raw movement all over Wisconsin, aka 'the dairy state'.

The Urbaneks have an organic grocery store, organize raw retreats and health expos, offer an array of classes and have even developed their own line of organic, homemade products including several raw creations such as bars, crackers, breads, as well as sauerkraut and kombucha starter kits. Oh and did I mention that they also have an organic cafe called Zuzu's with some raw items on the menu? Call them 'The Super Family'! Wow, you guys rawck!!!

The following recipe was published in one of Nature's Garden Health's newsletters. It reminded me a little of my Super Choconana Shake sans the superfoods. I like how quick it is to whip up, since you don't need to have almond milk on hand.

Really very good!

Lisa's Amazing Raw Chocolate Shake
Posted in Nature's Garden Health Center's Raw Desserts Newsletter

Blend 3 cups coconut water with 3 dates

Then add:
1 1/2 frozen bananas
3 heaping TB of raw cacao powder
2 TB almond butter
1 heaping TB hemp seeds

Blend until smooth.

TRY to savor it and not chug the whole thing….I believe there is a prize if you can make this one last!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Vegetable Satay on Zucchini and Kelp Noodles

One of the exciting culinary discoveries we made while in the US was Penzeys Spices, a company that sells wonderfully fresh and fragrant spice blends. We made sure to stock up at one of their stores on the way to San Francisco. What a fabulous aromatic experience that was! I could have stayed there for hours sniffing at all of their little sampler glass jars! Among our tasty acquisitions that day was a satay seasoning that I finally got around to experimenting with this week.

Conventional satay sauce usually calls for canned coconut milk and peanut butter. In rawifying this dish I replaced these with freshly made young coconut milk and a mixture of raw almond butter and tahini.

The result was deliciously creamy, exotic and, of course, yummy, but not having had satay before I had no sense of its flavors' authenticity. A friend who was trained and has worked as a chef happened to drop by that afternoon. How perfectly timely! She tasted my concoction and gave me the thumbs up. Hoo-rah!

I served the dish on a mixture of zucchini and kelp noodles (which I loooooove!) Speaking of which, The Raw Life Store has kelp noodles on sale this month. Yippee! You can buy the individual 12 oz package for $3.47 or a 3 pack for $9.36. Guess where I'm going shopping next! ;-)

Vegetable Satay on Zucchini and Kelp Noodles

Marinated Veggies
Mushrooms, sliced
Baby bok choi, sliced
Red and yellow bell pepper, cubed
Snow peas, sliced diagonally
Green onions, sliced
Mung bean sprouts, rinsed and drained

Toss veggies in a marinade made of equal part cold pressed olive oil and tamari or Nama Shoyu, and half of that amount of roasted sesame oil (not raw but gives the dish a delightful authentic Asian flavor). For example, I used 2 tbs oil, 2 tbs tamari and 1 1/2 tsp roasted sesame oil.

Let sit for at least one hour to allow the flavors to blend and for the veggies to get a 'cooked' texture.

Drain excess liquid before serving.

Carmella's Note: I added the bean sprouts just in the last 15 minutes or so as I wanted them to retain some crunchiness.

Satay Sauce

Yields about 3 cups

1 1/4 cup fresh coconut milk*
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons raw almond butter
1/4 cup raw tahini
3 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons tamari or Nama Shoyu
2 tablespoons cold pressed olive oil or raw sesame oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon agave
3 teaspoons Satay spice mix (I used Penzeys' Saté Seasoning)
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
3/4 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (or more, if you like it spicy!)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

*To make coconut milk, blend 1/2 cup young coconut meat with 3/4 cup water until smooth and creamy.

 Blend all ingredients until smooth in high power blender.

I used a mixture of zucchini noodles done on my favorite spiral slicer and kelp noodles that I had soaked for a few hours.

Toss kelp noodles in a little Satay Sauce and let sit for 30 minutes to soften them up.

Just before serving, mix zucchini noodles with kelp noodles.

Carmella's Note: If you wish a warm dish, place the Marinated Veggies and noodles tossed in some Satay Sauce (in separate bowls) in the dehydrator for one hour at 110.

To serve, place some noodles on a plate, top with marinated veggies and extra Satay Sauce.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Walking In Beauty

Oh how I love summertime! Everything is so lush, colorful and alive! I feel so humbled by the beauty of Nature; as I contemplate its untamed magnificence, I am reminded that there is an Energy-Behind-All-Things and that It is intrinsically Good.

As always, technological devices - though fancy as they may be - can only capture a fraction of the true magic and beauty that lay in front of our eyes. In spite of these limitations, one keeps on trying... ;-)

Flower Power
This first set of photos was taken last spring, shortly after returning to Canada. We arrived just in time to see the Okanagan Sunflowers - the official floral emblem of Kelowna - in full bloom. 

We walked a popular trail overlooking Okanagan Lake and were surrounded by fields of them!

More lovely flowers we've admired... 


Purple Iris

Yellow Iris

Sorry, don't know the name of this one...


Delphiniums of the most vibrant blue hues I'd ever seen!

Astilbe flowers: so delicate and ethereal!

I also witnessed a sunflower - as you've probably guessed, one of my personal favorites - slowly waking up to Life.

See the two spiders on its petals?

Hummingbird Magic
Keeping with the theme of birth and awakening, one afternoon I discovered a teeny hummingbird on a branch just above my head. I stayed there motionless for a while, not wanting to scare him away but after a few minutes I realized that he didn't seem to mind. I decided to take a chance and grab my camera (the van was parked just a few feet away!)

This photo shows where he was in relation to the nest. As you can see he was getting his wings ready for the big take off.

Here's a closer shot of the nest. To give you an idea of the scale, the entrance's diameter is no bigger than a quarter!

Meet the cute little fella with his spanking new feathers.

I somehow remembered that there's a video function on our new camera (Yay!), just in time to film him stretching and washing himself.

Amazingly, I'd managed to get a couple of shots of mama feeding him earlier. One of those hold-your-breath magical moments!

The next morning I found him a couple of branches higher than than the day before. If you look carefully you'll notice his mama staying close by (towards the top of the picture).

A few hours later he had left the familiar surroundings of the nest and its tree for good. It made me appreciate even more how special the encounter was.

Ahhhhhh, Life and its blessings!

Hope you too are walking in beauty wherever you are!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Green Onion Dressing

Hi everyone!

I hope you're enjoying your weekend! As for us we're taking things easy after giving a class yesterday; our first one in a while.

I can now hear the rain falling on the tent as I'm writing this. Such a peaceful and soothing sound... It's actually nice to get a little break from all the heat and sunshine. I know that all the forests and gardens are rejoicing from it.

I was telling you the other day how my yummy dressing collection has been increasing all at once. Well, here's another very delicious one that I've come upon. As I often like to do, I replaced part of the oil called for with avocado and water. This gives dressings a super creamy yet light consistency that I love.

Green Onion Dressing
Posted on raw-food-living.com here

3 (or 3/4 cup) green onions
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup flaxseed oil
1/3 cup raw apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup raw honey
1 1/2 tsp sea salt

Place all ingredients in blender and mix until creamy.

Recipe Creator's Notes:
This is my favorite raw salad dressing recipe! I eat it on all of my salads and use it as a dip for my veggies. Yummy!

If you don't have any flaxseed oil, you can use 1 cup of olive oil in this salad dressing. The sweet and tangy flavor remains the same!

Something I found out by accident was that the type of honey you use is VERY important! I started out using the brand "Really Raw Honey" which is smooth and creamy, not sticky and gooey like typical honey. But when I ran out, I bought a different brand. The new brand said "raw" and "unheated" on the jar but it was sticky and gooey like typical honey. It didn't work AT ALL in this salad dressing recipe. All you could taste was the oil AND it separated within a couple of hours. I ended up dumping it. So... make sure you use a creamy, spreadable honey!

Carmella's Notes:
~ I replaced 1/2 cup of oil with 1/4 large avocado and 3/4 cup water.

~ I've made this both with olive oil and flaxseed oil (about 1/4 cup of each) and it turned out great. I've also used only olive oil and it was still yummy.

~ I used only 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and 3 tbs liquid honey (I found I didn't need the creamy stuff since I was using avocado.)