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, September 30, 2012

Raw Radiance Retreat 2012 - In Retrospect

Last weekend me, Don, and our friend Ulla hosted our very first raw retreat - Raw Radiance - and it was such a wonderful experience! The group was fairly small and we decided to use as a venue the Benailse Retreat Center in the Slocan Valley. This is where we lived for a number of years before we became nomads, so in many ways it felt like doing it from home. As it turns out it was perfect that it was an intimate gathering, as it gave us an opportunity to find our sea legs, it being our first retreat and all.

The weather was amazing for nearly the entire time and we were able to do most sessions and meals in the yard. Yay! Sadly Don and I usually had to busy ourselves prepping food during Ulla's presentations so it never even occurred to me to take some photos of these. Ah well... next time! ;-)

Lunch that first day was Whole Meal Miso Soup - a major staple for us for years, especially when we're on the road.

For dinner we enjoyed a Tomato and Herbs Soup, followed by Zucchini Pasta with two types of Pesto: a light Basil Pesto and a richer version made with pine nuts and pecans based on this recipe. It was served with a side salad drizzled with my House Dressing. When prepping the meals we used as much freshly picked veggies from our gardens as possible. In this case only the tomatoes were bought at the local Farmers' Market. Don't you just love the abundance of this season?


Day 2
The evening before we watched the movie "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead", about the incredible transformations of Joe Cross and Phil Staples, largely thanks to juice feasting. If you haven't already, you guys really ought to see this documentary; it's nothing short of amazing and, of course, super inspiring. So it was only fitting that we start Day 2 off with a nutrition-packed Purple Power Juice from the JoinTheReboot website associated with the film. As it turns out, we happen to own the same juicer as the one used in the movie - a Breville Juice Fountain. (We sell several models in our Amazon Store here).

We used concord grapes and blackberries from Ulla and Mike's garden. Yum! I somehow got mixed up with a different juice recipe and started to shove in greens by the handful.  Ooopsie! What can I say!?! Me love my greens! ;-)

Purple Power Juice
From www.jointhereboot.com

Serves 2

6 cups concord grapes
1 Golden Delicious Apple
2" piece of ginger
1/2 cup blackberries

Pass all ingredients through juicer.

It still tasted heavenly and was even more nutritious to boot, although it did turn the juice into a suspicious brown color.


Lunch was a ginormous salad with various veggies to toss in, a choice of my House Dressing or Hemp Peppercorn Ranch Dressing, Sunflower Garlic Spread and Italian Flax Crackers

During one of our conversations the previous day, the way I cook quinoa popped up, so I decided on a whim to add some to the menu. Here's how I prep it and I just love LOVE the nutty flavor that it gives the quinoa!

Sprouted and Lightly Cooked Quinoa

Serves 2

3/4 cup quinoa
Quart glass jar with wide opening
Cheesecloth or mosquito screen
Elastic band

Place quinoa in jar, secure the cheesecloth or screen with the elastic band.

Rinse well, 2 or 3 times, by filling the jar with water, shaking it around then pouring the liquid out.

Fill the jar about 3/4 full with fresh water and allow to soak for 8 hours or overnight.

Drain soak water, rinse quinoa, drain water again, and let sit at room temperature for 1 day. This will allow the quinoa grains to sprout/grow a little tail.

Rinse and drain one more time then transfer quinoa to a small pot.

Add water until it covers the quinoa by a little less than 1/4 inch.

Bring to a boil, covered, then turn off heat and wrap pot in a blanket or under your bed covers.

Your quinoa should be ready in 30 minutes. Drain any excess water and serve.

That afternoon we were invited by my friend Camille, whose property is along the beautiful Slocan River, to join her for a river walk. The weather was gorgeous and we had a wonderful time chilling on one of the islands. We had brought a couple of thermoses full of my Strawberry Banana Shake to snack on while we were there.

Dinner that night was a Cream of Zucchini Soup and a delicious Tostada made with Sprouted Corn Chips, Guacamole, Nacho Cheeze, lettuce strips, Fresh Tomato Salsa and Cashew Sour Cream. Sooooooo tasty!

We finished the day by watching another awesome and inspiring movie called 'May I Be Frank', documenting the transformation of Frank Ferrante. As you may recall, it's a movie I hold especially close to my heart. I had the good fortune to be able to attend one of the screenings in Seattle a couple of years ago and meet Frank. You can read about my beautiful connection with him here.

Day 3
Breakfast that morning consisted of our Anything Goes Green Smoothie (a variation of Our Daily Green Fuel). It's a great go-to recipe as it calls for whatever fruits are in season.


Gosh, isn't the color just stunning? I'm so in love with green smoothies!

The focus that day was particularly on raw so Don and I gave a short presentation, sharing our own stories along with our approach to successfully transitioning to the raw lifestyle.


Lunch was Sauerkraut Salad - one of my absolute favorites - made with a fresh batch of kraut from our kitchen. It was accompanied by Onion Bread and two types of vegan cheeze: Black Pepper & Chive and Purple Basil & Garlic (recipe to be shared very soon!)

For our afternoon activity we hiked up to the Look Out, a few minutes behind Benailse Retreat Center. Not only does it give a breathtaking view of the Slocan Valley but it's also a power spot complete with an energy vortex.

When we got back we felt like a little boost before dinner so I whipped up a yummy Choconana Shake. (Sorry, I forgot to take pics!)

My initial idea was to have a long food prep demo featuring 5 or 6 recipes that afternoon. However, inspired by a similar retreat held by my friend and raw food chef Guylaine Lacerte of The Raw Food Path, I decided instead to do a bunch of short demos just before a meal featuring one of the recipes that we were about to enjoy. What a brilliant concept! It made each demo much more focused and concise, plus it also cut down on the amount of dishes to be prepared all at once (and cleaned up too!) Not to mention that it is considerably more energy demanding to keep pumping out recipes in front of a crowd for over 2 hours! And so later I demoed how to prepare a raw vegan Pad Thai, which was the main course that night.

That and the lovely Indian Carrot Curry Soup we served as appetizer turned out to be major hits. Yay!

Day 4
It was already time to bring our Raw Radiance Retreat to a closure. Wowsers, how it flew by! Mind you, we were so busy in the kitchie that we lost track of time. ;-)

We began with another juice recipe from JoinTheReboot which is quite similar to the combo that Don and I enjoy pretty much every morning.

ABC's Juice
From www.jointhereboot.com 

Serves 2

2 Apples
2 Pears (Asian or any other type)
2 Beets
2 Carrots
1 cup Cabbage (optional, can also replace with 2 celery sticks)
6 handfuls Chard

Pass all ingredients through juicer.

As the focus of Raw Radiance was mostly on detox we didn't serve any desserts throughout the retreat, wanting to keep the food on the lighter side of things. However we tried to make up for it on departure day by serving a delicious warm Blackberry Peach Cobbler fresh out of the dehydrator. I had mentioned Chia Pudding at some point so I demoed how to make it the evening before and served it as well that morning. Fuel for the road!

This of course opened up a whole new line of discussion on all the incredible desserts you can enjoy in the raw. Showing the girls some of the scrumptious sweet creations in my Delightfully Raw book.

All and all Raw Radiance was a wonderful success and we don't think it could have gone much smoother considering that it was our first. Working with Ulla was such a delight! We are so aligned and complement each other incredibly well. I feel blessed that Life has brought us together! (Thanks to our friends Pontifex and Mosaica who woofed for them last year.) Now we're excited at the prospect of other retreats to come! In fact we are already planning on having a lunch demo and a Raw Radiance day workshop in October before we head south. Stay tuned for more details!

Hope you're enjoying radiant health and are continuously inspired wherever you are!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Raw in a Flash Video: Cheezy Spinach Almond Soup

We just held our Raw Radiance Retreat over the weekend and it went super smoothly. Yay! It was definitely the first one of many. There's a wonderful complementarity between Ulla and us, and working with her was such a delight! I took lots of photos over the weekend and still have some editing to do, but I'll be posting about our experience within the next few days.

In the meantime here's another short video in my Raw in a Flash series. Today I'm showing you how to make a Cheezy Spinach Almond Soup. It is super creamy, has an incredible flavor and is very satisfying. One of my favorite comfort foods!

Cheezy Spinach Almond Soup

Serves 2-3

2 cups packed spinach
1 1/4 cups roughly chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup almonds, soaked for 8 hours or overnight
1/4 avocado
1 garlic clove
1 tbs nutritional yeast
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh parsley
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh dill
1 tsp light miso or 1/2 tsp salt (or more, to taste)
Water until desired consistency is reached

Blend all ingredients in high-speed blender until smooth.

If you wish a warm soup, use hot water or heat it up gently on the stove while stirring constantly.

Omni V 3 HP
If you'd like to learn more about this more affordable 3 HP blender, Don and I share our impressions of the Omni in greater details on this page.

 You can visit Omni's website directly by clicking on the banner below.


Sunny Raw Kitchen Tour Update
I was telling you in a recent post that we are slowly getting ourselves ready to get back on the road; we'll be once again headed down to the US for the cold months this fall. This will be our first time traveling in the luxury of our RawVee rather than a tent (woo hoo!) so we're mighty excited about the prospect. What a relief not to have to constantly unload and reload the van. Yay!

Anyhoo I mentioned that we would love to connect with some of you guys along the way and that we'd need a bit of property, a large yard or driveway to set up our RawVee, with hopefully the possibility of water and electric hook up. It occurred to me shortly afterwards that this might be a major limiting factor for many of you who live in the city or just plainly don't have much parking space. Sooooooo we'd like to emphasize that our first priority is to spend time with you and that we'll be happy to stay at your home or set up at a nearby campground or RV park if need be. ;-)

One of the fun aspects of the way we like to travel (with minimal planning and maximum fluidity) is to watch the itinerary gradually take shape according to the invitations we receive. The initial part of our journey is now starting to come together. Yay! We'll be headed down to Milton Freewater, OR via Spokane, WA and continue south to Utah. We'll then make our way through Arizona, California, and most likely drive back to BC along the West coast.

If you live somewhere along the way and are interested in hosting us or connecting during this next phase of our rawdventures, please send me an email with the subject line “Sunny Raw Kitchen Tour 2012” at:


For more info about our Sunny Raw Kitchen Tour and how we propose to go about it please read this post.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Sunny Raw Kitchen Gets Back on the Road... Again!

I was telling you in a recent post that the time had come for us to start thinking about where we'll be spending the winter months. Thankfully Mr. Sun has returned and promises to hang around for another while but still, we know that soon it will be too cold for us to stay comfortably up here in the trailer.

While tossing around ideas with Don about our next step it came to me to put it out there, and once again involve you in the process. After all, it's a similar post that sent us on our amazing journey all around the US 3 years ago! In the course of our first Sunny Raw Kitchen Tour, we drove nearly 13,000 miles through 6 Canadian provinces and 18 states. The kindness and generosity of readers of my blog and members of Raw Freedom Community made this trip possible; we had the privilege of staying in over 20 different homes along the way, becoming part of their lives for a short time.

Back on The Road
It's looking like we'll be once again taking our Sunny Raw Kitchen on the road around the end of October. We've only just begun to give this some thought, but the tentative plan is that we and Miss DaPuss would travel south in the US with our new RawVee.

As always, we like to stay as open and fluid as possible, and leave things up to The Mystery. Therefore we have no fixed itinerary, as that will take shape according to the winks we get from Life and the responses from you guys. All we know is that we'll most likely make our way down to the south western US from the end of October until April-May. We'll be looking for suitable place(s) to park our trailer for anywhere from a few days to a few months. This is where you guys could potentially come in...

In a nutshell, our general idea would be to visit some of you folks and create raw magic together. There are so many possibilities we can play with; from uncooking blitzes and sharing insanely delicious raw foods, to things like feasting at raw restaurants, food prep demos, potlucks or book signing events.Yummyness all around!

All we would need is a bit of property, a large yard or driveway to set up our RawVee, with hopefully the possibility of water and electric hook up. Otherwise we're pretty much self-sufficient. (Ahhhh, the beauty of having a home-on-wheels! Yay!) Of course we're also open to staying inside your home if that's more convenient, as long as we can find a place to park the trailer somewhere in the meantime. Or perhaps you'd like for us to get together and know about a good campground or RV park nearby? Like I said, we're very flexible. ;-)

A Little Bit About Us
Between this blog and our forum, Raw Freedom Community, I'm sure you have/can get a pretty good sense of what we're about, but just for the sake of making things easier for those of you who aren't yet familiar with us...

Our names are Carmella and Don, and we've been dedicated to living a healthier, ever growing and more fulfilling life together for the past 12 years. This has included eating mostly raw and living foods. Besides being the author of this Sunny Raw Kitchen blog, I have released four raw recipe books: The Best Of The Sunny Raw Kitchen, The Best of Raw Freedom Community, Delightfully Raw and Deliciously Raw.

In addition to our central passion for self-knowledge/personal growth, some of our specific interests and expertise include:
  • Vipassana meditation
  • the Five Tibetan Rites
  • freeing/purifying our body/minds
  • building harmonious relationships and community
  • simple living in harmony with Nature
  • raw food prep, from simple everyday meals to gourmet feasts
  • kombucha tea brewing
  • sauerkraut making
  • sprouting
  • organic gardening
  • alternative building

How Do We Propose To Go About The Whole Thing?
In light of all this, for those of you who might be interested in participating in the next phase of our rawdventures, simply send us an email with the subject line “Sunny Raw Kitchen Tour 2012” at:


Please bear in mind that while you may know heaps about us, we, on the other hand, haven't had a chance to 'meet' most of you (albeit in a virtual way), so a few words about you would be helpful and greatly appreciated. Also, you might want to let us know such details as your location and perhaps what you have in mind.

We'll then be contacting you in order to further explore the possibilities together, and once it starts shaping up, a tentative itinerary will be posted here.

Looking forward to spending time with some of you guys!

 P.S.You can read about our previous adventures across North America here:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Raw in a Flash Video: Ranch Dressing

Funny how there are some 'conventional' foods I never really liked until I started eating raw. Let me explain what I mean... For instance, I personally wasn't a fan of traditional ranch dressing. But then again, I was just plainly not into salads either, come to think of it. lol Wow, feels like a million years ago! ;-)

When I first started getting into raw, for at least a couple of years dinner consisted mostly of raw soup and a salad drizzled with a little oil, tamari and nutritional yeast. I loved the simple deliciousness of it, in fact I still do. Predictably, back then I eventually got bored with that scene, though, and even stayed away from salads altogether for a while after that. Thankfully, these days including green smoothies into our daily fare has revived my interest in all things greens. I find the more greens you eat, the more you do crave; it sounds weird but it's so true!

Anyhoo, I've experimented with all sorts of dressings over time and I've discovered that I really don't care for oil based vinaigrettes. I much prefer the creamy kind, using part cold pressed olive oil with either avocado, seeds or nuts as the base. Now back to what I was saying earlier about not really liking ranch dressing. The first time I tried a raw vegan version of it - a recipe posted by Snowdrop on Raw Freedom Community several years ago - I fell in love with the stuff! In fact I featured it as my Recipe of the Week here. It uses cashews as a clever replacement for dairy product, and is oh-so-creamy and yummilicious!

The following was inspired by Snowdrop's creation with a few touches of my own. Enjoy it on your favorite bed of greens, as a dip for veggies, or even as a coating for kale chips!

Ranch Dressing
From Carmella's Delightfully Raw

Yields 1 1⁄2 cups

3⁄4 cup cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour
1⁄2 cup water
2 tablespoons cold pressed olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon raw honey or agave nectar
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon dill
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 garlic clove
More water, until the desired consistency is reached

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

Add more water until the desired consistency is reached

Omni V 3 HP
Don and I share our impressions on the Omni 3HP blender in greater details on this page.

 You can visit Omni's website directly by clicking on the banner below.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Raw in a Flash Video: Almonnaise


It's been quite a challenging week for us. For one thing the weather has really turned and we can feel the undeniable promise of winter coming. In our case this means we have to get ready to move, as we won't be able to stay comfortably in the trailer where we are for much longer than another 5 or 6 weeks. My fingers are actually so stiff from the cold that I'm having a hard time typing right now. Brrr! Anyhoo, as always, transitions are not an easy time. We still haven't got a clear sense of what The Mystery has in store for us next and are doing our best to try to decipher the omens.

Also my laptop is seriously sick. We suspect that the logic board or the video card is toast; a costly repair that is probably not worth getting done as the computer will be obsolete in another year or two anyway. It's a major expense we hadn't expected, especially unfortunate right now. In times such as these it can be hard to remember that all will work out for the best in the end. I just wish I could see with greater clarity what is the right course of action.

Anyhoo, difficulties or nay, thankfully I can still take refuge in my sunny raw kitchen and whip up something delicious to brighten up my mood. Today I'm sharing with you a video in which I demo how to make a raw vegan almond-based mayonnaise. We've been making a variation of this recipe for many years. It's sooooooooo creamy, versatile and best of all yummy! It makes a fantastic dip for veggies, condiment for sammies (try it on a piece of onion bread with a slice of tomato and some sprouts!) or even dressing (just thin it with a little water).

From Carmella's Delightfully Raw

1/2 cup almonds, soaked overnight
1/2 cup water (put 2 ice cubes in the water)
1 1/2 tsp raw agave or honey
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp herbal seasoning of choice (I like unsalted Spike)
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp yellow mustard powder
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 cup cold pressed olive oil
3 tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Process first nine ingredients in a high-speed blender such as the Omni V 3HP until smooth. It may take a while to break down all of the almonds but don't lose heart!

With the blender running on low, remove insert in top and drizzle in the oil in a thin stream.

Keep the blender running and add lemon juice and vinegar. Blend on low for a few more seconds to allow mixture to thicken.

For a plain Almonnaise, stop here.

For a Herbed Almonnaise, now add:
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp dried dill
1 small green onion, minced

Blend briefly, only to incorporate.

Refrigerate in an airtight container. It will keep for about 10 days.

Carmella's Notes:
~ The purpose of the ice cubes is to help thicken the mixture. If the almonnaise seems runny after adding the oil, add in an ice cube or two to help thicken it up again. Bear in mind that it will also thicken once refrigerated.

~ If you don't have almonds already soaked, you can also use dry almonds. Just make sure to powder them up in a coffee grinder or in the blender first before adding the rest of the ingredients.

~ For a lighter almonnaise you can replace half of the olive oil with 1/2 cup Irish moss paste. To make Irish moss paste, blend 1/2 cup packed soaked Irish moss with 1 cup water until completely broken down.

~ Don't hesitate to make your own herb blend by using your favorite dried or fresh herbs!

Omni V 3 HP
You can learn more about the Omni 3HP blender on this page.

 You can visit Omni's website directly by clicking on the banner below.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Raw Radiance Special Announcement

As you probably already know my friend Ulla and I will be conducting a Raw Radiance Retreat from Thursday Sept 20 to Sunday Sept 23, 2012 in the magical Slocan Valley in British Columbia. Maybe you'd like to join us but don't feel you can get away for the entire duration of the Retreat. Or perhaps you live in the vicinity and won't be needing accommodation. If that's the case then I've got some great news for you!

We now offer you the possibility of participating for one, two or three days, with or without accommodation. Find out more details here.

P.S. You can also contact me for a detailed timetable to help you decide when you'd like to join us!

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Raw in a Flash Video: Cucumber Dill Soup

The weather has started to cool off noticeably since September has arrived. It's as though Autumn is suddenly in the air. I was hoping for an extra month of heat since Summer was so late but I guess that was wishful thinking. *sigh*

Anyhoo, I've got just the perfect recipe, whether you're tucked away in a warm corner of the globe or getting ready to bunker up for the cold months! It's no big secret that Don and I are huge fans of raw soups. We've been starting off our dinners with them for years
and years.

Just Like Campbell's Tomato Soup
For us, soups are the perfect healthy savory fast food; just chop everything and dump it in the blender with some water, exactly like for a fruit smoothie but with vegetables instead. A fantastic way to consume lots of fresh veggies with minimal preparation!

Here's a wonderfully alkalizing and refreshing soup that is a major staple for us. We make a variation of it at least a couple of times a week. We're partial to warm soups - they're sooooo comforting! - so we like to use hot water for a lovely lukewarm mixture, but I'm sure it would also be awesome served cold.

"What? Hot water!?! Doesn't it cook the soup?," you wonder? No need to worry, there's a trick to insure that your soup retains all of its nutritional value and precious enzymes in the process. See, because the veggies are usually coming straight out of the fridge, once combined with hot water we've found that the soup comes to the perfect lukewarm temperature. It does require a little practice, however, as the density and temp of your ingredients will affect the amount of hot water that you need. For instance a tomato soup will require less hot water than a zucchini or celery soup. It sounds complicated but, really, you get the hang of it very quickly. The key is to start off with a small amount of hot water at first, run the blender for a few seconds in order to pulverize everything, then adjust the temperature by adding more hot or cold water, depending on what's needed, in order to reach the consistency that you'd like.

Another option would be to use cold water and then very gently - and meditatively! ;-) - warm the soup up on the stove on low while stirring constantly, so as not to cook the enzymes touching the bottom of the pan.

Cucumber Dill Soup
From Carmella's Delightfully Raw 

Serves 2

1/2 medium avocado
2 cups lettuce, packed (optional)
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped cucumber
1⁄4 cup parsley
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
1 green onion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon light miso
Salt, to taste
Water, until the desired consistency is reached
 1⁄4 cup fresh chopped dill

Blend all ingredients except fresh dill in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy.

Add dill and process briefly only to incorporate.

If desired, break up seaweed, such as a sheet of nori into your soup bowl for extra traced minerals. Just make sure to omit salt in the recipe!

P.S. If I've gotten you curious about raw soups, hop over to my Recipe Index where I must have close to a hundred more yummy soup ideas!

P.P.S. You can learn more about the Omni 3HP blender on this page or visit Omni's website directly here.


My Other Omni Contest Videos