Monday, August 30, 2010

A Healthful Mexian Fiesta

Pictured above is a raw vegan red pepper tortilla topped with nacho 'cheese,' taco flavored nut meat, homemade salsa and sour cream.   It was served on a bed of romaine greens, with lime-kissed guac. and raw chocolate mole sauce.

I know what you're thinking.... "It sounds complicated."  Well, you're right:  It was!  This was a special occasion- a meal that I made for a family visit- hence all the bells and whistles included in the recipe!  That being said, the leftovers were fabulous and you could make a Mexican-style meal with any 2 or 3 of these components without the rest.  For example, you could eat a taco salad with romaine, taco nut meat, salsa and guacamole.  Or, you could wrap the salsa and romaine in the red pepper tortillas and dip them in the chocolate mole sauce for a complete, gourmet wrap-style meal.  The sky's you're limit! 

How to Make Everything:

Tortillas- Use any raw vegan tortilla recipe that you like or simply buy some (gently cooked) organic corn or sprouted corn (Ezekiel brand) tortillas instead.  I used a recipe from Russel James's Mexican Style e-book that included a red pepper tortilla that was flavorful and soft.  It was also corn-free, which I prefer due to the hybridization of corn and the unnatural sugars it contains as a result:  Go to the Raw Chef's web page for more information about that particular e-book.  Or, you can get pre-made tortillas and breads from The Raw Food World.  For this recipe, I'd recommend their onion bread or jalapeno flat bread (if you like spicy foods).

Raw Chocolate Mole Sauce- Use the Fiesta Mole mix from The Raw Food World store for a quick, nutrient-rich mole sauce-  or make one from scratch.  The raw chocolate mole pictured above was from the Raw Chef's Mexican Style e-book.

Taco Flavored Nut Meat-
(From Yemiah's Delights DVD set)

1 c. Almonds
3 c.  Walnuts
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried cilantro
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 T. chili powder
4 tsp. Sun Fire salt
1/2 minced sweet onion

Combine all of the above ingredients in a food processor until the mixture is the consistency of taco meat.  Add a Habenero chili or chopped red pepper after processing if desired.

Nacho Cheese-

2 c. Brazil nuts
1 1/2 c. orange bell pepper
1 c. orange pieces (about 1 orange)
4 cloves garlic
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp. Sun Fire Salt

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor until smooth and spreadable.

The above recipe was adapted from Alissa Cohen's Nacho Cheese Recipe in her phenomenal, inspirational book Living on Live Food.

My Personal Favorite Simple Guacamole Recipe- 
2 to 3 avocados, mashed by hand or blended in a food processor
the juice of one lime
pinch of Sun Fire Salt (optional)

Yemiah's Cashew Sour Cream-
(From Yemiah's Raw Food Delights DVD Set, DVD #2 Quick Meals.)

2 c. soaked and rinsed really raw cashews (available from the Raw Food World)
3/4 c. lemon juice
1 c. Spring or filtered water
4 T. onion powder
2 tsp. Sun Fire Salt

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.


Farmer's Market Heirloom Tomato Salsa-

    2-3 medium heirloom tomatoes
    1 wallah wallah onion (or sweet white onion)
    1 hot pepper of your choice (optional)
    1 handful cilantro
    2 cloves garlic
    dash of Sun Fire Salt
    splash of lemon juice

Dice up everything to about 1/4-1/2 inch size and toss together.

Really Raw Cashews, Sun Fire Salt, Fiesta Mole Mix, and other specialty ingredients can be purchased from:

Friday, August 27, 2010

Raw Vegan Cinnamon Buns with Heavenly Chocolate Sauce

These are some chewy, sweet, and chocolaty cinnamon buns (move over cinna-buns!) I made for a breakfast-for-dinner party as a dish to pass.  They were very well received by a crowd not necessarily into raw foods or even health foods. 

This is just one of MANY recipes offered in David Wolfe and Shazzie's book on the best kept health secret in the world- RAW CHOCOLATE.  And yes- the raw part is the key!!!  Raw chocolate has 700% more antioxidants than even the best organic cooked chocolate and several more bliss chemicals (anandamides).  Pure chocolate, taken in its original form also has a rich history and is a food that opens up your heart and consciousness to blissful experiences.

Read the book!... make some chocolaty concoctions... and send them to me please :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Simple Coconut Curry Rice

This is a really simple, delicious and easy to digest meal that almost anyone can make.


1 c. organic coconut milk
1/2 c. jasmine rice
1/2 c. vegetables of your choice, cut up small (suggestions:  cauliflower, peas, butternut squash, or zucchini)
1-2 tsp. ghee
1-2 tsp. Frank's Finest Floral Essence Curry (or your favorite curry seasoning)

Place all of the ingredients into a small pot and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes.  Sprinkle with Sun Fire Salt or sea salt and garnish with raw cashews and cilantro.  And... that's it!  Of course, you can double or triple the recipe depending on how many servings you'd like to make.

There are many books written about the health gifts of various forms of coconut.  Some of my favorites are:

Frank's Finest Floral Essence Curry, Truly Raw (and truly flavorful) Cashews, as well as Sun Fire Salt (my top recommendation for mineral and ormus-rich salt) can be purchased from the Raw Food World.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Chocolate Kiss Cookies

Made with living, sprouted almond flour instead of wheat, these cookies remind me of some that I loved as a child from a local bakery....


2 c. soaked almonds
1/2 c. young coconut meat

Place in food processor and process.  Then add:

2/3 c. truly raw agave nectar
2 tsp. vanilla extract or 1/4 tsp. raw vanilla powder
2 T. raw coconut oil
1 tsp. Sun Fire Salt

Continue to process until the mixture is doughy.  Spread into rounds on dehydrator screens and dehydrate until a cookie-like consistency is achieved.  Then, remove from the dehydrator and add the topping.


Simple- Mix 1 part raw Cacao Powder with 1 part raw Agave Nectar or raw Honey.
Gourmet- Use the raw Chocolate Ganahe Recipe from Raw for Dessert by Jen Cornbleet  (which is AMAZING!). 

Enjoy the cookies IMMEDIATELY... or store them in the fridge or freezer for later cookie indulgence.

Sun Fire Salt and the Best of the Best Coconut Oil, Raw Chocolate Powder, Raw Vanilla Powder, and Almonds Available with the Click of a Button from:

Long Lasting Salsa and 12 Reasons to Eat Hot Peppers

The following salsa's longevity is due to its lacto-fermentation. Lacto-fermentation is a way of preserving food using friendly, pro-biotic bacteria that both extend its shelf life, produce enzymes, and increase the bio-availability of the food's nutrients hundreds of times. It is a traditional, time-honored, and healthful way of preserving foods.


Makes 1 quart

4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced (use heirloom from the local Farmer's market whenever available)

2 small onions, finely chopped

3/4 c. chopped chile pepper, hot or mild

6-8 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped (optional)

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 tsp. dried oregano

juice of 2 lemons

1 T. sea salt

4 T. whey from homemade yogurt or an additional 1 T. sea salt

1/4 c. filtered or spring water

Mix all ingredients and place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar. Press down lightly with a wooden pounder or a meat hammer, adding more water if necessary to cover the vegetables. The top of the vegetables should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 2 days before transferring to cold storage. Enjoy!

Source:  Nourishing Traditions:  The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig, Ph. D.

Why Eat Salsa Anyway.... ?
If you're a lover of spicy foods, I have good news for you: The spice in your foods benefits your health in multiple ways!

Hot peppers containing capsaicin, such as chile peppers or cayenne peppers-

  • Are rich in a host of nutrients, including beta-carotene, eye-friendly cartenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, and vitamin C.
  • Are rich in a host of minerals, including potassium, folic acid, and iron.
  •  Increase your levels of endorphins, boosting your mood.
  •  Help you feel more alert.
  • Enhance your circulation.
  • Have the ability to lower your body temperature by stimulating the cooling center of the hypothalamus in your brain. Peppers play a major part in helping tropical cultures get relief from high temperatures.
  • Aid digestion and stimulate the appetite
  • Do not actually irritate the stomach (as commonly believed), but prevent ulcers by killing bacteria and stimulating the lining of the stomach to secrete powerful protective juices.
  • Reduce the likelihood of developing atherosclerosis by reducing blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels and platelet aggregation, as well as increasing fibrinolystic activity (the ability to prevent the formation of blood clots, which can lead to a heart attack, stroke, or pulmonary embolism). In fact, people in cultures who eat large amounts of cayenne pepper have much lower rates of the aforementioned diseases.
  • Combat the common cold and sinus infections by stimulating the mucus membranes of the nose and sinuses.
  • Are excellent scavengers of free radicals.
The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth by Jonny Bowden, P.h.D., C.N.S. 
The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, N.D.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sometimes... You just need to eat a Pizza!

It's actually true:  There are times when the human body requires pizza to keep it going.  Oftentimes, this need arises on a Friday night.

Pictured above is one such pizza, made on a Friday night.  It's completely raw and vegan- believe it or not- and it tasted awesome!  The cheese is macadamia mozzerella, the sauce is made from sun-dried tomatoes and fresh tomatoes, and toppings include marinated spinach, tomatoes, and portabello mushrooms.

Recipe from Raw Food Genius/Visionary, Matthew Kenney: )

Friday, August 13, 2010

Cheesy Raw Vegan Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Wakame

This is honestly one of my favorite raw food creations... EVER!  What is the pasta made of?  Actually, it's Kelp with Green Tea!  David Wolfe has said that right now we have the worst ever foods available to us (i.e. anything from a drive-up window) while simultaneously having the best ever foods available to us (i.e. KELP noodles with Green Tea, of all things.  This meal is truly prana-rich as it incorporates two wild foods- kelp and wakame, which have twice as much biophoton energy as cultivated foods do.  Biophotons were discovered by a researcher by the name of Popp, who found that all living things emit this subtle form of light.  He also discovered that the healthier a person (or plant) was, the more biophotons their systems' were emitting.  So... how do you increase your biophoton energy?  Eat biophoton rich, living foods!  (Cooked foods do not contain biophotons.)  Read the Live Food Factor for more information on this subject.

Both kelp and Brazil nuts contain thyroid-health promoting nutrients.  Kelp, as it's from the sea, contains all the minerals we require for health.

Cheesy Raw Vegan Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Wakame:
(makes one generous sized serving:  double it for two.  quadruple it for four.)

1/2 package raw green tea kelp noodles (or substitute julienned or spiralized zucchini or butternut squash) 
a handful of sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for about 15-30 minutes  to rehydrate (use warm water to speed up the process)
2 handfuls of wakame (or to taste)

American Cheese from Living on Live Food by Alissa Cohen:
(a large batch)
2 c. Brazil nuts
1 1/2 cups orange bell pepper
1 whole orange, peeled
4 cloves garlic
1 lemon, peeled
1 tsp. Sun Fire Salt

Step 1:  Toss the noodles with the sun-dried tomatoes (slice first, if desired) and the wakame.
Step 2:  Combine the Cheese ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth and 'cheesy.'
Step 3:  Massage just enough Cheese into the noodles to nicely coat.  Use the rest of the cheese for future servings of cheesy noodles, raw wraps, burgers, or sandwiches... or dehydrate into delicious slices for anytime use.
Step 4:  Hoist the mixture onto a place a sprinkle some chopped parsley, lemon juice and black pepper on the noodles if you wish.

You'll probably find Wakame at your local organic Food Co-op.  Or, look for it in the Japanese Food Section at Whole Foods.  Sun Fire Salt and Kelp Noodles are Available from:

Did you like the cheese?  Alissa has a lot of great raw vegan cheese recipes like Swiss, nacho, and ricotta in her Uncookbook.  Check it out:

Eat and Live in Harmony with the Sun

The sun is the ultimate source of life on Earth and regular exposure to sunlight is extremely important for building and maintaining great health. For many years now, doctors have been recommending sunscreen for protection from the sun to prevent sunburn and skin cancer. More recently, research has revealed this advice to be misguided. Sunscreens actually add to the problem of skin damage rather than solve it. The truth is that the sun is completely harmless unless we expose our bodies to it for unduly long periods of time, especially between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. in summer.

Sunscreens typically block UV rays in one of two ways-
1- by using a physical sun filter, such as talc, titanium oxide or zinc oxide
2- by using chemicals, whose active ingredients include methoxycinnamate, p-aminobenzoic acid, benzophenone and other agents that absorb certain sunburning UV frequencies while allowing others to pass through.

So- what's the problem with this? All suncreens block out the beneficial effects of the sun. Sunscreen lotions containing para-aminobenzoic acid (abbreviated PABA), not only block out the therapeutic effects of sunlight, but may also cause genetic damage to your skin. In fact, a report by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently included evidence that fourteen out of seventeen suntan lotions containing PABA may be carcinogenic. Sunscreen also interferes with and destroys the skin's own protective mechanisms against overexposure to the sun, making it more susceptible to permanent damage and abnormal cell growth.

Sunburn as a Biological Warning Sign...
An interesting study was done in Western Europe and Scandinavia in 1995: It showed that frequent users of sunscreen lotion actually suffered disproportionately higher rates of skin cancer. Why? The report states: "Sunscreens containing only ultraviolet B blocks protect against sunburn and therfore enable greater exposure to ultraviolet A (UVA) than would otherwise be possibile to obtain." Ayurvedic practitioner and author, Andreas Moritz, explains this phenomenon by pointing out hat sunburn is your body's natural defense against more serious damage, such as skin cancer. It is a warning sign that you're spending too much time in direct sun with your skin exposed: And, blocking a sunburn or ignoring your body's signals to seek a balance of shade and sunlight during the day, undermines your health. Common sense is key.

If you need to be or plan on being out in the sun all day long, what can you do to prevent sunburn? 
Here are SEVEN tips to do just that...

1-  Build up your exposure gradually.  Your body can adjust to being in the sun all day without damage as long as you give it time to adjust.   
2-  Wear light clothing (such as linen or cotton) that covers your skin, but keeps you cool.  Wear a hat that protects your face.  This is old-fashioned sun protection!
3- Take in foods and teas known to contain a mix of special nutrients and anti-oxidants that specifically protect you against sun damage:  Some examples include Rooibos tea, carrot juice, spirulina, aloe vera juice, chlorella, spirulina, goji berries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and maca.  Maca has been used by the people of Peru for centuries to work long hours in the sun safely at high altitudes.  Maca is obtainable as a powder, which can be added to fruit smoothies or raw chocolate drinks.  Visit my authentic food resources tab for sources of organically grown maca.
4- Avoid polyunsaturated fats, such as corn, canola, and soy oils (found in most processed foods).  A person who eats polyunsaturated fats and exposes his skin to UV light to the point of reddening promoduces hormone-like substances called prostaglandins from the linoleic acid contained in the fats.  Prostaglandins suppress the immune system, contributing to tumor growth.  Eat and cook with extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil, palm oil, sesame oil, or ghee instead. 
5- Skip the sunglasses:  Exposure to the sun makes us tan because this stimulates our pituitary glands (which gets its information from the optic nerve) to produce a hormone that triggers the melanocytes in our skin to make more melanin.  When you wear sunglasses, less sunlight reaches your optic nerve, and less warning is sent to your pituitary gland, and less melanin is made. Since melanin is there to protect our cells from the damaging effects of UV radiation, we are more likely to get a sunburn while wearing sunglasses.
6- Rub extra virgin coconut oil on your skin daily.  Coconut oil is a natural sunscreen that prevents burn, yet still allows beneficial rays to penetrate into your skin and Vitamin D to be produced by your body.
7- Remember that the sun is your ally!  When you eat right, the sun offers benefits including enhancing energy, endurance, and muscular strength, improving your immunity, and increasing hormone levels.

Source: Timeless Secrets of Health & Rejuvenation by Andreas Moritz.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Raw Pastry Experiment: Almond-Date Scones with Silly Strawberry Jam

Sprouting grains and low-temperature 'baking' them into bread is an ancient practice that yields very satisfying results!  You end up with a delicious, chewy result that is truly satiating.  Once you've tasted the sweetness of real, heirloom whole grain, you stop desiring the skeletonized version (i.e. Wonder Bread!).  Enjoy this recipe! 

The base of this scone is sprouted Kamut.  Sprouting the kamut turns its sugars into a more assimilable form, similar to the type in fruits.  According to Tonya Zavasta, "Kamut originated in ancient Egypt in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley... The grain, which has humpbacked kernels, is larger than common wheat, has 40% more protein, and is higher in lipids, amino acids, viatmins, and minerals.  Kamut has a buttery flavor that has not been corrupted by modern farming techniques designed to produce higher yields... Fewer people show allergic reactions to this grain than to ordinary wheat, which represents a huge health benefit for wheat-intolerant individuals."

Date and Walnut Scones :  A Recipe by Cherie Soria

(Note:  I substituted almonds for the walnuts:  Feel free to use either nut.)

(dehydrator needed)
Yield: 8 scones (8 servings)
These sweet, dense breads are reminiscent of English scones.

Nutrition Note:  With 10 grams of fiber, 7 grams of protein, and a nice complement of vitamins, minerals, and
essential fatty acids, these scones are no ordinary sweet treat.
 1 1/2 cups (370 mL) kamut or winter wheat berries, sprouted for 36 hours, rinsed, and drained
 3/4 cup (185 mL) chopped pitted dates, packed
 3/4 cup (185 mL) walnuts, soaked and dehydrated (I substituted almonds)
 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground cinnamon
 Pinch of ground nutmeg
 Pinch of salt
1. Process the kamut in a food processor fitted with the S blade until the grains are broken into 3 or more
pieces each. The mixture should be sticky but not mushy.
2. Loosely separate the dates and add them to the food processor along with remaining ingredients. Process
just until the dates and walnuts are mixed in and broken into pieces. The dough should not be smooth; the
date and walnut pieces should still be visible.
3. Transfer the dough to a dehydrator tray lined with a nonstick sheet and press it firmly into a round shape,
about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick.
4. Cut the round into 8 equal wedges. Separate them on the nonstick sheet, and dehydrate at 125 degrees
F/50 degrees C for 2 hours.
5. Lower the temperature to 105 degrees F/40 degrees C and continue dehydrating for another 3 hours.
6. Turn the scones over onto a mesh-lined dehydrator tray (without the nonstick sheet), and dehydrate for
2–3 hours longer, or until dry and crusty on the outside and tender and moist on the inside. Serve warm or cold.
7. Stored in an airtight container, Date and Nut Scones will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or up to
2 months in the freezer.
Note: If you like, the bread may be warmed in the dehydrator at 125 degrees F (50 degrees C) for an hour before serving.

Bridget's Silly Strawberry Jam:

1/2 c. Strawberries (actually, any berries will work)
2-3 tsp. raw honey or 2-3 dates (preferably Bahri, which are a lower glycemic variety)
1 tsp. lemon juice

Below is a picture of this jam, made with blueberries, and spread onto a toasted, organic brown rice English muffin from Food for Life.

Dining on Local Delicacies

This meal is something I put together after going to the Greenfield, Massachusetts Farmer's Market with the intention of making something delicious with the fresh veggies I came home with 

I call it,  "Zucchini Boats stuffed with rosemary-pine nut cheese, parsley, and tomatoes 
& purple radish salad with homemade honey-mustard dressing,"for short.

The beautiful greens I used to create the salad were from CrabApple Farms:  The purple radishes were from The Kitchen Gardener, and the homemade honey-mustard dressing included ingredients from our Co-op, as well as Warm Colors Apiary Wildflower Honey.  The whole dish is topped off with fresh cracked black pepper, which I picked up at Whole Foods Market in Hadley.  I'm so grateful that CrabApple farms brings a lot of interesting greens to market that still have their medicinal, bitter elements intact.  Most varieties of lettuces commonly sold have their bitter elements bred out of them.  The result?  People need to rely more and more on adding medicines to their diet through herbs rather than getting them naturally through foods.

Rosemary Pine Nut Cheese:

1 cup raw pine nuts, soaked for 1 hour or more
2 T. lemon juice
4 T. nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. Sun Fire Salt
3-4 T. spring water
2 T.  fresh rosemary

Place the pine nuts, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and Sun Fire Salt in a food processor and pulse a few times, until thoroughly combined.  Gradually add the water and rosemary and process until the texture becomes fluffy, like ricotta cheese!

Sun Fire Salt, a pink-colored blend of the most exquisite mineral and prana-rich salts available from all corners of the Earth is available from:

(Recipe Adapted from a Pine Nut Ricotta Recipe found in Raw Food, real world by Matthew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis.)