Monday, October 13, 2008

Halloween Food & Fun!

Hurray, it's October! Our family loves Halloween and all the silliness that goes with it. So this year I am determined to have just as much fun with all the holidays while staying Rawlicious!

Our RAW FRIENDS POTLUCK FEAST, this Saturday, October 18th at 6pm will have a Haunted Halloween theme. I am planning all kinds of ghoulish treats like these wacky Monsters With Brain Dip for you to devour. If you want to join in the fun, get creative and surprise us - but please come, whether or not your dish is halloweenish, just be sure it is 100% raw. You are always welcome here!

As usual, I will post photos and recipes on my blog after the Freakish Feast so please bring a copy of your recipe. Send me an email for location information and to RSVP at

I can't wait to see you there...if you dare!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Raw Friends Feast 9/20/08

Our Raw Friends Feast this month was small but yummy! I feel that if I take away one new dish that I love, it is a success! Here are some of the great raw recipes we feasted on:

This is my new favorite recipe - Buckwheat Breakfast Porridge!! I just can't get enough of this hearty comfort food, so sometimes I eat it for lunch or dinner. It reminds me of eating sweetened cinnamon-raisin oatmeal, which I love.

Let me tell you what I learned about buckwheat - it is fantastic!

*It's low on the glycemic index so it doesn't cause a spike in your blood sugar.

*It's a seed not a grain.

*It has a high level of anti-oxidants to protect cells from damage, fight stress and is great for your circulatory system.

*It has more protein than grains like wheat, rice, milet and corn.

*It has essential amino acids that your body can't produce.

*It is gluten free (a lot of people have wheat and gluten allergies).

*It is an unsurpassed cholesterol lowering food according to studies.

*It will reduce and regulate blood sugar levels which helps prevent diabetes and obesity.

*Its higher in the minerals zinc, copper and manganese than grains are.

*The fat content is mono-unsaturated to lower cholesterol and protect your heart.

*It has a lot of soluble fiber for heart health, lowering cholesterol and preventing colon cancer.

*Buy raw buckwheat groats in bulk at the health food store. Soak 2+ hours, rinse well and eat or refrigerate

Buckwheat Breakfast Porridge
By Skya at the Raw Aloha Feast
Serves 3-4

2 C Buckwheat groats, soaked 2 hours or overnight and rinsed well after
1/2 C raisins
1/2 C pecans, broken into smaller pieces
3 TB coconut butter
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 C shredded raw coconut
4 TB Agave, or to taste
1TB Cinnamon, or to taste

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Serve and enjoy some yummy breakfast comfort food!

We ate The Best Raw Chili, warm out of the dehydrator, as a dip for these wonderful Cilantro-Corn Chips. Find the chili recipe in "Some Of My Favorite Recipes" post dated July 5, 2008 on this blog.

Cilantro-Corn Chips
By Robyn at
In her e-book "Sprouted, Crunchy Snack Recipes"

4 C corn (fresh or frozen)
1/4 C olive oil
1/2 C water
1 large Anaheim pepper
1 TB agave
1 Bunch cilantro
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 C ground flax seed

Mix all except flax in BlendTec blender until smooth, then add flax slowly. Spread in thin layers on teflex sheets in dehydrator. After several hours, flip over and score into large triangles. Finish drying until chips are crispy.

The sauce for this scrumptious Indian Spinach Curry is wonderful. You could use any chopped vegetables you like or clean out your refrigerator and this sauce would save the day!

Indian Spinach Curry
From "raweater" at

3 C spinach
Chopped zucchini, mushrooms, peas, tomatoes or any other veggies you like
1/2 C water or coconut water
1/2 C macademia nuts
1 tomato
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 tsp ginger (I've tried fresh or dried and they were both good)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp celtic salt
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp garam masala (this is a wonderfully sweet smelling dried spice, I found it at the health food store)
1/8 tsp dried red chili pepper
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp turmeric

Place spinach and chopped veggies on serving plates. Put the remainder of ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix until it's a smooth sauce, pulsing a few times to break down the nuts. Spoon sauce over spinach and veggies and enjoy!
Dessert was a warm apple crisp straight out of the dehydrator. Oh, so awesome!
Awesome Apple Cobbler
I got this recipe off a web site a long time ago and I forgot to note who submitted it - sorry!
If you are trying to make a really great impression of raw food with your family and friends, you should definitely serve this. Simple, delicious and I can't keep it around for long! I'm going to make it into an Apple Crumb Pie for Thanksgiving, mmmm.
Pie Filling Ingredients:
5 medium apples
1/2 C raisins soaked in water for 2-4 hours, or overnight in fridge
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
juice of half a lemon (or 1 small lemon)
2 TB raw honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp sea salt
Cobbler Topping Ingredients:
1 1/2 C pecans, not soaked
3/4 C dates, pitted and not soaked
1/2 tsp sea salt
Peel and chop one of the apples. Place it along with the drained raisins, cinnamon, lemon juice, honey, vanilla, nutmeg and salt in a high speed blender. Puree until completely smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Peel, core and slice very thin remaining apples. Place slices in a large bowl and gently toss with pureed mix. Place in a medium-sized glass or ceramic dish. I used a 9x13 pan.
For the topping, in a food processor pulse the pecans until finely ground then add the dates and continue to grind until evenly mixed. Crumble an even layer of the pecan mixture over the apples.
Place your pan in the dehydrator at 115 degrees for about 4 hours. Serve warm from the dehydrator
It was a yummy night all around and we can't wait to see you on October 18th for our next Raw Friends Potluck Feast when we will have our Halloween Party. I have been searching out some fun and creepy Halloween dishes and treats to give you ideas for making your first holiday of Fall a howling good time!

Raw Aloha Feast in Honolulu 9/13/08

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Travel Tips for Feeling Rawlicious

This summer I was lucky enough to travel to New Orleans, Louisiana for a business conference. I was really excited to go since I had never been there and I love to see new places! But... this would be the first time I would travel since I began eating only raw foods and to tell you the truth I was really nervous. How would people react to my special requests? Would I feel like I was missing out on all the regional specialty foods? What would I do if there was no raw food around to choose from?

I was very committed to doing my best to remain raw during my trip and I was convinced that if I planned ahead I could do it. I borrowed a little phrase from the scriptures that became my mantra for the month prior to the trip, "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear!"

So I checked with all the ladies I would be rooming with who made the hotel reservations to find out if we would have a fridge or kitchen area - Hurray, we would! Our first day there we went grocery shopping and I was able to stock up on plenty of fresh foods I love for our week's stay. Our hotel also had a big complimentary breakfast buffet that had mounds of fresh fruit every day!

I let the ladies know that I didn't want to make the trip difficult for them, but I would be eating only raw foods. They were absolutely supportive and sweet the entire trip! We had some good discussions about what a raw food diet was and why I was doing it. I think they just thought I was crazy - but that's O.K., I don't mind being unique!

I prepared a huge gallon sized zip-loc bag of raw trail mix with almonds, cashews, macademias, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, raisins and coconut. I kept this in my suitcase in the hotel and used it to refill a small sandwich-sized zip-loc bag I carried with me everywhere that became my LIFESAVER!

I also took on the trip some delicious dehydrated chocolate coconut macaroons I ate when everyone else was having treats and some dehydrated Sunflower Bread to make veggie sandwiches with. I stocked up on Lara Bars from the health food store that are raw pre-packaged bars made from just nuts, dates and maybe fruits or raw chocolate. Great to keep in your purse for emergency hunger pains!

But, lest you think all I did was hide in the hotel room huddled around our little mini-fridge missing all the fun of New Orleans - think again!! We all had a ball and I didn't miss a minute of it!

The gorgeous salad pictured at the top of this post was custom made for me by the chef at K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen. A huge group of us went there for dinner. It's a really nice restaurant, but there wasn't anything raw on the menu, just a tiny side salad :( After I talked to our waiter about what they might have that I could eat, he consulted with the chef and brought out this masterpiece. What a treat to have a personal chef! (I'm sure it will never happen again, so I fully enjoyed it!) Many of the restaurants we ate at had wonderful salads with regional cajun flair. What fun to explore these new tastes and I always left feeling energized and full of excitement to go explore some more.

We had Mardi Gras parties, cajun dancing, sightseeing, shopping, trolley riding, workshops, banquets, meetings, late-night movies and talking, concerts and tons of fun and I felt fantastic!

In the airport on the way home I found several restaurants and booths that had fresh fruits and salads which kept me feeling light and fresh even while travelling all day and night. So - I conquered my fear of travelling raw and I'm ready to go again any time I get a chance!
Other raw travelling tips you might find helpful:
For car trips bring a big cooler that you can stock up at grocery stores along the way and keep things cold and fresh. You can tuck your blender in a corner of the trunk and make fresh smoothies, soups, sauces to go over chopped veggies, salad dressings and dips for flax crackers that you can dehydrate and bring along.
Victoria Boutenko said their family makes home-made dry soup mix by dehydrating chopped celery, mushrooms, garlic, onion, grated carrots, tomato, cucumber, cilantro, parsley, and kale. Place in zip-loc bags which are light and small for packing on overseas trips. To reconstitute add warm water and maybe a few drops of oil and Braggs Liquid Aminos or sea salt. Sounds good to try and could make a great addition to a 72-hour emergency kit, too!

Ani Phyo says that when she travels and is staying with friends or relatives she offers to prepare some of the meals for everyone. This allows her to eat things she loves and is a great favor for her hosts. She says almost everyone she visits has a blender and food processor, so she's all set!
It's also a great idea if you are bringing foods along to choose high water content foods like cucumbers, peaches and luscious things like that. They keep you hydrated and that is important during travel to keep you feeling healthy, happy and prevent jet-lag from hitting you too hard.
And one last thought that sounded so smart when I heard it - if you end up eating nothing for the hours you are in the airport and flying to your destination, that's O.K! Fasting is good for you on occasion, will give your body a rest from the efforts of digestion and leave you feeling light and clear-headed instead of sluggish and tired. No worries!
So everyone go dig out your suitcase and let's go on an adventure!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Raw Friends Feast & Fun!

Last Saturday we got together for our Raw Friends Potluck Feast. It was so much fun! We all got to try new Rawlicious dishes. Sheila, Susan, Chuck and Hiagi got us going through the buffet line.

For an appetizer I made Cashew Cheeze Stuffed Tomatoes and we all loved it. You can also use this creamy mixture to fill baby sweet peppers, button mushroom caps or celery sticks.

From Jana Stratton

2 C raw cashews
juice of 2 lemons
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 C water
2 pkgs coctail-size tomatoes

Process cashews in the food processor until fine. Add all the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth. Place the mixture into a pastry bag and pipe into hollowed out coctail tomatoes, baby sweet peppers, button mushroom caps or celery sticks. For a simpler method, just spoon the mixture into the veggies. Top with a cilantro leaf or sprig of curly parsley.

New Rawbie, Eleni, loved trying all the new culinary delights!

This was Sheila's first day going all raw! She brought a wonderful greens and fruits salad with 3 different kinds of salad dressings for us to try out. We all had our favorites, but the one we loved the most was the bright orange one in the middle.

In Alissa Cohen's "Living on Live Food" book
From Sheila

1/2 C olive oil
1/3 C onion
1/4 C red bell pepper
1 carrot
2 TB apple cider vinegar
1 TB honey
1/4 tsp sea salt
dash pepper

Place all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. This is also great as a veggie marinade. (I tried it drizzled over my Cashew Cheeze Stuffed Mushrooms the next day and it was yummy!)

Shauna was a great sport, trying everything and I think she even liked most of it. What fun we had telling funny, disastrous, food stories!

Susan brought a delicious dish that was reminiscent of Lomi Lomi Salmon. She dubbed it, "Lomi Lomi Stamin-a", a great reflexion of how fantastic you feel eating all this raw living food! Hiagi even brought home fresh coconuts, grated the coconut meat and got the milk out for this recipe. Talk about fresh!!

From Susan

2 cloves garlic
2 mini red/orange bell peppers
1/8 head cauliflower
2-3 large ripe tomatoes, cut up
1/4 onion, diced finely
1/2 zucchini, diced
1 orange bell pepper, cubed
juice of 1 lime and 1/2 tsp grated lime rind
milk from one grated coconut
1/2 C grated coconut meat

Process garlic, peppers and cauliflower in food processor until chopped. Place in large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Chill and enjoy!

It was so fun to have Carolyn at the Raw Friends Feast. She is a talented, beautiful lady and enjoyed all the yummy food.

David and Jenny brought Jack Fruit. Most of us hadn't ever tried it and discovered that it was really good just eaten fresh. Check out the size of that whole fruit and the pods of fruit inside. We learned that when you cut it open it doesn't smell that great, but the fruit is a treat. If you're going to try this unique fruit you should know the secret tip David and Jenny shared - the sticky sap you will get all over your hands and knife can best be cleaned off with vegetable oil. Yep, sure enough, it worked like magic. Try some of this fruit in your smoothies or freeze the fruit and use a little in your raw ice cream!

Oh, how we love cherry season! We were treated to fresh, juicy cherries by Shauna and Carolyn and what a sweet treat it was!

Dessert was Raw Banana Splits. Gooey, chocolatey banana splits - mmmmm the luxury! Some of us actually started our meal with these! That's one of the beauties of eating raw food, it's ALL so good for you!
From Jana Stratton
Bananas, 1 for each person
Cut one section of the peel off each banana from stem to base and discard leaving the banana flesh exposed. Slice the banana inside the remaining peel into 1/2" slices. Place in serving dish.
Chocolate Sauce:
1 C cacao powder
1 C agave
1/2 C coconut oil or coconut butter
1/4 C water
In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Drizzle over bananas.
Caramel Sauce:
2 C cashews (soaked for two hours if possible)
1 C agave
1 tsp vanilla
Place cashews in food processor and mix until finely ground. Add agave and vanilla and process until mixed. Add water slowly, little by little to achieve a thick, creamy consistency. Chilling will firm this up, but you can use immediately if you like it softer. Drizzle over bananas.
Drizzle a little agave over bananas.
Sprinkle bananas with:
Chopped pecans
cacao nibs
Top it all off with a fresh, juicy cherry, now indulge in banana bliss!

Well, we had a great relaxing evening sharing ideas, jokes and fun. We wished you were there, but hope to see you next month when we get together for our RAW FRIENDS FEAST!

Sunday, August 10, 2008


As some people try to adopt a Raw Diet they get discouraged if they eat something cooked and give it all up thinking that they are a failure and can't do it. Whoa Nelly! That kind of extreme "All-Or-Nothing" thinking is too harsh. Where is the love? Give yourself a break and realize that every little bit of raw, fresh, whole, delicious, nutritious food you add to your diet is a step in the right direction.

If you're not ready to go 100% Raw there are many ways to gradually add raw foods into your lifestyle at a pace that's best for you. The key is to think about what you can ADD to your diet rather than what you cannot have. Look through these ideas and see if any of them sound like they'd work for you:

1. Drink a green smoothie every day! This is the #1, best first step. Just doing this will add a ton of nutrients to your body and decrease cravings for cooked food. You will also find that you start to crave fruits and vegetables because your body loves how they make you feel!

2. Eat raw for breakfast and lunch, then have a healthy cooked dinner. Fruits and smoothies are easy to substitute for breakfast and a big salad is great for lunch. Dinners are a little more difficult because you are usually eating with your family and you are probably used to having a heavier meal. As you discover good raw dinner recipes and learn how great it feels to be satisfied but not stuffed and tired after eating dinner you can switch to a raw dinner, too.

3. Choose one day a week to eat all RAW. After a couple of weeks add a second "All Raw" day, then add another, until soon you're all raw every day!

4. Add fruits and/or veggies to every meal and eat them first. Then if you want other food, go ahead and eat it.

One big key to success is to remember that if you feel hungry - eat more! Fruit is particularly good due to the carbohydrates and natural sugar that is slowly absorbed into your body. Make your own raw trail mix with nuts and dried fruits to snack on when you are out and about. Keep bananas, apples or oranges with you for times when you get hungry but aren't near any good foods. You will naturally start wanting less to eat after you have been eating raw for awhile because you will be getting so much more nutrition from your food you won't need as much of it to satisfy and fuel your body. The best thing is to listen to your body and what it needs. You will find as you start feeding your body the best foods that you will start knowing just what your body needs to thrive!

Just do what you can - improve a little every day - and love yourself enough to take care of YOU. You're awesome and you are worth it!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Costly? Cooking?... and Cravings!

This week I've been asked the same questions a few times. They're good ones so let me share my thoughts on them:

Is eating Raw extremely expensive?

When you think of buying lots of nuts and fresh fruits and vegetables it seems that eating raw would be very costly. I find the cost about the same as when I used to buy groceries that included meat, milk and plenty of junk food.

Yes, good food isn't cheap, (I don't know why junk is cheaper, it's annoyingly mysterious. It isn't like we're buying jewel encrusted strawberries) but when you are replacing meat, milk, cheese, eggs, canned foods and lots of convenience foods it comes out about equal. The benefit of the pure nutrition you are getting from your food also makes it so much more value for your money! Plus the big BONUS, you are saving money on the medical bills you won't have because your body will be so strong and full of nutrients that it can fend off those nasty bugs that go around.

Is it possible to be successful eating raw while living with and feeding the rest of your family who eat the Standard American Diet (SAD)?

Yes! It is possible, although not easy. I am doing it now. The 3 teen-age kids I have left at home eat that way and my husband is vegetarian. I come home from work, make them a cooked dinner and then fix my own. It can take a long time unless you do a little planning ahead.

One trick is to make a couple of Raw dishes on the weekend (like taco fixings, the zucchini pasta primavera or raw chili), make enough to last a few days and have all their accompaniments chopped and ready to go in individual containers in the refrigerator. Then, each evening when you're really hungry for dinner you can throw one of them together and have a quick, delicious dinner!

Another idea is to keep your meal really simple. A big green salad with sliced fruit can be thrown together pretty quickly. Nori rolls or lettuce wraps filled with fresh veggies are fast and easy. Make a tomato, cucumber and sprout sandwich in green leafy lettuce leaves with a raw mustard sauce. Green smoothies are quick to whip up or a sweet fruit smoothie.

Be sure to offer some of what you are making to your family, they might just surprise you and try it someday. Then they might surprise themselves and like it! Always keep your comments positive and don't nag them to stop eating the foods they like. If you keep loving your raw food, looking and feeling better and showing them how bright, fresh and delicious raw foods are they will have a much better opinion of it. Actions and results always speak louder than words.

Get your children involved in preparing some of the meals and they're always more likely to eat them. They would love to run the zucchini through the spiralizer to make angel hair pasta! I bought mine on the web site for $24.95 and you can also find them for sale on several other sites.

You can probably even get them to drink green smoothies if you give them a fun name like, "Shrek Smoothies" or "Hungry Hulk". Offer fresh fruit, ants-on-a-log (with almond butter and raisins) or veggie sticks for snacking - every little bit helps!

How long until the cooked food cravings go away?

When I was trying to eat raw meals only part-time I found it really hard to stick with it. Once I decided to go 100% and eat all raw I discovered my cravings went completely away. I still think cooked food smells good, but I can enjoy the smell without wanting to eat it. I know how sluggish and heavy it will make me feel and I just don't want to feel that way any more.

I used to use this trick on myself - when I would smell something that was tempting me or someone would bring a plate of treats into my office I would repeat over in my mind, "I really want a juicy, sweet apple! I can't wait to get a juicy, sweet, crisp apple!" and I'd picture it (or another favorite fruit) in my mind. No joke, it worked every time. Then when I got to eat that apple, it was like heaven and totally worth the wait! Give it a try!

Well, there you have it - answers to a few recent questions. I'd be happy to share how I've dealt with some of the challenges you might have or answer a question if I can. If I don't know the answer I'll try to find out, and ... I always have an opinion. So feel free to ask. If you are wondering about it, most likely several other people are too!