Sunday, May 24, 2009

Red Hot And Raw

If you haven't had a chance to check out the 200-and-something raw food blogs out there on the internet then you may not know all the exciting new things happening in the raw food world. Here are a few things that I've been particularly excited about which I'll call my Red Hot and Raw List.

1. RawFu magazine made its debut last month. Both gorgeous and informative, it's a great read for raw food beginners and veterans alike. Lord knows niche magazines could use all the support they can get so if you have a spare $20 bucks then why not subscribe to something you can also share with your friends and family. While you're at it, check out Purely Delicious, another wonderful raw food magazine with lots of recipes, health info and great interviews.

2. The Raw Union of Matt Monarch and Angela Stokes on June 20-21. How cute are they? Two movers and shakers in the raw food world with two amazing testimonials are getting married next month by David Wolfe and everyone is invited! I'd go if I wasn't already traveling around all summer.

3. Sarma Melngailis has a new recipe book coming out on June 30th called "Living Raw Foods." Her last book, "Raw Food Real World," is my raw culinary bible so I'm especially excited to get my hands on this. Pre-order through One Lucky Duck and get a signed copy and a little something yummy with your order.

4. Gnosis Chocolate is starting to come out with a line of beauty products. If you haven't tried Gnosis chocolate bars you don't know what you're missing. They're slowly making their way to Whole Foods and natural food stores across the county and now they're introducing the first product in their beauty line, a delish chocolate bath bar. You can purchase the bath bars on their website as well as their full line of superfoods and other products at great prices.

5. Though I'm a proud graduate of Living Light Culinary School I'm also completely enamored with the new living foods culinary education center being built in Oklahoma City under the guidance of Living Light alum, Mandilyn Canistelle, and raw food chef extraordinaire, Matthew Kenney. Opening in September, the center would be home to 105 Degrees restaurant in addition to the cutting edge learning facility. Can't wait to see some photos. If Matthew Kenney is teaching any of the gourmet classes, you bet I'll be there in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ethnic Foods Class at Living Light

Last week I returned to Living Light to begin their gourmet certification series. We explored the flavors of the Middle East, North America, Europe, India, Asia and everywhere in between. Along with tasting and savoring all the different elements that make world cuisine so exciting, each student worked on creating a new recipe every day. One of my favorite recipes was a Rosemary RAWssian Borscht Soup with Bechamel Sauce and Caraway Onion Bread. Being from eastern Europe, I grew up eating red beet borscht soup and was amazed how close I got to my mother's cooked version. The rosemary gave it an elegant twist as did the cheesy bechamel sauce which took the place of the usual dollop of sour cream.

Another winner was my Mediterranean Fresh Herb Tart using aromatic basil and thyme in a savory walnut crust topped with tomatoes, cucumbers, mint, feta cheese, seasoned pistachios and herb pesto sauce.

I also created a Sweet and Spicy Macadamia Nut Crusted Relleno with Chocolate Mole with Chef Kirsten Gum. Stuffed with cabbage and spicy ground "meat" and served with a refreshing Nopales Salsa Verde. The chocolate mole I whipped up was my favorite part of it. I wanted to squeezed the entire bottle into my mouth it was that good.

My borscht soup and Mediterranean tart was selected to be in the upcoming Living Light All Stars recipe book. The chocolate mole is under wraps for now but definitely will be in my personal recipe book which I am working daily on. Soon I will be posting recipes of the week/month so check back or send me your email if you would like to be added to my mailing list.

Monday, May 11, 2009

G Living Interview

Last week I did an interview for one of my favorite websites G Living. Check out my Q&A here. Rock!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

On The Road Again

Tomorrow I'll be heading back to Living Light with my friend and fellow raw food chef, Kirsten Gum, for a week of ethnic food exploration and recipe development. Check back to see some of my new creations!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ani's Raw Food Desserts

Ani Phyo is my kind of gal. She's an on-the-go, no nonsense, get it done kind of woman and, much like myself, she doesn't have time to labor in the kitchen but still wants something good to eat. Ok, sounds like everyone I know. I really enjoyed her first book, "Ani's Raw Food Kitchen," and refer to it constantly for ideas. After going through these recipes, I know I'll be using this book for a long time as well. There are 85 wonderful sweets and treats in here that you can whip up in a jiffy. Everything from pies to cookies to chocolates and parfaits, there's something in here for everyone. This isn't Matthew Kenney style dessert (love his books too, btw), no labor intensive recipes that take three days to make. This is dessert at its most basic but still very original, elegant and delicious. I've already made her Liquid Chocolate and her Strawberry Kream Cheezecake. The Liquid Chocolate is so amazing. It reminds me of Dairy Queen dipped cones when I was a kid but better. Going to try out the Lavender Chocolate Bars and Banana Bread Biscuits next and then maybe the Pear Ginger Crisp for Mother's Day. This is definitely a fun recipe book to add to your collection. I'm just hoping I can still fit into my pants after this week.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Raw in Costa Rica

A couple weeks ago my husband and I headed to Mal Pais, Costa Rica for some fun in the sun. Our good friend and owner of Mary's restaurant, a very popular seafood restaurant in town, asked me if I wanted to come up with a raw food menu for a few nights. I jumped at the opportunity of creating a menu that utilized local ingredients but was still something special that no one else was doing. Though there aren't any exclusively raw food restaurants in the area, there are a lot of vegans, as well as raw options being offering at other eateries. I needed to come up with specials that would reel people in. My menu consisted of an appetizer of vegetable sushimaki made with coconut meat, avocado, carrots and cucumbers that came with bon bon sauce and sweet and spicy mango sauce. I also made hemp tabouli with zante currants and no-bean hummus. For my entrees, I made pistachio pesto pasta and beet ravioli with rosemary cashew cheese. For dessert, I made chocolate ganache with vanilla cream and a mango cheesecake. We put fliers up in the middle of town to lure the raw vegans and were surprised how many showed up to just to try out my offerings. It was so exciting! There's talk now about coming back in January and February and making a nightly menu of raw specials. I'll keep you posted!

When I had requested lemons for my recipes I ended up with these wonderful sour mandarins instead. They're like a lemon and lime in one. It gave my recipes a new dimension of flavor and is the secret ingredient in Mary's fantastic mojitos.

Raw cacao beans

There is a wonderful restaurant in the nearby town of Santa Teresa called Tres Cabezas that offers a small, creative raw menu along with their lovingly cooked selections of vegetarian and pescetarian dishes. My husband and I tried out their fennel watermelon juice as well as their papaya orange cucumber. Refreshing.

For eats we had their raw salad.

We also had their entree of sunflower seed pate with julienned greens, zucchini hummus and seaweed. The atmosphere was wonderful and the service friendly. I was really impressed that someone was making a raw menu in this secluded part of the world. I've been coming to Costa Rica for the past five years and this was the first time I had seen the word raw even mentioned. One of the great things about Costa Rica, though, is that you can stay raw easily. Fruit is plentiful and almost every restaurant offers all fruit smoothies made with water. Salads are plentiful too but not as exciting as what we get in the states. On Saturdays, there's an organic farmer's market hawking every kind of glorious green as well as tropical fruits, raw cacao, honey and vegan muffins. I forgot to bring my camera that day. Aargh! If you would like to see some more photos from my Costa Rica adventure check out my Flickr album. If you're considering going to Costa Rica for vacation and interested in knowing more about Mal Pais email me or check out Costa Rica beach rentals website. Pura vida.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Busy Judita

Finally sorting through all my photos from Costa Rica. I've been so busy getting ready for my upcoming class I haven't had much time to sit and write. Promise I'll have my Costa Rica adventure on here early next week as well as my review of Ani Phyo's new dessert book. Mmmmm!!


Related Posts with Thumbnails