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Raw Chef on the Road

refugioOur fifteen city tour of California has begun!  We spent Saturday night camping in our solar-powered RV, Gracie ( we travel in grace), at Refugio State Park, a beach park north of Santa Barbara.  I  used to visit this park with my family when I was a kid.  This has so many wonderful memories of childhood for me, since I was born and raised in Santa Barbara!  As we were driving in, the park attendant asked about our license plate, Raw Chef.  He wondered, as many people do, if it meant sushi.  We explained about raw foods and rangertold him we are on a 15-city California tour, educating people about the health benefits of raw food and how to make it easy and delicious.  He became very excited about it and bought a copy of our new book, Raw Food For Dummies!  The next morning, he told us that the whole family is reading the book, and they love it!  He said he thinks this could change everything for them!  It just shows that all of us can make a difference in people’s lives when we are least expecting it!
dan and cherieOur experience at Ninaya and Daniel’s house in Goleta (a few minutes north of Santa Barbara) on Sunday afternoon was delightful!  We spent the day with the local meetup group, friends and family, enjoying food together before Dan and I talked about Raw Food for Smart Busy People (fashioned after our newest book, Raw Food For Dummies), then I gave a class in flavor dynamics and flavor balancing and showed how to create big bold favors without depending on oil or sugar.  We answered questions about food, kitchen equipment, and lots of questions about Living Light classes. They were surprised to learn that we re the ONLY state licensed raw vegan  culinary school (and voted Best Raw Chef Training Program!) there is.
One of our graduates, Amy Bacheller, was there (so great to see her and her husband, Glen!).  She got up and encouraged everyone to attend the school, even if they have no interest in becoming a chef.  She told everyone to stay at the Living Light Inn and experience the love and support of the Living Light staff — it is an experience you will never regret or forget!  Thanks Amy!
We’ll stay in Santa Barbara for a couple more days before going to LA to share our years of experience (over 35 between Dan and I) with folks there!  Looking forward to meeting more people eager to thrive on a high raw diet of fresh ripe raw organic foods that are delicious and easy to prepare!  My only concern is where to park our 26-foot RV, Gracie, in LA, even though she isn’t that big (1 1/2 parking spaces).  Big cities are not very RV friendly and sleeping in them is prohibited. Well, we are doing good work for the planet, so I trust we will be supported on our journey and everything will work out!
Love,
Cherie and Dan
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Touring in the Raw

collageI’m so excited about the way this year is shaping up for Dan and me.  Our new book Raw Food for Dummies has been so well received by the raw community, not to mention a curious public.  I’m so proud of this accomplishment!  So now, of course, I want to share it with everyone – and that means a tour!  Dan and I will be doing lots of traveling this year – putting into practice Chapter 19 in the book: “Eating Raw on the Go”.

Many people who are new to raw feel intimidated by eating out.  But that’s not necessary.  Part of RawRocksthe fun of travel is experiencing different places and people – things you’re sure to miss if you insist upon eating self prepared raw meals in your hotel room.  These days, it’s easy to find vegetarian, if not vegan, options when eating out.  And you can make it even easier with the help of online resources like Yelp or Happy Cow.  If you still can’t seem to find anything specific, remember – just about every restaurant has a salad on the menu and often has yummy raw appetizers like guacamole, which could be ordered with veggie sticks rather than chips.  Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.  Chefs are used to tailoring their menu items to allow for food allergies, etc.  Cutting up a few vegetables shouldn’t be an issue.

kale chipsOf course, most of the places Dan and I are going on our tour this year are pretty raw friendly.  For example, our first stop is the Raw Living Expo in Sedona, Arizona where I’ll be giving the keynote address.  Obviously we won’t have any trouble eating raw there.  But – no matter how wonderfully raw your destination might be, traveling is unpredictable.  To be prepared for delays and other unplanned events, Dan and I like to bring portable snacks along.  These raw treats will tide us over between destinations if need be.  One of our favorites is flavored kale chips.  These high energy snacks are so delicious and satisfying – they make the perfect snack on the go.  There are lots of prepackaged varieties commercially available today in lots of delicious flavors.  But – you can make your own.  I’ve included a great recipe for Nacho Cheese Kale Chips on page 272 of Raw Food for Dummies.  Enjoy – and happy raw travels!

Release by Cherie Soria

EatSmart (2)My husband Dan and I are so excited our new book Raw Food For Dummies, which was  released on December 12th . When Wiley Publishing first approached us about doing a book, I admit I was hesitant.  I wasn’t familiar with the “Dummies” books and didn’t like the connotation of the word, “dummies.” But once we started reading Dummies books, we realized why they are so popular! These books are not for Dummies! They are for smart, busy people who want to learn as much as they can in the shortest possible time. They are filled with facts that are readable and empowering. Once we decided to do the book, we had to dig deep to remember what it was like for us when we started on our individual raw food paths, so we could capture not only where we are now, but where we started from.

No matter where you are on your raw journey, there will be something in this book you can use.  It was good for Dan and I to get back to the basics and it’ll be good for you, too. As raw food enthusiasts, we need to support one another and sometimes, the most supportive things are the things we tend to take for granted once we’ve been raw for a while. That’s why, in addition to great recipes and food preparation tips, we included important information about what raw food is and what the benefits are; how cooking harms food; which foods are harmed most and which are harmed least. We shared things like how to set-up your raw food kitchen, how to shop, and how to plan menus. We even included how to connect with other raw food enthusiasts and of course, I shared my techniques for making raw food for cooked food lovers!

With a book of this magnitude and its potential to reach so many peopled new to raw foods, we haddan and cherie to make each word count. The tips, the recipes, the practical strategies are all based on our years of experience. None of these recipes are experiments concocted just for this book. Dan and I have been eating this way for decades and  have helped thousands of others “go raw” successfully and deliciously. We were new to raw once, too, and we know the pitfalls and challenges that can come up for the newly raw. We’re confident that this book will equip anyone to begin their raw journey well prepared. Our combined years of experience “walking the walk” make us excellent guides.

.As we look back on all the work we put into this book, we realize what an honor it was to work together to create this culmination of our knowledge and experience. And we couldn’t have done it without the dedicated support of our staff at Living Light. What a team! I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished together and can’t wait for all of you to see it. We think you’ll be as pleased with it as we are!

Jalapeño Onion Corn Bread

 The 2011 Living Light Hot Chefs Cool Kitchen Raw Chef Showcase was an amazing event with 12 of the world’s top raw food chefs strutting their stuff; sharing their latest-greatest recipes with attendees.  It was all captured on camera and the videos are still available online at RawFoodChef.com

One of the recipes I shared at the showcase that was extremely popular with participants was my Jalapeño Onion Corn Bread, which I served with Red Bell Pepper Chipotle Soup (recipe coming soon). This duo of comfort foods was such a hit that, after sampling it, the attendees flocked into the Living Light Cafe and the dynamic duo sold out in 15 minutes!  The secret to this recipe is the freeze dried corn, which is ground into flour using a spice grinder. This is one of my favorite new products  and once I discovered it, my mind immediately went to all the foods I could incorporated it into: tamales, corn fritters, corn cakes, and the list goes on! Another of my favorite new ingredients used in this recipe is Almond Flour by by Divine Organics. Use it in muffins, burgers, cakes, cookies and anywhere you want a flour substitute.

If you are interested in viewing the video showing step by step how to make both the Jalapeño Onion Corn Bread and my Red Bell Pepper Chipotle Soup, as well as all the other great videos from the Chef Showcase, go to http://hotchefscoolkitchen.com/.

Jalapeño Onion Corn BreadCorn Bread with Red Bell Pepper Chipotle Soup

Yields 16 pieces (Serves 8)

4 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels

2 cups freeze dried corn, ground using a spice grinder or blender

2 cups white almond flourJust Corn Divine Organics Almond Flour

½ cup coconut butter, warm to soften

½ cup warm water

1 tablespoon Himalayan crystal salt

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

¼ cup onion, minced, rinsed, and towel blotted

1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced

1. Put fresh and ground freeze dried corn, almonds flour, soft coconut butter, warm water, and salt in a food processor and process until smooth.

2. Add the minced onions and jalapeño to the food processor and pulse briefly, just to mix. Do not puree.

3. Spread the batter onto a 16–x 16–inch dehydrator tray covered with a nonstick sheet. Spread the batter about ½-inch thick.  Using a dull knife or spatula, score the batter 4”x 4” to form 16 squares.

4. Dehydrate at 125 degrees for 1 hour. Flip the bread and remove nonstick sheet. Reduce the temperature to 105 degrees and dehydrate for another 4-6 hours or until bread is pliable but easy to handle without falling apart.  Serve warm with coconut butter or other spread of choice.

5. Allow to cool thoroughly before storing in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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