Making Life Delicious!

Archive for the ‘Raw Food for Dummies’ Category

Fun at Au Lac and Yummy Culinary Class

au lacTraffic is something we just don’t have in Fort Bragg, so I wasn’t prepared for the congestion on the LA freeways!  But it is all worth it when we have the opportunity to meet great people like the ones at Au Lac in Fountain Valley on Friday night.  Many of them told us they have wanted to attendLiving Light for years and some decided tonight that they aren’t going to wait any longer — after all, money sometimes manifests out of nowhere for other things, why not for something as important and life altering as this!  After all, nothing is as important as our health!  And, if food doesn’t taste great, forget it — we would rather die than eat food we don’t like!  It isn’t enough for it to be healthy — it has to taste good.  Nothing like great tasting food to get people inspired!

It was also wonderful seeing Chef Ito again!  Ito graduated from Living Light 12 years ago and has become one the the best chefs in the world.  His restaurant is one of my favorites — you can really taste the LOVE.  Thanks, Chef Ito, for spreading the love and light one bite at a time!

Next stop is Yummy: Vegan Culinary Classes in Pasadena.

Yummy’s vegan culinary class on Saturday was a yummy experience for all concerned.  Dan and Iyumies had a great time showing attendees (some not even vegan, but curious) how to make Raw Food for Cooked Food Lovers — they were blown away!  Even the raw food enthusiasts in attendance said they had no idea raw foods could be so exciting and delicious.  I love big bold flavors and it comes through in my style of cuisine and the recipes in our book, Raw Food for Dummies, as well as what we teach at Living Light.   Lot’s of people said they want to attend the school, even if only for our weekend entree level classes, FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods and Sharpen-Up Your Knife Skills.  Others said they were ready to do as our graduate Michael Miller told them he did — and start a new rewarding career as a teacher and chef.

big gracieThe next stop in our solar-powered RV (better known as Gracie) is La Jolla; then on to San Diego and back to LA before returning to the Bay Area.  Looking forward to meeting more great people interested in making healthy living delicious!

Check out ourtour schedule to see where you can meet us.

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

Avocado Love

I grew up surrounded by avocado trees.  There were seventy-five of them on our heavenly acre of orchard in Santa Barbara, California.  I’m told avocados were my first solid food – and believe me, it was love at first bite!  These friendly fat fruits are a mainstay of my diet and belong on the top shelf of any raw pantry.  In Dan’s and my new book, Raw Food for Dummies, I cover all sorts of information about avocados as well as some fabulous recipes, two of which are reproduced here.  Avocados have so many health benefits; the fact that they’re so delicious is almost a side note to why we should eat them.  But – like so much else on our beautiful planet – they make healthy living delicious!

The typical avocado is about 250 calories, 75% of which are fat calories.  But wait – almost all of an avocado’s fat is monounsaturated – the kind we need to process the other less desirable kinds.  In fact, avocados are proven to decrease LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (helpful cholesterol).  Did you know avocados have more potassium than bananas do? And extracts of avocado are being researched as aiding in the reversal of hypertension and diabetes mellitus.  And a new study out of Japan suggests that avocados may have an antibacterial component.  Avocados are truly amazing.  Here is one of my favorite avocado recipes (also featured on page 128 of Raw Food for Dummies, along with easy to follow instructions on how to pit and peel them):Vitality Soup

Vitality Soup

Yield: 2 servings

1 cup orange juice

2 cups stemmed and chopped kale or other dark leafy greens

1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped

1⁄4 cup fresh parsley, basil, or dill weed

1 tablespoon light miso

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1⁄2 teaspoon garlic, crushed (1 clove)

1⁄2 green onion, chopped

1⁄2 avocado, peeled and pitted

Filtered water as needed for desired consistency

1 Combine the orange juice, kale, cucumber, herbs, miso, lemon juice, garlic, and green onion. Blend the mixture until smooth.

2 Add the avocado and blend again — no more than 1 minute — until smooth.

The avocado originates in Mexico, the earliest reference to which dates around 10,000 BC.  The avocado tree also has a long history of cultivation in both Central and South America, with an avocado shaped urn found near the pre-Incan city of Chan Chan dating from 900 AD.  The domesticated avocado tree we know today is descended from these ancient roots and provides us with this irresistible treat.  Beside being a creamy, delicious alternative to dairy foods like sour cream and butter, not to mention making a wonderful base for chocolaty raw treats, the avocado is perhaps best know for its place in south of the border style cuisine.  One of my favorite avocado recipes of this sort is Avocado-Pineapple Salsa found in Raw Food for Dummies on page 198:

Avocado-Pineapple Salsa-7450Avocado-Pineapple Salsa

Yield: 3 servings

 1⁄2 cup diced pineapple

2 Roma tomatoes, finely diced

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1⁄4-inch cubes

1⁄2 cup peeled, seeded, and finely diced cucumber

1⁄4 cup packed chopped cilantro

1 green onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons minced red onion

1⁄2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

1 1⁄2 teaspoons lime juice

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1 Put all the ingredients into a bowl and stir to mix.

Avocados are so special to me.  My history with them is so close to my heart when I remember mycherie and fred childhood and my father’s avocado trees.  And I love all the ways I can incorporate them – my first food – into so many delicious raw dishes.  Avocados are so satisfying and such a sensual food.  They are truly one of the best, most comforting and healthy things we get to keep with us as we embark on our raw journey.  Enjoy!

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!

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