Making Life Delicious!

Posts tagged ‘rawfoodchef.com’

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

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!

Perfect Dressings and Sauces Every Time!

There is no limit to the variety of exciting salad dressings, sauces, and soups you can make once you understand the principles involved. A good dressing or sauce can enable you to be totally satisfied with your salad every day, even if you do not consider yourself a “good” cook. Salads never have to be boring-you are free to create a delicious new dressing for every salad!

The most flavorful sauces and salad dressings have five important components:

  •  Tart/sour/acidic: Producing a sharp sensation of taste and smell; piercing to the mind; sharply penetrating, expressive and stimulating.
  • Sweet: pleasant and agreeable to the palate and mind, gratifying, with sugar-like overtones.
  • Fatty or creamy: smooth, rich, oily, luscious, lush and velvety.
  • Salty: increases intensity of flavors already present; adds additional taste by enhancing flavors.
  • Herbs and Spices: complement and add drama and zest to the flavor of foods

Many ingredients satisfy two or more of the five components, so it’s possible to create a simple, yet delicious, dressing or sauce using only three ingredients.

For example, pineapples, oranges, and tamarind contain a natural balance of two important flavors-sweet and tart. These fruits, therefore, satisfy two of the basic elements. That makes them ideal as a base for salad dressings.

You may also use several different ingredients from the same category. For example: garlic, ginger, and hot chili peppers all fall into the spice category and, when combined with other ingredients from the basic five, they can help to create extraordinarily flavorful dressings for salads.

Celery, sea vegetables and miso all fall into the salt category, yet they can be used together in one recipe to add different salty flavors and create an individual, yet united, effect. When using more than one salt ingredient, use much less of each salty seasoning. Salt should be used sparingly, so the addition of herbs and spices are very important, since they help to flavor dressings without the overuse of salt.

Another important element is fats or other ingredients that add creaminess. The majority of salad dressings contain oil, although it is not necessary to use oil. There is no limit to the number of dressings and sauces you can make using whole-food fats (like avocado, young coconut and tahini) or fruits (like mango, pineapple, tomatoes, and cucumbers) that thicken and add creaminess. Whole-food fats are great sources of essential fatty acids, which are necessary for good health. Of course, that doesn’t mean, “if a little is good, a lot is better”, but for most people, a small amount of fat can be included in a health promoting diet. Fats also add to the “mouth-feel” or creamy texture of salad dressings. A few whole, soaked raw nuts and seeds like cashews, almonds or sesame seeds can also be used to achieve the creamy texture people enjoy so much on their salads. For easy digestion, we recommend you use only one fatty ingredient in a dressing at one time. In other words, when making a sauce or dressing, choose oil or avocado, but not both.

If you are avoiding fats in your diet, you can use peeled, seeded cucumbers or sweet red peppers and fruits like mango and papaya to create a satisfying, creamy texture. Add a tablespoon of lime juice to balance the sweetness and some fresh herbs or hot chili peppers, with salt or miso and garlic to round out the flavor.

Remember that food preparation is an art, not a science-so you can’t make a mistake, but since ingredients vary in flavor, always start with small amounts and flavor adjust your recipes to suit your taste.

If you are interested in gaining more confidence in the kitchen and learning how to make great tasting raw vegan foods, I invite you to join us at Living Light Culinary Institute on the beautiful north coast of California.  We have been teaching individuals, chefs, and instructors the art of “making healthy living delicious” since 1998. Living Light is a California State Licensed Private Post Secondary School—so your certification means something. Why wait! You can get started for as little as $365.  Going to Living Light could change your life forever!

Raw Food Revolution Diet by Cherie Soria

Young and Delicious

We are in beautiful Toronto, Ontario, Canada preparing for one of our favorite yearly events, the Total Health Show. There are 60 different presenters here from all over the world speaking on a variety of topics related to health. My main focus this year is on Raw Foods for Health, Beauty, and Longevity as well as Staying Young Longer – topics that now I am completing my 65th year, I can say I have experience with!

I love telling people I am going to be 65 in May and watching the look on their faces! They look at each other in disbelief; ask each other if they heard that right; mouths drop open and heads shake (no, can’t be!) As I tell my audience, “The older I get, the bigger the payoff is from switching to a plant based, high raw diet.” But anyone, no matter how old they are, can benefit from changing their eating habits.

Start eating more raw fruits and vegetables today and you will most likely begin to feel better right away. You can be young and delicious at any age!

My book, The Raw Food Revolution Diet, will help you get started.  It includes tips about how to prepare yourself mentally, emotionally and physically if you have never eaten a primarily plant-based diet, and provides menus and great recipes that will nurture your spirit as well as nourish your body.  You’ll find everything you need to get started from A to Z, including nutritional information to ease your fears about not getting enough protein and calcium; how to know what a healthy body weight is for your body type, and even how to set up your kitchen and fill your pantry.

I’m so happy I wrote this book with my coauthors, Vesanto Melina and Brenda Davis, two of the most knowledgeable dieticians in the world on the subject of the raw vegan diet. They researched this book thoroughly, using only peer reviewed studies to prove that the raw vegan diet is superior to other ways of eating.

If you can’t make it to Toronto, you can go to our online store and buy (a signed copy) of the book and start today – why wait to reinvent yourself? Get the book, then sign up for the nearest FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods. We’ll be offering four more in the next month. Check out RawFoodChef.com and find one near you.

Raw foods isn’t just roots and shoots anymore! It can be as delicious and comforting as any cooked foods you have eaten and we can show you how to make it easy. Our motto at Living Light is “Making Healthy Living Delicious” and no one does it better!

So, if you are interested in nurturing your spirit while nourishing your body, we can show you how! Check out our website, RawFoodChef.com and learn about all our classes.

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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