Monday, November 30, 2009

Eat the Garnish: Kale Chip Variations

My mom spotted me eyeing the kale used to anchor the stems of a fruit bouquet at Thanksgiving, and we joked that I like to eat the garnish.

But it got me thinking, the garnish is a good place to look for raw foodies at a restaurant or at a party, looking for things to eat. I won’t necessarily condone canvassing a restaurant for shreds of kale and pieces of parsley from your fellows diners…don’t give raw foodies a bad name!...but keep in mind that most restaurants will have garnish items (like kale) available, so you can always ask them to add it to the mix to spice up a big salad or plate of veggies. And no one will be the wiser is you grab a few extra pieces of parsley off a cheese or fruit display, and it could spice up your salad a little, not to mention give it a little nutrition kick. So go ahead, eat the garnish!

In that spirit, I got home last night after several days of Thanksgiving travel, and was definitely happy to get back to my dehydrator, and the variety it provides…I have some raw pizza going in there now, and also my favorite snack: kale chips!

I already know how they’ve turned out, because I snagged pieces at various stages of crispness (including not crisp at all) throughout the day…and they are, as usual, delicious, although not as complicated as when I usually make them.

Usually I use a pesto, but today, I was without basil. So I tore up my kale into medium pieces (the size of a large Tostito), washed it very well, and prepped it for chipification in the following ways:

Salt & Pepper Kale Chips

Drizzle of olive oil…about as much for a similar quality of salad. Probably about 1-2 tablespoons for a big, loosely packed bowl of kale

Salt & pepper to taste…BE CAREFUL with the salt. You want to salt the kale until it tastes like it could use just a tiny smidge more, but then don’t add any more. The chips taste saltier (or more peppery, garlicky, or whatever) once they are dehydrated

Smoosh the S&P and oil into the kale with your fingers, so the leaves are evenly coated…dehydrate at 105 for 3-4 hours or so.

Spicy Kale Chips

Same thing as with the olive oil & salt above, but instead of black pepper sprinkle on chili powder…again, be careful of how much your use, because the flavors concentrate once the kale it dry.

Leftover Tomato & Basil Kale Chips

I had leftover tomato sauce, about a quarter cup. I had used a 1:1 ratio of fresh tomatoes and soaked & drained sundried tomatoes, one clove of garlic and a pinch of salt in the original recipe. To the quarter cup that remained I added about a tablespoon of olive oil and a small handful of fresh basil, and an extra pinch of salt. Massage into a big bowl of loosely packed kale, and dehydrate…may need a little longer than the others, like 5 hours, because the tomatoes are extra wet.

Raw appétit!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Raw Thanksgiving Ravioli

Thanksgiving, and what to bring, has been on my mind, since this is the first Turkey Day that I’ve been raw. I was never really a fan of the bird anyway, but I used to load up a plate of veggies and DEFINITELY tucked into the apple pie.

So, I’ve been pondering a good dish (in addition to the Harvest Soup I wrote about last week) to bring along for the big day, to eat as my meal and to share portions of with my family.

While running the other day, I had a brain storm! I decided to change up the sausagey ravioli I made a few weeks ago, and turn it into Thanksgiving Ravioli, with some of the best flavors of the day, but with none of the cholesterol, and no post-meal stupor!! I’m posting a video of me making it below – pretty good camera work for an iPhone, I think! – as well as the written recipe below.

Thanksgiving Ravioli


4 small-medium white & purple turnips (of course you’ll need fewer for this amount of filling if you manage to find nice big ones so that you can use one per ravioli)

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

On a spiral slicer or mandoline, make paper thin slices, and marinate in olive oil (I would say for at least half an hour, so they are nice and soft to serve)


1 ½ cups walnuts, soaked for 3-4 hours and then DRAINED

¼ cup sweet onion

1 clove garlic

½ cup celery

1/2 cup fresh parsley

1 teaspoon fennel

1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1-2 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos or Nama Shoyu (omit if you don’t like, and just season with a little extra salt. I used Braggs for the meat-y kind of flavor, and you’ll notice in the video, I started out with 3 tablespoons…this was on the salty side. Start out with one and add more if you want more!)

Salt & black pepper to taste (if necessary)

Grind up the walnuts, onions & garlic first, so you get them going and don’t have huge chunks. Then add the rest. I like to still be able to see the parsley and celery, if only in little bits. It’s like sausage stuffing!

Let this warm to room temp, or to 105 in the dehydrator before assembling/serving.


2 cups cranberries

1 green onion (just the tight part, white and a little green before it gets branchy)

½ cup fresh squeezed OJ

2-3 tablespoons agave

¼ tsp salt

Few cracks of fresh black pepper

Dash of cinnamon

Dash of nutmeg

Blend all very well in a food processor. I had little tiny bits of cranberry still…if you prefer something smoother or chunkier, go for it!

To assemble, lay softened turnips on serving plate, plop in a heaping teaspoon of filling, fold turnips into a half moon or top with another slice, like a sandwich, depending on how big they are, and top with sauce. This amount made about three dozen ravioli for me (sandwich-style). I warmed mine up in the dehydrator a bit. Raw appétit – and Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Too Amazing Not to Share!

Big news! I was just certified to teach Alissa Cohen Living on Live Food Classes, both Level 1 (a basic, getting started program) and Level 2 (advanced raw & live food prep, plus teacher certification for Level 1). I’m thrilled to start teaching – stay tuned for a link to class listings! If you have questions in the meantime, please feel free to email me at Here’s a picture of me with Alissa…it was great to finally meet her, after reading and using her raw food guide & cookbook to get myself started on raw food, and I learned so much. I’m so grateful for the experience, and so excited to share it!

Meanwhile, here’s a recipe too yummy not to share! I learned it at a demo by Patricia Escoto of Inner-Workings at my health food co-op. I actually lost the original recipe, but I think I remember pretty well…

Harvest Soup

In a blender, combine:

1 large zucchini, chopped

2 cups of carrots, chopped or shredded

2 tomatoes, chopped

2-3 stalks of celery, chopped

2 dates

1 clove of garlic

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 cup of water or so (depending on desired consistency)

1/2 cup flax oil (or olive oil…I much prefer the flax, because I think it has a squashy flavor…you could use less, of course, if you wanted to make this lower-fat)

Salt & pepper to taste!

It actually looks like and is reminiscent of a butternut squash soup…delish! I’m planning on making it for Thanksgiving. As they say in France, raw appétit!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Raw Sausage Ravioli! That's Amore!

I’m only ¼ Italian (although apparently that was enough genetic material to form the entire lower half of my body, which seems to be made for climbing hills in Italy…but I digress…) but somehow Italian food has always been what I gravitate towards cooking. That’s been true on my raw journey as well…my favorite recipes are for lasagnas, pizza, noodles, and now…ravioli! I’ve worked with both beets and turnips as ravioli shells, and both work really well, look pretty, and taste yummy. “Rawviolis” are pretty enough for company, and seem pretty safe and comfortable for folks new to raw.

If you’ve read some of my previous blog entries, you’ll know I love the spicy, concentrated flavors of cured meats…so I did a sausagey filling in the ravioli, but you could make a simpler nut cheese and it would work as nicely!

Here’s how to make some smashingly tasty raw ravioli:

3-4 small purple turnips (this is good for 2-3 people…double the number of turnips and the rest of the ingredients for more)

1 ¼ cups walnuts, soaked for 3-4 hours

½ a medium avocado

¼ tsp ground mustard

½ tsp red pepper flakes

½ tsp fennel seeds

3 tablespoons Braggs Liquid Aminos

2 tablespoons fresh parsley

½ tsp onion powder

1 large clove of garlic

Salt & pepper to taste (watch it with the salt – after the Braggs, you may not need any)

First, prepare your ravioli “pasta”…with a spiral slicer or adjustable mandoline, make VERY thin slices out of all your turnips, about the thickness of two or three pieces of paper. Mine were small, so I made round slices to turn into sandwiches, but you could make half moon shaped raviolis with big turnip slices. Toss turnips slices with a tablespoon or so of olive oil to begin softening them.

Combine all of your filling ingredients in a food processor. For the love of Pete, try not to eat it all before you assemble the ravioli!

On the plates on which you intend to serve the ravioli, place the slices for your undersides. Places a teaspoon of filling on each, and then put the tops on, and press down until they stick.

For sauce, I used a concoction of ¾ cup sundried tomatoes, which had been soaked for several hours, ½ cup fresh parsley and basil, ¼ cup olive oil & salt & pepper. Pesto would taste great, too, or a more complicated tomato sauce.

Put a dollop of sauce on each ravioli (I use mine to cover the seams created by the spiral slicer), and warm in dehydrator at 105 or an oven set on the lowest tempt for 15-20 minutes.

Raw appétit…or should I say, appetito?