Friday, October 29, 2010

Chicken-free Soup...Even Better for the Soul! And, how to adapt recipes and get over it!

Whether you are just starting out with raw food, or haven’t eaten anything warmer than 112 degrees (or 115 degrees, or 118 degrees…depending on who you talk to) in a long, long time, it can be intimidating to tackle raw food recipes. Almost nobody grew up with raw techniques, gadgets, or exotic ingredients (I have still not had durian, the darling fruit of many a raw foodie, and might not know it if I fell over it!), so many new recipes can be an adventure, at best. At worst…food for the compost pile.

I’ve been at it for nearly two years, and when I’m at a loss for inventing something on my own, and checking out new raw recipes or considering adapting cooked ones, I still get a little intimidated occasionally, especially by hard-to-find or tricky to deal with ingredients.

I only recently overcame my fear of baby coconuts, and I realize that wouldn’t have been possible except that, for some reason, my regular Shoprite nearby happens to stock them. But I’m so glad I did…they are too costly and time consuming to whip up coconut dishes every day, but once in a while – what a treat!! So don’t let yourself get psyched out of trying new raw preparations, or you could miss out on something delish.

Yesterday, I was flipping through some un-cookbooks, looking at soup recipes. Not something I typically make, so I was looking for a little inspiration, and I decided to try the Chicken-Less Noodle Soup in Matt Amsden’s “RAWvolution.” But ran into a few roadblocks, and still managed to come up a fairly tasty dish in the end, after several adaptations.

First, the recipe called for 3 ½ cups of daikon juice, from 2-3 daikon. My grocery store didn’t have any daikon…so I settled for a combination of juices…from 2 large golden beats, one little bag of radishes (probably about 8-10 small radishes), a small bunch of celery…and then several stalks of bok choy I had hanging around in the fridge. After all this, I only managed to come up with about 3 cups of juice…no worries! I just reduced the amount of water by a little (1 cup instead of 1 ¼, so there wouldn’t be too much dilution in the broth). Then the broth called for lemon juice…I’d just used the two lemons I had in a batch of homemade Gatorade…so, my broth would be missing a citrusy kick. My husband would never know! And if you don’t have a juicer? Who cares! Use your blender, and either strain out the solids, or enjoy a little more fiber!

The recipe called for 1/8 of a cup each of carrots and celery…I like to use my mandoline for slicing veggies, since it gives them a softer, more “cooked” texture, and it is barely worth dragging the thing out (and risking my finger tips!) for so little slicing…so I used at least ½ cup of each, and about a cup of the zucchini noodles, when the recipe called for ¼.

Finally, Amsden recommends adding sliced chanterelle mushrooms to the top of the soup…I’m not a huge mushroom fan, but I decided to give it a try…but the store only had dried chanterelles…and when I got them home, I realized the package said DO NOT EAT DRIED MUSHROOMS RAW. So much for that! (Although I did follow the package instructions to blanch the shrooms in boiling water, and put them in my hubby’s soup…he’s a fungi fan, and also isn’t worried about keeping raw).

And for all my substitutions, the soup resembled cooked chicken soup (sans the contribution from Mr. Purdue), and even had a bit of that familiar taste. And certainly, if you soul is craving a little chicken soup, this chicken-less soup will be even better for it!

In sum, here’s what I did…I recommend “RAWvolution” for the inspiration for this tasty treat and many others!

3 cups worth of juice (or puree) of veggies…I used 2 largish golden beets, about 10 small radishes, a small bunch of celery, and a bit of bok choy, which didn’t really contribute much anyway.

Add to that 1 cup of water and 1 teaspoon of sea salt, and give it a whirl in the blender.

Pour broth into bowls (this will make about 2-3 servings), and divide the following among them: ½ cup thinly sliced carrots, ½ cup thinly slice celery, 1 cup zucchini noodles, and a handful of chopped parsley (my addition, because I love it, and it also seems very soup-y to me). You can warm the bowls up a little in the dehydrator, if you like, or a very low oven (make sure to check frequently on the temperature - I don't know what happens when you cook beet and radish juice!), or you could leave the broth in the blender til it warms up a little.

Be prepared to serve this with something else…it really isn’t super filling, and truthfully is a lot of work for not a lot of food…and as I like to say…raw appétit!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Go Nuts for Coconut!

My raw macaroons are now available at Fresh Thymes Cafe in Wilmington. The ladies there, Jenn and Jane Adams, are devoted serving to fresh, local, organic food...Visit them for a meal, and pick up some of my tasty macaroons as well!
The only ingredients are coconut, almond, agave nectar, coconut oil, vanilla, and a pinch of salt...a totally delicious treat for raw foodies, vegans, and omnivores alike! And they are an indulgence you can feel good about...they are full of fiber, plus coconut and coconut oil are said to improve metabolism, prevent disease, aid digestion, and provide antioxidants, as well as pack an antibacterial and antifungal punch. Almonds are a great source of magnesium and vitamin E. And the agave used to sweeten them is much lower on the glycemic index than regular sugar...yum!

For Raw Macaroons, plus other fresh delights, visit:
Fresh Thymes Cafe
1836 N. Lovering Ave (at Lincoln & Lovering)
Wilmington, DE

Monday, October 11, 2010

Reminder...Upcoming Raw Food Classes!

Don't forget to sign up for my upcoming classes...

It's harvest season...What better time to make the most of nature's bounty, getting as much nutrition and energy from fresh grown produce as possible with raw and living foods? Check out these upcoming raw food me to sign up!

Living on Live Food Level 1: Chef Certification

Are you ready to start losing weight, having more energy, and feeling positively radiant by eating the healthiest and tastiest food ever? This class is for you! You'll learn everything you need to get started on raw and living foods right now - no fancy gadgets or complicated techniques required! Just delicious, easy to make meals made of veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds. Join me to in this day-long class, designed by raw food author and restauranteur Alissa Cohen, where we'll discuss the basics of a day-to-day raw food lifestyle and make tasty dishes like "salmon" pate, angel hair pasta, fettuccine alfredo, stuffed mushrooms, collard roll-ups (a perfectly portable, take-anywhere raw meal!), broccoli soup, and of course, dessert...a delicious date nut torte, and more.
You'll leave class knowing how to set up your raw kitchen, shop for food, and prepare meals that even the kids will love! One recent participant said "...great introduction to what raw food is, and great recipes! I am excited to go home and make the recipes myself...I really enjoyed myself today..." Another called the class "very educational and eye-opening."
SAVE $15 each if you sign up with a friend!

Saturday, October 23
Wilmington, DE
$125 Includes breakfast & lunch, raw recipe booklet, and Chef Certificate from Alissa Cohen.
EMAIL ME at to register.
****Please sign up by October 15. No refunds will be issued after that date****

Delicious Treats, Naturally Free of Wheat, Gluten, Eggs, Dairy...and Guilt!

Tell the host "I'll bring a dessert!" and know there will be a scrumptious indulgence at the holiday party that won't derail your healthy eating plans.

We'll learn raw food dessert recipes that taste amazing, are actually nutritious, and are safe for a lot of the allergy sufferers out there. Plus, some quick & simple treats to whip up at home when the urge for something sweet strikes. Not a baker? No problem! You don't even have to turn on the oven for these goodies!

Come hungry for fruit pies, brownies, cookies, ice cream...and take home a few treats, too!

SAVE $5 each if you sign up with a friend!

Sunday, November 14
Wilmington, DE
$30 Includes raw recipe booklet, demos and samples, and a goody bag.
EMAIL ME at to register.
****Please sign up by November 8. No refunds will be issued after that date****