For weeks, friends had been calling to say they saw a poster of me on Beverly Blvd. Now I can see why. Erewhon is the greatest store in the world for everything raw. Juan Hernandez has been the Erewhon force behind this great raw department. I’m holding a print gift from Tyler Golden, my food photographer, of my Mandu Dumpling recipe from Ani’s Raw Food Essentials. I love it!
Another photo in front of my poster, this time with one of my favorite actors and directors Vincent Gallo. He directed and acted in Buffalo ’66 (1998) with Christina Ricci, who I love too. I attended high school in Buffalo, and enjoyed watching this film years ago. Buffalo ’66 was the first time I saw the camera effect when the set stays still and the camera pans 360 around the characters. This was a year prior to the same effects in the Matrix film.
It was another packed house on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Erewhon in Hollywood. I demonstrated how to make my Strawberry Kream Pie using dates, cashews, vanilla, and strawberries. The lovely Christy Morgan (in purple) volunteered to help me portion out the tastes and get them into the crowd. Everyone loved the dessert, it was fast and easy to make, and tasted delicious.
I talked about the importance of probiotics in our diets. In America, we take antibiotics, which kill off all our healthy intestinal flora. Probiotics will help us to regain balance in our digestive tract. My new book includes a chapter on probiotic drinks including kefir and kombuch, and another on probiotic pickled vegetables inspired from my Korean heritage.
I always love signing books after a talk and food presentation. It’s when I really get to connect with people and hear their stories. These two lovelies are getting married soon, and told me they’re planning to have 3 raw cakes at their wedding.
I had previously met Dana at one of the Community Services Unlimited gardens, where she was elbow deep planting greens in the dirt. Her garden is beautiful, very well maintained, and full of the most delicious plants. Read my post on the CSU, Inc gardens.
Thank you to Juan for hosting, Christy for helping, Tyler Golden for taking photos, and Raw Sangha’s Brother Echo for filming yesterday’s event. Brother Echo said he’d have a video up that I’ll link to in a day or so. Thanks everyone for joining me and celebrating my new book!
Friday evening was the first stop along my book tour for Ani’s Raw Food Essentials. Book Soup arranged a special and very early drop shipment of my books to be delivered 3 weeks early. Official sale date isn’t until June 1st. So, Book Soup is where I got to see my new book in person. It’s always super exciting to hold a copy in my hands. And the book looks great. Hard cover, 2 color with beautiful color food inserts taken by Tyler Golden.
Tyler brought me a gift! A large print of my Mandu Dumplings framed. I love it!
I talked about my goals for Ani’s Raw Food Essentials, which is to strip away the misconception of raw or healthy being expensive or time consuming. I hope to make raw food preparations easy and accessible to everyone. I begin with stripped down BASIC recipes, then build up from there to create variations and different, new flavors.
Minah is a fellow Korean American who lives near Pasadena and goes to college in NYC. Check out her book on my lap. It’s dog eared, marked up, and worn. I love this! A sign that Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen has been put to good use. Minah shared with me how my raw recipes feed her, gave her mental clarity and focus, and charged her through school. Bravo!
Belita, to the left in the above photo, is a mother who I had a discussion with about how her little girl gravitates to fresh fruit while her boy reaches for vegetables. It’s natural for kids to love whole, fresh fruits and vegetables. After all, candy colors are inspired by fruit and vegetables. In the center is Tyler Golden, food photographer, and then Minah.
To the right is Kurt, who I discovered works in South Los Angeles (which used to be called South Central LA) with kids. He lives in Venice, all the way West at the ocean, and takes public transit downtown daily to work and back. I’m very impressed! He found his way to Hollywood from downtown via public transit, and luckily got a ride back to the west side from Belita. It’s rare to meet people who don’t drive their own cars here in LA.
I’m now working with Community Services Unlimited in the same neighborhood as Kurt, so we’ll be seeing more of each other this summer through our gardening, cooking classes, and fund raising dinner events for kids and the community in South Los Angeles.
The lovely Thea took these photos for me, and unfortunately, we didn’t get a photo together.
Professional photos taken by Tyler Golden from last weekend’s kick off book tour events. The first two are from Book Soup in Hollywood on Friday May 7, 2010.
The following images are from Saturday May 8th at Erewhon in Hollywood.
More photos were taken and a video was shot by Brother Echo of RawSangha. Check out photos here, and video coming soon.
Raw Energy raw food article in the UK’s Health & Fitness Magazine in the May 2010 issue featuring 3 recipes from Ani’s Raw Food Essentials:
In this video I’ll show you how to make a beautiful, delicious, refreshing ice cream using cashews with folded in pineapple, and shaped into a cake form. This raw food demo was recorded during my workshop at Mom Tri’s Villa Royale in Phuket, Thailand on January 24, 2010.
Pineapple Ice Box Dessert
Make crust by processing cashews into small pieces with vanilla. Add honey, and process to mix well. Sprinkle half of the crust mixture into bottom of a loaf pan,
To make filling, in high-speed blender, blend cashews with honey or agave and liquid oil into a smooth cream. Into a mixing bowl, toss cream with pineapple to mix well. Scoop into loaf pan. Top with remaining crust, and gently press down.
Freeze dessert overnight or until frozen.
I’m stoked Sambazon asked me to be a part of their new campaign. I had so much fun on the photo shoot last Friday in Hollywood. Sambazon draws together the most amazing people from pro surfers, mountain bikers, photographers, and artists, and I’m proud to be added into their mix.
You can see Kai Lai and Kato Banks in the reflection of the mirror, and me having my makeup put on.
Jeremy Black is the co-founder, along with his brother Ryan, of Sambazon. Jeremy looks like a Ralph Lauren model. Both he and his brother are the sweetest guys, plus handsome and radiant. Must be all that antioxidant rich acai.
The photographer JP Greenwood and the digital tech John Shin….celebrating after a long day. JPs other assistants, not in this photo, included Carlos Rios and Glen Chivens. JP was great to work with. He made sure I struck the right poses and made sure I looked gorgeous in all the shots. Magic of a good photographer and makeup!
This new campaign launches early June, and I can’t wait to see the photos from the shoot.
Listen to my conversation with Rhio and Leigh from March 19th, 2010.
This is a video shot during my workshop at Mom Tri’s Villa Royale in January. In it, I’ll show you how easy it is to make delicious, nutritious Thai Spring Rolls with an Almond Dipping Sauce. My yummy, super healthy, raw food version of a peanut inspired sauce is made using kaffir lime leaves, chilies, and almonds. The rolls are made by filling collard leaves with julienne zucchini, mung bean sprouts, and fresh herbs like cilantro, mint, and basil.
Thai chilies are spicy hot, so you’ll want to adjust the spice level to suit your tastes. Removing the seeds will help to decrease the spice level. Capsicum is what makes chilies hot, and is the ingredient found in most diet pills for its metabolism boosting properties. Capsicum increases circulation, decreases inflammation, and boost our immune system.
Thai Spring Rolls with Almond Dipping Sauce
Thai Dipping Sauce
To make dipping sauce, place sauce ingredients into your blender, adding water as needed. Blend smooth.
To wrap, place leaves onto flat surface. Layer with fillings, and roll.
Serve with dipping sauce.
I love my raw food sea vegetables for chlorophyll, vitamins and minerals from the ocean, iodine, and all things good for my health. Iodine works with our thyroid to help regulate our metabolism. Plus, I just love how sea vegetables taste. They’re naturally ‘salty’ from potassium rather than sodium. They’re a great add-on to any dish, and also make for a great recipe all on their own. I enjoy nori pretty much daily, wrapped up to hold my favorite fillings….like this arame salad.
Super fast and easy to make, this is a great recipe for when I’m short of fresh ingredients in my house. Seaweed is dried and shelf stable, and I always have hijiki, arame, and nori on hand.
My new favorite spice is yuzu paste. Found at Japanese markets, the paste is made with an aromatic, sour Asian citrus fruit (yuzu) that’s highly salted with spicy chili added to the mix. It has a pungent flavor with kick of spice and salt, and I like to add a tiny bit of it to some recipes, like this one. If you can’t find yuzu paste, you can just use pinches of salt and chili pepper instead.
The following recipe is super simple, easy and fast to make. It’s how I feed myself on busy days when I don’t have time to spend in the kitchen. I hope you’ll enjoy this. If you want to make it more complex, try adding in a bit of garlic, ginger, and sliced green onions too.
Arame & Sugar Snap Pea Salad
Squeeze all excess liquid from soaked arame. Place into clean mixing bowl with sugar snap peas.
In another small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, and yuzu. Mix dressing into bowl with arame and snap peas, toss well.
Will keep for 1 day in fridge.
Here’s a sneak peak into one of my favorite recipes from my new book, Ani’s Raw Food Essentials (available June 1st). We shot this recipe last Thursday for TV, cable, and web.
I’ve been craving raw Tomato Chili the past few days, so I made sure to pick up some beautiful tomatoes, bell pepper, and fresh oregano at the farmers’ market. When I went to make this last night, I realized I had run out of chili powder, so I used chipotle powder instead. It turned out spicy hot. To help cool it down, I made a batch of raw Taco Nut Meat, which helped a bit, but not enough. So then I added some Cashew Sour Kream, and that helped. It was delicious, and energized me to write late into the night.
This recipes is simple and quick to make. I enjoy the mediation of chopping with my knife. But you can also just place ingredients into your food processor and let it do the chopping for you for an even shorter prep time.
Tomato Chili with Taco Nut Meat
Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl, toss to mix well.
Place half of your mixture into your food processor or blender and puree. Scoop back into bowl with mixture and toss to mix well.
Place all ingredients into your food processor, and process into small pieces.
To serve, scoop raw Tomato Chili into bowls. Top with Taco Nut Meat. Enjoy.
Tomato Chili will keep for 1-2 days in fridge. Taco Nut Meat will keep for a week or more.
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