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ani phyo raw food essentials au lac california

Last Saturday, I was invited to speak at AuLac, my favorite raw restaurant in Fountain Valley, CA. Chef Ito is a good friend who makes the best food ever!

The goal for my new book is to take the mystery out of raw food prep, and to help everyone become their very own home raw food chef. Raw foods prep can be easy, fast, and doesn’t need to cost a ton of money.

I introduce simple, paired down recipes I call basics, then teach the reader how to add on additional  ingredients to mix up the flavors to create endless varieties of recipes. I include tips on setting up the Essential Raw Kitchen, shopping lists, eco green living resources, lists of recipes that travel well, sample menus, importance of probiotics, and how to ferment drinks and vegetables.

ani phyo raw food essentials au lac california

Following my talks, I always love to sign books because I get to meet people in person. I enjoy hearing their stories, inspirations, and passions. Sometimes, it’s a sad story of a spouse lost to cancer that puts someone onto the path of raw and live foods. But it’s always a good thing when people start to understand the correlation between health, vitality, happiness, and our diet.

ani phyo raw food essentials au lac california

Fountain Valley is an area known as Little Siagon. It’s full of Asian markets, and AuLac serves the best Vietnamese cooked foods. Unfortunately, I’ve never tried any because whenever I’m at AuLac, I’m wishing my tummy was bigger so I could eat up more and more of Chef Ito’s raw foods.

ani phyo raw food essentials au lac california

The photos above were taken by the lovely Maria Loewenstein, pictured in green. Pete is on the left, and designs the coolest contemporary eco green kitchens (Artistic Freedom Designs), John Johnson was just awarded a lifetime achievement award for his body piercing work, and Lien Chau Zhang is my beautiful film maker friend passionate to end the suffering of animals. She told me an amazing story about this new chain of vegan Asian style restaurants that has opened up 130 Loving Hut vegan locations globally in the past year!



Watch video: 9 min, 51 sec

In this episode I talk about my new raw food uncookbook, Ani’s Raw Food Essentials, on Day 2 of my new book tour here in Hollywood at Erewhon. Brother Echo from Raw Sangha created this great episode documenting my presentation, talk, and book signing. I had a great time speaking with Brother Echo. He’s a glow of bright light sharing his great gifts with our world. Thanks Brother Echo!

raw sangha ani phyo raw food essentials erewhon hollywood

wild rice ani phyo raw food essentials

Wild rice is actually a grass, not a grain. It’s an aquatic seed that’s found mostly in the upper fresh water lakes of Canada, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota in North America.  It’s a great source of protein, minerals, B vitamins, folic acid, and carbohydrates. I enjoyed wild rice the other morning to help fuel my cardio workout later that day.

I like to soak wild rice in at least double the amount of water for 2 or more days. Rinse and change soak water at least 2 to 3 times each day. Soaked wild rice will never get as soft as when it’s cooked, but that’s what I love about it. It has a chewy, hearty mouth feel that’s really satisfying, especially when my body’s craving some complex carbs.

This simple, quick, delicious recipe is made with just a handful of ingredients. Personally, I leave out the oil and salt. But it will bump up the flavor profile if you choose to add it in.

Sprouted Wild Rice with Corn and Tomato
Makes 2 servings

  • 1 1/2 cup soaked wild rice (started with 1 cup + 2 cups soak water)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon jalapeno pepper, deseed, dice, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, optional

Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Toss to mix well.

Will keep for 3 days in fridge.

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.

ani phyo raw food essentials hollywood california

ani phyo raw food essentials hollywood california

The following images are from Saturday May 8th at Erewhon in Hollywood.

ani phyo raw food essentials hollywood california

ani phyo raw food essentials hollywood california

ani phyo raw food essentials hollywood california

ani phyo raw food essentials hollywood california

ani phyo raw food essentials hollywood california

Thanks Tyler Golden for the beautiful color food photos in Ani’s Raw Food Essentials, and for these lovely pictures too.

More photos were taken and a video was shot by Brother Echo of RawSangha. Check out photos here, and video coming soon.

neelam ani phyo raw food essentials

During my silent 10-day Vipassina mediation last October, I had a vision to work with kids in underprivileged neighborhoods teaching them how to garden, grow food, and make healthy food. These neighborhoods lack fresh produce or healthy food options. The only way to save lives is to teach kids about food, real food. Growing our food builds confidence and self reliance. It’s important for kids to understand where their food comes from.

Neelam Sharma is the Executive Director of Community Services Unlimited, Inc. and is largely responsible for the development of CSU’s food justice and youth training programs. She helped create The Healthy School Food Coalition, The LA Food Justice Network, and the California Food Justice Coalition. An inspirational lady…passionate, intelligent, and beautiful.

garden ani phyo raw food

Neelam and I met at the Expo Center garden, where I first met Dana Clay, the Urban Farm Assistant responsible for this beautiful garden. I found a curry tree for the first time, and the leaves tasted pungent, like curry.

cherimoya ani phyo raw food

They even had a cherimoya tree! Yum. The last time I saw a cherimoya tree was in Baja. I love cherimoya, and just picked up 3 at the local farmer’s market. Visit CSU’s weekly Farm Stand in front of the Expo Center on Menlo just north of MLK on Thursdays from 3-6pm.

Find more about Community Services Unlimited events, and how you can volunteer on their website. A special thanks to my good friend Bryant Terry for introducing me to Neelam and CSU, inc.

kato banks, ani phyo, andy caldwell, raw food los angeles, ca

Last night I met up with old school friends from back in the SF rave days in the early 90s. Above is a photo of me with Kato and DJ Andy Caldwell who was spinning last night in Los Angeles.

Andy’s set wasn’t until 12.30am. And yes, it was a Monday night. To help us all stay awake that late, six of us met for a raw food dinner beforehand.

michelle belegrin, dawn knepley, capm petersen raw food

I always have my camera on me, and was so disappointed I forgot it last night! So these low resolution photos were all taken with my Blackberry instead. Above are Michelle, Dawn, and Capm, sitting on the other side of the table from me. It was interesting that 4 out of the 6 of us were at least 1/2 Asian. Michelle is half Chinese, Dawn’s half Korean, Kato is half Philippino, and I’m full Korean. As I look around, I realize this is our beautifully diverse America. I’m still processing how our USA media doesn’t represent the multitude of cultures that really make up our United States.

After shutting down the cafe, we then headed over to Hollywood to find a packed club, especially for a Monday night! The crowd was totally mixed with what seemed like 1/2 Asians, and another 1/4 at least of other people of color. It was also a huge range of ages, from 21 to 70. There were several groups of older Asians, they looked like my mom’s age, dancing like crazy. This was the first time I’d seen this, ever. And it was awesome.

It was really fun to be part of rockstar Andy’s entourage, being escorted into the club and up onto the stage. We even got to hang out and dance next to the DJ booth all night long.

ani phyo, andy caldwell hollywood the playhouse

I love dancing, and it was a huge treat to dance to Andy’s beats. He’s usually super busy traveling to perform all around the world, so it was a rare opportunity to see him here in LA. Dancing for me is a spiritual practice. Letting go and flowing is cathartic.

ndy caldwell dj hollywood, ca

Before I realized, it was past 2am. Michelle told me the party ended at 3am, which was about 5 hours past my bedtime. So, she and I headed out. By the time I got to bed, it was past 3am. I still woke up at 8am. I know that’s 5 hours of sleep, but I feel tired today. I’m finding it to be harder and harder to stay up late anymore. I don’t think it’s a sign of aging, but rather, perhaps it’s just about being more responsible and taking better care of myself. Either way, last night was totally worth it! I got to catch up with old friends, and danced my legs off to the beats of Andy Caldwell. It was so fun!!!

andy caldwell paul harris

This is a photo of Andy Caldwell and Paul Harris, who was spinning prior just before the change over.

ani phyo at erewhon natural foods raw food in los angeles kate magic

Watch video: 8 min, 15 sec

Kate Magic was visiting from the UK last fall. In this video, you can watch our visit to Erewhon Natural Foods in the heart of Los Angeles, CA. I believe Erewhon was SoCal’s first natural food market and co-op. It’s full of the healthiest foods, cookbooks, natural eco green cleaning products, and lots more. Rooted in macrobiotics, they have a great book selection too.

Erewhon offers a huge array of raw food products in their store, it’s probably the largest raw selection in the world. The raw food goodies take up 2 full isles, end caps, plus a refrigerated section. It’s always a treat to peruse the isles to see what new raw food products have hit the marketplace.

Kate and I enjoyed a lovely day playing around West Hollywood. We started out at lunch eating delicious collard roll wraps, then stopped into Trashy Lingerie next door. Since raw foods keep me at my ideal weight, makes my skin smooth and clear, and helps me build a lean, strong body, it makes shopping for and wearing lingerie easier.

Next, we visited a thrift store, which is my favorite way to shop. It’s recycled fashion, eco, green, good for our environment, and it’s true that one person’s trash can be another person’s treasure. Finally, we then made it over to Erewhon.

Kate will be back in LA in August this year. I look forward to continuing our SoCal adventures together!

raw tomato chili ingredients ani phyo raw food taco nut meat

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.

raw food tomato chili taco nut meat ani phyo raw food essentials

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
(from pages 145-146 of Ani’s Raw Food Essentials)
Makes 4 servings

TOMATO CHILI

  • 3 cup tomatoes, chop
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, chop
  • 1/4 cup celery, chop
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, chop
  • 1/3 cup mushroom, chop
  • 1/3 c corn kernels
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, mince
  • 1 – 2 teaspoon chili powder, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon oregano, fresh or dry
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, to taste

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.


NUT MEAT TOPPING

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin, powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander, powder
  • 1 teaspoon bragg’s or nama shoyu, or 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, to taste

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.

Yesterday, we shot 3 segments for Ani’s Raw Food Essentials for web, TV, and cable:

  • Tomato Chili with Taco Nut Meat, pages 145 – 146
  • Coconut Cake with Nutella Hazelnut Sauce, page 271
  • Water Kefir, page 56

The videos will air one a month starting late May, after the new book is available. Here’s a few photos from the day.

makeup ani phyo raw food essentials

Makeup works wonders, and each time I work with a makeup artist, I learn new ways for applying looks. Martin Christopher does makeup for the Playboy Bunnies, and I loved what he did with me eyes and hair.

set ani's raw food Essentials

To get as much of the counter and ingredients into our shots, I had to stand as low to the counter as possible. That meant standing with my legs straddled for hours…quite the thigh workout.

Skye Van Raalte-Herzog (producer), Todd Stevens (exec producer), and Aaron Lee (camera) were great at giving me feedback and direction. They’ve obviously done these shoots many times before and really knew what would work well on camera. They were an awesome team to work with.

set 2 ani phyo raw food essential

A behind-the-camera perspective photo shot by my assistant Jules Castillo. Jules helped us to set up the kitchen for our shoot, then he helped me prep my ingredients too. Great assistants like Jules are wonderful to have around on shoots and projects.

Everyone enjoyed eating up all the food after the shoot. It’s always fun to watch reactions to my food when folks try it for the first time. Skye enjoys lots of raw foods already, but Todd was blown away at how simple and delicious everything was. Thank goodness he loves nuts, since both dishes used walnuts, almonds, and brazil nuts.

hair ani phyo raw food

I had a birthday celebration to attend last night after the video shoot. Sweetie Martin made sure my hair and makeup were perfect for my evening out. What did I tell you….Playboy hair! I felt like an LA hottie. That is one of the many things I love about LA. You can never be too over or under dolled up.

Once these videos go live, I’ll make sure to post them here. So check back for the first one late May. I can’t wait to watch them myself!

moira ani raw food vegan venice california

Sunday was the annual post Genesis Awards Vegan Lovers Brunch hosted by Chef Moira Nordholt and Ron at their lovely home on the beach in Venice.

The food was delicious, as always, and included a raw lasagna, raw cheeze filled endive boats, kale salad, green salad, sushi rolls, mac and cheese, and chocolate truffles, and many other delicious treats. One interesting item on the menu were these fiddlehead ferns.

fiddle head ferns

These ferns are only available 1 week each year at the farmers’ market. This was our lucky week to get to enjoy these unfurled fronds of the young fern. They look so interesting, and the taste reminded me of a Korean vegetable side dish.

It was a relaxing Sunday afternoon haven amidst the craze of the LA Marathon earlier that morning. We enjoyed great food and company including Lorri Bauston (Animal Acres), Elizabeth Castoria (VegNews Magazine), Jolia Allen (Vegetarian Times), Brendan Brazier (Vega), and Robert Cheeke (Vegan Body Building), to name a few.

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