I kicked off my SF book tour at the Ferry Building Farmers’ Market yesterday. It’s sunny and warm here in San Francisco, and the market was packed with people shopping locally and seasonally. This has got to be the best farmer’s market in the country. I found amazingly sweet peaches and beautiful heirloom squash that are only available 1-2 weeks a year. What a treat!
I spoke to a full house about the benefits of raw food, weight loss, natural living, happiness, and my new book Ani’s Raw Food Essentials. I demoed a recipe for TOMATO AND TARRAGON BISQUE, page 137, and STRAWBERRY KREAM PIE, page 266.
Sarah, who organizes the chef demoes, helped me portion and pass out samples. Most people in the audience were already familiar with raw foods, but it’s always fun to watch their reactions when they taste one of my raw recipes. Of course, folks loved the soup and dessert. You can see Barry Jan behind the camera on the left, and you’ll find a couple of his photos in Ani’s Raw Food Essentials from last year’s farmer’s market talk and demo.
This may have been my longest line for book signing yet. Patient people stood in line for 50 minutes to meet me and to have me sign their books. What a huge honor for me that folks would wait around so long. I love meeting people, hearing their stories in person, and feeling the love they share with me. This bright energy is what keeps me doing what I do…it fuels my soul.
It was lovely to see many long time friends, like Dr D, and old friend from LA who now lives in Thailand. He happened to be in town, and brought me a moss monkey that’s the cutest plant I’ve ever seen! He’ll have to care for monkey while I’m in Florida since I don’t think it would make it on the plane.
Another long time friend and two lovebirds Jeff, who took all these photos for me, and Frog.
Hanging out at this awesome farmers’ market on a warm, sunny day was the best way to spend my Saturday. From here, I headed to Napa next….
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables, and it was abundant at the farmers’ market today. So, I picked up a big, beautiful head to whip up my mash for dinner. Cauliflower comes in white, green, and purple varieties, and works wonderfully processed into a mash. This is my version of mashed potatoes. Cauliflower has a kick to it, which I love. But if it’s too strong for you, try the following trick:
To soften the kick of raw cauliflower, process on it’s own first with 1 cup of filtered water. Strain through a cheese cloth or nut milk bag. Some of the pungent flavor will run off with the water. Or, you can also substitute with broccoli, which is much milder.
Serve with a gravy on it’s own, or alongside your favorite recipe(s).
To keep your mash lighter in color, you can use white miso paste. I used a red paste, and it was still light in color. I added a touch of olive oil, but for even more creaminess, I use avocado. Avocado creates spots of slight green, which I don’t mind, since I love the color green. Besides, the gravy will cover it up anyways.
I used to use Psyllium Seed Husk powder in this recipe, but this batch didn’t seem to need any stiffening up, so I skipped it. If your mash is too runny, add a teaspoon at at a time, up to a tablespoon, of Psyllium to thicken.
Place all ingredients into your food processor. Process until smooth.
A rich and creamy gravy that’s easy-to-make in your blender.
Place all ingredients into your blender. Blend smooth.
Here’s a super fast and easy recipe I made the other day when I had very little time to eat, but needed a break from my computer for a few short minutes. I didn’t feel like a green salad, and wanted something a bit more substantial.
Zucchini noodles tossed with diced tomatoes and avocado with a touch of garlic, rosemary, and oregano for an Italian flavor. This is delicious and beautiful.
Simple Rosemary Oregano Noodle Salad
Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Toss to mix.
To serve, transfer into bowl. Garnish with 1 tablespoon hemp nut.
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