I visited Erewhon Natural Foods in Los Angeles on May 28, 2011 along my book tour for Ani’s Raw Food Asia. Erewhon is my favorite Raw Food store. These beautiful photos are courtesy of the very talented Sherman Lee at http://www.digitalslimages.com.
Juan Hernandez, the store manager, makes sure to offer the largest range of Raw Food products and brand, and has created the nexus for Raw Foods here in LA. Juan was one of my earliest supporters of my SmartMonkey Foods packaged and prepared foods products.
Each year’s visit celebrating my new book always draws a packed house. I love Erewhon!
I showed everyone how easy it is to make my Mushroom “Bul Go Gi”, from Ani’s Raw Food Asia, page 186, using mushrooms marinated in tamari or nama shoyu (raw soy sauce), toasted sesame oil, asian pear, and sweetener of choice like agave or brown rice syrup. We topped off these beautiful Lettuce Wraps, from page 188, with my version of a traditional Korean Gochujang Sauce, page 225, made with miso, sesame oil, chile powder, and sweetener like agave.
Following my food demo and Q+A…next, I get to sign books and meet people 1 on 1!
This tour, many people had me sign multiple copies of Ani’s Raw Food Asia for friends and family. I do love when people bring their entire collection for me to sign too…..a blessing for me.
My friends Ron Gilmore and Caroline Jue create an awesome animated series called Rawman & Green-Girl. They are doing great work educating and sharing information about our food sources.
Elaine R. Johnson hand delivered this beautiful porcelain sculpture she made to me all the way from Arizona with her mom. Elaine is amazingly talented. I can’t even begin to express my gratitude for such a beautiful gift.
This is the beautifully talented Elaine R. Johnson. She told me how challenging porcelain is to work with….cracking as it dries, or cracking out of the kiln during baking. A labour of love, it shows!
Read my interview on Healthy Bitch Daily, where I talk about these topics and include a recipe:
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.
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.
Yesterday, we shot 3 segments for Ani’s Raw Food Essentials for web, TV, and cable:
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
Moby, one of my favorite musicians, was at the Skirball Cultural Center last night on tour speaking about his new book Gristle. It’s a compilation of 10 chapters on topics including health, environment, and government subsidies that make less healthy food cheaper and more accessible that healthier options. Moby’s got quite a sense of humor. He’s funny.
Moby co-edited Gristle with leading food policy activist Miyun Park, a spunky, tattooed, muscular, well spoken, Korean American beauty. Nice to see a strong Korean American woman who obviously tells it like it is, no holds bar.
Moby explained how he used to be one of those annoying, extremist vegans, and would irritate his family and friends. Today, he has compassion and understanding for people from all backgrounds and experiences. Rather than being militant about veganism, he recommended we lead by example by looking healthy and happy. I love his message, and share the same philosophy. We won’t win people over by making them feel bad, alienated, or wrong.
I was happy to be able to gift Moby with an early copy of Ani’s Raw Food Essentials, and Miyun with a copy of Ani’s Raw Food Desserts.
I met up with the lovely Frances Fisher, nominated in 1998 for her outstanding performance in the film the Titanic. Frances was sharing with me her story about her last Christmas event that was catered vegan. No one realized there was no meat served. That’s always the best way, when the food tastes so good, no one misses the meat!
I looked up Frances’ age (born 1952), and my goodness, she looks great! Obviously, her diet and lifestyle make her radiate with health and vitality.
The same crew where all there to see Moby as the past several days of vegan events: Brendan Brazier (contributor to Gristle, bravo!), Robert Cheeke, Jordan and Jolia Allen, Benny Chan, Kato Space, and many other friends. It was a great eve, and I’m realizing I need to get back to the Skirball to check out the exhibits during the day soon.
The sun was out for Day 1 of Expo West, and I was happy it was warm outside for the folks visiting from colder climates.
My first stop was the Sequel booth, where I found my good friend Brendan Brazier. He’s the formulator of Vega. He has a new Sport line out for pre and post workout fueling. Brendan’s the author of Thrive and Thrive Fitness books. I love Vega drinks and bars.
Next stop was the Ohgave booth, where I found Matthew Kenney with his new raw agave product. Matthew’s latest restaurant, 105degrees, is opening up the world of raw food to mainstream America in Oaklahoma City, of all places. Matthew’s the author of numerous cookbooks including Everyday Raw, which I’ve often found my Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen book sitting next to on store shelves. What a cutie pie.
Excited by the huge jump in new raw products at this year’s Expo West, I forgot to take anymore photos after this point, and got carried away into the thousands of booths and new products. I found several raw kale chips, tons of raw chocolate, a couple raw kombuchas, new raw bars, and several flax crackers. The raw food explosion was quite a sight to see.
I had my preview copy of Ani’s Raw Food Essentials with me, and folks were stoked to see a sneak peek at my new book. In addition to several awesome meetings, I was also video interviewed for VegNews and Delicious Living Magazines. I’ll make sure to post up the videos right here as soon as they are live.
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