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.
It was a Vital Juice Spa weekend full of healthy beauty, yoga, massage, breath work, and good food. Co-founder Amanda Freeman was in town for the spa event, and it was lovely to catch up with her. On Friday, I enjoyed the best ever breath work session with Cindy Click. Perfectly what I needed after a challenging week.
I met lovely folks from my favorite yoga studio, YogaWorks. Terri Seiden, the Director of Marketing, has offered to throw a book release event to help me celebrate Ani’s Raw Food Essentials in late June at their Larchmount location.
Here I am with the beautiful Jamie Kiffel-Alcheh. I forgot to bring my yoga clothes, so I missed out on doing yoga on the lawn in the sunshine.
The next day, I got to see Jamie again… this time for a raw meal in Santa Monica at a newish raw food cafe with gorgeous Kimberly Miguel Mullen. Read about our raw food lunch on Vital Juice, Los Angeles.
Good thing I fueled myself up with a Spa Day and then Raw Foods because the next day I drove almost all the way to Palm Springs to meet up with my best girlfriend from college, Dora Jih of Season Tees. Her 8 year old daughter had a synchronized swim competition. It was so fun to watch these cute girls all dolled up in hand made custom outfits doing their mermaid dance. And, they let Kanga join in on the fun too!
Listen to my conversation with Rhio and Leigh from March 19th, 2010.
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.
The proof of the raw pudding is in Phuket
Mon 29 Mar 2010
The Raw Food movement started, as so many modern health fads seem to, on the west coast of the USA in sun-baked, and some would say half-baked, California.
Perhaps surprisingly, the movement has led to a huge amount of controversy and criticism, with its detractors claiming that acolytes are mad primitivists who deprive themselves, or worse yet, their children, of the comforts and nutritional benefits that evolved 21st century culture afford us.
On its surface the movement is a retreat to a simpler more primitive way of eating. Raw foodists posit that not solong ago in evolutionary terms, say forty thousand years or so, humans ate whatever they could find, where and when they actually found it. This usually meant that we ate either carbohydrate or protein at each sitting and we often ate it raw as soon as we found or killed it.
Time wipe to today’s complex society in which food often travels vast distances before it reaches our plates and is processed, packaged and adulterated in a multitude of ways before we eat it. Our bodies now receive a chemical blast from ingested food that often bears little resemblance to the clean, raw food for which our digestive chemistry was designed and so, unsurprisingly, diseases like diabetes, obesity and associated heart failure and alimentary cancers have reached epidemic proportions.
If you need proof of this depressing ideological pudding, then the fact that these diseases are most prevalent in the most advanced cultures, provides it. Great affluence brings greater food adulteration and therefore greater instance of disease.. .and there the raw foodist’s case conveniently rests!
That hallowed institution of fine culinary pyrotechnics, Mon Tri’s Villa Royale recently brought Ani Phyo along to conduct a workshop on raw food leaving the participants to make up their own minds about the ongoing debate.
Ani Phyo is a very attractive Korean-Californian American and a perfect advertisement for the benefits of a healthy raw food diet if ever there was one. She happily revealed her age as coming up to 42 as an exclamation of appreciative surprise rang around the room. Ani is now one of the premier raw food chefs. She is the author of ‘Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen’, ‘Ani’s Raw Food Desserts’, and ‘Return on Design’ and founder of SmartMonkey Foods.
As she explains on her website, “My belief is that illness is created by toxins we put into our bodies. Eating raw foods helps me detoxify, stay healthy, strong, fit, maintain my ideal weight and look my best.
“When I eat whole fresh organic foods, manufacturers can’t sneak chemicals, preservatives, artificial colours, flavourings, or other toxins into my diet. I go straight to Mother Nature as my source for nutrient-rich foods.”
Ani showed the large group of attendees at her workshop how to whip-up simple, fresh recipes using what you’re likely to have in your kitchen while also offering tips on dehydrating and more sophisticated techniques. She also offered everything from classic comfort foods like nachos and burgers, to Reuben sandwiches and bacon, along with more gourmet dishes like risotto and angel hair pasta.
Her central message, appropriately enough for Buddhist Thailand, is the “middle way” of raw foodism so that you can have your cake and eat it too with her innovative, delicious recipes and desserts.
Ani’s Raw Food Essentials proves that you don’t have to sacrifice taste to reap the benefits of raw foods, all while living a greener lifestyle. Additionally, Ani has developed living food vegan menus for Carnival Cruise Lines, Adidas headquarters, STOMP, and Whole Foods Markets, to name a few. Adidas fitness centres depend on Ani to educate their athletes on how to ‘fuel up’ with raw nutrition for optimal performance. She also organises cooking play shops for children.
While raw foodism seems to be on the rise, it’s unlikely to become as big a culinary trend as, say, nouvelle cuisine. Vegetarians are a minority of the population, and rawists are a very small minority of that group. Comparatively few people are completely committed to it. For those who are, health is a motivating factor.
There are certain mainstream restaurants that are beginning to offer special “raw vegan” and “organic vegan” menus. The Six Senses Destination Spa at Evason, Rawai is one of them and already offers an internationally inspired Spa Cuisine in which they use many ingredients from their own ecologically grown garden. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in their al fresco Ton Sai restaurant where guests can enjoy succulent fishetarian dishes from the best the sea has to offer.
Now there’s even a new raw food cafe over in Rawai, which serves delicious local foods drawing on Phuket’s abundant fruit, vegetable and seafoods. Just as the poularity of once esoteric food such as sushi grew and became increasingly popular, perhaps raw foods can do the same. Ani Phyo certainly thinks that this could be the case and will do her utmost to make it happen.
Ani is currently working on her next book and shows for TV, DVD, and Web. To watch Ani’s videos, for free recipes, and to keep track of her latest projects, visit her at www.AniPhyo.com
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.
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.
I’m excited about my newest book Ani’s Raw Food Essentials, available everywhere by May 3rd. It’s a huge hard cover book with over 250 recipes. It’s printed in 2 color, like Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen. My goal is to make my books accessible, and get these recipes into your hands so you can enjoy making healthy treats with them. By printing in 2 color instead of full color, the book only costs $27 rather than $45. There’s gorgeous color inserts, as you can see from the photos above.
Keep posted on my events by joining my fan page on Facebook.
We celebrated Phillip’s bday last night at the Canyon Club in the Valley, where we got to see Which One’s Pink?, a Pink Floyd cover band. The band was great and they played to a packed, full club.
I have to admit, seeing a Pink Floyd cover band in the Valley isn’t something I’d necessarily choose to do myself. But, I do love to experience the widest gamut of different environments, people. styles, and music. So, I kept an open mind, and told myself to experience the night in a new, fresh way.
I was surprised to find that I recognized almost all the songs, and it was a fabulous night of good music and good friends. And most importantly, Phillip had a lot of fun for his birthday.
We had to get photos with the band members as memorabilia for Phillip’s bday party. This was the man all the girls liked….the hot lead guitar and vocalist.
We nicknamed this man ‘The Laughing Man’ because he was the vocalist who would stand onstage and laugh like a crazy man in several of the songs. It did begin to sound eerie after a bit. Girls found The Laughing Man hot enough to pull out their breasts to have him autograph them with a Sharpie. I’m not joking.
Pushing myself outside my comfort zone (I had never partied in the Valley before, and haven’t been to a club of this type since High School) and approaching the night with wide eyes and no judgments (new crowd, new environment, new music) ensured I would have a terrific night full of wonderful memories to add to my ‘Memory Bank’.
I had a great time, and discovered a great new club where some of my favorite bands from high school still perform. Like the English Beat, who’ll be playing next month! I also made several wonderful new friends, and got to dance my butt off. A great night had by all!
Ani Launches New VitaMix TurboBlend VS
I was invited to the VitaMix headquarters to shoot a 60-minute DVD they'll include in...
Ani's Raw Food Essentials
My new book, Ani's Raw Food Essentials, will be available everywhere May 3rd! I was...
Ani's Recipes in the 2009 Food & Wine Cookbook
Two of my recipes are included in the 2009 Food & Wine Cookbook: my Zucchini Noodles with...
©2007-2010 ani phyo. all rights reserved.