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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.

ani phyo raw food essentials at erewhon in hollywood los angeles, ca

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!

ani phyo vincent gallo raw food essentials

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.

ani phyo raw food essentials hollywood erewhon

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.

ani phyo raw food essentials erewhon

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.

dana ani phyo raw food essentials erewhon hollywood los angeles, ca

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!

ani phyo raw food essentials at book soup hollywood

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!

ani phyo raw food essentials at book soup hollywood

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.

ani phyo raw food essentials at book soup hollywood minah

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!

ani phyo raw food essentials at book soup hollywood

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.

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!

japan town los angeles, ca

Living in the center of Los Angeles, I walk and ride my bike around my neighborhood, rarely drive, and hardly ever make it downtown. Saturday, I decided to explore downtown LA. I started at by USC at the California Science Center and watched the new Hubble 3D IMAX. It was incredible to see images Hubble captured, and I recommend everyone to go see this film. It’s only 45 minutes long.

Next, I visited a new (to me) Japan Town mall in downtown LA where I stumbled upon a really cool bookstore and an Asian grocery store. I stocked up on my sea vegetables: Arame, Hijiki, Nori, and picked up a bottle of Yuzu (orange paste with green hot pepper). Sea veggies cost much less at the Asian market than at a natural food store. I even ran into an old friend who lives in Santa Monica who happened to be shopping downtown too.

The photo above was shot at dusk, so the sky is an amazing blue color. I’m learning that dawn and dusk are the money shots for architecture.

Los Angeles at night

I was with Benny, an amazing photographer who’s photos are found on many of the architecture magazine covers out there. Benny Chan’s aerial photo series are printed huge, maybe 10 ft tall, if I had to guess. Standing in front of the images makes me loose my stomach as if I was really flying up in the helicopter with him. Read about Benny’s show in the LA Times.

Benny’s been inspiring me to shoot dusk and nighttime city shots, especially from the top floor of high rises. You can even find the crescent moon in the photo above. It was a beautiful city scape on a warm LA evening.

On the way home, I stopped off to visit my friend Kato Space who was hosting an old school house party in Hollywood with special guest DJ Garth, from the Wicked Crew in San Francisco. I love dancing. Besides the prior evening at Pink Floyd, I hadn’t been out dancing for months.

Dancing directly raises my level of happiness and well being. It’s a spiritual practice for me to let go and to feel the flow. It was so much fun, but way past my bedtime.

ani phyo ani's raw food essentials

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.

JOIN ME:
UPDATED confirmed book tour dates for California:

  • May 7, Friday, 7 pmBook Soup in Hollywood, CA.
    Talk and book signing.
  • May 8, Saturday, 12 to 1 pmErewhon Natural Foods in Los Angeles, CA.
    Demo and book signing
  • May 15, Saturday, 1 to 2 pmAuLac in Fountain Valley, CA.
    Talk and book signing.
  • June 5, Saturday, 11:45 amSan Francisco Ferry Building Farmers’ Market, SF, CA. Demo and book signing.
  • June 6, Sunday, 1 pm potluck followed by Ani’s 1 hr demo @ around 2 to 3pm - “San Francisco Raw and Living Foods” and “San Francisco Vegetarian Society”, Mission Community Room, 630 Valencia Street @ corner of 17th  Street, San Francisco. Talk and book signing.
  • June 7, Monday The View from the Bay, SF, CA. TV appearance. Join mein the studio audience by reserving a free seat. Call 415-954-7733 or rsvp online (note under ‘comments’ my name and June 7th).
  • June 25th, FridayYogaWorks, Larchmont, Los Angeles, CA. A community event, book signing, talk, book give aways, and raw tastes sponsored by LifeFood Organic. Attendees will receive a gift of 1 free week of yoga. 5.45pm to 8.30pm.

Keep posted on my events by joining my fan page on Facebook.

ani's raw food essentials

Which One's Pink?

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!

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