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Video TRT: 4 min, 42 sec

This is a book trailer for my latest book Ani’s Raw Food Essentials. In it, I show you how easy it is to make a delicious, fast, raw food Tomato Chili with Taco Nut Meat, from pages 145-146.

Tomato Chili with Taco Nut Meat (bean-free)
Makes 4 servings

A vegetable chili made with chopped tomatoes, bell peppers, celery, mushrooms, and corn kernels. Spiced with cumin, and oregano for a real chili flavor similar to the cooked bean version. Top with Taco Nut Meat for an added layer of texture and south west flavor.

  • 3 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup red and green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup mushroom, chopped, any type
  • 1/3 cup corn kernels
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 batch Taco Nut Meat, below

Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl, and mix well. Scoop about 1/3 of the mixture into blender and puree. Scoop puree back into mixing bowl.

To serve, scoop into 4 serving bowls. Top with Taco Nut Meat, and enjoy.

Taco Nut Meat
Makes about 1 cup

Walnuts are ground and spiced with cumin and coriander to make this taco flavored nut meat crumble. Use it to top salads, soups, and inside wraps to add taco flavor and texture.

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin, ground
  • 2 teaspoons coriander, ground
  • 1 teaspoon Braggs or Nama Shoyu
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, to taste

Place walnuts into food processor, and process into small pieces. Add remaining ingredients, pulse to mix well.

Will keep for 1 week in fridge.

For organic ingredients and kitchen tools, visit my estore and Go Super Life!

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

peach ani phyo raw food essentials san francisco farmers market

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!

san francisco ferry farmers market ani phyo raw food essentials food demo talk

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.

samples ani phyo raw food essentials san francisco farmers market

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.

book ani phyo raw food essentials san francisco farmers market

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.

Ani's Raw Food Essentials

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.

Ani's Raw Food Essentials

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….

TRT: 60 min

Listen to my interview with Carla on her radio show, Carla’s Cooking Radio. I talk about benefits of raw foods, my background, how I got into raw foods, and many tips for enjoying more healthy fresh whole foods. Raw desserts are my favorite, like my Chocolate Raspberry Ganache cake, and eating it is good for you and guilt-free! I explain how eating desserts and raw foods can help you loose weight while making you healthier from the inside out to give you the glow of radiant beauty.

Carla shared with me her Raw Almond Pistachio Ice Cream Recipe. I can’t wait to try making this!

carla spacher ani phyo raw food essentials healthy



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.

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.

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.

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