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
Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Toss to mix well.
Will keep for 3 days in fridge.
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!
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.
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
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 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.
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