Last Saturday, I was invited to speak at AuLac, my favorite raw restaurant in Fountain Valley, CA. Chef Ito is a good friend who makes the best food ever!
The goal for my new book is to take the mystery out of raw food prep, and to help everyone become their very own home raw food chef. Raw foods prep can be easy, fast, and doesn’t need to cost a ton of money.
I introduce simple, paired down recipes I call basics, then teach the reader how to add on additional ingredients to mix up the flavors to create endless varieties of recipes. I include tips on setting up the Essential Raw Kitchen, shopping lists, eco green living resources, lists of recipes that travel well, sample menus, importance of probiotics, and how to ferment drinks and vegetables.
Following my talks, I always love to sign books because I get to meet people in person. I enjoy hearing their stories, inspirations, and passions. Sometimes, it’s a sad story of a spouse lost to cancer that puts someone onto the path of raw and live foods. But it’s always a good thing when people start to understand the correlation between health, vitality, happiness, and our diet.
Fountain Valley is an area known as Little Siagon. It’s full of Asian markets, and AuLac serves the best Vietnamese cooked foods. Unfortunately, I’ve never tried any because whenever I’m at AuLac, I’m wishing my tummy was bigger so I could eat up more and more of Chef Ito’s raw foods.
The photos above were taken by the lovely Maria Loewenstein, pictured in green. Pete is on the left, and designs the coolest contemporary eco green kitchens (Artistic Freedom Designs), John Johnson was just awarded a lifetime achievement award for his body piercing work, and Lien Chau Zhang is my beautiful film maker friend passionate to end the suffering of animals. She told me an amazing story about this new chain of vegan Asian style restaurants that has opened up 130 Loving Hut vegan locations globally in the past year!
Posts Tagged ‘weight loss’
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.
Watch Video: 4 min, 24 sec
In this video I’ll show you how to make a beautiful, delicious, refreshing ice cream using cashews with folded in pineapple, and shaped into a cake form. This raw food demo was recorded during my workshop at Mom Tri’s Villa Royale in Phuket, Thailand on January 24, 2010.
Pineapple Ice Box Dessert
(fills one loaf pan to make about 8 servings)
- 1 1/2 cups cashews
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- 2 Tablespoons honey or agave syrup
- 1 1/2 cups cashews
- 1/3 cup honey or agave syrup
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, liquid
- 2 1/2 cup cored and chopped pineapple
Make crust by processing cashews into small pieces with vanilla. Add honey, and process to mix well. Sprinkle half of the crust mixture into bottom of a loaf pan,
To make filling, in high-speed blender, blend cashews with honey or agave and liquid oil into a smooth cream. Into a mixing bowl, toss cream with pineapple to mix well. Scoop into loaf pan. Top with remaining crust, and gently press down.
Freeze dessert overnight or until frozen.
Here’s a super fast and easy recipe I made the other day when I had very little time to eat, but needed a break from my computer for a few short minutes. I didn’t feel like a green salad, and wanted something a bit more substantial.
Zucchini noodles tossed with diced tomatoes and avocado with a touch of garlic, rosemary, and oregano for an Italian flavor. This is delicious and beautiful.
Simple Rosemary Oregano Noodle Salad
Makes 1 serving
- 1 cup zucchini noodles, from about 1/2 zucchini, spiralized
- 1/2 cup diced tomato
- 1/2 cup diced avocado, peeled and seeded
- 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/8 teaspoon rosemary, dry
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano, dry
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Toss to mix.
To serve, transfer into bowl. Garnish with 1 tablespoon hemp nut.
Listen to my conversation with Rhio and Leigh from March 19th, 2010.
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
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 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!
“Ani’s Raw Food Essentials” is now available in soft cover, as of May 1, 2012!
In this book, I break down recipes to the simplest of ingredients. Then, I show you how to build from there to make variations and different flavors. I hope you’ll enjoy my new raw food book! Can’t wait t hear what you think about it.
Two of my recipes are included in the 2009 Food & Wine Cookbook.
I love this recipe for Zucchini Noodles with Raw Tomato Marinara. Super easy to make. Just blend tomatoes and herbs with some lemon to add that tart flavor of cooked tomatoes and a date for added sweetness. Serve marinara over thinly sliced zucchini ‘noodles’ for a wheat free, low calorie, raw food pasta dish that will help you loose weight and feel great too.
This delicious Raw Sweet Corn and Cashew Chowder is made by blending fresh corn with cashews for creaminess, a splash of olive oil for rich smoothness, and fresh cilantro for brightness.