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ani phyo raw food essentials au lac california

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.

ani phyo raw food essentials au lac california

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.

ani phyo raw food essentials au lac california

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.

ani phyo raw food essentials au lac california

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!



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 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.


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 raw food dessert ani's raw food essentials

Pineapple Ice Box Dessert
(fills one loaf pan to make about 8 servings)

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups cashews
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 2 Tablespoons honey or agave syrup

Filling

  • 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.

ingredients raw food ani phyo

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.

raw vegan noodles

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.

Enjoy immediately.


vital juice los angeles raw food ani phyo

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.

ani phyo, jamie, vital juice los angeles, raw food

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.

kimberly Miguel Mullen, ani phyo raw food, jamie, vital juice, santa monica, ca

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.

ani phyo, dora jih, kanga

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!

thai spring rolls raw food ani phyo phuket thailand mom tri's villa royale

Watch video: 4 min, 41 sec

This is a video shot during my workshop at Mom Tri’s Villa Royale in January. In it, I’ll show you how easy it is to make delicious, nutritious Thai Spring Rolls with an Almond Dipping Sauce. My yummy, super healthy, raw food version of a peanut inspired sauce is made using kaffir lime leaves, chilies, and almonds. The rolls are made by filling collard leaves with julienne zucchini, mung bean sprouts, and fresh herbs like cilantro, mint, and basil.

Thai chilies are spicy hot, so you’ll want to adjust the spice level to suit your tastes. Removing the seeds will help to decrease the spice level. Capsicum is what makes chilies hot, and is the ingredient found in most diet pills for its metabolism boosting properties. Capsicum increases circulation, decreases inflammation, and boost our immune system.

Thai Spring Rolls with Almond Dipping Sauce
(makes 4 servings)

Thai Dipping Sauce

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon Nama Shoyu
  • 2 Thai red chilies, to taste
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons  raw almonds
  • 1 lemon’s juice
  • 1 cup water,  as needed

Fillings

  • 1 zucchini, julienne
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 1/2 bunch basil, de-stem
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, de-stem
  • 1/4 bunch mint, de-stem
  • 1-2 Thai chili, finely chop

Wrapper

  • 3 large collard green leaves, de-stem and half

To make dipping sauce, place sauce ingredients into your blender, adding water as needed. Blend smooth.

To wrap, place leaves onto flat surface. Layer with fillings, and roll.

Serve with dipping sauce.

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