Sarma Melngailis

Sarma Melngailis

Sarma Melngaills is the co-creator of the restaurant Pure Food and Wine and co-author of Raw Food Real World. She is also Chief Duck at - an online raw / organic boutique.

GreenChef Sarma Melngailis | Spicy Peanut Coconut Noodles

spicy peanut coconut noodles GreenChef Sarma Melngailis | Spicy Peanut Coconut Noodles

Spicy Peanut Coconut Noodles
with ginger and lime (raw)

Peanuts are technically a legume, although you wouldn’t necessarily think so considering someone misleadingly named them “peanuts.” Make sure you get really fresh, organically grown peanuts. Some debate persists about peanuts having toxicity, but it seems this may be from peanuts that are too old; at any rate, most toxins and other undesirables are washed away in the soaking process. However, if you don’t feel comfortable eating peanuts, try this with cashews.

"One of our chefs, Amanda, helped us turn this idea into a really great, flavorful dish. The flesh of young Thai coconuts makes perfect noodles — although they are soft, they do not stick together and are as easy or easier to eat then regular starchy noodles."

Recipe by Sarma Mengailis | Raw Food Real World (Harper Collins, 2005)

Serves 4

For the spiced peanuts:

1 1/2 cups raw peanuts, coarsely chopped and soaked 4 hours or more

1/4 cup raw honey

2 teaspoons ground chili pepper

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

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Sex, Pain, Madness and One Lucky Duck

sarma melngailis 01 Sex, Pain, Madness and One Lucky Duck

Warning: This post is really long, and gets really personal, with lots of curse words, and is all very self-serving. But kind of entertaining, hopefully?

I just finished reading a book – yes, I’ve been reading lately. It was by the British chef Marco Pierre White, “Devil in the Kitchen – Sex, Pain, Madness and the Making of a Great Chef”. It’s a good title… because who doesn’t want to read about sex? From a hot chef? And pain and madness? Well yes, that too. It’s inspiring to read about people who know what they want and go through a lot to get it. But pain and madness? Is that what it really takes to achieve greatness? Does everyone have to toil tirelessly, sacrifice health, get hurt, worn down, and knocked down over and over, feel pain, and teeter on the edge of madness? If so… I’m SO on the right track! YAY!

I’m being convinced, however, that maybe I can step away from that edge and still get where I’m going, and probably much faster. After all, I’m supposed to represent the brand – One Lucky Duck and Pure Food and Wine, we’re all about raw food and feeling great. When I first went raw the contrast was amazing. So much of the time I felt like I could do anything – life was a dance party. As I pointed out in Raw Food Real World, it can feel a bit like being on ecstasy – maybe not quite, but still it’s amazing. It’s been four years now – did I get used to it and/or is it stress and pressure that just put a damper on it all? I want the dance party back!

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GreenChef Sarma Melngailis | Cauliflower Samosas

sarma cauliflower samosas 01 GreenChef Sarma Melngailis |  Cauliflower Samosas

Cauliflower Samosas
with banana tamarind sauce, mango chutney, and mint (raw)

Samosas – deep – fried vegetarian turnovers - are a classic Indian street food. Our version is a bit more delicate than the friend variety, but incredibly savory. You can make them a few hours ahead and keep them warming on trays in the dehydrator, this also keeps them dry, so they won’t stick together, as they would if you piled them up and set them aside. They are a perfect hors d’oeuvre, or you could serve just a few of them per plate as a starter.

Recipe by Sarma Mengailis | Raw Food Real World (Harper Collins, 2005)

Serves 4 (About 20 Samosas)

For the samosa wraps:

2 cups young coconut meat

1 1/2 cups coconut water (or more)

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

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GreenChef Sarma Melngailis | White Corn Tamales

sarma whitecorntamales 01 GreenChef Sarma Melngailis |  White Corn Tamales

White Corn Tamales
with raw cacao mole, marinated portobello, and green tomato salsa (raw)

Traditionally, Mexican mole sauce is made like curry: ground chili peppers, spices, and flavorings are combined according to a cook’s taste and intention. In this recipe, we use raw cacao beans, the unadultured seeds of the cacao tree that are extremely rich in antioxidant flavenols, significantly more so than even red wine and green tea. We use both raw cacao and organic cocoa powder for a more balanced flavor. Green & Black’s organic cocoa from the United Kingdom is the best brand to use but is not easy to find.
Making the mole sauce can be hard on your blender, so it is best to use a via-Mix or one with a strong motor.

“This is an impressive dish to serve guests — its presentation in the corn husk is rustic and fun.” – MK

Recipe by Sarma Mengailis | Raw Food Real World (Harper Collins, 2005)

Serves 4 to 6 (makes 12 tamales)

For the portobellos:

3 medium or 2 large portobello mushroom caps,

sliced into sticks about 2 inches long and 1/4-inch thick

1/2 cup pumpkin seed oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon mince fresh oregano

1 teaspoon sea salt

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GreenChef Sarma Melngailis | Red Beet Ravioli

sarma red beet ravioli01 GreenChef Sarma Melngailis | Red Beet Ravioli

Red Beet Ravioli
with cashew cheese filling, tarragon, and pistachios (raw)

The colors in this dish are amazing: the bright blush of beets, the sunniness of yellow or orange pepper sauce, the summer-green herbs. When in season, experiment with candy stripe beets and try other herbs for the cashew filling. We use Sicilian pistachios that we buy at a Middle Eastern market. They’re a darker green and better-tasting than other types, especially when raw.

“Originally I tried to make red beet gnocchi using beet juice and ground up whole beets with other ingredients. They came out tasty, but our kitchen looked as if a gruesome crime had been committed. So I deconstructed the components a bit and came up with these much more manageable raviolis instead.” – SM

Recipe by Sarma Mengailis | Raw Food Real World (Harper Collins, 2005)

Serves 6 as a starter or 4 as a main course

For the filling:

3 cups cashew nuts, soaked for 2 hours or more

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 1/4 to 2 teaspoons salt

2 green onions, white and 1 inch green, minced

3 tablespoons minced tarragon

2 tablespoons minced parsley

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GreenChef Sarma Melngailis | Cilantro Shake

sarma melngailis cilantro shake 02 GreenChef Sarma Melngailis | Cilantro Shake

I’ve had only liquids for a whopping three days so far. I saw this piece about Angela Stokes who did this for 92 days. That’s a loooong time! Doing what I do, it’s not easy to not actually eat anything, be we’ll see. Last time I tried this my energy spiked and it felt pretty good, so I’ll report back soon. For now, below is a recipie for a shake I drink almost every day (even when not doing this whole liquid-only thing). I LOVE cilantro, and below you’ll also find some reasons why that’s a good thing (now I sound like Martha).

I add some thawed E3-Live to mine (you can dump a few tablespoons in and barely taste it, and trust me, you don’t want to taste E3-Live unless you’re one of those rare folk that like the taste of wheatgrass, because that’s what it tastes like, funkiness multiplied!), as well as some tocotrienols (tasty), and top it off with a sprinkle of bee pollen. Yum. If I was a guy I might throw in some hemp protein for good measure.

More Love for Cilantro

Free radicals are everywhere – in the water we drink, food we eat, and in the air we breathe. The main defense to free radicals (coming from pollution, x-rays, radiation, chemicals, heavy metals) are antioxidants. Cilantro leaves are rich in calcium, iron, carotenes, and vitamin C, which it happens are great antioxidants. A Japanese investigator, Yoshiaki Omura, has made the revolutionary discovery that cilantro can mobilize mercury and other toxic metals from the central nervous system if large enough amounts are consumed daily. Reuters reports that cilantro contains a chemical which has been found to kill the Salmonella bacteria that cause foodborne illness.

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GreenChef Sarma Melngailis | Spicy Thai Vegetable Wraps

sarma thaiwraps 01 GreenChef Sarma Melngailis | Spicy Thai Vegetable Wraps

Spicy Thai Vegetable Wraps
with tamarind dipping sauce (raw)

Tamarind pulp can be found as cellophane-wrapped, sun-dried bricks in Asian, Latin, and Indian markets. Tamarind pulp is the sticky interior of pods that grow on a variety of evergreen tree originally native to Africa. Tamarind, which is very intense in flavor, lends sweet-and-sour notes to dishes. Because the pulp usually contains seeds, you should always strain it before use. Pull off an amount appropriate to your needs and soak it in warm, purified water for about 15 minutes. Then strain the pulp and liquid through a fine-mesh colander into a bowl to catch the usable diluted pulp, leaving the seeds and fibers caught in the mesh. (Discard what’s left in the strainer.)

Recipe by Sarma Mengailis | Raw Food Real World (Harper Collins, 2005)

Makes 12 Wraps

For the wraps:

1/2 cup chopped raw cashews (dehydrated, if preferred)

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons chopped ginger

1 tablespoon chipped red chile, seeds included

1 1/2 tablespoons nama shoyu

1 cup raw almond butter

1/2 head savoy cabbage, shredded

6 very large collard green leaves

1 large carrot, cut into matchstick-size pieces

1 large ripe mango, cut lengthwise into strips, about 1/4-inch thick

2 cups bean sprouts

1 handful cilantro leaves

1 handful torn basil leaves

1/2 handful mint leaves (torn or cut if leaves are large)

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GreenChef Sarma Melngailis | Organic Antioxidant Cocktails

sarmawine GreenChef Sarma Melngailis | Organic Antioxidant Cocktails

“Forget the artificial colors and flavorings – the calorie packed sugar syrup mixes you have to give a second thought to indulging in. Today the trend is all about healthy organic drinks that mix pure spirits and wine with fresh antioxidant rich fruits and juices. GreenChef Sarma Melngailis, owner of hip New York restaurant Pure Food and Wine, shared 3 of her delicious antioxidant boosting organic cocktails in the summer issue of Women’s Health. Serve them at your next dinner party for a clean healthy buzz–in moderation of course!” – Indulge

Sarma’s Organic Antioxidant Cocktails (raw)

Recipe by Sarma Mengailis | Raw Food Real World (Harper Collins, 2005)

Serves 6

White Wine Sangria:

(Rich in polyphenols and plenty of other antioxidants.)

1 Green Apple

1 Orange

1 Pear

1 Plum

1 Cup Pineapple

1 Cup Watermelon

2 TB Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

2 TB Blue Agave Nectar

1 Bottle Sauvignon Blanc


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GreenChefs Sarma Melngailis | Shiitake, Avocado, and Pickled Ginger Sushi Rolls

sarma sushi rolls GreenChefs Sarma Melngailis | Shiitake, Avocado, and Pickled Ginger Sushi Rolls

Shiitake, Avocado, and Pickled Ginger Sushi Rolls (raw)

In this recipe, we call for young ginger, which is a paler, almost pinkish color, and milder in taste then mature ginger-root. Along with un-toasted (and toasted) nori, you can find it at Asian markets, but the more commonly available ginger will work well, too. The beet juice used in pickling the ginger that goes into the rolls is optional, but we highly recommend it because it looks so pretty. And if you really want to cheat, you can just buy pickled ginger, if you can find any without preservatives.

If you can’t find fresh shiitakes, you can substitute another wild mushroom or thinly sliced portobello, or even use dried shiitakes that have been re-hydrated in purified water.

Wasabi is a very spicy variety of Japanese horseradish — fresh is best but it’s hard to find and extremely expensive. You can buy powdered wasabi at most health food stores and Asian markets and mix with water according to the directions to make a paste.

Try other variations of sushi, using different vegetable fillings.

“I like using jicama as a substitute for rice because it has a sweet quality to it that is similar to the seasoned sweetness of Japanese sushi rice. This is nice to serve if you are having guests. You can prepare all of the components ahead of time (except the avocado, which should always be sliced fresh) and then roll the sushi just before serving. We use biodegradable chopsticks at the restaurant that are made of corn and wheat — I love that.” – SM

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Sarma Melngailis | Love and Food

sarma melngailis 02 Sarma Melngailis | Love and Food

I’ve not posted in months. For anyone who gives a crap, SORRY! If I could do what I want to do, I’d have more time to do exactly this, because it’s fun, among other reasons. I have pages and pages of blog postage that I spit out over the last few months and then just never seemed to find time to pull together and now it feels very outdated. Not to mention, I just get embarrassed and feel like… really? does anyone really give a shit about what I ate for breakfast? Really? But maybe I’ll tidy it up, pull it together and throw it out there, why not. Someone encourage me please and I’ll do it. Here’s something I wrote on Valentine’s day:

Valentine’s Day!! It can be kind of like New Year’s Eve… too much expectation which leads only to disappointment. Here’s what I’ve learned: don’t expect anything. Then you’ll never be disappointed. Rely on yourself. Love yourself. And everyone else, but really, if you don’t treat yourself well, why should anyone else? Anyone who knows me and is reading this will be shouting things about pots and kettles calling each other black, whatever that saying is… because I’m told constantly I need to take better care of myself – but who takes their own advice anyway? Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

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