Vanessa Sherwood is a personal chef and lives in Chicago IL. She discovered raw foods over 4 years ago and knew that it was just the thing for her. She didn’t seek it out for the usual health reasons, but instead the draw was the exotic ingredients and the sheer variety of things that you could do with fruits and vegetables. It opened up a whole new world for her and she has never looked back.
Something happens when you freeze fruit and then defrost it. It actually gives the fruit sort of a ‘cooked’ texture. That’s what makes this cherry cobbler recipe work so well. You could use fresh fruit; it just wouldn’t mimic a traditional cooked cobbler as well. Plus, you’d have to pit all those cherries, adding a lot of time to the process. I take help where I can get it, and buying frozen cherries for this dish is one short cut I gladly take.
You can experiment using different kinds of fruit but I love cherries. When they are in season, I gorge on them like the witches of Eastwick.
This salad is why I trek (well really I drive) 30 miles to the Thai/Vietnamese market on the north side of Chicago to get my supply of green papaya. Green papaya, as well as green mango, is used in abundance in Asian food preparation. The dressing for the salad is both sweet and spicy which I find very addictive!
Green Papaya is known to have an abundance of the enzyme Papain that breaks down protein which in turn aids digestion. As the fruit ripens, the enzyme content decreases, so you are doing your body good by eating the unripe fruit.
The Thai/Vietnamese markets are also a great place to pick up fresh bean sprouts, long beans, and tamarind. You can also pick up a relatively cheap mortar and pestle to make it the traditional way.
So, one of my favorite breakfasts is a nice strong cup of coffee and a biscotti. I know, I know, it’s not very ‘raw’ of me, but I choose not to live by such strict rules. I’ve been making my own baked vegan biscotti and was curious to see if I could make a raw version. Lo and behold, they turned out great! They aren’t quite as crispy as traditional biscotti, but I can live with it.
For the Biscotti:
1 Cup Fine Almond Flour
1 Tablespoon Avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 Tablespoons plus 1 Teaspoon Sucanant or Rapadura
‘Liquid dessert’ best describes this lusciously creamy cocktail. It does triple duty as well- sans the alcohol it makes delicious chocolate milk or a cozy hot chocolate on those cold winter nights if heated.
I love this salad, definitely one of my favorites. You don’t have to be exact with the measurements for the salad part, just make as much as you want and throw it all in a big bowl and toss with the dressing. I’m always surprised at how much I eat of this salad, but once you toss all the veggies with the dressing, it sort of shrinks down in size. Well, that’s my story anyways, and I’m sticking to it. It just tastes so darn good, all that crunchiness and sweet and salt and spiciness! Yum.
For the salad:
1 1/2 Cup Shredded green cabbage
1 1/2 Cup Shredded Napa cabbage
1 Cup Shredded red cabbage
1 Cup Sliced baby bok choy
1 Cup Mung bean sprouts
1 Young Coconut Young Coconut Meat Sliced into thin noodles
Preserved lemons are my new ‘it’ ingredient. I made a few batches and gave them away as gifts around Christmas time and lately I’ve been inspired to find new and creative uses for them. Traditionally, they are used in Moroccan cuisine, as a condiment and in tagines and couscous. I think they lend themselves particularly well with all of the Spring ‘greens’, like artichokes, asparagus, peas, etc, etc. My favorite restaurant in Chicago- Green Zebra- has a salad on the menu made with shaved artichokes, preserved lemon, parmesan and red pepper foam that I just had to try last time I was there.
Searching online, you’ll find tons of ideas. Alice Waters of Chez Panisse makes a relish out of preserved lemons, olives, shallots and herbs- great for the summer BBQ season. People are using them as toppings for pizza, in martinis, and even in lemony desserts. So get creative! And if you come up with something good, let me know! Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Maybe you’ve heard of her…chef and creator of the hugely popular Roxanne’s restaurant in Marin County, co-author of the un-cookbook Raw with famed Chicago chef, Charlie Trotter, and wife of wealthy environmentalist Michael Klein. We have Roxanne Klein to thank for catapulting gourmet raw food into the mainstream. Without her, people would still be thinking that raw food was just about a bunch of hippies eating carrot and celery sticks. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
The days and nights are slowly getting cooler. Soon the leaves will start to change colors for fall is in the air. This is also the time of year when Concord grapes will make an appearance in the stores, if you’re lucky. To me, the Concord grape is the king of all grapes. They are big, dark blue or purple, and are highly aromatic. Concord grapes have been known to reduce hypertension and the negative side effects of secondhand smoke. The purple little powerhouse can also safeguard your heart by lowering the levels of LDH (the bad cholesterol), keeping your arteries elastic and by reducing the clumping of platelets. Just a few reasons to try them, if the fabulous taste wasn’t enough.
This is the time of year I start to get homesick for Upstate New York, second largest producer of Concord grapes. I lived near the small town of Naples, famous for their grape pies. Every year a contest is held to see whos pie reigns supreme. Monica, of monicaspies.com has probably won the most contests and has even been featured on The Food Network. You can order a pie online, or try your hand at making your own. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Would you eat a hamburger if it were made without killing a cow? Jason Matheny, a vegetarian and scientist at the Univerysity of Maryland in College Park, would, and he’s changing the way meat gets to the dinner table.
The technique involves a relatively painless process of removing muscle cells from a live animal through a thin needle, then letting the cells grow and divide in a sort of giant petri dish – a vat kept at the same temperature as the animal’s body and filled with glucose, amino acids and minerals. This nutritional soup is then poured onto large plastic sheets that are continually stretched to “exercise” the cells and keep them growing. After a few weeks, a millimeter-thick sheet of meat can be peeled off, rolled up and minced into hamburger. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Juliano has a style all his own. He recently came out to Chicago to teach some classes at Karyn’s, our long standing raw restaurant. I’ve always been impressed with his food at his Santa Monica restaurant ‘Raw’, and so I was looking forward to picking up some new tricks.The best way to describe the class was chaotic. First off there were no handouts with the recipes printed out- heck, he didn’t even know what he was going to make until he was making it. He would start one dish, get distracted, start working on another dish halfway through the first, all while his assistant was working on yet a third dish. Every five seconds someone would ask what he had just put in one of the bowls which just made everything even more chaotic.
I was able to follow, but then again I’ve been at this a while. For a beginner, forget about it. This probably wouldn’t be the class for you. That being said, I did walk away with some new inspiration along with a splitting headache :). Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
I eat cheese. I drink beer, wine, and coffee. I hate carob and squash. Um, what else? Well loads really, but it will all come out in good time! There, I said it. The raw food gods haven’t struck me down, so I guess I’ll be ok.
So why the need to confess? I suppose because of the fact that I have a business centered on raw food (I am a raw foods personal chef in the Chicago area) I feel that I need to be a “perfect” raw foodist, whatever that may be. But you know what- no one is perfect and there is no one person who has all the answers about what’s good or bad for you. What works for one person, doesn’t necessarily work for another. I just hope that people can appreciate my non-fanatical view on things.
I can’t ever be 100% raw, nor do I strive to be. You know how when someone tells you that you can’t have something and then all you want is what you can’t have? That’s what happens to me when I try to be 100% raw. I just start obsessing about all the things that I can’t eat until I give in. Then comes the guilt. If you think about it, that’ crazy. That’s no way to live. That’s why diets don’t work. I don’t want what I eat to rule my entire life. That’s unhealthy. So I just do the best that I can while enjoying some of the best food ever. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos