I have released four recipe books so far:

The Best of the Sunny Raw Kitchen
The Best of Raw Freedom Community
Delightfully Raw and
Deliciously Raw

These feature some of the most delectable creations to have come out of my raw kitchen and will appeal to anyone interested in a healthier diet, regardless of their level of knowledge and experience. From easy one-step everyday fare to more elaborate and involved gourmet dishes and layered cakes, they offer something for everyone and every occasion. Incredibly tasty smoothies, creamy and comforting warm soups, sexy salads, delicious nut cheezes, satisfying entrees and scrumptious guilt-free desserts...

Healthy food never tasted so good!

To learn more about my recipe books, click here!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Little Update and Sundried Tomato and Olive Cheeze Recipe

Hi guys! *waving*

Spring has arrived at last to our corner of the world! Yippee! I was surprised to see the snow (including the 7 some feet bank right by the deck!) completely disappear in a matter of just a few days. We have a long rain spell as well as some much welcomed sunshine to thank for that. Several streams have formed by the side of the road we live on, carrying the melted snow into the Slocan river. I love the sound of gushing water... so peaceful!


For the first time yesterday I noticed buds coming out, unmistakable signs of Nature's awakening. Woo hoo!

A few ducks happened to bob along the river at the exact moment I took this shot. See them?

Here's a closer look at those little guys. I'm amazed by how lovely and clear the river is; you can literally see the rocks at the bottom. We are so very blessed!

Views of the snowy mountains as we make our way back to the cabin.

Furry Tale
As I mentioned briefly in my previous post, we sure miss our dear furry friend Kylo. I get super excited whenever I encounter a dog on our walks, especially large ones, which I guess is another tell-tale sign of the grieving process. It's so hard to shake off the feeling that our little family is incomplete. Ah well, nothing to do but feel the pain of his absence and ride it out.

Needless to say that all of our attention is now turned on our other furry companion, Miss Da Puss. She's loving those extra cuddles (can you ever get enough?), although it took her several weeks to adjust from the shift brought about by Kyky's departure and my coming home. She's now back to her sweet self, sleeping close to us at night and jumping on our laps as soon as we settle down somewhere.

We've learned that animals seem to go through different behavioral phases. For a while, when the temps were cooler, she got into the habit of scratching at the covers so that she could crawl underneath. First she would completely disappear under the duvet, then we'd wake up later to see her head sticking out and resting on the pillow. Sooooooo cute!

Two very sleepy (and cozy!) girls


Don and I always joke about the fact that she's a "heat seeking missile." lol  She loves to hang out (sometime seeming dangerously!) close to the wood stove and is notorious for jumping on our seats the moment we get up to take advantage of their precious warmth.

Darn, she just stole my knitting spot again!


She, of course, has a great fondness for warm laps too. She often joins me while I'm knitting, as not only does she get a sublimely comfy bed but there's the added treat of having a wool project - in this case a cabled sweater I'm making for Don - sit on top of her as well. Sheer bliss!

We always shake our heads in wonder at how relaxed she can be and sleep in just about any position. hehe

It's all very well to be 'paralyzed' when you're busy doing something, but what happens when you're done? I have to admit that, after all these years, I still have a hard time disrupting Pu' from the comforts of my lap. At least there's always meditation... ;-)

In my Knitting Corner
As I've mentioned before, I have recently picked up my knitting needles again after several years. I'm so enjoying this quiet and meditative craft! I don't intend to blog per se about my knitted creations but I thought I'd at least share the finished results in case you're interested. Detailed info about my projects can be found on my Ravelry account.

A lovely lacy and bell sleeve sweater called Niobe

Mythos: a cardigan made with a super clever construction. I just love love the fabric created by the variegated yarn!

I was finally able to replace my go-to acrylic hat with a handmade merino wool one! Yay! This is the Milanese Lace Topper which was such a fun knit!


Pu' giving me a paw with the hat's blocking. She does have a soft spot for lying on wet clothes for some reason.

In my Sunny Kitchen
And up last is a quick look at what's been happening in our (sunny - yeah!) kitchen. Actually, for the most part we've been keeping our meals rather simple; crackers and cheeze, Tostadas, Miso Soup, lightly steamed veggies like cauliflower, broccoli and Brussel sprouts that we otherwise don't really raw... Sometimes we just have a couple of raw soups for dinner.

We did have a 'D Day' (that's 'Dehydrator Day' in case you're new to the Sunny Raw Kitchen) during which Don and I filled up our 9 tray Excalibur in record time. (I'm soooooo grateful to have a kitchen assistant; it makes such a world of difference!) We made Sprouted Corn Chips, a double batch of Onion Bread which has remained a staple for us over the years, and Garlic Bread - Russell James' beyond generous recent offering to the raw community which became instantly a house favorite.

Since we doubled the recipe for the Garlic Bread I was careful to divide the ingredients so as to do two separate batches in the food processor. In that way I was hoping not to have to finish mixing the batter by hand, which I suspected increased the contact of the mixture with air and contributed to giving the dehydrated bread a dark color in some places.

I altered Russell's recipe slightly by replacing 1/4 cup of young coconut flesh with zucchini and 1/4 cup of the psyllium husks with ground flax. I think it prevents the slight slimy texture his had.

Don is so thrilled to have finally found a good raw alternative to bread that he insisted on forming some of the loaves himself! lol


The two loaves that I shaped turned darker brown while the color of Don's remained intact. They were made in the exact same way, so go figure! I guess the mystery is not meant to be solved... *shrugs* If you look closely you can see the difference in shade between the two sets of bread. Thankfully the discoloration (seen in the furthest loaves) doesn't affect the flavor at all, but it certainly doesn't look as appealing.

Things continue to be uneventful in the sweet department. I'm still in a mostly nut-less phase so that eliminates a lot of the raw dessert possibilities. There's always chocolate candy, though, and we've been slowly munching our way through the beyond delicious Chocolate Coconut Haystacks I made for Easter.  Once I also whipped up the Lemon Meringue Pie from Sweet Gratitude which I made in my mini-cheesecake pans. The recipe only calls for a bit of cashews in the Meringue Topping and otherwise uses Irish moss, young coconut meat and coconut oil to provide firmness. In keeping the amount of nuts to a minimum I made the macadamia-coconut crust super thin.

My nut consumption has been pretty much limited to the occasional almond milk and Cultured Cheeze. Our vegan cheeze of choice, however, has been the ingenious formula created by Jo Stepaniak, author of The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook. These cheezes rely predominantly on agar agar to give solidity to the mixture and use as little as 1/2 cup of cashews per batch (as opposed to 2 cups for the same amount of Cultured Cheeze.) A definite go-to recipe for the low fat conscious.

We've been making the Onion, Dill & Horseradish Cheeze and the Gouda Cheeze variations in the past and they are both phenomenal. I decided however to get a little creative while still using the same basic recipe. The result was the following Sundried Tomato and Olive Cheeze which I must say I am particularly happy with. Not only is it super flavor-full but it's also very pretty. You can enjoy it on your favorite cracker or bread, grated on top of salad or as a component to a stunning pizza like we had last night.

Sundried Tomato and Olive Cheeze

1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 tbs agar powder
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs tahini (or sesame seeds)
1 tbs onion powder
2 tsps Dijon or prepared mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsps Penzey's Spices Bonnes Herbes (chive, dill, basil, tarragon, chervil and white pepper) or your favorite herb blend
3 kalamata olives, finely chopped
10 thin slices of sun-dried tomato, finely chopped (not re-hydrated)

Set aside a 2 cup plastic storage container.

In a blender add the cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, tahini, Dijon and dry mustards, onion powder, and garlic powder.

Combine water and agar in a small pan and  bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often until completely dissolved, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Add mixture to the other ingredients in the blender and process until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender jar as necessary. 

Transfer to a bowl and fold in the Bonne Herbes or herb blend of your choice, diced kalamata olives and sundried tomatoes and mix by hand.

Pour into container and cool uncovered in the refrigerator.

When completely cool, cover and chill several hours.  (I usually serve it after 1 hour or so).

To serve, turn out of the container and slice.

Store covered in refrigerator.  Will keep 5 to 7 days.


Last night's feast: Herb Pizza Crusts topped with grated Sundried Tomato and Olive Cheeze and marinated mushrooms, spinach, red pepper and green onion.

Omni Blender April Giveaway Promo
Oh and a quick reminder that you have just about one week left to take advantage of Thomas Fox's Omni Blender April 2012 Give-Away Promo. You can find out all the juicy details here.


  1. What a wonderful post - I love your sweaters!

  2. ok i've bookmarked the bread recipe - can't wait to try it! do you still use 1/4 C flax with less psyllium?

    the puss is so sweet! john and i were just talking about her today.=)

  3. Hi Kelli! *waving*

    Yep, still using 1/4 c flax and zucchinis instead of some of the coconut. Love love it!

    Hehe... Yah, that she is! Just in the last couple of days it came to me that she's like a queen around here, now that she gets all of our lovin' attention. ;-)

  4. Beautiful knitting! I know nothing about knitting...I know when something looks nice though :) I'm a hat gal too lol. And this bread!! I'm brand new to the blogging world and to the raw food community and love your blog. I'm pretty much addicted to the Daily Fuel green smoothie! thank you for sharing all you know :) xo

  5. Hi Carmella,

    This is a very beautiful and informative website. I have been experimenting with raw food diet lately and your blog has been very helpful. Thank you for putting up such a wonderful website.

    I teach at Simon Fraser University, primarily courses related to Krishnamurti, Zen, and ancient Indian Buddhism (it happens to be my primary passion in life :) ). I love your travel logues and the beautiful pictures of the places you have been. Those are the places that draw me as well - they are out of the world. I was in Ojai just few months ago.

  6. Carmi! Made your cheese but without the add-ins. Kept it simple for first time and have been adding it to salads and sliced on crackers. Yum yum!

  7. Carmella, Love your knitting such beautiful workmanship.
    What did Heather Pace actually leave out? just wonder
    That cheese look amazing can't wait to make it.
    I am so excited to try this out.

    1. Thanks Rhonda! Actually I haven't been in touch with Heathy for ages so I really don't know what changes she made to the recipe. Sorry!