blog, Raw Food Adventures

Flowers Addition

StrawKeyLimePie

Things are cruising along here in Watervliet, MI. We just hosted our first Dinner & a Movie last night at Camp Rawnora. We dined on Pad Thai with almond miso sauce, green papaya salad and had strawberry key lime pie for dessert. It was good eat’n. We watched Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days in the newly completed media room. This dinner was the first event where I prepared food in the classroom kitchen. As I’ve said before I am capable of preparing raw foods for a dozen people in a phone booth if I have to, so this kitchen space presented only minor challenges. These small events are just preparation for the big events like the Raw Food Detox Camp in August and the Green Juice Feast in September. Also, July 4th weekend is approaching fast and we have a vegan friendly family weekend lined up with a variety of activities. To top all things off we’re also having a book launch party for the release of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Raw Food Detox on July 16th here at Camp Rawnora. I’m anxious to actually see a copy of my book in print form. The publisher assures me they’re going to send me some advance copies but I’ve yet to see them. Any of my readers that come to an event this year at Camp Rawnora, let me know in advance by sending me a message with “Keep It Live” in the subject line and I’ll give you a signed copy of my book when you get here. You can use the contact form on my site redeem this special offer.

Never a dull moment out here between preparing for and promoting events and exploring the 400 acres at Ronora Lodge. For those of you out there that may be confused regarding “Ronora Lodge” and “Camp Rawnora” here are the basics:

Ronora Lodge and Retreat Center is a rental facility for events that encompasses 400 acres of land with lodges, cabins, a dining hall, gardens, woodlands and a private lake.  Ronora has been in operation for over 20 years. They host events of all shapes, sizes, colors and flavors.

Camp Rawnora is raw food detox camp and learning center that is housed on the property adjacent to Ronora Lodge. This works out great both Ronora and Rawnora because Camp Raw can use the grounds at Ronora while Ronora can have their foods prepared in the all raw Camp Rawnora production kitchen. The production kitchen is also used in the Fall to dry and preserve all the extra food grown in the gardens and green houses both at Ronora and Rawnora. Any volunteers wanting to join us for the Fall harvest get in touch with me and we organize a work exchange. Actually if learning about raw foods is a newly found passion of yours and you have a background in yoga, massage, reflexology, holistic health, marketing, promotions and/or online media contact me about an apprenticeship.

Production Kitchen

At the moment I’m a staff of 1, with tons of support from the Ronora Lodge crew. Eventually we’re going to have to expand to meet demand and build a staff for Camp Rawnora so drop me a line if a rustic raw food work exchange is something that might interest you or someone you know.

When I’m not planning and promoting for Camp Rawnora I’m busy planting and picking for my belly. There’s a wealth of wild edibles as well as planted food here. But some of the most beautiful things aren’t to be consumed with the mouth but with the eyes. Here’s a showcase of the flowers I feasted my eyes upon this Spring. Please post comments below if you know the names of any of them. —Come and visit me at Camp Rawnora and Keep it Live!

blog, Raw Food Adventures, Recipe

Southwest Michigan ain’t North Florida

No leaves on the trees
Stinging Nettles

It’s been several weeks since I arrived in Watervliet, Michigan and one thing is for sure… I ain’t in Florida any more. Often times when I travel I convince myself that if I pack certain items of clothing and selectively leave other items behind that I can control the weather. This technique has yet to work. I did pack some “chilly” weather gear just in case though so in actuality I wasn’t 100% committed to my weather control philosophy. I am grateful I did though because it was cold and wet the first week I was here, then it warmed up, then got cold and then got wet and cold. Now it’s just cold. No worries though because I have truly be able to experience a Spring complete with all of its fresh green shoots and wild edibles.

I broke out the foraging books once the sun came out and boy did I find some good stuff. Nettles, wild onion, mustard garlic and chickweed are some of my favorites. I even lucked upon the highly sought after morel mushroom. The funny thing was I practically tripped over them. They were growing in one small area right in front of the front door of where I was staying. 2 weeks have gone by and I haven’t seen a trace of them anywhere else and believe me I’ve been looking. Another awesome thing about my Springtime in Michigan is that they grow tons of asparagus here. I’m crazy about fresh raw asparagus. It actually seems ridiculous to me that anyone would want to cook asparagus knowing just how good it is raw. I’ve been known to put it in the dehydrator after smoothering it in coconut oil and sprinkle it with pink salt and nutritional yeast. That’s good eating I tell you what! And guess what? It’s another prized wild edible and I found one… not some, one. It was delicious too.

Wild Asparagus

Along with the greens there have been an amazing array of flowers coming up, some of them edible like violets and dandelions and others just beautiful. For this post I’m just going to feature the edibles, next post the beautifuls. Here’s a tasty recipe for a wild nettle and onion pecan pesto that will make your big toe shoot out your boot.

Warning: Sting nettles sting… hence the name. It is best to collect them while wearing gloves. The stinging hairs on the nettle plant are neutralized once they have been crushed or food processed. Fresh nettles can be added to green smoothies or used in a pesto recipe like the one below. It also can be dehydrated and used for making nettle tea.

1 Cup pecans or walnuts

Morels

3-4 Cups fresh nettle tops – tender leaves, lightly packed

1/2 Cup wild garlic or onion greens – looks like chives, peel the older growth back to reveal tender onion shoot inside

1/4 Cup olive oil

1 T white/light miso – I prefer chickpea

1-2 T nutritional yeast

1 t apple cider vinegar

2 t pink salt or to taste

Add all the ingredients to the food processor and process with the S-blade.

Serve stuffed inside of peppers, on veggies or on raw crackers. Recipe can be thinned with nut mylk and used as a sauce for noodles.

Onion and Nettles
Making Pesto

BTW, my new book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Raw Food Detox comes out on June 7th at books stores nation wide. Pick up a copy and let me know what you think. I will be hosting a Detox Retreat in Michigan featuring the program outlined in the book from August 12-18. More details to come… Keep it Live!

blog, Raw Food Adventures, Recipe

Writing Project

Meetup Feast

Raw Resources

Greetings everyone. I hope you’re enjoying the end of your summer. I have been traveling about these past few months, but unfortunately I haven’t been doing much teaching. It’s quite draining not to teach when you’re a teacher. I have been spending most of my time on a contract writing project. Yeah, this is bigger than a self-published memoir recipe book. It’s a paid project… at least in theory. The publisher has yet to deliver a check even though I have over half of the book complete. This paid writing gig is for The Complete Idiot’s Guide… not to be confused with the “Dummies”. You can tell the difference between Idiot’s and Dummies because Idiot’s books are orange and blue while Dummies books are yellow and black. If only you could distinguish idiots and dummies that easy in the rest of your life. The official book title is The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Raw Food Detox. I have to give thanks to Kelly Jad’on of Basil and Spice and Mark Reinfeld, coauthor of Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Raw… and Facebook as well. This triangle of thanks is partially responsible for me getting me this writing gig.

So the writing project has taken up most of my time these days. I have still been able to squeeze in some traveling and raw food mischief like potlucks and visits to The Present Moment Cafe. Next week the mischief continues at Raw Spirit Festival and then in San Diego where I’ll be doing a demo and teaching a class. After San Diego events and projects are a bit scattered at the moment. I’m planning on moving out of the lovely Atlantic Beach guest house I have been living in for close to 2 years. Wow, time flies when you’re living in the Barbie Beach House. I’ve been told I’m crazy for leaving what I like to refer to as my “Magnum P.I.” set up complete with ocean front guest house, Ferrari and drooling guard cat. But you’ve got to make room for expansion and personal growth and that’s what has to happen. Where will my new home be? Will I remain in Jacksonville? I plan on it, but nothing is solid at the moment. And like a good friend likes to say when I talk of “plans,” he says “making plans” is the best way to make God laugh.

WholeFoods Meetup
Present Moment Cafe

Enough about making plans, let’s make some raw food. Here’s a fun video that shows you how simple it is to make a collard wrap. Enjoy and Keep it Live!