Happy spring to everyone. The gardens and greenhouses are coming alive here at Camp Rawnora. I’m really enjoying the wild foraging, looking forward to finding some morel mushrooms. The retreat season is underway here at the camp. Here are a few of our upcoming events:
Here’s a timeless classic the Tu-No salad collard wrap.
The recipe is pretty simple. Dulse, which is a sea vegetable, gives it the “tuna” taste. Other sea vegetables can be substituted. Sea veggies are a great source of trace minerals including iodine which is important for thyroid function.
2 C sunflower seeds – soaked
1 – 2 T miso (organic, unpasteurized)
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 T lemon juice
1/4 – 1/2 C olive oil
1/2 C onion – diced
1/4 C dulse flakes
1 C celery – diced
2 T capers – add at end
1 – 2 t paprika
1/2 t salt or to taste
Place all ingredients except the capers, onions and celery into the food processor and process smooth.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and fold in the onions, celery and capers.
Serve in romaine lettuce or collard leaves with other fresh fixings.
Greetings and Aloha boys and girls. It’s about time I shared a post regarding my latest adventures. Early in March I boarded a plane for Honolulu on the paradise island state of Hawaii. My friend Brian was there to greet me at the airport and so my adventure began. I was only in Honolulu for one day and then we were off to Kauai, the garden isle. They say timing is everything and once again my timing put me in the right place at an interesting time… tsunami. Yes, we were staying on the ocean front in Kappaa, Kauai at the time of the big earthquake in Japan and had to be evacuated to higher ground. It was a beautiful night and we found a scenic place to park overlooking the coast. With in minutes of arriving a number of other cars showed up and parked and eventually we had a full on frat boy acoustic serenade going on which would have been nice if it wasn’t 3am. At 6:30 am we were able to return to our hotel and get some sleep.
After our tsunami experience Brian and I took up an offer to rent a couple of rooms at the fabled Noni Land. This is not any easy invitation to get being that it’s the personal home, research center and farm of David Wolfe. Since we were visiting Kauai on a raw food mission, we got the thumbs up and were promoted from ocean front 1960’s era cheap hotel to mountain side raw food paradise. David was traveling the globe when we arrived and met the Noni Land tribe… Nick, Nathaniel, Charis, Kota, Trevor and Kelly. After 3 nights indoors I moved to outdoor sleeping quarters in a tree house. This wasn’t quite Swiss Family Robinson, more like a platform with a tent on it. Very basic with a clear rain fly and enough room for a single person; the set up was perfect for my needs. Each night was highlighted by an ever changing celestial display. At one point the moon was so bright that I had to hide under my blanket just to fall asleep. The wind whipped the trees overhead into a frenzy and almost every night and/or morning featured random downpours. It has rained every day that I have been in Kauai, typically at night. I can’t forget to mention the wild life. Bulls in the neighboring pasture come up to the fence in the night and grunt like they’re trying to cough up a cactus pad. In the mornings I am awoken to the crowing of wild roosters which are the unofficial state bird of Hawaii. Actually the roosters crow starting on one side of the island the the message is passed in a continuous and never ending circle, kinda like and audio version of the wave at a stadium football game. Chickens are everywhere on this island. They are on the road side, in parking lots, on the beach, even in trees. Some interesting things I’ve discovered about chickens and cats since visiting Kauai is that they both love eating coconut meat. The Noni Land cat, Gartina, relentlessly begs for the stuff once you start cracking coconuts. The only thing she loves more than coconuts is baby chickens. Yes, the Noni Land cat is not a vegan. She’s earning her keep by controlling the wild chicken population.
After getting settled in the tree house, it was time to get to work. The mission in Kauai was to design a raw food menu for a once thriving and now transitioning restaurant in Hanalei. The Polynesian Cafe was a popular dining hub in the center of Ching Young Village in the heart of Hanalei. Now it is a shadow of what it used to be, a literal grave yard of used restaurant equipment; walk-in fridge, freezer, ice cream cooler, sandwich stations, a bakery complete with a mixer big enough to bathe in. Unfortunately much of the equipment is non-functional and has no use in a raw food restaurant. I did whip up a super batch of macaroons in a medium sized bread mixer. The main thing I noticed upon arriving was that the restaurant was a feng shui nightmare; no flow and a gluttonous waste off space. I staked out a little corner that was formerly used for bread making. It was more than enough room for me to do my thing. I often tell people that I can prepare raw foods in a phone booth if I have to. I do my best work in tight spaces… food preparation of course. I should also mention that I didn’t have exclusive rein of the kitchen. There is still a hot line in operation that uses fish and dairy. I made sure I kept clear of possible cross contamination. I found that in this situation the best way to keep my sanity is to only introduce a few simple menu items and that’s what I did. Wraps seemed like a good place to start so I introduced the Tu-No Collard Wrap and the Buckwheat Bean Burrito. The bean burrito was also done inside a collard leaf because the absence of a dehydrator. At this point we don’t have the staff to rock out crackers, chips and wraps from the dehydrator so that will just have to wait. The perfect scenario would have us stocked with a surplus of dehydrated wraps to make burritos, until then collards and nori sheets will have to do.
For dessert items I created a pie using a local treat the egg fruit. I’ve become a bit of an egg fruit addict since arriving here. These tasty little carb bombs are known to be the most calorically dense fruits having more calories than avocado and durian. They have very little water content and when ripe they have the consistency of a fluffly cake frosting. When I feast on egg fruit it often ends up in my beard and caked on my lips. Egg fruit’s brilliant orange color and dense yumminess made them a perfect candidate for making desserts so I combined egg fruit with cacao butter to make a white chocolate egg fruit pie. The recipe is is quite simple and simply delicious. My next dessert offering was a pineapple creme pie. That was followed with macadamia maca chocolate brownies. These were a little more “maca’y” than I wanted them to be and the macadamia nuts added a tastes twist I wasn’t accustomed to. People loved them though and they flew out of the cold case. The “cold case” was another method for keeping my sanity. I have a tendency to get overwhelmed with tasks that appear to be massive so confining myself to a single cold case allowed me to start small and expand from there. After 2 days in the shop the case was full… and then David Wolfe and his entourage showed up and bought everything in the case! We were all pretty stoked with this little surprise. David had just arrived in town for a brief visit before he had to fly to the West Coast to continue his touring and Longevity conference schedule. The timing worked out perfectly for me to be able to share some of my raw culinary creations with him. What was his response to what he tried? “The Best Ever!” of course.
That pretty much sums up my adventures in Kauai so far, “the best ever and getting better”. I have to admit there have been some speed bumps and challenges but that all part of what makes it worthwhile. Challenges are opportunities for expansion and personal growth and there’s a whole lot of that going on. This island is a magical place and the interactions and synchronicity that have led me here are indescribable. I look back on the random phone call I received from my friend Phoebe telling me that she was with someone that she felt I needed to meet, that was Brian, the crazy dude who jumped in head first into a raw food restaurant project in paradise and I went and followed him into the vortex. Tune in next time for an in depth look at some of the local fruits in Kauai and tasty culinary creations I have been making with them. Aloha and keep it live!
Warm wishes to everyone out there in early February. I realize that much of the US is praying for spring while other parts of the world are experiencing some crazy weather as well. The “doubters” say that dramatic blizzards disprove the threat of “global warming”. The “global warming” folks have responded by rebranding “global warming” as “global climate change”. It’s all sounds like a bunch of PR nonsense that still leaves billions of people on this planet holding the bag for a handful of corporations that care only for short term profits with no consideration of how their unethical practices effect the rest of the planet. Recently I went to a screening of a documentary film entitled Climate Refugees. The whole raw vegan tribe packed up and went out to a local theatre for a screening and Q and A session with a panel of specialists. The film has been hailed by critics and well received in the festival circuit. It’s basically a sequel to Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. Refugees focuses on the peoples displaced by climate changes and the global impact it will have on different countries and the economy of the world. The film offers up some actions steps that we all can take but in the end it falls “conveniently” short just as An Inconvenient Truth did in notmentioning one of the biggest contributors to the erosion of a sustainable planet and the one easy solution that is within reach of every single person on the planet… The overlooked main offender is the meat and dairy industry. The Unite Nations spells out the oversight in there 2006 report entitled Livestock’s Long Shadow. Not a mention of “livestock” or “factory farming” in either of these acclaimed documentaries. What gives with such a blatant oversight? Are the filmmakers worried about upsetting the global corporations that profit from the demise of the planet and the demise of our health? Al Gore nostalgically highlights his families cattle farm in his film so you can see the origin of his oversight. What gives with the Climate Refugees crew? I find it hard to see people crusading for impoverished people and even suffering animals in far off places while eating a chicken sandwich telling you to drive a Prius. The activists seem to specialize themselves into a corner and forget that some of the simplest and cheapest solutions start at home and on their plate…
That brings us to the second glaring oversight: not a single mention of eating less meat as a action step. Reducing meat and dairy intake is the least someone can do and their effort can potentially be rewarded not only with a healthier planet but a healthier body and cleaner conscious. Sounds like a win, win, win scenario. If a person really puts their money where there mouth is… literally and figuratively, they GO VEGAN or at least vegetarian. Believe it or not a vegan and especially a vegan raw diet, when done in an informed way, is the most transformative step a person can take in their life and it can potentially positively impact the entire planet. Switching out your light bulbs, riding your bike and installing weather stripping is great and all but it’s really just a way to pacify most people’s conscience. One day at a time, one meal at a time we all can transform this planet into the paradise it was meant to be…
Check out a couple fun videos. One is a music video I submitted to the “1 minute to change the world” contest. And the other is a tasty recipe for Tu-No Salad. I felt inspired to submit this music video after I saw submissions about cleaning up cigarette butts and turning off the water in the bathroom while you brush your teeth… all great ideas but when BP gushes 205 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico it’s going to take more than “jiggling the handle” to save ourselves from self destruction.