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

Egyptian Pie… Oh My!

Egyptian Pie!

I’ve been back in Florida for a couple of weeks now. I’m happy to be home but missing my friends and family on the West Coast. The last day I spent in San Diego ended with a family feast with my aunt, cousins and friend Robyn. We put together some raw food delights as an offering for the evening’s meal. This is my Italian side of the family and they have an appreciation for delicious food. Back in the day I used to be quite a contender at the dinner table; devouring pasta, pizza, prosciutto and washing everything down with copious amounts of wine. Things have changed for me personally. Greens, veggies and fruits are at the heart of my diet and alcohol is a rarity unless it’s the trace amounts found in kombucha. That’s not to say we were going to go hungry. Robyn and I arrived in style with raw pizza, marinated veggies and an Egyptian Pie. The pizza crust was a simple combo of sprouted buckwheat, sunflower seeds, onion and spices. We topped it with a seed cheeze and marinated veggies. It came out kinda like a bruschetta. The veggie mix was tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, onion, garlic and fresh basil. All these ingredients were salted and allowed to drain and then I added some lemon juice and olive oil.

Pizza time

The Egyptian Pie is a recipe that I got from my first raw food teacher Francis. It’s listed in my recipe book Zen and the Art of Gadgeting as Egyptian Cake. We had to make some modifications to the recipe listed in the book. First of all the recipe says to use only soaked almonds to make the crust. What fun is that? We soaked then dehydrated the almonds then we added dates, cinnamon, orange zest and Himalayan salt to the crust. For the banana creme filling we added ginger, vanilla and orange juice. Robyn and I had fun reworking the recipe and making additions. Best of all was making lunch out of the leftovers from pie making. I’d have to say that this recipe is pretty easy, appealing to the eye and tasty. The addition of pomegranate and shredded coconut to top the  pie was perfection. At the end of dinner there was no pie left at all. It was a complete hit. Thanks Robyn for the brilliant idea to make it, thanks Francis for designing the recipe and thank you family for eating it.

Soup Night

My West Coast visit did not end there. I spent the next two days in Murrieta, CA with my cousin and his family. The weather in Murrieta is typically hot and dry in early October. Well exceptions were made for my visit. The day before I arrived it was sunny and 91F, the two days I was there it was overcast, rainy and in the 60s. I got blamed for bringing the weather. No worries though, it gave me time to make some tasty treats in the kitchen. The first night there I made a soup with hemps seeds, avocado, miso and a variety of veggies. The next evening we dined on egg-less egg salad and bell pepper pesto boats. Oh yeah, and I made ice cream with young Thai coconut and soaked cashews. It was good eating raw vegan style. I look forward to my next visit. Look for the egg-less egg salad recipe in my next post.

Keep it Live! Adam

blog, Raw Food Adventures, Recipe

Journey to the North

With summer bearing down with full force in Florida I’ve taken a trip up north to Chicago and Watervliet, Michigan for some rest and relaxation with family, friends and raw food festival goers. I was born in Chicago and much of my family still lives there. I’ve lived in Jacksonville, Florida since I was 10, but have made pilgrimages up north on a yearly basis. I even lived in Chicago for 3 years after college and remain in touch with my old roomies and friends from back in the pre-raw days. It seems like only yesterday that I was BBQ’ing meat, pan frying sausage and meatballs and microwaving hell-if-I-know all the while thinking it was nourishing food. Over 10 years later I’m a little wiser and a lot healthier than I was when I was in my mid-twenties.

Tom's Steak HouseMy arrival in Chicago had me visiting my uncle out in River Forest. He’s not a raw fooder by any stretch but it’s never too late to start. I did Saturday night dinner with the boys, which had us visiting Tom’s Steak House in Melrose Park. There’s a good chance I may have been the first raw fooder at Tom’s Steak House. I made sure I packed a homemade salad dressing to top the double salad I was going to order. I was pleasantly surprised at the Romaine, tomato and onion salad that they set me up with. I also scored a side of Greek olives which weren’t from a can. I sipped bottled water while the gang enjoyed cocktails, followed by soup or salad and then their entree of meat and starch… the undoing of the Western World – Please refer to Food Combining Rules. I had my salad delivered with the entree and poured on my home mix of living red wine vinegar, olive oil, dulse, Italian herbs and Himalayan salt. Following dinner my uncle took me to see some music at another steak house; Gibson’s in Rosemont. I’ve been bar hopping before and now I’ve officially been steak house hopping. We listened to Lenny Capp perform on piano while my uncle sipped a cocktail and I had a NA brew. I was pleasantly surprised to meet another raw fooder upon visiting the washroom at Gibson’s. It turns out the bathroom attendant, Caleeb, had just gotten into raw foods and he was trying to convince his fellow co-worker to eat a macaroon he had gotten at Whole Foods. I was more than happy to try one, seeing that I was miles away from any raw food dessert and was craving something sweet. We chatted a bit and I gave them my card and invited them to keep in touch. Raw fooders are turning up in the strangest places… it’s so cool.

Next I visited friends in the city. My friend Angie hosted a BBQ at her house. Mike, Cyndi and their daughter Merrit were already in grilling mode when I arrived on Sunday. I whipped up a guacamole, cut up veggies and rolled some burritos with some sun-dried tomato chia wraps I had made for traveling. It was quite a simple and delicious feast for me; no lighter fluid, no charcoal, flames or prostate cancer to worry about. I ate my fill of burritos and saved my strength for karaoke night at the Beauty Bar that evening. It was a rocking good time. Angie did a Pat Benatar song while I sang “The Weight” by The Band.

sausage and burrito
which one belongs in your mouth?

Some juice was in order the next day to recover from our late night of singing and dancing. My friend Angie has dumped dairy, started juicing and has begun to see some positive changes. I took her juicer for a test drive the other morning and made a ginger cucumber apple juice that would straighten your toe nails. Now the city is behind me and I’m enjoying the lush green landscape of Ronora Lodge in Watervliet, Michigan. With over 100 acres of land, a lake, green house, garden, stables, cabins and more I’m in heaven… aside from the mosquitoes and biting flies. The green house is loaded with tomatoes and basil, while the garden is bursting with yellow squash, cucumbers, yellow watermelon, brocolli, kale and peppers. Oh, and I can’t forget the wild blackberries and grapes. At the moment I’m just writing, foraging, feasting and enjoying the magic here at Ronora. I enjoyed a big tomato and onion salad with pecan basil pesto the night I arrived. The next evening, the owner Deej let me know where the “all raw” kitchen was and I prepared a raw feast for her and her husband that consisted of a kale salad with garden tomatoes and yellow squash noodles with walnut basil pesto. Owner and operator Deej Leggit just recently healed herself of both Type 1 and 2 diabetes after doing the 21 day detox program at Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center. She and her husband Hunter have both experienced the healing benefits of a raw vegan diet. To my surprise Ronora Lodge has hosted David Wolfe, Matt Monarch and Angela Stokes, Paul Nisson and next week Victoria Boutenko will be here with other raw food folks for the Green Synergy Fest.

Here’s a Basil Pesto Recipe that’s tasty and easy:

  • 1 C walnuts – rinsed, soaked 1 hour and drained
  • 1/2 C fresh basil leaves – packed
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 T tamari
  • salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in food processor with S-blade. Spread thick pesto inside bell pepper slices. Or mix into zucchini or squash noodles. Add more oil, vinegar and tamari to make into a sauce.

Enjoy the picts and I’ll keep posting. Keep it Live!

blackberry bowl
Nature's Abundance
blog, Raw Food Adventures

Yay! New Site is “Live”

Free Ebook - Zen and the Art of Gadgeting
Over 20 Live Food Recipes!

Adam here, sending out a quick post to let everyone know the New and Improved “Live Food Experience” is live. My favorite addition is the “video” page which has all of my Youtube videos in one place. There’s also something really cool in the “store”… actually it’s the only thing in the store at the moment. It’s a free ebook highlighting my journey into live foods and featuring over 20 recipes. I’d love to hear your feedback regarding both the site and the ebook.

Some excitement stuff  going on tonight down in Daytona Beach. I will be attending the Avant Garden event hosted by The Art Army and a guy named Perego. Sounds interesting, huh? If that isn’t enough I will be putting together a vegan raw/live food buffet at Julian’s Land Mark Restaurant in Ormond Beach, FL; famous for their steak and seafood.

The buffet will feature a Pad Thai style dish with an almond miso sauce, pesto stuffed bell peppers and chocolate mousse.

It should be quite an experience… more posts to come. Keep it Live!