Recently while in Chicago I went up to Highland Park with my friend Cindy to visit a new raw restaurant set up by Matthew Kenney. “In the Raw” is the manifestation of Beth Taussig’s desire to bring raw foods to her local community. She spent some time chatting with us about her journey into raw foods and the experience of opening a restaurant. I remember my raw food restaurant opening experience when I helped to open Shakti Life Kitchen in Atlantic Beach, FL back in… actually I can’t quite remember… October of 2008 maybe. A lot has happened since then… European tour, Canadian adventures, visit to Kauai and much more.
Now I’m up in Michigan running a retreat center (Camp Rawnora), growing a garden and living a blessed life. I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to. Drop me a line with the details and enjoy pictures from my gardens and my restaurant review of In the Raw.
Happy birthday to me and what a happy birthday it has been. This whole facebook thing can be quite overwhelming especially for someone who likes to play down their birthday. I had over 60 birthday wishes in my inbox when I woke up this morning and the number is still growing. So many random acts of kindness makes my heart swell. Those are the times we live in though. The mainstream media may report on doom and gloom but what I see is people from around the world going out of their way to wish others, strangers and friends alike, well.
My birthday started out quiet enough with me waking to an empty house. My brother, sister-in-law and nephew had gone to work, work and school but they didn’t exit without leaving reminders that it was my birthday. First of all the doorway to my bedroom was decorated with dangling ribbons and a half dozen balloons were piled at the door. This type of booby trap was effective in springing an instantaneous smile to my face. In the kitchen I was greeted by more balloons and a banner across the wall that read “happy birthday”. With all this birthday cheer in the air I had to share it with someone but no one was around… so I took it out on the dog. Sadie the Graham’ily cocker spaniel was treated to various renditions of a multitude improv birthday songs set to the tune of “so this is Christmas” and the “It’s your birthday” song from The Cosby Show. To crown things off for my birthday morning a single candle had been placed in the last big slice of raw cookie doh! pie and left in the fridge for me.
Birthday shenanigans continued in the evening at The Present Moment Cafe in St. Augustine, Florida. Without a doubt one of the best raw restaurants on the planet. A crew of 7 of us got cozy and had a feast of ages. I ordered super nachos which were extra special and birthday super sized. Dessert was brought and prepared by a good friend Natacha. She surprised us all when she pulled out a casserole dish filled with raw tiramisu… one of the most decadent and challenging raw food desserts to make. It was phenomenal. Not wanting to waste anything I helped to finish the dessert of 2 other people before surrendering to birthday bliss.
The entire day was a magical birthday gift. So here’s how I’ll pay it forward. For all of you interested in how to make the Raw Cookie Doh! pie, the recipe is below. Happy Birthday to me, you and everyone! Love Adam.
Raw Cookie Doh! Pie
(enough for 1 – 7 inch spring form and 1 – 5 inch baking ring or 1 – 9 inch spring form)
Cacao Crunch Crust
1 C shredded coconut
½ C pumpkin seeds or almonds
¼ C buckwheat
½ C cacao nibs
8 dates – pitted
3 T agave – enough to bind crust
1 T coconut oil
Add agave to running food processor until crust binds
Press crust into a spring form or pie dish. Placing wax paper.
Flatten crust in the middle and work it up the sides of the pan
Place crust in freezer to set.
Lucuma creme layer
1 C water
1 C hemp seeds
1/2 C coconut oil – melted
1 vanilla bean
1/2 C palm sugar
¼ C lucuma
½ C agave powder
1/4 t salt or to taste
Blend the hemp seeds, vanilla and water smooth.
Add remaining ingredients saving the coconut oil for last.
Add coconut oil while the blender is running. The mixture must be slightly warm.
Let mixture cool before pouring it into the crust.
Allow to set in the freezer for 1 hour.
¼ C almond butter
1/2 C cacao butter – melted
2 T agave
2 T maple syrup
¼ C water
¼ C agave powder
1/4 C cacao powder
1 T maca
pinch of salt
Blend water and almond butter smooth.
Add agave, maple syrup, maca and salt while blending.
Continue by adding the cacao powder and agave powder.
Finish by adding the cacao butter to the blender while it is running.
Stop and scrape down the sides of the blender and continue to blend until the mixture is consistent.
Allow mixture to cool before pouring it into the crust.
I’m a big fan of options and with this recipe you have a few. The chocolate layer sets up thicker than the lucuma creme layer. As shown by the pictures you can assemble the layers in a variety of ways. The first version resulted from me pouring the warm chocolate layer onto the creme layer before it was firm. I thought I had a tasty disaster on my hands but then I remembered I could just swirl the chocolate into the creme layer for a nice visual effect. The next version is a result of waiting until the creme layer is chilled firm and then pouring in the cooled chocolate layer. In hindsight I would have layered chocolate/creme/chocolate or put the chocolate layer first and then the creme layer. The reason for this is the chocolate layer is more firm once it has set. The result of this is that the creme layer squirts out of the pie as you try to cut into it. Definitely let the pie warm before serving and dip the knife blade in hot water before cutting. Reversing the layers or swirling them can remedy this squirting tendency. Also feel free to decorate your pie with hemp seeds, nibs or a dusting of cacao powder.
A note about agave powder. This ingredient is not used as a sweetener, it is a thickener. It is a very fine powder that sticks to almost any surface especially if there is the slightest bit of moisture. It is a plant fiber known as inulin. Always add it while the blender is running. You can substitute chia gel or Irish moss to achieve similar results. Sorry, I don’t know the amounts without making the recipe. Off the top of my head try 1/4-1/2 C of chia gel pureed or 3 T of pureed Irish moss in place of agave powder.
That is all for now. In joy, enjoy and Keep it Live!