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November 2010 Newsletter

Maui Sunset, November 2011
Thanks Amy for getting this amazing
Maui sunset from the deck.

It's sunny, beautiful and 80° outside -- ok, I'm not in the Napa Valley -- and it's hard to imagine the Holidays are just around the corner. Beginning with Halloween and all that candy, moving right to Thanksgiving and all that food, to Christmas with all those dessert parties and ending with New Year's Eve and all that late night champagne (at least for some). I'm all for celebrating in moderation and keeping some healthy choices in the mix but I realize it's a time of year when the thought of nutritious healthy food choices seems the farthest from our minds. This month I'd like to share a few ideas, recipes, and events with you in hopes you'll find something helpful, yummy, and healthy to add to your holiday table.

Before I delve right into things I'd love to share two BIG accomplishments for me.

First, I'm officially a Faculty Instructor with Living Light Culinary Institute, having completed my one year internship. I'll be teaching FUNdamentals and Essentials of Raw and Living Foods each time they are offered in Ft Bragg, and also taking the FUNdamentals course on the road to cities across America with my fellow chef instructor, Amber West. Needless to say I'm excited, honored, and blessed to be among some of the innovators in the raw food world and teaching new chefs all the time.

Graduation Day at Living Light Culinary Institute: Brenda Hinton, fellow Chef Instructor and new faculty member Amber West, Raw Guru Cheri Soria and Living Light Culinary Programs Manager Martine Lussier

In addition, on 10/10/10 I completed the Wine Country Half-Marathon with a PR (Personal Record) 15 minutes faster than my last!! My sweetie and coach, Mike, was right there with me every step of the way and we crossed the line together. I loved every minute of it, well not really, but when it was over, it was exhilarating! I'm now training for the National Breast Cancer Marathon in Jacksonville, FL where 100% of the funds raised go to breast cancer research and care. The only race application which asks "are you a survivor" and the only race where I can celebrate along with thousands of others our accomplishments and our joys of just being there. Can you tell I'm excited? See you out there on the road.


In a quandary of what to do for the upcoming Holiday Dinners? It can be easier than you think to stay healthy, vegan, and/or raw over the holidays with a little help from some local experts.

Healthy Holiday Survival Event
Nov 20th 10am to 7pm, Oakland, California

I'll be at the first annual Healthy Holiday Survival Event, sponsored by Chef Heather Haxo Phillips and her organization Raw Bay Area. Join some of the area's raw food experts for a "Fresh approach to Holiday Celebrations."

The event will feature a chat with raw food celebs about surviving the holidays and feeling rawsome in the winter. Featured guests include Shea Lynn Baird, author Diana Stobo, raw food luminary Cherie Soria, chef Melissa Mango, superfood superstar Bethanne Wanamaker, Cafe Gratitude Head Pastry Chef Gregory Manitsas, and others.

Raw food classes with featured chefs:

For tickets and information, please visit the event website.

Whole Foods Holiday Dinners

If you're planning for guests coming and you're not sure what they eat, or it's just your small family of one or two and you aren't into all those leftovers, remember your local Whole Foods Market can help with the day's events.

Every store offers their prepared Holiday Meals and extra side dishes of holiday favorites. There is a vegan option and enough food in the assortment to satisfy even those big eaters in the group. Chef Tom, at the Napa Whole Foods, has helped with our vegan holidays for two years now and it's on the request list again at our house. It's not raw, but not everyone who comes to our house is raw these days. I'll prepare a couple of side dishes and salads to go along and we're good to go. Everyone will be happy, healthy and satisfied.


Please visit our website for the latest Potluck information.


I love the traditional seasonal tastes of creamy pumpkin, sweet potatoes, nutmeg and cinnamon. Combine those together in new and different ways and you've got some easy raw versions of holiday classics and crowd pleasers for friends and family.

I have posted some of my favorites -- Sweet Potato Casserole, Sweet Yam Salad -- on my website for your enjoyment.

I've been doing some recipe development with a friend, Chef Megan Ricks, for some yummy raw desserts and Raw Pumpkin Cheesecake is one I'm working on. Although it's not yet perfect, I'm happy with the direction it's going and I'd love to share my version. It's a bit more complicated because it involves pre-making some Cashew Cheese for the wonderful classic 'cream cheese' consistency, and working with Irish Moss (which seems to make everyone cringe when thinking about it. It's actually very easy to work with and stores quite nicely in ice cube trays in the freezer. I make a big batch at once so I have it on hand for those moments I'm inspired to create in the kitchen).

It's that wonderful Fall fruit season also, so remember persimmons and pomegranate seeds make colorful, tasty additions to salads. There's also the Persimmon Pie in the recipe section from last year. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy the recipes and let me know what you think or email with any questions.


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I'm always out and on the look-out for new and exciting products to share with you. This one was SO impressive I went back for a second pint. I know it's a bit cold outside but I coulnd't wait until the cool summer months to tell you about my newest favorite.

I LOVE ice cream and have been diligently working on recipe development for my own to be shared with friends and family. I'm always seeking that perfect blend of creamy tasty goodness that's also raw vegan and wonderful. I've found my newest love affair with raw ice cream at Rawk Me Organics.

It seems that when Susan, the proprietor, was courting her sweetheart who's from Vermont (Ben and Jerry country), she wooed him with her (now famous) raw vegan ice cream, and now he is her muse and inspiration for going global. Beginning with fans in Sonoma County (she moved to California after graduating in holistic nutrition) she's gone wild with four flavors, debuting at the new Whole Foods Coddingtown. I tried the Chai Spice, perfect for the season, and love it ! She's doing it right -- biodegradable containers, raw ingredients, love in every pint. What more could we ask for? She's helping healthy people and the Planet.

Love ya Susan! -- (now I just have to meet her; perhaps she'll see this article and send me a pint :>)


This month it's not a 'review' exactly but a short note of appreciation for what's going on out there. I'm always reading articles and reviews on the web and ran across a new review for one of the hot spot raw restaurants in Chicago. What struck me was simply, the name - RAW. The acronym stands for -- "Raising Awareness Worldwide" -- I love it !!

Their mission is to make a change in the way people eat, changing taste buds, bodies and minds, one curious customer at a time. RAW is located in Chicago's French Market, an indoor marketplace featuring a wide variety of vendors offering artisan cheese, bread shops, and fresh local produce. You can bet when I find my way to Chicago I'll check them out and give you a full report.

I'll be home for the holidays, snuggled up with my cup of tea, warm corn chowder, and happy holiday happenings. Come January I'm off on the road again - R.A.W. with another trip to Japan.

Thank you for reading ...and enjoy a Happy Healthy Holiday season!


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