Menu consultant for KOKO GREEN in Nice, France.

Being asked to be menu consultant for the new and exciting raw vegan restaurant KOKO GREEN (www.kokogreen.com) in the Old Town of Nice, France, was a huge privilege. The restaurant also offers cooked vegan options, but it was for the raw dishes I was asked to advise on. When the offer came through from the head chef and owner Nick Tempest – I leapt at the opportunity and couldn’t wait to get to work. After much preparation on home turf in England, I flew to France where I spent a week sharing and working on delicious raw food meals including this; an incredibly appetising Raw Thai Green Soup with Tamari Kelp Noodles.

I’m not a huge fan of the term ‘clean eating’ for reasons I will go into another time, but when I eat this – the flavours are so, well, clean that I have to accept defeat and say this is the ultimate clean eating treat.  What was also a treat was being flown out to work in such a beautiful part of the world and in the company of such kind and welcoming colleagues. Nick soaked up all the culinary advice I had to offer and it was great being back in the kitchen again. 

In between developing and refining dishes, I was able to have a little R&R in the form of a day trip to Monaco… not bad eh? The train from Nice Central took me directly there in 30 minutes and I spent the day exploring and climbing the never ending steep and winding streets. I was quite taken aback by just how unusual the layout of Monaco is – a zig zag montage of streets all on coast line that seem to go up and up and up! So much so that there are even lifts to take you from the top streets to the bottom. I’m probably not painting a very clear image of this I your heads but if you are ever to travel there – you will immediately know what I mean (again, not very helpful I know).

I loved the fact my work had taken me to a part of the world I was unlikely to visit had it not been for the particular job coming up, but Monaco left me a bit cold as I felt it was really a place only to be enjoyed by the rich & wealthy. And by wealthy I mean the drenched in diamonds type. How lovely it would be to lay by one of the exclusive swimming pools over looking the marina, sipping Veuve Cliquot out of a crystal flute whilst looked through ones D&G sunglasses, soaking in the sunshine. But alas, us mere mortals had to stomp around in converse trainers with a rucksack on carrying a homemade picnic as all the eateries were for people who weren’t dressed in converse trainers wearing rucksacks. Or at least the ones I happened upon weren’t. Never the less, it was fun getting a glimpse of how the like of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button spend their days when not tearing around in their F1 cars.

So back to the kitchen it was for me, which was by no means a chore. I love being creative and sharing my passion for raw foods especially with people who  are as equally passionate. And I wish Nick & Melina (Nicks parnter and co owner of Koko Green) all the luck in the world. The French customers won’t be the easiest to win over, as we all know they are not particularly renowned for their love of vegan food – but hopefully the vibrancy and freshness of these raw dishes speak for themselves. It’s just delicious food – pure and simple. And that’s what the bases of raw food is all about.

RAW FOOD IS BACK ON THE MENU!!!

Yes, I know. I haven’t so much as brushed my key pad with a single “hello” in two months.

I have become a stranger to my own blog… *hangs head in shame*.

Why is this, you may ask? Was I eaten by Balinese dogs? Did I spend the whole two months eating pizza, fries and nasi goreng, throwing raw food caution to the wind? Did I get lost in the jungle whilst out hunting for mangos and cacao pods? Well, no. Not quite. I did go through some unexpected events though, which I won’t bore you with for fear of complaining, tisk tisk.  Ultimately, there was very little time to write, which I hadn’t foreseen would happen. I thought I would have oodles of time after a hard day in the kitchen to plink plonk away on my laptop whilst listening to the soundtrack of frogs and grasshoppers, singing away in the dark Bali nights…but erm, it wasn’t quite like that in the end. It was more like me, frazzled, covered in spirulina, grabbing my computer and sitting in the outdoor kitchen to find a decent wifi connection, and then proceeding to collapse in a big sweaty heap over the keys after having to deal with things back home on top of everything that needed to be done for the training. Whew. But! We did it! The training was a success. It was a crazy, bonkers, whirlwind of an experience and although yes, Get Rawcous did get left behind for a little while , I am grateful for the time I spent there and everything I learnt and all the people I met.

Now, if I said I never touched Get Rawcous when I was in Bali, that would be a lie, for in fact I did indeed write a blog post…ooo about 1 month ago, just after the training had finished. It’s just that for some unknown reason (probably because I’m CRAP) I never got round to posting it. But with the wonders of word press it was of course saved, so here it is…and I’ve stuck a little video with a slice of apple in* on the end too 🙂

*The following was written on 12th November, just after completion of the training..

This is a photograph of one of the raw chefs trainees final dinner presentations. It was raw Chinese dim sum, filled with the most beautifully, delicately flavoured walnut ‘meat’. The two dim sum wraps were made out of papaya, coconut meat and a little bit of physillium husk to bind. Nothing more. So simple, but absolutely delicious. It may not appeal to some, but the filling tasted so similar to chinese pork it was very hard to believe there was no meat in there at all. It was all in the detail to authentic Chinese flavours such as five spice, orange juice and star anise, as well as attention to texture. Texture is very important in raw food. It’s amazing how much pleasure from food comes from the feel of it in your mouth. That first bite

So, the Radiantly Alive Raw Chef Certification – October to November 2012 – is now completeThe students left Anahata yesterday morning, and this will be my last hour here before I continue onto the next part of my journey in Bali. The view from here really is breath taking. It’s amazing how little I have actually stopped to appreciate it this last month. Assisting full time in the kitchen, mentoring and being the in-house accountant was quite a challenge for me. If I’d have done a blog post a couple of weeks ago, I wouldn’t have felt anywhere near the calm and quiet as I do now. It would have gone something more like this “F*%$!!S*&@I!!?S!$!!”.  Now, having stuck it out and not left early as I very nearly did, I can sit back and be grateful for all the difficulties and frustrations. And anyway, what’s the use in going over how difficult things were, nobody like a moaner! Really, it’s all been magic, and I am very lucky to have had this experience. I have learnt so much, not only about raw food, but  also about those big life lessons the world keeps throwing at you until you stop, take note and try to make a difference to improve and change…hopefully for the best. I have met and worked alongside some of the most incredible awe inspiring people, and amidst all the craziness I have laughed so much I nearly cried (or maybe I was just crying.. was hard to tell the difference at times! Yikes.). But here is what I really care about, and the reason I came all the way back here in the first place; the food.  I am not kidding, in only a year, the level and standard of meals prepared has just gone through the roof. You would not believe some of the meals we produced during the training, all made for 60 people…breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

So! If they say seeing is believing, then feast your eyes on this – it’s a short, scrumptious and sexy (ooo!) video I made.

Prepare to be amazed at the wonder and magnificence that is raw, living food…..!!!


For video – CLICK HERE!


xxxxxxxxxx


* Here I have oh so wittily used a quote from Paul Calf’s Three Fights, Two Weddings and a Funeral. For those of you who have never witness this genius comical spectre – get on You Tube and watch it NOW. It will change your life and make you a much funnier person. Fact.

Bali Raw Food Adventure 2012!

For those of you who don’t know, right now I am in Bali. Yup, that’s correctomundo – Bali, Indonesia – Ubud to be precise. I am back in the land of the God’s for two whole moths to regenerate, rejuvenate and work my raw ass off in the raw food kitchen at Radiantly Alive. I will be helping put together daily raw breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the beautiful yogi’s and yogini’s (that’s the cool thing to say, right?) for an entire month during the training. I will also be mentoring the raw chef trainees at Anahata, where the Radiantly Alive certification course takes place. I have a couple of weeks before I’ll be needed in the kitchen on the 11th October, so in this time I will be mostly eating lots of papaya, drinking lots of coconut water and doing lots of yoga (“Cor! Rub it in why don’t you?!” I hear you cry).

 This time last year, I was myself a raw chef trainee in Bali working towards gaining my Radiantly Alive Raw Chef Certification (which I got, by the way…). It was an experience of a life time and I can’t express fully in words how grateful and excited I am that I am now able to go back there with the skills and knowledge I have learnt and put them to use in the professional kitchen this month. If anybody is interested in doing the course themselves, or if you would like to know in more depth all that you learn on the raw chef certification course at Radiantly Alive, click hereWhat I personally found so special about the training you receive at Radiantly Alive, and the programme that Daniel Aaron Horne has put together there, is that it is more than just a yoga teacher training course and a chef training course; it’s a month for not only learning technical skills, but it is also a time for personal growth as well. With the encouragement and support of the teachers and mentors, and with daily early morning hour long meditation sessions for both the yoga and raw chef students, it’s a safe environment to work on yourself and get past any obstacles that may be holding you back in life, or just a time to find more peace and acceptance within yourself. It’s not just a load of ‘happy-clappy-hippies’ (although granted, there is the odd night of  kirtan where indeed there is lots of swaying-happy-clapping going on); there are movie nights in the yoga shala where we watch inspirational films and documentaries, trips out to cacao farms, lunches in organic raw restaurants and a road trip to the whitest sandy beach towards the end of training – with a raw beach-side buffet put together by the kitchen staff (which will be me this year!). On top of the life changing transformations that happen during the month long course, and the in-depth training you receive, one of the best parts of doing the training is all the friends (who at the end of training feel more like family) that you will meet from all over the world

As you can imagine, being back here is very special for me and I seriously CANNOT WAIT to get started in the kitchen!!! The trainees arrive on the 14th, but myself along with the other raw kitchen staff are to be on location from the 11th setting up the kitchen and getting all the dehydrated food ready for the divine raw banquet that will be awaiting the wide eyed students when they arrive.

So for the next two months I will be dropping in with my raw Bali adventures, hopefully with some videos and definitely with lots of recipes!!!

I shall leave you with some photographs from my Radiantly Alive chef training last year. See you soon….x Elaine x

Vanilla Bean & Papaya Custard topped with Blueberries, Fresh Ginger & Honey

My morning tastes buds vary from day to day, week to week. It all depends on how much sleep I’ve had, how much exercise I’ve been doing, how much work/stress I’ve got on ect, as to what I end up fancying for my breakfast. I go through huge morning smoothie phases, but then I start to miss sitting down with a bowl and spoon and having a simple bowl of ‘cereal’. This morning, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to ‘spoon’ or ‘drink’ my breakfast, so I decided to go somewhere in between – the result being this sumptuous Vanilla Bean & Papaya Custard topped with Blueberries, Fresh Ginger & drizzled with Honey. What initially started off as a smoothie, then turned into this wonderful breakfast-come-dessert type dish, which was so tasty it almost felt like an indulgent start to the day. That’s what I love most about raw food; you know what’s gone into it, you know how beneficial each and everyone of the ingredients are, you know just how healthy it is for you, but because it tastes so very good, you can’t help thinking “this must be bad…”. 

Well, luckily for us, this dish is most certainly not bad for you, quite the opposite in fact; papaya is rich in B vitamins, potassium, magnesium and fiber – it also contains the A-list digestive enzyme papain. This custard also contains a generous amount of maca – my all time favourite super food. Maca is a fantastic energy booster without putting any stress on the adrenal glands. It helps with stamina and is also labelled the ‘peruvian viagra’ (weyheyyyyyy!).  Women tend to be big fans of maca as it is a wonderful hormone balancer (and in turn men also become big fans…). It has a malty taste which works really well in deserts; if you are new to maca, start using a smaller amount if you’re not too sure on the taste, until you become addicted like me and end up pouring the whole packet on whatever you may be eating – sweet or savoury.

As you know, I don’t have a vita-mix (yes, I’m still sulking about this), but if you do you could add 1/2 cup of soaked cashews to make it extra creamy. If I put cashews in my 1970’s Kenwood Kitchenette Blender, the custard would look like it has rubble in. Not attractive.

So here is the recipe for you, enjoy for breakfast, as light dessert or an afternoon sweet treat.

Vanilla Bean & Papaya Custard topped with Blueberries, Fresh Ginger & Honey
:
Breakfast/dessert.
2
Ingredients
  • 1 small papaya, seeded and flesh scooped out
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsp maca (or less if you prefer)
  • 250 mls almond milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped, or 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cups cashews soaked for 3 hours (if using a high speed blender)
  • Extra almond milk for blending if mixture is too thick
  • 2 tbsp agave or honey (extra for drizzling)
  • Handful of blueberries for each bowl
  • 2 cm piece fresh ginger, finely diced
Instructions
  1. Place all the ingredients except the blueberries into a blender and mix until smooth, thick and creamy.
  2. Pour into individual serving dishes, top with blueberries, drizzle with honey or agave, and scatter with tiny pieces of fresh ginger.

 

Raw Spanish Paella with Butternut Squash, Cauliflower and Saffron ‘Rice’. (Plus That’s a Wrap on Whoops!)

So after one of the best months of my entire life, we have finally wrapped on Whoops! If you want a little glimpse as to what I’ve been getting up to on set these last 4 weeks, here are a couple of behind the scenes videos: one of them is of me introducing my character, Rose Clements and the other is of me rolling around in the mud at four o’clock in the morning. Ahem. I don’t think I could have had more fun on this job, even when standing under a freezing cold rain machine, and I feel so incredibly lucky that I was able to be part of this movie. Here are a few little snaps from the shoot (Raw Spanish Paella Recipe at the bottom, too!)…

The Directors Miles and Tony, and our Director of Photography and Camera Man – Jenni.

The producer Sam (who doesn’t like having his photograph taken, can you tell?), me and my lovely co-star Phil Rowson.

The loveliest film folk ever!

So now that Rose Clement’s killer heels have been take off for the last time, I can now put my energies back into Get Rawcous! I am aware I have neglected my poor little site this last month, but there really weren’t enough hours in the day. Plus we did a hellish amount of night shoots and when you finish work as 5am, the last thing you want to do is start writing. Your brain is on shut down and all you want to do is sleep. For three days. Talking of the night shoots, this was probably the most difficult part when it came to staying raw. I found it nearly impossible to listen to what my body wanted (probably it wanted nothing) as it was totally removed from my normal routine. I really struggled to know what foods to pack to take with me to set. Sometimes I took nothing, thinking that I would do a bit of a fast as my digestive system will be sleepy too, but then it would get to 03:30 and I’d be starving and end up having a bowl of veggie chilli with a jacket potato with the rest of the crew. It was hard to plan ahead. I found that when I was shooting outside in the cold, the last thing I really wanted was a spring green wrap or a salad. So when I did make something, it was often steamed vegetables and quinoa. I found this to nice and sustaining. I would sprinkle a tbsp of maca on as well to keep me going through the night. When you are working 12 hour days and irregular hours, a raw diet isn’t the easiest thing to keep to. I found my raw intake would be mainly in the form of juices, nut milks, smoothies and fruit on the go. So when I got back home yesterday after leaving York, I couldn’t wait to get in my kitchen and make myself a proper slap up raw main meal. I decided to go for a recipe out of my new favourite book ‘Practically Raw’ by Amber Shea Crawley. It’s called Spanish Garden Paella in the book, but I changed the title so on first glance you could see what the base of a raw paella would consist of if you were just flicking through. It was probably one of the nicest, wholesome and filling raw dishes I have ever made, and you can also turn it into a fancy looking paella stack – perfect for dinner parties. I changed the recipe slightly as I don’t have my dehydrator with me at the moment, so the cherry tomatoes are fresh rather than dehydrated over night as Amber does. It’s important to note that this recipe calls for Simple Season Mushrooms, which you will need to make an hour before you are ready to serve the rice, or 15 mins before if you have a dehydrator. They are ridiculously easy to make: simply take one pack of shiitake or button mushrooms (around 2 cups), clean and slice them. Then in a bowl whisk 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce. Tip in the mushrooms, mix and leave to marinade. They will be come wonderfully soft and taste divine!


Raw Spanish Paella with Butternut Squash, Cauliflower and Saffron 'Rice'.
This delicious Spanish inspired dish was co-created by Amber Shea Crawley and Matthew Kenney at the 105º Culinary School. Change the vegetables to suit you and the season, and the saffron is a lovely but not essential ingredient - so don't worry if you have non in.
:
Main
6
Ingredients
  • For the "rice"
  • 2 tbsp hot filtered water
  • ¼ - ½ tsp saffron threads
  • 1 large head of caulilflower, broken into florets
  • ½ small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 cup dry almonds
  • 1 clover garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp agave nectar or honey
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp tumeric
  • For the vegetables
  • 1½ cups cherry toms, halved
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 batch Simple Seasoned Mushrooms (pack of shiitake or button mushrooms, sliced and soaked in 2 tbsp tamari and 2 tsbp olive oil for an hour)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh green beens, sliced or fresh garden peas
  • 1 cup trimmed asparagus, thinly sliced diagonally
  • ¾ cup black olives
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes, shredded.
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix the hot water and saffron; set aside.
  2. In a food processor, combine the cauliflower and squash. Pulse in rice-sized bits and transfer to a large bowl.
  3. In the food processor, pulse the almonds, garlic, salt and onion powder until coarsely ground, the transfer to the bowl with the rice mixture.
  4. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, agave or honey, paprika, turmeric, and the reserved saffron water to the rice and toss to combine.
  5. Before serving, mix in the shallots, mushrooms, red pepper, green beans, and asparagus, olives and sun-dried tomatoes into the rice mixture.
  6. Divide between six shallow serving dishes and top with the tomatoes. Or you can get creative and arrange the rice and vegetables how ever you think would look good to you!

 

Raw Chocolate Buckwheatie Bites (And A Bit Of Movie Making, Too..)

When one of my closest friends said to me this morning “Are you still eating this raw food stuff? Not seen anything on Get Rawcous for ages?”, I decided it was time to make the most of my day off filming and get writing. I must admit, I did have high hopes and grand ideas of doing regular updates of how things are going on set, and getting out some nice pics of all the raw food I’ve been making whilst at work (for those of you who are interested, but then, if you’re reading this I’m guessing you are a little bit..). But after about day three of filming, it was pretty clear I was going to have little time to do anything else other than being Rose Clements (did I really just say that?). I am having the BEST time though, and even though we are working every hour God sends, I wouldn’t have it any other way!!! To finish work after a 12 hour day, and already be looking forward to get back to work the next is something is that makes me happy very much, and I don’t take it for granted. I feel very lucky to be doing what I love, and even though my co-worker and on screen other half Phil Rowson is a complete nightmare to work alongside, I really won’t want this job to finish! (NB: the bottle of champagne you see on the table was in celebration of slate number 200, we don’t just hang out on set getting p****d all day…honest! Plus that one bottle of champagne had to go around 22 people, which meant we basically got an upturned thimble of bubbly, not that I’m complaining… Oh and how glamourous are our locations, huh? Jealous?…)

So have I been able to carry on eating a high amount of raw foods even though we are working crazy hours each day, often until 5 o clock in the morning? Well, yes, I have! It’s not been the easiest thing to do, as the very early starts and late finishes means even more forward thinking than usual, but with a bit of late night prepping and organising, I’ve managed to make it work. All thanks go to my amazing producers however, who have kindly provided me with all the raw ingredients I need, so I don’t have to eat spag bol & garlic bread with everyone else;  thanks Sam & Jan, it’s very much appreciated!!! When you’re working long hours, standing under an ice cold rain machine and being chucked in a freezing cold pit of muddy water at 4am (don’t ask), it’s even more important to keep your immune system boosted and bolstered…And yes, I am drinking a lot of steaming hot tea, peppermint to be precise…

 

I’ve not been 100% raw, but as you know, I don’t advocate or live this way anyway. I’ve been eating mainly raw with the odd portion of chips and bottle of beer thrown in. If this shocks or disappoints you then maybe this isn’t the raw food blog for you…I’m not a raw food extremist and I like to live in the moment. If something feels right, then I’ll go for it, and if that crisp ice cold bottle of Peroni is calling me along with all my friends, then I’ll go for that too. I hardly ever eat so called ‘bad’ things and I don’t drink often either, but if the time’s right, and I fancy it –  I will. Obviously, a lot of food other than raw food leaves me feeling sluggish and bloated, which is why I avoid it, but I really think the occasional bar of non raw chocolate, or handful of tortilla chips will not have any detrimental effect to my health! But that’s just me. I encourage every one to listen to there own bodies and go with what feels good for you. We are bombarded with nutritional information nowadays and it’s so conflicting and contradictory that it is hard to know who to listen to. Without wanting to sound cheesy, you really should trust in your body’s infinite wisdom. It will tell you what’s ok for it and what’s not. Just got to keep an ear out….

Anyway, I’ll step off me soap box now – here’s a few pics from filming and if you’re lucky, they’ll be a Raw Chocolate Buckwheatie Bites recipe for you waiting at the bottom. These moorish little beauties kept me going through the second week on set, but I ran out of coconut butter so alas and alack, I could make no more…(for now anyway)…enjoy!

 

My (average) yoga moves make it to the big screen!

The ‘family’ tucking into lunch (got a feeling it wasn’t raw…)

Where the magic happens….

My mini bottle of chocolate-chia-almond milk shake…perfect on set companion.

And finally, heeeerrrreeee’s the recipe!!!

Raw Chocolate Buckwheatie Bites
If you find yourself flagging around 4pm and craving something sweet, these little squares of raw chocolate delight give you a perfect guilt free boost.
:
4
Ingredients
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ¾ agave
  • 1¾ cup cacao powder (or Green & Blacks cocoa), sifted
  • ¾ cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup dehydrated buckwheat (replace buckwheat with chopped nuts, seeds or goji berries)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. In a blender, place the coconut oil, agave, desiccated coconut and vanilla extract and mix well.
  2. In a large bowl, pour the blended coconut mixture and gradually add in the sifted cacao powder. Give it a good stir to make sure no balls of powder remain.
  3. Stir in half a cup of the dehydrated buckwheat or seeds, keeping the other half for topping.
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture into a tupperwear or silicone container and press down until the mixture becomes around ¾ inch thick.
  5. Sprinkle with the remaining buckwheat and gentle press down.
  6. Place in the fridge for 10 mins to firm slightly, then remove and cut into 1inch squares (or whatever shape takes your fancy).
  7. Place back in fridge and leave to firm up completely.
  8. When set, break the pieces up and place back in an air tight container.

 

The Making of Whoops! the Movie, Healing & Raw Food


Right now I am in the middle of shooting a feature film, the brand new dark British comedy – Whoops! The idea for the film is the brainchild of Sam Robinson, a landlord/restaurateur from York, whose story – very loosely based on truth – is now a witty, gory, ghoulish screenplay by Tony Hipwell and Miles Watts of MilesTone Films. I play the leading role in the movie, Rose  Clements – wife, mother of two and erm…accidental serial killer. The script is fantastic and I knew wanted to be a part of this after the first reading before my audition. I am very fortunate to be working along side a stellar cast and fantastic crew who are making this one of the most exciting projects I have worked on to date. I can’t tell you too much as to what goes on in the plot, but it is safe to say that when it comes to the film, accidents will definitely happen – and that means on and off the screen as well…

A week before I started filming, I was out on an early morning run along Brighton beach. One minute I was happily jogging, music pumping, free as the wind, and next thing you know my face, shoulder and right knee were scraping along the beach side path floor;  in other words, I fell over. As I hobbled back home (which incidentally was a 40 minute walk, not great when you’re covered in sand, grit and blood), all I could think was ‘I fell on my face and I’m filming next week, I fell on my face and I’m film next week..DAMN YOU HIGH DEFINITION!!!”. When I got home, I braced myself and took a look in the mirror. Yikes. I knew I should have got in touch with the producers straight away, but I think I was in denial and was kidding myself my war wounds may miraculously disappear by the next day. So when the next day did eventually arrive, you won’t be surprised to discover that my face still looked like, well, like I’d scraped it along the path floor. I bit the bullet (not literally, although I wouldn’t put it past me at the moment) and sent the director this photo, who in turn sent it to the make up girl, Chloe, who apparently after receiving it went “S**T”.

The first few two day’s in makeup were pretty difficult as my face was starting to peel off where it was healing, and became almost impossible to cover. But Chloe, my very glamorous and highly talented makeup artist did a fabulous job and I have to say unless you look very close you could hardly tell it was there at all!

When I first fell over and hit my face, I did have one of those over the top and unnecessary “Why God, Whyyyy?” feelings, but now I am actually  really grateful I had this accident. What was wonderful about it all was the watching the speed in which my skin healed itself. In only five days, my skin went from looking like this:

to this! (excuse the stubborn orangey fake blood stains…)

It was still a little pink I admit, but the new skin underneath was very soft and needless to say Chloe in makeup was over the moon. I put this quick recovery time down to my high raw diet and my daily consumption of almond milk and coconut butter. Coconut butter/oil contains healing medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), this is a saturated fat and is an important building block of every cell in the human body. Both coconut butter and almonds contain high levels of vitamin E – essential for a healthy skin growth and repair of wear and tear in the skin. So along with these two rejuvenating ingredients and a tonne of fruit and vegetable as well, you’ve definitely got yourself one hell of a skin-saving-fighting machine! Which is a good job, because I had another little accident yesterday when I got home from set…this time involving my finger…and a kitchen knife…Whoops!

See you soon with regular updates and photo’s of my raw food journey whilst on the set of Whoops!, what the cast and crew think of all this raw food gubbins, and what co-director Tony thought of this chocolate-chia-almond milk smoothie…

All coming in the following weeks on Get Rawcous!

….?….

 

Goji Berry Fudge

Just before we go any further (I’m aware we’ve not even started yet), this recipe is NOT raw -I repeat – NOT raw. I use creamed coconut (shock, horror!). Now I’m not saying that it’s impossible for this recipe to be raw, it’s just that making your own raw creamed coconut requires a fancy Champion Masticating Juicer, which I haven’t got. If you have got one, great! You can make this raw. If not (like me) you have permission to sulk and feel sorry for yourself and reach for the shop bought creamed coconut instead. If you do go for the shop bought creamed coconut, try and go for a nice organic one by Biona. This will make you feel better about the fact you don’t have a Champion Masticating Juicer. One day, one day…

(Oh and if you do have a Champion Masticating Juicer and you plan on making raw creamed coconut but in the end, you can’t be arsed…it’s ok- there’s always the lure of shop bought creamed coconut waiting for you in the aisles)

This recipe is adapted from Kate Magic’s Iced Coconut recipe in Eat Smart, Eat Raw. In Kate’s recipe, she tells you how to make creamed coconut using your Champion Masticating Juicer, so if you’ve got one, it might be worth investing in this book as Kate uses this particular juicer a lot. 

The three main changes I have made to this recipe are the additional ground almonds, goji berries and said shop bought creamed coconut. I have to say though, the end result is de-lish-ous. If you’ve got a food processor, you can make this fudge. It is so easy and will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge. It’s also the perfect travel companion. I made a batch of forty pieces for the family I cook for as a snack to take on holiday with them (I didn’t quite give them all of the forty peices. I may have accidentally saved a few for me). If you’re new to raw food, this is a good one to get started with. Oh, wait – this isn’t raw is it? Well, it close enough and tastes ridiculously good, too. 

Goji Berry Fudge
Simple but divine. A sweet treat packed full of anti-oxidents.
:
Sweet
12
Ingredients
  • 2 packed of creamed coconut, roughly chopped
  • 250 pitted dates
  • ¾ C ground almonds
  • ½ agave
  • ¾ C goji berries (ground in a coffee grinder if possible but not essential)
  • 1 C goji berries (for topping)
  • ½ tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Place the chopped creamed coconut into the food processor and mix until process until crumbly.
  2. Add the ground or whole goji berrries (3/4 of a cup) to the coconut and process again.
  3. Next add the dates and agave. Process well until all the mixture has come together to form a dough.
  4. Line a baking tray (one that you would make flapjack in) and line with cling film. Tip the fudge mixture into the tray and using your hands, press down to fill the whole of the tray and smooth the top flat.
  5. Take the remaining cup of goji berries and sprinkle on the top of the fudge. Press down to secure the gojis in the fudge mixture.
  6. Place in the freezer for 1-2 to firm.
  7. Remove from the freezer and carefully lift out of the tray, using the cling film to help you.
  8. Tip on to a chopping board and cut into peices (4cm squares are good).
  9. Will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks

I washed my Goji Berry Fudge down with a nice mug of green juice. Ahhh, that’s better…

My lovely mug of green juice.

 

 

 

Papaya & Coconut Noodles in Peanut Sauce


I’d never really eaten much papaya in my life, until I went to Bali last year to do my raw chef certification course. In the UK, the papaya’s we get flown over look like this:

The papaya that I enjoyed on a regular basis in Bali looked like this:

Hmm. I think it’s safe to say we’re not really supposed to be eating papaya in the UK. However! If I see a papaya reduced, and I know that it’s going to be thrown in a skip if no one purchases it, I will allow myself the little treat of buying it. It’s not just for the delicious taste of papaya that I buy it for; papaya skin makes one of the best face masks around! I can’t remember where I first read that rubbing the wet side of papaya skin on your face give you a glow, but let me tell you now that this is absolutely true! The reason for this is that papaya skin gives you a natural deep enzyme treatment (the kind of thing that you’d pay £50 for in a beauty salon). It also acts as a gentle exfoliant to remove dead skin cells and leaves your skin wonderfully nourished and soft. If you want to give one of natures best facial treatments a go, here’s how: Cut a papaya in half and scoop out the flesh, wash your face with your usual product and gently pat your face dry with a towel (to state the bleedin’ obvious. Well you’re not going to ‘pat your face dry with sand paper’ are you?). Next, take the papaya skin and rub the inside of it on your face in a circular motion; you should find this very refreshing and cooling. Your skin will have a thin layer of papaya on it, and you may find you look a bit like an Oompa Loompa. This is good. Leave the papaya mask on for about 5 minutes, and rinse with cool water. Pat skin dry again and look in the mirror to see your new healthy glowing skin!

Now what to do with your left over papaya fruit?? Eat it as it is? Yes, OR – make these scrumtastic Papaya & Coconut Noodles with Peanut Sauce. It’s very simple to make and all you will need is a spiralizer (or veg peeler) and a blender. Sorted.

Papaya & Coconut Noodles in Peanut Sauce
Spiralized courgette noodles in a thick peanut sauce with generous chunks of coconut and papaya. Raw food bliss.
:
Main
2
Ingredients
  • For the noodles:
  • 1 courgette (zucchini), peeled
  • ¼ brown coconut, thinly sliced
  • 1 small papaya, peeled and sliced
  • For the peanut sauce:
  • ½ avocado
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 3 tbsp chunky peanut butter (not raw)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil (not raw)
  • 2 cm ginger
  • ½ clove garlic, or 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp agave or honey
  • A little water to blend
  • Additional sprouts to garnish
Instructions
  1. Make the noodles: Using your spirilizer or vegetable peeler, make noodles or thin pasta like strips out of your peeled courgette. Place in a large bowl along with half of the coconut and papaya
  2. Make the sauce: Place everything in a blender and blend until smooth
  3. Pour the sauce over the noodles and gently mix to coat
  4. To serve, pile on to a plate and scatter over the remaining coconut and papaya.
  5. Sprinkle on some radish sprouts or other sprouts and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

Creamy Kale Salad with Wild Horseradish Leaf

These last few weeks my breakfasts have been far from the accepted ‘norm’. What started as a breakfast consisting of fridge and cupboard leftovers, is now becoming something in itself. It may vary slightly each time, but the main dish I am having for breakfast each morning is a delicious mound of kale massaged with avocado, olive oil, lemon, salt and a touch a cumin. Is it weird that I salivate over that much in the same way as I would over a huge slab of chocolate? There is just something about a creamy kale salad with mashed avocado and maybe half a coconut and banana (trust me) on the side that is just so satisfying. I’ve always had this love of greens though. I was a strange child. My two favourite things to eat were spring greens and peas. I would often get into an argument with my brother if I felt he had a bigger portion of either of these two things than me. Another thing I used to do as a child, and I’m not joking here, was eat the majority of my vegetables raw. Honest! With a Sunday roast I would have raw carrot cut into little tiny sticks, and raw brussel sprouts covered in gravy. Weird. I would always have roast potatoes though, of course… Then as a teenager, after eating a Cadbury’s Double Decker on the way home from school, I would get in the house and munch on half a raw cauliflower; so it wasn’t as if I was this saintly girl, I just genuinely loved the taste of raw veg! I think that’s why when I discovered this whole ‘raw scene’ it just made so much sense to me. I really don’t want to say “It felt like coming home” because I may have to be sick in my mouth, but in a way, it sort of did. Anyway, I digress! I’ll talk more about my raw food journey another time. For now, I’m talking about kale and a new green discovery of mine – wild horseradish leaf! Horseradish can be found on banks, hedgerows or on ditch edges, but the super strong plant will pretty much grow anywhere. In fact, there is some wild horseradish growing in my garden, which is where I get my regular supply from. If you didn’t know what you were looking for, you’d be forgiven for mistaking it for a weed (well, it is a weed really, I suppose..) The leaves of horseradish look incredibly similar to dock leaves, but the biggest difference is that horseradish leaves are toothed and wavy, and dock leaves aren’t:

Horseradish leaf

It is the root of the plant which is most commonly used to make horseradish sauce, a popular condiment in Britain that is very good friends with roast beef. But we don’t wanna be eating roast beef and horseradish sauce now do we?! No, no, no, my friend…we wanna be eating the greens, of course! And what delicious nutritious greens they are! With a hot peppery taste and packed full calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium, they make the perfect fiery addition to any salad or raw burger, or used as a wrap for making raw dolma. Roll the leafs up and slice to shred like so:

Add the shredded leaves to any dish where you would normally add greens, or simply marinate them in olive oil, lemon, salt, agave, cumin and crushed coriander seed. I put a handful in a large bowl of creamy kale salad to give it a punch and a good dose of wild green goodness.

Creamy Kale Salad with Wild Horseradish Leaf
Use wild horseradish leaf to give this salad a wonderful peppery kick. If horseradish leaf is hard to get hold of, you can easily substitute the leafs for another fiery green such as watercress or rocket.
:
Main
4
Ingredients
  • 1 400g bag of kale, washed
  • 2-3 large horseradish leaves, shredded
  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ½ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and massage with your hands for 1 minute to break down the tough fibres of the kale.
  2. Serve just as it is, or add some additional chopped veg if you like, such as tomatoes, cucumber, grated carrot or beetroot, or sprinkle on some sprouts if you have some in too.

 

Elaine Glover's Raw Food Blog