Sunday, February 8, 2009

Spotlight: Nomi Shannon Great Tips From A Master!

I just received an email newsletter from author, Nomi Shannon. When I read it I thought I MUST put this in my blog! She offers some great tips for organizing the kitchen (nutrition room as I like to call it!) Ooh and some yummy recipes as well!

"Here are 12 simple steps that will save time while eating healthier than you ever have before (adapted from The Raw Gourmet by Nomi Shannon)

When you're starting out with any new type of cuisine, it takes awhile to learn the "tricks of the trade"--the little shortcuts and strategies that save time and make food preparation a breeze. Here are 12 tips that will help you become faster and more efficient in the kitchen, so you have time for all the other things that are important to your life.

Twelve Steps to Living Foods Success

1. Always keeps at least two jar sprouted items in your refrigerator. Whether they're radish sprouts, clover sprouts or green pea sprouts, you'll be glad to have them on hand for tossing into salads or placing at the bottom of a soup bowl.
2. Always have sunflower sprouts (and buckwheat lettuce if growing your own) on hand. The most economical way to have them on hand is to grow them yourself. But, if that is not possible, consider buying them at a health food store or from a grower. Some growers will ship them directly to your home.
3. Keep a jar of almonds or other favorite nuts soaking in the refrigerator.Change the water daily and they will keep, ready to use, for five days. (On the fifth day use them up in a salad, eat as is, as a crust or in a nut loaf, then begin the soaking process again.)

4. Make up a big batch of your favorite Pâté each weekend, and add different flavors to vary the taste during the week. Remember to begin the sprouting process on Thursday or Friday night. A pate made up of sprouted sunflower seeds (soak 8-12 hours and sprout 4 hours or less. Rinse well.) will last the longest.
5. Keep salad dressing ingredients on hand like tahini, oil, lemons, garlic and onions so that you can whip up salad dressings quickly.
6. Keep sauerkraut in your refrigerator. Once made, this tasty food will last for many weeks. It is a healthy addition to many recipes and makes a great condiment or side dish.
7. Always have assorted greens, root vegetables, red peppers and parsley in your refrigerator so that you can "throw together" a meal quickly. Keep a large bowl of seasonal fruit ready to eat on your counter or in your refrigerator. Whether you shop each night on your way home from work, or go to the farmer's market twice a week, buy the best, freshest organic produce that you can find that day and use it very soon after purchasing. (If you do not have the luxury of being able to obtain organic produce wash your conventional produce thoroughly, and don't worry about it-it is still far better to eat all fresh raw ingredients than to eat processed or prepared foods even if you can't have organic. There are lists online that will tell you the most sprayed/pesticide laden foods and the least so that you can have an idea of the more important foods to buy organic)

8. If you can, pre-wash all your produce before putting it away. Having to wash and dry your vegetables for each meal is time consuming. For one or two people, purchasing bags of pre-washed organic baby lettuces that contain a variety of greens is convenient and waste-free. Be sure all washed produce is thoroughly dried before refrigerating.
9. Make a large salad every night for dinner. Prior to putting dressing on, remove enough to use for lunch the next day. Store in an airtight container with a dressing on the side so the salad will stay fresh and crisp. (Or bring a small container of pate on the side to put atop the salad next day at work, or a small bag of your soaked nuts plus some dressing.)
10. Keep a piece of fresh gingerroot in your refrigerator and a backup piece in a plastic bag in the freezer. You can flavor foods and make tea by grating in a little ginger. Note that you should never let frozen ginger thaw.
11. Keep about a dozen peeled bananas in the freezer. Choose very ripe fruit, peel, and freeze them in plastic bags. They make wonderful "ice cream" and other frozen treats, including great morning smoothies like Vanilla Bliss.
12. To maintain freshness and for convenience, keep the following foods stored in your freezer: shelled nuts and seeds, dried coconut, grains, all dried herbs and spices. If you do not have room in your freezer, store the shelled nuts and seeds and bananas in the freezer, and the rest in the refrigerator. (Nuts and seeds still in their shell have a long shelf life and do not require refrigeration.)

By creating habits based on the above 12 suggestions you will find that you can arrive home at 6PM and be eating a fine dinner by 6:30.

Vanilla Bliss
This recipe has appeared here in the past but it is such a lovely and fast recipe it bears repeating. Don't forget you can do endless variations on the basic theme by adding other fruits in, flavoring with carob, adding in your green food supplements, etc.

3/4 Cup water
2 Tablespoons or more of tahini
1-2 frozen very ripe bananas
dash of vanilla (optional)
Blend. Serves 1.

Add more tahini if you are working out and want additional protein and calories. This is a lovely smoothie for youngsters, athletes, and older people, as well as people with weak digestive systems. The tahini is high in protein, calcium and good fat. At 200 calories for 2 Tablespoons with 6 grams of protein you can easily adjust this smoothie to replace unhealthy protein powders or use it to help gain weight. In a heavy-duty blender this recipe only takes about three minutes to make. In a regular blender it is best to cut the frozen banana into bits and to add them slowly, so it will take a few minutes longer.

Christmas Tree Hors d'oeuvres (anytime of the year)

1 Styrofoam cone (reuse a million times at least)
Cherry tomatoes
Sea salt
A silver tray or other attractive flat serving piece

A few hours before your guests arrive, pin the cherry tomatoes on to the tree in straight rows or a spiral design with the toothpicks. Stuff parsley bits in between the tomatoes so none of the styrofoam shows. Place a tomato on the very top. Sprinkle sea salt around the base.

This looks just like a Christmas tree and the sea salt like snow. Your guests can dip the cherries into the salt.

Variations: alternate tomatoes and olives. Or use this idea with other veggies like squares of jicama, all olives, melon ball scoops of zucchini or cucumber dusted with paprika.

If you like this idea and are expecting a large crowd you could use styrofoam of all different shapes and sizes or stay with the Christmas tree theme in different sizes and serve all of your hors d'oeuvres at one table in this way. Pretty!
Note: styrofoam never decomposes so keep yours in a safe and clean place to use over many times.

Zucchini en pate

Make up your favorite pate or nut loaf. Season it more strongly than you normally would. Perhaps with finely minced shallots and chopped green olives. Or, with minced red peppers and chives or dill.

Cut your zucchini in thin circles (about 1/4 inch) and spread with seasoned pate or nut loaf, top with a sprig of fresh herb or a decorative cut of red or yellow pepper. Place the rounds on large platters decorated with parsley sprigs or kale leaves and serve buffet style or pass around.

If you own a dehydrator, dehydrate the above until topping is warm and dry, about 6-8 hours, then place decorative topping on. Or, slice the zucchini very thinly the long way, using a mandoline will make the job easier, thinly spread your topping. Dehydrate until the veggie can be rolled up, then roll, secure with a toothpick if necessary and dehydrate until warm and soft or even until warm and dry and hard, any stage is delicious. Serve fresh out of the dehydrator. (This recipe is enlarged upon and nicely photographed in my new book Raw Food Celebrations written by myself and Sheryl Duruz.)

You can also make an outstanding dip with your favorite pate. Again, season more strongly than usual, good items to use would be mild onion, shallot or green onion as well as lemon and chopped herbs such as dill or tarragon-see what you can find fresh. Put dip in a large shallow bowl and place on a very large platter (inexpensive plastic trays of all shapes and sizes can be purchased at catering supply stores and stores that carry party items-when decorated they look wonderful. Often they are available in a clear plastic, gold or silver) with lots of colorful and attractively cut vegetables. Some ideas: zucchini sticks, celery sticks, carrot sticks, cucumber rounds, thinly sliced root vegetables, cherry tomatoes, etc. Vary the shape of the vegetables.

Pate Recipe
3 cups sunflower seeds soaked 10-12 hours, sprouted for 4 hours or less, well rinsed
1 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup tahini
2 tablespoons nama shoyu, or soy sauce or 1 teaspoon of sea salt and 2 tablespoons of water
4 thin slices red onion
6 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley
2-3 cloves garlic
Process in a food processor or in a heavy-duty blender or put all ingredients except tahini and liquids through a heavy duty juicer, them mix all together. Taste and add your extra seasonings. If using as a dip use enough liquid so it is the right consistency.

Nut Loaf Recipe
2 cups almonds or walnuts or pecans. Soaked 8-12 hours. (If using walnuts or pecans many people prefer to just soak for 20 minutes or not at all for a good result)
2-3 large carrots
1/2 large onion or more to taste
1 1/2 cups finely minced celery
1/2 cup minced parsley
1/4 cup minced green onions
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon nama shoyu or soy sauce or 1 teaspoon sea salt with 1 tablespoon water if necessary

Put first three ingredients through a heavy-duty juicer (Champion, Green Life, Solostar) with the blank screen. Stir in the remaining ingredients then add your extra seasonings to taste.

If you are making these recipes for a dinner party, y
ou can make the pate up to a week in advance, the nut loaf the day before. This will allow you time to assemble your food attractively without spending too much time on the day of your event dealing with food.

The Twelve Steps To Living Food Success has been adapted from Nomi's best-selling book, The Raw Gourmet. All recipes mentioned are in the book along with instructions on how to sprout and many other helpful hints both in the text of the book and in the Appendix.

Author of the best selling raw vegan book The Raw Gourmet, and co-author of Raw Food Celebrations (with Sheryl Duruz) Nomi Shannon has recently been voted Best Raw Vegan Educator of 2008, and earned second place as Raw Vegan Chef of 2008.
A well-known proponent of natural health and healing, Nomi Shannon is an author, a raw foods chef and a Certified Hippocrates Health Educator. As a Living Foods Lifestyle Coach, she provides counseling and consultation services for individuals and groups the world over who wish to improve their health-one bite at a time.

Nomi offers a free online newsletter as well as a free 7 part email class called The Raw Truth at"

I don't know about you but I am going to check out her book!

Love,Peace and understanding!
Herbal Eranah

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