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Posts Tagged ‘RAW foods’

The finished product with my friend Sachiko

Christmas is not a big holiday here in Japan. I mean the country is primarily those who believe in Buddism & Shinto,  so although they love the decorations of a tree, snowflakes, reindeer and such, everyone works on Christmas day, just like any other day. The 23rd is big – the Emperor’s Birthday (although it’s not really) and then New Years Day is huge. I fully admit that I forgot it was xmas until about 11 in the morning when my class started. They wished me all a Merry Christmas

Class in Kamakura on Christmas Day

then laughed at my surprise. It happens to me when I travel. I usually always know the date – especially if it is a travel day.. but hardly ever know the day of the week. It really doesn’t matter in my world, I work when I need to work, any place, any time, anywhere. That’s the beauty of being a freelance tv person and a raw food chef. Both really allow me to schedule as I please. To me, it was a no brainer choosing to come to Japan instead of staying home for the holidays. That’s another thing about me, I’m not a really huge holiday person either. I think that stems from always having to work on the holidays. That’s what happens when you are a tv reporter and trying to work your way up the ladder. You move constantly – pretty much every two years which means you are the lacky at the bottom of the totem pole.

Kirsten making Autumn Spiced Carrot Cake

Class was held in a traditional style Japanese meeting room, complete with low tables, cushions on the floor and sliding paper doors between the rooms. It was gorgeous and it really got me into the swing of things. The sun was shining, it was cold and windy outside and warm and cozy inside. If you are a teacher, this is the perfect scenario all you have to do is woo them with  a great dish. I decided to make my Autumn Carrot Cake again since it was such a big hit at the party in Tokyo. I had about 16 students who were on the edges of their seat. (more…)

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Daiutsu of Kamakura, Japan

I’m out of Tokyo. While it was good fun, I started to feel a little claustrophobic. There are billions of people living in a very small area… and in complete harmony no less. All the concrete was bringing me down, so heading to Kamakura came at the perfect time. Masae helped me through the massive subway system to Shinguku station, one of the busiest places in Tokyo. This station is not only subway but the major hub for al

I have no idea where we are!

l the trains heading out of Tokyo in just about every direction. We had all my gear with us which consisted of two large carry-ons  and a big ass suitcase. I’m not sure how many ups and downs we did in the station but it seemed like overkill to me to get to our track and I was so glad to have my friend at my side. I have lived in New York and am really versed in trains and subway.. but this station was complete sensory overload way too early in the morning.
My train ride wasn’t on the bullet train as I had hoped, instead I took a local train which was much like a subway car.. a full one. For the first 20 minutes I had to stand in a corner hovering over my bags as we weaved through the outskirts of the city. Then it cleared out. I had about a two hour ride south to the town of Kamakura, famous for its’ Daibutsu.. the “big budda” shrine. It’s just south of Tokyo and on a sweet little bay. It’s also known as a big

Look mom, I'm famous in Japan!

surf town get away, although it’s winter and there’s no way I would get in the water at the moment. I was coming to town a day before my class to do some sight seeing and to shop for ingredients. Sachiko, a student I know from both LA and Tokyo classes, was my host and I was honored to teach her students on Christmas day.
She picked me up at the train station, we hopped into her car and turned up the music. Sachiko is a young 25, a little hottie

Lunch with my friends in Kamakura, Japan

hipster who is just starting out in her career as a raw foodie. Her energy was a welcomed change and I fed off her playful and flirty ways. Her English is not great but we found a way to hold conversation non-stop trading names in our native languages. At our first stop – a health food store in the middle of the center of town, she had a little surprise… my very own (more…)

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Artisana booth - mixing up a storm!

Artisana booth - mixing up a storm!

One of my favorite things about raw expos is all the interesting like minded people you get to meet. It’s kind of like a support group for raw foodies – or at least that’s how I see it. You know a lot of us have chosen a lifestyle which is poo  poo’d by many of our friends, simply because they don’t understand it or get it. I’m fortunate enough to have an extremely supportive roommate and close friends – and heck, my guy friends love coming to my house because they’ll eat whatever I make them – they dig raw foods, as long as they don’t have to put the time in. That’s the funny thing, if you are organized, it doesn’t take much time at all – but that’s a whole different blog, right? Back to the expo. I have to say a big highlight in my day on Friday was meeting Cole with Artisana – a fabulous company that makes amazing live organic orgasmic nut butters. One of my favorite is Goji Bliss.. which I just found out they are discontinuing!! Uuugh. Here I was having an amazing conversation with Cole – who is quite the funny and charismatic man – when he dropped the bomb. Nope, it’s going away. Why I screamed?

Sandwiched between two redhead raw food chefs - he's in heaven!

Sandwiched between two redhead raw food chefs - he's in heaven!

I guess when the two tastes sit together for a while – well the company just wasn’t happy with the flavor. Of course it’s not the end of the world, since I can mix my own Coconut butter and goji berries together – but I thought it was one of their best sellers!! See, you get inside information when you go to these expo’s and start chatting up the reps!! Cole did show me how to mix a couple products together to make what taste very similar to peanut butter – I happened to tell him about my obsession with pb from childhood. He also slid me a new recipe for a yummy pudding which I’m not ready to divulge until I try it myself 🙂 Got to say, if you haven’t tried Artisana products yet, go to their website and pick up a few butters. The company does an exceptional job with every product they put out.. and of course, like all raw food and ingredients, it’s all made with love. If you see Cole at an expo, please stop and chat – he’s a people lover and always has some great stories, not to mention free samples. He’s like the wizard of oz.. all in his green jacket!!!

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raw lemon-poppyseed cake

raw lemon-poppyseed cake

I’m embarrassed its been so long since I’ve made an entry, how rude of me. Well I’m happy to say I’m fresh back from the Vibrant Living Expo in Ft. Bragg and gotta say you missed out if you weren’t there. I was chosen a couple months ago as one of the new raw food chefs in the world to demonstrate one of my original creations. It’s a recipe I created while up at school and damn if I do say so myself, it’s yummy as hell. Ok, the dish is Coconut Hoisin Glazed Tropical Gyozas.. and they are good no matter what time of day. I use coconut wraps and a tropical filling to create a little surprise burst of flavor in your mouth. The demo went well thanks to my good friend and now business partner Jan Zerr. She’s a fellow chef who I met a year ago. We are now starting up our own company.. but more on that later, it’s not yet complete!

 

It was so nice to be back at Living Light and see all my friends. I not only gave a demo but spent all day Saturday in the kitchen helping with all sorts of prep. It was crazy busy, but I thrive on that. I absolutely love a production

Making zucchini spaghetti

Making zucchini spaghetti

and being on deadline, I know, call me crazy. It can be so much fun though if you’re with a great group of people. Matt Samuelson, who’s the head chef at LL and Martine who manages the kitchen are just incredible to work with. I met so many wonderful chefs and speakers and was finally able to put faces to names I’ve heard many times. 

 

I also learned some crazy new recipes so stay tune to my website for those!! Yum, yum in my tum, tum. I’m still rocking it hard when it comes to raw food and feeling like a rock star with all this energy I have.

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Asparagus Cashew Compote with Fig Puree and Cherry/cranberry Coulis

Asparagus Cashew Compote with Fig Puree and Cherry/cranberry Coulis

 

Sweet and Spicy Macadamia Nut Crusted Relleno with Chocolate Mole

Sweet and Spicy Macadamia Nut Crusted Relleno with Chocolate Mole

You can never have enough inspiration for new RAW food dishes. That’s why I’ve packed my bags and returned to school up in Ft. Bragg, CA. Yup, who would have known that a small coastal town would be home to the International Living Light Culinary Art Institute for RAW foods. It’s the only RAW food institute in the world that I know of — or so far. When I first arrived last year to take some classes, I kept thinking, why here, why in such a small town? I think there’s maybe 5, 000 residents (which is larger than the town in Washington where I grew up). It now makes sense. It’s large enough to give you outlets when you need to get away from studying, yet small enough to keep you focussed on what you’re doing here. There’s a handful of restaurants with libations, a good organic market, a natural health food store, a theater and a yoga studio which seems to never be open. You can walk or ride your bike to school from just about every place to stay in this town. The school helps the economy tremendously. Locals are used to seeing new faces come and go and can usually spot the RAW foodies by their (more…)

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