raw chocolate mousse...

Finally got around to using that Irish Moss in my cupboard and made some delicious Raw Chocolate Mousse from the Cafe Gratitude Cookbook, 'I Am Grateful.'. It was delectable and delightful. My temporary roommates are all now cacao-addicted. Here's the recipe:

1 oz. Irish Moss
1/2 cup water
4 cups almond milk (better if you make your own, though you can get some store bought)
1/2 cup date paste (you can make your own by blending pitted dates)
3/4 cup agave
pinch of salt
splash of vanilla
3/4 cup raw cacao powder
3 TB lecithin
1 cup coconut butter


Blend soaked Irish moss and water extremely well.(One of the reasons why a Vita-mix or other high speed blender is ideal.)
Add all the other ingredients, except the lecithin and coconut butter.
Keep blending until the mixture is smooth.
Add lecithin and butter and blend another 30-40 seconds.
Pour the mousse into cups and decorate with flower or cacao nibs.


Raw Thanksgiving recipes

A few options if you're going to stay in and make your own feast...

There recipes are from one of Chef Steph @ Excalibur's affiliates.

Thanksgiving Loaf
1 c. sesame seeds, ground
1/2 c. mild miso
1 c. flax seeds, ground
2 tsp salt
2 c. sunflower seeds, ground
2 apples
6 c. yams
1/2 c. lemon juice
8-10 leaves sage
1 cup yellow squash
1 cup onion

Grind seeds separately and then put into mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients to food processor and mix. Spread onto a teflex sheet and shape into a long, flat loaf (about 1.5" high). Dehydrate for 10-12 hours. Slice and serve.

Cranberry Sauce
8 oz cranberries
1/2 c. walnuts
2 oranges
1/2 c. onion
1/2 c. dates

Mix all ingredients in food processor.

Mashed Potatoes
1 c. cashews, soaked
1 tsp fresh rosemary
3 c. cauliflower
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 small clove garlic

Blend all ingredients together well.

And for dessert, the Pumpkin Cheesecake by Rachel Fracassa that Dhrumil posted on We Like It Raw last month.


Raw Thanksgiving in the Bay

I will post some recipes tomorrow or Wednesday for those of you who want to make some raw Thanksgiving dishes at home, but for those of you that live in the Bay Area and want to go out Wednesday night and all day Thursday, here is the breakdown of raw Thanksgiving events:

Wednesday, November 26th

Alive!'s Pre-fix Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner
Time not listed - I am waiting for a callback.
Alive! Veggie
1972 Lombard St (@ Webster)
$50 Pre-fix Menu


Pumpkin Smoothie
Butternut Squash Soup
Celery Root Salad
Pomegranate Fennel Salad
Pumpkin Shiitake Mushroom Torte
Sweet Potato Bread Pudding
Black Forest Chocolate Cake

Thursday, November 27th

Thanksgiving Brunch at Peña Pachamama's
Organic Vegan Raw-Living Menu from 10 to 2:30 PM
Peña Pachamama
1630 Powell Street (between Union & Green in North Beach)
I believe the cost is between $5-8 per dish
(go with a group of friends so you can try more dishes!)

Here's the menu:

Thanksgiving Pecan Nut Loaf
Onion Mushroom Gravy
Mashed Potatoes
Butter Nut Squash
House-made Cranberry Sauce
Green Casserole
Chocolate tacos
Pumpkin Pie
Carmelized pecans
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Free annual Thanksgiving lunch at Cafe Gratitude

Thanksgiving lunch served only at the SF Harrison, Berkeley and Healdsburg locations.
For the addresses of those locations, check their site
Free! (this means there will be a long wait - get there early!)

The meal is usually some sort of delicious pâté with crackers, salad, a drink and a slice of pumpkin pie, but perhaps they will surprise us.

**This is a free event, so if you can volunteer to help with the insane crowds, they would love servers and prep folks.

An Invitation to Celebrate an Evening of community, Love and Nutrition: Thanks Giving Dinner with Briksha
Yoga Society Of San Francisco
2872 Folsom Street
$40.00 if paid before evening of 25th, $50.00 afterward.

Menu includes:

*Mock Turkey
*Cranberry Sauce
*Lovely Sweet Potatoes
*Really Raw Mashed Potatoes
*Pure Pumpkin Pie
*Stuffed Veggie
*Indian Raw main dish (Masala Gobi) w/Hemp Seed-Curry Dressing
*Hemp Ice cream (Vanilla and Chocolate)
*Healthy Drinks (Kombucha,Chai etc.)

Pre-Registration is required for this event. For more information, or to register contact Briksha at briksha@rays-mandala.org or 415.503.7802


Tell Obama you're not down with Monsanto.

In regards to my earlier post about Mr. Monsanto, Tom Vilsack, I'd like to add that if you feel so inclined, you can sign here. I personally am not sure that is enough, as I don't really know what happens to digital petitions or if they have any affect whatsoever. It is very important that we all make our voices heard and I think protesting and educating others is our best bet. If you are worried about the future of your food and care about preserving out rights to organic, non-GMO food, please inform other people about what is really going on in this country and vote with your dollars and stop supporting things that oppose what is right.


Raw chocolate in the mall?

Yup, it's true. I had to run into the Westfield Center on Market Street to pick up something today, and got a serious craving for chocolate when I walked past CocoaBella, but alas, their chocolates are not raw and have sugar and dairy in them. I decided to write them a little note when I got home to see if we can change that. If you'd like to join me in requesting that they start carrying raw chocolates, or are a raw chocolate maker who wants to try to distribute through them, please contact them here. I think if they hear from enough of us, they might begin to carry some.

All was not lost though - I found a decent solution for when I am stuck downtown where there are fewer raw friendly places and I need my cacao fix. I went to the Bristol Farms in the basement food court to see if there was anything raw in the chocolate section. Pickings were slim - the only kind they carried was Righteously Raw, so I bought the Chocolate Maca Bar. Organic Cacao Butter, Cacao Powder, Dates, Hunza Raisins, Mesquite Powder, Maca Root Powder, Agave Nectar, Coconut Oil, Vanilla Bean and Himalayan Pink Salt and nothing else. No additives, just pure ingredients. It definitely did the trick. Because of the Maca, it didn't have a super chocolatey or very sweet taste - it had this complexity to it that was a nice surprise, and the way the shell cracked in my mouth to reveal the flavor lurking underneath made for a nice oral experience. I had some samples of their other bars - Caramel and Goji - at the SF Greenfestival, and remembered the caramel one as being really good, but will have to try it again sometime to describe it more accurately.

I think I might need to have a chocolate taste-off on here one week to showcase all the best raw chocolate products out there as there are so many tasty options. If you're a raw chocolatier who would like your product to be included in a taste-off, contact me directly at criticalpath [at] gmail [dot] com to arrange for delivery of samples.

If you want to find Earth Source Organics Righteously Raw chocolate bars in your own area, you can check here.


Winona LaDuke at SF Green Fest...

Another really amazing speaker from the SF Green Festival was Winona LaDuke, a Native American activist, environmentalist, economist, and writer. She is a beautiful, powerful woman, and I was left really inspired by here words.

Her talk was entitled "Food Security and Seed Sovereignty into the Next Millenium" and I will post the video on here when it is available in 2 weeks. It dealt with the environmental issues and "positive window shopping for your future," which is the question of what we want our future to look like and who is in charge of that, and how we can actualize what we want our world to look like. Making that future is not a spectator sport, and neither is democracy. She said that voting is not enough, and to make our future and create something that is sustainable and nurturing to humans, we have to take control over our destiny, think hard, put our hard work and our spirit into it. America is supposed to be a place full of choices, but our choices need to be about more than what you can choose to buy or how many things you own. Our choices need to be about what is meaningful to us, and what we value, not just what kind of cereal to buy. Empires are no sustainable by their very definition. We need to look for solutions.

The whole talk was beautiful, meaningful and got down to the root of humanity and how we botch things up and figuring out if we have the commitment and courage to fix them. This is definitely something that applies to our health as well as the state of the world, and I believe that with health, comes happiness, which is part of why going raw made so much sense to me. When you understand that illness is caused by imbalance in your body, you can work on restoring balance and getting healthy, and the results are numerous and impact every area of your life. Living in harmony with the earth, and the other people in it is vital. We are all related, we are all in this together, and it's not just us in this world, but it is up to all of us to come to terms with our own issues so we can have a healthier world as a whole. Life is life. It in interdependent and we are all part of this system. Everything is about relationships, whether it be human to human, human to animal, animal to plant, moon to ocean. Man's laws are not higher than nature's laws, and this misconception is part of why we have been so destructive. There are larger issues than we choose to deal with. We need to change our perceptions to change our world, and it is a beautiful one worth restoring and preserving.

For more information on Winona LaDuke check out Native Harvest/The White Earth Land Recovery Project and Honor The Earth.


SF Green Fest & food politics...

I went to the SF Green Festival all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Put on by Global Exchange and Co-op America, it is one in a series of Green Festivals across the United States.

I got to see many great speakers, such as Chuck D from Public Enemy, Dr. Cornel West, Van Jones, Reverend Lennox Yearwood (who presides over the hip-hop caucus in D.C.) Daniel Pinchbeck, and Greg Palast, who spoke about the overall state of our world and how we need to empower ourselves to keep fighting the good fight.

I don't want to make light of Obama winning the election, because it was truly amazing, but it doesn't mean that any of our work is over. It is up to us to make sure he doesn't turn out to be just another version of politics as usual once he gets in there. All the rhetoric of change and inspiring speeches have been truly amazing, and have inspired a people desperately in need of something positive to hold on to, but it does not end with him in the White House. We must take that inspiration and continue to use it to make sure that change really does happen. If it does not, it will not be just because of Mr. Obama. It will be because we failed to speak up loudly enough for him to hear us, because we failed to keep him in check, and because we failed to stand up together, despite our differences and fight for the preservation of human life and this planet we have been graced to live upon. So while this victory is indeed a glorious one, we must watch carefully. Especially when there is discussion of him appointing people like Mr. Monsanto to be the Secretary of Agriculture. Putting someone with ties that close to Monsanto in charge of the life force which we depend on to nourish life on this planet would be a dire mistake. They want to genetically modify everything and destroy the natural properties of our foods. We cannot allow this to happen.

We must stand together and fight, because as one of the speakers said,"If we fail, there will be no 22nd or 23rd century to see the symbols of our fight for justice."

One great talk I saw was "Agroecology and Food Sovereignty in the Age of Biofuels and Climate Change" by Eric Holt-Gimenez, Miguel Altieri, and Raj Patel. It was about how the globalized economy has placed conflicting demands on the world’s croplands, which must produce food for a growing population and meet increased demands for biofuels. With the huge number of pressures on dwindling arable ecosystems, farming is overwhelming nature’s capacity to meet our food needs. We need an alternative agricultural development paradigm that encourages more biodiverse, sustainable and socially just forms of agriculture. All 3 of them were amazing. Altieri gave well-documented proof that small farms are much more sustainable than commercial farms, which is not news to me, but it was great to see so much documented proof to silence the naysayers. Holt-Gimenez talked about agro-fuels and how the myth behind the bio-fuel hype. And Patel was so succinct in bringing everything together. When the talk is available online, I will post it here.