Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Sluggishness?

Is sluggishness even a word? It makes me sluggish just trying to say it.

So, let's admit it: Most of us, even those of us with the best diets, let loose and eat a little differently on Thanksgiving. Either by eating foods we wouldn't normally eat, or by eating larger quantities than we're used to (or both). I vowed not to eat so much that I had to roll myself from room to room, but my sister-in-law made eggnog cream puffs and my brother brought pecan pie
laced with chocolate chips and my mom made pumpkin cheesecakes with ginger snap crusts - so put me in food jail, I tasted them all. Truthfully, I just barely over ate. If I were in the overeating olympics, I would have only taken the bronze, or gotten an honorable mention or participant ribbon. Still, by nighttime I was feeling yucky so I went and ran on my mom's
treadmill (but not before I ate more pie - you know, for energy). Much better. The next morning all the cousins wanted to play on this bouncy mini-tramp my mom has in her exercise room, so my niece brought it downstairs and she unknowingly, yet strategically, placed it in the walk-way between the kitchen and living room so that every time we passed, we instinctively jumped on it a couple times. Later that day, after a lot of movie watching and singing around the piano, my mom and I joined the nieces and nephews in the exercise room and we rotated around the different machines for another "post-Thanksgiving" workout. Thus forms a new amendment to my eating philosophy: On holidays, eat what you want. As long as you're willing to pay for it.

My "Help-your-Thanksgiving-digestion-along" juice:

I made this today and it was YUMMY! Even the kids loved it.

3 apples (Any combination. I used 1 Red Delicious, 1 Granny Smith, and 1 Braeburn)
1-2 C cranberries (I freeze mine. Use the larger amount for an extra cranbe
rry-y flavor)
1 - 1" piece ginger (I use probably triple this, but it might send you into convulsions, so start small)

Run through a good quality juicer and drink right away. If you don't have a juicer, you can blend in a blender and strain the pulp out. This will serve two.

Happy Digesting and Thanksgiving!

Always love,
Raw Melissa

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Good News

I met some more amazing people last week. Two gorgeous women, specifically named Trina and Melissa. (Yes, Melissa. I know, it's strange to meet another person with my same name considering it's so uncommon. He he!). Trina's from Texas and was just visiting, but she told me she reads my blog regularly and was so excited when I wrote the post about Eduardo encouraging me to continue writing. She expected that I'd actually do what I said I'd do and kept going back to the site to see if I'd updated. Her answer: Not as soon as she thought. She also said that she wished I had more cooking shows on my site because she, "knows how to make the chocolate banana shake already!" (Okay, so I added the, "already" but I'm pretty sure that was her point). I know many of you agree with Trina, so I thought I'd tell you a little about what I've got going on so you can, not only get the "Good News" of future Raw Melissa goings on, but can also get an idea of why I've been updating so infrequently.

First, the Good News or, "Why I Haven't Been Writing":

I started my Raw Melissa business as a personal chef exactly two years ago. Six months later, I started selling my desserts wholesale to stores and the general public, so I've only been going for about eighteen months but have seen, and continue to see, more success than I could have possibly imagined! Because of this, I am working8-14 hours a day and am pretty exhausted when I end my day. A lot of my time is filled with reading emails from amazing people like you, and a big part is filled with creating great tasting and beautiful food. I am also doing a lot of the administrative work of the business, and oh, I forgot, I also try to have a life outside of my business!! People often ask me to tell them about my biggest challenge as a business owner. I always smile and say, "Success!" So, there are my reasons for writing less than I used to.

Next, the Good News or, "Why I Might Write More or Less Now":

I am currently
working with an amazing web designer and an equally amazing programmer, to create a whole new website. YOU are gonna LOVE it! I guarantee! We have so many amazing things in the works that when we finally launch, you might have to watch yourself so when your significant other joins you for dinner, he/she doesn't find you still in your pajamas because you were online all day. :) I'm also working with a talented videographer/director and we plan to shoot several new food shows in the next month that will also be available for viewing on the new site. And the best news of all, (for me, mostly) is that I've just hired a personal assistant who is the most amazing assistant a person could have. The first day she worked for me, I emailed her a list of things to do, expecting it to be done by the end of the week. Four hours later I got a detailed and eloquently written work report in my email box. She had already finished. So, I am officially in love with her and will now have much more time to work on the content for the site and to (hopefully) raise my blogging rates to a level that will satisfy all, even Eduardo and Trina! (Just teasing, you know I love you both!).

Thursday, September 13, 2007

For Eduardo

The other day, a man named Eduardo and his beautiful friend, Marcela, came into my store. I was struck by their upbeat energy and smiles. We started talking and Eduardo said, "I've heard that you make great food!" I gave them some samples of vanilla macaroons and chocolate truffle pie and they agreed that it's delicious. Thank you!

Eduardo told me about his mom who taught him to enjoy healthy food. He said that when she went to college in Mexico City several years ago, she was a vegetarian and practiced yoga.

It made me think of the reasons why people choose to come to a place of health. I come into contact with hundreds of people who have arrived on this path, and the two most common reasons why they're here, are that they were either taught this way by their parents or that they became unhealthy and were compelled to search for a way to feel better. I became a "health nut" because my mother and my maternal grandmother taught me to take care of my body by eating well... and now look how it's evolved!

What brought you to a place of heath? Or, is that why you're here reading this blog?

Before Eduardo and Marcela left, Eduardo said, "You haven't written on your blog!" I said, "I know, you're right! I've had such a busy summer, but I need to update it. How about if I update my blog just for you? That way I'll actually do it and that will get me started writing regularly again?!" I sent them off with some spoons full of chocolate truffle pie and made a goal to get writing right away. So here you go Eduardo! Thanks for the motivatinal kick in the...knee!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Goji Berries

Listen to my podcast on Goji Berries! (Look to your left. See the player? Click play. Enjoy!)

Wow! Who knew how amazing these little berries are! I've started eating them everyday.

Here is more info for you to check out after you listen to the podcast:

Read more about goji berries here.

Order goji berry plants and other goji products with a 25% discount for "Eating Well with Raw Melissa" listeners at Timpanogos Nursery.

To order goji berries from The Food Garden, our raw food store, for 25% off, email:, or call us at 801-310-4175

Goji Berry Jam

Soak 1/3 C of dried goji berries in just enough water to cover them, for about 30 minutes or until they are plump and soft. Strain this and add 1 tsp. of lemon juice, one tsp. of agave and a very small pinch of salt. Smash this all together with a mortar and pestle, or chop up with a knife. Spread it on manna bread or flax seed crackers with almond butter for a super yummy treat. You an also put this mixture in smoothies or pour it over raw ice cream.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sage's Cafe and the Vertical Diner

A couple weeks ago, I had the privilege of meeting Ian Brandt, the owner of Sage's Cafe and the Vertical Diner. We first met on the phone and had a great conversation about the business of vegan and raw vegan food. We talked about some of the techniques we use in our raw food preparation and about some of the challenges presented when creating raw food on a commercial level.

Sage's is a vegan cafe that has been voted the best vegetarian restaurant in Utah for about f
our years in a row now. They have delicious appetizers like Carrot Butter Crostini: thin slices of toasted 7-grain bread served with their famous creamed macadamia carrot butter, and entrees such as Mushroom Stroganoff, a dish made from a "creamy and savory sauce with oyster and portabella mushrooms, served with fresh semolina papparadelle pasta and garlic bread." I've eaten there several times now and the food, combined with the amazingly happy and upbeat staff, make Sage's one of my favorite places to eat.

The Vertical Diner is a new restaurant and I had never eaten there before, so I drove there to meet Ian in person. I brought him some of my Vanilla Macaroons and Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Pie and he offered me a plate of nachos and a plate of real (vegan) french fries and a burrito. It was extraordinary food! It was so wonderful to eat some of that food that brings back the memories of those late college nights at the diner! BUT - it's good for you and conscious too.

Check out the websites for both and go eat there - maybe I'll see you!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Grand Opening

The grand opening of The Food Garden was an extraordinary success! We had many enthusiastic people who were thrilled that we had opened such a store. We heard every positive comment you could think of, from, "We've been waiting so long for a store like this! Thank you!" to "Wow! Your prices are great!" to "This raw ice cream tastes amazing!"
the food garden, just before we opened our doors for the first time!

We sold out of all our raw hummus and we hardly had a drop left of the Raw Melissa Hawaiian, Chocolate Almond, and Vanilla Ice Creams. I really like the vanilla, but people went crazy for the Hawaiian ice cream which is full of fresh pineapple, coconut and macadamia nuts, and of course, the Chocolate Almond went fast too!

Because of the success of The Food Garden, Julia, Agi, and I have just been asked by a major health food store to create a raw food cafe within their existing cafe. Watch for it to come soon, (you'll know, as they regularly advertise to over 130,000 homes) and meanwhile, stop by The Food Garden for an amazing raw food entree, side-dish, or gourmet dessert, and all of your other raw food diet needs!! Those of you outside of Utah, please feel free to email to order products from The Food Garden. We will soon have a list of available products up on the web. I'll let ya know!
me feeding customers samples :)
Julia, Me, and Agi

Thursday, May 3, 2007


Business has been absolutely wonderful! Raw Melissa products continue to pop-up in more and more health food stores, and this week, a WONDERFUL coffee shop right in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City called Nobrow Coffee and Tea started carrying the Raw Melissa products because its vegan customers wanted a vegan pastry to go with their coffee and tea!

Now for the big news: I have teamed up with two other wonderful women, who are also raw food business owners, to o
pen up a raw vegan store and cafe called The Food Garden! Agi, of Agi's Raw Foods, and I both needed a larger commercial kitchen for our growing businesses so we decided to get together and find one that would suit our needs, together. We found a third business owner, Julia, of Julia's SunSprouts, and we were set to continue expansion. The kicker is that the kitchen we found also has a store-front so without intending to, we won ourselves not only a great kitchen, but a terrific little place we can sell our amazing products out of. It's been a lot of hard work. We've done painting and ordering and cleaning and moving, but this Saturday from 9am-5pm, we are having our Grand Opening and if you're in Utah, we invite you to come by. We'll be giving out TONS of free samples of some of the best raw food on the planet Agi, happily painting! >
and the company is sure to be wonderful, as lots of raw-foodists, and those who just like a healthy treat now and then, will come together to celebrate this long-awaited opening.

The Food Garden 698 E. 300 S. Provo, Utah

P.S. I just added the MOST delicious Raw Ice Creams to my line of desserts. Savor some samples at The Food Garden on Saturday!

Me, demonstrating a painting technique called, "Barefoot Rolling.">

The Healthy Living Show

In a previous post, I talked about shooting a raw dessert segment for a healthy living show in LA. Well, here's how it all began:

It was a November when I first met Catherine Silvers. I had just begun filling the orders for my raw Holiday Pumpkin Pie, which I only sell seasonally in November and December, so it was perfect timing. I live in Utah and luckily for me, Catherine happened to be in Utah doing a guest celebrity appearance gig. She had heard about my raw gourmet desserts and asked if she could stop by my kitchen. I was excited to meet Catherine, because I knew she had met and worked with some of the big names in the raw movement.

Catherine Silvers and David Wolfe, rockclimbing by the ocean in California!

Meeting her for the first time was like meeting a little tornado. She was so enthusiastic and looked like she was 25 in her designer jeans, hip t-shirt and earth shoes, not to mention her beautiful skin, clear eyes and fit figure. I took her back to my kitchen where I and one of my employees had been busy preparing Chocolate Truffle Pie, Key Lime Pie, Strawberry Cheesecake and the before-mentioned, (and blissful, I might add) pumpkin pie. We started talking and I found it was wonderful to speak with such a like-minded person! We talked about the ingredients in my desserts, how she had just considered working with Juliano in one of his restaurants, and how we would love to work together in the future.

Because Catherine arrived around dinner time, she was hungry, so we offered her some of Agi’s raw Avocado and Green Pea Soup, complete with a garnish of freshly sliced avocados, parsley and a sprinkling of paprika. I’ll never forget watching her take the first bite and exclaiming, “Oh, this is so good it makes me want to cry!” She finished and we continued throughout the evening talking about my desserts and “licking the bowls” whenever we finished making one of the pies. Catherine liked the key lime and the pumpkin pie fillings the best, and I remember sending her home with some so she could eat them for breakfast!

When I told her I was working on producing online cooking shows, she practically started bouncing off the walls and told me that she was currently producing a healthy living show pilot and that she would love to have me do a segment for it. We kept in touch through the winter and a few weeks ago, I flew to LA and shot the first raw dessert segment for The Healthy Living Show! It was an absolute blast! We made Raw Apple Crisp, Chocolate Pudding (the camera guy didn't believe it was made with avocados because it tasted too good), and Chocolate Dipping Sauce, which we dipped tons of fresh fruit in.

The best part of the whole opportunity is that Catherine has posted me on her website as the "Raw Desserts Expert," where I am privileged to be among ten other experts, including such notables as Gabriel Cousens MD and David Wolfe! Wow!

Chocolate Dipping Sauce

1 C organic raw cocoa powder (if you can't find raw, use organic, non-processed cocoa powder)
1 C agave

Whisk together until smooth. Dip every kind of fruit imaginable in this delicious, delicious, delicious sauce (I like bananas the very best), and don't be surprised if you look like a little kid who got into the chocolate when your finished!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Yoga and Strawberries

Carolyn, my dear friend from college, who has lived all over the world in such places as South Africa, Morocco and Ethiopia, just got certified as a yoga instructor. So, my friend Sarah (you know the one) and I, invited her over to teach us a yoga class and eat some great food.

The second Carolyn turned the music on and we started breathing, I was transformed into a quiet and peaceful being, wishing I could stay in that place forever. Sarah and I told her that we were up for a more difficult class, so she didn't teach us the easy yoga, she taught us the powerful kind; salutations and holding our entire bodies up on our hands.
Afterward, we were all glowing and HUNGRY so we ate a beautiful spread of strawberries, avocados, almonds and raw honey, coconut oil and some amazing vegan pumpkin bread (yes Sarah made it) made of spelt, oats, flax and pumpkin.While we ate, we all talked about our experiences in third world countries . Sarah and I, too, have lived in third world countries. Sarah in India and I in Western Samoa. We talked about how during our encounters with these other worlds, we all reached a breaking point because of a constant witnessing of poverty and starvation like we had never seen before. As we ate such simple foods: a strawberry, an almond dipped in honey, a cup of tea, a glass of clean water, the moment became poignant and there was an unspoken gratefulness for all that we each have.

It was a beautiful and spiritual night with two of the most amazing people I've ever met in my life.

I am thankful.

I am grateful.

I am satisfied.

Raw Melissa

Monday, April 23, 2007

Barbequed Cinnamon Rolls

I was in LA a couple weeks ago, shooting a raw dessert segment for a healthy living show pilot. (More about that later). While there, I stayed with my good friend, Reed Randoy. Reed is an actor and filmmaker whose latest film, "Hitman" is showing at the Silver Lake Film Festival in May. Those of you located in LA have to go see this wonderful film! Reed is going to be the next big thing in Hollywood so check out his stuff and you can say you were one of the first to know about him!

Reed and me at a beautiful little pub
overlooking the ocean.

I wanted to do some cooking while I was there and needed to work on the desserts for the show, so Reed and I went to the local Whole Foods Market and grabbed a ton of beautiful and fresh ingredients. I wanted to make a treat, too, so I decided on cinnamon rolls. We bought some good organic, unbleached flour; organic powdered cane sugar; Mexican cinnamon; organic, unrefined, cold pressed coconut oil, and we were set.

I started out by making the dough with my hands. I never use a breadmaker or a Kitchen Aid kneader because I love getting my hands into the dough and really working it. It's also a great arm workout! When the dough was finished, I put it into a bowl, coated the top with olive oil so it wouldn't dry out, and then let it rise until it was doubled in bulk. Next came the fun part: punching it down. I punched and punched until all the air was out and then put it onto the counter for rolling out. The problem was, I couldn't find a rolling pin anywhere. Weird. A bachelor not having a rolling pin? Who would have thought? I grabbed a long skinny glass and put one hand inside for pressure as I rolled with the other hand. It actually worked quite well.

Once the dough was rolled out, I coated the entire surface with melted organic butter, cinnamon and organic cane sugar. I rolled the gigantic good smelling flat of dough into a long snake and then looked for some thread to cut the rolls with. Reed hadn't woken up yet so I asked his roommate if he knew where any thread was. He didn't. Weird. A bachelor not having thread? Who would have thought? I tried using a knife but it just wasn't making the beautiful cut I can make with thread so I thought and thought. That's it! Dental floss. I was a little worried about the possibility of our cinnamon rolls having a hint of peppermint flavor, but other than that, it worked very well. I slid a length of the floss under the end of the snake and brought the two ends together at the top. I criss-crossed them and pulled, and the thread, I mean, dental floss, cut right through the dough in a straight, even pattern. When I was done cutting the rolls, I put them onto a jelly roll pan and left them there to rise again. Now it was time to turn on the oven. It would be perfect timing for the oven to be just hot enough when the rolls were risen.

Reed had told me that he'd need to turn on the oven for me because there was a glitch with it. He was awake now so I gave him the go ahead, and guess what? The oven was broken. No turning on. Weird. A bachelor not having a working oven? Who would have thought? You know something, though? Just because bachelors are missing a lot of the items needed to make cinnamon rolls, doesn't mean they aren't innovative. Reed looked at me. "What about the barbeque?" My eyes widened and I thought about it for a minute. Other than frying them on the stove or blowing them up in the microwave, we had no other choice. "Let's do it," I said. So Reed fired that beautiful barbeque up and we got the temperature up to 500 degrees. I love to cook my bread at a high temperature, so I was banking on the cinnamon rolls doing really well at 500. When the dough was risen enough, I put the pan into the barbeque and closed the lid. I stood out on the patio, laughing because it was so funny, what we were doing, but guess what? About twenty minutes later, I had the most beautiful golden brown cinnamon rolls I had ever made. We brought them in, Reed frosted them with a thick frosting I had made, and we dug in. I can honestly say that I will never have another cinnamon roll as good, unless of course it's barbequed.

Barbequed Cinnamon Rolls

*2 batches, made from scratch bread dough
*1/2 C plus 2 T. organic butter or organic cold pressed coconut oil for vegan rolls
*organic cane sugar or honey
*1 lb. organic powdered cane sugar
*Real Salt or sea salt
*soymilk, almond milk or rice milk
*1 tsp. real vanilla extract

After first rising of dough, roll out into a long, flat rectangle.
For vegetarian rolls, slather with about one stick of melted butter, for vegan rolls, slather with about a half cup melted coconut oil and lightly salt entire surface. Sprinkle with cinnamon and cane sugar or a drizzle of honey. Roll dough lengthwise, taking care to make the roll tight, until you have a long "snake" of dough. Cut using the thread technique described above. Place individual rolls next to each other on a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet. Let rise until doubled in bulk. Place into a 500 degree barbeque. Watch the rolls carefully but try not to open the lid too much, as the heat will escape and your temperature will go down. After 10-20 minutes, or when rolls are golden brown, but not too dark, take them out and frost with a mixture of one pound powdered sugar, 2 T melted butter or coconut oil, 1-2tsp. vanilla, a pinch of salt (more if using coconut oil) and enough of your chosen milk to thin to a desired consistency. Be careful not to add too much milk at once. Powdered sugar is very absorbent and will become very thin if too much milk is added. After frosting, eat those ooey, gooey things right away, before they disappear!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Two Video Recipes!!

Here are the two recipes featured on my show at

e Salsa

4 C finely chopped pineapple
3 medium cloves minced garlic
1/3 C (4-8 depending on size) sprigs fresh mint, stems removed and minced
4 T fresh lime juice (1 lime)
1tsp cumin
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp salt
1/8 – ¼ tsp cayenne

Combine everything, adjust for seasonings and eat.
This salsa is especially good with celery sticks and red pepper wedges.

Chocolate Banana Shake

2 C ice
2 C water
3 T heaping T cocoa
3 frozen bananas
1 C almonds
1 pinch salt
3 T agave
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend and serve immediately.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

I'm Back!

I have not posted for so long!! Please allow me to apologize to my loyal readers.

Some wonderful things have been happening and I will tell you all about them in a later post, but for now, I must tell you all that I will now be writing on this blog regularly. I promise that you can expect at least one post a week and often more. My posts will consist of ideas for eating well and healthy food recipes, as well as continued musings about my experiences with food.

Please enjoy reading and know that I would love your feedback, either in the form of comments, or via email, at

One of the very nicest things about life is the
way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are
doing and devote our attention to eating.
~Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright,
Pavarotti, My Own Story

Friday, February 2, 2007

Raw Melissa Workshop Schedule for 2010


*Do you like the Raw Melissa Desserts? Me too! That's why I'm teaching several dessert classes in the month of July. Here are the details:

Class 1
Date: July 14th
Time: 7:00pm-8:30pm
Where: The Raw Melissa Kitchen
1190 N. Main St. #18 Springville Utah
(45 minutes South of SLC)
Desserts you'll learn: Strawberry Sauce, Lime Mousse, Apple Crisp, Chocolate Peppermint Fudge, Oatmeal Cookies, Chocolate Sauce
Cost: $25

Class 2
Date: July 21st
Time: 7:00pm-8:30pm
Where: The Raw Melissa Kitchen
1190 N. Main St. #18 Springville Utah
(45 minutes South of SLC)
Desserts you'll learn: Strawberry Sauce, Lime Mousse, Apple Crisp, Chocolate Peppermint Fudge, Oatmeal Cookies, Chocolate Sauce
Cost: $25

Class 3
Date: July 28th
Time: 7:00pm-8:30pm
Where: The Raw Melissa Kitchen
1190 N. Main St. #18 Springville Utah
(45 minutes South of SLC)
Desserts you'll learn: Strawberry Cheesecake, Macadamia Nut Thumbprint Cookies, Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream, Orange Cinnamon Shake, Chocolate No Bake Cookies, Candied Walnuts
Cost: $25

You'll notice that in class one and class two I'm teaching the same six desserts. I hope to do a second date for class three as well, but can't quite fit it in until sometime in the fall, so watch for it then. Expect to get samples for each dessert and to even take some of the goodies home with you! If you'd like to sign up for two sessions, the cost is only $45. Class size is limited because the Raw Melissa kitchen is SMALL, so sign up quickly!

To register, either:
1) Send a check to: Raw Melissa Dessert Class, P.O. Box 721, Springville UT 84663. Include your name, email address, phone number, and date of class you'll be attending.


2) PayPal the class fee to us at BEFORE you hit "send money" please scroll down and fill out the "email to recipient" section with "Dessert Class" in the subject line and your name, email address, phone number, and date of class you'll be attending, in the body of the email. Then hit "send money."

We will send you a confirmation of your registration in the class as soon as we receive your information.

Hope to see you there!

*September 25th Full-Day Fresh Food Workshop in St. George Utah. Cost: $80. Email for more details.