Radish Flowers and Zucchini Leaves

December 22nd, 2012 by Tonya Zavasta

This simple garnish can be used as a plate decoration, or as part of a fruit and vegetable arrangement. Radishes are easy to find year round, cost very little, are very versatile and look very festive as part of any holiday decoration.  You can make these carvings a few days in advance and store them in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge until ready to display.

For this composition you will need 2-3 radishes, 1 zucchini (or a cucumber), 2 cranberries, a sharp paring knife, and a bowl of icy cold water for soaking the carvings.

Radish Flowers

Flower # 1: Radish Flat Top Flower. (Steps 1-3 on the picture)

  • Choose a big round radish.
  • Cut off the top part (green stem) about 5 mm.
  • With the knife, chip into checkerboard pattern top, positioning the knife at about 45 degree angle towards the center of each groove.
  • Visually divide the radish into 5 petals. Going around the sides of the radish make a slanted cut down, aiming towards the base of the flower to make the first petal. Be careful not to cut all the way through. Make the second petal the same way, also cutting through the first petal (it creates a small petal). Make 5 petals in total. The last cut will also go through petals 1 and 4 simultaneously.
  • Place the radish flower into a bowl of ice-cold water to open up the petals a little. It will take about 30 minutes.


Flower # 2: Radish Chrysanthemum Flower. (Steps 4-5 on the picture)

  • Choose a big round radish.
  • Cut off the root and stem end of the radish.
  • Use a knife to make vertical cuts almost down to the stem end. Be careful not to cut all the way through.
  • Make the next set of vertical cuts perpendicular to the first.
  • Place the radish flower into a bowl of ice-cold water to open up the petals. It will take about 30 minutes.


Flower # 3: Radish Zigzag Flower with Cranberry Center. (Steps 6-8 on the picture)

  • Choose a big round radish. It will make 2 flowers.
  • Using a knife, cut in a zigzag manner towards the middle of the radish all around, making sure the tip of the knife reaches the middle of the radish, and all the cuts meet up.
  • Remove the top. If the halves don’t easily separate, run the knife over the same cuts again, inserting it a little deeper.
  • Using the tip of the knife, carve out a hole in the middle big enough for a cranberry.
  • Place the radish flower into a bowl of ice-cold water to open up the petals. It will take about 30 minutes.
  • Insert a cranberry into the center when ready to garnish.

Zucchini Leaves (makes 2 or 3):

Zucchini Leaves

  • Choose a zucchini with dark smooth skin.
  • Cut it diagonally into sections about 2-2.5 inches long. Then cut each section in half lengthwise. Each section will provide 2 leaf diamond-shaped pieces.
  • Hollow out the bulk of the white flesh with the help of a knife.
  • Trim each piece to shape it like a leaf.
  • On the green side, cut a groove to represent the mid-rib, and then cut diagonal grooves to represent the veins.
  • Cut notches around the edges of the leaf.

When ready to display, arrange your carvings on a plate, or in any other arrangement of your choice. Enjoy your food creations!

Transitional Raw Food Recipes (April 2012)

April 8th, 2012 by Tonya Zavasta

Delicious Hearty Stuffed AvocadosNo matter where you live, April should be bringing you a new batch of delicious raw fruits and vegetables to enjoy on your raw food journey. Around here, we will be feasting on juices, salads and creative raw dishes featuring papaya, watercress, strawberries, limes, arugula, beets, spinach and parsley. The possibilities are endless, but here are a few recipes to whet your appetite.

Hearty Stuffed Avocados (by Kelli Haines) 

It’s great for an Easter celebration feast.

Read the rest of this entry »

March 2012 Seasonal Raw Food Recipes

March 4th, 2012 by Tonya Zavasta

Edible dandelion and other weed plants in a small potAt first glance, March’s seasonal produce might not stir up a lot of excitement or visions of raw potlucks dancing in your head, but wait until you taste some of the refreshing creations you can make with these seemingly mundane fruits and vegetables including dandelion greens, asparagus, grapefruit and oranges, fresh peas and California strawberries. Not only will you be dancing, but your tastebuds will be singing!  Read the rest of this entry »

Rawsome Recipes for February 2012

February 4th, 2012 by Tonya Zavasta

Love is in the air! Even though the month of February is in the middle of winter, already we are focusing on heartwarming things like romance and Valentine’s Day and the delicious seasonal produce that February offers, such as kiwi, cherimoya, Swiss Chard, arugula, grapefruits and oranges, and cauliflower. These recipes are extremely simple yet satisfying, and will serve you and your beloved well. Read the rest of this entry »

January 2012 Rawsome Recipes!

January 5th, 2012 by Tonya Zavasta

Persimmons and PomegranatesHappy New Year to one and all! During January in your local produce section, you will likely find that persimmons and pomegranates are still commanding center stage and are joined by wintry favorites such as navel oranges, collard greens and parsnips.

If you could peek into my kitchen, you would see about 60-70 persimmons ripening, each at their own speed. My favorite is the Hachiya variety, the kind that is shaped like an acorn. You should eat the Hachiya when they are very soft and start to look like they’re just about to go bad. Once they reach this stage, they are so amazingly sweet, the taste will remind you of marmalade! When making the recipes below, I suggest cutting off the top and then scooping out the flesh of the ripe persimmon using a spoon. Read the rest of this entry »

December 2011 Rawsome Recipes!

December 10th, 2011 by Tonya Zavasta

raw vegan falafel wraps!Hang on to your stocking caps, because December doesn’t disappoint when it comes to delicious raw produce to keep you creative and satisfied all month. There are a surprising number of fruits available in December including persimmons, tangerines, grapefruit and pomegranates. You will also find an assortment of nuts and of course, the omnipresent and omni-important leafy greens.

Carrot Falafel Wraps with Sweet Tahini Dressing (recipe and photo by Kelli Haines) 
These wraps come together in a matter of minutes, and these falafel won’t weigh you down and make you feel awful

Read the rest of this entry »

November 2011 Rawsome Recipes

November 3rd, 2011 by Tonya Zavasta

Fruits and vegetables that come into season in November provide an eye catching array of gorgeous colors, not to mention flavors, which makes November seem like Thanksgiving all month long. Try something new with the cleansing and nourishing foods that usher in the fall such as apples, cranberries, pears, oranges, carrots, pumpkin or other squashes. Read the rest of this entry »

October 2011 After Cleanse Raw Recipes

October 1st, 2011 by Tonya Zavasta

Can it be that October is upon us already, with a slight chill in the air and the days suddenly becoming shorter? I was just getting used to the idea that September was here and enjoying the last of the summer bounty. Now, we have a few new seasonal crops to add to our repertoire such as pears, apples, figs, grapes, fennel, cauliflower and a new batch of leafy greens. It’s no coincidence that these cleansing foods are available at just the right time to coincide with your fall detox efforts so you can enjoy these recipes for their taste as well as their contribution to cleansing. Read the rest of this entry »

Raw Food Recipes for September 2011

September 7th, 2011 by Tonya Zavasta

September is a haven for raw food lovers. Fresh, ripe and raw produce bursting with flavor, color and nutrition is to be found practically everywhere.

AvocadoBoatsAvocado Boats

If you are transitioning to the raw food diet, avocado is likely a staple in your diet. You can prepare this simple, yet delicious and beautiful dish for any crowd, composed of raw foodists or otherwise.

4 avocados
2 yellow bell peppers
1 orange/red bell pepper
3-4 medium tomatoes
3 green onions
1 bunch of fresh dill
3 tablespoons sunflower oil, optional
Sea salt to taste, optional

Cut the avocado in half, lengthwise (see picture). With a spoon, scoop out the avocado pulp. Do not discard the resulting 2 “boats” from each avocado. Chop the avocado pulp, bell peppers and tomatoes. Finely dice the green onions and dill. Stir everything together with the oil and add sea salt if needed. Using a spoon fill each “boat” and place on a serving plate. Enjoy!

Serves 2-4 Read the rest of this entry »

Transitional Raw Food Recipes for August 2011

July 31st, 2011 by Tonya Zavasta

August is ripe with delicious fresh produce to help you beat the heat. Fruit is abundant this month with stone fruits such as peaches, apricots and nectarines as well as raspberries, and of course, watermelon. You will also find fresh basil and a rainbow medley of bell peppers begging to be used in your raw creations.

Recipe of the Month

Easy Nori RollsEasy Nori Rolls
This recipe is adapted from my Beautiful on Raw: unCooked Creations. This easy version of the “sushi” rolls can be made very quickly and doesn’t even require a food processor.

1 medium bell pepper, cut into long thin strips
6 raw nori sheets (sun-dried)
2 large carrots, cut into long thin strips
2 cucumbers, cut into long thin strips (English cucumbers work well for this recipe)
2 avocados, cut into long strips
6 green onions
sea salt to taste Read the rest of this entry »

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