Category Archives: NYC Raw food organizations and events

8/29/13 CSA SHARE- what we got and what I am going to do with it

POST #967
Without my blog, yesterday seems so long ago! I mean it! I’m so happy to be back on-line!

Yellow Potatoes – 1 qt
Scallions – 1 bun
Green Bell Peppers – 2 pcs
Garlic – 1 pc
Tomatoes – 6 lbs
Zucchini – 2 pcs

Somehow, I came away with 3 bunches of scallions and 3 pcs of garlic, and a thing of chard (what do you call a “thing of chard”? Thank heavens for the word “thing”)

I chatted with some interesting ladies at the share distribution (one on the volunteer side of the table, and the other right up next to me, bagging her boxed goodies (I gave her one of my Ziploc bags) Promised to send them some fermenting recipes (should I start a mailing list on these things? I’ll have to look into that!) I expect this weekend is going to be about fermenting – I have some cabbage, all those tomatoes, and, I hope some of last week’s cucumbers have survived)

I decided to keep the potatoes. All of the raw food “experts” are now saying that they are actually eating cooked food. I haven’t done that in a long while (I had the power company cut off the gas a good while back, when the last room-mate left, because I haven’t cooked food in 30 years or so). I do have a rice cooker , a coffee-maker, and a microwave, left by a former room-mate, so I am going to experiment with cooking the potatoes and making a real potato salad (with such raw entries as onions and bell pepper). We’ll see how that goes. (We’re talking: I’m dirt poor right now, and I live off what comes in the box, so, at least, this week, I am going to bend and see what all the hoopla of going off 100% raw is about — okay, folks! I’ve been telling you I am 95% raw, even though I have been 100% raw – this is where that comes in! I am finally going to do something you can point at). I’ll let you know how that goes (I’m feeling kind of sheepish. I mean, how do you cook potatoes without boiling or baking them? I guess I can find the info on the Internet somewhere. Somewhere somebody has put information about how to get boiled-like potatoes in a microwave or a rice cooker — if you know, I’d be grateful if you’d tell me – I’m thinking rice cooker)

So, anyway – I’m going to make a fermented salsa with most, if not all, of the tomatoes. Ferments last longer, and I can combine a fermented salsa with all sorts of things. I am probably going to take one tomato and make a fresh “pasta” with one of the zucchini.

An aside – I am kind of bummed that I won’t be able to go to the September meet-up of “NYC Ferments” – they are doing “fermented fruit” this time, and I was planning to take a fermented squash salsa  (check it out on, because I have work that night (yea, work! helps pay the rent)

Stay tuned! I’m back! Yea! (thank you WordPress, and thank you, Lord!)



POST #945
It’s that time of year again – the NYC Yoga & Raw Food Expo is coming around.  This time it has moved to the Pennsylvania Hotel (7th Ave btw 32nd & 33rd Sts) I’m imagining that it is in the “ballroom” (that is where the New Age Expos used to be held, before they moved to the New Yorker)

The Raw Food Expo usually has some interesting things to see, hear, and do.  I remember that, at my first one, I was hungry, so I found a booth that was selling raw crackers. I had never seen raw crackers before! I was so in awe! They had an Excalibur dehydrator there, and I made up my mind to get one for myself ASAP … and that is how I came to have my Excalibur 11 years ago.


Boy, things have really changed since the early, dark, dingy food coops I remember from the 1960s/70s.

Because I have had business in the area, I have been going out to a certain neighborhood in Brooklyn, around the Cortelyou train station.  The first time I went out there, I noticed the Flatbush Food Co-op, which is on my list of city food co-ops.  Of course, I had to go in there and check it out.  (I don’t believe that I have been in a food co-op since the early 1970s.)

What a pleasant surprise.  This co-op looks pretty much like any supermarket, except that the food is organic, and they have a large selection of the usual bulk items.  (They do have meat and dairy products, which are also organic.)   There isn’t that hectic atmosphere of Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or Fairway – it is more like mid-day shopping in a chain supermarrket in Middle America.  Even the prices for non-members were competitive.

The neighborhood is rather out of my way, but I am thinking hard about becoming a member of that co-op since it is so nice and friendly, and since there are currently no co-ops near where I live in Queens.  They have about the fairest membership fee of all the local coops, enabling even the very financially challenged to join up ($25 to register, then $25/year until the entire $200 membership fee has been paid)

FLATBUSH FOOD COOP (open to the public, member discount)
($25 registration + $25/yr until $200 investment paid)
1415 Cortelyou Road
(btw Rugby & Marlborough Roads)
Tel: (718) 284-9717
train:  Q to Cortelyou/East 16th


When I prepare food, I do try to be mindful: to start with: I think about what foods will best combine together to make what I have in mind, then I think about the vegetables/fruit/nuts/seeds I am using, and thank them for their contribution; I also think about the people who will be eating my food (if I am preparing for others), and  about how I will enjoy the food (if it is for me).   I strive to think happy thoughts while I am preparing food, because I believe that will help the food be better, tastier, more nutritious, and more digestible.

So, tonight, as I was preparing one of my favorites — massaged and marinated kale and collards, I started to think about Lillian Butler, who taught me how to make marinated greens.  I took a wonderful raw food training at Raw Soul, the restaurant that Lillian and her husband, Eddie, had in Harlem.  That training was very fruitful in very many ways.  Although I have been raw for a long time, it was the first time that I have met, in person, other people interested in raw food.  That was pretty exciting!

Last week, at Bebe’s raw food meet-up at Bonobo’s, I heard that Raw Soul has closed!  I was shocked!  Every time I had gone to Raw Soul, it had always been busy, even to the point that sometimes you had to ask a stranger if you could share their table, so I had always figured that they were making money.  They had a brisk take-out business, and they were the only place where you could get a gallon of rejuvelac to take home.  In addition to all of that, they offered raw food trainings, to teach people how to eat properly and prepare delicious food.  They had even started a chef training, which I was hoping to be able to take some day (right about the time they started it, my job went south, so I could not take the training right away)

What are Lillian and Eddie doing now?  Why did they close Raw Soul?  Did they make enough money to retire on and decide to go off and live on an island?  Did they decide to eat meat?  What happened?  No information is available on the grapevine.

I still smiled as I massaged my greens, remembering the night when we made our graduation dinner at Raw Soul, and the beautiful, enviably big steel bowl I was in charge of held all those greens and other ingredients, and how my own two hands could get in there and massage those greens until the mass was 1/3 of the original size, and how it tasted when we put our whole dinner together.

Even if Raw Soul is gone, every time I make greens, I will always have a beautiful memory to think on as I make the dish.

I’m sad that Raw Soul is gone. It was such a wonderful place.  I imagined that Lillian and Eddie had an outreach mission to teach the Harlem community about the raw food lifestyle, and about eating properly, and eating well.  Perhaps they did.  Perhaps they found it difficult to do what they had originally envisioned.  I can only hope that they have found something better to do, that satisfies their longings and desires and brings them prosperity.

I will miss Raw Soul.


I’ve just noticed that Raw Soul, in New York City,  is offering a 6-week (Sunday afternoons and Monday evenings) RAW CHEF training, starting next Sunday (July 19th).

If you have always wanted a thorough, reasonably priced raw chef training, and you live in the city, this might be the place for you to be (the hours are very manage-able for most people).  Eddie Robinson worked as a chef in a number of vegetarian restaurants around town before he and his wife Lillian Butler, who attended the Hippocrates Institute AnnWigmore-based raw food training, opened their wonderful restaurant, Raw Soul.  They have been offering raw food lifestyle trainings for several years now (the one I went to was hands-down the best raw food training I have ever had)

The training is open to only 12 trainees, but there may still be space.  Check it out.

New Meetup Group: New meetup date

There are a number of raw food meetup groups in NYC, and more sprouting up from time to time.

One newly arrived group: The New York Raw Food Meetup Group/East West Living has just announced a meetup at East West Living on 5th Ave., on May 5.  As far as I know, this is the first event for this group.   From the description of the event, it sounds to me like it is going to be a feeler for interest.  I’ll be there begging on my knees for potlucks.

This is the first in my planned listing of New York City raw food events.  I plan to do my best to become informed as to what is going on around the city, raw food-wise, and then bring that info together in one place (here).