Raw Coconut Cherry Pie with Cashew Cream


Who doesn’t love cherries?!  They’re so beautiful and flavorful. They are rich in vitamin C and are considered a super-fruit. Their season is short so I knew I had to do something quick with the bag of sweet cherries I got. The first thing I thought about is the color. That’s the real “food coloring” of nature, without the chemicals!  Mixing the cherries with the coconut cream makes a pretty purple, then topping the pie with fresh cherries over the white cashew cream and I got two colors for the price of one…  There is no baking here, just a lot of blending and cherry pitting.

For the look of clean lines of the pie layers, you can put it in the freezer for a few minutes between each layer of cream to allow it to set and prevent the layers from mixing. This decadent pie is so rich and full of nutrients, it is hard to eat more than one piece, which makes it almost a guilt-free dessert 🙂

Before you start, remember to soak the cashew in filtered water for at least 4 hours (preferably in the fridge).










1½ Cup Walnuts

1 Cup Pecans (I used small American Native Pecans)

2 Tbsp Water (more if needed)

1½ Cups Pitted Medjool Dates

½ Cup Shredded Coconut

1½ tsp Coconut Oil

½ tsp Cinnamon

Pinch of Salt


Cashew Cream:

2 Cups Soaked Raw Organic Cashews

½ Cup Maple Syrup

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil

1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Pinch of Salt


Cherry Coconut Cream:

2 Cups Pitted Cherries

½ Cup Coconut Cream (Cream = Not the coconut milk)

½ Cup Coconut “Meat”

1 Tbsp Maple Syrup

1 tsp Vanilla Extract




Put all ingredients for the crust into a food processor and blend until smooth.

Note that sometimes the dates are a bit dry and need more water to help bind it all together. Add water only if needed.

Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a pie pan. You will need to do some patch work to spread evenly.

Place the crust in the fridge to set and harden.

Cashew Cream:

Soak the cashews for a minimum of four hours. Wash and drain.

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender (A good high-speed blender is important, you want the cashew cream to be super smooth with no pieces)

Place cream over the crust and put in the freezer to set.

Cherry Coconut Cream:

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Add this layer of cream onto the pie and freeze to set.

Finally, top the pie with a layer of cherry halves and serve.


* You can freeze the pie. If you do, don’t forget to thaw it ten minutes before serving.

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Mango Jalapeño Summer Salad



Hot like the summer, burning like fire, Jalapeño and red onion. Then comes Mango, the hunky fire fighter to the rescue armed with sweet cherry tomatoes and a cool cucumber to ease the heat. Joining them are the fresh breeze – cilantro or mint and freshly squeezed lime juice rain. No, this is not a scene from a movie. It’s what you will experience when you taste this beautiful and surprising salad!


1 Mango

3-5 Medium Heirloom Tomatoes (or more if  you use cherry tomatoes)

1 Jalapeño Pepper

1 Persian Cucumber

1 small Purple Onion

Bunch of Fresh Cilantro or Mint leaves

Juice of 1 Lime

3 Tbsp Olive Oil

Sea Salt


Chop the veggies and mango into cube shape. Chop the Jalapeño, onion and cilantro/mint, add the lime juice, Olive Oil and Salt. Mix well and serve.


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Black Kalamata Olive Tapenade

IMG_2392Just as the famous saying: “Every woman needs A Little Black Dress in the closet” I need a little black spread in the fridge.. Just like the dress, it is simple but versatile and can be “dressed” up or down. Spread it on toasts, Crostini, sandwiches or add it to pasta dishes and more..

Takes minutes to make and it stays fresh for a long time. I did not add salt because the olives were already very salty. Depending on the olives you’re going to use, adjust the salt, after tasting, since the spread somehow concentrate the flavors.

The pesto paste I used for this recipe is one that I’ve been using for many years, I was so happy to find the mark ‘Vegan’ on it! If you can’t find it where you live, you might find something similar or make your own. It contains basil, sunflower and olive oils, salt, pine nuts, and garlic.



3/4 lb. Kalamata Olives, pitted

3 Tbsp. Olive Oil

2 Cloves Crushed Garlic

Juice of ½ Lemon

1 ½ Pesto Paste

1 Tbsp. Herbes De Provence

½ tsp. Oregano

Black Pepper


Mix all of the ingredients except for the lemon juice in a food processor, add the lemon juice gradually as needed, (you might need less lemon) Blend until it becomes a smooth paste/spread. Place in a glass container and drizzle some olive oil on top.

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Vegan Sesame Halva “Milk”

Halva Sesame Milk

The first time I took a sip of this amazing “milk” was at a Vegan cooking class. The chef teaching was Adam Sobel, the awesome owner of the famous Vegan Food Truck: “The Cinnamon Snail”.

Immediately, it reminded me of the taste of Halva, which is a Mediterranean sesame sweet treat. I think it really should be called liquid Halva. It could be a base for shakes, ice creams and other desserts. So easy to make and you will not believe how good it tastes!

If you’re in New York City go see the Cinnamon Snail, there is nothing like it, they are very friendly and the food is amazing!

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1 Cup Unroasted Sesame Seeds

3 ½ Cups of Cold Water (1 Cup for soaking + 2½ Cups to add later)

5 Tbs. Maple Syrup

2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1 Tbs Coconut Butter (Oil)

1tsp. Sea Salt

Pinch of Cinnamon for serving (optional)



Soak the sesame seeds in 1 cup water for 30 minutes.

1. Blend The soaked sesame seeds with the water in a high power blender.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again.

3. Strain through a fine mesh bag like this one. (If you don’t care for smoothness than this step is optional)




Mediterranean Style Quinoa


Quinoa (pronounced ‘keen-wah’) is a grain-like seed and is nicknamed ‘The mother of all grains’. It has a nutty flavor and is considered a high quality plant-based protein that is rich in fiber. Visually, it looks like it could pass for the healthy cousin of couscous… I see it as a basic ingredient that I can shape into patties, mix into salads, Tabbouleh or Stir-Frys. A good way to introduce it, is to serve it with your favorite sauce like you might serve rice, pasta or any other grain we think of  as “side dish”. Quinoa is easy to cook and can be served hot or cold.

4-6 Servings


1 ¼ Cup Quinoa

½ Cup Pitted Kalamata Olives

½ Cup Sun Dried Tomatoes –OR– ½ Cup Dried Apricot (my favorite)

½ Cup Fresh Mint finely chopped

½ Cup Pine Nuts

Juice of Half a Lemon

2-3 Tbsp Olive Oil (If you use Sun-dried tomatoes in Oil, you might need less)

½ to 1 tsp Sea Salt (depending on your taste)

Freshly ground black pepper

(Optional: add 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced)



1. Cook the Quinoa in 3 cups of boiling water for 15-20 min and then drain.

2. Lightly toast the pine nuts on a hot non-stick pan for a minute or two. Flip and toss them around; be careful because they can burn easily. Set aside to cool.

3. Chop the olives, sun-dried tomatoes (or dried apricot if you choose) and mint leaves.

4. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and let it sit for a while so the quinoa soaks up the flavors.

Serve warm or cold. Yummm…