Category Archives: Chef Sara

Raw Vegan Experience!

     As you might recall, the last time I was in Carefree, we visited one of Ora’s clients-turned-friend, Sara. She runs a raw vegan academy, and now, a successful cafe.

Her inspirational messages and quotes are all over the restaurant.
Sara was still in the building process four weeks ago, and opened THREE weeks ago!
The classroom area is set up and in use for food preparation on busy nights.
Zen decor!
We started off with a combo platter. This had almond falafel with whipped avocado on top, lemony almond hummus, olive tapenade, dill and shitake mushroom pate, a green salad with dill, kale, parsley and tons of other greens I couldn’t identify…
and my favorite part of this dish: spicy seed crackers with sesame, pumpkin, flax and other things I can’t name. I honestly didn’t know half the ingredients that were in these! Sorry!
Ora chose the Rawgasmic sandwich. This had onion bread (made of smooshed nuts and onion) and was filled with greenery as far as the eye can see! This was layered with more whipped avocado and had a bunch of sprouts in for good measure.
I asked Sara to surprise me and choose my meal. She brought out raw vegan sushi with carrots, jicama, almond hummus, some kind of green lettuce, all wrapped in nori.
(Again, REALLY sorry I can’t be more specific – I’ve never had such trouble identifying ingredients! These were all disguised so well!)
This was the most crunchy thing I’ve ever consumed in my life. It came with a lovely ginger dip. I enjoyed the flavor, but my jaw ached a little after chomping on the roll.
She also brought out her “WOW tower” – this contains almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, and tons of other seeds (argh, so sorry) that have been soaked to release the healthy enzymes, combined with carrots, (maybe) tomatoes, (maybe) spinach, all piled into a healthy tower.
The texture was interesting – if you’ve ever had chia seeds you know that they get kind of slimy, like flax seeds, but it wasn’t a BAD slimy. There was also a spicy bite to it, just a hint of chili flakes.
I ate a quarter of this and then was stuffed to the gills. 
This food is DENSE!
I WAS stuffed. WAS. Until I saw the dessert trays.
We ordered a tiramisu and a sweet potato pie to split three ways. If you’ve never had raw vegan food and are scared to try it, GO FOR THESE DESSERTS! The tiramisu was topped with a macadamia nut cream, and layered with Sara’s homemade dark chocolate and an almond and medjool date crust.
My only complaint was that I almost died eating this because I kept inhaling the powdered cocoa on top.
The sweet potato pie was like a pumpkin pie, but instead of pumpkin, it was mixed with rainbows and smiles. It contained sweet potato, parsnips, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves atop an almond and medjool date crust.
Overall, it was delicious, but I felt like I’d swallowed rocks by the end – SO DENSE!
Definitely something to try at least once in your life!


Filed under Carefree, Chef Sara, DENSE, Ora's Art, raw vegan, Raw Vegan Academy and Cafe, Rawgasmic, sweet potato pie, tiramisu, WOW tower, zen

Raw Vegan Academy and Cafe!

     After spending seven hours in the booth and wandering the fine arts along the streets of Carefree, Arizona, the artist and I went to visit a client-turned-friend of hers who is opening up a new raw, organic vegan restaurant in the area.

This isn’t your typical little hole-in-the-wall startup restaurant. This adorable little cabin-style building is nestled away from the road, surrounded by cacti, shrubs and rocks, and has the most beautiful sunset you could imagine.
Well, if you ignore the wires, it is GORGEOUS! One of those moments where you had to be there, I guess. Just take my word for it.
Sara (who you may remember from my first trip to Carefree – she brought the raw vegan cheesecakes!) has been renovating this building for a few months now. This section of the restaurant will be the “academy” room where she teaches clients how to eat, buy and LIVE the raw vegan life.
I got to go behind the counters and check out the setup.
Ready for the best part???
I’ll admit, some of those shots scare me, but I’ll try anything once!
This place opens in two weeks! If you live in Arizona, I seriously recommend you try it. Everything Sara has ever brought to the show has been greedily shoved into my face. I love gorging and feeling healthy at the same time 🙂
Hi ho, hi ho, off to the booth I go!


Filed under academy, Arizona, Carefree, Cave Creek, cheesecake, Chef Sara, raw organic vegan, sunset

Goodbye, Carefree!

     Today was the final day of the Carefree Fine Arts and Wine Festival… until January. And March. That’s right, I’ll be back here three times a year! My new job kicks ass!

     To bid a fond adieu to the wonderful city of Carefree, we woke up at 6am and headed to the festival to get good parking so I could move the van as soon as the show wrapped and not have to risk running down fellow artists in the desperate attempt to get packed as soon as possible. Since we’d arrived so early, we got to enjoy a leisurely breakfast on the patio.

There’s nothing wrong with having repeats for breakfast, but this was the only place that happened to be open early, so I stuck with something semi-healthy. Veggie omelets are a good stand-by for me.
     It was a slightly busier day, so I spent a lot of time at the booth chatting with the other artists and some rabid fans who collect my artist’s oil paintings. We were lucky enough to have lunch brought to us by the amazing Chef Sara! I am head over heels for this woman’s food!!!
She brought us a raw vegan wrap made with alfalfa sprouts, lettuce, carrots, cucumber, red cabbage, falafel (not fried, being RAW and all that), and a vegan tahini sauce, surrounded by seaweed. Not too long ago, I would not have touched this with a ten-foot pole, but I was AMAZED at how delicious this was!!! Sara, can you come live with me??
My only complaint – floss is needed immediately after eating unless you want to frighten people off with your algae-covered teeth. It’s a price I’d be willing to pay!
She also brought us raw cheesecake! This one is goji berry.
I AM SO SPOILED! This was the tastiest cheesecake I’ve ever had in my entire life – no cheese needed!
She also gave me the lavender cheesecake to sample.
It was very perfume-y, but still delectable.
     I bought some of the donut holes to take home as a gift for the roommates to try. I’ll tell you, if I could afford it and all my food tasted like this, I could be a raw vegan for life! I am utterly floored by how delicious this meal was!
     When the show wrapped at 5pm, there was a desperate race for the parking lot while all of the artists fought to get their vans and trailers to their booths as quickly as possible. I managed to get the very first spot and therefore navigated to my spot very quickly. It took about three hours to break down the booth and get everything packed up, then we headed to Venues Cafe for a celebratory dinner.
Of course I had to have an Easy Street… or two. Hey, it’s a celebration after all!
I got the grilled vegetable and avocado sandwich on fresh focaccia again – if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
A group of us spent about two hours at the restaurant and I ended with a decaf cappuccino topped with warm cinnamon.
Alec, the wonderful waiter who accommodated me all SEVEN TIMES that I went into the restaurant, brought out a complimentary chocolate mousse topped with vanilla amaretto cookies and fresh orange slices.
     When we got back to the hotel, I went to the pool for a quick swim and spent half on hour floating in the warm water, staring at the stars as my breath created puffs of white in the chilly air, and thanking God for blessing me with such a precious, wonderful new adventure. I am so thankful.
A perfect ending to an amazing weekend!


Filed under amaretto, Arizona, cappuccino, Carefree, cheesecake, Chef Sara, chocolate mousse, Easy Street, Fine Arts and Wine Festival, God, goji berry, lavender, lucky girl, raw organic vegan, vegan, Venues Cafe