Last year I decided I wanted to try eating raw. That is to say, that I wanted a lighter and cleaner way of eating.  I thought that raw would fit the bill.  I received a cookbook to help me with my quest,  Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen.

Ani Phyo is an executive chef for SmartMonkey Foods that “cooks” vegan, raw, and living foods.  If that isn’t enough, she also teaches seminars, has her own YouTube channel and website.

I have to be honest; I’m in love with this book.

First of all, the book is a straightforward read. In addition to recipes, Phyo adds environmental information and personal stories to the book to enjoy reading. She takes care to provide her readers with easy ways to enhance their health.

I’ve liked every recipe I’ve tried from the book, except for the raw mushroom soup. It turns out; I’m not a fan of raw mushrooms. This book is excellent for hungry vegans or non-vegans looking to add some easy, flavorful, and healthful meals to their recipe book.

The first time I made this Black Pepper Cheeze recipe, I was amazed at how good it is. I used it to make a raw roll-up sandwich using a collard leaf as the wrap. While delicious as a raw food recipe, it would equally be good on toast or pasta.

Black Pepper Cheeze

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

A basic dairy-free cheese made from cashews.


  • 2 cups cashews
  • Juice of 2 lemons, about 4 tablespoons
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup water


    1. Place cashews, lemon juice, garlic cloves, black pepper, and sea salt into a food processor or high-speed blender.

    2. Turn the food processor or blender on low and process while slowly adding only enough water as needed to make a smooth, creamy texture.

    3. Enjoy!

    This Black Pepper Cheeze will keep for four days in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.


Recipe from Ani Phyo's Raw Food Kitchen by Ani Phyo

Have you tried any recipes from Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen? Tell me about it in the comments!