My sons and I were visiting a bookstore recently when my youngest ran up to me and said ‘Your friend has another book!’ and handed me Sarma’s gorgeous LIVING RAW FOOD.  Her glowing self graces the cover and inside is a spread of vibrant color and juicy recipes that tickle the eye.  Like a den mother, Sarma describes the loving, tight-knit family atmosphere of her restaurant PURE FOOD AND WINE as ‘a little dysfunctional but always supportive’.  She even dedicated the book to her staff and customers; every detail in this book is a testament of her love.  The restaurant is so elegant and chick, really debunking the image of veganism being only for New Age hippie-types.  Actually, may stars and high-powered peeps frequent there including foreign royalty, presidents, and designers.  Sarma likes it that most of her staff lives like ‘the rest of the world meaning that many of them smoke or eat hamburgers’ because that creates an atmosphere that is non-judgemental and accessible to everyone, curious newbie and die hard raw foodie alike.  I think that is a healthy attitude that we all would do well to have so other people will feel accepted and more likely to be open to checking out our lifestyle…

Not only does she run the restaurant, writes amazing recipe books, and I do mean amazing (anything Sarma writes is candid, well articulated, outrageously fun, and real…she even shares about her own challenged relationship to food in this recipe book), Sarma runs ONE LUCKY DUCK sarma-cowhich is an online store which offers every hard to find ingredient or perfect kitchen tool, and a host of other goodies.  She breaks it all down into simple categories like ‘tools and techniques’ so you can get the skinny on dehydrating or why to use ceramic knives, what is happening to our almonds and vertical indoor farming in urban areas.

I recall when I bought her first book RAWFOOD/REALWORLD it was mostly to drool over the pictures of the gourmet raw food, and the hip, sexy Sarma…just having the book makes you feel so cool, especially when your life as a mom doesn’t always feel very glam!

But of course, that romantic image may get you in the door, but what keeps you coming back for more are the recipes!  I have interviewed Sarma for the blog before and coaxed out of her a bunch which I shared from the last book.  Here is one special recipe that is always a hit at her restaurant which looks well-worth the effort for a special treat:

From the Kitchen of Pure Food and Wine

Zucchini-and-Green-Zebra-Tomato Lasagne with Basil-Pistachio Pesto

Servings 6


Lemon-Pignoli “Ricotta”

2 cups raw pignoli nuts, soaked in water for at least 1 hour
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt

Tomato Sauce

2 cups good-quality sun-dried tomatoes (dry-packed), soaked in water for at least 2 hours
1 medium ripe tomato, diced
1?4 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1?4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons sea salt
Pinch hot-pepper flakes

Basil-Pistachio Pesto

2 cups packed basil leaves
1?2 cup raw pistachios
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
Pinch freshly ground black pepper


3 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
3 medium green-zebra tomatoes (or other heirloom variety)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Garnish: whole basil leaf

Cooking Instructions:

Lemon-Pignoli “Ricotta”

Place the pignoli, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt in a food processor, and pulse a few times, until thoroughly combined. Gradually add 6 tablespoons water, and pulse until the texture becomes fluffy, like ricotta. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside.

Tomato Sauce

Place all ingredients in a blender, and process until smooth.

Basil-Pistachio Pesto

Place all ingredients in a blender, and process until smooth.


Using a mandolin or vegetable peeler, shave zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices, then cut in half crosswise. Cut the tomatoes in half, and each half into thin slices. Line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with two layers of zucchini slices. Brush the zucchini lightly with olive oil, spread 1?3 of the tomato sauce over it, and top with small dollops of “ricotta” and pesto, using 1?3 of each. Layer on 1?3 of the tomato slices, and sprinkle with 1?3 of the oregano and thyme. Add another double layer of zucchini and repeat twice more with the tomato sauce, pesto, ricotta, tomato slices, and herbs. Serve immediately, or cover with plastic and let sit at room temperature for a few hours. Garnish with basil.

This recipe and many more are featured in Raw Food Real World: 100 Recipes to Get the Glow available at oneluckyduck.com

And here are 2 quickies from LIVING RAW FOOD that I have tried and loved because they are easy and delicious:


12-14 med cucumbers peeled and seeded and chopped (I used 4 and didn’t remove the seeds)

½ cup fresh lime juice

4 jalapenos, seeded and minced (I used one and only after I filled 2 small bowls for my boys)

2 red peppers, cored and diced small

1 small handful mint leaves cut thin

sea salt

black pepper

Process the cucumbers and lime juice until it is thick and chunky

Transfer to a bowl and add the red peppers, jalepenos and mint.  Season to taste.


1 cup chia seeds

3 cups nut mylk, coconut mylk or hemp seed mylk

3-5 T agave

1 t vanilla extract (optional- I used a pinch of real, raw vanilla powder)

¼ t cinnamon (optional- but so good)

pinch sea salt

Let everything combine and then sit in a bowl to set- about 20 mins in the fridge.

You can add fresh berries or dried goji berries for some zip and color.

Today I will make the APPLE CRISP- My boys will love that!

I would loooooove to try her RAVIOLI, CALIMARI, CARMEL BARS and DOLMAS, but this mom doesn’t have the time these days…although a trip to her restaurant may be considered a real nice holiday!  Her THANKSGIVING MEAL looks so innovative and delicious; I may try that this year…

Enjoy another stellar contribution and foray into our raw culinary expansion (thank you Sarma!) and let us know what recipes you take on as new staples in your home with your clan!


  1. says

    Hi Elizabeth, I wondered about that too and figured it must be those small ‘pickle’ type cucumbers she uses…and YES, I actually used 4 regular ones that are quite large and left everything else as written it was perfect to my taste buds!


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