From the Light Kitchen, by Stephie McCarthy

*Vegetable-rich, nutritious and made with care … and always original! All of my recipe Archives by CATEGORY here

Stephie McCarthy Light kitchen

A little more about my food philosophy.

featured recipes

Carob-flavored winter squash pie

IA cheery winter treat I invented this year, baked squash pie disguised as a sort of fortified chocolate flan. I combined carob, vanilla, maple syrup, and eggs. Vitamin rich and fine taste … it disappeared quickly!

carob squash pie


Oil-cured zucchini tapenade

IA fabulous tapenade which is really good, I have to say, made with dried zucchini, fresh tomato, oil, and olives ... make it chunky as shown here, or smoother with additional oil.

zucchini tapenade


Citrus-lime, avacado, and hemp seed sushi

IKeep the nori dry with an inside layer of tender greens, for perfect bite, and be sure to make a great dipping sauce like the one we've included with this recipe.

lime flavored sushi


Mostly French-inspired, fresh pickles



~ favorite soup ~
Savory Shiitake Hot-pot

IGreens and mushrooms tempered in hot broth for just 40 seconds are colorful, nutritious, and soft enough to substitute for Ramen and rice noodles. Shiitakes lose their spongy nature and endive/Tango lettuces stand up well when flash-wilted to combine with nut butter, salt and red pepper (read more).


Shiitake hot-pot


Sprouts and nuts marinade

Sprouts marinade


Vegan strawberry butter

2Dry fresh berries into a versatile paste that captures the complex flavors of the berry, that combines beautifully with warm notes like basil or mint, cinnamon, orange, black pepper, jalapeño, balsamic vinegar, and sweeteners. (read more)

strawberry butter


Mini-cheesecake molds from recycled containers

2We like miniature cheesecakes, fresh from the freezer—instead of one large pie melting in the fridge. Our lemon-cashew cheesecake with carob cookie crust was a big hit on Thanksgiving, and thanks to the quick mini-molds we used, each serving stayed pristine in the freezer until defrosted. (read more)


Eggplant "bacon" chips, salad

2 This is the kind of vegan treat I am really happy to discover. Though it's a bit time consuming to make, it's well worth it for the savoriness it adds to dishes like spinach salad. (read more)

Eggplant bacon salad


Pea sprouts, from seed to salad

2Fresh peas are back in season, but the peas from our local store were terrible: astringent, mealy, and very expensive! I knew they wouldn't taste much better cooked and, not wanting to waste them, it was an easy decision to try my hand at sprouting. (read more)



Green olive & kale pesto

EI've always been crazy about green olives and they are wonderful paired with fresh kale. Some markets sell raw olives, but if you can't get those, do try this recipe with what you can find from a good olive bar (read more).



Tomato confit, tomato jam

TTurn inexpensive hot-house tomatoes into a luscious ruby-red jam. Pronounced "con-fee", from the French word to conserve, this fresh jam will keep a long time in the refrigerator and can replace more expensive tomato ingredients such as sun-dried tomatoes in sauces and toppings. (Read more)

Tomato confit


Raw watermelon and chocolate/carob cookie

I bought a box of watermelon chunks and put them in a dehydrator for a day on a low setting, and kept drying until I have what I now call "waisins." Sticky, incredibly sweet, and easy to re-hydrate, you can use them in any number of recipes, like this cookie/brownie. (read more)

Watermelon ranch


Artichoke herb purée

(read more)


Kefir tea

IKefir water brews faster than kombucha tea with similar taste and no caffeine. I just made a chai tea flavored batch (read more).

kefir tea


Broccoli antipasto

(read more)

Broccoli antipasto



After a long career of gourmet-gluttony, cookbook addiction, and late night meals of Ramen noodles sprinkled with herbs, I found myself feeling very middle-aged, and coping with lots of little ailments like cluster headaches, ringing ears, and a sore throat every night.

If you remember the comedy routine by Gilda Radner where she lists an impressive number of ailments, I could do a pretty good impression of that myself, and it would all be true. And "It's always something!"

Switching to a diet with a high percentage of raw food (basically nuts and salads), and eliminating processed foods—especially white flour—went a long way towards curing my ills and restoring my energy. My sore throat, ringing ears, and cluster headaches vanished quickly. But I began to struggle to maintain 100 pounds.

I found that most "raw foodist" rely on sweets and fruits, plus other stimulants like raw cacao powder. But for me, sugar and caffeine both destroyed my feeling of wellness. It didn't matter if sugar came from fruit, a candy bar, or a "raw" cake or pie. Sugar and I have never been comfortable companions.

I really longed for savory food, and I wasn't adverse to a animal protein in moderation. I'm old school vegetarian, choosing eggs, seafood, and some dairy now and again. And now have no problem maintaining a healthy size two figure—down from a tight size nine! It's like being reborn to shed fat (especially the kind that clings no matter what you do), but even better not to turn into a bag of bones with a racing heart, which is what a stringent diet, high in carbs, low in minerals, can get you!

I still experiment with recipes and techniques that feel and taste more like traditional food and not just another verion of salad. Thus, Essentially Raw was born. I found that if I tempered raw veggies in boiling water or broth for just a short time, seconds really, they are much easier to digest than raw. This lead to flash-grilling too. Light cooking, is essential to Essentially Raw.

I no longer need a high percentage of raw food to feel great, but it's my first line of defense against any illness or imbalance. Even more important, I rarely eat processed starches or sugars. You won't find any flour in my diet; when I gave it up 95% of my health complaints were cured. I also found that removing mercury from my dental work, and a short course of H2O2 water gave me the fresh-health and energy I longed for.

So ... do you find yourself doing a Gilda Radner routine, explaining all your health problems as if there were one symptom for every letter of the alphabet? I urge you to give a raw food diet a try! It can detox your body and give you a fresh start on life. But skip all the fruits, sugar, and raw chocolate—they can quickly bring you down.

It's never too late to be young again!

My raw food recipe index is here.

My feature recpes are here.