I am writing you from sunny Pasadena, California…  but I certainly am not an old lady and probably will never consider myself one…  well, maybe someday, but I don’t see that day coming for a long long time! 

Raw Vegan Chocolate Truffles

I am out here interning and learning how to culture and ferment food, among other fun treats.  These are my first ferments and I must say, they came out amazingly well.  I have been drinking the brine from them and it is delicious and so nourishing and rich in probiotics!  I can’t wait to share all that I am learning with you.  Stay tuned!!

Here are some Chocolate Almond Raw Vegan Truffles we made and, boy, oh boy – were these delicious!

Before I left for California I had promised you a tomato soup recipe.  If you are overwhelmed by tomatoes in your garden and are in need of something other than salsa to make…
Simple Tomato Soup to the rescue!
Troy Farmer's Market Tomatoes Raya Ioffe
Troy Farmer’s Market Tomatoes Raya Ioffe


  • 2-3 chopped onions
  • 1 head of garlic, minced
  • 15 tomatoes, chunked
  • bunch of basil, minced
  • 1/4 – 1/2 lbs of spinach
  • olive oil
  • 48- 64 oz of stock
  • salt and pepper to taste


Warm oil (enough to generously cover the bottom of the pan).  Saute onions for 5 minutes.  Add garlic and tomatoes.  Saute another 5-10 minutes. Add stock.  Cook for 15-20 minutes.  (I like to take the skins, that float to the top, off sometimes, if I feel like it).   Add spinach, basil, salt and pepper at the end.  Turn heat off.  Use an immersion blender or a food processor to puree the soup. Adjust the seasonings to taste.  Garnish with chopped basil.  Enjoy!

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