Monday, April 8, 2013

Health and Wellness: Raw Living Food Cuisine from The Farm at San Benito

Ever since it opened way back in 2002, The Farm at San Benito remains the only resort destination in the country that offers holistic healing and wellness with its unique detoxification cleansing retreats and raw living food cuisine from its award winning Alive restaurant. And key to every healing "journey" at The Farm is its nourishing cuisine designed to help you rebuild and renew, and restore balance that add to the transformational experience at The Farm.

Specializing in the freshest, organic ingredients in its purest form, The Farm's Alive Restaurant offers some of the most flavorful yet healthy dishes. At The Farm you'll find some of your favorite dishes on the menu, from pates and crackers to a variety of main dishes to surprising treats like freshly made ice cream and cookies. The Farm prepares all its dishes by soaking, blending, dehydration and culturing, locking in the freshness and nutrients  and transforming these dishes with the creative culinary flair of The Farm's award-winning chefs.  

Here's a cool sampling of The Farm's Raw Living Food Cuisine, from starters to mains, including desserts. The Farm at San Benito also provided recipes for you to experience their unique take on truly healthy cuisine. Simple, yet bold flavors using the freshest ingredients, the suggested dishes below should give you a taste of The Farm in a complete five-course meal, so read on...

The Farm's unique take on the classic South American dish Ceviche is reinvented with mushrooms replacing the traditional fish. The light and refreshing flavor is maintained, with a cooling hint of chile, in this new yet familiar dish. 

Mushroom Ceviche
4-6 Servings

Ingredients for Ceviche
3 cups mushrooms (king oyster, shiitake, maitake, enokitake and/or button mushrooms), sliced 
2 cups young coconut meat, julienned
1 red onion, diced
1 cup ripe tomatoes, diced
1 tsp garlic, minced
3 chili, seeded and minced
4 tbsp cilantro, chopped
4 tbsp basil, chopped
4 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp liquid aminos
4 tbsp lime juice
Black peper, salt, cayenne to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup bell pepper, diced
1 medium sized cucumber, diced
1 mango, diced

For Marinade
3 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced 

For Assembly
6 tsp coconut sour creme sauce (recipe below)

1. Mix the marinade ingredients and marinate the mushrooms in the mixture for at least 2-3 hours
2. Drain ushrooms and combine thoroughly with all other ingredients.
3. Serve in a cocktail glass with a drizzle of coconut sour creme, top with chili and corn crackers, and sprinkle some fresh chopped herbs and thinly sliced onions. 

Coconut Sour Creme Sauce
4 cups

1 cup cashew nuts, soaked
3 cups coconut meat
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup dill or cilantro, chopped (optional)

1. Put cashew nuts, coconut meat, lemon juice, honey and sea salt in a blender. Blend until smooth.
2. Add the herbs, then pulse once.
3. Serve with appetizers, salads or main courses.

A light yet hearty soup, Bulanglang is a traditional recipe from Batangas using the freshest vegetables straight from The Farm's very own gardens, topped with moringa or "malunggay" leaves. Considered a "miracle leaf,"  moringa contains almost seven times the vitamin C in oranges, four times the calcium in milk, four times the vitamin A in carrots, two times the protein in milk and three times the potassium in bananas. Add to that the distinctive nutty flavor of the moringa, blending perfectly with the classic vegetable soup.

Bulanglang Soup
4-6 Servings

5 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup squash, cubed
1/2 cup string beans, chopped
1/2 cup eggplant, cubed
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup papaya, cubed
2 tbsp miso
1 inch ginger, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup moringa leaf, for garnish

1. Boil the vegetable stock for 15 minutes, then add all the ingredients and cook for approximately 10 minutes until tender.
2. Season to taste, and add moringa leaves, serve hot. 

No meal at The Farm is complete without any of its signature salads, using the freshest organic greens straight from it gardens. And here's one of their unique salads that bring a playful and flavorful medley of flavors and textures, the Purple Vegetable Salad.

Purple Vegetable Salad
4-6 Servings

1 cup red cabbage, shredded
1 red beet, julienned
2 bell pepers, julienned
1 red onion, julienned
1/2 red radish, thinly sliced
2 cups watermelon, cubed
1/4 cup Thai basil leaves

For Vinaigrette
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tbsp salt

For Assembly
Selection of garden greens

1. Mix the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Blend the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender.
3. To serve, put the purple salad over a bed of  fresh salad greens, then drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette. 

Salad Dressing
Orange Balsamic Dressing
3 Cups

1 zucchini, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1 tbsp mustard
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp Italian dried herbs
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup shoyu
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt

1. In a blender, put zucchini, raisins, mustard, garlic, black pepper, Italian seasoning, orange juice and shoyu and blend until creamy.
2. Add balsamic vinegar, olive oil and sea salt--and pulse.
3. Serve with green salad.

For the main course, a delicately layered vegetarian dish with different flavors and textures takes center stage, and it tastes as good as it looks.  

Cooked Main Course
Crispy Potato Napoleon with Eggplant, Caramelized Onions and Pumpkin Ginger Sauce
Serves 4-6

3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tsp garlic, finely minced
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tamari or shoyu
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

For Stir-Fried beans with Sesame
1 head, Chinese cabbage, chopped
2 heads, Pechay, chopped
1 bunch ferns, chopped
1 tsp garlic
1 tbsp onion
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp sesame seeds

For Sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup onions, sliced
1 tsp garlic, minced
2 tbsp ginger, minced
2 cups squash, cubed
1 cup carrots, cubed
6 cups vegetable stock
1/2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice powder
1/4 cup rice wine
1 tbsp toasted sesame butter (recipe below)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne

For Onions
2 cups onions, julienned
4 tbsp Muscovado syrup
3 tbsp shoyu
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil

For Assembly
Basil flowers and a sprinkle of paprika

1.  For pumpkin ginger sauce: heat olive oil in a pan, saute onions, garlic, ginger, squash and carrots. Add the stock and simmer until vegetables are tender.
2.  Add Five Spice, wine, sesame butter, black pepper, sea salt and cayenne then turn off heat.
3.  Put the sauce in a blender until it reaches a puree consistency, then set aside.
4.  For eggplant filling: in a large bowl, mix thoroughly the eggplant, garlic, salt, black pepper and olive oil. 
5.  Place the eggplant mixture and sweet potato in two separate baking trays, put in the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes at 180C.
6.  Transfer the sweet potato to a food processor and mash.
7.  Put the baked eggplant mixture in food processor, add tamari or shoyu and balsamic vinegar and process until finely ground.
8.  Mix eggplant mixture and sweet potatoes in a bowl, then set aside.
9.  For greens, saute' onions and garlic in coconut oil, then add cabbage and ferns, add sea salt and black pepper. Mix and cook for 2-3 minutes, sprinkle with sesame seeds and set aside.
10. For caramelized onions, saute' the onions in olive oil until clear, add shoyu, muscovado syrup and balsamic vinegar. Caramelize for 3-5 minutes and set aside.
11.  For assembly: place 1/2 cup per serving of stir-fried greens with sesame on a plate, top with alternate layers of crunchy potatoes, filling and caramelized onions. Garnish with basil flower and drizzle with ginger pumpkin sauce and paprika and serve.

Toasted Sesame Butter
Makes 1 Cup

1 cup raw sesame seed
1/2 cup raw sesame oil

1. Heat sesame seeds in a frying pan for 3-5 minutes until light brown.
2. Set aside and allow to cool.
3. Blend toasted sesame seeds until it becomes a powder, then add sesame oil and blend until creamy. 
4. Put in a sterilized clear jar and store in a chiller where it can last up to three weeks.
5. Ideal for sauces or as a dressing for salads.

What better way to cap a healthy meal than with an equally healthy and flavorful dessert. The Farms' version of Chocolate Pecan Pie uses dehydrated nuts to retain their essential enzymes and some coconut for to enhance the flavor.

Chocolate Pecan Pie
8 Slices

For Crust
1/2 cup Almonds, soaked for at least 8 hours and dehydrated until crispy. 
1/2 cup pecan nuts, also soaked for at least 8 hours and dehydrated until crispy.
6 dates, pitted
1/4 cup Muscovado sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

For Chocolate
3/4 cup cocoa butter
3/4 cup honey
1/3 cup coconut oil, warmed

For Filling
1/2 cup coconut butter
3/4 cup dates, pitted
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup pecan nuts, chopped

For Topping
1 cup candied pecans (recipe below)

1. For crust, place almonds, dates, sugar, pecans and cinnamon in a food processor; process until crumbly and sticky. Press mixture firmly on a 9-inch pie plate lined with cling film or grease proof paper and set aside. 
2. Mix the chocolate ingredients together, then blend in a high speed blender to achieve a smooth consistency. Pour 3/4 of cup of the mixture into the pie crust and refrigerate for approximately 2 hours until firm. Save the remaining chocolate mixture for chocolate truffles. 
3.  For filling, place the dates and coconut oil in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Fold in the chopped pecans by hand and spread on top of the chilled chocolate bottom.
4.  Arrange the nuts in symmetrical fashion around the edge of the pie and chill the pie for a minimum of four hours before serving.

Candied Pecans
2 Kg.

2 kg pecan nuts, soaked
1 1/2 cups maple syrup
5 tbsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp salt
pinch of nutmeg

Method to 2 recipes above
1. In a large bow, combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.
2. Cover with a cloth and marinate overnight.
3. Pour into a dehydrator tray with a teflex sheet and dehydrate at 90C for 24 hours.
4. Transfer to a sterilized clear jar and store in freezer. Can last for 1-2 months.
5. Serve as a topping for salads, desserts and other dishes.

And to wash it all down, nothing like a freshly squeezed fruit drink. Hydration is essential for any stay or treatment at The Farm, and The Farm offers a wide range of fresh, natural and organic fruit and vegetable drinks that are both refreshing and full of flavor, like this Electrolyte Lemonade.

Electrolyte Lemonade
1 Glass

Juice from 1 orange
1 pear, peeled and seeded
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp grapefruit juice
3 tbsp honey
pinch of salt
1 cup coconut juice
3 ice cubes

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender, except ice cubes, and blend until smooth.
2. Strain using a fine strainer.
3. Pour into an old-fashioned glass and add ice cubes.
4. Stir and serve.

A winner of 25 prestigious international awards including SENSES Germany's "Best Medical Wellness Resort in the World," The Farm at San Benito is now offering its all-inclusive Wellness Holidays and Detox/Cleanse Healing Retreats. And there's no better time than now to go on a transformational and healthier journey. Time to pamper yourself with a real holiday at The Farm. And the food's pretty good too. 

Note: All photos and recipes courtesy of The Farm at San Benito.

For more information on The Farm at San Benito's unique detoxification cleansing retreats and other  holistic healing and wellness services, visit their cool website at www, You can also e-mail your inquiries to or arrange reservations to 

Dude for Food is now on Facebook, check out the FB Page for regular updates on good eats. Better yet, click "Like" and enjoy the ride, just look for the FB "Like" widget on the right sidebar. 


  1. I've long wanted to visit The Farm not just for its wellness massages but also its food.

  2. My dream resort! Nice blog, Sir Gerry! Complete with recipes...

    1. Hi miah, and great food too! Thanks for stopping by!


Got something to share? I'd love to hear from you...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...