July 26, 2021

Candice Goldstein – the Wizard of Raw Food

Living a plant-based life in the most cutting edge and creative way

Although Candice Goldstein has been a foodie for as long as she can remember, it was only when she was in her early 40s that she decided to become a chef.

“I studied part-time at Capsicum Culinary Studio, while working in a restaurant during the day. It was very stressful as I had never worked in a professional kitchen before. I worked every area of the kitchen, from preparing salads to cooking at the grill and helping out with the pastry. My head chef was extremely tough and it was one of the hardest times in my life,” she recalls.

“Parallel to this, I was getting knowledge and expertise from Capsicum in my evening classes, where I was studying for a two-year Culinary Arts Diploma.

Goldstein, who lives in Johannesburg, graduated in 2015 and not long afterwards, left for the US to study Raw Cuisine in Los Angeles with Matthew Kenney Culinary. Kenney, the author of 12 books and founder of dozens of vegan restaurants is an American celebrity chef, entrepreneur, author, and educator specialising in plant-based cuisine.

Says Goldstein: “A few years before, I had landed a gig helping in the kitchen at Leafy Greens Café where I was introduced to Raw Cuisine. This was hugely inspiring to me, and I knew it was what I wanted to study and get involved with.”

It was at Matthew Kenney Culinary that Goldstein learnt how to live a plant-based life in the most cutting edge and creative way.

“I realised I did not need to eat animal products to live a healthy life and the food we were making was earthy chic healthy upbeat plant-based artistry on a plate. Over the course of three months, we prepared every classical cuisine dish, with a special ingenious plant-based equivalent using the principles of raw cuisine. The course was a complete mind shift in consciousness, lifestyle and food preparation for me.”

Upon her return to South Africa in August 2015, Goldstein decided to start her own business supporting her plant-based lifestyle.

“I saw the need for products in this clearly expanding market and Raw Wizard was born.

“The name suggests products that are tasty and unique, incorporating raw vegan principles,” she says.

Goldstein designed the range around products that she would want to eat – natural, plant-based everyday products that were delicious enough to appease all palates.

It is also important to her that the company supports naturally grown and additive-free produce and that most of their packaging is recyclable glass.

Goldstein recently launched a plant-based recipe channel on YouTubePlant-Based Wizard – where she presents recipes for everyone.

When asked what her last meal would be, Goldstein doesn’t hesitate: “My Black Bean Nachos Shared Plate – a delicious creamy protein-rich dish, full of flavour and satisfaction. The sour cream black bean base is made with the Raw Wizard cashew yoghurt and pairs exquisitely with the fresh greens and tomatoes, the genuine Mexican guacamole (which is soured with lime not lemon) and a round of corn nachos.”

She also admits it’s the dish she would make for one of her food heroes – Gordon Ramsay. “He would be blown away with the simplicity, yet delicious sexy attitude of this dish.”

Here it is, for you to make at home.

Black Bean Nachos Shared Plate (serves 2)

This makes a delicious shared plate or cocktail snack.


  • ¼ cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, quartered.
  • 3 medium lettuce leaves, shredded
  • ½ cup (85g) cooked or canned and drained black beans or aduki beans
  • ¼ cup (60g) Raw Wizard plain or chia cashew cultured yoghurt
  • 1-3 chillies, de-seeded (depending if you like it mild, medium or hot) and finely chopped (or ¼ tsp chilli powder)
  • ¾ tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt
  • ½ ripe avocado plus another pinch of Himalayan salt
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1½ tbsp water
  • About 10 non-GMO plain nachos chips
  • 26 x 15 cm flat rectangular plate.


It is better to have freshly cooked beans rather than canned. They are loaded with fresh nutrition. Making your own is also sodium and sugar free, and do not contain preservatives, additives or heavy metals as is often the case with canned food.

Soaking them first is crucial. Firstly it makes the beans very digestible after cooking and secondly, more nutrient available. The beans begin to break down whilst soaking and this reduces cooking time. Once cooked, drained and frozen, they are as convenient as canned beans, but so much nicer and healthier.

To cook your beans, place 1 cup (200g) in a bowl and cover them well with at least 7cm of water. Cover the bowl with a plate. Leave it like this in the fridge for 48 hours. Do not leave the beans at room temperature as they could begin to ferment.

Drain and rinse the beans well. Place in a pot covering with water double their volume. So if the soaked drained beans make up 3 cups, put 6 cups water into the pot. With the lid off, bring to the boil then simmer on a medium heat for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the water has just about boiled away and the beans are tender. Do not boil the water away completely as the beans will dry out and will burn at the bottom.
Once the beans have cooled, take ½ cup for this recipe. Freeze the rest of the beans in ½ cup or 1 cup portions in lidded glass jars for use in other bean recipes when needed.

Prepare the coriander first. Remove the leaves from the stems as the stems have a bitter taste. Then wash, dry and chop roughly and set aside. Keep a sprig of coriander for garnish.

Prepare your cherry tomatoes. and set aside. De-seed your chillies, chop finely and set aside. Wash and dry your lettuce and shred. Set aside.

Prepare your guacamole. Remove the avocado from the skin and mash with a fork. Add the salt and lime juice to taste. It should be quite tart. Lime has a higher sugar content, making it the preferred choice over lemon in traditional Mexican guacamole.

In a medium bowl, place the yoghurt, spices, salt and chillies and mix gently. Now mix in the beans and coriander. Raw Wizard yogurt is the perfect sour creamy addition that is quintessential to Mexican cuisine.

To Assemble

Place your bean mixture on the 26 x15 cm square plate, taking up a third of
the plate from one end. Top the beans with the lettuce. Dot with the tomato
wedges and garnish with the coriander sprig.

Place the guacamole in the second third of the plate next to the beans. In the last third of the plate place the nachos.

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