My husband and I are pretty flexible and adventurous when it comes to food – as long as there’s no meat involved. So, of course, whenever we see raw food in restaurants, if there’s something appealing looking, we give it a try. I have rarely been disappointed. About 2 months ago, we borrowed a raw book from our local library, and the recipes we tried from it were delicious and super easy. So, I decided I wanted my very own raw book.
When committing to a cookbook, I generally want pictures so I can see what my food is supposed to look like, and to make for easy browsing. So, I chose “The Art of Raw Living Food”. In true dinner party style, I selected an appetizer, a main, and a dessert to try.
The appetizer was stuffed mushrooms.
To make these cute little mushrooms, you basically make a pesto from pistachios, basil, olive oil, and salt, and then fill cremini mushroom caps with the pesto. Then you top it off with a cherry tomato and pop it in your dehydrator at 110F for 4 hours. Yeah, this stuff takes a long time. Luckily, these mushrooms were delicious. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can always either eat them completely raw, or roast them up in your oven a little. I think both ways would be delicious.
I made the Baja Burritos for my main course:
The main course took 3 days to make. Yes, you read that correctly. Days. Not 3 hours – 3 DAYS. I had to sprout Kamut grain (you can get it at Whole Foods) for 3 days in a Ball Jar. You basically have to start out by soaking the grain for 12 hours, then you drain, rinse, let sit for 12 hours, rinse, drain, let sit, etc, until you get some roots and grass growing out of the grain. Then, you have to blend the sprouts up with a variety of other intriguing ingredients such as psyllium husk. Psyllium husk is one of the main ingredients in Metamucil, and you have to go to a vitamin store to buy it.
So, I make this interesting “dough”, form it into “tortillas” as directed, and it did not turn out good. It was kind of spongy.
Then, I made the sauces and filling for the burritos. There were 3 sauce toppings, and a pine nut cheese, and all kinds of raw veggies. The filling was acceptable. The sauces for the top were actually good, easy, and I could see making them again. The green sauce you see is Avocado-Lime Sauce, and that sauce is good enough to eat off of a spoon. It has avocados, lime juice, olive oil, salt, and coconut water. The chipotle cheese was not my favorite, and it tasted nothing like cheese.
This dessert was very easy to make, but it did not look anything like the picture in the book. The crust was simply walnuts, agave nectar, cinnamon, and salt processed together, and the apples were just apples, agave nectar, and cinnamon.
Basically, I really do not recommend this book for anyone who just wants to eat raw sometimes. This book fully expects you to go out and buy an industrial sized dehydrator (the mushrooms in the picture barely fit in mine), a $500 Vitamix blender, and other specialized equipment. It also makes the mistake of thinking that most people want to spend an entire day making a meal, or that you are serving 8-10 people. This meal took me 3 active hours the day of, and preparation before that (sprouting grains, soaking nuts). I was really kind of disappointed that after all my hard work, I got pretty mediocre food. Even worse – the ingredients for this meal cost me more than it would have cost for me and my husband to eat at Eden, which I highly recommend for any Pittsburgher wanting to try some delicious raw food.
See you next time, when I teach you how to use rhubarb in a panini!!