Monday, June 30, 2014

"Rawlicious at Home" by Angus Crawford & Chelsea Clark

When it comes to food, there are two words that often intimidate people - vegan and raw.  Most people who eat these diets are often met with the phrase “well what do you eat?”  Angus Crawford and Chelsea Clark are about to answer that question with their new cookbook Rawlicious At Home: More than 100 Raw, Vegan, and Gluten-Free Recipes to Make you Feel Great.

Vegan means that one does not eat any products from an animal, including dairy, eggs, and even honey.  Raw means that nothing is heated above 118F to retain enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.  This is what drives the kitchens of the successful Rawlicious restaurants, eight in Canada and one in the United States.  In addition to this, all of their food is free from gluten and refined sugar.  In other words, it’s food in its most basic state and contrary to what people may think, it’s delicious.

I’ll admit that even as a vegetarian, I’m unsure about raw food.  Vegan I can handle, most of my meals are vegan, but raw?  I’m not sure.  But this cookbook has shown me that there is something that everyone will like and while I may not become a full-fledged raw foodie, there is definitely a place for a lot of it in my diet.  Even if you’re the most dedicated carnivore, you’ll find great things in this book.

The book begins with a primer on raw eating and why it is good for your health.  They explain what equipment you need as well as how to stock the optimal pantry for eating vegan and raw.  A very useful tool for people new to this way of eating is the five-day challenge, a sample menu to help you cleanse and discover how varied and easy raw eating can be.  At the back of the book there are resources, as well as a section on raising a dog that eats raw.

The book is divided into nine sections: Drinks and Smoothies, Breakfasts, Appetizers and Snacks, Soups, Salads, Sandwiches, Entrées, Desserts and Treats, and Staples.  Anyone who thinks that a raw, vegan diet doesn’t offer much to eat obviously hasn’t seen the recipes for Thai Burgers, Rosemary Red Pepper Soup, Mexican Pizza, or Chocolate Banana Cheesecake.

As soon as I got this book, I tried three recipes that I knew I would enjoy and like to make myself.  The first is the Tropical Green Smoothie.  Green smoothies have never been something I could get behind.  I love my greens and my smoothies but I’ve never found the right combination.  This one was perfect.  The addition of mango, pineapple, and banana made it lovely and balanced with the taste of the greens.  

I also tried the Salsa recipe which isn’t anything new but is something that I absolutely love to eat and usually just buy in a jar.  This salsa is light and wonderful and doesn’t take long to prepare at all.  Anyone who is used to buying salsa would find this recipe easy and delicious.

The third recipe I tried was the Coconut Cinnamon Snowballs.  I’m not a baker but these were fantastically simple and quick to make and everyone in the family loved them.  These were perfect to have with a cup of tea.


It goes without saying that if you have any interest in vegetarian, vegan, or raw eating, this is an excellent cookbook to pick up.  But if you’ve ever looked at these eating choices and dismissed them as not for you, I challenge you to pick this up.  There is something in here that you will like, even if it’s just from the drinks and smoothies section.  Or if you’re unsure and you live in the Greater Toronto Area, get yourself to one of the Rawlicious restaurants and see just how great this food can be.

I received a copy of this book courtesy of Random House of Canada.  The opinions expressed above are my own.

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