When I was approached about reviewing the new recipe book, “Raw Food for Everyone” by raw food chef Alissa Cohen, I all but jumped at the chance. I love creatively inclined and passionate Foodies, of course I would be happy to review a raw food recipe book by the owner of raw food restaurant, Grezzo.
Upon the books arrival, I could not wait to skim through her 300 recipes. Turning the pages now, I find myself imagining the beauty of each finished dish, which ranges in sophistication from your simplest creamy Spinach Dip, to the elegant and rich, Wild Mushroom Fettuccine with Saffron Sauce.
As Cohen explains in her introduction, this cookbook provides readers with the “tools to integrate fine raw food into their daily lives, [and is] a cookbook with simple and sophisticated recipes to make everything from a quick breakfast to an elegant dinner.”
Cohen adds much of her creamy and richness with nuts and seeds, but takes care to introduce the each ingredient in the raw food pantry. This, I appreciated, as I am neither an expert on grains, nor a nut aficionado.
While I do not find that these dishes are suitable for my daily lifestyle, as there are a vast amount of recipes that are a bit dense for someone like myself, that does not enjoy nuts regularly, I will say that if it was in my current budget, I would be hosting a fantastically, brilliant, 5-star, Raw Foods dinner party tomorrow. (So if you want to buy the goods, I will be there in a heartbeat).
Of course, the majority of these recipes were not meant for the minimalist like me, but rather for the Foodie, with the thirst and curiosity to explore delectable dishes, and yet live more healthfully.
Without a doubt, Cohen eliminates every need to use animal products, dairy, and unhealthful ingredients, and most certainly accomplishes her goal of changing the thought process “that a raw food diet is restrictive and lacks food choices…”
While I disagree with Cohen in that eating raw and living foods allows one the permission to eat with abandon, or as she says, “…eat as much as you want whenever you want…” there is plenty I agree with Cohen about. I love that Cohen explains the difference between raw and cooked fats—“raw fats contain lipase, an enzyme necessary for digesting fat,” in addition to explaining the difference between “raw” and “living” foods, why and how to sprout grains, nuts and seeds, and legumes (there is a fantastic chart), and I thoroughly enjoyed her detailed description of the fruits and vegetables, what season to buy them, and their health benefits.
I hope to have the opportunity to try the following recipes on my Foodie family over the holidays:
- Marinated Golden Beets (pg 163)
- Spinach Dip (pg 228)
- Green Goddess Dressing (pg 280)
- Mediterranean-Style Pressed Lasagna (pg 352)
- Cream Cheese Dip (pg 229)
- Candy Beet Ravioli with Figs and Coconut Cream (pg 234)
- Wild Mushroom Fettuccine (pg 355) with Saffron Sauce (pg 300)
- Butternut Squash Ravioli (pg 356)
- And her “Holiday Stuffing” recipe is sure to make the hearts of vegans melt (pg 388)
Recently however, the boyfriend made his way over for a vegan, dinner, and because I had been inspired by Cohen’s Marinated Greens recipe, which she suggests would make a great pizza topping, and because I did not want to purchase a lot of food that would go unused without the boyfriend’s presence… I whipped up this simple dish.
Thank you Cohen and your “Raw Food for Everyone” cookbook for the inspiration (because before that, I had not a clue what I wanted to make).
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(I apologize the lighting is not so flattering…).
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Healthy Gourmet Pizza Recipe
1 sprouted bagel, toasted
4 tbsps of my sun-dried tomato mayo (Which reminds me of Cohen’s Marinara Sauce pg 298)
Cohen’s Marinated Greens recipe (pg 164)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 garlic cloves, grated
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp sea salt
2 cups dandelion greens
2 cups Swiss chard leaves
- Following her instructions, I whisked together the oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, cayenne and sea salt, and poured it over my rinsed and chopped greens. She recommends covering and allowing the greens time to marinate (2 hours). I did not have time for this, and they were still quite tasty.
I spread the “mayo” over the toasted bagel, piling it high with the Marinated Greens, and topped it off with slices of creamy avocado.
Overall… if you are looking to impress the friends that enjoy their Five-Star dining experiences, with raw, vegan, and absolutely delectable recipes, you need to get this book…. Plus, with the holidays approaching, “Raw Food for Everyone” is sure to inspire.
P.S. I highly recommend that you have a high-powered blender (like the Vita-mix) for these recipes… and a dehydrator would not hurt either…
Which of the above recipes that I mentioned sounds most delicious? Have you ever eaten at Grezzo? What are your favorite raw, vegan (or non-raw) holiday specials? Does your family join in your raw, celebration? What are your thoughts on RAW…