Raw Food for Real People: Living Vegan Food Made Simple by the Chef and Founder of Leaf Organics
Many have touted the health and energy benefits of raw foods, but few have presented recipes and instructions for making raw food appealing — and satisfying — to everyone. Chef Rod Rotondi demonstrates that going raw isn’t hard — in fact, it’s fun, easy, and more delicious than you’ve ever imagined. You will learn all the fundamentals of preparing your own raw foods at home, including setting up your raw kitchen, transitioning to raw foods, sprouting, dehydration, and raising your kids on raw foods. Best of all, he offers a wealth of recipes for smoothies, breakfast, appetizers, soups, salads, dressings, entrées, and decadent desserts. Rod demonstrates that the best — and utterly delectable — way to go green and get healthy is to eat fresh food in its natural state.
Includes contributions by the foremost authorities on raw-food nutrition: Brian Clement, MD, Gabriel Cousens, MD, Compton Rom Bada, and Robert O. Young, PhD.
Raw Food for Real People
Living Vegan Food Made Simple
New World Library, 2010
Review by Barbara Bamberger Scott
If Rod Rotondi were pasta, as the name ticklishly suggests, he would be raw, dark green pasta. He is a wanderer and food expert who has gathered recipes and food lore from all parts of the world. His own food preference, the one he so knowledgeably touts in this book and at his Los Angeles restaurant Leaf Organics is, as the title implies, affordable, simple, organic, raw and tasty. As the author says, “People today are incredibly confused about what to eat. We seem to have lost the thread of culture and tradition that used to inform our food choices…this book will not present a scientific treatise on why to eat raw foods…” but rather, a how-to and a why-to based on sensible habits that our bodies will thanks us for. Rotondi believes “in the wisdom of our nature, and when it comes to food choices, I think the wisest course is to listen to our bodies first and foremost.”
Raw food would seem to be a great choice for the lazy, but to make a meal of it, one has to go beyond grab and run, and learn some techniques -- sprouting, drying, juicing -- to tempt the palate with raw food variety that goes a step further.
How, for instance, can you make un-baked pizza that is as mouthwatering as the frozen or delivered-to-your door variety? Here’s how, a la Rotondi, to concoct a “Pizza Pizzazz”: for the crust, you need diced yellow squash, chopped carrots, sprouted buckwheat, sunflower seeds, sprouted lentils, sea salt, ground flaxseeds, soaked almonds, and diced onion. Those ingredients get blended into a dough-like consistency. For the “cheeze” (his term) you will use onion, garlic, pine nuts, yeast, miso, water, turmeric and sunflower seeds, and for the marinara sauce you can go a little bit more conventional, with some fresh basil, olive oil, tomatoes and oregano. No doubt this pizza will take more time than dialing Dominos and waiting by the door, but the result will be not only healthy but delicious, as all really nutritious foods are.
With explanations of how to overcome the protein and sugar addictions that are the most notable barriers most people experience in approaching the idea of going vegan, and with detailed descriptions of all the ingredients Rotondi wants us to keep on hand (sprouts, grains, moss and nuts to name just a few), and with an inset of dazzling color photos of some of the food combos with appealing and clever names like “rawsagna,” “caesar in the raw salad” and “lean green scene smoothie,” this book will win you over to the veggie side of the street in no time. There are even recipes geared to kids, so the whole family can “live vegan” with just a little practice and the acquisition of some good eating – and cooking – habits.
Try it – you’ll love Rotondi’s raw recipes!