The more I started reading about nutrition the more I stumbled upon terms like, “clean eating” (eating unprocessed foods,) “Paleo Diet” (eat like cavemen,) and “Vegan” (meat and diary-free,) and honestly they all sounded a little weird/scary to me. So you can imagine how wide my eyes popped when I was asked to review a Raw Food cookbook. (Coincidentally, how can it be a cookbook if the food is raw?)
So there you have all my biases before even opening the first page. But I’m glad I did open it because there was some interesting information inside. RawEssence is by David Cote and Mathieu Gallant, who started a restaurant, Crudessence, that promotes their own version of the Raw Food Diet, which they term the Live Food Diet. It’s been catching on in popularity and they now have several restaurants, online shopping, catering services, and offer food preparation classes too.
But why would anyone eat raw food?
Because cooking destroys enzymes which play a large role in digestion and in repairing the body. Raw food keeps these enzymes in tact. They point out that humans are the only creatures on Earth who cook their food, something that didn’t start until the Ice Age. They also suggest that meat is superfluous as there are so many plant-based foods offering protein.
Their actual fundamentals are not eating raw meat, but eating an organic, locally-grown, Vegan diet. While mentioning the health benefits to this type of lifestyle they also pointed out environmental benefits, such as reducing the human footprint caused by transporting in foods from other countries, and economic benefits, such as supporting your local farmers versus big industry giants that sell genetically altered foods.
Here is a recipe for Pesto Tagliatelle with a twist (zucchini is used instead of pasta) excerpted from RawEssence by David Cote & Mathieu Gallant © 2013 Robert Rose Inc.www.robertrose.ca All rights reserved: May not be reprinted without publisher permission.:
- 2 medium zucchini, trimmed
- 1/4 cup Pistachio Basil Pesto (page 121) or 20 medium basil leaves, slivered
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Puree (page 25) or 1/2 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 6 kalamata olives, pitted, chopped
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
Preparation: 10 minutes
EquipmentL mandoline or vegetable peeler
Makes 4 appetizers or 2 man dishes
- Using a mandoline or vegetable peeler, cut zucchini into long thin strips, then julienne strips into long tagliatelle.
- In a salad bowl, combine zucchini tagliatelle with pesto, salt, garlic and olive oil.
- Place tagliatelle in dishes and top with chopped olives and pine nuts. Serve cold.
Enjoy! (FYI – I was not compensated for this post beyond a free copy of the book. The opinions noted in this book review are my own.)
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