Sunday, September 22, 2013

Vegan MoFo: Book Review and Giveaway of Judita's Raw and Simple

You all know me by now, and you know that I really do enjoy decaent comfort foods.  Mashed potatoes, gooey grilled cheese sandwiches, tacos covered in rich sauces, the list goes on and on.  What you might not know about me, is that I also actually like to eat healthy nutritious meals.  Shocking, right?  So, I do have a pretty big collection of raw cookbooks, oil free cook books, and other books full of nutritious, clean and healthy recipes.  Raw foods are kind of my favorite way to eat clean.  Pure and simple.  I try to incorporate at least one meal of raw veggies and fruits every day, whether in a salad or a smoothie, or even dessert.

The trouble a lot of people run into is how seemingly difficult a raw foods diet can be.  Dehydrating, soaking, sprouting, slicing, dicing...all the prep can sometimes be daunting.  But it doesn't have to be!  Just like getting used to cooking without animal ingredients, cooking without heat just takes a little geting used to.  And, yes, there are some raw chef's out there (Hi there, Juliano!) who create some really ridiculous time consuming and difficult raw recipes.  But, there are also lovely raw food chef's who come up with books full of easy to follow delicious simple recipes that anyone can prepare.  Raw and Simple, by Judita Wignall is one of these books.

Raw and Simple by Judita Wignall
Judita is the author of two raw food recipe books, Going Raw and Raw and Simple. She's a Certified Holistic Health Counselor trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and a Raw Food Chef and Nutrition Educator from the Living Light Culinary Institute. 

Both of her books are super bright and happy.  There is an infectious positive vibe that beams from the pages.  Seriously!  Usually I am critical of books that feature gratuitous pictures of the author instead of the food, but Judita is so darned cute, with such an amazing smile, that it really doesn't bother me.

The book is broken into three main chapters and starts out with a chapter on "Why Raw Rocks" which includes sections on what a raw food lifestyle entails, some nutritional information, and some interesting info about blood sugar levels.  Next is the chapter on "The Raw Kitchen"  full of shopping lists, stocking a raw kitchen, not-cooking tips and techniques, and info on sweetener and superfoods.

Then, there are the recipes! The proverbial meat and potatoes of the book.  Some of my favorites so far include the Chipotle Not Chicken Salad Wraps (page 124) and the Heirloom Tomato Stacks (page 115), both of which contain only simple ingredients that can be picked up at only any grocery store.  One thing I really love about Judita's recipes are the options to "lightly cook" the recipes to warm them. I find that eating only cold food would be a turn off for many, so having the option to warm these recipes is a great one.

The photography is gorgeous with vibrant beautiful full color pictures of a lot of the recipes (and some of the author, as mentioned above).  The book is well alid out, the design is very hip and nice to look at, and the index is very useful.  Overall, this is a lovely addition to any cookbook shelf, whether embarking upon a raw foods lifestyle or not.

The fine folks over at Quarry Books were kind enough to offer up a copy of this book to one lucky reader, and because they will be doing the shipping, it is only open to US residents.  Simply follow the prompts in the widget below.  Now, to give you your own taste of one of the recipes from th book, try out the Thai Veggie Noodles below!

Thai Veggie Noodles
Noodles plus creamy curry sauce plus tons of vegetables equals one of my favorite dishes. You can play around with the amount of veggies, but I like to go crazy and pile them on. If you can’t find kelp noodles in the refrigerator section of your local health food store, you can replace them with two additional zucchini.

Makes 4–6 servings
Prep time: 45 minutes
1 12-ounce (340 g) package kelp noodles

½ cup (112 g) almond butter
¼ cup (59 ml) water
¼ cup (59 ml) tamari
2 tablespoons (30 ml) brown rice vinegar
2 tablespoons (15 g) red Thai curry paste
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons (28 ml) agave nectar or few drops liquid stevia
1 tablespoon (8 g) grated ginger or ginger juice
1 clove garlic

1 lemon
4 zucchinis, peeled
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 large carrots, julienned
2 green onions, green parts sliced thinly
2 cups (100 g) bean sprouts
½ cup (20 g) Thai or traditional basil, shredded
4 cups (120 g) spinach

Rinse and loosen the kelp noodles and place them in a bowl. Cover the noodles with water and squeeze the juice from the lemon into it. Allow them to soak for 30 minutes.  While the noodles are soaking, make your sauce by processing all the sauce ingredients until smooth in a blender.

After 30 minutes, rinse the noodles and place them into a medium–size bowl. It's helpful to cut noodles with kitchen scissors, as they tend to be crazy long.

Spiralize the zucchini with a vegetable spiralizer or use a peeler to turn them into ribbons. Combine the zucchini with the kelp noodles and toss with sauce. Serve the zucchini– noodle mixture on a bed of spinach and top with vegetables and shredded basil. This will last two days in the refrigerator.

Chef Tip: Warm this dish by placing noodles in a dehydrator for one hour at 145˚ F (62.8˚ C) or warm in a saucepan on low heat, stirring frequently. For a lightly cooked version, place noodles and vegetables in a large saucepan or pot and warm gently for 5–10 minutes, stirring constantly.

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Anonymous said...

I love raw zucchini pasta!

n_selah_d said...

Actually have and LOVE her first book but its a tie for favorites between that and rawsomely vegan! Zucchini pasta, zucchini hummus are my favorites!

Unknown said...

Beyond the obvious of raw veggies and fruits which I love, I often make truffles! Delish!

Kyleigh said...

I borrowed this book from the library a couple of months ago and it's fantastic. I only had the chance to make 3 dishes but each one was amazing. The Raw walnut chili was really super fantastic, probably one of the best chili's ever!!!

Dana Vickerson said...

I don't have any raw books, so i need this one!

jacqui said...

I've started reading a couple of raw blogs. I would love to add a raw cookbook to my shelf!

Anonymous said...

I enjoy watching raw fooders on YouTube. I am intrigued and would like the chance to try out a few recipes.

sarahhhhhh said...

I don't know too much! I need to get a dehydrator state

VeggieAmanda said...

I went raw for a week once and it was wonderful. It was nice not to have to cook. I'd like to eat more raw as it is the best way to eat for my stomach!

Cadry said...

My favorite raw cookbook is Practically Raw by Amber Shea Crawley. Nearly every recipe can be made without fancy equipment like a dehydrator, and she has cooked options as well for cooler weather. It's a really user friendly book with incredibly delicious results.

The Peace Patch said...

"The Blender Girl" by Tess Masters, "Just Desserts" by Heather Pace, "Live Raw Around the World" by Mimi Kirk and "Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People" by Jennifer Cornbleet are all excellent! I guess I'm a high raw vegan, mostly because I never have enough time to cook, but I love it! :)

Amber R said...

My raw foods experience is limited to smoothies and gazpacho so far but I am looking forward to expanding that and trying new recipes! Hopefully, I will get to try some of the recipes in this book. :-)

Terri Cole said...

I don't have much experience with raw food. I'd love to try "Raw & Simple". Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

gaia (at) cinci (dot) rr (dot) com

Unknown said...

I've actually been eating about 95% raw for the past month and a half and I love it! I did nothing but raw foods for 28 days (low fat raw vegan, so very limited nuts and seeds) and I loved it so now I'm trying to keep it up as much as possible. I'd commit to it 100% but I am not quite ready to give up crispy tofu and bread yet. Or hummus. So I'm raw M-F and I like it :)

kc said...

raw does seem difficult to me - i'm sure this book could help. very curious about raw desserts, sprouting and dehydrating.

Melissa said...

Loving raw foods lately!

Tanya said...

My experience is mostly salads, I do need some good raw ideas

Jamie Leigh Martin said...

I've never eaten raw, but it's on my list of things to become.. HOWEVER, I was reading your Easter egg article, and I was wondering how you melted chocolate in the microwave.. Last time I tried, it was Valentine's Day, and I was trying to make chocolate covered strawberries, and needless to say, all I got was burnt chocolate mess!

Cookware Reviews said...

Hi! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. You have such a positive attitude that is really inspiring.

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All recipes written by me, Joni Marie Newman, unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to refer to or link back to any of my recipes, but please ask for permission, and remember to give credit when reprinting recipes in their entirety. I do provide links to affiliate programs (such as Amazon) in which I receive a small commission for items purchased. I do not provide paid reviews. All reviews done on products or books are of my own unsolicited opinion. On occasion I may receive a book or product to review. I will note when this is the case, but rest assured, it will not affect the authenticity of my review. Thanks!--Joni