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Raw Food for Real People: Living Vegan Food Made Simple by the Chef and Founder of Leaf Organics Hardcover – October 13, 2009

3.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“True beauty begins from the inside, and eating living foods is the best makeover for any age. Rod makes raw delicious and easy. Your inner and outer beauty depend on it!”
— Bobbi Brown, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics

“Rod’s expertise and passion for raw food are inspiring. He gives delicious options for making raw a powerful choice for your and your family’s health.”
— Mariel Hemingway, actress and author of Mariel’s Kitchen

“Man has evolved back to the original concept that food has energy and food can heal in its raw form. Rod Rotondi’s Raw Food for Real People has made it possible for everyone to eat this way. If you, too, want to become evolved, I suggest reading Rod’s book, as it will enlighten you as it has me.”
— John Salley, talk show host, actor, and retired professional basketball star

“Whether you are ready to go 100 percent raw or 80 percent or just want to begin to dabble in the raw-food experience, Rod is the perfect guide. His recipes are easy to follow, and he can lead you gently into a tasty and healthy culinary lifestyle. There is enough variety to satisfy every palate. Bon appétit — this book is a treat!”
— Laura Ziskin, motion picture producer and cofounder and executive producer of Stand Up To Cancer

About the Author

World traveler and culinary eclectic Rod Rotondi uses his unique perspective to translate world cuisine into delicious, simple, and affordable raw and vegan offerings. Rod has a nationally distributed Leaf Organics packaged food line as well as Los Angeles–area Leaf Organics restaurants (set for national franchising) and a DVD series. He also teaches courses and holds retreats. A leader in the raw-food and green movements, Rod lives in Los Angeles.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: New World Library (October 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1577316738
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577316732
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,681,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book for not only those new to the raw diet, but for seasoned raw fooders like myself. I am the author of my own raw food book and have seen everything out there. This is a keeper. What makes it special is that it is written by the owner of a raw food restaurant chain, New Leaf. Though I have not been to the restaurant I have sampled many of their goodies that are sold at Whole Foods in the refrigerated gourmet raw foods section. Now I am finally in possession of some of these restaurant quality recipes, such as the falafels, carrot cake with orange icing, Leaf Organics house dressing, wraps, etc.

The book is so much more than a recipe book. It includes a great deal of information such as why organic is important (the author thinks it is more so than even raw; I disagree), the author's story, why raw is better than cooked, how to transition to raw, dealing with food addictions, setting up a raw food kitchen, the benefits of probiotics, and more. Some segments are written by other authors. There is even a handy sprouting guide (an entire chapter which includes a chart) and a chapter on kids eating raw. Rod's writing style includes humor and wit to prove his points: "If you can cut an apple in half, you are a raw-food chef....(To keep it simple and natural)"Avoid adding too many cups of ego to your recipes."

The recipe chapters include dehydrated goodies (crackers, croquettes, pizza, bread), breakfast (smoothies, porridges, granola), appetizers, salad meals (includes dressings and wraps), soups, entrees, and desserts. Some of the recipes I am chomping at the bit to try include the "love loaf" for a Thanksgiving feast, the" Middle Eastern lentil soup", veggie sun burger croquettes, and the "groovy granola.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've done raw food for a while now and with all the 5 star reviews I thought 'hey, sounds good.' I know raw food 'cookbooks' are a crap shoot where you may like 1/4-1/2 of the recipes or none at all. While the author 'talks the talk' in the first part of the book, and believe me, he sounds impressive, I wanted to see if his recipes could 'walk the walk'.

First off, I give the layout, his story, and pictures, there are about 7 pages in the center of the book that are beautiful, 1 star. (mine never looked like that when I was done).

Then I selected a few I wanted to try that sounded really good. The veggie sun burger (inedible), cashew kreme cheese (this one was good, I use it like a cream cheese dip for raw veggies), raw slaw (not good), really raw ranch dressing (this smells like ranch but it's inedible), and the cushy carrot cake (this was not good - cake and frosting, both were inedible). When I say inedible I really tried to like them since this was to be my meal, but after a few bites I couldn't do it and had a regular salad instead.

After the cake failure, and I followed the recipes exactly, I gave up. Maybe in time I may dare to try another one, but not likely.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I must preface my review by saying that I am for the most part a lowfat raw vegan and the first thing I judge a raw food book by is the fat content of its recipes. Even though RAW FOOD FOR REAL PEOPLE is not lowfat, I found this new book to be delightful and very, very nice!

The amount of fats called for in many of these wonderfully creative and international recipes seems to me to be quite reasonable while others are a little rich. (By rich I am referring to the combination of nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut and oil). I personally might not eat this way every day since most of the time I eat simply, following Dr. Doug Graham's 80-10-10 program, but I would certainly love these recipes occasionally or for special celebrations. These recipes really are a celebration! With their international flavor I find them inspiring and extremely appealing. The great photos are especially nice and very enticing. I would be proud to serve any of these impressive creations and most eager to treat myself whenever I am craving a burrito or a falafel or pad Thai or "fish" sticks or old fashioned apple pie or pizza!

Yes, I've been preparing living vegan food since 2000 and have been a lowfat vegan since the 70s, so the vegetarian and raw kitchen is not a challenge for me but I think this book is wonderful for beginners and the accomplished as well. Rob Rotondi's recipes are written clearly and precisely so that the inexperienced will not be daunted by any of them. Rob provides a lot of helpful and interesting information which should put the beginner at ease. I love how he personalized this information, never claiming to be a nutrition expert but a lover of fine, beautifully prepared living food. The book is well organized and reference is easy.
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1 Comment 15 of 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
Rod Rotondi grew up in a food loving Italian American household. This affection for food and family led him to study culinary arts in France. He then travelled extensively returning back to Los Angeles where he opened his own raw foods restaurant, Leaf Organics.

Raw Food for Real People contains recipes from the restaurant which are quite diverse ranging from the familiar standbys such as pizza, oatmeal, and apple pie, to a variety of international dishes reflective of the author's travels. Pad Thai and falafel are there for when you crave more ethnic flavors.

The book has a nice layout, with several pages of glossy color photos in the center. There's a section on sprouting, a section on how to feed children on a raw food diet, the importance of organic food and the health benefits of a raw diet and how to make the transition.

Like other raw foodists, Rotondi is not militant and extols the virtues of eating even partially raw and making gradual and lasting changes to transition painlessly into a raw food lifestyle. He is very unassuming, concluding that if you are able to cut up an apple, you are a raw food chef. His laid back and warm attitude is sure to make readers comfortable and his recipes and tips will expand any raw foodie's repertoire.
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