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14 Reviews
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Restaurant Quality Raw Recipes, including Raw Ethnic Cuisine!
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...
Published on October 7, 2009 by Susan Schenck

versus
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars no walking here!
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...
Published on December 2, 2009 by S. Young


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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Restaurant Quality Raw Recipes, including Raw Ethnic Cuisine!, October 7, 2009
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This review is from: Raw Food for Real People: Living Vegan Food Made Simple by the Chef and Founder of Leaf Organics (Hardcover)
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."

I appreciate that there are quite a few international raw dishes. When people go raw, they often miss their ethnic dining: Mexican, Indian, Chinese food, etc. But among these recipes you will find Spanish gazpacho; Middle Eastern soup, wraps, falafels & hummus; Mexican corn chowder; Mediterranean burgers; Sicilian Savory Snaps; several variations of raw pizza; pad thai, and more. The author talks about how he traveled a lot before opening the restaurant, and it shows in his cuisine!

So whether you just want a raw version of good ol' American "fish" sticks or apple pie, or you crave raw international fare, either way, this is something you will be glad to have on your shelf!

Susan Schenck, author of The Live Food Factor: The Comprehensive Guide to the Ultimate Diet for Body, Mind, Spirit & Planet
and
Beyond Broccoli, Creating a Biologically Balanced Diet When a Vegetarian Diet Doesn't Work
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars no walking here!, December 2, 2009
By 
S. Young (Bountiful, Utah USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Raw Food for Real People: Living Vegan Food Made Simple by the Chef and Founder of Leaf Organics (Hardcover)
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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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not lowfat but delightful and very, very nice!, October 21, 2009
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This review is from: Raw Food for Real People: Living Vegan Food Made Simple by the Chef and Founder of Leaf Organics (Hardcover)
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. The Index and the Table of Contents are very good and comprehensive (other things I judge a recipe book by).

What more can I say but Rob Rotondi's RAW FOOD FOR REAL PEOPLE has found a respected place on my kitchen book shelf! Bravo, Rob!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars warm and accessible, January 31, 2010
This review is from: Raw Food for Real People: Living Vegan Food Made Simple by the Chef and Founder of Leaf Organics (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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book., November 27, 2009
This review is from: Raw Food for Real People: Living Vegan Food Made Simple by the Chef and Founder of Leaf Organics (Hardcover)
Raw Food for Real People is an excellent primer for those considering a raw vegan lifestyle and recipe book. I've been making his mango bread now and it's delicious. I also made his pomegranate dressing and it's all I use on my salads, homemade and fresh. I like the books's plain English, green text. Easy to understand and easy on the eye.

Drew
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Preparing raw food has never been so easy, June 2, 2010
This review is from: Raw Food for Real People: Living Vegan Food Made Simple by the Chef and Founder of Leaf Organics (Hardcover)
Chef Rod Rotondi has created a classic book for people who already eat raw foods and for those completely new to the idea. He teaches how to prepare your own raw foods, the fundamentals of sprouting, dehydration, raising your kids and family on raw foods, and providing wonderful, healthy, tasty raw food recipes. Smoothies never tasted so good, and Rotondi offers new twists on soups, entrees and even decadent desserts that make your mouth water and your taste buds ask for more. This book offers a way to go green and get healthy by eating fresh food in its natural, unadulterated state.

-- Jelina Vance, New Connexion Journal
[...]
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good recipe for pizza, December 12, 2009
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This review is from: Raw Food for Real People: Living Vegan Food Made Simple by the Chef and Founder of Leaf Organics (Hardcover)
I like this raw food cookbook. It has some things that are unique. The pizza is more like a real pizza than others I have tried. The cheese part is still the weak point, but even my husband really liked it and he was not eating much raw food at the time.

There are a lot of recipes that I will be making in the near future in this book.

I wish I lived close to where the author's restaurants are!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Raw Food Guidebook, October 26, 2010
This review is from: Raw Food for Real People: Living Vegan Food Made Simple by the Chef and Founder of Leaf Organics (Hardcover)
So many people these days are used to processed and prepared foods, they may be stunned to realize that for many centuries humans only ate food in the raw. Rotondi's book serves as a great guidebook for anyone curious about vegan menus and the taste and health benefits of eating unadulterated raw foods.
The first half of the book offers plenty of background about the author's own journey and vegan lifestyle along with such tips as how to properly grow your own sprouts, with the second half containing a nice array of both sweet and savory recipes, everything from Holy Moly Guacamole and Kreme of Butternut Squash Soup to Cushy Carrot Cake.
Rotondi makes an excellent case for living vegan in "Raw Food for Real People" and even if it doesn't convert you to the cause, it will inspire you to create at least some portion of your daily menus in the raw.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars raw food for real people, May 27, 2010
By 
streganona (nesconset, ny United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Raw Food for Real People: Living Vegan Food Made Simple by the Chef and Founder of Leaf Organics (Hardcover)
I just purchased this book 2 weeks ago on Amazon and have had time to make many of Rods recepies . Most are so bad that they were inedible and had to be thrown out. I have been a raw foodist 5 years now and have many raw books . This is the first book that had really bad recepies. We tried at least 20 different recepies .The worst were veggie sun burger(we could not even get a few bites down),cashew cream cheese ( should not have had dill and coconut oil together),mediteranian burgers(bad),love loaf(bad),carrot cake (bad) ,the worst was the middle easter lentuil soup(we almost threw up at the taste of this one and it looks so bad to). I wasted so much money on ingredients that I doubt I will waste more .We also wasted so much time for nothing.
There are so many other really great raw books out there , dont waste your money on this one
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4.0 out of 5 stars Happy Un-cooking!, August 12, 2010
By 
Deb (Palo Alto, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Raw Food for Real People: Living Vegan Food Made Simple by the Chef and Founder of Leaf Organics (Hardcover)
With his book_Raw Food For Real_People, Rod Rotondi serves up a great primer for raw cooking, uh, I mean un-cooking. After presenting the key benefits of going raw, Rod shows just how to go about doing it. By the end of the book, you'll be able to trade in your cream, cheese, and milk for kreme, cheeze, and mylk. (And, hopefully your body will like those raw substitutes more than Spell Check does.)

Sure, you could use this book as a guide for going completely raw. But, even if you're one of those real people who plans to continue to take comfort in cooked (gasp!) foods, this book is still worth the read with its simple and delicious ways to reap the benefits of adding some raw-ness to your diet. Just make sure to factor in enough time for the sprouting and dehydrating steps that many of the recipes require.

So, load up your green shopping bags with farm fresh produce and raw nuts, dust off that dehydrator, give your stove a break, and get ready to un-cook your heart out.
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