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164 of 169 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2009
I wish I could give this book 5 stars. I'll list the reasons why below. I am simply trying to be helpful.

The main thing I'd like to convey about this book is that it's for PROFESSIONALS or people who are invested in eating mostly raw and don't mind the complexities, cost and time that sophisticated raw food requires. There are very few recipes that don't require a VitaMix or a dehydrator, or both. This is an advanced raw food book.

You can do these recipes if you have a LOT of time. There's a lot of presoaking (usually 8 hrs) and a lot of dehydrating (8-14 hrs). Again, that's totally amazing, and you can imagine what a piece of art will come out, but be aware, it takes a lot of coordination, preplanning, and patience to get to enjoy one of these creations.

I'm utterly fascinated with the wraps, especially the zucchini wraps. I would imagine they taste like cooked food (dry and solid) and are probably the perfect foundation for a healthy raw meal. I would just need a dehydrator to enjoy them. It makes sense to buy this book only if you already have a dehydrator or are planning to buy one.

Most of these recipes require phenomenally expensive ingredients. Several recipes call for 2-4 cups of pine nuts. Or 8 young Thai coconuts. Or 6 red bell peppers just for a sauce. Again, wonderful stuff, but pretty much only if you are really invested in raw food.

You need to already know how to sprout. There are no instructions on how to sprout kamut. I'm not sure, when it calls for almonds that have been sprouted for 8 hrs, if that means "almonds that have been in water for 8 hrs," or if they should have been soaked for an additional couple of hours, before being sprouted for 8 hrs.

A lot of the recipes require you having made another recipe beforehand (or 3 or 4 other recipes). This automatically makes the recipe useless to me. It would have been very helpful if on the page where the basic, repeatable recipes are, there was a list of the dishes that include that recipe. It would make planning a lot easier. You'd make the Tahini Cheese and be able to plan what other recipes to make with it. As it is, you have to do the searching and finding on your own.

There's no index. This is the first cookbook I've seen without an index. Those are usually very helpful in seeing what you can make if you happen to have, or feel like eating, a certain ingredient. There's no alphabetical list of recipes. Tahini Cheese is listed in the Sauces, Spreads, Breads and Crackers section, and not in alphabetical order. Basil Cheese is in the Salads Section. It's not easy to look things up, from a user point of view.

Unless you're a died-in-the-wool raw foodie, there are 2 ways to enjoy these recipes: if you go to Jenny's wonderful restaurant, or if you plan your days around food preparation. I'd be willing to pay a good amount to try these creations. But don't buy the book unless you are devoted to raw food, and are extremely diligent, coordinated, and willing to spend a lot of money and energy on these recipes. I spend $500/month on good, organic food for myself, and I eat 50-75% raw. But this is a whole other level of expense.

There are books for beginners in raw food, such as "Raw Food Made Easy for 1-2 people" which I LOVE. You only need a regular blender + food processor to enjoy the recipes. And they are quick. You are given a weekly grocery list. That is what we need more of -- raw food made easy.

Having worked in publishing, I find it strange that Doreen is listed as first author of this book, or even listed as an author at all. There's not even a word here by Doreen. Her voice isn't anywhere in the book except in the personal bio at the end, and it's not even in first person. She doesn't so much as note which her favorite recipes are. Basically her name is only here to endorse and sell Jenny's book. As a reader, I find this dishonest. The way a more respected publisher would have done this is to have a foreword by Doreen and list Jenny as the sole author. It's clear that Doreen had everything to do with this book coming to life. But she didn't write any part of it, not even an intro. I have a deep and abiding love for Doreen, which is why I bought the book, and I suspect many others will, but there's something really dishonest about this, especially when Doreen is listed first. I feel like HayHouse wants my $12 more than it wants to to be honest and respectable. Even if there had been a ghost writer, at least Doreen's stories and ideas would be in the book, though told by someone else. Perhaps I'm very naive :) but a more sophisticated publishing house would have handled this differently.

Thank you for letting me say these things. I mean well. Blessings on all.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
As the author of a raw food book myself, I have about 20 raw food recipe books, and didn't think I could see anything new. Yet, this book surprised me with several original creative recipes that are like nothing I had seen before, including BBQ vegetables (and all sorts of ways to marinate veggies), zucchini flax wraps, and finally a raw recipe for tamales, my favorite Mexican dish!

Besides the recipes, the best part are the stunning colored photos of the dishes, sure to tempt the laziest of nonchefs into fixing the food, and to convert the most stubborn cooked foodists! Colored photos (and its thick paper) add a lot to the cost of producing a book, which makes this book quite a bargain as it is generous in mouth-watering snapshots of ultra-gourmet raw dishes. These dishes look even more attractive than the "real" version of their cooked food counterparts.

But there is more to the book than recipes. The introduction includes a bit of "why raw?"as well as an essay on the physical, mental, spiritual and ecological benefits of eating raw. There are warnings (such as dental issues from overeating), a list of kitchen tools and food staples to stock up on, and a 5-day sample menu. There are also tidbits of information peppered throughout the book, such as a superfood guide, a list of the variety of greens, and an info-page at the start of each chapter.

The recipes include drinks, salads, marinated vegetables, appetizers, sauces, spreads, breads, entrees, and desserts. Some are simple and fast, while some dishes involve 2 or 3 recipes (for example, a burrito that includes a nut cheese recipe, a sauce recipe and a sour cream recipe).

Now excuse me while I go to the local food co-op and purchase the ingredients to make curry vegetables, raspberry cheesecake, and coconut wraps!

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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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I am thrilled with this new raw living foods book! It is so very, very nice! Even though I am for the most part a lowfat raw vegan, I found this book to be delightful. I might not eat this way every day since most of the time I follow Dr. Doug Graham's 80-10-10 program but I would certainly love these recipes occasionally or for special meals. The recipes are very appealing and the photos enticing. I will be proud to serve any of them.

Yes, I've been a raw foodie since 2000 and a lowfat vegan since the 70s, so the recipes are not a challenge for me but I do think the recipes are written clearly and precisely enough that even beginners should not be daunted by any of them.

As a publishing the book itself is beautiful. The pages are high quality glossy and the food photography is stunning. I am also grateful that, unlike some other popular raw food books I've seen lately, no space is wasted on an inordinate amount of photos of the authors or their restaurants and stores as well as any superfluous babble and "philosophy" which is not backed up with solid facts and references.

The book is well organized and reference is easy. Although there is no index, the table of contents is very good and comprehensive. The reference section, which is a must for me, is just splendid ~ complete and very useful.

Finally, the pricing is very nice. What more can I say but THE ART OF LIVING FOOD has won a respected place on my book shelf.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2010
We stopped for lunch at Jenny's restaurant while driving through Costa Mesa. Always interested in trying new raw restaurants as they usually avoid the whole fake meat thing (I don't understand why so many vegan restaurants think I want fake meat).

We loved her food so much that we stopped in again for her Sunday brunch on our way home and also picked up a copy of her cookbook, which she kindly signed for us.

I did have to buy a new blender and a dehydrator (Excalibur), but I think it was worth it.

I'm happy to report that we've been successful in our attempts to reproduce some of the dishes we had tried at the restaurant. I'm still trying to perfect my spreading technique for the wraps.

Our only issue with the book is that it seems like there are a LOT of recipes that call for one tomato, one red pepper, one squeeze of agave, one zucchini, one cup pine nuts. When trying to use this book exclusively during a raw only week, it got kind of funny how we didn't have to look at the book to know what to get out of the fridge. I hope she writes some more books to give us a bit more variety.
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2009
The drink part of this book is indeed good and healthful many including "supper-foods".

Salads, main dishes in my opinion have high oil content in the way of many nuts and added oil. Desert (fruit) dishes, a lot of Agave. The recipes often are for 4 servings with 1 cup agave per recipe. It's More of a celebration foods book than a day to day living food book. These recipes come from their restaurant and/or business. Very ingenious wrap concepts. I would/will fill them with other things not what is suggested by the authors. I LOVE "cook books" I will more than likely only use the beverage ideas in this one,well also a zucchini/flax wrap that is admirable. I was going to send it back (which I never do as I LOVE my books) but I will keep it for the drinks. I think I could get my non-health conscience husband to drink them with out knowing its good for him. (Tee Hee please don't tell him)

For example, I flipped to the first salad recipe just now: 4 servings = 8 c greens 3c different fruits 1 avocado + DSG: of 1 cup pine nut 1/4 c fruit other mis. So each serving of salad has 2 serving Veg - 1 serving fruit - 5 serving fat which = 29g. Wow. Agreed all the oils are healthful, but, in what amount? This is just one small meal. What about dinner?

The photography is fantastic and literally makes you want to make the item. Well done.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2012
Great book. I just started raw food 'cooking' and originally picked this up from my local library. I liked it so much, I got my own copy. Easy to follow recipes that taste great. A wide variety of smoothies that have really made breakfast my favourite meal of the day. My ONLY reservation is I found some of the recipes asking for a lot of agave nectar. I don't know if this is to accommodate an American palate. Not a slight on the U. S., I've lived there and loved it, but there's just more sugar in food there. My point being, I find myself using up to half the agave nectar asked for in the recipes in order to dial back the sweetness.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2010
One of my favorite raw books. I made quite a few of the recipes in this book and have loved them all. I love the wrap recipes. The coconut based wrap rocks. stuff it with the spicy squash marinated veggie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2010
I've read about every raw food book I could get my hands on, but because of limited space and the fact my husband is definitely not on board, I've kept my purchases limited. This book, however, I liked enough to buy. There are other good books out there, including Ani Phyo's newest (whichI have yet to purchase), but so few have enough decent recipes to merit the shelf space. I'm almost sorry to say that this one did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2009
This is a very well written book. Lot's of wonderful and delish dishes. I recommend this book to all ppl. raw foodist,vegan or non-vegans also.
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on July 10, 2013
This book was a complete surprise to me. Another raw eating friend kept telling me I just HAD to make the coconut Thai wraps and when I did, I found that they are AMAZING! The Living Lasagna is also a top favorite of mine, tasting much better than the traditional stuff.

This is not an easy cookbook. At first I was quite intimidated by the recipes. They sometimes take days to make (think sprouting and dehydrating). There are also ingredients that may not be in your cupboard! However, if you are experimenting and don't mind the wait, this may be the book for you.

As for the actual book, there are many full-color pictures and the quality of paper is very good. My only real complaint is that there is no index. However, this cookbook is a keeper and I look forward to cooking my way through it!
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