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Alive in 5: Raw Gourmet Meals in Five Minutes Paperback – February 23, 2007
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Here is a great resource for anyone looking for easy alternatives to complex raw recipes that require lots of time and expensive equipment to prepare. Acclaimed raw chef Angela Elliott shows how to whip up mouth-watering lasagne, spaghetti marinara, stuffed mushrooms, broccoli in cheese sauce, apple pie, decadent whipped cream and strawberries, chocolate shake, and more--all in about five minutes, with easy-to-find ingredients and just a blender or food processor. She shares her personal wellness journey and her playful enthusiasm to make the book an enjoyable and inspiring guide to delicious living.
About the Author
Angela Elliott was raised by a world-renowned physicist/chemist stepfather and a gourmet French chef/writer mother whose occupations enabled frequent travel abroad. She is a practitioner in holistic endeavors, including Chinese medicine, nutrition, herbology, reflexology, culinary arts, living food, and intuitive healing. Angela also has extensive experience as a licensed paramedical aesthetician. She is the owner and operator of Celestial Raw Goddess Enterprises, which promotes raw food as a life-enhancing aspect of natural wellness. Angela currently resides in San Diego, California with her husband and teenage son, Ian, who has adopted the raw food lifestyle as well.
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I guess for someone who is committed to going raw all the way, this book offers quite a few ideas. However, for someone just trying to start a healthier lifestyle, this might not be an ideal book to jump to.
While the recipes are not complicated, most of them are far TOO simple. Over and over, I kept asking myself, "for THIS I need a recipe book??" For example, "Cucumber Pizza", which sounds intriguing, is nothing more than chopped olives on slices of cucumber. "Scrambled Eggs", which sounds like something you wouldn't find in any ordinary raw food recipe book is -- are you ready for this? -- 3 ripe avocados mashed in a bowl, add salt and pepper! The "salad" recipes are the most basic of salads ... if you can chop some vegetables and lettuce into a bowl, add some lemon juice, olive oil and your favorite seasonings, you already know how to make most of the salads in this book.
There are several different nut milk recipes, each with a fancy, delicious-sounding name, but they're all the exact same recipe ... only the kind of nut you use is different.
Many of the recipes call for the pulp left over from making nut milk, and some of the soup recipes require nut milk. So unless you've taken the time to make nut milk, and have saved a supply of the pulp, you're out of luck.
One problem I have with many raw food recipe books is the inordinate amount of nuts, seeds and avocados called for. One recipe in this book calls for 5 avocados to make a dish that serves 3 people (just about all the recipes in the book make 3 servings). A taco recipe calls for 2 cups of soaked sunflower seeds in the pate', plus an avocado in the filling, and another cup of sunflower seeds to make the "sour cream" topping ... serves 3. I don't like gorging on fats, even if they are the healthy kind.
Some recipes call for coconuts, which is a no-go for me, because I don't want to have to deal with cracking coconuts and scraping out the flesh, etc. One recipe (that makes 3 servings) calls for 3 young coconuts.
I'm a big proponent of raw foods, and have a large collection of raw food recipe books. For "quick and simple" recipes, I especially like Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People, by Jennifer Cornbleet. Raw Foods for Busy People by Jordan Maerin is another favorite. But I cannot recommend Alive in 5, for all the reasons mentioned above. Perhaps if it were titled more honestly, something like "Dishes You Really Don't Need a Recipe Book For", I wouldn't have been so disappointed with it. I'm not saying there aren't some tasty combinations of foods in this book, but many of them are just TOO simple. To call it "Gourmet Meals" is misleading.