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Gorilla Food: Living and Eating Organic, Vegan, and Raw Paperback – October 30, 2012
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Not just vegan but raw and organic, this cookbook from an acclaimed Vancouver restaurant chef is a delightful surprise: temptingly inventive, beautifully photographed and formatted, and accessible for anyone (not just raw foodies or vegans) wanting to cook more healthfully. Delicious Living
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I don't believe I have had a new recipe book since Borders closed, so I was excited to receive this copy of Gorilla Food, by Aaron Ash, of the Vancouver restaurant by the same name. Oh, this book is nice! Enticing new flavor ideas, fresh innovative recipes, pretty pictures - oh my!
This is not a "beginners'" book, in that it has no overview of the raw living food diet and why you should join up, nor does it speak the author's food politics or dietary beliefs. It is a recipe book - you asked for raw recipes and here they are. After a two page introduction, which tells the curious how the Gorilla Foods restaurant in Vancouver, BC, Canada came into being, and shows a picture pictures of a 1960s-throwback-looking space, it launches into clarification of terms and descriptions of the appliances and tools needed to work the magic, as well as a shopping list, i.e., all of the ingredients which will be eventually called for in the recipes.
After that come the recipes. In the interest of saving paper, I guess, the recipes often include other recipes which you have to page to.
Now, if you are a person who likes more or less "instant food" (not much more than a food processor involved), and doesn't like to plan a day or two in advance, many of these recipes will not work for you *as they are written* (many require dehydration, or include dehydrated recipes detailed on other pages), but, often, the "raw" parts, i.e., the parts before you dehydrate, are good enough on their own (I'm looking at the Morning Curry Crepes right now: they require the dehydrated Ginger Tomato Crepe listed on another page, but the recipe without the crepes would be just as good sitting in a bowl for you to spoon up. So it goes... I see this book as requiring a bit of creativity if you are to get the most from it - just about every page has something exciting, mouthwatering, or really curious.
That said, there are some truly innovative recipes (as in: I haven't seen this before) recipes for vegetable mixes, sauces, cheezes, condiments, crackers/breads/wraps/chips, and desserts. If you take the often unique vegetable mix ideas, and start adding different sauces, you get altogether different and exciting experiences. If you are willing to do the dehydrated breads/crackers/chips/wraps (which you can do in advance and freeze - you knew that, right?), you expand your options exponentially.
When you get to the desserts in Gorilla Food, you will start to drool. Many of the desserts just involve combining the ingredients, and voila! Of course, the really fancy looking ones in the pictures will require you to use a dehydrator, but, often, the ingredients will taste good without the dehydrator, and will just be more like goo, or something you have to eat with a spoon.
There! I've just taken apart Gorilla Food and digested it into a recipe book for people who only have a knife, or, at best, a food processor. You can make almost all of these things (save the breads, the chips, the crackers) in a beginner raw food kitchen (how do I know? Once upon a time, the only equipment I had was a serious knife --I still have it - it is a solid stainless steel Chinese cleaver, and a cutting board).