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Living Cuisine: The Art and Spirit of Raw Foods (Avery Health Guides) Paperback – January 5, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
This extensive volume provides a compendium of information on the chic raw foods movement. Underkoffler, a Maui-based restaurateur and workshop facilitator, devotes several hundred pages to descriptions of fruits, vegetables and the other essentials of a raw foods diet; the economic and social effects of eating raw foods; and the health benefits of adhering to such a diet. Many of the volume's recipes make the prospect of eating all raw foods quite appetizing. Indonesian vegetable Pad Thai in Coconut Sauce, Golden Butternut Soup with Provençal Pesto, Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms and Crumble Apple Strudel Bundt Cake are all dishes that even non-raw converts might savor. And the author offers little tips to help soften the strict rules of eating raw. For example, she explains, "A wonderful secret of raw foods preparation is to serve soup in a warmed bowl. It allows the flavors to bloom a little bit more and keeps the soup warm without having to heat the soup to unhealthful temperatures upon serving." For readers who don't mind lukewarm bisque, or the significant effort that goes into preparing it, this book offers nice variety and valuable information.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Renée Loux Underkoffler is a raw-foods chef and former co-owner of the Raw Experience restaurant in Maui. She facilitates health retreats and workshops worldwide, which incorporate yoga and living foods into a balanced lifestyle.
Top customer reviews
On the contrary, Living Cuisine is full of sensible, practical philosophy presented in a spirit of grace. I believe this is important for those Raw-Food hopefuls who want to do more in this area but don't feel they'll ever move "all the way." It's also just plain inviting for those of us who want to savor the beauties of raw food without a lot of "tssk tssk" talk.
But, when it comes to savoring, this book offers more than great philosophy and incredible information... it also gives artful, mouth-watering recipes that give us a craving for what's best. (Oh, a gorgeous chocolate pie to die for is included!)
Over time, my only difficulty with LC has been the preparation time. So, I often save the recipes for summer time (when I have more time) or gourmet moments (when I want to woo my friends into healthiness). For simpler recipes I've relied on Rainbow Green, Live-Food Cuisine and Eating Without Heating.
So why only four stars? Because, out of 497 pages, there's only 200 pages of recipes. The rest of the book consists of overly detailed explanations of ingredients, techniques and appliances. This is strange to me, as the recipes are fairly simple. I would have appreciated another 100 pages of recipes in place of the nutritional breakdown for all of the vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts and seeds called for in the book. That said, it's a great book full of simple and delicious recipes that will make you glad to be a raw (or aspiring raw) foodist.
I've made 5 recipes so far; one of her burgers, shakes, veggies, cookies and soups. I prepare raw meals for people and each of these has been a hit with everyone including my 4 year-old daughter. I find that the ingredient list is not complicated, the preplanning is not difficult, and you can simplify the recipes by using dried herbs, frozen corn/fruit to make them in 5 to 10 minutes. (Fresh is always tastier and filled with many more enzymes but if short on time, it's better to make these adjustments then to eat SAD)
I do miss the pictures, but you can get a picture in your mind from the ingredients. I wouldn't skip the book because it lacks pictures. If you are a baker, get this book for the desserts. Introduce your family to decadenct taste without the processing and show them how they can eat dessert for dinner!
As for steaming, I don't do it, but I like how she says, let your body decide. I marinate veggies in a glass bowl in the sun and they are divine. Try this before steaming. Put the glass bowl on the dash of your car during work and come out for lunch. Make sure the bowl has some sun exposure or you might not get the softening you want.
Juilano's Uncook book is also a favorite of mine, but Living Cuisine has the same complicated taste of Juilano's without the unusual ingredient list and long prep-time. I think that both are worth-while, Living Cuisine is definitely for any level though!
You won't be sorry if you purchase this book. Out of 5 people that I made the East side burger for, all said that it was delicious, the best "veggie" burger they ever had!