||The Raw Gourmet
This article is courtesy of Vegetarians in Paradise
By Zel and Reuben Allen
By Nomi Shannon
Alive Books 1999
If you've always taken
the cook 'em, bake 'em, boil 'em approach to preparing your meals, Nomi Shannon will open
a new door. Nomi shows her readers how easy it is to enjoy raw foods as well as to
energize the body with the best of nature's nutrients.
Often people assume that raw food preparation takes voluminous
amounts of time and are discouraged from making the effort. To this, the author says,
" Although you may find this hard to believe right now, once you get into the rhythm
of raw food preparation, you will likely spend less time in your kitchen than you did
From breakfast to juices, soups, salads, sauces, entrees, and
enticing desserts, the message is simplicity, simplicity. There are no frightfully long
lists of difficult-to-find ingredients that are often daunting to the newcomer of raw
cuisine. The ingredients are readily available at health food markets that sell produce
and shelf items.
You will no longer need your oven, range top, or microwave. What you
will need, however, is a juicer, a dehydrator, a blender, and a food processor that are
the basic tools of the raw kitchen to help you prepare delectable foods like Nomi's Chile
Rellenos with Mole Sauce and Mock Sour Cream. The Equipment List in the Appendix
describes in detail the needs of the raw kitchen.
Early in the book are "Ten Raw Food Kitchen Essentials" to
help you learn the tricks of the trade. Following are some examples:
- Keep a jar of almonds soaking in the refrigerator.
- Always have sunflower sprouts and buckwheat lettuce on
hand . . .
- Always have assorted greens, root vegetables, red
peppers and parsley in your refrigerator.
- Keep sauerkraut in your refrigerator.
The Raw Gourmet is not only highly informative but
visually enticing with a great many color photos that beckon one into the kitchen, such as
the artfully garnished Spinach Mousse or the uniquely layered Gazpacho
Accented throughout the book are instructional side bars to guide
one through a new technique like preparing Basic Pate. Other interspersed pages
inform the reader about the nutritional benefits of a particular food such as The
Since we don't have a dehydrator, we opted to prepare a few dishes
that didn't require one. There were many temptations like Carrot-Avocado Soup, Rainbow
Salad, Tropical Fruit Pie, Corn Chowder, and Faux Salmon. After a
leisurely perusal, we made our grand decisions, invited friends, and rolled up our sleeves
to begin preparing the sumptuous meal of Asian Pate, Spinach Mousse, Vegetable Nori
Roll-Ups, Ginger Beets, Cabbage Roll-Ups, and Halvah for the sweet finish.
Nomi Shannon is aptly described in the book's title. She is truly a
"raw gourmet" with a flair for creating tantalizing flavors using familiar
fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and seasonings. Her instructions are clear and easy to
follow, the dishes superb and fully satisfying. The meal was a raw success!
Ms. Shannon is a true testimonial to the healing powers of raw
living foods. About 12 years ago she had numerous health problems that had plagued her for
years. A holistic physician introduced her to raw foods that gradually, over time, became
her total food regimen, a regimen that restored her health and lead to her work at the
Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida teaching others. She has helped many to rekindle
that sense of well being so easily lost through poor dietary habits.
What we found so appealing about the book was the overall soft
approach the author takes to introducing raw food cookery. Early in the book are just a
few basics to get one started. Then, throughout the book are short, instructive notes
about specific foods or techniques. Finally, the Appendix is a coffer of pertinent
resources including a sprouting chart, a seasonal food and storage chart, a comprehensive
section on food combining, an invaluable three-week menu plan, a listing of sources to
purchase foods and equipment, and an A to Z glossary.
The Raw Gourmet is a treasure house of
thoroughly-tested recipes that may well light the spark that jump-starts those on a new
journey toward health and well-being. For anyone already on a raw food diet, Nomi's book
is a creative and inspiring addition to the bookshelf and makes an ideal gift as well.
Click here for more information or to purchase this book.