As you know, I am a cookbook junkie. I have a lot of cookbooks and trying to wean myself from my cookbook library before our move. Last year, I picked out my top 10 cookbooks to move with me, but I may have to revise that list as I have discovered new favourites. Even more scary is that I have partially migrated to electronic cookbooks. It makes it easier to amass a larger collection. I still prefer leafing through a hard copy, but an electronic version is ideal when space is at a premium.
Considering my cookbook love, I was ecstatic when asked to review a new raw cookbook: Annelie’s Raw Food Power. No stranger to raw cuisine, I surprisingly do not have that many raw cookbooks. This is a gorgeous cookbook, with colourful photographs accompanying every recipe. The dishes are typical raw cuisine style, with recipes for smoothies, salads, snacks and mains like raw pizza. She also includes a lot of recipes for teas/tisanes.
Annelie developed the recipes while in Costa Rica, and as such, the recipes use a lot of tropical fruits (bananas, mango, pineapple, watermelon) but also more common ingredients like zucchini, tomatoes, apples, nuts and seeds. Superfoods like chia seeds, goji berries, probiotics, maca and lucuma are often used, too. These ingredients are not new to me, but Annelie surprises me further with recipes calling for purple corn, mucuna, ashwagandha and shatavari powders, of which I have yet to encounter. Like most raw recipes, the majority of the dishes are quick and easy. The recipes call for typical raw equipment: blender (preferably high-speed), juicer, dehydrator, and spiralizer which not everyone possesses. In short, this is not a cookbook for someone dabbling in raw cuisine, but good for those familiar with the ingredients and equipment. (Of note, the index is very subpar, listing recipes by title only, not ingredient).
While most of the recipes seemed familiar to me (guacamole, spiralized zucchini with nutrient-dense pasta sauce, avocado and strawberry salad, raw lasagna), I opted to try something with a bit of a twist: Quinoa, avocado and tomato marinara wraps, especially since I was reminded how much I enjoy lettuce wraps.
I’ve tried raw quinoa before (basically quinoa soaked for a day) but prefer to use cooked quinoa. Uncooked raw/sprouted grains and legumes kind of go thump in my tummy. The quinoa is dressed with a rich flavourful tomato sauce which I unrawified by substituting red pepper paste for the optional red pepper. This is then placed in a Romaine leaf and topped with avocado for a delicious wrap. I found it was best to add the dressing just prior to serving since leftovers became dry.
While I still have a few recipes earmarked to try (beet and mint chocolate chip dip, oh my!), I am giving away a brand new copy of Annelie’s Raw Food Power to a lucky reader. For a chance to win, just leave me a comment by April 25, telling me about your favourite raw dish you’ve made.
Quinoa Sprouts, Avocado, and Tomato Marinara Wraps
From Annelie’s Raw Food Power
2 cups quinoa, sprouted (I used 2 cups cooked quinoa)
1 cup Tomato Marinara Sauce (see below)
8 romaine or butterhead lettuce leaves (‘boats’)
2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and chopped
1. Soak the quinoa in a bowl of cold water overnight, then drain and rinse in a colander, strainer, or nut milk bag under cold running water. Let the quinoa stand in the colander, strainer, or nut milk bag for 24 hours, then drain and rinse 3–4 times, until you see little tails beginning to sprout. (Janet’s note: I cooked up 1 cup quinoa as per usual).
2. When ready to serve, put the quinoa into a large bowl, add the marinara sauce, and mix together. Spoon the quinoa mixture into the lettuce boats and top with chopped avocado to serve.
Tomato Marinara Sauce
2 dried dates, soaked for 10 minutes, then drained or 2 teaspoons raw honey (I used 1 Medjool date)
1 tomato, chopped
4 sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (optional, I used 1 tbsp red pepper paste)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
10 basil leaves (optional, I used 1/2 tsp dried basil)
1. For the marinara sauce, put all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
Makes a scant 1 cup.