Recently a delightful new recipe book landed on my doorstep to review. Raw Essence is the compilation of 180 genius raw vegan recipes and information by chefs David Cote and Mathieu Gallant who also own Crudessence restaurant in Montreal. I've heard wonderful things about their restaurant and would absolutely love to eat there one day, but for those of us who don't have the luxury of popping over to Montreal, we can at least make some of their delicious recipes in our own homes.
For me, one thing that really makes a recipe book is colorful photos, and lots of them. Raw Essence is packed with big beautiful pictures, in fact there is an image for every single recipe in the book. It's a feast for the eyes and inspiration for the soul. You will WANT to run to the kitchen and start making food - or at least that's how I felt upon reading through it.
I chose three recipes to try right away: Meatless Meatballs, Tortilla Chips, and Gazpacho - and I have many more bookmarked for later like Greek Salad, Hot Chocolate, Lasagna, Cheese Roll, Curry Sushi, Ice Cream Sundae, and Creamy Spinach Pistachio Soup, just to name a few.
The good news is that the publisher has allowed me to share three recipes from the book with you!
I normally wouldn't go for "meatballs" as a first choice but somehow this recipe caught my eye and when I did a savory dehydrator blitz recently I knew these were going to be on the menu. Their versatility also appealed to me. In the book the balls are served several ways: as an appetizer with a dip, bathed in a sweet teryaki sauce along with veggies to make brochettes, and in a the 'supreme tacos'. I was also thinking they would be great with zucchini noodles and sundried tomato sauce.
I've been eating these every single day for lunch since I made them. I start by mashing avocado onto a dehydrated veggie wrap then top it with romaine lettuce, sliced tomato, red pepper, five small "meatballs", arugula, and marinated mushrooms. I finish it off with a generous drizzle of spicy chipotle tomato sauce and wrap it all up! Super satisfying.
Drizzle this over the meatballs! I can only handle this in small amounts because Im sensitive to spicy things, but it really kicks up a dish! I'm big on sauces and this is one I've made several times and like to keep on hand in the fridge.
1/4 cup packed sun dried tomatoes
2 dry chipotle peppers
1/4 teaspoon himalayan salt
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
or 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, or more
Soak the chipotle peppers in 1/4 cup water for 4-6 hours.
Soak the dried tomatoes in a separate bowl of water for 1 hour.
Blend all ingredients, MINUS the tomato soak water but include the chipotle soak water in a high speed blender until smooth.
Tortilla chips with a base of sundried tomatoes and flax seed was next on my agenda. I chose them because the "corn free" tortilla chip concept was refreshing to me! I'm not a fan of corn. Most of it has been genetically modified and I just don't think it's an ideal food. Rosemary transformed these into a taste of heaven and they smelled divine while dehydrating.
While they taste incredible, the texture is a flop. They just don't get crunchy the way a chip should be. Twice I've stuck them back into the dehydrator to crisp up but that lasts about half an hour - and I dehydrated these for 16 hours. So I'm not sure what the secret is - I used 1 cup of batter per teflex sheet and I spread them very thin as you can see in the photos. But they won't go to taste as I'll find a way to enjoy them (I'm thinking some kind of filling and sandwich them together so they become like a ravioli).
Gazpacho is a soup that I really love, especially during the summer months. I can eat bowls and bowls of it in the hot weather. I wanted to make one of the soups in the book and had all the ingredients for this one, so quickly and easily I was sitting down a bowl of this along with crackers. Lovely light meal. My photos look different from the image in the book but wow, this was absolutely delicious and I'd definitely make it again.
Check out these Spinach Ricotta Portobello Mushrooms - they look like a perfect party food!