Friday, August 23, 2013

The Rawvolution Continues


Weeks ago a wonderful raw recipe book landed on my doorstep for me to review. The Rawvolution Continues is the second book by chef Matt Amsden, co-authored this time by his wife Janabai. I am already a fan of Matt's. Besides the fact that he's Canadian, I've enjoyed his first book Rawvolution since it came out and have been fortunate enough to eat at his Santa Monica restaurant several times (I did one post about it here).


The Rawvolution Continues is a big thick book packed with colour photos of every recipe. I'm a visual person all the way so this really "makes" a recipe book in my opinion. I got even more excited every time I turned the page. I couldn't wait to see what else was in store in the book.

I've made a good handful of recipes thus far and will continue to try more of the recipes in the book as time goes on. Besides the items I made, you'll find dishes like: Indodesian noodles, Mole tacos, Mock chicken nuggets with dipping sauces, espresso bon bons, breakfast burritos, pancakes, hot chocolate, rosemary crackers, red pepper hummus, taquitos with paprika sauce, pizza, burgers, peppermint patties, the list goes on. There's even a chapter that's dedicated to kids recipes!


One of the best new ingredients I discovered from this book is hazelnut teeccino - a coffee substitute made with herbs, roots, fruits, and nuts. I have fallen in love with it! lol. Please note that I detest coffee. I have never been a coffee drinker and I think it's gross, BUT I really like this teeccino when mixed with almond milk. So if you don't like coffee either, consider giving this a chance. And if you DO like coffee and want to get off it, try this! J loves coffee and he enjoyed this a lot. It's caffeine free. I can see a world of wondering using this in desserts :)


I made the Sweet Black Magic Iced Coffee, a simple combo of ice in a glass topped with almond milk and hazelnut teeccino. I personally needed a bit of sweetener too so I added hazelnut stevia. Perfect!


Easy Iced Hazelnut "Coffee"

1/3 cup hazelnut teeccino
1/2 - 3/4 cup raw almond milk
Hazelnut Stevia, to taste
Several ice cubes

Make a batch of hazelnut teeccino according to the package directions. Chill it overnight or add some ice cubs to cool it down quickly. Add a few drops of hazelnut (or regular) steiva.
Add some ice cubes to a glass. Pour the teeccino over the ice and pour the almond milk over top to get the swirly look.
Add more or less almond milk depending on the ratio you prefer. Add more stevia if needed. Drink immediately.

The Chai Latte was right up my ally filled with heaps of fresh spices. I made a batch and enjoyed some of it hot one day, chilled the rest and blended it with ice the next day for a chilled chai latte. Delish!


A Night in Tunisia Soup was the least favourite recipe that I tried. I found it to be so thick like a dip, especially after chilling and I found it to be lacking something flavour wise. But each to their own right? Someone else might love it.


I tried the Hazelnut Mocha Shake too. A blend of the hazelnut teeccino with almond milk, chocolate ice cream, cacao, and almond butter. Oooh so good and perfect for the summer.


I made the Superfood Soup. It caught me eye right away. The flavour is beyond delicious! The only problem was the soup was so thin that it was like a juice. In fact for my photo I had to put so much cucumber and avocado in the bottom just so it would show on the top. I ended up blended avocado into it to thicken it up. But I would absolutely take the recipe as it is without the garnishes and consume it as a "super juice".


The Greek Salad with Cashew Feta jumped out at me right away. I was intrigued with the chunks of raw vegan feta and the dressing sounded delish. I was extremely pleased with this salad and would make it again and again!!! The "feta" seemed softer than it appears in the book where  it's chopped in cubes. I "crumbled" mine over the salad - though crumble isn't the best word because mine turned out on the soft side. I would make it again using less water to make it more firm. You might want to do the same.


Another soup I made was the Warm Miso Soup. Nothing particularly special about miso soup right? However in this recipe there's chunks of "nofu"!!! Yup just like tofu - but not! A raw, vegan version. This was delicious. I would enjoy this even more in the winter.


And last, but not least, I made the Vanilla Bean Ice Cream which uses young coconut and I was fortunate to get my hands on a bunch of coconuts lately so I indluged in this. Knowing that I find some of Matt's recipes too sweet for my liking, I decreased the amount of sweetener slightly and it was still plenty sweet. I also decreased the amount of vanilla bean powder because it was already so much that I knew it would turn the ice cream a dark colour. You can see in the pic that it's not white ice cream (like the pic in the book is - it appears they used only vanilla bean seeds). So I used a bit of vanilla extract in addition to the vanilla bean powder. This is so rich and delicious!


My only caution when using Matt's recipes is to start out with less salt/aminos and sweetener than he calls for. I have noticed this in his other book too. Some of the recipes are too salty or sweet for me. But  overall this is a fantastic book that I would recommend (and I'll be perfectly honest in saying that I wouldn't recommend just any raw recipe book). While there are many recipes that require dehydration, there are heaps or recipes that only require the use of a high speed blender and food processor. I didn't make anything dehydrated but there are other things in the book that I plan on trying when time allows.

Shared at Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays

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