Saturday, July 17, 2010

Quick and Easy Tabbouleh and a Book Review

It is time to do a formal review of a book I was lucky enough to find at our local library. The title is, "Everyday Raw", by Matthew Kenney. I have already posted recipes from his book and I really like everything that I have prepared so far. But now I would like to share my review of his book and also feature another one of his recipes, TABBOULEH. The funny thing about this recipe is that he uses a sprouted grain, quinoa, that he didn't actually sprout. He doesn't personally advocate the use of sprouted grains, although they are technically raw, because he has a hard time digesting them and he doesn't think they are pleasant to eat. I disagree. I think everyone has to decide for themselves of course, but I love sprouted grains and do not have a problem digesting them. It is very important to follow soaking and sprouting timeline guides, to do it properly. Anyway, let's talk about his book:
The copy right date is 2008, so it is a fairly new book. It contains recipes for: blended and squeezed drinks, snacks, unbaked items, starters, spreads, dips and sauces, salads, larger dishes, desserts, and ice creams. He lacks a resource section but occasionally adds tips and information on some of the recipe pages. He also does not begin the book with enough information for a beginning raw foodist to get started. This book would be better for someone who has already researched and learned how to get started on the raw food lifestyle. He only devotes four pages to his introduction and basic understanding of the necessary equipment, techniques, and ingredients that are needed to begin the journey. But what he lacks here he more than makes up for with his amazing and simple raw recipes.
The first chapter, Blended and Squeezed, contains 17 recipes. He has basic nut milks, smoothies, shakes, cleansing juices, lemonade, cacao drinks, and protein power packed smoothies good for any athlete.
The second chapter is devoted to snacks. He has twelve snack recipes. All of them I will be making. They look great. The star snack recipe has to be his Super Gogi-Cacao-Maca Bars!!
Unbaked crackers, breads and chips are next. Cumin flatbread, herb crackers, golden tortilla chips, za'atar flatbread, and bar-b-que crisps are the featured recipes in this chapter. Now he gives you "starter" recipes...that would be breakfast. He has pancake, sausage, bacon, gazpacho, tofu scrambler (do raw foodists eat tofu??) and then moves on to the other "starters"...hors d'oeuvres. Here you will see sesame cashew dumplings, soups, homemade tofu using no soy, olives, and crepes. I made his portobello sausages and they were fantastic.
He features fourteen different spreads, dips and sauces in the next chapter. I made his chili and it was loved by all who tried it. I served it both cold and gently heated in my Excalibur dehydrator. Did I mention how much I love my dehydrator?? This chapter features a macadamia red pepper cheese that I am dying to make. He says this cheese is great for crackers and for making a Middle Eastern-style pizza with vegetables. Sounds good to me. There is pesto, hummus and salsas and more in this chapter.
Now on to the greens. The salad chapter is one of my favorites. I posted some of his salad dressings in the past few weeks. They are spectacular. This chapter features the TABBOULEH recipe which I will share with you today. His chapter devoted to "Larger Dishes" contains pizza, mango wraps, fajitas, pasta primavera, baked macaroni and cheese, rosemary-garlic mashed potatoes made with jicama, portobello steaks, summer rolls, tomato torta with pesto and macadamia ricotta, and a pad thai recipe that is the best I have seen.
The final two chapters are devoted to desserts and ice creams, yummy!!!! The chocolate hazelnut tart is the recipe I used for our son's fourth birthday and the crust from another recipe (see below). Happy Birthday Eric Jr.!!! I love you! I will be taking pictures of it tonight when we eat it and posting it tomorrow. This tart will knock your socks off. Matthew says, "If you have a skeptical friend or family member who doesn't believe raw food is delicious, simply feed them this tart. Your point will be made."
You will be delighted to find recipes in the last chapter for ice creams, gelato, ice cream cones, sorbet, chocolate pieces to top the ice creams, and creamsicles.
I will be buying this book after I return this copy to the library. I definitely need it in my raw food cookbook collection. I think you will find it amazing too. Here is the featured recipe for today:
(**I sprout all grains..he did not sprout his quinoa for the recipe...I recommend sprouting for the most nutrition and digestibility)
1 Cup quinoa, rinsed and soaked 24 hours **and then sprouted 1 day
1/4 Cup first cold pressed EVOO
3 T fresh lemon juice
1 t sea salt
1 Cup seeded and chopped cucumber
1 Cup seeded and diced roma tomato
1/4 Cup minced red onion (I used white)
1/2 Cup flat leaf Italian parsley
Marinate sprouted quinoa in a medium bowl with the EVOO, lemon juice and salt for 30 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and toss until well incorporated. Eat immediately or let flavors marinate for an hour prior to serving.

This is a wonderful, quick and easy tabbouleh. Mine kept well for 3 days in the fridge. One of the days I even had it for my breakfast!! Give it a try! Sprouted quinoa is one of my favorite raw grains. It is so good for you and has a unique taste. I like it better that bulger that is traditionally in the cooked recipes for tabbouleh. Look at your local library for Matthew's book and see what you think? I think you will agree that it is a great raw recipe book. Peace and Raw Health!
~JMJ~ Today I am thankful for our son who turns four today!!! Eric Junior is our second to the youngest child. He is a joy and a blessing. I can't wait for tomorrows post. I will have pictures of him and his raw birthday cake, and the recipes that I tweaked. I combined Matthew's Chocolate Hazelnut Tart with the crust from Rawfully Tempting's Creamy Chocolate Mousse Cake. Every 5 minutes he asks, "Mom, is my cake ready yet?" I made it last night so it could set up over night in the freezer. I don't think he his going to be able to wait until tonight to dig into this amazing raw cacao tart.

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