Everyday Raw

Matthew Kenney, Author, Miha Matei, Photographer Gibbs Smith Publishers $19.99 (144p) ISBN 978-1-4236-0207-1
In this ambitious, well-designed cookbook, New York chef and restaurateur Kenney relies on some fairly hefty assumptions: ""By now, most of us realize that heating foods above 118 degrees does destroy valuable enzymes and nutrients."" Whether or not one ""realizes"" the benefits, the raw-food-curious will find some intriguing recipes in this book. Juices are especially appealing; Mango Raspberry employs a sweet hit of vanilla, and Sweet Green Juice is a sprightly concoction of carrots, cucumbers, apples and herbs. More substantial recipes include a simple, tasty Cucumber-White Grape Gazpacho, a lighter take on the traditional tomato-based soup, and seasoned, dried mushroom caps called Portobello Steaks. But once dishes become more complicated, they also start to require specialized equipment, myriad substitutes and a lot of patience. Baked Macaroni and Cheese, for instance, is nothing of the sort-it's squash covered in a cashew sauce flavored with lemon juice and nutritional yeast; like most of the recipes here, it requires a Vita-Mix food processor and a dehydrator. Tomato Torta with Pesto and Macadamia Ricotta substitutes nuts for cheese, and Pad Thai uses jicama instead of vermicelli. These substitutions should be tempting to people who believe that nutritional philosophy trumps ease and taste; others will find cooking macaroni and cheese simpler and more satisfying with actual macaroni and cheese.
Reviewed on: 03/31/2008
Release date: 03/01/2008
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