Uncomplicated Raw Deliciousness

Dining in the Raw by Rita Romano

I first bought this un-cookbook when I was pregnant with Cossette. I was raw vegan for most of my pregnancy, and now she’s a giant genius. Maybe I could have eaten candy exclusively for my pregnancy and she would have been fine, but who’s to say? I ate meat twice because I tried to be a really intuitive eater, and I followed my cravings. But generally, my cravings and ideas about health coincided.

Anyway, when I bought a book that said “Raw” on the title and then found cooked recipes, I felt frustrated because I felt tricked. This feeling of feeling tricked caused this book to go directly on the shelf to gather dust. I just found it again recently, almost ten years later, and realize what a treasure it is.

Back in the day, I was just doing raw by myself with no books. I ate veggies and fruits as well as raw nuts and seeds. I loved doing it, but couldn’t keep it up much longer after I had a baby to take care of, as well as work and school. I found myself shopping every two or three days just to have fresh raw food in the house.

I read a book called “Vegan on the Cheap” which not only has awesome yummy recipes, but practical tips on how to plan. Since reading it, I have planned a weekly menu which got me into the practice of buying groceries once a week and sometimes only once every two weeks.

With planning on my side, I am now ready to take on “Dining in the Raw” with it’s over 700 recipes.

What a fool I was to not read it sooner! But then again, the recipes didn’t sound good to me at the time, and I was overwhelmed by the shear volume of the book.

I’ve made the Fennel Slaw which looks and tastes like a party with bright red cabbage and fennel. The poppy seeds are what push you over the edge to euphoria.

The butternut squash soup was amazing. I ate a whole batch myself. I felt like I couldn’t get enough.

I look forward to making Mint Jelly, Bechamel Sauce, Alfredo Sauce, Lemon Pudding, and Excellent Key Lime Pie to name a few. All vegan and almost always raw.

There’s a guide on how to make your own sprouts and why they are a healthy choice. She talks about how sauerkraut is important to eat daily, and because raw versions are expensive, she gives an easy recipe for making a large batch.

Before every chapter, she explains in detail what ingredients are and how to use them. This book is full of glossaries, measuring charts, sprouting instructions, galore.

The only downside is possibly being intimidated by the encyclopedic size and you’ll put it on your shelf for ten years. Seriously: don’t do it. Read it. You’ll thank me.

My husband and daughter DESPISE celery: both the taste and texture.

I happen to love both, and today while they were at work and school I made Celery Soup (a raw cold soup) and it was delightful

Celery Soup
1 head celery
1/2 cup of tahini
1 garlic clove
juice of 1 lemon
4 scallions
dash cayenne
Braggs amino to taste (an unfermented, wheat free soy sauce, Whole Foods)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced

Blend all ingredients, adding enough water to make a creamy soup. Garnish with parsley.

Because I made it only for me, I used a few celery sticks, about 1/3 cup of tahini, 1 clove of garlic still (I love garlic,)juice of one half lemon, and one scallion with the water and tamari. I genuinely forgot the cayenne and parsley, but it was still awesome!

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