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Cookbook Review: Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People

Eating raw food...way more normal than you probably thought!
I eat a fair amount of raw food—salads, fruits, veggies, nuts—but the idea of “going raw” to me just seems kind of, well, cold. And hungry. After my 30-day Paleo challenge, I began to learn that sometimes fruits, veggies and nuts just don’t seem like enough. Some days I felt like I had a primal hunger to eat something super dense and filling, like steak. Which, I’m pretty sure isn’t raw. Or, I don’t want to eat raw. Regardless, when we were sent the cookbook Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People, I was intrigued.
First, we hear from a lot of readers that recipes that serve four to six people are sometimes just too much (they apparently don’t share my love of the leftovers), so a cookbook that caters to the single or double raw-food eater is cool. Second, there is all kinds of fabulous nutrition in raw food, and it makes sense to try to get more of it in your diet. Third, when you eat raw, it pretty much naturally rules out eating anything overly processed. Fourth, I’ve always wondered just how the heck you make a raw cake or pasta. Turns out, it’s not that hard.
In this raw food cookbook, San Francisco Bay area author and cooking instructor Jennifer Cornbleet, takes the reader through 100-plus fairly easy non-cook recipes. With lots of info on raw-food basics, how to set up your kitchen and even techniques needed to soak nuts and blend this and that, it has quite a bit of good how-to info in it. From shopping lists to meal plans to a pretty amazing glossary and index, it’s full of important facts if you’re new to the raw-food game. And it has a good message. Jennifer is super encouraging about trying raw food in new fun ways—and understands that only a small segment of the population can really go totally raw food all the time.
The recipes are divided up into logical chapters—breakfast, lunch and dinner, dessert—with even more of a breakdown within each chapter (green smoothies, salads, sandwiches, entrees, etc.). And while there are a lot of recipes here, many of them just felt a little…basic. Recipes for guac, smoothies, salsas, vinaigrette and chopped salad? Not super inventive. And ones I have in about a million other cookbooks. Where the book does shine though is in the “meatier” dishes. The zucchini pastas, the creamy salad dressing recipes, the walnut pate and the mock peanut sauce, to name a few. All much, much more exciting! And the desserts? Hold on to your fit butts—there is flourless chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookie dough and tarts and mousse galore. I’m particularly smitten with the fig crust.
Overall, if you’re new to the raw food scene and want to ease in fast, this is your book. If you’re eating raw and want a book of basic recipes that work for one to two people, this is your book. If you’re regularly eating raw and are looking for new exciting recipes to spice things up, this might not be your book. While I’m in no way ready to eat raw all the time (I like warm food and meat too much, methinks), after playing around with this cookbook I’m certainly more open to making more inventive raw foods like desserts and entrees.
Any raw foodies out there? What are a few of your favorite raw-food cookbooks? —Jenn

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