Monday, 2 April 2012

Book Review - The Naked Foods Cookbook

This book which is not vegan. Just to say that to start with, however it does have a large number of the recipes which are vegan, or can be made vegan, so if you are OK with over looking the odd recipe calling for non-vegan ingredients (which as I've said before, I am) this is an interesting book. Its got a sort-of-raw focus, with a large number of recipes which are raw, but naked is not synonymous with raw. Naked food is more about unprocessed, whole, and natural foods deliciously prepared, cooked and raw. There are recipes for foods which are "better than naked" by the judicious use of microbial action - fermentation and the like. The recipes are also gluten free and largely soy reduced as well. The only soy used is fermented soy products (soy sauce, miso, and tempeh).

The introduction section is large and filled with lots of information about the food philosophy behind the recipes. Yes, there is a plan behind "naked food", and it is outlined in a lot of detail, so you know where the authors are coming from even if you don;t entirely buy into it yourself. This strikes me as a good book for those who are raw curious, have a wheat allergy or intolerance, or for anyone looking to expand their culinary boundaries. For vegans, you will need to overlook the use of animal products.

The recipes I made, in page number order as always.

Page 55 Crispy Shiitake Faux Bacon

Maybe the best mushroom faux bacon I've ever had. Which is saying something. (on the photo for the Caesar Salad below)

Page 85 Grainless Granola

Looks and tastes like granola, but with no grains! Just like the title. Filling, and not too sweet this was great.

Page 99 Cuban Green Peas

Simple and tasty. Unless you don't like peas.

Page 107 Roasted Yam Chips

My chips didn't really get crispy but they tasted good.

Page 108 Garlicky Herb Red Potatoes

Nice side, very garlicky. Easy to make.

Page 117 Quinoa Tabouleh

Nice variation of the Quinoa in Tabouleh variation of the usual bulgar.

Page 121 Caesar Salad and Page 143 Vegan Caesar Dressing

Been ages since I had a "real" Caesar so I can't comment on the dressings authenticity, a little less creamy than I remember. Tasted awesome though.

Page 130 Green Goddess Dip

Creamy and rich, gorgeous and green, thanks to the avocado, this one will be made again.

Page 131 Lemon Tahini Dressing

Little on the sharp side, but not bad.

Page 132 Speedy Peanut Dressing

Not my most favorite peanut sauce/dressing. Balance of flavors not to my taste I think.

Page 145 Thai Peanut Sauce

I was surprised how much I liked this. The cucumber adds a cooling, mellowing influence which I found strange at first taste then came to really enjoy. Recommended to try this one.

Page 159 Curried Lentil Soup

Divinely creamy, not overpoweringly curried, but nicely balanced. Would easily make again.

Page 216 Cheesy Vegan Kale Chips

The best kale chips I've made to date. I think its the combination of the cheesy sauce and the red onion which gets sweet as it bakes.

Page 218 Zesty Crackers

These are awesome, and I've never made grain free crackers before and think I am hooked. See photo of the Caesar Salad for these on top.

Page 226 Chocolate Mousse

If my blender was more powerful this would have been smoother, and therefore better, but it was still great. If refrigerated for any length of time I recommend standing at room temp prior to serving for 10 minutes or so to get the most creamy texture.

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