Raw Live Organic Food Bar goes digital

March 4th, 2009 · Lisa · book review, Review · Comments

Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth. It’s a time when many of us begin to reassess our resolutions and reassert a focus on well-being. It’s also the perfect time of year to share with you my experiences testing recipes from Live Organic Food Bar, thanks to the Dupont St restaurant’s three new e-books.

Compiling these beautiful e-books of Live’s incredible recipes was the brainchild of Jaime Luchuck, who worked closely with owner/chef Jennifer Italiano to capture the unique taste and texture combinations that make visiting the restaurant so memorable.

E-books are rapidly gaining in popularity. Many bloggers and authors are publishing e-books to satisfy their fans’ voracious appetites-for recipes. I guess they are the zines of the future. I like e-books’ compact storage quality. My already overstuffed bookcase sighs with relief when I download an e-book rather than buying another hardcover cookbook. And just think of the search possibilities. Let’s say you’ve just come home from the market, loaded down with napa cabbage. Just type in a few ingredients and find all the references in your book. I really love this feature.
When I received the three Live e-books (Drinks/Brunch; Entrees; Desserts), I was delighted to find that each was full of colourful photos and an amazing number of recipes taken directly from the restaurant’s regular menu.

I decided to test a couple of recipes from each book. From Drinks/Brunch, I went for some staple recipes that, once prepared, offered multiple variations. I started with the cinnamon raisin bagels. I have purchased a bag of these from Live, since they are a fantastic winter staple for anyone following a raw diet. The recipe is mainly ground flax, water, cinnamon and raisins, making them a great source of Omega-3 fatty acides and fibre. It takes only a couple of minutes to prepare this recipe, but the bagels need to hang out in the dehydrator for at least 14 hours. The results were sweet, chewy, spicy flatbreads. You aren’t going to fool anyone into thinking that these are bagels – the taste experience is there, but the texture is almost pita-like, rather than a thick, chewy bagel. But the Live version certainly trumps any other version in the health department.

By the way, I ended up cutting the recipe in half. In fact, I did that for all the recipes I tested, as it seems that they were written with restaurant service requirements in mind.
Next, I tested out the Morning Glory Granola. Oh man, this is one delicious recipe. It calls for apples, pears, raisins, cinnamon, soaked buckwheat and walnuts. The recipe makes about eight cups of granola, which you can use in some of the Live’s dessert recipes (including the almond dream bars). Unfortunately, my granola did not last long enough to be used in any other recipe. I found myself snacking on it by the handful. I kept making excuses to eat it at every meal.
Cinnamon Raisin Bagels:
Makes 40 bagels
Ingredients:
5 1/2 cups ground brown flax seeds
2 1/4 cups raisins
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup groun cinnamon
Pinch of Celtic sea salt
2 tbsp agave nectar
Water to mix
Directions:
Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and add enough water to form a dough. Use a large ice cream scoop (1/4 cup) and place them on a dehydrator sheet. Form them into bagel shapes, using water to smooth the surface as you go. Make sure not to make them too thick. Lay them out 9 per sheet. Dehydrate the bagels at 115 F for 14 hrs until they are firm. They will keep for a very long time in a cool place.

Moving on the Entrees book, which contains more than 100 pages of enticing, savoury selections (including sandwiches, pizza, sushi, burgers and appetizers). Some of the meals here are multiple-recipe events that fulfill the gourmet presentation expectations of any fine restaurant. Many of the recipes seemed a little too involved for a weekday evening, so I decided to test out a couple of the simpler ones.

The Yam Arame Salad provides a unique way to increase your seaweed consumption. Arame is incredibly rich in minerals and nutrients and an important addition to any well-balanced vegetarian diet. It was effortless to prepare, had a lovely balance of sweet and sour, and kept well for a few days in the fridge. One evening, with a few free minutes to spare, I whipped up the sunflower refried bean recipe that could be used in a least a dozen other meals, such as enchiladas and taco salads. The results were garlicky and spicy. I would have increased the amount of cumin and coriander to enhance the Mexican flavour, but the versatility of this spread is certainly one of its virtues.
Finally, I had to pick one of the tempting dessert recipes to test out. After a scan of the options, my dehydrator trays were quickly filled with a raw version of the classic chocolate chip cookie. The base is a combination of walnut and sunflower seeds that creates a creamy, crumbly texture in your mouth. The result were absolutely delicious! You will not miss the wheat flour and margarine when you taste this decadent treat. The e-book contains more than 60 desserts, including Live’s popular Black Forest Cake.
After having these e-books for more than a month, I feel that I have barely begun to realize the amazing delights they have to offer. I plan to host a brunch and dinner party featuring more of these delicous menus to impress both my friends and my taste buds.
The three e-books sell for $49.99 (US) and come with a 30-day guarantee if you find they’re really not for you. The Entrees e-book is also available separately for $24.97 for more information visit liverecipebook.com

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