A review of Mimi’s Live Raw

July 25th, 2011 · Lisa · book review, Review · Comments

You can read study after study about the benefits of eating fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds – but does that make you want to run out and buy a bag of carrots? There is something those scientific articles are missing…sex appeal. Right? I mean, I find a bar graph as stimulating as the next person but I’ve never found an molecular model that really got me too excited.

That’s where Mimi Kirk comes in. She’s 72 and glowing. In 2009, she was named PETA’s Sexiest Vegetarian Over 50. If anyone can convince you that eating a nourishing, raw vegan diet can make you feel, and look, amazing it’s Mimi. When I first flipped through the pages of her new book, Live Raw, I was struck not just by her physical presence but by her enthusiastic joy for life. This is a woman at home in her skin. Her words are encouraging, genuine and full of warmth.

After spending a few weeks playing with Mimi’s recipes and reading the inspiring entries that round out her book I can safely say, I would like to move in with Mimi. I know she hasn’t offered up space in her guest room in California, but if the spot is ever available I’d really like to spend some time sipping mocktails and laughing on the porch with her.

At least with my own copy of Live Raw I could explore the fabulous food Mimi has created. My condo in Toronto didn’t quite feel like California, but there was a lot of sipping and smiling going on.

Live Raw is full of fun recipe. The preparations are simple and the flavours are well balanced. Some of the recipes call for superfoods like goji berries, coconut aminos, and irish moss but those are rare and alternatives are often offered. The vast majority of Mimi’s repertoire relies on the produce you can pick up from your grocery store or farmer’s market. There is much less reliance on dehydration in Live Raw when compared to other raw food books. Instead, elements are blended, processed or frozen to develop the different textures in a dish.

If you’re new to veganism or raw gourmet foods, Mimi provides plenty of information about ingredients for your pantry, equipment and preparation. Live Raw covers all the recipe standards: smoothies, soups, breakfasts, breads, crackers, cheeses, entrees and sweets. I have no doubt you’ll find a new recipe you adore somewhere in these pages. The stand-out success for me was the Kombucha Sangria. What an absolute treat!

While you play with thoughts of sipping sangria in California with me and Mimi, let me tempt you with a few more special meals:

Banana Cacao Smoothie, just as rich and delicious as you’d expect.
Sangria Tease (that’s what it’s called and seriously, it is)
Banana, raspberries and almond butter served in a Sweet Potato Wrap. The idea of a sweet potato wrap really impressed me. I had never considered it before and now I can’t stop thinking of fantastic variations.
Falafel (served in a simple salad with Zucchini Hummus), this is the only dish I didn’t adore, I’m not sure if it was the texture or the flavour. It just wasn’t for me.
Banana Chia Pudding with Almond Milk, a perfect way to start or end your day.
Enchiladas with fresh Salsa in a raw Corn Tortillas, doesn’t that just look like summer?

You can read more about Mimi Kirk on her website, she has even posted some of her recipes there. If you plan to make the Mockarita just send me a note and I’ll put on my shoes.

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