If you've been reading this blog for a while and had to bet on whether I do book reviews or not, you could confidently bet on 'not' and win.
I'm pretty happy with my modest collection of raw food recipe and nutrition tomes, but I also know that if I was to start reviewing each one, it could quickly turn into a full time activity. (Don't know how my coaching clients would feel about that.)
I hear Amber Shea Crawley is releasing a book! Instantly I knew that once it's out, I'll happily smudge my own rules and do what ever I can for a girl, who over the past two years has become one of my closest virtual friends ever! And that's a big call.
Scroll to the bottom to read Amber Shea's professional bio, but I'm here to tell you what she never mentions in it...
Her blog Almost Vegan Chef is- hands clapping, tummy stitching, whole body bending, jaw aching, hiccup making- hilarious! I've been guilty of scaring Elliot with my random laughter outbursts while reading it, and not just once. And lucky me- my own eBooks Seduced and Festive have been featured in her giant, world-famous corner of vegan cyberspace.
So yes, I am a BIG fan of Amber's writing. This girl has such a poetic way with words, I found myself reading her brand new book Practically Raw- Flexible Raw Recipes Anyone Can Make, for hours. Yep just sitting there and reading RECIPES! I don't know about you, but I don't really think that's 'normal'. I mean I would usually flick, turn, return, skim, zip, and blink through pages of recipe books, but I actually found myself reading (and loving) Amber's, word for word.
It is just jam packed with helpful tips, various options, mini stories, flexible suggestions and substitutions, that were revolutionary to me! The book is structured in the most easy to use way and each recipe begins with a lovely introduction about it by the author. A huge bunch of recipes come with instructions on making them both raw or cooked and there is an entire section devoted to KALE CHIPS! OMG!
I also had the time of my life finding out what new name Amber would assign to each of her snacks, meals, sweets and drinks. Here are some of my top favourites: Pizza Kale Chips, Cocoa Corruption Smoothie, Naansense Bread, Famous Five-Minute Blondies, and Deconstructed Sushi Bowl. Pure awesomeness.
Oh and did I mention how cute she is?...
With well over a hundred incredible looking and sounding recipes to play with, I discovered I must have a group of chipmunks living inside my own head. Because why else would there be all kinds of little voices arguing over which recipe I ought to make first?
One got its way and if you remember my last post on a Three Course Raw Food Dinner, you might recall that winning choice! I just couldn't resist the sound of the ingredients in Sopes con Mole Poblano and Wooweeee Amber Shea Crawley The First- did you know what you were doing when you rocked up with this sensation!
My guests couldn't agree more!...
|Practically Raw fans (from left): Riki, Elliot, Tanya, Britney
Luckily for us all, Amber also happens to be the sweetest and most generous person, whom I didn't need to beg in order to share her special recipe with my readers. Let me know how much you also love it in the comments below and make sure to get the book here>>
Sopes con Mole Poblano
From Practically Raw: Flexible Raw Recipes Anyone Can Make by Amber Shea Crawley, (c) 2012. Used by permission.
Sopes (pronounced "SOH-pehs") are Mexican corn cakes that can be topped with just about anything you please. I crown mine with a luxurious lava-flow of mole poblano, a complex tomato-chile-chocolate sauce. For another pop of color, serve the sopes over a bed of spinach leaves and/or top them with thin, creamy slices of avocado.
For the sopes:
2 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
1 cup cashews, soaked for 2 to 4 hours and drained
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon lime juice
3/4 cup ground flaxseed
For the mole sauce:
1 cup sundried tomatoes, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
1/2 clove garlic, peeled
1 small jalapeño or Serrano pepper, stemmed and seeded (optional)
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cacao powder
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup filtered water
To make the sopes, combine the corn, cashews, cumin, salt, and lime juice in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the flax and blend until incorporated.
Make it Raw: Drop the batter in 8 portions onto two Teflex-lined dehydrator trays (4 portions per tray). Use a spoon to spread each portion into a circle about 1 inch thick. Press the spoon into the center of each to create a slight depression. Dehydrate for 2 to 4 hours, until dry on the surface, then flip the sopes over onto a mesh-lined tray. Dehydrate for 4 to 6 more hours, until dry and firm.
Make it Baked: Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a baking sheet with coconut oil. Drop the batter in 8 portions onto the baking sheet. Use a spoon to spread each portion into a circle about 1 inch thick. Press the spoon into the center of each to create a slight depression. Bake for 10 minutes, until dry on top, then remove from the oven and carefully flip over with a spatula. Bake for about 10 more minutes, until dry and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
To make the mole sauce, combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. To serve, spoon mole sauce generously on top of each sope.
Yield: 8 servings
Per serving: 256 calories, 16.8g fat (2g sat), 23.8g carbs, 7g fiber, 8.6g protein
Cashews: macadamia nuts
Lime juice: lemon juice
Cacao powder: unsweetened cocoa powder or carob powder
Almond butter: peanut butter
Spoon cooked black beans, pinto beans, or vegan refried beans onto the sopes before topping with the mole sauce.
Amber Shea Crawley is a linguist, chef, and author specializing in healthful vegan and raw food. Known for her flexible recipes and friendly voice, she was classically trained in the art of gourmet living cuisine at the world-renowned Matthew Kenney Academy, graduating in 2010 as a certified raw and vegan chef. In 2011, she earned her Nutrition Educator certification at the Living Light Culinary Arts Institute. Her first cookbook, Practically Raw: Flexible Raw Recipes Anyone Can Make, debuted in March 2012. Amber blogs at AlmostVeganChef.com and can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.