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GORILLA FOOD – my latest fave recipe book acquisition, and one of the most creative

Posted Mar 08 2013 6:17pm

POST #901
Gorilla Food may inspire you to alchemy!  Read on to see what I mean!

I don’t believe I have had a new recipe book since Borders closed, so I was excited to receive this copy of Gorilla Food , by Aaron Ash, of the Vancouver restaurant by the same name.  Oh, this book is nice!  Enticing new flavor ideas, fresh innovative recipes, pretty pictures – oh my! 

This is not a “beginners’” book, in that it has no overview of the raw living food diet and why you should join up, nor does it speak the author’s food politics or dietary beliefs.  It is a recipe book – you asked for raw recipes and here they are. After a two page introduction, which tells the curious how the Gorilla Foods restaurant in Vancouver, BC, Canada came into being, and shows a picture pictures of a 1960s-throwback-looking space, it launches into clarification of terms and descriptions of the appliances and tools needed to work the magic, as well as a shopping list, i.e., all of the ingredients which will be eventually called for in the recipes.

After that come the recipes.  In the interest of saving paper, I guess, the recipes often include other recipes which you have to page to  – being an obsessive lazy person (I know when I’ll be lazy and so I’m obsessive beforehand), I’ve transcribed them, as they come up, to the recipe pages they’re included in. (When I die and this book is sold, it will be devalued for the writing in it, and someone will get a treasure trove for dirt cheap).

Now, if you are a person who likes more or less “instant food” (not much more than a food processor involved), and doesn’t like to plan a day or two in advance, many of these recipes will not work for you as they are written (many require dehydration, or include dehydrated recipes detailed on other pages), but, often, the “raw” parts, i.e., the parts before you dehydrate, are good enough on their own (I’m looking at the Morning Curry Crepes right now: they require the dehydrated Ginger Tomato Crepe listed on another page, but the recipe without the crepes would be just as good sitting in a bowl (you could use a plate, but I see myself with a bowl) for you to spoon up.  So it goes… I see this book as requiring a bit of creativity if you are to get the most from it – just about every page has something exciting, mouthwatering, or really curious. (I’ve just suddenly gotten a flash from the files I once created from my grandmother’s recipes, where different recipes often used the same techniques as other recipes but varied the delivery –i.e., chicken pot pie used a variation on a biscuit recipe as well as chicken stew, which used a variation on mixed vegetable salad, and Brunswick stew used a variation on chicken stew and mixed vegetables in a different way. Am I doing too much “chef-ing” here? Sorry, I’m just showing you how I use recipe books!)

That said, there are some truly innovative recipes (as in: I haven’t seen this before) recipes for vegetable mixes, sauces, cheezes, condiments, crackers/breads/wraps/chips, and desserts.  If you take the often unique vegetable mix ideas, and start adding different sauces, you get altogether different and exciting experiences.  If you are willing to do the dehydrated breads/crackers/chips/wraps (which you can do in advance and freeze – you knew that, right?), you expand your options exponentially (like that business-kind-of word? It’s the first time I’ve felt good about using it in a blog post! It basically means “a lot”)

When you get to the desserts in Gorilla Food , you will start to drool.  Many of the desserts just involve combining the ingredients, and voila!  Of course, the really fancy looking ones in the pictures will require you to use a dehydrator, but, often, the ingredients will taste good without the dehydrator, and just will be more like goo, or something you have to eat with a spoon.

There! I’ve just taken apart Gorilla Food and digested it into a recipe book for people who only have a knife, or, at best, a food processor.  You can make almost all of these things (save the breads, the chips, the crackers) in a beginner raw food kitchen (how do I know? Once upon a time, the only equipment I had was a serious knife –I still have it – it is a solid stainless steel Chinese cleaver, and a cutting board).

If you are a beginner, if you are an old hand, Gorilla Food will be worth your while.  Beginners: read through recipes and find things you can make with the equipment you have in your kitchen already (surely you have a knife, and you probably have a food processor, and a blender), and, old hands: you have what you need to do the job, and you just want some fresh inspiration! (I’ve been raw for over 30 years – when the raw food explosion started happening circa 1998(I cite that year because, judging by the recipe books I have gathered since 1976, that was when I started to see an explosion of fancy raw food recipe books on the market, and , I was clueless , as I had just been going along with Ann Wigmore’s recipes, and those few folks who had published raw food recipe books before her – okay, I do collect old raw food recipe books, and I think I have them all now)

So, do check out Gorilla Food . It is so very fanciful, and just this side of very basic raw food (which you don’t see much in recipe books anymore), with a kick!

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