Live Raw- Review of Mimi Kirk’s Cookbook
There’s a lot to like about Mimi Kirk’s first book, Live Raw. Before even getting to the recipes, Mimi offers a whole lot of education about the benefits of raw foods, the pitfalls of the way we eat now, and ten steps for maintaining memory, mobility, independence, and beauty- all qualities that Mimi Kirk, at age 72, still appears to have plenty of.
Perhaps my favorite part of the book is Mimi’s 29 Tips for Staying Young at Any Age. Mimi’s words read like those of a wise, trusted friend. As a holisitic health counselor, I love that her approach is not only about the food. Our health is so much more than what we put into our bodies.
Clearing clutter, reducing stress, and laughing more are equally important to living a quality, healthful life, and Mimi offers tips about how and why to do just this.
Then, of course, there’s the recipes. The recipes! Made only that much better by the amazing photographs taken by Mimi’s boyfriend, Michael Mendell. In my April interview, Mimi offered us the recipe below, also included in her book. The photograph alone makes my mouth water.
Being new to the world of raw creations, I love that Mimi offers tips for sprouting, what to include in your pantry, as well as tools for the kitchen, recommended websites, and a number of easier, “beginner” recipes.
For my friends, I made the maca coffee. It has a soothing taste and maca is known to boost energy levels, without caffeine.
I made the banana chia pudding as well, which was a big hit. Chia is loaded with brain-boosting omega-3 fats and fiber. Chia pudding is a raw version of tapioca pudding.
I also made Mimi’s beet salad. She gave it such rave reviews, I had to try. It was super delish and ready in minutes. A great summer addition to any meal!
Also neat about this book is the section in which Mimi includes fave drink recipes from other superstars of the raw world, like Russell James‘s Aloe Lemonade, Matthew Kenney‘s Pineapple-Aloe Smoothie, and Ani‘s Ginger Lime Aid.
Lest you think being raw never has fun, there’s also a Sangria Tease, Mockarita, and a Very Dirty Mocktini.
Next on my list to make is Mimi’s cheddar cheese, ice cream sandwich, and four-layer chocolate caramel bars.
I’m thinking my friends are going to be very happy they are my friends.
Stuffed Portobello Mushroom with Basil Pesto
A beautiful presentation for company and the preparation is deliciously quick. The only time spent is when the mushrooms are in the dehydrator getting warmed up.
These mushrooms will be plump, juicy and tender after heated. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can set your oven on the lowest heat and leave the door open. The thing to remember is that to keep the enzymes and nutrients in tact, keep temperature at 105-115 degrees.
2 large Portobello mushrooms—or 6-8 baby Portobellos
4 tablespoons coconut aminos, Tamari or Nama Shoyu
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Raw Basil Pesto
1 1/2 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup walnuts
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil (depending how oily you like it)
Place walnuts in the food processor, pulse in the food processor. Do not make them too fine; you just want to chop them a bit.
Add basil and garlic to the processor and pulse to break and mix the ingredients.
Scrape down sides with a rubber spatula and gently pulse again. Be sure not to over-work the mixture. Add the salt and pepper and slowly add olive oil while the processor is running. I pulse the whole time to make sure it’s the proper texture, which is semi-smooth.
With a damp paper towel, clean mushroom caps and remove stems.
Marinate mushroom caps and stems in 3 tbs olive oil and 2 tbs of Tamari or Nama Shoyu.
Turn mushrooms over to coat well with oil mixture.
Choose two small salad plates that fit your dehydrator shelf. Or if using baby Portobellos, use baking dish.
Place one mushroom, filling side up, on each plate and reserve remaining oil mixture.
Fill mushroom caps with a generous amount of pesto mixture, smoothing as you go, usually 2 heaping tbs or more.
Add thin slice of tomato to top the pesto or fresh chopped tomatoes. Pour the remaining oil mixture on top, or if none left, put a dash of Tamari or Nama Shoyu on top.
Put the dishes on 2 trays of your dehydrator and dehydrate at 110 degrees for 1-2 hours depending how thick the mushrooms are. Mushrooms are done when outside rim turns dark.
Before serving, squeeze fresh lemon on top.