Raw Food for Real People introduces the reader to the raw vegan lifestyle.  The first chapter is largely autobiographical.  Mr. Rotondi talks about his experiences in Europe, Morocco and the Middle-East and illustrates how those experiences influenced him and his search for healthy raw cuisine that everyone could enjoy.

Chapter Two offers a brief historical account of human’s relationship with food, how we strayed from raw fruits, nuts and veggies to refined food found in modern industrialized nations.  He talks about the SAD (Standard American Diet) diet and how refined foods contribute to disease and obesity.  Rotondi introduces the reader to the raw food diet and encourages us to eat what nature, not science has provided.

Chapter Three outlines the benefits of a raw vegan diet.  He discusses the body’s ph balance, the need for water, fiber, antioxidants and electromagnetic energy.

Chapter Four teaches us how to transition from a SAD to a raw food diet.  He details how to let go of food addictions, especially to refined flour and sugar.  He also offers a brief discussion on the benefits of detoxing and fasting.

Chapter Five sets up the raw food kitchen.  Rotondi lists the things needed to get started, how to stock your pantry, and create shopping lists.  There’s also a section on prepping difficult to open foods such as coconuts.

Chapter Six gives us the basics of sprouting virtually any edible seed.  There are instructions on how to sprout everything from almonds to clover.  A chart is also provided for preparing, soaking and sprouting more challenging seeds such as almonds and wild rice.

Chapter Seven is all about making and dehydrating items such as crackers, croquettes, pizza ‘bread’ and more.  He introduces us to the dehydrator and how to use it.  Rotondi added recipes for crackers, pizza bread, croquettes, sauces and raw cheese substitutes in this chapter.

Chapter Eight provides breakfast recipes for nut milks, smoothies, oatmeal, and porridges.

Chapter 9 is a recipe section for appetizers such as pate` dips, canapés, onion rings, etc.

Chapter Ten reveals Rotondi’s secret recipe for chickpea hummus.  He talks about salad boosters such as guacamole.  The rest of the chapter describes recipes for salads such as wild rice pilaf and recipes for dressings.

Chapter Eleven contains recipes for cold and warm raw soups.  Chapter 12 offers us entrées for comfort food such as meatloaf substitute, falafel and lasagna.  Chapter 13 has recipes for some really great desserts.

Chapter Twelve looks at raw foods for kids.  This chapter discusses the health benefits for children eating raw foods, and explains how to introduce raw foods into a child’s diet.

This is a great book for introducing the reader to the raw vegan lifestyle.  It contains grocery lists, how to instructions for preparing just about everything, and contains great recipes to get you started.  I highly recommend this book.


~review by Patricia Snodgrass

Author: Rod Rotondi

New World Library, 2009

pp. 184, $24.95