Sunday, August 10, 2014

Choosing Raw Cookbook Giveaway!!!

Gosh, I feel like I've known Gena Hamshaw for years! Okay, well, I guess I kinda have. I've been following her blog, Choosing Raw, since way back in the day when she was still working as a book editor. I was there, reading along, when she decided to go back to school for clinical nutrition, and just a couple weeks ago, I was there visiting her blog when she announced that her first cookbook, Choosing Raw, was for sale.

But we're not just blogger friends. I had the pleasure of first meeting Gena at Vida Vegan Con in 2011, and she's just as adorable and gracious and fun as she seems on her blog. I also love Gena's approach to healthy eating. She eats a high-raw diet, which means she also eats some cooked stuff. And she doesn't stress about eating perfectly all the time. Gena knows how to live a little, and that's refreshing in an age when so many rigid diets drive people to orthorexia.

Choosing Raw reflects Gena's relaxed approach to raw eating. Recipes for totally-raw dishes, like Jicama Fiesta Rice Salad (where the chopped jicama stands in for grains of rice), are included alongside cooked dishes, like Carrot & Millet Pilaf with Mesquite Glazed Tempeh.

And the book is organized in a way that would set even vegan newbies at ease. Recipes are organized into three levels. "Level 1" dishes evoke flavors and textures of foods non-vegans are used to, such as Chickpea Tofu Tahini Scramble and Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas. "Level 2" recipes are designed to take you out of your comfort zone just a tad. Think Quinoa Breakfast Pudding and Raw Carrot Falafel. And finally, "Level 3" dishes are raw, exotic, and more unusual or work-intensive, like Raw Lasagna and and Creamy Basil & Ginger Noodles (made with kelp noodles). And of course, there are desserts too! I can't wait for an excuse to make the Raw Key Lime Pie.

So what did I try? I started with the Raw Gazpacho with Raw Corn Salsa.

This was actually two recipes. Gena recommends topping the gazpacho with the corn & avocado salsa, but it's optional. I like my gazpacho chunky, and I'm a firm believer that avocado belongs in everything, so I opted for the salsa topping. I used fresh juicy summer tomatoes from the farmer's market for the soup's base, and those are blended with sundried tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, onion, garlic, and a touch of maple syrup for just hint of sweetness. The salsa was loaded with fresh off-the-cob raw corn, avocado, scallion, and olive oil. Such a perfect summer lunch!

The Mango Coconut Chia Pudding was just as perfect for a summer breakfast.

I love mango, but I rarely buy the whole fruit. This was a lovely excuse. You make a chia pudding with coconut milk, vanilla, and maple syrup and that's served atop fresh mango chunks. Coconut flakes are sprinkled on top. The flavors were so tropical, and the pudding was so creamy. I could eat this every day!

I bought Gena's book as soon as I heard it was for sale, and when it arrived in the mail, I messaged Gena to let her know how awesome it looked. And then she asked me if I'd like to do a giveaway for one lucky reader. Well, yes, of course I would! The giveaway is limited to readers in the U.S. and Canada for shipping reasons. All you have to do is leave a comment letting me know your favorite raw food dish and your email address (I must have a way to contact you if you win!). I'll randomly select a winner on Thursday night. Good luck!


June Burns said...

Hmmm. My favorite raw dish is probably just salad, since I eat it all the time. Or chia pudding. That pudding looks great!

Unknown said...

Love homemade cashew cheese.

VeggieNextDoor said...

So many favorites but right now I'm craving a simple tomato, red onion and balsamic salad!

Raia Runs Wild said...

Raw desserts are probably my favourite, so many yummy things to choose from. I'm interested in incorporating more raw food into my diet so I'd love to win:)

Jan Scholl said...

Peanut butter. I could live on that alone! jan scholl @ yahoo. com

Lydia Claire said...

I really like fruit smoothies!

Corrine said...

Tofu chocolate pudding is always delicious. =)

AlwaysJoy said...

So up until Saturday I would have had a completely different answer but I went to the organic garden cafe and got the om orange chai cake which was raw and AMAZING

Stacey Vegas said...

My favourite raw dish is raw pancakes from an awesome vegan and semi-raw restaurant in Toronto called Live Food Bar.

Beth said...

Gena's cookbook sounds great -- thanks for doing the giveaway! My favorite raw dish is probably a veggie "pasta" dish with zucchini noodles, but that gazpacho looks delicious. :)

Cat said...

Chia pudding is one of my new raw faves!

Crissy said...

I love raw brownies!

Dara said...

I looooove raw desserts - all the fake cheesecake-y type tarts. I've impressed you with my healthy choices, I know. =)

Kyleigh said...

I love raw desserts, especially pudding's and tarts, but raw tacos are fantastic for a savory meal. This book looks amazing, and that chia pudding looks to die for!

Jenny said...

Sweet & simple: bananas with locally made almond butter. :-)

Dennis said...

cashew cream (cashews, water, agave and vailla extract, then blend) on top of berries... mmmmmmmmmmmm

Jessica Eagle said...

Ohhh yeahhh !!! Thanks for this winderful giveaway :)

My favorite raw dish ?! Hummm...good question cause I've got lots...hi hi !!! However, a fresh salad with veggies form my garden or a green smoothie are always winner for me. Simple but so delicious.

Christina said...

My favorite raw dish is Zucchini lasagna.

Terri Cole said...

Gazpacho might be my favorite raw dish. Pretty much perfect!

gaia at cinci dot rr dot com

(Thanks for the giveaway!)

Jacky DLT said...

I love raw taco salads with lentil or walnut taco meat!

Unknown said...

Raw sweets, any of them!

Sheridan said...

Oooh! Would love to win this cookbook! Favorite raw dish is probably zucchini noodles with a cashew cream sauce! Yum!

amber said...

Raw foods have always intimidated me a bit, so I pretty much stick to smoothies or salads for raw food. This cookbook excites me!

My e-mail address is amber.sproul@gmail :]

Dana Vickerson said...

i LOVE raw desserts and salads. i love gena's blog, too. what a great give away!

Anonymous said...

I love green juices and raw macaroons! My email: moosh_phoenix_cat at
- Adrienne

Unknown said...

I love raw pad Thai and zucchini pasta with avocado Alfredo!

Xxanidayxx @ gmail. Com

Lauren said...

My favorite raw food dish is zucchini noodles with tomatoes and basil! yumm! That book looks great.

HWN said...

This time of year, my favorite raw dish is a salad from my garden. I just chop up whatever is ripe and whip up some homemade dressing with fresh herbs. Nothing can come close to fresh and homegrown!

Jeff said...

One of my favorite dishes, regardless of raw or cooked, is guacamole. I can and do eat it by the bowl full. Email: jwatts at

girlrunner said...

Raw brownies!

Anonymous said...

Do hummus, salsa and guac count? Those are meals to me.

Anonymous said...


Jocelyn said...

I love zucchini pasta

belinda1 said...

My favorite right now is one of Gena's. Almond butter, bananas, cacao, and almond milk smoothie. Can't get enough! Belinda,

GlutenFreeHappyTummy said...

that gazpacho looks so yummy!! my fav raw dish is anything with avocado!

sarahhhhhh said...

beet carrot pasta!

Unknown said...

I love a good salad or fruit smoothie, but just tonight I tried a sriracha cashew cream sauce that was AMAZING and uber simple (raw cashews, water, garlic clove, nooch, and sriracha).

Amanda J said...

I love making raw desserts with soaked cashews, specifically something cheesecake-like. :)

Jennifer M. said...

I haven't tried many raw dishes, but I am wanting to venture into it more, particularly into raw desserts. For now, I will say that my favorite raw dish is guacamole! Oh yeah! I love the stuff.
Jen =)

Melissa said...

I love anything with raw cashew cream. Savory, sweet, doesn't matter!

Gar said...

Avocado salad.

Marjorie said...

It's hard to choose between banana mango smoothies and homemade guacamole. Both I eat all the time and they are both amazing!

Rebecca said...

Cheezy kale chips!

The Peace Patch said...

Raw ice cream...I just can't get enough of it lately and my little nephew loves helping out, both making and eating it! :)

Morgan Holmes said...

I love raw pastas and sauces/dips. But I would love to experiment with raw desserts :)

Jenni (aka Vegyogini) said...

I adore Gena and I am in love with this book! In fact, I had the Mocha Maca Chia Pudding for breakfast and brought the Raw Corn Chowder (not sure if that's the exact name) for lunch. I'd love to win a copy for a friend; thank you for the giveaway.

PaganAngel said...

Another vote for guacamole! I have a really hard time finding raw dishes appealing--even salad, I love it once I'm eating it, but it rarely sounds good. I do read Gena's blog, though, and find inspiration where I can. Overnight oats are another raw recipe I frequently go to.

Chris said...

I love raw ravioli made with turnips with cashew cream cheese inside.

dumbsnowflake at

Nadya said...

I only tried salads, nut butters and nuts but would love to try more!

Sarah G. said...

Raw cashew cheesecake :) My email is sarguthall (at) Hotmail [dot] com

Thanks for the opportunity!

Breanna Excell said...

Hmm... I love smoothies, salads, and buckwheat breakfast porridge! I am also interested in trying some raw desserts. :)

superhumanradio said...

Raw food or desserts are definitely healthy!. Eating raw is highly nutritious.That is why i love eating raw food.What I found is that eating raw is not only easy to do, but makes you feel amazing.Thank you for publishing this article.This is really useful to us.God bless!

Unknown said...

Raw tiramisu!

Unknown said...

I know I'm probably too late for the giveaway, but this book sounds awesome!

Jasmine said...

I love raw zucchini pad thai!

Miet said...

I love raw brownies!

Unknown said...

I Love Chia Pudding! :)

Monique C said...

Kale salad with carrots!

Anonymous said...

I love chai seed and I use it every morning on my oat meal, delicious!

Anonymous said...

I love chai seed and I use it every morning.

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