I rarely watch movies and I can barely stay awake when I’m on a flight. But last year, flying to the U.S. something changed. I watched 3 movies and stayed awake for the whole thirteen hour flight from Brisbane to Los Angeles. Funnily enough I can’t even remember two of the movies I watched but I do remember one. It was Julie and Julia. I don’t know what drew me to this movie, it’s not a movie I would normally watch and I really don’t like cooking shows or cooking movies. But for some reason I decided to watch it.
And I loved it. I loved the idea of it. I loved the cooking, I loved the blogging and I loved the commitment of Julie to cook every dish in Julia’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking cookbook. My mind was buzzing. I had a notebook with me and I wrote copious notes about the movie and the ideas that it generated. I was going to be away for 3 weeks but when I got back I had plans! I was going to create a section called “Cook the Book”. I was going to create dishes from my favourite cookbooks. And I was going to do it regularly.
Don’t you just love how many plans you make when you’re away from home, but then you get back home and the busyness of life gets in the way? Well, I’ve been back for eight months and I’ve just got around to looking in a cookbook, picking a recipe and trying it out. Here is the first in my Cook the Book feature!
I must say, I love cookbooks. I’ve always loved books and cookbooks in particular. I buy them regularly, flick through them, looking at the pictures, admiring the layout and graphics, drooling over the recipes, deciding which ones I love and which ones I’d change. Then I’ll close the book, look in my pantry or fridge and make something, possibly totally unrelated to what I have seen in the cookbook.
One of the cookbooks I purchased last year was The Raw Food Kitchen by Amanda Brockett.
I walked into a store and they had The Raw Food Kitchen and spiralizers on display. Without thinking about it I bought both. I already had a little spiraliser, but it was small and fiddly. I had to cut the vegetables into a certain size and then screw the pieces together and then twist to make spirals. It made great spirals but it was time consuming and it was always in the too hard basket when I wanted to make something.
Then I purchased another one the day I purchased Amanda’s book and I’ve since been spiralling like a pro. I went home with The Raw Food Kitchen, grabbed a coffee and as I usually do, sat on the lounge and read through the book – much like someone else would read a novel. The book has pages and pages of interesting information about raw food, and the benefits of eating at least some raw food; specialist ingredients and techniques; and plenty of recipes, both savoury and sweet. Some people think raw food needs a heap of preparation time, and whilst it helps to be organised (doesn’t it always) this raw pad thai recipe takes less than 30 minutes to put together, after the cashews have been soaked.
One thing I found intriguing in the book was raw sweet potato. Apparently it’s a thing! I always thought potato was toxic if you ate it raw, but that’s only white potato. Sweet potato can be spiralled and eaten raw. I have made this raw pad thai with sweet potato instead of the zucchini and it is amazing. The sweet potato gives it a bit more of a crunch, that you don’t get with the zucchini.
Anyway, flashback to last year: I bought the book, I read through it, I took a photo of the book and I posted it on Instagram and then went about my day. Not long after Amanda replied back to me – her advice was to try a new recipe each week. Great advice, but it hasn’t happened quite like that. That is, until I completed Module 2 of The Vegetarian Cooking School and I was looking for more inspiration around raw food. I took The Raw Food Kitchen out of my cookbook cupboard and found Raw Pad Thai.
Like any recipe I didn’t have all the ingredients listed and so this is my version, based on what was in my fridge/pantry. If you like following exact recipes, then do that. If not, use what’s in your kitchen and use the recipe as inspiration. I’ve found the amount of water needed for the sauce varies depending on the cashews and how fresh they are and how long they have been soaking. I’ve made this a few times and have had to add varying amounts of water.
I usually make extra sauce. It keeps in the fridge for about a week and I add it to pasta with some mushrooms, or use it as a sauce on burgers.
I hope you enjoy this new feature Cook the Book. I’m certainly not going to be making 524 recipes in 365 days, but I will be sharing some of my favourite recipes from some of my favourite cookbooks. If you’d like to read more of my Cook the Book feature then make sure you sign up below, if you haven’t already.
Like this? Pin it