Home > Book, cookbook, Genre, Review > Cookbook Review: Alive in Five: Raw Gourmet Meals in Five Minutes! by Angela Elliott

Cookbook Review: Alive in Five: Raw Gourmet Meals in Five Minutes! by Angela Elliott

Colorful picture of a raw vegan pasta.Summary:
Using mainstream ingredients and quick-fix instructions, Elliott seeks to show the intrepid new raw food cook how easy it is to incorporate vegan raw food into their everyday life.

Review:
I’m finally doing cookbook reviews!  I’m afraid mine won’t be as in-depth as on some blogs.  I simply don’t have the time to snap pictures as I cook and copy out recipes.  But I will tell you the basics of how the cookbook is set up, how well it works, and whether I would recommend it.

I have no intention to go full raw food, but I did think incorporating some raw recipes into my week might help up my veggie and fruit intake.  I also am a busy young professional so don’t have tons of time, so clearly the title appealed to me.  So are these 5 minute recipes?  Um. Not for me they weren’t.  I’d say that on average the recipes took me anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes to accomplish, and I don’t think learning the recipes or improving techniques would help with that.  Five minutes is definitely an understatement.

The book is set up with a list of all the ingredients she uses, a suggested weekly meal plan, and then divided into your typical breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, desserts, etc…. categories.  It is a convenient size, although you will need something to hold it open for you.  It is wonderfully illustrated with gorgeous full-color pictures.

I selected a breakfast, lunch, and dinner to try out since snacks are best kept simple (in my book), and I’m not much of a desserts person.

Breakfast was a smoothie.  Something I am incredibly skeptical of keeping me full.  It consisted of freshly squeeze orange juice (TIME-CONSUMING), half a banana, almond milk, and ice cubes.  It tasted surprisingly good, but did it keep me full? HAHAHA NO.  I was hungry again by the time I got to work.  So that was kind of a fail.  Especially with all the effort that went into making it.  Seriously, I think I expended those calories purely in squeezing out the oj.

Lunch was….a salad.  A salad that did not taste nearly as good as my salads I usually make.  Plus, I was bothered by the fact that she wanted half of your leafy greens to be iceberg lettuce when spinach and kale are so much healthier for you.  I consider this salad kind of a fail.  It did keep me full, though, and others might like the proportions and such better than I did.

Dinner was a raw avocado “soup,” which basically was a bunch of things blended in the blender.  You guys.  This did not taste like soup.  It tasted like a good dip, so that’s how I ate it.  It totally would score 4 stars as a dip, but as dinner it failed. Really. A lot.

The main problem I had with this book, then, was a) the recipes take way more than 5 minutes and b) I kind of like to chew things periodically.  All of this blending made me feel like an invalid.

That said, the book is definitely not bad, it is just not my cup of tea.  Others might enjoy the tastes and style better than I did, and it is well-organized.  Plus others might be less irritated by the fact that the recipes take 10 to 15 minutes rather than 5.

Recommended to vegans with an openness to incredibly simple raw meals being integrated into their diets.

3 out of 5 stars

Source: Public Library

Buy It

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  1. April 9, 2012 at 6:31 am

    I love that your going to be doing recipe book reviews as well now. Although I’m afraid I won’t be rushing out for this one, it is way too cold here to be eating all that cold food as well 😛

    • April 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm

      Thanks for the feedback! I was hoping cookbook reviews would be well-received. 🙂

  2. April 9, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    “The main problem I had with this book, then, was a) the recipes take way more than 5 minutes and b) I kind of like to chew things periodically.”

    Eating does seem a lot more fun when you have to chew your food. LOL I think I’ll stick with sushi for now.

    • April 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm

      Lol yes! I think part of why there were so many blended things is that that’s the fastest way to prepare raw food. I’ve had other raw food recipes that are extremely chewable and delicious!

  1. April 9, 2012 at 6:00 am
  2. April 15, 2012 at 12:19 am

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