It is DAY 10 of the "Gluten Free Vegan Recipes" series and we continue our celebration with the incredible Louisa Shafia from Lucid Food. Where do I begin to express my admiration and respect for this remarkable woman? This lovely lady loves what she does, and the enthusiasm is infectious and addictive. Those of you who are not familiar with Louisa, you are about to make a glorious discovery that will rock your world!
Louisa Shafia is a visionary chef, educator, speaker, recipe developer, food writer, and cookbook author. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she has worked in some of the most innovative and successful restaurants in both New York and San Francisco, including Pure Food and Wine, Millennium, Aquavit, and the former Roxannes. With a penchant for fresh, local, organic cuisine, her passion for cooking is fueled by a desire to make healthy, sustainable food that is both elegant and delectable. She succeeds in spectacular fashion.
Louisa's amazing first book, Lucid Food: Cooking For An Eco-Conscious Life was nominated for best book of the year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals in the “Health and Special Diet” category. Louisa's second cookbook, The New Persian Kitchen will be released by Ten Speed Press in April 2013. Her dad is from Iran, and in this book she joins her love of fresh produce, whole grains, and healthy cooking techniques with delicious Persian ingredients like saffron, rose petals, and pomegranate molasses. I will be waiting in line for that! Lucid Food is one of my all-time favorite cookbooks, so when Louisa and Ten Speed Press granted permission to share the Crispy Yuba Rolls as part of this event I was delighted!
With environmental issues, conservation, and food politics steadily gaining steam, and trendy buzzwords like green, organic, and locavore becoming the norm, Louisa Shafia’s Lucid Food examines the importance of sustainable eating in today’s “fast food” culture, demystifies contemporary food issues, refutes the idea that organic food is exclusive and elitist, and offers eco-conscious home cooks an approachable, convenient, affordable way to enjoy organic, local, seasonal food in a delicious and fun way.
Louisa has created over 85 inventive, elegant, mouthwatering dishes that utilize sustainable ingredients and exotic ethnic flavors. With style and originality, Shafia’s gorgeous culinary journey moves through nature’s cycles and is organized by season, to showcase the best ingredients from each part of the year. These simple but inspired green meals celebrate the joy of in-season cooking, and the pleasure of serving food that is healthy, honest, pure, free of additives, and transparently made from source to table.
Some of my favorite recipes include: Warming Asian Rutabaga Soup, Lamb’s Quarter and Pea Shoots Soup, Kale Salad with Avocado, Almonds, and Toasted Nori, Persian Stuffed Dumpling Squash with Rose Petals, Indonesian Corn Fritters, Tamarind Ketchup, Pickled Mango and Habanero Relish, Pear Kanten with Pecan Crunch, Buckwheat and Orange Zest Gingersnaps, and the Rhubarb Spritzer. These Crispy Yuba Rolls with Lime-Mustard Dipping Sauce that I am featuring today are incredible! For those of you who have never used Yuba before, Louisa says in her introduction to this recipe, “Yuba, also called “tofu skin” is sturdy and easy to work with. It’s crispy texture when baked makes it an ideal wrapper for spring rolls. Find dried or frozen yuba sheets at Japanese food stores.” I say, "These have a delicious flavor, are quick and easy to make, and not to be missed!"
But Lucid Food is more than an extraordinary recipe book. It is an accessible guide to mindful, conscious living. With a friendly, but passionate spirit, Louisa offers a myriad of ways to “green your cuisine.” She offers her top tips for eco-friendly shopping and waste reduction; defines many of the top “eco-foodie words terms" such as biodynamic, wild foraged, fair-trade, genetically modified, CSA and CAFO; shares her insight into some of the most popular ingredients such as olive oil, amaranth, agar-agar, and natural sweeteners; and explains some common cooking and food preparation techniques.
Louisa also shares valuable information about making earth-friendly food choices such as: how to find the best ingredients; supporting local food; reducing one’s carbon footprint through urban gardening; food preserving, composting; building a beehive; growing native plants to support wildlife; planting heirlooms to promote biodiversity; exploring wild edibles; choices for drinking water, and more. For those of you who are not vegan, you will be interested in her tips for sourcing animal products produced using ethical and sustainable methods.
Explore the wonders of Louisa’s Lucid Food, and experience the magic that is created when you are in tune with the energy of the foods you eat. The famous phrase, "I'll have what she's having!" chants in my head like an iconic theme song when reading this book. There is real heart and soul in this book. It almost feels like a personal food diary to me. Louisa’s spirit really shines through and bounces off the page. I feel like I am in the kitchen cooking with her; and it is a fulfilling, truthful, connective experience. Trust me, this book is sensational. You will see that being a responsible steward of the environment by eating real food that is healthier for you, your family, your local community, and our planet has never felt so good!
You can also visit Louisa’s amazing website, Lucid Food to get a taste of her fabulousness that translates into everything she does.
Louisa, thank you for graciously sharing your brilliance as part of of this event. You inspire me...
Special thanks to Kelly Snowden from Ten Speed Press for co-ordinating this contribution.
Learn more about Louisa Shafia at Lucid Food
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