Saturday, December 15, 2012

Karyn's Raw in Chicago

I went to Karyn's Raw with a couple of friends (one of them is also vegetarian) about a month ago and I've finally gotten the chance to post about it! Karyn Calabrese is a vegan chef that has three restaurant/market locations in Chicago. She offers wellness seminars and even weekly meals that you can take home. I was definitely excited to try some of her food and it was even better than I expected!

Karyn's Raw Cafe on Halsted offers gourmet raw vegan food. Raw food can be cooked up to 118 F, so it retains all of its nutrients. I definitely agree that a raw diet is very good for you and I try to eat raw vegetables every day. However, I prefer soups and hot food in the winter so it's more difficult for me this time of the year. Eating at Karyn's made me realized that raw food doesn't have to be a salad. There are many creative things you can do with soaked nuts and sprouted grains. During the whole meal, my friends and I were trying to figure out what everything was made out of because it tasted so amazing! We were saying..."how is this raw?!" Even the meat-eating friend thought it was amazing :)

This tasty and filling meal definitely inspired me to try more creative raw recipes. I actually have Carol Alt's recipe book Easy Sexy Raw. Carol Alt is a famous supermodel that was big in the 80s and she looks amazing for 52! I'm sure that's party due to her supermodel genes but I'm sure that it also has a lot to do with her healthy lifestyle. Karyn's on Green is actually offering a free seminar on Tuesday so maybe I'll try to attend!

Here are pictures of the wonderful meal we had. The quality is not great because they were taken with my iPhone and the lighting was pretty dark. I think the appetizer and dessert were my favorite, I need to learn how to make them!

Appetizer: Sea Dim Sum
Avocado meat puree with wakame and kalamata olives wrapped in nori
Served with Pacific dipping sauce
Flax and corn masa pastry dough stuffed with three pepper chorizo and house blend chili spice
Served with a side of authentic raw chocolate mole and a salsa verde

Portobello Napoleon
Thinly sliced Portobellos layered with scented vegetables, fresh herbs and a cashew blue cheese
Drizzled with homemade primavera sauce

Basil Scented Ravioli
Half moon shells filled with macadamia whipped crème dressed with an Italian olive marinara sauce

Tiramisu Cheesecake
Macafe infused cream layered with date lady fingers and whipped marscarpone

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