I love my cookbooks. If you come to my house you will notice my cookbooks are all completely beat up from being used so much. But no cookbook has ever maintained a permanent presence on my limited counter space… until now. Enter Unprocessed, by Chef AJ.
I met Chef AJ at a fundraiser earlier this year and watched the clouds part from a cloudy sky as she pulled out her new book, Unprocessed. I am a girl on a lonely unprocessed journey and was immediately smitten with AJ. Todd and I had recently decided to give up processed sugars (only fruit and dates are allowed to sweeten things) and here she was with sugar free chocolate peanut butter cupcakes! I ordered my book from Amazon that night.
Unprocessed is, well, all about unprocessed foods. But it’s more than just yummy recipes. The first 50 pages practically read like a novel. Chef AJ tells her personal story of food addiction and health. From a traumatic childhood to depression, anorexia, obesity, miscarriages, anxiety, and an inoperable condition, all the way to pure health and happiness. Chef AJ is honest and thank goodness for that because America needs her as a guide. I don’t think anyone can say that eating healthy is too hard after hearing her story. And I think everyone will find something they can relate to. Chef AJ was not the child of vegan hippie parents or organic farmers. She was an American eating her way through the food system. This is a woman who went from a 32 oz coke slurpee with eight pumps of vanilla syrup for breakfast to a diet free of processed foods. If she can do it, we all can!
So, no excuses! (She has a chapter to combat every excuse you will come up with to not eat healthy.) She has chapters on how to start and teaches us all about processed and unprocessed foods. And just when you fear the healthy recipes in your future, AJ wins you over again: The first chapter of recipes is dessert. “Life is uncertain. Eat DESSERT first.” Who can argue with that?
So what will you be making with this cookbook? How about a Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie that tastes sinfully amazing but is 100% raw and made with kale! Seriously, this smoothie changed my life!!
Once you realize kale is awesome in smoothies you’ll be excited to try her Hail to the Kale salad with an amazing dressing of almond butter, lime and ginger. I made a ridiculous amount of this for a potluck and there was not a leaf left behind.
The chapters of truffles will rock your world. The Peanut Butter Fudge Truffles defy the laws of the universe. These are seriously delicious chocolaty & peanut buttery bits of heaven that just happen to be pretty healthy.
From sloppy joes to nachos, cobblers to tortes, there is some crazy good food in here. Chef AJ teaches us that eating unprocessed can be and should be delicious. I am not 100% unprocessed… yet! But this book is my guide. The best part of this book is that these recipes are seriously easy. AND I’ve learned so much and been so inspired that I’m making my own unprocessed creations now. My peanut butter chocolate shake was definitely inspired by Chef AJ as was my gluten free and sugar free banana bread muffin recipe (although they still have some oil. I’ll work on eliminating that next.) Check out Chef AJ’s website. She offers cooking classes/demos in the Los Angeles area. Todd took one and loved it. She is a comedian and will sing and stand on her head to get you eating healthy. But really, it just takes tasting her food to be an Unprocessed convert.
You can find Unprocessed on Amazon.