Raw food lets natural flavors speak for themselves, unlike cooked cuisine, which always insists on beeping loudly when it's finished in the microwave. Sample some raw truth and spurn vociferous kitchen appliances with today's Groupon: for $25, you get a raw meal for two at Raw Vegan Cafe in Lockport (up to a $52 value). The meal includes:
- One appetizer (up to a $10 value)
- Two entrees (up to a $28 value)
- Two 12-ounce smoothies (up to a $14 value)
Raw Vegan Cafe's chefs prepare an uncooked roster of cuisine cataloged on the gluten-free, vegan menu, all profits from which act as donations to children and families suffering from life-threatening illnesses at Hope Children's Hospital. Stuffed mushrooms cup hearty blends of pine nuts and herbs, and sun-dried tomato marinara coats zucchini noodles in Like Grandma's spaghetti. Mock tuna, unlike a mock court document, sails smoothly down gullets in cucumber boats, served with twin house salads. Blenders rumble contentedly atop kitchen counters, churning out fire-free purees of sweet fruits, fresh juices, and creamy vegetables such as the Georgia Peach smoothie or the Berry Good smoothie.
All of the café's cuisine adheres to restrictions of a gluten-free, raw, vegan diet, with animal-free foods never reaching temperatures above 115 degrees and always stored properly. As a result, nourishing enzymes stay locked within tasty vegetables.
Raw Vegan Cafe
The volunteer-run Raw Vegan Cafe serves up uncooked gluten-free vegan fare, donating all its profits to Project Hopeful in Joliet. Appetizers on the trim menu include zucchini wraps and mushrooms that, like a black bear’s armchair, come stuffed with pine nuts and fine spices. Served sans nuts, the café's spaghetti comes smothered in a sun-dried-tomato marinara and can be paired with a custom, fresh-squeezed juice of your own creation.
To spread the good word of raw food, the nonprofit teaches foodies and newbies the vegan basics during cooking classes. Instructors arm students with the ingredients, equipment, and recipes necessary to swiftly craft nutritious raw dinners and desserts, saving the cost of ordering takeout from a neighbor’s greenhouse. Main courses such as pizza or bagels shirk flames in favor of a dehydrator, the use of which teachers thoroughly detail. Sweeteners reaped from Mother Nature's garden tinge dessert recipes for delicacies such as chocolate macaroons or lemon squares. Patrons fend off food comas and advancing herds of hungry rabbits to query experts about raw vegan diets during Q&A sessions that conclude classes.