It's alive! Raw food chef touts Thanksgiving makeover
BY MATT GLEASON World Scene Writer
Monday, November 23, 2009
11/23/09 at 4:48 AM
Ronald Landry is looking forward to a fine Thanksgiving dinner this year. Of course, he's not serving his friends anything that isn't living and raw.
For four years, Landry's dined on nothing but raw food. He's also a chef at Pure Cafe at 3711 S. Harvard Ave.
Owned by Cynthia Beavers, the restaurant, which also ships its food nationwide, deals in raw dishes ranging from Italian to Asian, Mexican to American.
"Raw foods have a much higher nutritional value than 'cooked' foods," according to the cafe's Web site. "When you heat foods to a temperature above 105 degrees, you destroy the vital nutrients and enzymes while creating toxins Without the vital nutrients and enzymes, we lose the 'life force' of the food and we get sick with illness and disease."
So, this Thanksgiving, Landry will serve stuffing made from nuts and vegetables, and a casserole made from Brussels sprouts and asparagus. In addition, he'll serve cranberry sauce, which is the one item he's looking forward to eating on Thanksgiving day.
"It's all live," he said of the sauce. "It's made 15 minutes before you put it on the dinner table. There's no sugar and no artificial sweetener to it. It's just cranberry and a little bit of agave nectar and some spices. It has all the traditional things, and then you mix that up."
Although he's serving a less-than-traditional meal, Landry said he doesn't miss anything about an ordinary Thanksgiving dinner.
"I can make pretty much everything that I would have been able to make."
However, Landry won't offer a faux turkey, he said. At that point in the interview, Beavers pointed out that Landry is "a raw food purist. They eat less of the heavier items like nuts and seeds, and more of the veggies."
Ordinarily, Beavers would offer a Thanksgiving dinner at Pure Cafe, including a turkey loaf, but opening the new restaurant, among other things, has proved too hectic.
But during Thanksgiving week — the cafe's open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday — Beavers will offer her pumpkin pie. Although it doesn't actually have pumpkin in it, Beavers said "it tastes just like pumpkin pie."
Over all, Beavers said a raw food Thanksgiving doesn't mean the meal has to be a let-down.
"You can eat really, really healthy, and it still tastes amazing," she said. "I think most people think health food doesn't taste good.
"You can have a whole Thanksgiving and not even put any meat, any dairy, any sugar or any eggs, and it can still be really great."
Pure Cafe’s Pumpkin Pie
2 cups cashews
1 cup coconut meat
2 cups carrot juice
½ cup coconut oil
¼ cup agave nectar, or to
½-¾ teaspoon Celtic salt, or
2 tablespoons fresh vanilla
bean, or natural vanilla
½ teaspoon fresh or powdered
¼ teaspoon cloves
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Water for blending only if
1. Add all ingredients to highpowered
blender and blend
until smooth and creamy.
2. Pour into any nut crust like
the one below. Freeze or
refrigerate until set and
then you can slice. Serve
when soft. Cover with edible
flowers for a beautiful
1 ½ cup almond flour (almonds
ground into a flour)
1 ½ cup dried unsweetened
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon agave nectar
½ teaspoon Stevia powder, or
½ teaspoon Celtic salt
1 tablespoon natural vanilla
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1. Add all ingredients to a
food processor and process
2. Press into an oiled glass
Matt Gleason 581-8473
Pure Cafe's pumpkin pie, garnished with edible flower petals. Courtesy Nikki Haupt