Costa Mesa Restaurant Week started yesterday and continues through Friday, August 26th. Within the borders…
With my love of cheese, it would be very difficult for me to go vegan, but I am utterly fascinated by gourmet living cuisine, a prettier name for vegan raw foods, and what goes into making a beautiful, innovative, and delicious dish without applying any heat. In August I attended the Grand Opening/Meet and Greet for 118 Degrees second location at The Center Promenade in Anaheim and came away even more smitten by what can be achieved with just the pure essence of plant based foods and marveling at the careful preparation evident in each delicate taste savored. Loyal customers, curious passers-by, and our group of passionate food writers were treated to an array of 118 Degree specialties that have distinguished Chef Jenny Ross’s living foods cuisine and propelled her into the raw vegan stratosphere.
118 Degrees is committed to the health of the community. They serve nothing but fresh food, prepared daily by hand and without any microwaves, stoves or ovens! All of the food is lovingly crafted using local organic produce wherever possible, a dehydrator, and the skills of their talented chefs. When you see “cheese” on the menu, it is made from nuts and seeds. If you’re reading this, you most likely know what raw vegan cuisine is, but just in case you were drawn in by the cacao truffles looking for chocolate and have been living under a rock or spending too much time at drive-up windows or take out counters, I’ll let Wiki give you the concise definition:
Raw veganism is a diet that combines the concepts of veganism and raw foodism. It excludes all food of animal origin, as well as food cooked at a temperature above 48 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit). A raw vegan diet includes raw vegetables and fruits, nuts and nut pastes, grain and legume sprouts, seeds, plant oils, sea vegetables, herbs, and fresh juices. The definition of a raw vegan diet can be loosened to include vegan diets with at least 75 – 80% raw foods. The motivation for a vegan lifestyle generally has to do with the ethics of eating animal products: meat, dairy, eggs, and honey and, in addition, raw vegans may be motivated by health, spiritual or environmental reasons, or any combination of these. In terms of health, some raw vegans believe that cooking foods destroys the complex balance of micronutrients.
When I have a brilliant hued, ripe, juicy piece of fruit, my preferred way of consuming it is out of hand – usually over the kitchen sink, the better to catch the dripping nectar and have a water source close at hand to splash away the sticky juices dribbling down your chin and fingertips. With veggies – I crave them if I’ve gone a day or so without sufficient greens and prefer a light hand with spices and herbs and simple cooking techniques that highlight, not detract from, the natural goodness of the ingredient. Although preparing a raw vegan dish sounds deceptively simple, to create one with a satisfying complexity of flavor, texture, and color can be fairly labor intensive – all the more reason to let Chef Jenny and her talented staff work their magic for you. Pictured below are a few of the delicious tastes at 118 Degrees.
Pistachio Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms with a smile (gluten free)
Olive Pizzetta (gluten free buckwheat crust on request)
Coconut ceviche | slivers of young coconut, mango, spiced ceviche sauce, buckwheat crisps
Living Lasagna | squash noodles, tomato, macadamia ricotta, sweet basil marinara
Figs with caramel sauce and amazingly moist Carrot Cake
“Fried” avocado rolled tacos | house-made wrap, tahini cheese, cucumber, greens, tomatillo salsa
118 Degrees also has a number of raw grocery products available at the Raw Bar a at a number of Whole Foods Markets in Los Angeles and at Whole Foods, Tustin in Orange County.
In addition, 118 Degrees 0ffers three Meal Program options:
The “Refresh” 3 Delicious Meals, 2 Take-anywhere snacks and 1 Decadent Dessert $55.00- Monday Pick-up Only
10 Meal Weekly Program- 10 Delicious Meals packaged with Organic Mixed Greens Salad $130.00- 3 meals Monday, 4 meals Wednesday and 3 meals Friday
7 Day Detox Program- Our most popular program including all your foods for 7 days (yes you even get dessert too!) designed to detox your body. $210.00
My husband and I are giving the 10 Meal Weekly Program a road test next week, so I’ll report back with our thoughts and photos in another post. Because of our commitment to a healthy diet and Don’s strict sodium restrictions, not to mention after a non-stop day at the office he likes to come home to the beach and relax, we eat dinner at home nearly every night, with Friday & Saturday being my vacay from cooking nights. So I’m looking at 118 Degrees meal plan as an option for him when I’m traveling for 8 days in mid-October to visit my mom and take a side trip to Louisville, KY to check out the Bourbon Trail and the local culinary talent – a little birthday present to myself
Before I let you go though, let me share Chef Jenny’s recipe for the raw cacao truffles! I found these vegan truffles to be very rich in chocolate taste with a flourless chocolate cake texture – definitely a worthy addition to our dessert tradition of a few squares of dark chocolate.
1/3 cup raw sweetener of your choice
(agave, coconut nectar or yacon syrup)
1/2 cup raw cacao
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
In a food processor with the S-blade attachment, first process the nuts to a fine meal.
Then, while the processor is on, add the sweetener and all other ingredients except for the hemp seeds. Process for a brief moment until well combined and dough ball has formed.
Roll into desired size and shape, then, roll each dough ball in hemp seeds. Place in a dehydrator at 105 degrees for 2 hours or freeze for 1 hour to set.
118 degrees community cafe
185 W. Center St., Anaheim, CA 92805
Raw Bar Deli Case – Inside Whole Foods Market
2847 Park Avenue,
Tustin, CA 92782