It’s been a little while since my last post, but for very good reason. My husband and I took a nice and much-needed vacation for my 32nd birthday and our 5th anniversary (they are one day apart!), and then I gave myself the gift of more education for my birthday. I really loved my experience with the Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate Program at Cornell, so I decided it would also be fun to take some culinary courses so that I could learn how to make better recipes for this blog! I am currently enrolled in “Level 1: Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine” through the Matthew Kenney Academy Online program.
Although I cannot share the recipes we are using (due to copyright), I can share the photos of the work I have been doing (since I took them and all), and reference the books where the recipes are taken from. Another thing I will mention is that the course is 4 weeks long, but there is no way that I would be able to complete such an intensive program while working a full time job, so they have allowed me to work at a slower 8-week pace. The course is structured into work days during week days, so it is laid out nicely with a 20-day plot line. This means I can complete 1 day of course work every 2-3 days, so look for the blog entries to start churning out. 🙂
One of the things I am really grateful to be learning is basic culinary skills. I have cut myself more times than I care to admit and one of the first things we covered is knife safety, proper grip, and cutting techniques. I learned to make strips and cubes of all shapes and sizes, and how to filet a bell pepper, which I never even thought about, but they are so beautiful. Lastly, now I can make perfect orange segments with no membrane in the way. 😉
We also made some green juice (which ended up being dinner for me because I was running around town looking for my ingredients like a chicken with my head cut off). Man, I love cilantro. I’m sure my mother is gagging as she reads this. =P
The last few assignments for Day 1 (besides all of the reading material about flavor blending, knife care, and other “chef stuff”) dealt with nuts. I’m no stranger to soaking my nuts before I use them to maximize their nutritional value. I am glad to see the program has emphasized the proper way to prepare them. We dehydrated some almonds for use in a later recipe, and prepared some cashew and macadamia ricotta cheeses. The cashew ricotta will go into a red beet ravioli and the macadamia ricotta will go into a lasagna recipe. Both of these recipes can be found in Matthew Kenney’s book, Raw Food/Real World: 100 Recipes to Get the Glow.
I’m closing out Day 1 with this blog entry and preparing for the fun recipes that I will get to make tomorrow, as well as the fun photographs! 🙂