Category Archives: Fermented Food & Drink

Easy Gluten Free Vegan Sourdough Bread Recipe

simple gluten free sourdough bread

This is an easy gluten free vegan sourdough bread recipe that you can make at home without a lot of complicated ingredients. It is soft and airy, yet moist and flexible – the perfect sandwich bread! It took a few tries to perfect the process, but I am consistently getting good results from this recipe and method now, so I feel confident that it is ready to share with everyone!

I have only found one gluten free vegan bread available for purchase (from a local bakery, and it was really expensive) that even resembled the taste and texture of the gluten-filled, egg laden breads I used to eat. Most of the gluten free breads out there are terrible, to be honest. The taste and texture just aren’t the same. When the egg and dairy are also removed, they often end up dense and dry, or both. They are hardly suitable for sandwiches. 

I’m not trying to “toot my own horn”, but this bread is amazing. 

easy gluten free sourdough bread

It is moist in the center and cooked all the way through. There are not gummy or dry patches. It has nice air pockets, and a good “squishy” texture. It cuts without crumbling and falling apart. I can bend it a good amount without breaking, so it holds together well. It has even passed “the sandwich test”. Yes, this is a glorious sandwich bread. 

I really hope that you enjoy it. I have put a lot of time, energy, and experimentation into coming up with something that is amazing, so I can share it with everyone else out there who might have as many food allergies and intolerances as I do. It is nice to eat real food again.

gluten free sourdough bread recipe easy gluten free sourdough bread recipe simple gluten free sourdough bread recipe

Simple Gluten Free Sourdough Bread Recipe
Yields 1
This easy gluten free vegan sourdough bread recipe with simple ingredients produces a bread that is airy, moist, flexible, and absolutely perfect for making sandwiches.
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Cook Time
45 min
Cook Time
45 min
Starter Ingredients
  1. 3 cups brown rice flour
  2. 3 cups water kefir, kombucha, fermented coconut water, or any other yeasty fermented beverage
  3. 1/2 gallon glass jar or other large glass container
Bread Ingredients
  1. 3 cups sourdough starter
  2. 3/4 cup millet flour
  3. 2 TB psyllium
  4. 2 TB Ener-g egg replacer (or 2 TB of flax seed)
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. 1/2 cup liquid (nut milk preferred, but a fermented beverage adds a more "sour" flavor to the bread)
Starter Instructions
  1. Add 1 cup of brown rice flour and 1 cup of the fermented beverage to a large glass container. Stir to mix well. Cover with cheesecloth and let it sit for 24 hours. You should start to see a little bubbling or some "puffiness".
  2. Once a day for the next 4 days, add 1/2 cup each of the flour and fermented liquid and stir to mix well. Some people say that it is better to do 1/4 each twice a day for GF starters, but I have had equally good results just "feeding" it once a day.
  3. After this point, you should have a fragrant and airy GF sourdough starter!
Bread Directions
  1. Mix all of the dry ingredients (everything except starter and liquid) together in a bowl. Whisk or sift so they are well-combined.
  2. Add the liquid and the starter and mix with a large spoon until everything is just combined. Don't over-mix so you won't let the air out.
  3. Grease a stoneware pan with coconut oil OR line a glass pan with foil OR use a non-stick pan (there are some good ones made from silicon).
  4. Proof the bread with your preferred method. Please refer to "Notes" section for options.
  5. After the batter has risen, bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. Test that a toothpick comes out clean from the middle.
  6. When the bread is done, let it cool completely in the pan, covered with a towel. I put mine into a very large stockpot with a lid or in the microwave and just let it cool overnight (to keep the cats away from it). We want the steam inside to keep cooking the center of the bread.
  7. After the bread has completely cooled, carefully remove it (and remove the foil if you used that method) and transfer to a cutting board, to slice however you'd like. Don't forget that the end pieces are the best part! =D
Notes
  1. For the bread batter liquid, I have used fresh and fermented nut milk, as well as fermented coconut water. The final product has been great for all of them. You could probably even use a GF beer if you wanted to.
  2. When using a glass pan, I have tried greasing the pan generously, but the bread still sticks. Foil seems to be the best method of easily getting the loaf out while not ripping it apart in the process. You could maybe try two pieces of parchment paper, one horizontal and one vertical if you are opposed to foil. I haven't tried this method, but to prevent the batter from going beneath the paper, I'd recommend greasing the pan so that the paper sticks to it.
  3. I have used just millet and also blends of millet and white rice flour in the batter, and it turns out about the same. The only thing I use in my starter, however, is brown rice flour. When I use other flours in the starter, the bread quality isn't the same.
  4. I have been using the same starter for several batches of bread now. When you aren't feeding it, it keeps well in the fridge for a few weeks. I was able to revive mine with no problem. I wouldn't leave it in the fridge longer than that though after some additional experimentation. Traditional starters will last a long time when refrigerated, but GF starters can be finicky.
Proofing Options
  1. OVEN METHOD 1: You may be lucky enough to have a "proof" setting on your oven. I do!
  2. OVEN METHOD 2: Turn oven on to lowest setting for just a few minutes to warm it, then turn it off. Put the bread pan in the center and allow it to rise for a few hours or until the bread puffs up over the edge of the bread pan a bit.
  3. OVEN METHOD 3: http://littlehouseinthesuburbs.com/2009/01/turn-your-oven-into-proofing-oven.html
  4. DEHYDRATOR METHOD: Cover your bread pan tightly with plastic wrap or insert it into a larger container with a lid to keep it from drying out. Set the dehydrator to 110-5 and proof for 2-3 hours. If the batter is not sealed into the pan completely, the bread will dry out.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

Advanced Raw Cuisine: Week 4

raw vegan chocolate walnut cake

Week 4 of Advanced Raw Cuisine was particularly exciting. We finished a few more pastry projects, made a few savory dishes, and got to work toward our final project, which for this class had some practical business applications. 

First, one of the final two pastry projects… raw vegan cupcakes! I always wondered if this was possible, and it sure is! They even had a nice little “bounce” from the Irish moss. We had creative freedom to make a flavor of our choosing, and since it was fall when I took the class, I made pumpkin spice with a vanilla frosting and some chocolate shavings.

Yes, I’m one of those people. Pumpkin spice all of the things! =D

raw vegan pumpkin spice cupcakes raw vegan pumpkin spice cupcakes raw vegan pumpkin spice cupcakes raw vegan pumpkin spice cupcakes raw vegan pumpkin spice cupcakes raw vegan pumpkin spice cupcakes

We also started to learn about costing out ingredients so that we could calculate prices for dishes the way restaurants do. This was a very useful lesson for those with entrepreneurial aspirations. We made this dish of cacao corn chips and guacamole, calculated the cost of all of the ingredients, then the cost of the whole dish, and finally, added on a markup to ensure we were paid for our time and resources used. This was a really beneficial exercise. The guacamole was tasty too. It’s one of my favorite foods. πŸ™‚

raw vegan cacao corn chips and guacamole w/sunflower mole raw vegan cacao corn chips and guacamole w/sunflower mole

One of the other “big” projects this week was to put a lot of the lessons we learned together in a final pastry dish. We were given two to choose from, or the option to make both. I selected the chocolate walnut cake project. It was delicious. I had more than enough to take into work and share with my coworkers. They all enjoyed the special delivery and this dish got rave reviews!

Below are some photos of the prep work and the final plated dish. The dish is comprised of the chocolate cakes, the sous vide pears, a walnut caramel sauce, a fennel oil, candied fennel seeds, sassafras ice cream, and some fennel fronds and lavender as garnish. It was really delicious.

IMG_2233sous vide pearsIMG_2230 IMG_2165sassafras ice creamraw vegan chocolate walnut cake raw vegan chocolate walnut cake

Following all that dessert, I’m so glad there was another savory dish. This one was especially good because it had a bit of spice in it! It didn’t hurt that cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables too. I know, it’s a bit weird. So many people don’t like it, but to me, it has a subtle sweetness that makes it exquisite. 

This dish is a cauliflower and walnut harissa. I love that we branched out and used walnuts for more recipes this week. So many of the other recipes were based on almonds and cashews, which are certainly versatile nuts for their flavor and texture, but it was nice to have some more variety. There is a walnut cream sauce in the base, some harissa sauce, some marinaded and dehydrated spiced walnuts, and some cauliflower and romanesco. This dish would have been even more beautiful if I had access to some junky purple cauliflower, but my grocery store didn’t have any. I love the way we were instructed to plate this dish in a ring mold with the stems up. They are so organic looking. 

raw vegan cauliflower walnut harissa raw vegan cauliflower walnut harissa

The last real food recipe that we made before presenting out final projects was a lovely light carrot soup. This was somewhat like a gazpacho. There was a nice variety of carrot, radish, and apple chunks for texture and flavor. It was all topped with a bit of the soup, which had been foamed in the blender. The rest of the soup was poured in to make for a nice presentation. The soup was a great blend of sweet and savory with a smooth mouthfeel. It was a great lunch!

raw vegan carrot soup raw vegan carrot soup raw vegan carrot soup raw vegan carrot soup raw vegan carrot soup

For my final project, I decided to make a probiotic granola bar. I polled my social media friends to ask them what kind of product they might be interested in. The overwhelming response was for something quick and healthy that was also filling. I also asked about probiotics and what the perception of taste and texture was regarding fermented foods. People either love sauerkraut or they hate it. Personally, I love sauerkraut. I make it by the gallon, but I digress. I made these bars so that I could sneak some good bugs in without people having to fear the funky taste of fermented vegetables. 

raw vegan granola bars raw vegan granola bars raw vegan granola bars raw vegan granola bars raw vegan granola bars raw vegan granola bars

To celebrate the completion of the class, we were presented with some raw cocktail recipes. Whoo hoo! The base of both of these was also good as non-alcoholic drinks on their own. The green one is a nut milk with match powder – basically a vegan green tea latte. It is mixed with a cloudy sake to make it an adult beverage. The purple drink is a lavender and blueberry lemonade. It is also mixed with unfiltered nigori sake. Both were totally delicious. It was a nice way to celebrate. Cheers!

healthy vegan sake cocktails healthy vegan sake cocktails healthy vegan sake cocktails healthy vegan sake cocktails

 

 

I’m done!!! =D =D =D Be on the lookout for more delicious recipes and more class adventures coming your way!

advanced raw cuisine certificate of completion

Advanced Raw Cuisine: Day 12

Pastry week continues in Advanced Raw Cuisine! Today, we worked on prep recipes for a number of items that will be completed in the next few days of the curriculum.

We started the day with some almond flour for a linzer cookie dough, checked on our bread from yesterday, and started another fermented nut cheese that will become a mozzarella for a caprese salad. I can’t wait to try it! I formed it into rustic looking rounds in preparation for the final plating before putting it into the dehydrator. 

raw vegan mozzarella cheeseraw vegan mozzarella cheeseraw vegan mozzarella cheese

The first “finished” recipe for today was a jam that will go into our linzer cookies. We were given a base recipe and allowed to pick any fruit, preferably a berry, that we wanted. My local grocery store had raspberries on sale, and I hadn’t had them in so long because they are rather expensive, so I picked some up and made the wonderful raw jam that you see in the photo below: 

raw vegan raspberry jam

 

The next task was to make the dough for the linzer cookies. I’ve never had a traditional baked linzer cookie because of my gluten intolerance and allergies. This was a really fun project that allowed me to have something similar, which was much healthier. I used a traditional linzer cookie cutter to give them an authentic look, and it worked like a charm with the dough recipe that we were taught to make. Aren’t they professional looking? I was thrilled with the way they came out. 

raw vegan linzer cookies raw vegan linzer cookies raw vegan linzer cookies raw vegan linzer cookies raw vegan linzer cookies

Once the linzer cookies were rolled out and cut, they went into the dehydrator and it was time to work on the next project, which was to start on a phyllo dough for baklava! This was also something I never had the opportunity to try, so it was a very exciting recipe for me to work on. It’s not airy and flaky like a traditional phyllo dough, but it does hold up well to stacking and it has a wonderful flavor. I thought it was a wonderful raw translation of a phyllo dough for the purpose of stacking ingredients in layers. 

raw vegan phyllo dough raw vegan phyllo dough raw vegan phyllo dough

That’s if for day 12! Looking forward to tomorrow’s projects where we will start preparing some sauces and crackers for our cheese plates!

Advanced Raw Cuisine: Day 10

raw vegan tomato filet and cheese crisps

Day 10 of Advanced Raw Cuisine at Matthew Kenney academy is completed!

What a busy day! As we are nearing the half way point, the midterm exam was today! After the text was completed, it was time to check in on the nut cheeses that have been aging in the fridge.

The big yellow one in the back left position is a cashew and probiotic powder cheese with parsley, turmeric, onion powder, garlic, and black pepper. It has a wonderful rich and cheesy flavor. After it warms a bit, it is also spreadable. 

The large orange wedge in the back right position is macadamia and fermented coconut water with smoked paprika and caraway seed. This one will be smoked with the smoking gun after it is done curing in the fridge. 

In the front right position is a macadamia and rejuvelac cheese with dill, and in the front left position is a sweet and spreadable cheese of brazil and pine nut, fermented with water kefir, and seasoned with honey, cinnamon, cardamom, and dried figs. 

raw vegan fermented nut cheeses raw vegan fermented nut cheeses raw vegan fermented nut cheeses raw vegan fermented nut cheeses raw vegan fermented nut cheeses raw vegan fermented nut cheeses

After checking in on the cheeses, we put together a light and simple dish of filleted heirloom tomatoes, tossed with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and plated with the basil butter made during the first week of the class. It was topped with the cheese crisps we made yesterday and some micro greens. I choose to use some micro basil from my porch garden. πŸ™‚

If you’d like to make something similar there is a great recipe for “herbed crackers” in Everyday Raw by Matthew Kenney. To make them more cheesy, simply add more nutritional yeast. 

raw vegan tomato filet and cheese crisps raw vegan tomato filet and cheese crisps raw vegan tomato filet and cheese crisps

After enjoying a nice appetizer, we got a sneak peek of the pastry work that we will be doing in week 3. We started a batch of cinnamon rolls! We made a dough that was rolled out and then added a spiced paste and some crushed nuts and dried fruit. They were put in the freezer to set up, and at the start of week 3, we’ll be slicing them and warming in the dehydrator, to be served with some special sides and a surprise beverage!

raw vegan cinnamon rolls raw vegan cinnamon rolls raw vegan cinnamon rolls

 

To finish off the day, we had the opportunity to design our own enhanced sauce in the form of a frozen butter that could be served with either our cinnamon rolls, or a bread loaf that we will learn how to make next week. I chose to make a spicy chocolate butter that will be paired with the cinnamon rolls, and have included the recipe below for you. πŸ™‚

Here are some shots of it fresh out of the blender and in the silicon trays. It would also be good on its own as a chocolate sauce to drizzle over some ice cream. 

raw vegan spicy chocolate butter raw vegan spicy chocolate butter raw vegan spicy chocolate butter

Mayan Chocolate Sauce / Frozen Chocolate Butter
A warm and spicy chocolate sauce, which can also be frozen into a chocolate butter.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup avocado oil
  2. 2 TB coconut oil
  3. 2 TB agave syrup
  4. 2 TB cacao powder
  5. 1 tsp chili powder
  6. 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  7. 1/4 tsp chipotle smoked sea salt
  8. pinch cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until perfectly smooth. Use immediately either as a chocolate sauce on an ice cream, or freeze into silicon molds to use as spicy chocolate butter on your favorite warm dessert for a textural treat.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

Advanced Raw Cuisine: Day 7

raw vegan apple pear crumble with almond milk gelato

Day 7 of Advanced Raw Cuisine at Matthew Kenney Culinary completed!

I’ve had such a fun time working on everything today with many opportunities to exercise my creativity. I’ve learned so much while taking these courses, not only about flavors and techniques, but also about art. My plating skills have improved dramatically, and as an artist, these playful arrangements translate into more lessons for me than just those with culinary applications. They have made me a better photographer, causing me to reconsider placement of the people and objects in my portraits. 

The day was started by adding some sliced apples and pears into a water bath for a little more practice with the sous vide technique. Following that, we learned about and executed two “amuse bouche” dishes. According to Wikipedia, “amuse bouche” literally means, “mouth amuser”. It is a 1-2 bite sized course that is both intense and playful.

We were given the freedom to create two of our own amuse bouche plates. My selections were inspired by the produce and herbs that I’ve been growing in my garden this summer, and by Florida grown produce in general. I tried to include local components in each dish (some as local as my patio).

The first plate includes some of my favorite flavors. It is small sampling of red and yellow grape tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, and scallions atop a parsley and dill hemp seed pesto, which acts as both a surprise element in the dish, and a punch of flavor. 

Recipe link: Parsley and Dill Hemp Seed Pesto

raw vegan amuse bouche raw vegan amuse bouche

I wanted my second amuse bouche to be plated differently from the first, and I wanted a way to transform a classic non-vegan hors d’oeuvre into a healthful raw vegan version. In this dish, I created my version of “prosciutto and melon” using hami melon (sometimes called “Honey Kiss melon”), marinaded red pepper, and Florida avocados with a basil and ginger cucumber sauce. I was very pleased with the result. 

Recipe link: Bell Pepper ‘Prosciutto’ and Melon

raw vegan melon and prosciutto raw vegan melon and prosciutto

While I was busy snacking on my amuse bouche creations, we learned how to use the dehydrator as a “hot box”, which is very handy for creating a “wilted greens” texture, but leaving them completely raw with all of their precious nutrients and enzymes in tact, as the temperature remains at or below 115. 

The salad we made with this technique was a simple spinach salad tossed with some olive oil and lemon, and included a little bit of our macadamia nut goat cheese, some chopped golden raisins, and some pine nuts. Two thumbs up from the husband on this one! We ate it for dinner. πŸ™‚

raw vegan wilted spinach salad raw vegan wilted spinach salad raw vegan wilted spinach salad

After the salad, it was time for dessert. With all of the components for the apple pear crumble ready to go, all that was needed was to plate it. I had enough to make a few of them, so I plated it 2 different ways to see how it would look. Which one do you like best? πŸ™‚

This dish is comprised of the apples and pears that were in the sous vide earlier today. We were told to cut them with final plating in mind. I made very thin round slices on the mandolin, sans cores. In one plating, I rolled them up; in the other, I left them them flat. They are topped off with the oat crumble that we put in the dehydrator yesterday, along with the almond gelato that we also made yesterday. I got a little more practice making perfectly shaped quenelles. I think I’m getting the hang of it! The whole thing is topped off with a little bit of star anise syrup that we made today and a pinch of star anise for garnish. I love that stuff!

If you’d like to make this yourself at home, Matthew Kenney’s book, Everyday Raw Desserts, from pages 118-129, contains a variety of recipes for crumbles, cobblers, and ice creams that you can mix and match to make any number of similar desserts.

raw vegan apple pear crumble with almond milk gelato raw vegan apple pear crumble with almond milk gelato raw vegan apple pear crumble with almond milk gelato raw vegan apple pear crumble with almond milk gelato raw vegan apple pear crumble with almond milk gelato

We ended the day by starting on an advanced pickling assignment. We are making quick pickles here, so the process includes some vinegar, as well as salt, which helps them to be ready quicker than a traditional salt brine only ferment. The class is only 4 weeks, so this method is understandable. We were allowed to experiment with flavors and ingredients that we thought might go well with our aged cheeses. I love pickling experiments, so I made two different jars – one with fruit and another with vegetables. 

My fruit pickles are: elderberry, lavender, apple, ginger, peeled muscadine grapes, and cinnamon. 

My vegetable pickles are: squash, carrot, shallot, turnip, radish, portobello, chili pepper, peppercorn, dill, and smoked sea salt. 

If after 4-5 days, they turn out well, I’ll share the exact recipes. πŸ™‚

pickled fruit pickled root vegetables

Advanced Raw Cuisine: Day 5

raw vegan corn and mint ravioli

I just completed day 5 of the Advanced Raw Cuisine course through Matthew Kenney Academy. What a wonderful experience my first week has been so far. We covered different types of sauces extensively every day, putting our lessons into practice with a variety of delicious recipe creations. For many of these recipes, we also learned new techniques for food preparation. 

Today, we learned about a 5th type of sauce used in raw cuisine, the “enhanced sauce”. This group of sauces is quite versatile. They are emulsified and using the basic method, they can be used to create either a light and silky smooth sauce, a butter, or an ice cream. For today’s lesson, we used this technique to create a tangy “tomato fondue”, which was used as a sauce in a raw ravioli dish that we plated later in the day.

raw vegan tomato fondueraw vegan tomato fondue raw vegan tomato fondue

While the sauce was warming and thickening in the dehydrator, we created a second enhanced sauce. We were given the option of creating either an olive oil ice cream or a basil butter. I chose the basil butter because I grow my own basil, and I love being able to make recipes with food that I’ve grown myself. This creation went straight from the blender into the freezer to use at a later time. 

basil

When the tomato fondue came out of the dehydrator, it was time to assemble and plate the rest of the ravioli components. We made the corn and mint pesto, which you can see hiding between the coconut wrapper squares  in some of the photos, and we also tossed a little baby arugula with a little olive oil, pine nuts, salt and pepper to help break up the color and spacing on the plate. I had the coconut wrapper squares that were prepared and cut up for the previous day’s lesson all ready to go! 

Bonus: The mint came from my garden. It’s really rewarding to be able to use my own herbs in these recipes!

This is the final result. The whole dish came together beautifully. I was able to put it together quickly and have it ready for lunch time. The tomato fondue was savory, tangy, and had a buttery, but light consistency. The corn and mint pesto was very slightly sweet and refreshing. The coconut wrappers were infused with a bit of carrot and also offered a subtle sweetness to contrast the tanginess in the sauce. They also contributed a more solid, but still soft texture. The arugula tossed with olive oil and lightly seasoned added just a hint of bitterness and saltiness, which nicely balanced the whole dish, both in flavor and in plating. I was thrilled with how well this turned out.

raw vegan corn and mint ravioli raw vegan corn and mint ravioli raw vegan corn and mint ravioli raw vegan corn and mint ravioli

The final project of the day was to get started on some macadamia nut “goat” cheese, which will be used in some recipes over the next few days (and probably plenty of snacking too). πŸ™‚

raw vegan macadamia nut goat cheese raw vegan macadamia nut goat cheese

 

Advanced Raw Cuisine: Day 4

green curry kelp noodles

Day 4 of Advanced Raw Cuisine at Matthew Kenney Culinary has been completed!

Today’s creations were very exciting! We revisited the coconut wrapper technique that we learned in Level 1 and used to create the kimchi dumplings. For this variation, we added a little carrot juice to give them a brilliant orange color. They went into the dehydrator and will be used in a recipe tomorrow to create ravioli!

This is a really simple method to create flexible grain free wrappers that can be used in a variety of ways, from wraps to dumplings, to ravioli. Just blend some fresh young coconut, toss in a pinch of salt and whatever vegetable juice you’d like to color/flavor it with, and dehydrate until it holds together, but remains flexible. 

carrot coconut wrappers carrot coconut wrappers

The next project, green curry kelp noodles, was the main focal point of the day, and was used to illustrate today’s sauce lesson: plant based sauces. This is a class of raw vegan sauces that use pureed produce as a base. The green curry sauce we made today incorporated coconut milk and herbs with sweet and spicy notes.

It was plated with kelp noodles that we tenderized with warm water and baking soda. This was nothing short of amazing to me. I’ve tried kelp noodles before, and I could never completely get past the crisp texture and semi-bitter flavor until now. Simply soaking them with a little baking soda softened them up just like rice noodles and made the flavor more neutral, and they are completely raw! In this state, they are easily seasoned by any sauces and flavors that are mixed with them. We marinaded these in some chili oil and lime juice. 

The marinaded kelp noodles are topped up with a variety of vegetable noodles that include zucchini, carrot, and radish. Also in the mix are some marinaded mushrooms, fresh cilantro leaves, and some of those curried nuts we made yesterday

It was an amazingly fresh and vibrant dish, full of flavor and texture. I ate every last drop! πŸ™‚

thai green curry kelp noodles green curry kelp noodles green curry kelp noodles green curry kelp noodles

The final task of the day was to flavor our nut cheeses that we started fermenting on day 2. Below, I have created:

  • caraway and smoked paprika (macadamia nut/ fermented coconut water)
  • honey, cinnamon, cardamom, and fig (brazil and pine nut/ water kefir)
  • parsley, onion, garlic, and turmeric (cashew/ probiotic powder)
  • dill (macadamia nut/ rejuvelac)

I can’t wait to eat these! They have a couple weeks to set up in the fridge though, as this is a lesson in aging nut cheeses. 

raw vegan fermented nut cheese raw vegan fermented nut cheese raw vegan fermented nut cheese raw vegan fermented nut cheese

Advanced Raw Cuisine at Matthew Kenney Culinary: Day 1

raw vegan milk chocolate custart

Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine was such a great educational experience for me that I decided to take the second level course, Advanced Raw Cuisine, as well. I’ll be working through it over the months of September and October. 

We really hit the ground running in this class. We jumped right into recipes and some more in-depth culinary techniques. What I really like about this course so far is that the school has gone to great lengths and experimentation to really deliver us some solid and well-tested raw recipes, built on a foundational structure that is similar to a cooked food culinary course. 

Our first lesson was “mother sauces”. Obviously, raw vegan mother sauces are not the same as cooked mother sauces, but the conceptual ideas are there. We were presented with a well-thought out list of 5 raw vegan mother sauces, and during the first week of the course, we are focusing on one of them each day.

The first of the mother sauces that we learned about was the cream sauce. It is built on a foundation of soaked nuts to provide a rich and creamy texture. With these mother sauces, we can add ingredients to modify textures and flavors, which make secondary sauces. Our first recipe assignment was to create a Meyer lemon cream sauce, which will be used in a root vegetable gnocchi recipe on Day 2. I think it looks nice and creamy, don’t you? πŸ™‚

lemon cream sauce

Our second lesson was about nut milks. We covered basic almond milk as a flavor and texture exercise on Day 3 of Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine. It helped us to learn some great lessons about flavor balancing. In this exercise, we were to select 3 different nuts and seeds, and not only compare and contrast the different flavors and textures, but to also consider what kinds of recipes they might be used for, assess how much pulp they created, whether the pulp was usable in recipes, and if so, what kind. It was a really great taste and thought exercise.

I used brazil nut, pumpkin seed, and hemp seed for my 3 selections. The brazil nut was my favorite! Almond milk is so yesterday.

nut milk tasting

 The next recipe was a delicious milk chocolate custard, with the milk being any one of the fresh milks we just created! It’s like someone out there knew how to put me in an even better mood on my first day back to school. =P Seriously, culinary school AND chocolate. I think I’ve reached nirvana.

I chose to use my brazil nut milk, of course. It was amazing. This also has some avocado and spices in it for a little something extra. I’ll definitely be making use of this technique again. 

This recipe is in Matthew Kenney’s book, Raw Chocolate, on page 72. It is listed as “Milk Chocolate Pudding”.

raw vegan milk chocolate custart raw vegan milk chocolate custart

Someone out there must be a mind reader because fermentation is right up there with chocolate on the list of food things I love. We learned how to make salt preserved lemons, which are traditionally used in North African recipes. These have to cure for 3-4 weeks and then we will be using them in a recipe during the final week of classes. I’m really excited about these because it’s something new that I’ve never tried, and I love food from Mediterranean/Middle Eastern regions.

The only part of this recipe that I didn’t like was a little detail of the preparation. We were required to cut an X into each lemon almost down to the bottom and then stuff them with salt. I then realized the eerie resemblance they had to those creepy face hugger eggs in the Alien movies. Thankfully, I’ve had no nightmares about lemons yet. πŸ™‚

salt preserved lemons salt preserved lemons

But, wait… there’s more! I can hardly believe it myself. I feel like there is so much more packed into each day of this course, but at the same time, I am able to work much faster, thanks to the skills I learned in Level 1. While I was sneaking giant spoonfuls of chocolate custard and trying not to think about face huggers, I worked on the next project, which was to start on an olive flat bread recipe that we will be using in a mezze platter on Day 3. If the batter was any indication, this will be divine. Besides having just the right amount of olive flavor, there is a hint of orange zest that balances out the salt nicely.

raw vegan olive flat bread raw vegan olive flat bread

 The final required recipe was to start marinading a batch of eggplant crisps. The sauce was sweet, salty, spicy, and smokey all at the same time. I’ve actually made this recipe before, and I really love it. They’re great to put in a sandwich, break up into a salad, or just to snack on. They don’t even taste like eggplant by the time they’re done, which is great because let’s face it… eggplant on its own is bitter and weird. This recipe makes it all better. 

If you’d like to make this recipe for yourself, it is in the book, Everyday Raw, by Matthew Kenney. 

raw vegan eggplant bacon raw vegan eggplant bacon

 The final assignment was optional… an introduction to kombucha. Anyone who knows me personally has seen all of my crazy kombucha experiments elsewhere on social media. That’s something that can easily have its own blog entry or multiple blog entries devoted to it. So for now, here are a few snapshots of my process and some finished batches. 

making kombucha

making kombucha

making kombucha

Cucumber Raita Rolls (Raw Vegan)

root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber rolls

Coconut Yogurt, Sweet Pepper Relish, Root Vegetable Salad, Cashew, Mint

These cucumber raita rolls were the starter dish that I created for my final project. This dish was inspired by both Indian raita and Greek tzatziki yogurt dishes. The filling in the rolls is flavored more as a tzatziki. The cumin-infused raita flavor is in the root vegetable salad beneath it, which is a blend of sweet potato, turnip, and jicama. The dish is topped off with a sweet pepper relish and garnished with a few tiny mint leaves. 

root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber raita rolls root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber raita rolls

I was very pleased with the way the flavors and textures of this dish turned out. The noodles were neither too soggy nor too crunchy, the cucumber rolls had a lot of flavor, and their soft texture complimented the subtle al dente texture in the root vegetable salad, while the sweet pepper relish brought in just a bit of sweetness to top the whole thing off. It was a well blended mix of tangy, savory, salt, and sweet. I am really thrilled that the course gave me the means to create something so beautiful and delicious.

root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber raita rollsroot vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber raita rolls

Cucumber Raita Rolls
Serves 1
Coconut Yogurt, Sweet Pepper Relish, Root Vegetable Salad, Cashew, Mint. The amounts here serve 1. Feel free to increase the volume to suit the number of servings you'd like to make.
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Root Vegetable Salad Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup each: sweet potato, turnip, jicama, spiral cut
  2. 1 TB grape seed oil
  3. 1 tsp lemon juice
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 1/4 tsp cumin powder
Sweet Pepper Relish Ingredients
  1. 2 TB each red, orange, yellow bell pepper, diced
  2. 1 tsp olive oil
  3. 1 tsp ACV
  4. 1 TB agave
  5. pinch salt
Yogurt Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup coconut meat
  2. 1/4 cup soaked cashews
  3. 1/8 tsp 30B CFU Probiotic powder
Raita Ingredients
  1. 1 cup peeled and grated English cucumber
  2. 1/4 tsp salt
  3. 1/2 TB shallot, finely chopped
  4. 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  5. 1 tsp olive oil
  6. 1 tsp fresh dill, chopped
  7. 1/4 tsp fresh mint, chopped
  8. pinch of salt
  9. pinch of ground pepper
Cucumber Roll Ingredients
  1. 1 English cucumber, sliced thinly along the length of the fruit, on a mandolin.
Yogurt Directions
  1. Blend yogurt ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth and completely incorporated. Cover with muslin and put in dehydrator for 18 hours at 110 degrees. Put it in a cheesecloth with a weight on it and drain it for 36 hours. It will continue to ferment and thicken, and come out like a Greek yogurt. Put it in the fridge until you are ready to add the raita seasoning. Reduces to appx 1/2 cup + 2 TB.
Raita Directions
  1. Toss peeled and grated cucumber with 1/4 tsp salt. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Squeeze as much moisture out as possible. Reduces down to about 2 TB. Stir into yogurt along with the rest of the ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Pepper Relish Directions
  1. Toss all ingredients together. Dehydrate at 115 for 4-5 hours (on a non-stick sheet so nothing falls through) to soften and chill overnight.
Root Vegetable Salad Directions
  1. Toss all ingredients together in a bowl and allow to marinade 10-15 minutes before serving.
Assembly
  1. Layer a small handful of the root vegetable salad on the base of a small sushi plate.
  2. Place roughly 1 TB of the raita mix onto the end of a cucumber slice and roll it up. Place rolls on top of salad.
  3. Top with sweet pepper relish.
Notes
  1. Feel free to make a much larger batch of yogurt, relish, or salad with this recipe. Whatever yogurt you don't use for the raita is excellent to eat for breakfast. Having a raw vegan relish is nice to add to any dish as a condiment!
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

Raw Food Level 1: Day 17-18

raw vegan mango lassi panna cotta with black cherry sauce

Raw Food Level 1 is almost complete! Just 2 more days of class to go! Over the course of days 17-18, I worked on a lemon tart as part of the process for learning how to use Irish moss. Irish moss is a seaweed that can be used to thicken puddings, tart fillings, etc. 

Here is a photo of the seaweed soaking in preparation to use it.

irish moss soaking

There were some other essential skills that we learned here too. We made tart crusts that firmed up in the refrigerator, a frozen meringue formed into a quenelle, and some dehydrated citrus slices. It was fun learning how to make the quenelle, a classic French technique. I’ve always wanted to learn how to do that. All my frozen treats will be fancier from now on. I also didn’t know that you could dehydrate and eat citrus slices. I always found the peels to be bitter when blended or juiced, but after painting on a little agave and dehydrating, they are a delicious tart treat!

I shared this tart with my husband and visiting relatives, and they all gave it a big thumbs up.

raw vegan lemon meringue tart raw vegan lemon meringue tart raw vegan lemon meringue tart raw vegan lemon meringue tart raw vegan lemon meringue tart raw vegan lemon meringue tart

Both of the dishes that I’m working on for my final project are of my own creation. We were tasked to come up with a three course menu, and then to execute two of the dishes. I chose the starter and the dessert. 

My starter is a cucumber tzatziki roll. The herbs are on the inside and the cucumber is on the outside! It is topped with a sweet pepper relish and paired with a root vegetable with a cumin vinaigrette. Which of my practice plating arrangements do you like best? 

raw vegan cucumber tzatziki rolls with root vegetable salad raw vegan cucumber tzatziki rolls with root vegetable salad raw vegan cucumber tzatziki rolls with root vegetable saladraw vegan cucumber tzatziki rolls with root vegetable salad

 My dessert is a mango lassi panna cotta infused with with cardamom and dusted with cinnamon. It is paired with a peppery black cherry sauce to create a spice blend reminiscent of chai. The panna cotta is topped off with a pecan tuile. Below are the photos of my practice plating before my big final presentation on day 19!

raw vegan mango lassi panna cotta with black cherry sauce raw vegan mango lassi panna cotta with black cherry sauce raw vegan mango lassi panna cotta with black cherry sauce raw vegan mango lassi panna cotta with black cherry sauce