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Advanced Raw Cuisine: Day 15

raw vegan nut cheese plate

I am very late in writing up the synopsis for the rest of my Advanced Raw Cuisine course, but here it is, better late than never… Day 15!

Day 15 marked the end of pastry week! The finished chocolate bonbons were presented today. We also started prep work for one final pastry recipe that will be completed as part of week 4, and everything came together for the final cheese plate as well. It was beautiful when everything was laid out.

Here are some red pears in the vacuum sealed bag. They are marinading in a sauce that will make them both flavorful and soft. It contains some agave, lemon juice, and spices. The texture was wonderful. The apple slices were pliable and soft, just as if they’d been poached! These are for a chocolate walnut cake that will be ready as part of week 4. 

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These are some candied fennel seed in the making. Fennel seeds tossed with a little maple syrup and put into the dehydrator to get crispy! They will also be used for the walnut cake dessert. 

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Here are the final nut cheeses after aging in the fridge for over a month! The course is only 4 weeks, but since I was working on a longer 8 week track, I had the opportunity to age mine longer. The texture was wonderful. They were soft and creamy, definitely more “cheese-like”. The flavors were so mature. It was really worth the time to let this happen. I also put some of them into the dehydrator for about 24 hours to put a bit of a “rind” on them. 

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I present to you… the finished cheese plate! This has my nut cheeses, some homemade mustard, a raw bread loaf, some raw crackers, a few slices of cucumber and pear, and a few drops of a balsamic vinegar reduction. It was so good!

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The last thing that was finished on this day was a batch of chocolate bon bons! We learned how to temper chocolate and made these wonderful filled candies. There is a green tea and honey filling in the center. 

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Fundamentals of Raw Food: Day 10

raw vegan seaweed salad

I just completed day 10 of my classes teaching the fundamentals of raw food!

Today was awesome for so many reasons. In addition to the tasty things I made and ate, I took my knife skills test and aced it, both the written portion and the actual cutting portion. It was a little tedious for me, but I really did learn a lot from making a daily practice of it. My cutting skills improved dramatically, and most importantly, my hands now automatically use the correct methods for holding my knife and cutting while protecting my fingers.

There is still room for improvement, but I’m very happy with my progress, thus far. I will miss making a daily juice from the vegetables I practiced chopping. ๐Ÿ˜‰

knife skills test

My raw vegan banana bread also went into the dehydrator today! This is not a recipe that I have found in any of Matthew Kenney’s books, so I am not able to provide any sources for it. I was really pleased with the final product and would definitely make this again! I’ve been enjoying it as a wonderful healthy breakfast with a big cup of fresh juice in the mornings!

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The second recipe I worked on for Day 10 was a seaweed salad. This recipe appeared to be an adaption of the “Seaweed Salad” that is on page 83 of Everyday Raw by Matthew Kenney. I was very happy with the way the flavors blended together in the final product. I made extra so I could take some into work for lunch.

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I also checked on my wheatgrass growing project this morning. It looks very good! It is supposed to be 6-7″ tall before harvesting, so it’s not quite there yet, but it’s getting closer. Probably just a couple days left. I’m really excited to be able to grow my own so cheaply now! It’s super easy too. 

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The last project of the day was to create one of my own recipes, following a specific list of criteria designed to challenge us, and utilizing the lessons that we have learned in the class so far. I made a Bloody Mary Gazpacho! 

I was really happy with the way this turned out. It is by far one of the most flavorful and beautifully plated dishes I have come up with on my own so far. It makes me realize just how much I have learned in the last month, and I’m really only half way through the course! My husband even said the flavor was good, and he’s not a huge fan of raw food. That’s how good it was. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine: Day 8

raw vegan tostada

Day 8 of fundamentals of raw cuisine has been completed! I started off the day by dehydrating some pecans that I soaked the night before (to neutralize enzyme inhibitors and then bring back the crunchy texture), and checking on my tostada shells. They were done! I also dehydrated some oat groats that I soaked (for the same reason) in preparation to make oat flour for a raw banana bread.  oat groats I got a free pass on the knife skills test today because it was mid-term quiz day! I am happy to say that I passed with flying colors! ๐Ÿ™‚ After completing the quiz, it was time to eat! The big food project for today was a delicious tostada. Mexican food is one of my favorite cuisines to eat as raw food. It has so much flavor and there are so many fresh ingredients to play with. I was really happy to see this one on the menu.  For the tostadas today, in addition to the shells, I also made a seasoned cabbage slaw, a spicy mole sauce, pico de gallo, guacamole, and cashew sour cream. It was a lot of blending, but it was so worth it when all of the flavors came together!

Here is where you can find some of the recipes:

raw vegan tostada raw vegan tostada raw vegan tostada   After this was completely devoured, I reviewed a lecture on flours and put together a raw vegan pizza crust to put into the dehydrator overnight. Pizza tomorrow! I had fun experimenting with different herbs and seasonings on the dough before it went into the dehydrator. 

The pizza crust recipe is in Everyday Raw by Matthew Kenney on page 92.

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Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine: Day 4

zucchini tartare

On Sunday-Monday of this week, I completed day 4 of โ€œFundamentals of Raw Cuisineโ€œ. I probably should have spread it out over 3 days. There was a lot to do, and I only got to about half of it. More than half if it was setting components for other recipes up in the dehydrator. I can’t want to eat the finished products. ๐Ÿ™‚

As with every day before, the day’s work started with knife skills. All those pretty cubes of zucchini and the chiffonade cuts of basil went into a beautiful zucchini tartare, and the rest went into the blender for some rosemary croutons. The rest of the veggies were juiced. I’ve been enjoying a fresh juice every day after my chopping exercises!

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After checking on my kale chips (not quite done), I started the day off with a delicious pumpkin pie spice smoothie. This smoothie was a little like a raw “cheesecake” that I made for Thanksgiving last year – it didn’t actually contain any pumpkin. The flavors of carrot and pumpkin pie spices sort of trick your palate into thinking there might be some pumpkin in there though! The recipe presented to us in the course is an adaptation of the “Bunny Spice” smoothie recipe in Matthew Kenney’s book, Raw Food/Real World: 100 Recipes to Get the Glow. The main difference is that the recipe in the class had less carrot juice and used pumpkin pie spice instead of just cinnamon. After looking at the recipe in the book, I think I might have liked to try it with the extra carrot juice though!

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While I drank my smoothie, I worked through the reading material about the usage of superfoods in raw recipe creation, and also a primer on raw vegan sweeteners. Raw honey is occasionally used, which is not vegan, and grade B maple syrup is occasionally used, which is not raw, but both in moderation. Many raw foods are sweet on their own if they contain rip fruits or sweeter vegetables like carrots or peppers, and don’t need much extra, except to function as a bit of a flavor enhancer.

That was where I left off on Sunday. I decided to give myself a little rest after spending all day in the kitchen on Saturday. All work and no play makes Adrienne a dull girl, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

I picked up with Day 4 on Monday when I came home from work. The next assignment was a beautiful and delicious zucchini and avocado tartare. This one was really quick and easy to make, which was a good thing because I was very hungry when I got home. ๐Ÿ™‚ The recipe blends delicate soft pieces of zucchini with avocado and a tangy herbal sauce in a ring mold to make a dish that is both light in summer flavors and artistic on the plate. Ring molds really step it up a notch!

The recipe is in Matthew Kenney’s book, Everyday Raw Express: Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less.

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After my belly was full, there was some more prep work to get those recipe components into the dehydrator. I currently have in my dehydrator: pine nut “parmesan”, shiitake “anchovies” (mushrooms – pre-dehydration photos below), and rosemary croutons (pre-dehydration photos below), which were made with the almond flour that I created after dehydrating the almond pulp from my nut milk in the previous day’s coursework! There is going to be an amazing raw vegan Caesar salad in my future!

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I’ve saved the best for last. My kale chips turned out great. The pile got smaller as I photographed them because I couldn’t stop eating them. Life is hard, I know. I made two batches of kale chips: ranch and spicy mango lime. I will add recipes for each of them in separate blog posts since this one has become quite long already. For now, you’ll just have to salivate on your keyboard. Sorry! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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