Tag Archives: education

Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine – Day 2

raw vegan lasagna

I just finished day 2 of “Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine“, a course offered online through the Matthew Kenney Academy. It’s been a great experience so far. It’s very labor intensive and I’m so thankful that I was able to do this as an 8-week course. There is going to be a lot of stuff happening in my kitchen this weekend as I attempt to finish Day 3 on Saturday and Day 4 on Sunday!

To start Day 2, we learned about flavor balancing, and we made some seasoned almonds in the dehydrator that will be used for a recipe later in the week (Day 6), so I’ll post a photo of them at that time. Following that, more knife skills! We do cutting exercises every day to learn better grip and control of both the knife and the food being cut. I’m sure it will save me from many future accidents! I think they are getting a little better, but I still need more practice.

chef knife skills exercise


We also learned about plating guidelines and put that into practice with two beautiful raw vegan dishes: red beet ravioli and lasagna. I have learned to much from this course in the mere two days of work that I have completed.

Both recipes can be found in the book, Raw Food/Real World: 100 Recipes to Get the Glow. Highly recommended!

The knife skills and the plating guidelines have helped me tremendously. Plating food really IS an art form. I really feel that these are probably the best food photos I have ever taken, thanks to the new things I have learned and incredibly helpful feedback from the instructors.

I’m definitely looking forward to day 3, because I peeked ahead and I get to make smoothies and pickles! =D

raw vegan red beet ravioli raw vegan red beet ravioli raw vegan red beet ravioli raw vegan lasagna raw vegan lasagna raw vegan lasagna

Matthew Kenney Academy – Day 1

cutting technique demonstration

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. 😉

chef knife cutting techniques dicing, julienne, and brunoise chiffonade cutting technique filleting a bell pepper peeling an orange with a chef knife cutting technique demonstration

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

green juice green juice ingredients

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

cashew ricotta and macadamia ricotta cashew ricotta and macadamia ricotta

 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! 🙂

Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from Cornell

Certificate of Completion in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell

Today, I have officially completed the certificate program in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell.

I should have significantly more time to work on some new recipes for the blog now – recipes that are even healthier, focusing completely on the whole foods that are the best for nourishing our bodies and preventing diseases. 🙂 <3