Tag Archives: granola

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. 🙂

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

Raw Food Fundamentals: Day 15

raw vegan fermented nut cheese plate

Day 15 is Raw Food Fundamentals at Matthew Kenney Academy is completed! Today was an exciting day because I got to make some tasty breakfast items, and a fancy cheese plate! It just so happened that I finished the cheese plate on the weekend, so my husband and I were able to snack on it in the afternoon while we busied ourselves with bottling his home brewed beer. 😉

The first task of the day was to flavor our coconut yogurt. Mine was very tangy from the strong probiotics that I used in it and the extra time that I let it ferment. I added a little honey, vanilla, and some ripe bananas to make a delicious banana flavored yogurt. With this, I layered in some fresh mango along with my finished tropical buckwheat granola. I topped it all off with a pinch of cinnamon and a drizzle of raw honey. It was tangy and sweet and delicious!

raw vegan yogurt and granola parfait raw vegan yogurt and granola parfait raw vegan yogurt and granola parfait raw vegan yogurt and granola parfait raw vegan yogurt and granola parfait

The extra granola that was left was also amazing eaten as cereal with some homemade hemp milk and a little roasted dandelion tea (a reasonable facsimile for coffee if you want something that is caffeine-free, acid free, and good for your liver!).

raw vegan sprouted buckwheat granola with hemp milk

…And now the moment of truth. CHEESE PLATE TIME! With a little coaching about mixing flavors and textures together and the subtleties of plating something like this, I went to work. I actually own a cheese board too. I bought it for my sister’s baby shower last year, but I mostly use it for plating flax crackers and sauces or other snacks. Who doesn’t love food served up on a fancy piece of slate?

I did a little extra credit work on my cheeses since I’m on the slow track for this class. In addition to the 3 cashew cheeses that I made (rosemary crusted, orange/rose, and red wine/pepper), I wanted to try some with macadamia nuts as well, so I made 2 additional cheeses – one which I stuffed  with green olive, and another which contains layers of parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Yup, it’s Simon & Garfunkle cheese. 😉 As my cheeses were all of the savory and salty variety, I paired them with sweeter elements and included some crunchy items on the plate as well. There are dried apricots, figs, and cantaloupe, fresh cherries, almonds, pecans dipped in raw honey and topped with the leftover homemade chocolate chops, and my trio of chia crackers that went into the dehydrator yesterday.

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

Following my nut cheese extravaganza, we made some more nut milks to prepare for tomorrow’s recipes and got to spend some quality time cleaning up our final project recipes, as well as making our grocery lists and daily schedules for testing out our final recipes and plating. I’m so excited!!!

Raw Food Level 1: Day 14

raw vegan portobello sliders

Day 14 of Raw Food Level 1 at Matthew Kenney Academy is completed! Today, we checked in on our wheatgrass, dehydrated our nut cheeses to put a rind on them (not pictured), put together some last minute toppings and sauces for our sliders before plating and eating them, made sprouted buckwheat granola, made Bahian soup, and started planning for our final projects! It was a super busy, and very delicious day. I think this might be my favorite day of eating so far!

Here is my still growing and freshly harvested wheatgrass! I can’t believe I grew it myself, and it was so easy to do! All I did was soak the wheat berries overnight and then start the sprouting process. As soon as they had little tails, I sandwiched them between a layer of potting mix (to let them breathe without getting overly saturated) with a little organic fertilizer and garden lime mixed in. You don’t even need any fancy equipment for this. I did it in cheap-o aluminum lasagna pans that I found at the grocery store for about $1 each. Poke some holes in the bottom for drainage and lightly water daily, and you’re good to go!

growing wheatgrass growing wheatgrasswheat grass

 

I ran my wheatgrass through the juicer and decided to have a little fun, so I made a “wheatgrass bomb” with a juice base of apple, pear, cucumber, and lime. It was amazing. Maybe it tasted better because I grew the wheatgrass myself and had a deep appreciation for the work that went into it, or maybe the flavor of my homegrown wheatgrass actually was better than the stuff I’d been buying at Whole Foods. Hmmm…

wheatgrass juice wheatgrass bomb wheatgrass bomb wheatgrass bomb wheatgrass bomb

After marinading some portobello mushroom medallions (thanks, ring mold!), some blending to make a few sauces (smokey tomato based “BBQ” and a creamy basil ranch), and a few toppings (salsa and shallot/spinach/thyme), we had free reign to mix and match whatever we wanted on our sliders. It was time to take out that “swiss cheese” that was completed a few days ago too.

I put a bed of red lettuce on all of my sliders to act as a moisture barrier. After that, this is what went on each of them (besides the marinaded portobello):

  • swiss cheese, bbq sauce, kimchi (homemade!), caramelized onions
  • yogurt, tomato, pickle (homemade!), shallot mix (this one was my favorite)
  • swiss cheese, ranch, salsa

I can’t believe I made every single thing on this plate from scratch. I feel so accomplished. My poor husband did not get to eat any of it. I devoured it at lunch time. 😉

raw vegan portobello sliders raw vegan portobello sliders raw vegan portobello sliders raw vegan portobello sliders

We also started a batch of sprouted buckwheat granola, which will be going into a yogurt parfait tomorrow. We were given a base recipe and technique and told that we could alter it however we liked. I love assignments where I can take a creative license. I made a tropical granola with pineapple, coconut, lime, and cinnamon. There are some apple bits in there too for a little extra sweetness.

raw vegan portobello sliders raw vegan portobello sliders raw vegan portobello sliders raw vegan portobello sliders

The last recipe of the day was a Brazilian-inspired “Bahian soup”. It’s a chunky soup that is traditionally made with seafood and the texture is a result of cooking the mixture down. In the raw food world, we mimic these textures and flavors with creative blending and ingredient mixing techniques. This soup was delicious. I love that it had a hit of spice up front, and then the flavors of tomato, coconut, and lime all came in to mingle playfully together afterward. the chunkiness of the tomato, the creamy texture of the soup itself, and the pieces of avocado all blended together to make a great texture as well.

My day ended with a delicious bowl of this soup and the beginning stages of planning my final project, which is to plan a full three course raw vegan meal! The meal I am working on takes its inspiration from Arabic, Greek, Indian, and Italian dishes. It should be a lot of fun!

raw vegan bahian soup raw vegan bahian soup raw vegan bahian soup raw vegan bahian soup