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Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine: Day 7

raw vegan kimchi dumplings

I made it to Day 7 of Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine! As I’m on the extended timeline, this is about half way through my third week of working on this. It’s a lot of work, but very rewarding. 

I worked on more knife skills to start off this day of course work, but you are probably getting tired of seeing the same cuts every day. Besides, today, I was told to work on getting my speed faster, so I was not allowed to measure as I went, but instead just had to cut, cut, cut, and measure afterward. Surprisingly, I didn’t do too bad. Most of my cuts were the right width or close to it, but my length was way off. Apparently, I can’t tell the difference between 2.5″ and 3.25″. This is why I am not a carpenter. 🙂

Anyway, the first thing I did today was to blend up some tostada shells and stick the into the dehydrator for a recipe that will be assembled on Day 8. After that, it was time to assemble the kimchi dumplings using the cilantro coconut wrappers that I put into the dehydrator yesterday. The filling called for tahini, so of course, I made my own. I’m going to reuse the rest for hummus later. 🙂

raw tahini

I will not lie. These wrappers were very challenging. I actually messed up the first batch, and had to re-do them. I’m not about being wasteful, especially when I had to spend hours cracking coconuts, scraping their meat out, etc. So, I took my too-thin, cracked, and dried up coconut wrapper failures, and put them in the blender with some water. I figured the dehydrator takes water out, so I’ll just put some back in. Thankfully, it worked.

I was a little wiser about spreading the mixture on the dehydrator sheets the second time, but even then, I had to keep a close eye on them. I checked every few hours and brushed on a little water if I thought an area looked like it was drying faster than another, paranoid that it would crack again. After they came out, I cut them into squares to be used for the dumpling wrappers. 

We used our homemade kimchi and some other ingredients to make a creamy/spicy filling for the wrappers. They were topped with a ginger foam (which didn’t really foam up all that well for me), and the plate was sauced with a red cabbage puree that had some of the kimchi juices in it.

To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled with my plating on this one, but we have been encouraged to be a bit bolder and more asymmetrical, to play with white space, etc., so I’ve been taking the opportunity to experiment a bit. I am getting some great feedback from my instructor, so my plating is improving each time. 

If you are interested to make these dumplings, the recipe is in Everyday Raw by Matthew Kenney on page 64. It is the recipe called “Sesame Cashew Dumplings”. The modification made for the class was to blend some homemade kimchi into the fillings.

raw vegan kimchi dumplings raw vegan kimchi dumplings raw vegan kimchi dumplings raw vegan kimchi dumplings raw vegan kimchi dumplings

The last assignment of the day was to make ice cream. OH YES! We were given a base recipe for a vanilla ice cream and some ideas for modifying it to make our own flavors. I came up with this “orange cake” ice cream, which I really loved, and I topped it off with a sage infused honey that I made with sage from my garden and a local raw orange blossom honey. The honey is really what inspired me to combine orange and sage to begin with. 

My ice cream recipe is a modification of the base vanilla ice cream recipe they provided for us, which can be found in Matthew Kenney’s book, Everyday Raw Desserts on page 138.

raw vegan orange cake ice cream raw vegan orange cake ice cream raw vegan orange cake ice cream raw vegan orange cake ice cream raw vegan orange cake ice cream raw vegan orange cake ice cream

 

Lastly, I am going to toot my own horn a little bit because I am tickled pink to have had (more of) my photos re-blogged by Matthew Kenney’s official Tumblr account. See my kimchi dumplings and my ice cream? =D

adrienne frankenfield food photos on matthew kenney tumblr adrienne frankenfield kimchi dumpling photo on matthew kenney tumblr adrienne frankenfield ice cream photo on matthew kenney tumblr

Summer Chiller! Cucumber, Pineapple, and Mint Smoothie

Summer Chiller Smoothie with cucumber juice, frozen pineapple, mint, and matcha!

My classes are going well. Part of what we have been learning is “smoothie building”. It really is both an art and a science. Until this point, I’d just been throwing stuff in a blender and hoping for the best, but no more! The recipe for this cucumber, pineapple, and mint smoothie was from an assignment we were given to build out own smoothies using the flavor balancing techniques learned in class.

I was very happy with it. I could taste all of the components, and it was very refreshing and filling without feeling or tasting too heavy. I think it’s a great way to deal with all this summer heat and humidity we’ve been having here in Central Florida!

Summer Chiller Smoothie with cucumber juice, frozen pineapple, mint, and matcha!

Summer Chiller Smoothie: Cucumber, Mint, & Pineapple
Serves 1
This is a light and refreshing creamy frozen treat that is perfect for summer. Fresh cucumber juice and mint combines with frozen pineapple and a hint of matcha powder for a nice afternoon pick up.
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup cucumber juice
  2. 1/4 cup ice
  3. 1 cup frozen pineapple
  4. 1/2 avocado
  5. 2 TB fresh chopped peppermint
  6. 1/4 tsp matcha powder
  7. 2 tsp local raw honey (if preferred, substitute with vegan sweetener of choice or omit)
  8. pinch salt
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a high speed blender until thoroughly combined. It will be thick and creamy. You will probably need a tamper to move the ingredients around. It comes out like a milkshake!
Notes
  1. I used English cucumber for the juice in this recipe with the peels on, which yielded a more potent juice. If you use a peeled cucumber, go ahead and add up to a cup of juice (to your taste preference) because the flavor will be milder.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

Quinoa & Lentils, Simple Salad, and Sauerkraut

A simple vegan meal for two of both cooked and raw foods: germinated quinoa and lentils, salad of romaine and cucumber, homemade sauerkraut

Dear Internet,

I have great news! In an effort to be more frugal, I am now preparing all of the meals for both my husband and I from scratch. We’ve been all about simplifying our lives (even more) and “getting rid of (even more) stuff” lately. As I am the cook, he’s been eating vegan food. It’s a lot cheaper and better for the planet to eat good quality plant based foods than to eat animal proteins. He’s dropped a few pounds and is looking even hotter than usual. Hooray for easy vegan meals. 😉 

sauerkraut

We also rearranged the furniture at about the same time that we started to implement this, so now we get to sit down every night and share a nice meal and some conversation together. It’s really been wonderful, though I will have to admit, it is more time consuming than I thought it would be. In an attempt to not keep him waiting too long for dinner, I haven’t been as diligent at recording my recipes, and I haven’t really been using recipes, so much as throwing together simple, healthy, and very affordable meals with items we already have on hand.

quinoa and lentils

While I prefer more raw food, he prefers more cooked food, and I want to be able to accommodate both of us, and also make sure he’s still getting some “roughage” since cooking destroys certain heat-sensitive vitamins, like vitamin C (which, as a friendly reminder, humans are unable to produce on their own like most other animals on the planet – we must consume it from our food). 

romaine and cucumber salad

After struggling over whether or not to post these ridiculously easy vegan meals, it struck me that this very thing was the original premise of my blog. My husband is actually eating and enjoying the vegan meals that I’m preparing. It truly is a “taste of two plates” now! =D

By incorporating some of my own dietary tweaks (which I also feed to my husband), I’ve seen additional improvements to my health as well. Since I cut oils (except for a little flax) out of my diet and started to treat nuts and seeds as condiments rather than snacks or main ingredients, I’ve dropped about 2% body fat (no lean tissue loss), have very sound sleep with minimal disturbances, have been getting up earlier, and have been feeling rested on less sleep. This is nothing short of a miracle for me. For all the health issues I’ve managed to reverse, I’ve still always needed a lot of sleep.

simple vegan meals

This evening’s dinner consisted of a large romaine and cucumber salad, some homemade sauerkraut (love the bugs!), and some sprouted lentils and quinoa with parsley and a honey mustard sauce (the only cooked part of the meal). Yes, I use local raw honey (to build immunity against local pollen), but you may use any natural sweetener you like (such as a fruit puree). I’ve been buying dried lentils, beans, and seeds, so I can soak and germinate them before eating, whether they will end up being cooked or eaten raw. This reduces the phytic acid content and makes them more digestible. Less phytic acid means you can absorb more nutrients from the rest of your food too. 

Apricot Honey Mustard Quinoa & Lentils, Simple Salad, and Sauerkraut
Serves 2
An easy vegan meal with a lot of raw food, a little cooked food, and a healthy dose of probiotics. The quinoa and lentils are germinated to maximize nutrition and digestibility, and are also hearty and flavorful enough to please the omnivores in your house.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Sauerkraut Ingredients
  1. Easy Sauerkraut Recipe
Quinoa & Lentils Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup dried quinoa
  2. 1/2 cup dried lentils
  3. large handful fresh parsley, chopped
  4. 2 TB cup organic mustard
  5. 3 TB water
  6. 2 TB ACV
  7. 1 TB naturally sweetened apricot fruit spread (e.g. Polaner's) - optional, but delicious
  8. 2 TB local raw honey (or preferred vegan sweetener - or just add extra apricot spread)
  9. 1/4 tsp sea salt
Salad Ingredients
  1. 1/2 head of romaine
  2. 1 cucumber (peeled if not organic)
  3. 2 TB flax oil
  4. 2 TB raw ACV or lemon juice
  5. Dried herbs of your choice (optional - I used fennel and dill on mine)
  6. Tiny pinch of sea salt and pepper to taste (optional)
Germinating Quinoa and Lentils (Optional)
  1. The night before you want to make this, soak the quinoa and lentils overnight (in separate bowls), drain in the morning, and then leave on the counter, covered loosely with a towel, during the day. If you want instant gratification, you don't need to do this advanced prep work, but it makes them much more nutritious and digestible.
Cooking Quinoa and Lentils
  1. Using a 2:1 ratio of water to quinoa, cook the quinoa either in a rice cooker or simmer for appx. 20 minutes on the stove after bringing the water to a boil.
  2. Using a 2:1 ratio of water to lentils, simmer the lentils for appx. 30 minutes on the stove after bringing the water to a boil (test for tenderness).
  3. Combine in a bowl and mix in the parsley (bonus points if you grew it yourself).
  4. Whisk in a bowl until well blended: mustard, water, ACV, apricot spread, honey (or other sweetener), and sea salt.
  5. Pour the sauce over the quinoa and lentil mixture and stir it in.
Salad Directions
  1. Layer greens and veggies on the plate.
  2. Top each salad with 1 TB each flax seed oil and ACV or lemon juice.
  3. Add some dried herbs if you like.
Notes
  1. For best preparation efficiency, start cooking the lentils first, then the quinoa. While those are on the pot, prepare the sauce, chop the salad vegetables, and retrieve your sauerkraut from the fridge.
  2. I use local raw honey because it helps to keep my allergies at bay. You are welcome to use any other natural sweetener that you would like in this recipe if you would like a truly vegan alternative.
  3. You are welcome to use any dressing you like on the salad in order to have a peaceful meal with the omnivores in your life. My husband and I do not use the same salad dressings. 🙂
  4. I like my food a bit on the spicy side. If the mustard is too potent for you in the sauce, feel free to add a little extra water to dilute it. Keep in mind that once it is mixed into the quinoa and lentils, they will soak it up and it will not be as strong.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/