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Advanced Raw Cuisine: Day 11

raw vegan thai salad

I’m officially into my third week of Advanced Raw Cuisine via Matthew Kenney Culinary Online. Today marks the start of… wait for it… PASTRY WEEK! We’ll be making cookies, breads, and crackers, and finishing the week with some chocolate making and a cheese plate with the nut cheeses that have been patiently fermenting in the refrigerator. I really loved putting the cheese plate together in the first level fundamentals class. The recipes we worked on today were fabulous. I have no doubt the rest of the week will be a lot of fun. 🙂

It’s time to get back to the cinnamon rolls… They were setting up in the freezer, and then I sliced them. I prefer my sweets in smaller portions, so I made these rolls smaller than usual. Not a whole lot of “swirl” going on, but I think they’re cute anyway. Cutting them down to this size also allowed me to use my sushi mat to roll them, which made the whole process really easy. After slicing, they went into the dehydrator for a few hours to warm up before plating and serving them later today.

raw vegan cinnamon rolls raw vegan cinnamon rolls

The next project was to learn a method for making raw bread loaves in the dehydrator! I had seen some of these before in old raw foods books, but they relied on sprouted glutenous grains, which I am unable to eat. This method does not! We used flours from some nuts and some sprouted gluten free grains for these. The seaweed, Irish moss, was used to hold the whole thing together and give it a bit of a bouncy texture. 

Since these breads will be going on our cheese plates at the end of the week, we were given free reign to add our own seasonings and make our own shapes. The rectangular loaf has some chopped olives in it. In the profile, you’ll see I shaped it like a cute miniature loaf of bread with the little “bubble” at the top. Those high school pottery classes are finally paying off! 😉

The second rounder loaf has a big of molasses and chicory root tea added in to give it a darker color and depth of flavor, as well as some caraway seed. My intent for that one was to be like a faux-rye bread with a biscotti-like profile after it is sliced. I am so excited to see how these turn out!

raw vegan bread loaf raw vegan bread loaf raw vegan bread loaf raw vegan bread loaf

All this pastry work sure does make a girl hungry. Thank goodness there was a salad recipe planned for today. This is a “Thai salad”. We learned more about combining unique ingredients and textures, and also about styling salads. This is a great lesson for me because I absolutely love salad, and I’m always looking for ways to make them a bit prettier. There is a little bit of the spicy sesame dressing peeking out from under the greens, and some more mixed into the mix of colorful vegetables and coconut on the top.

This was an amazingly delicious salad. It’s still pretty warm here in central Florida, so it was nice to have something that was light and refreshing, but still had a lot of flavor. I would definitely make this one again!

raw vegan thai salad raw vegan thai salad raw vegan thai salad

After the salad, it was time for dessert. It’s pastry week, right? Bring on the pastries! =D

Remember that chocolate chili sauce I made on day 10? It’s going on the cinnamon rolls! This was one exotic dessert and I really loved it! The rolls are topped with some chocolate and chopped walnuts (the rolls also have walnuts in them). The drink you see paired with them is a chili-cacao herbal tea with a cashew foam to make something that is kind of a cross between a tea latte and a cappuccino. I topped it with a few slivers of thai chili pepper. Chocolate and chili are one of my favorite flavor combinations! 

This wraps up day 11. Looking forward to more pastry adventures on day 12!

raw vegan spicy chocolate butter raw vegan cinnamon rolls raw vegan cinnamon rolls

Cucumber Mint Salad (Raw Vegan)

cucumber and mint salad with lime and olive oil

The weather is starting to heat up here (Orlando) already! One of my favorite warm weather treats is a chilled cucumber mint salad. I love cucumbers in general though. I have to say, they are one of my favorite foods and I think I could eat them every day. The warm weather just gives me an excuse to eat them more often. They pair wonderfully with mint, another cooling food.

The weather has been so warm lately that I harvested the first tomato from the plants on my porch this afternoon! I’ve lived in Florida my entire life and this seems normal to me, but a friend out in the Pacific Northwest informed me that they are just starting to think about planting this time of year. 

It was a small tomato – only about 1.5″ in diameter. I sliced it into 4 little pieces just so I could savor the first fruit from my porch garden. This is a big deal for me. For as much as I love food and putting together recipes, I have not really done well keeping plants alive in the past. Hopefully, the trend will continue, and I will have some tomato recipes to share soon. 🙂

fresh homegrown tomato

Back to cucumbers… I’ve got some cucumbers started in the “garden” too, which I lovingly refer to as my “porch jungle”, but they aren’t ready just yet. I guess I should get on with the cucumber and mind salad recipe. It’s so easy to prepare as a quick and light appetizer to accompany a summer meal. 

Cucumber and Mint Summer Salad
Serves 4
This is a light and cooling cucumber and mint salad tossed with a refreshing hint of lime. It's very quick to prepare.
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 English cucumber - chop it how you like (thinly sliced, cubed, etc.)
  2. 1/4 sweet onion - chop it how you like (thinly sliced, cubed, etc.)
  3. 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  4. 1 lime - cut into quarters
  5. 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  6. sea salt to taste
  7. fresh ground pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Chop the cucumber, sweet onion, and mint leaves. Toss them together in a bowl.
  2. Divide into quarters on plates or in bowls. Fancy it up if you'd like!
  3. Sprinkle each plate with a pinch of salt and some fresh ground pepper.
  4. Squeeze a quarter wedge of lime onto each plate.
  5. Drizzle with olive oil. Use an herb infused olive oil (e.g. basil) for a little something extra.
Omnivore Modification
  1. This salad also pairs well with goat cheese if you have an omnivore in your family that isn't ready to give up dairy.
Dressing Alternative
  1. A simple oil and vinegar will also work well if you do not have limes.
The Cucumber Rose
  1. A cucumber rose (pictured) is a nice artistic touch if you want to make your presentation a little more special.
  2. Slice your cucumbers using a diagonal angle so that the pieces come out longer.
  3. The cucumbers should be paper thin - you can achieve this with a mandolin at 1/16" or 1.5mm.
  4. Roll one slice very tight in the center, and then wrap other pieces around it.
  5. Secure with a toothpick.
  6. If it is too tall, you can slice some off one end. This also helps it to lay flat on the plate.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/