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Advanced Raw Cuisine: Day 2

raw vegan root vegetable gnocchi

On to day 2 of Advanced Raw Cuisine at Matthew Kenney Culinary! Today’s delectable treats included a raw vegan gnocchi and a vegetable miso soup. Not only was there was ample opportunity to continue honing my skills, every dish provided an opportunity to make culinary art and continue improving my plating skills as well. I have truly enjoyed learning new things each and every day.

The first thing I did today was to do a bit of rearranging in the dehydrator. I checked on the olive bread that I put in yesterday and removed it when I found that it was nice and crispy. In its place, I put in the eggplant that I left to marinade overnight. 

Our first lesson for today was on the second of the five raw mother sauces, the vegetable stock. That’s right! You don’t have to give up that tasty soup or your favorite recipes. We can still make flavorful raw vegetable stocks through juicing, blending, and dehydrating. It doesn’t take any more time than simmering a cooked stock would, and all of the vitamins and enzymes are kept in tact. This is especially important when you consider the heat-sensitive vitamin C and that unlike other primate and mammalian species, humans cannot manufacture their own!

Isn’t this broth beautiful?

raw vegan vegetable stock

 

 

Our next lesson was starting on a root vegetable gnocchi. I really love that we have the creative freedom to customize the flavors and ingredient choices in this class. It allows the recipe creation process to feel a lot more personal when the selected ingredients are close to your heart (and tongue!).

For the gnocchi, we were allowed to select any root vegetable that we wanted. The demo was shown using beets. Indeed, they offer many health benefits and are fantastic liver cleaners. I wanted to use a root vegetable that I hadn’t been able to work with over the duration of these courses yet and picked one of my personal favorites, sweet potato! I’ve really been into the color orange lately too. Beta carotine, FTW!

We were given the option to shape them into fancy French quenelles, or to roll them and use a fork to give them more of a “rustic” look. I chose the latter. I really love the traditional look of gnocchi with the ridges across the middle. After forming our selected shapes, into the dehydrator they went!

raw vegan root vegetable gnocchi raw vegan root vegetable gnocchi

 

While waiting a few hours for the gnocchi, there were plenty of other projects to work on, one of which was more fermented nut cheese! We made a few of these in our Level 1 class, but this time around, we’ll be using our own probiotics and aging them to build some additional character in the flavor and texture. I’m a bit of a mad scientist when it comes to fermenting things, so I had to make sure there were enough batches to experiment with. 😉

I’ve got a “control” batch of cashew with a standard probiotic powder, a brazil/pine nut combo with water kefir, a couple pistachio experiments with kimchi and sauerkraut brines, and some macadamia cheeses with fermented coconut water and rejuvelac. 

raw vegan nut cheesesraw vegan nut cheesesprobiotic fermented food

 

The second recipe we worked on while waiting for the gnocchi to dehydrate a bit more was a “new style miso soup”. This soup was a great opportunity to test out the versatility of the raw vegan vegetable broth. It was a flavorful and creative cross between a vegetable soup and a miso soup. It was also slightly creamy, but retained a lightness to it, which made for a satisfying appetizer. Working on this recipe gave me a lot of creative ideas for just how versatile our second mother sauce really is.

raw vegan vegetable miso soupraw vegan vegetable miso soup raw vegan vegetable miso soup raw vegan vegetable miso soup

At long last, after being taunted with the wonderful smells coming out of my dehydrator (don’t forget, the eggplant bacon is still in there too), something was ready to come out and be eaten. I removed the gnocchi after warming the lemon cream sauce from yesterday’s lesson a bit.

In addition to the cream sauce, we learned how to make gremolata, a parsley and lemon based condiment that adds a refreshing quality to an otherwise rich or heavy dish. The flavors and textures paired very well with the Meyer lemon cream sauce, and the textural contrasts looked beautiful on the plate as well.

The most rewarding part of all this is that the parsley came from my porch garden! Food is so much more rewarding when you’ve grown it yourself.

The whole thing was topped off with some micro-greens. I chose some baby chard here, not only for their mild tangy flavor, but also for the beautiful pop of color that the red stems added to the plating. I was really thrilled with how this all came together. It is by far the most beautiful dish I’ve ever put together, and I learned all of the skills with the help of my wonderful instructors. I am really impressed with the quality of the culinary education I’ve been receiving from an online program!

raw vegan root vegetable gnocchi raw vegan root vegetable gnocchi raw vegan root vegetable gnocchi raw vegan root vegetable gnocchi raw vegan root vegetable gnocchi

 

That wrapped up my second day! Looking forward to tomorrow’s projects! We will be putting a mezze platter together and learning about tomato sauces!

Cucumber Raita Rolls (Raw Vegan)

root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber rolls

Coconut Yogurt, Sweet Pepper Relish, Root Vegetable Salad, Cashew, Mint

These cucumber raita rolls were the starter dish that I created for my final project. This dish was inspired by both Indian raita and Greek tzatziki yogurt dishes. The filling in the rolls is flavored more as a tzatziki. The cumin-infused raita flavor is in the root vegetable salad beneath it, which is a blend of sweet potato, turnip, and jicama. The dish is topped off with a sweet pepper relish and garnished with a few tiny mint leaves. 

root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber raita rolls root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber raita rolls

I was very pleased with the way the flavors and textures of this dish turned out. The noodles were neither too soggy nor too crunchy, the cucumber rolls had a lot of flavor, and their soft texture complimented the subtle al dente texture in the root vegetable salad, while the sweet pepper relish brought in just a bit of sweetness to top the whole thing off. It was a well blended mix of tangy, savory, salt, and sweet. I am really thrilled that the course gave me the means to create something so beautiful and delicious.

root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber raita rollsroot vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber raita rolls

Cucumber Raita Rolls
Serves 1
Coconut Yogurt, Sweet Pepper Relish, Root Vegetable Salad, Cashew, Mint. The amounts here serve 1. Feel free to increase the volume to suit the number of servings you'd like to make.
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Root Vegetable Salad Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup each: sweet potato, turnip, jicama, spiral cut
  2. 1 TB grape seed oil
  3. 1 tsp lemon juice
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 1/4 tsp cumin powder
Sweet Pepper Relish Ingredients
  1. 2 TB each red, orange, yellow bell pepper, diced
  2. 1 tsp olive oil
  3. 1 tsp ACV
  4. 1 TB agave
  5. pinch salt
Yogurt Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup coconut meat
  2. 1/4 cup soaked cashews
  3. 1/8 tsp 30B CFU Probiotic powder
Raita Ingredients
  1. 1 cup peeled and grated English cucumber
  2. 1/4 tsp salt
  3. 1/2 TB shallot, finely chopped
  4. 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  5. 1 tsp olive oil
  6. 1 tsp fresh dill, chopped
  7. 1/4 tsp fresh mint, chopped
  8. pinch of salt
  9. pinch of ground pepper
Cucumber Roll Ingredients
  1. 1 English cucumber, sliced thinly along the length of the fruit, on a mandolin.
Yogurt Directions
  1. Blend yogurt ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth and completely incorporated. Cover with muslin and put in dehydrator for 18 hours at 110 degrees. Put it in a cheesecloth with a weight on it and drain it for 36 hours. It will continue to ferment and thicken, and come out like a Greek yogurt. Put it in the fridge until you are ready to add the raita seasoning. Reduces to appx 1/2 cup + 2 TB.
Raita Directions
  1. Toss peeled and grated cucumber with 1/4 tsp salt. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Squeeze as much moisture out as possible. Reduces down to about 2 TB. Stir into yogurt along with the rest of the ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Pepper Relish Directions
  1. Toss all ingredients together. Dehydrate at 115 for 4-5 hours (on a non-stick sheet so nothing falls through) to soften and chill overnight.
Root Vegetable Salad Directions
  1. Toss all ingredients together in a bowl and allow to marinade 10-15 minutes before serving.
Assembly
  1. Layer a small handful of the root vegetable salad on the base of a small sushi plate.
  2. Place roughly 1 TB of the raita mix onto the end of a cucumber slice and roll it up. Place rolls on top of salad.
  3. Top with sweet pepper relish.
Notes
  1. Feel free to make a much larger batch of yogurt, relish, or salad with this recipe. Whatever yogurt you don't use for the raita is excellent to eat for breakfast. Having a raw vegan relish is nice to add to any dish as a condiment!
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine: Days 19-20

root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber rolls

GRADUATION!!! I finished Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine! My last two days were spent working out the final details of my recipes and practicing my plating. Please enjoy the recipes

fundamentals of raw cuisine completion certificate

For our final, we were to design a 3-course meal and then implement 2 of those courses with complete recipes and plating. It was a wonderful experience and I loved the process of working out prototypes and receiving feedback from the instructors. I chose to execute my starter and my dessert.

Here is the menu that I created for my final project. It was based on my favorite cuisine, which is Indian food. 🙂

First: Cucumber Raita Rolls
Coconut Yogurt, Sweet Pepper Relish, Root Vegetable Salad, Cashew, Mint

Second: Mutter Masala Dosa
Curried Vegetables, Turmeric Mashed Jicama, Walnut

Third: Mango Malai
Cashew Milk, Cardamom, Black Cherry, Pecan

Cucumber Raita Rolls (click for link to recipe)

root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber rolls root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber rollsroot vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber rollsroot vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber rolls root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber rolls root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber rolls root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber rolls root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber rolls root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber rolls root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber rolls

Mango Malai (click for link to recipe)

mango lassi panna cotta with cherry pepper sauce mango lassi panna cotta with cherry pepper sauce mango lassi panna cotta with cherry pepper sauce mango lassi panna cotta with cherry pepper sauce mango lassi panna cotta with cherry pepper sauce mango lassi panna cotta with cherry pepper sauce

On our last day, we made a wonderful cleansing and refreshing “apple aide” drink with a bit of cayenne pepper. Cheers!

apple aid

Raw Food Level 1: Day 17-18

raw vegan mango lassi panna cotta with black cherry sauce

Raw Food Level 1 is almost complete! Just 2 more days of class to go! Over the course of days 17-18, I worked on a lemon tart as part of the process for learning how to use Irish moss. Irish moss is a seaweed that can be used to thicken puddings, tart fillings, etc. 

Here is a photo of the seaweed soaking in preparation to use it.

irish moss soaking

There were some other essential skills that we learned here too. We made tart crusts that firmed up in the refrigerator, a frozen meringue formed into a quenelle, and some dehydrated citrus slices. It was fun learning how to make the quenelle, a classic French technique. I’ve always wanted to learn how to do that. All my frozen treats will be fancier from now on. I also didn’t know that you could dehydrate and eat citrus slices. I always found the peels to be bitter when blended or juiced, but after painting on a little agave and dehydrating, they are a delicious tart treat!

I shared this tart with my husband and visiting relatives, and they all gave it a big thumbs up.

raw vegan lemon meringue tart raw vegan lemon meringue tart raw vegan lemon meringue tart raw vegan lemon meringue tart raw vegan lemon meringue tart raw vegan lemon meringue tart

Both of the dishes that I’m working on for my final project are of my own creation. We were tasked to come up with a three course menu, and then to execute two of the dishes. I chose the starter and the dessert. 

My starter is a cucumber tzatziki roll. The herbs are on the inside and the cucumber is on the outside! It is topped with a sweet pepper relish and paired with a root vegetable with a cumin vinaigrette. Which of my practice plating arrangements do you like best? 

raw vegan cucumber tzatziki rolls with root vegetable salad raw vegan cucumber tzatziki rolls with root vegetable salad raw vegan cucumber tzatziki rolls with root vegetable saladraw vegan cucumber tzatziki rolls with root vegetable salad

 My dessert is a mango lassi panna cotta infused with with cardamom and dusted with cinnamon. It is paired with a peppery black cherry sauce to create a spice blend reminiscent of chai. The panna cotta is topped off with a pecan tuile. Below are the photos of my practice plating before my big final presentation on day 19!

raw vegan mango lassi panna cotta with black cherry sauce raw vegan mango lassi panna cotta with black cherry sauce raw vegan mango lassi panna cotta with black cherry sauce raw vegan mango lassi panna cotta with black cherry sauce