Day 6 of my raw food classes (“Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine” at Matthew Kenney Academy) started off with more knife skills exercises. Slowly, but surely, I am getting used to the proper way of gripping everything and moving a little faster with my cutting. We are focusing on accuracy this week, so I had to pull out the ruler to make sure my cuts were precise. My carrot strips always bend after I cut them!
We also started working with coconuts this week! This is something that I am already familiar with, but that doesn’t make it any easier! I do have a lot more confidence in cracking coconuts now than the first time that I did it. I have an old meat cleaver that has never actually been used on any meat… I use it only for breaking into my coconuts!
We already got the heads up for approximately how many coconuts we would be using in this course, so my wonderful husband bought me a whole case of them, and I spent all day Sunday hacking them open, draining the water, scooping the meat, cleaning the brown skin that lines the shells off the meat, etc.
I got everything put inside of freezer safe containers and bags so I’m all set and hopefully won’t have to crack anymore coconuts open for the rest of the class. I hope I have enough! Most of them looked pretty good and had thicker meat than average. My husband must have a hidden talent for picking out better coconuts than I do!
After the coconut cracking, we started working on a recipe for cilantro coconut wrappers that will be used for a dumpling recipe on Day 7. There will be a finished photo of it with the Day 7 material. Coconuts make great additions to wrappers made in the dehydrator because their fat content helps to keep them pliable.
The next thing we got to do was make the smoothie recipe that we created at the end of week 1! I made my smoothie and felt that it needed a few adjustments, so after my second try, I was happy with the final result. I decided to call it the “Summer Chiller Smoothie” because of all the seasonal and cooling ingredients in it. Just click the link to go check out the recipe!
We got to put together a really awesome dish of “Sesame Noodles” today as well. It called for almond butter, so I made my own! Almond butter is really easy to make. All you need is almonds and a food processor with a good motor in it because you will be running it for 15-20 minutes. Just put the almonds in and turn on the food processor. Stop every 2-3 minutes to scrape down the sides, and then turn it back on. First, it turns into crumbs, then it turns into a meal, then it turns into a paste, and then after it starts to warm up slightly and has been beaten by the blades for about 15 minutes, it will start to release more oils and become buttery. After that point, just blend it until it reaches the creaminess that you want.
The almond butter was used in a sauce that went into this “Sesame Noodles” dish. It seemed similar to other raw dishes I’ve had that were meant to mimic a “Pad Thai”. I even put my own variation of Pad Thai together a while ago, if you want to go check it out.
If you want the exact recipe for this dish, it’s kind of a cross between recipes from 2 of Matthew Kenney’s books: Sauce from the Spicy Sesame Noodles (page 99) in Everyday Raw Express: Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less and vegetable assortment from the Pad Thai (page 107) in Everyday Raw, served over yellow squash.
This one that we made for class was very delicious. I really liked the sauces and the variety of vegetables in the dish. We were supposed to practice some plating techniques with this dish as well. Stacking, I got. Saucing, I need to work on. My instructor says the folks at the school have been very impressed with my work thus far though. 🙂
Lastly, there was an optional exercise to soak some wheat so we can grow our own wheatgrass. Well, I accidentally grabbed my oat groats instead! I did realize what I had done the next day, and then put my actual wheat berries into the jar to soak. I noticed after I opened the jar to drain them and thought they smelled suspiciously oat-y. 😉
Lastly, I was thrilled to see that the pickles I made for class were shared on Matthew Kenney’s Tumblr site! I got kudos for growing my own pickling cucumbers. =D