Archive for October, 2011

Level 1: Day 6

Monday, October 31, 2011

LEVEL 1: Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine

Week 2

Day 6: Happy Halloween, Knife Skills, Spice-C Smoothie, Crackin’ Coconuts, Coconut Dumpling Wrappers & Ice Cream

Happy Halloween everyone!

Today we started the day by practicing our knife skills for an hour and we had the opportunity to dice a daikon (it’s very similar in texture to a potato).  After our knife skills it was smoothie time and we made one called Spice-C Smoothie.  The spice came from cayenne pepper and the “C” came from Goji berries, orange juice, lime juice, mango and pineapple.

Next it was time to crack open fresh young Thai coconuts.  We were each given 7+ coconuts to crack open, empty out the juice to drink (yum) and scoop out the coconut meat for our next two recipes.  There are 14 of us in class and that’s over a hundred coconuts that we all cracked open!  We had a ball doing it once we got the hang of it.

                                             Hand Model: Twylla Lannes

Look at that delicious coconut water in the background…can’t wait to drink it!

Next it’s time to make the coconut wrappers for our dumplings.  For this recipe we used fresh coconut meat and the juice of some greens to add color.  After I juiced some greens, I added the coconut meat and the green juice into a BlendTec blender and then placed this mixture onto a non-stick dehydrator sheet and spread it out thinly and evenly:

Into the dehydrator they go for 8-10 hrs to use for tomorrows dumpling recipe 

Next, it’s coconut ice cream time!  Today we blend the ingredients and tomorrow we will taste and see the final product.  I’ll post pictures of the ice cream tomorrow.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Halloween this evening.

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Level 1: Day 5

Friday, October 28, 2011

LEVEL 1: Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine

Week 1

Day 5: Knife Skills, Create Our Own Smoothie, Zucchini Tartare, Sushi Rolls & Massaged Kale Salad

Today we started the day with knife skills and after this we each created our own smoothie recipe.  My smoothie hit the spot because I was beginning to feel a bit hungry around 10:00am.

Next it was on to making Zucchini Tartare with herbs, avocado, lemon juice and olive oil.  Here’s my plating design interpretation of this recipe:

Next we made sushi rolls with jicama “rice”…here’s my plating design interpretation of this recipe:

Our final recipe for the week was the Massaged Kale Salad:

Have a great Halloween weekend everyone!

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Level 1: Day 4

Thursday, October 27, 2011

LEVEL 1: Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine

Week 1

Day 4: Knife Skills, Blueberry Bee Smoothie, Pad Thai, Candied Tamari Almonds, “Cheesy” Kale Chips, Almond Milk & Almond Flour

Today we walked into the classroom to find it smelling heavenly from the Candied Tamari Almonds that had been dehydrating overnight. Although, this heavenly smell was short-lived because we all had to “burp” our Kimchee and soon the room smelled like…well, Kimchee.  If you’ve never “burped” Kimchee or smelled it, think…stinky feet 🙂

After this, we again practiced knife skills for the first hour and then began our first recipe for the day -Blueberry Bee Smoothie.  It was simply delicious with our homemade almond milk from yesterday – YUM!

Our next recipe was”Pad Thai.”  Although, I jokingly said that there’s no “Pad” or “Thai” in this recipe other than a Thai Chile 🙂

For this recipe we were introduced to another nifty piece of machinery called a Spiralizer or Spiral Slicer.  This machine turns some vegetables into noodles and this is exactly what we had to do with our yellow squash for the “Pad Thai” recipe.  Here’s my plating design interpretation of this recipe and notice the Candied Tamari Almonds sprinkled on top:

For our next recipe we made Kale Chips and massaged the dressing into the kale quite a bit before placing it into the dehydrator.  Here’s everyone’s Kale Chips ready for the dehydrator:

Now it’s time to burp our Kimchee again…Eau de Stinky Feet 🙂

Next we made almond milk.  I’ve never made it from scratch before and I was thrilled!!!  I was SO engrossed in the process that I completely forgot to take pictures…hopefully we’ll make more in the coming weeks.  By the way, with the leftover almond pulp from the almond milk, we used this pulp to make almond flour for baking.

One of the things I am impressed with at The Matthew Kenney Academy is how environmentally conscious the kitchen culture is here. Part of the curriculum is to teach us to use as much of the food that we work with as possible.  For example, we are taught to juice our vegetable scraps from our knife skills.  I will certainly be incorporating this practice into my own kitchen at home and perhaps other kitchens I may get the pleasure of working in sometime in the near future.

Have a wonderful evening and until tomorrow…

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Level 1: Day 3

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

LEVEL 1: Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine

Week 1

Day 3: Knife Skills, Spicy Tuber Hand-Roll, Almond Chili Sauce, Mango Chutney, Candied Tamari Almonds & Kimchee

Practiced knife skills for the first hour and then we were introduced to a daikon peeler.  What a cool piece of equipment this is!  It makes very thin sheets of any vegetable imaginable.  It’s simply incredible but it’s also expensive!  Anyway, we all had a chance to work with this wonderful machine and each of us made our own thin sheet of daikon for the next recipe:

Spicy Tuber Hand-Roll with an Almond Chili Sauce and a side of Mango Chutney Dipping Sauce.  Here’s my plating design interpretation of this recipe:

I chose to add beets to my recipe because I just LOVE their color!

Next we each made our own Kimchee.  Kimchee is a fermented Korean cabbage dish. It is spicy and laden with healthy probiotics to help cultivate healthy intestinal flora, thereby boosting your immune system.  We each added many different veggies to the napa cabbage that we marinated yesterday and I again chose to add beets for the color.

 The Kimchee now needs to sit at room temperature for 2-3 days to begin the fermentation process.  Did you notice how there’s 2″ of room at the top of the bottle?  This is because during the fermentation process, the Kimchee will expand and the bottle actually needs to be “burped” daily to release the gases formed during fermentation.  After 2-3 days, then the Kimchee gets refrigerated and is ready to enjoy in small quantities.

We then made Candied Tamari Almonds and stuck them in the dehydrator overnight for tomorrow’s Pad Thai recipe.

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Level 1: Day 2

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

LEVEL 1: Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine

Week 1

Day 2: My Birthday, Knife Skills, Beet Ravioli, Kimchee & Pickled Ginger

Today is my birthday and the day started out just lovely.  I received lots of love from family and friends today and I feel fantastic!  The walk to school was lovely with a crisp feel of autumn in the air.  When I arrived at the school, I received some beautiful fall flowers from my husband that put a huge smile on my face 🙂

For the first hour of school today, we practiced knife skills and our instructor explained that we will be practicing knife skills for the first hour of everyday.  As they say, practice, practice, practice makes perfect.

Next on the agenda was making Beet Ravioli with a Cashew “Cheese” Filling and a Yellow Pepper Puree.  We had to use a mandolin for this and I must say, they scare me!  Anyway, with much care and a little finesse, I was able to get thin slices of beet.  Following is a picture of the Beet Ravioli I made with a Cashew “Cheese” filling and Yellow Pepper Puree.  Here’s my plating design interpretation of this recipe:

We then began the preparation for Kimchee and Pickled Ginger.  Both need to marinate for 24 hours.  Pictures will follow tomorrow 🙂

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Level 1: Day 1

Monday, October 24, 2011

LEVEL 1: Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine

Week 1

Day 1: Orientation, Knife Skills and Lasagna

After orientation we were each given a pair of knives (chef & pairing knife).  We learned how to properly hold our knives and practiced all the cuts:

See that yummy Thai Green Smoothie in the background? It was delicious!


Next, it was time to make lasagna – raw cuisine style (noodle free & plant-based).

The “noodles” are zucchini and the “ricotta cheese” is made of macadamia nuts.  Then I added a layer of red pepper marinara and another layer of a pistachio pesto.

Following is a picture of the Heirloom Lasagna I made with Macadamia “Ricotta Cheese”, Pistachio Pesto and Red Pepper Marinara.  Here’s my plating design interpretation of this recipe:

It was seriously good & I have leftovers for dinner tonight – YUM!

Can’t wait to see what’s in the curriculum for us to prepare tomorrow 🙂

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Matthew Kenney Academy

                                             Above photo courtesy of Gabriele Danek

YAY ~ I’m finally here!  I arrived safe and sound in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA, on Saturday afternoon, October 22, 2011.

After checking into the hotel, I decided to take a walk, check the town out and see where I will be going to school for the next two months.  To my surprise, there aren’t many sidewalks or walkers in Oklahoma City.  I was the only person on foot my entire 3 mile walk there and back.  Nonetheless, I managed to find myself at a newly opened Whole Foods market and did a little shopping.  The store had just opened a week earlier and the parking lot was full!  After buying some organic produce, I made the walk toward my school.

Alas, there it was:

After doing a happy dance in front of the school, I thought I better start walking back to the hotel because the sky was looking ominous.  Good thing I did because 5 minutes after I arrived at the hotel, a major thunderstorm with lightning lit up the sky.  I turned on the news to find that there was baseball size hail coming down in some parts of Oklahoma!  I guess this explains why there weren’t many people walking 🙂

Sunday night, students of the academy were invited to an open house and we received our uniforms, met Matthew Kenney and our instructors.  After the open house, we all stayed and had dinner at the restaurant and enjoyed an engaging conversation.

I can’t wait until tomorrow morning!

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