Now I have had a bit of experience preparing raw food in the sense that I follow cookbooks and makeshift techniques to get me where I need to go, but I have never had the opportunity to actually have true instruction. Hence why my food always seems to taste better than it looks. Therefore, when given the opportunity to take Essentials of Raw Cuisine from THE Premier Raw School, Matthew Kenney Culinary in Santa Monica, I could not pass it up!
This class lived up to its name in both providing the essentials of preparing raw food, but also in its ability to get you up and running in your culinary skills, in just two days. The class is from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday and Sundays, held in a beautiful space in “The Market” in Santa Monica Mall. It is for anyone, so whether you are a complete novice or a seasoned chef, you can most certainly jump in. And don’t let the “intensive” part scare you. While you do learn a TON, it is actually lots of fun – think cracking coconuts, rolling truffles and listening to great jams with a room full of health and fitness enthusiasts.
The school has all glass windows inviting the attention of the curious shoppers, which was quite exciting for our viewers when we were rolling truffles and opening coconuts, and is outfitted with state of the art machinery and cooking tools, gorgeous granite counter tops and every health food imaginable. Each student was given personal attention from our instructor, Michael Vincent, who also happens to be quite the authority on nutrition as well, since the class with sprinkled with great information on why the food that we were making was so healthy for us – now that is an excellent class!
Now for the food line up. We learned how to make a series of excellent raw recipes that can easily be repeatable, even if the talented Mr. Vincent is not there in your kitchen with you.
Almond Nut Milk
This is an amazing recipe to have on hand, and I cannot tell you how much better it is than store bought. Plus you don’t have to worry about the added preservatives and sugars.
Did I mention that it only takes about 5 minutes to make as well!?
Blue Berry Bee Smoothie
We used then used our nut milk to make this delicious smoothie, which shortly ended up as breakfast. Packed with superfoods, Chef Vincent told us all about why each ingredient was important to our health. Looks, tastes and IS amazing for us as well!
The Holy Kale Combination.
Okay, I will admit, that this was actually the FIRST time I have ever cracked a coconut. With all the coconut meat, water, butter and oil I consume, I never had the guts to pick up that cleaver. And I must say, I am GLAD I waited to learn how to do it FIRST. Not sure if I would still have my fingers or even hand for that matter if I didn’t.
The coconut meat was used to prepare wrappers for our dumplings. More to come. And yes, it is amazing!
Chipotle Kale Salad
And here it is. The delicious, outrageously tasty and raw, kale salad. Fortunately we had the opportunity to make this and then eat it for lunch. Clearly no complaints on my part.
PLUS! Matthew Kenney Culinary has offered you all the recipe! Yes I know… let’s contain our excitement! See below for the details.
Coconut Yogurt Parfait
Now we all love parfaits, but have you ever had it with coconut yogurt? This will seriously shock you by how much this tastes EXACTLY like regular dairy yogurt. Super easy and simple to prepare, and no inclusion of hormones, antibiotics and those other nasty additions to dairy.
Strawberry. Blackberry. Raw Honey. Vanilla Bean. Hemp Seeds. Swoon.
Sesame Cashew Dumplings with Sweet Chili Lime Sauce
Now remember those coconuts I cracked? The green wrappers are them! We turned that coconut meat into these little dumplings, that were stuffed with spinach, carrots, celery, cashew and sesame. Probably the most inventive thing I have ever made, but most certainly not my best work. Too be honest, mine might have been the worst in class… but hey, at least you know this is authentic!
Delicious. Super simple. And yes, mine is not nearly as beautiful as everyone else, but it did taste as great!
Persimmon. Cucumber. Spring Greens. Orange Tahini Dressing.
Pistachio. Goji. Almond. Lavender. Lime. Orange Zest. Black Sea Salt. Maca. Cinnamon. Pumpkin Spice. Cayenne. Fennel.
This was by far one of my favorite projects that we did, and not only because we got to eat them afterwards 🙂 They actually showed us how to melt the cacao butter (using steam not fire), and then how to create the most perfect, creamy cacao blend, utilizing all natural ingredients. Whether you chose to sweeten with maple syrup, agave, or raw honey, they all came out decadent. Not to mention, it was a blast seeing what everyone came up with for combinations!
Raw Ice Cream
Now to top it all off, AFTER we stuffed our faces with truffles, they showed us how to make ICE CREAM!!!
Yes, no dairy.
Jammed pack full of flavor, light and fluffy, absolutely creamy and indulgent Ice Cream. Swoon.
Suffice to say this was an extraordinary experience that left me not only satiated and happy, but with essential tools for crafting raw recipes. Most certainly worth the time and expense.
Now that I have you ripe with hunger… the recipe!
Vegan Chipotle Kale Salad
4 oz. Kale, torn
1/2 tsp Sea Salt, unheated
1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
3 tsp Olive Oil
In a large bowl, massage all ingredients thoroughly
1/4 c Tahini, raw
1/2 c Cashews, soaked (3-4 hours)
1 tbs Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Sea Salt, unheated
2 tsp Grade B Maple Syrup
1 tsp Coriander
1 tsp Cumin
2 tbs Olive Oil
1 Chipotle (note: start with 1/2 and work up to taste)
*if using a dry chipotle, soak for a few hours in warm water. It is helpful to make a slit in the pepper to decrease soaking time
Small handful of Sunflower Sprouts or other types
7 Cherry Tomatoes
2 tbs Hemp Seeds
Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender or Cuisinart, but save the olive oil for last. Once the ingredients have been blended, then slowly add the olive oil.
In a large bowl with the massaged kale, add and massage avocado until well combined. Then toss in the desired amount of dressing. Massage in as well. Then toss in tomatoes, and top with sprouts and hemp seeds.