Sunday, September 21, 2014

{Video} Week 4 Matthew Kenney Raw Food Academy- Final Recap


Just now, several weeks after graduation, I've really been able to absorb what was a whirlwind month.  Really let it all sink in, and reflect on not only what I've learned, but also how this raw food culinary experience has truly changed me. 

You see, as I started down this path, I had the dream of starting my own raw food business, which I still plan on doing.  And thanks to this program, I feel like I have the skills to prepare raw food for a successful business.  But there's more to it.

Through it all, I've seen the biggest change in me.

Today, I realize that there was so much more, and over the next months I'll be sharing more of my own personal journey of some very unusual, yet pretty intense health challenges this last year. And how organic and raw food has helped me get back to health.  No more hot flashes or night sweats.  Increased energy.  And a miraculous reduction in food allergies. 

Southern Garden Vegetable Cakes going into the dehydrator

But for now... week 4 (read about week 1, week 2, and week 3).  So, week 4 came and went in what seemed like moments, while we were getting ready for our final projects.  But even until the last day we were still learning about and preparing food, no slackers here!

Spice Cookies for the Hummingbird Ice Cream Sandwich out of the dehydrator

We had a great lesson on menu writing.  And even worked on creating a few new recipes (which will be coming to the blog soon).  We made an amazing Banana Chia Pudding with Chai Cream (see first photo), which still makes me wonder how something so healthy could taste so darn good.

And a beautiful fruit parfait using our buckwheat granola and coconut yogurt.

Vanilla Coconut Yogurt Parfait with Buckwheat Granola

Near the last day, we all said "cheers" with an Apple Aid shot (which had no alcohol, but was potent enough, thanks to pretty hefty amounts of ginger and cayenne pepper, to feel like one).

Apple Aid

Finally, we prepared our two dishes and video taped them for our final presentation.  Plus took our final written exam.  Which as you can see by my graduation badge in the sidebar, I passed- a 96!!!

And then, on the last day, I cried.  I cried because I was exhausted (the good kind of exhausted where your feet hurt, but your heart is full).  And then I cried again... because it was over.  

Best experience ever.



Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho

Cashew Pimento Cheese, Black Pepper Chia Crackers, Pumpkin Seeds


Southern Garden Vegetable Cakes

Cashew Hollandaise, Dilly Beans, Coleslaw, Local Asparagus


Hummingbird Ice Cream Sandwich

Banana, Pineapple, Cinnamon, Maple, Pecans

Raw food cuisine is the most beautiful culinary expression of food in its purest and truest form.  As art, creativity... and mainly for health.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash and Spinach Chili #SecretRecipeClub


OK, so it might be a tad bit early for a hearty chili recipe, but come on Fall.  I know you're out there.  It's not that I don't love you, Summer, but this year has been a bit unusual, as I spent more time in the kitchen cooking, than laying on the beach soaking up the sunshine.

And so here we are in September (I know!), at another  reveal time.  And this month I was assigned to Tracy over at .  Tracy has such a fun blog.  Science teacher by day, blogger by night, and she even has two turtles. Seriously, how cute it that.

So, as I perused her recipe index, I was drawn in by many, including her ,  and (and did I mention these are all vegan recipes!)  But, I opted for this delicious looking (and sounding) chili.  And it was a huge hit in our home, tonight.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Week 3 Matthew Kenney Raw Food Academy- Recap and a Fennel and Pea Shoot Salad with Spicy Balsamic Lime Vinaigrette Recipe

Bahain Soup

Week 3 was the most intense, yet most satisfying week... with some really challenging and delicious recipes.  I don't know if this happens to you, but in my schooling experience, when I'm learning something new, there comes a point where things just click.  And this week, it all seemed to come together in my mind. And I gained an ever greater respect and love for raw cuisine... plus it didn't hurt that this was sweets week.

Oh yes, it was one sweet week (also read about week 1 and week 2).

And I think my favorite sweets were these chocolate chip cookies.  This was hard for me to wrap my head around, as I'm a long-time chocolate chip cookie connoisseur.  But these kept us coming back again and again, despite the fact that there were no eggs... or butter... white or brown sugar... or even white flour.

Chocolate Chip Cookies 

We even made the chocolate chips.  And learned that this superfood, cacao, has 10x more antioxidant potency than blueberries, 21x more potency than green tea, and 14-30x more potency than red wine.

I love that I didn't even need fancy equipment, we just snipped off the corner of a ziplock bag and out came these chocolaty morsels.

Raw Cacao Chips

And then there were cacao truffles... covered in coconut sugar, maca powder, bee pollen, a mix of dehydrated lemon and coconut, and cacao powder.

Monday, September 1, 2014

20 Vegetarian Lunchbox Ideas for Adults- Food Bloggers Recipe Roundup


There's an undeniable excitement in the air.  And all of this back to school talk has got me in the mood to buy Hello Kitty pencil cases, bubblegum erasers, and Sergio Valente jeans... which were just as fashionable at the roller rink as on the playground, by the way.  

And don't forget grocery shopping with Mom, to stock up on Wonder bread, b-o-l-o-g-n-a, and chocolate chips for her 7-layer bars.  Yes, it was the 80's, and looking back, I'm thinking that some of those less than desirable lunchbox items were surely balanced out by our daily nutritious, homemade breakfasts and dinners.

But now, fast forwarding 30 years, I'm still wanting a fun, fast and flavorful lunch... but a little more healthy.  A little more filling.  And full of fresh veggies and whole grains.

So, today some of the best bloggers around, and I, are giving you ample ideas and beautiful vegetarian recipes to help you get motivated to make more homemade lunches. Lunches that you can take to work, or simply have ready in the fridge to help you make healthier choices, when you're busy or on the go.

Persnickety Plates-

Creamy Parmesan Polenta with lemon thyme wild mushrooms #glutenfree #vegetarianrecipes #sidedishes

Joyful Healthy Eats-