Journey Into The RawSep 06 2012 by
I love homeschooling my children. It’s amazing to watch them absorb information and to see their excitement for learning new things grow. It’s that excitement for learning that is so important to me. I love learning new things and it’s one of the reasons that I recently finished my certification in plant based nutrition and have gone back to school to get my degree in Hospitality and Restaurant Management. There is always something new to learn and fun things to explore. Recently I started looking around in my area for cooking classes that features areas of technique that I’m not as familiar with.
While my diet is mostly raw I am hardly a raw foodie. I have a green juice for breakfast and lunch is almost always a fresh salad of some kind or another. The benefits of a raw diet are hard to ignore and it’s an area that I’m very interested in developing. After the amazing experience I had at The EcoLounge, I was thrilled to discover that Chef Matthew Purnell was holding raw cooking demonstrations at the same location. The series is called Journey Into The Raw and each class features a variety of raw dishes that are not only delicious but so healthy and nutritious.
It’s an intimate setting which I loved because it allowed those of us that are just learning about raw foods to ask a lot of questions – and ask questions we did! For instance – did you know that Thai coconuts are among the sweetest? When you are purchasing coconut water you want to look for water that comes from Thai coconuts as it has a more pleasant taste. I also learned how to properly remove the meat from inside the coconut which we then used to make a delicious orange smoothie! The other items on the menu that evening were a cucumber tomato stack, a hempy sea green salad, raw tacos and for dessert were coco-cacao goji bites.
All the food for the evening had been purchased earlier in the day at a local farmers market and everything was so fresh and crisp.
I’m not usually a fan of dishes that are tomato based but I think I could have eaten the entire bowl of the cucumber tomato stacks.
The flavors were amazing and I can’t wait to recreate this dish at home.
The dish that surprised me most that night was the Hempy Sea Greens. I have tried and tried and tried some more to like seaweed but it just isn’t working for me. I can handle them when they are mixed into dishes in limited quantities but I’ve never been able to work them into salads with any success – until now.
The very next day I headed to the store to pick up all the ingredients needed so that I could make this salad at home. I’ve been enjoying it for lunch every single day this week and I’ll probably be enjoying it all next week too – it’s that good!
The dish I was most excited about was the raw tacos. I had the tacos the previous weekend at The Ecolounge event so I knew that they were amazing and I was thrilled to finally have the recipe in my hands!
As a taco lover I have eaten TONS of tacos in my lifetime and these are easily one of the top 3 tacos I’ve ever had. I recreated this recipe last night for my family and it was winner. My husband ate 4 of them and my kids both cleaned their plates in record time.
The highlight of this dish was the macadamia nut ‘sour cream’. I have no words to adequately explain it’s pure awesomeness. I will most definitely be sharing the recipe with you soon.
We ended the night with one of my favorite desserts – truffle balls. You know I have a love of fruit and nut truffles – our dessert category is filled with them. These cacao – goji balls didn’t disappoint. Filled with 2 superfoods (goji berries and cacao), they tasted like little bites of brownies sprinkled with coconut. So yummy and delicious!
This class is apart of a 5 class series and Kristy and I had such a great time that we will be completing the last 2 classes this weekend. If you live in the San Diego area you should definitely come by and check it out. There will be additional series coming up each month that you can take part in. You can find the information on the classes here. If you’re not in the San Diego area I encourage you to check around in your local area for classes that are offered near you. You can also use meetup.com to find local groups that have events in a variety of categories that might be of interest to you.
For me, ‘raw food’ has always meant salads. I was so happy to experience Journey Into The Raw and delighted that it opened my mind to all the possibilities that are out there that I haven’t yet explored. I definitely gained a ton of inspiration and I’m excited to share with you some of the yummy raw creations that I’ve been working on.