Week 2 Matthew Kenney Online Raw Food Academy- Thoughts, Photos and Spicy Beet plus White on White Salad Recipes

Kimchi Dumplings

Just half way there, and I already feel like I can confidently put a fully raw food meal on the table... for an everyday meal, or even a special occasion. And considering I was totally inexperienced in raw food cuisine just two short weeks ago, this, is a foodie miracle. 

So, in case you haven't heard, I decided to take a four-week online raw food culinary class with Matthew Kenney's Culinary Academy out in Santa Monica (read more about week 1 here).

And there are several things that I can say have become my truths at this point... two weeks in.

Shitake Anchovies

First, I'm liking more and more that I haven't been cooking with meat.  And don't even get me started on how refreshing... and cool it is (literally) not to be working over a hot stove all day 

And, aren't these shitake mushrooms posing as anchovies cute?  We used them in this tasty Caesar salad, complete with crunchy rosemary croutons and Parmesan cheese.  Yes, I said Parmesan cheese, which is one of my favorite things in life, and I still can't believe how similar this dairy-free version is.

Kale Caesar Salad with Anchovies, Parmesan Cheese and Croutons

 Second, I've come a long way from my first coconut opening hack job.  And I'm now producing beautiful dishes like this Coconut Peach Ice Cream, using fresh coconut water and the meat.  Plus, the most inventive and gorgeous dish I've ever seen Chef Kenney make- Kimchi Dumplings (see mine up top).  This was truly the highlight of my week, and I'm somewhat of a coconut opening Ninja now... except with a cleaver instead of a sword.

Coconut Peach Ice Cream

And third, there really are raw food recipes to satisfy all of my cravings.  From pizza, with my favorite toppings...

Corn, Cilantro and Red Onion Pizza

 to Asian noodles dishes, complete with ginger and sesame seeds.  And the most delicious, crunchy, sweet and spicy Tamari Almonds to round it all out.

Sesame Noodles with Tamari Almonds

Tostadas... with all the important layers of coleslaw, salsa and guacamole.  And don't even think about holding the sour cream or mole sauce (Mmm raw chocolate).  Mexican food is my weakness, and now?  No guilt. 

Tostada with Cabbage Slaw, Pico de Gallo, Sour Cream and Cacao Mole

And some of my favorite types of salads using fresh fruit- this one with oranges and apples, and a delicious orange dressing.  And a new favorite ingredient, wakame seaweed.  This was my first time trying it, and I couldn't get enough.  Especially when displayed so beautifully... 

Seaweed Salad

and especially when shared with a friend (not sure if he's here for the companionship or for the food).

Ocean (aka Ocean's 11) 

As you can see, this was a very busy week!

Week 2 Summary: 

In these two weeks, I've not only learned how to cook beautiful dishes, plus new and exciting ways to use ingredients. But, I've also seen how this type of eating could easily fit into my daily life.  With all the recipes, but especially with these salads that I made for this week's produce challenge.

Challenge?  Yes, I'm always up for a challenge, and this one was tough. We had to create a recipe using only the produce (plus limited extra items) that we had on hand, in just one hour.  And that included figuring out the recipe, cooking it, and plating it.  A mini Chopped, if you will.

And of course, I created two dishes, as I thought they'd perfectly compliment each other with their sweet and spicy flavors and colors.  And I liked them.  I liked these salads so much, that I've made them again, since.  They've even become part of our weekly lunch and dinner lineup. 

Simple to make, filling and incredibly healthy (just make sure and cover your cutting board, plus wear food-grade gloves when you're cutting the beets to save a lot of time on clean-up).

So, next week?  It's our sweets week!  From chocolates to cookies, and even pancakes.  Make sure and check back to see how they all turn out.

White on White Salad with Coconut Macadamia Nut Cream and Spicy Beet Salad with Orange Dressing

White on White Salad with Coconut Macadamia Nut Cream

¾ c. macadamia nuts
¼ c. water
½ c. coconut water
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. salt
A pinch of white pepper
½ tsp. cinnamon, plus more to garnish on top
½ fennel bulb, sliced thin on a mandoline
½ large apple, julienne
¼ jicama, sliced thin

Combine the nuts, both waters, honey, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cinnamon in a blender, and blend until completely smooth. In a medium bowl add cut up fennel, apple and jicama. Pour the macadamia nut cream over to combine. Sprinkle with cinnamon once plated.

Spicy Beet and Red Cabbage Salad with Orange Dressing

¾ c. red cabbage, sliced thin
¼ c. red onion, sliced thin
1 large beet, sliced thin on a mandoline and then julienne
½ jalapeno, finely diced
Juice of 1 orange
½ tsp. dried coriander
1 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. olive oil
¼ tsp. fresh grated ginger
¼ tsp. salt
Dash of pepper
¼ c. pine nuts, rough chopped

In a large bowl add the cabbage, onion, and beet.  In a small bowl add the jalapeno, orange juice, coriander, parsley, honey, olive oil, ginger, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Pour dressing over the vegetables. Add in ½ the pine nuts to combine, and sprinkle the rest on top after plating.

*This blog post was not compensated, nor solicited and I paid for the program myself. All opinions and photographs are my own. (Which should be a given, but as a blogger, we are required to state this.)