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 even 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.

Cacao Truffles

And the sweets didn't stop at desserts, which was nice, seeing that I love breakfast sweets, too. These pancakes were so tender and delicious and did I mention... no guilt.

Banana Pancakes

Plus some buckwheat granola with apples, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds. I think out of all the dishes we've made so far, this one offered the most amazing, homey, sweet smell, as it "cooked."

Buckwheat Granola with Apples, Dried Cranberries, and Pumpkin Seeds

And then we learned how to make cheese. Which in my world is a dessert all on its own. But not just the regular cheese from the first week, like you saw in our lasagna and ravioli. But, fermented cheese... and this cheese is where all the magic happens.  I made a cheddar with caraway seeds. And a goat cheese with dried cranberries and fresh tarragon- which I will say was amazing.

Cashew Goat and Cheddar Cheese

And then, because we were in serious need of something lighter to balance out all the above goodness, we made my favorite soup ever (see the top photo).  And we learned about making vinaigrettes. Vinaigrettes are all about the proper ratio of fats to acids, extra flavorings, and the salad you pair it with.  And here's what I came up with. Not only was it pretty, and filling.  It also tasted incredible.

Fennel and Pea Shoot Salad with Dried Cranberries and a Spicy Balsamic Lime Vinaigrette

The freshness and licorice flavor of the fennel paired very well with the lime, ginger, and mustard in the dressing. And the cranberries added a sweet, bright pop, with the balsamic and the heat from the red pepper flakes in the dressing.  Plus I added a bit of red onion for some flavor and color. I also used romaine to add more crunch, height, and a base for the fennel "flower."

Fennel and Pea Shoot Salad with Dried Cranberries and a Spicy Balsamic Lime Dressing

1/2 c. olive oil
1-1/2 Tblsp. lime juice
1-1/2 Tblsp. balsamic vinegar
1-1/2 tsp. honey
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground mustard
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
A pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper

Mix all of the ingredients in a jelly jar and shake well to combine.  Drizzle over a salad of romaine, fennel, pea shoots and dried cranberries.

*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.)


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Carolyn! Can't believe how much I've learned in just 4 weeks!


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