Whew, what a long day! And a fabulous day! For Christmas, my mom gifted me with a few hours with one my my favorite raw chefs, Stacey of Learn Fresh Cuisine. It was her introductory class I took over a year and a half ago that started me on my raw adventure. I decided to use the time to throw a girls birthday party at my house for my sister that included my mom, sisters and family friends. I arranged to tackle a couple of simpler recipes and a decadent dessert recipe for her cake. I jumped out of bed at 7 AM this morning to hit the gym and get ready before Stacey showed up at 10 to start preparing ingredients. We had a great time chatting and chopping for about an hour before the guests arrived.
First lesson was fermented veggies, or homemade sauerkraut, which is something I’ve been wanting to get into for awhile now. She had me pick up Primal Defense Probiotic Formula from the chilled cooler of Whole Foods vitamin section for the demo.
She brought a huge jar to pack with shredded cabbage, carrots and mung bean sprouts for fermenting. She placed one of the probiotic pills, about 5 cups of water and a couple of tablespoons of salt into the Vita-Mix, and blended.
She poured the mixture into the veggies noting it’s important all the veggies are submerged in the liquid and used two pieces of celery to brace across the top of the jar and pack in the veggies under the liquid. Then put the lid on tightly to thoroughly shake and mix. Then she loosened the lid slightly and recommended I place the jar in a tray or bowl because water will start seeping through the lid as it ferments. This monster jar should be ready in 7-10 days because of the cooler winter temps, but should only take 2-3 days in the summer.
She also brought a very strong sample she made with red cabbage, it was fermented for a couple of weeks and almost a little too strong for me by itself, but probably great mixed into a salad.
It was a great demo and I’m thrilled to be able to make my own now!
Next she demonstrated a raw stir “fry” recipe by making a wonderful ginger marinade for pineapple chunks. We skewered the chunks and placed them into my Excalibur dehydrator to marinade and warm up for about 20 minutes while the rest was of the dish was prepared. My house was filled with a sweet ginger smell while they were marinading, it was great.
The rest was a blend of chopped veggies tossed with the same marinade.
Mung bean sprouts were added and it was served with the pineapple chunks for a raw stir “fry”. It was a so good, I really appreciated the strong ginger flavor and sweet tang.
Next we put together raw tacos and Stacey brought already made corn tortillas since we didn’t have a few hours to dehydrate them, but gave everyone the recipe. The filling was shredded cabbage, red onions, red peppers, corn and avocado chucks mixed with a wonderful orange-lime sauce and served inside the raw tortillas.
Very tasty. But next time I might add hemp nacho sauce and maybe black beans or even Ani’s raw taco nut meat.
Next was time for dessert – a mocha chocolate raw cheesecake and it was perfect for my sister since she’s a fan of anything coffee. In my Vita-Mix, Stacey blended soaked cashews, coffee and many other ingredients to make the cheese cake filling and poured it over a nut/date crust in a spring form pan to be chilled in the freezer.
Since the finished cake had to freeze for a bit, she brought another finished one to serve right away and raw chocolate icing to let us get creative with a cake decorating kit.
The cake was so rich and dense that only a small piece was needed and it was wonderful! Thick, rich and creamy chocolate with a strong coffee flavor and a crunchy crust. We tried, but only got through about half of the cake and I made my sister take the rest home for the guys. After all, I had another one waiting for me in the freezer.
Everyone seemed to have a great time watching Stacey in action, chatting, taking notes, talking health and absorbing as much as possible. For me it was fun watching how an experienced chef worked in my kitchen, used tools, etc. Seriously this is an awesome idea for a party because everyone can get involved, ask questions, try new foods and have a great time.
My dog was totally impressed, can’t you tell? Actually she was exhausted from all the excitement and guests and fighting the urge to doze off, so cute.