Archive for the 'Dehydration Station' Category

Live Raw

July 1st, 2011

live rawI just got a new book in the mail. It’s MIMI KIRK’S new book, Live Raw. I am turning into a huge Mimi Kirk fan. I have been watching her recipe videos on her FACEBOOK PAGE. They are great.  Very down to earth.  And wise.  Her book is no different.  There is a huge range of recipes in the book.  It will take me a while to get through.  I started off with a recipe whose picture caught my eye right away…the blueberry banana pancakes.

pancake in the making
It’s very much what the name suggests. Mished up banana, pecan, blueberries, some cinnamon.

Then, they are set in the dehydrator for a while. First on teflex. Then without.

Finally, it’s served with a little strawberry and maple syrup. I tried really hard to save some for my boyfriend. But sadly (for him), it didn’t happen. I gobbled them down right away.

pancake bite
I mean, what would you do?…That’s what I thought.

mimiCan you believe this woman is 72 years old? It’s truly amazing. She is definitely doing some things right. Whenever I start getting discouraged about my HEALTH CHALLENGES, I look to her for inspiration. There are plenty of young, healthy, and beautiful advocates for living cuisine. And don’t get me wrong, I appreciate them. But there is a certain wisdom that only comes with age and experience. This is really what sets her book apart. When working through a health crisis, I have to admit…I look to someone a little older and wiser whose already slayed a few dragons in their time.

Here I am wearing the special gift that came with my book. It’s a tag filled with words of wisdom for staying young. I actually used to wear some tags very similar to this when I was younger. About twenty years ago. The time seemed ripe for a re-emergence. I also have a foundations stone which my friend JANICE sent me (to keep me in the positive). These ladies are keeping me on the right path. Reminding me every day that it doesn’t matter if I can’t see the light at the end of this tunnel right now. It’s there. And if I just keep focusing on the positive, I’m gonna get to it. And when I do, it’s going to be a sight for sore eyes. Indeed.


Appetizers and Special Guests

November 18th, 2009

This is an appetizer tray that we served to one of our special guests today. We have started menu planning for our final. So we did some examples of appetizers. Here we have some hummus with walnut toast, kale chips, and cream of celery soup. I gobbled the kale chips down. Though I have to say that I think I prefer my RECIPE. This one uses red bell pepper, and I think I prefer mine spicier.

shitake pagoda
The other appetizer we made turned into an entree. We had intended on making shitake dumplings. But after dehydrating overnight, the wrappers were too brittle. So we made a shitake pagoda.

Jackie Morton from OM GARDENS came to talk to us about mushrooms. She is a local grower who specializes in mushrooms. She brought several varieties to show us.

The beautiful maitake mushroom.

golden oyster
This is a golden oyster mushroom. Everyone kept commenting about how much they look like underwater coral.

lion's mane
This is lion’s mane. It looks like a little hedgehog.

The biggest shitake mushroom I’ve ever seen.

matthew kenney
Finally, Matthew Kenney came to speak to us about the new menu and the business aspects of raw food. They change the menu here once every three months to stay in sync with the seasons. The new menu sounds pretty fabulous. I’ll keep you posted on that. In the meantime, I need to try everything on the current menu. Because once it’s gone, it’s GONE.


Tostadas and Tamales

November 14th, 2009

tostadas and tamales
Yesterday, we worked on latin flavors. We had been prepping a couple recipes that culminated a HUGE meal. I had big ambitions to finish them both. But alas, for I could not.

jicama salsa
We started the day prepping sides. This was the jicama mango salsa.

mango guacamole
We also made one of my favorites…MANGO GUACAMOLE.

dehydrated masa
The night before we had dehydrated our masa which was our tamale filling.

making masa
This was made by combining a corn and squash mixture with a sundried tomato and pine nut mixture. This was spread on teflex and dehydrated overnight.

working the masa
The next morning, we reconstituted the masa by working a little oil in with our hands. We wrapped the reconstituted masa in dried corn husks.

Now we have tamales! These were put back in the dehydrator to stay warm utnil we were ready for plating.

making tostadas
We also made blue corn tostada shells from scratch…

…to go with our blue corn tostada. This featured a red pepper cream sauce, marinated portobello mushrooms, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and a pine nut sour cream.

The tamales were garnished with the most delicious mole sauce.

class plates
Here are all our plates lined up for review. Gotta run. I’m working in the restaurant tonight. Last night was my first night working my own station. So, I guess you can call me a chef now…or at least a line cook. 🙂



November 13th, 2009

making kombucha
This week, we focused on fermentation. We discussed it’s health benefits, and we made lots of recipes using it…including my first batch of kombucha. Kombucha is a fermented tea which contains probiotics. You start by preparing a tea. Mine was made with oolong tea and honey.

scobyNext, you add the SCOBY and a little kombucha. The SCOBY is actually a mass of living organisms…a zooglea. It’s like a culture of probiotics growing in your tea. You can kind of see mine floating in the tea here. Once you have your culture set up, you need to let it ferment for about two weeks. Then you can flavor it however you like.  At this point, the SCOBY will have reproduced into a mother and a daughter SCOBY.  These can be separted into two new batches of kombucha.  I’ll check back with you about that when the time comes…

vanilla mango yogurt
We also made yogurt this week from coconut meat. We started out with a plain yogurt base which we allow to ferment in the dehydrator overnight. This is what it looks like when it comes out of the dehydrator.

vanilla mango
Then, you can flavor it however you like. I made vanilla mango yogurt. I LOVED it.

cheese to dry
We also made a couple different kinds of cheese. This is the initial formation of my cashew cheese which we made using probiotics.

We also made a cheese using miso as the fermenting agent. This one was much more herbalicious and used almonds for the base.

fig compote
This was the fig compote we made to garnish our cheeses.

Lavendar honey
We also made a delicious lavendar honey.

cheese plate
Here is a picture of my cheese plate. The cashew cheese was garnished with a black pepper crust. The herbalicious cheese crumbles were garnished with the lavendar honey. The green cheese is a pumpkin nut cheese (which we actually borrowed from the RESTAURANT), and it was garnished with the fig compote.

cheese platesOnce we were all done making our cheese plates, we had a little cheese tasting party with a glass of white wine. I couldn’t really drink mine, but it tasted wonderful. Ladan also invited Matthew Kenney to come check out our plates.  I might be having cheese plate for breakfast.  It was tasty, but I was already too full to eat it.  That’s the problem with culinary school.  You’ve got to pace yourself.  Though as far as problems go, it’s not a bad one to have.  🙂

class pic
Ok. Well, I’m off to school…


Herbs, Spices, and the Magical Coconut

November 8th, 2009
Another important building block we discussed this week was herbs and spices. First, Laidan gave us on overview of the properties of many of the most commonly used herbs and spices.

five spice blend
Next, we all went about making our own five spice blend. I used a little cumin, celery root, turmeric, cardamon, and coriander. Ladan showed us how to make a marinade using the spice blend.

marinating veggies
Next, we marinated some veggies and put them in the dehydrator.

coconut massacre
While that was going, we set about our next lesson for the day…the magical properties of the coconut. Part of this lesson involved opening a case of coconuts.

I lucked out and got a perfect case of coconuts. The coconut water was pristine.

coco meat
And the meat was beautiful!

red pepper wrappers
We used the coconut harvest to make red pepper wrappers to go with our marinated vegetables.

almond cheese
We made a delicious almond cheese using almonds, celery juice, and fresh nutmeg (among other things).

We used a microplane to grate our fresh nutmeg. It looks pretty interesting on the inside. I’ve never gotten so up close and personal with a nutmeg.

Once we had all our mise en place ready, we went about assembling our vegetable rolls.

Voila! Ladan said mine looked kind of like an enchanted forest. I thought it looked a little like the Starship Enterprise.


Spring Vegetable Tagine

June 1st, 2009

spring veg tagine
Another recipe from ENTERTAINING IN THE RAW featuring fava beans and a cumin flatbread.

This is the first time I’ve had fava beans. I like them. Though I’m not sure that the texture came out just right. Because I was suppose to soak them in the veggie broth longer. (Actually, my boyfriend did that part 🙂 )

The cumin flatbread was AMAZING, but not at all like bread. Bread you can eat incessantly and never feel quite satisfied. The flatbread is really filling. I had a strange experience with it. It’s possibly the best raw bread I’ve had so far. But once I got my fill, I absolutely couldn’t eat it anymore. And I haven’t been able to eat it since. Not sure why. Strange phenomenon.



April 29th, 2009

empanada plate
Fiesta continues with this raw version of empanadas from ENTERTAINING IN THE RAW. Oddly, we were serving empanadas at work tonight (beef). They looked gross to me. Everyone said they were bland.

These empanadas were AMAZING. They were stuffed with marinated spinach and a pignoli sour cream (leftover from the CHOCO CHILI TACOS).

Then, dehydrated to perfection.

The sauce was this amazing cilantro mint chutney that I LOVED. I might even marry it. Or at least get engaged to it long enough to make a splash on celebrity magazines.


Chili Rellenos Tres

April 26th, 2009

To continue with our MEXICAN theme week, we made the chili rellenos recipe from ENTERTAINING IN THE RAW. I’ve tried a few different VERSIONS of THESE from different recipe books, and I LOVE them.

warm peppers
These are some warm peppers fresh from the dehydrator.

The mole sauce for these was so good, I made it three times. I ended up with a lot more stuffing than mole. So I just kept making more peppers…


Arugula Gnocchi

April 1st, 2009

Raw gnocchi?! It’s not something that had really occurred to me…

ENTERTAINING IN THE RAW (my latest obsession). I had to try it.

This particular recipe included chopped arugula in the jicama based batter.

Then, a little dehydration.

And topped with a red pepper sauce, arugula, and this amazing pine nut parmesan.


Chocolate Ginger Macaroons

March 29th, 2009

My boyfriend made this lovely recipe from EVERYDAY RAW recently. Ordinarily, I would have tried to have a better picture than this. But unfortunately, these puppies never made it out of the dehydrator.

macaroon dough
I think I’m going to try to make some more tomorrow…