Sunday, 1 March 2009

Rawkin' Raw Chef

I was given this lovely flower today, by an even lovelier woman.

Known as Miss Janice, she was the instructor for the Living On Live Raw Chef course I took today. Check it out - maybe it's right for you, too!
She embodies everything they say raw does: she exudes glowing, vibrant energy, and a palpable lightness of being. The afternoon flew by, made fun by her relaxed teaching style, delicious food, and rawkin' assistants, Colin and Jackie, who were key to keeping the class moving. There were only 6 of us, so it was very personal and informal.

I learned so much!!

We ate so much!! Haha! It was great!

We learned to make several yummy dishes...some of which I found familiar, having made variations, and having been uncooking for a couple years, but even those had a twist I hadn't thought of, so I found it very informative.

She demonstated all the food herself and we watched from our place at the table, complete with table setting. The best part was that we were served samples of all the dishes, so I stuffed my face all afternoon! Yeehaa!!

She stared with a green smoothie, and besides the greens and fruit, water, and superfoods, she added almonds and dates, something I don't do. But it was divine!

And gawd knows I'm a raw brownie freak! We had those, too...minus the icing. (I'm going to email her the icing recipe and see what she thinks.)

We made date-nut torte with frosting, and it was so creamy and fudgy.

The whole time things are being prepared, we are being informed in a really conversational way and Colin is active keeping a steady flow of lemon water in our glasses, and Jackie is prepping our next plate and she and Colin serve us, and then do dishes between courses. These two earned their date-nut torte, Man!!

I learned today that you can drink the soak water from dates and gojis, (diluted if you'd rather) and that it gives you a real energy boost. I always toss it, unless a recipe calls for soak water. But never drink your nut water (that just sounds WRONG on every level). And it is... we soak nuts to release the enzyme inhibitors and the toxins, so you don't want to ingest that grungy stuff. Not that I ever felt tempted, haha.

We enjoyed Mock Salmon Pate, Stuffed Portebella Mushroom Caps, and these were so good that when Steve picked me up, I got him to drive me to the grocery store to pick up some portebellos and avocados, saying, "Have I got a treat for you!"

We had Collard Roll-Ups, Broccoli Soup, Fettucini Alfredo, and Angel Hair Pasta with Marinara Sauce.

Just enough of everything to be nicely full by the end of the course, not stuffed. It was so lovely!

So, for dinner, I made the Stuffed Portebellas, using the few tricks I learned in class. By the way, I'm now a Level One Certified Raw Chef! Yeeehaaa!

I never did anything special with mushrooms; just used 'em. But I learned today that because they're grown in, um, *fecal matter*, it's best to peel the tops, scoop out the ridges, and twist off the stem. Who knew? Not me.
So this is me, holding the sucker by the stem and peeling the top skin off. Ya gotta be really gentle doing this, as they are fragile, and the idea is to sit it on its peeled side and stuff the cap with filling, so you want a bit of a hollowed out circle.

To peel it, I carefully started at the rim of the mushroom and pulled upward towards the centre. It didn't work on every mushroom, though, and I found that it worked better with one stubborn one, to peel it under running water. Don't know if that's just me, or what, but it worked.

This is what it looks like mid-peeling: Then you twist off the stem, again, carefully...these guys need tlc to stay in one piece.Next, you want to take a spoon and carefully scoop (scrape) out the ridges, like so:
Once that's done, you put a large lettuce leaf down on a plate and place two of the mushroom caps on it, and drizzle a bit of nama shoyu onto each of them and let them sit while you whip up the topping.

Here's the recipe:
Stuffed Portabella Mushroom Caps
Ingredients: (this is for 1 mushroom, so adjust for more)

1 large portebella mushroom
1 whole avocado
1/4 c. onion
1 tomato, diced (optional)
1/8 tsp sea salt
nama shoyu

1. Wash, peel, scoop, and de-stem the mushroom. Place mushroom stem-side up on a plate
2. Drizzle nama shoyu lightly over the top of the cap and on the plate to make sure it's well-marinated.
3. In the food processor, mash the avocado, onions, tomato, and sea salt and place in the mushroom cap.
4. Eat as is or top with diced tomato, black olives, sprouts, etc.

Here it is, at the last minute, I drizzled more nama shoyu on the top. It's shown with some red pepper on top, and 'Better Than Beef' on the side. Oh my gosh, so good!
My boyfriend raved about it, as I figured he would! For dessert, I whipped up a quick lemon pudding (2 small peeled lemons, 1 cup dates, 1 avocado). Mmmm Mmmmm good!
And NOW... I'm stuffed!
So as I said my goodbyes today, I hugged Miss Janice and told her how inspired I was, and she took a flower out of a vase and gave it to me.
At the end of March, I am taking Level 2 and I can't wait!!


Anonymous said...

Hello! My name is Dana and I took the same course with Miss Janice! It was so great and so inspiring that I have been eating raw and just loving it. She is a very beautiful and inspiring lady. So I have tried all of the lovely samples from the course as well and they are fantastic.I am looking forward to taking the Level 2 class as well. Your website is a great resource and very inspiring also. Thanks for all the great recipes, articles and photos!

Rawkin' said...

Hi Dana,

How nice of your to write! Thanks! Isn't that course so inspiring?? I know! I would enthusiastically encourage you to go for Level 2 when you can. It's AWESOME. I find raw foods attracts very cool people :)

I'm so glad you are enjoying my blog; and since you're local, I hope we can meet for some raw support or potluck :)

All the best,
Rawkin' (Lucie)

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