In short it might look something like this. Not bad eh?
I have just finished my first run of workshops from my brand new Cookery School in London! We’ve had an amazing run of introductory and intermediate workshops making a selection of recipes from my ebooks, a selection of my favourite plates and got to play with juicers and blenders from Tribest, top of the range blenders from Vitamix, and work with a whole host of raw, high vibe (and quite hip) ingredients like cacao, lucuma, coconut oil and Udos Oils.
It was awesome to conclude the first programme with a wonderful workshop all about Festive Eating with Raw Foods which saw us making seven recipes then sitting down to enjoy a Christmas Dinner prepared by me. If you want to see what we got up to check out my first LIVE BLOG from the event by clicking here.
The Christmas chow down is always a lovely way to end a course. And, naturally, it was all raw, plant based, vegan and (we like to think) high vibration.
But what the heck, you might ask, does THAT taste like?
I say that because there is only a certain crowd that gets turned on by this kind of food. Even the wording puts a lot of people off.
We are not an elite force or a religious obsessive sect, just a small and growing tribe of people who enjoy the rhythms of these dishes. It floats our boats. It heals our bodies. It increases our vibration. We enjoy the often unusual techniques that go into preparing food like this (in the cookery school programme we explore my Five Pillars of Raw Food and The Seven Raw Food Preparation Techniques)
Raw foods, veganism and plant based eating is however getting way more mainstream media airtime. People are eating less processed foods and demanding more high quality healing foods. My litmus test for this is that my local Tesco now stock a huge range of products that are norms in the raw foods pantry but considered quite off-radar to the populous. Cacao. Coconut oil. Almond Flour. Hooray! Great job Tesco. Now, I am no expert but I do know that companies like Tesco will only stock products like these to follow customer demand to increase sales and therefore profits. So I conclude that the demand for these products is indeed on the rise if you can so easily find them these days in high street supermarkets.
We often, however, still stand alone in our awe-aura with this kind of eating. If I introduce this kind of food to some people I would simply call it gourmet vegetarian. And even to some that will raise an eyebrow, a few guffaws and certainly the odd grimace.
“What the (bleep) does that taste like”? Is often what is blurted out. ‘Well, to be honest, rather (bleeping) fantastic’ is usually my response.
It tastes even better when your palate is cleansed and detoxed. You have the ability to access a whole new range of flavours and intensities of those flavours. Nothing clogs the digestive system. Nothing produces a ‘post-processed-food-face-stuffing-mucus-lined-throat-cough’ which – if you start to think about it – most processed low vibration highly processed foods do give out. You just don’t get that from this kind of food.
What’s in a raw foods Christmas Dinner?
I loved giving my Christmas dinner a new look. When plating up yesterday I had some funky slates to use and I can never get enough of my chef rings for dressing up some grub and making it look posh. It tastes better if it’s been tarted up a bit. Or is that just me?
The creamy stash is a beautifully dressed dollop of creamy cauliflower and parsnip mash creamed together with cashew nuts and other flavours. Topping that is massaged kale (ever made love to a vegetable?) mixed with fermented sauerkraut. Topping it all (because it’s so pretty, incredibly enzyme rich which a winter diet really needs and always adds a dash of glamour to a dish) is a stash of mixed sprouts (mainly alfalfa). Eaten together these flavours complement each other so well.
I encourage students to reach for all areas of the tongue and to blend tastes when pulling together a recipe. Not only should foods do this to excite the mouth if a dish is going to be enjoyed it really should have multi layers. By that I mean that there should be more than just one hit of flavour. There should be one hit after the next; a creamy aftermath to a sweet, deep initial taste and perhaps a waft of bitterness from seeds like sesame. Beautifully thought out recipes that create well-rounded dishes do this. And this dish does it rather well.
Next to the mash stash is a heap of caramelised onions, holding a buckwheat and sunflower sausage surrounded by a porcini mushroom sauce.
The caramelised onions are a great example of a cooked food gone raw that tastes great.
Think about it. if you served up a pile of chopped raw onions the taste is too harsh. Too unilateral. Too boring. There aren’t enough layers of flavour with a raw onion (no pun intended). If we are looking to satisfy all areas of the palate (which is how we get hooked on cooked foods). Think of fried onions – they take on a whole new dynamic when they are cooked. They have a caramel taste when cooked, they become sweet, they become creamy, they bite less. They have a lingering oiliness. There are more ‘flavour layers’ to the dish. Creating this in a raw foods dish is not impossible, it just requires a little knowledge, a few techniques up your sleeve and a bit of an imagination.
The onions are soaked in an apricot batter with oil and tamari (a healthier gluten-free version of a soy sauce) and then dried for a long time. They get sticky, sweet and take on a new dimension. They ‘seem’ fried but are in fact still raw, so still high vibe, enzyme rich and if you like, rather hip.
The buckwheat sausages are a surprise. I LOVE adding buckwheat (which is gluten free, they are actually a member of the rhubarb family) and give fabric to a sausage (very seedy raw sausages and burgers can be too crumbly and seedy and very entry level) These sausages have form, they taste great and it really doesn’t feel like you are eating something uncooked.
In the mushroom sauce I use rehydrated porcini mushrooms blended with several ingredients including soaked cashew nuts. This is a whole new ball game. A new arena of sauces is entered. You feel like you have gone pro when you make this and taste how amazing it really is. I always get asked – is this sauce really raw? Because it has depth that you just don’t expect. It reaches across the palate. It has at least three ‘layers’ of taste. The strength of the mushroom is followed by a range of hits concluding with the most delicious creamy oomph. I love it. It really holds this whole plate together.
Because it tastes bloody great and is simply put very good food that is really good for you. For some of us eating food this way is for health reasons, this is a healing diet. For some it’s about managing weight. More than anything this way of eating is the healthiest way to prepare food! Simple as that! And transition dishes (hate that phrase but it’s part of some helpful raw food world jargon!) meaning that these raw versions of cooked favourite foods can be a very helpful way of moving towards a plant based juicy raw lifestyle that includes loads more simple fruits, veggies, juices and smoothies.
If you are food obsessed, this is probably the best kind of food to get obsessed with. If you like exploring preparation techniques these are incredibly easy but also so cool they can make you feel like you have just been granted entry into the VIP section of the magic circle.
If you are looking for a range of healthy high vibration raw vegan plant based dishes this Christmas you will be glad to know that these dishes are all taken from my ebook A Raw Christmas and are really easy to prepare.
I have over 30 more recipes in there for fridge raiders, canapes and dishes for the big day.
Welcome to the magic raw foods circle and enjoy! Check out my latest events program for masterclasses, dinners, workshops and all pop-up events.
Keeping it juicy & raw