My friend Renee (host of the blog, Nourish Your Roots) and I taught our very first cooking class this past weekend at the Troy Arts Center and IT WAS amazeballs! I had never attended a cooking class, let alone been given the opportunity to teach one, so the experience was a real treat. Luckily, we had a great group of women as our audience which made the class run smooth (the hard cider I chugged right before the class may have helped as well) with no awkward moments or uncomfotable pauses. So, ladies if you're reading this, thanks for being so awesome!
There are so many directions you can take when teaching a cooking class, and at first we had no idea wheat we wanted to do, other than keeping it vegetarian. Even narrowing it down to a class that would exclude the use of of meat, we felt we needed to do something that would grab peoples attention. We both are fans of cooking with unprocessed, nutrient dense, whole foods and thought why not teach a class in raw foods preparation. Although I don't follow a raw foods diet, I try to incorporate as much raw food into my diet as possible have always loved the challenge of showing people that raw, unprocessed foods can taste just delicious as cooked food. We weren't sure if we would draw a huge audience since upstate New York isn't exactly known for their raw food scene, but we said screw it and decided to roll with it and ended up with a sold out class!
We compiled most of our recipes from one of our favorite blogs, My New Roots. Sarah's style of cooking in very similar to Renee's and mine, and we knew that if it was posted on her blog we could count on it being delicious.
We decided to start out with a ginger-goji berry lemonade, followed by carrot parsnip fettucine with cilantro pumpkin seed pesto (pictured above). The main course was a raw taco fiesta (taco walnut meat served in cabbage leaves with cashew ricotta, avocado and a tomato-bell pepper salsa fresca). To end the meal we served fresh homemade almond milk and raw brownies (recipe coming soon!).
Yeah.. we're pretty amazing.
Hopefully I'll slowly be adding these recipes to my blog (since I didn't have one spare minute at my class to take any pics) but in the meantime you can check them out at My New Roots!
Fortunately, I snapped a shot of the carrot parnsip fettucine when we were doing a trial run for our class to ensure that everything were were planing on making was, in fact, edible.
I've made "raw" pasta in the pasta using a fun little gadget called a spiralizer, which basically takes vegetables (zucchini, celery root or daikon radish) and turns them into long noodles (similar in size and shape to spaghetti or fettucine), with which you can then top with a raw marinara, pesto or even dress with a little olive oil and lemon for a simple side. A spiralizer great to have on hand if you are doing mass quantities of noodles, but I have found that a regular old vegetable peeler will give you the same results.
Carrot-Parsnip Fettucine with Cilantro Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Cilantro and Pumpkin Seed Pesto:
¼ c. raw pumpkin seeds
2 c. fresh cilantro leaves and tender sprigs
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1-2 T. lemon juice
1 t. seeded and coarsely chopped jalapeno pepper
½-3/4 t. salt
½ c. extra virgin olive oil
Place pumpkin seeds in a food processor and process until broken down a bit. Add the cilantro, garlic, lemon, jalapeno and salt and process until finely ground. With the motor running, stream in the olive oil until the mixture is creamy and fairly smooth.
Using a vegetable peeler, peel the carrots and parsnips into long, thin strips, dropping into a bowl as completed. Add a drizzle of olive oil, a splash of lemon juice and a pinch of salt and toss until vegetables are well coated. Set aside for about 10 minutes, until softened.
Add the pesto to the parsnips and carrots and toss well to combine.