Thursday, October 25, 2012

Raw "Cooking" Class with Gouter

I should open up this blog post right away by letting you know that this is written by Kerry and not Beth.  Our blog is called "The Split Plate not because one eats meat and the other doesn't but because we are both vegans and eat quite opposite!  Yes, there are large variations and levels of eating on a vegan diet.  In case anyone did not know the difference between our two diets:   Beth eats mostly raw and gluten free.  I, on the other hand eat a nice healthy salad every day for lunch or dinner and then swap the other meal out with vegan pizza, "chicken", tacos, and cheesecake.  Beth is much more motivated than I am to eat healthy.  In fact, Beth's main reason for following a vegan diet is for health reasons, with animal welfare and environmental impacts second and third.  My motivation for excluding all animal products from my diet and lifestyle is to avoid animal pain and suffering due to factory farming.  I do believe that a vegan diet is imperative for optimal health, however, I have a hard time putting down vegan fried "chicken" and Tofutti ice cream for whole foods such as broccoli, kale, nuts, and cauliflower.   I have to really plan ahead and force myself to eat healthy.

A few months ago Beth contacted me about spending a Saturday night in October attending a raw vegan "cooking" class at the Living Social headquarters in DC.  I of course agreed for several reasons:  #1 I love cooking classes, #2 I love "girls" nights out,  #3 I am up for any vegan event,  and #4 I need to eat more raw foods!  Beth does a great job of finding out deals in the DC area as well as any vegan events.  Between our busy schedules we had a hard time trying to figure out a good date to attend this class but we finally settled upon a Saturday night in October.  I wasn't really expecting much out of a "raw" vegan class but boy was I in for a nice surprise!

I looked up the "Gouter" DC on the internet - the host of this raw "cooking" event.  I had never heard of Gouter, with the exception of Beth mentioning her juice cleanse that was purchased from the Gouter booth at the DC VegFest.  According to Gouter DC's Facebook page they are a new business in the DC area that focuses on home delivery services for raw and organic vegan foods.  I probably had never heard of them because they are a new company and because I don't generally purchase raw foods.  I had already purchased my ticket for this cooking class and decided that it was a good idea to learn more about raw "cooking."  My instincts were right as this raw class was just what I needed!

I will admit that I was a raw food skeptic.  Beth raved about her raw food diet and the foods that she would prepare as I had already formed my opinion that I love cooked foods and having a salad with spinach, carrots, and sprouts was my extent of eating raw.  This class hosted by Gouter opened my eyes to a whole new world of vegan "cooking."

I will just begin explaining what we made with what was best - the Chocolate Chia Puddling.  I love sweets a  lot and I definitely love pudding!  We first created hemp milk out of hemp seeds which is awesome because for vegans hemp seeds provide a complete protein source as well as Omega 3 and 6, a ton of fiber, and vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium.  We ended up using this hemp milk for not only our chia pudding but for the creamy base of the main entree - zucchini pasta.  Please see the images below to have a better understanding of how awesome this food was to both create and eat!

We created the zucchini pasta with raw zucchini noodles mixed with sundried tomatoes and a basil pesto sauce.  Of course Beth being the raw food veganist that she is had already created a similar dish.  This dish brand new to me and I loved it!  I am happy to have participated in a "cooking" class that provided me with a recipe for a very healthy main course that I plan to make many times in the near future.  Moreover, the desert was amazing and a beautiful presentation.  As you can see from the picture the chocolate chia pudding was created from hemp milk and chia seeds with gave the pudding a very decadent and rich texture.  The desert was probably my favorite course to consume!    I had leftovers of zucchini pasta and the cauliflower soup but not the chocolate pudding.  I should probably backtrack to mention the amazing recipe for the cream raw soup that we made....

I  cannot forget about the amazing "cream of cauliflower soup" and I do not think that anyone else from the class can forget about this awesome soup either.    For anyone who has a difficult time eating raw/whole vegetables this creamy raw soup would most likely be a solution for incorporating unprocessed vegetables in their diet.

As a non-raw food vegan I can definitely say that these recipes presented by Gouter DC have enlightened me into the world of eating raw and I am convinced that this approach to eating vegan is not only healthy but very satisfying!  I am thankful toward Gouter DC for an enlightenment toward a healthier way of eating vegan and an easy approach in the direction of eating raw.  Their recipes were very simple, tasteful, and filling   The Living Social Class on raw food "cooking" has genuinely put me on the path toward eating less cooked and processed vegan foods by replacing these with simple, raw and "whole" vegan foods.  I am very thankful that Gouter hosted this class and I look forward to future raw "cooking" classes in DC!  If you are a vegan or vegetarian living in the DC area you should check out Gouter DC for the healthy juices and vegan snacks.  Also, don't forget to follow their Living Social classes - you will not be disappointed!

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