Pictures From My Raw Test Kitchen

May 30th, 2011 - filed under: The Food » Food and Health

You’re not a raw chef if you’re not cracking coconuts!

I’ve spent the past month working furiously in my raw kitchen, whipping up creations for the upcoming uncook book. And I’ve been taking pictures along the way, chronicling my successes. And a few of my failures as well! I thought it would be fun to share some of my photography – a virtual taste test, if you will. It’s been such fun so far and these pictures inspire me to keep up my steam as I continue on in this project. I hope that you enjoy them!

A cilantro pumpkin seed pesto that knocks my socks off. I can’t stop making this!

Sprouted lentil pesto stacks on heirloom tomatoes.

The guacamole was good, but the raw tortilla chips stole the show!

This adorable little iced sugar cookie was actually a major fail in the flavor department. She sure is cute to look at, though.

More failures. Chocolate frosting on sugar cookies, neither of which worked.

As an aside – how many times do you attempt a dish before you give up and move on? I’ve attempted three batches of sugar cookies in three recipe iterations, with three total losers. Is it time to give up on my raw sugar cookie dreams?

Delicious sugar snap pea soup.

Savory herbed quinoa crust, this was such an exciting breakthrough!

You’ve already seen this sorrel and sun dried tomato quiche, in the quinoa crust.

Lovely perfectly pale smoothie, the flavor is just as subtle as the hue.

Homemade DIY wheat grass shot without a wheat grass juicer.

This is another one of my absolute favorites, un-tuna salad in lettuce wraps. Best un-tuna I’ve ever had – raw or cooked – since going vegan. Hands down!

Sprouted lentil minestrone, so hearty and delicious.

Um, this was spectacular! California benedict with raw hollandaise.

Warmed wilted lemon and thyme asparagus drizzled with hollandaise.

Pretty juice!

This barely begins to cover what I’ve been up to in my kitchen. Many more pictures to come!

  • Adrienne Audrey

    mmm these photos are making me hungry! Everything looks good!

  • Emily

    These look amazing! I’m not vegan nor do I really go out of my way to eat raw foods, but these look so amazing I might have to start trying some things out!

  • Meredith

    Girl, you make raw look SO tempting (and veganism-I’m at the flirting stage with that one!) I’ve been singing your praises to anyone who even mentions going vegan. Keep up the awesome work.

  • Emily

    Everything looks so good!!

  • Joselle

    Gorgeous plating and photography. Great job, Sayward!

  • sara thomas

    oh my gosh i can’t wait for your book to come out! i am SO getting a copy!!

  • Serenity

    You are correct. Raw corn chips rock!!!! I just took some off the dehydrator. And when it comes to opening thai coconuts, I use a drill to open a hole to drain and a hammer to actually open it. I have never been to open it like they do on youtube.

  • Kathryn

    Yummy!!! Can I please put in an order for lunch? Everything looks so good!

  • sarah

    OK now I’m really stoked for your book ;) Generally speaking, I don’t use cookbooks, but raw food is such an oddity that it’s rather necessary (for the more complicated things). I totally want that quinoa crust recipe… we are gluten-free now so I always have the “grain” and the flour on hand. Great protein source I wish I’d known about when I was vegan. Despite not being entirely raw (I pick and choose a lot) I still make raw vegan ice cream every couple of weeks to stock my freezer ;)

    Man… now that I’m thinking about it our eating style is so weird I don’t even know how to describe it now. GF-psuedo-whole-veg? lol

  • Kelsey

    This all looks so good! I always want to do wheat grass at home, but don’t have a wheat grass juicer and no place to put one.

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    WOW. Super psyched to see all of your sprouted lentil recipes, and the quiche, too. Oh hell – super psyched to see everything!

    Regarding the cookies, I say move on. Whatever recipe block you’re having with them is probably not going to go away if you keep trying. Move on to another recipe, and maybe you’ll have a eureka moment while creating something else! Just my 2 cents’. :D

  • Sarah P

    In terms of giving up on recipes, I usually give them two chances; the second time I try to tweak what went wrong. I only go beyond those two tries if I’m making MAJOR changes to how I put together the recipe. Though I’m hesitant to offer you that advice, since raw sugar cookies sound so amazing I want you to figure them out for my own sake… ;)

  • RK

    It all looks SO good!!! Don’t give up! A friend gave me this recipe…..maybe you could adapt it to your liking?

    Raw Sugar Cookie Recipe

    2 cups of soaked (at least overnight) buckwheat or oat groats
    1/2 cup dates or more to taste
    1/4 cup raw Agave Nectar
    1/4 cup raw palm sugar
    1/8 teaspoon vanilla powder or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Blend all ingredients in a food processor making sure not to get in too wet. You want to be able to roll the dough out if possible. You can also make a powder (flour) out of ground oat groats or use shredded coconut or more raw palm sugar to dry the dough out. Cut into desired shape and then put in the dehydrator until desired texture.

  • Sayward

    Thanks everybody! It’s been a delicious month. =)

    @ RK – That recipe looks similar to ones I’ve tried, but uses a lot more sweetener. Maybe I’ll give it a go. My best luck was with using hulless oats(haven’t tried buckwheat) but I’m having trouble with my oats being rancid, which is SO SAD. Haha. Thanks for the recipe though!

  • Kate

    Sayward, don’t stop trying. If anyone can do it, it’s you. I think that you don’t try unless you have another idea (the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing and expecting different results, no?). Don’t get burnt out on it if you want it. It took good ol’ Jefferson 100s of failures to get lightbulbs.

  • Colleen

    This soooo inspires me. We really need to go more raw. There is no reason not to.

    Can you recommend your favorite Raw cookbook? Maybe something simple to start. I may have to conceal the “raw” aspect from the hubs for a while ;-)

  • Sayward

    @ Kate – Aw, thank you. =)

    @ Colleen – That’s a good question! It really depends on what kind of raw food you want to make. Like, simple fresh meals, or fancy gourmet stuff, or food that mimics cooked favorites, or all about superfoods, etc. There’s really a lot of different “styles” in the raw scene, and different chefs/authors will give you totally different options.

    Im not trying to be intimidating! Just to let you know about how much variety there is out there, so it’s hard to just point at one cookbook and say “that one!” But, if I had to, I’d say Living On Live Foods by Alissa Cohen. Totally comprehensive, from simple to fancy and everything in between.


  • Melissa

    Sayward, I am flirting with the idea of veganism. I have bought a book, Becoming Vegan, and I will start there. Any helpful hints? Cold turkey (bad pun)? or gradual? Help!

  • Sarah

    Oh my! Oh my! I cannot wait! Looks amazing!

  • Sayward

    @ Melissa – Becoming Vegan is excellent! Do you podcast? If you like listening to Podcasts, I can’t recommend Vegetarian Food For Thought enough. it’s hands-down the BEST introduction to veganism, from an animal-rights AND health AND environmental perspective that’s out there. She is so kind and gentle while also being so solid in her convictions. Really, it’s amazing stuff and you will learn TONS.

    As far as hw to do it, it really depends on your personality. Some people, like me, go Cold Tofurkey overnight. Others, many others, do amore gradual transition. Like, start by replacing breakfasts. Eat a vegan breakfast every single day. Once that has become easy and you don’t have to think much about it, move on to lunch. Repeat, with dinner and then dessert. Pretty soon vegan meals will just be your “new normal”

    Other people like to eliminate one food group at a time. So, one month they cut red meat, then the next month cut chicken, then fish and seafood, etc. Ot you could just cut all meat, then all dairy, then all eggs. Or whatever – whatever works for you.A lot of people say “I’d love to go vegan but I couldn’t give up cheese!”, and I say, “So don’t give up cheese! (yet)”. Or maybe it’s some other random food for you – don’t let that stop you from going the rest of the way!

    Basically, just follow your heart, do what works for you. If you want to dive then dive. If you want to wade then wade. As long as you’re pointed in the right direction,then your particular path is your own.


  • C C Turvill

    Please contact me when your cookbook is ready to sell! Everything looks delicious!

  • Shannon Clark

    I want your book.