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105degrees, L1/W1/D2: kimchee, lasagna, nori handroll

October 26, 2010

Something magical happened overnight, wherein my brain utilized its sleep time to organize, consolidate, and refine some of the techniques I learned yesterday. As soon as class began this morning, I found myself miraculously able to cut perfect carrot squares! My baton, dice, julienne, and brunoise cuts were ten billion times better than before. YAY!

We combined all of yesterday’s and this morning’s cut veggies with garlic, ginger, crushed red pepper, and brined cabbage in a batch of kimchee.

So, um, here’s the thing. I don’t like kimchee. It reminds me too much of sauerkraut, which happens to be my #1 most hated food in the world; beyond leafy greens, even! (I blame my dad for that—I can’t seem to un-remember the stench that constantly wafted from those cups of sauerkraut he so often ate while watching tv when I was young…) So, although it was fun to make, I couldn’t help but think “Ugh, I’m going to have to EAT some of this in a few days?”

But nope—Russell brought out an already-prepared batch right then and there! He dished out portions to each of us, and after a deep, solemn breath, I took my first bite. And you know what? I didn’t hate it! I can’t say I loved it, but I must admit it tasted fresher and brighter than any kimchee I’d reluctantly tasted in the past (AND it didn’t smell at all). In fact (dare I say it?), I almost think I could get used to the taste and texture—cabbage and all! I even ate the whole plate of it. Ahoy, good digestion!

Throughout the afternoon, we prepped zucchini slivers, a red pepper marinara, and some macadamia ricotta. Along with yesterday‘s pesto, we began building our lasagna.

Russell had us add some olive oil-rubbed spinach in there too, and I didn’t even bat an eye!

The garnishes I added to the top reflect the contents of the lasagna below. I love how the colors match the Italian flag!

My three-layer masterpiece! And it tasted GREAT. Even with the spinach!

We practiced mise en place (prepping all components before assembling) with our last dish of the day, a spicy nori-and-daikon handroll (which is a little like gigantic, freeform sushi).

We’d also blended up a chunky almond-chile sauce and dehydrated some curried cauliflower to include.

Russell demonstrated to us the method of assembly…

…and the proper rolling technique.

We then became architects of our own handrolls.


Let’s have a closer look…

So much colorful, crunchy veggie goodness all rolled up into one…well, roll.
The curried cauliflower was my favorite part.

THIS is what it looks like to eat FRESH!

50 Comments leave one →
  1. October 26, 2010 6:57 pm

    Looks amazing! And congratulations on the opportunity to study at 105degrees. What a great experience!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 6:20 pm

      Thanks! I am truly very lucky to be here at 105. 🙂

  2. October 26, 2010 7:03 pm

    Wow…everything looked so delicious! Yum…those rolls looked sooo good!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 6:21 pm

      Thank you! ::small bow::

  3. Alayna @ Thyme Bombe permalink
    October 26, 2010 7:04 pm

    Those hand rolls look insane! Very pro looking prep work, impressive!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 6:21 pm

      Hehe, thanks! You really think it looks “pro”? 😀

  4. Brett permalink
    October 26, 2010 7:06 pm

    Wow. That lasagna looks awesome. I love the colors of everything. That alone would be a reason to go raw. Congratulations on the new found knife skills. Looks like you’re having fun.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 6:22 pm

      Thank ya. The colors really are stunning, aren’t they? I’m having a blast, and I’m relieved that my knife skills have so quickly improved!

  5. Mindy permalink
    October 26, 2010 8:01 pm

    You’re going to be a whole new Amber when you finish this course, with body fueled by all those new veggie experiences. It’s kind of cool, isn’t it? Being in front of your teacher and the others is pushing you to try things you probably wouldn’t otherwise, and surprise! What a fun story. I too, used to dislike sauerkraut (my Dad liked it too), dark green leafys, and I couldn’t even imagine eating kimchee. I enjoy them all now.

    I wonder if recounting each day in a post, and adding the photos, is helping your mind with its organization?

    Those carrots look great. I guess the dice is made by cutting up the batons, and the brunoise (I’ve never heard or seen that word before) is obtained by cutting up the julienne crosswise?

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 6:25 pm

      I think you may be right! (Just wait till you read today [day 3]’s post…) Being in this environment really is helping me expand my tastes – making me EAGER to do so, in fact. I’m looking forward to that continuing!

      YES, I do think that writing these posts and helping my mind scan back through the day’s events and commit them to even clearer memory. That’s something I’ve always loved about journaling/blogging.

      As for the cuts, you got it! Right on the money. 🙂

  6. October 26, 2010 8:12 pm

    You have really inspired me. I am strongly considering going there again. I’ve wanted to for awhile now and maybe it’s time. I’d love to learn everything you are doing. You might see me there soon!

    • October 27, 2010 9:05 am

      Go Go Go Bitt!!!!! 🙂

      • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
        October 27, 2010 7:10 pm

        I second that! 😛

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 6:27 pm

      Bitt, that’s FANTASTIC! I’m so happy to have inspired you in any way or amount. I fully encourage you to look further into attending 105degrees. I’m certain you would absolutely love it.

  7. Matt permalink
    October 26, 2010 8:16 pm

    Dayum! Look at you! I would normally hate to say “I told you so” but I think it applies here. You are going to be awesome at this. Fo’ real!


    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 6:28 pm

      Ok, in this instance you can say you told me so. But only this once! 😛

  8. October 26, 2010 8:18 pm

    Such a pretty dice! I made some watermelon rind and carrot kimchee about 6 weeks ago (raw, because I wasn’t about to boil away the good stuff in the rind). Granted, I already love kimchee (and hate sauerkraut!). I think it’s the sourness and the chilis that do it for me….

    The temaki is absolutely gorgeous. I can make a maki roll like an absolute champ (and made some tonight….with cauliflower, even), but when it comes to hand rolls….well, they look more like confused burritos.

    I don’t think there is a single thing in the lasagna that I don’t love to eat. And the colors!! It’s making me absolutely green with envy!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 6:31 pm

      Why thank you! Way to go on the raw watermelon rind kimchee. Believe it or not, I’m actually looking forward to tasting my batch in a couple days. I put lotsa crushed red pepper in there!

      Confused burritos, hehe! Thanks for the compliment on my handrolls 🙂

      I couldn’t believe how good the lasagna was, especially considering I’m not a zucchini fan. But all those flavors and textures together just worked. Magical!

  9. October 26, 2010 8:19 pm

    Wow! Everything looks really good! Those handrolls and that lasagna look super tasty!

    I LOVE kimchee (and sauerkraut) and would like nothing more than to do it myself homemade. I just don’t really know where to begin with all of it… Looks like I gotta get myself a big jar first. 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 6:33 pm

      Thanks Jess! I was pretty particular with my plate arrangements, especially that lasagna, heh.

      Oh, you should definitely try making kimchee yourself! You really only need a jar half that size, or even just a handful of smaller mason jars. It takes no time at all to throw together. Let me know if you want a more detailed recipe!

  10. October 26, 2010 8:54 pm

    I am drooling over that lasagna. The kimchee….not so much – I’m with ya there, sister. The rolls look great, if I could ever get over my perception that nori is going to choke me. (It’s all the fault of my coworker who tried to teach me to eat sushi and insisted I stick an entire California roll in my mouth at once.)

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 6:51 pm

      Haha, I’m glad to hear I have a sympathizer with the kimchee situation! 😛
      I do like sushi, but that’s more a matter of tolerating, rather than liking, nori.
      What a terrible thing for your co-worker to do! I’d urge you to give sushi another go, though. 🙂 If you eat seafood, you should really try an eel roll (‘unagi’) one day!

  11. October 26, 2010 9:06 pm

    Wowzers! This looks great! What a wonderful experience!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 6:55 pm

      It really is. 😀

  12. October 26, 2010 9:39 pm

    I love how your enthusiasm and delight is bursting through your words onto and beyond the page! Keep having a brilliant time, Amber, though who knew you’d have to face so many food dislikes so early on? 😀 I’ve always loved sour pickled things like kimchi, but then again I never had a family member eating sauerkraut as a snack! xo

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 6:56 pm

      Aw, thanks! I really am just so full of joy about all this. RAW FOOD for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week? Heaven!

      Crazy though, isn’t it, how many food fears I’m already facing! Just wait till you see today [day 3]’s post!

  13. October 27, 2010 7:43 am

    Wowza! That all looks so good.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 6:57 pm

      Thank you! 🙂

  14. October 27, 2010 9:06 am

    Loving every second of these posts! Keep em coming. You are inspiring me back to the kitch!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 6:58 pm

      Yay! I’m so happy you’re enjoying the posts, and that your enjoyment is leading you into the kitchen! 😀

  15. October 27, 2010 11:12 am

    It’s a mi-RAW-cle! Seriously, those carrots are IMPRESSIVE! Teach me next, okay?

    Sweet Jeebus, all of the colorful food is GORGEOUS. Way to go, you!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 7:00 pm

      Haha! “Mi-raw-cle,” nice 😛

      Whenever we do end up meeting, we can have a carrot-choppin’ par-tay. If we’re not already, THAT would definitely make us certified food nerds!

  16. October 27, 2010 11:53 am

    It’s so exciting to see everything you’re learning at 105 degrees!! I hope I can go there one day, too!

    Everything looks beautiful, and I’m sure it tastes amazing!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 7:00 pm

      Thanks Megan! I can’t recommend this place enough! 😀

  17. October 27, 2010 1:09 pm

    Look at those carrots…YAY!!
    That lasagna looks awesome, and those handrolls…WOW! You have done a great job! What beautiful food….do you get to eat what you have prepared after you are finished? You may have me eating raw after all this. 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 7:02 pm

      Yeah! I did it, woohoo! 😛

      I got to eat evvverything you see in this post. It was beautiful to the eyes AND the mouth!

      Once you get a taste of the raw life, you might find yourself getting addicted… 😉

  18. October 27, 2010 1:14 pm

    Oh how I wish I were there with you dicing, rolling, EATING. My goodness everything looks FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 7:03 pm

      I wish you were too! I know you’d have a BLAST!

  19. October 27, 2010 1:20 pm

    SERIOUS gorgeousness! Wow I’m so impressed and a little jealous you get to eat all that good food on top of learning how to make it in the first place 🙂 So fun!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 7:03 pm

      Thanks Tara! It is enviable, I admit. I’m a lucky girl!

  20. October 27, 2010 6:09 pm

    wow that looks like so much fun! is it fun? you make it sound fun 😀

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 7:04 pm

      Oh, it IS! I’m having such a great time. 🙂

  21. October 27, 2010 6:25 pm

    Looks like so much fun. I’m so glad you gave kim chee another go – it’s awesome stuff. This whole experience is going to rock your world, isn’t it?

    Are you exhausted at the end of the day, with all the new things and stimulation?

    I hope you rest well and continue to love every minute.


    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 7:09 pm

      I’m glad too – who knows, maybe kimchee will find its way into a semi-regular rotation in my diet. Anything’s possible!

      I am SO exhausted at the end of each day. I’m on my feet in the kitchen for 6 hours, then I go work out, then I come back to my hotel and shower, then tackle my blog for a good 3 hours or so, then try to read a handful of others’ blogs in my Google reader (but they’re still piling up like crazy, and I’m not even having time to comment on almost any of them!). At some point I talk to Matt on the phone, and I try and remember to eat snacks here and there, and then I collapse into bed and wake up the next day to do it all again. (And I’m only on day THREE!) NO complaints, though – I may be a bit frazzled, a tad achy, and more than a little stressed – but I realize that much of that pressure is self-imposed, PLUS I truly am having the time of my life here. I am so, so lucky to be doing this. 🙂

  22. November 1, 2010 2:33 pm

    Oh. My. Gosh. Those handrolls? A-mazing!!! I wish. SO wish I had one right now in my hand. Curried cauliflower? Are you posting recipes? Um yum!

    And the lasagne? Ditto!! I want to be raw like that… seriously. This is what makes raw delicious.

    Amber, I am loving this!!! 🙂


    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 1, 2010 4:24 pm

      If I could throw one to you across the ocean, I would! 😛

      I’m not posting recipes (since those are the property of 105, and aren’t mine to give out) – sorry!

      Sooo happy to hear you’re loving these posts. 😀

  23. January 21, 2012 3:42 pm

    Hi Amber,

    QUick question; where the cauliflowers completely raw as well? Feels like it would be too hard to bite..!

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