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105degrees, L1/W1/D3: coconuts & too much kale

October 27, 2010

When Russell told us this morning that we’d be cracking open our first coconuts, I was ecstatic! I LOVE coconuts, and since I don’t have a cleaver at home, I had never had the chance to open my own. Russell made it look like a cinch to accomplish.

We each got our own BOX of coconuts to hack.

I pondered my aim…

…hoisted my cleaver to the sky…

…and THWACK!

Voilà—an open coconut. (It’s really not as easy as it looks, though!)

We drained the water out of each, but sadly, didn’t get to drink any! I was in anguish standing right next to the 10-gallon bucket where we all combined our luscious, milky coconut water!

Nevertheless, I was one happy coconut killer.

The carnage:

We scraped the meat out of each, which was a real pain in the cocobutt.

After cleaning it, we set some aside for later this week, and with the rest, we made ICE CREAM! We got to be as creative as we wanted with our flavors, and I’m really excited about mine. You’ll see the finished product tomorrow, so until then, you’ll just have to guess at my flavor combo!

Random but awesome: here’s Russell with the most hilarious-looking carrot ever.

Next, we made that old favorite: kale chips! We tossed them in a fantastic Southwestern coating and off they went to the dehydrator. I’ll show you the completed chips tomorrow.

You’d think that would be enough kale for the day, but oh, no. We spent the afternoon making a massaged kale salad.

MORE leafy greens?! NOOO! I can handle kale in chip form, but as a salad? Bah! I was so wary of it that I had a classmate taste mine for seasoning, because I couldn’t bring myself to try it!

No one can believe I’m a somewhat-raw almost-vegan who does not like salad or leafy greens.

I know, I know, it’s a shame! The salad looks beautiful, after all, especially with its avocado, tomato, and hempseed additions. I will say that the chipotle-tahini dressing was outrageously tasty. I would’ve been content to thin it out a bit and eat it as a soup!

Before you start to get all in a tizzy about me wasting such a lovely, healthy salad, know that a) I only made a tiny batch, knowing how awful I’d feel if I threw much away, and b) I DID eat some!

Oh yes, that’s right! I have witnesses! I probably ate ten, maybe even fifteen bites! By the end, I was digging for avocado, but there was kale in every mouthful. No, it didn’t convert me to a greens-lover, but I ATE SOME! Can you believe it?

45 Comments leave one →
  1. October 27, 2010 6:25 pm

    I also can’t eat kale in any way but chip form, I can handle salad though. The food looks gorgeous regardless. Happy coconut thwacking!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 7:14 pm

      Glad to hear I’m not alone on “the kale thing”!
      Thwacking coconuts is a joyful activity indeed 😛

  2. October 27, 2010 6:28 pm

    I’m loving your daily account. 🙂 I am a vegetarian that don’t like kale either.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 7:15 pm

      I’m so happy you’re enjoying my posts! That’s great 😀 And another kale sympathizer, woohoo!

  3. Mindy permalink
    October 27, 2010 6:31 pm

    That photo of you and Russell is hilarious! Hey, check this out: I predict you’ll be wearing one of these shirts some time in the future :).

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 7:17 pm

      HAHA! I went and “liked”’s Facebook page 😛 Me, of all people! Who knows, maybe I will have to get one of those someday 😉

  4. Matt permalink
    October 27, 2010 6:33 pm

    Laughed out loud at those pics. That’s awesome! Good job eating that salad hunny! I’m eager to hear about the rest of your creations…

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 7:17 pm

      Aw, glad I could give you a giggle 😀 And thanks, baby! Wish you’d been there to finish it for me, heh.

  5. October 27, 2010 6:39 pm

    I believe that Russell could get you to do ANYTHING. (Well, food-related, anyway…) Well done you! But really, I’m just hangin’ out to hear more about this wonderful ice cream of yours…

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 7:19 pm

      It’s starting to look that way, isn’t it? 😛 I’m not complaining; this is great for my palate!

      Oh, just you wait for that ice cream…you will FLIP!

  6. Mindy permalink
    October 27, 2010 6:40 pm

    Oops, my link in prior post didn’t work right. Try this one: 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 7:19 pm

      Got it! Both excellent links 🙂 Great find!

  7. October 27, 2010 6:51 pm

    I actually really like kale, especially steamed with some soy sauce…yum!!
    Those pictures of you and the kale are hilarious! 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 7:20 pm

      Hmm, maybe someday I can enjoy kale like that too! I have high hopes (well, higher than before!).

  8. October 27, 2010 6:55 pm

    Hahaha! Funny post! “cocobutt”…love the term!! Looks like you were in coconut heaven! Yeppers…me so jealous!
    About your dislike for greens…I bet you “hide” them in green smoothies then, do you? It really can help if they aren’t your thing.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 7:22 pm

      Hehe, yay, someone noticed the “cocobutt”! 😛 Coconut heaven, indeed!

      As for my intake of greens, you hit the nail on the head – I get mine pretty much 100% via my blender. Thank goodness for green smoothies!

  9. October 27, 2010 7:30 pm

    Your kale salad looks incredible–I definitely would have eaten your serving for you! It looks like you’re having a great time with your class…love the snazzy chef outfit, too!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 10:09 pm

      Ahh, I wish I could’ve teleported it to you! 😛

      “Snazzy,” right… ::guffaw:: Hehe. But thanks!

  10. October 27, 2010 8:43 pm

    Kale is wonderful in salad! It is the best stuff now I like. Maybe you will grow accustomed to it! 🙂

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

      Maybe so! If I keep at it, I might just be able to warm up to it someday…

  11. October 27, 2010 9:28 pm

    Love the goofing around in the kitchen. I am not a huge salad person, although I do eat them, I just don’t down the huge servings that some raw foodies too. I figure I can get plenty in me through juicing and smoothies.

    I inquired to see if there were available spots. Rumors were flying around that Russell’s visa may not last long. I hope he can stay awhile.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 27, 2010 10:12 pm

      I’m the same way – green smoothies are my go-to vehicle for leafy stuff.

      Russell’s visa does expire in February, and it seems likely he’s leaving after that 😦 I think this means that the January Level 1 will be the last one he’s teaching, though I’d have to check for sure. He’s a wonderful resource, mentor, and teacher, so if you can get here while he’s still instructing, you’ll love working with him.

  12. October 27, 2010 10:14 pm

    I’m loving your posts! So fun! Your photos are fantastic and I almost feel like I’m right there! Hopefully I will come to OKC soon….I’ve got a hankering for some 105 goodness!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 28, 2010 5:57 pm

      Thank you Penni! I’m happy to hear you’re reading and enjoying. Definitely let me know if you drop into OKC soon!

  13. October 27, 2010 10:25 pm

    I have yet to tackle a coconut. They intimidate the heck out of me! I’m so impressed with your cleaving!

    I actually like kale a lot, so that salad looked awesome. Props to you for trying it.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 28, 2010 5:58 pm

      Coconuts intimidated me too! Anything that will BREAK a large kitchen knife rather than yield to its blade is instantly a little fearsome. But the cleavers do the trick!

  14. October 28, 2010 4:12 am

    Oh wow wow wow. I am still jealous.

    The salad looks lovely. I would eat it. Well done on having some.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 28, 2010 5:59 pm

      Thanks! I’m certainly not sorry I tried it. 🙂

  15. October 28, 2010 8:04 am

    OK, I’m guessing cashew butter in the ice cream….just throwing that out there ;).

    “Massaged kale salad” just sounds dirty somehow….like if you told someone you were bringing it to a party, they would kindly remind you that this was a child-friendly event. That aside, it looks and sounds divine! Chipotle-tahini….I think that would make a fabulous soup….or hummus….(there’s that H word again).

    I’ve been thinking about doing a month of rawness just for the hell of it (though I’d include sashemi and carpacchios, because I’m of the mind that raw does not automatically equal vegan). Seeing these dishes is really making it difficult for me to talk myself out of it….

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 28, 2010 6:01 pm

      Ooh! You’re close! It’s ____ butter…

      Haha, it DOES sound dirty! I hope Matt’s not offended that I massaged another man’s kale 😛 YES, the chipotle-tahini dressing WOULD make a fab soup or (especially) hummus!!

      Dude! Why are you trying to talk yourself out of it?! It’s a great idea! Plus I’ve got almost 8 more weeks of inspiration coming up for you. 😀

      • October 28, 2010 11:32 pm

        Honestly, this thing that’s holding me back is how much prep work it takes. The thought of it kind of disturbs me. Between my work schedule and the kids….oy. I’m trying to assemble an arsenal of great make-ahead items, or freezable items that can simply thaw to a decent temp (mmmm, soup). When you’re as busy as I am, though, it is tough not to fall back on things like canned tomatoes (especially when they taste so much better than fresh in December ;)….)

      • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
        October 29, 2010 7:25 am

        You could fudge it a bit on the canned items for winter’s sake, but I do certainly understand the prep-time issue. It DOES take a massive amount of planning, but honestly, most things don’t take much hands-on time. If you’re looking for any particular ideas or recipes, let me know. And when I get back after Christmas, maybe we could each make huge batches of a few things, and then share!

  16. October 28, 2010 1:24 pm

    LOL….I’m 100% with ya on the kale! Love the pictures. :o)

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 28, 2010 6:02 pm

      Hehe! Yay, I’m not alone 🙂

  17. October 28, 2010 3:44 pm

    Great pictures and story! Cocobutt lol!

    Kudos to you for trying another something that you think you don’t like. That’s real personal development – and may turn out to be one of the more enduring things that you learn from the whole experience.

    thanks again for sharing. Awesome carrot! We grew one a bit like that this year – not quite as outrageous, but close (I think I posted a picture).

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 28, 2010 6:03 pm

      I do already feeling like I’m growing, as a palate AND a person. It’s an exciting sensation. 🙂

      Naughty produce is the best!

  18. October 28, 2010 5:25 pm

    I’ve never worked with a fresh coconut -nice work!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 28, 2010 6:02 pm

      Thanks! I had a ball!

  19. October 28, 2010 5:32 pm

    I’m so proud of you!!! Eating kale… that honestly is a big step for someone who doesn’t. 🙂
    Personally, I’d be ALL OVER that salad. YUM! Make me some of that chipotle-tahini dressing! Yum!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 28, 2010 6:04 pm

      Why thank you! It WAS a big step, I felt. Wish you could’ve been there to eat my leftovers, though! 😛

  20. Dana Pinder permalink
    August 18, 2011 6:50 pm

    This salad looks amazing!! I think the hardest thing to get used to about kale is the “curly, krinklely” texture….other than that, I LOVE kale!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 18, 2011 7:05 pm

      Kale was a hard veggie to learn to love, for me…but kale CHIPS are what finally made me like it!

  21. February 15, 2012 10:03 pm

    I was laughing at your pictures. I DETEST kale in raw form. Yuck! I DO have in my greens drink, but I also have apples, carrots, cucumbers, celery, parsley, and often pineapple…so tons of sweet stuff to mask the bitter flavor. There is NOTHING tasty about raw kale. No one will ever convince me otherwise. 🙂 They are good slow-cooked! You look like you have a great time at school.

    • February 16, 2012 9:11 am

      I love that you’re reading all these old posts, Trish! Makes me go back and reread them and relive memories 🙂

      There’s only one way I can handle raw kale…KALE CHIPS. Get ready for a whole chapter of kale chip recipes in my cookbook!

      • February 16, 2012 12:56 pm

        I always like to read about the humble beginnings of any blog. 🙂 I think you really get to know a blogger a bit more personally when you go back to older postings. And watching others grow, evolve, and continue to get better also inspires me to carry on my own ideas and to keep dreaming big. Your chronicles actually make me want to go to raw vegan chef school, lol! Looks like a lot of fun to learn. Can’t wait for the book!

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