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105degrees, L1/W2/D4: chocolate chips, Reuben sandwich

November 4, 2010

This morning, I made myself a strawberry-banana-cacao smoothie in my new Tribest Personal Blender before heading off to the Academy.

Remember the savory mini tart shells we prepped Monday and Tuesday? We went to town creating fillings for them.

Rather than follow one of the recipes in our handouts, I opted to invent my own. Since Indian food is probably my favorite cuisine, I created a gobi palak (curried cauliflower and spinach) filling.

I think it turned out well! The filled tarts (and leftover filling, formed into pancakes) went back in the dehydrator, where they’ll firm up into a quiche-like texture. This dish is to be continued!

Next, we finally got to make another sweet treat! (My diet feels very low in desserts right now; sadface.) We blended together cashew and cacao butters with agave and vanilla.

After blending in cacao powder, we poured the mixture into a pan and refrigerated it. You’ll see tomorrow what this chocolate will be turned into!

We took a recess to snack on one of life’s simple pleasures: a Medjool date stuffed with raw cashew butter. YUM.

Then we were right back to the chocolate-making, blending up another cacao mixture and putting it in piping bags to make from-scratch chocolate chips!

I gotta tell you, these were fun to make for a row or two, but after awhile the task turned from novel to tedious. This whole sheet took a good 15-20 minutes to complete. By the end of it, my back and shoulder hurt, and my chips had starting coming out a little demented-looking. Oh well; who needs perfection? This is chocolate!

After what seemed like forever, our piping bags were all emptied, the chips were in the dehydrator, and we were ready to move on. Yesterday, we’d also prepped some rye bread…

…and Swiss cheeze.

The bread had dried and darkened and the cheeze had firmed up by the time we took them out this morning.

We’d trimmed the crusts and cut slices of cheeze, then set them aside for the day.

We’d also marinated and sous-vided some shaved portobello mushrooms this morning.

What for? A Reuben sandwich! Having never had a “real” Reuben, I had no expectations for it, but I was actually a little disturbed at just how much those mushrooms looked like deli meat. ::shudder::

At the end of the day today, we built our sandwiches with the rye bread, Swiss cheeze, mushroom “meat,” some kimchee tossed with cashew sour cream (as the restaurant was out of sauerkraut – thankfully!), and raw Thousand Island dressing.

We plated our Reubens with some more crispy kale chips.

I’m sorry I can’t wax poetic about this one, but seeing how I dislike a) creamy stuff, b) cheezy stuff, and c) sandwiches in general (excepting PB&J, perhaps – I don’t know what to tell you, but sandwiches have just never interested me!), I wasn’t as jazzed to try this as, say, tacos or pizza. So, I donated it to the café staff. Hopefully they enjoyed it!

This Reuben sandwich is a huge hit at the restaurant, though; I’ve heard several of my classmates rave about it. As for me, I happily munched on those kale chips. Nom!

34 Comments leave one →
  1. November 4, 2010 6:00 pm

    Gosh, You look so radiant in your photos! I love that you are posting everything you are doing. I feel like I am there too;)
    I am so hungry!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 5, 2010 7:57 pm

      Aww, yer jus’ sayin’ that 😛 Thank you!

      As much as it feels like I’m posting, everything’s also very much “in a nutshell.” It’s hard to summarize six hours every day!

  2. November 4, 2010 6:10 pm

    I was never a fan of reubens, even cooked vegan ones but I tried a raw one and it was so good! I’d love a bite of yours. Do they ship to Seattle? 😉

    I can see the chocolate chips getting tedious after awhile. But just think of all those arm muscles you are developing just making food!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 5, 2010 7:58 pm

      Ah, if only I could’ve packed up and shipped my Reuben! I would’ve given it to you in a heartbeat! 🙂

      Way to look on the bright side 😛 I may be getting buff making chocolate, haha!

  3. November 4, 2010 6:18 pm

    Wow, I am so hungry too!! I wish I was there! Looks like you are having a yummy blast!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 5, 2010 7:58 pm

      I make MYSELF hungry sometimes with these posts! =X

  4. November 4, 2010 6:24 pm

    I do like pickled-y things (like kimchee and sauerkraut), but I’m not so big on creamy sauces (and have never really understood the American proclivity for thick, rich salad “dressings” like Thousand Island. So I’m still more enamoured with your tacos too 🙂

    And well done with those chocolate chips! I absolutely believe that would’ve been tough going. Ah well, all jobs in this world have their level of tediousness, I think! 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 5, 2010 8:00 pm

      I don’t get it either! It’s anathema to me!

      If piping chocolate chips is as “tedious” as my future career ever gets, I’ll be a lucky woman. 🙂

  5. November 4, 2010 6:35 pm

    I probably wouldn’t be a fan of a real reuben – but yours looks beautiful! raw cooking seems like such a tedious process – I am definitely admiring your hard work and dedication right now.
    That blender looks awesome. Definitely looking into that!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 5, 2010 8:02 pm

      Usually tediousness isn’t the issue, it’s all the advanced planning a lot of raw food requires that is likeliest to trip me up.

      The blender’s great!

  6. Matt permalink
    November 4, 2010 8:11 pm

    That sandwich doesn’t actually look half bad now that I see it. The way you described it sounded gross but I don’t see the gross.

    And you best save some of that chocolate. Mmmmmm…. Yum!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 5, 2010 8:03 pm

      I told you it was something you’d probably like 🙂 Wish you’d been here to eat it!

      You really picked a terrible weekend to be gone…I have tacos, pizza, a mushroom burger, coconut water, and chocolate truffles in my fridge – among other things!

  7. November 5, 2010 6:14 am

    wow! I can’t believe you made your own chocolate chips! So impressive!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 5, 2010 8:07 pm

      I gotta admit, it’s something I never thought I’d do! But I’m so glad I can say now that I have. 🙂

  8. November 5, 2010 7:52 am

    GIRL you so could have sent that sandwich to me!!!! Not even one bite?? You should have tasted a bit. 😦

    Looks like chocolate making can be tedious. Who knew?

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 5, 2010 8:08 pm

      Not even one bite ::hides face:: But if I’d taken a bite, I wouldn’t have been able to give it away. So I decided to be charitable instead. If I could’ve, I would’ve teleported it to you!

  9. November 5, 2010 9:32 am

    I’m trippin on how much those mushrooms look like deli meat. That’s kinda creepy…
    I think your chocolate chips are too cute. My back and shoulders hurt just thinking about doing all that hard work. I bet it will be worth it though when you get to chow down on them. :o)
    Oh, the curried cauliflower and spinach filing looks really yummy!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 5, 2010 8:09 pm

      I KNOW! Seriously, it’s downright unsettling!

      I think chocolate chips are always worth it. 😉

  10. November 5, 2010 11:43 am

    Holy crap all that food looks so good! I want it allll


    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 5, 2010 8:10 pm

      Hehe, thanks!

  11. November 5, 2010 12:43 pm

    um… I don’t even know what to say. The tart? Ok I was thinking YUM and I want one right now. And then the chocolate? And the reuben? Oh! I am so jealous!!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 5, 2010 8:10 pm

      I wish I could share all of it with you! 😀

  12. November 5, 2010 3:15 pm

    I can imagine that making those choc chips would’ve been super-tiring and sore-making. Standing all day in the kitchen can be very tiring in its own right!

    How is that tribest working out?

    The kale chips look just so good. I’ve never had a reuben – did you use real rye to make the bread? Wonder about the cheeze too – I’m with you, I never did like cheese so fake cheese doesn’t have much appeal. As I’ve said to you before, though, I do love raw cream sauces, just not the icky dairy kinds – and maybe you might find the same?


    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 5, 2010 8:14 pm

      Oh, it is, especially having been working a desk job for the past four years. My back and feet have been feeling it!

      The Tribest is doing well. I’ve occasionally found a small chunk of unblended fruit in my smoothie, but I don’t mind a little texture here and there! Actually, I made a raw hummus with it last night, and it was as smooth as could be.

      No real rye in the bread – the dark color comes from the addition of avocado!

      I’m with you; I do enjoy most raw cream sauces, so the “dairy” bit is the sticking point for me in most cases outside of raw food. Icky indeed!

  13. welcome to our wonderland permalink
    November 5, 2010 8:08 pm

    I’ve never eaten a date. I need to try one! 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 5, 2010 8:15 pm

      Oh my goodness, YES, you must! They’re like a fruit snack for adults! 😛

  14. November 5, 2010 9:20 pm

    Oh so tempting! Can I ask you what went into those chocolate chips, or is that confidential information? 😉 So very curious…

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 6, 2010 9:29 pm

      Hehe, sure! I can’t give an exact recipe, but I can tell you it included soaked cashews, maple syrup, cacao powder, vanilla, and salt…though I feel like I’m missing something…if I am, I’ll let you know what that is!

  15. November 6, 2010 9:23 pm

    Oh Wow! I love Indian food too…just made veggie kema last night with mango and pomagranate salad. Choco looks amazing!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 6, 2010 9:30 pm

      Ooh, that sounds way yummy! Was the curry spicy? A hot main dish + a cool fruit salad is a great combo!

  16. November 8, 2010 10:51 am

    I’m enjoying your 105 degrees play-by-play so freaking much! And, everything looks so amazing – I’m about to quit my job and head that way, ha.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 8, 2010 4:39 pm

      I’m so glad to hear that, Callie! Thanks for reading, and I hope you do make it here to 105 someday. 😉

  17. Villo permalink
    November 10, 2010 4:27 am

    Mmmmmm, the food looks amazing and I especially love deli food made raw!!! Great great blog!!! I’m a bit intrigued by the sous-vide technique though, how does it work exactly? It’s a water oven that much I know but do you have to have a separate device to have the food vacuum packaged? And most importantly, is it really raw? It’s the first time I see it used in a raw restaurant.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 10, 2010 8:07 pm

      Thanks, Villo! The sous-vide technique is intriguing indeed. The machine is stainless steel, I believe, and looks like a miniature bathtub. It has a thermometer and temperature regulator at one end, where you can control the exact temp of the water. Once you vacuum seal your package (which does require a separate machine), you toss it in the “bath” and set the temp to 115 degrees – so it does, in fact, preserve the food’s raw state! It’s a pretty impressive device.

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