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105degrees, L1/W3/D3: yogurt & crêpes

November 10, 2010

Happy hump day, everyone! Before I tell you about today’s adventures in raw chef-dom, I want to address a question I’ve been asked by more than a few people recently: “Can you share the recipes you’re making?” The short answer is that no, I can’t share recipes we make in class, as they’re the property of the 105degrees Academy. The extended answer is that no, I can’t share these recipes, BUT I can tell you where you can obtain many of them!

My instructor for Level I at the Academy is, as you know, the highly-acclaimed Russell James. I’ve pointed several of you towards his blog, where many of his periodic updates contain free recipes. You can also sign up for his email newsletter, wherein he often shares exclusive recipes. Coolest of all, though are his e-books and DVDs.

Russell offers an array of raw food e-books covering different styles of cuisine (like Thai and Mexican) as well as popular themes (like holiday recipes and, of course, chocolate!). He even offers an e-book full of recipes that don’t require a dehydrator. And oh yeah, don’t forget about the CHEESE!

5 for 4 eBooks

Russell offers a great deal on his complete series of e-books, and he even sells a printed version of the entire series, organized in a binder and with two free “how-to” DVDs included.

Speaking of, if DVDs are more your style, Russell has an awesome “How To Be Your Own Raw Food Chef” homestudy DVD course! This is really worth checking out—it includes a full-color workbook, high-quality binder, and 10 professionally shot DVD “modules,” teaching you everything from knife skills and mise en place to raw cheese-, bread-, and sushi-making, plus how to develop your own recipes. All the while, Russell keeps a pragmatic eye on practicality for the home cook. Before I took the plunge and enrolled at 105degrees, I was thisclose to purchasing Russell’s DVD course. It’s really an amazing value, and having now learned so much from Russell myself, I would recommend this to anyone out there who’s wishing and yearning to be more knowledgeable and skilled in the art of raw food.

How To Be Your Own Raw Food Chef...& Still Have Time To Eat!

Now! Onto today’s eats and treats. First thing this morning, we took yesterday‘s coconut yogurt out of the dehydrator, where it had cultured overnight.

We whipped it smooth and sweetened it with glugs of honey.

A pile of diced ripe mango provided the perfect palette for big dollops of coconut yogurt and a healthy sprinkle of bee pollen.

I also threw on some fragments of yesterday‘s buckwheat granola…

…as well as just a smattering of crumbled coconut butter, cuz I’m decadent like that.

Fruit + yogurt: so seemingly simple, yet so delightfully enjoyable.

Breakfast is served!

Actually, we weren’t even close to being done with breakfast foods for the day. First, though, we put together a sweet ‘n nutty crust…

…that we pressed into some mini tart pans.

What for? Russell’s famous chocolate torte. After making the silky cacao filling and pouring it over the crusts, we refrigerated these to let them set overnight.

After that, we marinated some mushrooms and wilted some spinach.

Yesterday‘s sweet and savory crêpes had dried overnight…

…as had our eggplant bacon…

…and coconut bacon bits.

Never in my 25 years did I ever dream I’d be the type of person to snack on bacon bits…until I met these raw vegan wonders. I love them!

Where does all this lead? Straight to…Crêpeland!
I am pleased to introduce to you: my sweet & savory crêpe duo.

This mildly-seasoned crêpe wrapper swathed a filling of meaty mushrooms, softened spinach, eggplant bacon shards, and creamy cashew cheese.

Even though I’m not normally drawn to earthy flavors like these, I thought this crêpe was stupendous.

Now let’s flip to the sweet side of things.

My fruity crêpe wrapper swaddled more honey-tinged coconut yogurt, plus plump raspberries and succulent blueberries.

A drizzle of agave and just a fairy-dusting of maple sugar completed the sacchariferous twin.

These sweet & savory crêpes truly yielded the best of both worlds!

38 Comments leave one →
  1. November 10, 2010 7:22 pm

    Raw food is something I’ve always been interested in but nervous to start cooking on my own. It seems hard, even though it’s the simplest stuff. Is that weird? haha I’d love to go to 105 degrees and learn! Very cool 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 11, 2010 2:00 pm

      Raw food is VERY intimidating from an outside perspective – I know exactly what you mean. I used to feel that way myself. But you’re right; when you think about it, at least ingredient/component-wise, it’s the simplest type of cuisine! Don’t be nervous – just start with a few mix ‘n eat dish (Ani Phyo’s recipes are great) and go from there. 🙂

  2. November 10, 2010 7:22 pm

    So much delicious-ness is overwhelming 🙂 I’m beginning to believe that there’s NOTHING you can’t make with a food de-hydrator! Yogurt? Who would’ve thought?! Obviously I’m drawn to the chocolatey goodness in today’s post, but the crepes look heavenly as well.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 11, 2010 2:02 pm

      The possibilities are pretty staggering 🙂 Have you opened up your dehydrator yet?

  3. wolfenstein permalink
    November 10, 2010 7:36 pm

    wow! coconut yogert
    i like it!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 11, 2010 2:02 pm


  4. November 10, 2010 8:15 pm

    Holy moly woman! You are extremely talented!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 11, 2010 2:03 pm

      Aww, thank you! 😀

  5. November 10, 2010 8:16 pm

    everything loooks sooooooo amazing. I just want to eat it all up!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 11, 2010 2:03 pm

      That’s pretty much what I did. 😛

  6. November 10, 2010 9:26 pm

    That fruit and yoghurt bowl looks so divine and refreshing. It also make you an honourary Aussie, because about 9 out of 10 Aussies proclaim mangoes to be their favourite fruit. (Okay, so that’s my statistic, but honestly almost everyone does.)

    I”m also really intrigued by the bee pollen. I spent fifteen minutes at the health food store last week end looking at bee poleen but I chickened out, and when I came home I couldn’t even find any good information about it on the internet. What is it like? Does it taste like much? I’m guessing it’s some sort of superfood?

    P.S. Sorry to bombard you like this, love, but that’s what you get for being so S-M-R-T.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 11, 2010 2:16 pm

      Bee pollen!

      Taste: an acquired one 😛 Start out with just a little, then build up – it’s very strong, to my taste buds. But not unlikeable! There’s some trace of honey flavor, but altogether it’s a different kind of taste, and one that I’m not sure I can explain. I think you should try it. 😉

      Benefits: supposedly, bee pollen contains every nutrient needed to sustain human life, including all 22 amino acids, B-complex vitamins, fatty acids, protein (in fact it’s composed of 40% protein), etc. You’d have to eat massive amounts of it to LIVE off it, but as a supplement to throw in smoothies or sprinkle on yogurt, I think it’s worth buying if the price is right. 🙂

  7. November 10, 2010 9:38 pm

    The combination of yogurt, coconut and mango sounds divine. I’m not sure I’m up to the task of making my own coconut yogurt…but I’m definitely in for some store bought yogurt mixed with shredded coconut, drizzled with honey, served with mango. Wow!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 11, 2010 2:17 pm

      Nothin’ wrong with that! Sounds like an excellent breakfast-on-the-fly to me. 😀

  8. November 10, 2010 9:41 pm

    I want some of that coconut yogurt! I knew some people would be asking about recipes. It all looks so tantalizing!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 11, 2010 2:18 pm

      The coconut yogurt is GREAT! Yet another thing I’ll be making again at home.

  9. November 10, 2010 9:59 pm

    I am tempted by Russell’s DVD course too. We’ll see what pans out for me. I love all his ebooks, I need the cheese one! Just for the garlic bread, lol.

    Everything looks amazing and so decadent for breakfast. Who said raw peeps have to have smoothies all the time?

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 11, 2010 2:19 pm

      Yes, we shall see what pans out 😀 Russell’s cheeses AND garlic bread are probably all individually worth the price of the book, ha.

      Damn straight about raw breakfasts! Not that there’s anything wrong with smoothies (at ALL), but there’s a whole world of options for us outside of them.

  10. November 11, 2010 7:33 am

    Impressive crepes! I’m always so amazed at how flat things are when they come out of the dehydrator. Both look really tasty.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 11, 2010 2:20 pm

      Yeah, the way (and amount) that things shrink in there is always a bit surprising to me. With items that are going to be dehydrated, it’s good to err on the side of too thick/too much.

  11. November 11, 2010 8:10 am

    I’m in awe of all of this! You share such wonderful photos, Amber… make it such a joy to follow your experience!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 11, 2010 2:21 pm

      Thank you Penni dear! I’m so glad you think my photos are good-quality 😀

  12. November 11, 2010 8:36 am

    Count me in as curious about the bee pollen.

    Isn’t it funny how some things are all in the name? For instance, as a happy flesh-eating carnivore, I adore bacon. When I first read about the eggplant bacon, however, I was revolted. I mean, come on! Why are we ruining the eggplant by forcing it to be bacon? Why are we not happy to let the eggplant be eggplant?

    Yes, I was offended on behalf of my pretty purple friend.

    But then I got to thinking about the ways that I prepare eggplant….and a seasoned, smoked slice of eggplant sounds awesome. So I learned that “eggplant bacon” turns me off, and “smoked eggplant” turns me on. Semantics….go figure.

    I think this is partly due to my aversion to things that pretend to be meat but aren’t for the sake of vegetarians who don’t want to give up the cow. It’s my own little hang-up, I know, but the concept bothers me. If you are going to be vegetarian, then be vegetarian and celebrate the multitude of options available to you without resorting to over-processed “meat substitutes.” Perhaps my opinion is of little use, being the omnivore that I am (and will forever be, most likely). But if I’m not asking a nicely marbled ribeye to pretend to be broccoli, why should another deny the broccoli its true birthright?

    Moral of the story, I want to eat that smoked eggplant. All of it. If anyone wants to start a “Save the Eggplants!” movement, just call it eggplant bacon in your letter to me. 😉 hehe

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 11, 2010 4:39 pm

      See my reply to Hannah above for a bit about bee pollen 🙂

      Haha, I understand your bristling at the semantics of some of these things. (Just wait for today’s post: “seafood”! :P) To a point, I agree with you. For example, I’d rather eat seitan piccata than “chik’n” piccata. However, from a linguistic p.o.v., bacon is a little different than chicken. “Bacon” does not necessarily indicate “pork product” – there’s turkey bacon, for example. So in our semantic lexicon, the definition of “bacon” could potentially be as broad as “long thin smoky-tasting slices of something.” Anyway, this eggplant bacon is quite the opposite of an overprocessed meat substitute, and I have a feeling you’d like it!

      Actually, you know, I thought of you on this bacon & cheese day. I couldn’t help but remember your maple bacon cheesecake from awhile back…do I see a raw maple eggplant-bacon “cheeze”cake in your future? 😉

  13. November 11, 2010 10:19 am

    Yummy….I’m hungry, can you send me some of that yogurt and some of those crepes please…lol The food looks awesome!

    To answer your question from yesterday about which cookbook I’m thinking of getting first…I think it will be Ani Phyo’s. Only because I don’t have a high speed blender or dehydrator yet. I have a long list of kitchen toys that I want and need. Maybe I will get one or two of them for Christmas…..hopefully. 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 11, 2010 4:41 pm

      I would if I could! 😀

      I think getting Ani’s first book would be a wise choice. As long as you have a blender (of some sort), a food processor, and a good knife, you’ll be able to make the majority of the recipes in there.

      Maybe Santa’s reading my blog comments! ;P

  14. November 11, 2010 3:04 pm

    Beautiful succulent esculent morsels, food porn at its highest! Bee pollen is wonderful stuff: in those little pellets, they’ve been knocked off the legs of bees as the bees go into the hive. Ethical beekeepers don’t collect every day but only a proportion of the time.

    I love the idea of coconut yogurt – I wish I could learn how to make that (no young cocos in AK though). But probably like my coconut kefir a bit.

    As a smoothie lover above all else, I’d nonetheless love to learn how to make the crepes and eggplant and mushrooms and spinach – yummy veggie mixture, maybe for a meal other than bfast for me.

    All so beautiful as always. Inspirational.

    I may not be able to comment so much for the next few days – have been complained for spending too long on puter while visiting and going out to catch up with old friends so much – but I will catch up when I can.


    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 11, 2010 4:43 pm

      That’s a shame that you don’t have coconut access in AK 😦

      I’m not sure I’d actually eat these crêpes for breakfast either (at least not more than maybe one), but they’re just as fab as a brunch or lunch (or dinner, or midnight snack)…

      Don’t you worry about a thing – take care of you and yours! Connecting and enjoying time with family and friends you don’t often get to see is more important than any blog. 🙂

  15. November 11, 2010 3:35 pm

    Lol. Sacchariferous. That’s a good word. 🙂

    All you food looks gorgeous! With each blog post you inspire me!

    I’d really like to get a better dehydrator so I create a wider variety of foods. My little one just ain’t cutting it. I’m dying for a square one. A BIG, square one. Lol.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 11, 2010 4:44 pm

      Hehe, thanks!

      Excalibur dehydrators really can’t be beat. My only regret is that I didn’t get the full-size 9-tray model.

  16. November 11, 2010 3:43 pm

    I want you to come over and teach me how to make coconut yogurt! That looks like such a tasty breakfast!!

    And your crepes look so pretty! You’re inspiring me to give my dehydrator a little workout soon… 😉

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 11, 2010 4:44 pm

      I wish I could! That’d be fun (and tasty)!

  17. welcome to our wonderland permalink
    November 11, 2010 6:38 pm

    oh MY this post is so yummy looking!!!!! 🙂

    Now i want crepes.!!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 11, 2010 6:39 pm

      Hehe, thanks! 🙂

  18. November 12, 2010 2:54 pm

    I don’t think I’d be able to wait to eat the damn food with it looking that great! I’m assuming they help you learn presentation… I love how the presentation of the foods look. It just makes it all so beautiful. Honestly, food is art.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 12, 2010 3:09 pm

      Waiting is hard, I’ll admit!

      Russell shows us here and there how HE would plate a dish, but it’s largely up to us and our imagination. This crêpe dish, for example, was all me 😀 It’s so gratifying to be allowed to be creative, and to have it come out looking great in the end! Food IS art, for sure.

  19. November 15, 2010 5:43 pm

    I’m struggling to wrap my head around those strips of eggplant bacon.

    The savory crepe looks fabulous!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 15, 2010 6:53 pm

      Haha, it IS pretty wild, huh?

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