I hosted my very first culinary class, Intro to Raw, this past weekend and was overwhelmed by the level of enthusiasm and excitement for preparing easy, raw vegan meals. Sixteen students had the opportunity to learn the basics of raw food including the techniques, equipment, pantry staples and easy recipes to master in the kitchen. Students were greeted upon arrival with a superfood smoothie. We first discussed what it means to live a raw vegan lifestyle, defining the differences between raw, vegan and living foods, and its wealth of benefits. We also discussed various hot raw topics including soaking, sprouting, fermenting and debunked the common question, “but.. where do you get your protein from?” Our class menu featured cucumber basil soup (which can be made in mere minutes), ceviche, pumpkin seed pesto zucchini noodles, marinara, kale caesar salad, dill dip, apricot kvass, chocolate, key lime tarts and more! The emphasis of the class was on preparing easy meals with few ingredients that don’t require significant time and effort to make. While the Intro to Raw class is an informational culinary class, students were able to actively participate in preparing recipes, learn how to spiralize and experiment with the food processors and high-speed blenders to make raw food. And of course, students were encouraged to come to the class hungry, as all recipes covered were served throughout. Students were also able to take their recipe guides home, which includes all recipes made in the class in addition to others to try in their own kitchens. I can’t wait to hear from the original rawkstars on their journey to eating and creating more plant-based meals!