10 Tricks and Tips to Steal From Raw, Vegan "Cooking"

Kelp noodles, cashew cheese, and pistachio-hemp granola: these aren't the typical offerings at the New York City Wine & Food Festival. However, veganism and raw food are hotter than ever, which is why the festival put on Fresh and Raw: A Vegan Dinner last night. Hosted by Matthew Kenney, Daphne Cheng of Suite ThreeOhSix, and Tyler Kord of No. 7 Sub, the dinner gave a whole new meaning to "farm to table." Let these appetizers and dishes be your guide to innovative and exquisite raw dining.

Fold Up Raw Dumplings
Getty | Stephen Lovekin

Fold Up Raw Dumplings

Dumplings can be a pain to make! However, the raw version just takes seconds to assemble. Though this kimchi dumpling used some sort of dehydrated veggie paper, try something easier: thinly slice jicama with a mandoline, fill the center with a veggie-and-nut paté or guacamole, and gather and pinch the edges of the jicama over the top of the paté.

Flavor With Fermentation
Getty | Stephen Lovekin

Flavor With Fermentation

Almost every dish served at the dinner had some sort of fermented component. Fermented vegetables add so much depth of flavor to foods, especially raw, vegan foods. One of the best ways to spice up cucumber slices is to dollop a little gochujang, a Korean chili paste, over the top with a little sliver of apple for sweetness and yellow onion (better yet pickled) for crunch.

Garnish With Edible Flowers
Getty | Stephen Lovekin

Garnish With Edible Flowers

Fresh flowers look great on the table, but edible flowers are even more enjoyable. Whether small buds or colorful petals, the flowers add a bright finish and peppery touch to any dish. These garnished a dehydrated coriander toast with smoked cashew spread.

Make a Smoothie — I Mean Soup
Getty | Stephen Lovekin

Make a Smoothie — I Mean Soup

Smoothie/soup shooters are easy to assemble and fun to knock back at the start of a party. This cantaloupe bisque tasted almost like a smoothie, but it became savory with the addition of pickled cranberry, whipped coconut cream, and shiso leaf.

Go Beyond the Kale Chip
Getty | Stephen Lovekin

Go Beyond the Kale Chip

Kale isn't the only thing you can turn into a chip! Spinach leaves, chard, and even yam leaves (as pictured) can be dehydrated (or lightly oiled and baked if you're not raw).

Explore Crazy Produce
Getty | Stephen Lovekin

Explore Crazy Produce

No, those aren't worms — they're crosne, a crunchy root vegetable that tastes sort of like raw artichoke. These crazy-looking bites are an instant conversation starter.

Forgo the Oats For Hemp in Granola
Anna Monette Roberts

Forgo the Oats For Hemp in Granola

The crosne and mache salad had another delightful crunchy component on the plate: a hemp and pistachio granola. Many people think oats and dried fruit when it comes to granola, but a seed-based granola may be my new favorite way to go.

Call Lettuce Wraps "Enchiladas"
Getty | Stephen Lovekin

Call Lettuce Wraps "Enchiladas"

Part of the creativity of raw cuisine is referring to something healthy (e.g. lettuce wraps) as something that evokes coziness (e.g. enchiladas). People can't help but be more open to what's being served if it's associated with classic dishes.

Two Words: Kelp Noodles
Getty | Stephen Lovekin

Two Words: Kelp Noodles

Discover kelp noodles! They have an awesome al dente texture and ramen-like springiness. When tossed in a creamy nut-based sauce, it's basically like chowing down on spaghetti fettuccine. Lucky for us, the black pepper kelp noodles recipe is online, so you can try it for yourself at home.

Jump on the Chia Seed Bandwagon
Getty | Stephen Lovekin

Jump on the Chia Seed Bandwagon

Chia seeds make delightful "mousse" and otherwise jelly-like desserts. Rehydrate the seeds in juice or coconut or almond milk to experience the jelly goodness. Want to make your dessert even more decadent? The chef paired the paper-thin pear and chia mousse with a ricotta made from blended coconut, chopped coconut, cashew cream, salt, and lemon juice