Category Archives: Catering

Movin’ On Up to April Menus

Moving on from March, here’s the online order form for DDoW April 2015. Please go to the DDoW Order page, scroll down to the embedded form and fill out what you’d like. Here’s a quickie summary of what’s cookin’.

April 6 -10th
1) Organic Tempeh & Stir-fried Shredded Potatoes in Black Bean Sauce (v gf)
2) Sesame-seasoned Organic Brown Rice & Bok Choy (v gf)

April 13-17th
1) Organic White Bean & Kale Soup with Sage (v gf)
2) Organic Quinoa, Red Bell Pepper & Cuke Salad in Dill Dijon Vinaigrette (v gf)

April 20-24th
1) Caribbean Coconut Curry of Organic Lentils & Plantains (v gf)
2) Organic Millet & Spinach (organic) Pilaf (v gf)

Roast Beets & Cabbage Salad (my photo).

Roast Beets & Cabbage Salad (my photo).

April 27 -May 1st
1) Organic Chickpea & Barley w/ Kalamata Olives (v, not gf)
2) Roast Beet & Fresh Cabbage Salad in Horseradish Vinaigrette (v gf). An antioxidant powerhouse. Bam!

 

 

And, We’re Movin’ On Up

I am moving to a new house in St Paul !  Please note my new home & business address effective April 20th: 620 Desnoyer Ave, St Paul 55104. [One Dish at A Time’s base of operations remains at GIA Kitchen.]  Well, there are no sofas but I do have a fabulous new dining table and cool chairs. I have my priorities, you know.

Other “Moves”:

  • Just taught a community ed cooking class titled “Power Up with Beans & Greens”. The students and I made 5 dishes. They took home lots of practical tips, several recipes and food samples to share. One student wrote:

    “It was a great class. I’m already putting some of the principles to work and have been enjoying the dishes I brought home and doing interesting things with them. I combined the white beans and kale dish with chicken broth and cut-up chicken — it was delicious. “

  • I’m scheduling private cooking lessons with a new cooking coaching client to help her adjust to a vegan diet. More about my lessons.

  • I’m currently planning menus for catering gigs in May, including an engagement party, a graduation picnic and a volunteer dinner.

    I’m available for more catering this summer, so please kindly refer me to your social networks! 

 

 

 

See Me, Feel Me

The thing about food, is, you have to try before you buy, right? So I hand out samples at quite a few events (see previous post). It’s how I meet many clients and contacts and just plain interesting folk. I tend to do community events — which is part of my community nutrition mission — but sometimes I’ll break out, such as at last Friday’s Wedding & Wellness event at Ambiente Gallerie in NE Mpls.   Here are a few pics of my exhibit table.

Expo Table w/ samples

There were a variety of vendors from make-up & hair services, massage to and body wraps, nutritional supplements and wedding DJ.

The one other caterer, Crave (the local restaurant chain), brought BLT cream puffs and truffle pops. Very pretty, exactly what I expected. (Not enough filling in the cream puffs though.)

Positioning myself as a Caterer specializing in vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free food, I had brought Green Olive Polenta Squares (gluten-free) and Curried Leek Soup shooters (vegan + GF).  In bio-degradable compostable cups.  Ok, not as sexy. I’m ok w/ that.

VIVE LA DIFFERENCE! 

Shooters of Chilled Curried Leek & Celery Soup with Fennel Pistou (vegan, gf).

Chilled Curried Leek & Celery Soup with Fennel Pistou (vegan, gf).

Samples of Green Olive Polenta Squares (Gluten-free appetizer)

Green Olive Polenta Squares (Gluten-free app)

Some folks seemed wary of the literal greenness of the soup.  “What IS that? … Oh.” [nervous smile].  It kills me how some people are so timid? fearful? anxious? about trying new tastes. If you don’t like it, that is OK!  That’s what the garbage can is for.

I also displayed my Whole Grain & Bean Tool Kit, which I bring to all my private and community cooking classes, as well as to some demos. These dried beans and grains are all readily available in the Twin Cities, particularly from the bulk aisles at co-ops and grocery stores.

 

My show 'n tell box. How many can you identify?

My show ‘n tell box. How many can you identify?

 

Upcoming Sampling & Catering

GETTING OUT & ABOUT

Art Fair at Swede Hollow Park, St Paul (photo Brad Griffith)

Art Fair at Swede Hollow Park, St Paul (photo Brad Griffith). My tent was right behind the music stage.

During Art in the Hollow Festival on June 1st, my stalwart demo dish, Firecracker Slaw, converted more skeptics to raw beets in salad. Ha! Mainly, I just want to share this photo of Swede Hollow park all decked out.

Sat June 15th:  Aunty Oxidant will be demoing with samples at the MN Horticultural Society’s Open House. 9am-1pm @ 2705 Lincoln Drive, Roseville (just north of Cty Rd C). Plant sale, master gardeners, crepe truck, coffee… a perfect morning.  I’ll bring Minty Radish Salad, made with farmers market veg and fresh spearmint. 

Ambiente Gallerie with privacy pods down.

Ambiente Gallerie with privacy pods down.

Ambiente Gallerie's "boomerang" doors.

Ambiente Gallerie with privacy pods up, view of side “boomerang” doors.

Fri June 21st: I’ll be one of two caterers handing out samples at a Wedding & Wellness Expo at Ambiente Gallerie, a chic, unique office, gallery & event venue in NE Mpls.  6pm – 9pm @ 505 1st Ave NE, Minneapolis, smack next door to the Red Stag. I catered a large gathering in this striking architectural space in May.

The Wellness & Wedding theme is a good fit for One Dish, since I specialize in tasty wholesome food that just happens to be healthful! In particular, I offer lots of vegan and gluten-free options. I think it’s safe to say many caterers do not.

In fact, I am catering a 200-guest wedding reception dinner next month, as well as a smaller BBQ in a couple weeks. Both clients want to make sure there will be good food for all their guests, from the vegans to the meat-lovers and those in between!

By the way, the wedding meal will feature a smorgasbord of desserts brought by the couple’s family & friends. This is a brilliant, practical solution to the “my big fat wedding cake” dilemma. Seems more couples these days want both more variety and a better bang-for-buck dessert than one expensive monolithic cake.

Next post:  Cooking Classes for Adults, Kids and Launchpad Young Adults.

Spring Cleaning

I’m inordinately excited to announce that I have just begun to give all my kitchen scraps to Lost Boys Acre, a small one-acre organic veg & poultry farm in New Brighton!!  On Thu I gave a very large trash bag full of DDoW leek, beet, cabbage and carrot bits plus some old millet.

Old wilting scraps are ok too, said Lost Boys’ Kristie Kellis. In fact, there’s pretty much nothing that these descendants of dinosaurs won’t eat — yes, they do love chicken, and moldy cheese, apparently, too. What little they won’t eat goes into compost for the veg farm.

So, I am going to clean out the cupboards and frig at home with the happy knowledge that all that old past-due stuff will go to good use. The chickpea flour I got 3? 4? yrs ago and never used. The 2 yr-old chocolate chips. The mystery pilaf in the back of the frig. Maybe even the stale old spices?   And, of course, odds & ends in the cooler at GIA Kitchen, like sprouted fava beans and really old soup.

Here’s a pic of my happy “customers”. The more green matter they eat, the richer and more orange the egg yolks. Which I will see for myself, b/c I’ll get eggs in barter. Mmmmmm. 

Jake the turkey and girls at Lost Boys Acre farm (photo by Lost Boys Acre).

Jake the turkey and girls at Lost Boys Acre farm (photo by Lost Boys Acre).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Beet Soup (my photo)

Beautiful Beet Soup (my photo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the very same day, I had a small catering job for a training session by MN Interfaith Power & Light, a local group working for climate justice. I gave them 10 quarts each of Gingery Beet Soup and Quinoa Fennel Carrot Salad in Dill Vinaigrette (the dishes of the week) plus gluten-free crackers and 2 bags of organic apples (which I get at wholesale cost). They provided bread & butter and beverages. Voila! A healthful, light and flavorsome meal for 20 at a reasonable price ($10/each). Vegan, paleo & GF, too.

I heard these environmentalists enjoyed my dinner. I know will be very pleased to hear about my relationship with Lost Boys Acre!

I am getting more such calls to deliver meals to board retreats, workshops, staff trainings, etc. People cannot brainstorm and strategize productively — nor study, nor work — if they’re hungry and tired. I’m on a board of directors, I should know. God forbid you ask me to review financial spreadsheets at 6.30pm, after a full work day.  Cheese-laden pizza? That’s just bread for dinner. That’s not dinner!

Adding napa cabbage last to simmering beets and leeks. I subbed potatoes for parsnips. (my photo).

Adding napa cabbage last to simmering beets and leeks. I subbed potatoes for parsnips. (my photo).

Speaking of spring cleaning, this Gingery Beet Soup, like all beet soups, will really ‘clean’ you out. In the good sense!  Plus, it is an extremely “clean” soup, as it contained a very small amount of olive oil and a very large amount of vegetables. The recipe is from one of my new cookbooks, “Love Soup” by Anna Thomas. It’s very easy to make, keeps well and, you can eat hot or cold. I enjoyed it both ways this past week. Cold soup was very refreshing on an 80F day.

 

 

Designing with Food and Plants

This past Tue I was fortunate enough to meet the force of nature that is Richard Moody, local go-to fashion maven and man about town. I provided a light repast for the monthly meet & greet of the Twin Cities’ chapter of Fashion Group Int’l, a design networking association. Richard serves on its board.

FGI event 4-16-13 at Phillips Garden.

Guests at FGI “Kick Off Your Heels and Come Into the Garden”  4-16-13. I’m way in the back, top left. Richard in green teeshirt is in front of me and Matt is next to him. Photo by Phillips Garden.

He brought the event to the gorgeous tropical-industrial office of Phillips Garden, winner of Minnesota Monthly magazine’s 2012 Best of the Twin Cities – Landscaping award, in the heart of Mpls’ Phillips neighborhood. [Full disclosure: I’ve been a close friend of Matt the general manager at Phillips for decades.]

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The brightly colored marinated salads, full of oranges, reds and greens, perfectly complemented Phillips’ incredible table display. Photo by Phillips Garden.

Guests enjoyed some lovely herb-infused wine (courtesy of Phillips) and the gluten-free whole-foods spread I brought:  Kalamata Olive Polenta Squares, Roast Sweet Potato & Black Bean Salad in Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette, SuperFood Slaw in Grapefruit Ginger Vinaigrette, roast almonds, gluten-free crackers and fresh organic Pink Lady apples and navel oranges. I chose not to serve sweets or cookies this time. Feel free to use this menu for your next party!

Until I figure out how to snatch pix from Instagram, for close-ups of dishes, see Richard’s http://instagram.com/p/YLyfS8wXNX/  and  http://instagram.com/p/YLs5Q7QXGZ/ .

Incredibly lush, and partially edible table display. See how many edibles you can spot.

Incredibly lush, and partially edible table display. See how many edibles you can spot. Photo by Phillips Garden.

Phillips Garden staff discussed their aesthetic, their design process, and how its business is based on listening carefully to its clients. They also talked about how to bring the garden inside your home with terrariums and using herbs & veggies decoratively indoors, as well as in outdoor landscaping.

In fact, Phillips Garden and I make a great team. We share an aesthetic of ‘clean’, high-contrast and sustainable creations. We’re not into masking with embellishment, which often devolves into kitsch. (Sugar, cheese, and creamy dressings & sauces can all mask flavors & textures).

Tracy presenting at Phillips Garden 4-16-13.

Tracy presenting at Phillips Garden 4-16-13.

When it was my turn to talk about One Dish at A Time, I related my mission to connect people to real food, my whole-foods & 5-senses aesthetic, and how I customize for clients with different needs. Since the theme was a look forward into summer, I recommended marinated salads as the perfect summer meal — fresh, locally available, inexpensive ingredients in endless combinations that are easy to make in bulk for the whole week. (Easy, that is, if you maintain a sharp knife. See below.)

Pretty in Pink: assembled salad of sliced cauliflower, cooked beets, kohlrabi that was marinated with beet, and albacore tuna, on romaine/spinach, with fresh mint vinaigrette. Any vinaigrette will do.

Pretty in Pink: assembled salad of raw cauliflower, sliced cooked beets, kohlrabi marinated with beets and albacore tuna, on bed of romaine & spinach, drizzled with fresh mint vinaigrette (any vinaigrette will do.)

Designing with Food.  Every time you make a meal or a dish, you are designing.  What results depends on your goal and priorities: ease, quickness, comforting vs “new” tastes, nutritional value, and purpose (family dinner vs cocktail party). We’re not on a reality TV show, so don’t worry about being judged harshly.

For FGI, I started with a goal of serving a healthful, light meal that is all gluten-free and mostly vegan, and, not too much work. 

 

My design tool box consists of 

  1. Whole (unprocessed) foods: beans, grains, tubers, veggies, meats, nuts, fruits and a bit of dairy. Butter & small amounts of good cheese to enhance, but not to take main stage. Same with cream and sugars. (That’s what desserts are for.)
  2. Palette of flavor, texture, color and seasonality. Velvety polenta and a crunchy slaw. Soft sweet potatoes, black beans and crisp bell peppers all spiked with tart lime juice offers sweet and savory in the same bite.  Deep green kale and bright orange carrot.
  3. Nutritional factors: total complementary proteins, complex carbs, fiber, and good fats. Lots and lots of fiber.
Another marinated salad, Broccoli Edamame Salad, paired with Sesame Roasted Eggplant & Black Rice. (my photo)

Another marinated salad, Broccoli Edamame Salad, paired with Sesame Roasted Eggplant & Black Rice. (my photo)

The great thing about whole foods is that which pleases all our 5 senses also happens to be the most nutritious!  So just go for the color and texture and it will be fine.

 

I also talked about my literal tool box: sharp knives and wide wok spatulas (to toss those marinated salads). Brandishing my $5 Asian chef’s knife, I sliced a raw beet very thinly and peeled a grapefruit. Then, I told everybody to take those cheap coarse-grained tubular sharpeners that come in the block sets and STICK ’em… in the ground as stakes for straggly seedlings. Or tents. More about knives and sharpener recommendations in my post “Tools Make the Man (Person)”.

Aunty Oxidant and friends at Moving Planet 9-24-11

Demoing slaw at Moving Planet event 9-24-11

To see these me in action with knives, sharpeners and boldly colored vegetables, come to the Brooklyn Center EarthFest this Sat, 1-4pm, at Brooklyn Center High School; and at East-Side St Paul Neighborhood Green Fair on April 27, 12-4pm outside City Academy school.  I’ll be demoing and handing out samples of my famous superfood Firecracker Slaw (see recipe). More on my community demos.

Thanks again to Richard Moody & Hazel Matthys of FGI-Mpls and to Phillips Garden for a lovely evening. That greenery is balm for the soul — especially now that it’s snowing again.

Four Weeks of Flavors

Finally!  Delivered Dish of the Week Menus April 15 – May 10
Go straight to Order Form

Thai Green Beans (photo by Brad Dahlgaard)

Marinated Green Beans Salad (photo by Brad Dahlgaard)

April 15 – 20
Creamy Lentil & Mushroom Soup  GF, V, contains tofu
I
might sneak some kale in there, you know I can’t help myself.

Greek-Style Green Beans & Rice
 P, V, GF, SF
Green beans in a garlic-tomato confit with rice. Adapted from Crescent Dragonwagon’s “Bean for Bean: A Cookbook”. Who doesn’t want a name like that?

Carrot Radish Salad in Citrus Cinnamon Vinaigrette

Carrot Radish Salad in Moroccan Orange Vinaigrette

April 22 – 27
Tart Pan-Roasted Chickpeas with Black Olives & Barley  V, SF   (Barley is optional for GF)  Recipe from Lynne Rossetto Kasper, Splendid Table. She says serve this with a salad of arugula, oranges & red onion. Yes ma’am!

Carrot, Radish & Arugula Salad in Moroccan Orange Vinaigrette   P, VGF, SF   Daikon, the white strips in the photo at right, is a mild Asian white radish (resembling a giant carrot) now found in many Twin Cities grocery stores and at Farmers’ Markets in summer. It’s very mild, not peppery at all. A kid-friendly source of fiber.

April 29 – May 4
Deconstructed California Roll Salad   VGF, SF
I’m pretending it’s summer. This is exactly what you think: layers of sushi rice, pickled ginger, crunchy cukes, creamy avocado and nori strips. You supply the wasabi.

Super Slaw in Sesame Dressing  P, VGF, SF
Lots of crunchy cabbage, kale, carrots, radish, possibly apples. If I can think of a complementary protein source, I’ll add it.

May 6 – 11
Potato & Cauliflower Salad w/ Harissa dressing  
P, V, GF, SF
Harissa is an intense, addictive paste of peppers. I’ll try to make it mild-medium. Recipe from “Mediterranean Fresh” by Joyce Goldstein, to which I’ll add celery. See ‘Decisions Decisions” post for more about this ‘bible’ cookbook.

Black Bean Soup  V, GF, SF

Order here.

NEXT WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS

  • I’ll be serving up apps, talking about what goes best with grilled foods and brandishing knives at an FGI designers networking event being hosted by the award-winning landscaping design firm Phillips Garden in Mpls. We’re pretending it’s summer, too. 
  • Come find AUNTY OXIDANT at the Brooklyn Center EarthFest on Sat April 20th! I’ll be demoing and handing out SuperFood Slaw. Brandishing knives, of course. 1pm – 4pm at Brooklyn Center High School, https://www.facebook.com/BrooklynCenterEarthFest
  • If you attend Urban Arts Academy’s silent auction gala or We Can Grow Earth Day fundraiser at Hazel’s Northeast, you might see a gift certificate from One Dish up for bids!  You could go home with a private cooking lesson for 4 !  Better yet, get your friend to bid on it and then invite you.

Equipment Envy

Paella for a crowd is made easy by renting a pan with its own gas burner & stand from Kitchen Window.

Paella for a crowd is made easy by renting a pan with its own gas burner & stand from Kitchen Window.

Did you know you can rent a proper extra-large Paella pan with its own gas range & stand from Kitchen Window in Minneapolis!  Is that cool, or what?! This pan is the size of a large garbage can lid and, in fact, is the smaller of two available for rent.

The pan is a dream — a huge, flat, shallow surface with a powerful double-ring gas burner and three-legged stand. Just think of all the greens I could saute in that thing.

A crowd-pleasing Gluten-Free entree that you can customize for vegans and carnivores alike.

Paella is a crowd-pleasing Gluten-Free entree that you can customize for vegans and carnivores alike.

I had the opportunity to play with it at a recent holiday party at which I helped. Spanish paella was the featured dish; the recipe was from The Barefoot Contessa and included beef, chicken, chorizo, mussels, shrimp and calamari. It turned out great.

Please note that paella is a gluten-free, dairy-free crowd-pleaser that can be easily customized for vegans and pescatarians too. It’s not difficult to make but is time-consuming in that you have to tend it, like risotto.

Which is exactly why the host hired me, freeing him to tend to his guests instead. This party was an instance of my “partial catering service”, which can include anything from providing food to just helping in the kitchen. I cooked the paella, made one of my chopped salads, finished other courses the host had begun, served guests and, most importantly, did all the dishes.

In conclusion, I would certainly recommend renting this pan for your next large party, with or without me in tow.

Back to paella. It’s one of dozens of satisfying gluten-free, dairy-free rice dishes that you can easily whip up with whatever is in your kitchen, just by varying the spices. I’d add beans, TVP or tempeh for a nourishing one-pot vegetarian meal. Crisp cubes of pan-fried tofu would be nice. Last month, Jamaican Jerk Rice & Beans was featured for Delivered Dish of the Week; for New Year’s Day it’s Hoppin’ John; and next month I’ll serve up Indonesian Nasi Goreng.

See previous post “Spice is the Variety of Life” for more on rice dishes from around the world.