Category Archives: Cooking lessons

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! 

 

 

 

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Utilitarian Does Not Mean Boring

This is why those dishes I choose to share here and link to on my FB page lean toward the utilitarian and not the drool-inducing “gourmet” ones, gorgeously illustrated in all those columns/blogs/newsletters that I receive weekly from Splendid Table, Mark Bittman (NYT), etc. My cookbooks lean that way, too.

Of course, those recipes & photos make me sigh with desire. But, sorry, I am not going to run out to the store for artichokes, broccoli rabe, hazelnuts or creme fraiche. So if they call for such ‘fancy’ ingredients, I use them for inspiration instead of following them exactly. 

9764006-spices-and-herbs-in-small-glass-bowls-food-and-cuisine-additivesConsequently, my take on utilitarian has become more broad yet still economical through keeping many spices & herbs on hand and trying different recipes with basics like rice, barley and beans. Whether you’re eating vegan or Paleo, you’ve got to keep it interesting.

See Spice is the Variety of Life blogpost for 8 easy, different rice-based dishes.  Another example: at this week’s Paleo Basics class at Mazopiya Natural Foods Market, I demo’d Moroccan Chermoula paste, a “pesto” of fresh herbs, garlic, lemon, ground cumin & paprika. Then I gave the students samples of it with sauteed collards, with chicken AND as a creamy dressing thickened with avocado. One great condiment equals oodles of combos!

I also stock up on organic, frozen pre-cut veggies from Sno-Pac, a MN company, which I buy wholesale via my Buying Club. (You can do this, too — contact me to find out how.) Having these veggies on hand saves me much time and money, and besides, they’re organic. 

Several dishes in this Delivered Dish of the Week menu cycle is based on this Sno-Pac supply. In general, I hope the dishes described below give you some ideas about cooking basics in versatile ways!  Order here. More about DDoW service.

DDOW MENU FOR FEB 17 – MARCH 24

Feb 17 – 23

Barley Roast Carrot Pilaf  Vegan, soy-free, no added sugars. Contains gluten; you can order Brown Rice for GF option. Simple and hearty, with rosemary.

Super Green Split Pea Soup Vegan, gluten-, soy-free, no added sugars.  Another green soup, it will look like last week’s Kale Yam soup but features split pea & spinach and sports a “meaty” flavor courtesy of smoked paprika.

Feb 25 – Mar 1

Cooked Kasha

Cooked kasha, aka buckwheat groats.

Indian-style Kasha & Cabbage Vegan, gluten-, soy-free, no added sugars. Kasha is a common term for Buckwheat Groats, a gluten-free grain. It’s like an earthy brown rice. Here I flavor it heavily with Indian spices cumin, coriander & mustard seed, and add lightly braised shredded cabbage for sweetness and texture. It’s terrific with spicy roasted almonds. 

4-Jewel Dal w/ Spinach  Vegan, gluten-, soy-free, no added sugars.   A lovely recipe from cookbook queen Madhur Jaffrey that uses a variety of dal legumes including small brown lentils, split yellow lentils and split white pigeon peas. Each adds a slightly different texture.

Mar 3 – 9

Basic garbanzo & veg salad. This week's will have only or mostly cukes. (Photo by Brad Dahlgaard.)

Basic garbanzo & veg salad. This week’s will have only or mostly cukes. (Photo by Brad Dahlgaard.)

Turkish Tomato Wheat-berry Stew   Vegan, soy-free, no added sugars. Contains gluten; choose no wheat-berry for GF option.  Thickened with red lentil dal & eggplant and brightened with fresh mint & parsley. Very popular!

Garbanzo Cuke Salad  Vegan, gluten-, soy-free, no added sugars. A substantial marinated salad flavored with Middle Eastern zatar spice mix and lemon juice. (I got the zatar at Holy Land Deli grocery in NE Mpls, a mecca for interesting spices.)

Mar 10 – 16

Veg & Bean Mole Stew  Vegan, gluten-, soy-free, no added sugars.  Organic red bell peppers & beans dominate this rich concoction. I discovered online a passable, much simplified recipe for mol-eh sauce based on raisins, cacao and tomato paste. I first made it with the kids at the Arboretum Cooking Camps last summer and they liked it.

Quinoa Corn Salad in Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette Vegan, gluten-, soy-free, no added sugars. A light refreshing complement to the hearty mole stew, with organic quinoa and organic sweet corn.

Mar 17 – 23  PALEO WEEK

You can quickly make zucchini 'noodles' with a spiralizer. It's a great pasta substitute.

You can quickly make zucchini ‘noodles’ with a spiralizer. It’s a great pasta substitute.

Carrot Coconut Soup  Vegan, gluten-, soy-free, no added sugars. Thai flavors such as lemongrass & ginger make this basic combo interesting. I was inspired by a pumpkin soup recipe in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Living mini-mag (I think). 

Veggie Noodle Salad in Ginger Peanut Dressing  Vegan, gluten-free, no added sugars; contains soy (tamari). Lovely crunchy No-Carb salad with ‘noodles’ made of carrots, zucchini and daikon, plus bean sprouts, in everybody’s favorite dressing.

Mar 24 – 30

Ruby Barley Vegan, soy-free, no added sugars; contains gluten. A brilliantly hued beets & barley dish from Moskowitz’ Appetite for Reduction vegan cookbook.

Black Bean Veg Salad Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, no added sugars. Spiked with citrus & crunchy veg to complement the earthy & soft barley dish.

 

Classy Kale

Right now I’m teaching classes which highlight fresh kale in ‘classy’ ways.

Here are photos from a free cooking class I led at Baker Community Center in Westside St Paul on Feb 1st. With the help of young volunteers, I threw together 2 easy healthful salads: Kale Salad in Avocado Dressing and Asian Veggie “Pasta” in Ginger Peanut Dressing. 

I made a Kale salad with Tahini dressing at a class last Friday and am reprising the Kale Avocado Salad in another one this Tues at Mazopiya Natural Foods Market in Prior Lake. I’ll report on that session later this week.

The fresh kale leaves are vigorously massaged with chunks of avocado and a little balsamic vinaigrette, then left to marinate a bit. Think Swedish massage. Really work it like stiff clay. Treating the greens this way wilts them down, reduces the bitterness and permeates sauce into every leaf. Besides, the more compacted the greens, the more you end up eating. You can use prepared guacamole, too. But, either way, be prepared to get your hands all goopy!

At Baker, I also showed folks how to use a Spiralizer gizmo, with which you can crank (literally) out long noodles’, “corkscrews” and thin slices from many veggies & fruits!  We made zucchini & carrot noodles for a carb-less salad, Asian style. The texture of the zucchini is like a slightly crunchy noodle. When I programmed a Zucchini “Linguine” in fresh tomato salsa for Delivered Dish of the Week (DDoW), several clients thought they were eating real pasta.

This gadget is a boon to anybody who wants to get more veggies into their diet — that’s everybody — and especially useful if you are trying out a Paleo, vegan or raw diet. It just makes it more fun. You could do apples and pear noodles like my nephew & niece; or try root veg curly fries and root veg chips. It’s inexpensive and available on Amazon.com.

 

Summer Cooking Camps & Classes!

Yet more opportunities for me to brandish knives in public! (As if I need any excuse).

Thumbs up for beet green roll-ups with vegan ranch dressing!  (photo Brad Dahlgaard)

Thumbs up for beet green roll-ups with vegan ranch dressing! (photo Brad Dahlgaard)

Firstly, I’ve been hired as the instructor for this summer’s Children’s Cooking Camps at the MN Landscape Arboretum. The sessions are on Fridays from June 12 – Aug 23. Morning sessions for 2nd – 4th graders and afternoon sessions for 5th – 8th graders.  You can sign up for just one, or up to all six Fridays.

Each week features a different topic from Veggie Fritters and Garden Surprise to Pudding and Chocolate. Kids will make 2-3 dishes each day and take a bit home to share with you. We will harvest herbs & veg from the big Children’s Garden outside the Learning Center. And, I will be including vegan & gluten-free dishes in the mix. Hawaiian coconut cream pudding, anybody?

See Arboretum Day Camp list; click on an age group for descriptions and schedules .

 

Show and tell with samples of whole grains (me on the right). (Photo Brad Dahlgaard).

Show and tell with samples of whole grains. (Photo Brad Dahlgaard).

Secondly, I am teaching 2 classes at Valley Natural Foods Co-op in Burnsville: “Gung Ho for Grains” on Wed Jul 31 6pm – 8.30pm, and “Summery Bean Salads” on Wed Aug 21 6pm – 8.30pm.  These hands-on classes are FREE to co-op members and $5 for non-members. What a deal! (Seriously, the usual fee is $35+).

These sessions are all about taking advantage of the bulk grains & beans on offer at the co-op. They’re good for our bodies and for our pocketbooks. You’ll get to sample several kinds of each, and make 4 different dishes, plus recipes and samples to take home.

 

 

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

My show ‘n tell box. How many can you identify? Which row has the gluten-free grains?

Here’s part of the description blurb:  Discover the versatility of whole grains and the ease of incorporating them into many different dishes. From breakfast puddings to chopped salads and interesting pilafs, making whole grains a part of your diet is healthy and easy.

Register Online for Classes at Valley Natural Foods Co-op.  More about Education at Valley Natural Foods Co-op.   FYI, I’ll be teaching another class in late Sept, too.

 

Finally, I do teach private customized classes in people’s homes, for adults and children. So if you can’t sign up for one of these camps or classes, consider hosting one for yourself and 3 friends. You get to hang out together while learning a TON about cooking in 3-4 hrs. Or, organize a special play date for your kids, and sit back and relax with iced tea while we snip, chop and stir.

Contact me at onedishatatime@me.com to find out about my availability for private lessons!

 

 

 

 

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?

 

Decisions, Decisions!

I’m working on March’s menus for Delivered Dish of the Week and having a hard time choosing only eight dishes! I guess I’ll move some into April, then.

My process is the same as how you might plan meals at home.

First, I look at what bulk items I have in stock and want to use up: garbanzo beans, fava beans, oat groats & barley, brown rice, quinoa, tofu and TVP; left-over beets, frozen organic green beans and butternut squash. I note that I haven’t featured collards or carrots in a while.

Second, I come up with a list of dishes that include those. Here I take care to choose a wide variety of flavors, balance the carbs between whole grains, beans and root veg, and balance cold dishes with hotThirdI make sure vegetables are in all dishes. Some dishes are heavy on protein (beans), some are heavy on carbs, and some are mostly vegetable (therefore, paleo-friendly). 

Must-buy "Mediterranean Fresh" by Joyce Goldstein

Must-buy “Mediterranean Fresh” by Joyce Goldstein

Right now I find scads of inspiration from the drool-worthy and incredibly useful cookbook Mediterranean Fresh: A Compendium of One-Plate Salad Meals and Mix-and-Match Dressings, by Joyce Goldstein. I want to eat every single thing in it!  In fact, the mix-and-match method is exactly how I cook and eat. And, I adore her repertoire of Italian, Spanish, Tunisian, Moroccan, Turkish and French dishes. They are intense and authentic. Her Moroccan Chermoula Dressing has become a staple, and is reprinted on my Recipe page.

My cooking lesson students learn this mix-and-match method hands-on. For instance, with just brown rice, a pantry of spices & herbs, plus a few vegetables and/or beans, you could make a different hearty rice dish every night of the week (and still not have exhausted the possibilities).  See Nov 2012 post “Spice is the Variety of Life” for details.

How else would I be able to come up with 24 different vegan dishes for a 3-month seasonal menu?

OK, so back to March menu options list. It includes some of my tried-and-true, and recipes from Goldstein.

Blanched Carrot & Kale Salad in Orange Ginger Vinaigrette. Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free.

Blanched Carrot & Kale Salad in Orange Ginger Vinaigrette (my recipe). Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free.

  • Garbanzo, Peppers & Capers salad w/ spicy Harissa dressing  GF, V
  • Fava bean Zahlouk Salad (cauliflower, chermoula, moroccan olives) — a rice version was FAB. GF, V
  • Potato, Cauliflower & Artichoke Salad w/ Harissa dressing  P, GF, V
  • Potato & Green Bean Salad w/ Lemony Horseradish Vinaigrette  P, GF, V
  • Curried Barley/Oat Groat & Veg Salad w/ craisins (very popular)  V
  • Quinoa, Carrot & Kale Salad w/ Citrus Ginger dressing (see Recipe pageGF, V
  • Hearty Kale Salad (avocados + Tahini dressing) — Superfood Kitchen by Julie Morris  P, GF, V
  • Jambalaya w/ spiced TVP, Garbanzo and peppers  GF, V
  • Butternut Fava Bean Thai Curry  GF, V  
  • West African Mafe Stew w/ beans, turnip greens (tomato & peanut butter sauce)   P,GF, V

    Chicken Mafe Stew w/ Spinach. Sub beans for meat.

    Chicken & Sweet Potato Mafe Stew w/ Spinach. Sub beans for meat.

  • Braised Collards w/ Raisins & Butternut Squash  P,GF, V
  • Beets w/ either Harissa or Tarator dressing (tahini + nuts)   P, GF, V
  • Cauliflower Squash Red Lentil Soup — thanks Denise!   P, GF, V
  • Green Parsnip Soup  — b/c I love it   P, GF, V 

    And then there’s the Paleo list featuring animal protein: 

  • Corned Beef and Roasted Cabbage P, GF, V
  • Cauliflower, Collards & Bacon (pasture-fed)  P, GF, V
  • Sweet Potato Frittata  P, GF, V
  • Salad Nicoise w/ tuna mayo dressing P, GF, V   (first ate ‘tonnato” sauce on cold beef in Florence, sigh….)


P = Paleo-friendly, ie no grains or beans
GF = Gluten-free
V = Vegan

See what I mean?!  Decisions, decisions….!

Cooking Classes at Valley Natural Foods Co-op

I’m teaching 2 classes on easy vegetarian meals at Valley Natural Foods Co-op in Burnsville in the next 5 weeks. 

Both are hands-on. This means bring your own knife and be prepared to get busy! You’ll take home samples of each dish we make. All dishes are vegan (dairy-free), gluten-free, soy-free, with no added sugars and no processed carbs. Just veggies, legumes and lots of flavor! 

CLASS #1: This Thursday, Feb 21, 2013, 6:30-8:30pm: Beets and Lentils. $26-30.

We’ll make 4 different dishes using the same ingredients. All are easy to make, full of nutrition and keep for a week+.  Roast Ratatouille Provencal; Beet Carrot Slaw; Roast Beet & Lentil Salad; Eggplant & Lentil Saute.

Roast Beet & Lentil Salad in Balsamic Vinaigrette (photo by Alicea Rose Photography). Vegan & Gluten-free.

Roast Beet & Lentil Salad in Balsamic Vinaigrette (photo by Alicea Rose Photography). Vegan & Gluten-free.

CLASS #2: Thursday, Mar 21, 2013, 6:30-8:30pm: Beans & Greens. $26-30. 
Basic White Bean & Greens Cassoulet; Beans & Greens Bruschetta; Braised Kale or Collards with Red Peppers & Raisins; Sauteed Garlicky Turnip Greens with cherry tomatoes OR Wilted Kale Salad w/ Tahini Dressing.  All these are beloved staples of my Delivered Dish of the Week and Catering menu.

This price is a STEAL for 2 hours of instruction and $15 worth of food to take home!  Sign up here!  Send your spouse, your “I’m a vegetarian now” high-schooler, your colleague who’s embarked on a no-dairy or no-sugar diet…. Tell your peeps in the southern burbs! 

PS: if you want to make Beans & Greens on your own, see my Recipes for a couple variations.