Category Archives: Demos

New Demo Videos

Check out these little videos!  Thanks to Lane Rapp of Growing West Side, here I am captured for all eternity at last Sat’s cooking demonstration at their “Bean Summit”.

It was a terrifically educational session, starting with a show-and-tell of many kinds of heirloom beans, followed by growing tips from heirloom bean farmer Paula Foreman of Encore Farms, and lastly, my demo, where I made 3 different organic bean dishes (all vegan and gluten-free, no added sugars and no soy, of course).

  1.  Jacob’s Cattle Bean & Veg Salad in Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette
  2. Cassoulet of Black Beans, Green Kale & Cherry Tomatoes in Red Pepper Sauce
  3. Smashed Garlicky Black-eyed Peas with Spinach & Sage (great as bruschetta topping or sandwich filler)
Paula Foreman of Encore Farms on bean irrigation

Paula Foreman of Encore Farms on bean irrigation

Growing West Side’s mission is “Building community by supporting local gardening and sustaining a healthy neighborhood” in St Paul’s funky West Side. Among its many activities, it

  • runs a small Sat morn Farmers Market in the Icy Cup parking lot at corner of George and Stryker Sts, so you can buy veg and eat ice cream simultaneously (very smart);
  • offers free Scarlet Runner bean seeds for “Beans on the Boulevard”, a program to beautify the ‘hood;
  • offers classes on topics from Growing Small Fruit Orchards to Chickens 101;
  • has established a free Seed Library at the Riverside Library on George St.

Another fab organization that offers similar programs & resources in St Paul is Frogtown Gardens in the Frogtown neighborhood that stretches north of University Ave between Lexington and Western Aves. 

 

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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.

 

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.

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.

Aunty Oxidant Coming Near You

Tracy at MPS’ Farm 2 School community BBQ 9-21-12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aunty Oxidant is going to be all over the metro in the next 3 weeks, doing demos and teaching various classes. 

SAMPLING & DEMOS IN OCTOBER:

  • Sat Oct 13th, MN Food Assoc. Harvest Party, Marine-in-St-Croix (near Stillwater)
  • Sat Nov 3rd, GIA Kitchens Food Fair, St Paul.
  • Sat Nov 10th, Resource Fair, Food Allergy Support Group MN (FASGMN), Hopkins
    [Alas, demos at Farmers Markets are over, since the satellite markets will be closing soon. Boo hoo! ]

UPCOMING COOKING CLASSES — REGISTER NOW!

  • Oct-Nov: basics with teens of St Paul East Side Boys & Girls Club, thru Free Arts MN program.
  • Oct 29th, Meatless Monday Garden Supper, at Harvest Moon Co-op, Long Lake.
  • Nov 3rd, Healthful Holiday Sides, at Inver Grove Hts Community & Fitness Center.
  • Nov 7th, Healthful Holiday Sides, Robbinsdale Community Ed at Robbinsdale Middle School.

I’ll be posting more details about these events and classes shortly.

Meanwhile, I just had to share these great photos I received today of me, handing out samples at last month’s Farm 2 School Community BBQ hosted by Mpls Public Schools’ Dept of Culinary & Nutrition Services. (See Sep blog posts.) Since Aunty Oxidant has no sidekick*, I rarely get photos of myself despite doing these events all the time.

Pic #1: prepping samples of Blanched Carrot & Kale Salad in Orange Ginger Vinaigrette. The other tray on left side displayed cups of Roast Ratatouille — on the table is the big tub I had brought.

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

Pic #2: lovely close up of the beautiful, super-food Carrot Kale Salad. A perfect autumn side dish that keeps a week and can be extended w/ beans or quinoa, etc. See Recipe page.

[Thanks to MN Dept of Health and Family Support for the photos!]

 

 

 

 

*I did rope a friend into a sidekick gig once, and had her wear a giant 7 ft corn costume at the farmers’ market. It proved hard for her to hand out samples without knocking people on the head. Note to self: make smaller costumes.