Tag Archives: vegetarian

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!






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.

How to Order Delivered Dish of the Week

Important announcements for DDoW! 

1) THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO ORDER ONLINE NOW. The form now will permanently reside here on this website at https://onedish.wordpress.com/dish-of-the-week-club/order/Please note this is a new sub-page under DDoW (part of a new drop-down menu design).

Screen Shot of DDoW online ordering form

Screen Shot of DDoW online ordering form

The shortlink is http://wp.me/PzsP0-kS. You can even bookmark this page! 

Please do not use any old direct links to forms that I sent out previously. These are either disabled or only for Jan menus.

2) The ordering deadline has been moved to SATURDAYS prior to delivery. Submit your order anytime before Sat 10pm and I will send an email confirmation by Sunday.

This week’s deadline has passed. Dishes for next week (Feb 26th):

Mexican posole soup is is usually served with fresh crunchy veg garnish -- like a salad on top of hot soup!

Mexican posole soup is is usually served with fresh crunchy veg garnish — like a salad on top of hot soup!

Mexican Posole Soup, a medium-spicy tomato & pepper-based soup with hominy (whole dried corn kernels), cabbage and cilantro. Terrific and life-giving on cold winter days. Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free.

Roast Butternut Squash & Mayo Coba Beans, a mild, sweet, soft-textured dish. You can find bags of large yellow Maya Coba dried beans in the Hispanic foods aisle of grocery stores. Canned are not available. Native to Latin America and also known as Yellow Canary BeansVegan, gluten-free, soy-free.

Have some lime wedges on hand for these two dishes, and add a dark green veg to round out a hearty winter meal.

4) MARCH MENUS are coming later this week and will feature fava beans and garbanzo beans!

Finally, thanks to all for your patience as I figure out how to properly use Google Forms for online ordering. Recent mix-ups have been resolved. Again, please do not use any old links.

Spice is the Variety of Life

Herbs & spices for sale in Provencal, France. (Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos)

And herbs, too. Basing my weekly offerings on our northern seasonal harvest means, yes, repeatedly using the same seasonal veg  presented in as wide a variety as I can manage. See my blog’s Menu Archive of weekly Delivered Dish of the Week for a list of dishes cooked over past 2 yrs and those dishes coming up. I try hard to keep it interesting and not repeat within 3-4 months.

2 dishes x 10 weeks =30.  Thirty. Different. Vegetarian. Utilitarian. Dishes. And not one pasta among them. (I don’t do pasta or couscous.)


1) By relying on many different spices & herbs versus using many ingredients, which is expensive. I include condiments in this spice category.

2) By relying on the 40-some kinds of whole grains and beans that I have ready access to here.

(Thank you large chain, co-op and ethnic grocery stores in our fair Twin Cities!)

After all, what’s the difference between Cajun dirty rice, Mexican arrozo, Spanish paella, Chinese fried rice, Indian biryani or pulao, Middle Eastern rice pilafs, and Southeast Asian nasi goreng? The spices. Otherwise, they’re all technically the same: gluten-free, dairy-free rice dishes.

So, along with dried herbs & spices, I stock my pantry/refrigerator with interesting, intense condiments from around the world. In particular, sauces, pastes and spice mixes that I can’t or don’t want to make the effort to replicate. These make it very easy to add much variety to your repertoire. (Think curry powder and meat rubs). I don’t use them on top of finished dish, like ketchup atop a plain hotdog. I use them to flavor sauces & marinades for grains, beans, vegetables and meats. More like cooking the hotdog in ketchup & relish.

Romesco Beans ‘n Rice. Romesco is a nut and red pepper-based sauce from Catalan, Spain. (my photo). 

Jamaican Jerk-spiced Millet & Beans  (my photo).

Case in point, I have jerk seasoning mix. Therefore, a dish this week is Jamaican Jerk Beans & Rice.  Counting those examples above, that’s 8 different, cheap rice dishes I can whip together with stuff in my pantry. That’s not even including meals with plain rice, which I do actually make now and then for Chinese/Japanese/Korean entrees.

Then, substitute different whole grains or noodles for rice. Add different kinds of beans and various vegetables — we’re still talking about just the one dish, not even the whole meal. We’re still talking cheap ingredients. We’re not even yet factoring in meats! Now, DO THE MATH. 

You know you know this. I’m just reminding you.  And, since you may be free to use dairy, meat & seafood, you can make an even greater variety  than DDoW offers!


This week, make a trip to a co-op and get tiny bags of spices and herbs from the bulk aisle. This is much cheaper than buying bottles especially if you just want to test-drive a new one. Next, pick up 3 bottles of  sauces/pastes. Besides your local big box, Trader Joe’s and Asian grocery shops are good places for inexpensive and interesting condiments and sauces. Pastes are concentrated and therefore are a better value.

Swad brand Mint Chutney, a tangy mildly spicy Indian condiment. Try this in a sandwich or mix into plain pasta!

In my pantry: 

  • bottled Dijon and grainy mustards
  • tahini and peanut butter (yes, nut butters are a condiment)
  • orange marmalade (also a condiment)
  • bottled lemon and lime juice (must-haves)
  • black molasses (great in marinades, sauces)
  • mixed peppercorns
  • mushroom, veggie, beef & chicken bouillon
  • herb pastes /pestos (see recipe for Cilantro pistou)
  • miso paste
  • pureed ginger paste
  • tomato paste
  • Korean red pepper paste  (sweeter than you’d think)
  • Moroccan Chermoula paste (see recipe)
  • Mint or cilantro chutney sauce

    ground Indian curry and garam masala mixes

    Chinese Black bean sauce

    Chinese hoisin sauce

    • teriyaki sauce
  • Cajun spice mix
  • Jamaican Jerk spice mix (bottled sauce also)Chinese black bean sauce
  • Thai curry pastes (Mae-ploy brand is good-value and has more varieties, while Thai Kitchen brand’s 2 kinds are gluten-free.)
  • mango chutney (a jam, really)
  • Indian mint and cilantro ‘chutneys’ (those tangy green sauces served with samosas)
  • peanut sauce (the one served with Vietnamese egg & spring rolls)
  • sweet chilli sauce (ditto)
  • Tabasco (red & green)
  • Sriracha “Rooster” hot sauce
  • Plus basics to make sauce or soup like veggie broth, chicken broth and coconut milk.

Now, GO FORTH and Multiply … your meals.

“I have my mother who is an Irish-Italian, and my father who is African, so I have the taste buds of an Italian and the spice of an African.” ~ musician Alicia Keys (explains why I like her)

Caribbean Dinner Menu

As mentioned in earlier posts and my weekly email blast, I’m cooking dinner for 175 people this weekend at a church auction event. Many many volunteers will be helping me prep cook, serve, etc. I am shopping like crazy, will hit the farmers market tomorrow morning for collards etc, and then start banging around the church’s big kitchen tomorrow.

The dinner will be mostly vegetarian, gluten- and dairy-free and also low-fat, but far from boring! Guests don’t even notice, and there’s chicken for meat-eaters. Plus, vegetarian fare helps keep costs down for large events.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake is another dessert that's easy to make for a crowd. Mango sauce and whipped cream were optional toppings. Made a Gluten-free version of same cake.


Roast Plaintains w/ Two Dipping Sauces
Raw Veggie Tray w/ Green Onion Dip and Carrot Ginger Spread (both vegan)
Orange Green Olive Cream Cheese & crackers

Jerk Chicken or Tempeh with Sweet Potatoes
Brown Rice Pilaf with Lentils & Caramelized Onions
Sauteed Collards w/ Red Bell Peppers & Raisins
Cabbage Pineapple & Cilantro Slaw

Tropical Fruit Upside Down Cake w/ Mango Ginger Sauce & Whipped Cream
(plus a gluten-free version and a vegan chocolate pudding)

Catering to vegans, vegetarians and gluten-free eaters

I knew it had been a while but how is it possible that I haven’t posted since June??  I will try to make amends.

chicken & peppers, beet & lentil salad meal

Clockwise from bottome: Roast Beet & Lentil Salad in Balsamic; braised chicken in peppers capers & wine broth on wild & brown rice; greens and carrot/jicama/radish salad in grapefruit juice; lemon poppyseed pound cake.


While I will make nearly anything a client wishes — with the exception of things including mini-marshmallows — I try to offer menus with multiple options for vegans and those avoiding gluten.  This means lots of my marinated salads and savory appetizers that don’t depend on cheese.

Lately I have catered graduation parties, wedding brunches, family reunion picnics and political fundraisers. Coming up in Sept is a vegan wedding dinner. Here are some sample menus for you to chew on.

Menu for Keith Ellison’s Birthday Party: farmers’ market veggie tray; creamy vegan curry dip; wasabi dill veggie spread; roquefort green olive cream cheese; baguettes & gluten-free crackers; ginger cilantro quinoa daikon salad; coconut curry chicken chunks; green beans marinated in sesame black-bean dressing.

Menu for Summer Picnic: French lentil & roast beet salad in balsamic dressing; tossed green salad w/ heirloom tomatoes; chicken tenderloins with sesame sage butter; pesto potato salad; vegan chipotle rum baked beans; baguettes; fruit salad.

Low-fat Creamy Dilled Smoked Trout Potato Salad with Green Beans

Menu for Bride’s Luncheon: Low-fat Creamy Dill Smoked Trout & Potato Salad with Marinated Green Beans (vegetarian option has no trout); Tossed Green Salad; Parmesan Polenta Squares; Spicy Carrots & White Beans; Fruit with Chocolate Sauce.