Building Blocks of Delicious, Healthy Cooking

Building Blocks of Delicious, Healthy Cooking is a 3-class series featuring vegetables, whole grains and clean protein. Each class builds on the other, and at the end of the series you’ve gained the knowledge to put quickly prepare tasty, healthful meals with foods you already have on hand.

Eat More Vegetables – Class #1

Eat More Vegetables is the first class of the series. We start with the science behind vegetables and why people don’t eat more.

One reason is because vegetable prep is a lot more fun and easy with a sharp knife, and most knives aren’t sharp. Yes, that’s your knife too! So first we teach knife sharpening skills.

Highlighting vegetables of the season, we also discuss the Secrets of Vegetables, Seasoning Lesson #1 & #2, and how to enhance flavor with caramelization, a scientific process that happens when carbohydrates reach 330F or higher.

Fall Star series features: celery root, parsnip, turnip, sunchoke and rutabega.

We roasted four of the root veggies:

And grilled the sunchokes/ Jerusalem artichokes with Easiest Marinade (equal parts olive oil, balsamic and soy sauce)

Have you ever had a grilled sunchoke? Or jicama for that matter? We discuss grilling unexpected vegetables, any time of year.

We introduce the EZ Seasoning system (think salt and pepper with a college education), and demo a number of seasonal vegetable combinations.

Here’s what we make in the fall class…

A veggie plate for the ages, including roasted and grilled seasonal veggies with Easiest Marinade, Kale Almond Butter Rollups, Watermelon Radish Rollups, Maple Dijon Brussels Sprouts, and Carrots with cumin and mustard seeds, lime and fresh turmeric.

Grains For the Future! – Class #2

The second class in the series features whole grains, and teaches that  grains are what we crave, but most eat them as flour, rather than whole, leading to all kinds of digestion and other problems. Eating whole grains doesn’t even mean a clump of grain-mass on your plate. Class teaches and tastes other options like sprinkling left over grains onto salads,

into smoothies,

and as snacks (here toasted rice cakes topped with Kabocha Squash Spread)

We also introduce overnight oats, the simplest way to eat oatmeal without all the sticky cleanup.

Grains need seasoning help, so class teaches the Condiment Plate, while everyone helps grind homemade Gomasio (sesame seeds and sea salt).

We introduce all the grains to be used in class

the Three Stages of Cooking Grains, the Grain Cooking Chart (from my book Cool Cuisine),

and sample grains that are baked (here quinoa and millet)

boiled like pasta, and cooled on a sheet pan or cutting board for best results (here buckwheat)

and pressure cooked (here hato mugi, emmer and short grain brown rice.)

Some grains can even be eaten raw, which we also do in class (here plain and toasted buckwheat).

Class teaches EZ seasonings, as well as traditional sauces to cover the grains (here Japanese Hot Pot)

Clean Protein – Class #3

The third class in this series, Clean Protein samples plant-based proteins served alone and in combination with animal-based proteins. We feature tofu, seitan and tempeh in combination with the grain and vegetable preparations we learned in class #1 and #2.

marinated tofu on top, plain tempeh on right, seitan bottom left
Farmers Market Quick Curry with Braised Tempeh
Apricot-glazed Tofu and Asparagus

We teach the Blended Burger which replaces up to a 1/3rd of beef with mushrooms and no one can tell the difference!

We also combine animal and vegetable in this dish Sriracha-glazed Beef and Seitan.

We finish glass with a unique dessert, Lentil Brownies, made gluten-free with eggs and avocado.

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