Vegan Class, Thursday July 8th

Thursday morning a great group of women came over to 1508 to talk about vegan food, vegan cooking and then we sat down to eat what we had prepared…while continuing to talk.

Luckily Suzanne was part of the group and took notes to help document the discussion…

As everyone gathered I asked what had drawn them to spend a good part of the day talking about vegan food. The answers were varied but everyone was interested in at least incorporating more vegan food into their diets. This led to a discussion about how each of us needs to determine a way of eating that works for us as individuals. This method of eating needs to take into consideration your metabolism, lifestyle, desires, schedule…Basically each of us needs to determine what feels right.

While preparing and enjoying lunch we talked about, among other things:
-Nutrition, sources of protein (beans, nuts, grains)
-Satisfaction, nut purees were of great interest
-Seasonal Ingredient Driven Food, sources and availability
-Cooking Methods
1. Roast, grapeseed oil, salt and pepper
2. Pickle/Marinate (raw), salt, pepper, acid (vinegar or lemon juice) and oil
3. Boil or Soak (mostly grains or beans), salt and pepper
4. Seasoning, allium, herbs, spices, vinegars and oils
-Processed vegan food and how to avoid
-Sweeteners, vegan sugar, agave nectar, honey, maple syrup, stevia
-Soy how much is good? How much is too much?
-Benefits of coconuts, especially young coconuts
-Setting up a vegan friendly pantry

Beforehand, John helped me prep a bunch of ingredients to facilitate the discussion and the lunch…
Grains (except where noted we cooked one cup of grains with 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt)
Cracked wheat- pour 1 ½ cups hot water over and let sit until absorbed, about 5 minutes
Red lentils- bring to boil take off heat and let sit in water (drain sooner or later depending on desired texture)
Quinoa- cooking time depends on your desired final consistency
Brown rice- bring rice and 1 ½ cups water to boil, cover, turn to simmer, cook for 20 minutes, turn off heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
Farro – cook until soft, about 15 minutes
Barley- cook until soft, about 15 minutes

Nuts (soaked in water for a couple hours and then pureed in Vita Mix Blender)

Seeds (made into dressings)
pumpkin seed dressing
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons water
½ teaspoon salt

sesame dressing
½ cup tahini
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt

Tomato, Fava Beans, English Pea, Sno Peas, Pea Shoots, Fennel, Leeks, Baby Beet with Greens, Carrots, Cucumbers, Purple and Yukon Gold Potatoes, Kohlrabi

While talking Thursday morning we prepared:
-walnut whole wheat bread, follow this link to a blog post I wrote about bread...the last paragraph has a recipe

-water soup, water, roasted garlic, caramelized onions, thyme, rosemary, sage, tiny potatoes and baby carrots

-red lentils with sorrel, farro and olive oil

-roasted baby purple and Yukon gold potatoes with pumpkin seed dressing and fresh chives

-roasted snow peas with barley, walnut vinegar and cider vinegar

-pursalane with kohlrabi, small tomatoes, fresh mint, parsley, lemon and olive oil

-roasted baby beets and tops with basil, balsamic and pistachio cream seasoned with pink Himalayan salt

-english peas, fava beans with cracked wheat, thyme, olive oil and sherry vinegar

-black and red raspberries with cashew cream (sweetened with maple syrup)

-oatmeal cookies
2 1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup soy, almond or rice milk
1/4 cup grapeseed or olive oil
1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
2/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
(add anything...dark chocolate chips, dried fruit, spices, puree fresh herbs with sugar...)

1.Combine all ingredients in a mixer and mix until about half of the oatmeal is broken into small pieces.
2.Bake individual cookies in a 350 degree oven until they are golden brown around the edges, about 12 minutes.

-chocolate white poppy seed shortbread

-salty rosemary walnut biscotti, follow link for this recipe and other vegan cookies

Great way to spend the day. I look forward to more discussions like this in the future.