I could change people’s mind about food

This past weekend, I hosted a Nutrition Workshop. It which consisted of a Health Coach talking about the benefits and reasons for a plant based diet along with a food demo. In case my blog does not scream this already, I really enjoy to cook. And my fellow cooking enthusiasts may agree with me that cooking for others is so very enjoyable. What is most enjoyable to me though is sharing my favorite healthy recipes with friends. Sometimes healthy cooking, vegetarian cooking and vegan cooking can come across as intimidating or just unfamiliar. So when speaking about nutrition, health and a plant based diet, I think it’s important to show how to make the foods recommended for these diets (please note the word diet being used for its official meaning, not the temporary eating pattern for weight loss meaning).

The cooking demonstration began with my favorite quinoa arugula salad (which I can eat several times a week!) and mixing the prepared ingredients together. Not much to this salad was the point. I prepped all the pieces throughout the day, made the dressing, cooked the quinoa, sliced the onions and steamed some asparagus. One of my friends brought arugula so I just threw that in a bowl, tossed the remaining ingredients, dressed it and toasted pine nuts to top it. I also sliced an avocado half into it which is always a yummy addition.

Next came my other favorite salad, the roasted chickpea salad!! For this, I prepped the chickpeas the night before and pressure cooked them that day. They came out so tender, it surprised me. When I went to roast them I was worried they would be too mushy but they did just fine and the flavor of the roasted chickpeas was delicious as always. For anyone that has not seen my post, this is an easy process of coating cooked chickpeas with a little olive oil, salt and nutritional yeast then roasting about half an hour. Once done, get creative or follow the recipe found here to make this yummy salad.

The next recipe I made was the cauliflower and tempeh buffalo wings. Now this is where I really changed some minds about food. Someone who does not like cauliflower enjoyed the tenderness of these yummy snacks and someone who has never tried tempeh was excited to try cooking it themselves! Not to mention the comments about the cauliflower resembling the texture of real buffalo wings to another friend. It was like music to my ears making this another confirmed favorite recipe.

Last but certainly not least was probably the most interactive and best part of the cooking demo from my experience. I recently invested my tax refund in a new Vitamix blender after watching the demo lady for about an hour. While watching her, I took mental notes and her rendition of a vegan mint-chip ice cream blew me away. So, I had to make it! I did not have enough time or ingredients to test this one before the guests came so when everyone circled in the kitchen staring at my new acquisition, I have to admit the nerves kicked in. I warned that I am just going to wing it and went put all the ingredients on. After a quick taste test and look test, I realized that while it was edible and still pretty good, I put too much mint extract and not enough ice. Someone said it looked like green slime! But hey, they ate it which is all that matters. I went to make a second batch and added more ice and less extract. It came out perfect this time! I was even able to flip the container over to show the contents froze as I saw in the demo. That was cool. So the best part of this ice cream is the ingredients: agave, avocado, spinach, ice, peppermint extract and chocolate chips at the end. That is it!!! Just one of those things that if you don’t believe me, try it or come over and I will make it for you. Just bring the avocado and spinach 😉

I wish I took some pictures at the event but I’m sure you can tell my hands were tied up. In the meantime, another Vegan Table recipe success:

Mandarin tempeh over brown rice