PLANT-BASED 101 / BATCH COOKING WORKSHOP

This past Saturday I did something I have always wanted to do, yet always stopped from myself from attempting ….

Veggies and Jalapeno Cilantro Hummus
Veggies and Jalapeno Cilantro Hummus

I hosted a Plant-Based 101 workshop out of my kitchen. For a while now I have had people tell me that I should do this. A few times I attempted to try and pull something together but for some reason or another, it just never happened.

One of the biggest road blocks I guess is that I am not a huge fan of having to talk in front of other people, even if it is something I am passionate about. The other reasons were time, lack of interest or more or less, just never the gusto to get.it.done.

A few months ago I decided that I had to make this happen. I told Stonegate who was immediately supportive and encouraged me 100% to just do it.

Over the past year or so, I have helped Vans’s Debbie the Great Aunt and Uncle transition into an almost meatless diet with great success. My boss at work has been mostly meat free for almost a month now and recently has taken up running after a 30 year hiatus! Stonegate herself transitioned about a year ago and has had stellar running results that she attributes to her plant-based diet. I like to think that in a small way, I helped encouraged their improvement (they did all the hard work though).

So sucking up my fear and seeing if there was an interest for people to learn more about a plant-based diet was something I had to find out for myself.

Low and behold, there was!
Low and behold, there was!

So I posted something on Facebook asking who would be interested in attending a class. The initial reaction was pretty dismal to be honest. I almost gave up then and there but I stuck with it. A few emails later and I had a date on the calendar and about 9 or 10 people who were planning to show up at my house! EEEK! Game on!

In my head I had already drawn out a rough run down of what I wanted to cover. It involved (gulp) a lot of talking.

And showing off my messy cabinets
And showing off my messy cabinets, I mean spices

So many times I hear that people cannot eat this way because it is too hard to maintain. So I basically tried to teach everyone how someone who is as busy as I am with my full-time job, long commute, two kids, ultra-running hobby and overall life-gets-in-the-way-in-a moment’s- notice lifestyle tackles, conquers and lives a plant-based diet.

First I talked about my background, my certifications and my reason for doing this. Then, I introduced the logical side of things like our body and its inability to digest meat. I brought up science and the fact that meat has been proven to cause Cancer, Heart Disease and Type 2 Diabetes.

Tools
Tools

Next I showed them tips and tricks to make meals happen and to not leave anything to the last minute. And if they do, it’s okay. I showed  them a way around those hurdles. That old saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” could not ring truer in the plant-based meal prep world.

Demos
Demos

In the end, I showed them one of the easiest plant-based meals to prepare that would surprise their taste buds (and I think it did!).

Cooking plant-based doesn’t have to involve 100 steps. I don’t have time for that. I want 30 minutes or less, as few dirty pots and pans as possible and a 100% nutritious whole food meal on the table for my family.

Dinner is served!
Dinner is served!

The whole thing lasted just over two hours. I had people ask questions before, during and after. I welcomed the questions especially during the demo because it put me at ease and got my mind off of my set timeline and agenda.

Everyone seemed interested and it seemed like they appreciated the info I had to share. For some, it was not entirely new information as they may already be eating this way so I hoped that some of the cooking tricks I showed them or talked about made the night worth it in their eyes. Others, I think were just curious and are not entirely sure how to even get started. For them, I hoped I gave them motivation.

I told them, much like the Standard American Diet, you’ll repeat some meals and find the ones you like and that’s OK … eventually you will get brave and you will branch out and try new things but if the difference is between the same meal and good health versus starting a downward spiral of bad food and illness, go with the repeat meals every time! Your body will thank you.

Since hosting this, I have heard from a few people on Facebook and on Instagram that they too would love to attend my next one. I have people at work who have said the same. I guess the interest is there after all. Maybe people needed it to happen and materialize as much as I did to get the ball rolling.

I will be forever grateful to my test participants. They were super kind in letting me do this for them and for myself.

My attempted craftiness - Thank You gifts
My attempted craftiness – Thank You gifts

I want to say thank you to Vans for all his support, patience and criticisms 🙂 . Thank you to Stonegate and Burning Girl for all their motivation and encouragement – most of the photos in this post are from Burning Girl by the way. Thanks to TiggerT who gave me many pep talks on our runs together over the years and thank you to those who are actually still reading this! 🙂

For you, I leave you with a recipe actually created by me – which is rare. I am great at adapting recipes but not so much at creating them from scratch. 🙂

Enjoy & Happy Trails!

~ Trailmomma

Kitchen Sink Soup with Rosemary & Thyme Biscuits
Kitchen Sink Soup with Rosemary & Thyme Biscuits

 

Kitchen Sink Soup 

This soup is a great way to use up all the “almost done / never going to survive the week” vegetables in your fridge.

I sautéed (in homemade veggie broth) onions, celery, carrots, bell pepper, garlic and a jalapeño (yup didn’t want to waste it). I added 2 Bay Leaves, Italian Seasonings and a pinch of Cumin while sautéing.
Then I added a frozen precooked bag of homemade chickpeas (about 2 cups) and all the homemade veggie broth I had on hand until it looked soupy enough.

I tested the veggies and beans to make sure they were cooked or on their way and then added some left over pre-cooked rice that I had in the fridge, some Braggs liquid aminos and some nutritional yeast followed by heaping handfuls of spinach (NOTE I would advise removing bay leaves BEFORE adding spinach otherwise you will be searching for them  🙂 trust me).

That’s it.

The Rosemary and Thyme Oat Biscuits
Pre-heat oven to 450
Take 1 cup of #glutenfree oat flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
Some dried Rosemary, Thyme and Nutritional Yeast – whisk together.
Then add:
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup almond milk
Mix together until a dough ball forms
Drop by spoonfuls onto a pan covered in parchment paper (I was able to get about 6 biscuits) and bake for 10-13 minutes. Voila.

Share This:

9 thoughts on “PLANT-BASED 101 / BATCH COOKING WORKSHOP”

  1. Love your recipes, will try, especially the rolls. Question: Broth vs Stock? I have switched to stock and feel that my soups have so much more flavor. What are your thoughts??

    1. I assume you are talking Veggie broth vs Veggie stocks right? When it comes to veggie broth/stock I don’t think there is much difference other than maybe more of a concentration of flavor in the stock vs broth. Stocks that are NOT veggie are usually made with BONES which gives it a heartier flavor. For veggie, maybe they use more of something else since they are not using bones? Just watch the oil content (make sure it is either the last ingredient listed or not listed at all) and sodium content – low sodium is best.

  2. Hi Pam! I think it’s awesome you are spreading the word and doing demos! If I lived closer I’d sign up 🙂 I saw that you took the plant based certification course with Chef Chad. Was it worth the cost? I’m thinking of doing it. I’ve been vegan for almost 30 years and am a decent cook but would love to have more formal training. Did it make a huge impact on your cooking skills and knowledge? Thanks!
    Sue

    1. Thanks Sue!! The Rouxbe course was pretty interesting. It is a “professional chef” course so it had some differences. I found the knife skills sections and various cuts and dices etc very interesting and useful. It isn’t oil-free so I found that a bit difficult and tried to be oil free when at all possible which did make some of my dishes not quite the same. It also wasn’t gluten free but I opted for the gluten free dishes and just was deducted points when it came to having to use the vital wheat gluten recipes and stuff. The formal side was interesting for sure. A lot of mis en place set up, and having to take a LOT of photos. If you have time on your hands, then I say definitely worth it. If you are a busy person like myself, it was a struggle but interesting. I need dinner in as few pots and pans as possible .. as I don’t want to spend time cleaning up etc. What they should incorporate in their course is the use of a pressure cooker. They do talk about it but no real recipes if my memory recalls. 🙂

  3. Thanks so much-that is a great assessment to help me consider whether to go forward or not. I’m loving your cooking posts-the simple yet yummy approach you have is really appealing!

I'd love to hear from you!