Over the years, I have taught many cooking classes in my various kitchens. Here is a sampling...
Cosmic Raw Chocolate Making 101
This class is so much fun to teach, and the Valentine's events were full of happy people who are out there now making amazing treats and sharing them with glee! But chocolate isn't just for that holiday — in fact, it's an everyday occurrence in my house! In this class, you too will learn how to make the world's healthiest chocolate!
Please join if you desire to be EMPOWERED to craft your own top-quality raw chocolate creations, tailored to your own tastes and needs, costing way less than what is currently available out there. Or perhaps you just want a delightful, insightful evening basking in some CHOC-ANANDA BLISS vibrations in a beauty-filled kitchen chock-full of plant medicines, herbs, and spices, not to mention really high vibes? Maybe you've noticed the popularity of cacao consumption, ceremonies and activations all over the Bay Area lately and you want to learn how to work with this treasured food? Whatever your reason for attending, you are invited to a very fun, supercharged evening in the beautiful Sage Table Kitchen, walk away high on cacao bliss, with skills to make an array of incredible creations using nutrient-dense raw cacao all on your own.
We will start this special evening by exploring and tasting an array of products from Pachamama's Herbal Pharmacopias, most importantly her most esteemed plant Theobroma Cacao, "food of the gods." We will also chat about a bunch of other tonic herbs, essential oils, medicinal mushrooms, and superfoods that we can pair with our cacao treats to assist in strengthening our immune systems, brain functioning, and physical endurance ~ along with increasing our bliss and satisfying our chocolate cravings! You will also have a thorough primer in possible sweeteners that pair perfectly with cacao, including a few no-sugar options.
Of course next we will take these HIGHEST-QUALITY, RAW, ORGANIC cacao products and create an array of delights together. Along the way, we will FEAST on our magical creations:
- grounding medicinal cacao elixir drink
- a deep dark dip perfect for dunking fruit of all sorts
- dark chocolates
- herbal fudge squares
- and/or even MORE delights!
Cost includes a half pound of highest quality Ecuadorean cacao products for you to take home is included in this price. You will also receive a handout of recipes and methods, so you can easily go home and fearlessly play in your own kitchen with these raw cacao products, which are truly nutritious.
Adventures in Vita-Mixing
Oh, Vita-Mix, how I love you so! Do you adore yours as well, but don’t know quite what to do with it yet? Perhaps you haven’t reached the adoration stage and are still wondering what to make of this big machine that’s taken up residence on your countertop and emptied your bank account of a significant chunk? Or you haven’t made it that far yet, but are projecting into the future of your romance with dear Vitamix?? Ok, or a Blendtec, they do the same thing, so no matter! ;)
Come to this class and be illuminated about all the mega-nutritious possibilities that can be had with this most wondrous of kitchen machines. Seven years of experience with my beloved Vita-Mix and countless ideas assure that I will have PLENTY to share in this class. Dressings, milks, soups, smoothies, juices, and more will be covered through the creation of a plethora of delicious treats throughout the evening, of course with many tastes along the way! You will leave brimming with ideas and inspiration so you too can whizz up delicious concoctions in your wonder blend on a daily basis.
Nourishing Sweet Treats
I often make and share deliciously sweet things with friends and hear delight in their voices when they hear that what they're eating is good for them, nourishing even. I really enjoy snacking on sweet things now and again (ok, maybe everyday ;) so I have a deep commitment to finding ways to pack these treats full of nutrition. Who wants crazily spiked blood sugar and being left wanting to just curl up for an afternoon nap? I created this class to share and teach you some of my favorite of these tasty recipes that will also make you feel good.
This class is most suitable for those who are psyched about Weston Price guidelines (á la Nourishing Traditions), or the Paleo way, though I won’t purport to adhere strictly to any rules other than using highest-quality, nourishing whole foods, including an array of healthful sweeteners and fats to satisfy your taste buds that crave sweet and your body that craves deep nourishment. Everyone’s invited, though if you are vegetarian or vegan, please note that we will taste a couple things utilizing animal products, though alternative options will of course be provided!
On the agenda: Chocolate Coated Coconut Peppermint Fudge Bars, Tangy Lime "Jello" with Whipped Coconut Cream, Nourishing Almond Protein Bars & Maple Panna Cotta. These are all SO delicious!
As with all my classes, this one will be packed full of information about cooking and nutrition both, plus recipes and many ideas of ways to riff on these recipes too, so you can create batches of healthful snacks to have on hand during the tempting holiday time, and all year long. Can’t wait!
(Also note: a full-size FOOD PROCESSOR is used for many of these treats. If you don't have one, consider purchasing an inexpensive used one on ebay, it will be totally sufficient - mine is an old Cuisinart that my mom bought when I was nine, and it's still going strong!)
Thai: Curry & more
Thai food is so tasty, and it’s nutritious too. It is also pretty easy, involving either sticking to a reliable recipe or to tasting as you cook to balance the complexity created when the flavors are so dynamic: sweet, sour, salty, and hot all at once. You guess which approach I prefer - the latter of course! In this class, we’ll follow some well-tested recipes as well as learn how to improve on other more loose instructions for dishes once you’re cooking. We’ll get familiar with traditional Thai ingredients, and we’ll have a feast of fantastic food by dinnertime.
We’ll start with Thai Salad Rolls, which are simple but require a little finesse to get the rice paper wrapping as tight as a Mission burrito, and make an excellent, easy-but-complex, all-purpose Peanut Sauce to go with them. Then a Firey Red Coconut Curry with an assortment of available veggies from the farmer’s market, and you will have a chance to taste how the many flavors come together to make a perfect curry. We’ll finish with a yummy dessert: my version of Sweet Sticky Rice with whatever fruit is ripe at the market. (This class is veggie but will include the use of some fish sauce)
Indian: Tasty Dals
When I ask people what their favorite Indian dishes are, I am always surprised when so many say “Nothing beats a great dal.” Well, here’s your chance to learn a couple of very delicious versions. We’ll make two different dals: one simple but delicious and endlessly variable, and the other the king of them all, the rich and creamy Dal Makhani, a diet staple of northern Indian and Nepal. In addition, we’ll put together a few fresh chutneys, raitas, and crunchy salads which can stand on their own amidst an Indian feast, but also perfectly accompany these nourishing and warming dishes. For dessert, colorful and tangy Saffron yogurt sundaes. We’ll also sort out the different healthful legumes and pulses you can use for dals and different Bay Area sources for Indian ingredients. Come with plenty of room in your belly please!
Mexican: Mole, Posole & More
Mmmm, Mole. Yum. I always thought this highly spiced Mexican sauce was so hard, too time-consuming, too many ingredients. Actually, it’s not, and you can make it incredibly complex tasting with a few secret ingredients. This is not an esoteric mole recipe with thirty ingredients relayed by the matriarch of some obscure Oaxacan village; it’s just a simple, chocolately, chili-laden, tomato-y sauce--but it makes for happy tastebuds! Once it’s done, the delectable goat cheese enchiladas with winter squash and greens are easy-peasy...
The posole stew with chicken and another, simpler green mole stirred in will be a bit more complex but is totally worth the effort. It is a crowd-pleaser, complex and hearty, and to buy a bowl this good you’d have to go straight to Santa Fe! We will also make a perfect guacamole with oven-baked corn chips. And maybe we’ll have margaritas instead of wine? I’ve got a classic recipe to share... ;
In this class, the specific combinations of spices that are an integral part of Moroccan cooking will perk up your tastebuds and offer fresh inspiration for your cooking repertoire! We'll make some very tasty, unique dishes that are deceptively easy to prepare. These recipes are keepers for when you want to impress with your kitchen prowess, and you will be able to reproduce them easily later on. We'll make an Aromatic Vegetable Tagine with Olives and Figs to which fish can easily be added. You’ll learn a new and improved method for delectable chicken stews which we’ll use to make falling apart Braised Chicken with Lemon and Green Olives. We’ll make a nutty Barley and Quinoa Pilaf that goes beyond the standard couscous, jazzed up with lots of fresh herbs and these wonderful spices, plus a Moroccan-spiced Salad with Oranges. Delish!
Classic Summertime Salads
By late June, the markets will be starting to burst with the resplendent gifts of our local farmers, and your shopping bags will invariably be even more laden with produce each time you visit from here on out. In this class, you’ll learn some classic recipes to dress your market bounty that you’ll happily use over and over for the rest of your kitchen career: a classic blue cheese dressing that tastes a million times better than the stuff in bottles, a lemony Caesar vinaigrette, a very French warm potato salad, and one of my all-time favorites, a tasty green bean salad with baby tomatoes and toasty walnuts. To round out the crunchy salads, for dessert we’ll make a Peach Galette using an easy dough that you’ll keep in your repertoire for a long time to come. It’s easy, flaky, delicious, and can be used for savory or sweet tarts. This class is full of cooking methods that are timeless and will serve you well into the future.
The Magic of Fermentation
Have you seen some of the news articles about the tremendous health benefits of fermented foods recently? Have you heard that incorporating these foods into your daily diet is one of the best thing you can do to boost your immunity, cut sugar cravings, and nurture the good health and balance of your gut microbiome (aka your "second brain”)? Have you been spending a pretty penny on pretty jars of fermented veggies and sparkly beverages when you have an inkling that they’re not too hard to make yourself, for way cheaper?
YES, yes, and yes? Well then, this class is for you! Come join us if you want a thorough explanation and tastings of a wide array of these incredible foods, hands-on creating in a gorgeous home kitchen with warm inviting vibes, and a gourmet meal that is made up of fermented delicacies.
This class is an in-depth exploration into the transformational magic of fermentation as we demystify this venerable practice of food preservation and you learn how to easily begin making fermented food in your own home. Learn why fermented foods have been getting a lot of attention lately, misunderstandings about what they are, and just how imperative they are for our health and as a way to easily augment the nutrition you take in daily. The health of our microbiome impacts our hormone balance, energy levels, mood, libido, memory, cognitive response, mobility, weight, appetite...in other words, a healthy microbiome means a more effective YOU!
We will have extensive tastings and hands-on demonstrations for veggie krauts of all sorts, kimchi, fizzy and flavored kombuchas, beet Kvass, kefir, and more. We will also prepare and feast on a tasty Indian meal with incredible health benefits, including South Indian-style pancakes called uttapam made from an easily digestible gluten-free fermented rice and lentil batter, paired with a radically delicious fermented coconut chutney. You will be sent on your way home with a comprehensive handout full of information, recipes, and resources for everything we have talked about and tasted so you feel empowered to go home and begin experimenting yourself!
Bones, Broths & Braising
There is something about having a pot of soup on the stove that seems to be universally comforting. While most pots of hot liquid with veggies involved are healing in some way or another, in this class we are going to go deeper and explore the nutritional benefits of simmering bones and meat, plus some other less-common ingredients that are especially renowned for their healing properties. We will detail the process for making the gut-healing, nutritious bone broths that can be a base for deeply tasty soups, including where to source responsible bones and meats, and then use these broths as a base for delicious bowls of soup, including a most delicious Chicken Soup that you’ll want to have on hand in case you feel the sniffles coming on. You will also learn the basics of braising meat, a slow-cooking method that can be applied to all sorts of different cuts of meats to produce meltingly tender and highly flavored results. To demonstrate, we will cook a beef stew in the style of the traditional Osso Bucco, cooked with vegetables, tomatoes, and herbs. On the side, we will make a soft and creamy polenta to soak up all of the rich cooking juices. This will be a very informative class for those wishing to use high quality animal products as a means to move towards radiant health!
An Indian Feast
The ever-popular Indian Feast, perfect for dazzling the senses and beating the wintertime blues! The dishes we’ll cook this evening are an amalgamation of tastes from all over the vast country of India, but somehow, they all meld together in a most lovely way! We’ll make a special, richly-flavored dish of Chicken with Herbaceous Green Sauce, a creamy Goan Coconut Curry that is sublime with fish or other seafood, Wilted Winter Greens with Bengali Spices, and a mash of Spicy Butternut Squash to go with our perfect basmati rice. Then, if the group pitches in at the stove, we’ll make some awesome peppery Coconut Fried Bananas for dessert. Dinner will be colorful and delicious for sure!
These dishes aren’t complicated once you’re picked up the main ingredients from the market, but a few of them require some special Indian spices plucked from your pantry arsenal, so we’ll talk about where to get them, and how to store then so you can have them at the ready for creating this feast! (This class includes fish, but will be vegetarian unless all participants indicate that they are NOT veggie! If you do not eat fish, and want to join, please let me know and I will accommodate you. I am very accommodating ;)
All about Superfoods
This class will cover some basics of how to incorporate a wide variety of particularly nutrient-dense foods into your diet on a daily basis for optimal, radiant health. These include seaweeds, fermented goodies, "good" fats from particular oils, green drinks, miso, certain supplements, and some herbs and spices, among other tasty delights. We will concentrate on making dishes, raw and cooked, with unrefined, whole-food ingredients, that are powerhouses of vitamins and minerals, taste great and will help you feel vibrant and nourished. We’ll be making a superyummy raw kale salad with a miso dressing, as well as a delicious and savory quinoa salad with radishes and hijiki seaweed. Class will also include a discussion on some basic principles of eating for health: the importance of seasonality, a balancing diet versus cleansing or building, simple things to include in your everyday diet to enhance wellness, as well as what to leave out that might be bringing you down. Join this class if you want to be convinced that a thoughtful approach to what you eat will take your physical and mental well-being to the next level! (And if you want to learn many of my own kitchen tricks, garnered after years of committment to health and wellness :)
Stirring the Soup
In this soup making workshop, we'll make a variety of hearty and satisfying soups and stews with a beautiful array of colorful farmer's market veggies. We will also talk about how to add rich base flavor notes to vegetarian soups and stews without the traditional base of meat stock or vegetable broth from a box. We can also have a short discussion on making meat broths, as well as talk about how to prepare grains and beans for adding to your soups. The menu will include a versatile, tasty and easy Miso Soup, velvety smooth Puree of Butternut Squash using a method you might use for a wide array of different veggies; a Magical Soup with a variety of squashes, winter root vegetables, and garbanzos; and lastly, a truly delectable hearty Tuscan-style Soup with greens and grains.
Let’s Get Cooking: The New Basics
This class was created after many requests from students for a class for their beginning cook friends and family, and so far it’s been a hit. The evening will be filled with simple, easy, healthful preparations, and of course you will leave with a printed handout detailing all you have learned, with instructions for some simple but impressive dishes.
With a focus on health, we will cover a lot, and you will walk away with new ideas for your grocery list as well as simple recipes and techniques that you can begin trying out next time you step into the kitchen wondering what to cook. Techniques for quick-cooking, delicious veggies, properly soaking and easily cooking grains and legumes to use as the basis for salads, the yummiest healthy fats and how to use them wisely. This class will cover some basics of how to incorporate a wide variety of particularly nutrient-dense foods and "good" fats into your diet on a daily basis for optimal, radiant health. Salad making, simple soups and curries, plus more to be determined ;)
Lightening Up: Cleansing for Beginners
Ok, so it’s not quite SPRINGTIME! So what! It’s still a new (er) year, and always a perfect time to let go of unwanted stuff and get shiny from the inside out. In this class, we'll have fun learning all the ways to do both comprehensive and gentle cleanses, plus why it's a great idea to detox our bodies from time to time to prevent ill health, whether health issues are present already or not. There are SO many options out there, being advertised or simply touted by your friends. Learn which will be the best place for you to start, and leave excited to embark on your own cleansing journey. We’ll debunk some popular myths too. First on the table: a cleanse does not have to mean deprivation! If you've never cleansed before and want to find out where you personally might consider beginning, consider joining this very informative class! (Please note: Class will include some tastings of a few drinks and dishes, but does not include a sit-down dinner)
Rustic Mediterranean Recipes
In this class, we’ll explore some of the lusty flavors of the Mediterranean: garlic, olives, lots of fresh herbs. I’m going to give away one of my most valuable recipe formulas here, a riff on a recipe for “Roasted Apulian Sea Bass” that I cut out of a magazine over a decade ago. You’ll learn to make this delicious baked fish dish, which uses mostly pantry ingredients you are likely to already have on hand, as well as how to successfully vary it with other flavors and different fishes. We’ll make Bruschetta with Garlicky Sauteed Greens, and you’ll learn how to come up with infinite variations for this fun staple. Fennel Braised in White Wine is on the menu, as is a Spring Salad with Warmed Chevre and Walnuts, and a simple Almond Cake with Strawberries ends things brightly. In this class, we will also discuss other simple menu ideas using a similar palette of ingredients since the farmer’s markets will be exploding with California abundance and it ought not take a lot of effort to have a flavor-filled dinner on the table in no time. Yum!