Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Vegan 101 Cooking Class

If you care about the environment and want to learn how to build a sustainable community both locally and globally, the New Haven Bioregional Group is the organization to join.  Each month they offer free or low-cost "skill shares" teaching attendees about gardening, energy conservation, bicycle maintenance, and GMOs.  I have been fortunate to attend and learn from several of their programs, and I was happy to offer one of my own recently on vegan cooking.

I spoke about using seasonal ingredients such as arugula, dandelion greens, and wild chives in recipes and discussed the health benefits that these superfoods offer.  I also addressed the perennial question, "where do vegans get their protein/calcium/iron?" The recipes I demonstrated answered all of these concerns.

During the presentation I demonstrated how to make a simple Mediterranean Quinoa Pilaf using arugula, fresh oregano, kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, and lots of garlic.  NOTE:  arugula and other greens are high in calcium.

For dessert I prepared Cinnamon Spiced Date Nut Hemp Truffles rolled in cocoa powder and coconut.  These decadent little morsels packed a punch of iron, protein, and heart healthy omega-3 oil.  It was a healthy, yet delicious, ending to a lovely light lunch. NOTE:  Dried fruits such as dates, figs and raisins are high in iron, and hemp seeds are a complete protein.

Thank you, Maria Tupper, for the photos, and the Bioregional Group for hosting this presentation.  Thank you also to all those who came to learn about vegan cooking!


Anonymous said...

When is the next New Haven Bioregional Group event? I would love to attend.

Mary Lawrence said...

You can click on the link above to get to their events page. Last night they had a Full Moon Walk on the beach in West Haven which must've been really cool. They're screening a film on the negative health effects of GMOs next Saturday which looks really good. http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Gardens---Green-Space-Bike-Tour--Full-Moon-Walk--and-More-.html?soid=1108502294051&aid=mfKl6-egTgU

Joanna said...

Thank you for reminding me that hemp seeds are a source of protein. I completely forgot about that. I guess that's why you include them in your recipes as often as you can as a wonderful source of protein.

Mary Lawrence said...

You're welcome! Yes, it's amazing how much nutrition is in that tiny seed. Not only is hemp a complete protein, but it is also high in Omega-3 oil, so it's a good idea to add some to your diet. I like to sprinkle a tablespoon or so on my cereal every morning. It's an easy way to get the health benefits.