Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fresh from the Garden Vegan Cooking Demo

Summer is in full swing with hot and humid days followed by thunderstormy nights, which is the perfect weather for our gardens.  And they're abundant!  I was happy to give a cooking demonstration at Cora J. Belden Library in Rocky Hill, CT last night featuring a veggies from the summer garden:  zucchini, green beans and corn.  I picked up these beauties from Northfordy Farm at the City Seed Farmers Market in Wooster Square.

This time of year is perfect for Three Sisters Stew, a recipe featuring the Native American trio of squash, beans and corn which grow together in perfect harmony and taste great together, too.  The squash grows low to the ground and crowds out the weeds while beans vine up the tall stalks of corn.  The corn and beans also form a complete protein of all the essential amino acids the body can't produce, so it's the perfect one-dish meal.  The stew is seasoned with cumin, red pepper flakes and oregano to add a spicy, savory component.

I augmented the recipe just a bit by plating the stew on top of a bed of polenta, then garnished with a drizzle of parsley pistou and sprinkle of toasted pepitas.  This makes for a simple and satisfying meal that has a pleasing balance of color, flavor and texture.  All of these recipes can be found in my new cookbook, Easy Peasy Vegan Eats.

I was really happy to see many people come up for seconds, even two young girls who politely asked for more.  Now, when kids eat your food - especially when they want another serving - you know you have a winning recipe!

I also enjoyed reading class evaluations afterward with statements like:

"It was informative and fun to watch as the cooking process and flavors unfolded."

"Great class!!  I enjoyed it very much.  Mary is an excellent teacher/demonstrator, very thorough.  She explained everything as she went along." 

"The chef was very patient to answer questions and kept the class lively."

and my favorite

"I really enjoyed this demo.  From what I learned I would like to try having more vegan meals.  Thank you!"

Thank you to Carole Fisher and friends of Cora J. Belden Library for inviting me to give this presentation, and to everyone who attended.  You inspire me to make vegan food that is easy to prepare, healthy to eat and delicious!  I hope you will share what you learned with family and friends.  


Joanna said...

Your "Three Sisters Stew" looks delightful. Thank you for sharing how to use zucchini, string beans and corn when they are plentiful in the garden. I wish that I were there to sample the stew. From the comments of those who attended, they must have enjoyed the stew very much.

Mary Lawrence said...

Yes, this is definitely my "go to" summer recipe when all of those veggies are plentiful. It's is in my cookbook which you can order online from Amazon: