Posts tagged with san diego scene:
People living their passions, that’s what life is all about, right? And what if you could live your passion in your work? Win win! I can’t wait to introduce you to two inspiring folks doing just that…
A few months back, I received a friendly email from the lovely Sarah O’Toole, a recent San Diego transplant & the creator, along with her fiancé Peter, of Cooking with CSA introducing me to their program & offering to share some of their seasonal plant-based recipes with Vegenista readers. As I learned more about their program, inspiration, & philosophy, I more than welcomed the offer to share their awesome work here. I’ve been a local CSA (community supported agriculture) subscriber for the past 4 years, & feel strongly about eating as locally, seasonally, & organically as possible, so the notion of “Cooking with CSA” is right up my alley. Also, as you may remember, I am an educator, so as I learned more, I realized we shared an even greater passion - educating children about healthy food - I was even more excited to share their mission. As a speech-language therapist in the public schools, I am often astonished & astounded by what I see children consuming - whether it’s from the school lunch program, or their own lunch boxes. Most kids don’t know what “real food” is or where it comes from. It’s such a shame, & there has got to be another way! And fortunately Sarah & Peter intend to pave that way…
Cooking with CSA was born out of Sarah & Peter’s mission to educate kids, inspire teens & empower young adults to take responsibility for their health. They wanted to show younger generations how fun eating healthy could be, so they began teaching plant-based cooking classes in San Diego schools for children. And they admit, at first it was hard, while being armed with “Kale Juice, Collard Wraps & Quinoa Salad” often evoked strange looks. But the students eventually embraced it, & those who only ate white pasta were asking for kale juice by the end of the program! While the classes were great, as time went on more & more parents approached Sarah & Peter asking for recipes & support, because they did not know how to make kale chips or green smoothies their kids were asking for. They had no idea where to buy these products or how to cook them. And if they didn’t have the resources they needed…healthy eating couldn’t happen!
Cooking with CSA now offers a Seasonal Recipe Subscription site which gives parents all the resources & tools they need to get their family to eat healthy & love it.Their goal is to get people to shop locally & really take advantage of all the wonderful farmers’ markets we have here in sunny San Diego, cook more, & use fresh, local, organic ingredients. That is certainly something I can get behind!
And, in the kind spirit of Thanksgiving, Sarah lovingly offered these two beautiful recipes, full of healthy, but tasty, organic ingredients. These dishes are very likely going to grace my holiday table, & will be a healthful treat to the whole family! Enjoy!
"Pumpkin Seed Salad"
(Makes 1 large salad, serves 2-4)
- 1 head of lettuce
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 of a red onion
- 2 carrots
- sea salt & pepper to taste
- 1 package flax tempeh
- 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika (or 1/2 tsp. liquid smoke)
- 1 Tbsp. tamari (or water)
- Tbsp. garlic powder
- 3 Tbsp. olive or flax oil
- 2 lemons juiced
- 2 Tbsp. honey (maple syrup or agave, if vegan)
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- dash of sea salt
- Chop tempeh into small cubes. Place in a medium bowl. Add remaining tempeh ingredients. Stir well and set aside
- Chop lettuce, tomatoes, onions & grate carrots. Place in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Next make the dressing: grind pumpkin seeds in a coffee grinder. Place pumpkin seeds in a glass measuring cup or medium bowl.
- Mince garlic & add it along with the remaining dressing ingredients to measuring cup or bowl. Mix well.
- When ready to serve, add tempeh to bowl and then top with dressing, mix well. Add salt & pepper if desired.
"Rich Chocolate Cake with Fresh Apples"
(Makes 1 loaf)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, at room temperature
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 flax egg (1 Tbsp. flax meal to 3 Tbsp. water)
- 1 cup coconut buttermilk (add one lemon wedge to milk and stir, let sit for 10 minutes)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup cacao powder (or cocoa)
- 1/4 cup toasted carob powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 dash sea salt
- 2 apples
- Preheat oven to 350°F & line a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Make the flax egg & coconut buttermilk, set aside.
- In a large bowl, use a silicon spatula & mash the coconut oil until smooth. Add the sugar & mix until smooth.
- Add the flax “egg” & mix even more, then add the coconut buttermilk & vanilla.The batter will look a bit uneven & will separate, that’s normal.
- Sift the flour, cacao, toasted carob, baking soda, baking powder & salt together into the wet ingredients. Stir well with a metal spoon, but don’t over mix.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl, making sure that all the ingredients are well blended. Then pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
- Top with 8-12 thin apple slices, laying them two by two, they will overlap slightly. Bake in the oven for 60 minutes.
- Cool in pan on a rack for about 15 minutes, at which point you can remove cake from pan & slice.
I hope you enjoyed meeting these inspiring healthy eating crusaders & encourage you to visit their website, learn about their programs, & check out their calendar of events. And, if you’re local…
Come celebrate at the CSA Holiday Party! For the first time ever they’ll be gathering members from ALL the different CSA’s in San Diego! Meet others facing the same challenges, but gaining the same benefits, learn secrets to making the most out of your box, get a packet of Cooking with CSA’s favorite fall & winter recipes - perfect for the upcoming holidays - & get their top 5 kid friendly CSA Recipes! Learn more here.
***(photos courtesy of Cooking with CSA)