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Vegetarian cooking class

November 1, 2012 - Leah Sherman

Sure, I know how to cook, and I actually enjoy it. However, I'm a very picky eater, which leads to a lack of imagination or inspiration (or maybe I'm just really lazy). Whatever the reason, I rarely step outside my comfort zone when it comes to different kinds of foods. And I need to expand the possibilities because I'm guessing that my husband will eventually reach his capacity for meatloaves, homemade pizzas and enchiladas.

So I decided to check out the free vegetarian cooking classes offered at Down to Earth from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday.

Many thanks to my friend L for going with me. It's nice to have a sidekick when you don't know what to expect (or anytime, really).

The class is taught by Vivian Dames in the second-floor dining area of the Dairy Road store. Although Vivian said that store hopes to renovate the area in the future to include a demonstration area for the class, it is currently an open space, which requires all of the ingredients to be prepped in advance and limits her to blenders, food processors and portable burners.

Despite her limitations, she puts on a very informative class. This week's menu focused on quick and easy pupus. The three offerings were: Easy tofu-wasabi spread, Spicy 3-bean salad and Ginger aduki bean pate (aduki, azuki and adzuki beans are all the same thing, according to an Internet search).

Here's where my picky eaterness kicks in. I'm not a fan of beans, I'd never even tried aduki beans and tofu, oh, tofu freaks me out — the weird texture and weird smell and it looks slimy. But I need to expand my possibilities. So I tried it all.

Turns out I really liked the Ginger aduki bean pate (4 cups cooked beans, 2.1 oz. pickled salted ginger, 3-4 tablespoons shoyu and 3/4-1 cup scallions blended together in a blender or food processor to desired consistency), which is super easy to make and works well as a vegetable dip or spread on crackers.

As for the tofu spread, L loved it. Me, I'm going to need some more time to become a tofu eater.

But it is good to expose yourself to new things, and the class was very informative and unintimidating.

 
 

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Blog Photos

Spicy 3-bean salad