Tag Archives: cooking classes

New Leaf Community Markets’ upcoming classes & Aptos expansion

Artist’s rendering of Aptos Village green and New Leaf Community Markets store

Artist’s rendering of Aptos Village green and New Leaf Community Markets store

New Leaf Community Markets has news to share: it’s adding a location in Aptos, and it has a variety of appealing cooking classes this month including vegetarian and gluten-free options.

First, the expansion. The 17,500 square-foot store, expected to open by August 2017,  will be in the Aptos Village Project (Soquel Drive and Trout Gulch Rd.). The store will be New Leaf’s eighth, including six in Santa Cruz County, one in Half Moon Bay and one in Pleasanton. New Leaf plans to feature outdoor patio seating plus a large freshly prepared foods department with new, made-to-order options such as a wok and ramen bar. Like other New Leaf locations, there will be freshly-made juices and smoothies, local and organic produce, natural meats, sustainable seafood and local handcrafted products.

The store will be housed in the relocated, historic Hihn Apple Barn and serve as the anchor for the Aptos Village Project, which contains approximately 65,000 square feet of leasable commercial space and 69 homes (mostly townhouses and condominiums).

Interested in classes? There are lots to choose from this month across the county; here is a sampling of what the Westside location (1101 Fair Ave., 831-426-1306) is offering.

Global plant-based cooking class
Chef and cookbook author Lauren Hoover-West will lead a four-week hands-on cooking class, “Cooking Around the World,” on Wednesday nights March 9th-30th. All recipes will be plant-based and gluten-free; they include enchilada pie with spiralized carrots, walnut taco “meat,” paleo bread, crockpot veggie lasagna, and carrot muffins. Each class includes a full meal. Topics will include how to spiralize veggies and fruit, fermenting (coconut yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha and nut cheeses), veggie and bone broth making, and slow cooker and pressure cooker recipes and techniques. Preregistration is required. The series costs $219 until March 7, then $249. Wednesday classes are 6:30-9 p.m.

Homemade Pie Workshop
Celebrate National Pi Day by assembling sensational seasonal pies from scratch with nutrition consultant Madia Jamgochian. Teams of three will prepare winter/spring favorite pies that are gluten-free—lemon meringue, strawberry cream and apple marzipan—and then enjoy them. Monday, March 14, 6-8:30pm. Preregistration is required. Cost is $35 or $30 each for two.

Gluten-Free Italian Favorites
Join chef Amy Fothergil for a hands-on cooking class Tuesday, March 29, and learn how to make gluten-free Italian classics from scratch: pasta, chicken parmesan, focaccia and a special surprise Italian dessert. Class includes full meal and recipes to take home. Time: 6-8:30pm. Cost is $40 or $35 each for two. Preregistration is required.

Free Spring Bunny Photo Booth
In honor of Easter, customers are urged to “hop on over and snap a picture of your little loved ones with our furry friend.” There are two options: New Leaf can take a pic using their camera, and then send people a link to access it online (parents must sign a release, and New Leaf can use photo for promotional purposes) and/or people can take photos using their own cameras.
Friday, March 25, Noon-3pm, New Leaf, 1101 Fair Ave, Santa Cruz
Saturday, March 26, Noon-3pm, New Leaf, 1210 41st Ave, Capitola
Sunday, March 27, Noon-3pm, 1134 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz

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New Leaf Community Markets: Thanksgiving offerings & holiday-themed classes

Thanksgiving dinner available from New Leaf Community Markets Photo credit: Angela Aurelio Photography

Thanksgiving dinner available from New Leaf Community Markets
Photo credit: Angela Aurelio Photography

Organic, Santa Cruz-based New Leaf Community Markets is offering lots of options for Thanksgiving Dinner. The store will be open until 2pm on Thanksgiving Day itself (Nov. 26) for any last- minute holiday needs. Also, they’ve added online ordering; you need to order online by Friday, Nov. 20 for meat and Sunday, Nov. 22 for deli items. You can still order in-store after these dates. Keep reading for specific selections and for highlights of a few holiday-themed classes.

During Thanksgiving week, New Leaf will have a large selection of a la carte items available in three areas: their grab ‘n’ go coolers, hot bar and deli. On Thanksgiving Day itself, the hot bar will have a “Green Plate Special” where you can get a turkey dinner with all the fixings for $9.99.

For personalized help during this busy season, the market is offering Holiday Solutions Stations at its stores—except for Felton and Boulder Creek. This is where you can place holiday orders, taste samples, get cooking tips, and ask questions about suggested pairings or accommodating your guests’ dietary restrictions. You are also welcome to sip on some seasonal beverages.

New Leaf only uses turkey from Sonora-based Diestel Family Turkey Ranch. There are many varieties available and they are featuring a few fully-cooked options that only require a quick reheat. These options include brown & serve turkeys and smoked turkeys. Other options include New Leaf’s herb rubbed and brined turkey, organic heirloom turkey, Cornish game hens, duck, or goose.

New Leaf also offers complete, freshly prepared turkey dinners that require no cooking. The “Turkey Dinner Package” ($99, feeds 4-6 or $119, feeds 6-8) includes an all natural brown and serve Diestel turkey, a 9-inch housemade pumpkin pie, and your choice of a side dish package (the latter has four selections to pick from including gluten-free and vegan offerings).

Some of their popular ready-to-heat-and-eat dishes:

  • parsnip bread pudding: a savory bread pudding with organic parsnips; which one staff member refers to it as “earthy” – it also includes bread cubes, grated Parmesan cheese and thyme
  • green bean casserole: a creamy mushroom sauce surrounds tender organic green beans, topped with housemade gluten-free crispy organic onions
  • butternut squash lasagna: a combination of sweet-and-savory roasted butternut squash and fresh sage
  • stuffing (a big serving of this is one of my personal indulgences every Thanksgiving—that and pumpkin pie, of course!): New Leaf is offering organic herb bread stuffing, gluten-free bread stuffing, and a cornbread version with sausage and apples

You can check out all of New Leaf’s offerings online at reservations.newleaf.com

Here are a few of New Leaf’s many upcoming classes; these are at the Westside location (1101 Fair Ave. in Santa Cruz). Pre-register here:

Cooking Class: Allergy-Free Holiday Side Dishes
Join Chef Lauren Hoover-West for a fun and educational hands-on cooking class. You will help prepare favorite holiday classic sides that are gluten- and dairy-free: stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, stove-top candied sweet potatoes, “never go back to the can cranberry sauce,” and veggies. You’ll learn to plan the meal so you can relax and enjoy your own holiday party. At the end of class, you’ll sit down with the class mates and sample tastes of all of the fabulous side dishes.
Tuesday, November 17, 5:30pm-8:30pm, $35/2 for $60

Fun with Succulents: A Wreath-Making Workshop
In this workshop, instructor Madia Jamgochian will guide you through the step-by-step process of creating your very own succulent decoration. Wreath rings, moss, and succulent cuttings will be provided. Hang your masterpiece up for the holidays, or give it away as a special gift. Succulent wreaths will thrive indoors, outside in your garden, or even as a table centerpiece, (put a candle in the center). Space is limited to 10.

Sunday, December 6, 2-4pm, $42

Holiday Cookie Exchange

This class, for kids and teens with their parents or relatives, happens once a year. We will be baking an assortment of cookies including Chocolate Chip, Ginger Snaps, Oatmeal and Shortbread Sugar Cookies to decorate. All gluten-free, dairy-free, low sugar, and high protein and fiber. There will be vegan cookies too. Come learn how to make no-guilt holiday cookies that everyone will want to enjoy, they also make great gifts. You will get to take home a plate of all the cookies we bake!

Thursday, December 10, 5:30-8:30pm, $20/kid, $30/adult

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Learn delicious, non-sugar recipes with Chef Lauren’s classes at New Leaf in Westside Santa Cruz

Nut-crusted chicken and salad with lemon herb vinaigrette from Chef Lauren’s Sugar Solutions class

Nut-crusted chicken and salad with lemon herb vinaigrette from Chef Lauren’s Sugar Solutions class

A fabulous new six-Saturday series started last week with Chef Lauren Hoover-West at New Leaf Community Markets in Westside Santa Cruz, but don’t worry—you can still sign up for one, some, or all of the remaining five sessions, which run through Sat., Oct. 18. Each class includes cooking an entire well-balanced meal, and the ticket cost includes lunch.

“Sugar Solutions: Meal Planning for a Sugar Free Diet” is the name of the class series. I participated in the first session Sept. 14, and was very impressed. Chef Lauren is a wonderful teacher with an engaging personality. She has a wealth of knowledge to share—not just on effective ways to cut back on sugar without sacrificing flavor, but also on a variety of topics including proper knife skills (resulting in less backaches), time-saving meal preparation, which vegetables have less carbs than others, and kitchen equipment recommendations.

Tess Quadres also attended on Saturday. I observed her taking notes and asking questions, and it was obvious she was learning a lot. The next day, I asked her to comment on the course. “I’ve been reading about nutrition for years now; I cook very healthy food, and I wasn’t sure I would learn that much from a low/no sugar cooking class,” she said. “Lauren surprised me with so much new information and great cooking tips. I went away excited to try a bunch of new things I could put into practice immediately, to make my cooking even healthier.” Quadres went grocery shopping right after the class so she could get started while it was all fresh in her mind.

One interesting fact I learned, and want to share with you readers: Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar but has no glycemic index. This index, often shortened to GI, refers to a food’s ability to raise a person’s blood sugar. For cooking, Lauren prefers SweetLeaf liquid stevia, which New Leaf carries.

The menu for the first class was:
• Nutty Smoothie w/homemade nut milk
• Salad with Lemon Herb Vinaigrette
• Nut-Crusted Chicken Cutlets
• No Cook Chocolate Chia Pudding

You can see the menus for all upcoming classes online. http://www.eventbrite.com/e/sugar-solutions-meal-planning-for-a-sugar-free-diet-tickets-12517930467
All the recipes prepared in these classes are dairy-free, gluten-free, and sugar-free. Some will include raw and/or paleo dishes. Course themes include “Road to Asia” this coming Sat., Sept. 20 (includes Veggie Bowl with Lemon Tahini Sauce and Thai Coconut & Chicken Soup) and “Taste of Europe” Oct. 4 (includes Lamb Loin Chops with Garlic & Rosemary, Pumpkin Seed Pate with Raw Veggies, and Fermented Sauerkraut).

Attendees get to do hands-on prepping and cooking. I liked that we first got to taste the almond milk we created, and then we added more ingredients to this milk and transformed it into smoothies, which were delicious. I enjoyed all of the food; we drank the nut milk and smoothies right after we made them, but saved the other three dishes to eat all at once for lunch at the end of class.

I was surprised at the speed and ease of the nut-crusted chicken recipe, and I loved the texture and the flavors. I’ll be making this one at my home soon, and am guessing it’s going to be a hit with the whole family! I’m excited it’s a low-carb option. As Lauren mentioned, these days a lot of us need quick recipes for weekday options. Another positive aspect to this recipe: if someone is allergic to nuts, they can substitute sunflower or pumpkin seeds.

Chef Lauren promised to email her students the recipes, and she was true to her word—they actually arrived later that same day. I appreciated the quick access to these resources, which included a list of low-carb vegetables arranged from lowest to highest carbohydrate per serving.

Single class tickets are $40 each. You can purchase these online http://www.eventbrite.com/e/sugar-solutions-meal-planning-for-a-sugar-free-diet-tickets-12517930467 until 1 hour before each class begins, but Chef Lauren encourages people to sign up at least 24 hours in advance if possible (that’s ideal for planning). She also mentions that even if you don’t have a health issue or problems with sugar, these classes will give you vital information about blood sugar plus tips on cooking balanced meals featuring natural whole foods.

As the official series description states, participants can learn how to cook “…delicious sugar-free recipes for every meal of the day.” Balancing blood sugar through diet can help you manage many conditions that are becoming an epidemic in the US including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, candida, depression, obesity and ADHD. Chef Lauren will focus on teaching “dietary changes that will help balance the body for optimal health, energy levels and well-being.”

Quadres adds a couple more comments: “The environment at the New Leaf kitchen is comfortable and unintimidating, and Lauren’s approach is friendly, straightforward and inspiring.  I found the class very valuable and would recommend it to anyone who wants to cook healthy food.”

Chef Lauren was trained at San Francisco’s California Culinary Academy, and has 25 years of cooking and teaching experience at venues including Michelin-starred La Folie, Fairmiont San Francisco, and Sur La Table. She offers services including menu planning, food sensitivity coaching, nutritional counseling, pantry makeovers, and grocery shopping tours. Read more at her site at NoWheatNoDairyNoProblem.com – No Wheat, No Dairy, No Problem is also the name of her gluten- and wheat-free cookbook.

For more information on this or other classes, call 426-1306 or see the New Leaf web site at newleaf.com. For all events and classes at Westside New Leaf, visit http://www.eventbrite.com/o/new-leaf-community-markets-westside-2725205834.

New Leaf Community Markets Westside location: 1101 Fair Ave., Santa Cruz

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