Tag Archives: gluten-free

New Leaf’s December classes include raw holiday desserts, sushi, healthy holidays

Learn how to make Chai Pecan Pie & other raw holiday desserts Dec. 13 at New Leaf
Photo credit: Beth Love

New Leaf Community Markets in Santa Cruz has several events this month, including ones to make “healthy holiday eating” easier. Here are some highlights; these are all at the Westside Santa Cruz location at 1101 Fair Ave. (831-426-1306). There is also a holiday macaron class on Dec. 20 but it’s already sold out – if you’re interested in that topic, try to sign up early next year!

Preregistration is required—even for the free class—at newleaf.com/events.

 

Tuesday, December 12
Healthy Holidays: Special Diets
, 1-2 p.m.
If you get stressed about what to eat or how to stick to your diet during the holidays, help is here! Gain ideas for managing your gluten-free, dairy-free or anti-inflammatory diet stress-free! Enjoy tastes of featured recipes. With Certified Nutrition Consultant Madia Jamgochian. Free.

Wednesday, December 13
Raw Holiday Desserts
, 6–8:30 p.m.
In this hands-on class, attendees will create four different delicious, healthy, plant-based desserts that everyone can enjoy without guilt! Make Raw Beet Treasure Cake, Apricot Walnut Chews with Cardamom, Chai Pecan Pie and Persimmon Cashew Sorbet. “Mature children” welcome to attend with adult. With Chef Beth Love, author of Tastes Like Love cookbook series. $45.

Thursday, December 14
Intro to Sushi Making
, 6–8 p.m.
Join Sushi Chef Carlos Mayorga and learn how to properly assemble your own rolls from scratch and discover your own style! Learn technique, tradition, prep and how to plate your finished masterpieces. Come hungry. $25.

 

Follow me on:

Twitter @santacruzfoodie

Instagram @tarafatemiwalker

Facebook @santacruzfoodieexaminer

 

 

 

Monthly Santa Cruz Night Market continues June 10 at the Food Lounge

Kutsara is a participant at the Food Lounge’s Santa Cruz Night Market June 10
Photo credit: Kutsara Facebook page

It’s time for the popular and very delicious Santa Cruz Night Market. Held the second Friday of each month at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge, it’s a popup event with food, craft cocktails and live music. For the June 9, 2017 event, there will be several local vendors selling ready-to-eat food or take-home food products. These include Fogline Farm, Tanglewood Catering (chef Rachel Hughes), Rogue Pies (formerly Artisan Hand Pies), My Mom’s Mole, and the vendors listed below.

 

You can stop by anytime between 4-9 p.m., although the earlier you go, the more food options there are.

 

  • Hanloh Thai will have five gluten-free dishes ranging from $5-10 each. These include “A Very Big Spring Roll” with green gem, quick pickled carrot & daikon, sweet chili sauce, vermicelli noodles, mint, cilantro and tofu or Vietnamese sausage (made with Fogline Farm pork belly); and deep-fried curried catfish “Tod Mun Pla” with housemade curry paste, cucumber relish and sweet & sour sauce
  • Efi’s Dutch-Indo is doing three small plates at $6 each: Satay, Rissoles, and bitterballen (mini croquettes)
  • Kutsara with chef Clarissa Flores is serving Smoked Duck Banh Mi and Tocino Chicken Bao with Homemade Green Papaya and Korean Daikon Pickles

 

Location: Santa Cruz Food Lounge, 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz

Contact Info: www.scfoodlounge.com, info@scfoodlounge.com

Follow me on:

Twitter @santacruzfoodie

Instagram @tarafatemiwalker

Facebook @santacruzfoodieexaminer

New Leaf’s May offerings include classes celebrating gluten-free month

Celebrate gluten-free month by making veggie quiche at a GF cooking class.
Photo credit: New Leaf

New Leaf Community Markets has several events this month, including ones to celebrate May being “gluten-free awareness month” and free movie showings. Here are some highlights; these are all at the Westside Santa Cruz location at 1101 Fair Ave. (831-426-1306).

Preregistration is required at newleaf.com/events.

 

Classes

 

Friday, May 19

Gluten-free beer & cheese pairing

Attendees will learn about, and taste, several beer and cheese pairings with Groundbreaker Brewery and Snowdonia Cheese Co. Oregon-based Groundbreaker is a dedicated, gluten-free brewery. Locally sourced chestnuts and hops make for a unique, naturally gluten-free (and vegan) beer. Snowdonia, based in North Wales, is renowned for an “innovative and colorful approach to hand crafting their distinct range of cheeses.” In January 2017, Fine Food Digest released their “Best Brand Guide” and the Snowdonia flagship—Black Bomber—was awarded “Best British Cheese” (a distinction it has received two of the last three years).

Time & Cost: 6–8pm, $10

Register at:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/beer-cheese-pairing-with-groundbreaker-brewing-snowdonia-cheese-tickets-33406626118

 

Wednesday, May 24

Gluten-free cooking class: Summer treats

Join Chef Amy Fothergill for a hands-on cooking class where you will make fresh veggie quiche, rosemary prosciutto bread with fresh mozzarella, summer fruit crisp, waffles with berries, and luscious lemon tarts.

Time & Cost: 6–8:30pm, $40/Two for $70

Register at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gluten-free-summer-cooking-tickets-33293088524

 

Free films & talks

 

Tuesday, May 9

Gluten-Free on a Budget: Nutrition Talk & Store Tour
Join Nutrition Consultant Madia Jamgochian and learn how a gluten-free lifestyle could benefit you, and how to save money when shopping for a gluten-free diet. Sample some of the products discussed in class and expand your gluten-free repertoire.
Time & Cost: 1–2pm, Free
Register at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gluten-free-on-a-budget-nutrition-talk-store-tour-tickets-33316279890


Tuesday, May 9

Movie Night: Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret
This 2014 documentary uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today—animal agriculture—and investigates “why the world’s leading environmental organizations are afraid to talk about it.” With host Sandi Rechenmacher, Nutrition Consultant and educator. Free popcorn.
Time & Cost: 6pm-8pm, Free
Register at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/movie-night-cowspiracy-the-sustainability-secret-tickets-33260473973
Wednesday, May 10

Movie Night: What the Health
Feature length documentary “What the Health” follows the journey of film writer/director Kip Andersen as he uncovers “the impacts of highly processed industrial animal foods on our personal health and greater community.” The movie has local roots: Santa Cruz producer Bill Meade is behind it. This is a rare opportunity to see an acclaimed film for free; it will be shown at the Nickelodeon later this month. With host Sandi Rechenmacher, and free popcorn.
Time & Cost: 6pm-8pm, Free
Register at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/movie-night-what-the-health-tickets-33260560231

 

Follow me on:

Twitter @santacruzfoodie

Instagram @tarafatemiwalker

Facebook @santacruzfoodieexaminer

 

 

 

August cooking classes at New Leaf Community Markets in Westside Santa Cruz

Learn about gluten-free baking with apples at a New Leaf cooking class Photo credit: New Leaf

Learn about gluten-free baking with apples at a New Leaf cooking class
Photo credit: New Leaf

New Leaf Community Markets has a lot of interesting cooking classes coming up this month. In addition, they have a few “tasting events” and nutrition/education lectures; some of these are free. Here are a few highlights; these are all at the Westside Santa Cruz location at 1101 Fair Ave. (831-426-1306).

Preregistration is required at newleaf.com/events.

 

Tuesday, August 16: All About Apple Gluten-Free Baking
Learn how to utilize gluten-free grains and flours in delicious, gluten-free apple recipes. Nutrition Consultant Stephanie Horning will also teach you how specific ingredients support your health.

Time & Cost: 6–8:30pm, $35 per person/$60 for two.

Thursday, August 18: Summer Pies and Galettes
Nutrition Consultant Madia Jamgochian will teach students how to assemble a pie crust from scratch and create delicious pies and galettes. Teams of 3 will prepare three different fillings: peach, rhubarb and blackberry.

Time & Cost: 6pm–8:30pm, $35 per person/$60 for two.

Monday, August 22: Mushrooms for Mind, Body and Heart
Discover which mushrooms improve immunity, lung function, brain function, athletic performance, the nervous and cardiovascular systems, and the whole body, with Host Defense National Science Educator Gina Rivers Contla.
Time & Cost: 6:30pm–7:30pm, Free (pre-registration required).

Thursday, August 25: California Wine and Food Pairing
WSET-Certified Kristen Valenza will share how to properly pair different California varietals with local and seasonal farm-fresh cuisine. The class will include several wine and food pairings.

Time & Cost: 6–8pm, $40 per person/$70 for two.

Follow me on:

Twitter @santacruzfoodie

Instagram @tarafatemiwalker

Facebook @santacruzfoodieexaminer

 

Mother’s Day brunch possibilities from Whole Foods Market

A few flower bouquets from the bounty available at Whole Foods Market in Capitola

A few flower bouquets from the bounty available at Whole Foods Market in Capitola

Did Mother’s Day sneak up on you? Perhaps it’s time to organize a Mother’s Day brunch at home, in which case Whole Foods Market has a few ideas to help. And at WFM locations in Northern California—including the local Santa Cruz and Capitola stores—several delicious, brunch-friendly cheeses are currently on sale.

First, the cheese: speaking as just one representative mom, I think that fancy, tasty cheese is always welcome at brunch (or really, any meal…). Here are a few recommended soft-ripened cheeses:

  • Guffanti-Robiola Langhe Two-milk: this rich, earthy cheese is made with cow’s and sheep’s milk. It’s currently on sale for $23.99/lb., discounted from $29.99/lb. WFM Northern California Regional Cheese Buyer Francesca di Donato suggests pairing with items like orange jam, pumpkin-ginger jam, fresh fruit, and/or walnut bread.
  • Cowgirl Creamery – St. Pat: St. Pat is the Creamery’s seasonal cheese. The green rind commemorates the arrival of spring. These creamy wheels are wrapped in wild nettle leaves, which di Donato explains impart a smoky artichoke flavor. It’s currently on sale for $23.99/lb., discounted from $29.99/lb. di Donato recommends pairing with dry wine or an Irish-style lager.
  • Marin French – Supreme Extra Creme Brie: With a smooth texture and slightly sweet flavor, this delectable cheese lives up to the “lush and buttery” description promised on its label. It utilizes high quality milk from neighboring Marin County dairies.  This brie comes in a wheel, and is currently on sale for $23.99, discounted from $29.99. di Donato recommends pairing with California sparkling wine, Petit Syrah, or IPA. I enjoyed trying it with a small serving of “figs and olives” from the Capitola store’s olive bar.
  • Mitica- Cana de Cabra: This creamy goat milk log hails from Murcia in the southeastern part of Spain. The flavor is mild, yet satisfying, with citrus notes. It’s currently on sale for $13.99/lb., discounted from $16.99/lb. Di Donato’s pairing ideas: for drinks, a lean white wine (Albarino, or an unoaked Sauvignon Blanc) and for food, almonds and/or fig spread.

If you like cheese but want something more “brunch-traditional,” how about some quiche? WFM offers several ready-to-eat varieties in small ($5.99) and large ($14.99) sizes. I recently sampled a four-cheese quiche (Gouda, Parmesan, Swiss, and feta), and it was very good.

On a budget for Sunday brunch? I found this frittata recipe while browsing the “budget-friendly recipe” section on the WFM blog. You can incorporate leftovers in it, too.

If you have kids that like cooking, here are two recipes from the WFM blog that look easy, even for young ones:
Gluten-free Baked Berry French Toast (for breakfast at home)
or Berry Oatmeal in a Jar (for bringing a small breakfast somewhere else)

Last but not least, don’t forget to include flowers when developing your brunch plan. They are always a wonderful way to make a woman feel appreciated and Whole Foods carries lots of great arrangements. When I was at the Capitola location yesterday, I saw many vibrant bouquets, and most of them were made from flowers grown locally. Some of them are also fair trade. These are called “Whole Trade” flowers, and when purchased they donate funds to local community organizations that support flower farm workers.

“Whole Trade provides more money to producers, ensures better wages and working conditions for workers, and cares for the environment,” says Lily Hussey, Marketing and Community Relations Lead for Whole Foods Market, Northern California & Reno. “Also, they donate 1% of sales to Whole Planet Foundation.” Learn more about Whole Trade.

No matter what you decide to do for your Mother’s Day food, I hope it’s a very happy day for you!

Local Store Details
Whole Foods Market Santa Cruz is located at 911 Soquel Ave. Call (831) 426-9901 for more information.
Whole Foods Market Capitola is located at 1710 41st Ave. Call (831) 464-2900 for more information.

For more Whole Foods Market locations, see the store locator.

On Twitter? Please follow me @santacruzfoodie.

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

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Thanksgiving options from organic New Leaf Community Markets

Thanksgiving side dishes available from New Leaf Community Markets

Thanksgiving side dishes available from New Leaf Community Markets

Organic, Santa Cruz-based New Leaf Community Markets is offering lots of options for Thanksgiving Dinner; you need to order by Sunday, Nov. 23 for pick-up on Tuesday, Nov. 25 and Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014.

Several store locations are hosting Holiday Solutions Stations to help customers during the holiday season. This is where you can place orders, find recipes and cooking tips, and ask questions about suggested pairings and/or accommodating your guests’ dietary restrictions. The stations also feature occasional holiday treat and drink samples.

Find the station at the front of each store—including downtown Santa Cruz, Westside SC, Half Moon Bay, San Jose, Pleasanton, and Capitola branches—from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on:
Nov. 4 – Nov. 25
and
Dec. 8 – Dec. 30

New Leaf only uses turkey from Sonora-based Diestel Family Turkey Ranch. There are many varieties available which you can buy and bring home to cook yourself: original Diestel turkey; organic “Heidi” turkey; non-GMO natural turkey; and organic heirloom turkey.

Don’t feel like doing all the cooking yourself? New Leaf has holiday packages like “Turkey Dinner” ($139.99, feeds 4-6) with Diestel brown and serve turkey, organic herb bread stuffing, gravy and buttermilk mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and more. There’s also a gluten-free dinner package ($139.99, feeds 4-6) with the same turkey. Accompaniments include wild and brown rice stuffing, citrus beet salad, organic green bean casserole, gluten-free dinner rolls, and gluten-free pumpkin pie. These packages—and selections below—are specific to the Capitola and Santa Cruz (both downtown and Westside) stores. But rest assured, all of New Leaf’s locations are offering a variety of Thanksgiving dishes.

There are a cornucopia of other Thanksgiving selections available–a sampling is listed below:
Side dish packages
($49.99, feeds 4-6) in traditional, gluten-free, and vegan varieties
A la carte:
Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes ($5.99/lb.)
Savory Turkey Gravy ($4.99/pint)
Mushroom Gravy ($4.99/pint)
Organic Maple Glazed Yams (vegan and gluten-free, $7.99/lb.)
Cranberry Orange Sauce (vegan and gluten-free, $7.99/lb.)

Read more at the New Leaf web site newleaf.com/holidays.

Contact Info (there are also locations in Half Moon Bay, San Jose, Pleasanton, Felton, and Boulder Creek)

Westside Location: 1101 Fair Ave, Santa Cruz, (831) 426-1306
Downtown SC Location: 134 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, (831) 425-1793
Capitola Location: 1210 41st Ave, Capitola, (831) 479-7987

If you decide you’d rather dine out for Thanksgiving, see my recent article on Santa Cruz and Monterey restaurants with Thanksgiving menus.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Thanksgiving at Whole Foods Market in Capitola & Santa Cruz

Win a holiday dinner from Whole Foods Market

Win a holiday dinner from Whole Foods Market

The Santa Cruz and Capitola branches of Whole Foods Market are offering lots of Thanksgiving options, and even have special staff on-site that will help you with specific holiday needs. Make your Thanksgiving orders in person or online by Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014.

If you have specific questions for your holiday meal planning, like you want to stay within a certain budget or you’re hosting a gluten-free Thanksgiving or you’d like wine pairing suggestions, each store has holiday specialists available. You can make an appointment or stop by, and it’s a free service. Specialist Erica Stevenson, who works at the Capitola store, truly enjoys providing this service. “Every year, I look forward to working the holiday table. I get to know our regular customers better while getting to meet so many more,” says Stevenson. “And these days so many people have special diets. I get to use my creativity to better suit their needs while still helping them create their perfect holiday dinner.”

Another interesting holiday highlight is a “golden ticket” contest with free ham dinners as prizes! When a customer orders a Thanksgiving meal (only IN STORE, not online) at either location, they will automatically be entered in the Golden ticket promotion. One person from each store will receive a Golden ticket in their pickup meal. This ticket is valid for a “honeyed ham dinner for 8” that can be used for a future holiday meal.

If you want to go outside the traditional Thanksgiving box, how about taking advantage of Whole Foods Market’s sustainable seafood appetizers? Some examples are shrimp & Dungeness crabmeat platter (serves 6-8, $39.99) and shrimp platter with assorted seasonings (serves 4-8, $24.99).

A ready-to-eat heirloom turkey dinner for 12 costs $289.99 (serves 12) and includes an oven-roasted organic 16-18 lb. turkey from Sonora-based family-owned Diestel, herb stuffing (7.5 lbs.), mashed potatoes (4 lbs.), turkey gravy, cranberry relish, green beans with roasted shallots, dinner rolls (24), and two pies: pumpkin and cranberry apple. Other selections include an “intimate organic turkey dinner for 4” ($99.99) and a “traditional ready to cook turkey dinner (turkey is raw) for 8” ($129.99).

Whole Foods Market features several different types of turkey a la carte including Diestel in heirloom ($4.99/lb.) and organic ($3.99/lb.) varieties. Other meat selections include sous vide leg of lamb or pork loin (serves 4, $49.99/lamb and $39.99/pork).

A la carte sides include brussels sprouts with shallots and pecans (serves 4, $17.99, and it’s vegan). Like a few other holiday items, this became available at the market’s Hot Bar earlier in November, and I got to sample it. It’s wonderful!

One dessert option is cranberry crumble pie. This was a popular holiday item in previous years, but in 2013 it wasn’t available. Many people asked for it last year, so they decided to bring it back. All holiday pies, including Brown Butter Walnut, Pumpkin, and Apple, come in 10-inch versions for $19.99 and include 100% all-butter crust.

If you end up needing last-minute Thanksgiving supplies, both stores are open on Thanksgiving from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The day before, they’re open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Whole Foods Market Santa Cruz is located at 911 Soquel Ave. Call (831) 426-9901 for more information.

Whole Foods Market Capitola is located at 1710 41st Ave. Call (831) 464-2900 for more information.

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

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie www.twitter.com/santacruzfoodie.

Peet’s Coffee and Tea adds fresh food including healthy salads and sandwiches

 

Turkey sandwich and quinoa salad among new fresh food options at Peet's Coffee and Tea

Turkey sandwich and quinoa salad among new fresh food options at Peet’s Coffee and Tea

Peet’s Coffee and Tea recently added a full line of healthy, fresh salads, snacks and sandwiches to its 126 Northern California stores, including the Bay Area, Santa Cruz, Capitola, and Monterey. The line includes vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options (see below for selections). Food is made locally and delivered daily.

The “Fresh Grab & Go” menu was developed in partnership with Bay Area chef Arnold Eric Wong and his local bakery Raison d’être. The chef’s career has included highly acclaimed restaurants such as EOS Restaurant and Wine Bar (Wong’s first restaurant), Café Kati, and E&O Trading Company. “I’m thrilled to be working with Peet’s as they share my deep passion to quality, freshness and using the finest ingredients. And, it’s important that we give Peet’s fans a locally sourced, artisanal food experience that matches the quality of their coffee,” said Chef Wong. “We have carefully crafted these recipes to be health conscious and flavorful, and are making them right here in the kitchen at Raison d’être.”

I haven’t had the opportunity to sample the new menu yet, but with condiments like pumpkin seed pesto aioli and combinations like beluga lentils and Greek feta, I can’t wait to taste a couple items next time I visit Peet’s!

Menu highlights:

Herb Roasted Turkey Sandwich ($6.95): Made with turkey that is slow cooked and complemented with Monterey jack cheese and a homemade pumpkin seed pesto aioli.
Applewood Smoked Ham Sandwich ($6.95): Aromatic applewood smoked ham, Swiss cheese and homemade roasted garlic aioli.
Super Greens & Kale Salad ($6.95): A healthy assortment of kale, greens and fresh Greek feta paired with fig balsamic vinaigrette.
Black Lentil Salad ($4.95):  Fresh black beluga lentils, sweet Greek feta with a tangy red wine vinaigrette.
Quinoa Salad ($4.95): A delicious combination of rainbow quinoa, chickpeas, roasted red peppers and herb vinaigrette.
Fruit Bowl ($4.95): An assortment of fresh, seasonal fruit with an emphasis on berries.
Cheese and Fruit Box ($5.95): Aged Dubliner Irish cheddar, Monterey pepper jack and Danish brie with crisp apples, roasted almonds and organic rice crackers.
Hummus & Carrots ($2.95): Flavorful house made hummus with fresh carrot chips

To find the Peet’s Coffee & Tea near you, use the Peet’s online store locator.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.