Our next cooking class, Spring Into 5-Ingredient Quick Vegetarian Meals, is coming up on Saturday, May 10th, and today we are happy to feature a post from our instructor, Deniz Akiska. Read on for more information about the class and helpful tips to prep your kitchen for spring!
Spring finally feels like it is here….to stay! And although I love cooking, I know that realistically, I don’t want to be stuck inside for hours when I could be enjoying the beautiful weather. Cooking delicious meals doesn’t mean you have to be a slave to your kitchen. It just requires some creativity and the willingness to take chances. The only way to learn what works for you and what doesn’t, is by trying new recipes, experimenting with new ingredients, and knowing what your go-to recipes are that you can make when you don’t have the time to get creative!
I am really excited for my upcoming cooking class this Saturday (and its not just because we will be making a delicious cocktail!) The fact that there is new produce available at the market means I can get out of the rut of cooking wintery comfort foods, and onto fresh springtime meals. In addition to having fresh produce to cook with, I have found that it is important to stock your kitchen with items that will make it easy for you to throw together a quick meal without having to think too much. I believe that this is different for everyone, and sometimes it takes a while to figure out. For me, this is what I always have on hand:
Dried herbs and spices: basil, oregano, smoked paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes
Condiments: olive oil, dijon mustard, chickpea miso, tamari, brown rice vinegar, sriracha
Pantry items: brown rice, black rice, variety of dried and canned beans, pasta, coconut milk and Rao’s garden vegetable sauce
Counter items: garlic and onion
Refrigerator items: eggs, hummus, baby carrots, lemons, and greens of any sort
Freezer items: frozen veggies, veggie burgers
After you have your kitchen stocked with basics, making meals with 5 ingredients is possible! In my class “Spring” into 5 Ingredient Quick Vegetarian Meals, you will learn how to make a few delicious and easy seasonal meals as well as a seasonal cocktail. Can you think of a better way to spend a few hours on a Saturday than learning how to cook some new meals while sipping a Rhubarb Ginger Mojito?
Deniz Akiska is a graduate of the Chefs Training Program at the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC, where she studied health and culinary arts.
She currently works as a pastry cook at ABC Kitchen, one of New York’s top farm to table restaurants managed by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. ABC and Deniz share a similar philosophy of cultivating a healthy relationship with the earth by using seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.
Prior to formally entering the culinary field, Deniz applied her masters in education as a teacher in Bronx, New York. Her experience as a teacher, in addition to her culinary education, incorporates her two passions in life; food and teaching! Deniz loves sharing her knowledge of delicious and health supportive cooking and baking with hands on, interactive classes.
In her spare time, Deniz like to stay active by doing capoeira (a Brazilian martial art), yoga and hiking.