We had an awesome time last night learning how to cook new concoctions on a budget. We had over 20 people come with us to learn easy, effective ways to incorporate healthy ingredients into some of our favorite dishes. If you came and enjoyed the class or want to know what you missed out on, keep reading.
As the class started we got to choose our seats surrounding the demonstration area. We were all welcomed to help with the process and take a closer look at the appliances they used. We began using healthy ingredients right away.
Starting with a sweet potato hummus, the ingredients in the picture were an combined in the food processor to make a sweet and spicy hummus spread. This is perfect for an easy appetizer that you can feel good about.
Spiced Sweet Potato Hummus
Below is one large, cooked sweet potato, 2 cups canned chickpeas, and a little bit of tahini, olive oil minced garlic, cumin, sriracha, lemon to squeeze, and then alt and pepper added to taste. Combining these items into the food processor is the key to the quick and easy hummus.
Vegan Parmesan Cheese
Continuing with the Simple and Quick 3 course meal, we moved on to the main entree. This portion of the class was particularly interesting to me because of how informative it was. Because so many people are adapting to different diets, it is always fun to try some of the alternatives to the typical recipes we are accustomed to. For instance, we made vegan Parmesan cheese spread instead of the typical cheese we used on pasta and in salads. This cheese was easy and fast to throw together with minimal effort. To make vegan Parmesan cheese, just combine 3/4 cup of raw cashews, 3 tbsp nutritional yeast, 3/4 tsp sea salt and a little garlic powder in a food processor and process until the texture of it mocks regular Parmesan cheese.
Of course, some of us were not used to the taste and stuck to regular grated cheese, but the vegan cheese held its own. It still had a similar texture and the nutritional yeast did an amazing job making the cashews extra savory and even healthier.
Spaghetti Squash with Pasta Sauces
Since we were making a healthy version of a pasta dish, we needed some tomato sauce. We had a great time learning how to make delicious veggie pasta sauce and tomato sauce with lean beef! Instead of using the food processor for this component of our meal, they instructed us to stick with the stove top for both sauces. This gives it a better consistency and takes little time. If you are making sauce with ground beef, fully cook the meat before mixing the ingredients in.
Lastly, for the actually pasta, we feasted on both regular pasta and spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is a smart way to decrease how much carbohydrates you are consuming, without sacrificing the flavor. Mixing the two is a good way to get your veggies in and still enjoy your noodles.
To the right is a picture of the spaghetti squash right after cooking it. You can either make spaghetti squash in an oven with some salt, pepper and olive oil or opt for the microwave squash. Using the microwave definitely saves a significant amount of time, it depends which you prefer. Be sure to remove all the seeds after carefully cutting the squash in half. After about 50 minutes in the oven or 7 minutes in the microwave, the squash should be ready to serve. Our instructor used a fork to remove the inside of the squash. Then mix it in with your pasta that you prepared on the stove top.
After enjoying our pasta, we moved on to the most important part; dessert. Using simple ingredients, we made S’mores pizza. This surpassed most pizzas because it was covered in chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows.
The only other thing you need to make this pizza is a refrigerated pizza crust in a can. There are many options at every grocery store that would work well with this recipe. As if that sounds too simple, the cooking part is even easier.
While you are heating up your dough in the oven, for about five minutes, prep your toppings. This pizza had 6 crushed graham crackers, 6 Hershey chocolate bars and a bag of marshmallows. Once your dough is ready, assort your toppings and place it back in the oven until the top of the marshmallows are a light brown.
Overall, this class reminded us how easy it can be to make delicious food without breaking the bank or consuming precious study time. We hope you learned something from the demonstration and you give some of these recipes a try.
Peace, love & DDP,