Category Archives: Featured

Spring into Spring with fresh meal inspirations from the Culinary Program at 21 Acres. All of our culinary classes highlight the use of local, seasonal and sustainably-grown ingredients. Our goal is to inspire and empower guests to consider using more whole foods as the foundation of their diets in order to promote personal and environmental well-being.

— Amanda

21 Acres Culinary Class

Here’s the current schedule:


Cultural Classics: Chutney, The Ultimate Flavor Enhancer | Thursday, April 14, 6:30-8:30pm

Chutney is a thick sauce of Indian origin that often contains fruits, vinegar, sugar, and spices. This flavorful condiment has been used throughout history and across many cultures to enhance mealtime flavors. Inspire your senses in this hands-on class.


Local Foods for Local Adventures and Weekday Snacks | Friday, April 15, 6:30-8:30 pm

Join Chef Kristen Fuerstein in this hands-on exploration of locally delicious, easy-to-prepare portable snacks. Menu items to include: Not Your Basic PB&J Granola Bars, Savory Veggie Bites, and other pack-able snacks.


One Food Three Ways, Sea Vegetables | Saturday, April 30, 1-3:00 pm

So you think veggies only come from your garden or the farm? Welcome to the new world of seaweed! These sustainable plants might be your new go-to green. In this hands-on class you’ll have the opportunity to use various seaweeds in three delicious dishes: salad, a main course of salmon infused with sea veggie butter, and a decadent dessert.


Spring Salads & Salad Dressings | Friday, May 6, 6:30-8:30pm

Are you ready to lighten up for Spring and Summer? As the weather gets warmer, our bodies naturally begin to yearn for lighter and fresher foods. Join culinary educator Rebecca Sorenson in this hands-on kitchen experience to learn how to build tasty and satisfying salads.


Eat Your Weeds: An Introduction to Spring Foraging | Saturday, May 7, 1-3pm

Don your farm boots and possibly a rain jacket to join culinary educator and wild plant expert Rebecca Sorenson in exploring the fields of 21 Acres. Rebecca will guide you in search of wild, delicious, and nutrient dense edibles. After foraging, we will assemble our bounty in the kitchen and transform it into a flavorsome wild green pesto served with fresh farm bread, a tasty wild salad, and a mouth-watering beverage of nettle infusion.


What’s On Your Plate| Tuesday-Friday, May 10-13, 6:30-8:30pm & Saturday, May 14 12-2pm

Note: This course has been approved for 10 CPE credits for Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Calling all nutrition professionals, educators, and anyone else with an interest in the inspiring story of local food history. Join Ruth Fruland, Ph.D, and professionals from the 21 Acres staff as we explore the essence of food culture in the Pacific Northwest within the context of environmental sustainability over the course of four evenings; we will examine and celebrate four iconic Pacific Northwest foods: including salmon, potatoes, apples, and wheat.


Cultivating Cooks 201 | 5 consecutive Wednesdays, May 18-June 15, 6:30-8:30pm

Calling all aspiring chefs! Our Cultivating Cooks Youth Culinary Series is under way for the 2016 season. We’re excited to introduce Chef Andrea Roelen as the fearless leader of this inspiring program best suited for young adults ages 12-17.


Spring into spring with fresh vegetarian flavors | Friday, June 3, 6:30-8:30pm

Looking to expand beyond meatless Mondays? Are you looking for new veg-menu inspirations? Join Chef Kristen, our resident vegetarian chef, in this hands on culinary experience. We will use locally sourced ingredients to create a plant-based menu guaranteed to delight your taste buds as well as promote a steady flow of energy throughout your day.



Recently, the New York Times published an Op-Ed piece, A Hidden Cost of Giving Kids Their Vegetables, discussing the blame game that is often played on people with limited resources for not feeding their children healthy food. When it comes down to it, children are picky eaters, regardless of family income. This fact, weighs a heavier burden on low-income parents. When money is tight, rather than waste food that children will not eat, parents tend to provide their children with food they know they will eat. This food is oftentimes nutrient deficient, bland and sweet, a trade off that I truly understand.Meghan's kids

I am a mother of 2 small children. I work, my husband works, we are busy and tired. Occasionally, a day or two before payday, we are out of pretty much everything, left with only pantry staples like rice or pasta and beans and we have to be really creative about “what’s for dinner.” I was raised by a single mother, we were food insecure, especially when the food stamps ran out near the end of the month. I understand some of the struggle and hardships that are part of “going without.” (more…)

Sneezing, aching, nose-running, snot-forming, cough coming on – yep that was my life over the latter part of last week and through the weekend. I’m sure many of you can relate. Tis’ the cold and flu season. There are many nourishing whole foods, however, that we can turn our focus toward this time of year. In fact, in case you missed it, the culinary education team at 21 Acres just provided a cooking class centered around this very topic. Rebecca Sorenson, a naturopathic doctoral student at Bastyr University, provided extremely useful information on how and why whole foods can provide us with germ fighting defenses. I was impressed with the knowledge and “work-ability” of the suggestions Rebecca presented and I thought it would be worth everyone’s while if I share similar information here. I can also attest to the effectiveness of the ingredients listed below and the recipes that follow. After 2 large bowls of the ginger chicken soup and a good dose of onion syrup that Rebecca graciously shared, my cold was well on its way to being history. (more…)

Perhaps the idea of terroir (the combination of soil, sunlight and climate that gives produce, greens, grapes, and such, their distinctive flavor profile and character) has never been a significant factor when contemplating your next culinary experience.  This new dinner series at 21 Acres may change that.

Just as terroir plays an important role in the distinctive character of a good wine, so too will it excite your taste buds with the complexity, vitality, taste and textures of farm-fresh chemically-free foods grown on farms here in the Puget Sound. You’ll explore how the same fresh ingredient can have very different flavors depending upon where the farm is located that the food was produced.

As your palette is reawakened to the excitement of simply tasting clean food, it begins to shed its dependency on salt, sugars, and foods that are highly processed and refined.

Please join us at 21 Acres, Feb 13, for a dinner event titled Chef on the Farm. Guest Chef, Matt Cyr will prepare six-courses of terroir-inspired, seasonally available savories paired with four exceptional Salmon-Safe Washington wines.   Experience terroir.  (Read on for more about the event below….)

— Jane, 21 Acres Sustainable Events Specialist


Man it was dark today, mostly due to the low clouds and fog I believe. I guess winter has officially started. As the dark days slowly welcome back the light, there are a handful of mood-boosting foods to include with your meals or snacks – especially if you’re prone to seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It’s no secret that some foods just plain ‘ole make us feel better. Foods such as chocolate, creamy casseroles, fresh baked bread, warm saucy pasta, or mashed potatoes all have key nutrients that give our mood a boost. Let’s look at some specific examples.

Chocolate is rich in magnesium, which according to recent research out of Norway, a country cloaked in darkness six months out of the year, has been associated with lower incidences of depression. Keep in mind that the higher the cocoa content of the chocolate, the greater amount of magnesium and the lower amount of sugar. (For many of my clients sugar increases feelings of depression and anxiety.) A good rule of thumb is to aim for at least 70-80% cocoa content in your one or two ounce chocolate treat. While 21 Acres recognizes that chocolate in not locally produced, the kitchen and culinary education team do on occasion work with local chocolate companies whose values are in line with 21 Acres in terms of economic and environmental sustainability. Our culinary classes and kitchen source chocolate from Seattle based Theo Chocolates as needed. (more…)

By Amanda Bullat, MSN, RD, CD, 21 Acres’ Sustainable Food and Nutrition Education Coordinator. Adapted from full article written by
Emma Laurie McLeod, Dietetic Intern Bastyr University

It seems like bone broths are all the rage in the alternative health world as of late, but really they’re nothing new– science is just piecing together things that traditional wisdom has known for centuries. Somewhere along the way we abandoned this homemade mainstay, and concurrently found the need to create such things as chondroitin or glucosamine supplements for people with joint problems. As it turns out this may not be purely coincidental. Traditional people have used these compounds also found in food especially broths made of bones and joints for hundreds of years.

That blunt little tidbit either makes you shudder or gives you an epiphany regarding the circle of life. Obscure it if you must, but if you want to build a wooden house, you’re going to need trees.  Coating the end of every bone, is the cartilage that used to form a joint. When boiled, this cartilage unravels and collagen strands disperse throughout the liquid, further unraveling into their amino acid substructures, which will be absorbed. The bone itself is actually the best source of collagen, containing 20% by weight compared to the 1% of that found in the muscles that usually serve as our meat. However this “like makes like” thinking is an oversimplified explanation, and answers unravel like protein strands as we delve deeper into understanding how this traditional healing food works and what it can help to heal.

Our skeletons, and those of the animals we eat, are not brittle static structures, but complex organs of counterbalanced integrity. The collagen supplies the tensile strength, imbuing bones with the flexible quality that keeps them from shattering on impact, while mineral deposits form the solid foundational structure. Both the collagen and the minerals contribute to the touted health benefits of this cloudy liquid of medicinal lore. Having chicken soup on sick days is a carry-over from centuries of medicinal usage in cultures from France to Japan to Africa, and exemplified by the coining of chicken broth as “Jewish penicillin” and the South American proverb “Good broth resurrects the dead.” Did you ever wonder why Jell-O is such a fixture in modern-day hospitals? It’s a relic of the traditional usage of gelatin-rich foods in healing (gelatin is what we call collagen, its culinary application). Unfortunately, current production methods void formerly therapeutic properties.  Now, commercially available gelatin is usually made from skin, which lacks all the minerals and glycosaminoglycans (chondroitin or glucosamine are two) found in cartilaginous bones. Likewise, using diluted, over-processed store-bought stock (a more general term that includes broth) offers a lackluster comparison to the homemade stuff. Making it at home also gives you the power to choose your animal. Choosing local, pastured, grass-fed, and organic animals increases the healing properties of the broth.

Besides the contribution of building materials to joints, cartilage also mends other areas where turgidity is needed. The cells of the gut must be tightly bound because they are essentially a barrier to the outside world. Even though you feel like your sandwich is inside you, it’s really just passing through. The gut is lined with specific proteins that pick and choose what may enter. When our gut health suffers, these cellular connections experience some slippage and these tight systems lose their ability to regulate. This “leaky gut” has been associated with allergies and even autoimmune diseases. Collagen-rich foods are often used to soothe gastrointestinal lining by contributing specific amino acids. These amino acids help make glutathione, which is abundant in GI cells and protects them from mucosal damage. They also help digestion by stimulating gastric acid secretion and by supporting immune cell function (the majority of our immune cells reside in the gut).  Glycosaminoglycans provide lubricating and adhering properties in our gut, our joints, or wherever they’re needed.

As for the hard component of bones, the minerals, they’re a large part of the restorative equation. The main one people associate with bone is calcium, but they also contain a ton of phosphorous, along with magnesium, sodium, potassium, sulfate, and fluoride. These all serve innumerable purposes in the body, from maintaining normal functioning to promoting repair and reducing inflammation. While there are plenty of different food sources of these minerals, bone broth does provide an especially synergistic environment for easy absorption (especially important for people with a stressed out gut). The purpose of using vinegar in making broths, is to free those minerals from the bone making them available for absorption. Whether we’re sipping broth like a medicinal tea or using it as a base for soups and other foods, the bottom line is that it carries a lot of health-restorative potential if made with care, from healthy animals, in the traditional way.

Amanda Bullat MS RDN CD is a registered dietitian nutritionist with master’s degree from Bastyr University and a background in natural and sustainable food systems. Amanda has taught classes for Whole Foods Market, Keene State College in New Hampshire, Seattle Mountaineers, and various other community organizations.  When she is not teaching or coordinating our culinary education program, Amanda supports and inspires clients through her private nutritional counseling practice.