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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

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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…)

We wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your family and friends. Please enjoy some of the favorite memories from our staff.

Thanksgiving Memory from Amber /Admin Asst. @21 Acres
My favorite Thanksgiving memory would be sitting around the piano with my parents, grandparents and uncle’s family to sing carols with each person picking a different choral part to sing.

Thanksgiving Memory from Liesl / Market Manager @21Acres
My Dad still uses the turkey stuffing recipe his Mom developed over 75 years ago.  Not only that, he uses the same roasting pan!  (Not 75 years old, but at least 25 as it is the only one I remember).  It is an annual tradition for my sisters and I to wake up early and help Dad slice and saute vegetables, boil stock, mix up the stuffing and doctor it just right with seasonings.  Once the turkey goes in the oven around 8:30 in the morning, we all sit down to watch the parade…and take a collective nap in the living room.  Following his basting schedule, the bird, and the stuffing, never fail to impress.  Want to know the secret ingredient?  You have to marry into my family to find out! Happy Thanksgiving and may your day be just as blessed as mine, even if you do not have a 5 am wake up call.

Thanksgiving Memory from Karen /Event Staff @21Acres
Riding in the “way back” of the station wagon with my older brother.  We had a 10 hour drive to our grandmother’s. This was before iPods, video screens,etc., so to pass the time we sang the same songs over and over, probably driving our parents craZy.

Thanksgiving Memory from Jane / Sustainable Events Coordinator @21Acres
Growing up ripe olives constituted haute cuisine and Thanksgiving was the only time they were served!  My method–an olive on each finger tip, eat the thumb first, pinky last.

Thanksgiving Memory from Scott / Permaculturist @21Acres
“As a youth, I thought Thanksgiving to be an ordinary, traditional, and modern American holiday excuse off from school and work.  I later found it to be a gathering of closely related family members that sit down around a large table together, give hackneyed blessings and expressions of gratitude for bountiful harvests and harmonious relationships.  Turkey, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, fruit gelatin, baked yams, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and whipped cream adorned a candle lit table each year while we listened to soothing music and ate a warm home-cooked dinner together.  This went on as far back as I can remember until in 2009, I moved to Costa Rica where Thanksgiving is widely unknown.  My habit of repetition would have to be broken.  Imposing my foreign traditions upon the local Costa Ricans around me was out of consideration, and instead, I just looked within and gave thanks in my own internal celebration of Thanksgiving.  I gave thanks to my family back home and the new people around me.  I gave thanks to the gifts we have been given and the gifts we give to others.  I thanked the sun and the air that gave me life until something very significant happened to me: a nagging desire for the loved ones I grew up with and hunger pangs for a Thanksgiving meal disappeared.  Water fasting on Thanksgiving helped me find tranquility and clarity of mind without digestive distractions, and understood more of what Costa Rican’s call “Pura Vida.”  I did not eat a single bite of food nor consume a single calorie for a 24 hour period of time during Thanksgiving in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.  When I returned back to the US and the family I grew up with, I returned to their traditions, but with a genuinely sincere appreciation for so many gifts I never knew had been taken for granted.”

Thanksgiving Memory from Deb / Admin & HR @ 21 Acres
I was born in the south where pecan pie rules the day.  We moved to Washington when I was three, but the pie, with my mom being the Pecan Pie Queen, came with us.  When I moved to New Jersey after college, my mom would make small pies, pack them up in a coffee can and mail them to me, so the tradition was unbroken.  My mom is gone, but my sister and I have carried on with Pecan Pie making for the family.

Thanksgiving Memory from Deb / Admin and HR@21 Acres
I grew up with the traditional sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows for Thanksgiving dinner.  As an adult, I am not a fan, but my heart is filled with love for tradition and what gets carried on to the next generation.   My sister still always makes that horribly sweet marshmallow treat and my daughter, now grown and living in Australia, has insinuated this American phenomenon on the unsuspecting Aussies.    However, they don’t seem to have plain marshmallows Down Under and I have had to send them to her, so the last time she was home, we had a girl’s night in the kitchen learned how to make marshmallows, so  she can continue to share her memories and traditions with her new friends and family.

Thanksgiving Memory from Brenda / PR and Communications @21Acres
When anyone mentions Thanksgiving at our house we all remember the biggest and best family gathering we had in years was when Grandma Dot came to visit. The Jacobson clan from Washington and Oregon all landed at our house for dinner. (fyi G Dot is now 94!) Not in this picture was the dessert table. 🙂 Everyone brought something (even the teenagers) and it took more than one table to hold the bounty of sweet tradition.

Thanksgiving Memory from Deb / Admin and HR @21Acres
The year that will go down in the memory of our large and very extended family, is when my mom, queen of pie, had been ahead of the game and made her Thanksgiving Peach Pie quite early and popped it in the freezer.  With a glad heart since her day was made easier, she laid the pie out on the dessert table.  Cousin Tobin who always looked forward to that pie and was completely delighted to have a Peach Pie option, was first to the dessert table, scooped up a piece and downed a large bite.  Imagine his disappointment and the Queen of Pie’s chagrin to discover that her memory of her early preparation did not actually include baking the pie!

IMG_3293 IMG_3295Its time to ditch that tired green bean casserole! I wanted to create a side dish for Thanksgiving that uses local, seasonal ingredients. The oven and stove top are in high demand, a cold Shaved Brussels Sprouts salad that can be assembled in advance, dressed just before service, fits the bill perfectly.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts 

24 clean, trimmed and drip drying Brussels Sprouts

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, I used Golden Glen Creamery

1/4 cup Honey Infused Apple Cider Vinegar

1/4 cup safflower oil

1/2 -1 tsp 21 Acres Honey Dijon Mustard

salt and pepper

optional: Handful dried cranberries

IMG_3294The idea is to shave the Brussels thinly; you can use a mandolin or #2 blade on the food processor. In a large bowl, add shaved sprouts, parmesan, walnuts, cranberries (if using), and a pinch of salt.  Combine honey vinegar, oil, Dijon (to taste) salt and pepper in a jar.  Shake until fully combined.  Pour dressing over Brussels just before serving.  Toss together and share.

I hope you enjoy this worthy side.  Happy Thanksgiving!

See you in the Market, — Meghan