Friday, March 20, 2009

Getting People Excited About Pressure Cooking

I am just returning from a half-day workshop that I presented to the employees of the San Diego Red Cross WIC (Women, Infant's and Children) office. There's nothing like packing one's pressure cooker in their suitcase, as I did but it worked out just fine. Cooking while on the road, without a kitchen, isn't my favorite thing to do but I can certainly handle it.

I made red and white quinoa, and along with it I made a tempeh dish with dried mushrooms, red and orange peppers, finished with pea shoot sprouts. It was mixed with Drew's shiitake ginger dressing, as a way to get around buying entire bottles of tamari and olive oil. I didn't taste it but it smelled heavenly to me.

Since today was the Great American Meat-Out, I got to showcase vegetarian foods, along with the microgreens and edible flower products from Fresh Origins. I tell you that you haven't lived until you've tried baby orchids which taste something like cucumbers. The Buzz buttons (or at least that's what I think that they were called, were quite interesting for people since they make your tongue tingle.) Tofurky donated the 5 Grain tempeh which was excellent. I don't get it at my store so I was especially happy to serve it.

The topic of my talk was Mindful Eating to Boost Your Energy and Soothe Your Soul. I think that I presented enough ways for people to become more mindful of their eating, along with ways for them to carry it out such as batch cooking, and using the freezer as your pantry. This is one of my favorite ways to make my cooking life easy.

Using the pressure cooker also makes it fast. So no need to buy frozen brown rice when you can make your own.

My biggest hope with the group was that I could help dispel the myths that pressure cookers are dangerous and can blow up, while introducing the group of almost 100 to foods that they'd never tried. I am sure that I did that. The pressure cooking went on without a hitch and my cooker is once again packed in my suitcase, awaiting its return trip to Santa Rosa. (Think 38 pound suitcase, ugh.) I still think that home-cooking is best so give it a try without taking it on the road.