Saturday, January 28, 2017

Tierra Pacifica Charter School Aspiring Young Chefs Rocked the Kitchen.


The Creative Hands of Aspiring Young Chefs 
















                                        

Chef Kids are simply the best. They are a special gift to all of us. 

Nestled in the beautiful neighborhood of Live Oak between the magnificent towns of Santa Cruz and Capitola, Tierra Pacifica Charter School is very special in so many ways!  One of the most special things about this beautiful school is their empowerment of aspiring young chefs. 

Tierra Pacifica Charter School was formed in 1998, as a collaborative effort among parents, teachers and community members committed to the development of the whole child (Kindergarten through 8th grade).  

I met Bengie Hodges, school’s Development Coordinator and a foodie at Live Oak Farmer’s MarketWe made immediate connection as we both share the immense value of hand-on learning such as cooking classes for kids. So, when I was asked by Bengie to teach cooking classes, I immediately said yes. Eating healthy foods starts at a very young age and teaching kids how to make healthy and delicious food is the best way to inspire them. So, with great excitement, I got to work and designed the below series of vegan Mediterranean cooking classes for the students.

Class 1 – Moroccan Couscous Salad with Lavender Lemon Tahini Dressing  
Class 2 – Pear Lavender Parfait  
Class 3 – Tangy Veggie Wrap with Yogurt Ginger Dressing 
Class 4 – Artisan Chocolates with Organic Herbs, Flowers & Fleur de Sel  

This past Friday, in our 3rd cooking class 10 foodies and aspiring young chefs made a Tangy Veggie Wrap with Yogurt Ginger Dressingwhich they loved and promised to make it at home. These enthusiastic foodies and creative young chefs' beautiful teamwork and collaboration was simply amazing.  

Thank you Bengie, Alex, Kitty, the amazing aspiring young chef students and the Tierra Pacifica Charter School for the wonderful opportunity to share my love and passion for vegan-vegetarian-Mediterranean cooking with you!

I look forward to our 4th delicious cooking class, which we’ll be making chocolate arts with organic herbs and flowers. 

Cheers,



Copyright 2017, Lavender Design + Cuisine

Tangy Veggie Wrap and Yogurt Ginger Dressing Recipe


Tangy Veggie Wrap with Yogurt Ginger Dressing

A meal made with love. There’s nothing quite like eating a home-made meal, made with organic healthy ingredients and ton of love. This lovely veggie wrap and yogurt ginger dressing recipe is easy to make and soon to be your favorite meal for lunch, dinner or snack. 

| TANGY VEGGIE WRAP RECIPE | 

| INGREDIENTS | Serves 4 to 6

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red onion, thinly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium zucchini
cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
1 medium squash cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
medium fennel cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
1/5 Tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
4-6 Organic lavash bread sheets (10 x 12 inches, plain or flavored) or gluten-free tortilla.

| DIRECTIONS |    

Sauté all the ingredients (except for the bread) in olive oil over medium heat for 10 minutes until lightly cooked. Remove from the stove and let it stand at the room temperature while you are making the yogurt ginger dressing.

| YOGURT GINGER DRESSING | 

|
 INGREDIENTS |

1 Cup yogurt (organic dairy or non-dairy/vegan)
1/2 Tsp. garlic, grated using a zester
1/2 Tsp. ginger, grated using a zester
A pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup of water or fresh lemon juice

| DIRECTIONS |    

Place all ingredients in a food processor, pulse a few times until well blended and looks creamy. Or whisk the entire ingredients in a bowl until creamy. This delightful dressing gives the veggie wrap a subtle background tang and makes it even more delicious.  

| VEGGIE WRAP ASSEMBLY |    

Place a lavash bread sheet (10 x 12 inches) or a tortilla on a plate and line up 2-3 tablespoons of the veggie mix on one side of the bread. Pour a couple of tablespoons of the yogurt dressing on it and start rolling the wrap and closing it with a line of yogurt dressing. Cut the veggie wrap diagonally and enjoy.

Happy Cooking.
Chef Ellie Lavender

Copyright 2017, Lavender Design + Cuisine


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Tierra Pacifica Charter School Aspiring Young Chefs Rocked the Kitchen.

The Creative Hands of Aspiring Young Chefs 

Pear Lavender Orange Mixture


Yogurt Lavender Orange Mixture


Crystallized Orange 

Chopped Crystallized Orange 

Culinary Lavender 




Nestled in the beautiful neighborhood of Live Oak between the magnificent towns of Santa Cruz and Capitola, Tierra Pacifica Charter School is very special in so many ways!  One of the most special things about this beautiful school is their empowerment of aspiring young chefs. 

Tierra Pacifica Charter School was formed in 1998, as a collaborative effort among parents, teachers and community members committed to the development of the whole child (Kindergarten through 8th grade).  

I met Bengie Hodges, school’s Development Coordinator and a foodie at Live Oak Farmer’s Market. We made immediate connection as we both share the immense value of hand-on learning such as cooking classes for kids. So, when I was asked by Bengie to teach cooking classes, I immediately said yes. Eating healthy foods starts at a very young age and teaching kids how to make healthy and delicious food is the best way to inspire them. So, with great excitement, I got to work and designed the below series of vegan Mediterranean cooking classes for the students.

Class 1 – Moroccan Couscous Salad with Lavender Lemon Tahini Dressing  
Class 2 – Pear Lavender Parfait  
Class 3 – Tangy Veggie Wrap with Yogurt Ginger Dressing 
Class 4 – Artisan Chocolates with Organic Herbs, Flowers & Fleur de Sel  

This past Friday, in our second cooking class 10 foodies and aspiring young chefs made a Pear Lavender Parfait, which they loved and promised to make it at home. These enthusiastic foodies and creative young chefs' beautiful teamwork and collaboration was simply amazing. Chef kids are simply the best.

Thank you Bengie, Alex, Kitty, the amazing aspiring young chef students and the Tierra Pacifica Charter School for the wonderful opportunity to share my love and passion for vegan-vegetarian-Mediterranean cooking with you!

I look forward to our 3rd delicious cooking class, which we’ll be making a Tangy Veggie Wrap with Yogurt Ginger Dressing.

Cheers,



Organic culinary lavender: available at Staff of Life grocery store in Santa Cruz or any other herbs or health food stores. 
Crystallized orange: available at Trader Joe’s. 

Copyright 2017, Lavender Design + Cuisine

Pear Lavender Parfait Recipe


  






Pears are delicious, nutritious and with a touch of culinary lavender and orange zest, they make a heavenly dessert, breakfast or snack.  

| PEAR LAVENDER PARFAIT RECIPE | 

| INGREDIENTS | Serves 4 to 6.  
2 Large Bartlett pears
2 Small orange
2 Cups yogurt. Plain organic dairy yogurt or non-dairy (vegan) almond milk yogurt are the best. Coconut milk yogurt overpowers the aroma of culinary lavender and not recommended.
2 Tbsp. Organic culinary lavender
1/2 Cup crystallized orange

| DIRECTIONS |    

1.    Slice the pears in half, lengthwise.
2.    Remove the core using a melon baller or a teaspoon
3.    Cut pears into half-inch cubes
4.    Put the pears in a frying pan.
5.    Zest and juice one of the oranges and add them to the pears.
6.    Grind ½ Tsp. of the culinary and add to the pear mixture.  
7.    Over medium heat sauté the pear mixture for about 10 minutes until they are lightly tender.
8.    Remover from the heat and let is cool for a few minutes.
9.    Chop crystalized into small pieces.  
10.  In a medium bowl mix together yogurt, zest and juice the other orange (only half of the juice, you can add more if needed. The yogurt mixture should be creamy and not runny) and 1/2 Tsp, of the lavender (grinded).
11.  In a glass or a bowl put one spoon of pear mixture, one spoon of yogurt mixture and repeat the same once, so that there will be 4 layers of pear and yogurt mixtures. Sprinkle the top with few lavender flowers and crystallized orange pieces.  
Refrigerate for an hour before serving.

Enjoy.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Tierra Pacifica Charter School Aspiring Young Chefs Rocked the Kitchen!

The Creative Hands of Aspiring Young Chefs 










Tierra Pacifica Charter School Aspiring Young Chefs Rocked the Kitchen!

Nestled in the beautiful neighborhood of Live Oak between the magnificent towns of Santa Cruz and Capitola, Tierra Pacifica Charter School is very special in so many ways!  One of the most special things about this beautiful school is their empowerment of aspiring young chefs. 

Tierra Pacifica Charter School was formed in 1998, as a collaborative effort among parents, teachers and community members committed to the development of the whole child (Kindergarten through 8th grade).  

I met Bengie Hodges, school’s Development Coordinator and a foodie at Live Oak Farmer’s Market. We made immediate connection as we both share the immense value of hand-on learning such as cooking classes for kids.  So, when I was asked by Bengie to teach cooking classes, I immediately said yes.  Eating healthy foods starts at a very young age and teaching kids how to make healthy and delicious food is the best way to inspire them. So, with great excitement, I got to work and designed a series of vegan Mediterranean cooking classes for the students.   

Class 1 – Moroccan Couscous Salad with Lavender Lemon Tahini Dressing  
Class 2 Pear Lavender Parfait  
Class 3 Tangy Veggie Wrap with Yogurt Ginger Dressing  
Class 4 Artisan Chocolates with Organic Herbs, Flowers & Fleur de Sel  

Yesterday, in our first cooking class we had a very delicious and fun time with 10 foodies and aspiring young chefs.  We made a Vegan Moroccan Couscous Salad with Lavender Tahini Dressing, which they all loved, enjoyed and promised to make it at home.  I handed out the recipe to all the students in addition to my story as a Vegetarian Mediterranean Personal Chef and Culinary Instructor, which continue to bring immense joy into my life.  I have also posted the recipe on my blog for everyone to enjoy!

Thank you Bengie, Alex, Kitty, the amazing aspiring young chef students and the Tierra Pacifica Charter School for the wonderful opportunity to share my love and passion for vegan-vegetarian-Mediterranean cooking with you!

I look forward to our second delicious cooking class, which we'll be making a Pear Lavender Parfait.

Cheers,


Copyright 2017, Lavender Design + Cuisine

A Taste of Morocco on Your Plate.





Take a trip to Morocco, the land of heavenly spices! 

| MOROCCAN PILAF SALAD | 

| INGREDIENTS | Serves 4-6 people 
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup shallots, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup dried figs coarsely chopped
½ cup toasted hazelnut (chopped or whole)
1 cups Millet
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced or chopped

1 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced or chopped
1 medium orange or red pepper, thinly sliced or chopped
1 cups roasted/marinated artichoke hearts, lightly chopped
1 medium fennel, thinly sliced or chopped
1 Meyer lemon or lemon

1/2  cup small cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup green olives
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon Za'atar (Moroccan spice) 

1/2 freshly grinded coriander seeds
1/2 ground cumin 
1 teaspoon saffron 
1/2 cup radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh basil or dill, lightly chopped
1 cup canned butter beans or chickpeas

| VEGETABLES DIRECTIONS |    
1. Toast hazelnuts over medium heat (stirring continually) for a few minutes. Remove from stove and let cool. Chop figs coarsely and put them aside. 
2. Sauté orange or red pepper for a few minutes until lightly tender, remove and place on a plate. 
3. Sauté fennel in the same pan for a few minutes until lightly tender, remove and place it next to the pepper.
4. Sauté zucchini and squash together for a few minutes until lightly tender, remove from the pan and place them next to fennels.  
5. Sauté shallots and garlic together, continually stirring for a few minutes. 
6. Add all the veggies to the pan.
7. Add all the spices and salt
8. Mix them gently and place them on a plate.
9. Using the same pan, fry the butter beans or the chickpeas, add some spices and salt to it too. 
10. Place the butter beans/chickpeas around the veggies. 
11. Add the chopped artichoke to the veggies. 
12. Thinly slice radishes and place them over the artichoke 
13. Add olives to the plate.

| MILLET PILAF DIRECTIONS |  

1. In a medium size pot bring water into boil with some fresh lemon peels and salt.  Add millet and cook it for 10-15 minutes. Occasionally, check the millet, taste a few to see if they are tender.  Do not overcook the millet, it will come out starchy. Pour the millet into a small holes colander and pour some cold water over it and let it drain well by tapping it in the sink.

2. In a small saucepan bring 1  cup of water into boil, add 1/3 olive oil and 1 teaspoon of saffron and let it boil for 2-3 minutes. 
Remove from heat.
3. Place millet pilaf into a bowl and pour the saffron mixture over it. 
4. Add fresh herbs, mix lightly.

| GINGER GARLIC LEMON TAHINI DRESSING | 

|
INGREDIENTS |

1 teaspoon fresh or dried tarragon/mint
1/3 cup sesame tahini
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic cloves, lightly chopped
6 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
¾ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ginger zest

| DIRECTIONS |    
Place all ingredients  in a food processor and pulse until it looks creamy. Pour in a jar and refrigerate. Before using, take out of fridge and place on kitchen counter for 10–15 minutes until it comes to about room temperature. 

When serving your heavenly Moroccan Millet Pilaf Salad, you can either put the veggies over the millet pilaf or next to it and then drizzle your ginger garlic lemon  tahini dressing over it.

Enjoy.

Chef Ellie Lavender