Me, cook? Me, cook healthy, and vegan recipes, at that? Apparently it’s not as hard as it seems.
For the past few months, I’ve been having an adventurous streak. Not adventurous like scaling mountains or going bungee jumping, but I’ve been definitely been more open to trying new things, and at times, seemingly more challenging things.
A few weeks ago I was invited by a blogger/vlogger friend of mine, Melissa, to attend a vegan cooking workshop at The Good Seed in Pasig. My instant reaction was hey, I don’t even cook! But if there’s something I love watching videos or tutorials on, it’s cooking or baking. Hey, who says you have to cook to love food?
So when the opportunity struck to try to learn to cook healthy recipes, I was in.
The cooking workshop was conducted by Jertie’s Kitchen, a home-based food specialty business promoting vegan and gluten-free recipes. Jertie’s Kitchen, which has been around since 2011, is made up of sisters Jertie and Jaq Abergas.
The workshop we attended was part of a monthly series. That month’s theme was “Anong Baon Mo, Bes?” (which translates to “What’s your packed meal, friend?”). Perfect for go-getters and busy moms or yuppies, the workshop’s meals focused on smoothies, dishes and even deserts that you can easily whip up and prep for your eating pleasure throughout the work week.
The format–thank goodness–was more of a classroom setup wherein we attendees would just listen, take notes and indulge in the vegan dishes Jertie an Jaq would concoct. It was a relaxing four hours of just talking and asking about good food, and Jertie and Jaq made it more of a lighthearted chikahan than a serious demo.
We learned a lot about meal planning, batch cooking and working with frozen food. I especially appreciated learning about alternative cooking essentials such as healthier options for cooking oil, sugar and seasoning substitutes, even pasta sauces.
We were taught how to prepare the following: energy-boosting smoothie, southwestern vegetable casserole, curried lentil stew, vegetable giniling and choco fudge.
They were amazingly filling and made more flavorful with spices. My favorites were the vegetable casserole and of course, the choco fudge and the smoothie.
Some of my biggest takeaways from the workshop were that it’s not true that going vegan is automatically expensive. Sure, you have to invest more in the foundation–cooking oil, sauces, sweeteners, etc.–but the other ingredients can be as simple and common as camote tops, eggplant, potatoes or tomatoes.
Another is that it helps to research what exactly goes into what you’re eating. Treat food as your body’s fuel. Be smart about what you consume. A lot of the things that we eat, we don’t know what nutrients have been stripped from them or chemicals added from processing or keeping them fresh. It’s easier said than done, but if you take the baby steps to making small changes every day, you’ll be healthier in due time.
Now I’m not exactly the poster girl for healthy eats–I like to blog about non-vegan food on this blog. But I sure enjoyed learning more about cooking vegan recipes and finding out ultimately that it’s not as intimidating as it seems.
Interested in learning to cook healthy, too? Check out Jertie’s Kitchen on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jertieskitchen.pastries and make sure to attend their upcoming workshops, all 2 to 6 pm at The Good Seed:
August 5 – Kain, Kaivegan, Potluck Tayo!
September 2 – Love Chocolate
The workshop costs P2,000 each (early bird rate at P1,800) but if you’re attending two you get it for P3,500. That includes all ingredients already, and you can even take home the meals from the workshop!
Jertie’s Kitchen also makes some yummy treats: