Are you familiar with Spork Foods? You know, the gourmet vegan food company in Los Angeles, offering vegan cooking classes? It's owned by two adorable sisters, Heather Goldberg and Jenny Engel? They recently published a vegan cookbook, Spork Fed? Yes, that Spork Foods! Well, last Thursday night, Chris, the twins, and I had the pleasure of attending a cooking demo they did at a Whole Foods. Heather and Jenny are not only extremely knowledgeable about vegan cooking, but they are very entertaining and passionate about what they do which made the demo so fun and so informative. The samples were incredible and we learned a ton! The best part was seeing the twins get excited about vegan cooking. We bought their cookbook (and the sisters were kind enough to sign it for us too!) and the whole way home, Sophia pointed out recipes she wanted us to try.
On the menu for the demo was their Maple Mustard Glazed Tempeh and Creamy Pistachio Pesto over Brown Rice (the recipes for both can be found in Spork-Fed). For dessert, there were Light and Crisp Almond Macaroons, and as I mentioned in #8 in the list above, these were not your ordinary macaroons. They were much more like tuile cookies, being very thin and flat, but tasted similarly to my beloved French macaroons. They were such a treat!
We didn't take any pictures because it was pretty intimate and I didn't want to be that annoying photographer person. I have, however, made a list of the things I learned during the cooking demo and I am going to share that list with you. Some of you fancy pants may already know these things, but they were new to me.
TOP 10 THINGS I LEARNED AT THE SPORK FOODS COOKING DEMO
- A strawberry is not actually a berry. A berry has seeds contained on the inside of the fruit, whereas the strawberry has all of its hard yellow seeds on the outside of its body.
- If you have eaten too much (not that any of us do that ever) you can put several slices of fresh ginger into some hot water and drink your "ginger tea" to alleviate that overfull feeling.
- I need to learn the art of posing for the camera. These ladies knew when to stop mid-sentence, turn to the camera, pose and smile fabulously. Truly, a gift.
- To use Ener-G Egg Replacer, you don't always have to mix it with water. The majority of the time, Heather and Jenny just mix the powder right into the dry ingredients they are working with. Also, all of the recipes on the Ener-G box are not very good. Don't bother.
- I need to be steaming my tempeh. All of this time, whenever I heard the term "steamed tempeh," I thought it meant that you just steamed it, then ate it, which does not sound appetizing to me at all. Not the case, my friends! By steaming the tempeh, you release some of the bitterness from the fermentation and open the spores, making it more marinade-absorbant.
- Almonds are not nuts, but actually seeds and are cousins to the stone-fruit family.
- Basil is amazing. I mean, I knew it makes everything you add it to taste incredible, but I had no idea how good basil was for you. It aids in digestion and helps your body absorb nutrients from other foods. It's good for your skin and hair. It can alleviate headaches, fever, and calm your nerves. You can even use it on insect bites and skin infections to alleviate the pain. Amazing!
- Macaroons are no longer limited to those delectable beautifully-colored French cookies or those haystack-mimicking American cookies. They can be thin, flat, light and crisp and taste like an absolute dream. Even Max liked them and he limits his sweet tooth preferences to snickerdoodles or animal crackers.
- 30 minutes is all you need to fully marinate tofu, tempeh, and seitan.
- Making nicknames for your cooking utensils makes your time in the kitchen more fun.
If you are in the LA area, I strongly suggest attending one of their cooking classes. If you are not in the LA area, don't be discouraged! They have online cooking classes that start at just $7.95 per month! Cooking classes not your cup of tea? Pick up a copy of Spork-Fed. Regardless your level of vegan cooking mastery, you will greatly benefit from Heather and Jenny's wealth of knowledge and their very approachable recipes.
Spork Foods has not paid me or asked me to write this review.
Unless otherwise noted, all photos taken by Chris Miller
© Kristy Turner and Keepin' It Kind, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (content and images) without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kristy Turner and Keepin' It Kind with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.