By Laura Stec
E-mail Laura Stec
About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en... (More)
About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and environment pioneer, macrobiotic, Master Cleanser, ayurvedic, and officially-designated health-nut or party-girl (depending on the year). Professionally, I've worn many industry hats including: line cook, corporate chef, Food Coach, caterer, product developer, restaurant reviewer, culinary school teacher, corporate wellness educator, food co-op clerk, author, and even Cirque-du-Soleil lead popcorn concessioner! For years I managed an outdoor kitchen, deep in the bear-infested woods of Tahoe, and also for hospitals (the most unhealthy kitchen I ever worked in?), Singapore high-rises, mule-pack trips, Canadian catholic rectories, and more events than I could ever recall. Yet I still keep discovering. Actually, I adapt everyday by new lessons learned from teachers, customers and students. However there is one food truth I now hold sacrosanct: Eaters are motivated by pleasure. So no matter what we discuss here - recipes or restaurants, food politics or pairings, local events, food as art, or even as God, I will always come from a high-vibe, party perspective. Oh I do still long to change the world with great tasting food, but know in my heart, "If it ain't fun, it don't get done!" So - wanna come to the Food Party? By the way - it's a potluck. (Hide)
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We head back to the farmers markets this time of year for some culinary entertainment and education. Both the Portola Valley Farmers Market, (next class May 16) and markets Bay-wide with the California Farmers Market Association, offer free cooking classes to market goers. This weekend, it’s Mother’s Little Helper
10 AM – 12 noon, at the San Leandro market (May 11) and Westfield Oakridge, San Jose, (May 12). We’re teaching meals YOU can cook for Mom, because they are so simple to prepare, and Mom wants healthy, delicious meals and filled with yummy market vegetables and fresh proteins. For a list of additional free community cooking classes, click here
Join us this weekend at the market, and if not, here is one of the recipes we’ll be doing. Buy the apricot preserves, and maybe even the tofu, at your local farmers market. All the quick cook spring veggies go well in this dish.
Happy Spring. Happy Mothers Day!
Apricot-Glazed Tofu with Asparagus & Pumpkin Seed
¼ cup apricot preserves
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon chicken or vegetable stock
¼ teaspoon minced garlic or garlic powder (substitute minced spring garlic)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 package (16 oz) firm tofu – cut into 1” squares (substitute chicken, fish or beef)*
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed or equivalent spring market veggies
¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
Combine glaze ingredients, set aside. Heat large skillet and add 1 T oil. Sauté tofu till browned – a couple minutes. Remove from pan. Add remaining oil, sauté asparagus a couple minutes till bright green. Add back tofu and add sauce. Sauté till thickened and combined. Garnish with pumpkin seed.
*Tofu is always best pressed between to dry towels, 20 minutes, to remove excess water.