Spring Greens Pizza Demo at CUESA

CUESA is one of Bay Leaf Kitchen's partners and if you don't know much about them, they are a great, local non-profit that works in educating our community about sustainable agriculture. On Saturdays, they host free educational cooking demos and asked Bay Leaf Kitchen to participate this past Saturday. We had a lot of fun teaching how to make Spring Greens Pizza and talking about our programs with our amazing Jr. Chef Helpers.  

We taught the audiance how to make Spring Green Pizzas using Sonora Heirloom wheat from our friends at Eatwell Farm. Did you know, at one point in our history it was the main wheat variety grown throughout California? Now it has virtually disappeared from our markets, but Eatwell is growing and harvesting it in hopes to bring it back. The flour is similar to a whole wheat flour and has a slight nutty flavor. Our toppings included green and purple asparagus, leeks, green garlic, and ancho and pepper cress and some delicious cheese from Nicasio Valley Cheese Company

Elianna and I would agree the best part of the demo was working with the Jr. Chef Helpers and watching them eloquently pass their knowledge on to the community. We are so proud of them and all they do with us and couldn't be happier sharing their talents with the community. Go kids in the kitchen!

Follow us in Novato as we team up with JoyFoodly

We feel so lucky working in food education among our friends and teachers. Chef Hollie Greene is not only a great friend of ours but her positive energy and engaging teaching style is also an inspiration to us at Bay Leaf Kitchen.  Hollie is the founder of Joyfoodly an amazing website and teaching aid to help families eat more fruits and vegetables. One of the best parts of her website is her Technique Time Out videos like this one How to Prep Cauliflower.

She has taught thousands of kids the joys of building their plates around vegetables and fruits through her website and in person at schools and even Bay Leaf Kitchen Camp 2014.  We had so much fun making Summer Curry and Naan with Hollie at our July camp! 

We are very honored to be working alongside her to as she helps improve the health of community in Novato, CA by bringing the joy of cooking at home through her program, the Joyful12.  Together we are raising money to provide a full circle program in Novato, giving all the families at Lu Sutton Elementary access to the Joyful12, teaching adults and kids how to use the Joyful12 in their homes and launching Jr. Chef Helpers in Novato.

You can learn more about the campaign here. Please join the Joyfoodly and Bay Leaf Kitchen team and help more families eat more and more fruits and vegetables everyday!

"Sqelicious" Winter Squash at Eatwell Farm's Annual Pumpkin Party!

We made up a new word! When someone asks you if your squash is delicious, you say "YES, it's squelicious! Have you noticed all the colorful winter squash in the farmers market lately? I used to only be able to name a few: butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and sugar pie pumpkin. Now, I feel like a winter squash expert! OK, not really. But because I talk to many farmers I have learned so much about the different varieties of winter squash. Red Kuri might be my favorite right now for it's bright color and sweet taste.

Yesterday, we went to Eatwell Farm for their Annual Pumpkin Party with a couple of our Jr. Chef Helpers to see the winter squash varieties they're growing this season. In keeping with the squash theme, we made a harvest lentil soup with winter squash and grilled cheese sandwiches. 

It was a nice, breezy day so the hearty, warm soup and golden brown, gooey grilled cheese sandwiches felt so fitting and satisfying. Try making this at home!

Harvest Lentil Soup with Winter Squash

Serves 4 

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
2 winter squash, peeled and diced (about 4-5 cups)
1 cup green or brown lentils, washed and picked over
1 bay leaf
4 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place the squash on a baking sheet tray and drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper on top. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until flesh of the squash is tender. 

Allow the squash to cool after removing from the oven. Meanwhile, in a heavy bottom stock pot, saute onions in olive oil over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the lentils, bay leaf, and stock and bring to a boil. 

Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. Lentils are cooked as soon as they are tender.  Remove the bay leaf, add the roasted squash to the lentils and enjoy! I even like to add a sprinkle of fresh herbs on top or a bit of shaved parmesan cheese to make it extra special.

Eatwell also shared several kinds of roasted butternut squash that we helped judge for best taste. Our votes will help Nigel and Lorraine determine which butternut squash they'll plant! (I voted for #2!)

It was so wonderful meeting families and kids from all over the Bay Area and sharing with them our love of food and cooking. We hope to see everyone soon at future events and classes! Now time to roast up some yummy winter squash.