Hi guys! Last week I was invited to attend Inggrie’s cooking class at TehKu Tea in Dublin. I was very excited to be able to attend! It would give me a chance to support Inggrie and her business, TehKu, but also attend my first cooking class!
Have you ever been to a cooking class before?
Since this was my first, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I didn’t know if we would be cooking or just watching. I didn’t know if we would be eating or sampling or what. I went in with an open mind and a belly ready for whatever came our way.
Inggrie passed around a plate and asked us each to take one and try it. We didn’t know what it was. We had to pop it out of that little shell and it looked like a wee berry. It was sweet and crunchy. Then she told us it was a husk tomato! They were mighty fine and are available at the Dublin Farmer’s Market which are on Wednesdays. More info at the bottom of the post!
Inggrie made a very simple yet very flavorful and hearty veggie soup. The base of the soup was tea! No broth or stock or water, but a whole bunch of tea. Unfortunately I didn’t take notes so I don’t remember what teas were used. Sorry guys! I had a bad food blogger moment because I was so wrapped up in the presentation and class. Also in the soup were carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and baby bok choy. It was so good!
Inggrie talked to us about her approach and philosphy to cooking throughout the class along with personal stories and anecdotes. I found myself nodding in agreement the whole time because her philosphy is exactly the same as mine! There’s so much to it that it will be hard for me to discuss all the points but I’ll try!
When you cook for yourself you know exactly what goes into the dish. Therefore you have better control over quality of ingredients and can make it exactly how you want it.
Spend the money and use quality ingredients because the flavor will take you a long way and you will need to use less. Why spend money on cheap food that is loaded down with chemicals when you can have real food that will taste amazing?
Eat and buy local. You get better product and you are giving back to your local community.
Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated, hard, or time consuming. You can whip up a meal in 30 minutes. Yes, you totally can. Would you rather spend that time heating up a random frozen meal and plopping down on the couch OR using that time to make a fresh meal for yourself that is better for you and your body?
Can’t cook? Not true, you totally can! Everyone can cook! You just have to take the time to learn. It isn’t just about a meal, it’s also about your health. Take charge of it! Like everything, there are cooking basics and foundations. Once you know those, you can use them to build many awesome things.
You have to be confident in the kicthen and take chances. Will everything turn out perfectly? No. You will make mistakes or things will taste like crap. It happens to everybody! Learn from those mistakes and move on. Sometimes you’ll have a happy accident where what you thought would be icky turns out to be fantastic.
Most times when I make something, I’m doing it for the very first time. Last night’s black bean and corn stuffed peppers? First time. I never made that before, I just thought it sounded good and decided to try it. And it worked! You don’t know what will work until you try!
Okay, okay, you get the idea.
Moving along, next course was the salad!
This was made with local mixed greens, local apples, cucumber, and some of those husk tomatoes. Inggrie made the vinaigrette with tea! And a little bit of lemon juice and oil. It was so light and refreshing! I sometimes forget that the simplest salads are often the tastiest.
Then it was time for the big ta-da! We had fish and rice but totally kicked up and with tea!
Inggrie did a quick marinade on the salmon with lemon and lime juice, and some olive oil with sea salt and cayenne. Then she sprinkled in a bit of the dry tea for extra kick! The salmon was sauteed in a pan for just a few minutes so it could get tender and more delicious.
The rice was a sticky kind of white rice that she cooked beforehand with water in her rice cooker. Then she added in some more dry tea and coconut butter! I have never had coconut butter before and this was amazing. I can’t even begin to tell you how fantastic the coconut butter made the rice. Very moist with a hint of coconut flavor at the end which just floored me.
This was my first encounter wtih coconut butter and I had no idea what it was so I looked it up! Inggrie said that she got hers from Premier Organics LTD, and I found them online. This is how they describe their coconut butter (and heads up, it’s raw! For all my fabbo raw ladies out there! And it’s gluten free as well!).
Artisana has defined their Coconut Butter with a signature puree of coconut meat, yeilding a fibrous, densely nutritious spread and a wonderful ingredient in raw desserts, smoothies, savory dishes and snacks. We can’t keep our spoons out of our jars. Find a new love in an old favorite. Mix Artisana Coconut Butter with Agave Nectar, Vanilla, and a pinch of Sea Salt for a fantastic raw frosting (sandwich it between two cookies…YUM!!!).
Hit me up with some coconut butter Artisana! I will review it for you. And if you wanna send along some of your other flavors of stuff, I’ll try that too.
In all seriousness though, I’m going to have to look for some coconut butter to add to my pantry because it’s beyond amazing.
Inggrie gets a lot, in fact the majority of her products and produce, from local vendors. She helps run the Dublin Farmer’s Market which is held every Wednesday, from 4:30pm – 8:30pm in downtown historic Dublin. The website lists the time until 7pm but I’m almost positive it’s open till 8:30pm. Inggrie also has connections with local farmers and businesses to help provide residents with local product. If you are at all interested in purchasing local, please stop by TehKu to talk with Inggrie. Inggrie is also on Twitter, so give her a follow!
I loved this cooking class and hope to be able to attend more in the future! Wanna go with me?
Thanks for inviting me Inggrie and thank you so much for taking the time to put on cooking classes and educating us on what all Columbus has to offer us!