classes in english
Classes are in English or Spanish
see calendar page for scheduling
Individual & group classes available
COOKING GRASS FED MEAT
Grass fed beef is increasingly in demand as a general population is coming to the understanding that factory-raised meat is not only inhumane, but harmful to our health. For those who would like to eat less meat, but quality meat this class offers a tasting in various cuts of meat raised completely pastured on over 800 acres of Rancho Canada de la Virgen, San Miguel de Allende and now available in Mexico City. With a few tips and tricks, pastured meat offers the best option for healthy, nutritious meat at home.
COOKING FOR LIFE, a few ‘hacks’ to eating more vegetables at home.
There is absolutely no alternative to homemade food. There’s no substitute for being able to give yourself the best that you can feed yourself. The rise of organic farmer’s market, pastured raised meats and healthy dairy, pesticide-free real food, eating well at home is an option and easier with the ideas I offer in this class. This class shows you how eating at home with a little dedication is easy, delicious and less hassle. If you love shopping for fresh food this is the class to show you how to take advantage of the bounty and not let it die out in the crisper.
GOURMET HOUSEMADE SALADS I & II
Miso cabbage with roasted almonds, kale ‘ceviche, Sicilian panzanella or bread salad, true Greek salad, creamy yogurt dressings, simple Asian-inspired, beans cured citrus cilantro, shredded beets in balsamic… Pura Vida Kitchen has an endless list of salad recipes that can add to your go-to recipes and get you to use more and different types of vegetables and dressing flavors.
The rising popularity of probiotic foods is actually a return to a old, solid kitchen nutritional wisdom. Human bodies are home to millions of bacteria which we depend on for a incalculable number of basic bodily functions. Science is still catching on while tradition still offers us the wisdom and knowledge of incorporating rich and diverse foods into our diets. Sauerkraut from Europe, Kim Chee from Korea and homemade yogurt are simple , nourishing ways to have rich probiotic foods at home.
What could be better than homemade ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise. It’s a dream come true. As best as we can control for healthy ingredients, packaged condiments can sneak into our kitchens bulking up calories and sugar intake in a seemingly harmless way. In this class we will make a classic ketchup, explore alternative flavoring, deconstruct the fiery elements of yellow and black mustard seeds and whip up a smooth mayonnaise with the healthiest of fats.
Sweet is one of the pleasures of life and it comes from many sources. When combined with refined forms of foods, sweet treats can cause havoc on the body chemistry and affect the hormones with fast sugar spikes. Good news is there are great recipes for sweet-tooths which rely on whole foods, healthy fats and minimal carbs. In this class we will create pies and tarts with nut crusts, smooth chocolate mousse without dairy, fresh berry compotes and a lemon cheesecake with no cheese!
MIDDLE EASTERN TASTES
Traditional foods are largely based in plant-based foods and the middle east is a large treasure trove of great recipes using sprouted beans, vegetables and a myriad of spices and herbs. A batch falafel can be on hand as a veggie burgers or salad topping along with the best(!) hummus recipe and working with mint, cumin, lime and other great spices of the Arab world.
REAL FOOD VEGGIE BURGERS
If you can say to yourself that you can honestly find the two hour space it takes to make a batch of veggie burgers, then in the class you can learn 3 great and different recipes for fixing yourself and your family nutritious plant-based burgers to have on hand all month when you don’t have time from much food preparation. I’ve come up with a great black bean burger, a quinoa burger and a popular lentil and oatmeal based one. This is a tasty class complete with all the fixings.
BOTANAS A LA MEXICANA
Mexico offers one of the widest and deepest of food traditions and there is so much to learn about chiles, cheeses, spices and food combining from across the entire country. This class offers a great ‘beginner’s guide’ with a local cheese tasting, a review of fresh and dried chiles and learning how to make fresh boiled and roasted red and green salsas. I’ll also introduce clever ways to make beans, work with fresh masa and work with one of Mexico’s best delicacies - huitlacoche (a corn treat). You will walk away with some fundamental recipes and the ability to reproduce them at home, easily.
HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING
HIgh altitude baking is neither hard to do nor hard to understand. It’s takes a little practice and consideration to what ‘less’ pressure’ means for rising times and moisture. In the class, we make carrot cake, dinner rolls and, perhaps, a recipe you are trying to correct for altitude. With just a few common sense adjustments, baking at high altitude can be no problem at all.
THE INCREDIBLE, EDIBLE EGG
The incredible, edible egg! How to shop for fresh, healthy eggs. Storing and using eggs. Many people think eggs should be cook low and slow, however, this is not the case! Eggs are an incredibly versatile food - they can be sweet, salty, liquid or solid, prepared alone or a hidden, but integral part of so many recipes as a main ingredient or subtle support. We whip up a few dishes with eggs that'll get you making a scramble without a stiff film at the bottom of the pan, a full proof, easy hollandaise from homemade Benedicts & we coddle a Spanish tortilla which can feed you throughout the week.
INDIAN VEGETARIAN BASICS
Garam Masala, methi, amchur, fennel, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, garlic and ginger are among the many great flavorings and secrets to great Indian Cuisine. India, too, holds a long tradition of plant-based eating which can be combined with some animal protein for a balanced meal. Many of the spices are familiar, but the methods for toasting and combining them are distinctive. In this class, we make a homemade yogurt cheese (paneer) with a silky spinach stew (saag), a great basic lentil soup (dahl) and sauces, basmati rice and veggie fritters (pakoras) to round out the meal.
A HEALTHIER SMOOTHIE
A daily smoothie can be an energy bomb or an energy equalizer. It can be overloaded with fast calories or, if mixed with the right set of ingredients, it can be an optimal meal that gives steady energy packed with cell supportive nutrition. In this class, we start with a tasting of 5 alternative ‘milks’ and explore our way thru the range of power foods helping you to design the right daily smoothie for you.
TRADITIONAL GREEK DISHES
I spent a month in the island Crete and traveling Greece and learned one of the best lessons about traditional foods and that is that everyone has their own version! Along the way I was able to pick up a few tips and recipes and I especially enjoy revisiting them in this class while making an Avgolemeno Soup (Chicken Lemon and Rice Soup), a classic greek salad and working with phyllo dough to make an assortment of savory and sweet treats.
Garbanzo beans, amaranth, coconuts, rice and oatmeal make great alternatives to wheat flour and in various combinations can be used to make savory as well as sweet treats. In this class we make crackers, sweet breads and other treats that match what you want. Let me know which kind of foods you want to replace with GF flours and we’ll make them.
CLASSES FOR COCINERAS
(hired cooks, all classes in Spanish)
see calendar for class schedules and prices
BASIC NUTRITION CLASSES FOR HOME COOKS
BASIC NUTRITION I: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT: PROTEINS, CARBS & FATS – in this class I offer an overview of the our major nutrients, their functions in our bodies & how to source the best forms of them. This information is vital knowledge for anyone who cooks for a others. Balancing macro-nutrients and not going carbohydrate-heavy will be emphasized. Lots of visual tools are used to help cooks learn to identify different major nutrients.
MENU: Pan-seared Organic Chicken Thighs, Roasted Veggies, Quinoa, & Basic Vinaigrette
BASIC NUTRITION II: FOOD IS ENERGY: KNOWING CALORIES OF BASIC PANTRY& DETERMINING PORTION SIZES FOR DIFFERENT PEOPLE - this class offers an overview with lots of visual guides, a scale and measuring tools of how to know and use a basic understanding of calories and portions of proteins, carbs and fats.
MENU: Sautéed Veggies, Parmesan Rice, Chicken Cutlet & Mixed Herb Pesto
BASIC NUTRITION III: PRACTICUM- MEAL PLANNING & SKILL BUILDING: cocineras can ‘practice’ what they know building meals with visual guides and tools to deepen their understanding of planning balanced meals for a week’s time. A Weekly Planning Sheet will be introduced to help with planning meals, shopping lists and securing for balanced nutrients.
TECHNICAL & WORK SKILLS
KITCHEN EQUIPMENT: using mixers, blenders, food processors, pots & pans, slicing on a mandolin, shredding and knife skills
MENU: Caramelized Onions, Mixed Herb Pesto, Almond Butter, Toasted Nuts & Seeds, Whipped Cream, Homemade Aioli
FOOD SHOPPING IN SAN MIGUEL: Heading into new markets can be overwhelming and sometimes prove ‘fruitless’ when working with new ingredients. In this class, I take home cooks on a tour of Natura, natural food store with a good sources of grains, meats and legumes, Mercado SANO, to show where all the different recommended products are in the variety of stores there and to Luna de Queso to review the spice, Asian, alternative grains and bulk sections. GOOD TO SEND YOUR COOK WITH SOME CASH TO BUY SOME OF THE RECOMMENDED BASIC PANTRY ITEMS.
PRINT-OUT OF SHOPPING GUIDE TO SMA IN SPANISH & ENGLISH PROVIDED
COOKING MEAT PROTEINS
FISH I: SHOPPING GUIDE, BASIC PREPARATIONS & STORING – we will review different types of fish with a visual guide, pan-sear a fish filet to show how not to overcook fish and review essential to buying and keeping fish. (CLASS HAS $100p EXRA COST DUE TO HIGH FISH PRICES)
MENU: Pan-Seared Fish Filet, Easy Fish Cakes with Dill Sauce, Cooking Shrimp in garlic & parsley
FISH II: SOUPS, STUFFED BAKED FISH& FISH STICKS – (CLASS HAS $100p EXTRA COST DUE TO HIGH FISH PRICES)
MENU: Fish Soup with Veggies, Stuffed Fish Filet in herb, olives & potatoes, Fish Sticks with dairy- free lemon dipping sauce
FISH III: SEAFOOD! Preparing shrimp, clams and calamari- when available
MENU: Coconut-crusted Shrimp with condiment, Clams “Vongole” with rice or pasta and fresh herbs, Calamari with garlic and chiles and Stuffed with seafood
COOKING MEAT CORRECTLY I: BEEF, PORK & LAMB – review of basic cuts with visual guides, sourcing best quality, storing and freezing principals
MENU: perfect hamburger, pork cutlets & easy lamb stew
COOKING MEAT CORRECTLY II: CHICKEN & TURKEY & EGGS – review of basic parts with visual guides, using the whole bird, sourcing best quality, storing and freezing principals. We will review egg
MENU: Roasted Whole Chicken, Gingered Turkey Meatballs and Tortilla Española (egg & potato dish)- with basic scrambled egg recipe.
MEAT MAIN DISHES: (added cost)
MENU I: Shepherd’s Pie with ground lamb or beef, Almond Crusted Fish Filet, Stuffed Chicken Breast
MENU II: African Chicken Peanut Stew, Asian Salmon Steamed with Cabbage, Smokey Garlic Shrimp
MENU III: Moroccan Chicken & Olives, Stuffed Fish Filets, Fava Bean, Pancetta & Artichoke Stew
EGGS I: Buying, storing, identifying healthy vs. non-healthy and cooking eggs properly
MENU: Hard-boiled eggs, Egg Salad, Tortilla Española with Greens, Omelets and Baked Eggs
VEGETBALES I: OVERVIEW OF ALL VEGETABLES -familiarize variety of available vegetables with visual guides, storing, freezing and lifespan of fresh vegetables and basic cooking techniques- steaming, roasting, sautéing
MENU: Roasted Root Vegetables with Herb Vinaigrette, Pan-seared Zucchini Fritters with Yogurt Sauce, Steamed Broccoli with Tahini Sauce
VEGETABLES II: VEGGIE BURGERS, VEGGIE MAIN DISHES
MENU: Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers, Tuscan Vegetables Stew, Stuffed Peppers with Curried Veggies and rice (or quinoa) with Red Pepper Romesco Sauce (tomatoes, nuts, garlic and red peppers)
VEGETBALES III: INDIAN-INSPIRED
MENU: Punjabi Cabbage, Gingered Carrots, Indian Summer Stew & Indian Spinach Stew (Palek Paneer), Raita Yogurt Sauce
VEGETABLES IV: ASIAN-INSPIRED
MENU: Fresh Veggie Springrolls, with Seasoned Tamari (Soy) Sauce, Thai Summer Curry, Mushroom/Scallion Stir Fry, Asian Chicken & Cabbage Salad
VEGETABLES V: WORKING WITH DIFFERENT GRAINS: BASMATI RICE, QUINOA & POLENTA – cooks will be introduced to these grains and shown specific recipes while having a broader discussion on creating other recipes with these grains
MENU: Making Perfect Basmati Rice with diced Vegetables and Spices, “Southwestern” Quinoa Salad with Black Beans & Corn, Crispy Quinoa & Onion “Cakes”, Baked Polenta slices with parmesan and garlic
VEGETABLES VI: MAIN DISHES WITH LEGUMES- BEANS, LENTILS & GARBANZOS – buying, storing and soaking legumes and beans for optimal digestion.
MENU: Spinach, Basil Lentil Soup & Lentil Stew, Vegetarian Chili with Poblanos, Garbanzo “Mayo”, Making Garbanzo-based Falafel fried in Avocado Oil with Roasted Eggplant and Tahini
MORE VEGGIE MAIN DISHES:
MENU: Greek Spinach Pie, Curry Basil Lentil Stew, Beet Cassoulet
MENU: Yam & Peanut Stew, Indian Summer Stew (Squash, Coconut & Lentils), Veggie Pakoras with Coconut- Mint Sauce
MENU: Quinoa ‘Blinis’ with Grilled Vegetables with Garlicky Green Sauce, Asian Peanut Noodles (with Udon and/or Zucchini Noodles), Stuffed Poblanos with beans and Pasilla Sauce
SOUPS I: MAKING BASIC BROTHS & SOUPS- vegetable and meat-based broths for soups, grains and sauces, Making Soups from vegetables (the do’s & don’ts), Chicken Soup for health,
MENU: vegetable broth, bone broth, Parmesan Broth with Tortellinis, Roasted Vegetable Chicken Soup, Creamless, Creamy Vegetable Soup with herbs
SOUPS II: MAKING A VARIETY OF SOUPS
MENU: Kale, Potato & Sausage Soup, Cream of Tomato with Basil, Split Pea Soup with Smoked Turkey Ham: Croutons and Toppings for Soups
SOUP III: ASIAN INSPIRED
MENU: Basic Ramen, Asian Laksa with chicken and rice noodles, Carrot Ginger with Root Vegetables, Pumpkin Lime & Coconut Soup
SALADS I: Introduction to variety of fresh, raw salads – visual guides to variety of green leafy vegetables and a tasting, 3 types of dressings and variety of toppings including: olives, toasted nuts & seeds, fruit slices, shredded veggies and colorful varieties
MENU: Arugula & Greens with strawberry balsamic vinaigrette, Spinach & Bacon with Creamy Herb Ranch, Shredded Carrots with Asian-ginger
SALADS II: Steamed & Roasted Salads and 3 types Kale Salads
MENU: Potato, Broccoli & Arugula in Dijon Vinaigrette, Charred Summer Salad, Kale “Ceaser”, Kale with Parmesan & Roasted Sweet Potato, Wilted Kale with Miso Dressing
SALADS III: Grain & Bean Based Gourmet Salads and three more dressings
MENU: Classic Tabuleh (mint/parsley/lime dressing), Crunchy Beet & Chickpeas, Quinoa Salad with Pecans, Apples & Cranberries, Three Bean Salad with Citrus-Cumin Dressing
SALADS IV: Meat-based Salads (may incur extra cost)
MENU I: Herbed Egg Salad, Cold Asian Noodles with Chicken, “Taco” Salad with ground turkey
MENU II: Thai Beef Salad with scallions and ginger, Lightly Creamy Dilled Shrimp Salad, Turkey “Fajita” Salad
SALADS V: DRESSINGS & SAUCES – and combing them with different dishes
MENU: Chermoula Sauce for Meat dishes, Chimichurri for grilled meats and/or vegetables, Carrot Ginger Dressings, Sesame Miso Dressing, Garlic Green Goddess, Garbanzo “Mayonnaise”
MENU I: Homemade Granola, Poached Eggs with Hollandaise Sauce, Basic Muffins
MENU II: Baked Frittata with Sausage, Yogurt Parfaits, Homemade Jams
MENU III: Coconut-Flour Pancakes, Flourless Egg & Cottage Cheese Savory Muffins, Grain-Free Scones
BAKING I: BAKING BASICS: Measuring dry & wet ingredients, Flours & Alternative Flours, Adjusting recipes for high altitude
MENU: Morning Fruit Scones, Lemon Nut Cookies with Amaranth Flour & Banana- Blueberry Muffins
BAKING II: PIES & TARTS
MENU: Basic Pie Crust, Dutch Apple Pie, Chocolate Pecan Tart, Pumpkin Pie
BAKING III: CAKES
MENU: Basic Vanilla Cake and Chocolate Ganache Frosting, Carrot Cake with Lime Cream Cheese Frosting, Chocolate Log with Flavored Whipped Cream
HEALTHY DESSERTS I:
MENU I: Nut crusts for pies & Chocolate Ganache, Homemade Granola, Flourless Brownies
MENU II: Dairy-free “Cheese Cake”, Raw Oatmeal Cookies, Dairy Free Chocolate Mousse
MENU I: Kale Chips, Amaranth Puffs & Crunchy-Spiced Chickpeas
MENU II: Almond Butter, Cacao-Almond Butter Balls, Blueberry Granola Bars
SPECIAL CLASSES ON THERAPEUTIC DIETS
Cancer Prevention Diet