Cauliflower Crust Pesto Pizza with Tuna, Sun Dried Tomatoes & Arugula

Oh baby. Summer is almost here! I’m so ready. Celebrate the arrival of warmer weather with this pizza and enjoy it outside if you can. It will taste much better that way. 😉 

This cauliflower crust is best eaten with a fork. It’s still delicious, but if you want a cauliflower crust you can pick up, you’ll have to wait for that one coming soon.  

Test out this recipe to get ready for summer parties! 

Cauliflower Crust Pesto Pizza With Tuna, Sun Dried Tomatoes & Arugula

Serves: 4 people 2-3 slices each

Yields: 1 pizza (12-18 inches)

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup grated mozzarella
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut flour or whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal 

 

Optional for Crust

 

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasonings or oregano

 

Toppings

 

  • 1/2 – 1 cup mozzarella or parmesan (to your taste)
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 can tuna in olive oil (sustainably caught)
  • 1/4 cup Honey Lemon Vinaigrette* (Recipe below)

 

Directions

Place a saucepan filled with 3 inches of water and fitted with a steamer basket over medium heat. Slice cauliflower (florets and stems) into quarters and place in basket. Steam the cauliflower for 6-10 minutes, or until softened and cooked through.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Carefully remove cooled cauliflower from steamer and place in large bowl or food processor.

Mash cauliflower with a potato masher or blend in food processor. Beat egg in small bowl.

Add the beaten egg, flour, salt, pepper and optional spices. Mix together well with your hands. 

Sprinkle baking sheet or baking stone with thin layer of cornmeal. 

Place the crust mixture in middle of pan and press outwards with your hands until you have an even layer covering the pan.

Place in heated oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and top with pesto and toppings, except the arugula and vinaigrette.

Bake for 5-10 more minutes. Meanwhile toss arugula with a light coating of the vinaigrette of your choice. I like using this Honey Lemon Vinaigrette recipe. * (See below)

When pizza is finished cooking remove from oven and top with arugula salad. You have your pizza and salad in one! Enjoy! Lovely with someone special and a cold summer wheat beer or Belgian tripel. 

Bon app!

First day of the season eating outdoors! 🙂 Such a delight to enjoy these first worm days of the season, especially with someone I love.

Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

 

Yields: 1 cup vinaigrette

Serves: Covers about 10-12 salads.

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 large lemons
  • ⅔ cup olive oil
  • ½ small shallot
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic (adjust to taste)
  • 3 teaspoons honey
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)

 

Directions:

Mince garlic cloves and shallot. Remove the parsley stems and save for stock. Rough chop the parsley.

Roll lemons under your forearm to release juices before slicing in half. [Tip: Zest them first if you need zest for another recipe. Can keep in a small amount of oil in the fridge for a week or so until use.]

Juice lemons and add to small bowl. Add remaining ingredients and whisk well to emulsify. Taste with a lettuce leaf and adjust ingredients to your taste.

Label and date before refrigeration. Keeps well for about 2 weeks in fridge.

 

Tahini Sauce

This is seriously my new favorite sauce. It’s SO simple and everyone who tastes it is really surprised by how easy and delicious it is. Smooth and exquisite.  

Tahini Sauce With Aleppo Pepper

Yields: 2 cups tahini sauce

Ingredients:

 

  • ⅔ cup tahini paste
  • ⅔ cup water
  • 1 ½ small lemons
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt

 

Optional

 

  • 4-6 sprigs parsley (blended with other ingredients)
  • Sprinkle of Aleppo pepper

 

Directions:

Peel garlic and slice lemons in half. Juice lemons into blender.

Combine all ingredients in blender and mix until smooth. If you blend parsley into the sauce, it will be green and have an added boost of antioxidants. 

Enjoy with sliced carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, broccoli, snow peas, or as a sauce for lamb meatballs, roasted eggplant, falafel, in a pita or shawarma. They’re very filling as a snack with roasted garbanzo beans. Mmm…

Keeps well in a sealed container in the fridge for about 5-6 days.

Inspired by Ottolenghi’s Tahini Sauce

Super Nutty Pesto

Super Nutty Pesto ingredients. You can add grated parmesan cheese too.

Get ready for summer with this twist on a traditional Italian pesto with 3 different nuts. Add some more healthy fats to your diet with a couple kinds of nuts in the creamy pesto. So great to have this on hand to use in a variety of dishes over a few days. I put it on a cauliflower crust pizza, used as a salad dressing on arugula and as a dip for veggies! Kept it interesting and none of it went to waste. You can be sure of that. 🙂  Try it on eggs, pasta, smeared on salmon, or on a panini. Ideal for meal prep for about 2-3 days.

Pesto is a great use for that bumper crop of basil from your garden this summer. If you have more than you can use at once, then put finished pesto in ice cube trays. Once they’re frozen place the cubes of frozen pesto in plastic bags or a sealed container to keep in the fridge.

You’ll have pesto for a couple of months and you can just take out and thaw what you need when you want a little taste of summer!

Let me know what other creative uses you come up for it in the comments below.

It turned out really green with such fresh basil. I added the parmesan after this picture was taken.

Super Nutty Pesto

Yields 2 Cups

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 6 cups basil leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

 

Directions

  • Crush and peel the garlic. Juice the lemon into a blender and grate the cheese if needed. 
  • Measure all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. 
  • Adjust ingredients according to your taste. You can add more oil if you would like a thinner, more pourable pesto. This recipe is fairly thick and good for spreading.

 

Keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days. Otherwise freeze in ice cube trays and then store in sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 months.

Tuna & Sun Dried Tomato Pizza on a Cauliflower Crust.

I used it as a salad dressing on arugula with cherry tomatoes and crumbled feta. Simple & delicious!

Asparagus & Pea Cream Soup

Put away those winter vegetables! Spring is here and peas and asparagus are in season NOW! 🙂

Take advantage of the cheaper prices of these vegetables and switch up your meal prep menu with this wonderful, velvety-smooth soup that’s a major crowd pleaser.  It can easily be made vegan with a plain, non-dairy milk. 

Meal Prep Tip: As long as you’re roasting asparagus for this soup, roast an extra bunch to snack on (they’re so tasty and sweet when hot, right out of the oven). Or serve them over rice or quinoa with fish, chicken, lamb or tofu.

Yields: 8-9 cups soup (great for freezing!)

Serves: 5-6 large servings

Cooking time: 1 hour, but you can freeze some and even double the recipe to maximize the use of your time.

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 large bunch asparagus
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • ½ lemon (optional)
  • 10 ounces peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried tarragon
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 cups broth (mushroom, vegetable or chicken)
  • 1 cup milk
  • Optional for Serving
  • 1 spoonful of plain yogurt
  • Sprinkle with pea shoots

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F.  If using frozen peas, take them out to thaw and pour into a bowl.

Wash asparagus and remove the hard end of each stem by breaking them close to the bottom. There is usually a white, more fibrous part near the bottom of the stem, where the asparagus will naturally break. Discard the tough ends. 

Place tender stems on a baking sheet or two. Spread out evenly so they’re not touching. Sprinkle lightly with coarse salt and coat with about 2 tablespoons olive oil. Use your hands to coat asparagus well with oil and salt.

Roast for about 20 minutes, or until they are soft to the touch and very slightly brown on the top ends.

While asparagus are roasting, thinly slice the onion and cut the lemon in half if using.

If using fresh sugar snap peas, you will also need to remove the peas from the pods. You can snack on the sweet pods. They’re great dipped in hummus, yogurt dip or tahini sauce.

Heat a medium saucepan to medium heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter. Sauté the onions for about 10 minutes, or until soft, translucent and beginning to caramelize. You may need to reduce heat to medium-low to prevent burning.

When asparagus comes out of the oven, carefully transfer to a cutting board to let it cool before you slice them in halves or thirds.

Add peas to the onions and sauté for 2 minutes. Then add the chopped, roasted asparagus, along with the salt, pepper, tarragon and thyme. Then add the broth. Cover and let simmer for at least 20 minutes.

Turn off the heat and carefully transfer to blender to puree the soup well. Or you can use an immersion blender, but a regular blender will work better for this soup. At this time add the milk and blend again or stir in with a spoon. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed. If you want, you can add a squeeze of lemon at this time as well, but it’s delicious with or without it.

You can top this with a spoonful of yogurt or a few pea shoots for a beautiful presentation.

The Empowered Kitchen Tips:

This soup freezes really well and tastes great as leftovers for up to 5 days in the fridge.

If freezing, place in mason jar with 1 inch of empty space left at the top and the lid slightly off.

Once frozen you can tighten the lid well to prevent freezer burn. Label with kind of soup and the date. Best used within 2-3 months.

Moroccan Tagine with Apricots & Lamb

Heavenly is the only way I know to describe the taste of Moroccan cuisine. The flavors meld together so beautifully due to the long cooking times, then do a little dance on your tongue with that first luscious bite. Okay, was that too much? Seriously though…I’m in love with Moroccan food. You’ll just need some dried fruits, a few spices and simple, fresh ingredients. Oh, and a bit of time for the slow cooking to work its magic.

Those spices! Ras el Hanout is a great investment and addition to so many dishes. Perfect addition to eggs, on potatoes, in soups and so much more. It’s worth a trip to your local spice shop. 

Now, let’s get cooking! 

Preparing the mise en place for the tagine.

Yields: 6 cups

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons blanched almond slivers (or whole, raw almonds)
  • 1 1/2 red onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 inch piece fresh ginger
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 pound lamb shoulder or leg (cubed)
  • 8 dates (pitted)
  • 8 dried apricots
  • 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons Ras el Hanout (Spice Blend)
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

 

Optional

  • ¼ bunch fresh cilantro

 

Serve with Couscous

(makes 4 cups cooked couscous)

  • 1 cup dry couscous
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or unsalted butter

 

Directions:

Thinly slice the onions. Mince the garlic. Peel the ginger with a spoon. Either mince the ginger or grate into a small prep bowl. Use a mortar and pestle to crush the coriander seeds. Use a small paring knife to peel 4 strips of orange peel down and away from you on a cutting board. Rough chop the almonds if using whole, raw almonds.

Heat the butter and oil over medium heat in a tagine or heavy, large saucepan. Stir in the almonds and sauté until golden. Add the diced onions and garlic, stir and cook over low heat until golden.

Stir in the minced or grated ginger, saffron, cinnamon sticks and coriander seeds. Add the cubed lamb pieces and stir to make sure everything is coated with the onion, garlic and spices. Sauté for 4 minutes.

Next pour enough water in to cover the meat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until meat is tender.

Add the dates, apricots and orange peel, stir to mix and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Slice the orange in half and juice it into a small bowl. 

Stir in the honey, Ras-el-Hanout and orange juice. Simmer another 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Start with ½ teaspoon salt, and adjust to taste.

The sauce should be thick. If it’s too thin, allow to simmer and thicken with lid off for 5 minutes, or add a few tablespoons of water if necessary. Rough chop the cilantro.

Top with chopped cilantro and serve along side couscous or brown rice.

Adapted from: https://keviniscooking.com/lamb-tagine-dates-apricots-honey/

How To Make Couscous

Boil the water with salt and olive oil or butter in medium saucepan.

Place dry couscous in glass serving bowl. Once water is boiling pour over couscous. Stir once with a fork or spoon. Cover with a lid or plate. Let steam for at least 5 minutes, or until grains are soft.

Fluff with a fork and serve hot.

*Alternatively, you can add raisins, spices and/or slivered, blanched almonds to the couscous before adding the water.

The Empowered Kitchen Tips:

Freeze 2 servings of this for another week within a month or so. Place in glass mason jar with about 1 inch of space at top. Set lid loosely on top. Once contents are frozen, tighten the lid.

Make sure to label with name of dish and date.

Cook fresh couscous or rice to serve with it when you thaw and reheat.

Sweet Potato Soup with Garam Masala & Lime

This recipe is demonstrated with sweet potato, but you can riff on the same soup with parsnips, potatoes, carrots, butternut squash and so much more. Once you’ve made this soup, you can start to experiment with different vegetables and spices to make fabulous soups without a recipe for the rest of your days! 

Have fun with it. 🙂

Yields 14 (1 cup) servings

Ingredients

  • 8 sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 10 cups water or veggie/chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lime
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream or full fat coconut milk
  • Optional Garnishes
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Pomegranate molasses
  • Whole plain yogurt
  • Cilantro

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 400° F. Place sweet potatoes on a sheet pan and lightly coat with olive oil. Roast sweet potatoes in oven for 45 – 55 minutes. They are finished when a knife easily slides through the entire sweet potato.  Let them cool and peel off the skins.

Once cool, cut into large diced pieces. (No need to dice them perfectly.)

Heat a large saucepan to medium heat. Add coconut oil to the hot saucepan.

Dice the shallot and add to the heated oil. Sauté shallot until translucent.  Add the garam masala to the shallot and sauté for 1 more minute.

Add the roasted sweet potato pieces, water or broth and salt.  Bring to a low boil and then lower to a simmer for 20-30 minutes.  

Use an immersion blender to blend the shallot and sweet potato together. Squeeze the lime and add to the soup, along with the heavy whipping cream or coconut milk. Taste and adjust salt, lime and cream to your preferences if needed.

You can optionally top this with a dollop of yogurt, a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds, a swirl of pomegranate molasses, and/or chopped cilantro.

Citrus Beet Green Salad & Roasted Vegetable Skillet with Sofrito

Beautiful late summer evening at the Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farm in Littleton. What a dream to cook outside in this gorgeous setting with such a great audience.

Members of the farm’s CSA program were enjoying their cocktails for the start to their Farm to Fork Dinner. Before heading off to dinner they gathered around this outdoor kitchen to watch a cooking demonstration and get a sampling of the farm’s fabulous fresh produce, which is so stunning and bountiful this time of year.

Raw beet stems and greens ready to go into the skillet. 

Here are the recipes!

Citrus Sautéed Beet Greens

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 bunch beets with stems and leaves

1 shallot

1 garlic clove

1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

2 oranges

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375º F. Cut the stems from the roots of the beets. Cut the beets in half and place in a loaf pan with ½ inch of water. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Steam for 30-45 minutes, or until a sharp knife goes easily through the beet. Remove the foil, let cool and then use your hands to remove the skins of the beets and discard. Be careful, as this can stain anything the beet juice comes in contact with. Dice beets into ½ inch pieces.
  2. Cut leaves off of stems. Chop the stems into ¼ inch pieces. Rough chop or tear beet leaves. Set aside on cutting board.
  3. Dice the shallot and garlic clove. Set the shallot aside. Zest the oranges and keep the zest in a small bowl.
  4. Juice the oranges into a small bowl and add the minced garlic, vinegar and honey. Mix well. Set aside.
  5. Place oil in a medium skillet, over medium high heat. Add stems and shallot and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes. Add beet leaves and continue to sauté for 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add the bowl with the orange juice mixture to the skillet and simmer until all juice has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Depending on the size of the oranges, you may just add half the orange juice mixture and taste.  You can save the rest for a salad later in the week. Adjust salt and pepper seasoning to taste.
  7. Top with steamed beets, orange zest and enjoy!

Inspired by: http://www.spoonforkbacon.com/2013/06/citrus-sauteed-beet-stems/

Cherry Tomato Skillet With Potatoes, Bok Choy And Garlic Sofrito

Serves 4

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup cherry tomatoes

6 fingerling or small new potatoes

2 cups baby bok choy leaves

Salt and pepper to taste 

Sofrito:

9 garlic cloves

½ cup olive oil

2 onions

2 large tomatoes

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon dried thyme (optional)

½ teaspoon dried rosemary

½ dried bay leaf

Directions:

  1. Roast the vegetables. Preheat the oven to 375º F. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and place on a baking sheet. Dice potatoes into ¼ inch pieces and place on a separate baking sheet. Coat all vegetables with a coating of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. You can optionally season them with herbs such as rosemary, sage and thyme. Use your hands to coat them well.
  2. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then remove the potatoes and tomatoes from the oven. If the tomatoes look fully cooked and kind of caramelized, you can stop roasting them now.  If they are not finished, put them back in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
  3. For the potatoes, turn them with a spatula. Test them with a sharp knife for doneness. Coat again with a light coating of oil if they are very dry. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until golden brown and a sharp knife goes right through the potatoes. Watch these closely, as they are cut in small pieces and have a risk of burning.
  4. Remove from the oven when fully cooked and remove from the pan. Place tomatoes and potatoes in a cast iron skillet.

Make Sofrito

  1. Finely mince the onion and garlic. Dice the tomatoes to a medium dice.
  2.   Heat the skillet to medium heat and then add the oil. Add the onion and garlic first, and saute for a minute. Crush the bay leaf. Then add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and herbs.
  3.   Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to medium low. Cook for at least 10 minutes and up to 30, but stir to make sure it doesn’t burn or stick to the pan.
  4.   Enjoy on a variety of dishes. In this case it will be added to the skillet with the potatoes and tomatoes.

Make the Skillet

  1. Rough chop the baby bok choy.
  2. Heat cast iron skillet to medium heat with 2 tablespoons olive oil and add the already roasted tomatoes and potatoes. 
  3. After 1-2 minutes of warming the roasted vegetables, add the bok choy.
  4. The bok choy will wilt quickly. Stir to combine. Once the greens are wilted, remove the skillet from the heat, top with a fried or poached egg and top with a bit of the sofrito. 
  5. This dish is great topped with a fried or poached egg.

Local Bar with Mission and a Family Atmosphere

An Interview With Local 46 Owner, Niya Diehl

Local 46 is a bar and restaurant in the Berkeley neighborhood of Denver at 46th and Tennyson.  They are a bar and recently opened up an outdoor grill on their patio! It is a family-friendly establishment and there is free bocce ball and ping pong available in their very cool, rustic outdoor patio area. They even frequently donate a percentage of their profits to education and help with fundraisers to support local schools.  

I recently sat down with owner, Niya Diehl, and learned more about why she opened up this innovative bar and grill.  

What made you open up Local 46?  It was a combination of opportunity, passion and experience.  It came naturally to me and the time was right. Mine and Grant’s (her fiancee) combined experience and passion for fundraising came together really well. 

What is distinct about your bar and restaurant?  I will keep coming back to that community aspect, where we really tried to do something different, and be something for everybody.  They always tell you in business planning that you have to find your niche, but we were wanting to be a little something for everybody, and so there’s the kid piece, the family-friendly atmosphere, as well as the late night scene.  

So we’re open until 2:00 am every night. We have live music almost every night of the week, but then we also do these family-friendly events.  Then I would also say the extensive fundraising for all the local schools, and just doing a lot of involved events with that community.  

And there’s the patio. It’s very unique.  It’s has the same-size footprint as the inside of the building, so it’s a significant size, and it’s kind of rustic and recycled looking, refurbished.  Everything is recycled or repurposed for the most part, and a lot of little spaces, lots of trees and green growth. It’s just kind of funky and different. It feels like coming to your friend’s backyard, and it’s really spacious, so people feel really comfortable here, like they’re at their house.  

How does Local 46 approach sustainability? It’s a part of our handbook. We talk about how important our efforts are to be as low impact as possible in this industry is really hard, because it’s a consuming business.  But we recycle, which actually most of our waste is recyclable. 90% of what we go through is glass bottles and cans, paper and boxes, so we recycle a lot. I really want to start composting, but with the grill being so new I haven’t put together the composting piece yet.  Ideally I’d love to do that, and then have a garden in the whole back area by the patio, and grow as much as we can.  

It’s also about supporting as many local vendors and purveyors as possible.  We have found a way to source almost everything locally. After slowly transitioning, we now have 100% local craft drafts, which is four handles outside and seven handles inside.  All the food is local. We found a couple of companies, such as LoCo Foods. They do a really great job and they distribute, but need a little more warning. It’s kind of limited and depends on the seasons, but there is some stuff that we really count on from them.  Everything they sell and distribute comes from a 250 mile radius of Fort Collins, which is super cool. We base our menu off of what we can get from them, so we try and make it seasonal. Of course there are times when we just have to run to the store and buy tomatoes, because they didn’t have them that week, but they’ve been a great resource.  

There’s also a farm called Everett Farms, which is actually run by an old high school friend. It’s up in Lakewood, and they’ve done all of our greens and a bunch of different veggies for the season. They’ve been a great resource. My grill guys go up there and actually pick all the food for our salads, and we do different seasonal farm salads based off what the farm has available.  

That’s how we really try to be sustainable, is to keep our money reinvested in the community and be local.  We are Local 46!  

How have your customers responded to the sustainability piece?  Not until we opened the grill, did I really start to see peoples’ appreciation for that.  We knew it was important. I don’t know how many people look, but when I’m out at a bar I look, and I notice if they’re recycling their bottles, or if it’s all going in one thing.  

You know, it’s little things that people look for, and we’re kind of blatant with our recycle bins, and the local thing is kind of in your face inside with the Colorado flag, and all our local spirits lined up and 100% local drafts. So, they see it, but I don’t think in their mind it’s translating to sustainability necessarily, and I don’t know if it’s just the environment, like local is in, which is great, but I think people see it more as Colorado pride.  

But when we started to do the food, and when we really promote the Everett Farms piece, and that it’s farm-to-table, and we talk about our connection to Continental Sausage, who does all of our sausages.  They get all of their meat from local producers, and then we just tap into these other proud, Colorado businesses. Then people start to recognize it, because they see that branding. We have to talk about it, so that people know we care, and that it’s something we’re wanting to share.  Then they see. Oh, they’re proud that they actually know the farmer and they went and picked all of this. That’s when our customers make the connection.  

What else would you like people to know about Local 46? 

I think that there’s probably a lot of people, and even a lot of regulars that don’t necessarily know quite how supportive we are of the local schools, and maybe sometimes that doesn’t get translated, and sometimes people can get frustrated. They’ll say, “What are you trying to do?” “Why are there kids here?” It’s really a bigger vision. We trying to show that we can make everybody happy, and we want this to be a space that can be enjoyed by families, and trying to balance it is going to be tricky, but we’re doing our best, and it’s fun!  

For the most part people have been really receptive, and we have such a great group of people that come in here and we’ve made a whole family with them. It’s really great. I feel like people know and that it really people speaks for itself when people show up here. I think you kind of get the feeling of what we’re really trying to get across.  

It’s 21 and up after ten o’clock, and we pretty much and say kids before dark.  Music doesn’t start until 9:30 and for sure they need to be gone by then. Our patio has to close at 10:00 during the week and by 11:00 on Friday and Saturday.

Let’s Get Started

(Originally posted February 2014)

Hello Friends and Wonderful Supporters!  

I am delighted, and a little giddy, to announce the official launch of The Empowered Kitchen!  🙂 Thank you all for your support thus far. It has meant so much and kept me going through these beginning stages.  

The idea behind The Empowered Kitchen is to renew our relationships with food and cooking to support vibrant lives, good health and bring us together around the table.  I want to put the fun back into eating and help people enjoy spending time in the kitchen, whether they’re cooking for one or a football team.  

The goal of this kind of cooking is to encourage us to savor our food, but we all know our lives can be busy and sometimes we just have to grab something and eat on the run or (heaven forbid) at a desk.  I’ve done this more times than I care to remember. We can all do better, even if we’re in a hurry, and take the time for ourselves to eat well. It’s good for our physical and mental health. Besides – we deserve it! These classes will teach how to cook efficiently, so everyone can fit the time into their busy schedule and eat well.  

My other passion is food waste, and raising awareness about the problems it poses for our society and our environment. We waste at least 40% of our food in the United States, posing serious ethical and environmental questions about how we use one of our most important life-giving resources. This fall my original idea was to create a behavior change campaign to teach people how to reduce their food waste. Then the lightbulb went on and I realized that teaching cooking classes was a lot more fun than preaching to people about not throwing away their food. Thus the seeds of The Empowered Kitchen were born! Thanks, Mom.

One of the most significant places we can reduce food waste is through more thoughtful cooking and menu planning, which often leads to tasty results, and money savings! That’s where these classes come in! Come learn how to make it happen. 

All classes will focus on how to prepare enough to have food left over to freeze and have ready to eat throughout the week and to re-create into new meals and snacks.  

There are a few classes scheduled in the coming months and more will be available soon. Remember that I can teach personalized classes for groups!  

Looking forward to cooking with you and discovering what delectable dishes we can create in the kitchen together. I don’t know where this journey is going to lead, but I am sincerely eager to watch it unfold.

Warmest regards on this cold, snowy, and beautiful Colorado evening!

Katrina