It’s the most wonderful thyme of the year! No, not the holidays. June marks the beginning of many farmer’s markets across the US! From apples to zucchini, what might you find at your local market?
The farmer’s market provides the perfect produce for a cooking demo. While you might not know exactly what’s available from week to week, follow the seasons and network with a few farmers to find out what they’ll have on hand.
A successful food demonstration will take some planning on your part. Not only do you need to consider the produce that’s available, but you’ll also need to think about heat- both the cooking heat as well as the outdoor heat! Inside demos at rec centers, corporate companies, or offices will have electricity for soup, stir fry, or air fry demos. Outside demos may not have an electric option.
What to Demo:
Keep your recipes simple. Salads of all kinds make great demos to show off your culinary skills and nutrition knowledge. Kale and other greens are “low hanging fruit”, so to speak, as they’re easy to prep and highlight the health benefits. Keep your recipe simple. Showcase a simple vinaigrette and demonstrate how massaged kale wilts and sweetens when you get your hands on it.
If you’re including a whole grain in your salad, have it cooked and cooled before you arrive. Quinoa, farro, whole-wheat couscous, or barley are hearty grains that hold up to summer heat. Adding chopped red onions, grape tomatoes or other colorful produce will make your summer salad pop.
What to Bring:
Because you’ll be preparing food as you would in your own kitchen, you’ll need anything and everything to prep and serve your dish.
- A sturdy table or another surface to chop and prep food
- A tablecloth
- All the ingredients from herbs and spices to veggies and fruit
- Chef’s knives
- Cutting boards
- Citrus squeezer (if juicing)
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Serving bowl
- Serving spoons
- Forks or spoons
- Storage containers
Kale Strawberry Quinoa Salad
It’s strawberry season! This crisp, spring salad will delight you and your guests. A great source of vitamin C from kale and strawberries, this salad is also full of antioxidants that help fight disease. Feta cheese could be substituted for blue cheese or left out to make the salad vegan.
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 bunch curly kale, cleaned and “massaged
- 1 pint of fresh strawberries cleaned and quartered.
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- ¼ red onion cut into thin ‘rings’
- ¼ cup blue cheese
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- Cook quinoa according to directions and set aside to cool.
- Wash & dry kale and place it in a Ziplock bag. Massage the kale until it’s shiny.
- Place kale in a medium-sized bowl.
- Wash and cut the berries into small chunks and add to kale.
- Add red onions, chopped nuts, and cheese.
- Whisk together canola oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, and honey for dressing.
- Combine the cooled quinoa with the kale and strawberry mixture.
- Drizzle the dressing over the kale and quinoa and toss to coat.
- Makes 6 servings.
- Per serving: 257 calories, 20 grams fat, 4.9 grams protein, 16 grams carbohydrate, 3.4 grams fiber, 12 mg cholesterol, 168 mg sodium.
Free Handout: Cooking Demo Tips
By Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD
Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD, is a registered dietitian and owner of Sound Bites Nutrition in Cincinnati. She shares her clinical, culinary, and community nutrition knowledge through cooking demos, teaching, and freelance writing. Lisa is a regular contributor to Food and Health Communications and Today’s Dietitian and is the author of the Healing Gout Cookbook, Complete Thyroid Cookbook, and Heart Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook. Her line of food pun merchandise, Lettuce beet hunger, supports those suffering food insecurity in Cincinnati. For more information, visit her website: https://soundbitesnutrition.com/