Posted by: Kennedy | July 11, 2011

Culinary goddess in training, part one

I remember looking at the IHN website back when I was working full-time and school was just a thought I entertained in a remote corner of my mind. As I scoped out the program, one of the things that really got my heart racing was the cooking class.

Wait. You mean… I’m going to get to make delicious food, eat it, and then earn a credit? No tests or assignments? Just FOOD?! Sign me UP.

On Saturday, I attended the first of two cooking classes required for the course (yep, there’s so much yumminess they had to make it a two-parter – the second class is two weeks from now). Our first session focused on breakfast and lunch; the next one will cover dinner and dessert.

With my cookbook and several empty containers for leftovers in tow, I made my way to our instructor Lisa’s home. Her kitchen was welcoming, cozy, and clearly well-used – next to her spice rack is a built-in-to-the-wall bookshelf overflowing with recipe books and every nutrition text imaginable.

After the introductions, we dove right in by tasting some muesli with homemade almond milk, prepared by Lisa the night before. She soaks the oats overnight to remove the phytic acid, which can bind to minerals and block their absorption.

I had no idea there was a nutrition rationale behind the overnight oats craze! Maybe I’ll have to reconsider my boycott…

My unsuccessful attempt to love overnight oats, circa 2010

After that, we set to work with our first recipe: Gluten-free Quinoa Blender Pancakes with Maple Syrup & Flax Oil.

These little guys are not only just as tasty as your beloved boxed pancake mix from Loblaw’s, they’re also WAY more satisfying and don’t leave you feeling like you could slip into a coma at any moment.

We paired these babies with “breakfast bacon” a.k.a. Orange Maple Marinated Tempeh. Now I’m not the biggest tempeh fan (it’s a texture thing), but these things were the perfect mix of sweet and savory. My texture worries were more than put to rest.

Feeling satisfied and energized – and also wondering how we were ever going to eat our next recipes – we continued on with lunch.

I paired up with Kristine to prepare the Kichadi – a brown rice and mung bean dish with lots of awesome spices and veggies.

Kristine and Lisa prepping away...

In the cooking process, Lisa instructed us to layer the vegetables according to where they grow – roots, then soil, then above the ground. This is done so everything cooks evenly – quick-cooking veg, like leeks and cabbage, won’t get overcooked while the root veg, like sweet potatoes, are simmering away underneath. Brilliant. Plus, no stirring – just throw everything in and let it sit until it’s ready. Couldn’t be easier!

Kichadi: the finished product!

In the meantime, Selina and Alberto prepared the Quinoa Tabouli:

And Elena made Live Sprouted Chickpea Hummus:

Then we all worked on the Gluten-free Flatbread – which seemed intimidating at first but was actually quite simple – only five ingredients!  And they were lovely combined with the hummus.

Finally, it was time to enjoy the fruits of our labour. The meal was peppered with the sounds of happy taste buds and cutlery scraping on empty plates. Healthy tastes so freaking good.

And would you believe that we still weren’t done? No… it was time for the big, exciting challenge of the day – sushi!

Talk about FUN:


The presentation was far from perfect, but my roll passed the taste test.

We were still stuffed from lunch; those empty containers certainly came in handy as we eagerly packed up our sushi rolls and leftovers from breakfast and lunch.

I left Lisa’s feeling like a culinary goddess – a really full one.

And even though I spent the entire day eating, it was time to get ready for a dinner out with one of my besties!


A night of pizza, patios and Alana – a stellar ending to a superb day.

Stay tuned for Part 2 in a few weeks…



  1. Kenndy, Lovin it all. Can’t wait to taste some of your new recipes. I would love to get the gluten free pancake and flatbread recipes from above. Uncle Dave is now gluten free so I’m looking for new stuff!

    • Absolutely Mel! I’ll email them to you… OR I could just teach you how to make them when you guys are home? Just a few more weeks, can’t wait!

  2. i want to take cooking classes!!!!!!!

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