Meatless Mondays: Lessons from my vegetarian cooking class, pt. 3

Well, after two very exciting vegetarian cooking classes, I'm back to share more lessons for Meatless Monday

In my third week of taking "Essential Techniques of Vegetarian Cooking" at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City, I am even more excited to get into the kitchen and make delicious food. I mean, just look at the stuff I made in the past class. Doesn't that look super delicious? I learned a bunch of lessons in this latest class, so let me share them with you. 


Read more ¿Qué más? Meatless Mondays: Lessons from my vegetarian cooking class, pt. 2

This past class was actually almost ALL about roasting and grilling, which are two of my favorite cooking techniques. Though, to be honest, I haven't really done a whole lot of either—at least not with veggies.

When it came time to roasting, we started out with testing three different techniques for making roasted red peppers (in the top right corner). One group in the class blackened their red peppers over an open flame in the kitchen (from a gas grill), another group used the broiler to blacken their pepper while my group roasted the peppers in the oven. Each group then peeled off the skin by hand (so easy!) and chopped them up. We tasted all of them and, to be honest, I think the one that was roasted in the oven was the best because it was sweeter and softer than the other two. 

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We used the same technique to make baba ganoush, which is a Middle Eastern roasted eggplant spread. Those were all really delicious and I was happy to see how easy it was to prepare the eggplant (meaning, to roast it to the point that it is very soft and almost dripping). For those two, we also toasted some pita chips with different types of seasoning. 

One of my favorites from the class, though, was the dish in the middle. We soaked some tempeh in milk, coated it with bread crumbs and fried it the way you would with chicken. The real beauty, though, was the red onion relish on top. I've never really liked red onions but sautéing these in a mixture of water, apple cider vinegar and agave nectar for about an hour, reducing them down to very soft, made them EXTREMELY good. I just absolutely loved it!

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Now, we also made some simple roasted potatoes (first boiled, then sautéed in garlic and parsley) and then my cooking class instructor grilled some chicken. I know, I know: it's a vegetarian cooking class. Technically, though, most of the people in the class (myself included) aren't vegetarians so he wanted us to have a good base on how to grill chicken healthily as well. He marinated it three different ways, one with lemon, one with lime and another with orange. It was also very delicious.

The last part of the class was my FAVORITE, though. We learned how to grill vegetables! And not just any vegetables: we made some simple grilled zucchini and Portobello mushroom caps. Both were amazing but the best was actually the grilled pineapples. First we actually coated the pineapples in some honey and cinnamon, then tossed them on the grill. The pineapples turned out sweet and delicious and were definitely one of my favorite parts of this (mostly) vegetarian meal. Stay tuned for the last in the series next week!

Have you ever grilled vegetables or fruit, like pineapple? What is your favorite way to make dips and sauces? Share with us in the comments below!

Image via Irina Gonzalez

Topics: healthy latin recipes  latin grill recipes  latin vegetarian recipes