Sunday, December 5, 2010

Robyn's Cooking Class with Robyn Youkilis

Robyn Youkilis Headshot - Courtesy of Robyn Youkilis
Photo Courtesy of Robyn Youkilis

Even though it's the beginning of December, I spent the majority of my weekend laying the foundation for some of my New Year's resolutions. In my opinion, if you want to improve upon yourself, why wait for an arbitrary date to kick off the transformation? With that in mind, I want to share some information about a fabulous cooking class series offered in New York City because I know that some of you are looking for ways to spend less on dining out and/or how to cook healthier foods in your own kitchen.

Consider signing up for Robyn's Cooking Club hosted by Robyn Youkilis, a holistic health coach based in Manhattan. I first met Robyn during a health fair sponsored by my company a few months ago. I had just gotten my flu shot (ouch!) and stopped by her table to try a sample of one her smoothies. Eventually, it came out that I had a food blog and that Robyn's related to one of my favorite baseball players ever (if you didn't make the connection based on Robyn's last name, I'm talking about KEVIN YOUKILIS of the BOSTON RED SOX). We've been keeping in touch (mainly on Twitter) ever since.

Robyn's Cooking Class - Courtesy of Robyn Youkilis
Photo Courtesy of Robyn Youkilis

Robyn invited me to join her Cooking Club, but my triple-booked schedule hasn't allowed for me to make an appearance just yet. If you want help changing the way you eat and how you think about cooking or putting together a meal, joining will allow you to

  • Learn to cook easy and fast yummy (and healthy!) meals for one
  • Learn to prepare a stellar no fuss meal that's great for entertaining
  • Discover new foods and how to use them
  • Learn Robyn's top tips and tricks to guarantee a flavorful meal
  • Get a huge database of the benefits of the foods being eaten
  • Learn how to navigate confusing food labels
  • Understand the right portion size for your body
  • Find ways to save money every time you go grocery shopping

Once you register, you become an official Robyn's Cooking Club member, and your space will be held every month thereafter. If you ever decide to leave the cooking club, your spot will then be open for new members. For only $37 a month, you'll get
  • One 90-minute group cooking class per month
  • A three-course dinner with drinks
  • Detailed instruction on how to prepare each part of the meal
  • Recipes and fun nutritious facts
  • Monthly newsletter with cooking videos, recipes, and tips on how to create a healthier, more balanced life

Robyn's Cooking Club meets at 7:00pm on the third Tuesday of every month (with the occasional exception) in the East Village. December's Cooking Club will be on Tuesday, December 14th. Looking ahead, January's Cooking Club will be on Tuesday, January 11To join, email Robyn at robyn@yourhealthiestyou.com.

To whet your appetite, here's a recipe that the Cooking Club prepared at their September meeting.

Quinoa, Roasted Butternut Squash and Garlicky Kale with Yogurt Cilantro Sauce
Prep and roast butternut squash first, as it will take the longest.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Roasted Butternut Squash

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes (less or more, depending on oven and size of cubed squash)
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash (you can also use acorn or kabocha squash)
2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
Couple pinches of salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
  1. Wash squash, dry and slice off top and bottom so you can steady it on cutting board; take a sharp knife and slice off peel (slowly and carefully) moving from top to bottom.
  2. Slice longways in half, scoop out seeds (save for roasting).
  3. Cut squash in small cubes.
  4. Place on baking tray and season with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  5. Bake at 375 until soft and tender (poke with fork first, then taste) about 35-45 minutes
You may substitute fresh or frozen cubed organic butternut squash for a shortcut (Trader Joe's).

Steamed Quinoa
Start this after the squash is in the oven.

Prep Time: None
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups vegetable stock
1 glug of olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Couple pinches of salt

Directions:
  1. In a saucepan, bring the stock, quinoa and salt to a rolling boil.
  2. Cover and reduce to a very low simmer. Cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat. Leave it covered and let it sit for 5 more minutes.
  4. Add fresh parsley.
  5. In this time, it will fluff up. Serve.
Alternately, you can cook quinoa in a rice cooker, add parsley once machine shuts off.

Garlicky Kale
This can be done when quinoa is finished and you are waiting on squash.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 5-10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 bunch of kale (I like Lacinato or Dinosaur kale)
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
Coconut oil cooking spray or other cooking spray
Sea salt and pepper

Directions:
  1. Wash kale, keep in bunch, shake off excess water, no need to completely dry.
  2. Slice kale longways, so it looks like confetti.
  3. Saute in sprayed pan.
  4. Grate garlic directly over kale as it's cooking (use a zester or finely chop ahead of time).
  5. After sauteeing for 5-10 minutes, drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil and shut off burner.

Yogurt Cilantro Sauce
This can be done ahead of time or in final minutes of squash cooking.

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

3/4 cup goat's milk yogurt (can sub Greek yogurt)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, cilantro, and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.

Assembly

Place quinoa, squash, kale on a plate (one on top of the other). Serve with a dollop of yogurt cilantro sauce on top. Optional - add roasted butternut squash seeds to finish.


A huge thanks to Robyn for sharing her recipe with Taste As You Go! And, an even bigger congratulations on her recent engagement! I hope you all check out Robyn's website and sign up for a Cooking Class soon!

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