Clean Cooking at The Spice Lady
One of the primary goals of The Spice Lady cooking classes and workshops is clean cooking and creating flavour. We revel in experimenting with new ingredients and techniques. Our goal is to cook up gorgeous sumptuous results to devour with pleasure. Wow, that sounds real good? Well, it just happens to be the truth. You’ll notice the recipes are either simple or complex. I say simple recipes, so that you can go try them at home with no problem; complex so that you can enjoy cooking in a group to lessen the labour of more involved recipes. It’s a shared clean cooking experience. For example, the complex St. Honore Torte prepared at my birthday class this year. It’s my most favourite dessert among many. It has layers of puff pastry, vanilla custard cream, croquembouche patisserie choux pastry with spun sugar and to top it off whipped cream. All made with unprocessed ingredients, pure and fresh. That torte is heaven on a plate. It can be quite a feat to create on ones own. Together it proved a relatively easy, fun, learning with camaraderie project. That’s what it’s like here at The Spice Lady. We incorporate exciting, sometimes exotic, delicious, with safe and healthy premium ingredients, i.e. clean cooking. No compromises.
The Spice Lady cooking classes believe in the value of clean cooking. Our recipes are prepared with fresh produce that is grown the old fashioned way without chemicals, healthier for you, and also just plain better tasting too. In addition, we limit processed foods like white sugar, white flour, and white rice. Pretty much anything white. Except for fresh foods like coconut, we like coconut. We watch the amount of fat, except in our decadent desserts. Dessert is dessert, unless of course, your doctor tells you to watch. I’m not sure I know of many great desserts that are delicious and healthy for you to consume in major quantities. Of course, I jest.
We read labels. Label ingredients and nutrient listings on packaged products are investigated for unnecessary added chemicals, salt/sodium, processed sugars, fillers, and additives. Canadian legislation ensures the order of ingredients is listed from the most to the least of the amounts contained. We check if the good stuff like the fruits or vegetables are the first ingredient and salt and sugar the last. Dairy products like yogurt or sour cream are researched to see there are optimum quantities of good bacteria cultures. Is there added processed sugar, salt, filler and things you can’t pronounce in that yoghurt? Do they feed and treat the animal well? You get the idea. Basically how much of the good in proportion to possible empty fillers are in that product. Proteins are received from suppliers like Rowe Farms, where they source farms that treat and feed the animal well. Here at The Spice Lady, we do all that research for you. Then we share what we’ve learned. I’ll show you what products to choose, for the best healthful ingredients, quality, and value.
Spices are My Thing!
Spices are my THING! Here at The Spice Lady, you get the opportunity to try out and experiment with the familiar and the exotic. If it’s out there, we try to use organic and gluten free spices, like from Arayuma Organic. Now that’s really clean cooking! Some exotic spices do not come in that format. So in such cases, we make an exception. Using whole spices, grinding, and making our own blends is the way we roll. We want you to experience the fruity spiciness of Aleppo pepper from the Middle East, and the intense floral aroma of lavender from France. We don’t want to compromise the experience and excitement of trying something new. Our research is constant around here. For the most part, we grind our own blends to ensure no fillers are added. If we happen upon bad press or data on a particular ingredient, we just find a substitute, which is a learning experience all on it’s own. What are alternatives for the ingredients you can’t find or your physician tells you not to eat?
Let’s Talk Organics
When we talk about organics, it’s not the idea that everything organic is good for you. You really need to do your due diligence to figure out what really needs to be purchased organic and what may not. Produce for the most part is best purchased organic. We’ll give you our educated opinion of what we know in a The Spice Lady cooking class or workshop.
Gluten Free Wild Blueberry Pie, a product of clean cooking.
Gluten Free Clean Cooking?
So what’s with the gluten free part of our classes? Well, I know a number of people who cannot eat wheat, barley, or rye, and those products cross-contaminated. It is my belief that such grains have been processed to feed the masses for whatever reason. They are not grown pure, again with GMO or pesticides or whatever the farming practices that have proven modified throughout the years.
When gluten intolerant people are asked to come for coffee to a friend’s place, what will that friend find for them to consume without creating havoc with their insides? My heart goes out to these people. People who are celiac or intolerant to wheat, barley, and rye… are many. And some people are walking around not even knowing they are intolerant.
I’ve been teaching classes all these years, creating recipes in the thousands. It’s time for a fun new challenge. It’s been a fascination to find or convert my fancy and wholesome recipes. Why shouldn’t someone who is gluten intolerant enjoy the Sonoma Valley class or YUM Colombian? My daughter has adopted a gluten free lifestyle with much success. She feels healthier. The changes in her health have inspired me. We had so much fun creating, testing, and eating this summer, especially using the flours of Cuisine Soleil, a Canadian, gluten free and organic company that grows and mills their flours. Most of my entrees never contained gluten. As for breads and desserts, I gotchu! Even my fave St. Honore Torte can be made gluten free. And not to feel deprived, because it tastes amazing too!
If you have questions or concerns, please just drop me a line on one of the forms on this site, or if you have come to a class or know someone who has, you’ve got my number. If you’re in the neighbourhood, feel free to give me a call and please register for one of our classes. Hope to see, meet, and cook with you soon!