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Favorite Products I Use in My Cooking Classes

I recently taught a new cooking class on a method for cooking fast healthy dinners I call Salad For Dinner. It is a 6-layer plant-forward salad that includes greens, whole grains and legumes, roasted vegetables, fresh fruits and vegetables, protein and flavor boosters. My students frequently ask where they can get the products I use in class.
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Below are online shopping links for some of my favorite Salad For Dinner ingredients:

French de Puy Lentils

French De Puy lentils are tiny, green, very tasty lentils that hold their shape when cooked, unlike larger flakier lentils. They are very high in vegetarian protein, fiber, antioxidants and more. In addition to using them in my Salads for Dinner, I make a killer soup with these de Puy lentils.

Black Beluga Lentils

Black Beluga lentils are similar in size and firmness to French de Puy lentils. They have a slightly different taste due to the soil they are grown in (to be labeled French de Puy lentils, they must be grown in de Puy France). Black beluga lentils have thicker skins than de Puy lentils and their color can range lighter beige/gray to dark black. They tend to be less expensive than de Puy lentils as they can be grown in many places, so there are more sources.  

Farro

Farro is currently my favorite whole grain. It has a nutty taste, chewy texture and healthy nutritional profile. There are three basic kinds of processing for Farro: whole grain, semi-pearled and pearled.

Most of what you find in the U.S. is pearled, which means all of the bran is removed. Semi-pearled has some of the bran removed and whole grain has the bran intact. The bran is important because it is where much of the fiber and nutrition is stored. Unfortunately, whole grain farro also requires soaking and takes longer to cook.  I find the semi-pearled is a good compromise if you can find it. Trader Joe's sells a semi-pearled farro.

Black Rice

Black rice, is also called "forbidden rice" because in ancient China only the royals were allowed to eat it and it was forbidden to everyone else. Black rice has more antioxidants than blueberries and is delicious to boot.

Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning

I picked up my first container of this not-too-hot Cajun seasoning in New Orleans and have been using it on my salmon ever since. I bought Slap Ya Mama because I loved its name. (I confess I have bought more than one bottle of wine for clever names and attractive packaging.) There are four different types. I use the white pepper version and find it gives my salmon a definitive flavor lift. In my recent cooking class the team working on the salmon put a very tiny bit of Slap Ya Mama on their salmon. To their horror, I bulldozed in and began liberally sprinkling it over their salmon. They looked at me with big eyes and explained "we don't like spicy." I told them to trust me and not to worry. Apparently it worked out because the next day one of the women contacted me and asked me where she can buy this delicious seasoning.  

S & B Crunchy Garlic with Chili Oil

Speaking of salmon, I like to top my salmon with this delicious garlic chili crisp. It is also awesome on avocado toast, eggs, noodles and while I haven't tried it, I've read it is great on vanilla ice cream. This chili crisp is not hot, like most chili crisps. Rather it is packed with delicious umami flavor. We go through a lot of this at my house, and you may too. I save a little money by buying it in 6-packs.

Stonehouse Olive Oil

Stonehouse olive oil | Something New For Dinner Award-winning Stonehouse olive oil is the backbone of my pantry. I use everything from their house oil, to their Olio Nuevo, to their flavored oils -- particularly their chili oil.
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There is a lot of deception in olive oil manufacturing, but this is a brand I have come to trust for quality products with high nutritional value. I order the House Blend and Olio Santo online in 3-liter bulk bags and decant it in to smaller bottles. If you are traveling to San Francisco you can go to their shop in the Ferry building and taste all their varieties to discover the oils that are perfect for you.

I'd Love to Hear From You

If you have any questions about my product picks or have some great products of your own you would like to share, please comment on this post and I will get back to you.
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