Joni Sare, cooking instructor

Learning the basics in the kitchen

I will be meeting with a new culinary student this coming Saturday and Sunday in the Monterey area. He’s a single 62-yr old male, who wants to learn healthy ways of cooking and eating.

He’s been receiving the CSA box from High Ground Organics for 4 years now and wants to learn new ways to use the food that is in his box every Thursday.


His goals are:

  • have more food prepared ahead of time for lunches (to have home-cooked lunches at work)
  • be more comfortable in the kitchen
  • wants tips to use veggies
  • needs to eat more veggies and proteins
  • and avoid diabetes (it runs in his family)

Foods that are in his box this week:
  • Apples
  • Fennel
  • Red Ace Beets
  • Green or Red butter or Red Oak lettuce
  • Red Gold or Desiree Potatoes
  • Corno di Toro, Hungarian Wax, and/or Green and Red Bell Peppers
  • Dry Farmed Early Girl Tomatoes


My menu suggestions:

Below are a few ideas for him to choose from, or he’ll let me know if he has a dish — a meal — in mind. Once he makes his choices I’ll send the shopping list.

He will select a main dish, and two side dishes for each meal  — Saturday’s dinner and Sunday’s lunch:
  • Main dish: Dover Sole, roasted and served with a coconut milk herb sauce, very easy, very fast cooking, using roasting method that you can use for all types of fish.
  • Main dish: Chicken Picatta, would you like to try this chicken dish? I’ll understand if not, being chicken is not a fav of yours. This dish is one of my star players, it’s an easy-to-make dish, yet tastes like it’s a sophisticated recipe. Plus, it has a white wine reduction sauce that is good to use on fish, too. Actually, if you’d like, we can make a Dover, or Cod Picatta dish, or Shrimp and Scallop Picatta. YUM!
  • Main dish: Squash Cassoulet, same dish I’ll demo at High Grounds, it’s a stove-top casserole, with sliced sausage links, potatoes, fennel, cabbage, tomatoes and carrots. Seasoned with tamari, coconut oil and seaweed (I can bring the seaweed if need be).
  • Main dish: Meat balls (ground beef and leeks) with homemade Marinara Sauce over roasted fennel and potatoes
  • Main dish: Salmon steamed in parchment paper with Thai flavors and veggies, served with a Pad Thai Sauce and zucchini noodles.
  • Side: Relaxed Kale, Apple and Fennel salad, and homemade vinaigrette. This is similar to my demo at High Grounds (fennel can be dropped if you choose the Meat ball dish above).
  • Side: Chopped salad with steamed beets, potatoes with bell peppers and tomatoes and homemade sweet and sour creamy dressing.
  • Side: Sauteed onion, fennel, potatoes and tomatoes with dried herbs (we can choose any dried herbs that you already have).
  • Side: Red Oak Lettuce wraps with lentils, chopped veggies and homemade creamy dressing.
  • Side: Stacked raw tomatoes, cooked bell pepper and potatoes, with shaved fennel and apple, with herbed dipping sauce.


I’ll share what choices he picked, and will post the photos.


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