Students with chickens at organic garden. Website
Cooking Classes


Cooking With Diversity

September 23, 2014, in the Organic Garden 5:00PM
Decolonize your Diet, Luz Calvo

Join public health researcher Luiz Calvo in reclaiming ancestral foods, recipes, cooking techniques and remedies. 

Register Here for this class

Why Cooking Classes?:

The goal of these classes is to empower individuals to eat healthier and more sustainably through learning how to prepare food. Additionally, we believe cooking is an essential skill that saves money and enables people to build healthy relationships with food. These classes support one of the fundamental bases of the WC Organic Garden- creating a more accessible, sustainable, healthier food culture for everyone.

We need to eat:

At Westminster, we set college-wide learning goals for students including critical thinking, creative capabilities and communication skills. However, students don’t typically learn how to cook and yet cooking is one of the most important skills a person can have! Everyone needs to eat in order to live. For many students, college is the first time they have to be relatively self-sufficient for their meals; even if they have meal plans, they can’t rely on them forever. Cooking is a fun & essential human skill that they have to learn on their own but it doesn’t have to be a dreaded chore.

It’s fun & social:

By taking the time to shop for or grow better food, create meals together, and linger around the kitchen are awesome, memorable social activities that can happen everyday. It’s college and understandably we have a pretty hefty demand on our time, but are we really that busy? How is it even possible that the average American watches 31 hours of TV a month! Think of all that time that could have instead be spent on cooking and sharing delicious meals with friends and family? What an inspiring, satisfying, and grateful experience you could have all the time!

It’s healthy:

When you cook you have more control of what you put into your body meaning a potential reduction in consuming chemical fertilizers/pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and artificial preservatives, colorings, flavors and other food additives along with your food. When you prepare your food this also means that you have more control of the freshness and quality of the ingredients, the amounts of seasoning used, the portion sizes made, etc. The cooking classes at Westminster are also all vegetarian (usually with a vegan and gluten-free option) which allows students to explore the world of plant-based diets nad how exactly to use that strange yoguslavian finger-squash that you harvested from the weekly garden workday :)

It’s cheap:

The cooking classes themselves are only a few bucks but there’s always the “scholarship” option that can be used when registering for the class no questions ask; we want the joys of cooking to be as accessible as possible. Likewise, shopping at farmer’s markets and buying and cooking in bulk is considerably less expensive than eating out and purchasing prepared meals. When your mealplan runs out or after you graduate college, it will save you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars to prepare your own meals instead of relying on take-out and overly processed junk food.

In short:

Rekindling our connection with food through cooking, many components of a healthy, sustainable lifestyle, are extremely rewarding and enjoyable. Cooking is just when all of the pieces of the food journey come together and when you can actually eat! We all need to eat, and so we all need to learn how to cook! Come join us at our next cooking class held in the Environmental Center in the Bassis Center to learn how incredibly delicious fresh, real food tastes and how easy and fun it can be to make cooking apart of your everyday lives! :)

Check out some great recipes from our very own Westminster Community:

Zucchini Noodles and Fresh Pesto
Quick Pickled Cucumber
Lemony Roasted Potatoes
Thai-spiced Pumpkin Soup Recipe
Parmesan-Squash Cakes
Fourth of July Roasted Tomato Salsa
Roasted Tomato Soup
Double Broccoli Quinoa
Zucchini Flatbread/Pizza Crust
Chilled Cucumber Yogurt Soup
Squash Cream Soup
Italian Style Grilled Eggplant
Caprese Salad on Bread
White Bean and Sage Crostini
Kale Crostini

Zucchini Noodles and Fresh Pesto 

From: Rebecca Brenner (Guest Teacher for May Term 09's Eco-Eating Class)

This meal is all fresh with no cooking time involved.

2 medium-sized zucchinis
1 healthy handful of basil
1/4 cup organic olive oil
1/4 cup organic Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup organic pine nuts or walnuts
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved

1. Wash zucchinis. Using a peeler, shave zucchinis lengthwise into a large serving bowl.
2. In a food processor, combine basil, olive oil, cheese, and nuts. Pulse until combined, creating your pesto.
3. Add pesto to zucchini noodles, toss gently with tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste.


Quick Pickled Cucumber

From: Timothy Dolan (Westminster Scholars Program Director)

Adapted from Japanese Cuisine: A Simple Art by Shizuo Tsuji

3 medium to large sized cucumbers
1 teaspoon salt
2-inch piece of kelp
1-inch square of yuzu citron or lemon rind

1. Thinly slice the cucumbers. For large cucumbers, peel and de-seed before slicing.
2. Place the cucumbers into a bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Knead with your hands, mixing thoroughly to draw the water out of the vegetable. In a minute, a fair amount of the water will have been drawn out, leaving the cucumbers feeling slick and supple. Drain to discard the excess liquid.
3. Return the cucumbers to the bowl and add the kelp and citrus rind. Let stand, lidded with a light weight, for one hour at room temperature.
4. To serve, pick out a portion from the bowl and shake slightly to remove the excess liquid. Add a few drops of soy sauce or sesame oil, if desired.


Lemony Roasted Potatoes

From: Stacy Blaylock (student)

2 1/3 pounds small-medium Russet potatoes
1/3 C olive oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 C vegetable broth
2 t dried oregano
2 t salt
1 t tomato paste
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley or dried oregano (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel the potatoes, slice in half lengthwise, and slice each half into wedges no more than 3/4-inch thick.

In a large, deep baking pan or casserole dish, combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, vegetable brother, oregano, salt, and tomato paste. Add the peeled, sliced potatoes. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and toss the potatoes to cover with the sauce. Cover the pan tightly with foil (or use lid of casserole dish), place in the oven, and bake for 30-35 minutes until the potatoes are almost done. Stir several times during the baking process.

After baking for 30-35 minutes, uncover the potatoes and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until most of the sauce has evaporated and some of the potatoes have just started to brown on their edges.

Garnish with parsley and oregano if desired.


Thai-spiced Pumpkin Soup Recipe

From: Christy Clay (Biology Dept.)


2 Acorn Squash (or 1 large Hopi Squash)
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1 teaspoon (or more) red Thai curry paste
2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt (or to taste)

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees and place the oven racks in the middle.
Carefully cut the squash into halves (or quarters). Slather each piece of squash with butter, sprinkle generously with salt, place on a baking sheet skin sides down, and place in the oven. Roast for about an hour or until the squash is tender throughout.

When the squash is cool enough to handle scoop it into a large pot over medium high heat. Add the coconut milk and curry paste and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and puree with a hand blender, you should have a very thick base at this point. Now add water a cup at a time pureeing between additions until the soup is the consistency you prefer – a light vegetable stock would work here as well. Bring up to a simmer again and add the salt (and more curry paste if you like, I used just shy of 6 teaspoons but the curry paste I used was not over the top spicy).

Serves 6


Parmesan-Squash Cakes

From: Christy Clay (Biology Dept) and Eating Well Magazine

1 large egg
2/3 cup finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups shredded seeded summer squash, (2-3 medium, about 1 pound; see Tip)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


Preheat oven to 400°F.
Beat egg in a large bowl. Stir in shallots, parsley, salt and pepper. Place
shredded squash in the center of a clean kitchen towel; gather up the ends and
twist to squeeze out any liquid. Add the squash and cheese to the bowl; stir to

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Pack a 1/3-cup measuring
cup with the squash mixture and unmold it into the pan; gently pat it down to
form a 3-inch cake. Repeat, making 4 squash cakes. Cook until browned and
crispy on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Gently turn the cakes over and transfer the
pan to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.


Fourth of July Roasted Tomato Salsa Recipe

From: Christy Clay (Biology Dept)

2 pounds Roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1 medium white onion, cut into six wedges
1 large garlic clove, halved
a couple pinches of finely ground sea salt
2-3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium dried guajillo chile pepper, soaked in boiling water until
softened, and then drained
1 -2 chipotles in adobo sauce (canned)
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

Heat oven to 400F degrees. Now gently tossed the tomatoes, onions, garlic, and salt
with the olive oil in a large bowl. After they are nicely coated arrange in a single
layer, tomatoes cut-side facing up, across a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast in
the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the tomatoes start to collapse and the onions
begin to caramelize a bit. Remove from the oven.

Puree the chiles (both the guajillo and chipotles) with the roasted garlic and two
roasted tomato halves. Chop the remaining tomatoes by hand (once they've cooled a
bit). Chop and add the onions as well. Season with salt and stir in the cilantro.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups.


Roasted Tomato Soup Recipe

From: Christy Clay (Biology Dept)

5 tomatoes, cored (if necessary) and quartered
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
3 medium yellow onions, peeled, quartered
extra-virgin olive oil
5 plump cloves of garlic, unpeeled
fine-grain sea salt
2 - 3 cups light vegetable stock or water
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

Preheat the oven to 375F degrees and position 2 racks in the middle of the oven. Line
2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper, alternately you can just rub them
down with a thin glaze of olive oil.

Arrange the tomatoes, skin side down, on a baking sheet. Coat the bell pepper and
onions with olive oil and put them on the other baking sheet along with the garlic,
place the pepper skin side down as well. Give both sheets a light showering of salt,
then bake until the tomatoes start to collapse and the onions start to brown and
caramelize, about 45 minutes. Turn the onions if they start getting overly dark on the
bottom .Check on the garlic as well, once the cloves are golden and oozy inside, pull
them from the oven.

Peel the garlic, dump all of the roasted vegetables into a big, high-sided bowl, and
puree with a hand blender. Alternately, use a conventional blender or food processor
and work in batches. Blend in a cup of the stock, and keep adding the rest 1/2 cup at
a time until the soup is the desired consistency. I like a little chunk and texture to
this soup particularly if the weather has a bit of a chill, but smooth or chunky is your
call. Add the paprika and a bit more salt if needed - adjusting to your taste.

Serves 4.

101 Cookbooks


Double Broccoli Quinoa

From Chirsty Clay (Biology Dept)

3 cups cooked quinoa*
5 cups raw broccoli, cut into small florets and stems
3 medium garlic cloves
2/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 big pinches salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup heavy cream
Optional toppings: slivered basil, fire oil (optional)**, sliced avocado
crumbled feta or goat cheese

Heat the quinoa and set aside.

Now barely cook the broccoli by pouring 3/4 cup water into a large pot and bringing
it to a simmer. Add a big pinch of salt and stir in the broccoli. Cover and cook for a
minute, just long enough to take the raw edge off. Transfer the broccoli to a strainer
and run under cold water until it stops cooking. Set aside.
To make the broccoli pesto puree two cups of the cooked broccoli, the garlic, 1/2 cup
of the almonds, Parmesan, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor. Drizzle in the
olive oil and cream and pulse until smooth.

Just before serving, toss the quinoa and remaining broccoli florets with about 1/2 of
the broccoli pesto. Taste and adjust if needed, you might want to add more of the
pest a bit at a time, or you might want a bit more salt or an added squeeze of lemon
juice. Turn out onto a serving platter and top with the remaining almonds, a drizzle
of the chile oil, and some sliced avocado or any of the other optional toppings.

Serves 4 - 6.

*To cook quinoa: rinse one cup of quinoa in a fine-meshed strainer. In a medium
saucepan heat the quinoa, two cups of water (or broth if you like), and a few big
pinches of salt until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed and
quinoa fluffs up, about 15 minutes. Quinoa is done when you can see the curlique in
each grain, and it is tender with a bit of pop to each bite. Drain any extra water and
set aside.

**To make the red chile oil: You'll need 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil and 1 1/2
teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes. If you can, make the chile oil a day or so ahead
of time by heating the olive oil in a small saucepan for a couple minutes - until it is
about as hot as you would need it to saute some onions, but not so hot that it smokes
or smells acrid or burned. Turn off the heat and stir in the crushed red pepper flakes.
Set aside and let cool, then store in refrigerator. Bring to room temp again before

101 Cookbooks


Zucchini Flatbread/Pizza Crust

From Ken Simin (Student)

2 cups packed grated zucchini (about 3 small zucchini)
2 egg whites (+1 egg yolk, optional)
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp superfine brown rice flour or Bette Hagman Gluten free gourmet blend
1/2 cup grated mozzarella
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tomato or basil pesto (optional!!!)
Pinch of basil, marjoram, rosemary
Healthy sprinkling of pasta seasoning blend (I use trader joe’s)
Olive oil and superfine brown rice flour to coat pan

Topping ideas:
Thinly sliced tomato or marinara sauce (if will be eating immediately)
Extra grated cheese
Diced onion
Thinly sliced garlic
Sauteed mushrooms
Diced green peppers
Sliced olives

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and oil or spray pan of your choice and sprinkle with flour. If you want a thinner crust, use a pizza pan with slightly raised edges. If you want a thicker crust, it’s ok to use a jelly roll pan or pie pan. A nonstick pan might be a good idea!

Mix together zucchini, eggs, flour, cheeses, herbs, seasoning, and 1 tbsp olive oil thoroughly. Bake until golden brown. (Cooking time will depend on thickness of crust, but around 35-40 minutes.) Halfway through baking you can brush with a little olive oil OR with pesto and place back in oven.

Remove from oven when done, let rest and cool for 10 minutes and then carefully loosen from pan with your favorite spatula. *note: if you used a pan with tall sides this may be a challenge. Go slowly and use the right tool for the job! You can also cut the pizza into large “slices” if that will make it easier to get out of the pan. You should be able to completely remove pizza from pan at this point. (But leave it in the pan!)

Top with whatever you like on your pizza and bake at 400 degrees f (or 350) until cheese is melted and golden brown but crust doesn’t burn.

Book Of Yum


Chilled Cucumber Yogurt Soup, adapted from

From Ken Simin (Student)

Rated: Prep Time: 20 Minutes Ready In: 20 Minutes
Servings Per Recipe: 4

4 small seedless cucumbers – Or regular cucumbers with seeds removed peeled and grated
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (optional if you use buttermilk)
1 small bunch fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 small bunch fresh dill, chopped
1 or 2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups plain yogurt Or 1 cup butter milk and 1 cup plain Kerfir
One or two green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
Reserve a small portion of the chopped dill, mint, or green bits of the onions to use as garnish.

Combine the grated cucumber, lemon juice, mint, dill, garlic, yogurt, olive oil, and salt in a large mixing bowl; stir with a large spoon. Pourthe mixture into a blender; blend on high speed until smooth. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator until ready to serve (I prefer it chilled for an hour to two).

Divide the soup between four bowls and top each serving with the remaining chopped dill, mint, chives, parsley, green onions, etc.


Squash Cream Soup

Iñaki and Daniela (Instructor)

Ingredients for 4 servings: 2 or 3 yellow squashes
6 or 7 carrots
1 big potato
1 leek
cayenne pepper
olive oil

Cut the squash, peeled carrots, peeled potatoes, and leeks into small pieces. Put them in a large pot with a little bit of olive oil and enough water to cover them. Boil them until they are tender, for about 20 minutes. Add salt and cayenne pepper. Put everything in a blender and process it until it’s creamy.

(Iñaki's Mother©)


Italian Style Grilled Eggplant

Iñaki and Daniela (Instructor)

Ingredients for 4 servings: 1/3 cup olive oil
2 eggplants
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced

Heat the grill and rub it with oil. Cut eggplants into slices. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil and season with 1½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Grill eggplant slices until golden brown and crisp, 6-7 minutes per side. Turn and grill on the other side until golden brown, about 4 minutes.

Put remaining olive oil in a shallow plate or baking dish with parsley, thyme, vinegar, and garlic. Add warm eggplant slices and let stand for ½ hour, then turn and let stand for ½ hour more. Serve at room temperature.

©Starters, Williams-Sonoma


Caprese Salad on Bread

Iñaki and Daniela (Instructor)

baguette slices olive oil tomatoes fresh mozzarella cheese fresh basil leaves

On a slice of bread, put olive oil, a slice of tomato, a slice of fresh mozzarella, salt, and fresh basil leaves.

Traditional Italian Cuisine


White Bean and Sage Crostini

Iñaki and Daniela (Instructor)

Ingredients for 4 servings: 1/3 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic minced
one 15-oz can cannellini or other white beans (drained)
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
12 slices baguette
¼ cup roasted red pepper strips or sun-dried tomatoes

Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté until soft, about 1 minute. Add beans, sage, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoons pepper, and cook, stirring often, until beans are heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove to a food processor and coarsely process, adding a little water, if needed, to make a spreadable paste.

Toast baguette slices until golden. Spread each toast with some of the beans and top with a strip of roasted red pepper or sun-dried tomato.

(©Starters, Williams-Sonoma)


Kale Crostini

Iñaki and Daniela (Instructor)

Ingredients for 4-6 servings: 4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced onion
2 cloves garlic
1 lb kale, tough stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
12 baguette slices, toasted
¼ cup shaved pecorino cheese

In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté onion until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and kale and sauté until kale is limp, 2 minutes. Add vegetable broth, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until kale is tender, 10 minutes.

Remove kale from pan, let cool, and squeeze out liquid. In a bowl, stir together kale, half teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Top each baguette slice with a little kale, a drizzle of olive oil and some shaved cheese.

(©Starters, Williams-Sonoma)