• Scenes from the second winter Cooking From Scratch series class — Ancient Grains and Gut Health

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kitch_logo_mainAmaranth, spelt, millet, quinoa, farro, teft, barley and Kamut® were among the topics of the Feb. 15 second class of the Sitka Kitch‘s winter Cooking From Scratch series — Ancient Grains and Gut Health.

Taught by local internal medicine specialist and former chef Dr. Julien Naylor, students learned how these ancient grains can be used in everyday cooking and how they can improve a person’s gut health (reducing cholesterol, adding fiber, reducing diabetes and heart disease risks, etc.). The students made a variety of dishes using these grains, then sat down to a meal.

This was the second of a series of four winter Cooking From Scratch classes at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen in February. The first class was making homemade pasta taught by chef Edith Johnson on Feb. 1. The other two classes are:

  • Sauces and Dressings — 6-8:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 15, taught by Kathy Jones (executive chef at the Westmark Sitka and Dock Shack). This class is focused on preparing homemade sauces and dressings to help you lower your food costs and increase flavor. Registration closes at noon on Feb. 13. (NOTE: We canceled this class on Feb. 13 because we didn’t reach our minimum number of students.)
  • Homemade Empanadas — 6-8:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 29, taught by Barbara Palacios (sous chef at the Westmark Sitka). A favorite food of Latin America, Barbara will draw on her Chilean background to teach this delicious homemade empanada class. Empanadas can be savory or sweet, and filled with meats, vegetables or sweet ingredients. In this class, students will make salmon (baked) and/or cheese (deep-fried) empanadas. Registration closes on Feb. 27.

Each class costs $20, plus a food and equipment fee split between students (usually about $5-$10). All of the classes will be taught at the Sitka Kitch, which is located in the First Presbyterian Church (505 Sawmill Creek Road). To learn more about each class, click the class titles above (which will take you to our registration page; you pay with cash or check at the class, with checks made out to the Sitka Conservation Society).

FiveDishesToTrySince class size is limited, we ask anybody who can’t make the class to please let us know so we can let someone from the waiting list into the class. Registration for each class closes at noon the Saturday before each class so supplies can be purchased (except for the ancient grains class, which closes on Saturday). If we don’t have enough people sign up, we may have to cancel the class, so please register early.

The Sitka Kitch was a project of the 2013 Sitka Health Summit, and the project is coordinated by the Sitka Conservation Society, in partnership with the Sitka Local Foods Network. The Sitka Kitch can be rented to teach cooking and food preservation classes, by local cottage food industry entrepreneurs who need a commercial kitchen to make their products, and for large groups needing a large kitchen for a community dinner. To learn more about how to rent the Sitka Kitch, please go to the website at http://www.sitkawild.org/sitka_kitch.

For more information about the winter Cooking From Scratch class series, please email sitkakitch@sitkawild.org. Also, watch for information soon on our Basic Culinary Skills class series in March, which is designed to help people who want to find work in the restaurant or catering fields improve their kitchen skills (these classes also will be open to people who want to improve their home cooking skills).

A slideshow of photos from the ancient grains and gut health class is posted below.

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