Terry Walters left the corporate world to pursue one of her passions. Luckily, she’s sharing her skills with us in the form of cookbooks, cooking lessons, lectures, workshops, demos, etc. What’s her passion? Cooking clean food. Ms. Walters was at the Princeton Public Library on Thursday to demo two recipes from her latest book Clean Start, which coincided with the start of the outdoor Princeton Farmers Market at Hinds Plaza.
For those who are not sure what clean food is, it’s food free of artificial preservatives and coloring, synthetic pesticides, drug residues, and growth hormones (amongst other artificial things), and those that have been processed, packaged, stored and transported to retain maximum nutritional value. Basically, a lot of items sold in the average supermarket is NOT clean food. Terry emphasized how important it is to purchase food from local farmers, but not all farms are run at a high standard (in the case of the spinach contaminated with salmonella a couple of years ago), so get to know from whom you’re buying.
Ms. Walters sliced and chopped fresh herbs and vegetables, toasted pine nuts, sautéed garlic, zested citrus, and prepared red quinoa in a rice cooker for two dishes she cooked for us to sample. She created the Festive Quinoa with Apricot and Orange Zest on page 47 of Clean Start and Asparagus with Lemon Miso Dressing and Marcona Almonds on page 32 of the same book.
This is how I can tell Terry Walters is the ‘real thing’. She served her dishes on a VerTerra dinnerware, which is made from fallen leaves and stems that are steamed and pressed into plates and bowls, and are biodegradable AND compostable (shown above right). Who does that besides someone for which this is a lifestyle and not a fad? The food was delicious. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t stop eating the quinoa dish, so I had to buy the cookbook to replicate my new favorite spring meal.
Her cookbook contains vegan and gluten-free recipes, but anyone will enjoy them. Meat eaters can prepare her recipes as side dishes and just add a portion of animal protein, while vegans and vegetarians will LOVE this cookbook.
I was happy to see Raoul Momo attending Walters cooking demo. He’s another one passionate about eating clean, and it shows on the menus of the restaurants he owns with his brother Carlo Momo. After the demo I strolled through the market just to take photos, but I will hopefully cover it next week.