Even though it’s midwinter, there are still plenty of fresh vegetables available for a healthy salad. That’s the message delivered by cooking instructor Alicia Cahill at a recent class entitled “Simple Tasty Lunches.”
“Fresh kale makes a very portable salad, because you can completely assemble it and even add the dressing when you prepare it, and then eat it hours later,” Cahill said. “What some people don’t like about salad is that it’s limp and unappealing, but that’s not true of kale.”
Cahill noted that other fresh greens work well, too. “You can use other greens, but in that case, don’t put the dressing on until it’s time to eat the salad.” For those less enamored of leafy greens, Cahill also demonstrated making a noodle-based salad with eggs added for protein and fresh vegetables for crunch.
Making salad dressing was also part of Cahill’s presentation. “Making your own salad dressing is easy,” she said. “You don’t need special equipment, just an old pickle jar or canning jar, anything with a tightfitting lid.”
The salad-making class was sponsored by Galveston’s Own Farmers Market at their new home, the Bryan Museum. The weekly Thursday market is already held on the grounds of the Bryan Museum, and the Sunday morning market moves there on March 4. Cahill’s cooking-goods store, Kitchen Chick, is also on the move, and recently moved to a bigger location at 2402 Market Street in Galveston.
“The kale, honey and eggs for the class came straight from the farmers market and Galveston Bread provided bread to go along with the salad,” Cahill said. “One thing I stress in the noodle salad recipe is to swap in whatever ingredients are in season. Right now, this is carrot time, so we’ll add some to the noodles, but by April there will be cucumbers, and I’d use them instead.”
The lunch class was part of the farmers market’s outreach mission. “Last year, we received some generous funding from the Moody Methodist Permanent Endowment Fund and First Presbyterian Church Outreach Fund to create the Real Food Project, with classes open to the community and teachers sourced from the community,” market manager Casey McAuliffe said. “I want to make cooking as approachable as possible.”
Many of the classes are open to the public, with some tailored to specific populations. The market’s new neighbors in Gulf Breeze Apartments will also be targeted. “One of the benefits of moving the market to the Bryan Museum has been that they are graciously letting us hold classes in their conservatory or in their Children’s Center,” McAuliffe said. “In February, we’re holding a class for Gulf Breeze residents who are raising their grandkids, with some ideas on how they can cook together and for each other.”
Bryan Museum staff were on hand for the salad-making class. “At the museum, we’re trying to create events that are accessible and inclusive,” director of events Richard Ochoa said. “The Thursday market coincides with our weekly “Wine at the Bryan” afternoon, which features local beer and local music outside in the garden.”