Beyond Meatless


I’d consider myself a pretty skilled self-taught chef. I’ve catered dinners, taught raw food classes and have shared food related insight with countless people. I can ‘vegan-ize’ just about anything – macaroni and cheese, bacon, tiramisu, you name it. My skills, however, haven’t included meat or dairy for nearly 15 years.

I’ve glanced at the meat counter a few times, but was terrified and confused. What if I handle it incorrectly and get sick? What if I overcook it and waste that poor animal’s flesh?

I reached out to my friends at Healthy Living and set up a private cooking class with master chef, Clarina Cooking classes at healthy livingCravins. I wanted to maximize my time – and bring my two young children. I learned more in those two hours (and had meals ready for the week!) than I could have possibly done on my own. We made Barley Beef Stew, Pan Seared Salmon and Chicken Marsala. Clarina was incredibly accommodating, inspiring, organized and thorough. A few take aways that stand out from our afternoon class…

  • Cut all the soup veggies small. That way, you get a piece of everything on your spoon.
  • It’s “Skirt Steak”, not “Shirt Steak.”
  • If it’s seasoned and cooked correctly, fish shouldn’t have to be marinated.
  • Brown the beef first, set aside and allow it to finish cooking in the soup.
  • Word travels quickly in a small town!

Nourishing food plays an integral role in our family – it’s healing, satisfying, and it strengthens connections with each other. We sit down together as a family for a candle lit meal everyday – sometimes three times a day. While expanding our diet is a new, slow process, I am beyond grateful for my new skills in the kitchen. I couldn’t have done it without the support, instruction and local goodness from Healthy Living!

sockeye salmon



This blog post was written by Healthy Living Taste Maker Mindy Elmergreen. Mindy teaches yoga at Tapna Yoga in Burlington. When she’s not in the studio, you’ll often find her in our cafe enjoying juices & smoothies with her adorable sons!