Craftsy Class Review: Love Your Vegetables with Anna Bullett

Time for another food class review: Love Your Vegetables with Anna Bullett. It's been awhile since I've done a foodie post. However, for this one, I don't have any photos of dishes I've made from the class since I'm holding off trying the recipes until my CSA begins in another couple of weeks. So you'll be hearing more about the recipes themselves later.

I decided to do this class because of the aforementioned CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture. If you're new to my blog, just a short backstory: I've subscribed this summer to a CSA, and deliveries start the second week of June. I've done CSAs two other years but skipped last year because I travel a lot during the summer and was having problems juggling the schedule. This year, I found a CSA much closer to me so doing the weekly pick-up will be a lot easier, and I think I'm getting a smaller share, so it should be easier to keep up with the produce. I don't have time for canning and I have limited freezer space so I really do need to be able to use the produce up the week I get it, as much as possible. That means collecting a ton of vegetable-focused recipes. This class seemed just the ticket.

  One of my 2013 CSA pick-ups

One of my 2013 CSA pick-ups

Anna Bullett reminds me a bit of Rachel Ray in terms of perkiness. If you love Rachel Ray, you'll probably really enjoy Anna Bullett. 

As a learning experience, it was a good one. Each lesson focused on a particular family of vegetables and, through the recipe or recipes covered in the lesson, Anna gives rationale behind different types of preparations for the vegetable in question. She also gives all sorts of good tips for washing, slicing, and storage. There are several recipes that I'm looking forward to trying when my produce starts rolling in.

  Another ghost of CSAs past

Another ghost of CSAs past

Additionally, every lesson except the last includes a "Chef's Tip," or a brief tidbit of additional information about something else you can do with that family of vegetables. These were nice little additions--one of them helped me understand why my attempt at Kale chips a couple of years ago failed miserably. I think I'll be better prepared for the inevitable influx of Kale from the CSA this year. 

If you're looking to expand your repertoire for vegetable dishes--either as a side or a main--I do recommend this class. Just be prepared for the perky.

The Basics

  • 8 lessons, ranging from 15 to about 30 minutes; most are in the 15-20 minute range.
  • The first lesson starts right out with one of my all-time faves: butternut squash. Generally I want to rush my CSA through to get to fall so I can get my hands on the various forms of winter squash. I'm a fan of pretty much all of them.
  • Lesson 2 is root vegetables, lesson 3 "hearty greens" (aka Kale and the like), lesson 4 is Cabbage & Friends (including the very Dr. Seussian Romanesco broccoli)--and included a very helpful tip on keeping your cole slaw from going watery; lesson 5 may convince me to give eggplant another try; lesson 6--the beautiful tomato (yum); lesson 7 is about fava beans which I will likely never buy raw because I don't see myself putting that much work into a bean; and lesson 8 ends with a couple of ways to make easy, quick refrigerator pickles that will definitely be happening in my kitchen at some point this summer.
  • The class materials are extensive: 26 pages including 30 recipes. You're basically buying a cookbook with this class. The recipes are all quite do-able, too--only a couple have ingredients you may not already have in your pantry (depending on your fave styles of cooking).
  • The recipes are mostly side dishes but there are quite a few that either are, or could easily be, main dishes if you're going meat-free. In my case, there were a couple that I thought we could make vegetarian so my daughter could eat it, and then I could just throw in some diced cooked chicken in my portion to meet my more carnivorous needs. 

Two thumbs up. Basically, Love Your Vegetables with Anna Bullett is just increasing my yearning for Tuesday, June 9, when I get to do my first CSA pick-up of the season. I can't wait to dig in!

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