A Taste of Laura Street: Food, Forks & Fun!

Hi everyone! Looking for something fun to do this weekend? I gotchu. 😎

I’m thrilled to announce that I will be doing a delicious plant-based cooking demo at the second annual Taste of Laura Street event, in the heart of Plant City, Fl! The event will take place next Saturday, September 21, at 4pm.

As stated on Visit Tampa BayA Taste of Laura Street – Plant City is a reality food experience where participants can taste and judge samples of local cuisine while they enjoy the historical ambiance of the former Laura Street African American Business District adjacent to midtown. Awards will be presented for Best Entrée, Best Side, and Best Dessert Dish. There will also be a traveling art gallery exhibit, and live bands featuring jazz, and contemporary music. A Taste of Laura Street highlights the story of how economic development ignited and launch self-empowerment in the Lincoln Park neighborhood during the era spanning 1920 thru 1969. 

Plant City Laura Street business district once thrived with restaurants, rooming houses (hotels), movie theaters, funeral homes, ice cream parlors and barbershops. The Bing Rooming House and Ms. Bing’s Seminole Restaurant anchored Laura Street aka “The Bottom” at the corner of South Allen and Laura Street. This is an opportunity to showcase one of Plant City’s most historic neighborhoods where residents can live, work, play and enjoy authentic heritage and character.”

Photo courtesy of Plant City MLK Festival

The festivities will occur at the Bing Rooming House Museum, located at 205 S Allen St, Plant City, FL, 33563. The event is free and open to the public. However, if you are interested in sampling the food, you can purchase a wrist band for $10.

If you enjoy good homestyle cooking and are interested in learning more about Plant City’s rich Black history, this will be an event that you will NOT want to miss! 

For more information about the event, visit: http://www.plantcitybinghouse.com/Event.html

Taste of The Earth Cooking Demo: Reflections + Gratitude

My heart is so full… This past Monday evening, on July 8, 2019, I had the privilege of facilitating my first ever community cooking demo at a library. The name of the event was called ‘A Taste of the Earth: A Plant Based Cooking Demo’. This all began back in the early spring, as one of the very kind librarians of the Bruton Memorial Library reached out to me, after seeing a recent article about my cooking in our local newspaper, known as The Plant City Observer. The library had begun the process of planning for their adult summer programming, and liked the blogging content that I was creating, and was interested in seeing if I would like to facilitate a cooking demo, that utilized seasonal, local ingredients. I could not say no to that opportunity!

Me doing a presentation on the benefits of eating locally & seasonally to a crowd of 40+ attendees

And I must say, that the cooking demo was truly a success! I spent the first portion of the evening discussing the benefits of supporting local, seasonal food. The second portion of the event consisted of me instructing attendees on how to prepare two delicious meals that utilized seasonal, Florida produce: One dish was my famous Mango Stir-fry, and the second dish was a refreshing Watermelon nice-cream (check out each of those two hyperlinks, which go directly to both recipes).

My yummy Mango Stir-fry
Thanks so much to everyone who came out to support tonight’s seasonal plant-based cooking demo at the Bruton Memorial Library, located in downtown Plant City, Florida. I want to thank all of the incredible librarians that made this happen, and the rest of my rad community. I couldn’t have done this without any of you!! I appreciate you all so much, and hope everyone had a wonderful time!

This wonderful event had a couple takeaways:
1. There is a giant demand for community members who want to eat fresh, seasonal & healthy food.
2. Community is everything. Everyone came together to help me serve food, and break down, post- event-and that in itself means everything.
3. Despite all of the technology we have at our fingertips, nothing beats hands-on learning!

For beginning The Funky Spork back in December of 2018, it’s fair to say that I’m still a newbie when it comes to my blogging (via this platform). NEVER would I have thought that my love for Instagramming my quirky recipes would somehow develop into my own business, where I now facilitate healthy cooking demos for the community! Even though my business is currently my ‘side hustle’, I’m excited to see how my passion for cooking and creating yummy food art evolves over the course of time. What a blessing this adventure and journey has been. 🙂

Me and my friend Jennifer Steed, Co-founder of Steed Farms, a local Plant City-based Community Supported Agricultural System (CSA)

Taste of the Earth: A Seasonal, Plant-based Cooking Demo [this July!!]

Looking for something fun to do this summer? Why not consider going local! Eating locally and seasonally is one of the best things that we can do for our environment, our local economy, and our health. Join me for an interactive evening based around learning about the benefits of eating seasonally, locally and plant-based, while getting to learn how to prepare a delicious healthy meal made with locally-grown produce. Bring your appetites, family, and your friends!

The fun will be taking place at the The Quintilla Geer Bruton Memorial Library, located at 302 McLendon St, Plant City, FL 33563For more information about the event, click here: http://hcplc.evanced.info/signup/EventDetails?EventId=176162&df=calendar&lib=25&et=18&ag=726%2C724%2C728&nomobile=1&backTo=Calendar&startDate=2019/07/01

Interested in booking me for a healthy cooking demo for your organization? Would you like to collaborate? Send me an InMail, or contact me at: thefunkyspork@gmail.com

Ginger Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps

This recipe is incredibly simple, yet delicious. I posted the veggies that I used from the Temple Terrace Farmers Market. Whenever possible, support your local economy!

Earlier today, I had the privilege of facilitating my first cooking demo, EVER! This took place at the Temple Terrace Market’s EBT booth. They have this awesome initiative where EBT (food stamp) recipients are incentivized to purchase double the value of the local produce offered at the market. It was truly a blessing to fuse my passion for cooking a dish with LOCAL ingredients for our beloved community to enjoy.

One of the objectives of today’s experience was to create a recipe utilizing the ingredients available at the market. With that being said, after putting my thinking caps on, I thought it would be a fun idea to take the provided veggies and give it an Asian-inspired twist by turning it into a delicious stir-fry. Because lettuce was also a provision, it gave me the idea of turning the stir fry into delicious wraps. I must say that today’s cooking demo was very well-received!!! Want to learn how I made today’s dish? Keep on readin’!

Ginger Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps

Stir Fry Veggies
·         1.5 cups fresh kale, coarsely chopped  
·         2.5 cups coarsely-chopped fresh broccoli
·         4 cloves garlic
·         1 onion
·         ½ small red cabbage  
·         1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
·          1 Head of romaine or butter lettuce
·         2 tbsp. cooking oil (grape seed, coconut or avocado)

For the Marinade:
·         3 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
·         3 tbsp brown sugar   
·         1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
·         2 tbsp chili paste

1. Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a medium-sized bowl and whisk until everything looks well-combined. Set aside.
2. Coarsely chop the onion until each piece is about ½” in size, and then add them to a covered medium-sized bowl. Afterwards, finely mince the garlic cloves and ginger until they are very fine pieces, less than the size of corn kernels, but no smaller than the size of a grain of uncooked rice. Add to onion mixture, and then set aside.
3. Take your broccoli and kale and coarsely chop each veggie until each piece is roughly 1” in size. Set aside.
4. If you are using romaine lettuce, cut off the base of the lettuce, then cut the lettuce bunch in half at the width (not length). If you are using another lettuce, like butter lettuce, cut the base, and gently open each leaf. Place the lettuce leaves in a large bowl or plate and set aside. Afterwards, take the cabbage half and chop into fine slices that are no more than a centimeter in width. Place cabbage into a bowl and set aside.
5. Take a wok or large skillet and add the cooking oil and let it heat up on medium-high for about 45 seconds. To test heat, add one piece of onion. If you see that it starts to bubble around the edge, it’s time to add in the onion/garlic/ginger mixture. Sautee in the wok for about two minutes, until the mixture becomes fragrant and becomes slightly more translucent.
6. Gradually add and sir in the chopped broccoli and kale mixture. Cover the mixture and let it steam for about 3 minutes, or until the kale turns a vibrant green. Lift the lid off and stir several times for about a minute, and gradually add in marinade by gently stirring it around. Let the veggies cook covered for about 3 minutes.
7. After the three minutes, lift the cover, and slightly adjust the temperature and let the stir fry mixture continue cooking for about 3 minutes uncovered, until most of the liquid evaporates and slightly thickens. Turn off the stove and remove the skillet from the heat and allow to cool down for about a minute or so.
8. Take your lettuce leaf and with a medium spoon, take some of the stir-fry mixture and spoon it over the lettuce. Take a small handful (about a teaspoon) of chopped red cabbage and top over the stir-fry teriyaki and roll the lettuce wrap, until it resembles a small taco. Eat up, and enjoy!
9. Optional, serve with a side of rice. Enjoy!! 🙂

4 Servings

Nutritional information per serving (without rice):
149 calories/ 4.6g protein/7.8g fat/18.5g carbs/ 4.9g fiber