Knowledge Base > Eric Wynkoop - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Eric Wynkoop - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

This event was on Tuesday, January 02, 2024 at 11:00 am Pacific, 2:00 pm Eastern

Join Chef Eric Wynkoop in his virtual office as he welcomes all of your questions. This event was created for you and we encourage you to Ask Anything – from cooking techniques to co… Read More.



Do you have any vegan and grain free travel or lunch ideas?

— Kristin T. Østrem


Grain free meal ideas, lunch ideas. So, you know, what, uh, comes to mind for me will be, uh, all the vegetables that, and fruits included, you know, that are a part of the beautiful world, right, that we live in. And, um, it certainly grains make up a, a, a huge number of options, uh, for many of us. But, uh, even, uh, I think more so than the edible grains that we find on the market are all the fruits and vegetables. And so when I, you know, think about, um, you know, some meal ideas, uh, I think about roasted vegetables and, uh, you know, a a couple of categories come to mind. And one would be root vegetables, and these could be the various centri potatoes, uh, waxy potatoes of, of different types. And, uh, also, uh, you know, other root vees like parsnips and rutabagas and, and turnips. Uh, you know, you come across, uh, radishes and there are some, some large radishes that we might associate with East Asian cookery. Um, for me, in particular, Japanese and Korean cuisines such as daikon. Uh, and there are other, you know, similar, uh, radishes that can be, um, um, consumed in, in, in different ways. They can be, uh, you know, shredded and, and eaten raw in salads. Uh, they can be put into soups and sied. Um, and, um, you know, there are also sweet potatoes. I'm a big fan of sweet potatoes. And, you know, in particular, uh, I enjoy seeking, uh, uh, sources for, uh, purple, uh, sweet potatoes. And there are some different varieties out there. Some are indeed very deep, uh, purple or violet color, uh, through and through. Um, others are, are lighter and sort of a have a variated off-white in purple look. And, uh, levels of sweetness vary. Uh, you know, as you, uh, search for these sort of things, look for examples that are relatively heavy for their size, uh, which translates to higher moisture content, which is gonna be desirable. And, uh, you know, when I, uh, of course, there's, you know, always multiple ways to, to cook things, but the way that I handle sweet potatoes anyway is, uh, very simply, I'll put 'em in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and, uh, you know, on a, on a sheet pan, and I just leave them in there. And usually it's, uh, in an hour or well over an hour until some of the syrup starts to ooze out. And that tells me that the interior is nice and soft, and the, uh, the sugars have been coaxed out. And, uh, that point, uh, boy, they're great as a meal on their own, as a snack, as a dessert. Um, you can dress them up if you like. Um, you know, one of, uh, the simple recipes representing Okinawa cuisine in our blue Zones course, um, recommends mashing some purple sweet potato, uh, drizzling it with some coconut milk, perhaps a, a pinch of salt and some toasted sesame seeds, the color, your choice. And, uh, you know, that makes a very earthy, uh, grounding and flavorful and certainly satisfying, um, meal or, or side item. Uh, and then of course, there's so many other vegetables, you know, whether it's a cauliflower or broccoli or, um, you know, asparagus when it's in season. You know, all of these things can be either roasted or it could be steamed or simmer, uh, your choice. Um, of course, dry heat cooking methods such as roasting will impart some color, or, or at least you have the ability to control that, and color equals flavor. And so very often we will recommend, uh, that you at least give it a try. Um, some people like steaming, uh, because it's pretty quick and, um, you know, tends to preserve colors and, and, uh, you know, nutrients in, in certain ways. So, um, I think, uh, the next step then is to think about what you might flavor, uh, or garnish or dress those vegetables with. And, uh, uh, you know, I will sometimes use a, a little dollop of an Indian pickle, uh, of which there's usually two or three or four varieties in the fridge at any time here at home. Um, you know, it, it could be tahini. I'm a big fan of tahini, a little tossing tahini with a squeeze of, uh, citrus juice. Uh, whether it's an orange or a lemon or a lime tends to work for me. And, um, uh, yeah, you, you know, try, uh, things like Japanese foodie ca uh, which are these, um, multi-component, little sprinkly items that are designed, uh, originally for, um, enhancing white rice, but can be used, uh, in so many ways, uh, including vegetables. Um, and so those are just a couple of ideas that come to mind, and I hope that you'll find, you know, something that might work for you and inspire you to do some experimenting.
Eric Wynkoop

Eric Wynkoop

Director of Culinary Instruction