How to hold a 10 in 10 Diet Workshop

Cheap Vegetarian Cooking

Making the Most of Beans

This two-hour workshop is designed to introduce people to the wide range of meals possible when relying on legumes and whole grains for protein. Most of the dishes are prepared ahead and simply heated in foil pot pie pans before the class.

There’s a surprise factor and a fun factor that we hope will convert those who say, “I don’t like beans” or who think they could serve them at most once a week. The sheer number of different dishes will be unexpected in a two-hour class. 

Boiling the soups and stews is easy, not requiring demonstration. Making starchy dishes normally found only in ethnic restaurants is fun and best learned hands-on. Making tortilla and chapatti dough requires feeling the level of softness and dampness with your fingers. And practicing rolling them out will increase the chance of students’ success at home later. 


A student will volunteer to take over the frying. You’ll need a kitchen to hold the workshop, for the stove, & oven. dishes and cutlery. Make sure the foil pots are heated through before the class, then just keep them warm in the oven. Take your own cast iron frying pan for the chapattis, tortillas, and polents (do the polenta last).  

Our workshop attracted twelve women in a sparsely populated rural area. Think what you could do in a church kitchen in the city! They had lots of questions and made a meal of the samples. What follows is a set of instructions for preparing, promoting and holding this event.  Click on the pdf to download a nicely formatted set of pages. You might also want to make copies of the 10 in 10 Diet recipes pdf.

10in10Diet_BeansWorkshop.pdf 10in10Diet_BeansWorkshop.pdf
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 The Foods

Falafel patties from dry mix

  • Take the package to show
  • Mix up one cup of dry mix
  • Fry patties before the class

Black Bean Soup

  • Thaw 1 container
  • Take in foil pan for oven


  • Make a small batch, mold in a small empty can
  • Fry after making tortillas & chapattis, because it messes up the pan

Pinto Beans

  • Take some in foil pan for oven to sample whole
  • Take some to heat in a small pot and mash for tacos


  • Take package of Masa Harina
  • Take tortilla press & waxed paper
  • Make dough there (let them feel it)

Red soup

  • Take some in foil pan for oven

Curried Chick Peas

  • Take in foil pan for oven

Black & Orange (beluga lentil stew & mashed rutabaga & sweet potato)

  • Take in two foil pans for oven

Quinoa Salad

  • Small batch with sprouts as the veggie
  • Cook the quinoa the day before


  • Take ingredients & food processor
  • Take bread to make sandwiches there
  • Take pickles & sprouts


  • Take in foil pan for oven


  • Take in foil pan for oven


  • Take package of Durum Atta flour
  • Take mixing bowl & rolling pin


  • Take bottle of seeds
  • Take sprouting jar & sprouts
  • Serve on Hummus sandwiches
Running the Workshop

If you’re living the 10in10 Diet, you can take a container of each meal out of your freezer and heat it up for the class. Most of the work is easy cooking that you do for yourself anyway. The idea is to bring people in to learn about cooking with beans, then knock them over with a wide array of yummmy foods. 12 participants is a good number for the amount of food listed here. With 15 or more, make bigger batches of chapattis, tortillas and polenta and have two cast iron pans and two spatulas.

Discussion of beans (20 minutes or less). Ask people about their interest & experience with beans. People will want to know about avoiding flatulence. Read my page on “Eating Beans” and click the links on it to Salt Spring Seeds. Talk about not soaking  overnight and salting them till after they’re cooked.
  • Make chapattis and tortillas (this is fun and exciting and they still don’t know what’s in the oven)
  • Show the class the flour packages, see if anybody knows where they’re available.
  • Mix up the tortilla dough, letting someone feel the consistency. Let everyone feel the soft, damp, light dough. Form it into a 2” sausage shape with flat ends and cover with a damp cloth.
  • Make the chapatti dough. Again let them help and feel the dough.
  • Have someone tear up 6” squares of waxed paper. Score the tortilla dough for 8 slices.
  • Let people take a turn pressing a tortilla. (Everyone will want to buy a $20 press, so know where to tell them they can get one. Fancy kitchen stores can order them from a catalog.)
  1. Pre-heat the cast iron pan on medium till it’s very hot.
  2. Tell the class what’s in the quinoa salad and serve it. (Big hit)
  3. Take the samples out of the oven (Big surprise)
  4. Everyone should have a plate and a spoon
  5. Put the labeled foil covers beside each pan
  6. Fry the polenta, cut it up and give everyone a piece, directing them to the black bean soup to eat with it.
  7. Make the falafel patties and serve
  8. Pass around the store-bough hummus, pointing out that it’s a condiment, not a meal.
  9. Make the hummus. Make up two or three sandwiches with pickles and sprouts. Cut each sandwich into 6 and serve.
  10. Invite the participants to get the recipes from (or hand out photocopies)
  11. Don’t refuse help with cleaning up.
  12. Go home and freeze any leftovers.
Promoting the Workshop

Promote the workshop with a minimum of explanation. During the workshop you can send the students to for the recipes and the “Eating Beans” essay. If they see it first they won’t have as much fun with your presentation. They may even think they don’t need to attend. Here is the article Andrew MacDonald wrote to invite our participants. The article. It has just enough information to pique their curiosity. (We had 12 participants in our tiny village!) Feel free to use a version or parts of it in a press release for your event:

Country Know-how . . . on Beans
The simple bean, nutritious, inexpensive, adaptable and delicious as it is, has made itself a staple of country cuisine the world over.I’m speaking of dried beans here. Green beans are what you eat out of the garden, dry beans are the many varieties of the same basic plant when shelled or threshed and stored. After original cultivation in the Andes and Central America at least six thousand years ago, beans became the foundation of Native Americans’ extensive agriculture. If they were eaten here in the north country they were more likely traded than grown, but old settlers in Central Frontenac remember when they were grown locally, with the threshing being done in a bucket.
Beans keep for years if dry. Newer beans cook quickly but if they’re older as they frequently are when purchased, you’d best soak them overnight before cooking. They’re easy to grown and despite the rainy summer we had last year we had enough success to get some seed crop for what we hope’ll be success this year. As beans become adapted to your garden’s soil they build up a relationship with rhizobia, a nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which helps them grow even more successfully. In other words, the more years you grow them the better they grow.
Even if you don’t grow your own, you can buy them inexpensively in bulk and store them. In mylar bags, especially when de-oxygenated, they’ll store a long time indeed. You can take advantage of your freezer and pre-cook them in large batches, saving time and energy. What you freeze could be just the cooked beans themselves, or the ready-for-eating bean dish you’ve prepared in bulk. With your beans stacked up in one-meal servings in the freezer you can pull them out for a quick and delicious addition to your supper. They’re cheap and eating more beans is often linked to eating a bit less meat, which is linked to health benefits. If you can grow beans as well as vegetables, you’re a long way toward being self-sufficient in food.
Country Know-how will have a mini-workshop on “Making the Most of Beans,” hosted by ----------- on ---------- at ------------ in ----------. -------’s a talented local cook with a wealth of experience preparing bean dishes from a range of ethnic traditions. This isn’t a cooking class, but an opportunity to sample different bean dishes, ask questions about growing and preparing beans. Drop-ins on the day are acceptable but if you can, please call –––– at –––––––– if you’re planning on coming so s/he has a sense of how much food to bring.

Use this poster to get people interested. Make a small flyer describing the workshop, so they can take it home.  

Quote Poster.pdf Quote Poster.pdf
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Feedback from the January 23 Sharbot Lake 2 hr. workshop:

"Thanks for a fun afternoon, and lots of ideas. I'd already downloaded your recipes from your website, but trying them out makes me more likely to attempt some of them myself. I particularly liked the black & red lentil one."

"The "bean day" was yummy...although I missed most of it, it looked to be a very good day for everyone who took part. Thank you Lynn."

"I'm very inspired, and can hardly wait to put what I learned into action. I got answers to questions I've had for a long time and learned more than expected in a very short time without it feeling rushed."

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