Core Essentials

Quiet cooking close to center
Think and cook ingredients with purpose

Core Essentials

Independent Study

The Natural Cook training’s Core Essentials course focuses on what we call “Quiet Cooking Close To Center™.”

This is where we construct the skills to match the courage of an intuitive cook. The student who is open to learning, or already has some experience but is seeking more confidence and accuracy, will benefit the most from the support, tools and structure of The Language of Intuitive Cooking.

Approaching the entire core curriculum with patience and practice will ground participants by initiating a lifeshift™ to wholeness.

Independent study courses are set up to support students who want to study topics, lessons, and practice sessions at their own pace.  No pressure, no exams, just support to meet questions and goals as needed.

Give yourself four hours a week to move through this nine-month training.  Additional topics are available for modest purchase within this core classroom.  Small monthly fees can be applied at anytime you want to extend access or your life wants to return to the classroom and its benefits.

Course Highlights

When You Sign Up

Your access info and welcome letter will follow in separate emails.

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Support is easily available.

How To Prepare

Prepare your kitchen. Look at our store for ideas.

Set a few hours a week to study the lesson content.

Take notes before going into the kitchen.

Practice cooking methods and inventing dishes.


Whatever you need, just ask.

Each lesson provides an instructor-monitored forum.

Access included for the Drop-in Tuesday Talk Group Q/A

Topic Details

Select a topic below to learn more about The Natural Cook Core Essentials - training

The Language of Intuitive Cooking™

The Language of Intuitive Cooking is a “living language.”  That is because it serves the purpose of organizing cooking from any culture and all dietary situations through generations.

Published in 2007, this companion book can accompany you through the training. It has a different personality than the online classroom.  However, the online classroom should be considered the latest greatest presentation of terms in the language. You might find contradictions.  Hopefully you will see the evolution.

The language of Intuitive Cooking lives in the heart and mind of any natural cook. When students find a relationship with this language, it speeds up the organization of what is possible in whatever kitchen they are cooking in.  It is not difficult to learn.  Like a foreign language, or any art form ie: music, dance, fine art, we first have to understand our medium. What materials we are using, and what is their purpose?

We begin all the training programs with this root understanding.  Before writing a story, we want to construct meaningful sentences. Before a dancer can dance, they need to be aware of shifting body parts when they walk. Before making a meal, we want the dishes to be good, aesthetically pleasing and digestible.

This language provides continuity and structure for all cooking going forward throughout your life.  You can study the language, or just look at the cooking methods.  It’s really up to you how much you want to learn.


Organizing ingredients by putting them into categories.

A system for positioning cooking methods helps create a balanced meal.

Theories of cooking engage intuitive cooking skills for measuring and selecting ingredients when no one tells you how much or what to use.

Theory of design applies traditional principles for using numbers and colors.

Several ways to approach fixing a dish that you want to change.

Understanding creativity and the two hemispheres of our brain, and how this applies to The Natural Cook training.


Kitchen Setup

In this topic, a natural kitchen means allowing for ingredients to be born in the highest quality of soil.  We focus on high quality ingredients because each one counts. Each one has a unique purpose in the dish. If an ingredient is grown in chemically fortified soil, our cooking methods will either heighten the chemical taste or the natural flavor of the vegetables.

Organic is good, but it is not the only issue these days. Paying for the term  “Organic” is an expensive cost to farmers who may already be growing bio-dynamically or other natural farming techniques which are superior to organic fertilizers. We need to support the “real food” movement too.


Tools and equipment requirements and links to purchase suggestions

Pantry set-up with all ingredient categories lists and charts

Virtual lab equipment suggestions

A library of information describing the quality, growing style, and function of oils, cooking liquids, herbs/spices, and salts

History and perspective on Whole Dish-Grains (GF) and Bread Grains

Understanding vegetable how to select, store, and families by growing style for cooks

Classification and identity of Plant Protein

Natural sugars—which are more whole than refined

Living Food Cuisine ingredients and equipment

Visual Rhythm

Visual Rhythm – and the Japanese vegetable knife.

One of the things I love about cooking and teaching cooking skills is to carry my dance experience into the kitchen. From first picking up a knife, students feel connected to their body and how the knife moves through the vegetables without a sound, in silence.

The relationships of knife to chef, knife to board, and knife to the shape of the whole vegetable is what we study. It’s about these angles in relationship to each other, adding the motion of the knife, front to back, back to front, and how they all coordinate with the mind of the chef.  The final look of the cut vegetable is visually rhythmical.

Because we are cooking within the concept of wholeness, the idea of casting aside rounded edges to produce an evenly measured diced vegetable look is unconscionably wrong for everyday cooking. Just because a carrot at one end is tapered small and at the other end is tapered large, there is no need to discard parts of the whole.  Instead, look for finished cuts that give a sense of visual rhythm that suits the original shape of the vegetable—restful on the eye and energetically whole.


Knives: selecting, sharpening, and safety

Cutting: how to achieve common cuts and invent new ones

Vegetable Shapes: understanding the appropriate cut in respect for the shape of the vegetable and the cooking method

No waste in the approach to each shape of vegetable

Proper positioning to protect  the cook from repetitive motion body injury

Energetic Nutrition

“Nutritional science” is a respected field of study, but it’s a vast topic. Western nutrition took roots in the18th Century while western doctors were first looking at the link between isolated nutrients and what was missing in a sick person.

To gain a thorough understanding of that subject would be a separate journey beyond our goals here.

Our significant goal is to have many people easily eating well. Our process with the focus on Energetic Nutrition facilitates and supports this goal.

According to Wikipedia vitamins were discovered between 1913 and 1948.  This practice and science of separating all the pieces of the human bodies’ systems is complicated, deserving a depth of study to be proficient.

There is actually nothing new about the principles in this topic of Energetic Nutrition. They  have been lived and taught through Eastern cultures since the earliest known written record of Chinese medicine, the Huangdi neijing (The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic) from the 3rd century bce.  The gift of Ayurveda came from the Hindu gods about 5,000 years ago. And pre-dating this history, there is an intuitive process built into humans from the beginning, not unlike what animals do when they forage and discriminate what they eat and don’t eat.

Energetic Nutrition is laid out to compare the components in our training to the elements creating wholeness, through Nature, which in turn helps people live well.  It’s about learning to see simplicity in the connection between food, earth, eating, digestion, activity, weather, and many more pieces of living.


Definitions of nutrition and energetic nutrition

How variety is the KEY to good health

Clarification of Whole, Processed, and Refined

How age, activity, color, texture and the direction that food grows inform our decisions for balance

How the cooking methods and The Language of Intuitive Cooking are structured to support the Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual parts of human wholeness

Meal Composition

A balanced meal is especially satisfying when using the nutrient-dense whole foods cuisine that you are learning here.  One can actually stop eating, and eat less, after eating a balanced meal of energetically whole ingredients.

Design principles are the same for simple meals to the most complex and exotic. In this topic, artistry relies on detailed study from the Core Essentials training topics.  We challenge students with imaginary meals in order to practice theories of meal composition.   Then we apply these design principles adding topics of soup and dessert, living foods cuisine, bread and spreads, and world cuisine.
As a young person, when my dad was at the dinner table, he would turn dinner-time into a presentation of the principles of art and design.  He was an artist and a teacher.  We listened, and chewed our peas. When it was time to have my students create meals, his wise words filled my chart and rule book. Today, SNC has very clear guidelines to help organize the mind and the possibilities. Flexibility in the moment and clarity on where to change are all part of the training.
Exercises in theories of meal composition are woven throughout all the entire curriculum of all programs. It starts with simple design and advances to more complexity.


Designing a balanced meal for any diet

Weather & climate

Age & activity

Variety is the key

Color & shape

Taste & flavor

Texture & substance

Complex & simple

Where to begin the composition

Time & organization

Amazing Grains

The creative process we are teaching here is to recognize that there are infinite possibilities for cooking dish grains (GF), maintaining their energetically whole form.

This process includes learning how to manipulate the elements of texture, taste, and color to create original dishes with quinoa, millet, rices, buckwheat, amaranth, oats, and others that we may not know about.

In 1980 USA, eating grains in their energetically whole form was rare. It was easy to find white rice on a restaurant’s menu, and “brown” rice was starting to appear in Chinese restaurants and health food stores and restaurants. The possibility of manipulating color, texture, and taste was not yet even a thought for cooks preparing rice, with a label of ‘boring.’  Rice  showed up to be a background for something more colorful, more “meaty.”  Rice was a filler.

And I, as a consumer interested in health, was not supposed to notice that brown rice was usually bland, pasty, or dry—because it was “healthy.” But…I did. And for me, it was never boring.

A few years later, I worked for The Quinoa Corporation, the company who first brought Quinoa to the USA. My responsibilities included managing the scheduling and training of people to set up demonstrations in every kind of grocery store—both health food stores and regular, large chain supermarkets.  In this position, I created recipes for the demonstration staff to cook and offer samples to each customer that had enough curiosity to step up to the table. “Cook quinoa like rice, boil it” we told the customer. But my cooking experience checkmated the standard answer that “boiling” is the only method.  Words started to organize in my mind for more interesting ways to prepare dish grains.


Understanding the anatomy of a dish-grain and a bread-grain

Selecting and Storing Grains and Beans and Vegetables

Rice Family, Buckwheat, Quinoa family, Oats, Millet, Amaranth, Teff, and Job’s Tears

Creating textures

Boiling and Steeping

Excellent method for whole grain pasta

Grain salad technique




Free form color infused

Earth Angels

Our techniques in these cooking methods highlight the amazing versatility of vegetables and sea vegetables.

When we understand how vegetables grow, we are able to select the right amount of cooking liquid; which intern informs how long the food can be in the fire.

Charts organize the thought process, providing information on the best practices for selecting and storing vegetables, treating vegetables for optimum results (when to cut, and when to keep whole), and even what to keep on hand for those days when going to the store is not an option.

To me, vegetables are angels. If I had the choice of eating a beautiful carrot, a juicy beet or a brilliant pea instead of eating dirt and rocks, it would appear that earth had turned into a delicious angel. I notice that when using a variety of vegetables, which have been transmuted by the power of healthy soil, dishes are very simple and satisfying.

We explore this brilliant food group just as explorers give attention to their surroundings.  Some vegetables have a “gang consciousness.” They are wild, tough, domineering and complex; these gangs often rely on the friendship of others.  Then there is the “soloist.”  The star of the dish.  Our guidelines prevent chaos in complex combinations and when faced with the potential of infinite possibilities.


Designing vegetable dishes

Vegetable families defined by how they grow

The best use of oil

Cooking methods taught to clarify confusion in any culinary terminology

Teriyaki                                    Baking

Pressure Cooking                      Slow-Cooking

Pressure Steaming                     Stir-frying

Steeping                                  Tempura

Braising                                   Pickles

Refrying                                   Pressing

Roasting                                  Dehydrating

Blending                                  Marinating

Romancing The Bean

Romancing a bean is easy with The Language of Intuitive Cooking and the important technical information is in this topic. When we apply this creative process to beans, it produces dynamic, satisfying and somewhat seductive unrefined protein dishes.

SNC approaches plant-based whole food protein by understanding how to stage the cooking methods for proper cooking, and storage.  Working with whole beans as protein also teaches us how to place this group of ingredients in a meal’s composition to avoid the chaos that could result, both visually and digestibly.

Like grains, beans are a beautiful canvas for expressing color, taste, and forms.  But, unlike either grain or vegetables, how we handle the cooking process (yes, we cooks are doing the processing in bean cookery) is critical to have the beans meet the human body without disruption. We learn to coax, care, and “romance” the bean into its best performance.


Protein from beans

History of beans


Cook’s family of Beans – categorizing

Short term

Medium term

Long term

Properly cooking beans

To soak or not to soak

Ten minute dishes

Technical exercises

Bean Salads

Bean Patties

Refried Beans


Soups & Single Binder Sauces

You will begin to master the art of creating exciting vegan soups and sauces with the simplest, most flavorful techniques. Every soup, in every cuisine, falls into one of the five styles of soup in this course.

We study single binder sauces, before combining them into complex binder sauces. These follow the same principles as the soups.  The perfection of one informs the technique of the other.

At first glance, I could not understand why French sauces seemed so complicated. Maybe it was because I didn’t speak French. When I did learn to speak French, a bit, I realized that the sauces were categorized not too differently from the styles of soup and sauce in The Language of Intuitive Cooking. 

The organization of sauces in plant cuisines are less complicated, because of the ingredients.   Our methodology for these forms—soup and sauce—is developed specifically for working without animal broth, eggs or dairy products.  When soup and sauce techniques are studied from the plant perspective, there is understanding about how and why one could include the animal product ingredients. But animal products are not in this training.


Spice stock

Vegetable stock

Roasted vegetable stock

Clear broth

Clear starch sauce

Creamy vegetable soup

“Loose” vegetable soup


Bean soup


Core Essentials

890.00 or $260.00 / month for 4 months

Core Essentials

Reg Price: $890.00
or $260.00 / month for 4 months