If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to make healthy and simple recipes on a college budget, you’re in the right place. Nourish UNH peer educators offer a weekly demonstration cooking class, What’s Cooking?
Every Wednesday, from 5:10 – 6 p.m., Nourish UNH members prepare a new menu to share in the demonstration kitchen at the Hamel Rec Center.
“Students watch a meal being prepared from start to finish and get to taste everything at the end. It's a great way for students to see that eating healthy doesn't need to be expensive or time consuming,” says Laila Hammam, nutrition educator/counselor at Health & Wellness.
Nutrition: dietetics majors Brooke Kealey ’18 and Rachel Artus ’18 taught the Oct. 25 class, which focused on superfoods, like kale and avocado. These nutritionally-rich foods can increase immunity and decrease the risk of disease and illness.
“I have always had a passion for cooking so these cooking classes are a great way for me to do what I love while teaching students the importance of cooking healthy dishes,” Kealey says.
The Oct. 25 menu included quinoa “power bowls” (with ingredients like sweet potatoes, edamame and chickpeas) and chocolate bark for dessert, made with almonds, coconut and cranberries. Get the recipes.
The class was informal and relaxed, with the leaders asking attendees about their plans for the weekend one minute and giving cooking tips the next.
Artus and Kealey explained the nutritional science and health benefits of each ingredient in the power bowl. They also offered tips to make these recipes accommodating for those with different preferences or dietary restrictions.
For example, Kealey advised, “If you have a sensitive stomach, buy sprouted versions of quinoa. They are easier to digest.”
Attendees watch the preparations happen in real time aided by an overhead video screen that projects an up-close view of the counter space. Artus and Kealy completed tasks like mixing a dressing, roasting chickpeas, cutting avocados and chopping the chocolate bark.
Once the meal was prepared, attendees could build their own power bowls with their choice of ingredients and nibble on the chocolate bark. Both recipes turned out well, and many students took second helpings.
“I hope that those who participate use it as a break from the stresses of school and other things here at UNH,” Artus says.
According to Nourish UNH co-leader Elise Lacasse ’18, “We have had some students that come to our classes every week and say that they love it. I think seeing fellow college students actually preparing the food and being able to visualize how easy it really can be and how much time it takes makes a difference to them.”
Amanda Eagles ’18 and Keri Chamberlain ’18 have both been to multiple What’s Cooking? demonstration classes.
“I loved learning how to make power bowls,” Eagles says. “I come to What’s Cooking? every week and like that what we learn is easy and applicable.”
While the superfood class was only Chamberlain’s second, she has found attending to be beneficial.
“I have learned how to have a healthier diet. I want to make the power bowls on my own now,” Chamberlain says. “A lot of students don’t eat very healthily. If they attend a class, though, they can come and see how to make good recipes themselves.”
What’s Cooking? demonstration classes are free, but preregistration is required to ensure sufficient quantities and to accommodate dietary restrictions when possible. You can learn more and register on the Health & Wellness website.