Tuesday, May 24, 2011
It's been a few weeks since I last wrote. There have been quite a number of changes since the last I posted. First, the Cooking Matters team headed off to Detroit for a 3 day conference with all of the Cooking Matters programs across the country. It was great to meet everyone and learn about new developments within Cooking Matters. We also were exposed to new ideas for how to make our classes better than ever. It was great to see the Detroit site for Cooking Matters and learn about the program there- the space is gorgeous and is a food bank. They also have a great garden in the back where they teach members of the community how to farm. Overall a very successful trip!
In other news, Erika has moved on from Solid Ground and is now working in New York City. Her last day was Friday and we already miss her so much! We know she will do great work out in the Big Apple just as she did here at Solid Ground. In case you missed it, here is her farewell email:
Greetings wonderful Cooking Matters volunteers!
My time with Cooking Matters has come to an end. On Friday, I will be leaving Solid Ground for a new job in Brooklyn, NY. You all have made the past two years absolutely amazing for me. I have really enjoyed meeting, working and eating with all of you. Honestly, every class has been an absolute blast and I have learned so much from so many of you. Have a great summer and keep signing up for classes!
Things are quite busy around the office with many new classes. I hope you are all enjoying the longer days!
Monday, May 2, 2011
What food is cheap, versatile, nutrient dense and found in your cabinet? Beans! Beans are an under appreciated source of protein in our culture- the focus is on meat and dairy products. When on a budget, meat can sometimes be out of people’s price range or something too expensive to buy for every day. It’s also good to mix up our sources of protein- beans, dairy, nuts, tofu, meat, etc so that we get a variety of nutrients and do not get bored. Beans are a great source of fiber and nutrients such as Iron, which helps prevent anemia, and Potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure. One concern with beans is that canned beans contain lots of sodium, which can elevate blood pressure. To reduce sodium, opt for canned beans with no added salt or rinse the beans before serving. You can also make the beans at home, by soaking and cooking dried beans. Beans can be used in a variety of ways- bean salads, added to chili, bean dips, etc. For even more information on beans and why they are so great, visit: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/inside-the-new-dietary-guidelines-beans/2011/04/13/AFyvyIqE_story.html
And for some great recipes, look no further than Martha Shulman’s Recipes for Health: http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/health/series/recipes_for_health/beans/index.html
One great snack that we use in our classes is the Spicy White Bean dip.
Spicy White Bean Dip
Serves 6, ¼ cup per serving
2 cloves garlic
1 (15.5 ounce) can cannellini beans
¼ cup water
1 Tbs. Canola oil
½ teaspoon salt
1.2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/3 bunch fresh parsley
- Peel and mince garlic cloves
- Drain and rinse cannellini beans
- Place garlic, cannellini beans, water, canola oil, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth
- Rinse and chop parsley. Place dip into serving bowl, top with parsley and stir.
What are some of your favorite uses for this super food?