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Chef Joe Vance cooking gumbo for Healthy Heart class
Executive Chef Joseph Vance shows how a delicious gumbo can be heart-healthy.

Thu, Jan 3, 2019 at 04:00 PM

December cooking class spices it up - mark your calendar for 2019

Yumbo! Chef Joseph Vance spices up the healthy cooking routine with classic Cajun gumbo.

It was a Cajun Christmas for a crowd of folks attending the December Healthy Heart Cooking Class with Chef Joe at Marshall Medical South.

“Ya’ll are in for a treat tonight,” promised Executive Chef Joseph Vance, a native of Louisiana. “I’m in my zone today because we’re doing New Orleans Christmas.” 

The demonstration started with Chef Joe whipping up a roux for seafood gumbo, which he cooked start to finish in less than an hour. He explained the goal is to get the base for gumbo as dark as possible without making it bitter. Use either butter, vegetable oil or olive oil with the flour, he advised.

Chef Joe told the crowd of about 45 that he omitted tomatoes from the recipe because his mother and grandmother never used tomatoes in gumbo. He also omitted bacon drippings to make it more heart friendly. 

“I kept it as healthy as possible,” he said. 

Shrimp potato salad accompanied the gumbo, along with seafood dressing and Cajun Cornish hens cooked in an air fryer. Dessert featured apple pie sweetened only with Stevia and apple juice concentrate, and topped with sugar-free whipped topping. 
Attendees were able to sample to their hearts’ content. 

“We had a great meal with Chef Joe,” said Linda Anderson, a regular at the cooking demos. “I had never had gumbo before and it was great. We are so blessed to have Chef Joe at Marshall Medical Centers.” 

Everyone is welcome to attend a cooking class. Classes are held in the Women’s Center on the north side of Marshall South. There is no charge but you must call (256)571-8000 to register. Dates for 2019 are:

•January 10 at 5:30 pm
•March 12 at 4:30 pm
•May 9 at 6 pm
•July 11 at 5:30 pm
•September 10 at 4:30 pm
•November 14 at 5:30 pm