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Thu, Mar 8, 2018 at 02:30 AM

Healthy eating is good eating with these fun, delicious dishes from Chef Joe

Heart Healthy Cooking Class entertains while it educates with a fun take on new ingredients.

Marshall Medical Executive Chef Joseph Vance introduced his cooking class attendees to ingredients like falafel, tahini, flaxseed and quinoa. 

“All these recipes are fun,” Vance told the 35 people who turned out to watch him cook and sample his dishes.

The Heart Healthy Cooking Class at Marshall South started with a colorful Greek Salad with a French Greek dressing. He followed that with Tequila Grilled Chicken with Fresh Fruit Salsa. 

“Use fresh,” Vance advised. “Fresh pineapple, onion, peppers, garlic, cilantro and lemon juice.”

To one attendee who shared her dislike of cilantro, he advised her to try it mixed with parsley. 

“You don’t have to follow everything to a T,” he said. “It’s how you like it.”

Linda Anderson, who went to the class with several girlfriends, was a fan of the dish and said she plans to make it at home. 

“I loved the chicken with the fruit salsa,” she said. “What a great combination. The salad was very good with the Greek salad dressing. I enjoyed the class very much.”

Meatless meat balls round out the meal

The entrée was Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Quinoa-Falafel ‘Meatballs,’ which were meatless. Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern food made with ground chickpeas. The whole grain pasta was combined with butternut squash. The sauce featured curry, coconut milk and almond butter. 

The meatless balls started with chickpeas mixed with whole wheat flour, quinoa, fresh herbs and toasted almonds. Vance recommended cooking the quinoa – a protein packed grain pronounced “keen-wah” - the same way you would cook rice then puree it with the chickpeas and other ingredients. 
“These are all natural flavors going into your puree,” he said. “They’re good, earthy flavors. Everything is married together. Vegetarian-wise, this is a marvelous dish.”

The Chef also offered a healthy dessert: Zucchini Bread with Icing. The recipe included gluten-free flour and gluten-free baking powder, as well as quinoa flakes and flaxseed. The icing was simply confectioners’ sugar and unsweetened almond milk. 

“I use whole wheat and gluten free flour,” Vance said. “I cover both bases.”

Sign up for next class

Chef Joe demonstrates Heart Healthy dishes in the Women’s Center at Marshall South quarterly. The next class will be June 12 at 6:30 pm. Classes are free but please call (256)571-8000 to register.