Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Edible Education

I was lucky enough to spend a day at a workshop with Field to Plate called "Edible Education to Nourish the Nation."  The workshop combined two of my favorite things: 1) learning about healthy foods and 2) cooking.  Our instructor, Amanda Archibald, RD, provided us with some excellent information and tips on how to translate our nutrition knowledge as Registered Dietitians into a culinary experiences.  The first part of the morning was spent talking about flavors, how to include nutrient dense foods into simple dishes and demystifying the art of cooking.

Next we got to apply that information by spending the rest of the morning cooking simple, healthy dishes.  We were divided into 4 groups of 2-3 people in each group.  Each group focused on one main ingredient.  I was in the greens group and the other three were, legumes, whole grains and vitality salads.   After about 1 hour we had 15+ dishes ready to sample (pictured above).

The food was delicious of course but more shocking to me was how easy it all was.  None of our recipes called for more than 10 ingredients and each group was able to prepare at least 3 dishes in an hour.  One of our dishes was polenta (made in a microwave) with sauteed greens and gruyere cheese.  I've never made polenta in a microwave but it showed that even if you don't have a stove, you can still cook.

After lunch we focused on one main question:  How do you help your client put the food in their mouth instead of just telling them about it?  One of Amanda's points that hit home with me was to focus on getting people to eat whatever whole foods they have in their kitchen.  People enjoy eating what they love and by understanding the flavors and textures that compliment that food, you can help add the nutrition to the meal.  We are not going to change people's tastes.  But we can show them that by adding just a few nutrient dense foods, they can still eat the foods they love and live a little bit healthier.   It all starts with the experience that a healthy meal does not have to be expensive, labor intensive or bland. 

Today was just another example that the food revolution is coming.  There are a lot of people out there that are making a big impact on how we think about food and I am proud to join them.

See you in the kitchen!


  1. You rightly say that food is also about texture. It makes a big difference, especially as one ages and taste buds change/diminish (don't know if they really do, just seems that way). Thanks for another great piece.

  2. wow hope to attend one myself one day

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