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Cooking class focuses on plant-based foods

A free healthy cooking class focused on plant-based foods will be offered at Bachman Community Center Tuesdays beginning Jan. 22 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

“For those who want to lose weight, there are great benefits,” class organizer Ana Nelsen said of eating a plant-based diet. “If you eat healthier, you will feel better, look better and your spiritual understanding will improve greatly; I can attest to that.”

Each class of the four-week session will begin with a 20-minute lecture outlining the benefits of a plant-based diet, followed by a cooking demonstration and an opportunity to sample the dishes prepared that day.

“People are probably making New Year’s resolutions to exercise more and eat better, so we thought we’d do it at the beginning of the year to help out with resolutions,” said Nelsen. “It’s easy to say you’re going to lose weight, but how do you do that all year?

“Learning to cook healthier will help you change your habits.”

During the first class students will concentrate on breakfast foods, including tofu, “un-sausage” and biscuits, a millet dish and pancakes made from beans and oatmeal.

Entrees are the focus Jan. 29, with an international theme including dishes from Thailand, Italy, Mexico and the United States.

In the third class Feb. 5, participants will learn to make salads, dressings and dips such as a Greek salad, tofu cottage cheese, hummus, nacho and brick cheese made from cashews and a few different types of dressing.

Dessert is the topic of the final class Feb. 12, when students will have the opportunity to prepare tofu cheesecake, apple crisp, carob cake and fudge.

Nelsen said she and the guest instructors who will assist her previously taught the course in Dunlap (where she lives) on several occasions, and the most recent class drew more than 80 participants.

“We wanted to reach out to Signal Mountain,” she said, adding that a survey was done in the area and local people expressed an interest.

Lean Cuisine

Start 2013 off right by preparing this healthy plant-based recipe from Ana Nelsen.

Better Burgers

Serves 8

Ingredients:

1 cup water

1 onion, chopped

3 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos (similar to soy sauce)

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast slakes

1 garlic clove, minced

1 1/2 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 teaspoon sage

1/8 teaspoon marjoram

1/8 teaspoon thyme

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring first five ingredients to a boil. Stir in remaining ingredients and let stand for 10 minutes. Drop 1/4-cup scoops onto a sprayed cookie sheet. Flatten and bake for 25 minutes, then turn and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

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