Online cooking classes promote healthy eating, stretching food budget

The Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine will host online cooking classes starting on Wednesday, July 1, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. CT, featuring healthy seasonal recipes that home cooks can make with common pantry items. Wednesday’s class is the first of the series. Each class will have a different theme with new recipes.


Tickets to the classes are by donation. To register for the July 1 class, click here.


The Zoom session will be led by Goldring Center Chef and Community Instructor/Family Program Coordinator Katie Pedroza and will feature spiced chicken thighs, lemon and olive sauteed vegetables, steamed brown rice with peas, and blueberry upside-down corn cake.


Goldring Center recently updated its website with a variety of fresh and healthy recipes that take advantage of summer produce, but don’t require specialty ingredients. Examples include seasonal berry salad with simple vinaigrette  and “use what you have” chili. The site also has new videos, such as knife skills demonstrations, that can make cooking at home easier.


“This pandemic has affected everyone in many different ways. As far as nutrition goes, some are eating more while sheltering in place, while others may have lost their ability to access fresh food. At the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine, we teach our community how to eat well on a budget. We focus on skills like maximizing your pantry and cross utilization to help stretch your food dollars. We also design our recipes to be quick and easy to make, so that eating healthy doesn’t have to be too costly or too overwhelming,” said Chef and Director of Operations Heather Nace.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, New Orleanians may be making fewer trips to the grocery store.


“Now is the perfect time to use the odds-and-ends ingredients that are on hand — like the can of pumpkin left over from Thanksgiving, or the cans of beans you bought the last time they were on sale. These are great for everything from baking to stews and sauces for added flavor and nutrition,” said Chef and Assistant Program Director Amber Dyer.


Nace added that she hoped the classes of medical students who usually train at the Goldring Center would be able to return to the teaching kitchen this fall, but could be trained via Zoom if the need arose. Goldring Center was founded in 2012 as the first teaching kitchen operated within a medical school; as part of Tulane University’s School of Medicine, the center’s mission is to educate and train future physicians to understand and apply nutrition principles in a practical way. 


“While we wish we could be in the teaching kitchen with our wonderful students and community members at this time, we hope to be able to provide some cooking and nutrition resources to help everyone get through this difficult period,” Nace said. “We are excited to be developing new digital content including videos and online classes while we work remotely.”


Browse Goldring Center’s recipe collection here.


For updates on Goldring Center’s content and classes, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.