Adams County community members turned up the heat this week and learned how to cook quick and healthy meals.
West River Health Services, the NDSU Extension Center, and the Southwest District Health Unit are working together to host “Quick and Healthy Cooking Classes” over the next couple of weeks to highlight healthier life options at the Hettinger Research Center.
Under the guidance of master chef Tara Biefer, people learned how to incorporate different types of healthy grains like barley, couscous, and brown rice into their home cooked meals. Bieber demonstrated how to make a balanced meal of lamb chops, vegetables, and healthy grains.
“Kara Bieber is excellent at cooking and explaining the process to people so we are very blessed to have her teaching the class,” said WRHS RN, Community Health and Wellness Coordinator Patty Ness.
NDSU Extension Agent Hannah Nordby and nutrition expert Linda Nudell were also instrumental in coordinating the Quick and Healthy Cooking Class. Both Nordby and Nudell were able to contribute to event by answering questions and leading discussion for the public.
“Part of working for the Extension Center is seeing what the needs of the community are and how they can be met,” said Nordby.
According to Nordby, the people who were able brave the weather and make it to the event enjoyed the class.
“This class has been really successful and I am hoping that we can continue it in the summer,” said Nordby.
All three organizations, West River Health Services, the NDSU Hettinger Extension Center, and Southwest District Health Unit, were instrumental in starting the cooking class. Ness said that the class originated last year with a grant that helped promote cancer prevention.
“The class went over really well… We really enjoyed it last year and we received a lot of good feedback,” said Ness.
Although the grant money for the class has since been utilized, proceeds earned through the annual Fun Run and Walk are keeping the event alive and free for the public.
According to Ness, the goal of the event was to teach people how to cook atypical ingredients and foods that, while they are readily available, people aren’t used to cooking. Ness hopes that educating the public about new healthy recipes and ingredients will result in a healthier community.
“Healthy eating helps the prevention of a lot of major diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. We are just looking for different ways to help the community.”
For those who are interested in attending, the next cooking class is taking place March 19th. The March 19th class will focus on cooking different types of vegetables.
Although the free cooking class has a limit of 20 people, Ness said there are still some spots available as of March 6th. Those who are interested in signing up for the class can reserve their spot by calling Ness’s WRHS office number at 701-567-6177.