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NEWS | Oct. 20, 2011

HAWC provides healthy cooking alternatives

By Airman 1st Class Jared Trimarchi Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

More than 20 Airmen and their family members participated in a free cooking class provided by the Health and Wellness Center Sept. 24, at the Culinary Institute of Charleston.

The class was taught by local chef Ken Immer and was themed, "Cooking Healthy on a Budget."

The class made massaged kale-arame slaw, curried coconut quinoa with roasted sweet potatoes, grilled chicken and watermelon carpaccio with fruit salsa for dessert.

The three-course meal was designed for chefs of all levels, from those who have never stepped foot in a kitchen to those who have been cooking for years.

"The food was delicious," said Senior Airman Amanda Hastings, HAWC office manager. "It was easy to make and everyone had a good time. It's important for people to know how to make healthier meals for their families."

Though most ingredients were foreign to the participants, the chefs were eager to learn something new, Hastings said.

The class was offered as a Comprehensive Airman Fitness incentive designed to help Airmen and family members become more resilient and better-equipped to deal with the rigors of military life.

Greer Gowen, HAWC dietitian said, "This cooking classed focused on two pillars of Comprehensive Airman Fitness: the physical pillar and social pillar. Not only were the participants learning how to eat a healthier diet, they also engaged is socializing and discussing healthier habits."

According to Hastings, the meal was worth making a second time at home.

"I bought all the ingredients and made the three courses at home," she said. "It came out just like it did in the class."

These cooking classes will be made available every quarter and more information will be released as the classes are scheduled.

"I recommend signing up as soon as the classes are available," Hastings said. "They fill up quickly."

Form more recipes and information on "Cooking Healthy on a Budget," contact HAWC at 963-4007.