Health Outreach by Wentworthville Church – Cooking Classes December 8th 2014
On the 8th December 2014 Wentworthville church held its second cooking class. This was the second of many which we plan to have, as a regular class every 2 months. This way we can have contact with the local community more often. The classes were held in Wentworthville Community Centre and the theme of this class was, Cardio Health the Vegetarian Way. Heart diseases being the top killer in Australia, we wanted to focus our class and health lecture on foods that particularly promote heart health, help prevent different heart diseases and even aid in recovery from heart disease. We focused on popular diseases such as arteriosclerosis, pectoris angina, heart attacks etc.
We had a great response of people coming to the class (about 25), and we saw many familiar faces also. We began the night with Amos Thiel giving a 30 minute health lecture about heart disease and specifically its relation to nutrition. He spoke on some other great points such as exercise and gut health.
Then we went straight into the cooking demo! The dishes that we presented were:
- Cereal Bars
- Chickpea Salad
- Potato and Pea Dish
- Wholegrain Spaghetti with Creamy Avocado Pesto
- Zucchini Wrapped Vegan Mini Quiches
- Pistachio Balls
- Banana Drops
They were all very yummy dishes, and all the meals would fit in well as part of someone’s diet that has or has had a difficulty with heart problems. Our cooks did a fantastic job and worked hard and presented well! Our cooks were Nadine Polistina, Stella Gules, Lizy & Alyssia Thiel. It was Alyssia’s first time at the front. She was actually demonstrating while Lizy was talking the participants through; so it was great teamwork, and they did well! Also we had many important helpers at the back preparing, plating, serving etc. And they all did a great job too.
We have had great responses from these cooking classes so far, and I would like to share one experience we had with one of our participants. After we had finished our Cardio cooking demo, we went and greeted one lady who we made contact with from the first cooking class. She had come along to our first cooking class on brain food and loved it and told us how she had tried all the recipes and enjoyed them very much. She went on to say that these cooking classes have helped her so much and that from the first class she realised that she wasn’t giving her family nutrition. The class helped her adjust her style of cooking and start cooking more healthfully for her family. We thought that that was such a great blessing to know, but then she continued to say that since the first cooking demo in September till now (in December) she had lost 20 kg! Wow! This blew us away. I’m not sure if she was exercising in that period. I believe she might have been, but this lady, by changing and modifying her diet and cooking more healthfully and perhaps exercising was able to accomplish such a great feat.
We praise God for her sharing that with us; it really encouraged us, and I hope it may encourage you also. How much we can help people through simple means, such as a cooking class. We give thanks and praise to our heavenly Father for blessing and helping with these classes and for doing such a great work in people’s lives. We plan on doing our next class on Diabetes and look forward to it!
~ Reported by Domenic Polistina
Zucchini-Wrapped Mini Vegan Quiches
3 medium zucchinis – 2 sliced on mandolin, 1 diced
½ red pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
⅛ teaspoon turmeric
500g block firm tofu, drained
4 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise (see recipe below)
¼ cup soy milk
1 tablespoon tahini (sesame paste)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon corn starch or potato starch
1 ½ teaspoon black* salt (Black salt optional, if omitting then use regular salt)
pinch cayenne pepper
bunch fresh chives or green onion
cooking oil spray or baking paper for base
*Black salt is an amazing nutritional mineral that naturally has the smell and taste of eggs. Look for it in Indian food markets.
- In a large saucepan, sauté the onions, garlic, red pepper, zucchini and turmeric; cook for about 5 minutes until softened but not overcooked. Set aside to cool.
- Slice the 2 zucchinis on a mandolin slicer lengthwise or cut with a paring knife as thinly as possible, (the slim ends close to the edge; cut up and add to your vegetable pan.) Position them in a muffin pan.
- In a food processor, mix all the remaining ingredients except chives or green onions. Place in a large bowl; add the cooked vegetables, chives or green onions, and mix to combine. Taste and adjust your seasonings as you wish.
- Spray the muffin pan with oil spray – or cut round disks of baking paper and add to the bottom of each cup in your muffin tin, so it is easier to take them out.
- Place tofu mixture into each zucchini cup. Bake at 180⁰C for 25-30 minutes. Leave in muffin tray until set.
Makes 12 quiches. Garnish with lots of chopped green onions or chives.
½ cup soy milk
¼ teaspoon salt
2 – 3 teaspoons lemon juice
¼ cup oil
Blend all ingredients on high until well blended.