This week’s class was jam packed with excitement: chocolate quinoa cake, a grocery market tour by dietician Vincci Tsui, and Telus News filming a special segment on Dan the Trendsetter! Not only did we learn how to incorporate grain into everyday meals and utilize grains effectively, we learned about how Start from Scratch came to be and what simple things to look for when grocery shopping.
A misunderstanding I had about many grains is they are healthy and therefore cannot be delicious — narrow minded, I know! Dan definitely proved me wrong. We made a chocolate quinoa cake with raspberry jam that was impressively and artistically swirled across the plate. Our competitive side also came out when we had a cake decorating contest but we all won in the end — we got to eat delicious and (somewhat…) nutritious chocolate cake!
We also learned how to make simple and tasty buckwheat and tuna pitas. Using our chopping skills from the second week of class we diced onions and sliced tomatoes and cucumbers. Dan imparted some more kitchen wisdom onto us by telling us we do not need an actual zester, but can instead use the side of a cheese grater to fulfill all our zesting needs. After combining these ingredients and making a dressing out of olive oil and Dijon mustard we devoured the pitas. There was even enough to bring home leftovers for a Friday lunch or late Thursday night munchies!
The class ended with Vincci leading us around Co-op on a grocery market tour and educating us on what to both look for and avoid in foods. The most helpful fact I learned is to always look for the ingredient of whole grains in breads. Many companies take short cuts now and call their breads multigrain but are missing the nutritional value of whole grains (multi and whole grain are different- something I did not know before). Another eye opening fact was that granola bars are often misinterpreted as healthy because they have the word granola in them but are often extremely high in sugar and fat.
Throughout the class, a Telus reporter asked Dan several questions about the program and the future of Start from Scratch. We learned that people across Canada are interested in adopting Start from Scratch and spreading Dan’s mission of educating university students that cooking is affordable, easy and that they are all highly capable of cooking healthy meals. I am so happy to be able to be part of Dan’s food revolution and know that it will only get bigger in the future as word about this program spreads.