In week five of Way to Grow’s six week Cooking Matters class, the group took a trip to Cub Foods. But this was unlike any ordinary trip to the grocery store. The group was posed with a challenge: using $10 or less, buy ingredients for a meal that incorporates all five food groups and feeds four.
Cherise rose to the challenge, choosing ground turkey, a tomato, whole wheat tortillas, cheese and romaine lettuce. While she normally grabs iceberg lettuce, instructor Erin informed her that the darker color of the romaine means it’s packed with more good-for-you nutrition, so Cherise decided to branch out. The mini lesson is just one small example of the knowledge Cooking Matters participants learn during any given class.
The mixture of staying under the $10 budget, branching out to try new foods and adding a dash of creativity sent Cherise home with a brand new cooking pan! Her children and sister enjoyed the meal, she said; though, the romaine lettuce wasn’t a hit with her toddler, who thought it was a toy leaf.
The final Cooking Matters class went out on a zesty note today, as participants made and consumed a fabulous meal of homemade corn tortilla chips, mango salsa and a refreshing apple-lime fizz drink.
The class wrapped up with a graduation. Each participant received a certificate of completion, a reusable grocery bag filled with healthy foods and a cookbook with affordable meal and snack ideas. Participants thanked the instructors, citing that they now know how to better understand nutrition labels, purchase healthier foods and stick to a grocery budget.
Cooking Matters’ mission is to help families shop for and cook healthy meals on a budget. Huge thanks to Cargill for providing the class funds, the University of Minnesota Extension for teaching the class and the Center for Families for hosting.
Check out our Facebook page for a gallery of photos from today’s final class.