Sunday, November 6, 2011

Extension Service offers free cooking classes

Even good cooks can still learn something. I'm getting a little bored in the kitchen and I need to find some new favorite recipes to add to my repertoire. So on Tuesday I'm going to attend FREE cooking classes from 10:30-noon at the WVU Extension Service Preston County office behind the courthouse in Kingwood. That is if the instructor will have me -- The introductory class started last week. You can join me. I'm going to call ahead to make sure she has room for me and you should too. The number is (304) 329-1391.

I've taken Karen's classes before. She is the Nutrition Outreach Instructor in the Family Nutrition Program. Her lessons are hands-on, money-saving and healthy. She amasses ingredients, assigns recipes and the students spend the class time preparing them. At the end, everybody eats. And they take home copies of the recipes and sometimes prizes.

In past classes, I have cooked something featuring ingredients from every state. But this series of classes takes students around the world. Caribbean is on Tuesday's menu. Following classes will feature Mediterranean, Oriental, Italian and English foods.

Here are three recipes Karen has given me in the past. The first two I learned in her class. The last is her mom's recipe.

I promise this one is good. And it has absolutely no fat.

24 asparagus spears or 1 10-ounce can asparagus, drained
1/2 cup salsa
1 tablespoon cilantro leaves (fresh)
2 garlic cloves
4 green onions, thinly sliced

In a blender or food processor or food mill, puree the above ingredients except the green onions. Add the green onions and pulse several times until chunky-smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl. Refrigerate, covered, until chilled, at least 1 hour.

Serve as a dip with baked corn chips or raw vegetable sticks.

22 calories, 0 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 96 milligrams sodium, 4 grams total carbohydrates, 1 gram dietary fiber, 2 grams protein, 18 milligrams calcium.


1 cup julienned carrots
1 cup thinly sliced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons white wine or chicken broth
1 cup fat-free plain yogurt
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1/4 teaspoon EACH curry powder, salt, pepper, ground cumin and ginger


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 teaspoons cold butter or stick margarine
1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes

In a large nonstick skillet, saute the carrots, onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add chicken; cook and stir for 5 minutes. Combine the flour, water and wine or broth until smooth; add to the skillet. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat; stir in yogurt, peas and seasonings. Transfer to a shallow 1 1/2-quart baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray; keep warm.

For biscuits, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in yogurt and parsley. Drop eight mounds over warm chicken mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown and stew bubbles around the edges.

4 servings.
Nutrition info: 1 cup stew with two biscuits equals 413 calories, 9 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 68 mg cholesterol, 895 mg sodium, 47 grams carbs, 5 grams fiber, 37 grams protein.

Disclaimer: This last recipe doesn't get the Eat Right With Karen Bright endorsement for healthy cooking, but it tastes so good you can have it once in a while.


2 pounds chicken breast, meat only, raw
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 cup margarine or butter

Dip chicken pieces in mixture of flour, salt, pepper and paprika. You can put everything in a Ziploc bag and shake.

Melt butter in a shallow baking pan in a hot oven (400 degrees). Remove baking pan from oven. As pieces of floured chicken are placed in pan, turn on both sides to coat with butter, then bake, skin side down, in a single layer. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes. Turn chicken. Bake another 30 minutes or until tender.

If chicken cannot be served at once, reduce oven heat and brush chicken with more melted butter. Or put it in a slow cooker on low.


1/2 cup onions
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Add to chicken after it has been baked for 30 minutes. Sauce can be doubled or tripled for more flavor.

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