March Gladness in the Kitchen

By Jane Sylvestre, RD - 3/12/2014

Hi all, happy March,

Sometimes in my blogs I like to recap what I did in a most recent class.  Last Monday I had a cooking class for beginners.  I thought this topic would be a great idea for the many patients I have who have a fear of cooking due to lack of experience.  Many patients tell me they would not even know where to start.  I started the class by going around the room asking what kind of cooking experience our patients have had in the past. 

Well, I had to reorganize my class right on the spot.  All of the patients knew more than the basics.  I even a chef in the class!  Yikes!  I had to rethink real quickly.  I couldn’t change the recipes because I had all the ingredients ready to go.  We embellished the recipes a little and the class became more a sharing of ideas and knowledge.  We had so much fun.  Everyone in class got an opportunity to prepare some of the ingredients and dishes.  We did one dish at a time so all could see and understand the preparation involved.  The class even got to take home a doggie bag for the next day’s lunch. 

My plan was to make basic turkey burgers, basic quinoa and stir fry vegetables.  We ended up with a delicious jalapeno turkey burger, quinoa with a low sodium thickened soy sauce and a blend of mixed fresh vegetables. YUM!  Here are the recipes:

Jalapeno Turkey Burgers:


·         1 package (about 1 pound) ground turkey or chicken- no more than 3 grams of fat per ounce.

·         1 egg or 2 egg whites

·         ½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs- I can always find these at Shaws

·         ½ onion, diced

·         ½ cup red peppers, diced

·         ½ cup green peppers, diced

·         1 jalapeno, seeded and diced

Directions:  Mix all the ingredients together, combine into patties and cook on griddle. 


Quinoa with a Twist:


·         1 cup trio blend of quinoa (you can get a bag with a mix of black, white and red quinoa)

·         1.5 cups of low fat, low sodium chicken broth

·         See below for the sauce we made to add to the quinoa. 

Directions:  Wash quinoa first (DO NOT skip this step- it can have a very bitter taste if you don’t), boil chicken broth, add quinoa and let sit for 12-15 minutes.  You will see a tiny fiber come out of the seed when it is ready (look closely). 

Easy Peasy Sauce:


·         ½ Tablespoon cornstarch

·         2 tablespoons water

·         2-3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

Directions:  Mix together and cook in small saucepan over medium heat.  Sauce will thicken as it heats.  Add to a blend of mixed fresh vegetable or the quinoa recipe above.

Try to get in the kitchen more to prepare you own food.  Cook on weekends for the week ahead if you have to.  I hope you enjoy the recipes from class.

My next program is being held, Monday, April 7th and is called “Prepping for your first 5K.  This is for anyone who is thinking about either running or walking a 5K.  Join us for some tips, a training plan and much, much more…  We will even get that 5k on the calendar as your goal.  Why not you?  You can e-mail me at to register or call our office at 508-668-4400. 


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