- Posted August 20, 2013 by
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Health Conscious Seniors Learn How to Prepare the 2013 International Food of the Year at Lights, Camera, Cooking
On August 6 residents at Parkway Place learned how to make quinoa, mango and black bean salad. Chef Derone Martin, assistant food service director at Parkway Place, led the demonstration, allowed ample time for Q and A during the presentation and prepared samples that were distributed during the duration of the cooking show. Chef Martin discussed substitutions the residents could use in the recipe and highlighted helpful tips for preparing this unique entree.
“Quinoa is a light, easy summer fare that will fill you up, but keep you moving,” said Chef Martin. “It is a food that often gets overlooked, which is surprising given its tremendous health benefits. It is high in both protein and fiber, essential things our bodies need from our daily food intake. The dish I selected is simple, colorful, has contrasting textures, is gluten-free and is great for people who cannot spend a lot of time laboring over intense meals. This is a dish that residents at the community can whip up when their grandkids or loved ones come to visit, without spending a large amount of time tucked away in the kitchen.”
Quinoa, pronounced “KEEN-wah,” is considered a superfood with many health benefits. Often compared to and referenced as a grain, quinoa is actually a seed from a species of Chenopodium or goosefoot plants that originated in South America. Its closest relatives are spinach and beets. Quinoa is high in both protein and fiber, has shown anti-inflammatory benefits, has essential vitamins and minerals, an array of antioxidants, complete amino acids, and has oxygen-carrying iron according to www.quinoasuperfood.com.
“We always have a fantastic time at the Lights, Camera, Cooking demonstrations,” said 96-year-old Wilda Wilson, a resident at Parkway Place. “We never know what to expect from Chef Martin. Sometimes it will be a unique spin on a traditional treat, other times it will be something we have not heard of, let alone tried to pronounce! All the dishes are simply delicious and do not take much time to prepare. My favorite dish so far was the dark chocolate fondue. It’s a dish that looks so elegant and ritzy when you serve it at a family get-together and the kids love it. I’m still fairly agile and like to make yummy recipes for my family, like my Texas chili on Christmas Eve, and the kids all like my jello salad and devilled eggs. However, these short quick recipes are wonderful for whipping up a speedy bite to eat. Quinoa sounded intimidating, but the required preparation time and energy was a pleasant surprise.”
“The best thing about the art of cooking is that it is always changing and evolving,” said Chef Martin. “Kiwi used to be a strange fuzzy fruit that many people were not accustomed to seeing. Now, we see it in fruit salads and being paired with desserts. Quinoa is like the kiwi was a few years ago. Cooking quinoa as a healthy and delicious entrée is catching on all over the world. International chefs are reinventing quinoa and people are seeing it on menus more often. I was excited to bring this recipe to the cooking demonstration and teach seniors how to make a delicious and healthy dish.”
At the end of the cooking presentation, Rachel McKee, the wellness director at Parkway Place, discussed the health benefits of quinoa with the residents. At other Lights, Camera, Cooking debuts, Chef Martin has showcased delectable fruit smoothie recipes for a refreshing summer treat, ways to make smooth and flavorful hummus, and the art and health benefits of dark chocolate fondue. Looking ahead, he and McKee hope to educate the residents on making on-the-go trail mix from scratch and roasting lean meat with an accompanying roasted pepper cream sauce. Each presentation focuses on making healthy food for two people.
“Julia Child did not discover she had a love for cooking at a young age,” said McKee. “As you age, you discover new hobbies and interests appeal to you more than they did before. Lights, Camera, Cooking allows the residents to branch out and try something they have never done before. We wanted to give residents at Parkway Place the opportunity to experience cooking demonstrations of recipes that they could easily make in their home for themselves or for their families. It has been a lot of fun so far, and we look forward to providing the residents with more healthy recipes easily made by people in their 80s and 90s.”