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On Our Radar: Healthy Options Cooking Class

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Healthy Options Cooking Class

Healthy Options Cooking Class / Step Out Buffalo

Ever hear the stories of back in the day when hardly anyone ran outside or exercised at all? Or maybe you’ve witnessed the changes in the fitness and health industries firsthand.

Honestly, the transformation of our society in regards to awareness around exercise and nutrition has been pretty remarkable, but the decision to get started on a healthy lifestyle is just the beginning – then comes the research, grocery shopping, cooking, workouts, and oh yeah, self control. When your sneakers hit the road and your spatula hits the pan, that’s where the real work begins.

Have no fear, knowledge is power, and that’s exactly what they’re serving up at Healthy Options’ monthly Cooking Class at D’Avolio Kitchen in Williamsville.

The collaboration between the well-known olive oil brand and the Independent Health Foundation is a one-of-a-kind learning experience. As they arrive guests are encouraged to grab a beverage – which is surprisingly not even the most enjoyable part of the evening – and have a seat at a long table looking onto the kitchen where the friendly D’Avolio team is preparing for class.

If you’re thinking that you’ll be standing behind one of several stoves, apron on and drink in hand, let me stop right there. Although the name may suggest it, the real deal (and value IMO) is actually more of a hands-off, mouth open kind of experience. You won’t be cooking, but rather learning…. and sampling!

Before long the education starts and you’ll find that you are fully equipped with nutritional information, recipes, and room for handwritten notes, allowing even the most hesitant home cook to follow along.

Without spoiling the fun, you’ll embark on the journey with the Chef as he explains his way through multiple courses based on the theme of the evening. The evening we attended the theme was healthy thanksgiving dishes to get us ready for the most delicious holiday of the year. We learned how to make and sampled a fantastic Colorful Beet Salad with quinoa, carrots, edamame, avocado, and of course beets tossed with a vinaigrette using D’Avolio Blood Orange Olive Oil. We also got to try D’Avolio’s Healthy Potato Gratin with Herbs in which the Chef used Butter Olive Oil and skipped the heavy cream – yaaaas. Next came a lesson in turkey and a fruitful dessert of Baked Pears with Walnuts and Honey. Talk about bases covered.

Healthy Options Cooking Class

Colorful Beet Salad / Step Out Buffalo

Healthy Options Cooking Class

Baked Pear with Walnut and Honey / Step Out Buffalo

The underlying theme of course, is healthy options. Each ingredient and recipe is put through the ringer by our friends at Healthy Options to ensure high quality and nutritional results. No one element of a dish gets by without having a purpose, often making for an interesting and surprising recipe.

Not only will you walk away from these classes with a full belly and a few excellent new recipes to try, but also loads of info that can, and most certainly will, be applied to your future adventures in the kitchen.

If you’re looking to dip your toe into the world of healthful cooking and eating, this is one terrific way to start.

Healthy Options Cooking Classes will begin again in January 2017 running through May. Each class costs $15 and Independent Health members receive a $5 discount. Future class dates and when registration opens can be found at healthyoptionsbuffalo.com. For a look at past recipes click here!

On top of regular season classes, Healthy Options also hosts private cooking classes upon request. These classes are more hands on and feature full portioned dishes, making the perfect opportunity to get a group of associates, friends, or family together for night of food, fun and healthy cooking.  These classes are currently hosted at D’Avolio. More information on different packaging can be found at healthyoptionsbuffalo.com.

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Compeer, Official Partner of Step Out Buffalo, is headquartered in Buffalo, NY, and believes that the healing power of friendship helps to change lives. Compeer matches volunteers in one-to-one supportive friendship relationships with children, adults, military veterans, and seniors who are striving for good mental health. Want to become a positive role model by volunteering or support Compeer by donating? Here's how you can get involved!

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