Presentation included how to make budget-friendly, health conscious meals.
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Some would say that eating healthy means choking down bland, boring food and sacrificing taste and flavor. Chef April Hamilton is slicing and dicing that tired notion one delicious meal at a time. Hamilton, who is based in Charleston, recently demonstrated her cooking skills during a Lunch n Learn session sponsored by the West Virginia Housing Development Fund’s Wellness Committee.
Using little more than a hot skillet and cutting board, Hamilton’s culinary creations wowed the crowd. During her demonstration, Hamilton prepared two kinds of tacos, Asian noodle salad, coleslaw, two different kinds of tortilla wraps and fresh guacamole for about 30 Fund employees. Not only were the meals tasty, Hamilton said they are budget friendly and easily feed her family of four.
The tacos and noodle salad were made with two pounds of ground beef and designed to make a week’s worth of meals at one time.
“This is a great way to stretch meat and your kids will love it,” Hamilton told the crowd. “Also, get your kids involved. It’s a lot easier to get your kids to try new foods if they see how it’s prepared. They’re a lot more likely to eat it.”
She offered a number of healthy eating tips including adding lots of vegetables and whole grains to your diet, avoiding soft drinks and buying local or organic meat and produce.
Erica Boggess, the Fund’s Acting Executive Director, stated that the organization is always looking for new, innovating ways to promote healthy living.
“We are committed to giving our employees every opportunity to develop better living and eating habits,” Boggess said. “Welcoming April and offering sessions like this help our employees understand why healthy eating is important and how they can create better meals for their families.”
Sandy Armentrout, the coordinator for the Fund’s Wellness Committee, said Hamilton’s presentation was informative and the crowd was very receptive.
“It’s nice to see how we can take ingredients we probably all have in our kitchens and make these wonderful, healthy delicious meals,” she said. “April did a great job of showing us that we don’t have to sweat over a hot stove all day to make great-tasting, nutritious meal.”
In addition to making the meals, Hamilton provided recipes for all her dishes.
(Chef April Hamilton at her station during a healthy cooking demonstration at the Fund's office)