GENEVA – Lori Dwornik donned a black apron and commenced to dicing raw chicken breast into little cubes.
At the next counter, Geneva resident Cheryln Cameron cut cauliflower and fed it into a food processor that ground it into – low carb rice – while her son Nick Cameron was busy dicing carrots.
All the cooking, chopping, slicing and stirring was happening July 12 in a Thirty-Minute Meals class in the Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital Community Kitchen in Geneva.
Dietician Michele Fumagalli directed eight people in three groups who created three healthy meals in 30 minutes – prep and cooking combined – and then they sat and ate a portion of each.
“Food is my passion,” Fumagalli said. “I love sharing. My main goal is that cooking can be healthy and easy and not take a lot of time. You only need 30 minutes to get something really quickly done in the kitchen.”
The Cauliflower Chicken Fried Rice – made with pulverized cauliflower – was seasoned with low sodium soy and sriracha sauce and a tablespoon of fresh minced garlic. It was all stirred into some sizzling sesame oil with diced carrots, an onion, two cloves of garlic and a cup of frozen sweet peas and served with sesame seeds and chopped green onions for garnish.
And it had the consistency and taste of rice.
The Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas required a lot of slicing and chopping, as Ada Scalise of Geneva was in charge of orange bell pepper and Kristy Mcarthur of St. Charles worked on a red onion.
With the addition yellow and red bell peppers and 1 1/2 pounds of peeled deveined cooked shrimp, the rest was easy with homemade taco seasoning: chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder and smoked paprika.
Then into the oven at 450 for eight minutes, then turn the oven to broil for an additional two minutes.
For the Skinny Alfredo Ziti with Broccoli, Lisa Pena cut the broccoli and rinsed it while a pot began to boil on the stove for the whole-wheat pasta.
Rita Baseleon of Carol Stream began peeling an onion to go with it while Donna Biere handled the garlic.
Eventually, they stirred in vegetarian broth and unsweetened almond milk and shredded parmesan, using white whole wheat flour to thicken it, then mixed it all together with the past and broccoli.
The group drank water flavored with cucumber, mint and strawberries as they had a taste of each recipe
Fumagalli said each dish can be altered for personal taste, such as adding chickpeas to the cauliflower rice for more protein and using a spiralizing device to cut thin ribbons of vegetables to add to pasta.
“In the last class, we did a pasta dish that was 50-50 spirelized yellow squash and zucchini,” Fumagalli said. “You can change it just a smidge to add more veggies to a pasta dish.”
Peggi Semmens, community health coordinator for the hospital, said they have offered 10 classes a month for the public as interest in healthy eating and cooking is growing.
The cooking classes are free. To register for sessions, call 630-933-4234. TTY for the hearing impaired 639-933-4833.
Thirty-Minute Meals recipes
Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
1 1/2 pounds of shrimp peeled and deveined
1 yellow bell pepper sliced thin
1 red bell pepper sliced thin
1 orange bell pepper sliced thin
1 small red onion sliced thin
1 1/2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
several turns of freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoon of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
fresh cilantro for garnish
plain Greek Yogurt
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, combine onion, bell pepper, shrimp, olive oil, salt and pepper and spices.
3. Toss to combine.
4. Spray baking sheet with non stick cooking spray.
5. Spread shrimp, bell peppers and onions on baking sheet.
6. Cook at 450 degrees for about 8 minutes.Then turn oven to broil and cook for additional 2 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through.
7. Squeeze juice from fresh lime over fajita mixture and top with fresh cilantro.
8. Serve in warm tortillas.
30 Minute Skinny Alfredo Ziti with Broccoli by
Monique of AmbitiousKitchen.com
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
12 oz whole wheat ziti or other pasta
3-4 cups broccoli florets
1 tablespoon butter
4 garlic minced cloves
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons white whole flour
1/2 cup vegetarian broth
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2- 3/4 teaspoon salt
Black pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
To garnish: extra parmesan, chopped parsley, red pepper flakes, if desired
Optional: add one to two chicken breasts
1. Cook the pasta and broccoli in a large pot of salted water, according to directions on the package until al dente or just slightly undercooked. Drain pasta and broccoli and set aside for a few minutes to make the sauce.
2. In the same pot, add onion to sauté 3 minutes, add butter and melt it over medium heat. Once butter is melted, add garlic and flour and stir until flour has browned, about one more minutes. Whisk in broth and almond milk until smooth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 6-8 minutes until sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Once mixture thickens, reduce heat to low and whisk in parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Gently stir in the pasta and broccoli.
4. Serve immediately. Garnish with extra parmesan and parsley.
5. If you're not vegetarian, add in one or two cups of cubed or shredded cooked chicken breast.
Cauliflower Chicken Fried Rice
Prep: 5 minutess
Cook: 15 minutes
Serves: 5 to 7
1 head of cauliflower, blended in a food processor till it looks like rice.
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 pound boneless chicken breast, cut in 1/2-inch dice
3 carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves
1 cup frozen sweet peas
1/3 cup low sodium soy or tamari sauce
2-3 tablespoons sriracha sauce
1/4 cup sliced green onions as garnish
sesame seeds as garnish
1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
1. Add cauliflower florets to a food processor or blender. Blend until cauliflower resembles small grains of rice. Set aside.
2. Heat a wok or large skillet to medium high heat.
3. Add in 1 tablespoon of sesame oil to pan. Next add diced chicken.
4. Saute chicken for 4-5 minutes, tossing throughout.
5. Push chicken over to one side of the pan, add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil on the other side along with carrots, onion, garlic, and sweet peas.
6. Sauté the vegetables for 4 to 5 minutes.
7. Next add in the cauliflower rice, along with the ginger, tamari or soy sauce and sriracha sauce.
8. Toss everything together and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
9. Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions.
Source: Recipes provided by Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital Community Kitchen
Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital Community Kitchen Nutrition and Cooking Classes
• What's in Your Garden – Using fresh vegetables from 6 to 7 p.m. July 23
• Mediterranean Meals – Learn to incorporate a plant-based diet into a healthy lifestyle from 1 to 2 p.m. July 30
• It's a Fish Dish – An omega-3 rich, heart-healthy class to help keep cholesterol in check from 6 to 7 p.m. Aug. 1
• Breakfast on the Go – Discover new breakfast options to take with you from10:30 to11:30 a.m. Aug. 2
Nutritious and Delicious Desserts – Healthier desserts to satisfy a sweet tooth from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 6
• Freezer Meal Prep Basics – Make quick and healthy meals to freeze from 10 to 11 a.m. Aug.14
Young Top Chefs for children ages 12 to 18:
• After-School Snack Fiesta – discover how to make healthy, fiesta-themed after-school snacks including quesadillas and homemade tortilla chips from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. July 18
• Get Cooking for Kids – Pre-teens and teenagers learn how to cook a meal for themselves and the family from 10:30 to11:30 a.m. July 20
• Learning to Love Vegetables – Simple recipes to help your child to like vegetables – or at least try them. For child and parent from 10 to 11 a.m. July 24
• Back-to-School Lunches – Children are more likely to eat their lunch when they have helped plan and prepare it. Learn how parents and kids can work together to pack a lunch that everyone will enjoy. For children ages 6 and older with parent from 1 to 2 p.m. Aug. 10
• Farm to Table Lunches to Go – Fresh herbs and vegetables that can be incorporated into sandwiches, salads or other fun snacks. Youngsters create lunches using garden harvests. For children ages 6 to 11 with parent from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Aug. 22