SMITH CENTER, Kan. – Smith County Memorial Hospital will host three Healthy Cooking Live cooking demonstrations beginning with a session on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 4 p.m. Sessions cost $10 each and participants must be registered at least two days in advance of the event.
“We had an excellent turn out for our Ask a Dietitian event that we did in partnership with Post Rock Extension,” said Stephen Smith, executive chef and dietitian for the hospital. “The questions at that event and since have given us ideas for cooking demonstrations.”
The sessions will each be three hours in length and will include a demonstration of five to six dishes, take-home recipes, educational materials and a meal at the end of the session. Each session addresses a different issue and participants could easily go to all three sessions and learn new things.
“The menus for each of these events will be different,” Smith said. “I want to give attendees the most I can for their time. This is a good opportunity to ask questions and talk through obstacles found in cooking healthy at home.”
Smith is aware of how difficult making a lifestyle modification for health reasons can be. Trained at the Culinary Institute of America, Smith knew everything about how to make food taste good. What he has since learned is how to make good-for-you food taste good.
“It’s easy to make food taste great when you use salt, fat and sugar,” Smith said. “But after a heart incident, I was challenged to cut much of that from my diet. I had to find a new normal. I had to relearn how to cook delicious food.”
In the first session on Nov. 13, Smith will share with participants how he preps food for the week in just three hours. It will include recipes for basic staples that can be incorporated into every day eating.
“When I was making necessary changes to my lifestyle, I had the benefit of being able to focus almost 100 percent of my time and energy on changing,” Smith said. “Ninety-nine percent of people don’t have that option. They have families, work and other commitments and need help to incorporate changes slowly.”
Smith has a heart for helping people take their health into their own hands through food.
“Many of today’s health issues can be prevented or cured with the right modifications to diet,” Smith said. “But, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and give up. I hope that these sessions provide inspiration and encouragement that it can be done and it can happen in your timeframe.”
Two more sessions will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7 and on Monday, Jan. 13.
“In these sessions, we’ll focus on things that preoccupy people’s minds this time of year,” Smith said. “We’ll cook some healthy holiday alternatives and in January we will take a look at cooking foods that can give you a jumpstart toward that New Year’s resolution.”
Registration for all three Healthy Cooking Live sessions is available online at scmhks.org/cafe. Participants will be asked to specify how many of the three sessions they would like to attend. Payment can be made online or brought to the hospital. Because of space and material limitations, participants must be registered in advance of the sessions. Walk-in registrations will not be allowed.
“We want to offer the best experience for everyone attending,” Smith said. “Part of that is making sure everyone has the opportunity to actively participate and try the foods we’re making. Because of that, we need attendees to let us know they will be at a session.”
To ask questions about the event or registration, please contact Smith County Memorial Hospital at (785) 282-6845.