Ella: Sharing Good Food Through Knowledge and Education

“I strongly believe in the importance of more cooking and health education in schools today, because many kids do not get it at home anymore.”

Ella: Cook Smarts Hero in the Kitchen via @cooksmarts
As someone who was never taught to cook, Ella resorted to the convenience of eating foods that were not particularly kind to her health. But reading up on healthy living tips and experimenting in the kitchen motivated her to eating healthier and better. She continues to share her knowledge, and as a biology teacher, Ella is a great and inspiring influence on her students, educating them about cooking and health. Read her Heroes in the Kitchen story below:

Name: Ella
Age: 24
City, State: Concord, NH
I cook for: good health!
Outside of the kitchen: I am a 10th grade Biology teacher. I love running and reading healthy living blogs.
Being able to cook allows me to: gain a lot of confidence in myself that I did not have before. I also enjoy entertaining at home by making healthy food for family and friends.
Favorite Cook Smarts meal: Maple-Dijon Panko Salmon

How did you learn to cook?

Trial and error with recipes I’ve collected over the past year from health blogs, magazines, and Cook Smarts.

What’s been your biggest cooking challenge in the past?

I used to “cook” using a lot of frozen prepared meals, but I have realized that the time you save isn’t worth the hit to your health. Now, I use all fresh natural ingredients and enjoy food so much more! I have lost weight, my skin is clearer, and I feel more motivated to exercise.

“The time spent together preparing meals and eating at the table is priceless.”

What new skill or dish have you cooked that you’re most proud of?

Learning to bake with healthier alternatives like almond flour, coconut flour, bananas, chia, applesauce, protein powders, etc.

I strongly believe in the importance of more cooking and health education in schools today, because many kids do not get it at home anymore.

During our unit on cell division in my Biology class I did a lesson on anti-cancer foods. We discussed the role of antioxidants found in healthy foods and how they help stop free radicals from damaging DNA, which can lead to cancer. I used CookSmart’s Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Soup recipe for 100+ students to sample. Other anti-cancer food samples I whipped up were: kale chips, black bean brownie cookies, mushroom-onion spread on whole wheat cracker, and a fresh berry smoothie.

It was entertaining to see the variety of reactions when students tried some foods for the first time! Many students took recipes home and reported back about enjoying them with family. This was one of my proudest days as a teacher. I truly felt I was making an impact on my students. I hope that they will take the lessons they learned that day and apply it to their own lives to make more healthy food choices in the future.

Ella's Anti-Cancer Foods: Cook Smarts Hero in the Kitchen via @cooksmarts
What advice would you give to other home cooks on reaching their cooking goals?

Put down that frozen dinner or take out menu and take time to prepare a nutritious meal. Health is so important and you are worth it! Plus, the time spent together preparing meals and eating at the table is priceless.

Thanks, Ella! You are truly an inspiration – healthy living and eating applies to everyone, and it is awesome for you to take the step to educate people and share your knowledge and experiences. We wish that we could take your Biology class, so that we could sample your delicious and healthy foods! Your students are very lucky to have you as their teacher!

Ella's favorite @cooksmarts meal: Maple-Dijon Panko Crusted Salmon
To join Ella and cook meals like her favorite Maple-Dijon Panko Crusted Salmon, check out our meal plan service. You can get started for free!

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