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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA Rec Center offers cooking classes

    Patrick O’Connor

    Nutritional sciences junior major Dorine Owusu-nyarko prepares tomatoes for a mason jar salad during the Student Recreation Center’s Cooking on Campus class. The next class is scheduled for Sept. 9.

    Surrounded by sleeping bags, canoes and rock climbing equipment, students experiment with spices and herbs as other means of staying healthy.

    Cooking on Campus is a bimonthly cooking class held Tuesdays in the Outdoor Adventures section of the Student Recreation Center. Student chefs teach fellow students how to concoct delectable recipes under the watchful eye of class adviser Sarah Rokuski, a nutrition counselor at Campus Health Service.

    “Students who attend Cooking on Campus will gain hands-on experience cooking quick, easy and healthy meals,” Rokuski said.

    Rokuski added that all the ingredients used in the classes can be found at the Student Union Memorial Center, so students are able to cook healthy meals right in their own dorm rooms.

    During the class, students break off into pairs and prepare an entire recipe like the Chipotle lime fish tacos that they get to eat when they finish. Leftovers are common, and the Cooking on Campus team encourages students to take their food home. Classes usually have three recipes that relate to a specific theme such as “fun lunches,” “gluten-free cooking” and “holiday favorites.”

    “I’m most excited for our Pizza Reinvented class,” said Alex Bode, a molecular and cellular biology senior and executive chair of the Student Health Advocacy Committee’s Student Nutrition Coalition. “As a pizza fan, I like the new innovative and healthy spins we take on a classic.”

    Cooking on Campus started over five years ago with a collaboration between Campus Health, the Rec Center, Dining Services and SHAC. The goal was to give students the skills and confidence needed to cook healthy and nutritious meals. The talented student chefs also teach participants sophisticated cooking skills, such as safely cutting vegetables or how to find healthy ingredient substitutions.

    “[This year,] we have the recipe … for a memorable time,” said student chef Dorine Owusu-Nyarko, a nutritional sciences junior.

    The Cooking on Campus website features an encyclopedia of recipes that have been taught in previous classes. The recipes are inclusive to people of all diets. Recipes are organized into gluten-free, dairy-free, Smart Moves, budget friendly, resident hall friendly, vegetarian and vegan categories, and nutritional facts are provided.

    “I like how their dishes don’t sacrifice flavor — even though they are simple, healthy and affordable,” said Aaron Brussels, a physiology junior.

    The most recent class is called Love Your Lunch and features scrumptious meals such as traditional hummus with vegetables, southwestern freezer burritos and mason jar salads.

    “Cooking on Campus is, and will continue to be, a fun and laid-back cooking class where students can learn valuable cooking skills that can be used for the rest of their lives,” Rokuski said.

    Students can pre-register online for Cooking on Campus at the Rec Center’s website or pay at the Rec Center registration desk. Classes are $5 and are held at 5:15 p.m. every other Tuesday starting Sept. 9.

    —Follow Patrick O’Connor @tachyzoite

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