Last night we had a girl’s night and what did we do? We hired a chef for a cooking class!

Traci Day of Total Health and Total Wellness was the instructor. You can contact her here if you are interested in learning more about her classes for adults and children.

Here’s a review of what we learned in the class…

Cooking Tips:

1. Place a wet towel under your cutting board to make it more sturdy.

2. Kids are visual, make their food look cool and they will be more likely to eat it!
3. Don’t be afraid to battle schools on providing healthy foods. YOU are your child’s advocate! Educate other parents in your child’s classroom. Food coloring Red 40 should not be used in foods anymore…it can cause hyperactivity!

4. When your child gets loads of Halloween candy, make it a game where they can sell their pieces for a prize or toy that you purchase. This way you are reducing the amount of candy they have and they are a part in choosing something even better!

5. As far as Chef’s knives, most are a 9″ blade, get an 8″ blade if you have small hands. It will be easier to use!

6. Always use a sharp knife. That long knife sharpener tool does NOT do justice. Go to Bed Bath & Beyond and purchase a blade sharpener for $20. You will be happy you did!

7. Include your children in on the cooking process for meals and they will be more likely to eat!

8. Plant a garden with your family and teach your children to help maintain it. They will feel ownership and pride in their vegetables and will be more likely to eat them.

9. If you don’t have a cutting board with the drainage lines around it, place it in a cookie sheet when cutting juicy foods like watermelon.

10. We eat with our eyes. Again, make kids food look delicious.

11. Tinkyada is a good rice pasta brand that you can buy at Whole Foods or in bulk on Amazon. Remember to also try out black bean pasta, soba noodles or quinoa pasta for pasta alternatives.

12. Add a whole, raw egg to your smoothie in the morning. Afraid of raw eggs? Boil the egg for just 4 minutes to kill bacteria.

13. Use parsley stems for stock because the leaves will color it.

Fun Facts:

  • Did you know that people either love or hate cilantro? If they are a hater, it is genetic. The cilantro may taste like soap to them!

  • Keep your milk in the back of the fridge, this is where it is the coolest.
  • Margarine is one molecule away from plastic. Gross.
  • Kerrygold is a grass fed butter that can be purchased at Trader Joe’s.
  • Seeds that grow on cilantro are corriander? Didn’t know that!


For kids lunches: Lettuce Roll-Ups-using lettuce or a spelt tortilla, stuff it with taco dip.

Hot foods-fried rice, pasta, chili, soup with tortilla chips, mac & cheese

Make your own ranch (5 day shelf life) onion powder, sour cream, keifer (or milk) chives and salt & pepper. Mix and Voila!

This is sort of like a Tabbouli mix that you can eat with tortilla or pita chips or throw in a wrap.

Wrap Mix- Mix together-feta, kalamata olives, saute spinach or kale and chop fine to add to the mix, tomato, cucumber and lemon juice. The last ingredient is either spelt or faro (can be purcahsed at Costco)

Fudge-1 cup coconut oil, mix with cocoa powder, raw honey, tumeric, cinnamon (you can add peanut butter or almond butter too) Put in a pie plate and freeze before cutting up into little chunks!

Pico de Gallo with a twist-chop parsley, watermelon, onion, (can add apricots, mangos and peaches) Add lime juice and a pinch of salt. Serve with tortilla chips or with chicken.

Lettuce Wrap-saute 1 1lb. ground pork. Add cilantro, chopped mango, 1 TBSP brown sugar and 1 TBSP fish sauce. Wrap with lettuce.

Carmelized Onions-slice onions, add butter and onions to low heat and let them cook very slowly.

Popsicles-throw watermelon and honey into a blender. Put in popsicle molds then into the freezer! Healthy alternative!

Chicken Tenders-sprikle strips of raw chicken with corn starch and salt. Fry in coconut oil. Makes a tempura batter on the outside.

Tender Dip-rice wine, rice vinegar, soy sauce (tamari is the gluten free kind) scallions, shredded ginger and squeezed lemon.

Chicken Delish-cook thin chicken breasts (you may have to cut them to make them thin) Add sprinkle the following spices-garlic clove, salt and cumin seeds toasted (you want to mix these first) then saute in butter.

Hollandaise Sauce (can be used to top the chicken above) 3 egg yolks, grated cheese, shredded basil, juice of 1 lemon, melted butter (one stick) Blend with a hand blender and use as a topping to chicken or eggs.