Cooking Matters @ Alliance, Class 2: Doha Medani, Summer Intern

The Cooking Matters class reconvened this past Tuesday for more fun in the kitchen! The theme of this class was incorporating whole grain, vegetables and fruits into breakfast, lunch and dinner! This week showcased three different recipes: quinoa egg muffins for breakfast, quinoa and spinach salad for lunch and a yummy quinoa porridge for dinner! 

Class began by reflecting on the progress towards the challenge presented last class: how to incorporate at least one serving of fruits and vegetables a day. Participants discussed the importance of reading food labels, especially when identifying whole grain products. They practiced reading through labels of food items in the Alliance kitchen. Of course, knife and oven safety skills were reviewed and then the fun started! 

The instructor for the course, Lindsey Miller, decided to switch things up this time! The class was split into groups so that each group prepared a recipe while the other group had the opportunity to explore the community garden! The conversations in the garden centered around the pros and cons of preparing various vegetables to ensure nutritional quality. 

Participants found some okra, peas and other yummy snacks while they were waiting to cook!

The instructor emphasized that a great way to save money is substituting expensive foods in recipes with cheaper ones that have similar tastes and nutritional value. For example, the source of grain in this class was quinoa but Lindsey mentioned that brown rice, whole wheat couscous, whole grain pasta could all be great, cost-effective substitutes. Also, the pecans in the salad could be substituted for peanuts, cashews or almonds. In the salad recipe, swiss chard from the Alliance community garden was harvested and used instead of spinach! It's important to use what's available to you!

Just like last class, everyone went home with a bag produce. Interfaith Food Shuttle provided 70 pounds of produce! This week's bag had mushrooms, green bell peppers, Swiss chard, spinach, tomatoes, onions and peppers! 

Next class promises an interesting lesson on organic versus conventional foods along with skills to prepare more meals and snacks at home! Stay tuned.


Egg and Quinoa Cups


2 eggs

1/4 cup cooked quinoa

1/4 cooked sweet potato

1/3 cup mixed vegetables of choice

Veggie ideas: broccoli, spinach, onion, squash, peppers, carrots  

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease muffin cups 

2. In a bowl, whisk eggs and add cooked quinoa and the remaining ingredients

3. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes


Quinoa and Spinach Salad


1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (you can substitute couscous, brown rice, whole wheat pasta) 

6 cups spinach 

1 large apple, thinly sliced 


1/2 cup raw pecans 

1/2 cup dried cranberries

4 ounces goat cheese 


1/4 cup lemon juice 

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp. honey 

1 1/2 cup Dijon mustard 


1. Bring 1 cup water to a boil. Rinse and drain quinoa and add to boiling water. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 12-15 minutes. 

2. Make dressing by whisking ingredients together

3. Place spinach in a large bowl and add cooled quinoa, apple slices, and additional ingredients 


Quinoa Porridge with Apples


2 cups cooked quinoa 

1 apple 

1/2 honey 

1 tsp cinnamon 


1. Add quinoa, almond milk, cinnamon, and honey to a pan and cook over medium-low heat.

2. Peel and dice the apple and add to pot 

3. Mix well, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low and stir. 

4. Cook for 5-10 minutes