Hospital cooking series highlights heart-healthy meals

By: Sherri Kolade | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published February 16, 2017

 The Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital Demonstration Kitchen shows people how to make everything from sweet to savory dishes.

The Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital Demonstration Kitchen shows people how to make everything from sweet to savory dishes.

Photo provided by Lindsay Mata

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Whether you have a penchant for Mediterranean meals or an inclination toward Indian food, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital hopes to fuel your appetite with a three-part series in March called Cooking Around the World at Henry Ford.

The cooking classes will feature three chefs crafting culinary creations in time for National Nutrition Month. 

All classes will take place 6:30-8 p.m. in the Demonstration Kitchen of the hospital, 6777 W. Maple Road. 

The first class, “Indian Favorites,” will be held March 15 and will feature Indian cuisine and cooking with spices. The class will also teach people how to incorporate Indian seasonings into everyday cooking, according to a press release.

The second class, “A Taste of Tuscany,” will be held March 22 and will include cooking with vegetables, beans, bread and fruity olive oil, along with regional herbs and spices, according to the press release.

The third class, “Mediterranean Cooking,” will be held March 29 and will feature foods made with grains and healthier fats. People will learn how to add plenty of fruits and vegetables to their diet, according to the press release.

Lindsay Mata, community events coordinator for Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, said this is the second year the hospital has held the cooking series. 

“We select (meals) based on new trends and dietary restrictions,” Mata said, adding that they have gluten-free and dairy-free meal options, and they keep to health themes throughout the year, such as National Nutrition Month in March and Heart Health Month in February. 

“The reason we did (the Cooking) Around the World series is because it is National Nutrition Month. We wanted to feature different countries and their types of foods and expose people to different ways of eating.”

She added that Indian food is a “great diet” because the variety of spices used in the dishes can be beneficial to health.

Mata also said that last year’s event went over well, and she expects no less this year.

“I think it has caught on even more. … The word has spread,” she said, adding that the classes are about half full. “It is very exciting to people.”

Mata said the meals people typically go out to eat can be made at home — and anyone can learn.

“All of our classes are open to the community,” she said. “I have a lot of ladies that bring friends.”

Brad Roberts and William Proper, both sous chefs who run the Demonstration Kitchen, said people should opt to make their food from scratch and not purchase it in a box.

“We really just want to teach people the fundamentals of cooking, rather than purchasing something that is premade,” said Roberts, who will teach the March series. “(Get) back to the basics of scratch cooking.”

Roberts said the hospital’s cafeteria has an Indian station, and he and Proper know what people’s favorites are around the campus; the sous chefs plan to show people how to make those meals.

“From toasting the spices to complete dishes, we’re just really talking about the fundamentals of building the layers and building the flavor profile from beginning to end,” he said.

Attendees will learn how to make such dishes as pindi chana, a chickpea dish infused with warm spices, like cumin and coriander.

Proper said he will discuss the health benefits of proper portion sizes, adding more vegetables to dishes, and loading the plate with the good fats.

“It is well worth the benefits of coming down,” he said of joining the classes.

A class costs $20 per person, or $30 for two people — which must be noted at registration.

Registration is required by calling (248) 325-3890 or emailing dk@hfhs.org. For more information on the classes, free lessons and more, go to www.henryford.com/dk.