Lisa’s Corner – Red Quinoa Lunch Salad

Red Quinoa Lunch Salad

Looking for a new whole grain to try? Check out red quinoa. Red quinoa has a slightly nutty flavor and is a great alternative to couscous, white or brown rice. Quinoa has the highest protein content (12-18%) of any whole grain and is also a good source of fiber and magnesium.

1 cup red quinoa
½ cup celery chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
1 sweet pepper, chopped
1 cup Swiss chard, chopped (also try kale)
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
Olive oil
Salt, pepper, to taste

1. Cook quinoa in rice cooker. 2 ¼ cups water to 1 cup quinoa.
2. Heat olive oil in pan. Add celery and pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes.
3. Add summer squash. Cook ~5 minutes.
4. Add greens, let wilt about 1 minute.
6. Mix with cooked red quinoa and added chopped walnuts.

This is a great dish to bring as a brown bag lunch. When classes and school get really hectic, I’ll make this on a Sunday and freeze a few Tupperware containers of this for later in the week or the following week.


Cook4Health Workshop: Teaching Doctors About Food

FPOP held the pilot session of our Cook4Health initiative to teach medical providers about food and cooking. Doctors know surprisingly little about food and nutrition, which is a hindrance to their ability to treat the consequences of food-related disease. In order to address that, we are rolling out cooking workshops so that doctors can establish a dialogue with their patients about eating and cooking practices.

In order to address this deficit, we decided to go to young future doctors and give them some basic information and cooking tips, so that they could walk the talk and feel comfortable discussing food with their patients. In order for the doctors to preach, we wanted to show them that they really could create delicious, healthy dishes that were very affordable. We held the first workshop last Thursday and I’m proud to say it was a resounding success. The doctors were incredibly engaged in the material and were truly interested in learning about the benefits of foods.

Importantly, we insisted on focusing not just on nutrients (beta-carotene, for example), but on foods (carrots!). We also created dishes based on culturally-appropriate foods their patients already use. In this case, working with doctors who practice family medicine in Washington Heights, we chose ingredients and flavors that would be familiar to the Dominican population: corn, beans, yucca, sweet potatoes, lime, cilantro.

The direct aim of this program is to get doctors to feel comfortable talking to their patients about food — even using cooking practices as a “vital sign,” for example, since it’s very difficult to eat healthily on a low-income budget if you don’t cook.

The larger, indirect aim is to cultivate a sense of responsibility in the medical community for helping shape the food environment. Doctors have a notoriously large voice in shaping public opinion and public policy. If they become advocates for changes in our food system, we are much more likely to achieve the large-scale environmental change we need to ensure that the default choice is not the unhealthiest choice.

CookShop Volunteer Training

A group of FPOP students attended training to become volunteers for CookShop, the Food Bank For New York City’s federally-funded nutrition education program which gives low-income children, teens and adults the knowledge and tools to adopt and enjoy a healthy diet on a limited budget. With hands-on workshops reaching approximately 30,000 New Yorkers across the five boroughs, CookShop teaches cooking skills and nutrition information and fosters enthusiasm for fresh, affordable fruits, vegetables and other whole foods.

The Role of Chefs in The Food Fight


Chef Bill Telepan, Wellness in the Schools

In addition to his full-time commitment to his acclaimed eponymous restaurant, Chef Bill Telepan has become a leader in the grassroots movement to improve the quality of food in schools. Chef Telepan spoke with us about his work with Wellness in the Schools and the role chefs and the food community can play in improving the eating habits of Americans.