Healthy Monday hosts free cooking class


Molly O’Connor/Winonan

For many students, college is an opportunity to finally eat whatever they want. With unlimited ice cream in the cafeteria and burgers in the Smaug, students on the meal plan can easily forget the importance of having a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

However, eventually they realize one cannot live on ice cream alone.

Searching for ways to incorporate more vitamins and nutrients into their diets, students participated in a hands-on cooking course through the Health and Nutrition Club for Winona State’s Healthy Monday series.

Students gathered in the Integrated Wellness Complex on Sept. 16 for the Well Café, which has a full kitchen and plenty of space leftover for an up-close and personal demonstration, as well as a lesson on utilizing the Winona Farmers Market.

Lydia Dotzler, a student and member of the Health and Nutrition Club, explained what the Well Café aimed to achieve by promoting long-term healthy eating habits.

“We promote healthy living and healthy students through nutrition,” Dotzler said. “The Well Café started for students to learn how to cook, to learn to have better nutrients in their diets in order for them to think—function—throughout their college lives.”

Lora Krall, the coordinator for the Winona Farmer’s Market, led the interactive cooking class to demonstrate how healthy foods can be introduced into anyone’s diet.

A Winona State graduate of 2009, Krall has worked as a nurse for 34 years. Krall said her passion for food and cooking led her to retire and pursue her love of nutritious eating.

“I started off a couple years ago as a coordinator for the farmers market for a couple of reasons,” she said. “Number one: I wanted to do something that I liked, which is cooking and eating. Number two: I wanted to be in my own community.”

Krall said the farmer’s market can be a great part of eating well.

“Now we have over 40 vendors,” Krall said. “All of our vendors live within 50 miles of Winona, and many have been with the market since as long as it has started.”

From 7:30 a.m. to noon, the farmer’s market is held at the end of Main Street and 2nd. The market provides a wide variety of healthy local food options, from fresh meats to organic vegetables.

Krall’s informational session instantly turned into an interactive cooking experience, as she encouraged the students to participate in chopping the fresh produce to make a kale and chard frittata. Krall demonstrated proper techniques to cutting a leek, peeling a potato and slicing fresh chard.

As soon as the frittata was assembled and put in the oven to bake, Krall moved on to making Zoom Balls, a mixture of bee pollen, honey, carob chips, raisins, Craisins and coconut.

After the Zoom Balls were assembled and the frittata was baked to perfection, Krall served up the meal to the students, with a spritzer made from elderberry cordial and ginger ale: a delicious conclusion to an informative demonstration on healthy living in college.


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