Demonstration sparks conversation around healthy eating

On Nov. 14, Chef-Professor Jeff Fisher demonstrated how to prepare a berry-kefir smoothie and a Mediterranean power bowl for College of Medicine students. Fisher is the Director of the Allen Foundation Culinary Nutrition Center and faculty in the Nutrition and Dietetics program within The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions.

Throughout the demonstration, Dr. Fisher engaged the students on how to meal prep nutritious foods as well as how to make healthier eating an easy part of their day. Meal preparation can seem like a time consuming task, but the food demonstration displayed otherwise.

“It was a fun evening learning about healthy eating and meal prep while engaging students in our beautiful lab. We hope to expand food demonstrations to engage more students this way in the future,” Dr. Fisher stated.

The newly renovated, state-of-the-art culinary center is located in Wightman Hall and has 24 workstations with commercial-style ovens and modern foodservice equipment. Nutrition and Dietetics courses taught in the Allen Foundation Culinary Nutrition Center include Introduction to Food and Culinary Techniques, Food Science, as well as a new course coming fall 2023 — Introduction to Wine.

Contact Jeff Fisher or Najat Yehia to learn more about the nutrition and dietetics program and course offerings. Recipes for the berry-kefir smoothie and Mediterranean power bowl are below.

Berry-Kefir Smoothie

Get a probiotic boost at breakfast when you add kefir to your smoothie. Feel free to use any berries and nut butter you have on hand in this healthy smoothie recipe.

Active: 5 mins

Total: 5 mins

Servings: 1


1 ½ cups frozen mixed berries

1 cup plain kefir

½ medium banana

2 teaspoons almond butter

½ teaspoon vanilla extract


Step 1. Combine berries, kefir, banana, almond butter and vanilla in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size:  2 cups

Per Serving: 304 calories; protein 15.4g; carbohydrates 53.3g; dietary fiber 8.6g; sugars 36.7g; fat 6.9g; saturated fat 0.8g; cholesterol 5mg; vitamin a iu 537.9IU; vitamin c 32.1mg; folate 17.5mcg; calcium 370.2mg; iron 1.1mg; magnesium 45.9mg; potassium 436.6mg; sodium 25mg.


2 1/2 fruit, 1 fat-free milk, 1 fat

Mediterranean Power Bowl

This nutrient-packed grain bowl recipe comes together in 15 minutes with the help of a few convenience-food shortcuts like prewashed baby kale, microwavable quinoa and precooked beets. Pack these ahead to keep on hand for easy meal-prep lunches or dinners on busy nights.

Active: 15 mins

Total: 15 mins

Servings: 4


1 (8 ounce) pouch microwavable quinoa

½ cup hummus

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 (5 ounce) package baby kale

1 (8 ounce) package refrigerated cooked whole baby beets, sliced (or 2 cups from salad bar)

1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed

1 medium avocado, sliced

¼ cup unsalted toasted sunflower seeds


Step 1. Prepare quinoa according to package directions; set aside to cool.

Step 2. Combine hummus and lemon juice in a small bowl. Thin with water to desired dressing consistency. Divide the dressing among 4 small condiment containers with lids and refrigerate.

Step 3. Divide baby kale among 4 single-serving containers with lids. Top each with 1/2 cup of the quinoa, 1/2 cup beets, 1/4 cup edamame and 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds.

Step 4. When ready to eat, top with 1/4 avocado and the hummus dressing.


To make ahead: Refrigerate bowls and dressing separately for up to 4 days. Wait to add avocado until ready to eat to prevent browning.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 container

Per Serving: 381 calories; protein 16.2g; carbohydrates 43.1g; dietary fiber 13.2g; sugars 7.7g; fat 18.6g; saturated fat 2.4g; vitamin a iu 3764IU; vitamin c 55mg; folate 341.8mcg; calcium 126.3mg; iron 4.6mg; magnesium 161.2mg; potassium 1065.8mg; sodium 188.2mg.


2 1/2 fat, 2 starch, 1 lean protein, 1/2 high-fat protein, 1/2 vegetable


Source: Carolyn Hodges, M.S., RDN

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