Cooking Up Great Taste

SFC’s The Happy Kitchen/La Cocina Alegre® promotes food justice and access to healthy food by training community members to lead classes within their own communities, like Greater Mt. Zion Church, who has hosted classes since 2008. Read on to learn why many participants sign up for our free six-week community cooking and nutrition education series.

This blog was originally posted on February 24, 2014:

From parents with picky kids to people dealing with diet-related disease, participants in SFC's The Happy Kitchen cooking classes cover the spectrum when it comes to reasons for taking classes. Some are changing their diets because of health concerns and others are just looking for a better way to feed their family. Some are already cooking and paying attention to nutrition information, and others are just getting started. Here’s what some recent participants had to say:

Being Healthier

  • I have high blood pressure and, whether it’s hereditary or not, it can be improved.
  • I want my husband to be healthier, so I’ve been trying to make two meatless meals a week.
  • It’s a tug-of-war between the old way of eating and the healthy way of eating. I want to cut down on butter and salt.
  • The health condition that I have causes a lot of inflammation in my body, and I’ve learned that different foods trigger different reactions.
  • I burn water! But I was recently diagnosed with diabetes and started cooking more healthy food. My family doesn’t like it, so I have to make two separate meals. I want to make healthy food that tastes good, too.
  • I’m on a budget and I know that Type 2 diabetes runs in my family.

Knowledge and Skills

  • I want to have a small spice garden, so I want to know more about what herbs and spices are.
  • I’m a teacher and I want to know more for my students.
  • My daughter wants to be a chef, so we’re taking the class together.
  • I’m a bad cook, but I’m here with my sister, and she’s worse!


  • My seven year old doesn’t like vegetables.
  • I took the class last year, and my family missed getting the samples!
  • My husband and three kids cringe when I cook!
  • My mom has high blood pressure. I do all the cooking and I need some new, low-sodium recipes.

Eating Better

  • I love to cook, and I need to jump-start my weight loss again. I have several cookbooks, but I’ve gotten away from using them.
  • I love vegetables, and I see things at the store that I want to cook, but don’t know how.
  • I buy a lot of fruits and vegetables, but they go bad because I don’t use them.
  • I need to know portion size! I cook for ten people, but there are only two people to feed.

And our personal favorite response:

  • Chili’s and Applebee’s is my cooking, and Mr. Gatti’s has my order memorized!