Cooking at Children’s Hospital of OC

Community|March 11, 2019

This off season, Gerrit and I had the opportunity to cook and film demo videos for the kids at Children’s Hospital of Orange County. Our theme was “anti inflammatory meals during the holidays” and we had a great time cooking and getting feedback from our young taste testers and their parents. We demoed on Max Love Project’s “Charlie Cart”, a mobile teaching kitchen equipped with a sink, oven, pantry storage, and kitchen supplies.

Lexi Hall, a Clinical Dietition at CHOC, was alongside us during the demo and explained to the kids and parents the benefits of the anti-inflammatory foods we were cooking. I’ve linked the recipes as well as notes from Lexi below:

Kale Salad with Tumeric Dressing

Recipe linked *here*

Notes from the Dietition:

  • Dark green and leafy kale provides vitamin A which is great for the eyes, skin and immune system.  Also contains Calcium. The kale is also a great plant based source of iron made even more absorbable by the vitamin C in the apples.


  • We also have Almonds, Hemp Seeds and Avocado oil – all are great sources of anti-inflammatory Omega 3’s fats.
  • UC Davis released a a large study in March 2018 reviewing 29 studies on the wonderful anti-inflammatory effects of Cherries.  The Dietitian at USC has all of her baseball players drink 1 oz of Tart Cherry juice before bed to help with sleep and recovery after a hard practice or game.
  • Turmeric is a wonderful anti-inflammatory herb that has substantial evidence for decreasing inflammation and even lowering blood pressure.  It is used in countries throughout the world, notably India.  It has a great warm yellow color and a mild savory flavor.  You can buy this powdered in your spice aisle or fresh in your vegetable and produce section.   Tip: spices are cheaper in the bulk bins.  Note that not everyone should be taking turmeric, especially those with low platelets or low blood pressure.

Roasted Carrots with Candied Pecans

Recipe linked *here*

^(We used whole carrots instead of chopped carrots this time)

Notes from the Dietitian:

  • Tips on mindfulness, planning is so important – set aside time to plan out menus, prep food for later in the week.  Cut up vegetables in advance; use the pre-prepped versions in the grocery stores to save time.
  • Tips on sugar free pecans – If following a specific diet need you can lower sugar content by using acrystalized alternative sweetener such as Monk Fruit.


Garlic Dijon Salmon

Recipe linked *here*

Notes from the Dietitian:

  • Tip: A lot of people find cooking with fish intimidating if they haven’t used it before as it requires a few extra steps and it can be expensive.  Can cook with scales on, just lay them skin side down in a baking pan, or use sharp knife to take scales off.  Easiest way to cook salmon is to keep skin on, lay skin side down on baking pan, cook for 5 minutes at 450 degrees and 10 minutes at 350 degrees.  It will be flaky and opaque when done.  Plus, it is very easy to remove scales after cooking as they just slide off.  Can try simple herbs such as parsley, rosemary, salt and pepper with a little olive oil.  Or more creative with the recipe used here.
  • Tip: When buying salmon – consider buying in bulk from Costco, $30 will get 8 (6 oz) servings, bringing price down to $4 per serving.  Buying the “wild” Atlantic salmon will also get you the highest amount of omega 3 anti-inflammatory fats.  If you don’t have a membership to Costco, watch the sale ads at our local grocery stores – Ralphs, Albertsons, Walmart, Sprouts and Trader Joes.  I saw it this week in the sale ad at Sprouts for $7.99 a pound, still bringing the price down to $4 a serving.


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Hi! I'm Amy.

Food is my favorite way to connect with the people in my life. Whether it's dinner at home with Gerrit or out at a fun restaurant with my friends and family, a delicious meal is a shared experience that creates some of my favorite memories. I'm excited to create new experiences with you on A Coleinary Experience.