Wellness Champions: Chef Sasha Ahmed has suggestions to make Thanksgiving a little healthier while still tasting great!

Be a champion! GRCC is helping students and employees focus on all areas of health and wellness as we emerge together from the pandemic.

Wellness is a full integration of physical, mental and spiritual health. That includes physical health, but so much more. During the next year we’re also looking at emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, environmental and occupational health, and how we all can work to help ourselves and each other.

There are many resources at GRCC to help all of these types of wellness. Each week, we’ll introduce you to people and places here on campus ready to support you on your wellness journey.

So many of our holiday celebrations center around food – especially Thanksgiving. It can be challenging for folks focused on wellness.

But Chef Sasha Ahmed of GRCC’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education said there are some steps and slight changes to holiday favorites people can take to make meals a little healthier.

“I like to sneak some veggies in there,” she said. A macaroni and cheese dish is a staple on many Thanksgiving tables. Chef Sasha said mixing in broccoli or cauliflower will add flavor as well as additional nutrients.

Instead a big bowl of mashed potatoes with butter and milk, Chef Sasha suggests roasting the spuds with some seasoning. Cook it for about 25 minutes at 375 degrees and you’d have a popular side dish.

Let’s talk turkey, the star of the holiday show. Turkey is generally a healthy meat option. But many people like to deep fry their birds. That method is going to add calories and nearly double the grams of fat than a roasted turkey. Stick him in the oven with some seasoning. Skinless turkey breast has even fewer calories and grams of fat.

Healthy eaters don’t have to push away from the table before dessert. Chef Sasha said fruit is great, but baking it in a pie with all that crust might not be the way to go. She suggests cutting up apples and pears, or some fresh berries, tossing them with some mint-lime syrup is a flavorful finale to the Thanksgiving meal.

Chef Sasha is a GRCC graduate who earned her bachelor and master’s degrees from Ferris State University. She’s taught at the Secchia Institute for 10 years.

She also is active in the community. This semester Chef has assisted a local non-profit organization, Spring GR, to offer introductory seminars to participants who are aspiring food entrepreneurs.

The group focuses on providing opportunities to people representing underserved populations, women and people of color. The current class, which wrapped up this week, includes people who work in kitchens who are interested in someday owning their own eatery, and some who want to run a business from their homes. Students spent time learning the business side of a restaurant, then moved to the kitchens.  

One thought on “Wellness Champions: Chef Sasha Ahmed has suggestions to make Thanksgiving a little healthier while still tasting great!

  1. Pingback: Wellness Champions: Chef Sasha Ahmed has suggestions to make Thanksgiving a little healthier while still tasting great! – SHOPPEX NIGERIA

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