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Vegan expert, author teaches students to cook tasty vegan meals

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Not only is a vegan diet a healthy alternative to traditional meals – it can also be tasty.

At the Vegan Cooking Class hosted by the Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health, guest chef, author and culinary instructor Robin Asbell taught students how to supplement vegan ingredients into traditional recipes without compromising on taste.

“My favorite aspect of this cooking class was the way Robin focused on taste, texture and flavor in all of her recipes,” says OSU Dietetic Intern Erin Audiss. Vegan-Synergies“Throughout the class, she reminded us of her goal to ‘make great tasting food’ that everyone can enjoy. This was especially great because most of the ingredients she used in her recipes are easy to find in the grocery store, simple to prepare and affordable for the college population.”

Students were able to taste all five recipes Robin prepared, which included a Big Buddha Bowl, Lime Quinoa Salad with Avocado and Mango, Grain and Walnut Balls with Marinara and Whole Wheat Penne, Smoky Herb Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette and Savory Granola Croutons and PB&J Crisp.Vegan-Synergies-2

The class is part of an effort by the Moore Family Center to expand its current offerings of cooking classes to cover special diets. Robin, who serves as a culinary advisor to the Whole Grains Council and who was an invited chef at the Whole Grain Summit this past June, was a natural partner for the center.

“Robin is an artist,” says OSU Dietetic Intern Clinical Coordinator and Moore Family Center Dietitian Michelle Bump. “She creates delicious food with healthful ingredients including whole grains, fruits and vegetables.”

Robin has authored seven cookbooks, including “Sweet and Easy Vegan” and her most recent publication “The Whole Grain Promise: More than 100 Recipes to Jumpstart a Healthier Diet.”

Robin-Asbell-SynergiesThe Vegan Cooking Class was offered in October as part of the Moore Family Center’s Healthy Cooking and Meals 101 classes for students interested in learning how to cook healthy, delicious meals on a budget.

“Cooking skills are vitally important, but these skills are not being taught at home as much as they were in the past,” Michelle says. “Food prepared at home is healthier – and cheaper – but in our current food environment, it is easy to consume fast food and processed food on a daily basis. The Moore Family Center wants to serve Oregon State students by providing classes that empower them to cook at home.”