In many cultures, the kitchen is the heart of the home, and that is no different at the YWCA. Since 2012, the Women in Transition program at the YWCA has provided a monthly class titled “Cooking Healthy on a Budget.” Led by a Charlotte Chef, the class is held in one of the residential kitchens, rotating floors every month. Up to ten women can sign up and Chef Patty Greene from the Community Table Bistro at Goodwill prepares a menu in advance as well as brings all the groceries. This month, she was inspired by our community garden, and the women prepared dishes around the vegetables and herbs that have grown over the summer.

YWCA provides all of the cooking and baking supplies while Patty gives instruction and each participant is assigned a different task or duty. This past month, participants made fresh tomato and basil bruschetta, stuffed roasted Portobello mushroom caps with couscous, spinach, zucchini, squash, tomatoes and parmesan, roasted asparagus and carrots and fresh blueberry cobbler. Once the cooking is complete, participants sit down together to enjoy a delicious meal and share in their hard work.

Cassandra D’Alessio