For the first time, I was able to attend the free cooking classes at Weaver’s Orchard this year since I didn’t have to work at the same time as they were taking place. I certainly wasn’t disappointed by the class led by Dr. Marisa Bosler this past Tuesday! In the scenic barn with a fantastic turnout, we sampled a plateful of savory dishes, prepared with the utmost nutrition in mind. I was very excited to be at this event and was also happy to find out that Weaver’s will have online screenings of each cooking class throughout the summer. So on those days when we have to miss the class in person, we can watch the magic online!
Marisa Bosler grew up working in her family’s Italian restaurant and spoke fondly of her mother who, now in her 80’s, still whips up delectable meals at the family restaurant. She has been able to combine Italian cooking with herbs with her love of healthy cooking. At home, she has her own brick oven and brought us samples of delicious herbed sprouted grain bread she baked herself.
Dr. Marisa’s practice, Bosler Nutrition, located in the Honey Brook Wellness Center, specializes in Nutrition Response Testing, a non-invasive way of analyzing patients’ health. At the cooking class, a patient of Dr. Bosler’s, Tara Becker, testified to the tremendous change she experienced through clean eating and chiropractic care. Changes in her diet helped her to regain the quality of life with her children that she was sorely missing due to chronic migraines. These migraines left her seeking help from neurologists who directed her to heavy doses of medication to find relief; however, she did not find relief in pills. Now, after two years of clean eating and nutritional guidance from Marisa, she rarely experiences migraines and does not need to rely heavily on medications. Eating real food has completely changed Tara’s lifestyle. Tara and Marissa both explain that a lifestyle change like this does not need to be a difficult process.
The recipes shared at this cooking class were simple and extremely delicious. Personally, I tend to shy away from recipes such as the Pine Nut Herb Baked Chicken with Tomatoes because of the several different steps to the recipe. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the simplicity of it all! Because of the way Marisa explained and demonstrated each step, I found myself nodding in agreement thinking, “I can definitely do that!” Cooking with all fresh ingredients does not have to be a daunting task, but rather it can be quite fun and easy. Many times Marisa mentioned that the recipes are extremely difficult to mess up, so you can have fun playing with different combinations according to your taste and preference.
- [Tomatoes and Herbs]
- 6 cups cherry or grape tomatoes cut in half (can use any color - mixing colors looks nice)
- ¼ cup white wine
- Handful of parsley (roughly chopped)
- 6 large or 12 small basil leaves (roughly chopped)
- Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
- *Reserve ingredients 3-5 until the end before serving
- [Pine Nut Herb Topping]
- 8 garlic cloves
- 1 cup pine nuts
- Palm full of fresh oregano
- 1 large sprig thyme (leaves only - discard the stems)
- ¼ cup Pecorino Romano sheep or cow cheese (if buying whole, use about 1'" by 1" piece)
- ¼ teaspoons red hot pepper flakes (optional)
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil (such as coconut or extra virgin olive oil)
- 8-10 chicken thighs pounded thin, then lightly seasoned with salt, peppe, and cumin
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. For convenience, use a large frying pan (with sides) that can be transferred from stove top to oven.
- Place all Pine Nut Topping ingredients in a food processor until ground into crumbs.
- [For the Chicken]
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F on bake or roast. Approximate bake time: 20-25 minutes.
- Heat olive oil, then add chicken to frying pan. Brown both sides of chicken.
- [Putting It All Together]
- Sprinkle crumbs on top of the browned chicken and place in preheated oven.
- When the chicken and crumbs turn golden brown, toss in the white wine and place tomatoes on top of the chicken.
- Bake 20-25 minutes until tomatoes look wilted and chicken is no longer pink.
- When ready to serve, drizzle with fresh olive oil and top with fresh parsley, basil and additional freshly grated cheese, if desired.
- NOTE: You may need to turn your oven temperature down if chicken and crumbs brown too quickly. It's about 20-25 minutes, depending on how thinly you have pounded the chicken. The thinner the chicken, the faster it cooks. Keep your eye on it. For safety, the inside of poultry should reach 165 degrees F by USDA standards.
Marisa’s Pine Nut Herb topping can be used to top other meats or veggies as well, she says. It’s also a great substitute for breadcrumbs, and that’s good news for those who avoid gluten. Marisa explained that she used chicken thighs for this recipe because they are a bit cheaper and are very juicy; she just recommended trimming off the excess fat. She mentioned that the thighs were good to work with because they did not get dried out. The next recipe she shared was an easy recipe for a healthy snack or can be used as a topping for salads.
- Canned (must be rinsed thoroughly) or pre-cooked chickpeas, patted dry
- Your favorite seasonings
- Preheat oven to about 425 degrees F.
- Toss chickpeas in your favorite oil until lightly coated, and sprinkle with any favorite seasoning such as salt and pepper, garlic, hot pepper flakes, oregano, basil, taco flavors, etc. Don't be afraid to try new flavors.
- Place chickpeas in a roast pan, pie dish or tray with sides. Shake pan to shake chickpeas once or twice between cooking to move them around a bit.
- Roast chickpeas until golden and crunchy.
We washed our tasty food samples down with the next refreshing recipe from Marisa. She once again emphasized that these recipes can be altered to your preference and are given as a guideline.
- 1 small/medium cucumber sliced
- 1 pint of favorite berries left whole
- 3 large mint sprigs or tops of plant left on stem
- 1 lemon or lime, sliced
- Wash ingredients thoroughly, then place items in a gallon of ice water, keep in the refrigerator and serve.
Next, Marisa shared her favorite recipe for salad dressing.
- 6 parts Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 part water
- Pint Jar (or any size container).
Use appropriate portions with this amount of olive oil to vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Fresh or dried herbs (optional)
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- 1 wedge fresh squeezed lemon
- Peeled garlic clove
- Blend in a high-speed blender like the Ninja, Blendtec or Vitamix until combined.
I enjoyed learning more about clean eating and delicious cooking and look forward to the many cooking classes to come this summer! Join us at the barn at 11 am each Tuesday from now till August 26th for free fun with no pre-registration required.