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Harvest Thyme Bistro chef Derek Olson dishes up Chinese veggies and rice at the Operation Frontline class Monday night.

Class learns to cook dazzling meals, stretch a dollar

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News Wadena,Minnesota 56482
Wadena PJ
Class learns to cook dazzling meals, stretch a dollar
Wadena Minnesota 314 S. Jefferson 56482

A Share our Strength "Operation Frontline" cooking class held its second meeting in Wadena Monday night at Harvest Thyme Bistro.

The class teaches qualifying individuals cooking skills, how to make healthy choices at the grocery store and how to budget, said organizer Del Moen. Stimulating Economic Progress, Otter Tail-Wadena Community Action Council, State Health Improvement Plan dollars and Extension are putting on the class for Head Start families.

It is the first Operation Frontline class in outstate Minnesota, Moen said. It will last six weeks with a bonus class for those interested in learning to garden. They would like to offer the classes quarterly if funding is available.

Chef Derek Olson of the Bistro demonstrated how to cook a Chinese veggies and rice dish Monday night. Class participants practiced by cooking a meal which they later shared. They also took home enough ingredients to make the dish for their families.

Dana Morthberg wanted to learn about cooking on a budget.

"I'm very interested in tips about that," she said.

She also wants to learn new ways to use fresh veggies, she said.

Kelsey Skoog, a mother of a 3-year-old, also wanted to learn about budgeting and variety in preparing meals.

"It's nice to learn different ... ways of cooking," she said. "It's fun."

The class made a pizza with lots of vegetables and turkey pepperoni and a crust made with whole wheat and white flours the week before.

Morthberg said both her 3-year-old daughter and her husband really liked the pizza when she prepared it for them.

Olson said his family really had to stretch a dollar when they were reduced to one income when he had surgery for Crohn's disease. He found cooking with vegetables and less red meat is cheaper and healthier.

He became involved with Operation Frontline because he likes teaching cooking, he said. Olson also teaches other classes at the Bistro.