Eating delicious healthy food can be tough to do on a daily basis. But that wasn’t always the case. Today we’re busier than ever, and there’s more access to unhealthy fast food options than ever. At what point do we ask ourselves how we can overcome the daily dietary issues that have been presented to us? As Americans get larger and sicker, there’s got to be a breaking point. A point where we need to reevaluate our eating options. Maybe there are some people and places that we can turn to that can help to get us back to the basics… back to the earth… back to thinking about what food is as it related to our bodies.
“It is said that every 35 days your skin replaces itself. Your liver about six weeks. Your body makes these new cells from the food that you eat*.”
If that’s the case, then it’s imperative that we reconsider our destructive eating habits. Thankfully there are people like Chef Laura Anhalt out there who are looking out for us (when we have a hard time looking out for ourselves). Laura is an author, chef, instructor, health coach and mom. For years she has been offering cooking classes in Buffalo, to those who want to source local foods and prepare them in healthy organic ways.
Recently Laura embarked upon a new project called House of Anhalt that literally utilizes her house in the Elmwood Village as a place where people come together to learn how to cook healthy and delicious meals and source, and/or preserve and can seasonal foods. A third option that she has rolled out is meal pick-ups and deliveries. That’s right, no more ordering unhealthy foods from the nearest and cheapest eateries. Laura will drop off different foods to your door five days a week, or you can even pick up the offerings at her house on your way to work in the morning. But before I get ahead of myself, let’s talk about the preserving and canning aspect of her operation.
Laura preserves and cans every Tuesday. On that day (6pm-8pm) she invites you to come to her house (this is a certified business) where for $18 you can take part of “Canning and Preserving Through the Seasons“. “The class changes weekly,” Laura told me. “We source food grown in the region – eating non-organic foods is not an option when you live in a place like Buffalo. We are surrounded by farmed foods that we can cook with throughout the year if we prepare properly. When people learn how to can, they are able to have canning parties, or offer canned gifts of food for the holidays, or set up food exchanges with other canners. Or they can simply cook their own prepared meals in the winter, using the goods that they canned in the summer. I teach my students the basics to the advanced tricks, from homesteading, food preserving and labeling methods, including recipes. My youngest student is eleven years old. For those who want to go a step further, I even offer cooking classes.”
In order to sign up for a cooking class, Laura needs a minimum of four students, and has a maximum capacity of eight students. The classes take place whenever the group is able to schedule a time with Laura. “At this point classes consist of groups ranging from bridal parties to book clubs to team building exercises,” said Laura. “Think of it like an event, where you will cook and eat a four course meal ($50 per person). Consider this as a form of empowerment. My goal is to teach people how to eat healthy and lose weight. It’s time to address health issues through eating good food. We must learn to appreciate our food, whether it’s through preserving or learning how to cook with real food. I’m inviting people into my home to learn what we’re doing – they can participate if they want, take notes, ask questions, get their hands dirty, stand back and watch… no matter the role that they decide to take, they will come away with valuable knowledge that they will use for the rest of their lives.”
Finally, Laura offers a way to get wholesome meals without having to participate in canning or cooking classes. For ten dollars per meal, Laura will actually do the healthy cooking for you, and all you have to do is figure out whether you want to pick it up or have it delivered ($10 per meal). Laura’s intent is to craft a meal plan for yourself and your family, whether it’s a healthy lunch or even a dinner. The home cooked menu for pick up or delivery means that Laura will prepare a meal the night before you eat it. Then she cooks it up in the morning and you can either pick it up from 7:30am-11am. After 11am ‘Laura’ begins to deliver the meals to homes and offices around the city for lunch deliveries (or save the food for dinner if you like). The benefit to you is that for $10 a meal you can eat a different meal each day of the week, Monday through Friday. These are nice, hearty, tasty meals that you don’t feel bad about eating, but will satisfy your cravings. Monday is Italian, Tuesday is Mexican, Wednesday is ‘anything goes’, Thursday is a soup and Friday is sandwich day. Laura can create these holistic meals around your dietary restrictions and has vegetarian options as well. No extra charge for delivery – but her delivery person loves tips!
You can find more on the Home Cooked Meals, and all of the other exquisite offerings by visiting the House of Anhalt Facebook page.
House of Anhalt | Great holiday gift – gift certificates available – or for Secret Santa gifts | 716-881-5127