Food Network Star Promotes Organic Cooking

Photo by Steve Fallon

Jacqueline Ehlert-Mercer, co-founder of the Edible Garden, held the sixth annual edible garden event at the Havemeyer House last Thursday, this time featuring Food Network star Ellie Krieger.

Attendees were served a dinner made from the food produced by the edible garden, which is grown by Ehlert-Mercer’s freshman class, based on recipes from Krieger’s newest cookbook.

“In this day and age of processed and synthetic food, we eat it all the time because we’re all rushed. I’m guilty of it too," said Louise Riccobene, a member of the President’s Parents Council. "I think it’s important to know where our food comes from and that maybe we need to be more involved with the food we put into our mouths.”

Diane Flynn, co-founder of the Edible Garden, agreed with Riccobene.

“Bringing awareness to the students that healthy eating is an important lifestyle choice, and when we see it beginning to end, maybe it’s more inspiring,” said Flynn.

After a cocktail hour, those at the event were treated to a speech given by Kreiger. According to Krieger’s website, she has been featured on shows like “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” “Live with Regis & Kelly,” “ABC News Now” and “Dr. Oz.”

Krieger gave a speech about her new book, “Weeknight Wonders,” which was given as a gift to the attendees who preregistered. The book is all about making sure food is not only healthy, but also delicious and nutritious.

“I’m a nutritionist, but I’m a food lover first. I learned how to love food in a healthy way,” Krieger said.

Krieger’s motto is “delicious meets healthy.” She expressed in her speech that often our society separates healthy foods and delicious foods into different circles.

“These two circles of nutritious food and delicious food are not mutually exclusive, but they meet, and in the center is this beautiful, amazing place where you can have it all, and I know that this is true because this is what I’ve been doing every day,” Krieger said to the audience.

Krieger discussed how she always provides her clients with three lists, known as the “usual foods,” the “sometimes foods” and the “rarely foods.” There is no such thing as “never foods.” The secret is to substitute unhealthy things in everyday meals with more health-conscious options.

After Krieger’s speech, attendees were served their dinner.

“This is my first time, but I am looking forward to it,” Riccobene said.

Flynn expressed a similar sentiment to Riccobene when asked if she was looking forward to the dinner.

“Of course, as well as, very interested in the guest speaker and hearing what she had to say and becoming a little more familiar with different things.  Last year they did the honeybees, and that was really very, very interesting,” Flynn said.

Overall, the Edible Garden event promoted healthy eating and organic cooking. When it comes to eating healthy, Kriegers best advice is to stay on track; eating well doesn’t have to be restricted.