Chef Nino brings out the cook in all of us

Woman cooking a recipe in her kitchen by following instructions on her tablet

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have found ourselves spending more time at home than ever before. And even as states are reopening their economies to varying degrees, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention remains steadfast in its advice to use caution to help slow the spread of the disease. The CDC still recommends that you cover your face, wash your hands frequently, and stay at least six feet away from people not in your household.1

So that means we might not be leaving the house for meals as often as we otherwise might. For those of us who aren’t comfortable in the kitchen, this new reality of preparing more meals at home can be intimidating.

Humana is fortunate to have Louisiana native Chef Nino Thibodeaux available to help us work on our cooking skills. Chef Nino provides live cooking demonstrations through our Virtual Neighborhood Center on our Facebook page, opens new window taking great care to explain what he’s doing and why. He focuses on ingredients that are low in sodium, low in fat and calories, and relatively easy to find.

He also has a lot of fun, and judging by the responses we get on Facebook, so do many of our viewers!

Here are a couple of the recipes Chef Nino has prepared in past Facebook Live appearances.

CABBAGE ROLL CASSEROLE

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 large white onion, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 jars (25 ounces each) LOW sodium pasta sauce
  • ½ cup uncooked rice
  • 2 bags (10 ounces each) shredded cabbage

Instructions:

  1. In a medium sauté pan, brown ground beef, drain excess fat.
  2. Add chopped onions, salt and pepper.
  3. Cook until onions start to wilt. Add pasta sauce and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and add cabbage and rice.
  5. In a large casserole dish pour mixture, cover and bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour, uncover and bake another 30 minutes.

EASY BREAKFAST FRITTATA

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • ½ medium onion chopped finely
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ c. chopped cooked vegetables or meat
  • 6 beaten eggs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan (one that is safe to put in oven), cook onion in 1 tablespoon of the oil, till tender.
  2. Stir in vegetables or meat.
  3. Combine eggs, salt, pepper, and vegetables or meat mixture into the saucepan over medium to high heat.
  4. As eggs set, run a spatula around edge of skillet, lifting egg mixture to allow uncooked portion to flow underneath.
  5. Continue cooking and lifting edges till mixture is almost cooked, about 5 minutes.
  6. Place skillet under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes or just until top is cooked. Sprinkle with Parmesan or Romano cheese.
  7. Loosen bottom of frittata and slide out onto plate. Cut into wedges.

Sources:

  1. “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19: How to Protect Yourself & Others,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last accessed June 15, 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html, opens new window.