Next Level Quinoa: Cooking Classes with Chef Zu

by FCS on


by Jeff Delp

It was cold this year on Martin Luther King Day, but that didn’t stop neighbors from filling the FCS community room to listen to Chef Zu talk about healthy eating, local produce, and creative recipes. The room was active and engaged. Chef Zu’s table was full of colorful fresh food, sizzling vegetables, and the smells of a delicious meal coming together.

Using only plant based ingredients, Chef Zu regularly demonstrates how to make delicious, low-cost, healthy meals at our neighborhood cooking classes. During his interactive presentations, Chef Zu describes the health benefits of the foods he uses and educates the audience on how to make healthy decisions when choosing how to fuel their bodies. At this meeting, he also walked the audience through some of the benefits of eating locally and described how pesticides affect food.

I’m a meat-eater myself, but the recipes look so appetizing that sometimes I’m tempted, if just for a moment, to embrace a plant-based diet! Instead of using meat, dairy, and other animal products, he creatively uses fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, spices, and nuts to flavor his food. Cooking without the use of animal products can be tricky, but Chef Zu creatively combines flavor, texture, and taste to make his recipes delicious.

FCS is glad to partner with such an engaging and dynamic chef thanks to the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation, Georgia Food Oasis, and Food Well Alliance. Along with popup demonstrations at Carver Market, the community is invited to participate in Chef Zu’s cooking classes. Carver Market offers scholarships to residents who are interested in participating but cannot cover the cost. Not only does Chef Zu host cooking demos and teach cooking classes, but he is also working with FCS on creating an upcoming Carver Carryout Creation. Stay tuned!

Get a taste of Chef Zu’s delicious creations, and try out this recipe at home! (See more recipes here.) If you’re local, stop in to Carver Market to pick up the ingredients!

Stir Fried Quinoa

1 cup of cooked quinoa
2 tablespoons of oil (preferably sesame oil)
2 tablespoons peas
2 tablespoons of chopped carrots
¼ cup of chopped onions
2 tablespoons chopped green onion (optional)
1 small handful of bean sprouts (optional)
2 tablespoons of soy sauce


Heat 1 tbsp. oil in wok; add selected with carrots, peas, and cooked onions; stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add quinoa, green onions, and bean sprouts, tossing to mix well; stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add 2 tbsp. of soy sauce and chopped to quinoa mixture and fold in; stir-fry for 1 minute more. Serve. Eat. Enjoy!

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