The joy of cooking is making food that’s simple, delicious and nutritious. All main ingredients found in this month’s “Food & Fitness lunch demo” April 5 at the Armed Services YMCA-Wellness Center.

Carey Stites, registered dietitian of Wellstone Health Partners, prepared Cowboy Cavier and Hummus Veggie Wrap, both of which maximize flavor while maximizing health benefits.

Ten guests attended the one-hour lunch, which is sponsored by Seton Medical Center Harker Heights.

“These snacks are low fat or sugar and high in fiber and protein, all necessary to maintain a balanced diet,” Stites said.

Part bean salad and dip, Cowboy Caviar needs no cooking, just mixing, and any type of beans will do.

“I use a can of low-sodium black beans, but put in your favorite, like black-eye peas or kidney beans,” she said. To the bowl of beans, she added one-half cup yellow corn, along with a chopped tomato. She recommended slicing an avocado and keeping it on the side since not everyone likes it.

Next came the chopped red onion, cilantro and ground cumin, all topped with fresh lime juice, mixed and then served with a healthy chip, like blue corn tortilla.

“Cut slices of fresh cucumber and use them as chips,” Stites suggested.

Kathy Kuss is a regular luncheon attendee, and she enjoyed the Texas-style caviar.

“This is a perfect salad or party snack,” she said.

Hummus Vegetable Wrap is a versatile, on-the-go lunch option.

“You can use any brand of hummus, but I like Sabra, since it comes in plain or different flavors,” Stites said.

But instead of a tortilla, she substituted Flatout Flatbread for the wrap.

“Each flatbread has half the calories, and half the carbs of two slices of whole wheat bread,” she said.

On a flatbread, she spread an even layer of hummus followed by two cucumber slices, cut length-wise, topped by a handful of fresh spinach and several sliced tomato. “Add a few slices of grilled chicken for a meatier wrap,” said Stites.

First-time luncheon guest Susan Chablis makes her own mayo, and is picky about her food choices, but loved both snacks.

“The caviar is really tasty and the wrap is excellent, just with the hummus and veggies,” she said.

The lunch demo won over another guest, Jeri Eldridge, who saw the notice on the YMCA bulletin board that morning. The hummus wrap was her favorite. “I’m glad I came because you can always learn something new about eating better,” Eldridge said.

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