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Free Healthy Cooking Classes

Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s Tulsa location wants you to eat healthy to stay healthy.

By: Mark Roe | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: July 2014

Kalli Castille, director of national support and culinary at CTCA, and John Oje, executive sous chef, show off a plate of Wild Berry Shortcake, one of the sugar-free/gluten-free desserts you can learn to make July 21 at the hospital.

Kalli Castille, director of national support and culinary at CTCA, and John Oje, executive sous chef, show off a plate of Wild Berry Shortcake, one of the sugar-free/gluten-free desserts you can learn to make July 21 at the hospital.

The staff at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) wants you to stay healthy. Kalli Castille is the director of nutritional support and culinary at CTCA. “It is part of our mission at CTCA to reach out to the community and be proactive about helping people learn to lead healthier lifestyles and avoid diseases like cancer and diabetes,” said Castille.

One way CTCA is fulfilling its mission of community outreach is by offering a series of demonstrations of healthy cooking techniques and recipes. The classes are free and open to the public. All ages are welcome to attend the demonstrations. “Whether you have an existing medical condition or just want to learn some new healthy recipes, we have something for you,” said Castille.

The series started last December with a course on gluten-free cooking. On July 7 at 6:30 p.m., the series will continue when CTCA Executive Chef Kenny Wagoner will be demonstrating healthy ideas and recipes for summer cooking. “We have come up with some great, fun ideas for food you can prepare at the beach or in your back yard or for any outings or get-together you may be having this time of year,” said Castille.

On July 21 at 4 p.m., Wagoner will present an especially tasty program, “Healthy Sweet Treats for all Ages.” Wagoner will be demonstrating ways to make desserts and other treats without using sugar.

“Avoiding overly refined products like sugar has been shown to be of major benefit to maintaining a healthy body,” said Castille. “By using whole foods like coconut milk and yogurt to add sweetness and lemon zest for tartness, you are not only avoiding the negative effects of refined foods, but you are also increasing the nutrition you are getting from the foods you eat.”
The demonstrations are being held at Ricardo’s Café, which is the on-premise employee café in the main hospital building at CTCA. “We encourage everyone to come out to these events. They are fun and informative, and the best part is, everyone who shows up will get to sample the food.”

Castille said the chefs and staff will be able to answer any questions attendees any have about tailoring recipes to specific health needs. The programs will be ongoing, and future demonstrations will include another “Summer Cooking” class on August 4 and a class on the safe use of cooking oils on August 11.

Castille said attendance at the demonstrations has been good and no one has had to be turned away, but to ensure a place at the table you may call (918) 286-5800 to RSVP.

Wild Berry Shortcake

Topping - Ingredients:

  • ½ C Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. local honey
  • ½ tsp. citrus zest (orange, lemon, or lime)
  • 1 C strawberries
  • ½  C raspberries
  • ½  C blueberries  

Gluten Free Chiffon Cake - Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ C Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose GF Flour
  • 2 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. Xanthan Gum
  • 1 ½ C sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 5 egg yolks
  • ½ C oil
  • ¾ C water
  • 2 tbsp. orange/lemon zest
  • 6 egg whites 


Preheat oven to 325. Combine all first four ingredients. Divide sugar in two. Add egg yolks in a large bowl; combine vanilla, half of the sugar, and the zest. Then with an electric mixer whisking on medium, slowly add the oil, then the water. Add the flour mixture. Place egg whites in bowl with other half of the sugar, beat until egg whites stand in peaks, then pour flour mixture over egg whites a little at a time. Fold in with rubber or wooden spatula. Do not beat – just stir enough to mix.  Bake in either layer cake or tube pan. (If in tube pan bake at 325 for 65-70 minutes. If in layer pan bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes.)
Place a slice of cake on the plate, arrange berries on top. Place the yogurt in a medium size bowl Add the honey and citrus zest mix ingredient until combined. Top yogurt sauce on berries, and garnish with mint. Enjoy!

For more information, contact

Cancer Treatment Centers of America

10109 E. 79th St.Tulsa, OK 74133(918)

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