Cooking for Wellbeing: Interactive Cooking Classes

cooking for wellbeing text on a green transparent overlay on the right side. Photo is of beets and cauliflower.

Join us for one or all three of these live, interactive cooking classes. Novice cooks welcome!

Life, food, and eating have changed. Many of us are spending more time than ever before in the kitchen, preparing food for ourselves and our loved ones all while juggling children, work, unemployment, or anything else life may throw our way. We all want to eat well, be healthy, manage our budget, and feel good about our choices. So how do we plan, procure, and prepare foods in a way that supports that? This webinar series will introduce simple, quick, seasonal, and affordable meals that can work in balance with the “new normal” that we are all experiencing.

You will be cooking with Jenny Breen who is an experienced chef, mom, educator, and activist. She has a passion for teaching about whole sustainable foods (and the folks who produce them), what to do with them, and why it matters. Jenny's approach to food and cooking is caring and accessible. She conveys simple strategies about choosing and eating well; basic but important cooking techniques and tools; feeding kids and other skeptical eaters; and planning for affordable and low stress meal preparation.

A list of groceries and kitchen supplies you will need for each of the classes will be provided prior to the webinar.

Webinar #1: Building Your Pantry and Meal Planning

Jenny will discuss the importance of meal planning, and how to do that by stocking up on whole grains, legumes, canned goods, and fresh produce. She will also highlight whole foods, what they are and why they matter, how to find and store them, and some fun things to make with them. Recipes we will cook include chilaquiles and enchiladas with fresh and cooked salsa.

Webinar #2: The Importance of Sauces and Condiments

In this webinar you will learn about the basic formulas to create delicious sauces and condiments, and the myriad ways to use them including on greens, proteins, roasted vegetables, and stir-fries. Recipes we will cook include pesto, salad dressing, and miso maple glaze on veggies and proteins.

Webinar #3: One Pot Meals Including Curries and Stews

In our final webinar, you will learn how to get the most out of whatever is in season. Jenny will showcase utilizing vegetables, legumes, and hearty flavorful ingredients to create abundant, warming, nourishing, and delicious meals without a big production. Recipes we will cook include blackeyed pea and sweet potato chili, and curried veggies with chickpeas and coconut milk. 

middle aged women with light brown curly hairJenny Breen has been a professional chef and advocate for sustainable food systems and food justice, and has worked directly with farmers and producers in the Twin Cities area, since the mid 1980’s. She was co-owner of Good Life Cafe and Catering, a sustainable food business, from 1996-2013. She is a 2009 Archibald Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow and completed her MPH in Nutrition at the University of Minnesota in 2011, while working to build strong networks within health and food systems for greater access to food, support for sustainable farming, and understanding of cooking as a health strategy. Her first cookbook , "Cooking up the Good Life," emphasizes local, seasonal whole foods cooking for families, and was released in April of 2011 from the University of Minnesota Press.

Jenny currently teaches three courses at the University of Minnesota, including an online undergraduate course called "Food Choices: Healing the Earth, Healing Ourselves" and a graduate level cooking course for health professional students called “Food Matters: Cook Like Your Life Depends on It," both through the Bakken Center. She also teaches an undergraduate nutrition cooking class, “A Food Systems Approach to Cooking,” through the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute in College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS). She contracts as a Public Health culinary nutrition educator with local health departments, school districts, and non profit food and farming organizations.

5 to 6:30 p.m. Offered Online via Zoom.

  • Thursday, October 15
  • Monday, November 9
  • Thursday, December 10

Suggested registration fee: $30; sliding scale options available.

Register now!

Pay What You Can Pricing

The Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing is deeply committed to the wellbeing and flourishing of all communities. In order to make our programming accessible to a broader audience, we have implemented a pay what you can fee for this webinar series.

The suggested registration fee is $30, but for those who are unable to pay the standard fee, we have a scholarship rate of $20 available. If you would like to support this initiative and are able to contribute financially, you may select the supporter registration rate of $40 to support others attending at the scholarship rate.

The Center's mission is to enrich health and wellbeing by providing exemplary education, conducting rigorous research, advancing integrative models of care, and delivering innovative solutions to organizations and communities.


If you have questions regarding the Cooking for Wellbeing webinars, please contact Molly Buss, community relations program and event manager (612-625-8164,