Everyone Loves Cooking with Coral

Alisha OstbergBlog, living with HIV, support

A number of years ago I was chatting with clients at a Friday lunch and the topic of cooking skills came up. I was surprised by the number of clients who stated that they didn’t know how to cook and what to cook to stay healthy. Shortly after this the birth of an interactive coffee connections now known as Cooking with Coral was born.

Cooking with Coral is held once a month on a Friday afternoon between 2-4pm. Clients do not need to register to attend, they just show up and we supply the ingredients, recipe and help with basic cooking skills and discussions about nutrition and food safety. The recipes are kept simple as a number of our clients live in bachelor suites with sometimes only a hot plate and or microwave. The majority of our meals can be prepared in one pot.

Here is a sample of one of the meals we have cooked.


1 lb. lean ground beef
¼ cup chopped onion
1 red pepper chopped
2 carrots shredded
¼ cup BBQ sauce
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 whole wheat hamburger buns split and toasted


  1. Brown meat with onions, peppers and carrots in large nonstick skillet on medium heat, stirring frequently.
  2. Add BBQ sauce, cook 5 min. or until mixture is heated through and peppers are tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, spoon evenly onto buns.

We also serve coffee, tea, juice, fresh fruit and cookies with the meals we prepare together. Clients are encouraged to take a copy of the recipe home to try, quite often changing the recipe a bit to meet their individual tastes.

We usually have about 4 -5 people cooking with me in the kitchen, as well as a number of clients attend to see what we have made and to sample the dish. This allows clients a great opportunity to socialize in small informal groups, talking about topics from how they liked the food prepared to political issues of the day.

Visit our events page to see when the next Cooking with Coral is taking place.

Until next time,