McKee Botanical Garden to host healthy cooking series


McKee Botanical Garden is hosting a series of five healthy cooking demonstrations, “Lighten Up,” including one for children by Michael Clifford, Jr. and Jayne McAllister of Sealantro in Vero Beach.  All workshops will take place each Saturday beginning July 8 until August 5 from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm, in the Cafe at McKee Botanical Garden. The cost for each session is $45 for McKee members and $50 for non-members. The final workshop, “Fun and Healthy Cooking for Kids” is a workshop for children only and the cost is $35 for McKee members and $40 for non-members. Participants will enjoy lunch during each demonstration.

Space is limited and advanced registration is required. Participants can register for classes directly at McKee Botanical Garden located at 350 US Highway 1, Vero Beach, FL  32962 or by calling 772-794-0601. Classes fill up quickly and walk-ins will not be accepted, so register now. To view a complete description including dates, times and fees for all classes, please visit 

Lesson One:  How to Prep like a Pro

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Gain tips on planning ahead and prepping a week’s worth of healthy meals when you are short on time to cook. 

Lesson Two:  Delicious Ways to Prepare Vegetables

Saturday, July 15, 2017

In this session, participants will learn 1) different types of vegetables (including greens, cruciferous and roots) and their health benefits, including their effect on the immune system and disease prevention 2) technical applications such as knife skills and essential equipment 3) practical applications such as roasting, steaming and sautéing vegetables.  All participants will receive  recipes, prep sheets and educational handouts about the immune system, storing vegetables, organic v. conventional, and much more. 

Lesson Three:  Demystifying Grains and Glutens

Saturday, July 22, 2017

With so much hype and confusion around gluten and other grains, participants in this session will be dished up the real deal on different types of grains and gluten v. non-gluten, including the lesser-known gluten-containing grains and ancient grains. The hands-on section will feature how to make conventional and gluten-free alternatives to pasta, noodles and bread, as well as how to cook the perfect risotto and healthier variations. The  recipes and informational handouts will be supplied.

Lesson Four:  Healthy Snacks

Saturday, July 29, 2017

In this session, participants will learn the following 1) how snacking has become a food industry phenomenon 2) when snacking should and shouldn’t be part of your diet 3) how to differentiate between real food versus lab snacks, 4)  how to ditch pseudo snacks such as protein bars and replace them with delicious, easy to prepare healthy snacks, such as the best ever savory granola. Recipes will be supplied.

Lesson Five:  Fun and Healthy Cooking for Kids, a Workshop for Children

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Children will enjoy a “hands-on” experience in preparing a fun and healthy meal in a practical application of the Nutrition Detectives program devised by Dr. David Katz, founding director of Yale University’s Yale-Griffen Prevention Research Center. Children will learn how to spot unhealthy foods and make better food choices for themselves.  Participants will learn to prepare simple dishes that make healthy ingredients shine. They will become certified “Nutrition Detectives” at the end of the session. 

All workshops are instructed by Michael Clifford, Jr. and Jayne McAllister of SeaLantro in Vero Beach. Michael is a Vero Beach native who began his culinary career under the watchful eye of British Chef Bruce Turner. Sealantro was born when he teamed up with his partner Jayne McAllister, integrative nutrition health coach and author, to prepare delicious cuisine for clients following her weight-loss and healthy-eating programs. Michael loves to take clean, healthy food and add bold flavors with Asian or Caribbean flair. In addition to serving personal and corporate clients freshly-prepared meals-to-go, SeaLantro operates the restaurant at the Boulevard Tennis Club. 

McKee Botanical Garden is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to nurture and enhance a historic garden in a unique tropical setting for the education, enjoyment and enrichment of all.  McKee Botanical Garden is located at 350 US Highway 1 in Vero Beach. General summer admission rates are $10 adults, $9 seniors and $5 children ages 3 to 12.  Admission is free for members and children under 3. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.  The Garden is closed Mondays.

Comment - Please use your first and last name. Comments of up to 350 words are welcome.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s