Cooking up some heart healthy meals to tackle heart disease

The American Heart Association is in the kitchen

BALTIMORE - From the slicing to dicing and the smoking to sizzling they're cooking up a storm.

But this isn't your ordinary cooking class.

"Our goal is to teach people how to change their lifestyle."

Welcome to the Simple Cooking with Heart Kitchen.  It's the American Heart Association's first ever teaching kitchen in Baltimore City.    

"I need to start cooking differently than the way I grew up cooking, which is southern style with a lot of butter, a lot of sugar and other things," Sharon Webb said.

Webb is living with Congestive Heart failure so learning how to cook more healthy is a priority. And she's in good company. May Belle had a heart attack in December and a stroke in 2009.  She's a comedian, but knows her health is no laughing matter.

"I have to learn how to eat healthy.  If I have one more thing I think that’s going take me away from here."

For just $5 you can learn how to steam up something special too.

"What I like about these recipes is that you're not taking salt and fat out, you're adding flavor back in."

Jeffrey Wells had a stroke about 10 years ago.  Just about everyone in this cooking class is on a mission to change, including Chef Tia Berry.

"My favorite aunt died from a massive heart attack while I was on the phone with her....I like to eat.  We cook with a lot of fat and a lot of sodium, so I knew I had to make some personal changes for myself."

Little did Chef Berry know she's also setting the stage for others.

"I want to pursue my career as being chef and my mother was gonna help me out, so she took me here."

They left with Fajitas and fresh salsa.  It was a meal from scratch that took a 20-30 minutes in the kitchen, but could add years to their lives.

"It looks good, it looks really good.  It looks like it does if I had fixed it at home with butter and everything."

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